Sox GM has fond memories of Guillen

Updated: November 1, 2012, 2:54 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday that if someone told him a year ago that Ozzie Guillen would last just one season as manager of the Miami Marlins, he wouldn't have believed it.

Then again, Hahn wasn't necessarily expecting the four-year deal to reach its completion, either.

"I don't think I would have bet the full completion of the four-year contract, just because of some of the personalities involved," Hahn said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. " But I never thought he would have been gone in one year.

"And the fact of the matter is, I think it was equally likely he was probably gone in one year as it would have been that he's there for 15 years. It could have worked out wonderfully. I think that's part of the reason Showtime chose to follow them around (for the documentary-style show "The Franchise"). It could have been a wonderful upside story of energy and revitalizing an important baseball market. Unfortunately, it went the other way."

Guillen spent eight seasons as manager of the White Sox, including the 2005 championship year, before departing for the Marlins in September 2011. He was fired by the Marlins after a controversial season that included complimenting Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, publicly feuding with closer Heath Bell, and the team's last-place finish in the NL East.

The White Sox, meanwhile, flourished under first-year manager Robin Ventura, who had never managed in the majors before but had his team in first place in the AL Central for most of the season.

Hahn, who was promoted this week from assistant GM, was not ready to say a change in clubhouse atmosphere after Guillen left was the reason for success. It can't be denied, however, that the players didn't have to deal with daily questions regarding the feud between Guillen and former GM Ken Williams, who was promoted to executive vice president this week.

"In some ways it's too easy to say well you changed X, so therefore Y and Z happened automatically," Hahn said. "I think it was a lot of factors, ranging from health to preparation to a different voice in the dugout.

"I do know that over the [eight] years Ozzie was with us, we had some tremendous performances from guys that he played a vital role in unleashing, and developing them and having them fulfill their potential at the big league level. And that banner is going to wave above U.S Cellular Field forever, in large part because of him."

Hahn said he recently exchanged texts with Guillen.

"We texted back and forth after what happened down in Florida, and he sent me some real nice messages after our announcement was made last week," Hahn said.