Ozzie Guillen was managing the team on the other side of Chicago while Carlos Zambrano pitched for the Chicago Cubs, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t realize the situation. He knows Zambrano personally and predicted he would win 15 games last year because he was passionate and wanted to prove himself. Instead, the situation became messy and now Zambrano will pitch for the Miami Marlins.
And now Guillen will get his chance to manage the fiery pitcher. As Guillen puts it, he’ll be mad if Zambrano loses some of that fire. He also says that Zambrano’s nickname is the bull and that means Guillen will need to be the matador. This could be really interesting to watch.
Ozzie Guillen joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to discuss being booed in Chicago, his relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf, the fresh start in Miami, what he’ll miss about donning a White Sox uniform, the first time he interviewed with Kenny Williams and how he’ll handle Carlos Zambrano.
You’ve still been living in Chicago and have attended Chicago Bulls and DePaul games where fans have booed. Does that bother you?:
“Hey, I earned that. If I minded being booed, I no show up to places. I’d just stay at my house. Nobody going to boo my house. … I don’t mind that. The one thing about that, when they boo, I just laugh inside because when you boo somebody, it’s just because you like it. Somebody out there step on the court or they show them on TV and nobody boo or say anything, they don’t care about you.”
On his love for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf:
“I used to love him. I love him a little bit less. I just saw Jerry a couple days ago. I went to the ballpark. It felt weird because I went to pick up my stuff. I walk in through the lobby of the ballpark and people thought they saw a ghost there. … God is always on my side. When I walked through and I was waiting for the guy to get the keys to open the storage, boom, there you go, it was lunchtime and I saw everybody. … It was a great time to see them again.”
How excited are you for a fresh start?:
“It’s awesome. I love it. I think we’re looking forward to having a great spring training. I talk to a few people around Miami and Joey [Cora] went to the ballpark yesterday and they already have people working out. If in my own life, I get divorced and never get married again, it’s kind of like that. You’ve just got to redo it. But I’d never get married again. If I divorced my wife, I’d stay single.”
What will you miss most about the White Sox uniform?:
“I don’t know yet because I don’t wear the other uniform yet. I’ve been wearing that uniform for 21, 22 years, it’s hard. Sometimes we talk about, in the house, sometimes my wife says, ‘cut the cord.’ For some reason, somehow … there’s always something that comes about the White Sox. Good memories, bad memories. I think I have more good memories than bad memories. I don’t hate them.”
On when he first interviewed with Kenny Williams:
“To be honest with you, the day I was doing the interview with Kenny I was drunk, hungover. We just won the World Series. I came to Chicago from Miami. I was at a party all night long at Ivan Rodriguez’s house. I come out, wake up when we land at O’Hare. I want to drink a beer when we talk about baseball. I’m a little hungover and we talk about baseball. I don’t know what I say. I remember what I said, I said, ‘Listen, you want to hire me because I’m a minority. Don’t do it. I’m happy where I am.’ … It’s just like if you have a nice car and you want to buy another one. You don’t need it; you just want it.”
How will you handle managing Carlos Zambrano?:
“I told the media a lot, I said, ‘Why you got to blame one guy? Why doesn’t everybody in general take the blame?’ I don’t know if I was a good manager or bad manager, I know I had great players, great people to compete and go about their business the right way. You don’t see any of my players do that on the field and off the field. They have to respect their teammates, respect the baseball game. … When they let the tiger out of the cage, it was hard to bring it back. Carlos has got a lot of passion. … They call him the bull, toro in Spanish, I’m the matador. … I expect Carlos to be fine, I expect Carlos to be angry, I expect Carlos to have a lot of passion.”