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Monday, December 6, 2010
Guillen yearns for the new year

By Doug Padilla

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is getting impatient, saying Monday during the first day of the winter meetings that he can’t wait for 2010 to come to an end.

Guillen was the first of the 30 major-league managers to meet with the media, a tradition at the annual meetings. He touched on a number of topics other than his dislike for the current calendar year, like his desire to see Paul Konerko return, Chris Sale’s possible role in 2011 the possibility that closer Bobby Jenks returns.

Overall though, 2010 was a trying year for Guillen as he bickered with general manager Kenny Williams, presided over his team’s late-season collapse and needed a late season meeting with management just to be reassured he had a future in the organization.

“It was a very, very, very, very bad year for me personally,” Guillen said. “And I hope it doesn’t come back again. It was miserable. I don’t think it was easy for Kenny wither because of the relationship we had in the past and the way we communicated. We had to figure out how to get it back, move on and see what happens.”

Other topics of conversation:
  • Guillen is impressed with the aggressive approach of the front office from signing Adam Dunn, getting A.J. Pierzynski to return and inching close to a deal with Konerko.

  • Sale could be a starter if when the season starts or he could be the closer. Guillen sounded more comfortable using him in the bullpen for now considering he was last staring in college aside from a few minor-league outings.

  • If the free agent Jenks re-signs, he wouldn’t just be handed the closer’s job. Guillen said he would have to compete for it.

  • As far is the lineup is concerned, Guillen seems to be drawn toward a top of the order of Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, followed by Alex Rios. He said he would like a left-right-left-right alignment with the first four spots in the order.

  • The chances of Freddy Garcia returning is not good since Garcia wouldn’t have a starting spot once Jake Peavy returns from his shoulder muscle injury of last season. The White Sox will take their time getting Peavy back into the flow of things.

  • In the last year of his White Sox contract (there is a team option for 2012), Guillen said he will not force the issue when he comes to negotiating a new deal. He said his first priority continues to be managing in Chicago.