Ozzie Guillen: 5 Signs It May Be Time for a White Sox Managerial Change
But with the White Sox fading faster into oblivion than they have at any point during the 2011 season, it seems it's time for some shaking up. Ozzie Guillen may fall victim first.
No White Sox fan loves Ozzie more than I do, but it's clear that something needs to change. It has been three long years since the Southsiders have made it to the playoffs, and if this season is any indicator, they may be staying home for the next few Octobers.
Though Guillen has taken the White Sox to new frontiers, the magic is gone. As the days go by, the fanbase, management and Guillen himself become angrier.
Before the organization self-destructs, something must be done. As sad as it may be to some White Sox fans, Ozzie's days are numbered.
1. Ozzie and the Florida Marlins Are Doing a Lot of Flirting
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
As the Florida Marlins go through their annual managerial carousel, Ozzie Guillen's name keeps popping up in rumors.
It comes as no surprise, considering the history Guillen has with the Marlins. He was the third base coach during the team's 2003 World Series run under manager Jack McKeon.
McKeon, who is the current manager of the Marlins, has endorsed Guillen to take the reins of the club after he likely retires at the end of the season.
Ozzie has spoken about the rumors publicly, saying that though he wants to remain with the White Sox, but that he will go where someone wants him. There was a rumor swirling last year of a possible Ozzie Guillen for Logan Morrison that fell through as well, so the speculation isn't anything new.
With the Marlins moving into a new ballpark next season, it may become more tempting for Guillen to bolt to Miami.
With his situation in Chicago becoming worse by the day, Ozzie, like LeBron James, may take his talents to South Beach, whether the White Sox have a say in it or not.
2. Small Ball Hasn't Worked for the White Sox Since 2005
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
If you take a look at Ozzie's career in baseball, whether it be on the field or in the dugout, one thing is clear: He loves the small ball.
That style of play was the main reason why the White Sox were able to win the World Series in 2005. Pitching, speed and situational hitting carried them to their first title in 88 years.
Guillen has continued to stress that style of play, but it simply hasn't worked. The White Sox have made the playoffs only once since then, a 2008 first-round exit by the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.
There may be speedsters on the roster, but with players like Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin in the lineup, that mentality cannot succeed.
The White Sox have always had guys who could knock the ball out of any ballpark, and it's time that the managerial style cater to those players, whether Ozzie leaves or not.
3. The Relationship Between Ozzie and Kenny Williams May Be at a Boiling Point
David Banks/Getty Images
Ozzie Guillen and White Sox GM Kenny Williams have been at odds for years.
Their tempers may die down from time to time, but there is definitely a lot of bad blood between the two. There were reports from last season that they nearly came to blows, though both vehemently denied.
Seeing as both are hotheads, this does not come as a surprise. When you consider how badly the White Sox have underperformed over the past few years, you might wonder how both have coexisted.
Williams has gone out every offseason and brought in the type of players Ozzie wants on his ballclub, but to no avail. Kenny is as responsible for the White Sox failures as Guillen is, but if someone were to go, it would be Ozzie.
Kenny Williams stood pat at the trading deadline, trusting that Ozzie and Co. would turn it around, but they've only further taken themselves out of playoff contention.
Don't be surprised if the two nearly come to blows again soon.
4. Too Many Bad Contracts to Make Any Other Drastic Changes
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The biggest failures for the White Sox this season, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn, are under contract until after the 2014 season.
White Sox fans: Please don't read that again, or you may not watch baseball until this decade is halfway over.
Many contracts expire at the end of the season, but they are for players like Mark Buehrle and Carlos Quentin. The White Sox should be begging them to come back.
Though the White Sox roster may look a lot different at this point next season, Dunn, Rios and Jake Peavy will be on the Southside in 2012, unless the White Sox put a blindfold over another team's GM and pull of a miraculous trade.
A drastic roster change may be a good thing for Guillen's chances of staying with the White Sox, but I don't see it helping at all.
The players with the horrendous contracts will still be there, and it may take another skipper to get these underachievers to perform at the level in which they get paid.
5. Other Suitors Could Do Well in Guillen's Shoes
Al Bello/Getty Images
The White Sox, on paper, should have been one of the best teams in 2011. Then again, the Miami Heat should have won 75 games and subsequently, the NBA Finals.
The thing is, you can put the best team imaginable together, but it takes performance to earn victories, not star power.
Unfortunately for Ozzie Guillen, some of the bigger stars on the White Sox haven't played well under his leadership. Just look at Alex Rios. Is he even trying any more?
Ozzie's aggressiveness is undisputed, but sometimes it seems like the team isn't listening. If they were, all that swearing and bantering would surely get through to them and they would start winning.
But they haven't. The sub-par stars may need some change themselves, whether it be in a new city or with a new skipper.
One rumor floating around the sports blogs of late is the idea that Tony La Russa could return as manager of the White Sox, a position he held from 1979 to 1986.
La Russa, like Guillen, seems to have worn out his welcome in his city and may be looking to leave soon. His contract expires after this season and though he has an option for 2012, I wouldn't expect it to be picked up, especially if the Cardinals fail to make the playoffs.
If Guillen departs, expect La Russa to start talking to his good friend, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, about returning to the Southside.