GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen were teammates in the 1980s and formed a partnership as general manager and manager that in 2005 helped propel the Chicago White Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years.
But when the ever-changing multimedia landscape found its way into their world at spring training a year ago, tension between the friends and business colleagues began to build.
Now, to hear them both talk as a new season gets under way in Arizona, the relationship has been mended and baseball — winning baseball — will be the force that keeps them together. And they both say they'd like to minimize the off-field distractions.
"It seems like there's always something. We're not boring. I've said that before. But I'd like to be boring personally for a little while, to be honest with you," Williams said as the team's pitchers and catchers reported earlier this spring.
Williams wasn't thrilled last year when the opinionated and often profane Guillen opened a Twitter account. Then Guillen's son, Oney, left the scouting department after some Twitter posts critical of the front office.
During the season, Ozzie Guillen was disappointed when his youngest son, Ozney, wasn't picked until the 22nd round by the White Sox.
And months after leaving the team, Oney Guillen used a Twitter post to criticize Williams in August for going to a comedy club when the team was playing a doubleheader in Kansas City.
Amid the friction, the White Sox played some of their best baseball just before the All-Star break, when they went on a head-turning 25-5 run to move into first place.
After being passed by the eventual AL Central champion Twins, the White Sox had a busy offseason signing slugger Adam Dunn and reliever Jesse Crain and re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko and catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
They also picked up Guillen's option for 2012, announcing it at the winter fan convention in January. Ozzie Guillen's still tweeting and his Web site, run through MLB Advanced Media, launched earlier this year. It's been tame.
For sure, Guillen won't stop talking or letting everyone know what he thinks, but he would like to avoid the so-called drama of a season ago.
"I don't expect anything," Guillen said. "I'm 47, I'm not going to make it to 94. I know that. I hope to live my life in peace and hopefully that happens. … I will make money out of last year. The only thing I can do is when my book comes out, that's the first thing I'm going to write. Bad stuff sells. Good stuff, nobody reads that."
Williams said both he and Guillen have moved on.
"Ozzie and I have known each other since 1985 and had a great relationship until last year and it was not fractured," Williams said, adding that the problems were created by issues on the periphery. "We had a great dialogue all offseason. If something hits now, it will be from the outside and it will be a surprise."