White Sox Players Let Ozzie Know: Oney Guillen Should Shut Up

On the eve of SoxFest, there's still controversy over Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and his son Oney's tweets.

Now it's Ozzie Guillen's turn at bat so to speak -- to clear the air on son Oney's damaging tweets and, well, muzzle the kid once and for all.

Guillen's White Sox players have already spoken up in no uncertain terms about Oney's reckless use of his free-speech rights -- to both his father and the team in general. Now Guillen, silent so far, has to close a sorry chapter of his South Side managerial tenure.

First reliever Matt Thornton lambasted Oney's actions, although not by name. Last week, there was a bit more diplomacy, but no less firmness in resolve, from second baseman Gordon Beckham.

"Me and Joey (Cora) talked a little bit about it," Beckham said of a break at "Camp Cora," the Sox bench coach's off-season workout session in Florida. "I think everybody is on the same page. Players and coaches. We don’t want to have outside drama fill our locker room this year. We’re going to try this year to totally concentrate on baseball. We don’t want to have any excuses.

"If we’re playing well, we’re playing well. If we’re playing bad, it’s not some kind of outside situation getting our attention. It’s unfortunate all this stuff came out. That’s what we want."

Having already lit up GM Kenny Williams, Oney Guillen this time went beyond the pale, revealing inside-clubhouse machinations and personal-life stuff involving departed closer Bobby Jenks. The only rationale being defending his father against Jenks' parting shots, the younger Guillen could not offer logic why he launched his out-of-control tweets when pressed by Dan Bernstein in one of the normally sarcastic Score afternoon host's finest performances.

Beckham, for one, could benefit to have such silly soap opera purged from the clubhouse. He had all he could handle to dig himself out of a deep first-half slump in 2010. Only concentration on baseball can ensure against a repeat.

"It was way more mental," Beckham said. "It's the way I kind of disgested whole stiaution. When I didn’t meet those (pre-season) expectations, I want into panic mode. I got mentally frustrated and mentally tired. There were some mechanicals flaws. Once I got out of my own way, it was easy. The worst mental state I’ve ever been in my life. The worst statistical time on my life. It was good to come out on top."

Ozzie Guillen owes Beckham and Co. the most professional atmosphere in which to work. Which is why his silence so far is deafening. He cannot wait until SoxFest this weekend to tell how he can solve his son's, and ultimately, his own problems. The fan convention ought to celebrate Williams' and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's going all-in on the AL Central title with the signing of Adam Dunn and the return of Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.

If Guillen holds off until then, whatever verbal approach he takes will overshadow the good publicity of the huge bump in payroll to try to win it all. The man who led his team to their first World Series championship in 88 years cannot let them down now.

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