Ozzie parts with White Sox

September 27, 2011 2:43:07 PM PDT
Ozzie Guillen managed his last game with the Chicago White Sox Monday and appears to be headed to South Florida to manage the Marlins.

Guillen had a year left in his deal and was seeking an extension with a pay raise.

Ozzie Guillen's website apparently leaked the news he has agreed to become manager of the Florida Marlins. A post Monday night quoted Guillen announcing he was Florida bound. The blog was taken down a short time later and replaced by a post that discussed Guillen's departure from the Chicago White Sox while making no mention of the Marlins.

Hours earlier, 80-year-old Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he would retire at the end of the season.

On Tuesday afternoon Guillen tweeted: "Weird to be in Miami in this time but very happy ready to go".

He will reportedly get $16 million over four years, a 100-percent pay raise from what the Sox were paying him.

Guillen is the only White Sox manager since 1917 to lead the team to a World Series win, taking the title in 2005.

"I know nobody will forget me. Even if they want to, they can't. They will walk through the ballpark, and my picture is going to be up there. I hope they don't take it down. I'll be Jerry's friend forever," Guillen said, referring to Jerry Reinsdorf, Sox chairman.

"Things were accelerated. We had no intention of firing. This was kind of acquiescing to some of his desires, more than anything. It is what it is," general manager Kenny Williams said.

Some White Sox fans eating breakfast at The Bridgeport Restaurant in the shadow of Cellular Field were disappointed to see Guillen go.

"He was not doing too good the last few years, but at least he was really honest. When the players weren't performing he let them know. He told us. He was kind of a jerk, but I think he had character. He really stood out," said Jacqui Gillis.

While some will miss the outspoken manager, others are ready for a change. With victory fading and another disappointing season this year, some fans want to move on from the Ozzie Era.

"I think he did some good things, and he did some not so good things while he was here. So it's time for him to go. It would be nice if we could have a manager who we could understand when he talks," said Kevin Kolman.

"I think they need to get rid of him and replace him because they're not winning any games. They're losing too much," said Charles Caruthers.

Guillen's departure was the main topic at ESPN 1000's State Street studio. Marc Silverman, co-host of the "Waddle and Silvy" sports radio show says everybody has feelings about the over-the-top coach, whether you loved or hated him, and Silvy said he believes Chicago is losing an all-timer.

"Chicago is losing a guy who may work his way onto the Mount Rushmore of coaches in this city," he said. "You had George Halas, you had Phil Jackson, you have Mike Ditka and who is the fourth? Is it Ozzie Guillen?"

Guillen's fans remembered him for his intensity on and off the field. And many fans say they knew this was coming.

"I'm not surprised. I'm only surprised they announced it before the end of the season. He was good to us, so I toast him," said Larry Daker.

Sox fans watching Monday's game at a bar near The Cell thanked Guillen for an exciting run and wished him well. They are especially grateful for the World Series title Guillen led them to.

"He has been an incredible spirit of this franchise without any doom and gloom. He has always been a positive spokesman for the White Sox. I tell you this, I'll bet you they will miss him greatly," said Mick Schwarz.

But fans recognize that in professional baseball, you're only as good as your last season. As time went by, the glow from the 2005 championship slowly faded.

"There is no loyalty in professional sports. It is, 'What have you done for me lately?' Nothing good since the 2005 World Series, so it's a revolving door," said Jermain Walker.

With another disappointing season this year, Sox fans accepted that a change was coming and Guillen would be gone as skipper.

"I think it's good. It's time for a change. Clearly he didn't win this year with the talent that he had, so time to bring in somebody else," said David Johnson.

ABC7 Chicago This Morning Facebook Reactions: Greg: "Managers are hired to be fired, as a rule. Thanks for the world championship, Ozzie. Good luck."

Dustin: "Ozzie was one of the most colorful characters in baseball, and did a lot for the Sox, but a club has to change things up from time to time - that's just the nature of the game."

Frank: "GM Kenny Williams picked Adam Dunn not Ozzie?Time for Kenny to go not Ozzie!!!"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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