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MLB WINTER MEETINGS


December 7, 2011


Ozzie Guillen


DALLAS, TEXAS

Q.  Would you talk a little bit about the lineup with Reyes and how dynamic the lineup could be?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Well, I'm very pleased and very excited about this lineup.  I mean, there's three or four guys in the top, and I look all the way to the eighth hitter, it's pretty exciting.  I think they look pretty good.  Hopefully they'll play the way they look.  I think we've got a lot of speed, power, so right now I'm very glad with the lineup we have.  I think Reyes was a big part of this lineup.  But then my biggest part of this lineup is not that.  I keep saying this the first day I got the job.  I think Hanley is the guy, the main course of this lineup.  I don't care what a lot of people say up there, I don't care what people be talking and tweeting, I don't care who is coming up or who's coming out.  I mean, those two guys out there that a lot of people say the man is going to get it.  It won't be those guys.  Hanley will still be the guy.

Q.  Why?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  First of all, this guy is a Marlin.  Everybody comes to help him and the rest to win.  I'm not talking about Hanley right here just because the PR or marketing thing.  I'm talking as a manager.  I'm very comfortable with him.  All this stuff we need to talk, I never hear anything about him.  I just talked to a couple people about it a couple minutes ago.  I just tweeted about it.  I said, don't worry about him, let me worry about him.  And I expect everything to be fine with him.
Obviously when you're in this game for a little while, I expect this to happen.  I prepared for this to happen.  It's not easy to any kids, but whatever the situation is, I can understand his feelings, but it's all about talking, it's all about letting it go for a little while, and I think I only care about what Hanley say February 20th when we start Spring Training.  I mean, from now on, people can say whatever.  I don't expect to talk to him before I go back to Venezuela, and I expect everything to be smooth and very good.  He'll understand my point.  It's about change, but meanwhile, like we say, everyone say, the main guy here is going to be him.

Q.  What do you think happened to him in '11?  Why do you think his numbers dropped so badly?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Hanley?  I don't know.  I was very busy on the other side worrying about my own problems.  Obviously he wasn't healthy.  That's one thing about it.  Secondly, he's surrounded by a lot of kids.  There's a lot of things that could have happened.  I never asked Rodriguez or Jack exactly what happened, and I don't care what happened, and I don't care what he did in I don't know how many years.  Hanley got the lead.  I only cared for next year while I'm a manager here.  That's why I care about it and support him.
In the past, what happened to him last year when he dropped, I can't tell you what happened because I'm not sure‑‑ I don't know what happened with the Marlins in the past.

Q.¬† If you guys end up getting Buehrle is he a guy who can easily change cities and leagues without any drop‑off at all?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† Buehrle can pitch anywhere he wants.¬† This kid is special.¬† I mean, he went through a lot of things in baseball.¬† He pitched in the big scenarios, big moments, very tough city to pitch.¬† When people love you in Chicago, that means something.¬† Not too many people in Chicago, that many athletes are loved.¬† But Buehrle‑‑ I hope we get him.¬† I wish I had more money to pitch him, but I've got to stay what it is.¬† I talked to him a few days ago about it, and I want to push Buehrle to be a Marlin.¬† He's my friend.¬† I love his family.
In the meanwhile, I try to stay away from this because if I tell the Marlins how much I love this kid then I won't bring a lefty pitcher, I will bring a friend to the team.  It's up to him.  If Buehrle comes down here, he knows what we can do.  I know what type of manager he wants to play for, and hopefully he signs with us.  If not, I hope he retires.

Q.  How about C.J. Wilson, your thoughts on him?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† You know, it's always hard because every two seconds they change.¬† The Marlins give C.J. an offer, 20‑year deal, five‑year deal.¬† Every manager would like to have that kind of pitcher on the mound, everyone.¬† You ask everybody coming through this room and say would you like to have C.J. Wilson on your ballclub, I don't think anyone is going to say no.¬† I think we've got a good ballclub.¬† We add him, we're going to be better.¬† I think this kid in the past, he's been showing people how good he can be.¬† Now it's the right place and the right time.¬† If we got it, I'll be very happy.¬† If not, I'll be happy with what we have.

Q.  How much starting pitching do you think you need to have?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  It depends on what kind of ballclub you want to have.  You put Pujols or Fielder in this lineup, I don't care, the ERA is going to be five, we're going to score more than five.  But it depends who's out there.  But to me pitching is very important.  I think pitching and defense and speed is very important in this game, and I think right now we're good.  Can we get better?  Yes, we can get better.  But I have to wait because with the team we have right now, I'm pretty excited.  I have to wait to see if they're going to still make a move with players.

