‘No bad feelings’ about not getting White Sox job, Ozzie Guillen says

White Sox’ World Series champion manager says he wanted job but is content having more time for family.

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Ozzie Guillen and wife Ibis, with their three grandchildren, are ready for the holidays.

Ozzie Guillen and wife Ibis, with their three grandchildren, are ready for the holidays.

Courtesy Ozzie Guillen

Ozzie Guillen interviewed for the White Sox manager’s job for the second time in his life. This time, he did not get it.

He was disappointed to see a candidate with no major-league playing or managerial experience chosen before him, and he believes the decision was made before he sat down to talk with the Sox about the job. Those things don’t sit well with the man who managed the 2005 Sox to a World Series title after an award-winning career at shortstop on the South Side.

But Guillen is not bitter. He’s not angry. At age 58, an upcoming Christmas gathering at his home in Homer Glen with his wife of 39 years, his sons, daughters-in-law and three grandchildren including the latest addition — son Oney’s newborn — make everything OK, Guillen says. In the words of a reassuring Christmas song, all is well.

“Of course I wanted it,” Guillen told the Sun-Times this week. “But no bad feelings.

“Was I hurt? Yes. And of course I was disappointed. But I’m fine. I’m very much at peace. I love what I do.”

And so life goes on as is for Guillen, doing his thing as an entertaining TV analyst before and after Sox games and going home to his family.

“This is the best job next to playing,” Guillen said. “I spend a lot of time with my grandkids, a lot of time with my wife and I can still be in the game.

“But to be back on the field managing again, I don’t think that is in my repertoire.”

Replacing Tony La Russa may have been Guillen’s last shot. Since getting fired by the Marlins after one tumultuous season in 2012, Guillen has interviewed for jobs, most recently with the Padres last year and with the Sox in October. But if he interviews again, he says it will be for seriously interested parties only.

“I say, ‘You call me to tell me how many years you want and how much and go from there,’ ’’ Guillen said. “That’s it. If they want me. If they don’t, I’m fine doing what I do.”

For the Sox job, which went to Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, Guillen interviewed with general manager Rick Hahn, assistant GMs Chris Getz and Jeremy Haber and director of baseball operations Daniel Zien. It was the first time he talked to Hahn “in years,” Guillen said. And while it was widely known Hahn’s first preference would be someone outside the Sox family, especially after La Russa was anything but Hahn’s top choice two years ago, it’s also known Hahn was more open to Guillen returning than some would think.

But Grifol was decided on before Guillen’s interview, Guillen believes.

“I think maybe I was being used,” Guillen said. “I ain’t stupid.

“To finish second to a guy who was never in the big leagues, there’s so many things I hate. Why interview if they know who the manager was? They interview when they know who was the guy. I’m not stupid.”

Guillen said he prepared himself for a yes-or-no answer. Having a supportive wife, his family nearby and a job waiting for him would soften the blow of a “no.”

Guillen’s sons, Ozzie Jr. and Oney and their families, live in a nearby suburb. They “do everything” together, Ozzie said. Son Ozney, who lives in Miami, will join them all for Christmas.

“Having those little ones around is the best thing,” Guillen said.

And so Guillen, who’s playing and managing career warrants consideration for having his No. 13 retired, will do what he does very well: Comment on the Sox with no holds barred on pregame and postgame shows on the Sox’ flagship TV station. Alongside Chuck Garfien and sometimes Frank Thomas, Guillen speaks his mind in the entertaining style that made him one of the most engrossing, amusing — and successful — Sox managers ever.

“[Grifol] has a tough job. I hope he does well, because I will speak truth and facts,” Guillen said.

Guillen says his TV job will be easier if the team plays better.

“It’s hard for me when they play terrible because I’m getting paid to say what I see,” he said.

“Are they going to be better? There are a lot of question marks.

“They’re looking for a right fielder, a second baseman. You can sign anybody just to have someone, but to take it to the next level it’s going to cost money or players. And the way baseball is right now, with money spent left and right, up and down, I don’t know how they are economic-wise to sign people. But the first things are, stay healthy and play the game right.”

If they don’t do the latter, Guillen will let them hear it.

“Nobody knows this ballclub better than me,” he said. “If I say something about the club during the season, the media, front office, fans will say [he’s saying this] because he’s not the manager. No. If they play bad I will say what I feel. Just facts and truth. I don’t care about feelings, I only care about how my wife and grandkids feel about me.”

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