ST. PETERSBURG -- The topic of Ozzie Guillen's job security as White Sox manager came up during his pregame talk with the media Thursday evening at Tropicana Field.
It's a matter being discussed frequently and with quite a bit of passion on Chicago sports radio stations and throughout White Sox message boards, especially with the fourth-place White Sox mired in a seven-game losing streak and sitting six games behind Cleveland in the American League Central.
But Guillen says getting fired never crosses his mind -- and won't until it actually happens.
"Everyone who sits in this chair, all those guys out there, they are in the same boat I am," said Guillen, pointing to a wall with pictures of all the visiting managers who will come to St. Petersburg this season. "As soon as you sign the contract, you are in the hot seat.
"But it's really the last thing I worry about. I got a lot of money. I got a lot of work. If I'm not managing the White Sox, I will manage somewhere else. Maybe Mexico, maybe Japan. I know I will manage in Venezuela. I can do a lot of great stuff in baseball. I might go to FOX. They want me."
Don't think for a second Guillen doesn't want this White Sox job. As he has said countless times over the past eight years, nobody is a bigger White Sox fan than Guillen himself. Guillen considers White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf a father figure and, despite a turbulent 2010, Guillen and general manager Ken Williams seem to have that relationship back in a good place.
During this past offseason, Guillen even sold his home in Florida and moved full-time to Chicago. The White Sox, in turn, picked up their option on Guillen for 2012. That option doesn't guarantee Guillen to be set through next season, but again, he's more worried about ending this losing streak and figuring the best way to help slumping hitters in the lineup than if he might get that fateful call.
"If I get fired, I deserve to get fired," Guillen said. "I don't think Jerry or Kenny will fire me just to tell the people, 'We don't like Ozzie,' or 'Look at what we are going to do.' They will fire me because my players will get me fired. That's the way I look at it. ... I've been fired and released before. [If] I get fired, I can at least enjoy my two-point something million I'm going to get next year.
"People who worry about firing, they need the money or need the job," Guillen said. "I want this job, don't get me wrong. But no, that's the last thing I worry about."
Don't look for Guillen to change his managerial style, either. Guillen is a National League manager running an American League squad, and he makes no apologies for that approach.
"When I look myself in the mirror at the end of the day, I think I did everything right for the team," Guillen said. "You look at my Twitter right now and it's funny, everyone is a good manager and everyone hates me. That's part of the game. That's the way it is. I enjoy to take the heat.
"Last year when [Williams and I] had the problems, I didn't worry about it. And we had a lot of problems last year, a lot more than people thought. I come to work, put a smile on my face, talk to you guys and do my manager's job and go home and cry. In front of you guys, I'm fine, I'm cool.
"I have three kids who are healthy. My family is well," Guillen said. "I saw Lou Piniella a couple of days ago, we had dinner, and he looked very young. This is a good job, but everyone who wants to be manager, be careful what they think."
At that point, Guillen pointed to his headshot on the wall from 2004.
"Look at my picture," said Guillen with a smile. "I look a little different now."