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

The Cold War continues

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white_sox_kiss.jpgOne of them has to go. It's time for White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to step in and decide which.

The struggle between general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen was cute at first. Team Edward vs. Team Jacob.

It seems like only yesterday that Williams inexplicably threw the choice of signing or not signing Jim Thome into Guillen's lap at SoxFest -- in a public forum after Guillen thought the Sox already had decided to pass on the veteran slugger.

On Tuesday, there was very little debate about where the Guillen-Williams relationship has gone. First it was "Twitter-gate" and the resignation of Guillen's son Oney from the Sox organization in March, then Guillen and Williams rarely speaking, and now rock bottom -- ugly and embarrassing, and again personal because it involves family.

Guillen's youngest son, Ozney, was selected by the Sox in the 22nd round of the baseball amateur draft Tuesday.

Feel-good story? Try a slap in the face filled with conspiracy theory.

Some scouting agencies had Ozney projected as high as a fourth-round talent coming out of Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Florida.

After the pick was announced, Ozzie Guillen was asked if he thought Ozney would sign with the Sox or take the full baseball scholarship that awaits him at the University of South Florida.

"Nah, 22nd round?" Ozzie said. "I give my kid 50 grand just to go to school. I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown. Or buy something. ...

"I don't know [what happened]. I really don't put my nose in that.

Surprised? Of course I'm surprised. I'm not worried about that. What happened, why? That's up to people who know why, but I'm not going to waste my time investigating or asking people what happened. I got a lot of things to worry about." So why the bad feelings?

At least one of the Guillens -- tweeting brother Oney -- made it clear why he thought Ozney slid.

"And u told people to stay awya (sic) from him. U would," Oney Guillen tweeted Tuesday, obviously accusing members of the Sox organization of trying to sabotage Ozney's draft placement.

Don't think the Guillens have missed the fact that Williams' son, Kenneth Williams Jr., was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft in what ESPN's Baseball Draft Insider Keith Law described as "the worst pick of the day." "[He] wasn't on most teams' draft boards, although two or three other teams appeared to have had him inside the 10th round," Law wrote of the younger Williams. "It is hard to imagine that he would have been their fifth-round pick if his name was Kenny Smith ..." The younger Williams has hit .114, .255 and .228 through his first three years in the Sox system.

Sox scouting director Doug Laumann was asked about Ozney's freefall and the Guillen family's disappointment.

"Well, you know, it's a little bit of everything, I would guess," Laumann said. "I have a son myself, and you are always wishing the best for your family and your kids. There's always going to be a level of disappointment regardless of where you go. I think Ozzie respects the job we do, and we certainly respect the job he does. We stacked them on the board the way they were supposed to be taken, and that's what we ended up doing." While the product on the field remains stagnant, the real problem is a relationship gone very bad. Big personalities like Guillen and Williams can only co-exist for so long.

That leaves it up to Reinsdorf, arguably one of the best owners in the game, to weigh who is more important. Williams has been an aggressive GM, but the Sox couldn't get over the top until Guillen was named manager.

It's a mess that needs cleaning. Choose wisely.

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12 Comments

I love Ozzie because he managed the 2005 team. But, he has to go. He wanted this terrible National League type of team the Sox have now, and it's going nowhere. His family is a distraction, so it has become untennable. Time to say good bye to Ozzie.

Bring in someone that has a clue, Kenny doesn't have one. It's becoming more and more evident that he was lucky in 2005. He has no philosophy, and if it does, it changes every year. We need a philosophy, and we need to stick with it, from the low minors to the major leagues. If that's pitching and defense then start drafting and developing that way! And don't put together a team that can't pitch or defend.

Kenny Williams gets so wrapped up in certain players rather than the overall picture. Does he believe in anything baseball wise? I don't think so. It's more of throw as much crap at the wall as you can and see what sticks.

I don't support the crap Ozzie is doing bringing his personal life into the business part. I'm sick of all this crap with his family, keep them in line! I do, however, support Ozzie as the manager of the Chicago White Sox. He's one of the better things to happen to this organization from a management perspective in quite some time. Ultimately, I just want the White Sox to win, though. If Reinsdorf thinks that takes Ozzie getting the boot too, then get rid of them both. But Kenny Williams really, really needs to go.

Unfortunately, I bet Reinsdorf tries to make this work between the both of them and next year we'll see Kenny trying to polish a turd once again.

I don't understand why either should have to go. I don't know why this beat writer is becoming a Marriotti. How about the players perform for once in an article. Kenny assembled good talent, Ozzie still has same or better baseball IQ he had when he won a world series. Quentin has fallen off his MVP caliber year, beckham hasn't played liked the golden child, teahen gamble hasn't paid off. And to top it off our strong point of the pitching staff has been a failure. I am as frustrated if not more than any other white sox fan, but the calling of heads is just lame and outdated and sports writing at it's worst. As it is "mailing" it in. This is a topic for commentors or bloggers looking for "hits" on their site. This shouldn't be a topic for a beat writer. Cowley you are witty and a better writer than this. I understand it's not easy for you when team isn't playing well, and it's tough to make lemonade with these lemons. But try filling your space with articles on how team chemistry is, team attitude. Who has their head on straight? Who is struggling with it? How the "hot hand" goes about his business during a slide. What staff is doing to correct itself. Who is putting in extra work. Etc etc. There are enough articles to write other than telling the chairman to pick sides. Your better than this cowley. Or at least I thought you were. If not change your name to marriotti jr since you like his style so much and can't come up with your own style.

