TAMPA - Last year it was the Red Sox taking shots at Alex Rodriguez; this year it's Ozzie Guillen.
The White Sox manager ripped into the Yankee third baseman in a magazine interview, targeting A-Rod's much-publicized waffling over whether to play for the Dominican Republic or the United States during next month's inaugural World Baseball Classic.
"Alex was kissing Latino people's (butts)," Guillen, who's from Venezuela, said in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated. "He knew he wasn't going to play for the Dominicans; he's not a Dominican!"
Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and United States, was linked to both teams' rosters at various points over the past few months and also said once that he simply wasn't going to play in the tournament because choosing a country to represent was too difficult. After talking with MLB and WBC officials, however, he opted to play for the Americans, and Guillen apparently found his flip-flopping to be disingenuous. "I hate hypocrites: He's full of ---," Guillen said. "The Dominican team doesn't need his (butt). It's the same with (Nomar) Garciaparra playing for Mexico. Garciaparra only knows Cancun because he went to visit." Guillen, whose candor has drawn him both praise and criticism, added, "People say 'Ozzie Guillen is a big mouth, he's so controversial.' No, people don't like it when you tell the truth."