White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is never afraid to speak his mind. So it came as no surprise that the White Sox skipper offered a characteristically honest assessment of the recent Hanley Ramirez controversy, in which the Marlins star shortstop was removed from a game by his manager, Fredi Gonzalez, and subsequently benched for another, for failing to hustle.
"I think [Gonzalez] did a good job," Guillen told SI.com on Wednesday. "I think when you manage, you've got to look after 25 guys, not just one. You lose the respect of one guy on the field, then you lose the team. I think he did it right. He wasn't very aggressive with it. I might have handled it in a different way. I might get angry."
It all started on Monday, when in the second inning of a home game against the Diamondbacks, Ramirez couldn't catch a bloop hit to left by Tony Abreu and accidentally kicked the ball into the left field corner. He jogged after it, and two runners came around to score while Abreu reached third. After the inning, Gonzalez spoke to Ramirez in the dugout, then took him out of the game before the top of the third. On Tuesday, after learning that he was not in the lineup, Ramirez ripped Gonzalez, saying, "He doesn't understand ... he never played in the big leagues."
Guillen, a former major league shortstop who played in the majors for 16 seasons and was later a coach for the Expos and Marlins, said that Ramirez's criticism on that point "was unnecessary." He added, "When you're a player or a manager, make sure you show respect. You respect me, I respect you. You don't have to like me or be my friend, but the respect had to be mutual. You're managing in the big leagues for a reason. And you're a manager not because you play[ed] in the big leagues. You're a manager because the people believe you can manage. You don't have to [have played] in the big leagues."
Guillen will get a chance to see Ramirez and Gonzalez in person this weekend when the Marlins arrive in Chicago for a three-game series with the White Sox.