Thome actually has the qualities Guillen desires in a leadoff man, namely the ability to get on base consistently.
"Make sure he gets one more at-bat than anyone else," said Guillen with a smile of Thome. "And he has the best on-base percentage.
"Why does it do any good if you're a leadoff guy who can run but can't hit or get on the bases? A lot of people are wrong about the leadoff man. A leadoff hitter should have a higher on-base percentage than anyone else."
Thome has two at-bats in the leadoff spot during his illustrious career, both as a pinch-hitter.
More Ozzie inside.
Ozzie on the Fields-Crede situation:
"Joe's going to play third and this kid, I don't know. I don't think this kid -- he's proven he can play in the big leagues and he's proven he can be better. But, in the end of the day, we have a decision to be made and that decision's not easy. It's up to Crede's contract, Crede's health, how we can use him. The way we're going to do it, believe me, it's going to be the best for the ballclub. We're not going to do anybody any favors, we're not going to please anybody. We went through so much and blamed (for things), we're not going to just make people happy and smile `okay, we do whatever they think we should do.' Whatever Kenny, myself and the coaching staff do, it's going to be the best decision for the club. What's going to be the best decision. I don't know that yet."