It’s official! Ozzie Guillen will be leaving Chicago’s South Side and moving to South Beach, where he’ll lead the Florida Marlins.
“It’s a big, big step in my career, a new chapter,” says the Venezuela-born former Major League Baseball player about being named the Marlins’ new manager. “Hopefully I can bring energy, flavor and enthusiasm, but the most important thing is a winning team.”
The announcement didn’t come completely out of left field. Shortly after stepping down as manager of the Chicago White Sox, Guillen’s website leaked news that he’d agreed to become the Marlins’ manager. The post was quickly removed, but not before the word was out.
After a successful career as a player—including earning American League Rookie of the Year and All-Star honors—Guillen moved into coaching. In 2004, he became the manager of the White Sox and brought the team its first World Series championship in 88 years, becoming the first Hispanic manager in major league history to win a World Series.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who wanted an experience a manager to replace 80-year-old Jack McKeon, hopes Guillen can lead the team to the World Series after a disappointing last-place finish this season.
“I think we can turn it around next year,” says Loria, who signed Guillen to a four-year contract. “When you have a — for lack of a better word — category five manager, it’s going to happen.”
Meanwhile, the team will be moving to a new ballpark near the city’s downtown area, where they’ll become the Miami Marlins.