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The ongoing Sox' soap opera: Is all this Ozzie stuff just talk?
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Columnist

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen watches as the White Sox play the Oakland Athletics in a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. The White Sox won 4-3. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


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Published: 9/23/2010 8:24 PM

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White Sox scouting report

White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium

TV: Channel 9 Friday; Comcast SportsNet Saturday and Sunday

Radio: WSCR 670-AM

Pitching matchups: The White Sox' Freddy Garcia (11-6, 4.88 ERA) vs. Joel Piniero (10-7, 4.13) Friday at 9:05 p.m.; John Danks (13-11, 3.80) vs. Scott Kazmir (9-14, 5.84) Saturday at 8:05 p.m.; Tony Pena (4-2, 4.87) vs. Jered Weaver (13-11, 2.99) Sunday at 2:35 p.m.

At a glance: This is the White Sox' final road series of the season. They rallied to win Wednesday at Oakland, snapping an eight-game losing streak. Garcia makes his first start since Sept. 7. The right-hander made early exits in his previous two outings with lower-back discomfort. Pena starts in place of Gavin Floyd, who is likely done for the season with tightness in his throwing (right) shoulder. The Angels swept a two-game series at U.S. Cellular Field in May and the White Sox won four straight vs. Los Angeles at home in July.

Next: Boston Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Monday-Thursday

Here is what we know for sure about Ozzie Guillen's future with the White Sox - nothing.

And how did we reach that conclusion?

Less than a month ago, I asked the Sox' weary manager if he was ready to move on following yet another public blowup with general manager Kenny Williams that was sparked by another round of vitriolic tweets from middle son Oney.

"Leaving the White Sox, it's something I've been thinking about," Ozzie said. "It's something I've thought about in the past, and I've talked about it with you guys. But I'm thinking about it a lot more, especially this year.

"I'm thinking: 'Is this thing going to work out or not?' "

When asked by reporters about his comments the following day, Ozzie did a 360 and said he wants to buy a house in Chicago and manage the rest of his career with the Sox.

At Oakland on Wednesday, Guillen was asked about his contract and was typically blunt - he wants an extension.

Nothing wrong with that, but he already is signed through 2011 with an option for 2012 that automatically kicks in should the White Sox somehow figure out a way to beat the Twins next year.

Should that happen, Guillen's going to get his contract extension. If it doesn't, the Sox still are almost certain to pick up his option for 2012 and talk extension another day.

This isn't about a power struggle between the manager and GM - Williams works a season at a time and his deal rolls over each year. Williams receives one year of severance pay if he's let go.

This is Ozzie being Ozzie; it's Ozzie seeing how far he can push.

He was cut loose by the White Sox once before - as a player after the 1997 season.

Does Ozzie walk away on his own this time around? Doubtful, but who really knows?

Compare and contrast: To provide a little perspective, manager Ron Gardenhire is working under his fifth two-year contract with the Twins.

The deal is up after next season, and you probably won't hear a peep when Gardenhire signs the next one for 2012-13.

• Would Ozzie bolt at season's end, go back home to Miami and manage the Marlins in their new stadium?

Hey, anything's possible. But the thought of Ozzie working for meddling Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria - wow, now that's a reality show.

• Let's say Ozzie does head south. Who replaces him?

Tony La Russa's name is being floated around, and I'm thinking maybe he'd be able to coax Sox pitchers into retaliating for all the HBPs.

Other than that, no. Not a chance La Russa comes back to the South Side.

Manny for sale: Love him or hate him, agent Scott Boras is the best in the business when it comes to procuring maximum money for his clients.

Let's see how Boras does this off-season finding Manny Ramirez a new home.

• Speaking of Boras, he reportedly has added Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth to his stable.

A free agent at the end of the season, Werth would be quite an upgrade over Carlos Quentin. But Werth is going to be way too pricey for the White Sox.

Martin chronicles: Still think the Sox are leaning toward bringing A.J. Pierzynski back, but if the two sides can't work out a deal, how about trading for Dodgers catcher Russell Martin?

A fractured hip in early August ended his season, but the gritty Martin is expected to be fully recovered by spring training and he could be available this winter.

In closing: Looking ahead to 2011, the Sox are going to have Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Edwin Jackson, Chris Sale and possibly Freddy Garcia vying for spots in the five-man rotation.

Maybe Williams makes a trade in the off-season - how does Floyd and Quentin to the Orioles for Nick Markakis sound?

Or, more likely, does Sale stay in the bullpen and replace Bobby Jenks as closer? Or, what about using the hard-throwing Jackson in the role? He did it before in the minor leagues.