After saying in January at SoxFest that he was content “making easy money talking about baseball” on TV, former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is leaving ESPN after five years.
Guillen, who served as a baseball analyst for ESPN and ESPN Deportes since 2013, announced the news Thursday on Twitter. He wrote that he’ll remember his time at ESPN as some of the “happiest” years of his life.
“I want to thank each and every single person I had the pleasure of working with over the past 5 years at ESPN,” Guillen wrote. “Thank you for opening your doors to me, for allowing me to work along side (sic) you, and welcoming me into your family. These years were among the happiest of my like (sic) and I owe so many people so many thanks for that.”
Guillen, who lives in Chicago year round, could get picked up by NBC Sports Chicago, which produces pregame and postgame shows for every Sox game throughout the season.
It’s also not beyond the realms of possibility that Guillen, a Sox fan favorite, could make his return to the South Side.
At his first SoxFest in eight years, fans greeted Guillen with “Ozzie! Ozzie!” chants as he walked across the runway with a big smile.
After the opening ceremony, Guillen said he wanted to be part of the Sox’ future, though he didn’t know in what capacity that would be.
Guillen, who had a year remaining on his Sox contract when he became the Marlins’ manager in 2011, had a strained relationship with the organization, more specifically with executive vice president Ken Williams. But that bad blood appears to be in the past.
“Me and Kenny are good,” Guillen recently said.
Guillen and Williams also joked with one another while sharing a stage for a Q&A session with fans at SoxFest.
Guillen, the 2005 American League Manager of the Year, also said he’d like another shot manager in the major leagues, though he’s “not losing sleep” over it. He spent his offseason managing in the Venezuela winter leagues.