Guillen out as White Sox manager
Ozzie Guillen met with Jerry Reinsdorf, and the team released him from his deal
Guillen's eight years with the White Sox, whom he played for, included a 2005 title
Guillen addressed the Marlins opening, saying "a lot of rumors are out there."
CHICAGO (AP) -- 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 current contract Monday.
That request was granted.
After Guillen met with 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 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 issued by the team.
"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'd still keep a home in Chicago and he'd always be friends with Reinsdorf.
The White Sox clubhouse will never be the same, but first baseman Paul Konerko - one of Guillen's favorite players - said it was time for a change.
"I'm happy for Ozzie," Konerko said. "I think he's been burned out on this whole thing and probably likewise on the other side. That's how it goes. It doesn't always have to be that someone's right, someone's wrong, this person's right, this person's wrong. Sometimes in sports - any business - but especially sports, a coaching staff or a manager, head coach, whatever it might be, that kind of regime runs its course and that's what we have here."
Guillen teamed with general manager Ken Williams to end the club's 88-year World Series drought, but their relationship has become strained over the last two years.
"I don't have anything against Kenny," Guillen said, acknowledging the two didn't have a great relationship the last two years. "That has nothing do with it."
Chicago had early losing streaks of seven and five games and by May 1, Guillen's club was 10 games out of first. It pulled within 3 1/2 games of the lead on Aug. 17 but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way.
Guillen was a managerial trend setter with a Twitter account and a website. And social media, like his opinions expressed in other forums, got him in trouble at times.
After he was ejected this season at Yankee Stadium by umpire Todd Tichenoran, the manager went on Twitter and called his ejection pathetic. That got him a two-game suspension and fine, and it was the first time baseball has penalized a player, coach or manager for using the social networking site during a game.
Social media played a role in the creating tension between Williams and Guillen in 2010. Guillen's son, Oney, left the team's scouting department after posting some comments on Twitter that were critical of the team's front office.
Guillen said he spoke Monday with Reinsdorf to get an idea about his future. He leaves on a vacation in Spain later this week.
He and Reinsdorf have been close since Guillen's playing days as a slick-fielding shortstop when he was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with the White Sox. He played 13 of his 16 big league seasons with the White Sox.
"Was it time for a change? I don't think so," Williams said. "I guess things were accelerated. We had no intention of firing him. This was kind of acquiescing to some of his desires more than anything. It is what it is. I don't wish to expound on any of the peripherals to the degree that they become more of a story than they really are.
"This is a case of a man making a business decision for himself and his family. And we respected it, we respected it enough to allow this to happen. Obviously we didn't agree to the request for an extension."
Since he took over in 2004, there has been a long list of Ozzie blowups and tirades and opinionated rants from a man who said "no comment" was not a part of his vocabulary.
In one of the most publicized in 2006, Guillen was fined and ordered by Commissioner Bud Selig to undergo sensitivity training after he described then Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti with a derogatory term.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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