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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Guillen's emotional exit surprised players

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen’s voice cracked and his tears flowed long before it was announced officially that Monday would be his last day as Chicago White Sox manager.

In an emotional pregame meeting with his players, Guillen made known what everybody suspected was coming, that he would no longer be the manager of the White Sox. What they weren’t expecting was that Monday would be his last game.

A.J. Pierzynski
Ozzie Guillen hugs A.J. Pierzynski after the White Sox won his last game as manager on Monday.
The Florida Marlins are expected to announce on Tuesday that Guillen will become their new manager.

Even though Guillen received the release from his contract that he wanted and is expected to get a new job that would satisfy him, it didn’t make it any easier to break the news to his players.

“We had already heard rumors about it before, but to see him talk and the way he went about it, it was just sad,” said A.J. Pierzynski, one of three White Sox players remaining from the club’s 2005 World Series championship team. “Like I said, I’ve been with him for seven years and anytime you win a World Series with a manager, it’s special.”

Paul Konerko, another holdover from that 2005 squad, admitted that he was shocked to hear Guillen’s pregame farewell.

“I think people had a good inkling that when the season was over ... that sometime after the last out and the playoffs were over ... everybody had a good feeling that this was probably the right time,” captain Paul Konerko said. “But nobody knew coming into today until the meeting around 6-ish. So that was it. OK, this is going down right now.

“But again there’s no real good time, it’s always sudden no matter when it happens. It’s one of those things if both sides have kind of agreed upon it, it’s a shake-hands kind of thing, get it out there and just move on.”

When the game ended and Guillen made his public comments on the subject, he was stoic by comparison. His emotions did not betray him that time and he seemed proud of that fact.

“I told my wife I wouldn’t cry,” Guillen said as he pounded on his chest. “I’m the real Chicago. I’m Chicago tough, buddies. Thank you.”