With a 7-2 loss to Kansas City on Thursday, the White Sox were officially eliminated from the AL Central race, bringing a brighter spotlight on the cleanup job that could be taking place on the South Side this offseason.
But someone ran to the defense of general manager Ken Williams, and shockingly, it was manager Ozzie Guillen. While the two may have burned most of the bridges that connected them, Guillen went to bat for Williams when he was asked about a Sun-Times story in which a source said that Williams was already informed that he would be returning next season.
"I don't see why not, he did a good job," Guillen said. "One thing about it -- all the people in Chicago, they're going to blame Kenny. I remember when we made this club, everybody was excited. Don't turn your back on the man. Don't do that."
Both men have taken the blame for this season at certain points, with Guillen doing it on a much more frequent basis. He wasn't going to run and hide from that even with growing speculation that the Sox and Guillen were headed for a split.
"I think they gave me a good club to manage," Guillen said. "We don't play well? Yes. And we have to blame who, pitchers, catchers, hitters? No, No. Blame the team, but I'm the one running this club. But don't turn on Kenny. People in Chicago, don't do that.
"I remember in spring training, people were very excited about this ballclub. Why are we going to turn on a guy now? ... Don't turn on Kenny and (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf). People should at least say thank you to Kenny and Jerry. Put the money out there and bring the players."
The Sox made headlines last winter by spending a franchise-record $127 million in payroll and going with the "All In" slogan on top of it.
"I know how hard it was to put this club together ... convincing the big guy (Reinsdorf)," Guillen said. "Then don't blame Kenny. Can he come back? I think Kenny is doing a good job. I think since I worked here, I don't say he's a bad general manager. I think he's deserved and earned it. That's Jerry's call."
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