10/26/05 8:33 PM ET
Ozzie Guillen pregame interview
Manager says team is prepared to play
By / MLB.com
OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, not really. I don't know, first thing, obviously when you play that many innings and you play for so long, all of a sudden you lose, you have to feel that way. I don't blame the manager the way he was feeling because last night they played that many innings, and they don't win. Now, when you play that many innings now you know how you feel in an opposite way. I don't blame them to feel that way. I think we're prepared to play today and like we're prepared to play every other day. We're not going to change our thing, we're going to go there believing it's another game.
Obviously when the game go along and you get close, butterflies and a little excited. But right now when the game started, I think we'll play this game like another game.
When it takes that long to win a game and as tired as you guys might be afterwards, are you more anxious to get to the park today for what it means, being one victory away?
GUILLEN: Well, I think it's great when you in that position. It's great when you have that feeling, like, wow, we are so close, we are so close to do something we all want to do. But I'm not coming here just happy or rah, rah, here we are. We show the same way.
You look at my players, I think they get excited before the game start. But before that they do the same thing. And I think coming in this position is really hard, is hard when you get here, it's harder to win in the playoffs, it's harder to win in the World Series, not because we are in this position right now. We need one more game and that's the toughest game you want to win. You win a hundred something games, this is four games can be the hardest games to win. We take it one day at a time and see what happens.
What's Duque's status?
GUILLEN: Duque, he say he feel a little bit better today. Hopefully when the game starts he'll be ready, and hopefully we won't need to use him. Hopefully we won't have to use him to help us win the game.
You've made several moves in the playoffs that have worked out well. You bring in Blum last night in the 13th inning. Does it feel from a manager's point of view that you can't do any wrong these days?
GUILLEN: One thing happened last night, I had Ozuna in the double switch, I had it and all of a sudden I look in my lineup and I see Blum, and he's a switch hitter, and I think he play a little bit better second base than Ozuna does. But, and the switch, I switched my mind, and it worked for us. I guess somebody told me don't use Ozuna, use Blum, and there we go. But I have him in my lineup card, when I was making the double switch.
After he threw about 40 some odd pitches last night, is Bobby Jenks available if you need him, is there anybody else in the bullpen that might not be available?
GUILLEN: Right now he's available, and ready to go. I think he was throwing the ball better later on in the game than in the beginning. I don't have any news from the manager, from the pitching coach -- if you're not ready to throw the last game in the World Series, the four games, and you have a chance to win this game, and you're not ready to play the game, when you play in the World Series, and have a chance to do something real important, you don't feel no pain. I think this kid's fine.
I believe sometime during the season you said that maybe if you guys won the World Series you might just retire. Were you joking? Is that something you would consider?
GUILLEN: I was not joking. I think about it. I just try to make a point across. That particular time when we was real strong, and I just sign a new contract and I say I'm not coming here for the glory, not for the money; I come here to win. If we get to the World Series, give me an opportunity to say I can go home with the gold. This is not my dream to be in the World Series; this is my goal. Some people say I made my goal, I make something happen.
GUILLEN: Well, Bobby Cox called me last night and said, "You'll never retire from baseball; make them retire you." He called me like 4 o'clock yesterday and said, "You're too good a man, baseball man, need people like you, make those guys fire you, keep taking the money away from them" (laughter).
And I said, "Skip, I already signed the contract." He said, "Make them renew the contract now."
I want to show people in Chicago what I want and doing what I want to do. It's not because I want to manage the White Sox; I just want to win in that city and hopefully we do it for them.
Considering how hard you have to fight to win a postseason game on a daily basis, how amazed are you that your team is 10-1 in the postseason, one of the best records of all time?
GUILLEN: Well, hopefully we'll continue. We need one. Hopefully we'll be 11-1. We not have that much experience in the clubhouse in postseason. The sooner you get to the postseason every game you win you get tougher and tougher and tougher. And today is going to be the toughest game they're going to play all year, after all the games. But besides that, you know, it's not easy to be here. It's not easy to manage it, to get to the playoff is hard. But it's harder to win in the playoff. And we compete -- this team compete a lot better with good ball clubs. We compete against Cleveland first, then we compete against Boston. Then we compete against Anaheim. We compete against good ball clubs, and we did a good job.
You've won so many games here in this stretch, going back to the end of the regular season, what is the weakness on this team?
GUILLEN: You know what, you win that many games in the big league in one season, you sound like, well, what can we do wrong to lose? I think the weakness is when we -- we are consistent. We wouldn't score that many runs, then we score one run. Then the next thing we do the same thing. I think they're consistent about the offense. It was there all year long. Now it is. We have a couple of big hits and right now we do what we have to do. But they're inconsistent about the hitting approach in the past, even though we win games, but we've got to scratch here and there to win.
Not to take anything away from your team, but you went against Cleveland and you were talking about being competitive, but you run into a Boston team that had to fight to the last day. You went to an Anaheim game that had to go five games. Houston had to go an extra game against St. Louis. It wouldn't be a stretch to say they're out of gas; would that be fair?
GUILLEN: Well, you put it that way, yes. But it's not my fault the team winning so quick, I had to wait (laughter). It's the funny thing about it, I just say this, I'd rather have my players fresh than being tired. Now you make the comment they were tired. On the other side you ask people how sharp are they going to be? You have a chance -- they have so many days off between those playoffs, it can go either way. But the thing was I don't let my players make that excuse. Because when you say we've been playing three days, we don't know how we're going to pitch, I have a guy that hasn't pitched in two months, a month and a half, Hermanson and Marte. I don't know how those guys are going to react when they go to the mound.
But if he was tired, good, I hope they stay tired. But we really compete against pretty good ball clubs, a lot of offense. And one thing about the defense, we are here, and they are not, because we pitch better. It doesn't matter, we pitch better.
The situation in the fifth where Oswalt -- did you feel he was going after him or was that the situation in the moment?
GUILLEN: No, I don't think he was throwing at him. A lot of people was confused because Joe, you just tell him -- Joe was talking to himself. I look on the other side of the dugout and people screaming to Joe. Joe never say anything to Oswalt.
Nobody happy when you get hit. You play this game. All of a sudden they was talking -- obviously my bench is going to be crazy, too. And thank God the umpire did a tremendous job to keep everything quiet and cool. Jerry went out there and talked to the bench and talked to my bench. But I don't think this guy try to hit him, no. If I thought this guy tried to hit Crede, we hit him back. That's the way we play the game.
You said a minute ago that winning the World Series was not your dream; it was your goal. What's your dream in this game?
GUILLEN: My dream in my life? I had one dream in life, it's to see my kids' kids grow up. That's my dream. Hopefully God give me enough time I can hang around with any grandchild. That's my dream in life, that I live enough to enjoy that beautiful time to have some grandkids and have a chance to play with them. That's my dream in my life.
We've seen your hitters swing at strikes and not swing at balls and have great at-bats in all three series. How hard is that to instill and are you saying that that has not been the case consistently all year?
GUILLEN: Well, over the year -- White Sox play every day, we can have good at-bats one day, and six days we go free lancing, and are too anxious, try to do too much, so we come out of what we're supposed to do.
But in the season we was different, we were facing American League Central, you have the best pitching staff in baseball, period, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota and the White Sox. You look in the stats, all those guys was the best pitchers in the American League, most guys was in the American League Central. We have to deal with those guys half of the time, and that's why I think it was different facing those guys every day and my team got to battle against those people, it not was easy.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.