MLB: ëDollí moment for White Sox
By Rick Gano
CHICAGO ó Coming off an 0-6 road trip in which they managed just nine runs, the Chicago White Sox returned home Tuesday and were confronted with more questions about two female blowup dolls than they were about their shaky offense.
Before Sundayís game in Toronto, an unnamed player positioned two nude blowup dolls in the clubhouse with bats of the players fanning out around them ó a ritual of sorts to try and get the team out of its slump.
Some found the shrine more tasteless than amusing. Manager Ozzie Guillen said it was a joke that has been blown out of proportion after it got play in the press. General manager Ken Williams, who had lunch Tuesday with Guillen, said he was disappointed by the display and was assured it wouldnít happen again.
iWe have proactively tried to and just did so this spring training, organizationally, we brought in some people to discuss a better work environment whether itís gender issues or racial issues,î Williams said.
iAnd we had some very healthy discussions, so from that respect it is very disappointing. And I donít view this as a boys-being-boys type issue. This is, you know, boys being a little bit careless, a little bit irresponsible on this front.î
Guillen, who went on a profanity-filled rant Sunday that also drew headlines around the country, said Tuesday he wouldnít apologize for the presence of the dolls because he didnít think his team did anything wrong inside its own clubhouse.
iI donít think we tried to disrespect or hurt anybodyís feelings. We just tried to have fun and to keep things loose. Obviously a lot of people took it the wrong way,î Guillen said, adding he did not buy the dolls.
Guillen has a reputation for saying what he feels on a variety of topics and often getting in trouble for doing so. He was ordered to undergo sensitivity training in 2006 for a calling a Chicago sports columnist a deragatory name.
This time, he said no one did anything to merit an apology.
iIím not going to say Iím sorry,î he said. iI donít know what to say. I canít come up with the words, because as soon as I say that, that means Iím guilty of something. Iím not. Iím not guilty. … We just had a plastic thing sitting on a table and, wow, weíre bad people.î
Said White Sox outfielder Nick Swisher, iNo one one meant any harm by it. It was just kind of one of those things that just kind of happened. It wasnít meant to offend anybody. If anybody was offended by it, then I sincerely apologize.î
Media access in baseball is the most liberal among the major sports.
iYou kind of hear the old saying, ëWhatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.í Nowadays, with everything so accessible, I guess there is a place where we do have to understand that there is some things that may offend some people,î Swisher said. iIt is our home away from home. But we do have to understand some things cross the line.î
Guillenís tirade ó in which he railed against the White Soxís lack of respect even though they just won a World Series three years ago ó was just part of the trying road trip to Minnesota and Toronto for a team that played well during the first month before faltering badly. Now he was dealing with another off-field issue, and he seemed to be tiring of it.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that major league baseball was looking into the doll incident.
iItís something I know itís part of my gig, I know itís part of my job to deal with all of this stuff, but I donít think itís worth it,î Guillen said. iItís not. Itís crazy.î