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Williams refutes Guillen-to-Marlins story

Williams refutes Guillen-to-Marlins story

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PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Kenny Williams thought the ongoing 2010 soap opera involving his dynamic manager, Ozzie Guillen, and himself had come to an end with a positive final week meeting between the two that lead to Guillen's 2011 return.

But on Friday, the White Sox general manager made another forceful -- and what he hopes to be final -- statement on the matter.

A column in Friday's Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Marlins were granted permission to talk to Guillen about their managerial opening after tensions between Guillen and Williams had reached "a boiling point" during an extremely difficult season. The column also stated that according to Major League sources those talks progressed far enough to where discussion took place of executing a trade involving Guillen going to the Marlins and 20-year-old rookie sensation Mike Stanton going to the White Sox in return.

Without going into specific detail, Williams disputed the above information in comments made to MLB.com.

"False," said Williams definitively when asked about the column, before expounding on the matter a bit more. "No. 1, you can't talk about another team's player.

"That's tampering. All I can say is the report isn't completely accurate."

According to a high-ranking White Sox source, the Marlins called and inquired about Guillen and the White Sox demanded compensation just to talk with him, with one year still remaining on Guillen's contract. The two teams never came to an agreement over the compensation, with Stanton not serving as any sort of talking point, so official permission was never given to the Marlins to talk to Guillen.

Guillen told the Sun-Times that he never talked with the Marlins and echoed a point he shared during the final week of the turbulent 2010 season, how he was happy to stay with the White Sox and wanted to be the team's manager for longer than just the '11 campaign. As a prominent resident of Florida and the Marlins' third-base coach during the 2003 World Series championship season, Guillen would be an intriguing candidate for a team moving into a new retractable-roof ballpark in 2012.

Speculation on the Marlins' manager vacancy is that Edwin Rodriguez could come back on a one-year deal, and the situation could be re-evaluated after the 2011 season. The White Sox hold a team option on for '12 with Guillen, the manager holding the third-highest win total in White Sox history at 600.

Williams, in turn, wants to focus on baseball and stay away from the 2010 sideshow.

"I really thought the discussion was over, OK? I don't want any part of it," Williams said. "Everyone can write their articles, and say what they are going to say on the talk shows or media outlets. I'm not going to be participatory."

With Guillen riding into 2011 on the final year of his three-year extension, any thoughts concerning his immediate future would be erased by winning his third American League Central title in eight years. A division crown guarantees Guillen's '12 option.

What if the White Sox start slowly or what if the team runs into some sort of prolonged losing streak and last year's soap opera begins to resurface? Williams made clear on Friday how what both men called the toughest season of their professional career will not play out again.

"It will never become that kind of situation again," Williams said. "That's all I'm going to say."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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