Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twins versus White Sox won't be the same

The Twins and the White Sox have combined for quite a rivalry during the tenures of managers Ron Gardenhire and Ozzie Guillen. On Monday night, half of that equation was no longer part of the AL Central. Guillen has coached his final game as the manager of the White Sox and he has been sent to the Florida Marlins for two minor league players.

Guillen has always been a very outspoken man and it became clear in the final weeks of the season that he did not want to return to the team without a contract extension in hand. He had a deal signed through the 2012 season with the White Sox but he has been released from that deal to sign a new contract with the Marlins. His new team will also be opening a brand new stadium for next season and that could mean the ball club has a little extra money to throw his way.

In recent years, the White Sox struggled against the Twins with Guillen at the helm. The teams he lead finished second to the Twins in the AL Central during the 2004 and 2010 seasons. He did manage a World Series title in 2005 and he defeated the Twins in Game 163 in 2008. The only winning season he held a winning edge against the Twins was in 2005, the White Sox World Series year.

Twins Record vs. White Sox (Manager Guillen)
2004: 10-9
2005: 7-11
2006: 10-9
2007: 9-9
2008: 10-9
2009: 12-6
2010: 13-5
2011: 9-9
Overall: Twins up 80-67 (.544 win %)

During his time with the White Sox, Guillen found interesting ways to express his admiration of the Twins ball club. There was the infamous piranhas nickname that was given to the Twins by Guillen all the way back in 2006. The Twins played a scrappy brand of baseball that Guillen felt was like piranhas slowly eating away at their prey. Players like Punto, Tyner, and Bartlett would scurry around the base paths to destroy the White Sox.

About midway through last season, Guillen took the piranhas nickname away from the Twins because the club no longer used a pesky style of play that was characterized by hustle. The Twins did not have to wait long to get a new nickname from Mr. Guillen. In June of this season, Guillen accused the Twins of being little sardines. The Twins had to trot out a line-up without the likes of Mauer, Morneau, Thome, and Kubel. But on that night it did not matter, the Twins still found a way to win.

I have never really been a fan of the way the vocal approach that Guillen used to coach his club. However, I would be lying if I said a part of me did not want him to leave the rivalry that has been created in the AL Central. The Twins facing off against the White Sox just won't be as much fun any more and Guillen had a lot to do with excitement of that match-up.

No comments: