By Matt Van Wormer
So, Ozzie Guillen thinks that we Tribe fans are bad people for booing Jim Thome whenever we got the chance over the course of the nine years that he didn’t wear an Indians uniform. He also thinks we are hypocrites for giving him a standing ovation when he finally made his triumphant return to the shores of Lake Erie. Should Tribe fans have blamed Thome as much as they did when he left for more money and the East Coast? No. Should we have pointed some of our bitterness to ownership rather than the man who said he would never leave? Yes. That being said, Ozzie Guillen still needs to shut his big yap.
Honestly, Guillen finds more ways to put his foot in his mouth than a centipede. Guillen has been involved in the game of baseball for almost 25 years so maybe he forgets what it was like to be a fan. Someone who lays down their hard earned money to watch guys play a game for millions and millions of dollars, someone who swears they would do the same thing for a fraction of what their heroes make. As a fan, you want your team to stay your team and when someone who could have stuck around leaves anyways, you take it personally, no matter how much you shouldn’t.
I was guilty of what Guillen is claiming, on both sides. I booed Thome when he left and I cheered by heart out when he strolled to the plate on Friday evening for his first at-bat back in the Wahoo colors. I even covered it in a post last week when it was announced that Thome was coming back. I don’t need someone who makes more in day than I make in a month to tell me I am a bad person for being passionate. Do some fans take it too far? Absolutely. But for a millionaire to call a blue-collar worker a bad person for having that passion is nothing short of ludicrous.
Maybe I’m doing just what Guillen wants me to do by writing this piece. Maybe I’m playing right into his hand by acknowledging his loud-mouth theatrics rather than just ignoring them and taking them for what they are: garbage. And I’m not just writing this because these comments are coming from the manager of the team I hate the most. When anyone calls me out for being a passionate fan, I’m going to respond, even if it does just give the idiot who says something a reason to talk again sometime.