Monday, November 19, 2012

EXTRA: Guillen turns to ace Buehrle?

Wouldn’t it be freaky if Ozzie Guillen wound up getting the managerial post of the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2013 season?

For he’d literally be able to have as his top pitcher the same man he has relied upon for the past 12 seasons. The multi-player trade that sent much of the high-priced talent from the Miami Marlins to Toronto was given final approval by Major League Baseball authorities on Monday.

THAT BRINGS FORMER Chicago White Sox ace pitcher Mark Buehrle back to the American League. The Missouri boy who has made it known he wouldn’t mind it if he were to be able to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals during a professional baseball career instead will get to be a Blue Jay.

Of course, the Marlins began their schizophrenic off-season mode last month when they fired manager Guillen – trying to place the blame on Ozzie for the fact that Miami grossly underperformed during 2012.

Some people who have always had their hang-ups about Ozzie might have been willing to believe that. Except that the Marlins management’s behavior since then has shown it is them, and not Guillen, who are the problem with baseball being a success in South Florida.

There are those who believe the only reason Buehrle left the White Sox following 12 seasons of being their most-reliable pitcher was the idea that he liked pitching for Guillen.

WOULD ANOTHER REUNITING with Guillen be enough to make him happy in Toronto? Much of the reporting about this potential deal and its impact on Buerhle has focused on the fact that he owns pit bulls and would have personal objections to the laws in Ontario that severely restrict ownership of that particular breed of dog.

Or is the Midwest boy at heart going to literally find himself in an alien land – one where he will have to face the tough teams of the American League eastern division multiple times per year, instead of the one game or two a season that he got while pitching for the White Sox of the league’s central division!

Now keep in mind that I’m not in possession of any knowledge that the Blue Jays (who lost their manager to the Boston Red Sox at season’s end) are considering Guillen for the managerial post.

He may well be the last person they’d want to consider for the job! Which could be a mistake. Guillen could be that jolt that could bolster a ballclub that hasn’t won a league championship since 1993 (when they beat out then-shortstop Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox in the AL playoffs).

INSTEAD, THE REPORTS I have seen indicate that one of the alleged front-runners for the Blue Jays managerial post is Jim Riggleman – who back in the late 1990s had a stint managing the Chicago Cubs and later managed the Washington Nationals before they became good.

Who knows? Maybe he learned something in recent seasons (he managed a Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliate last year).

Either that, or they figure he’s already worn a light-blue uniform and might feel comfortable in Toronto.

Somehow, he just doesn’t seem to be the kind of leadership that could help Toronto overcome the New York Yankees, the improving Baltimore Orioles or Tampa Bay Rays – or even the Red Sox (who can’t possibly play as poorly in ’13 as they did last year).


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