Ozzie Guillen would love to be the ringmaster for the Wrigley Field circus.
It would be a middle finger to White Sox fans seeing Guillen in red, white and blue, standing in the home dugout, looking up at the booth during The Seventh Inning Stretch. It would be explosive for a franchise that has become even more corporate after Tribune Co. sold to the Ricketts family.
But it would be great (bleeping) entertainment.
“All my kids ask me that: Would you ever manage the Cubs if they asked?” Guillen said. “Hey, this is my business. This is my job. Of course I will.
“If I win in this town…I don’t know what they’re going to think about Michael and Oprah and Phil Jackson.”
Guillen remembers his role as the villain in “5 Outs…” The documentary, which airs Oct. 15 on Comcast SportsNet, retraces the unforgettable 2003 season on the North Side, where Guillen watched it end as the Florida Marlins third-base coach in the NLCS.
Guillen sat down for an interview in his Bucktown home before the Cubs fired Dale Sveum and everyone tried to get inside the head of Joe Girardi. The Yankees manager and his family committed to stay in New York on Wednesday, but this will still be a huge ego trip. Whoever team president Theo Epstein hires will think he’s The Guy.
“I was walking around with my wife a couple days ago and she asked me that,” Guillen said last month. “Can you picture winning with the Cubs?
“Yeah, I can picture it, because I know how (to do it). I’d tell all my family in Venezuela: Get a passport and we’re moving to Chicago. Because I think that would be amazing. Whatever manager wins it for the Cubs, or whatever GM wins it for the Cubs or whoever wins that MVP, he (lives) forever, especially in this city. Because they’re so desperate, they’re so hungry and they’re so mad.”
Team sources said Guillen has zero chance of getting the Cubs job this time. But could you think of anyone better to show Starlin Castro some tough love? (During his one-and-done year as Marlins manager, Guillen predicted the young shortstop could win an MVP award.) Or connect with all the Latin players coming through the system? Or already understand what Epstein called “the idiosyncrasies” of the market?
“I don’t care what the White Sox do,” Guillen said. “As a White Sox fan, they are always going to be No. 2, unfortunately, no matter what they do. It’s like the Cubs (are the team) in town.
“You got the tape. One day (in 2008) I got mad and I’m like: ‘Why we got to be the b----? The Chicago B------.’
“Nobody’s going to change that. I don’t care if the White Sox win 10 World Series from now and the Cubs don’t win any. The Cubs are always going to be (the team). They say: ‘Well, the White Sox won three years ago. OK, but Cubs are going to win this year.’ That’s our mentality in Chicago.”
It doesn’t matter who’s running the team or how big the rats get at Clark and Addison. This will always be the “Boss” move left in Guillen’s career. Since the end of World War I, only one man has managed a Chicago baseball team to a World Series title.
But Guillen quickly deflected 2005 credit to godfather/owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams, the White Sox executive who won the power struggle in 2011.
[WATCH: "5 Outs" Trailer]
“I don’t take that for granted,” Guillen said. “I don’t wear my rings (when) I walk around with my dogs.
“Kenny Williams and Jerry gave me a good ballclub to compete. A great bunch of guys. Tough guys. Big (guts). Not a bunch of weasels crying about everything.
“They went out and (got) hard-nosed people. I could say whatever I wanted to say in the media, on radio. I could scream.
“We didn’t have superstars. But we had hungry guys. Crazy guys. No matter what, we’re all together. You need that. You can’t have a diva.
“That’s toughness from the top to the bottom. They have to be tough – from Jerry, Kenny, myself, (executive) Rick (Hahn). Everybody who was involved was tough. That’s the way it had to happen.”
The chemistry experiment has lasted more than a century at Wrigley Field, where they’re just waiting to put up a statue of the manager who wins it all.
“The Cubs got a great opportunity,” Guillen said. “Whoever wins that thing up there – I don’t know where you come from – move your house here. (All) your family is moving to Chicago because that would be unbelievable.
“People are dying for this. It would be awesome for the city. I hope they win if I’m managing or coaching there. Besides that, I hope they never win. … I’ll be praying to God every day: I hope they don’t win until I got the job.”
Additional reporting by Ryan McGuffey, Senior Producer of Original Content (@RyanMcGuffey)