Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Reinsdorf: 'Kenny has never asked me to fire Ozzie'

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47.jpgWASHINGTON - If there comes a day where general manager Ken Williams wants to fire manager Ozzie Guillen, White Sox board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf won't get in the way.
"Well, that's my history,'' Reinsdorf said on Saturday. "The biggest mistake I ever made, but I would make it again, is I let Hawk [Harrelson] fire Tony LaRussa. I would hope Kenny would never come to that conclusion [with Guillen]. But you can't make a general manager have a manager he doesn't want.''
What Reinsdorf wanted to clear the air about on Saturday, however, was despite several reports - including one that appeared in the Sun-Times - that indicated the Guillen-firing scenario was already attempted by Williams, that has not happened, according to the Chairman.
"Kenny has never asked me to fire Ozzie,'' Reinsdorf said.
What he would say on the matter was that, yes, Williams and Guillen did get into a "yelling and screaming'' match on June 8, but in his estimation, he did not feel that it "almost came to blows in a heated shouting match,'' as one source told the Sun-Times last week.
"These guys were definitely yelling and screaming at each other,'' Reinsdorf did admit. "I wasn't there, but as far as I know, nobody else was there. I'm convinced that it never came close to blows. You have to be on top of someone. I mean, they were in there yelling at each other, which by the way, they have been doing for the last seven years.
"I sat there some time and listened to Kenny and Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] or Kenny and Ozzie and thought what the [bleep] is going on here. Then it's all over and they are lovey-dovey after that.''
While Guillen or Williams didn't detail what involvement there was from Reinsdorf after the Sun-Times report about the June 8 incident, Reinsdorf admitted there were meetings with each of them in the following days.
"Yeah, I spoke to each of them separately,'' Reinsdorf said. "The stuff was in the paper and I said, 'you guys can't have this kind of bulls---. You have to work together.' That was basically it. Go make up. I didn't use those words. I said, 'We can't function if you are not going to get along. You can have your fights like you always have, but it can't continue because we can't function that way.' They both agreed and as far as I know, they are back to normal.''
If Williams does get to the point where he can no longer work with Guillen, it will fall on the GM to make that call, according to Reinsdorf.
"You can't make a manager have a coach he doesn't want,'' Reinsdorf said. "I can't make the head of the accounting department work with someone he doesn't want. I hate to think about it and I don't think it will ever come to it, and Kenny says he doesn't see it, but that's the way it works.''
Reinsdorf also wanted to set the record straight on ''Website Gate'' from the spring, and that it was Guillen's decision to halt the plans on that, and also addressed the idea that the Sox had somehow tried to hurt the draft status of Guillen's youngest son, Ozney, as was hinted in a tweet sent out by Guillen's middle son, Oney.
"I would get angry even if it wasn't Oney [who tweeted that],'' Reinsdorf said. "You can't tell someone not to draft some player. They wouldn't listen to you anyway. If you told teams not to draft someone, they would probably draft him higher.
"I was upset about that and I was upset about the comparison of Kenny's kid [Kenneth Jr.] being drafted higher [last year]. Kenny had nothing to do with that. Kenny last year and Ozzie this year, both said the same thing when asked about their kids and that was, 'Do what you want.' ''
As far as where the Guillen and Williams relationship is now, the two have been talking, but Guillen said the other day in Pittsburgh that the talks have been about "team'' business only.
"We talk about how good we played the past couple games, conversation about what's important thing for us for a month to get to where we want to get and see what happens,'' Guillen said.
What Reinsdorf cares about is that they can work together.
"I haven't followed up at all,'' he added. "I do know Kenny and Ozzie spent 45 minutes on the field talking. And I see the stuff Kenny is saying, and I see the stuff Ozzie is saying. So as far as I know, everything is OK. I didn't lay down the law to these guys. I don't want you to think [I said]: 'You must get along.' 'If we're going to be successful, you guy got to get along and work together.' That was all. It took me a minute to say that, if not less.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on June 19, 2010 5:04 PM.

Jake 'Braveheart' to pitch Saturday despite what Oz wants was the previous entry in this blog.

Ozzie talks all things Ken Williams one last time is the next entry in this blog.

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