Guillen bids boss a happy birthday
Jerry Reinsdorf celebrated his 74th birthday on Thursday, joined by former Illinois governor Jim Edgar and some of Edgar’s family at Camelback Ranch for White Sox workouts.
To commemorate the milestone of a man he considers a second father, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made a special birthday request of his boss.
“Yeah, I asked for a plane. I need to go to Miami and I asked for a private plane to go there,” said Guillen with a laugh. “I don’t even know how old he is. Seventy-four? God bless him, because I don’t think I’m going to make it to 74.
“I said to Jerry, ‘Look at me and I hope to be 74 and still walking around like you, have the mentality you have, have the life you have,’ and I know the money’s not gonna be there. But it’s amazing.
“One guy I’m praying to stay alive the most is him,” Guillen said. “I love Jerry, and he knows it. He’s like a father to everyone here. I think the respect, the love we have for him – I’m glad to work for the guy. He means a lot to me.”
Guillen went on to explain the positive influence Reinsdorf has had on his life.
“He’s not just my boss,” Guillen said. “The reason I have a great life and the reason why I really take care of all my family (is) because of him. He means a lot to us. I thank God for my dad but I think my real dad is Jerry. He spent the most money (on) me. My dad gave me a couple dollars – Jerry’s made me rich.”
And what connects Guillen, a baseball-savvy entertainer, to a more low-key and accomplished businessman such as Reinsdorf? Guillen summed up that connection in one simple word.
“Honesty. There’s one thing about Jerry. Every time I wear this uniform, Jerry knows I give him 100 percent,” Guillen said. “I told my family this: ‘You put a difference between making another $2 million a year with another ballclub, I’d rather stay here with Jerry.
“There’s one thing for sure – Ozzie’s not going anywhere as long as Jerry (doesn’t) leave, unless they fire me, then that’s a different thing. I don’t think anybody out there (has) enough money to buy myself to go someplace else.
“As long as Jerry’s (here), I don’t think I’m going to walk away from here for any reason,” Guillen said. “For (lifestyle) or better money or better team or better town. As long as Jerry is still alive, he can count on (the fact) I’m going to be here for him.”