The long-anticipated and heavily speculated divorce between manager Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox may finally be at hand.
Guillen said last week that he wants a contract extension if he’s going to fulfill the final year of his current deal in 2012. It’s known that the Marlins have interest in Guillen being their new manager as they enter a new life as the Miami Marlins and a new venue as they begin play in their retractable roof, state-of-the-art, baseball-only stadium. The White Sox have stagnated and underperformed in the past three seasons under Guillen’s fiery, blunt, over-the-top leadership.
The White Sox need someone who’s less of a loose cannon; the Marlins need someone who is a bit of a loose cannon and has the cachet and fearlessness to get into the faces of the self-involved rookies like Logan Morrison and diva-veterans like Hanley Ramirez; and Guillen’s worn out his welcome with the White Sox and his GM Kenny Williams.
This has to be done quickly to avoid any legal entanglements and rampant rumor-mongering of what both clubs are going to do. I’m talking about everything happening within days after the season ends.
If I were the White Sox, I’d contact the Marlins to see if they’re still interested in Guillen—and they surely are; I’d go to Guillen and tell him it’s time to part ways; I’d let Guillen’s representatives lay the groundwork for a deal with the Marlins; I’d ask for Chris Coghlan from the Marlins as compensation for Guillen being let out of his contract and move forward.
The White Sox have been expected to win for the past three years and each year have played inconsistently at best.
The Marlins have a load of young talent that needs a good swift kick and a marketable manager to sell to the fans.
Coghlan has collapsed amid the pressures of being Rookie of the Year in 2009 with injuries, position changes and demotions—he needs to start somewhere new.
White Sox GM Williams thinks outside the box when it comes to everything he does; he neither accounts for nor cares about the reaction he gets when he makes a decision; it’s with this in mind that I say the obvious heir apparent to Guillen—coach Joey Cora—might not be the new White Sox manager. Williams almost hired Cito Gaston when he hired Guillen and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena would be a calm presence to counteract the lunacy that was inherent under Guillen.
Either man might be exactly what the White Sox—and Williams—need.
This has to be dealt with and it should be done sooner rather than later for the good of all involved.