Ozzie just being Ozzie when White Sox manager goes off
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CHICAGO -- Blow-up dolls blow-up manager -- they're both full of hot air.That's what you have to remember about Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and this latest nonstory pretending to be a controversy. Guillen talks. A lot. And much of what he says should be inserted into a paper shredder. Trying to make sense of Guillen's many rants is like trying to eat soup with a rake. "Sometimes I create my own problems too," he said late Tuesday, as a larger-than-usual number of media formed a semicircle around Guillen in the White Sox dugout. "I'm not going to make any excuses. Sometimes I create my own problems, you know. In the meanwhile, that's the way I am. That's me. I'm going to say what I have to say."
Asked what happened during his meeting with Williams, Guillen said, "Nothing." The fact that they had a meeting means it was more than nothing. The fact that Guillen said they cleared the air, "as clear as it can be," and the fact that Williams declined to speak with reporters Tuesday means it was more than nothing.It was something. It just wasn't the something. "I think Kenny Williams is one of my friends," Guillen said. "And the last people I try to hurt, feelings, or the man, or say the stuff by hurting him will be Kenny. Not because he's my GM. Not because he's my boss. It's just because he's my friend." Still, you get more than a feeling that center fielder Nick Swisher and shortstop Orlando Cabrera -- two of Williams' key acquisitions -- aren't exactly Guillen favorites. That's a pressure point in the Ozzie/Williams relationship. And it isn't going away. But neither is Guillen. He said he isn't going to quit. So that means Williams would have to fire him. And it would take more than this latest dust-up for Williams to dismiss a manager signed through 2012. According to the ESPN research department, only one manager since at least 1900 has been fired while his team was in first place -- Pat Corrales in 1983, and his team was in a virtual tie with the Cardinals. Guillen isn't going to change. He might be slightly more careful with his future comments, but probably not. He is hardwired to say whatever pops into his mind. "If people expect me after [a loss] to be with a happy face, and [say], 'We'll be OK,' and, 'We're going to get it tomorrow, no worries, it's a long season,' then they have the wrong guy," Guillen said. "I know my ballclub. They know me." Everybody knows Ozzie. They know the good, the crude, the insufferable. "I love playing for him," Sox third baseman Joe Crede said. By the way, the White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 9-5 Tuesday night. They hit four dingers (including one by Swisher), tying a season high for home runs. Ozzie Guillen: bus driver and genius! Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a June 3 column about Ozzie Guillen, a fact supplied by the ESPN research department was incomplete. One manager since 1900 has been fired with his team technically in first place -- Philadelphia's Pat Corrales was 43-42 (.50588 win percentage) when he was fired in 1983. St. Louis was 45-44 (.50561).