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 arenít likely to put them in Guillenís hands. Perennial powers with successful owners arenít likely to pursue him. Bad teams with attendance problems arenít 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 isnít going to go to the minor leagues to do it and itís 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.
Itís never comfortable to see somebody with ability not use it because of his nature. Guillen is like an Oscar-winning actor who canít 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 wonít 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 didnít 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 wouldnít hear it. Thatís sort of how Sox fans dealt here with most of Guillenís outrageous comments and behavior.
When Guillen made remarks that could be construed as critical of Marlins ownership, his bosses shouldnít even have heard them through earplugs. Thatís sort of how Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf dealt with most of Guillenís madness.
As I wrote back in the spring when Guillen blurted his Castro comments, fans down there didnít have the emotional equity invested in him yet that Sox fans had.
Guillen hadnít played shortstop in Miami like he did for more than a decade here. He hadnít returned to manage the Marlins to a World Series title. He hadnít become one of theirs despite having coached on the Marlinsí 2003 champions.
On the South Side of Chicago, Guillen was one of the guys. In South Florida, Guillen was just another guy. Thatís 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 Guillenís only year as their manager.
Guillen had the leverage here to be himself ó for Ozzie to be Ozzie ó 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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