Taking His Talents to South Beach, TooLast night, the Chicago White Sox agreed to Manager Ozzie Guillen's request and released him from his contract. He will not lead the White Sox during their final two games of the 2011 season on Tuesday and Wednesday. He still had a contract to manage the team during the 2012 campaign. Over the course of the last few months, Guillen made it clear he did not want to manage with only one year remaining on his contract.
Without a doubt, Ozzie Guillen made an impact with the White Sox. As a former shortstop for the team from the mid-1980s into the late-1990s, he returned to manage the team in 2004. Ultimately, he guided the White Sox to a World Series victory over the Houston Astros in 2005. The team's first title since 1917. Eventually, his relationship with General Manager Ken Williams soured. The team performed, then didn't, then did again, then collapsed. Despite having a down year in 2011, the White Sox remained in contention until mid-September. He continued to float around the idea of managing the Florida Marlins. It appears that scenario will probably happen.
Though nothing is official, all signs point to Guillen taking the Marlins managerial spot in 2012. Next year is a pivotal season for the Marlins. The team will move into their new stadium, and they will change their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. On Monday, Jack McKeon, the current manager of the Marlins, announced he will be retiring following completion of the regular season on Wednesday. Seems like the pieces are in place to make the move. The Score (670 AM) reported that a blog was posted, then promptly removed from Guillen's personal blog on Monday night. Here is a copy of the text:
The Florida Marlins believe I am the right man for the job to bring another World Series to South Florida. And just as it has always been with me, winning is my only mission.
It's good being wanted, and more importantly it's good knowing where you stand. Although it's sad my time with the White Sox has ended, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of the Marlins organization. I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the Marlins, owner Jeffrey Loria, president Larry Beinfest, and general manager Michael Hill. I can't thank them enough for this opportunity and look forward to the future. I can't wait to get started!
I understand why the Marlins would make the move. They don't draw many fans, so Guillen would be a big name. Since his family resides in Miami, he's local. I get that. What I don't understand is Guillen's interest in the Marlins. The Chicago White Sox date back to 1901 and the creation of the American League. He returned to the team as a favorite son and won the World Series. Management, to a fault, has allowed him so much flexibility. When he had trouble following issuing homosexual slurs at a columnist, his son's Twittergate scandal, and pointless rambling, the team always stood behind him. Will he be given that much support in Miami? Probably not.
If Guillen does in fact sign a contract with another team, the White Sox retain compensation rights. I wonder if they have their eyes on any players in the Marlins system.