It was inevitable. 4 of the last 6 (LaRussa, Torborg, Lamont, Manuel) Sox skippers have won the award. Guillen guided his team to the best record in the AL, and the first World Series title for Chicago since 1917. Ozzie clearly deserved the award.
For all the criticism that he receives, Guillen is very good at a few things that may go unnoticed.
- He is very good with his pitching staff, both starters and bullpen. He shows great trust in his starters, letting them work deeper into games than most managers would have the heart for. -- Then, when it's time to go to the pen, he's not afraid to be unconventional in his reliever usage. Sure, Jeff Brantley is going to spout off about how he should have used his closer, but Ozzie doesn't care.
- He puts his players in the position to succeed. The Sox opened the season with Pods batting first, Iguchi second, and so on; They closed the season with a nearly identical line up. -- Guillen knew what his guys could do. He didn't put them in a position to do any more than they were capable of. -- Except Timo, in which case, any time he gets near the baseball diamond we're in trouble.
- He fosters a winning environment -- This is the one area that Ozzie gets the most credit for in the mainstream press, and I can't discount his effectiveness.