Results tagged ‘ Jerry Reinsdorf ’

Guillen will return to White Sox in 2011

One manager officially was taken off the 2011 open market on Monday.

After meeting separately with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Ken Williams, Ozzie Guillen told the media how he will return in 2011 and hopefully for years to come as the White Sox manager.

“I asked him directly: Did he want to be here? Did he want to be the manager of the Chicago White Sox? He said ‘Absolutely. That’s all I’ve ever wanted,'” said Williams of his talk with Guillen. “He said he never asked for an extension. The timing of something wasn’t commensurate with if he were to go down that road.

“He did want to know what his status was and I told him directly. I hope I never have another manager, at least while I’m sitting in this chair, I hope I never have another manager of the Chicago White Sox other than him.”

Williams said he will deny any team a chance to talk with Guillen if they asked for permission. Guillen, meanwhile, seemed happy to have this issue behind him.

“At least it’s out of my mind, what I need to know,” Guillen said. “What I need to hear. It’s out there, and now we move on and wait till the end of the season to start talking about the club and move on.”

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.”       
 
 

Be prepared

During the final days of the 2009 regular season, Ozzie Guillen made it abundantly clear as to how White Sox players were expected to come ready to play from the first day of Spring Training, 2010 in mid-February. Don’t use that time at Camelback Ranch to first get going.

Those same strong comments were made by general manager Ken Williams during his last chat with the media and by White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in a talk with the players before batting practice on the final home weekend. Simply put, the White Sox brass was not going to tolerate another sub-par year such as the one just completed.

Apparently, a few weeks away from his team’s 79-83 finish haven’t softened Guillen’s stance on this particular topic.

“Kenny and Jerry made it clear to everyone–come ready to play in Spring Training,” said Guillen during a Tuesday conference call, in which he discussed the team, as well as Gordon Beckham’s selection as one of the 2009 Sporting News Rookies of the Year.

“We expect to win next year, like we expect to win every year,” Guillen said. “So, they better be prepared.”

Guillen’s conference call response came at the end of a question concerning Freddy Garcia. The veteran right-hander, who closed out his 2009 campaign with seven quality starts in his last eight trips to the mound, had his $1 million 2010 option picked up by the White Sox.

The starting rotation alignment has Garcia currently penciled in at No. 5, a hidden luxury when considering Garcia’s vast pitching knowledge and big-game success. But despite Garcia and Guillen basically being family members, Garcia won’t be cut any extra slack if he shows up to Glendale out of shape.

“Freddy know what he have to do, and if he’s not ready for Spring Training, then we make a move,” Guillen said. “I’m not going to babysit him. But he has to stay strong for him, not just for us. Just work hard and take care of himself. Freddy won’t have any problem.

“Everyone has that same responsibility. Jerry made it clear. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. If you are not prepared, we will find another home for you.”

Buehrle skipped; The Chairman speaks

Carlos Torres will take the mound Tuesday night in Cleveland in place of Mark Buehrle, with the White Sox left-hander possibly having made his last start of the 2009 campaign.

“They are pushing me back a couple of days,” said Buehrle, prior to Friday’s 2-0 victory over the Tigers.

“Right now, we’re not in the situation like we need to go there,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of his left-handed ace. “Right now, we don’t know what we’re going to do about it, but I think it’s not worth it to take the aggravation.”

Buehrle will continue to do his regular work in between starts. Guillen hinted that if the last game of the 2009 regular season at Comerica Park means something for the Tigers or the Twins, then maybe Buehrle would make the start.

“I’m not 100 percent sure,” Guillen said.

Otherwise, Buehrle closes out another workmanlike year. He has a 12-10 record, 3.95 ERA and his requisite 32 starts and 207 1/3 innings pitched. The only disappointment for Buehrle would be his 1-7 record and 5.18 ERA over 12 starts since his July 23 perfect game, a stretch in which he has yielded 97 hits in 73 innings.

–Along with the presentations made to Buehrle in honor of the 18th perfect game thrown in Major League history, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave the team a bit of a pep talk early Friday directed toward 2010 preparedness.

“He wants guys to make sure they are going to come in wanting to win and get to the playoffs,” said White Sox rookie third baseman Gordon Beckham of Reinsdorf’s talk. “Hopefully we can do it. He’s the boss and a great person. I really enjoy being around him as much as possible. We all want to do better and fulfill what he wants us to do.”

