We re only a couple of weeks from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. If you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The Chicago White Sox.
• 1. Ozzie Guillen and Mr. Rogers — Separated at Birth? It's hard to imagine anyone more warm and loving — and totally sane — than White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen. Consider his latest rant (to Sports Illustrated) on Alex Rodriguez's back-and-forth stance on playing for either the U.S. or the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic: "Alex was kissing Latino people's asses. He knew he wasn't going to play for the Dominicans; he's not a Dominican! I hate hypocrites: He's full of shit. The Dominican team doesn't need his ass. It's the same with [Nomar] Garciaparra playing for Mexico. Garciaparra only knows Cancun because he went to visit."
• 2. We Think We Prefer the Applebee's Shrimp Commercial. The team's theme song, "Let's Go-Go White Sox," was actually written in 1959 and performed by Captain Stubby ad the Buiccaneers — best known for commercial jingles for Green Giant and Roto-Rooter. It soon disappeared, but was resurrected for the 2005 series. Sample lyrics: "When we're in the stands we'll make those rafters ring. All through the season you will hear us sing, let's go, Go-Go White Sox — Chicago's proud of you!
• 3. Carl Everett Predicts They'll Finish Third. After being traded to the Seattle Mariners during the off-season, designated hitter Carl Everett said that his old team would finsih third in their division — and he was probably being generous. White Sox Vice President of Communications Scott Reifert replied on his blog: "We would like to thank Carl Everett for his public challenge to our team and public projection that we will finish third in the American League. I see it as just a little more motivation for us."
• 4. Communism? No Thanks. Jose Contreras was Cuba's Male Athlete of the Year three times before he decided to relocate — defecting from Cuba on in 2002 during the Americas Series tournament in Santillo, Mexico. The following year he signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the New York Yankees and was considered to be a bust. He's now doing just fine in Chicago, thank you.
(Tomorrow: The Colorado Rockies.)