CHICAGO (CBS) – Former White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen abruptly left in September for the Florida Marlins with the Chicago organization’s “blessing,” team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says.
Dispelling the notion there are any hard feelings over Guillen’s departure, Reinsdorf said the colorful ex-manager, who had a sometimes stormy relationship with his bosses, intended to finish out the season in Chicago. But Reinsdorf said it made sense to let Guillen go to Florida, given changes afoot there.
“I want to make it clear that (Guillen) left with our organization’s blessing and at my urging,” Reinsdorf said in a written statement issued Monday. “I told him that he had no choice but to go given the excitement surrounding the opening of their new stadium and the unveiling of their new uniforms.”
Reinsdorf’s statement comes on the heels of comments White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy recently made on 670 The Score, suggesting Guillen quit on his team.
Guillen “didn’t really end on the best terms with me, thinking I didn’t want to pitch for him, or whatever reason,” Peavy, who has dealt with injuries, said earlier this month. “Even at the end of the day, Ozzie didn’t finish the season with us, the last few games. I don’t know who quit on who.”
Guillen responded with angry Twitter posts.
Reinsdorf expressed gratitude for Guillen’s long tenure with the White Sox, which won a World Series championship under his leadership.
“We will always be grateful for the 21 seasons Ozzie spent in a White Sox uniform as a player and coach, especially his role in helping us win the 2005 World Series championship. We wish him nothing but the best,” Reinsdorf said.