9:26 AM CDT, September 15, 2011
Ozzie Guillen accused White Sox players of quitting, and he meant even before Wednesday’s regularly scheduled choke against Detroit.
Quitting is a serious charge, maybe the worst thing you can say about a player, other than “He’d be a perfect Cub.’’
Quitting. Man, where do kids learn such things?
Perhaps Sox players learned it from their manager who spouted off two weeks ago that he’ll likely quit on next year’s contract unless he gets an extension.
You want players to follow their manager’s lead, but do the Sox want that type of leader --- the kind who is with you win or extension?
Or maybe it’s just extension. Or maybe it’s just fighting for the front seat on the Career Suicide Rollercoaster.
Because it’s hard to figure out who Guillen is trying to get fired.
Everytime he says something critical, it sounds cryptic. There’s the actual statement, and then there’s the subtext. For a verbose, loquacious, honest and available guy, Guillen certainly prompts a lot of reading between the lines, like it’s a game show. Certainly, it’s a more enjoyable show than Sox baseball, so let’s play the feud.
Running down the suspects whom Guillen might be trying to get fired, we need to start with himself.
Guillen has spent most of the season talking about not coming back, although that hardly seems like a threat when his team couldn’t play in April, still can’t play at home, and chokes the big series on a regular basis.
There’s always the thought that Guillen craves the Marlins job, and really, who wouldn’t crave the chance to work for a bad owner in a bad baseball town?
Or maybe the interpretations give Guillen too much credit for scheming. I’m not a psychologist, I just play one on the Internet, and it sounds like Guillen requires constant approval and money. Like they are two of his four major food groups.
OK, so if Guillen is just needy, then is he trying to get his players fired?
After Wednesday’s choke against Detroit, Guillen said his players gave up the fight last weekend. He was disgusted, and had a right to be. Bad baseball is one thing. Heartless is unacceptable.
Guillen wasn’t saying it was all of his players. Not Mark Buehrle or Paul Konerko or Juan Pierre --- lord knows, never the great Juan Pierre. But some of them. He wouldn’t name names, which is surprising for a guy who prides himself on honesty. If Guillen believes what he said, then finger the guilty. If Guillen was frustrated and embarrassed simply by bad baseball, then he damned even the legit players, which leads to questioning his motives, which leads to the next suspect: his general manager?
That has been a recurring theme, but sorry, I can’t see Ken Williams getting whacked, no matter how much Guillen might want to win the battle of the favorite child of Chairman Reinsdorf.
When you think about all the overpaid, underachieving players and apparent lack of flexibility, Guillen’s wish might actually be Williams’ Get Out of Jail Free card.
Given Guillen’s sometimes screwy logic, maybe he wants Williams gone not only so he can win the favorite kid contest that he has dreamed up, but also wants to win with Williams’ disasters but without Williams in order to cement his legacy in the Nyah-Nyah-Nyah Hall of Fame.
Those are the likely targets, seeing as how Guillen can’t fire the Chairman and won’t sacrifice his coaches. I don’t know how this turns out, but I do know this Guillen schemin’ stuff can wear out a fan base, even a fan base as shrunken as the Sox’s. I sure hope somebody gets fired soon, if only because I can’t find my Ozzie Guillen Secret Decoder Ring.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC