Print and Go Back Baseball [Print without images]

Friday, April 13, 2012
Kenny Williams feels for Guillen

By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said Friday he has "compassion" for Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who is serving a five-game suspension after his comments about Fidel Castro angered Miami's Cuban-American community.

Williams, whose relationship soured with the ex-White Sox manager during the final few seasons of Guillen's tenure in Chicago, has passed on commenting about Guillen's situation. But before the White Sox took on the Detroit Tigers Friday in the team's home opener, Williams was asked if he has compassion for his former manager and teammate.

"My standard answer is I am worried about this ball club and no comment about that," Williams said. "You used the word compassion, and I cannot help to have compassion for someone that has meant so much to this organization and so much to me personally. The answer to that question is I do have some compassion as to what is going on, but our focus is right here, and I don't think it is appropriate to comment after that."

Guillen returned to Miami on Tuesday to hold a televised news conference, where he apologized and attempted to explain his comments, made to a reporter for Time magazine, in which he expressed his admiration for Castro.

"I feel like I betrayed my Latin community," Guillen said during his press conference Tuesday, according to ESPN's translation of his comments in Spanish. "I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I'm sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly."

Guillen will be eligible to return from the suspension on Tuesday, when the Marlins host the Chicago Cubs.

Williams hired Guillen as White Sox manager in 2003 and the duo led Chicago to a World Series title in 2005. But their relationship deteriorated to the point where they only had professional conversations after once being close friends. Guillen was traded to the Marlins after Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf released him from his contact at the end of the 2011 season so he could join Miami.