FORT MYERS FL - FEBRUARY 19: Pitcher Bobby Jenks #52 of the Boston Red Sox stretches during a Spring Training Workout Session at the Red Sox Player Development Complex on February 19 2011 in Fort Myers Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune this past Thursday, Bobby Jenks said something he probably shouldn't have when asked about the comments Oney Guillen, son of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, made about him on Twitter.
"Middle child syndrome,'' Jenks said Thursday. "I guess he needs attention.''
It might have been better if he'd simply left it at this:
"A lot of the stuff with Ozzie (Guillen) and the front office gets old,'' Jenks said. "It has been a problem for a long time. It was a problem before last year. ... It's going to be nice for me to see how things are done here.''
Or, even better, he could have simply said what he did to Pete Abraham on Saturday:
" I want to stay out of it."
But as unfortunate as Jenks' comments may have been, leave it up to Ozzie to escalate, and take things from immature to terrifying.
While talking with reporters after a White Sox workout, Ozzie issued a warning to Jenks to mind his own business--one that quickly crossed the line into a threat.
"That's sad because it's coming from him," Guillen said. "That surprises me. Everybody in this organization did a lot of great things for him. Did he pitch good for us? Yes, very, very good. But in the meanwhile, just worry about setting up some games over there. Just worry about Boston, don't worry about the White Sox."
All fine so far, right? Well...
"If that happened two years ago or last year, I can make a book about this kid," Guillen said. "A book, not one page, I can make a book. And I feel bad for him. I feel sad he thinks that way about me. Very sad because he knows I can easily, easily kill this kid in the paper. He's not going to win."
OK, but that's not--
"Thank God he wasn't talking about the club. If Bobby was taking about the club, I would have been everywhere on ESPN because I will rip his guts."
Alright, he's going a bit far, but this is Ozzie Gui--
"I respect his wife. I respect his kids. I'm not even mad. I wish I was mad about it because I will rip his throat (out)."
Guillen alluded to a number of offenses by Jenks, claiming that problems he had with his family and health were major factors in the club's failure to make the playoffs last year, and claiming that the team both protected and lied for their former closer.
Really, nobody is in the right here. Jenks has been known to be immature, and Ozzie is, well, Ozzie. But this is going way too far even for the league's most well-known loud mouth manager. He comes just short of actually threatening bodily harm to Jenks, and at some point, the league really has to step in and mention that this sort of thing isn't OK.
For now, I'm going to say this is a matter of an immature manager not being able to control an immature player, and give Jenks the benefit of the doubt for his time here in Boston. He's only been in camp for so long, but so far all we've heard is that he's progressing just fine, and nothing else.
In the meantime, let's hope this ends here.