Guillen Wins AL Manager of the Year
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 10, 2005 5:55PM
Rarely do World Champion teams have as few candidates for major post-season awards as the White Sox. Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland finished 5th and 6th in the voting for Cy Young. Paul Konerko is unlikely to break the top 5 in MVP voting. That just goes to show how the White Sox won as a team rather than riding some superstar's coattails.
Of course, it takes a top caliber manager to extract that kind of success from a group of good, but not great, ballplayers. So it was only fitting that Ozzie Guillen was named Manager of the Year for the American League. Voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the ballots were cast before the Sox's amazing postseason run. While Chicagoist feared that their late season slide might have propelled Indians manager Eric Wedge to the award despite the White Sox winning 99 games, Guillen still handily won the award.
Guillen's say what's-on-his-mind attitude and sometimes hot temper motivated the team on the field and deflected much of the media attention away from his players. While his tactics and temper were questioned as liabilities come October, he silenced those critics by bringing the World Series trophy to Chicago for the first time since 1917.
He also can be credited with guiding the roster changes that GM Ken Williams made since Guillen took the helm. He inherited a team of slow, defensively poor bashers and modest pitching. He asked for defense, speed and pitching to round out his ideal roster. Williams delivered, and Ozzie showed he could win with the right combination of players.
At the celebration rally, Guillen backed off statements he might retire if he won a World Series ring, announcing to a cheering crowd that he'd be back for 2006. It now looks like he's be manning the Cell's dugout for a long time, saying he, too, wants to be like Mike. ''I want to be like Michael Jordan,'' Guillen said, ''have rings all over the place.'' Chicagoist hopes you succeed!