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

Ozzie Guillen: 'I will be back with the White Sox next year ... '

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whitesoxx-large.jpgCall it White Sox damage control at its finest.
Last week at this time, general manager Ken Williams had just been quoted as saying he would leave his post to run the Oakland Raiders, and then questioned the dedication of manager Ozzie Guillen in a USA Today article.
Not wanting to be outdone, Guillen then brought up the fact that the Sox needed to let him know where he stood beyond the existing contract that runs through 2011 with an option, and if they couldn't, then it was time to let him out of the deal to shop elsewhere.
Williams used words like "blindsided'' by what Guillen said, and Guillen described Williams' comments to the national newspaper as "confusing.''
A private meeting with board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and then one with Williams on Monday, however, and all that was missing was a guitar and the three singing Kumbaya.
"I asked him directly: did he want to be here? Did he want to be the manager of the Chicago White Sox?'' Williams said. "He said, 'Absolutely. That's all I've ever wanted.' He said he never asked for an extension. The timing of something wasn't commensurate with if he were to go down that road. He did want to know what his status was and I told him directly - I hope I never have another manager at least while I'm sitting in this chair, I hope I never have another manager of the Chicago White Sox other than him.''
Williams also said that if another club asks about speaking with Guillen they would be told, "Ozzie is not interested. He wants to be the manager of the Chicago White Sox.''
All that seemed to matter to Guillen was that his standing with the team was made evident in his talk with Reinsdorf, and the passion he has for the organization seems to be mutual. It wasn't a contract extension, but it was good enough.
"I made it clear my stance,'' Guillen said. "I never, never, never say I will leave Chicago with one year left on the contract and need more contract. My point was, what was my stance here? And the man and the general manager told me just continue to manage that thing and move on making this thing work, make it happen. We owe it to the people, we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the media, we owe to the players to put this thing in the right direction. And we will.
"In my point, my side, we will move in the right direction. I promise you that. Today is Sept. 27. You can ask me two weeks, 10 weeks later. I promise everything has to be in the past and move on. And will move on, and we know we're going to move on with the right direction and right attitude and that's what I want.''
A key in what Guillen wanted to hear was an assurance that his future business plan that he has in the works would not only be allowed by the club, but he would be in Chicago to carry it out.
Last week, he said that the club's word simply wouldn't be good enough, but whatever they told him on Monday obviously was.
"I got more than that,'' Guillen said. "They're not going to extend my contract. But one thing about it, it's not a personal problem because I'm making a business investment in Chicago. I want to know, 'hey, I'm doing this.' And we cleared it out and I'm fine. They can fire me next year. That's cool. But my business in Chicago, doing what I want to do, I'll continue and good to go.''
Guillen was also give word that his coaching staff can stay intact, which was also important to the manager.
"My coaching staff, they're going to be here as long as I'm here,'' Guillen said. "If they're not here, I leave. I made it very clear. I know people are going to say, 'Wow, here we go with Ozzie again.' No. I love the way they work; I love their work ethic.''
The one coach he could lose is bench coach Joey Cora, but that's because Cora is expected to be sought after for a managerial position.
Finally, Guillen said he and Williams addressed their on-going problems, and the hope was the bad feelings are behind them.
"It's one thing, better than yesterday, hopefully worse than tomorrow,'' Guillen said of the relationship. "We have work to do. Not on the field. Not about our work ethic is very good. What we do, what we get paid to do is very good. We're going to get better about stuff happening in the past. Communication is going to be better. Hopefully everything goes back to normal. How normal it's going to be? It will take a little while. But that's what we want. That's what he wants. That's what I want. I guess that's what our family needs. Everything will move forward, for good.''

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The longer the tenure of The Oz continues, the more I am convinced that the world series win in 2005 was more a case of all the stars aligning perfectly in spite of The Oz. I'll approach next season betting that the glass will be half empty once again and then I truly hope that I will be proven wrong. Go Sox!!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on September 27, 2010 7:09 PM.

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A.J. Pierzynski's future with the Sox is up in the air is the next entry in this blog.

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