suntimes
GRACIOUS
Weather Updates

Ozzie says he’s got bigger problems than Ozney’s snub, Oney’s tweets


GavFloyd tries regroup after giving up three runs sixth inning Wednesday night. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

Gavin Floyd tries to regroup after giving up three runs in the sixth inning Wednesday night. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

storyidforme: 13424185
tmspicid: 4628123
fileheaderid: 2318403

Updated: September 18, 2011 12:15AM



Ozzie Guillen says he has bigger problems — things he’s paid a tidy sum to worry about as manager of the White Sox — than his son getting overlooked in the amateur draft that concluded Wednesday.

Not to mention his other son Oney, whose Twitter account continues to be used as a pot-shot launching pad aimed at his father’s place of business.

The Sox, who picked Ozney Guillen in the 22nd round last year, were among the teams that bypassed him this week.

“The Sox have their own way,” Guillen said. “They can draft whoever they want. I don’t expect the Sox to draft my kid because he’s my kid. I expect the Sox to sign the people they think can help them in the future.

“Maybe he’s not that good.’’

As the improving Sox try to climb back into contention in the American League Central, Guillen told a large media contingent that his primary focus is on the Sox and not his family, at least when he’s at the ballpark.

“I have 25 problems [players],’’ he said. “I don’t want to add ­another one. My problem here is to win games. So far I’m doing very bad. Very bad. That’s what I care about right now, and that’s what I’m ­focused on right now.’’

Looking to complete a three-game sweep against the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field, the Sox rallied to force extra innings before losing 7-4 in 10. Carlos Quentin hit two homers, including a two-run shot against reliever Jamey Wright that made it 4-4 in the eighth.

But the Mariners scored three in the 10th against closer Sergio Santos (2-2), starting the inning with a high pop fly by Justin Smoak that fell in front of left fielder Juan Pierre for a double. Pierre was playing deep and almost collided with third baseman Brent Morel trying to make the catch.

‘‘You gotta play ‘no doubles’ in that situation,’’ Guillen said. “Nothing you can do about it.’’

A walk and a two-run double by Miguel Olivo — who homered in his previous at-bat against Jesse Crain — made it 6-4. Franklin Gutierrez’s squeeze bunt scored the last run.

“I didn’t feel it; I didn’t have it,’’ Santos said.

A three-run sixth halted a streak of 27 scoreless innings for Sox starter Gavin Floyd against the Mariners, whom the Sox had beaten 10 straight times at home. Guillen and Sox players were generally upbeat despite the loss because of the comeback, a series won and a better feeling about themselves after a rough April and May.

“It was a good series,’’ said second baseman Gordon Beckham, who had an RBI single. “We wanted to get that last one, but we’re hanging around. As soon as [slumping Alex] Rios and [Adam] Dunn get hot, we’re going to be tough.’’

Guillen figures not to let the draft become a distraction as it was last year. When Ozney, then a high school senior, wasn’t taken earlier than he was, bad feelings surfaced between Ozzie and general manager Ken Williams — whose son was a sixth-round pick by the Sox in 2008.

A corner infielder, Ozney opted not to sign with the Sox last year and instead attended Miami Dade Junior College, where he batted .347 with one home run.

He will not be offered a free-agent contract by the Sox.

“No, we will not,’’ Williams said. “I think the potential for distractions weigh heavily toward a situation that’s not in anybody’s best interests.

“Nobody can afford to pass on someone because of some sort of personal issue. I love the Guillen family. Just three days ago, I expressed that to everyone. The peripheral stuff that came out recently [Oney’s criticism of the Sox’ first pick] is the same stuff that came out last year. I can’t tell you anything more than I told you the last time before that, and the last time before that.

“It’s just inconsequential to me now. It is, but with respect to moving forward and the potential for other things to arise as a result of the draft . . . and the decision and if we’d gotten him in the organization, it’s an organizational thing that is too great to deal with. We’re not going there anymore.”

Guillen was edgy with the media, but he said it had to do with an ailing friend in Venezuela. His concerns were there and with his team, not Ozney and the draft, he said. As for Oney’s latest controversial tweet, Guillen said he and wife Ibis “talked to him already.”

“I worry about [my pitchers],’’ Guillen said. “That’s my worries. I worry about being in third place. I worry I got somebody sick back home.’’



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.