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Pregame interview with Ozzie Guillen

Pregame interview with Ozzie Guillen

Ozzie, what are the wind conditions tonight, the wind is swirling, is it blowing left or right? How is it going to affect the pitchers tonight?

OZZIE GUILLEN: It will be tough. It seems like we're still playing in the summer. The way we hit last night, I think it's better for us. When you're facing a team like Boston, you have to keep the ball down. It could be a pretty ugly game, a real dangerous game today.

Ozzie, what's the attitude of your guys right now? Is there a big change from week to week, game to game, as far as what they went through at the end of September?

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GUILLEN: I always believe that the guys, when the game is over, they forget about it. Obviously, winning yesterday, you come to the ballpark and feel better, but in the meanwhile you've got to throw the games away and concentrate on the one that's there. Those guys don't change, even if it's a real tough time. We show up every day at the same time. They do their routine, be there on time. There's nothing different between yesterday and today.

Over the past couple years you guys have been one of the healthiest ball clubs. Is that a matter of luck and avoiding injuries, or is that a matter of you guys as an organization?

GUILLEN: I think, to me, it's important to stretch. To me, it's important to take care of yourselves.

I say, you want to win, you've got to be physically and mentally prepared. I think the doctors and trainers we have here is amazing. We work hard. We don't have that many guys on the DL.

Sometimes you're lucky. I have a couple of guys, the way they played this year, they hurt, but they don't do it, and most of the time a lot of people rest during the summer, and that can be the reason. The main reason is we allow them to do that.

Ozzie, in 8 games against the Red Sox this year, your team has homered 20 times. Is there a confidence issue that has helped you guys produce so well, with home runs in particular?

GUILLEN: I never keep stats. I think that's a good stat. We seem, even when we don't win the regular series, we hit pretty good against them. Sometimes you do against one team and not against another. They been hitting us pretty good, too, especially this year, we really had a tough time against us.

Ozzie, do you get a sense of how big a story you and the White Sox are in Venezuela, and can you tell us about your telephone call from the president?

GUILLEN: I would say I was honored. Not too many people like the president, I do. My mom will kill me, but it's an honor to talk to the president. A lot of people, as the White Sox, we had a lot of players going into this organization, we've got more Venezuelans in the White Sox uniform.

It's fun when you've got 20 million people looking at you and wishing you the best, and the conversation I had with the president, it was the big news over there, and because the president, that's the only two leaders we have in the whole country. I said I don't know about leaders but I know we've got the biggest mouth.

To me, to make my country happy about it is something I look to with a lot of pride. We have so many problems back there, when you do a little thing to make people happy, and you talk about what you do in your success, it's something I can give back to my country.

Anything else?

Ozzie, just to follow up on that, when was it in your life that you saw that you could be a leader?

GUILLEN: I think you don't make leaders. I think leaders are born. I was a leader when I was a kid. In my couple years in the big league, I remember two months ago my kids were watching, Tom Seaver was pitching. My kids said, "You got to be crazy. Why you want to do that?" That's what it was. That's the way I am.

To be a leader, you have to be, basically, when you play, to be a real leader, you have to be a real leader or you're not doing well. That's what I did when other players come. I think I learned that from Baines, Seaver, Fisk, to learn how to be a real leader.

What did you tell Tom Seaver?

GUILLEN: Just to hit the ball to me and get me out of the game. That's all I can say. I never was afraid to anybody, and that's why, when you do that, and you have confidence in yourself, you have a better chance to be a leader.

Would you be disappointed if Rowand didn't win the Golden Glove?

GUILLEN: Yes, I think having Mr. Hunter out of the picture, unfortunately, because he's a good friend of mine, there is no doubt about it. The way he played every day, the way he goes about his business and makes the plays, I really would be thinking about it twice who would be better than him in that position.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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