10/10/05 2:05 PM ET
Ozzie Guillen off-day interview
White Sox manager prepares for ALCS possibilities
By / MLB.com
OZZIE GUILLEN: I don't know. Those two teams, they're pretty good ball clubs. I just hope they play 20 innings. That's what I want, because we've got to face either one no matter what. I hope they play 20 innings and the pitchers get tired and hopefully we'll take advantage of that.
That really don't bother me because either one, you are here for a reason, and either one is going to be a pretty good challenge and a pretty good rival.
Sort of following that up, how do you prepare for an opponent when you don't know who it's going to be?
GUILLEN: The thing to do I think as a manager is easier because we've faced them before. We know kind of we're going to have a meeting right now and go through Anaheim and New York. Whoever is there is there, but we have a meeting to go to. We'll take every help we can get to get it done. Right now it's not easy for us to sit there for a couple hours and go through two teams in one day, but I want to do it today because tomorrow will be a busy day for us, and I want to get it done today.
Would you do us a favor and break down managing against both managers, Torre or Scioscia, and the strengths that each one brings to the table?
GUILLEN: Well, it's tough because when you manage against Mr. Joe Torre, he's been here before. The team to be around is pretty good ball clubs, and to me, Mike's strategy is different because he's got a different ball club. Mike will try to beat you so many different ways, they can squeeze, they can run, they run all the time and the bullpen is pretty deep.
And New York, like I said, a different ball club. You've got guys like Gary and Rodriguez and Jeter and Giambi and those guys. Cano and maybe Derek, they're going to run that team because of the time of team that they have. When you're against those guys it depends on the team that you have. If Joe Torre had the team Mike Scioscia had, very much different, but I think the way the California Angels balance makes it a little tougher here because they will have some emotions that will make a lot of things happen.
No matter what happens tonight, you could not face the best pitcher or the No. 1 pitcher for those teams until probably the third or fourth game. In other words, Mussina or Colon. Do you kind of like that, too?
GUILLEN: Well, I didn't pay attention to that really because they make you get a headache. When you have three or four men in the rotation, anybody can pitch. Last night Lackey threw a tremendous game. You never know what could happen. The first game Colon got in trouble. You never know what you're going to face. Obviously you want to play the best.
The only thing I'm worried about is putting my best guy in the first game, and they're ready to go.
I just wanted to know, do you have any concerns at all about losing your edge and the tremendous emotional victory against Boston?
GUILLEN: Not really because we know Boston is defending world champions and they played good against us. We played great against them, and the way the emotions go through the clubhouse and the dugout, I told my players, the shorter the season, 11 games, the less games you need to win, but could be the toughest one.
You know, I talked to a couple of my friends during the game, I said I want to win the Game 3 in Boston, and that's what happened, the team we've got to beat. Right now our minds are clear, we're healthy, that's the most important thing. I think we played the thing I said before, we play type of playoff games almost all year long, and that is an advantage to us because we win a lot of games by one run and we continued to do that in the season, during the playoff. We've got to execute well, we've got to make things happen. Whoever pitches better and gets the clutch hitting, that's the team that's going to win.
You're in the ALCS and you have your sons with you. What's this playoff experience been like as a manager but also as a father?
GUILLEN: Well, my kids are going to be with me everywhere I go. I try to get my kids quality because I can't give them quantity because they're never around me. They were in the World Series when I was coach. They let my kids be in the dugout with me. I think they have a lot more experience than the players on the other side. Too bad they can't play.
But they was in the playoff with us in Atlanta and down here. But those guys go with me everywhere I go, and that's the way it is. The rest of the players like my kids, but it's just something that's in my mind. My kids are going to be next to me with the good and the bad.
What does Paul Konerko mean to the team on and off the field?
GUILLEN: He's my leader on the field. When I got the job, people had bad scout reports for him but they're not here anymore because now I find the truth, who was the real leader, who was the real guy. To me having him around me to help me with the ball club, with my leader, is something that a lot of people who talk to him, I cannot say enough good things about him. He's been so great with me. I was kind of worried about him when I got the job, but now I know who the real Paul Konerko is, and he's been great for us.
Do you wipe the slate clean with Marte, or will it be impossible to forget on Friday when you get in a situation where you think about using him?
GUILLEN: When you manage Marte all year long, that's a situation we had all year long. We had a little meeting with him, we talked about it to make the decision. When my players fail, I've got to put my players in the best position to have success, and when my players fail, I feel like I've failed. One thing my players do is when you're not doing good, don't hang out in the dugout, don't be around there feeling sorry for yourself because nobody else will do it. Just go out there and fight.
I think throwing the ball the way he threw the ball, that didn't bother me. He was trying to throw strikes. I think Marte is a power pitcher, intimidating pitcher, and I think he was intimidated. Players are going to be tough. They're going to boo you, clap for you, they've got to make tough pitches. Every day somebody will be a hero, and you have to prepare mentally for that. When you fail, the next day it's more important than the day before.
This game gives you the opportunity to recover next day. It's not like football or boxing where you wait another six months or another Sunday to recover. This game is every day, and if you're not strong enough mentally prepared to fail, you're going to have a lot of trouble with this game.
What allowed Contreras to become your best guy? What changes did you see him make during the season to become so effective in the end?
GUILLEN: It's an amazing job this kid did over the last year and a half. This kid came in with a lot of problems, mechanic and keeping his pitches. I always say Contreras got the best arm in my staff. There's not a doubt about it. It was a matter of time when he got more confidence, he was throwing more strikes. He's around the plate, making those people swing the bat. He was walking a lot of people, hitting people, wild pitches, big innings. Now this kid comes out and everybody thought, even New York Yankees thought he was going to be what he is. The confidence is there. We said in April, we'll be talking about Contreras in the playoff games and I would have said we'd be crazy. I tip my hat to him because he really worked hard, and I feel proud how this kid come out and be the best pitcher we have right now.
What did you know about Bobby Jenks before he came up and can you talk about his growth and development at the end of the game?
GUILLEN: Well, this kid comes from California Angels. I watched my first day of spring training, I saw him throwing, and I was sitting with Don Cooper in the golf cart, and the first day of spring training I saw him throwing the ball to the cages just warming up, and I said this kid has got an interesting hand. Then they told me where he come from, what he does. I said you know what, you stay healthy and you do what you're supposed to do down in the minor leagues and you'll end up with me. We put him in a tough situation to see what kind of closer he can be. He beat it out. He come through, and right now he's the man right now he's going to be my man. Some people in Chicago fall in love with pitchers who throw 99 and 100. But one thing with Jenks, he gets people out and he throws strikes. He had a tough time in some big games and he gave up a couple of runs, but I stuck with it and I have a lot of confidence in him.
How do you intend to use him, El Duque?
GUILLEN: El Duque is going to be in the bullpen. I think I'll name my four pitchers are going to be Contreras, Buehrle, Garland and Garcia, and El Duque is going to be in the bullpen because he's the only guys in the bullpen with experience, and I know what it's going to take to use him.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.