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October 12, 2005

Ozzie Guillen


Q. Were you stunned to see Dye bunt last night, and would you suggest that he not try that again?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, he tried to make something happen. I asked him, and he felt -- he said "I feel good about it." There's one thing about that bunt, just get it done, be happy about it. If you're out, you don't do it again. And then he tried to change something that we did all season, and he talked to me about doing it again, and I see where he come from, why he want to do it, but like I said, he failed and it looked good, but that's my third hitter, and we've got to play our game and hopefully they don't change the game that we've played all year long.

Q. When you got hired here I think it was a surprise to some people because you're a first-time manager. What do you say to those people now because obviously you've proven to be the right hire and have done a great job. What do you say to those people now?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Nothing. The only thing I've got to say, I've have the right team to have success. I think the players play good for me and that's it. I don't know why people complained when I got hired because I didn't really have any experience in particular as a manager. I think I never managed in my career, even little league, winter ball, anywhere. That was my first shot as a manager, and I was glad and happy and blessed by God for the first time ever managing in my life was at the Major League level. It's not an easy thing to do. The tough thing about managing to me is not the game. It's not the game. I think the game is easy because you're going to be second-guessed and criticized until you win the World Series. But I think being a manager was good to me because I come from Chicago and did it. I know the media in Chicago, I know the fans in Chicago, I know what I have to face. I know the coaching staff, people in the front office, and obviously that would make it easier for me. There's a lot of things besides managing a game. It's hard, and you've got to deal with it. I don't have the experience, but I know a lot about baseball. I was surrounded by a lot of good baseball people, a lot of good managing. I think it's good with everybody, and there's a sense that I have the team and the players I have did it for me.

Q. It appeared you and Guerrero were tripping at each other a little before the game and then even during the game last night. Was that just a little fun thing between you two?

OZZIE GUILLEN: I don't want to say I'm different than other managers. I think that's the way I am. Vlad Guerrero was my friend before I had this title, and he's going to be my friend when I leave managing. We're going to be friends for a long time. I think this kid, I watched him play when I was coaching him, and you come every day, managers, we face Detroit, Cleveland, Minnesota, New York, I always go to the next dugout and I say hi to my friends. A lot of managers just wait for them to come out. That's the way I am and I don't want to change anything. I think Vlad is one of the best players in the league, and to me I feel proud and pleased he's one of my best friends.

Q. Why did you pick Harold Baines to be your bench coach? How much do you rely on him and the fact that you guys are kind of different temperamentally, does that come into play?

OZZIE GUILLEN: I think Harold Baines is one of the only people I think that keeps me in line. I think we have different ways to lead, different ways to act, different ways to talk. But I think Harold Baines will do his job real quietly. Every time there's something or I'm kind of confused about something or I'm not really 100 percent for sure what I want to do, that's the man I call. You don't have to be loud to be the guy next to me. To me I feel pleased because any of my coaching staff, especially Harold, a lot of people coach for money for years in the big league or just to be on the big league level. I don't think my coaching staff needs that. I think they coach because, like myself, to have success and they want the White Sox to win this thing, and because -- I don't think Harold Baines needs to put up with me and my team for 190 games. This guy has got his life set, his family set. They do it just because Jerry (Reinsdorf)and myself and Kenny Williams and the White Sox fans.

Q. What has it meant for you to play for this organization for so many years and now to be managing them and leading them into the League Championship?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, I always say this is my biggest thrill in baseball. I win the World Series as a player, I win as a coach, all kind of awards. But I think coming back here, I never felt -- I know I'm going to be back in Chicago but I never thought it would be so early, and I never thought we would have done it so quickly. We changed the face of this team in one year, and I took a chance. I keep saying in Chicago I am the biggest White Sox fan ever because I feel this team. I think I'm a bigger fan than Jerry and he owns this team. I know how to deal with the fans, the media, myself, and every time I lose, we have a couple comments earlier in the season, late in the season, every time we lose I get sick. Well, that's true. I get sick because I don't want to lose. I feel sick because deep inside, this is our organization.

Q. There's an estimated 3,000 Venezuelans here in the Chicago area. Have you heard from President Chavez at all since last Sunday?

OZZIE GUILLEN: To me it's an honor. I don't care how many people think or like him or not. I like the man, I don't like his ideas, and some misunderstand what I want to say, like they always do. You take it my way or another way. I say I like the man because I think he works hard for the country, and I think I feel proud to represent my country. I feel proud and pleased and happy my country has been somewhere to look up to. We don't have that many people there. We don't have that many guys to look up to. I feel good because I know my country right now is so happy because me, and they talk about baseball right now, they don't talk about politics or crime or what's happening in our country. Right now they only concentrate on what Ozzie Guillen do every day and what the players do every day. Just two weeks it's happening, right now makes me the happiest man in the world because if I do a little thing just to help my community and my people down there. What I say about Chavez, I don't say I like his ideas, I don't say I like the way he is. I just said I like the man because he works hard and he says what he thinks. Some people don't like it, but I don't say I like the man, he's a governor. I don't say I like the man, he do great things in the world, in my country. I said I like the man because he loves his country.

Q. With Washburn having been sick and still being sick, there's a possibility you guys could get into their bullpen quickly tonight. Is that good or bad?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, it depends. When you're sick, you try to put extra in your body to get better. Last night, like I say, when you play the playoffs, you're not sick, scared, you're not hurt, you don't have any pain because this is a different type of ballgame. This is a different level of baseball game. They showed the world last night -- a lot of people said, "Oh, they're tired, they're dragging." They showed up to play, and they did. That's why I don't believe in that. When you play in the playoffs, nothing goes through your mind, just to win.

Q. I know you kept faith in Konerko even when his average wasn't very good in the season. What does he mean to you on and off the field, and how important is it to you for him to stay in Chicago?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, to me this kid is my leader. This kid just does everything in his power for us to be what we are, on the field and off the field. I will do anything and Ken Williams will do anything to keep Konerko here. He's my true leader. He showed up to play every day. He's a gamer. There's nothing negative to say about him. When I got this job, I got different search, and people say he wasn't good in the clubhouse, he was different then, he's a selfish player. But I got this job for two years and he's the best thing I have. He shows up to play every day, and believe me -- I never said we, but I don't have the money. I always said you want a good team, yes. All the money, all the stuff, that's not my department. But we want him here, Kenny Williams wants it, Jarrod wants it, Paulie wants him to stay here, so do I, so do his teammates, so do the fans. It just depends how they're going to handle it.

Q. It's a must-win when you face elimination, but how key is tonight?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Every game of the playoffs is a big game, I think. If we win here we've got a chance to come back here. But I think go down there, down two, face Lackey and Santana is going to be a challenge, not because we lose this early, but if we lose this game we have to play much better when we get to Anaheim.

Q. How has Anaheim changed since when you were a player? How has the atmosphere changed for opposing players to play there?

OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, Anaheim to me, that's the best thing they have because they have so much balance because the pitching staff is great, the bullpen is one of the best in the league. When I got here, that was before Mr. Gene Mauch in the 80s, but right now they can beat you so many different ways. Before they had (Rod) Carew and Reggie (Jackson), great players. I think right now they have a better balance of team.

End of FastScripts...

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