Guillen: No delay on Thome decision

Updated: January 24, 2010, 10:51 PM ET
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he wants to make a decision on the possible future of Jim Thome with the club before he leaves for Miami.

He was supposed to leave Chicago Sunday after SoxFest, but Guillen put off the trip until Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported on Sunday night.

Guillen said he doesn't feel pressured with the decision to re-sign the popular slugger, but clearly, the call will be a tough one.

"Sometimes, when you [decide] with your heart, you make the wrong decision," Guillen said. "Unfortunately in baseball, you have to [decide] with your brains, and I'm going to see what's best for the ballclub."

Thome, who was traded from the Sox to the Dodgers on Aug. 31 and is now a free agent, has been rumored to be going to Minnesota. Guillen dismissed the Twins report and said he will not wait for spring training because it would not be fair to Thome.

Guillen's plans to have a designated hitter by committee didn't seem to jibe with a place on the White Sox roster for Thome.

"The only reason I'm holding [back on] my decision on Jimmy," Guillen said, "is because I don't know how many at-bats I'm going to give him, and it's not fair to Jim Thome or the ballclub. I don't want to walk in the clubhouse and try to avoid Jimmy because he's not playing. That's why we have to make it clear about the situation to both sides.

"I wish I hated this guy. I wish I could say to Kenny [Williams, the White Sox general manager], 'I don't want to talk about him.' But this guy is so special to us, that's why we're talking about bringing him back."

Williams said he will defer to Guillen on a decision.

"I'm all for Jim to come back if it fits in Ozzie's plan," Williams said. "But, if it doesn't fit in Ozzie's plan and rotation, and Jim doesn't get enough at-bats to be Jim and be successful, then it's not a workable situation for the club, for Ozzie, or for Jim."

Guillen said he prefers to have at least 12 pitchers on his staff, which could affect the Thome decision.

Williams said he has told Thome that whenever he retires, regardless of where he plays in the interim, the White Sox want him to be a part of the organization.

Melissa Isaacson is a columnist and reporter for ESPNChicago.com.

Melissa Isaacson

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson has also covered tennis since 1986.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE MLB HEADLINES