Ozzie Guillen managed his last game with the Chicago White Sox on Monday night and the big remaining question is whether he will take his bleeps to South Beach.
The issue, as it usually is, came down to money. Guillen wanted more; Jerry Reinsdorf did not want to release the wallet moths and pay him. Consequently, Guillen, after eight tumultous, profanity-laced years and one World Series victory, is being let out of a contract that runs through 2012.
Conveniently, the Florida Marlins just happen to have an opening with the retirement of 80-year-old Jack McKeon and reports indicate that compensation that would allow Guillen to go to Florida has already been arranged between the two teams. According to MLB.com, the Marlins will send infielder Osvaldo Martinez and a minor-league pitcher to Chicago for Guillen.
Guillen briefly announced the move to Florida himself, posting it on his blog and then removing the post later Monday night. He replaced it with one merely announcing that he was finished in Chicago and thanking White Sox fans.
On Tuesday afternoon, Guillen tweeted: “Weird to be in miami in this time but very happy ready to go.”
There’s historical precedent for the rare trade involving combinations of managers and players. In a 1960 swap of managers, Detroit traded Jimmy Dykes to Cleveland for Joe Gordon. In 1976, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Manny Sanguillen to the Oakland A’s for Manager Chuck Tanner. In 2002, Tampa Bay traded two players to Seattle for Manager Lou Piniella. (In a swap of a different kind, there’s always Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich...)
“With the rings, I can’t do [anything] with that,’’ he said. “But with money, I can go buy me a new boat, I can go buy me a new car, I can dress my wife the way I want to dress her, I can go to Spain. With the ring, I can go to United Airlines and say, ‘Hello, I won the 2005 championship. Can you fly me to Spain?’ Hell, no.
“Money is everything besides health. Money is next to that. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, love.’ They don’t know what love means. I guarantee you, if you raise a girl where I grew up and you’ve got no money and she loves you, but you put the same girl with a guy who’s got a lot of money, I’ll bet she’ll love the guy with money. That’s the way it is. I love you, but I’m hungry.
“I work in this job for money. I don’t work for nothing. Money. That’s it. The ring? [Bleep] the ring. I don’t even wear my [bleeping] rings. I don’t.’’
If there was any doubt, it pretty much ended when he dropped anchor with talk about the sweet 62-foot boat he could buy with a big new contact, like the one Florida reportedly will offer (four years, $16 million).
“You know what I saw a couple days ago?’’ he said. “I saw a 62-foot boat. That’s what I want, and that’s what I’m going to get. People have to pay me for that. White Sox? I don’t know. Marlins? I don’t know. But somebody will pay. I want to buy my [bleeping] boat. That’s my inspiration. My inspiration is money. That’s everybody’s inspiration.’’