White Sox fans chanted “Ozzie! Ozzie!” after former manager Ozzie Guillen was announced at the SoxFest opening ceremony Friday. He waltzed across the stage, smiling and high-fiving several fans along the way.
For the first time in eight years, Guillen was back at SoxFest. But is he back for good?
He sure hopes so.
Guillen wants to be a part of the Sox, but he doesn’t know what his role would be.
Asked what his dream job with the organization would be, Guillen said: “I don’t believe in dreams. I believe in facts. I can help. I know about baseball a little bit. I can help the organization in different ways.
“We have a manager, and I respect him. I’m not coming here to look for a managerial job. That’s the last thing I think about. I just want to help the organization the way I can.”
Guillen clarified: “I didn’t come here to look for a job.”
Guillen, the 2005 American League Manager of the Year, is managing in the Venezuela winter leagues. He said he’d like another shot at managing in the major leagues, but he’s “not losing sleep” over it.
“I will manage any team,” he said. “I’m not that good. I’m not better than the game. [But if] they call me, I’m ready for it.”
General manager Rick Hahn believes Guillen should be a major-league manager — just not with the Sox, who are high on Rick Renteria.
Guillen, who had a year remaining on his Sox contract when he became the Marlins’ manager in 2011, had a strained relationship with the organization, more specifically with executive vice president Ken Williams. But Guillen said it has improved as time has passed. That was clear as Guillen and Williams shared a stage at SoxFest for a Q&A session with fans.
“We just had a job, and we were young,” Guillen said. “When you are young and you think you have more energy than anyone else. Me and Kenny are fine.”
While Guillen’s future employment with the Sox is uncertain, he’s content to be back with the fans and “making easy money talking about baseball” on TV.
“I’m glad I’m part of this, and I feel I’m back home,” he said. “I feel happy. It’s something we were looking for for a long time.”