Q.  Is the lineup good enough with Pujols or Fielder in it?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Yes, I think so.  Good enough, yes.  Could it get better?  Yeah, it could obviously get better.  You sign one of those two guys to put the in the middle, everybody raise a little bit up.  But I think yes, because the National League, obviously with the lineup in the National League, the pitchers hitting is not always going to be a great lineup.  When you have Bach and (indiscernible) in your lineup at 7 and 8, you should be excited about your lineup.

Q.  You spent a lot of time this offseason with Zambrano.  Has he related to you that he'd like to play for you and see what you can do and have you talked to Miami about it?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Well, a lot of people.  It's something that's confusing because every time I talk to Zambrano, all of a sudden people think I'm talking about contracts or moving him to the Marlins.  That's tampering.  We do that on the side, not around people.  (Laughter).
By the way, listen, I talk to Zambrano almost every day‑‑ we don't talk, we just text message each other, and I got a bet with somebody, I will tell you, he will win a lot of games for the team.¬† He is right now.¬† Will I hire him?¬† No, because he belongs to the Cubs.¬† I think him and Theo got a meeting and make it very clear about what he wants to do.¬† I don't know what happened in the meeting.¬† I think Zambrano is happy to be out there.¬† I'm going to see him in a couple days.¬† But we never talk about coming here.¬† We never did.¬† If anybody out there says that, I would like to know because I will sue them because I don't talk to people about coming with me and other stuff.¬† To me that's a no‑no.¬† We talk as a friend, we talk about what happened in the past, yes.¬† We talk about how better it's going to be, yes.¬† We talk about what kind of pitcher he can be, yes.¬† But talking about the Marlins, I never did.

Q.  Do you have a feeling which is more likely for you at this point, Fielder or Pujols?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Well, you've got to ask Mr.Loria and Mr.Samson about it.  I'm fine with what I have.  I mean, just whoever has those two guys, their lineup is going to be a lot better.  But which one do I want?  How about both?  I told John McKeon, when they ask you, sign all the free agents you have.

Q.  Going so far down the road with Pujols, if he chooses to go back to St. Louis or whatever, how disappointed would you be?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Not disappointed.  You know me, I wish I had that man.  Everybody does.  But they're going to make their own decision.  You're fighting against a city and an organization he played all his life.  It's something to fight against them.  But if I see him with another uniform, I hope it's in the American League and I don't have to face him.  But in the meanwhile, I'd be very glad to have him.  But for now we've got to move on and see what we can do better.  This guy has got his own mind, he's one of the best hitters in the game.  Maybe when his career is over, he might be one of the best, top three in the game, we'll see what happens.  But if we have him, I'm very excited.  If we don't, we'll figure out a way to pitch to him.

Q.  Before he makes his decision would you talk to him?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† No, not at all because no matter what I say‑‑ when you've got to make a decision like that, I think‑‑ I never made that decision.¬† I think you have to think about your family, obviously your money because that's what we're working for, your money, and how you feel more comfortable.¬† And I think family is No.1.¬† I think a lot of players make decisions around their families.

Q.  Did you talk to him at all?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† I talked to him I don't know how long ago.¬† He went to Miami to see the ballpark.¬† I talked to him‑‑ it doesn't matter what the manager says.¬† I don't have too much to say to talk to players because all of a sudden they sign with somebody else.¬† They pay you, you go for it.¬† But I think he was excited when we talked to him.¬† He should be excited what we have.¬† Now everybody up there, we know we're for real. ¬†They're trying to get a good team to play in Miami.¬† That's all you can do.¬† If the players sign with you or not, at least they tried very hard.

Q.  How well do you know Hanley?  Have you talked to him?  And do you have reason to believe that it's not a problem with him moving, because a lot of indications we got are that he is not particularly happy with having to move to third.
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† We talked to‑‑ personally‑‑ I don't say we.¬† I'll say I talked to Hanley when they had the new uniform, I don't know how long ago.

Q.  November 11th.
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† Okay, I can't forget that day.¬† Idiot.¬† I talked to him those three days about it, he feel fine, kind of asking about it, if that thing happens we would like to do this.¬† He was fine.¬† But listen, do I expect to talk to him again?¬† Of course.¬† I talk to my players all the time.¬† I don't think it's going to be a problem.¬† I don't think it should be a problem.¬† But anything about it, you've got to talk to the players, how‑‑ talk to the players every day about what you want.¬† I don't know.¬† When I talked to him again, just ended the conversation and getting ready for the season.¬† If I have Reyes and Bonifacio in front of me, I will feel comfortable, and it feels funny because the money, it's two years going to be a free agent.¬† He has a couple good years with us and he has a chance to do, Hanley is going to be making a lot more money than what he's making right now.

