Sensitive issue: Testy Guillen wants English training

Updated: June 24, 2006, 4:09 PM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen doesn't know what a sensitivity course is about, and he doubts he'll ever attend one, even though commissioner Bud Selig ordered the Chicago White Sox manager to attend sensitivity training and fined him an undisclosed amount of money as punishment for his derogatory remarks to journalist Jay Mariotti.

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Buster Olney
Ozzie Guillen says he doesn't think his sensitivity training will happen, which, in the world of public perception, is like thumbing his nose at the commissioner's decision.

I don't think Bud Selig has any choice but to suspend Ozzie now, maybe for a game or two. Guillen's current penalty is light, and he should've stuck with his original response, which was that he was OK with the sensitivity training. But now his latest response seems flip, whether he intended to be or not.

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"I don't think I'll be going, I don't think that'll happen," Guillen told ESPNdeportes.com in an interview at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday. The interview was conducted in Spanish.

"I think the commissioner ordered that in order to calm things down, but, obviously, to attend one of those, I'll have to take English lessons first," he added.

Guillen called Mariotti an offensive word, often used to refer to people's sexual preference.

Mariotti is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and appears on ESPN's "Around The Horn."

"I'll do what I have to do, at least when I have time, but I don't think I'll take those sensitivity lessons," Guillen said.

"I want to make it clear that I left school a long time ago and that I learned English in the streets. I have three boys at school and I am too old to return to a classroom," he said.

When asked about his comments after the game, Guillen responded with a lengthy diatribe in which he said he first needs to take English classes "to understand what they're talking about" and threatened to "start being nasty with the media" if they continued to ask questions about that.

"It's a really uncomfortable situation for me," Guillen said. "I don't need this job. It's hard everyday. ... If someone tries to play games, I'm sorry, but you've got the wrong guy."

Guillen got up and walked out of the interview room. A few minutes later, he said through a team spokesman he will undergo the training.

The White Sox, who were a half-game behind Detroit in the AL Central, won the opener of a three-game series against the Houston Astros, 7-4 on Friday. They defeated the Astros last October to win the World Series for the first time since 1917.

While White Sox players practiced peacefully, Guillen answered dozens of questions from journalists.

Could it be that Guillen is always caught up in some kind of conflict as a tactic to take pressure off his players?

"I don't think that way, but it has turned out pretty good. In a way, things have turned out like that," Guillen said.

"I've obviously been in Chicago longer than these guys. I've been in this organization and in this city for 17 years and I know better than them how things are handled around here," he added. "I'd rather they talked about me and not about one of them."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

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