GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ken Williams is fond of telling the media to “stay out of White Sox business,’’ and now the organization is making sure that to a certain extent that edict also includes manager Ozzie Guillen.
At least as far as plans Guillen had to launch his own website this spring.
Guillen confirmed on Thursday that while his Twitter account and Facebook page were allowed to stay up and running – although only after a talk with his general manager about the subject matter – the idea of Guillen having his own website has been shot down by members of the front office.
“It’s a lot of reasons they have,’’ Guillen explained. “I wanted to do it, I thought it was a great idea, but in the meanwhile I have to go by their rules. The White Sox rules are they want me to stay away from a lot of things and I respect that.’’
Considering the organization has approved an MLB Network reality show to film a behind-the-scenes show that will begin airing in July, as well as allowing Guillen to tweet ‘til his heart’s content – as long as it’s not White Sox business – it would seem strange that they drew the line in the sand with an Ozzie Guillen website.
“It was an MLB-type thing, it would have involved the team,’’ Guillen said. “But when you’re going to involve the team, you’re going to involve a lot of people. You’re talking from [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] to Kenny, to the baseball players, to the [public relations] department, a lot of people. A few guys from the front office didn’t like the idea, they said it wasn’t a good idea right now. I respect that and that’s why I shut it down.’’
Vice-President of Communications Scott Reifert said it had nothing to do with any concerns coming from his office.
So when Guillen said “front office,’’ the logical assumption is it came from higher up.
“Don’t ask me another question about Twitter, websites, blog, radio shows, non of that [bleep],’’ Williams said in a text. “All I care about is players playing, coaches coaching and managers managing. If they do that and do it well, we got no problems, but if they don’t … ‘’
Guillen’s hope with the website was to not only reach out to the Sox fans on the South Side, but his fans in Venezuela, and do so in a way that everyone would understand how and why baseball decisions off the field are made.
“The way baseball is going right now fans know about it,’’ Guillen explained. “Fans know so much about the game because the way the media and so many ways to cover a team. Before it was just the newspapers, and now it’s computers and Facebook, so many things. I think the more fans know about the game, know about what we’re doing here, I think they could love the game more.
“Fans know a lot about what happens on the field, but they don’t know what happens off the field. Sometimes they criticize people because they don’t know how we make the team, why this guy is here, why this guy is not here. The more fans know about the game, they would appreciate that.’’
Guillen might not agree with the Sox’ logic on this one, but said there were no hard feelings or sleepless nights because of it.
“I have a job I have to take care of here,’’ the skipper said. “If people think it would come between the job and what I’m doing off the field, well I would rather take my job [as manager] and take the job the way it should be.’’
Still, Guillen couldn’t help but wonder if another manager wanted to have a website would it fall under the same scrutiny? A big deal was made of his Twitter account at the start of spring, enough so that Guillen then insisted, “I guess I can’t have fun, I guess. I flunked in school five times, and I never had as much trouble as I’m having right now. Why do I have to explain to people why I’m doing this?’’
Asked on Thursday about the latest roadblock thrown in his information superhighway, Guillen could only shrug.
“Maybe because I’m so outspoken and all that stuff, but in the meanwhile I don’t need a website, I don’t need Twitter, I don’t need Facebook to let the fans know how I feel about my ballclub,’’ Guillen said. “I’m very open with the fans, I’m very open with the players, and I’m very open and honest with the media. That’s why I don’t need any of those tools to get to the fans.’’

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