The media hordes nearly doubled in size for Ozzie Guillen’s pre-game presser on Monday, about three hours before the series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
He answered questions for close to 20 minutes, none pertaining to Alex Rios, who sat out after running into the fence to make a catch on Sunday.
None of the questions were about Dylan Axelrod, still in search of his first big league win.
Everybody knows something is about to go down, speculation spiraling around from both sides of the table.
Will Ozzie stay or will Ozzie go?
The White Sox manager of eight years began the suspenseful watch in late August by asking for a contract extension, and as is the case with everything ‘Ozzie,’ this one just keeps building.
The Sox surprised him in January at Soxfest 2011 by announcing they would pick up his 2012 option. Since that’s already been exercised, it will require Guillen quitting or being fired – or an interested team (coughcoughMarlinscoughcough) cutting a deal, literally trading for Guillen.
Those flames have been fanned by Marlins manager Jack McKeon announcing he’ll retire at the end of this season.
Ozzie isn’t the type to stand up and walk away with unfinished business, so that takes away one possibility.
Guillen met with team owner Jerry Reinsdorf on Monday, though he said not much came of it. Ozzie wants job security, which he didn’t exactly earn this year, leading a $125 million team to a sub-.500 record.
Ozzie tries to jump on the grenade for this season’s failures, but the blame can be spread to all different corners of the ballpark, not just the manager’s office.
Guillen isn’t responsible for the Alex Rios or Adam Dunn deals, nor is he culpable for their lack of production this year. He is the one who wrote them into the lineup on a daily basis for the first five months of the season, but we still don’t know if those were unilateral decisions or not.
Everyone has their own opinion of Ozzie and the hurricane of media interest always around him. I consider myself an Ozzie apologist. I think it would be a mistake to let him walk, but the way Ozzie has approached the subject of the ballclub’s future, he sometimes tips his hand by interchanging “we” and “they,” when referring to the team, indicating to me that he won’t be back and he already knows it.
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Marlins are close to a deal to acquire Guillen and Monday will be his last game as the manager of the White Sox.
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