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Sporting News: Ozzie Guillen AL Manager of the Year

Coming across the wires about an hour ago...


CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen, who has guided the White Sox to their first World Series appearance since 1959, has been named American League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News.

Guillen, 41, led the White Sox to a 99-63 record in 2005, his second season as manager. The 99 wins tied the 1983 club for the second-highest total in franchise history (100 in 1917), while the 16-win improvement from 2004 was the largest in the AL.

The White Sox were in first place all 182 days of the season, breaking the franchise record of 169 set in 2000. The Sox owned the best record in the AL every day this season and the best mark in baseball every day from April 30-August 16.

The White Sox reached the Fall Classic for the fifth time in franchise history by sweeping the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox in the ALDS and defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, four-games-to-one, in the ALCS. The Sox .875 (7-1) winning appearance thus far is tied with the 1969 New York Mets, 1970 Baltimore Orioles and 1984 Detroit Tigers for third-best in the postseason since 1969 with a minimum of eight games played.

Guillen is the fourth Sox manager to be honored by The Sporting News, joining Tony LaRussa (1983), Jeff Torborg (1990) and Jerry Manuel (2000).

I know there are plenty of White Sox fans who feel that Ozzie is too dim-witted and hard headed to deserve this honor, but I'm not one of them. -- Rob Neyer hit the nail on the head the other day in one of ESPN Page 2's Second Guessing columns.

It's easy to make fun of Guillen because he says some strange things and fetishizes the running game, but the two most important things every manager must do is (1) create an atmosphere conducive to winning, and (2) run the pitching staff. And to this point at least, Guillen would seem to deserve the highest grade in both categories.

I couldn't agree more. For all of his foibles, every single player in that clubhouse absolutely loves Ozzie. You won't find that anywhere else outside of maybe the Bronx. Ozzie's handling of the pitching staff has been nothing short of brilliant. -- I know you're ready to dig through the archives and pull out a specific night that I chastised Ozzie for his bullpen usage, but I ask you to name a team whose fans haven't been upset on a given night because of a specific managerial decision.

Most managers would have stuck with Shingo. After all, he was the closer. (Shingo didn't make it to May as the Sox closer) Most managers would have run Hermanson into the ground with a hard charging second place team breathing down their necks. Ozzie moved on to the 24 year old kid with just a month of experience in the big leagues. -- What other 99 win team, in the era of the 9th inning closer, can you think of that had 3 different closers and was still successful? I don't think you can name one.

Congrats Ozzie. You deserve it.