MIAMI - All indications point to Ozzie Guillen becoming the next manager of the Florida Marlins. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or this blog, you know this news is about as surprising to me as saying Halle Berry was voted one of the most beautiful women alive.
The fact that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wanted Guillen to be the man to lead his team into the new stadium in 2012 was the worst kept secret in baseball. That said, Loria, despite his moments of baseball insanity, is making the right move. I've been saying it for years now: Guillen is exactly what the Marlins need to draw interest for the future. But, long term, he's also making a move that will likely end nastier than an ABC daytime soap opera.
Guillen is everything Loria loves in a baseball PLAYER. He's aggressive, passionate about the game, not afraid to stand up for his team and hard-nosed. Yet, he appears to be everything Loria hates in a MANAGER. He's outspoken, brash, not afraid to stand up to authority and combative. Can you say spontaneous combustion?
Don't get me wrong, I love the move. It's a shame Guillen gets so much publicity for his blow-ups in the media, because it takes away from the fact that he's a damn good manager. In eight seasons in Chicago, he had five winning seasons, two division titles and one World Series championship. That would be the first World Series title for the White Sox in over 85 years. He can flat-out manage! He can also be crude with his comments to the media about his players and his bosses. That's what will make him so much fun to cover for people like me, but also make him a nightmare for a person like Loria.
Will it work? My simple answer is yes. Guillen will demand attention from his players, draw daily stories from the media and spark interest in fans desperate for something exciting from this franchise. More importantly, if given the right pieces, Gullien will help the Marlins win games. Loria has said that with the new stadium he will spend more money on players. He's set to make a bold move by hiring Guillen, but now it's time to put his money where his mouth is,
All that said, one day down the road, this will likely end in an ugly way. Loria must know this, and I'm sure Guillen does, too. For now, let's just all enjoy the ride.