Ozzie Guillen Traded: 5 Candidates Who Could Replace Him as White Sox Manager
The ride has finally come to an end.
As for the memories, they will always be there (especially the sound bytes). Ozzie will surely get his chance somewhere else, probably South Florida (the Marlins have already made progress in landing Guillen, FoxSports.com reports).
As for the White Sox, decision time is now. The organization is in limbo, with endless amounts of questions facing the team this offseason. Whomever the franchise selects, he will undoubtedly come in with a tall task.
Here's who might be doing that very thing next year.
Tony La Russa
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Tony La Russa, current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, has been the man the White Sox have called on before. He managed the club from 1979 to 1986, before being fired by former GM Hawk Harrelson.
La Russa's relationship with the Cardinals is about as good as Guillen's is with the White Sox, and La Russa's contract expires after the year. The Cardinals are surging fast and could make a playoff spot, though.
It may take a playoff run for St. Louis' front office to want to bring La Russa back. Even if they offer him an extension, La Russa may not even want to accept.
It seems like a longshot, but this could be an interesting situation. La Russa has been on the South Side before, so he knows the environment. He knows how to win, and has always managed superstars.
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This may be a bit premature, but Francona may be on his way out of Boston after the year. "May" will turn to almost certainly if the Red Sox fail to make the playoffs in stunning fashion.
The Red Sox are scuffling incredibly, leaving many in Boston to question whether Francona is still fit to lead their beloved team. The final games of the season will make or break his future with Boston.
Francona would be a good fit with the other Sox because of his recent track record. Francona has managed the Red Sox to two titles, in 2004 and 2007, and he can manage the headcases and prima donnas. Just think about: he had to work with Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz for five years!
This is the type of guy who could handle underachievers like Alex Rios and Adam Dunn, something the White Sox are in desperate need of.
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Joey Cora is familiar with White Sox business. He has been a coach with the team since 2003, and the bench coach since 2007.
Cora was always the guy to fill in for when Ozzie was suspended or ejected—believe it or not, he's had his fair share of substituting.
The time may be for Cora to step in to the skipper's spot full time.
He gets along well with players, owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Kenny Williams. Cora may be one of few Ozzie Guillen fixtures to still be with the club next year.
Joey Cora knows what it's like to work with this team. Should the White Sox want to stay close to home for Guillen's replacement, look for Cora's name to come up first.
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Bobby Valentine has made it clear that he still wants to manage an MLB team. It's this reason why his name has been around managerial rumors for the past couple of years.
His name was even rumored for the White Sox before the 2004 season, when Guillen was eventually hired.
Valentine managed a Japanese team from 2004-2009 and has been a member of ESPN's Baseball Tonight team ever since. If his commentary shows us anything, it's that he still has the passion and desire to manage.
Jim Leyland and Jack McKeon are two guys that have come back from long absences in MLB managing tenures and have found success. Perhaps the White Sox will take a cue from the team that beat them for the American League Central title and let the crafty old veteran take the reins.
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After his sudden resignation as manager from Washington in June this season, Jim Riggleman has been unemployed.
At 58, he said he's "too old to be disrespected," which might make him want to stay away from the game. Something tells me a fresh start would make him think differently.
Riggleman is a relatively calm manager who has made the playoffs in his managing career (a wild card spot with the Chicago Cubs in 1998).
He may not be a popular or enticing choice, but Riggleman has what it takes to manage an MLB team. His previous experience in Chicago, though ultimately lacking success, is a plus for Reinsdorf.
The White Sox are a team in need of something new, which is what Riggleman will give them. He even made the Nationals look legitimate before he resigned.