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updated: 9/27/2011 12:22 AM

White Sox GM Kenny Williams reflects on the good times with Ozzie Guillen

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On the one hand, you want to reflect on all things Ozzie and think about the major role he played for the White Sox, both as a standout shortstop from 1985-97 and especially as a World Series champion manager who was in the dugout from 2004 until Monday.

"Listen, I'll miss a lot about Ozzie Guillen being around here," Sox general manager Kenny Williams said after Guillen was released from his contract Monday night. "We had far many more times of laughter and fun than we had bad times, and I think that's important to notice, it's important to recall. When you're in the heat of the battle and you have great disappointment, and that's what this season is, you lose a little bit of that.

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"But in times of reflection, you think back about the things that you've accomplished and we accomplished a couple of things. Not as many as we both wanted, and we used to talk about that all the time. But it is what it is."

On the other hand, life goes on for the Sox, and they are going to need a new manager.

Considering Guillen's run in the White Sox' dugout almost ended after last season following similar contract issues, Williams has had time to think about a possible successor.

It's no secret that Guillen was a longshot to be back in 2012, so that has also aided the search for a new manager.

"I have definite answers on that," Williams said when asked about hiring a new manager. "I will say just very briefly that because of the warnings, we've had ample time to kind of dwindle a list to a few select candidates. And we think that we can act swiftly, but I think that accompanies a plan of attack to the 2012, '13, '14 seasons.

"But I don't want to get too far away from, too far into that. I think that takes away from Ozzie on this day and what he means to the White Sox fans, to baseball fans, and certainly to a lot of people in this room and in our front office.

"I need to respect that and respect in such a way that he needs to be the story tomorrow, not what our future plans are."

Fair enough, and Williams is right.

But again, the train keeps moving. Even Guillen said he'd probably be forgotten about in the next few days.

As for Williams' short list, sources told the Daily Herald Tony LaRussa is not a candidate, and Joey Cora is expected to follow Guillen to the Marlins and remain as bench coach.

Buddy Bell, who is wrapping up his third season as the White Sox' director of player development, appears to be on the list.

Bell, 60, has nine years of major-league managing experience with the Tigers, Rockies and Royals. He also played 18 seasons in the majors and was a five-time all-star.

Time will tell on Bell -- who might not want to leave his current post -- but Williams said he is shocked Guillen is leaving.

"You know, I wish I had a dollar for every time I had that thought," Williams said. "

You know, 'Why did it have to come to this?' But I don't have the answers. It's tough to pinpoint exactly where we've gotten off track. I think winning cures a lot of that. We are all very competitive around here and some times with that competitive drive you can get frustration and that kind of builds and things go awry that way.

"You know, as I thought through my own emotions, I'll freely admit I've had some sadness over this. Never did I imagine, particularly when the season started, never did I imagine I would be sitting in this room talking to you guys about failure to accomplish the goal No. 1, but certainly, that Ozzie would no longer be here."

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