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Thursday, May 9, 2013
Ozzie wants back in as manager or coach

By Michael C. Wright

Former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he's "a free agent," and would "like to be back in the game," whether it's as a manager or base coach.

Asked whether he could envision himself someday as manager for the Chicago Cubs, Guillen said "it would be nice," but to verbalize that sentiment would be unprofessional in part because of his past with Dale Sveum.

"If I say what I think right now, (with) the way (the Cubs are) playing right now, I think (would come off) kind of like, 'Wow, c'mon man. Don't be (a) backstabber,'" Guillen said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I think Dale Sveum is doing the job he's supposed to be doing. They're not playing well right now. But I'm a free agent. I'd like to be back in the game. I'm waiting to see what things (are) going on out there. (For) me (to) say, ‘I really want to manage the Cubs,' (that's) kind of like unprofessional (in a) way because I know Dale Sveum very well. He was my teammate. But you know me. There's 28 teams out there. (If) they need a manager, I'm available."

Fired by the Miami Marlins in October after departing the White Sox following an eight-year stint as manager where he led the club to a World Series in 2005, Guillen called his move to the Marlins "a big mistake," but said team owner Jeffrey Loria was "fair with me."

Going to Florida, Guillen said "I was na´ve about the situation," and added it was "a very confusing situation" as the Marlins finished last in the NL East (69-93), the team's worst record in 13 years.

Guillen joined the Marlins after leaving Chicago under difficult circumstances in which he asked for a contract extension, but White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf declined. In addition to spending eight years as the team's manager, Guillen played 13 seasons from 1985-97 as the team's shortstop. Asked if he'd be amenable to coming back to the White Sox at some point to be honored, Guillen joked, "if they're going to do it, make sure they do it while I'm still alive."

"I don't have anything against the White Sox. One thing about it is people really (didn't) understand what the situation was (that led to the departure). Jerry (Reinsdorf) came out and said, 'Listen, that's what it was.' I want(ed) (a) one more year contract. They (didn't) give it to me," Guillen said. "I (made) a big mistake and (went) down to Miami. What I can say about Jerry Reinsdorf…honestly, Jerry Reinsdorf to me was my father. I think he was better than my father. My father just had me. Jerry Reinsdorf raised me. (He) gave me opportunities in many different things. Jerry gave me opportunities to be a player, be a manager. Jerry fired me twice: as a player, and as a (manager). But (I have) nothing against Jerry. I never will because I think he was very fair with me all my life, just not my career."

With recent news of the Cubs striking a deal with the city to renovate Wrigley Field, Guillen offered his opinion and joked that "we have plenty of museums in Chicago," while suggesting the organization should modernize its ballpark. Guillen also made sure to clear up that he "never said I hated Wrigley Field. I said I hate to go to work at Wrigley Field."

"I know a lot of history is in Wrigley Field. I think the Wrigley family had great ideas about baseball. I think baseball changed in everywhere you put it: money, players, different ballparks. I say, 'Why not (renovate)?'" Guillen said. "They did it to Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium has got more history than Wrigley Field. So really, why not? I think those guys should do whatever they want. They're going the right place, moving (in) the right direction. I think (they should) leave it there, make it look nice; a little more comfortable for the players, and the fans."