Ozzie vs. Lilly II

MESA, Ariz. – Ozzie Guillen doesn’t need a talk with Ted Lilly.

As a matter of fact, the White Sox manager wasn’t looking for an apology, a chat or even an acknowledging glance from the Cubs’ left-handed pitcher.

But a “little thank you” on Saturday morning, that would have been nice.

“He should say at least a little, ‘Thank you Ozzie,’ ” Guillen said, when asked about Lilly’s Friday “Sure, I wouldn’t mind [seeing Ozzie]” comments to reporters.

When asked why a thank you, it was classic Guillen.

“Because of what I was doing when guys were making $60,000 and $70,000 a year and now they’re making $10 million,” Guillen said. “Back when meal money was [bleepin] $10 a day and now it’s $80.”

It was early in camp when Guillen spoke out about the steroid policy and stated that players that get caught now should be suspended for the season rather than 50 games for a first offense.

In an interview with the Sun-Times a day later, Lilly – the Cubs’ players union representative – said, “Well, whatever Ozzie says, that should be what we should do.”

A comment that Guillen felt had more than a drip of sarcasm to it.

The two teams play four more times this spring, so a sit-down could still be in the cards. Just not on Saturday.

And if Lilly was hoping Guillen would soften his stance on the policy, well, not a chance.

“No, no, I no need to talk to him, why?” Guillen said. “I’ve got my opinion, he’s got his. I respect his opinion, I hope he respects mine. There’s one thing about it, when you’re a manager or when you’re a coach, baseball players think you’re a piece of [crap]. They forgot we played. We spent a lot of time, spent a lot of money in the Players Association.”

Guillen was asked if it was further evidence that people dismiss what he says more often because of the “Ozzie’s crazy” reputation that has been circulating around the last few years, and said, ” ‘Ozzie’s crazy,’ but some people don’t like the truth. Some people can’t handle the truth. The only thing I said is, ‘Well, if we want to get this thing done and show people we really care about this, we have to be more drastic.’

“I’m not the only one to say that. Cal Ripken said that, Tony Gwynn said that, ‘Big Papi’ said that, all of a sudden they can talk and I can’t? … If people don’t like my answers, don’t read it, don’t listen to it.”

Guillen pointed out that he again addressed his players on the steroid topic the first day the full squad was in camp, and made sure they understood the organization’s stance was on the issue.

He also brought up the fact that he made a promo for Latin American people, and talks to the Spanish-speaking players throughout the Sox system to make sure they all understood the severity of performance enhancements.

“You cannot trust your agent or people behind you,” Guillen said. “If anyone in the White Sox organization got caught it’s because they want to, the information was there. They want to. The Latinos, they got the information from me, face to face. 70-80 kids, talk about that every day.”

It was pointed out to Guillen that it has seemingly been a lot of the Latin American players that have been the ones caught since the policy started, and in classic Guillen fashion replied, “BALCO isn’t in Caracas.”

Here is more from the Guillen on the steroid issue:

“I never criticized anybody for having their own opinion. You have your own opinion, I respect that. The other day, a guy is going to talk about me, and about how Joe Crede is going to enjoy playing with [Twins manager Ron] Gardenhire more than he enjoyed playing for me, I respect that. But in the meanwhile, that guy didn’t read the day before how much I love Joe Crede, and how much respect I have for Joe Crede. I said, ‘Hey, I respect that guy’s opinion, but they no respect mine.’ Barry Larkin said it [on the MLB Network]. I was like, ‘Wow, I love this guy [Crede].’ I know how hard, and how hurt, he was hurt when he played for me. Larkin said, ‘[Crede’s] going to have a better time with Gardenhire.’ I hope he does. This game is about having fun and being happy. I hope he goes out there and he’s happy.”

“I got kids. One of my kids went to college. Thank God. They don’t have an opportunity and weren’t on the same level playing. I got one kid who might be a professional baseball player. And I know he’s not going to take anything. But I want whoever he’s playing against will be on the same level. That’s easy and that’s why I think some baseball players should feel betrayed by their mates. I don’t blame those guys to think about that.”

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