YardBarker- In a story on ESPN, Guillen said that he interviewed for the White Sox job the day after an all-night party, celebrating the then Florida Marlins (whom he coached for) winning the World Series in 2003.
“We started drinking all kinds of drinks. Bad idea. I drank a little bit and overslept for my interview. I had a very nice night but the next day was miserable. The alarm rang, my wife woke me up and I said ‘No. I don’t want to go.'”
The flight didn’t do anything to sober Ozzie up or jog his memory. Even today, he remembers that the interview with Kenny Williams took place at a restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. Aside from that, Guillen can’t remember a thing, nearly 13 years later.
“I was in Naperville. That’s where Kenny Williams wanted to interview. It was a little private restaurant. I don’t even know what kind of restaurant it was. I don’t know what kind of questions he asked me or what kind of answers I gave him. We sat in the restaurant and had black coffee and and water, club soda water, because I was afraid that I’d have to get up in the middle of the conversation. I did the best I could but that day, I don’t remember anything.”
“Thank God I got the job because if I didn’t get the job, I’d have to explain to my family why, because alcohol was involved. That’s not a good example for you, your family, or a good example for your kids. I guess I’ve been lucky. I didn’t know what I was talking about.”
I don't think I am breaking any news by saying this, but I can't emphasize it enough. Going into an interview feeling the way that Ozzie Guillen apparently was is the single dumbest thing you can do if you actually want the job. On the other hand, if I were the one doing the hiring - especially for a leadership position in professional sports - it's the exact state I would want my candidates to be in.
You want to truly get a read on somebody? Cut away all the fluff? Get past all the schmoozing and ass kissing? Drop all the pleasantries and get right down to business? Bring them in when they are still a little drunk, a little hungover, and maybe a little jet lagged. Sit them down when they are so beaten and battered by the effects of alcohol and travel that they can barely put two thoughts together without deeply massaging their forehead. If a person can make perfect sense of a game as intricate as baseball in those moments then you can bet your ass they can manage a Major League ball club.
When you give someone an opportunity to run your billion dollar operation day in and day out for a minimum of 162 games a year you do so with the understanding that things aren't always going to be sunshines and rainbows. It's easy to accept a man at his strongest when you felt comfortable enough hiring him when he was at his weakest. Man has simply never been in a more vulnerable state then when exiting an aircraft with booze on the breathe, a massive headache, and a waning will to live. If a person can impress in that precarious of a situation* then they can undoubtedly handle anything else that is thrown their way - ESPECIALLY if it is an overly intrusive member of the media. God bless Ozzie Guillen...
* I suppose an important caveat is that your hangover be a result of celebrating the pinnacle of your success in the same field for which you happen to be interviewing.