In the first part of exposing Jerry Reinsdorf, we looked at the ticket fee he does not pay because of the attendance rate. Now comes a closer look at the inside of the organization and where it fell apart.
The Ozzie Guillen/Kenny Williams feud
Perhaps when Ozzie Guillen was brought on to manage the White Sox, Kenny Williams was excited. He was a former beloved player and was inheriting a decent team, but still rough around the edges. I am assuming Williams had the best intentions and thought highly of Guillen. And I am sure that did not fade after he won the franchise it’s first World Series in 88 years back in 2005.
I am not quite sure when the relationship began to deteriorate, but it was clear towards the end of Guillen’s time on the south side, there was tension.
From Williams not getting Guillen the players he had promised to Guillen’s son calling out Williams on Twitter, there was too much drama. I do not fault Jerry Reinsdorf for picking a side one, I fault him for the side he picked.
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The White Sox fans loved the energy Guillen brought every day to the game. Guillen was passionate and spoke his mind. He still is. He stood up for his players. If one of his players was thrown out of a game, Guillen was most likely jumping out of the dugout and yelling at the umpire. His players had tremendous respect for how he managed the game and lead his team.
Yes, his last five seasons resulted in a mediocre 406-403 record, but it circles back to Williams not getting Guillen the help he asked for. But it then goes to the Reinsdorf not wanting to break the bank to get a player or two because he would have to pay their salary plus the ticket fee.
Reinsdorf did not want Guillen out, but it was clear Williams did. Reinsdorf has been known to be a loyal guy but unfortunately, his loyalties laid with Williams against Guillen.
When Guillen was granted his request to be released by the team after the front office declined to talk contract extension, Paul Konerko told this to ESPN.
"“For Ozzie, I think he’s been kind of just burned out on this whole thing and probably likewise on the other side and that’s how it goes,” Konerko said. “It doesn’t always have to be that someone’s right, someone’s wrong, this person hates that person. Sometimes in sports — any business but especially sports — a coaching staff or a manager or a head coach whoever it might be, that kind of regime runs its course and that’s what we have here.”"
There is truth to what Konerko said. It did seem that perhaps Guillen burned too quickly on the south side, but I point out the line he says “this person hates that person.” He obviously is referencing the ongoing feud Williams had with Guillen.
The departure of Guillen is a footnote in the bigger picture. Maybe Guillen’s time managing the team was nearing an end, but the mangled messy process of it was accelerated by Williams.
Perhaps this part is more exposing Williams than Reinsdorf. But it cannot be denied that Reinsdorf did not want to see Guillen go, but, again, his loyalties laid with Williams and the decision of not wanting to talk about a contract extension was a body shot to the White Sox fanbase and the team’s morale. Guillen’s last straw of not even getting to the negotiation table was the knockout punch.