Ozzie Guillen was one-and-done in Miami, a victim of Jeff Loria’s weirdness, his own mouth and unmet expectations. But the guy brought Chicago its first World Series title in close to a century and was over .500 as a manager in nine seasons and it is weird that, since his departure from the Marlins, he hasn’t had a job with a baseball team.
Scott Merkin of MLB.com caught up with him and finds that that’s something Guillen wants to remedy:
“I hope so. I want to, yes. I mean, that’s my life. That’s what I like to do,” Guillen told MLB.com during a recent interview. “Am I waiting, sitting by the phone, waiting for a phone call? No. I will be lying to you [if I say], ‘Oh, my god. My phone is not ringing.’ If somebody [thinks] I can help, of course I want to do it. If that comes, that would be awesome. But if not, my life right now is pretty healthy.”
As Merkin notes, Guillen is honest to a fault — often an extreme fault — so it’s weird to even think that he’s not being 100% honest when he says that. But there have been enough of these “Guillen wants back in the game” stories over the past couple of years to where I’m actually surprised he puts it as mildly as that. Yes, he’s being paid to do nothing by the Marlins through 2015, but you get the sense the guy wants to manage again.
People always talk about Guillen’s personality — a lot for some to take — when looking for reasons why he hasn’t been hired anyplace else. Merkin talks about all of that. Specifically, his shoot-from-the-hip media style and the fact that, yes, he will tell his boss exactly what he thinks. That can be a definite problem in the go-along, get-along culture of major league baseball. But I almost wonder if a different kind of honesty — more of a self-deprecating honesty — is a problem for him too.
Back when he was with the White Sox he used to openly admit — and honestly, I think, in a way more managers would admit if they allowed themselves — that he’d sometimes daydream during the early innings of a game, realizing that he didn’t have a ton to do until the bullpen came into play. He also used to give tons and tons of credit to Joey Cora as his bench coach, crediting him with all of the thinking and hard work. That was likely partially humorous, but the idea of “Ozzie Guillen: managerial genius” never took hold, not even a little. In no small part, I bet, because of his own demeanor which inadvertently or otherwise took a lot of the air out of the balloon that is the Genius Manager. For the good, in my view, but likely in a way baseball teams don’t much care for or to which they maybe can’t easily relate.
But he was a successful manager. Colorful and sometimes the sort who got into it with his superiors, but I am surprised he’s not had a job in baseball over the past couple of years.