Q.  What about moving from shortstop to third?  Some guys do it well and some guys have trouble with it.
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† They don't move me; they release me.¬† When you move good players, who you move?¬† A‑Rod, Hanley did or is going to be.¬† You don't move‑‑ good players can move.¬† Cal Ripken did.¬† Good players move.¬† Bad players, they get released.

Q.  Michael Young.
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Michael Young.  Everybody talked about Michael Young last year.  That guy went from shortstop to second base to third base, everywhere.  He almost win the MVP.  That shows you what kind of player he is.  That's one of my favorite players.
But I don't see anything‑‑ I think players from shortstop to third base is experience.¬† I think you're going to be more fresh.¬† You're not going to be doing cut‑off and relay.¬† I think you're going to be stronger, I think you're going to be better, and I think it's going to help out offensive and defensive.¬† If you get moved out of your position and you play Pablo Ozuna or myself, I'd be very mad.¬† But when you put one of the best players in the game right now to help you to win some games, well, you should be happy.¬† I don't expect him to be excited about it, but you should understand our point what we want to do for the team.

Q.  Do you feel like in order to win your division that your rotation is going to have to pitch better than the Philadelphia rotation?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Everybody has to pitch better than Philadelphia, not just us.  They have a great rotation, they've got a good ballclub.  The reason they are in the pennant race is because they are.
Right now I'm learning the process in the National League.¬† I don't even know exactly the thing with the National League.¬† But to be‑‑ to be the best, you have to be the best team, and that's what we'll try to do.

Q.  Sergio Santos got traded yesterday for a Minor Leaguer.  Did that surprise you?  And is that somebody you would have gone for if you knew he was a available?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† Well, you ask that to a lot of people, yes.¬† If he got traded, I don't care where he got traded.¬† I don't know the name who got traded, I don't know the people.¬† You talk something about‑‑ I'll say we should do better than that.
First of all, I don't know the Minor League player for the Marlins.  I don't know the Minor League player for the White Sox.  I think Sergio Santos is a tremendous pitcher.  I think he's going to have a hell of a job, and I think the White Sox know what they're doing.  A lot of people are being criticized about that, but that's not really everybody's business.  I think they know what to do.  Does it surprise me?  It surprised everyone, not just me.  I think Sergio Santos has got to be the one of the best pitchers in the game for the next few years, and that's the White Sox' business.

Q.¬† It's being reported that Buehrle has agreed to terms with the‑‑
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† I've got a call from Samson.¬† I got a call ‑‑
Q.They're saying it's done, four years, $58.
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† It's done?¬† I hope it is.¬† I hope when we're there we're celebrating.¬† That means I've got‑‑ if that happens, if that's true, very happy to have this kid, one of my favorite players, and we got what we want.¬† Now how about three more?¬† Hey, you shoot for the moon, just in case.¬† I hope that happened.¬† I hope that's what we're looking for for a little while.

Q.  You always said he was one of your favorite players of all time.  What kind of comfort is it that you have somebody you've known for so long to come along with you?
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† Well, to me it was easy because I was moving teams for a little while.¬† That's the first time Buehrle is going to move to another organization.¬† I think he was a little bit more comfortable.¬† If I help him to do that, if that happens‑‑ are you sure that's happening?¬† I thought he was my friend.¬† I thought he was going to call me first.¬† (Laughter).

Q.  Check your wife.
OZZIE GUILLEN:  My wife got my phone because it was out of batteries, but he might.  Well, whatever.
But I think he's comfortable because I know what I'm going to get from him, and he knows what's going to come from us, and I think that helps.  I talked to him a little while, I talked to him for a little while what's going on, what we got, and hopefully if that happened, I'm not going to say I was a big part of that, but a little bit, a little bit, because the Marlins know how much I love him and I know how much he can help us.

Q.  Do you think you would stick with the lineup you have, with the position players you have since you signed a pitcher instead?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Like I said before, before we even signed Buehrle, I'm glad with what they have.  I think we've got a very, very good mix.  It's about pitching.  Buehrle, if we have him, it will make my life a little bit easier, because pitching can drive you crazy and now we have one guy that can help us to win.

