11:44 AM CDT, June 21, 2011
Ozzie Guillen says a lot of things, or at least is quoted as saying a lot of things.
Most of them are true. Some of them reveal surprising insecurity. He apparently needs to be needed more often and to a greater degree than you’d think a cocky, talky former major league player and World Series-winning manager would.
But OK. Guillen needs a group hug from Chairman Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams. In lieu of that, he’ll apparently take a lot of cash and a lot more guaranteed years on his contract that runs through next season, or he’ll go to Miami to manage the Marlins.
That’s the story, right? That’s the threat, right. Guillen has said he doesn’t want to leave, but by golly, he makes sure he gets it out there that he perceives he has that kind of leverage. Or it gets spun that way.
The idea that losing Guillen would cause the Sox to slide back to irrelevance sprung a major leak when Guillen’s Sox couldn’t sell out the first game of the Cubs series.
You know what makes the Sox relevant? Winning, that’s what. Especially for the Sox in this town. Jeez, they have to win just to win over their own fans. I mean, a pathetic Cubs team still outdraws a bad-but-better Sox team.
Guillen has a winning record. He has won a World Series. But since then, he has finished third more times than first and won one postseason game. He has won and lost with his own rotating designated hitter plan and has won and lost with Williams’ American League-style roster for an American League team.
Guillen says he doesn’t want to leave, but the thing is, he says it often enough that you can conclude he’s talking himself out of town. I hope that’s not the case. I’d love him to stay. I think he’s a good manager and great fun.
But if he continues riding the career suicide roller-coaster, then I have a prospective managerial candidate: Bob Brenly.
He still wants to manage. He has managed as many World Series winners as Guillen. And what might be most attractive to the Chairman and the GM is that Brenly likely would be happy to have the position for whatever length of time he earned the right to hold it.
Brenly sounds pretty smart on my television after something has happened, but more importantly, he sounds pretty smart before a play unfolds.
Brenly certainly knows that managing in Chicago means you get hit harder than Gavin Floyd. It’s win or walk. Brenly also knows that relevance is October baseball.
I’m guessing that Brenly would’ve gone along with bringing up Dayan Viciedo and dumping Juan Pierre six weeks ago, realizing he needed an AL roster to play in the AL.
I’m also guessing that Brenly would’ve recognized the look in Floyd’s eyes --- the lights are on, but nobody’s home --- as left-handed-hitting Carlos Pena came to bat in the sixth inning Monday night and would’ve realized that’s why you have three left-handers in the bullpen.
If Guillen stays, great. If not, then the Cubs-Sox series could get more interesting.
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