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In Chicago, Guillen Is the Talk of the Town

Ozzie Guillen
White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen is never at a loss for words. Guillen is, at various times, goofy, outrageous and profane. (Frank Polich - Reuters)

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"When he came down for the interview," Williams said, "after 20 minutes of arguing, he told me, 'You know me. Expletive. Expletive. Expletive.' And he said, 'If I didn't think I could do the job, I wouldn't have flown all the way up here from Miami. If you want me, fine. If not, then I'll get back on the plane.' "

Guillen got the job, and everything in Chicago changed. The White Sox became a powerhouse. The Political Correctness police went into high alert. And poor Beghtol, sweating bullets at the fringes of the media scrum, started questioning why he ever got into that particular line of business.

World According to Ozzie*

"I'm smarter than a lot of guys who go to Harvard. When you come to this country and you can't speak any English at 16 years old, and you have to survive, you have to have something smart in your body. If you take one of those Harvard guys and drop them in the middle of Caracas, they won't survive. But if you drop me in the middle of Harvard, I'll survive."

"You cannot buy a World Series ring on the streets. Ask Alex Rodriguez. He's got millions of dollars and no rings. That's why I say, 'God bless, Derek Jeter.' He's got a lot of money and a lot of rings."

"I want to win it for Jerry [Reinsdorf]. People think I'm just kissing his [rear end], but he deserves that. This guy spent a lot of time in his life trying to bring a winning team to Chicago. I want to win it for the fans, and for my players and for myself. But mostly, I want to win it for Jerry."

"With the White Sox, in other seasons, every time they made the playoffs they said, 'Wow, that made our year.' Not me. If we went to the playoffs and lose, it would be disappointing. That's not my goal. My goal is not to go to the first round -- it's to win everything. We might not make it, but that's my goal."

"A lot of managers try to control everything in the game. I don't try to do that. What I control is my team. I don't care who you are, I control your [rear end]."

"They're already trying to make a movie about me in Venezuela, and somebody came to me about [writing] a book. I said, no. Why? Because I don't want people to read the truth. I would do a book just to make money, but I don't need money, so why waste my time?"

"I don't want superstars. I want good players. To be a good player, you will play to win, not for your numbers or your stats or to be the best in the game."

"I don't use computers. Yeah, I have e-mail. But what's so hard about e-mail? It's just 'delete, delete, delete.' "

"A lot of people think I'm crazy and stupid and ignorant, but I think before I talk."

"I'm the manager. I make the best lineup. Who are you to tell me [where you should be hitting]? You tell the player, 'I move you down to six.' I made the best lineup. If they don't like it . . . get another job."

"I can eat and drink for free in Chicago. What's better than that?"

"The Cubs didn't need Sammy Sosa to sell tickets. Sammy didn't sell any tickets in Baltimore. . . . I don't believe one guy can bring people in. Michael Jackson would. People would come to see what he looks like in a uniform. I know I'd like to see that."

"A lot of guys like me. Some guys hate me. But they all respect me. That's all that matters."

"People recognize me on the street. They say, 'Hey, there's Ozzie Guillen.' They know me as a player. But I'll be happy when they say, 'Hey, there's the manager of the White Sox.' Because then my team gets some respect."

"I don't know if I'm a leader, but I have the biggest mouth."

(*As compiled during the 2005 postseason by Post reporters.)

Staff writer Les Carpenter contributed to this report.


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