Commentary

Guillen: I want people to hate my team

Updated: April 1, 2010, 12:17 PM ET
By Jon Greenberg | ESPNChicago.com

Ozzie GuillenAP Photo/Tony DejakOzzie Guillen believes only good teams generate passion, so he wants opposing fans to hate the White Sox.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen already has conquered social media. Now he's trying his hand at creating an old-fashioned advertising campaign.

"I was playing around with my kids, and I said my slogan is, 'Don't hate Ozzie; hate the White Sox,'" he said. "That's my slogan this year.

"A lot of people hate me. I want them to hate my team, too. "

Why?

"Because we want to kick some [butt]," he said. "No one hates you when you're [garbage]. When you're [garbage], no one thinks about you. When you're good, those are the people you hate the most."

With that in mind, Guillen said he's going to give a formal talk to his team Sunday morning during their workout at U.S. Cellular Field.

"We're going to talk about rules, my expectations, our expectations, how we're going to go about our business all year long," he said before departing to Goodyear, Ariz., to play the Indians in their final Cactus League game. "I have a few guys here that don't know what kind of guy I am. I have to let them know I talk to the media 384 times a year.

"If we're not playing well, they're going to find out they're not playing well."

Guillen said he's going to continue to stress an aggressive "Ozzieball" offense, as he's done in spring training. The White Sox were 9-15 going into their finale, one of the worst records in the Cactus League.

"I think I have the people to do it," he said. "I think the quality of players we have, I'm very satisfied with what they're showing in spring training.

"People say you only won two games. I don't care about winning games. We're not trying to win a Cactus League championship. I love the way they're playing. The basic guys are playing very well as a unit."

Guillen said he's comfortable with his pitching staff, with his main concern being the effectiveness of reliever Scott Linebrink, who gave up six runs and eight hits in 8 1/3 innings this spring.

Bobby Jenks (11.12 ERA) assuaged Guillen's fears Tuesday when he struck out four, while giving up two hits, in two innings in a 2-0 win over Oakland.

"My worry was Bobby, that's the reason I went out yesterday to see how he was feeling," he said. "He didn't want to come out of the game. That's a good thing.

"Most guys in spring training say, 'Get me out of here.' He said, 'Don't worry about me.' That was great news."

Guillen said he was glad that his team didn't dwell on distractions this spring. His foray into social media drew attention, and his middle son Oney resigned from his job with the club over his own Twitter account -- which turned into a media circus as reporters plumbed the depth of Guillen's relationship with general manager Kenny Williams.

"One thing I feel proud about this ballclub, all the stuff we went through, the players didn't even talk about that. The players didn't care about it," Guillen said. "To me, was it a pretty uncomfortable spring training? Of course. I had a fight with one of my kids. I did something I thought I should do. That was two weeks ago. My family moved on; we're more happy than ever. I think stuff like that brings families together. We support [Oney]. We talk about some stuff I don't like right in his face. I think he didn't respect a few people. I didn't like that."

And yes, Guillen said, he and Williams are on good terms. But everything could change if the team doesn't win.

"To me, the most important thing is to win," he said. "If we're winning, we're friends. When I lose, I don't even like my kids, or my wife, that's how bad it is. When we win, I love everyone, even my worst enemy."

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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