Interview with Ozzie Guillen
Sox manager on controversial play, speaking players' language
Given the way the game ended last night, what are your thoughts on instant replay for baseball?
OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, I think the only sport that really needs it is football. I don't know much about that sport, either. Because there's so many people on the field and so many different things and people moving different ways, and all of a sudden you would need help. When you've got four umpires, six umpires when you get together -- baseball has been played for 100 years, maybe longer than that, and they don't have it and I don't know the reason to do it now.
The difference now is just so much TV attention and so many cameras in the game. Before they only got two cameras, three cameras that even care about it, and they would respect the umpires what the decision was, that was it. Right now they have so many different technologies, they make it tougher and tougher for them to make the decision at that particular time. If you look at the replay, I only seen it twice today (laughter), it was not an easy call. I'm not saying they called my side, but you put yourself in that situation, you kind of see that it was so close and so quick, it not was easy. All of a sudden you will be second guessed after the thing happened, but as soon as it happened, it was a little too late to make the decision either way.
I keep telling you guys, I say, I have more respect for Mike Scioscia now than I did yesterday. I say from the bottom of my heart. When Mike went down and said "We should win this game. There's no excuse." That's the way I like it because that's the way I talk to my players. "Don't use it as an excuse. We'll get it tomorrow. We have a chance." And I'm glad when somebody talks to the media the way I talk, you know, a lot of people say I throw my players under the bus a lot of times. No, I just tell them the truth. "Don't worry about tomorrow and don't let this call affect how you play today."
When you're a good man and a good manager, that's what you tell your players.
With your team you have a Spanish speaking manager, a lot of Spanish speaking coaches and you're getting a lot of success out of your Latin players, El Duque, Contreras, is there something to be said for these managers being able to speak to those players in their native language?
GUILLEN: Well, it's easier because now you communicate in your own language and you don't have any doubts what they're telling you. You don't have any doubt. You don't have the wall.
You know the wall between American speaking manager is like a respect -- the confusion you create over the years. Not easy when you don't understand something in either language about what they want to tell you when they say straight up to you and they can understand real well. I think that's the sense those guys have because they have a lot of experience. I think the only difference is they have more freedom with me than there was in the past, and I think they have more confidence now. There's no doubt it's easier for the Latin players when they have a Latin manager, Latin coach who they can really trust, and that's why I think some people have some success.
When you looked at the replay twice, what did you see?
GUILLEN: The ball hit the dirt. It's not easy because it's different angles, different ways. I think Josh Paul made everything confused. Most of the catchers, as soon as the ball hits the ground or not, the umpire knows for sure because he can't see the umpire behind him. He didn't know if he was calling safe or out. Most of the guys for insurance tag the guy, just for insurance. He saw him walk away and that's what created the confusion because all of a sudden A.J. don't feel when he touch him. He said, wow, he never touched me, never hear anything by the umpire, I don't know where the ball is and just started running.
I think Josh created a little confusion there with the umpire. That's the way I see it.
Another question about the end of last night's game: Do you think what happened either for good or for bad will affect the rest of the series either for you guys or for the Angels at all?
GUILLEN: I don't think so. I think the ball bounced our way last night. But I know it's a big deal and a bit controversial and a big thing, but a lot of people forget how good a game these last two games we played, 2-1, 3-2, people forgot how good Buehrle threw, Crede takes the pitch and gets the hit, Ozuna steals second base, people forget how Escobar was throwing the ball. There was a lot of good things happening in that game. Now all of a sudden we're going to create this problem. Not we, the game did it. I don't think there's going to be any problem. I think we're going to play the same way.
If we win it's going to be here forever, if we lose then we'll forget about it. The thing is, we win, it's going to be on the highlights for the rest of the years. I don't expect anything different between the last two games and the ones to come.
(Question in Spanish).
GUILLEN: A lot of people -- I don't blame people judging the umpires, and I don't want to be on the umpires, but I think there's a lot of people trying to say, OK, now the umpires screwed or misplayed this play or something, we're done with this series. Now the thing is just not to concentrate on that particular play. I think those last two games and the games to come are going to be pretty good games. Hopefully people stay in the same spot. I hope they turn the page, move on and let the umpires alone.