Q.¬† People talk about you're that crazy manager that ‑‑ you've had (inaudible) re‑sign with you, you have a Buehrle following you.¬† How nice is it that you can show people that‑‑
OZZIE GUILLEN:¬† I mean, you feel proud.¬† We signed ‑‑ maybe in the five top guys out there, we signed Bell, we signed‑‑ if we signed Buehrle, and we signed Reyes.¬† I mean, shows people want to play for us or for me.¬† I've got PK, Buehrle is with us, with me, a couple free agents.¬† People don't know who I am that play for me, or that cover me.¬† When you're a beat writer and you cover me every day in my career and you play for me, then they find out who I am.¬† I'm not that crazy like people think.¬† I'm not.¬† I never got caught doing anything bad.¬† Never.¬† Never got caught drunk, never got caught beating my wife.¬† I never do any of those stuff.¬† I stay in my house all the time, and the only thing about it, I tell the truth, and sometimes people don't want to hear that.¬† And that's one thing about‑‑ I said a couple days ago, you play for Ozzie Guillen in a heartbeat, because I'm fun, I demand the players to play the way they should be playing.¬† If you play the game right, I don't have any problem.¬† If you lose 20 to 0, you just got beat.¬† But if you don't play the game right then what do you think you should do?¬† I should talk about it.¬† I'm so honest with the media, to people, and sometimes I get in trouble, but I can sleep at night when I get in trouble because I know everything comes out of my mouth was the truth.

Q.  When Buehrle was in Miami on his visit, what impression did you get?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  I suggest we're going to get it.  I don't have to convince Buehrle.  I have to convince Jane, his wife.  That's who I had to convince, because I know that family very well, and I know how much Buehrle loves his kids, I know how much Buehrle loves his wife, I know how much they mean to him, and I told the Marlins, just convince her, and we'll be fine, because I know Buehrle wants to pitch for us.  But Buehrle is just unbelievable family kid.  I'll tell you what, I know him that well, I'd rather go home than be somewhere else.  The trade, I don't know if they did it or not, I know what the reason was, he doesn't want to move around with his kids.  I'm glad to have him because now I get to see his kids growing up.
When we left last year, I told him I'm hurt.  She was crying and all this stuff.  I said, don't worry about it, we will see each other in Miami, and now we've got him.

Q.¬† Is there a chance maybe you'll get C.J. Wilson.¬† At this point is Josh Johnson considered‑‑
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Number one.  If Johnson is ready and he's healthy, I think it's a little early to say it, but he's going to be my No.1 right now.  He's got to be healthy and ready, but I think that's what we're shooting for, and hopefully that happens.

Q.  Do you have enough to unseat the Phillies?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  I don't know who's even playing for the Phillies right now.  They don't have Rollins right now.  Do they have a first baseman right now?  I don't know.  But right now, yes, I can compete against him because he's got a couple guys hurt.  But you know me.  To win, like I say, to win you've got to be the best and see what happens.  They've got a great pitching staff.

Q.  When you joined the Marlins, when you came down there, were you aware that this much money was going to be on the table, that this is how aggressive they were going to be in free agency?  Did they kind of walk you through it?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  I was worried more about my situation than their situation.  They talked to me, they got ready to spend some money.  By the way, that's what I said, don't spend money to show people you're spending money.  Make sure you're spending money with the right guys on what we need.  Sometimes you add somebody making $500,000 play better than the one that makes $20 million.  That's the way it is.  That's baseball.
In the meanwhile, yes, they told me about how much, and the only thing coming out of my mouth was I don't want to talk to you guys about money, who to bring with the money, but I'd like to have José Reyes on the team.  That's what I told them.

Q.  Once Theo Epstein got to Chicago what did you make of all the hype?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  What I can say about that?  I hope they love Theo in two years the way they love him right now.  That's pretty good.  If they still love you in Chicago in two years, that means you have a lot of love because Chicago people, they forget pretty quick.  It's a very tough town.  I live in Chicago, and I'm a Chicago fan because they need some great stuff out of there, and I think this man has great, great, great ideas, and I think they're going to do fine.  But remember that one.  I hope they love him in two years the way they love him right now.

Q.  Did you get the sense as you guys had all these balls in play that if one of the pitchers agreed, like Buehrle seems to have, that you would be out then on Pujols?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Oh, I don't know that.  I'd rather have both.  I'd rather have both.  How about third?  I'll put Pujols somewhere and put another guy at first.  I'll figure it out.  But it's not my money.  I don't make any deals.

Q.  If you leave the winter meetings with Bell, Reyes and Buehrle, is that a pretty good week?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  Outstanding week.  I never thought we were going to do it so far and so quick, but they was very aggressive.  Last night I was having dinner with my family, and they was working.  They're very aggressive.  It's a funny thing, I just talked to one of my kids, I come down to the elevator, I say, wow, people criticize the managers because they never spend any money.  Now they spend the money and they get criticized how much money they got.  How people spend that much money wild and crazy?  Well, before it's opposite.  You can never make anybody happy.

Q.  Is the Japanese market something interesting?
OZZIE GUILLEN:  I always love Japanese players even though I have to deal with the media, but I love it.  I had a couple Japanese players that plays very well for me.  I think Japanese players get better and better every year in this country, and I think in years to come there's going to be more Japanese players that come to the States and play.  Why do we have to wait ten years to get those guys here?  How about a little bit earlier?  They can use it here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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