We’ve been tracking the notion of Ozzie Guillen getting out of his White Sox contract to the Florida Marlins for some time now. Ken Rosenthal has too, and this morning he’s reporting that Ozzie has a plan to do so: He’ll ask the White Sox for a contract extension beyond 2011 (when his current deal expires) and if and when the White Sox balk, he’ll ask to be released and be allowed to take the Marlins gig:
Guillen wants assurances that the White Sox would like him to remain
manager long-term, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking.
The source even outlined a scenario that could lead to Guillen’s departure from the club:
• Guillen asks for a contract extension, one that goes beyond the team simply exercising his club option for 2012.
• The White Sox balk, and Guillen asks owner Jerry Reinsdorf to allow him to pursue the Marlins’ opening.
It’s genius, really, as is Ozzie getting out in front of this thing with some choice quotes Rosenthal runs in his article. The “I want them to extend me because they want me to stay, not because I’m Ozzie” thing is clever in that it (a) signals his intentions; while (b) signaling to Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams that if they let him go, he won’t spin it as some kind of personal slight or anything. That could help defuse the controversy.
We all like to have a laugh at how politically incorrect Ozzie Guillen can be, but really, the guy is a master of politics. He wouldn’t have survived so long in this game if he wasn’t.