Williams thinks baseball misses Ozzie's personality
Two old friends reunite before White Sox's home opener
CHICAGO -- White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams believes Major League Baseball is missing something.
And what this game is missing, in part, just might be Ozzie Guillen. The two old friends and former co-workers had the chance to talk extensively on the field prior to Friday's home opener.
"I think baseball misses personality and characters, and a guy who has had as much success as he has and has as much baseball knowledge as he has and has a desire to be in uniform should be in uniform somewhere," said Williams of Guillen. "Hopefully, he gets another chance to show it.
"As we talked about yesterday, he says, 'Kenny, I was in my late 30s when all this started. I'm 51 years old now, and I have mellowed.' I looked at him and said, 'You've what?' I said, 'I'm not completely buying it but I know what you are talking about.' I hope he can get in position again to get another opportunity and there's no doubt that if he does, he'll be successful and a little more mellow."
Guillen and Williams worked together from 2004-11, with Williams as general manager and Guillen as manager. They brought a World Series title to Chicago in 2005, with that special 10-year anniversary being celebrated throughout this 2015 campaign.
Their friendship of more than three decades, dating bat to when they were players, survived a less than perfect break up with Guillen moving to the Marlins before he was relieved of his managerial duties after the 2012 campaign. Williams said they presently are centered on the many good times shared.
"We've chosen to focus on all the years we had a great positive relationship and accomplished something very special than some of the other things," said Williams, who talked of how the two had been texting and trying to get together in an offseason story with MLB.com about Guillen. "It was great. It was the first chance we've had to visit."
Williams frankly stated that he was not surprised Guillen has gone without another managerial opportunity because a lot of what Guillen is going through now is "self-created" -- a point he made directly to Guillen. He gave Guillen another piece of honest advice, advice that Williams said his friend and former manager appreciated.
"In order to have that turned around, you are going to have to show people that there is that more mature 51-year-old man who is ready to employ a different strategy," Williams said.
There's little question that Guillen is much more than one of the greatest sound bites in the game. He's a mix of old school and new school, to go with that personality.
"Yeah, the guy sees positioning and he sees first step quickness and he sees swings," said Williams, who mentioned Guillen was seeing all of this from the worst view in U.S. Cellular in the dugout. "One of the things I don't think he gets credit for is we as a whole, we are always perceived as a scouting and old school baseball organization.
"Ozzie does factor in all the new-fangled stuff that people talk about with the sabermetrics. He puts it to good use as well. Hopefully he's not just considered by the old guard general managers for another opportunity, but from some of the young guys who employ a different set of strategies."