No Fish Story: Ozzie Guillen, Florida Marlins Need Each Other to Move Forward
With the seats getting emptier at Sun Life Stadium in the wake of yet another Marlins late-season collapse, the surging Miami Dolphins snatching the local sports headlines, and the impending start of the NBA season with the Heat Elite of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh about to take the hardwood, the Marlins are in need of a revival.
Luckily, there is a bright light at the surface for the Marlins in their pursuit for their next manager who can be the cherry on top as the Marlins open their new stadium in 2012.
Rumors have swirled that have Guillen likely parting ways from the South Side in order to possibly take the Marlins job on South Beach. For months, Guillen's relationship with general manager Ken Williams has been strained, to say the least, and not winning the division this season only makes it worse.
In fact, since winning the World Series with the Sox in 2005, the team has averaged 82.5 victories, not including this season, and faces yet another season without October baseball.
Guillen's contract runs through 2011 and holds a club option for 2012, so he has nothing guaranteed beyond next season.
''I never talked to them that I don't want to come back,'' Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. ''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."
According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, it seems as though all talk of "wanting to stay" is all but an exit strategy. Rosenthal mentions that the likely scenario of Guillen's exit would involve him asking for a contract extension that goes beyond 2012. If the White Sox were to object to that, Guillen could simply resign or ask owner Jerry Reinsdorf to allow him to pursue the Marlins' managerial opening, which essentially is asking for his plane ticket bound for Miami.
The Florida Marlins are in a dire need of finding the right manager who will lead the Marlins to the postseason. The training wheels of Joe Girardi and Fredi Gonzalez have been all but used up, and now the front office must conjure up a manager who will bring a balance with the Marlins in the local sports media that is and will be heavily dominated by the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat.
Ozzie Guillen is the perfect man for the job who can bring a spark to the ball club and be that 10th guy on the field. He may be known for controversy when it comes down to things he says in the media, but the Marlins wouldn't mind that; in fact, they'll embrace it. Why?
The Marlins haven't really been selling tickets quite like the Heat have when LeBron arrived, ahead of their opening in the spring of 2012.
Guillen can be their pitchman and the driving force to get fans, especially Latin fans, to show up at the ballpark. There is no doubt he is very popular in the Latin community, and the Marlins will get their fair share of fans if he is managing the Marlins.
Does Guillen really want to return to the White Sox next season with the same headache of a boss in Ken Williams? If the situation really is so sour, why not take the sweet oranges of South Florida and manage the Marlins?
Let's not forget that Ozzie Guillen was once with the Florida Marlins as a third base coach when they won the World Series back in 2003. Guillen also owns a home in Miami, where he makes his offseason home.
The bottom line is the door is wide open for Ozzie in Miami, and 2011 is the deciding season for the Marlins to really give a taste to fans of what's to come when they enter their ballpark. It is their marketing pitch that the team is for real and that it finally means business.
At the end of the day, the reality is clear: There will be job openings galore this major league offseason, and it will rival the current job market. The question remains as to whether the big fish will be swimming out of the Windy City and heading for the warmer waters of South Beach—will Ozzie Guillen make the perfect scenario come true in his only chance to?
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