Sad day for Sox, and us the Media.
It was my first Ozzie experience. I had covered him from afar for five years prior. But this was my first season being up close and personal. It was after the Sox won 6 of a 9-game road swing. I asked him why the Sox seem to play better on the road than at home.
“Because I don’t have to deal with you and your stupid questions,” he said.
“I thought that was it,” I quipped back.
“Then why [did] you ask me? Another stupid question. See? You prove[d] my point.”
That was Ozzie. I ran the whole byte with my question included. It was great television. When it came to Ozzie there was no editing, except bleeping out the profanity. Otherwise, you just pushed "play" and let it roll. But those golden moments are going by the way of the “Golden Girls”, to South Florida now.
Yes, it was time for Ozzie to go. Like many marriages sometimes it’s just time to move on. After another disappointing season and a $129 million payroll some heads had to roll. But in this case owner Jerry Reinsdorf should have sent GM Kenny Williams packing as well and turned the franchise over to Rick Hahn (who could be leaving for the Cubs but that's another post).
Ozzie asking for an extension wasn’t something Reinsdorf needed to grant. But an unprecedented opportunity awaited him in a place where most go to retire, not restart. Reinsdorf could have played hard ball instead of money ball but he did the right thing letting the Land of Ozzie land in Miami. It was best for all parties. Except maybe the Sox who now because of Kenny “G Money” Williams will be mired in mediocrity for years to come.
It will be a tough act to follow—kind of like the “post-Ditka” syndrome. Nobody else will measure up in the media’s eyes. Forgive me if I mourn the loss a little bit. Now when I get those soundbytes I may actually have to do a little work now.
I’m on my way to the Cell to ask the players if they feel in any way responsible. After all winning cures everything. We’ll have updates tonight at 5 and 6.
We’ll miss you Ozzie. Hope you enjoy your new boat in South Beach.