First, the news: Ozzie Guillen has been relieved of his duties as manager of the Chicago White Sox after a protracted and public contract dispute. Both sides were ready to move on.
It’s a bit of a bummer as a White Sox outsider – Ozzie could certainly piss Cubs fans off, but he was also almost always entertaining. In that regard, he’ll be missed.
For years, Zambrano has been connected in rumors to Ozzie Guillen, primarily because of their friendship. The two are close outside of baseball, both are from Venezuela, and both are outspoken – if unhinged – personalities. It is for that latter reason that many believe Guillen would have been the best manager to “handle” the erratic Zambrano. Now that Guillen is out, though, it’s all academic, right? Maybe not.
Guillen is expected to slide down to Miami to manage the Marlins, in which case the White Sox would get a little compensation (a couple low level prospects, from the sound of things). And that’s where Carlos Zambrano comes in.
Zambrano, suspended by the Cubs in August after he deserted the team, has one year left on his contract, but is not expected to pitch for the Cubs in 2012. Perhaps Zambrano could follow Guillen to Miami.
The Marlins, after all, will be opening a new stadium and looking for a little star power. Zambrano, whose physical gifts may have left him, certainly has a “star” personality, who could help the team draw fans, even if merely for the train wreck phenomenon. And, if the Cubs eat enough of Zambrano’s remaining salary (near $18 million for 2012), he could actually be a productive member of the Miami staff.
For now, there’s not much here other than the convenient connection between Guillen and Zambrano. But, as the offseason goes on, I suspect we’ll be hearing a bit more about Zambrano and the Fish.