Ozzie And Kenny Pregame
Monday, September 27, 2010
Some of what Ozzie said to the media prior to today’s game …
Q: You spoke with Jerry …
A: “We talked about the ball club, what we want for next year and what we expect. He wanted to know about my feelings and I told him that everything was cool. I expect to be here and like I said in the past, I want to be here. Everything is great. Hopefully we can continue to move on and make this organization the way we want it to be. I spoke with Kenny, we cleared everything up about our situation and our situation here. I’m very satisfied and happy about what they’re thinking. I don’t expect anything different, to be honest with you. I’ve been working for Kenny for seven years, Jerry for 20, and it’s cool. That’s what I want, that’s what we want. Go out here and everything be the same. At least it was out of my mind about what I want to hear and what I want to know. It’s out there and we just need to move on.”
Q: Do you want to be back here?
A: “Yes. I never said I don’t want to be back here.”
Q: Content with contract …
A: “I never will get out of my contract unless they want me to. I never said I wanted an extension. I never did in 2006 and they signed me back in 2007 when I was very bad. The contract is not the issue. The issue was that I have family and I wanted to know exactly where I stand. I was thinking about having some business here in Chicago and I don’t want to lose money out of that business and I’m very glad at what I hear and very excited at what I hear. I never denied that I wanted to be a White Sox for the rest of my life.
I’m very glad we talked about it and I will be back with the White Sox next year. I want to be back with the White Sox next year. They want me and I do too. That is something that I very good. It’s good for the ball club, it’s good for the team, it’s good for the free agents that may come here knowing who will be here. We are cool and we can talk about the ball club and what we need.”
Q: Where do you stand with Kenny?
A: “Better than yesterday. Hopefully worse than tomorrow. We have work to do. Not on the field. Our work ethic is very good. What we get paid to do is very good. We are going to get better about what we do in the past. Our communication is going to be better and I think hopefully we can go back to normal. That’s what we want. That’s what he wants and that’s what I want. Hopefully everything moves forward for good. I never ever say I want to leave Chicago. We owe it to people, we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the media and the players to put this thing together. We will move in the right direction, I promise that. You can ask me two weeks later, 10 weeks later, everything will be better. We know we are going to move on in the right direction, with the right attitude and that’s what I want.”
Talking to the media pregame …
Q: Meeting went well with Ozzie …
A: “Yeah. We ended the meeting talking about the baseball team, which is how you want to end any sort of meeting. It’s all about the team, the players and getting the most out of the players and getting back to the playoffs. We can get all of the other stuff out of the way, like we did. It was very short, I asked him directly did he want to be here, did he want to be the manager of the Chicago White Sox? He said that was all he had ever wanted. He said he’d never asked for an extension. He did want to know what his status was and I told him directly that I never wanted to have another manager with the Chicago White Sox while I’m sitting in this chair. It was very simple, very to the point.”
Q: Why do you think guys would be concerned?
A: “Well, the waters haven’t been as smooth as they were in the past, you may have noticed. There’s been a lot of peripheral things that have gotten in the way. But I don’t blame him. I wish it weren’t so public, and I expressed that to him and he understand how I feel about it. When a man stands in front of you and says ‘I understand what your concerns are, I understand what you expect and I’d like to move forward and get back to where we were,’ you wipe the slate clean and go get ‘em.”
Q: What if an organization asked to speak with Ozzie about managing their team …
A: “I’d tell them that Ozzie is not interested and that he wants to be the manager of the Chicago White Sox. That is what he communicated to me – he did not want to go anywhere else, he wanted to be the manager here. So I would deny permission.”
Q: Objectives for the team are remaining the same and not moving into a building mode, just want to win?
A: “Every year I go through three different scenarios – where we are currently, which right now, is kind of middle of the road. Yes, we have potential to be that notch above, but I’ve got to look at where we are right now. You look at going out and adding necessary pieces through free agency or through trades where you think you can compete for championships. After that, you take a look and you say ‘Well if we have to go the other way because of budgets or my ‘eye in the sky’ thinking just isn’t going to work, then what’s the best young team we can put out there?’ It wouldn’t be the typical rebuilding process because we’ve worked really hard here to make sure that we’re never in a position for a total rebuilding project. If you just look around the field, we’ve got good, young players under 30 that are some of the better players in the league, so I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. If you have to then filter two or three young guys around that, position-player wise, well, that’s going to be called ‘rebuilding’ but in our minds it’s still going to be with the mindset that we’re trying to win. Once you start using that ‘R’ word, you create a different kind of mindset.”
Q: What has Jerry relayed to you about what he wants out of this relationship?
A: ”Jerry wants us to win. Figure it out, and win. If somebody doesn’t want to be here and go down the journey that we’re on, then we’ve got to make changes. But if everybody is on the same page, then let’s figure it out.”