Ozzie Guillen wants extension
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday that he is prepared to walk on the final year of his contract in 2012 if the team doesn't have a extension in place for him before Opening Day in April.
Heading toward the end of his eighth year at the helm of the club, Guillen believes he has earned the right to not head into next season as a lame-duck manager.
"One thing I make clear, I don't think I'm going to be back here for a one-year contract (in 2012) and I don't know what to do with the next year," Guillen said. "I think that eight years with this organization, I'm guessing we did a pretty good job. I think the players did it for me. I think we deserve more than that."
Guillen wasn't specific on the matter but he hinted that he would request at least a two-year extension to the deal that was extended into 2012 during the club's fan convention over the winter.
The 47-year-old former White Sox player said he has not had discussions on the matter with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, and said that he isn't prepared to knock on his door and discuss things in the next few days.
"After all this bad year, the last thing (Reinsdorf) wants to do is to talk to his manager about a new contract," Guillen said. "I would be embarrassed to talk to him. I'd say, 'Hey, I want a contract.' The first think he can say is, 'You want a new contract? Look at where you are right now.' I don't want to take that chance yet."
Ideally, Guillen would like the matter resolved before he leaves on a vacation to Spain. He is scheduled to leave two days after the White Sox's seasons ends, whether the year concludes Sept. 28, or the team makes the postseason.
A report in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times suggested that the relationship between Guillen and general manager Kenny Williams had become strained to the point of being unsalvageable.
"I don't work with Kenny, I work with the White Sox," Guillen said when asked if he could work with Williams. "I don't see why not? I think me and Kenny have a better relationship than anybody in baseball.
"The thing that is a little confusing, we grew up together with this organization, we played together. The friendship is a little different, but I don't think Jim Leyland is calling to have a drink with (his) general manager. We work together. We work for the team. We're still great friends. He's a very good (general manager)."
When asked to address Guillen's contract-extension concerns, Williams said: "Winning takes care of a lot of things. I might even get an extension if we win."
Guillen was also asked to attach a percentage chance to the question of his return.
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Entering Tuesday's play, Guillen is 667-600 in his eight seasons as White Sox manager. His teams advanced to the postseason in 2005 and 2008, with the White Sox winning the World Series in 2005. Only Jimmy Dykes (899) and Al Lopez (840) have won more games with the team.
"I am a good manager," Guillen said. "Very cocky and arrogant. There's a lot of worse guys out there than me. I have (a lot) of confidence in myself. I know what I can do. People can think what they want. If they don't think I'm a good manager, be careful what you wish for."
The White Sox are 67-65 this season entering Tuesday, which doesn't seem like the kind of winning percentage that typically earns a manager a new contract. But the club is just five games back in the division heading into play Tuesday, with a pair of players in Adam Dunn and Alex Rios who were in the midst of historically bad seasons with .163 and .212 batting averages respectively.
Dunn and Rios have combined to drive in 72 runs. Paul Konerko has driven in 88 runs by himself.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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