CHICAGO -- Say what you want about Ozzie Guillen, but there doesn’t seem to be a head man at any of the four major sports as colorful as the one who is about to finish his eighth season as Chicago White Sox manager.
Guillen raised eyebrows once again Monday when talking about his conversation with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf that focused on Guillen’s chances of remaining with the club beyond this year.
If his responses to reporters were the equivalent of driving a car, then Guillen was all over the road, but the ride was anything but dull.
Here’s a sampling of his approximately 17-minute interview session:
Guillen, at the end of a long answer about his discussion with Reinsdorf, who is also the chairman of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls: “I was talking about, too, this is not a joke, about the NBA. I live in Chicago and in the winter you only get drunk and get fat besides watching the Bulls play and the [Black]hawks. I want to buy season tickets. I was down because I thought they were going to give me a break. It's too expensive for me. The Blackhawks, I always get good seats for nothing.”
On not getting any clarity from his meeting with Reinsdorf: “I expect that. I can't go there and say, 'Man, give me $2 million,' and he says, 'Here it is kid, go to the ATM machine and get it.' ”
On the bravado it took to ask for an extension in a year when his team won’t finish at .500: “I know being manager of this ballclub this year, I have a lot of guts to go up there and tell him how I feel because what can he say? ‘You’re coming here with the season you've had?’ But I have so much confidence in myself I decided to be there.”
On focusing on more years on an extension instead of worrying about the dollar amount: “More years? [Expletive] more years. I want more money. I don’t work here for years. No, I want more money. Years? What, I’m going to die poor with the White Sox? Hell, no. … Life is about money. People don’t believe that. People are happy after they make money.”
On admitting that he doesn’t exactly fall in line: “I give them a lot of headaches. I might give them more headaches than satisfaction, I don’t know.”
On just walking away from the final year on his contract next season and not managing: “I can’t because I’m not going to have any money to give my kids. I’m not going to walk away like that. … Listen, because I’m Venezuelan I’m not dumb. I know. And because I didn’t have six years of school I’m not dumb. No, I’m not. I’ve been thinking about this.”
More on walking away from his final year and not managing in 2012: “I’ve got to talk to my wife and she’s got to cut the shopping process and [son] Ozzie [Jr.’s] got to quit drinking a little bit and [son] Oney will have to go to work a little bit. [Son] Ozney’s got to go to public school and hopefully get a scholarship somewhere, a lot of [stuff]. My mom’s got to cut a little bit, my dad’s got to get healthy, my sister’s got to find a rich man. There’s a lot behind the scenes. The captain of my boat, I’ve got to cut that thing down. There’s a lot of things I’ve got to pay. We’ll see what happens, I don’t know yet.”