Ozzie Guillén

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Oswaldo Jose Guillén Barrios

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 150 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortstop Ozzie Guillén was an All-Star and a fan favorite while playing with the Chicago White Sox. He later returned to the club as manager and led them to their first World Series title in nearly a century.

Playing Career[edit]

A native of Venezuela, Guillén was signed as a 16-year-old by the San Diego Padres. Originally a switch-hitter (he was batting exclusively left-handed by the time he reached the majors), he made his pro debut in 1981 with the GCL Padres and hit .259 in 55 games. The next year, he hit .347 with the Reno Padres and led the California League with 183 hits. He hit .295 with the Beaumont Golden Gators in 1983 and .296 with the Las Vegas Stars the following year. After the 1984 season, Guillén was acquired by the Chicago White Sox in a trade for former Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt. Sox fans decried the trade at the time, but Guillén went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1985 and was a mainstay at short for the Sox for over a decade.

Although an extremely popular player with the White Sox, he was one of the weakest offensive forces in the league. He never hit more than four home runs in a season. He regularly was at or near the bottom in walks received (his high total was 26 in a season), and his career on-base percentage was a mere .287. He stole a lot of bases, but got caught too often (including falling for the hidden ball trick at least twice), and while his range in the field was excellent as a young player, the range declined after his mid-career injury. Still, he was perceived as a smart player who was always trying to find a way to win ball games.

Coaching/Managing Career[edit]

After his playing career ended, Guillén was a third base coach for the Montreal Expos (2001), being brought in when Jeff Torborg, who had managed Guillén in Chicago, replaced Felipe Alou in mid-year. He followed Torborg and the rest of the Expo coaching staff to the Florida Marlins in 2002 and was still there when the Marlins won the World Series in 2003.

He took over as the manager of the White Sox for the 2004 season and re-made the club in his image in 2005, by taking a 2004 team with good offense and removing some of the top hitters. Meanwhile, he added to the pitching staff, and ended up with a team of mediocre hitters but excellent pitchers. The hitters were only ninth in the league in runs scored, but the pitching staff had an excellent 3.61 ERA. The pitching was particularly evident in the post-season, when Guillén rode starters Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland and Mark Buehrle to a string of consecutive complete game wins, and then could turn to a rested bullpen led by rookie Bobby Jenks when required in the World Series. The combination was good enough to win the World Series, although critics felt the team had been "lucky", noting that the 99 wins was far more than the Pythagorean prediction of 91 wins. In winning the Series, he became the first Latino manager to guide a club to a World Championship.

Guillén continued the move to "small ball" in 2006, removing sluggers such as Frank Thomas and Carl Everett from the team, and trading Aaron Rowand away. In spring training that year, the White Sox had the worst record in the American League, but started off the regular season with a strong performance due to the hitting of newly-acquired slugger Jim Thome and the pitching of Contreras. Eventually, the team declined and failed to get the wild card slot. The team struggled in 2007, finishing in fourth place with a 72-90 record, the club's worst mark in nearly two decades.

In April of 2008, Guillén accused umpire Phil Cuzzi of having a vendetta against him. Guillén was fined by Major League Baseball for his comments. However, his managerial career rebounded that season, as the White Sox surprised by battling with the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central division title. One of Guillén's most successful moves was committing to rookie Alexei Ramírez, who went on to a 20-homer season with several clutch hits after a very slow start. In 2010, when the Sox started the season slowly, there were rumors of strong tensions between Guillén and GM Kenny Williams, and that one of them would have to go, but thing were patched up as the team started playing better in mid-year and even made a run at the AL Central title, finishing in 2nd place with a solid 88-74 record.

