10 Burning Questions with Ozzie Guillen   

Updated: April 13, 2009, 9:59 AM ET

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Outspoken Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen talks about what he would ask Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, gives a scouting report on Barack Obama's arm, explains the difference between Sox fans and Cubs fans, swoons over Shakira and reveals the only thing he's ever regretted saying.

Ozzie Guillen

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Reporters flock around Guillen, because you never know what might come out of his mouth.

1. Say you're the host of Radio Ozzie and you can interview any three people, living or dead. Whom do you pick, and what would you ask them?

Fidel Castro. Barack Obama. And … the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. I would ask them, "Why do you guys want to be the leader of the country?"

Castro is a big baseball fan. You could talk baseball with him.

All three are big baseball fans. I hope Castro was a better baseball player than he was a president; I wish he had better tools. But I love politics and I love baseball and I think those three guys would be interesting. Because I'd like to hear about the philosophy they have and why they have that philosophy. Their different philosophies and different ways to look at the world. And all three are baseball fans, and I would ask them why they are baseball fans and what they like about baseball so much and who their favorite players are.

2. What do you think of Chavez as president of your country?

I think he's not a good president. I think he needs people around him to help him. We grew up with different philosophies, with different ways of looking at stuff, and right now, I think he's not doing the best for the country.

3. Would you like to have Obama speak to your team, and what would you like him to say?

Speaking to the team would be nice because a lot of people would listen. And what I would like him to say is, "Make me proud, win this thing and make me the happiest man in the world." Because it would be a pretty interesting visit to the White House and have the president and his team win the World Series, and it would make me feel proud as a White Sox fan.

He threw out the first pitch at the 2005 World Series. What do you remember about it?

I was criticizing Jerry Reinsdorf about it because at the World Series -- and I always watch them -- there are always celebrities throwing out the first pitch. Movie actors and actresses and people like that. And then I see this Obama guy throw out the first pitch, and I said, "Who's that guy?" Oh, that's our future president. That was nice to see. And nice that we didn't have to wait for him to be president to recognize what we did in Chicago.

How is his arm?

He's a great president.

4. Which superpower would you most want to have -- the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or the ability to turn invisible?

I want to be invisible. Because I want to hear what people are saying about me behind my back and see what people are doing without them seeing me. Because you can get a lot out of people by doing that.

You don't seem like a guy who cares about what people say about you.

I don't, but the thing is, when you're invisible, you can learn a lot about people from hearing what they say and the stuff they do. And I also want to be invisible so my players don't know where I am and they could get caught in the act talking about the manager behind the scenes.

5. Speaking of players and the clubhouse, what do you think of team chemistry and how it translates to the field?

You're always going to have great chemistry when you win. When you lose, I don't care how good your guys are, they're going to hate each other and you're going to have a miserable summer. I believe chemistry comes from leadership and respect. I believe that anywhere in life, [in] any job, you're not going to have chemistry if you don't have success.

6. What is the difference between Cubs fans and White Sox fans?

Wow! Whew. I think White Sox fans come to the game to watch the game and have a little more knowledge of the game. Cubs fans go there to party and drink and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Then they don't give a crap what happens the rest of the game. They just want to look up and see who is singing during the seventh-inning stretch. As soon as the song is over, they get up and leave.

So Sox fans are more knowledgable?

Yes, because when they sit there and watch a game, I think most Cubs fans just want to be on camera and take their shirts off and drink some beer.

7. Do you have a recurring anxiety dream in which you can't do something or show up late or are naked in public?

I like to dream about Shakira, the Colombian singer, because that's a dream that is never going to come true.

Ozzie Guillen

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Guillen definitely seems to enjoy his job.

8. You wear the No. 13. Do you have any superstitions?

Yes, a lot. If we win, I wear the same clothes and I don't change my uniform or my underwear. No one is allowed to touch my clothes. When we have a 10-game winning streak, my locker is not a good smell. Almost every day I do the same thing. If I see we have a rally, I don't move. I wear a towel around my neck. I do a lot of things. In Venezuela, 13 is not an unlucky number; it's a lucky one for us.

9. The World Baseball Classic had some great games. What could be done to get Americans more on board for it?

First of all, the Asian teams and Cuban teams take advantage because they can practice and play with no rules beforehand. The rest of the teams have rules and only a little practice. That's not fair. I think they need to let the players prepare better. I think that's why the Asian teams look better than we do. And besides that, I don't think Americans need to embrace it. It's different when you see Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Venezuelans playing the drums and are into the game. American people don't do that. American people just go out and play. But in my mind, there's no better players than those from this country. That's the best team in baseball. You play 162 games against Americans, I don't care what team you put out there, the Americans will win the championship.

10. Did you ever walk away from an interview and say, "Boy, I wish I hadn't said that." And if so, what was it?

Once. When I called out Alex Rodriguez. I don't regret what I said, but I regret I put the guy in a spot he shouldn't be. That's the only one I really regret. When he was going to represent the Dominican Republic [in the WBC] and I said he's not Dominican and should be playing for the United States. Well, it's not my title or my business what team he played for. And I think I put him in the spot to have to answer the media questions when he didn't need to. Everything else I say, I don't regret one thing about anybody, because I have a reason to say it.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.


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