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Ozzie Guillen Firing: Did Kenny Williams Have the Last Laugh?

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 07: Ozzie Guillen # 13 manager  of the Chicago White Sox (R) talks with White Sox General Manager Ken Williams before the game against the Seattle Mariners on June 7, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images
Matthew SmithCorrespondent IIIOctober 25, 2012

Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams had to see this coming.

Williams had to know that Ozzie Guillen would not last very long with the Miami Marlins after leaving the White Sox with two games left in the 2011 regular season.

See, Guillen had a 406-403 record in his final five seasons on the South Side and had become a mediocre manager, to say the least. One has to believe that the only reason Guillen lasted so long with the White Sox was because of his relationship with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

If it were up to Williams, Guillen would have been launched after the 2010 season, right?

Guillen’s son Oney infamously took to Twitter that May to blast Williams about the 25-man roster, following a heartbreaking series loss to, who else, the Kansas City Royals.

Oney tweeted that “you can put makeup on a pig all u [sic] want. At the end of the day. Still a pig.” He was referring to Williams, of course, and Ozzie stood by his son. “I understand his point,” Guillen said (per USA Today).

Wait, what? It was insubordination at its finest.

When Guillen was given permission to go to the Marlins, Williams had to know what would follow.

He had to know that Guillen had lost his edge as a manager, that he did not know how to keep his mouth shut (ask Miami about Guillen’s Castro remarks) and that the Marlins would ultimately under-perform.

As it turned out, the Marlins went 69-93 this past after signing Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell in the offseason last year at a cost of $191 million.

During the season, the Marlins were forced to trade, among others, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez. The situation in Miami devolved quickly, just as it did in Chicago.

Citing the poor record and the slew of trades, the South Florida Sun-Sentinal called 2012 a “train wreck of a season.” That sounds about right.

Now, to Williams’ credit, he is publicly refraining from criticizing his former manager. He asks that fans remember the World Series title in 2005, and all the success Guillen brought to the White Sox before his relationship with the team deteriorated.

Williams told the Chicago Sun Times' Michael Sneed on Wednesday that White Sox fans don’t need to be critical. 

“But we have a choice: to be bitter and angry or to push things off to the side. I choose to focus on the positive,” Williams said, when asked how he would remember the Guillen’s time with the White Sox.

Well-said, sir.

@SuggestSmith

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