ANAHEIM, Calif. – It’s now reached the point where no one is even real sure how it all started.
Was it SoxFest in January? Was it TwitterGate in the spring? Was it blow-up argument No. 1 or No. 2? All the talk now is how it will finish, and if Saturday was any indication, it didn’t sound like it will end very well.
Unable to escape the questions surrounding his future as White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen continued to partake in the latest game of chicken with general manager Ken Williams, and from what it sounds like, Williams with the backing of board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
The latest revelation from Guillen was not only a change of uniform, but the idea that he is no longer against wearing Cubbie colors if it comes down to it.
Guillen’s stance had always been that he would never leave the Sox for the Cubs unless “Jerry Reinsdorf’’ was dead. No longer.
“If Jerry don’t want me, yes,’’ Guillen said. “My position was I would never sign another place and leave the White Sox for the Cubs because of the respect for Jerry. But if Jerry is leaving me? I not leaving them, they are leaving me. Then, I have a choice to make. Everything is out there.
“As soon as you get divorced, you are free to do whatever you want. Yes, I will, not because I say I’m going there but because they don’t want me. Before I say it, I’m not going to leave this place just to punch you guys in the nose. But if you don’t want me and someone else wants me, I have to make the decision.
“But my first, second and third choice is staying with the White Sox, with this organization for one reason: the love I have for the players, the respect I have for the organization and because my wife want to stay in Chicago.’’
All three can change, however.
It’s been a roller coaster ride for Guillen and his future all week, first when Williams came out on Monday and told USA Today, “I want people that want to be here … If [Guillen] wants to go, he can. If he wants to see if there is another situation better than this, I won’t stop him.’’
Guillen told the Sun-Times that he was “confused’’ that Williams would say that, especially since Williams preaches keeping “under, under the radar.’’ So feeling like he was put in check, Guillen went on the offensive, insisting that if the Sox wanted him to stay then they should let him know where he stands.
That continued before the second game of the Angels series.
“I never deny I want to be here,’’ Guillen explained. “I never deny I want to finish my career here. But like I say, it can be my decision, but it’s up to what we’re going to do, what they want to do, what they’re looking for. And what they want for me. That’s all I want.
“I think I’m doing a good job here. Good enough to at least have consideration. But in the meanwhile, we will find out next week what’s for real out there. Like I said [Friday], I never asked for an extension. Never asked for another contract. The only thing I asked, like everyone else, what they think about me, what they want from me, what’s my situation here. That’s all I ask.’’
There are growing rumors that Florida would be a destination for Guillen, but the manager was dancing around that speculation, saying he wouldn’t hold the Sox hostage like that.
He was also asked if he felt like Reinsdorf was picking Williams over him, and said, “I don’t know. You have to ask him. I think Kenny’s job is harder than mine. He’s involved with a lot of things. You have to ask Jerry who he’s going to pick. Nobody has to pick me: I’m not a piece of corn or a strawberry. I’m a human being.
“If you want me here for good because you need me, I’ll stay. If not, I’ll move on. I know there are people who think ‘If we let Ozzie go, what are we going to face next.’ There might be hurt for two weeks and then everything is over with. I have another uniform and they have another guy.’’
The million-dollar question now is what uniform will Guillen have on in 2011?