Ozzie Guillen accepts hot seat: ‘If I get fired, I deserve to get fired’
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 21, 2011 11:06PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A seven-game losing streak will do it every time: infuriate fans with great expectations and put the manager on the hot seat.
Ozzie Guillen says he’s not worried about his White Sox, who halted their unsettling slide with a 9-2 victory at Tropicana Field on Thursday night. And he’s most certainly not worried about losing his job.
“Me? No, I got a lot of money. I got a lot of work,’’ Guillen said before the Sox erupted with 10 hits, and two RBI apiece from Omar Vizquel, Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski. “If I’m not managing the White Sox, I will manage somewhere else. Maybe Mexico, Japan. I know I will manage in Venezuela. I can do a lot of great stuff in baseball. I might go to Fox. They want me.’’
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who has always been in Guillen’s corner, handed him an extension through 2012 at Sox Fest. It doesn’t appear to an issue — not in April and not with the ink still drying on the contract — but Guillen said “if I get fired, I can at least enjoy my 2-point-something million I’m going to get next year.’’
This is Guillen’s way of thumbing his nose at the bloggers, tweeters, e-mailers and callers who attack his credibility when things go south.
“I’ll do like Manny Ramirez. I’ll go to Spain for the bullfight and come back for the World Series. I don’t worry about it. People worry about firing, they need the money or need the job. I want this job, don’t get me wrong. I just moved to Chicago. But no, that’s the last thing I worry about.’’
After going through a tumultuous 2010 season, Guillen patched things up with general manager Ken Williams and was given a pricey
$125 million ballclub to manage. Then he got an extension.
“Job security, everyone who sits in this chair, all those guys out there, they are in the same boat I am,’’ Guillen said. “As soon as you sign the contract, you are in the hot seat. I not worry about that.
“That’s the last thing I even think about.’’
Guillen defended his managing tactics, specifically his penchant for sacrifice bunting at the expense of giving up outs.
“Listen, I grew up bunting. My baseball game is bunting. We win a lot of games bunting. I will stay with them,’’ Guillen said. “I am not going to change my philosophy.’’
Guillen said he is disappointed with the team’s 16 errors in its first 20 games. Defense was supposed to be a strength. The hitting slump that coincided with the losing streak was unexpected.
“I was surprised with the offense that we have that we’re in that situation,’’ Guillen said. “When you have a bad offense you always kind of deal with it. But the offense you have, you see those guys in the lineup, you’re shaking your head. ‘Wow, why are we in this situation right now?’ But that’s part of the game. When you have power hitters and RBI guys, you’re going to go through this. When they get hot they will carry the team for weeks.’’
When they’re not, Guillen will take the heat.
“If I get fired, I deserve to get fired,’’ Guillen said. “I don’t think Jerry or Kenny will fire me just to tell the people we no like Ozzie or look at what we are going to do. They will fire me because my players will get me fired. That’s the way I look at it.’’ The Sox had double-digit hits in six of their first seven games, then none until they banged out 10 Thursday night.
Gavin Floyd (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings, and Will Ohman, Sergio Santos and Jeff Gray each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
Juan Pierre led off the game with a bunt single and went to third on third baseman Felipe Lopez’s throwing error. He scored on Vizquel’s ground out and the Sox had their first lead in 51 innings.
“JP did a great job getting us going with the bunt and causing some havoc, we got that run and it was big — it gave us a chance to put pressure on them,’’ Quentin said. “We all knew it was a big game for us. We didn’t want to get swept, not two times in a row.’’
“Not to be cocky or arrogant, but that’s the way we expect to play every day,’’ Guillen said. “That’s the way our ballclub was built.’’