And I suppose it's Kenny's fault that Buehrle, Peavy, Floyd, Beckham, Ramirez, Quentin, AJ, etc. all decided to tank at the same time, versus the "leadership" that has been provided by Ozzie and his staff this year? The team looked good on paper heading into the year, but unfortunately most of the players are stuck on paper.

There comes a time when a manager loses his team, and that time has come for Ozzie. I believe he is a good manager, but his message no longer resonates with this bunch. It's time for him to go. Plus, once Kenny decides to back up the truck, do you think Ozzie wants to stick around for a rebuilding effort? Not a chance.

Or, if Jerry wants to be real bold, he could can both Kenny and Ozzie, and promote Rick Hahn and Joey Cora respectively. (and throw in a new hitting coach to boot)

There is no way in hell the GM gets fired and the manager retained, that just does not happen. If Kenny gets launched, then they are both gone.

Cowley, I think YOU'RE the only one making this correlation, just to start something. I guess all the other 29 teams were in on it too, seeing as they didn't draft him either. While I agree that the signing of KW's son so early was clearly nepotism, you've gone too far with this correlation. There's no slap in the face here, only you trying to stir up things. Don't go all Jay Marriotti with your articles, please.

Everyone is missing the point.....Since they cracked down on steroids in the league, alone with other performance enhancing drugs. The stats of most players have gone down... Playing clean is killing them.

Everyone is missing the point.....Since they cracked down on steroids in the league, along with other performance enhancing drugs. The stats of most players have gone down... Playing clean is killing them.

I say start with Buerhle He's always wanted to go to the Cardinals, send him see what bats are in the Cards org. Bring up Hudson. Bring up Brett Morel give him a six week tryout at 3b, sent Beckham down for 2wks to find himself. See if there are any takers for Quentin he is what Arizona thought he was. Bring up Jordan Danks. The Angels and Rangers need a catcher see what arms the Angels have and what bats the Rangers have bring up Flowers sink or swim time. Keep Konerko until the last minute of the trade deadline to keep some power as the kids adjust. It's time to change direction with some sure moves and stay away from K.C. players that team hasn't won in decades their players aren't any good no matter what uniform you put them in. That was a bad move I would have kept Getz.

No, it's not Kenny's fault that those guys are underperforming. However, it is his fault that we have one of the worst farms in baseball. And not just from a talent standpoint but also from a scouting and development standpoint. This organization absolutely cannot develop talent. If you expect certain things from your big league team, you should expect them in the minors too. They advance based on batting average and ERA. Who cares if you strike out a ton, can't defend or can't throw strikes as a pitcher, somehow these guys are advancing. Jordan Danks has no business in AAA, yet there he is. A five tool type talent if they actually develop him, instead it's a race to the majors and most likely another failure.

If things are going to get better, and I mean stay that way, this team needs to be retooled from the bottom up. Kenny Williams can't do that. Kenny Williams is more interested in showcasing his farm for trades, and most of them are poor ones.

@Hedley: It will happen if the owner wants it to happen.

I have gone to almost 20 games this year. I think that it is time that we have a manager that manages and a general manager that makes personnel decisions.
I don't understand understand why Ozzie was allowed to go for this "no hit" offense in a park that was made for a hitting club. It makes no sense. But unfortunately this is where we are. So I believe that we should do the following.
I have a lot of respect for Visquel, but his playing days should be over. He has played third base several days and it makes me want to see Teahen back even more. While his arm and his accuracy still are there, he is unable to get to the ball. He has no quick steps left. Beckham is struggling at bat. Give him something else to think about. Move him back to third and let him play out the year there. Maybe if he has to think about fielding again, his bat will come back.
Since our pitching, both starters and relief seem to be such a fiasco this year, Ozzie needs to pull the string sooner. With our record, what is he worried about? When one reliefer comes in, get one throwing in case the first is not working. If the starters will get through 5 innings, line up the pen to pitch. I can't believe that they cannot pitch 2 days in a row if they are only throwing to 3 or 4 batters. And if all of our pitchers are having problems, doesn't it make you think that the pitching coach is not very effective?
We have a situation with A.J. batting second and getting hits, then we move him from second to seventh. Why? And if Jones is hurt (another hitter beyond his years), then say so and bring someone up. Pierre is finally doing what he was signed for, but he needs help. The team is really better over the past few weeks than earlier in the season, but they need help. The draft is over. Start seriously looking around to see if someone is available. Be carefull of the important positions, catcher and pivotal infield positions.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on June 8, 2010 10:48 PM.

Is the clock ticking on Beckham? was the previous entry in this blog.

White flag finally goes up on the South Side is the next entry in this blog.

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