CHICAGO -- Believe it or not, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday that if he doesn’t return to the team for the final year of his contract in 2012, he will not bad-mouth the organization.
Even if chairman Jerry Reinsdorf decides to fire Guillen, the White Sox’s manager of eight years who won a World Series in 2005, there won’t be any comments out of spite.
It seems like a bold promise from a guy who can deliver point-blank commentary with the best of them.
“If Jerry doesn’t think I’m the right guy to run this ballclub, he won’t have any problem with me at all … at all,” Guillen said. “He can count on that. A lot of people think that if Ozzie leaves here he will have a press conference on Michigan Ave. and blast the White Sox. Nah. That won’t do me any good. Why?
“First of all, I live in Chicago. I want to walk to walk the streets of Chicago with my head up and not regret saying something I shouldn’t say. I’ll just leave it like that. Either way is fine with me.”
And by either way, Guillen means staying or going. He reiterated Tuesday that he would like to stay on as White Sox manager. But he has said in the past that he doesn’t want to come back in 2012 with lame-duck status.
Guillen would like to know his status before he leaves on a vacation to Spain once the season ends, but sounded Tuesday as if he didn’t think he would get that meeting before he departs.
“I will meet any time he wants,” Guillen said. “I’m prepared for the worst thing about it. What’s the worst thing about it, saying no, you’re not coming back? OK. That’s not the first time he told me I wasn’t coming back. He did that when I was a player. We’re friends. We’ll talk about it. It’s fine.”
Guillen claims that he doesn’t know how all of this will turn out.
The Florida Marlins, who will move into a new stadium in 2012 seem to be interested in hiring Guillen as their manager, but he won’t be heading to the Miami area if the White Sox don’t receive some type of compensation.
The same scenario unfolded last season and Reinsdorf took a pass when he heard what the Marlins were willing to part with. Who knows, maybe the same offer will be good enough this time around.
Heading into play Tuesday with a 73-73 record, Guillen was asked to give himself a grade. He went with a “Z” essentially meaning it’s as low as it can get.
“I let myself down and I let my players down, I did,” Guillen said. “You know why I say that? Because I had a lot of confidence and I expect a lot better things from myself than I [got]. A lot of things. I expected my ballclub to play better and it hurts.”
Even though the odds of his departure appear to be at 50-50.
“I feel for the White Sox,” Guillen said. “Maybe if I go someplace else I just have a job and I will go through my job. But with the White Sox it’s different. I grew up in this organization, I feel for this organization.”
It doesn’t mean he’s not afraid to leave, though.
“ It’s always going to be in my heart,” Guillen said. “Will it always be on my mind? We’ll see.”