3:58 PM CDT, October 23, 2012
Ozzie Guillen asked for trouble when he left Jerry Reinsdorf for Jeffrey Loria, and it came along as part of the package with the $10 million deal he signed to manage the Miami Marlins.
Guillen was fired Tuesday with three years remaining on his four-year contract. He was given a team that had the expectations of contending and wound up in last place in the NL East, at 69-93, after a late-season sell-off of talent.
An even worse number for Guillen was 27,400, the Marlins’ average attendance. They ranked only 18thin the majors in attendance in their first season at the beautiful Marlins Park stadium in Little Havana, which had been seen as a vital piece in making the franchise viable. Guillen’s pro-Fidel Castro comments in a Time Magazine piece alienated Miami’s Cuban American community in April, setting a poor tone for the season.
Guillen’s downfall since the White Sox’s World Series championship in 2005 has been tough to watch for people who like him. He was a showman as a player but never put himself above the game and his team, but as a manager he allowed his ego and the need for attention to distract him from the thankless tasks that come with preparing a team and handling talented players.
Guillen used social media and friendly reporters to wage a cold war on general manager Ken Williams during the last few years of an eight-year reign as the White Sox manager, ultimately getting out of his contract a year early to take the job in Miami at the end of the 2011 season.
He’s had Reinsdorf in his corner since Jerry Krause recommended him for a trade when he was in the minor leagues. But he paid back the loyal owner with frequent public demands for contract extensions, and ultimately decided to go to Miami rather than enter 2012 in the final year of his White Sox deal.
Loria has been the anti-Reinsdorf in terms of showing loyalty to his employees, and Guillen probably talked his way out of Miami when he said Loria should “look (himself) in the mirror’’ at the end of the turbulent 2012 season. There was speculation about a change in the team’s front office but instead it appears the owner decided to merely change managers.
Larry Beinfest, the president of baseball operations, was quoted about the decision to fire Guillen. Said Beinfest in a team release: “After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie. Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture."
Where will Guillen go from here in his career?
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