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Updated: August 18th, 2010 6:21pm
Ozzie takes 'full responsibility' for Thome leaving, says '(expletive) it'

Ozzie takes 'full responsibility' for Thome leaving, says '(expletive) it'

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome blasted a walk-off homer against his former team on Tuesday night, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was rather subdued after the game.

He wasn't nearly as subdued on Wednesday during batting practice.

This is just too good to not post in its entirety.

On not re-signing Thome:

"When Jim Thome left for the Dodgers, he made that decision for himself. If people want to blame me for not having Jim Thome here, I take full responsibility because I expressed to Jim my love, my respect for him and his family. One thing about my life, I'm not a hypocrite. I told him our situation, what we want, not what I want.

"I thought we went in a different direction to have a different ballclub. If he plays good for them, I love it. I love it. I wish I hated that guy. I love him. I love him, and you know, while all those people in Chicago, all the people around the world, they want to blame somebody for Jim Thome not being with the ballclub, I'll take the blame.

"Meanwhile, I'll tell those people, Jim Thome has to say yes to the trade. I know the reason why he went [to the Dodgers]. I was one of the guys who said, 'Jimbo, you've got a chance to win, we're not going anywhere.' As a friend, meanwhile.

"I don't want to hide from anybody. I talked to him before I made that decision, I told him why I don't see him fitting here. And believe me, I love that he's having a season like that. I see he's close to 600 home runs, I don't want to say I'm happy that Morneau got hurt, now he's got playing time, so it's worked out for him.

"Yes, I'll take the blame, and those people who don't like that, (expletive) 'em."

Why does the decision to not bring back Thome fall solely on you?

"Because I have balls, and I have face, and I'm not afraid and I care less what people think.
We're in second place. When Jim Thome was here, we finished third three times out of four years. We went to one playoff because he hit a home run for us to go to the playoffs.

"A lot of people in Chicago talk about Jim Thome. How about J.D. I think Jermaine Dye is the one guy who did more for the Chicago White Sox than Jim Thome did, with all my respect to Jimbo. Why don't people even talk about J.D., at all?

"Jim Thome didn't win the game yesterday. You know who win the game yesterday, the play Kubel made in the outfield, the home run that the left fielder hit. Konerko ground into a double play. If Punto hit that home run, I'm still crying. Or Span, or who else is a punch and judy over there? Or Ron Gardenhire. Jim Thome's hit almost 600 home runs, and what people going to do? Good for him, celebrate him.

"It's a little bit different with Jim Thome wearing a Minnesota uniform. Every time I play Jim Thome, people going to ask me why no play. Jim Thome's got a lot of at-bats because Morneau's not hurt. OK? And is he helping this ballclub to win? Yes. Are the Minnesota Twins going to go to the playoffs because Jim Thome and Ozzie don't want him? I'll take that blame. Why not?

"How many games did we win against the National League? Every time we've got Jim Thome here, we couldn't play him against the National League. Why nobody give me credit for that one? Why they not give me any credit for that one? Jimbo had 1-2 at-bats every time we play those guys. And we made the run because we played good against the National League.

"I hope he hits another home run today. He's got three hits, all three are against lefties. Is it my fault we can't pitch against his ass? No, I feel proud of him to be honest with you. When I see him hit that (expletive) to the building out there, off 98? I don't see that for the last three years for us. Then good for them.

"That's OK. I'll wear it. I'll take it. Nobody wants to take the heat. I'll take it.

"Anybody in Chicago or in baseball wants to have Jim Thome here. (expletive) it. They're a fan or radio announcer or newspaper. We don't want him or we don't need him. If he plays good for them, good for them. Anybody else got anything else about Jim Thome?

"I'm not running from anybody. I slept very well last night. I played golf this morning. I don't change anything. Because I know in my mind, and my heart and my soul, they're very clean and I have my head over my shoulders and I think we did the right thing, what we did in spring training. If people there don't like it, good, they don't have to watch the White Sox.

"I've got a one more year contract, just make sure I tell Jerry (Reinsdorf), get it ready, this (expletive) crazy Mexican, it's fine with me. If you're going to (inaudible) me about one home run, it's fine with me, I take the blame."

How's your bullpen?

"I hope it's better than yesterday."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Ron Gardenhire, Jim Thome
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