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updated: 10/23/2012 8:01 PM

It's a shame this could be it for Guillen

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  • Ozzie Guillen might have just squandered what could have been a long managerial career after being fired Tuesday by the Miami Marlins.

    Ozzie Guillen might have just squandered what could have been a long managerial career after being fired Tuesday by the Miami Marlins.
    Associated Press


One of the most promising managerial careers in major-league baseball is at worst over and at best on hold.

The Miami Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen on Tuesday after one awful season, and now the question is where he goes from here.

Teams with young players on the verge of contending aren't likely to put them in Guillen's hands. Perennial powers with successful owners aren't likely to pursue him. Bad teams with attendance problems aren't likely to risk having him offend fans.

The only team that might see Guillen as a fit and be inclined to gamble is the Mets, and then only a couple of years down the line.

Guillen has to restore his credibility as a person more than as a manager, but he isn't going to go to the minor leagues to do it and it's difficult to imagine a current big-league manager wanting him on his coaching staff.

One possibility is that Guillen never will get a chance to manage again anywhere or anytime. Another is that he has enough money and a big enough ego to not care.

What a shame.

It's never comfortable to see somebody with ability not use it because of his nature. Guillen is like an Oscar-winning actor who can't get along with anyone on the set or a politician who has to change campaign staffs every couple of months. He scorches the earth wherever he goes and won't change.

Lack of familiarity was as good a reason as any for the Marlins to fire Ozzie Guillen after one year as manager. Yes, even more of a reason than an awfully disappointing 69-93 record.

The franchise and community didn't know when to take the former Sox manager seriously, which is nearly never, and when not to, which is nearly always.

To get the best out of Guillen, his team and its fans need a dumbness filter. That way when he expresses something like that he admires Fidel Castro, they wouldn't hear it. That's sort of how Sox fans dealt here with most of Guillen's outrageous comments and behavior.

When Guillen made remarks that could be construed as critical of Marlins ownership, his bosses shouldn't even have heard them through earplugs. That's sort of how Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf dealt with most of Guillen's madness.

As I wrote back in the spring when Guillen blurted his Castro comments, fans down there didn't have the emotional equity invested in him yet that Sox fans had.

Guillen hadn't played shortstop in Miami like he did for more than a decade here. He hadn't returned to manage the Marlins to a World Series title. He hadn't become one of theirs despite having coached on the Marlins' 2003 champions.

On the South Side of Chicago, Guillen was one of the guys. In South Florida, Guillen was just another guy. That's one reason he lasted eight years here and one year there.

So Guillen was intolerable rather than irascible when the Marlins went 69-93 in Guillen's only year as their manager.

Guillen had the leverage here to be himself -- for Ozzie to be Ozzie -- and it would be surprising for him to be afforded that by another team in another city. Meanwhile, he gives no indication he can adjust to fit in someplace without it.

So here Guillen is, in his prime years as a manager with no place to manage.

Sad to say, a bright professional future has been squandered.

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