I talked to multiple people in the know at U.S. Cellular Field over the weekend and not one thinks Ozzie is coming back as White Sox manager in 2012.
I did not talk to the only person that matters - chairman Jerry Reinsdorf – so it is dangerous to make a definitive call on Ozzie’s future.
UPDATE: According to a radio report, Ozzie and Reinsdorf are meeting at the United Center this afternoon. Stay tuned for an update a little later.
Personally, I do not think Ozzie has any chance of getting the contract extension he’s been requesting for weeks.
The Sox are going to finish under .500 with the highest-paid team in franchise history. Fair or not, that is on the manager.
Talk about a classic dichotomy, Ozzie has taken the blame for the season as much as he’s asked for an extension.
Too many other major-league managers – the Yankees’ Joe Girardi and the Tigers’ Jim Leyland are prime examples – work on one-year deals.
Ozzie does not want to do that, so he is forcing Reinsdorf into a corner.
It’s going to be an interesting week at the Cell, and Ozzie could be officially out of work as soon as Wednesday, when the White Sox wrap up the season with a matinee game against the Blue Jays.
If Reinsdorf goes ahead and makes the change, Buddy Bell is at the top of my replacement list.
I do not envy the man that replaces Ozzie as Sox manager, but Bell would be best suited to make a smooth transition.
Bell is wrapping up his third season as the White Sox’ director of player development, so he knows the system. Bell also managed in the majors for nine seasons with the Tigers, Rockies and Royals.
The 60-year-old Bell played 18 seasons in the majors and was a five-time all-star.
It seems like just yesterday when I was the first to push for Ozzie as the Sox’ next manager after Jerry Manuel was fired.
I’ve known Ozzie for nearly two decades and he is one of a kind, in a good way.
He is true to himself, and the brash kid from Venezuela that played shortstop for the White Sox for 13 seasons became the brash manager that guided the Sox to the 2005 World Series.
Only Reinsdorf truly knows if Ozzie is gone.
If he is, Ozzie will be greatly missed. He’ll also land on his feet.