Ordonez called Guillen his "enemy" on Thursday and said he had no desire to see his former manager. Guillen shot back by saying Ordonez was "playing with fire" and he "better shut up and play," according to reports in two Chicago newspapers.
"I was just protecting myself," Guillen said before Friday's game against the Kansas City Royals. "I'm not going to sit there and take it, making me look like the bad guy."
Guillen said he if did not respond it would "mean I feel guilty about it."
"I never started it," he said. "I don't regret saying anything."
Guillen said no one in the White Sox organization asked him to back off his statements.
"If they want me to tone it down, I'll get another job," Guillen said. "Hopefully, this is over with. I don't have anything against him or the Detroit Tigers."
Ordonez played for the White Sox from 1997-2004, including last season with Guillen as manager, before signing with the Tigers as a free agent during the winter.
The two were even teammates briefly with the White Sox at the end of the 1997 season, and both are big stars back home in Venezuela. But they had a stormy relationship last season, when two knee operations limited Ordonez to 52 games.
Ordonez is currently on the Tigers' disabled list with a possible hernia injury. Tests are trying to determine the exact nature of the injury.