Guillen: Rays "deserve" a new ballpark
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen isn't afraid to speak his mind - no matter the topic.
And Guillen, as he sat in Miami's new $515 million stadium, said Friday he believes the Tampa Bay Rays "deserve" and "earned" a new ballpark, quipping he'd "put in a couple million" to help.
"Build the ballpark for them please! Why not?" Guillen said. "They're playing well. They've got a great organization. I think now they deserve that. They earned it. It's fun to watch those guys play. I watch those guys play in the past, against them, it's fun. They play the game good, play the game right, and play the game hard, and in a very tough division. I don't see why not they build a ballpark. If one team deserves a new ballpark, it's them, because I think fans will support it a little bit better and I think it'll be great for the city."
Guillen, who played for the then-Devil Rays in 2000, has some ties to the city.
"I played for that organization when they were very bad, they didn't know what they were doing," Guillen said. "They were terrible, including myself.".. One day we go old, one day we go veteran, one day we go rich...But little by little, they put it together. GIve them a lot of credit. A lot of people talk about a lot of organizations, that organization put it together quick and whoever did it, they did it right...
"Give them a new stadium, I'll put in a couple million."
Guillen praised Rays manager Joe Maddon, saying he's one of two managers (along with Twins' Ron Gardenhire) that he "admires" in baseball.
"You don't win manager of the year two years because you're cute," Guillen said. "He's not cute. He's good."
"He's been winning all these years. He's a very smart baseball man, very smart. And players love to play for him, and respect him. That's all you can ask as a manager. When players love to play for you and respect you, you've got it done.
"The one manager I admire the most in this game is (Maddon) and Ron Gardenhire. Period. Everyone else I respect, and I hate a few - the same way they hate me. But that man (Maddon), I respect."
-- JOE SMITH