NEW YORK -- The White Sox may be down, but former manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t think the team’s failures are the fault of his successor.
Guillen, an analyst for ESPN Deportes, made the rounds at the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Since he lives in Chicago, Guillen has plenty of chances to watch the White Sox.
He’s saddened by the team’s 37-55 start but knows it’s the players and not Ventura who are the main reason for the team’s fall. Guillen actually believes Ventura has done a better job managing in 2013 than he did when the White Sox won 85 games last season.
“I’ve watched most of his interviews, and he’s great,” Guillen said. “He’s very professional, he never changes the way he is. That’s the way he is. I think he’s managing better this year than he was last year. People think you’re a good manager when you’re winning. Well, you’re a good manager when you’re losing. That’s when you have to be a manager. He has a lot of guys on the (disabled list), a lot of guys playing bad. He has handled it pretty good.’’
Guillen, 49, is in his first season without a professional team since he signed with the San Diego Padres in December 1980. Even though he misses the game, Guillen is relaxed and enjoys the break from the everyday grind. He still watches a ton of baseball but has time for other pursuits, too.
“You miss the field, you miss being around, you miss the action,” Guillen said. “But life is very good without baseball. ... Everything comes with the package. I enjoy myself watching baseball. I watch a lot of games and am involved with my family. I am having fun in Chicago. I enjoy the city and travel a lot.”
When he isn’t traveling, Guillen said he keeps a close eye on the White Sox. He can’t help but root for the team he played for from 1985-97 and then managed for eight more seasons.
He’s disappointed by their play but thinks Ventura has handled himself well.
“I'm a White Sox fan,” Guillen said. “That's the team I played all my life, and it's the team I love. When they're not playing well you feel bad because I want them to do well. ... I always say when your players aren't playing well you take the heat. Robin handles it the way Robin is. That's good for the players. They know his personality. He knows how to handle his staff. I want them to have good years. I have a lot of friends there still. Hopefully in the second half they play better.”