Whtie Sox pick up Ozzie Guillen's option
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox picked up the 2012 option on manager Ozzie Guillen, general manager Ken Williams said Friday.
Williams and Guillen struggled through a difficult 2010 season off the field, and there was some doubt about Guillen's future with the team.
But as the White Sox fan convention opened Friday, Williams put to rest -- at least for the moment -- the possibility Guillen is entering a lame duck season.
"It is my hope that we can get refocused on some of the positive energy we've had in the past and we can extend the relationship into the end of his career and the end of mine," Williams said.
"I've never doubted the man's managerial ability and the ability to pull people together. Listen, we can all get off track a little bit and we got off track a little bit last year. All I want us to do is to get back on track and focus on the baseball team and the fans. They're hand in hand. Everything else, I want out of the equation."
Celebrating his 47th birthday a day earlier, Guillen said the announcement brought tears to his wife's eyes. He thanked Williams and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf for believing in him.
"I love this city and these fans," said Guillen, who spent most of his playing career as a shortstop with the White Sox. "I want to be in Chicago."
Williams and Guillen sparred over several controversies, including the Twitter account of Guillen's son, who no longer is a White Sox employee. Oney Guillen's propensity to tweet flared up again recently when he responded to criticism from Bobby Jenks by revealing personal information that several White Sox players said should have been kept in the clubhouse.
"Through communication in any way shape or form comes a better understanding and better direction," Williams said. "So we've never had a problem one-on-one directly. Anything that has ever happened in regard to getting things off track has been put on our plate by peripheral things."
Guillen and Williams admitted their personal relationship was strained last season, but they didn't think it affected the on-field product.
While Guillen now has a deal for 2012, several of the White Sox coaches only have contracts through 2011. Williams said that was something that would be addressed later.
"We have to sit down and we all have to talk about it," Williams said. "[Guillen's] is a year extension so that's beyond this year. What we'd like to ultimately is make sure we're all on the same page, traveling down the same course and some of the other peripheral things are no longer factors. I've got confidence in every one of these coaches. But this was the first order of business. Now we have to take care of the next set of business."
ESPNChicago.com baseball reporters Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla contributed to this report.