I have always had a deep respect for coach Quenneville. I don’t know, maybe it’s because he wears a suit, or because his English is definitely English, but there’s something about his that makes me really want to listen to what he has to say. It’s definitely either something that demands respect or a really cool mustache. I’ll figure it out by the end of hockey season. So with one winning coach in town, eyes shift to the city’s losing coaches. The Cubs’ head of operations has fled town, the Bears’ coach is… I don’t really know, but Ozzie… well, he’s a bit quieter than he was a few months ago.
Rumor has it, Ozzie was running his mouth around town saying he wants an extension with enough money to last him 13 lifetimes. He’s got at least 8 left if he continues to fight paws-up, like a cat! This really seems like the wrong time for Ozzie to be making his case. After all, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz has come off a year with so much talent that fell so, so short of the mark, that fingers would be amiss to point at anyone by Ozzie. It seemed that rather than give gifts, Ozzie has taken them away.
Brains: You, scarecrow, I’ll miss most of all! Brainiac Carlos Quentin had enough college education and focus to hit 36 home runs (with 100 RBI) in 130 games in 2008 before a season-ending injury. Think of what Carlos could do in the coming years! Well, clearly, he was encouraged to give up his somber ways enough that he loosened up and lost his mind altogether. Bad base-running and boneheaded calls to steal bases (I don’t see anyone asking Paul Konerko to steal a base!) caused Carlos to get injured again and again. And his batting average took quite a toll. Although Quentin contributed with RBIs this year, it was clear that he is not the same Carlos we saw in 2008.
Home: All Nick Swisher wanted was to go home. And his wish was granted. The follicle-loving Swisher was sent to the Yanks in exchange for something like Jayson Nix and Wilson Betemit. Basically, for nothing. And to make matters worse, Swisher started to produce for the Yankees. Might something have to do with the way he was managed in Chicago?
Courage: The Sox played bravely against the Yankees, the Red Sox, and … well, pretty much everyone, especially this year. Except the Twins. If Ozzie is responsible for naming the Twins the Piranhas, he should also give the Sox a nickname. The guppies? The Yellow-Bellied Sox? Anything that implies that the Sox’ overall fortitude decreases tenfold when faced with the fearful Twins, who folded-again- in the ALDS after just 3 games against the Yanks.
Heart: Perhaps Ozzie’s biggest problem was his heart. He took turns caring too much and taking things too personally and then making decisions that were all business (such as not signing Jim Thome despite being a lovable guy, not bringing back Joe Crede, etc.). Perhaps Ozzie’s biggest mistake was not knowing he had a heart- much like the Tin Man. He acted as though rational, but really did answer to some sort of emotion. I guess that’s why they call it sentiMENTAL. Get it? Get it? Well, I tried.
I will tell you this: I don’t expect Ozzie to jump ship to the Cubs or every do something as disgraceful as Lou Piniella, abandoning the burning ship. Plus, I DO believe Ozzie is competent enough not to let the ship burn quite so hot.
As for the future, I can’t know if they’ll sign Ozzie again or not. But I will say this: It’s far more likely to see a future without KW than a future without Ozzie.