Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox: Ready to live Separate Lives?

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So this is how it ends? No, let me say it in Ozzie Guillen English: “This is horses#$%! This is f*&*&ing s#$t.”

Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen, by far the most emotionally healthy person I have ever had a discussion with in my life (because keeping things bottled up is indeed bad for you) has one year left on his contract. And the prospective extension isn’t likely to happen. In fact, Ozzie might not even be here next year.

It all starts with the infamously acrimonious relationship between Guillen and White Sox GM Ken Williams, and how owner Jerry Reinsdorf handles it. It is a soap opera, and that’s why MLB Network choose to make a reality series about it. And it’s a crying shame how boring, watered down and spin-cycled that de facto infomercial for the Sox and MLB (I’m talking about “The Club” here) is.

So much potential…all thrown away. I’d rather watch a Smashmouth concert than an episode of that crappy show, and I think Smashmouth is the worst band in the history of modern music.

Ozzie, you’ll love managing the Florida Marlins.

By Paul M. Banks

Miami is a perfect fit for Ozzie. He has a house there, he talks about that city even more than he talks about Chicago, and he often tweets about how he loves the heat. And he won a World Series with the Marlins as an assistant coach.

Many people believe the Sox leadership triad used to work like this: Ozzie and Kenny HATE each other, they keep it under wraps and Jerry often sides with Ozzie.

Now lots of people believe it’s like this: Ozzie and Kenny REALLY OPENLY HATE each other and Jerry often sides with Kenny. You’ve heard the comments made by all three in the media lately. Fourteen-year-old girls fighting over a boy in the middle school lunch room look more “high-road” than these guys right now.

This is a telling quote right here. It came on August 24th, the day the Manny Ramirez rumors surfaced, and I happened to be working at the ballpark that day. I don’t recall anyone else reporting this quote, and the White Sox Media Relations probably didn’t care for it.

If Kenny came to you and said do you want Manny Ramirez, yes or no?

“I don’t know, because Manny hasn’t played in the big leagues in a little while. If Kenny asked me do you want Manny? I’m going to say yes because they’re going to bring him in anyway (laughs). And I want to see how Jerry Reinsdorf confronts the hair, it’s ain’t going to be my f***ing department. I want to see that.”

And that’s why the rift with Guillen and Williams became a canyon. Ozzie only wants to cook with his own groceries. He doesn’t want someone else doing the shopping for him.

As Sox fans, we’ve had some soul-crushing days, weeks, months and seasons. 2010 is brutal, no doubt. I knew it was over in mid August when the Sox lost a home series to Detroit, and then Minnesota came in and made the Sox their prison cell mate. Right now, the Minnesota Twins own the White Sox in the same manner the United States owns the nation of Israel.

But is this collapse enough to force Ozzie out the door? Well, it’s not quite that simple. Guillen likely wants to know that he’ll have long-term security in Chicago first, or he’ll explore other options.

It’s probably coincidence, but still worth noting: Chicago sports has had four GREAT personalities for soundbites the past couple years: Guillen, Adam Burish, Lou Piniella and Joakim Noah. Two of them are gone, Guillen might join them soon, and Noah popped up in trade rumors last week.

Why is it that anyone saying anything remotely interesting in interviews getting sent out of town? Is every professional team in town trying to be Joseph Goebbels with their propaganda? Do they have Media Relations Dpeartments or Stalinist thoughtpolice?

We know Ozzie’s an “interesting” guy, and a joy to listen to. But he’s also the star of the 2005 World Series team and the face of the Southside franchise right now. If he goes, so will many a White Sox fan.

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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Comments

  1. The White Sox management acts like a scene out of a high school lunch room. Always some sort of issue going on between Kenny and Ozzie. What I see is this. The organization does not have a good on or off the field leader. There are phone favorites but not one player who acts the part.

    Far too often this year Ozzie is not even paying attention to the game. He is talking with fans or keeps his back to the game for extended periods of time. Honestly, he is being the average manager just as he was an average player.

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