TUCSON, Ariz. – The 12-8 win over Arizona on Saturday may have been a boring game, but afterward manager Ozzie Guillen sure wasn’t.
Guillen was his usual open self on several topics, specifically Joe Crede’s immediate future with the team, and a perceived lack of respect for the lineup built by general manager Ken Williams.
Guillen on Crede:
“It’s not sad. I was with this organization for 14 years and they kicked my butt out of here and I was better than him,’’ Guillen said jokingly. “Believe me, it’s something you don’t like to see, especially when this guy, everything he does he has success. The situation is something you can’t control, I can’t control. My job is to put him in the lineup as long as I have him here. Obviously, when you grow up in the organization you want to stay here, you want to finish your career in the same organization. He knows what Chicago is and he feels like a Chicago guy. I told him, ‘Don’t worry anything about it. Everything you hear out there and you read out there, don’t let it bother you. Let Kenny Williams and myself and whoever is involved do their job and you do yours.’
“He understands my point and he knows his situation. It’s not Kenny’s fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not Crede’s fault. This is part of the game and I think we found somebody who played good for us last year. Right now, we just have to wait and see and the game’s going to dictate all of this. It’s not going to be an easy decision. We’re going to wait as long as we can and see what happens.’’
Guillen then said if there is an end with Crede, it will likely take all of spring to decide:
“It looks that way. That’s the way I feel and I hope. The only way is if they trade him. I don’t say they, I’m part of this, too, and I’m not going to throw Kenny under the bus. You trade him. No, that’s the organization’s trade. I don’t think Kenny right now is even thinking about it. It’s a pretty important season for us after the fiasco last year. We have to show the people we still have a winning attitude, we have to show the fans it’s all about winning, about this year and when next year comes, it’s another year. Right now, our thing is to win this division this year. Next year, you never know what’s going to happen.
“I don’t think anybody in Chicago knows this ballclub better than I do. If you’re a baseball fan, Crede fan, Ozzie Guillen, White Sox fan, I respect your opinion. But believe me, they forget about how good Josh Fields was for us. Sometimes fans think with their hearts because we win with Joe and everybody loves Joe and I respect that. In the meanwhile, I have to let the fans know we’re doing this for them. We’re going to build the best ballclub for us to win. No matter who we take, that’s the one we think is going to be the best for us.’’
And finally, on this year’s lineup:
“There’s one thing about spring training, it’s not like we have to sell tickets like, ‘Oh, they’re playing better, let’s go buy tickets.’ I think we have to set the tone right way. We have to set the tone how we’re going to play all year long right away. I see the big boys come out and I think [Nick] Swisher has a lot to do with that, [Orlando] Cabrera. Everybody talks about everybody’s lineup and all of the sudden, they’re not talking about our lineup. Maybe because we are the Chicago White Sox with a manager they hate, or they don’t like the general manager. But if you see this team Kenny put together, from the top to the bottom, it’s pretty scary. I know Detroit has a great lineup and Cleveland has a good lineup and good, talk about them. But I love my lineup and I think we’re going to score a lot of runs.’’