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Ozzie Guillen: "I'd rather get fired than quit"

May 5, 2010, 10:12 AM EDT

Ozzie Guillen pondering something.jpgWe could probably just use Ozzie Guillen for a quote of the day every day, but we try to be fair to the other competitors.  Personally, I prefer fun Ozzie Guillen quotes that are accompanied by some surprising insight. For example, when asked about his future as the manager of the struggling White Sox, and whether he’d ever consider resigning, Ozzie said:

“I’m not a quitter. When I want to quit, I’ll do a lot of stupid things
and make sure they fire me and get paid.”

Which is funny. But then he followed it up with something that is pretty darn true:

“Because when you quit, it’s hard for you to find another job. Because when you quit, a lot of teams out there call you a
quitter or say you can’t handle yourself or can’t handle the heat or you
can’t handle losing.”

Mike Hargrove is a good recent example, but there are others. Hargrove was actually doing pretty well with a flawed Mariners team, took some months off to sharpen the saw, as they say, and can’t get another job even though he’s made it pretty clear he’d like one.  In contrast, if Ozzie penciled in Mark Buehrle as his DH for ten straight days and then got fired, he’d have a job to start next season, no question.

Not that this is a bad thing. As I’ve said numerous times, a manager’s primary job is to keep the team on an even keel. He can make all kinds of tactical blunders and pencil in all kinds of weird lineups, but as long as people aren’t fighting in the clubhouse and spreading poison in the press, the team is likely to play to its native ability, or at least fairly close to it. And one way for the clubhouse to go off the rails is for the players to question the testicular fortitude of the manager.

Which is what is likely to happen if a guy resigns from his previous job. Because to the players, one of the manager’s primary jobs is to take the heat so they don’t have to. If the guy quits when things go sideways, the players are left dangling. And this is true even if the manager is placed in an untenable position by, say, the press and the owners and everyone such that resigning makes all the intellectual sense in the world.

Ozzie knows all this. He knows a lot actually. If I ran a team I’d strongly consider hiring him. Even if he got fired from his last job for penciling in Mark Buehrle at DH for ten straight games.

  1. BC - May 5, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Actually, Buehrle hit a HR last year…
    Captcha: of harbinger

  2. Jonny5 - May 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Ozzie knows baseball, that’s for sure. And his Candid nature is a plus imo. I’d bet his guys really like him. So he needs to find a way to win so he doesn’t have to worry about getting fired, or doing really stupid things to trigger it.

  3. Philip P. - May 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Seems the opposite holds true in the NFL. Whenever a coach quits to spend time with the familiy the speculation starts up as to where he will coach next. Perhaps basbell is viewed as too laid back to allow for managers to take time to themselves.

  4. Old Gator - May 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    “Because when you quit, it’s hard for you to find another job.”
    .
    Let’s hope this applies to that tundra trash former governor of Alaska as well. I don’t mind waking up in the bosom of a sclerotic leviathan every morning, but I don’t think I’d want to wake up in a third-world armpit.

  5. Jimmy P - May 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Buehrle at DH is an upgrade from the dreck the White Sox have been sending out this year. He’d probably bat leadoff, too.

  6. The Rabbit - May 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Amen!

  7. Ron - May 5, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Trey Hillman has forwarded a copy of this post to Dayton Moore.

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