ANAHEIM, Calif. – It wasn’t Ozzie Guillen clearing the air, as much as making sure that line in the sand is very clearly drawn.
The White Sox manager was asked on Friday about the on-going drama concerning his future on the South Side, and reiterated that this is the organization he wants to stay with. It’s more about making sure the feeling is mutual.
“It’s a funny thing because I never asked for an extension,’’ Guillen said. “You guys asked me if I want one. Well, everyone does. Everybody. Even you, you … everybody. The funny thing about it is people sound as if I asked for an extension. I never did. Because I have one. I have a contract. My thing is, every year, every manager, every player, they want to know what’s my stance. That’s it. That’s what I want to know. Maybe it’s a good one. Maybe it’s a bad one. But I like to know.
“I guarantee anyone I’m not going and say, ‘listen, this is what I want. This is what I need. I just want to know what we think and what’s my position,’ and then we see what happens.’’
As far as the organization’s stance that Guillen has one-year contract and an option for 2012, the seventh-year skipper wasn’t upset about that.
“If people want to think I want to know about losing my job, they’re wrong,’’ Guillen said. “I don’t worry about losing any job. Do I want to lose it? No. I make it clear every day. This is the team I want to be [with] the rest of my life. But this is a business. But no, I don’t worry about anything. Most of the stuff is about my family. Most of the stuff is about what we’re up to, what’s our plan. I got a budget, I got a family to take care of. I plan to stay in Chicago in the winter. No matter what, I will stay in Chicago. And that’s why I want to make sure when we start making plans for our family. And If people don’t believe in family, well, I believe in family. I think my family is more important than baseball, and it always going to be. That’s why I want to know what’s in the plan.’’
Guillen wants to find this out sooner than later, too. Which means either talking to board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf this week – the last week of the season – or just after the season ends.
But what if he is told that what’s on the table for him is all that will be on the table for him? Is that good enough for Guillen at this point?
“Well, then I talk to my family to see what they think,’’ Guillen said. “I‘m not going to make my decision just by my feelings. Maybe I say, ‘OK, let’s go another year, and we’ll see what happens.‘ I’ll be working here or there or somewhere. I might not be managing, but I’ll be making money out of baseball. Easy. I want to be managing, of course. But in the meanwhile, if they say that and then I make my decision in what I decide to do. But in the meanwhile, that has to go through my family first.’’
Meanwhile, with any chance of the postseason now out of reach, even the players have taken notice of how this game of chicken will end.
“They’ve conducted themselves in here as any two human beings that have had ups and downs would,’’ veteran Mark Kotsay said. “I think they’ve done it, for the most part, out of the scope and I think they will continue to do that as the next 10 days unfold.’’
Kotsay said he was interested to see what the end-game was in all of this, but considering he’s a free agent, anything that happens after next week likely won’t play a direct role in his 2011.
“From a personal standpoint my future probably doesn’t lie in Chicago, so I kind of don’t pay attention,’’ Kotsay said. “But the guys who have futures here in Chicago, a Gordon Beckham, Chris Sale, [Mark] Buehrle, [Jake] Peavy, [John] Danks, [Gavin] Floyd … if I was them I would be paying attention to it. Whether or not the reality is pictured through the media or whether it is pictured as something in here, that’s probably what each guy has to ask themselves.’’