Guillén got in trouble again in early 2011 for violating MLB's social media policy. Shortly after being ejected from a game with the New York Yankees on April 27th by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, he was caught sending public messages over his Twitter account commenting on the ejection. This was in violation of the policy, which states that no such communication should occur from 30 minutes before the start of a game until its conclusion. He was handed a two-game suspension for his action. After the appointment of 80-year-old Jack McKeon as interim manager of the Marlins on June 20, 2011, speculation mounted that Guillén would be Florida's full-time manager in 2012, given his history with the team and with owner Jeffrey Loria. Indeed, on September 26th, Guillen announced he was stepping down as White Sox manager to take over as the re-named Miami Marlins' manager the next season. The Marlins had to pay compensation in the form of two minor league players, P Jhan Mariñez and IF Osvaldo Martinez, to secure Ozzie's services. Pitching coach Don Cooper took over as Sox manager for the last two games, as bench coach Joey Cora, who should have been given the assignment was instead let go as he was expected to follow Guillén to Miami.

Guillén was the manager as the Marlins inaugurated their new name and ballpark in 2012. He quickly got himself in trouble with his mouth - not for the first time - when he touched on a very prickly subject in Miami, FL, professing to Time Magazine his admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during an interview which came out in early April. That was anathema to locals, and the team quickly issued a statement disassociating itself from its manager's words, while Guillén was forced to issue an apology. However, the controversy refused to die, and on April 10th, Guillén was forced to travel from Philadelphia, PA to Miami to hold a press conference where he would apologize more fully. Ironically, his hiring by the Marlins had been seen as a boon to the team's relations with the local Hispanic community, but the team was now facing petitions from the city's huge Cuban-American population asking for Ozzie's firing and detracting from the buzz created by Marlins Park's opening. Marlins management finally decided to suspend Guillén for five games in order to show it was taking the matter with the utmost seriousness. He was involved in another typical incident on July 15th, when he asked home plate umpire Marty Foster to check Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper's bat for excessive pine tar in the 1st inning. When Harper came to the plate with a new bat in the 4th inning, he pointed his new weapon at Ozzie, prompting him to erupt in a tirade of shouts, and call the youngster disrespectful and unprofessional after the game. As the Marlins' season sank into irrelevancy after the high hopes around opening day, Guillén's relationship with owner Loria seemed to sour. In September, he told the media: "If Jeffrey doesn't think I'm doing the job I should do ... it's not the first time he's fired a manager. Look yourself in the mirror and ask why so many (bleeping) managers come through here." A comment from closer Heath Bell indicated that relations with his players were not optimal either: "It's been an interesting year with Ozzie. That's pretty much all I'll say about that. It's just been really interesting to have him as a manager." All of this prompted speculation that his stay in Miami might indeed be short-lived, which was confirmed on October 23rd when he was handed his walking papers even though he still had three years left on his contract.

He managed the Tiburones de La Guaira to victory in the 2024 Caribbean Series. Not only was it the first win by a Venezuelan team in 15 years and first ever for La Guaira, but he also became only the second person to lead a team to victory in both the Caribbean Series and the World Series, after Tommy Lasorda.

He is the father of Oney Guillen and Ozney Guillen and uncle of Ehire Adrianza.

Notable Achievements[edit]

AL Rookie of the Year
1984 1985 1986
Alvin Davis Ozzie Guillen Jose Canseco
Preceded by
Jerry Manuel
Chicago White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Don Cooper
Preceded by
Jack McKeon
Miami Marlins Manager
Succeeded by
Mike Redmond

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
2004 Chicago White Sox American League 83-79 2nd Chicago White Sox
2005 Chicago White Sox American League 99-63 1st Chicago White Sox Won World Series
2006 Chicago White Sox American League 90-72 3rd Chicago White Sox
2007 Chicago White Sox American League 72-90 4th Chicago White Sox
2008 Chicago White Sox American League 89-74 1st Chicago White Sox Lost ALDS
2009 Chicago White Sox American League 79-83 3rd Chicago White Sox
2010 Chicago White Sox American League 88-74 2nd Chicago White Sox
2011 Chicago White Sox American League 78-82 -- Chicago White Sox replaced by Don Cooper on September 27
2012 Miami Marlins National League 69-93 5th Miami Marlins

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