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Gullien extended: Chicago sports writers rejoice

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Even if you hadn't heard the rumors originally reported by Bruce Levine last week, you had to figure that Ozzie Guillen was far more likely to be given a contract extension than be shown the door. You see, the first part of this story is about Jerry Reinsdorf, sitting back staring at his 2005 World Series trophy, satisfied.

Reinsdorf gave Ozzie an 'A' for a team that had played about 40 games under .500 since last years All-Star game. Reinsdorf rebuffed Greg Walker's critics, implying they were lacking in grey matter. Plus, he always said that he wanted a World Series ring more than anything else, and he seems fiercely loyal to those who helped bring him that title. The Ozzie extension was a given.

The bigger news today from Levine seemed to be that the Ozzie extension essentially marks the end of the Jerry Reinsdorf era, though not for another 5 years. He speculated that Reinsdorf would remain as Chairman through the 2012 season before handing off to his son Michael, who has had his hand in a number of stadium development deals. I don't know what Kenny Williams contract status is, but I doubt he's in any danger of getting Papura'd as long as Jerry is ultimately in charge.

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I like Ozzie. I think he's a pretty good manager. With my general confidence in his in-game and clubhouse management skills, I don't have a problem with him being given an extension, but I do fear what this extension could mean for the future of the franchise.

Aside from the obvious situation with Greg Walker, who presumably now has a virtually recurring contract until 2012 along with Captain Hand, I wonder what the Sox roster will look like over the course of the next 5 seasons. And how will Guillen's presence effect those decisions?

Since he arrived on the south side in 2004, Guillen has continually requested more team speed. But most of the players brought in to fill that request have only had one skill. That trend appears to be repeating itself with Jerry Owens as your probable 2008 opening day leadoff man.

Even though the Sox current roster is full of rookies, Ozzie has shown extreme reluctance to go through a rebuilding effort, stating many times before the trade deadline that this team wasn't rebuilding. Looking over the Sox roster and minor leagues, I can't see how they climb from the depths as perhaps the worst team in baseball without some type of youth movement. Perhaps that's just because I lack vision, but I suspect it's more a case of not wanting to become the Baltimore Orioles.