Is Ozzie’s Time in Chicago Ending?
Nothing like an epic season ending collapse to get Ozzie’s mouth moving, and requesting a contract extension. The Sun-Times reports, among other things, that Ozzie was talking extension last night in Oakland.
”I never talked to them that I don’t want to come back,” Guillen said. ”First of all, I don’t have the power to do it because right now they don’t want to hear that s—. They don’t want to hear me … if I don’t want to come back. I know the answer, ‘All right, have a good one somewhere.’ But I want to know where I stand in this organization. I don’t want to come here and work day-by-day. I’m better than that. I give this organization more than that. I deserve — I’m not going to say respect — but [I deserve] more consideration about yes or no.
Of course asking for an extension in the midst of a shockingly fast collapse is in bad taste, but it brings back to light the issue that has been sitting quietly in the corner for a few weeks. Ozzie and Kenny Williams’ feud that just won’t end. Apparently Ozzie and Kenny had another screaming match in August, with Williams reportedly telling Ozzie he was “done” as White Sox manager.
So is Ozzie “done”? Certainly not if it’s up to Jerry Reinsdorf, who has expressed his loyalty to Ozzie many times, and Ozzie has returned that loyalty. It seems that Jerry still wants the two to co-exist, even though the relationship appears beyond repair. At the same time, he might have to choose one of them eventually, which seems to be part of the motivation behind Ozzie’s extension request.
Ideally, at least for White Sox fans, the two would take a few weeks away from each other after the season ends, and get back to work making the White Sox a winner. Unfortunately, that seems less likely to happen everyday. A month ago, I would have guessed Kenny Williams would be the one to leave, but now it seems Ozzie is the odd man out.
With job openings in Florida, Atlanta, and (just for fun) the North Side, Ozzie has plenty of other options. He’s a proven manager with a fantastic resume, and just put together one of his better managerial efforts (at least until the last two weeks). If he wants to be top dog, Florida makes perfect sense. Their owner loves a big personality, and Ozzie would be the unquestioned king there. Atlanta would make sense because of Ozzie’s friendship with Bobby Cox, but the Braves seem to be focused elsewhere. Joining the Cubs would be a pure spite move, and I don’t think the relationship has gotten THAT bad. The point is, Ozzie has plenty of leverage.
Expect plenty more drama the next few weeks, especially now that the focus is no longer on White Sox baseball. Hopefully the White Sox can make Ozzie happy, give him an extension, and keep Kenny Williams as well. Both are really good at their job, and it isn’t going to be fun for anyone if the continue down the public breakup path they are currently on.