Guillen: Pierre situation a source of angst


It would be fair to classify Ozzie Guillen's relationship with the city of Chicago, and its fans, as more love than hate. But that doesn't mean the former White Sox skipper didn't have his moments of frustration.

One particularly bothersome topic, Guillen told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 on Friday, was Chicago's treatment of White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre during his disappointing 2011 season.

Guillen stood by Pierre for much of last season while others called for the organization to promote minor-leaguer Dayan Viciedo to give him the bulk of the at-bats in Pierre's place. At times, it was a source of tension on the South Side.

“The biggest disagreement I had with Chicago complete, the Chicago fans, the Chicago media, the Chicago radio stations, Chicago TV, was the problem I had with Juan,” Guillen said. “That's the biggest thing. I had to fight through it. They wanted to call Viciedo up. I said, 'I don't mind playing Viciedo, but where am I going to play him?'”

Viciedo was eventually called up and given his opportunity to shine.

"As soon as he showed up at the ballpark, he was playing the first day," Guillen said. "I think people in Chicago don't like Juan Pierre for whatever reason. Talk shows and everybody was on Juan. They were making fun of me when I said, 'I wish we had 25 Juan Pierres.' You manager this kid, see him go about business the way it should be, I think he's one of the best professionals I've ever been around coaching. It was very hard for me to talk about that situation."

Upon leaving town, it was evident that Guillen and White Sox general manager Kenny Williams were not on the best of terms, but that wasn't always the case.

Guillen told a humorous anecdote about his first meeting with Williams in any sort of official capacity. His interview for the chance to manage the White Sox in 2003.

"The day I did the interview with Kenny I was drunk, hung over," Guillen said. "We had just won the World Series. I was at a party all night long at Ivan Rodriguez's house. Come out, wake up, we land in O'Hare. I'm a little hungover, we talked about baseball, I don't know what I say. I remembered what I say ... I think the interview was fine."