Commentary

Guillen: "I'd play for me."

The Miami Marlins manager says what he feels -- not what you want to hear

Updated: November 30, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

Ozzie GuillenChris McPherson"I named my bulldog DH because he's lazy," says Guillen.

This story appears in the Dec. 12, 2011, "Interview Issue" of ESPN The Magazine.

*"If you are engaged to a girl for eight years and she asks if you're going to marry her and you say no, then it's not going to work. I wanted to stay with the White Sox, but they didn't want me. The Marlins wanted me. They are a young team I can mold, and that really matters to me. I expect it to be fun, and I expect to win."

*"My relationship with White Sox GM Kenny Williams? On the field it was good. But the last two years, off the field, it was not good. It was unhealthy for the team. It was unfair to the players because we put ourselves between them."

*"I like our owner, Jeffrey Loria. I've told him he can ask me anything about baseball. If he doesn't like the answer, I couldn't care less."

*"I want everyone with the Marlins to know I'm not who people think I am. People say, "Ozzie Guillen is the guy who throws players under the bus." I never throw a player under the bus if he's playing the right way. If he isn't doing the job, don't blame the player, blame me. I played the guy. But if he isn't doing the little things to help us win a game, I will criticize him."

*"Why is a player allowed to get pissed but a manager can't? A player is allowed to throw a helmet but a manager can't? I'm going to say how I feel. Sometimes honesty hurts, but I'm going to be honest every day. If you don't like it, then don't give me a reason to say what I have to say sometimes."

*"I am a fun guy to play for. I'd like to play for me. If the players hate me so much, then why did Paul Konerko re-sign twice with the White Sox when I was the manager? Why did Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski re-sign? If I've had 1,000 players and only 100 of them hate me, I'll take that."

*"I've had Hall of Fame players. I've had superstar players. I know how to talk to them. As far as Hanley Ramirez is concerned, I told him, "All I want from you is to have a smile on your face, to play the right way and to show everyone how good you are." The feedback I got from some people there is that he can be immature. But I don't blame him. I blame the people around him. So we will start with a program. I'll respect him; he'll respect me."

*"For now, Ramirez is my shortstop. When a guy produces like that offensively, you keep him at shortstop. But if he can't play there, we'll move him someday. Not to centerfield -- to third base."

*"When I negotiated my contract with the Marlins, there were no guarantees about payroll. I never stick my nose into that business. Just give me 25 players, and I'll make it work. Don't just spend money for the sake of spending money. Don't throw money at a player because he has a big name."

*"There are more moves to be made as a National League manager. You are more involved. You have to use the double switch. The only thing that's harder is that when you have a pitcher on the mound you like and your team is behind, you have to take him out in the NL when his spot in the lineup comes up."

*"I've never managed without a designated hitter, but I'll get used to it. I don't like the DH. I have a bulldog and named him DH because he is so lazy. He just sits there, eats and sleeps."

*"I love Fenway Park and I love Wrigley Field, but I hate working at Fenway and I hate working at Wrigley. Ballparks are ballparks to me. So what the new ballpark in South Florida means to me is that we can't use the old ballpark as an excuse. Oh, it always rains; oh, the park isn't good. People come to the park when the team wins. But I also know the fans will be coming to watch the players, not me."

*"I'm not an easy guy to like sometimes, but I said what I felt, not what you wanted to hear."

Tim Kurkjian is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. He conducted the interview for this story on Oct. 26, 2011. Follow The Mag on Twitter @ESPNmag and like us on Facebook.

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