Ozzie: It was Mark Buehrle's choice

Updated: December 8, 2011, 3:43 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen planned to do some Christmas shopping on Thursday around Chicago. Along the way the new Miami Marlins manager hoped to get some genuine reaction from White Sox fans about losing their ace pitcher Mark Buehrle to Guillen's new team.

Buehrle agreed to a four-year, $58 million free agent deal with the Marlins, joining his former manager in Miami after 11 seasons with the White Sox. Guillen said he has had friends tell him he stole Buehrle from the White Sox, but he wasn't having any of it.

"Obviously a few people are upset, but they have to understand this is a business," Guillen said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "This was Buehrle's choice, not the White Sox's choice, and I'm glad he signed with the Marlins. I love this kid and I love his family. We fight very well to get this guy, and this guy is a big part."

Before Thursday's surprising spending spree by the Los Angeles Angels, who agreed to deals with Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson, Guillen's Marlins were the story of the winter meetings. Miami signed closer Heath Bell, shortstop Jose Reyes and Buehrle, doling out almost $200 million in contracts.

Asked about his old team, the White Sox, who not only lost Buehrle but dealt closer Sergio Santos for a minor-league pitcher on Tuesday, Guillen was unusually cautious with his response.

"I don't want to say anything because a lot of people are very sensitive when I say anything so I try to stay away from that," Guillen said. "I'm the Marlins manager, and I was a White Sox fan, so it's going to take me a little while to be a White Sox fan again. Maybe another year or two.

"I don't know what they are going to do. I don't know what way they are going. I don't even care about how things are going to go. I'm pretty sure [owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf] knows what he wants and the front office people know what he wants."

Guillen is pulling for former teammate and White Sox rookie manager Robin Ventura.

"I want them to play good for Robin," he said. "I hope they play better for Robin than they did for me."

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