Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Chicago White Sox since 2004, was released from his contract and introduced a few days later as skipper of the Florida Marlins. Guillen reportedly signed a four-year, $10 million deal to manage in South Florida. The 47-year-old Venezuelan led the White Sox to victory in the 2005 victory, but failed to repeat this achievement. He came closest in 2008 when the White Sox finished at the top of the American League Central but fell to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series. He left the White Sox with a winning percentage of .524 during his tenure as manager.
In a typical display of colorful interaction with the media, Guillen made some bold and straightforward comments about the nature of his separation with the White Sox. Guillen had been in negotiations for a more favorable contract, but those talks broke down earlier in the season. An article written by Gene Wojciechowski on espnchicago.com quoted Guillen as saying, “I want more money. I don’t work here for years. No, I want more money. Years — what, I’m going to die poor with the White Sox? Hell, no.
This type of fiery and controversial statement became something of a Guillen trademark during his seven-year stint in Chicago, where he played shortstop from 1985-1997. Releasing Ozzie from his contract signals a change in direction for the White Sox on the heels of a disappointing season. The polarizing figure and one of the most identifiable icons of Chicago baseball has since agreed with a deal to become the manager of the Florida Marlins.
– Serek Hahn, Staff Writer