Winning title, not 2006, is on Guillen's mind

Notebook

October 22, 2005|By DAN CONNOLLY | DAN CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER

CHICAGO -- A few weeks ago, a frustrated Ozzie Guillen said he would consider stepping away from his dream job as manager of the Chicago White Sox if he won the World Series this season, his second in charge.

One step away from his ultimate championship goal, Guillen wouldn't back away from that statement.

He also wouldn't confirm that he was gone if the White Sox win their first World Series title since 1917.

"I would like to win first and think about it," said Guillen, who played 13 of his 16 major league seasons with the White Sox.

He said he'd like to spend more time with his family. He also figures it doesn't get much better than accomplishing your career goal at age 41.

"It's not because I want to quit," he said. "It's because I do something I always wanted to do. The main thing to me is winning here, then I will make up my mind."

Konerko's detour

First baseman Paul Konerko had to fly to Arizona on Tuesday morning and was late for Thursday's workout. He had a good excuse.

His wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Nicholas, Tuesday night. The birth was induced, so the baby wouldn't be born during the World Series.

"I think it is a good thing we had it this week, because there was a chance that if we waited it out that something could have happened next week and I didn't want that to happen," Konerko said. "Because, obviously, we have this going on and there would be a question of whether I could even get home for that."

Hiring Mr. Cooper

By supervising the staff with the second-best ERA in the American League, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has drawn the interest of the New York Yankees, who need to fill a similar role recently vacated by Mel Stottlemyre.

Cooper, 49, grew up in New York and pitched for the Yankees in 1985. He acknowledged that he's heard he's a candidate for the job, but said his focus is on helping the White Sox win the World Series. He's been in the White Sox organization for 18 seasons, the past three as big-league pitching coach.

Call from Torre

Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were on the golf course Thursday when Clemens' cell phone rang. It was Yankees' manager Joe Torre, who called to wish Clemens good luck in tonight's Game 1. Torre said he was also planning to call Pettitte, so Clemens just handed over the phone.

"He knocked two of us out with one phone call," Clemens said. "It was great to hear his voice."

Wilma on his mind

Chicago's Game 1 starter, Jose Contreras, has more than just baseball on his mind. The Cuba native is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Wilma, which could hit Cuba this weekend.

Much of Contreras' family still lives in his home country.

"I'm worried about them. I've always worried about them every time there's a hurricane," Contreras said through an interpreter. "I've been trying to communicate with them, but I have to worry about pitching right now."

Contreras, Cuba's three-time Male Athlete of the Year, defected from the communist country to the United States on Oct. 25, 2002.

Old guy

Clemens, 43, will become the second-oldest pitcher to start a World Series game. The oldest is Philadelphia's Jack Quinn, who was 46. He's also one of only six pitchers with 300 wins to start a Series game. The last to win one was St. Louis' Grover Cleveland Alexander in Game 6 in 1926.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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