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By Adam Hoge-
CHICAGO (CBS) So how long until the White Sox regret this?
March? When Baseball Prospectus picks the White Sox to finish fourth or maybe even fifth in the AL Central?
April? When 16,000 fans show up to the second home game and the Sox once again fail to get off to a good start?
May? When Adam Dunn and Alex Rios are still hitting below .200?
June? When the only national conversation involving the White Sox is about what a disaster the last two years have been for Kenny Williams?
Or will take a full year? When Ozzie Guillen and Florida Marlins clinch the 2012 National League Wild Ca…
OK. You get the point.
Ozzie Guillen may have technically left on his own after requesting to be released from his contract, but don’t kid yourself. Ozzie didn’t want to leave and if Kenny Williams wasn’t the general manager of the Chicago White Sox, Guillen would be entering his ninth season as White Sox manager next spring.
INTERVIEWS ON OZZIE’S DEPARTURE
Do I think it was time for a change? Yes. In a normal world – which the White Sox clearly are not in – I would keep both Williams and Guillen, but it’s obvious they clearly could not coexist any longer.
So, since change was necessary, do I think the wrong guy is leaving town? Yes.
Kenny Williams created this mess. Not Ozzie.
I should make it clear that I don’t believe baseball managers really have a great effect on how a team plays. Managerial decisions decide the outcome of games maybe five times a season. Otherwise, it’s up to the players to decide the fate of a team. And when you add up the contracts of Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy and look at the results, it’s clear Williams deserves a lot more blame for the failed 2011 season than Guillen.
And guess what? Williams, Dunn, Rios and Peavy can all be expected back in Chicago next season. The whole gang is returning. Horray.
But not Ozzie. Not the face of the franchise. Not the only bright shining star in a city with skies as black as the team’s primary color.
LISTEN: Remembering Ozzie’s Run
Did Ozzie have a bad season managing? Yes. But it didn’t cost the White Sox the division. The lack of contributions from Dunn, Rios and Peavy did.
And now the White Sox are irrelevant. Trust me, they are.
Ozzie brought the White Sox more exposure than any manager in the team’s history. Even when the White Sox were bad, Ozzie was the story. Sometimes he was a negative story, but for a franchise like the White Sox who can hardly draw a sellout crowd when the team is good, any publicity is good publicity.
Ozzie was good publicity.
And he wasn’t the reason for the White Sox failures.
So I ask you again, how long until the White Sox regret this?
Adam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.