The Florida Marlins Introduce New Manager Ozzie Guillen
Fresh off a separation from the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillen jumped leagues and was introduced Wednesday as the new manager of Florida, reuniting him with the Marlins and team owner Jeffrey Loria.
The announcement carried some suspense. Shortly after Guillen resigned Monday as the manager of the White Sox, his website leaked the news that he had agreed to become the Marlins’ manager. He agreed Tuesday night to a four-year contract and succeeds 80-year-old Jack McKeon, who is beginning his latest retirement.
The Marlins staggered to a last-place finish in the NL East. With the team moving into a new ball park new season, Loria wanted to bring in an experienced manager that could spark interest among their fan base.
Loria and Guillen first met more than 20 years ago at a game in which Guillen played.
“I was sitting in the first row,” Loria said, “and he came over to me and started talking, and talking, and talking. And the umpire had to come over and say to him, `Mr. Guillen, you’re up.”’
After retiring from playing the game, Guillen served as McKeon’s third base coach on the Marlins’ 2003 World Series championship team, then became the White Sox manager that November.
Guillen led the White Sox to the 2005 World Series title, but his eight-year tenure in the Windy City was filled with up’s and down’s, and tons of controversy.
Loria, meanwhile, has gone through a succession of managers as Guillen will be his fourth skipper since early in 2010. Guillen said he hates being second-guessed and knows how to discourage Loria from doing so, since the owner’s box is next to the Marlins’ dugout.