2005: Ozzie Guillen, American League Manager of the Year
Ozzie Guillen was no stranger to Chicago White Sox fans when he was named manager of the club on Nov. 3, 2003, after two seasons as the third base coach for the Florida Marlins, with whom he had just gotten his first World Series ring.
Guillen played 13 of his 16 seasons with the White Sox before closing out his career as a spare infielder for three other clubs between 1998-2000.
He led the White Sox to a winning record in 2004 at 83-79, but that was three games worse than they had been the season before. Still, it was a fifth straight non-losing season for Chicago, its longest stretch since a 17-year run from 1951-67.
But what happened in 2005 went beyond the wildest expectations of the South Side faithful. The White Sox posted the best record in the American League at 99-63.
Once the playoffs started, the Sox served notice they were for real in the ALDS by sweeping the defending champion Boston Red Sox in three games.
After a Game 1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in the ALCS, the White Sox ran off eight consecutive playoff wins, winning their first American League pennant since 1959 and sweeping the Houston Astros for their first World Series championship since 1917, ending a “curse” that was two years longer than the much-ballyhooed Red Sox curse broken the previous October.
Based on their scoring, Chicago overachieved in 2005, with a Pythagorean won-loss record of 91-71, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Guillen remained skipper of the White Sox until late in the 2011, when he successfully lobbied for his release in order to accept the Miami Marlins’ managerial position with two games remaining in the season. With a career record of 678-617, Guillen is third among White Sox managers in wins.