Let’s name some of the best managers in Major League Baseball, shall we?
Joe Torre of the Yankees, Tony LaRussa of the Cards. Frank Robinson of the Nationals. Bobby Cox of the Braves.
I’ve scratched the surface, I’m sure you’ll agree. Ron Gardenhire of the Twins is way up there, as is Jim Leyland of the Tigers, and perhaps Willie Randolph of the Mets, as well: all of them skippers of Cinderella teams in 2006.
Honorable mention goes to Grady Little of the Dodgers, for reviving a club that was deader than the proverbial door nail.
I didn’t mention Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox because I think he sucks.
He sucks the life out of his team by trying to outshine them, by stealing the headlines, by becoming the story instead of leaving what goes on between the lines to speak for itself.
Feuding with Magglio Ordonez, taking shots at the *** suasion of a Sun-Times columnist, fighting censure from the Commissioner, and at every turn being the lightning rod, he has distracted the Sox this year, from spring training forward.
There are people who walk into a room or a dugout and suck the life out of it.
And there are others who quietly, methodically breathe life into one.
Guillen is the first kind of guy.
All of the names I mentioned above are positive influences. They lead, quietly, methodically, like grown-ups are expected to do.
About four or five weeks ago, Guillen, atypically, accepted blame for the Sox’s waning fortunes. I said, if he tenders his resignation, Ken Williams should accept it.
But now that the season is in the tank, Guillen is loudly blaming everyone but himself, from the starting pitchers to the relievers to the position players.
Yes, he helped the team to win the 2005 World Series Championship.
Let me be the first one to predict he’ll never repeat this feat in a White Sox uniform.
He just doesn’t have the quiet fortitude and grit that the other guys have, and that’s why so many of their teams are headed for the 2006 post-season.
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 850 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered “The Gold Standard"-the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org .