Having said all that, do you think the umpire bears some of the blame here because his call looked like he was calling him out. Did it not look like that to you?
GUILLEN: Well, it did. It looked like that to everybody. It's one thing to call it and one thing to confuse it. Remember, they are not robots; they are human beings, it's a mistake or no, they did the thing they thought was right.
That's like arguing a home run, same way, like arguing strikes and balls, you know. You know, argument about rules, you're arguing about striking balls and safe and out. I can argue Crede was safe at second base and say we lose the game because he called Crede safe. Too bad that happened in the playoffs, but it's the same call, home run and foul balls, and it happens in almost every game. During the season, some people throw the attention there because there's not the playoff attention.
The Sox have had some problems in this park over the last few years. Does that come into play starting the next three days, or pun intended, is it a whole new ballgame because of the playoffs?
GUILLEN: To me it's a new ballgame. The problems that we have in the past on the West Coast, most of the time we start in Oakland, the pitching staff in Oakland give us a lot of problems, and then we move to Anaheim and we carried the problem to here. This year we played pretty good here. We didn't win any games but we played good baseball, we lost the games in the last inning sometimes. I think if we're going to a place like this, I'll take my chance.
Why has your team struggled with clutch hitting this series other than a couple instances?
GUILLEN: Good pitching staff. I think that right now those guys throw the ball well. I said last night or yesterday, you're not going to get to the playoffs unless you have a good pitching staff, and they have. They have, to me, the best in baseball. They're so good they don't have a lefty there. They don't need one. That's how good they are.
I think when you face a pretty good pitching staff, that's what you're going to get. They have a couple hits here and there, but when you face the best pitching staff in the game, in the American League at least, that's the type of game you're going to see.
How concerned or frustrated are you with the baserunning of the first two games?
GUILLEN: Well, we make mistakes. We did them in the past. Now it seems like we make more because of the attention we get. I think that we make a lot of mistakes early in the season. Hopefully we don't do it the next couple of days, but we did. We have to be better at running the bases.
Joe Crede has had a lot of big hits for you. Over the years you've been with him, has he developed as well as you had hoped or do you think there's a lot more to come there?
GUILLEN: I know that, yes. I think this kid has got potential to be one of the best hitters in baseball as a right-hander with the White Sox. I don't say in baseball previously, I think this kid has got so much potential. I think he needs to get better offensively. I think he's a Gold Glove third baseman, we expect a lot from him. Maybe the expectation when I got this job was so high. When I got this kid I think he's got to hit 20, 25 home runs, and bat .280, he's got that potential to be better. When you're going to do it, hopefully do it with us and hopefully do it quick.
What kind of impact do you think the long layoff will have on Jon Garland?
GUILLEN: Well, I think about it a lot. One of the biggest reasons we move him to third, not fourth, is because I don't want him to have another day off. Hopefully this kid throws the ball well.
In April, I think April was the best month he had, and he was well rested. That's the way I look at it, always positive. He had trouble July, August, September, where those two months he was really struggling during that period of time. In April, May and June, he was good because he was fresh. Hopefully, my philosophy works and helps him.
But this kid, he might be a little rough, he might. I don't know how good he feels. But I saw him throwing on the side today, saw him throw a simulated game and he threw the ball good. Hopefully he'll do the same as he did in April and May.
Getting back to the hitting, have you considered any changes for your lineup or are you going to stick with the same lineup?
GUILLEN: Tomorrow we'll stick with the same one and then we'll make any changes you're going to see. Right now we try to do too much as a team. We try to carry the team one by one. I think everybody knows what they have to do to win, and we do that, we'll be OK. But when you struggle, you've got two or three hits and you come with men on base and you want to hit a three-run home run with only one guy on base, you've got trouble.
We're facing a good pitching staff. We have to be better. We have to concentrate better, get better bats and take the chance and see what happens.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.