Guillen calls it a day in Chicago
Updated: 2011-09-28 07:55
Outspoken Ozzie set for move to Florida after eight years with the White Sox
CHICAGO - Unable to get a contract extension, Ozzie Guillen walked away from the Chicago White Sox.
Guillen's quest for a new deal was denied, so the talkative, sometimes outrageous and always colorful manager asked to be released from his contract Monday.
That request was granted.
After Guillen met owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the team agreed to release him from his current deal and his eight-year run that included a World Series title in 2005 was over. He managed his final game on Monday night as the White Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-3.
Guillen said he had a great talk with Reinsdorf, who respected his decision.
"It was my call and I appreciated the White Sox organization letting me do what I like to do and what is best ... Maybe not the best, maybe it's the worst," Guillen said. "You don't know what is out there. Maybe I'm dreaming. I might not appreciate what I got here. You don't know. You have to close the page and move on. That's life. Hopefully the next book treats me the way this book treated me."
Guillen, whose contract option for 2012 was picked up at the team's winter convention in January, began talking late last month about an extension, even with the team going through a disappointing season.
"We certainly cannot thank Ozzie enough for all he has done during his eight seasons as manager of the Chicago White Sox, highlighted by an unforgettable 2005 World Series championship," Reinsdorf said in a release.
"I personally appreciate everything he has done for this organization, our fans and the city of Chicago. We shared the greatest moments together and wish him nothing but future success in baseball and in life."
The White Sox said they retain the right to compensation should Guillen accept a managerial position with another major league team for the 2012 season. Guillen, who had a 678-617 record with the White Sox, will not be in uniform for the remaining two games this year.
The Florida Marlins talked to Chicago last year about acquiring Guillen, but the deal never materialized. They could bring him in now to lead the club into a new ballpark next season.
"It could be anybody. They sound like they are interested," Guillen said. "They just let me go to talk to whoever I want, anyone I want. Right now, a lot of people are talking about Florida ... a lot of rumors are out there."
Guillen is the only manager in franchise history to lead the White Sox to more than one division or league title. Chicago also made the playoffs under Guillen in 2008. But they floundered this season.
"No regrets, no regrets," Guillen said. "Very disappointed in this year, yes."
In the 2005 championship year, the White Sox nearly let a 15-game lead evaporate before rebounding in the final week of the regular season. Then they went 11-1 in the postseason, clinching all three of their series against the Red Sox, the Angels and the Astros on the road. It was their first title since 1917.
Now he's gone. Guillen said the fans would never forget him, he would still keep a home in Chicago and always be friends with Reinsdorf.
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