Things To Watch In The Ozzie Guillen-Marlins Marriage

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The Loria/Samson/Guillen trio:

David Samson is a hands-on team president who uses his status as the son-in-law of the owner to throw his weight around.

Jeffrey Loria is notoriously short-tempered and petulant.

Ozzie Guillen is a loose cannon who says and does what he wants.

None of them are entirely wrong in their behaviors. Samson was well within his rights to tell Logan Morrison to calm down with his use of social media; Loria’s the owner of the team and the boss and if an employee steps out of line, he can fire said employee for whatever reason; Guillen’s “madness” is used as a prop.

There are going to be clashes and they’ll happen quickly, but if the Marlins give Guillen a 4-year contract, they’re not going to fire him no matter what happens.

Guillen and Hanley Ramirez:

I think back to the Bill Parcells-Keyshawn Johnson relationship when Parcells took over the Jets. It was repeatedly said that Parcells was going to light into Johnson for his selfishness and egomania; instead, Parcells took a gentle approach to Johnson and the two became off-field friends.

Guillen won’t tolerate Ramirez’s lackadaisical play and self-important “I’m the owner’s favorite; I’m the highest paid player on the team” nonsense, but if you’re expecting a dugout shouting match between the two, you can forget it. Guillen will be the big brother to Ramirez.

Whether that works is another matter.

Guillen and LoMo:

Guillen uses social media himself and is way more outrageous than Morrison. Morrison’s not outrageous at all—he’s simply out there all the time, saying stuff.

If Samson/Loria complain about LoMo’s tweeting, Guillen will wave it off.

Guillen and the fans:

The Marlins hired a big name manager in Jim Leyland in 1997 and few if any fans went to their games to watch him and only him. If there’s an increase in attendance, Guillen will be part of it in a larger framework with their decision to spend on name players and the new ballpark.

Guillen and the media:

The Florida media will pay attention to Guillen to get a story, but Florida’s media’s not as ravenous about baseball as they are in Chicago. They’ll use Guillen; he’ll use them; and everyone will be happy.

The team on the field:

Lost in all his intentional lunacy, it’s forgotten how fine a strategic manager Guillen is.

That said, the White Sox appeared to tune him out after awhile and the club underachieved for the last three seasons he was there.

The Marlins have a lot of talent but were oddly constructed with a terrible defense and feast-or-famine bats.

In the early stages of his tenure, he’ll get the most out of the Marlins’ talent.

White Sox GM Kenny Williams was well-equipped to deal with Guillen’s madness. Will Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill want to deal with the Ozzie Package?

They’re not going to have a choice. Because he’s the guy the owner wanted. And he got him.

From this day forward…for better or for worse….for richer (in Ozzie’s case)…or poorer (in the aggravation content of the front office)…’til controversy and an explosion do they part.

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The Silly Uproar Over Trading For A Manager

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Ozzie Guillen will not be returning to manage the White Sox in the final year of his contract in 2012 and there’s an agreement in place for the Marlins to exchange a player to hire Guillen—Chicago Tribune Story.

There’s an uproar over this because the Marlins are giving up a living, breathing player for a manager.

This is without knowing who the player is or anything about him.

It’s not without precedent for a team to trade a player for a manager. The Mariners traded the rights of Lou Piniella to the Devil Rays and got the Devil Rays’ best player at the time, Randy Winn; but the Devil Rays were desperate and stupid in trading an asset for a manager and then refusing to give that manager the players he needed to win.

In 1976, the Pirates traded catcher Manny Sanguillen to the Athletics for the rights to manager Chuck Tanner. Tanner won the World Series with the Pirates in 1979. Sanguillen was a pretty good hitter and very good defensive catcher who wound up being traded back to the Pirates and was on that championship team.

If the Marlins are trading someone with legitimate, near-future potential to get Guillen, then it’s a mistake; with or without this agreement, Guillen was not going to be managing the White Sox next season; if the White Sox fired Guillen, the Marlins would’ve been free to hire him without giving up anything other than the money to pay him and they’d save on the deal because the White Sox would still be paying a chunk of his 2012 salary.

I highly doubt that the Marlins are giving up a player they have in their near or distant plans. I speculated recently that the White Sox should ask for Chris Coghlan, with whom the Marlins are annoyed and who needs a change-of-scenery.

Who cares what they’re giving up if it’s not someone they have use for?

Isn’t it better to get this done now rather that go through the endless speculation—with the White Sox as to Guillen’s future; with the Marlins as to whom they’ll hire—and complete it immediately without rancor and controversy?

Guillen was not going to keep his mouth shut—he’s repeatedly asked for a contract extension that he knew he wasn’t going to get; the Marlins have had enough aggravation this season with the Leo Nunez identity mess; the Mike Cameron “firing”; the Logan Morrison Twitter-gate; and Wes Helms‘s union activities among other things.

Yes, there were other things.

They wanted Guillen.

They’re getting Guillen.

They probably won’t give up a big league player or a blue chip prospect.

The deal for compensation is done; Guillen wants to go to Florida.

It’s better to be decisive than to handle the possible and likely alternatives.

Everyone’s getting what they want, so it’s a sound business decision despite the silly responses before the fact.

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White Sox Must Resolve Guillen Situation Quickly

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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.

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