|Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen responds to a question during a news conference after a baseball game between the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Chicago. The White Sox released Guillen from the last year of his contract allowing him to pursue other interests. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)|
Guillen goes online, says he's going to Marlins
MIAMI—Ozzie Guillen tweeted Tuesday that he was in town "ready to go" with the Florida Marlins, and the clubhouse buzz was all about the new manager.
One minor holdup: The Marlins had yet to confirm a deal, saving some suspense for the final day of the regular season Wednesday. But Guillen's website eliminated much of the drama by leaking the news he has agreed to become the Marlins' manager.
A post Monday night quoted Guillen announcing he was Florida bound. The blog was taken down a short time later and replaced by a post that discussed Guillen's departure from the Chicago White Sox, while making no mention of the Marlins.
On Tuesday afternoon Guillen tweeted: "Weird to be in miami in this time but very happy ready to go".
That sounded fine to Marlins players.
"This should be a good thing," catcher John Buck said. "It's a step forward. It's a commitment by the team showing we want to win. Part of that is getting a manager who has proven that."
Guillen's briefly posted blog item said he had hoped to spend his entire managerial career with the White Sox, where he won a World Series title in 2005.
"But there comes a point when you need to move on, and that point has come," he was quoted as saying. "The Florida Marlins believe I am the right man for the job to bring another World Series to South Florida. ...
"I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of the Marlins organization. I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the Marlins, owner Jeffrey Loria, president Larry Beinfest, and general manager Michael Hill. I can't thank them enough for this opportunity and look forward to the future. I can't wait to get started!"
Florida manager Jack McKeon said Monday he planned to retire at the end of the season. Guillen announced his departure with the White Sox hours later, but said nothing about taking another job. Florida officials declined to comment.
The Marlins, who move into a new ballpark next spring, plan a big ceremony in conjunction with the final game at their current stadium Wednesday. There's speculation they want to cap the occasion by introducing Guillen as manager, or they may do it at the new ballpark Thursday.
"All the pieces are coming together," slugger Mike Stanton said. "We got the stadium, and we got the manager."
Guillen had a year left on his contract, and White Sox general manager Ken Williams confirmed Tuesday that the club had an agreement with another team for compensation for the manager. But he did not identify the players involved and declined to say the Marlins were the other team.
"It isn't a secret," he said. "Out of respect for the desires for that particular organization, they did not want to be named so I am simply honoring that request."
He also offered a diplomatic approach when asked if the Marlins were guilty of tampering in their courtship of Guillen.
"Listen, some things in this game you have to live in the gray area on," Williams said, "and that will just have to be one of them."
The buzz began more than a year ago that Guillen might be reunited with Loria in Miami, where he was McKeon's third base coach with the 2003 World Series champions.
Guillen became the White Sox manager that November, and in eight season he had a record of 678-617. It was a sometimes stormy tenure, and when his recent quest for a contract extension was denied, he received permission to be released from his current deal.
The Marlins are staggering to a last-place finish in the NL East. With the team moving to a new home and making a push to become a contender, Loria has said he wants an experienced manager.
The outspoken, sometimes outrageous Guillen would be the Marlins' fourth manager since early 2010, and his relationship with management could create some off-the-field excitement. Strong-willed Joe Girardi lasted only one season with Florida in 2006, clashed with Loria and others in the organization, and was fired shortly before being chosen NL manager of the year.
Several Marlins players said the tell-it-like-it-is skipper would be a good fit for the team.
"That's probably something we need around here," Stanton said. "Let us know, and don't beat around the bush. It's better than doing it behind your back. He's going to come right to you."
Left fielder and Twitter sensation Logan Morrison was impressed to hear Guillen blogs along with tweeting, and does so in two languages.
"Now I need a blog, probably two," Morrison said. "And I've got to learn a foreign language in the offseason. I'll have to follow him. If I don't, I might get fined."
AP Sports Writer Rick Gano in Chicago contributed to this report.