According to Jake Peavy, Friday’s winning pitcher, Reinsdorf’s words gave him an offseason adrenaline boost past the excitement he already had built up to be ready for 2010.

“Just hearing Jerry talk to the team today got me fired up,” Peavy said. “Talking about competing this winter and being ready to come back and give everything we got to win a world championship next year.”

–Brandon Inge faced Peavy while the right-hander was pitching at a Cy Young-caliber level with the Padres in the National League. And while Peavy wasn’t quite at that level of performance on Friday, Detroit’s third baseman still came away impressed.

“He looked pretty good,” said Inge of Peavy. “His fastball is still jumping pretty good on you. Obviously, it’s not where it used to be; I faced him three or four years ago and he was touching 97, 98. He doesn’t have that kind of juice.

“Nonetheless, it comes out of his hand really well. It really didn’t matter because his slider made up for everything. It was filthy.”

Do the White Sox have interest in Alex Rios?

According to an ESPN.com report, citing Major League sources, the White Sox are most likely the team that will be awarded the waiver claim on Toronto outfielder Alex Rios.

Teams cannot comment on waiver claims, but the outfielder is a player who has been on the White Sox radar previously. The Blue Jays could work out a trade with the team that reportedly claimed Rios, they could pull him back from waivers and thus keep him for the rest of the season or they could let the team who put in the claim take him. According to the report, Toronto has until Tuesday to make the decision.

Hypothetically adding Rios would also mean the addition of another larger contractual obligation to go with recently acquired hurler Jake Peavy, although the White Sox could be having the contracts of Octavio Dotel, Jose Contreras, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome coming off of the books for 2010. Remember, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said he had to be talked into making that Peavy move by general manager Ken Williams and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. Then again, Reinsdorf said part of his hesitation was committing $52 million guaranteed from 2010-12 to a pitcher.

Over the past three years, Rios, 28, has never hit below .291 in a full season. He has plenty of speed and a strong outfield arm, along with more than a little bit of pop in his bat. His statistics have tailed off a bit this season, hitting .261 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIS.

Rios has roughly $2 million left owed to him this year and is guaranteed $59.7 million from 2010 to 2014. Rios would make sense in Williams’ plan to go a bit younger in the present, while also staying highly competitive and aligning the White Sox to stay strong in the future.

The questions that arise from even this possibility are numerous: What would become of Dye, a popular figure among management and within the clubhouse, not to mention a highly productive offensive force? Where does Rios fit this year? And if a trade was discussed, would the White Sox have anything that interests the Blue Jays. They never really seemed to be in play in the pursuit of Roy Halladay, but then again Halladay figures to require a different return than Rios.

And of course, all of this movement, if the White Sox are indeed the team awarded the claim, could be to block the Tigers from going after Rios or to set up possible future trade discussions.

Buehrle honored

Mark Buehrle was honored once again on Tuesday night at the start of the Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series, during which the White Sox will be playing host to the Angels. Anyone who has interacted with Buehrle or covered the left-hander over the past decade or so understands that the laid-back and unaffected superstar would rather give up five runs in an inning than have this much public attention.

But with his wife, Jamie, son Braden and daughter Brooklyn at his side on Tuesday, not to mention his parents, Buehrle truly seemed to enjoy this classy ceremony to honor the 18th perfect game in Major League history and his new Major League record of 45 straight batters retired.

Dewayne Wise and Ramon Castro also were honored, with two simple words reading ‘The Catch’ now permanently posted on the outfield wall at U.S. Cellular Field above Billy Pierce’s likeness and his retired number. That spot, of course, was where Wise jumped on the dead run to take a home run away from Gabe Kapler to lead off the ninth and preserve the perfect game.

Castro was behind the plate for Buehrle’s perfecto, catching Buehrle for the first time ever. Each player unveiled a photo directly related to their part of the perfect game, with Buehrle’s framed shot being the most grandiose since he was the architect of this gem. But before that moment happened, a video montage showing all 27 outs was played on the Jumbotron.

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave a brief speech, eloquently praising Buehrle’s historic effort. And with Braden standing with him behind home plate, Buehrle also addressed the crowd and thanked his family and his teammates, among others. The pregame ceremony was capped off by Wise throwing out the first pitch to Buehrle, who usually is the man behind the plate for these first pitches when he’s not starting.

The crowd cheered loudly at every step, providing an especially boisterous reaction when the Wise catch was replayed a few times on the center field scoreboard. The crowd’s feelings for Buehrle were summed up rather nicely by one particular sign in the stands, reading, ‘I wanna be like Mike,’ with the Mike portion crossed off and Mark written in next to Mike.

