Commentary

Just having fun

No reason to get all atwitter about Ozzie Guillen's new method of communication

Updated: February 25, 2010, 3:59 PM ET
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

I hate Twitter.

There, I said it. At the risk of sounding out of touch and ancient and illiterate in most forms of computer shorthand except perhaps LOL -- which is a good thing, right? -- I view the "micro-blogging" network to be simply one more irritating chore in my day.

[+] EnlargeOzzie Guillen
AP Photo/Mark DuncanOzzie Guillen doesn't understand why there's such a fuss about him tweeting.

Oh, I don't mind the links to more interesting items, items that are actually longer than the average sentence-length of a 5-year-old. But I just don't know what to do with:

I am tired from bad very bad golf. That was one of the first tweets Tuesday from Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, one of the latest members of Twitter Nation, and more than 6,500 are following him at last count.

All of this has those of us in a profession that has largely helped sustain Twitter all atwitter, which is funny, don't you think? That aside, I fiercely defend Ozzie's right to tweet, as well as those 6,500-and-sure-to-grow who find him interesting.

I find Guillen exceptionally interesting, though I much prefer adult-length sentences spoken in real life, such as: "Listen, I'm a grown man," which is what Guillen told reporters Wednesday. "A lot of people think I do stuff without thinking or talking to people. Any information out there, I'm not stupid enough where I will say, 'We're going to make a move today.' All of a sudden it's in a tweeter from Ozzie. That's not the idea.

"I'm not going to give fans the message before I give it to the media. It's never going to happen. The Twitter is like what I am doing today, have fun with it. It's all personal.''

Why anyone would have a problem with Ozzie's tweeting or Ozzie's putting or Ozzie's eating habits is beyond me. Granted, he has done more harm with fewer than 140 characters in the past. At the same time, I don't blame him for feeling a bit insulted at the insinuation that he can't be trusted.

"That's why the world is all screwed up," he said. "I want to say [bleep] off, but I can't. All of a sudden, we're worrying about something that is personal. I wanted to do something that is fun off the field. All of a sudden, they're making a big deal of this thing …

"I feel like I was doing something wrong. People are treating me like I was a murderer or something, or steal someone's money or didn't pay my taxes."

Guillen said he spoke to Sox general manager Ken Williams about his new hobby, although Williams appeared to be caught off guard when a reporter from the Sun-Times asked him about it and he responded with a "No comment."

"If this thing bothers the White Sox or Kenny or Jerry [Reinsdorf], then we'll talk about it," Guillen said. "I talked to Kenny about it. I said what it was. He can see what I say. If that thing offends anyone, beat it, because I didn't do anything wrong.

"This has nothing to do with the organization or baseball. It's my life. I don't know why people are making a big deal of it. All of a sudden it's Ozzie Guillen. I didn't know how famous I was. That's pretty interesting. I thought people hate me."

OK, so he is prone to being a tad sensitive about his public perception. And frankly, I'm not sure why he would want to waste even a few minutes of his scant free time to tweet:

3 day of Spring Training and im already boreddddddd

I'm bored just reading that, which is why I don't get the whole Twitter revolution. My 12-year-old son informed me that it's a fad and won't last for long. And my 15-year-old daughter and her friend agreed, saying it's not communication as they would define texting, but rather one long string of boring Facebook status updates such as "I'm making a peanut butter sandwich."

I figure if teenagers don't get it, it's on shaky ground. But two teenagers and a preteen do not equate to a scientific survey. And in the meantime, 6,500-plus people are getting a kick out of:

Yessss nice day let's go to work

I have to trust that Guillen will not pull out his smart phone and Twitter on his way to the mound. Or, as he said, tip off some top-secret White Sox news, assuming such a thing exists. In the wake of the team's new MLB Network reality show debuting this summer, Guillen said that Williams was concerned about his new tweeting thing until he assured his GM of his intentions.

"I said, 'I want to have fun like anyone else. I'm a human being,'" Guillen said.

Reasonable enough, and he is not the only big league manager to have a Twitter account. Tampa's Joe Maddon does it, too, though according to publicist Gail Sideman, only a fraction of major league players tweet.

Must be too busy. Or maybe they just don't get it, either.

Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com.

Melissa Isaacson

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson has also covered tennis since 1986.