The only tense in the former White Sox manager/shortstop's peripheral is the present and the future. But he hears his past knocking.
"I miss baseball," he said.
Nearly 10 years removed from the miracle on 35th Street season, and three from a dugout, Guillen has occupied his time working as a baseball analyst for ESPN, playing golf and watching his youngest child, Ozney, a 22nd-round pick of the White Sox in 2010, play ball for the Normal (Ill.) CornBelters of the Frontier League.
But he perked up when the subject of managing again was broached.
"Do I want to get back on the field? Of course I do," he said. "When my turn comes. I don't want anybody's job. I was there before. I'm not better than the game. I'm not better than the manager anybody has right now."
The 1985 American League Rookie of the Year managed the White Sox for six seasons after the World Series title, and eight in all before going to the Marlins. The Marlins fired him after one season in 2012 and are still paying him the remainder of a four-year, $10 million contract. Guillen said his wife, Ibis, was against him going to Miami and that he regrets it a bit.
White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams, for one, would like to see Guillen managing again.
"I feel like baseball is missing something," Williams said in April. "I think it misses personality and characters. A guy who has had as much success as he has and has much baseball knowledge as he has and has a desire to be in uniform should be in uniform somewhere. Hopefully he gets another chance to show it."
Guillen, 51, said it wasn't the first time he has heard such a decree. The source, he said, was something special. His breakup with the White Sox and his feud with Williams sometimes played out publicly. Both have said they are on good terms now.
"Coming from Kenny it means a lot because Kenny knows baseball. Kenny's cool," Guillen said. "But when I was in baseball everybody couldn't wait for me to get the (expletive) out. That's the way it is."
Now Guillen can't wait to get back in.