(CBS) Ozzie Guillen, the former White Sox manager who led the team to a World Series title in 2005, is returning to managing in his native Venezuela.
Los Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League have hired Guillen as their next manager. Guillen will return to his home and manage a team that’s struggled for several decades.
Guillen joined the Mully and Hanley Show on Thursday to discuss his decision.
“Do I want to be managing in the big leagues? Of course I do, there’s no doubt about it,” Guillen said. “It’s something that was always in the back of my mind. But I’m not doing this just because I want to manage in the big leagues. I’m just going to concentrate to try to do the best I can for the Tiburones, and hopefully we can win there.
“Everything combined, it’s a good time to do it.”
The White Sox and Guillen parted ways after the 2011 season, when friction between him and executive Kenny Williams came to a breaking point. Williams remains employed as the team’s baseball president, while Guillen was fired from his next opportunity, managing the Marlins, after the 2012 season. He hasn’t managed since.
Guillen, 52, made the move in part to get back into the game but also to be closer to his family and Venezuela. He’s set to become a grandfather later this year, he said.
Meanwhile, the White Sox haven’t reached the playoffs under Guillen’s replacement, Robin Ventura, who’s now entering the fifth and final year of his contract. Guillen was asked if White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is too loyal in his management style.
“Jerry trusts his employees,” Guillen said. “He trusts the people who do the job, he goes for it. That’s the way he is.”
Guillen has been present at U.S. Cellular Field, returning on several occasions during the past two seasons and carrying a strong relationship with Ventura.
Even years after being fired, Guillen is grateful for what Reinsdorf, Williams and the White Sox offered.
“They both gave me my first opportunity and made me who I am,” Guillen said.
Guillen owns a managerial record of 678-617, winning the World Series in 2005 and twice earning AL Manager of the Year honors.