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Howard Ankin: I’m attorney Howard Ankin with another edition of Chicagoans You Should Know and I’m honored here today to be speaking with Ozzie Guillen. When did you know that goals and dreams were something that you wanted to achieve? Was that from childhood or did that develop later in life?
Ozzie Guillen: Wow, you know, dreams is a childhood dream because your dreams you know we know you want to be a bullfighter. You wanna be an actor, you want to be nothing, you want to be Michael Jordan, you want to be Muhammad Ali, all of the sudden you turn around you’re not gonna be any of those guys. But you when you have the goal to say, “okay, I’m gonna try to be that people.” I think I start putting myself in better position to have better life when Ozzie Jr. was born in 1983, and he was born in Vegas. To me it was like, “Okay I’ll just marry. I can move to Caracas. I can live here with just my wife.” When my child was born, it was a different taste, a different scenario. Now I had to be the best father I can be, I can be a guy he can look up to and my life changed in two seconds.
Ankin: When you’re talking about goals, is that something that was set then right after your child was born, or do you keep reevaluating your goals over time?
Guillen: I put myself to be better, a better father, a better husband, a better friend, a better baseball player. I take everything more serious, you know before it was like you know I’m 20 years old, who cares. After that, with my first child born, I matured a lot because I got to be with somebody I have to take care of for the rest of his life.
Come from Vegas to play big league here in Chicago and every year, life demanded me to be better. Life pushed me to be better.
Ankin: Was there a point in your career where you knew that you were gonna transition from being a player to a manager, was there a trend that pointed you, you know said that that was a goal for you?
Guillen: Well, I was a manager even when I was a player. You know I’m lucky enough that I grow with Tony La Russa, Jameela, you know, those guys don’t…You know what I think, I got a big one and I prepared myself, you know, I’m lucky enough to be Jeff Cards, I was lucky enough to be with Bobby Cox, I was lucky enough to be with Jeff Torborg.
Ankin: You really have a great sports talk show now. Is that where you see your career going, or where do you see your career going in the future?
Guillen: That’s the hardest thing I ever did and people think it’s easy to get get a mic and criticize and puts your thought on the table. I think that’s not accepted. To me, it’s easy to manage, why, because that’s what I know. I hope I manage it again, I hope I get you know the opportunity and hopefully that happens. If not, I just worry right now to be a great grandpa. That’s the only one thing on my mind, being the best grand I can be.
Ankin: Do you think the winning attitude that you have is just something that’s innate or that you were born with?
Guillen: You look at the people I grew up in Basel, cut down face … You know Tony La Russa you know, all those big league players are growing that teach me how to win and they criticize me and they, they drive me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, they drive me crazy because…but they teach me how to play the game, how to hustle, says how to be a pro.
Ankin: As far as being a successful coach or helping to coach people to be successful in life, what’s the best way or what’s your philosophy about how to go about that?
Guillen: Listen. Listen to the best. Listen to the guy who’s got more experience than you and don’t think you know everything, and when you listen and you put everything together, and you learn from mistakes. Today you have somebody to help you and criticize you and tell you the truth, don’t get upset, just learn from that.
Ankin: If you were gonna write this book, what would be the highlight of the book that you would talk about, let’s say from the 2005 White Sox days?
Guillen: While people probably will not have a greater margin great honor it, it’s one thing about it in that book, and people don’t realize that three different personalities in one spot to run a company and with three different ways to look at life, and when you put all those together for one reason is to win a championship, and we did. I think to me it was outstanding because we [are] not think the same way. In baseball, on the field and off the field, I think, if I do something about baseball inaudible the players are managers…the players are tough, they grow man. The one thing about it, they don’t care about the name, they don’t care about how much money they could’ve made, they only care about winning.
Ankin: Ozzie, your fans can watch you pre and post games on NBC sports Chicago, is that correct?
Guillen: Yes, and you will have fun and I think that’s one of the best opportunities I have to talk with the fans, bond with the fans and being Ozzie just being Ozzie…baseball tonight show boys is the best. Baseball night in Chicago is a great experience and great- I think it’s a good idea, people know what’s going on with Wolfie, not just about things like Cubs and White Sox, I think around baseball, something we never see in the city. I think it’s, uh, something very different and people should sit down and watch it.
Ankin: If you knew somebody that was involved in an auto accident, got hurt at work or needed help with any injury case, who would you tell them to call?
Guillen: Okay, I will call you, you know, [I gotta] take care of myself. I’m waiting for you outside.
Howard Ankin and Ozzie Guillen laugh simultaneously
Ankin: That’s another edition of Chicagoans You Should Know. Ozzie, thanks again for being here today.
Guillen: Thank you so much!
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