Ozzie Guillen on Tim Anderson: ‘I don’t really care how he feels; I have a job to do’
Guillen, the former White Sox shortstop and manager, remains candid as an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tim Anderson fired off a tweet directed at Ozzie Guillen after the White Sox’ 2-1 loss to the Royals on Tuesday.
It wasn’t nice. But Guillen’s not mad about it.
Guillen, the former Sox shortstop and manager and current TV analyst for NBC Sports Chicago, has been known to speak his mind. After Guillen said Anderson, the Sox’ All-Star shortstop, should’ve played both ends of the split doubleheader against Kansas City, Anderson tweeted, “Ozzie need to stfu at times . . . talk too much!”
Anderson, the team’s leading hitter, and Jose Abreu, who doubled in two runs in
Game 1, sat out Game 2. Guillen didn’t get why, and he didn’t care that Anderson lashed out.
“Tim is one of the best players in the league, and he’s fun to watch,” Guillen told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. “I respect him, and I respect his opinion, but I don’t really care how he feels. I have a job to do.
“I am glad he’s watching the pre- and postgame.”
Guillen’s work on those shows has played to strong reviews because of his knowledge of the team and his candid takes. He is a staunch supporter of Tony La Russa, his first manager in the majors, but doesn’t hesitate to criticize decisions he disagrees with.
“The thing I’ve talked to Ozzie about, in his rookie year , there were  times he didn’t start,” La Russa said Wednesday. “Literally. I checked it today. Why? Because I’m the same guy I was then. The wear and tear.”
La Russa’s reluctance to play Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and others in both ends of doubleheaders or on day games after night games to preserve their legs over the course of a long season has been questioned by fans.
Anderson — who had three singles and three nice plays in the field Wednesday — and Moncada dealt with hamstring issues last season, and Robert missed six games with a groin issue in late April. La Russa said he likes that media and fans care about lineups.
“Let them be passionate,” he said. “Let them ask any questions. I’ll give them my answers, and they can decide, if they were the manager, what they would do.”
To be around La Russa is to know he wants to win every day, but his decisions are based on the long haul of a 162-game season.
“Tim is on base two or three times a game, and when there’s an opportunity, at least once or twice he’s going to hit that afterburner,” La Russa said. “His legs are not infallible. We lost him twice [to the injured list] last year.”
La Russa expected to give Anderson a full day off in the four-day, five-game Royals series, so he might be off Thursday afternoon. But Anderson told La Russa that his work in the trainer’s room during Game 2 was beneficial, suggesting he doesn’t want a rest.
“It really is just watching the wear and tear,” La Russa said, “and usually you do it observationally, but now they’ve got measures. The trainers and doctors have that help.”
When Anderson and Abreu were rested in the nightcap against the 13-22 Royals, the Sox’ lineup managed one run against Brady Singer and the Royals’ bullpen. Anderson, 28, was batting .328 with an .847 OPS in 31 games.
“TA is, what, 27 years old?” Guillen said on the postgame show. “Built like a rock. And we hear Gordon Beckham [filling in for analyst Steve Stone on the broadcast] say it: When you’re a kid, go play. When you’re a veteran, sit down.”
That’s what probably prompted Anderson’s tweet, which was later deleted. He declined to discuss it Wednesday.
“If I hurt his feelings, that wasn’t the idea,” Guillen said. “I have nothing against him, never will. I hope he brings a championship to this organization.”
One thing fans shouldn’t question, La Russa said, is Anderson’s “champion’s mentality and toughness and courage. He doesn’t ask for rest. You’ve just got to watch him close.”