As someone who has a tendency to react irrationally from time to time to something that someone (friend or enemy) may say, do, tweet, or e-mail, I can attest first hand how hard it is to maintain the self-control that allows one to go from "I must react violently and emotionally right now" to "maybe I should back away from the keyboard for an hour."
It's not easy.
So I don't envy for one second the plight of someone like Ozzie Guillen who not only has issues managing his own temper, but who also has to worry about the infamous Guillen Temper manifesting itself through his son Oney as well.
I'll get to the younger Guillen in just a minute, but understand that when Ozzie Guillen first joined Twitter a couple years ago, it was the happiest day of my social media life. Subscribing to the theory that Twitter, when used properly, is an extension of one's personality, I anxiously awaited the first homophobic blast on Jay Marriotti like the rest of us.
And then came the first innocuous, meaningless tweet about some household task. Blah. Then came the first tweet in Spanish. Spanish blah. And then, for a while, came no tweets. Put simply, for the time I followed him, I never saw a person whose margin between actual personality and Twitter personality was wider.
Twitter Ozzie Guillen was boring. So I unfollowed him. And life went on.
Recently, though, I've come to find out that perhaps there's an interesting Guillen on Twitter after all. And maybe I was one generation off. It turns out that Ozzie's son Oney has a Twitter account, and boy oh boy is he not afraid to use it!
It started back in December 2010 when reliever Bobby Jenks decided to leave the White Sox to go to the Red Sox and told MLB.com in an interview that he was excited to play "for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.'' Jenks went on to ask rhetorically about the White Sox: "Why would I come back to that negativity?"
Upon hearing this unveiled swipe at his old man, Oney Guillen pulled out his weapon of choice (presumably a Blackberry or an iPhone, possibly a laptop) and proceeded to spray Jenks with Twitter bullets (which perhaps we can call "Twullets"). Ripping off the scabs for every personal wound Jenks had sustained in his time in Chicago, the younger Guillen began throwing haymakers:
"one little story remember when u couldnt handle ur drinking and u hit a poor arizona clubby in the face i do."
"u cried in the managers office bc u have problems now u go and talk bad about the sox after they protected u for 7 years ungrateful"
"u came to srping not drinking and then u sucked and started srinking again be a man"
"hahah memo to bobby jenks get a clue u drink to much and u have had marital problems hugeee ones and the sox stood behind u"
If you're keeping score at home, that's attacking a man for drinking, mental breakdowns, marital issues, and not playing baseball well. Basically, Oney hit Jenks with the Twitter Asshole Cycle.
The Jenks flap came and went, but not before laying a groundwork of distrust and tension in the White Sox clubhouse. (Seriously, what player doesn't meet with Ozzie Guillen now and think "Okay, how soon till Oney lights me up on Twitter for what I'm about to discuss with his dad?") Probably one of several reasons for the White Sox' uninspiring 30-34 start, after an offseason where the team spent major free agency dollars to improve.
The way 2011 was going, you had to know Oney Guillen's Twitter account would again become topical. This week, not long after the White Sox drafted Keenyn Walker, a speedy 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder, who also happens to be black, with their first pick in the MLB draft Monday, Oney Guillen got loose on Twitter again:
"Shocker the white sox pick another good athletic black kid. How about picking a good baseball player."
Insightful stuff. A regular baseball version of Todd McShay...assuming McShay analyzed players based on their race.
I've never seen Walker play, but I'm going to assume that he is actually a good baseball player, what with him being selected in the first round of the draft and all. Also, let the record reflect that Oney's disdain for "another black outfielder" presumably stems from their selection of Jared Mitchell in 2009's first round and Kenny Williams, Jr in the sixth round in 2008. Both are black outfielders.
Oh yeah, Williams is also the son of White Sox general manager (and Ozzie's boss) Kenny, Sr.
So with smoke still emanating from Oney's handheld device, Ozzie had to immediately get out the fire extinguisher and
somehow manage to remain employed douse Oney's Twitter mess:
"I talked to Oney already," Ozzie Guillen said, adding that his wife also had talked to their son. "I have 25 problems. I don't want to add another one. My problem here is to win games. So far I'm doing very bad. Very bad. That's what I care about right now and that's what I'm focused on right now."
When asked if he was disappointed in the racial overtones of his son's tweets:
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"No, I don't read his tweets," Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't read anybody's tweets. I write mine and I don't read anybody else."
(As dismissive as it sounds, this is probably true. Ozzie Guillen has a highly impressive follower-to-following ratio of 146,802-to-1, so he doesn't really have any tweets to read. That ratio is topped only by porn star and former Sheen goddess Bree Olson, who is at a robust 230,809-to-1. Impressive.)
So the question now becomes "How old is too old to revoke your child's phone privileges?" Oney Guillen is 25, but he's about to get his old man fired. Perhaps Ozzie Guillen should give Colt McCoy a call and find out how he handled that whole "Rachel situation."
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.