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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Unholy Missives
by Blake Baumgartner

The Ozzie Era!

by Blake Baumgartner

A new era of White Sox baseball was ushered in last Monday when Ozzie Guillen was introduced as the clubís 37th manager in their history.

Right now, one thing is certain: the 2004 campaign for the Sox will be nothing short of exciting. Their new managerís personality affirms that. Is Guillen the right man to lead the Sox? My answer is yes.

When Jerry Manuel was fired on Sept. 29, the reasons for his dismissal were numerous. He didnít know how to handle a pitching staff, fill out a lineup card and he wasnít very knowledgeable with in-game strategy. But perhaps the biggest gripe placed on Manuel was his personality. He treated his players like professionals and let them motivate themselves. His personality would be his downfall, at least in the eyes of this Sox fan. The Soxí inability to close the door on the Twins in early September showed us what kind of state they were inólackadaisical. Thatís reflective of the manager because itís his job to get his team ready to perform on a daily basis.

Guillen served notice on Monday that thereís a new sheriff in town and I love it.† Heís going to provide what the Sox desperately needóa jolt. He is as anti-Manuel as you are going to get. Everyone is going to be treated the sameóthat includes the embattled Frank Thomas. His team is going to play the game hard and the right way. His team is going to have fun. One thing from the press conference that stood out to me was his passion for the White Sox. He wants to bring a winner to the South Side as much as anybody.

Guillen retractors are saying that he has no managerial experience and that the Sox passed up a far more superior candidate in Cito Gaston. If youíre surrounded by good people, you can succeed. Guillen is going to be surrounded by good coaches, Joe Nossek, Art Kusyner, and Don Cooper to name just a few. True, Gaston won two World Series titles in 1992 and 1993 with the Blue Jays, but he hasnít managed since 1997. His personality resembles Manuelís too much, and itís clear that this team doesnít respond well to a calm and soft-spoken personality. This team needs a kick in the butt in the worst way and Guillen will provide that. Out of a rather unimpressive list of candidates, with the exception of Gaston, Guillen was the right choice and itís a risk worth taking.

Welcome back, Ozzie!!


Blake Baumgartner is a die-hard White Sox fan, majoring in journalism at Michigan State University.† Though an aspiring baseball writer, he has chosen to write for White Sox Interactive instead.† Blake can be reached at baumga31@msu.edu

More features from Blake Baumgartner here!

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