First Dusty Baker signed on to handle the embattled Astros. Then, Tony La Russa took another Chicago team (on the precipice of serious World Series contention) away from Rick Renteria. And now, Ozzie Guillén might return to the dugout?! What a world we live in!
Evidently, this league is still plenty friendly to those that dance to the rules of the old-school:
The Padres interviewed former White Sox and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen for San Diego’s managerial opening, sources tell me and @Ken_Rosenthal. The interview took place last week.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) October 26, 2021
Indeed, while most MLB teams have leaned into the new wave of MLB managers (Dave Martinez, David Ross, Oli Marmol, Craig Counsell, Brandon Hyde, etc.) others are quick to head in the direction of the familiar. I think some front offices simply see them as a safer play than someone new or untested (though I hardly consider Ozzie a “safe” play by any definition of the word). But who knows, maybe they’re just trying to copy teams like the White Sox and Astros, who did have plenty of success under old-school stewardship this season.
In any case, the Padres fired Jayce Tingler immediately after their extremely disappointing season, and their search for a new manager apparently begins with someone who once called me a cry baby on TV:
One year ago…
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 18, 2020
And, hey, what a conveniently timed tweet he sent out today … just reminding folks that he won one as a manager.
Today I am reminded what it was to be a champion. I never got to win won for the city as a player but I was honored to do it as the manager. Thank you always my family, players, coaches and front office believing in me. No one will take this away. Gracias. pic.twitter.com/FoSAu340wO
— Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen) October 26, 2021
All jokes aside, I did have the pleasure of getting to know Ozzie a bit during my time with NBC Sports Chicago, and I can say that he was perfectly friendly, *extremely* energetic (his on-camera persona is just his … regular life persona), and always ready with a story from the glory days. As a manager, Ozzie has a 747-710 record (.513 W%) and was the 2005 AL Manager of the Year and World Series Champion.
Meanwhile, in addition to Guillén, the Padres have also reportedly interviewed former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt and former Mets manager Luis Rojas.