Sox Drawer: The Ozzie Guillen Interview


Sox Drawer: The Ozzie Guillen Interview

Sunday, Mar. 7, 2010
Updated: 11:39 P.M.
By Chuck Garfien

When the White Sox season went off the tracks in 2009, there apparently wasn't much love in the air at 35th and Shields.

"Kenny (Williams) hated me. Everybody hated everyone. I hated Jerry(Reinsdorf). I hated my players. My players hated me," Guillen said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet.

I was following up on comments the White Sox manager made in February to the Sun-Times, when Guillen first expressed the mutual disgust that apparently arose as the team was knocked out of contention. Ozzie said, "Kenny Williams hated me, I hated Kenny."

Now that he's added Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to the list, it sounds like they had quite the party going.

But as we know, Ozzie is a rare bird, especially when it comes to his English. He tends to say things for shock value. One week he might declare "I hate Kenny Williams." Next week it might be, "I hate air. I hate gravity."

That's Ozzie Guillen.

But over the last couple months, some have speculated that a rift has developed between manager and general manager, and that it could lead to the eventual firing of Guillen if this season goes south. Personally, I don't see it happening; both the season going in the tank and Williams feeling the need to let Ozzie go. Not even close.

And if it did?

"I told (Kenny), 'The day you're going to fire me, don't look at me as your friend," Guillen said. "You got a job to do. If you think I'm not doing my job, or you think your job is in a dangerous situation because of me, then you should find someone else to do a better job.'"

And this so-called clash between him and his GM?

"I don't care what people think whatever happened between me and Kenny," Guillen said. "I think a few people out there think we hate each other. We disagree with each other, but we're different types of people." He continued, "To me, it's more important to be on the same page with my GM. We got to be friends. It's like a marriage. You're not going to get along with your wife everyday. One day you're going look at her and go, 'Wow!'"

The team that Williams has constructed for 2010 is the kind that Guillen has always wanted, a roster focused on speed, defense, and pitching. When I brought this up to Williams, the Sox GM answered with a smile, "That's what (Ozzie) says, which begs the question, did I give him teams before that sucked or that he didn't want? And I've asked him this question, 'What did you mean by that actually?'"

But now that Guillen has all the tools, what happens if the roof caves in and he's unable to close the leak? Is he more accountable?

"No, we're in this together," Williams said. "If you do that, then the same things can be said when he has deferred to me and it hasn't worked out. Then he can point the finger and say, It's not me, it's that guy. We don't do that We sit down and try to come to decisions together. We're on the same page for the most part, so we're going to sink and swim together."

Guillen feels the same way about his closer Bobby Jenks.

After a difficult 2009 in which he battled injuries, gave up a career-high nine home runs, and heard his name mentioned in trade talk during the winter, Jenks came to camp having dropped two things: his weight(about 25 pounds) and alcohol.

"I'm more impressed about him giving up drinking," Guillen said. "You lose weight, that's his job. When you say 'I give up drinking," I have more respect for him than I did in the past, because I know that's not an easy thing to do. Hopefully he's a strong enough man to keep it the way it is right now."

Jenks has some experienced arms behind him in the pen. Williams traded for former closer J.J. Putz. There's also closer-in-the-making Matt Thornton. How much rope does Jenks have in 2010?

"He's got a lot of rope. He's my man," Guillen said. "I know we got a few people out there. But I'm going to give him the best opportunity he can until he can't anymore."

Note: Chuck's interview with Kenny Williams can be seen on on Tuesday.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.

Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”

“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.

“It’s a daily process.”

Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.

“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.

Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.

“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”

“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

The White Sox announced on Friday they have named former MLB infielder Chris Getz as Director of Player Development.

Getz replaces Nick Capra, who after five seasons in his position was named the White Sox third base coach on Oct. 14.

The 33-year-old Getz has spent the last two years with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball operations assistant/player development in which he assisted in minor-league operations and player personnel decisions.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

“I'm excited about the opportunity to help teach and develop young talent in the organization where my professional career began,” Getz said in a press release. “I was drafted twice, worked through the minor leagues, and reached the major leagues with the White Sox. Through this journey, I was able to gain an understanding of the individuals within this organization, who I respect greatly.  The director of player development is an important role, and the health of the minor-league system is vital for major-league success.  I look forward to putting my all into making the White Sox a strong and winning organization.”
White Sox Senior VP/general manager Rick Hahn added: “We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office. He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

Getz, originally a fourth-round selection by the White Sox in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Michigan, played in seven MLB seasons with the White Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays (2014).

Getz had a career slash line of .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases.