Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 10:15 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
KANSAS CITY When Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says he and GM Ken Williams are fine and dandy, two peas in a pod, no one really believes him.
Well, on Thursday in Kansas City, Guillen put his money where his mouth is and directly endorsed the job the longtime White Sox executive has done with the teameven in this, a crushingly disappointing season of All-In teasing. In his most direct comments all year, Guillen said Williams should absolutely return as the teams GM.
I dont see why nothe did a good job, Guillen said. One thing about it, all the people in Chicago are going to blame Kenny for a disappointing 2011. But I remember when we made this club, everybody was excited. Dont turn your back on the man now. Dont do that Dont turn on Kenny people in Chicago, dont do that. I remember in spring training, people were very excited about this ballclub. Why are we going to turn on a guy now, when he did what hes supposed to do?
Back in August, Williams took the heat for a poorly executing, big-budget roster and cleared Guillen of any lineup anxiety by telling his manager to field the most deserving players, without regard to salary or experiencetacit endorsement of benching Alex Rios and Adam Dunn. Now, it was Guillens turn to return the favor.
I took the blame yesterday, Guillen mused. They gave me a good club to manage. We havent played well, and we have to blame who? Pitchers, catchers, hitters. Blame the team, but Im the one running this club.
Guillen went so far as to advise angry fans to reconsider, and reverse course.
Dont turn on Kenny and Jerry Reinsdorf, Guillen advised. People should at least say thank you to Kenny and Jerry. They put the money out there and brought the players. I dont think people should talk badly about Kenny Williams and this club. Talk about me? Yes. Talk about the team? Yes.
Kenny did everything he could to field a good club, and I know how hard it was to put this club together, convincing the big guy Reinsdorf. Dont blame Kenny. Kenny is doing a good job. Since I worked here, I dont say hes a bad general manager. Hes deserved and earned it a return, but thats Jerrys call.
"Kenny did everything he could to field a good club.-- Ozzie Guillen.
Its tempting to say that an endorsement of Williams is self-serving on Guillens part, as after all the GM hired Guillen, and this late-season praise could even be seen as sucking up to the boss. But White Sox fans know their manager well enough to realize that such is not the caseGuillen truly does see his job as being in Reinsdorfs hands, that he is in a unique position of being below Williams on the organizational chart put even with him in the eyes of the owner.
Not that Ozzie is looking to be a GM any time soon.
I always say Ive done a lot of things in this game, but I could never be a GM (or an owner, because I dont have the money and people arent going to trust me and loan money to me), Guillen smiled. But thats why its not an easy gig. Williams put the people there, they didnt perform, and you have to take the heat The reason Im still here because Kenny and Jerry have given me good clubs to compete with.
"If I finished last every year, then I would have been out of here a long time ago. The reason Im here is because theyve given me a good ballclubs to compete with.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.