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Guillen: Crisis will impact baseball

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is certain the world financial crisis will have an impact on baseball, including the way clubs are put together and play the game.

"The teams will have to be made up of a mix of prospective young players and veterans," said Guillen, who led the White Sox to the 2005 World Series championship. "One must trust in the work that the minor leagues are doing."

"Teams will have to look for alternatives, work with lower salaries," he said.

Guillen added that apart from the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, teams will have to look within themselves or to the minor leagues.

Guillen forecast that teams will rely less on high-salaried home run hitters and put more emphasis on pitching and defense.

Asked about his interest in signing free agent Bobby Abreu, Guillen said that he had spoken with the outfielder.

"The interest exists, but other teams have also shown interest," he said. "Bob will decide with whom he will play. He needs to choose a contract that allows him to play many years in the major leagues."

Guillen also touched on relations between his homeland and the U.S., saying he hopes President Hugo Chavez and President-elect Barack Obama would strengthen ties.

"I'm not asking them to be great friends, but at least that they shake hands," he said.

Relations between the two countries have soured under President George W. Bush. Chavez has expressed hope ties may improve under Obama.