CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen is back with the Chicago White Sox,
this time as the team's manager.
Guillen, a three-time All-Star shortstop, was hired Monday to replace
Jerry Manuel, who was fired Sept. 29 after the White Sox failed to
reach the playoffs for the second straight year.
Guillen has no managerial experience and has spent the past two
seasons as the third-base coach for the Florida Marlins. But he
made it clear how badly he wanted this job, and his passion won
over general manager Kenny Williams and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
"I am excited and thrilled to be returning to Chicago to manage
the White Sox," Guillen said. "I have always been a White Sox at heart, no matter
where baseball has taken me, and this is the job I always wanted."
Former Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was thought to be the initial
favorite for the job. Williams played for him, and he led the Blue
Jays to World Series titles in 1992 and '93.
But in the end, the White Sox went with one of their own.
Guillen spent all but three years of his 16-year career on the
South Side. Originally signed by San Diego, the three-time All-Star
shortstop was traded to the White Sox in December 1984. He made his
major league debut the next season and was voted AL Rookie of the
Year. He hit .273 with one homer and 33 RBI and set a White Sox
record for shortstops with just 12 errors.
"I wore this uniform 13 years," Guillen said. "My heart always was here."
After he retired, he joined Montreal's coaching staff. He's
spent the past two seasons as the Marlins' third-base coach.
"Twenty-three years in baseball have helped prepare me for this
day," Guillen said. "I can't thank [manager] Jack McKeon and the Florida
Marlins enough for the opportunity to coach third base and be
part of a very special World-Series winning season."
Guillen takes over a team that fell way short of expectations. The White Sox were the favorites to win the AL
Central in 2003 after adding pitchers Bartolo Colon and Billy Koch to a lineup that already included sluggers Frank Thomas and
Manuel appeared to have saved his job when the White Sox played
well immediately after the All-Star break. Chicago, however,
was just 25-28 since Aug. 2 and Manuel was fired the day after
the season ended.
Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.