Ozzie Guillen: Blunt but Fair

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Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is as love ’em or hate ’em as anybody in Major League Baseball. If you’re a Sox fan and/or admire people who confidently state their views in this era of overly sanitized corporatespeak dominance, you probably like him a lot.

However, if you enjoy being politically correct, think Wrigley Field is a cathedral, or happen to care for the Minnesota Twins, then maybe he’s not the guy for you.

He may be polarizing, but he’s honest with his emotions, outlook on life and with baseball. And he’s fair with his players. As a baseball fan, isn’t that what you want most? A manager who puts winning and meritocracy above all?

By Paul M. Banks

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“Right now, we have to do everything (right) to win the game. It’s not about feeling, it’s about winning. When we lose, it’s a bad feeling for me. When we win, it’s a good feeling for them,” Guillen said.

“My door is always open, just be ready for the answer. I never deny my players asking me questions, that’s my first rule. That’s an organization rule. If ever they want to ask something to Kenny (Williams, Sox GM), to the coaching staff, I always tell them, be honest- tell the truth. As long you’re honest with yourself and with your players you can live with it,” Ozzie continued.

The front office has given Guillen the team he’s asked for this season, but the Sox are still falling WAY short of expectations. They’re 23-30, 8.5 games behind the Twins despite being a preseason favorite to take the AL Central. Guillen is comfortable telling under-performing players the inconvenient truth, but management could be giving him the same business sooner rather than later. Yes, the 2005 World Series title (just the third in the team’s 109 year history) came on his watch, and he has a 2008 AL Central title to boot, but how much vocational capital does that really grant him?

“Some people don’t like it when you tell them the truth. They like the job I do, good. They don’t…I get paid to win games not make friends,” Guillen said about the concept of accountability within the White Sox organization.

A reporter asked if he uses psychology in making decisions. “No, I only passed eighth grade, I don’t even know what psychology is, bro! We should. I said that three years ago- baseball doesn’t need coaches anymore, it needs doctors and psychologists to talk to the players,” Guillen responded.

Guillen feels confident about the decisions he’s made managing the ball club this season. He feels that he’s put everyone in the right place, given the situation at the time, and that everyone has earned, or not earned, the playing time they’ve been granted.

“Today’s June, it’s been two months and the only guy who can complain about playing time and confidence is Jayson Nix. Everybody out there, even when they really struggle, they were in the lineup, they were on the mound pitching. They can’t complain that they don’t get the opportunity to perform,” Guillen articulated.

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Comments

  1. Ozzie how is that speed change working for you, next time let Kenny do the thinking, also please fire your hitting coach or as Hawk says the hardest working man on the team but he does not say the one with the least results.

  2. paulmbanks says

    I feel bad for Walk. so does pretty much everyone in the organization. Ozzie has been given the team he asked for, so the accountability does fall on him. But really whoever thought two members of the starting rotation would have ERAs in the 6s over 2 months into the season?

  3. paulmbanks says

    And there’s nothing wrong with building a team for slugging, provided there’s table setters and pitching to support it. I agree the move towards stressing speed is not working. At the Cell, it’s a launching pad, really has been since they revamped it for 2003. so trying to be the 1985 stl cardinals just does not work in that park

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