After managing for one year in a place that was supposed to be a perfect fit, Ozzie Guillen was fired. The Miami Marlins decided to part ways with him even though Guillen had three years left on his contract. The question now is whether Guillen will ever manage again?
When Guillen was hired by the Marlins there were many who thought that his previous success with the Chicago White Sox would help make Miami a winner. The fact that Guillen is a Latina also played into Miami’s decision. It was believed that he would help bring Hispanic fans to the ballpark and create interest in the team.
However, Guillen came with some baggage. He had a stormy relationship with his previous general manager Ken Williams in Chicago. Guillen was also combative with his players and the press. All of this was Guillen being himself. He took nothing from anyone and backed down from no one. While the White Sox were winning everything was fine. Once they began to lose, Guillen’s act wore thin. So he took it to Miami.
Before the 2012 season even began, Guillen got himself into hot water with the organization and fans by being quoted in an interview saying favorable things about Fidel Castro. This did not go over well with the Marlins Cuban fan base. Guillen was suspended for five games by the organization and things never really got on track. After Miami finished last in the NL East Guillen was let go.
The Marlins job may very well be Guillen’s last, because of his reputation. He is perceived as a good manager with a bad attitude. Guillen rubs many people the wrong way with his ‘I don’t care what people think of me attitude.’ It would take a special GM and owner to hire him to run their team. They would have to trust that Guillen could manage the team and keep himself out of hot water.
Guillen is not the first manager who conducted himself this way. Billy Martin could be a pain and he was hired multiple times by the New York Yankees while also managing the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. Leo Durocher took no crap when he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs.
However, Guillen is managing in a time when everything that is said and done becomes front page news before one can say download. Things that managers could get away with doing in a past era won’t fly today.
If a team looks strictly at Guillen’s record as a manager he will get another chance. The man does have one more world’s championship than Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, Buck Showalter and Bobby Valentine. If a team looks at what it would consider possible headaches brought on by Guillen they may not. This will be so despite the fact that after the interview incident Guillen was pretty much a model citizen in Miami.
Guillen had the ultimate success as a manger by winning the World Series with Chicago in 2005. Along the way and after, he may have burned a few bridges.
Because of this Guillen may never manage in the Major Leagues again.