By Adam Hoge-
CHICAGO (CBS) Ozzie Guillen won’t be managing the Florida Marlins.
Unless the White Sox don’t want him anymore, that is.
When the Marlins slapped the interim tag on Jack McKeon today as they introduced the 80 year-old as their new manager, it left open the possibility of Guillen taking over as the Marlins manager after this season.
That move nearly happened last winter after all.
“I had a chance to do it last year and I didn’t do it because of my players,” Guillen said Monday before the White Sox opened up a three-game series against the Cubs.
The interest between Guillen and the Marlins continues to be mutual, but the White Sox manager’s loyalty between his players is enough that he won’t leave Chicago unless General Manager Kenny Williams or Jerry Reinsdorf tells him he is done.
At least that’s the picture Ozzie painted Monday when asked about his interest in the Marlins.
“To be honest with you that’s up to Kenny and Jerry to see how long they want me here,” he said. “That’s in their hands. If I’m not the guy, then hey, nothing I can do about it. Right now I don’t have any choice unless I say, ‘I’m done, I’m quitting this ballclub.’ And I’m not going to do that. And not because I like this organization or whatever, because I love my players.”
It should be noted that the Guillen family moved their permanent residence from Florida to Chicago less than two months ago and that’s not exactly the kind of move you make if managing the Marlins is in your immediate future. The move came after talks with the Marlins ended and the White Sox extended his contract through 2012.
Still, it is obvious Guillen’s name came up again after Edwin Rodriguez resigned as the Marlins’ manager Sunday. He and his wife apparently talked about it this morning.
“Like I told my wife this morning, if something is going to happen, it happens,” Guillen said.
And it is obvious Guillen enjoys the attention from the Marlins.
“I had a lot of contact in the past. I’ve made a lot of fans out there and they like the way I work, I guess,” he said. “Last year we went through it. It was fun because somebody wants you.”
The bottom line is that Guillen remains committed to the White Sox as long as they want him in Chicago. But if the White Sox continue to falter and Williams and Reinsdorf decide to go in a different direction, he would obviously be open to the Marlins.
“I have a job to do here. I have another year with the White Sox,” Guillen said. “I’m not a quitter. I’m not going to quit on my players, I never will.”