Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 1:56 p.m.
By Paul Pabst
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Going into the White Sox meaningless weekend set against the Royals, the annual Ozzie Guillen managerial status headlines are out in full force. Among the best are: Ozzies Last HomestandNo Reason to Meet Ozzies DemandsGuillen Awaits Fate.
White Sox fans have been here before, but with a team that is below .500 and limping to the finish, will this be the year that the Sox brass make a move? This team is not good, but not awful. This team is neither a doormat, nor enough of an embarrassment where the decision on Guillen would be an easy one.
Since the World Series win in 2005, the White Sox have finished third, fourth, first, third, second and a likely third-place result this season. Since 2005 there has been just one brief postseason appearance.
In sport, like school, we have hall passes. For MLB managers, winning a World Series is obviously the ultimate hall pass. In most cases, winning a title will allow you a few years of mediocrity at least. Well, the Sox have been mediocre and Guillens hall pass is all but expired. In Guillens favor is that in the past century, only two managers have taken the Sox to a title and he is one of them. The other, Clarence Pants Rowland, passed away more than 30 years ago.
Rowland managed the White Sox to a World Series win in 1917. He was fired the following season reportedly because of disagreements he has with Sox owner Charles Comiskey. The year after Rowland left the team...the 1919 Black Sox.
This was written of Rowland in his New York Times obit:
He (Rowland) never permitted himself to go beyond the bounds of decency and he restrained his players in the same mannerRowland was a true leader. He never bawled a player out for a mistake or tried to rile his players hoping for a better result.
You couldnt script this. The obit description of Rowland is the polar opposite of Ozzie Guillens reputation. Guillen steps outside the bounds of decency on a weekly basis with his language and temper. You must give credit to Guillen for being passionate and never appearing to mail it in. He has no filter on or off the field. He never worries about being PC or how his comments will play in this 24-hour sports media that Pants never had to deal with.
Guillen is the Howard Stern of baseball. Hes off color so often that you become almost numb to it and cant really put your finger on one offensive line that bothered you. From a national standpoint, he is overwhelmingly the face of the organization. Other teams are known for star players. The White Sox, nationally, are known for Guillen and each time he spouts venom an editor quickly puts together a top ten list of Ozzie bleep-worthy moments.
Its probably a coin flip as to whether Guillen is back for the 2012 season. This is for sure; Chicago sports fans will miss him terribly if he goes. During a long baseball season, when you cant count on great play on the field, fans can count on the daily soap opera that is Ozzie Guillen. He actually might be more captivating when the Sox are losing. And if the White Sox decide to bring Guillen back for 2012, we can do this all again next September.
Paul Pabst is the Executive Producer of "The Dan Patrick Show", which airs Monday-Friday from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPabst.