Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski grateful for memories with Ozzie Guillien
By toni ginnetti email@example.com September 27, 2011 1:10AM
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gets with coaches Harold Baines (3) and Joey Cora following the Sox 4-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday September 26, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field. It was Guillen's final game as manager of the White Sox. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
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Updated: November 11, 2011 3:28PM
Sports teams can work for years to put together a championship squad and fail. But Ozzie Guillen succeeded in that mission with the White Sox, and that’s what captain Paul Konerko remembered Monday on the last day Guillen was his manager.
‘‘Think of all the sports in this town, let alone the rest of the country, how many times you put
together stuff for four, five, six years and come away with nothing and have to start over,’’ Konerko said. ‘‘We got a world championship out of it. We got it done. He got it done.
‘‘My first thoughts are everything kind of ran its course. I think this [departure] probably needed to be done on both sides. For Ozzie, I think he’s been kind of burned out on this whole thing. And probably likewise on the other side. That’s how it goes.
‘‘It doesn’t always have to be that someone’s right and someone’s wrong [or] this person hates that person. Sometimes in sports — any business — a coaching staff or a manager, the regime runs its course, and that’s what we have here.
‘‘I think he’s more relieved. It’s a tough position to be in. I think people had a good inkling when the season was over . . . that it was probably the right time. But nobody knew until around 6 p.m. But there’s no real good time. It’s always sudden when it happens.
‘‘I respect all the people that have ever played for the White Sox. This organization has been around a hundred years, and I feel like I’ve been right in the middle of the wildest, craziest time. From Day 1, he treated me great.’’
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who played under Guillen the last seven seasons, said it was sad hearing Guillen say goodbye.
‘‘I love Ozzie, love the fact I won a World Series with him,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘I’ve been with him for seven years, and I wish him nothing but the best. He had to make a decision, and he made the decision that he thought was best for him and his family.
‘‘It’s a sad day for me personally because we got along great. He was great to me and my family. His
enthusiasm, the way he treated people, especially my kids, he was happy to see them and put a smile on their faces, and you have to
respect someone like that.
‘‘He never let the job get to him. It didn’t change him, and he had a good run.’’