Guillen says son became distraction

Updated: March 20, 2010, 6:17 PM ET
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Saturday he told his son Oney to resign from his job in the scouting and video departments on Friday to avoid further attention being taken from his ballclub.

Guillen added that he would not discourage the 24-year-old from expressing himself positively or negatively about anything, including the club, in the future.

Oney Guillen had come under scrutiny from Sox general manager Kenny Williams and other members of the organization for comments made on Twitter.

Guillen has also run afoul of Williams for his tweets, though his comments had been largely benign, and the Sox manager still has an account. Efforts by the Guillen family to start a Web site were thwarted by Williams, but Guillen said he did not have a problem with that.

Speaking to reporters Saturday morning at the team's spring training complex, Guillen apologized for skipping his customary postgame conference after Friday's loss to the Cubs and said he had since spoken to Williams and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

"I have to put myself in the situation of feeling comfortable," Guillen said. "When you talk about your family, that's different. I don't give a [bleep] who you are. When you talk about my wife, my kids -- I'll kill anybody for them. When you're not right, you're not right. That's why I made the decision. I made the decision. It was not Kenny, it was not Jerry, it was not [Sox vice president of communications] Scott Reifert.

"It was myself [who] made that decision for them because ... I don't want to come here every day and feel uncomfortable about anything. What's today, the 20th? It's time to talk about how good [Jake] Peavy is, how good [Gordon Beckham] is and how good my ballclub is going to play. Everyone should be behind us and hopefully in November, we're celebrating with a [bleeping] trophy and have a nice book about how this season began."

Williams told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine that Oney Guillen should not have resigned. Williams said he tried to moderate the situation when Guillen asked his son to resign after negative tweets about the periphery of the White Sox organization were printed in a Chicago newspaper.

"I love those kids," Williams said, referring to Guillen's children. "Young people make mistakes; my kids are the same age as his, and we know young people make mistakes. So, I actually urged everyone to settle down and I said, 'Let's address the issues. Let's take some time and talk it through. Maybe we can come to some understating.' Others felt differently. That's what happened yesterday."

After leaving the complex Friday, Guillen tweeted in Spanish: "They touched me where it hurts most and I have to be ready for whatever comes as I always do."

Guillen said Saturday he would not discourage his son from tweeting about the team in the future.

"Nope. A lot of people tweet bad about this club. A lot," Guillen said. "You cannot tweet or talk bad about this team while you're getting paid by this organization. And he was getting paid by the White Sox. Now he's not getting paid by the White Sox ."

As for Guillen, he said he wanted to focus on his team.

"I think the White Sox players deserve and earn to talk about the team, [not] about Ozzie and Kenny and Jerry, anybody," Guillen said.

As for his relationship with Williams, Guillen said he does not anticipate a problem.

"I hope our relationship stays the same and I think it will be," he said. "Kenny and I are grown men. I expect you guys to just leave Kenny alone. It's going to be a White Sox soap opera and I don't want that [bleep]. Just let Kenny worry about taking care of this ballclub and bring me good players, that's it. Let's go move on and win. The only thing that's going to make this thing better is winning and I think we have a great opportunity to win this thing."

Melissa Isaacson is a columnist and reporter for ESPNChicago.com. ESPNChicago.com baseball reporter Bruce Levine contributed to this story.

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.

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