Support your local team

Remember the White Sox pursuit of Jake Peavy back in late May? Remember how the White Sox were willing to take on the remaining three years and $48 million of his salary, if Peavy agreed to waive his no-trade clause?

Well, that same scenario involving any high-priced acquisition might not play out again in the next few weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to general manager Ken Williams.

“Well, if I’m being completely honest, money is more of an issue now,” said Williams, during a 10-minute conversation with the Chicago media prior to Tuesday’s 10-6 victory over the Indians. “We expected a little more support than we have gotten.

“It’s a reflection upon the economy what’s kind of happened in regard to attendance. And I don’t’ know if we’ve played consistent enough or been exciting enough for people to get behind us yet. So, we are still hopeful, but yeah, that obvious, not to mention some of the other peripheral things, that obviously is going to have an impact on what we can and cannot do.

“We have been a little aggressive in our projections initially,” Williams said. “We might have to take a lot closer look at it because the Dodger series certainly was one that was an eye opener for us.”

When the White Sox played host to the Dodgers, Major League Baseball’s best team by record, from June 23-25, the White Sox drew 22,251 fans on the Tuesday night of that series, 20,142 on Wednesday and 20,051 on Thursday afternoon.

Weather was not an issue on any of those days, and the crowds weren’t hampered by school still being in session. So, what was the issue leading to the relatively low turnout?

Brooks Boyer, the White Sox vice president and chief marketing officer, quickly pointed to the problem.

“We overpriced it. That was the major thing,” Boyer told MLB.com. “We set the prices in October. We looked at the series and said that it’s a quality-quality opponent in town and one that is not in town all that often. They also have a drawing superstar.

“But we set those in October. The economy has worsened since then, when we priced it. You get to this series, and where are people going to spend money? They are going to spend it (the following) weekend, for the Crosstown series (with the Cubs). We simply overpriced the tickets. We made a mistake in October of last year.”

In fairness to the White Sox, they had no idea that Manny Ramirez, one of the true drawing superstars in the game, would be absent from the starting lineup. But Boyer specifically was referring to the Dodgers tickets being classified as Premier, the same status given to the ensuing Cubs series, of which all three games were sellouts

There are four ticket classifications for the South Siders’ home games, ranging from Value Mondays to Regular to Prime to Premier. A $10 difference exists between Premier and Prime tickets, and a $14 difference exits between Premier and Regular.

For the Dodgers and Cubs series, the cheapest premium seat was $63. The cheapest seat available overall, in upper reserved, checked in at $33. That cost dips to $19 in that same area for Regular.

“Granted, the Dodgers are a first-place team, with the best record in baseball, and they were very competitive games,” Boyer said. “We just missed on the pricing.”

Boyer said the 2009 attendance has been an interesting phenomenon, in that they were pacing where they were last year and even a little bit up through April. But the rainy and cold weather that extended into June clearly has hampered ticket sales.

“During the homestand we had (ending June 11), in the last game we started, it was in the 40s,” Boyer said. “Then, we come back here and it was oppressively hot.

“So, we haven’t had much luck there. The team is playing better, and as we play better, if we stay in the race, we’ll be fine.”

As for an early fiscal outlook to 2010, Boyer points to the past Dodgers series as an example of the situation being too far off to make an accurate read.

“We are not out of the economic issues,” Boyer said. “There’s not anybody taking deep breathes and saying this is going to be better or isn’t it amazing how much better it’s getting. The scenario we are in, it doesn’t look like it’s getting much better.

“Now, for us to start predicting things about 2010, it’s way too early. But we have to be really smart about it.”

The White Sox basically are run to not necessarily make a profit in their drive to get to the postseason. But they also don’t want to lose any money in the process.

With Tuesday’s attendance announced at 23,758, these less-than-full houses just might hamper Williams in going after a top prize.

“We are going to go down the same roads we always have,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, we take a look at opportunity A vs. B and C and you figure out, ‘Here’s where we can go with this, but do we have the resources to make it work? Where are we situated in the standings and where’s the excitement level? Can we swing it.’

“I’ve maintained forever, most times all (White Sox chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) wants to do is break even. Give yourself the best chance to win and break even, and in many cases, he has been willing to absorb a loss in an effort to win a championship. I don’t know if that would be any different, but my job is to present opportunities to the group and we will see where we come out in terms of actually making the decision one way or the other.”

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