A paradox from start to finish, Ozzie Guillen leaves town having become the only manager in the last 197 seasons of Chicago baseball to win a World Series.
And the only manager dumb enough to get himself fired from the best job in baseball -- a job he could have had for another 10 years.
Guillen will always be a hero among White Sox fans for delivering that cherished flag, and for that he will also be loved by Jerry Reinsdorf and beloved in franchise lore.
He will be remembered for his flamboyant style and engaging personality, and even those who despised his honesty can't deny he brought relevance and hilarity to an organization that lacked personality and vigor.
But everything that made him great also was the cause of his demise.
His uncontrolled emotion, his need to say exactly what he felt and the maturity of a 16-year-old boy was what made him so appealing to the media and the masses, and in the end made him impossible to work for, and made it impossible for him to work for others.
Prodded by those he trusted to do his negotiating, he actually lost his chance for an extension -- and therefore his job here -- a month ago when he went public for the umpteenth time this year about how poorly he has been treated by the White Sox.
Rather than help him get more money or more years with the Sox, all it did was ensure he would not be back.
That was the final straw. That is when he got fired. That might as well have been his eulogy.
No, the news of Monday that Guillen had been whacked was no more surprising than the sun setting Monday evening.
His fate had been sealed by yet another display of selfish, erratic and reckless behavior.
All of it unnecessary and all of it self-inflicted.
Reinsdorf could no longer take Guillen at his word, which was a promise to stop making private business public.
So Guillen kept saying he wouldn't return next year without a contract, a baffling statement considering he had a contract for next season.
Reinsdorf would have given him three more years if he could have just calmed down and done his job, but Guillen possesses no filter and the inability to remain happy for more than a few days at a time.
Like a child who wants his candy and wants it now, Guillen would not stop crying until he got it. But there was never enough candy.
It was exhausting for the players, and worse for his employers.
And we're not even talking about winning and losing. That's the ridiculous part of the story. Of course, others are at fault for the Sox' miserable season.
Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn, Greg Walker, Don Cooper, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, to name just a few, are more to blame than Guillen.
But this had nothing to do with the standings.
This was all about whining, not winning. Guillen had become completely unmanageable, even for the man who treated him like a son.
And still, Reinsdorf never wanted it to come to this. He begged him to stop. Warned him about his children leaking stories and damaging the organization. Gave him chance after chance. And then more chances. He left the owner with no choice.
In the end, it wasn't even the relationship with Williams, which went to pieces the last two years over Guillen family nonsense.
It was Guillen's insistence that he couldn't work on a one-year deal next season. In the past, Reinsdorf would have taken care of him. But the truth is he no longer trusted Guillen to keep his family in line, his mouth in order, or his liabilities in check.
The sad reality is Ozzie Guillen -- who was a great manager on Chicago's South Side -- just wasn't worth the trouble anymore.
So Reinsdorf, the fatigued parent, said fine, you get your way. We will let you out of your contract.
"Jerry gave me the opportunity to manage in the big leagues,'' Guillen said Monday night. "He gave me the opportunity to be free when he didn't have to. Jerry means more to me than ever. He did me a favor.''
Call it a favor, call it a release, call it a settlement. Call it whatever you want.
Ozzie Guillen was fired Monday for being a fool, for being unable to behave like an adult when Reinsdorf warned him at least four times in the last 14 months to stop making the people who made Guillen wealthy look stupid.
It wasn't too much to ask of a sane person, but it was too much for Guillen.
For a man who wails constantly about loyalty, he leaves town as disloyal to Reinsdorf as anyone who's ever worked for the most loyal owner in sports.
It is, above all else, a shame, because it didn't have to be this way.
But it is not sad. Guillen got exactly what he wanted, to go to Florida with no strings attached, and Reinsdorf will sleep better at night not having to worry about what Guillen has printed in black and white the next day.
And the truth is they are all worse for having destroyed this relationship.
In the annals of Chicago baseball, at least in the last 197 years combined, no trio has done it better than Reinsdorf, Williams and Guillen.
I stood next to them near second base in Houston six years ago, watching them smile and laugh, smoke cigars and take pictures with the World Series trophy.
It was a remarkable sight.
And all gibberish aside, it's absolutely the way to remember Ozzie Guillen today.
•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.