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A scout to the core, Jerry Krause also made an impact in baseball

Jerry Krause may mostly be remembered as a successful NBA general manager with six championship rings on his mantle, but everyone who knew him said he considered himself a scout first and foremost.

And Krause, who died Tuesday at 77, was one of the rare professional scouts who was knowledgeable enough to discover talent in two sports — basketball and baseball.

"It's easy to be GM for the Bulls when you have all these people below you and they know what to do," former White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen said. "It's harder when you're scouting a 120-pound guy who's only 19 years old and you take a risk on him, trading a Cy Young Award winner for him."

That skinny 19-year-old was Guillen, who came to the Sox in the winter of 1984 after Krause, then a scout for the Sox, advised general manager Roland Hemond to acquire him for former Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt.

"He's our man," Krause told Hemond. "I think we should move fast."

Tribune baseball columnist Jerome Holtzman suspected Sox management knew Hoyt was using drugs, which may have precipitated the deal. Hoyt was later suspended for cocaine use with the Padres and was out of baseball in two years. Guillen won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1985 and went on to play for 16 years before managing the Sox to their 2005 championship.

Krause moved on to the Bulls and made his mark in the NBA. But after he was let go following a failed rebuild in the post-Michael Jordan era, he returned to his first love and scouted for the Mets, Yankees, Sox and Diamondbacks in his final years.

Guillen, working as an ESPN analyst at the World Baseball Classic, said via phone that he owes his career to Krause and would never have been the same player had he remained in the Padres organization.

"Not too many guys would have the guts to make that move," he said. "He always said 'That little (bleep) can play.'"

White Sox vice president Ken Williams was one of several players Krause helped bring to the Sox, along with Julio Cruz, Ed Farmer, Greg Luzinski, Tom Seaver and Greg Walker. Williams also had a scouting background.

"We'd talk about his six championships, so deservedly you would think he'd have lived long enough to see himself inducted into the Hall of Fame," Williams said Tuesday.

"He had a hand in seven championships, being that he scouted Ozzie and myself and counseled us in the early years of some of the things we had to go through in our general manager-player relationships. He's probably telling his friends up there right now he actually has seven (rings)."

Williams said he wished people knew Krause's "softer side" and could hear some of his storytelling.

"Maybe he would've gotten a break he probably deserved," he said.

Krause battled with the media because of his refusal to dispense information.

"I learned a lot from him in the early years, maybe not to your guys' liking, the secrecy part of things," Williams said. "But he felt you absolutely had to have protection against your proprietary information."

Krause and Guillen had a falling-out over Guillen's stormy end to his managing stint on the South Side. Guillen told Krause he had no right to tell him what to say about Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf since he didn't know the situation.

"But after that we spoke again and he sent me a letter, and I responded to it," Guillen said. "I saw him in spring training a few times. He understood my point."

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