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Bmr31

Cito looks to have the edge

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By Teddy Greenstein

Tribune staff reporter

 

October 1, 2003, 11:33 PM CDT

 

When White Sox broadcaster Darrin Jackson says Cito Gaston commands respect in the clubhouse, believe him.

 

Jackson played under Gaston in Toronto for only part of the 1993 season, but the manager made a lasting impact on him.

 

"To me, he's in compete control and command of his environment," Jackson said.

 

White Sox general manager Ken Williams, who also played for Gaston, said Monday he also holds the two-time World Series champion in high esteem.

 

So high Williams already has spoken to Gaston about the Sox's managerial opening, according to a source close to the situation.

 

Williams was in meetings all day Wednesday and Gaston could not be reached for comment. He was said to be traveling from Toronto to his home in Oldsmar, Fla.

 

The source said he believed Gaston, 59, wants to return to managing, feels comfortable with Williams and views the Sox job as very attractive.

 

If Williams offers him the job, the source said, Gaston will base his decision largely on his comfort level with the organization and contract terms.

 

Like pending free agent Roberto Alomar, who said Saturday that Gaston was "like a dad to me," Jackson would applaud such a move.

 

"I've had a few managers," said Jackson, who played for eight teams during his big-league career. "I really enjoyed my time with Cito. He went about everything in a very professional manner."

 

Jackson remembers how Gaston reacted to an incident in 1993, when umpire Durwood Merrill ejected Jackson after he lightly protested two pitches in the second inning of a game.

 

"Cito came into the clubhouse and said, 'Are you all right now?'

 

"I said, 'Yeah.' He said: 'We can't have you thrown out that early in the game. We need you.' He patted me on the shoulder and walked away.

 

"I knew exactly what he meant. I was a wasted player at that point."

 

Jackson never got ejected from another game.

 

"He makes sure his players act like big-leaguers," Jackson said.

 

Despite guiding the Blue Jays to World Series titles in 1992 and '93, Toronto dismissed him late in the 1997 season.

 

He was considered for subsequent managerial vacancies in Milwaukee and Cleveland. The Brewers hired Davey Lopes and the Indians gave the job to Charlie Manuel.

 

"I thought I was a good fit for [Cleveland], but they got back to me in a way I didn't think was quite right," Gaston told the Toronto Star in August.

 

"And it was during the time when [baseball was] talking about interviewing minorities more. So I thought some of the teams that were calling me for interviews were just covering their backs by doing it. I didn't feel like they could use me for that. If you want me to come for an interview, be serious about it or don't my waste time."

 

Anaheim was serious about hiring him, but Gaston turned down its interview request, citing family concerns.

 

"I was having problems at home and my wife did not want to go out that way to Anaheim," Gaston, who since has divorced, told the paper. "They said [later] if I showed up, I had the job. But you never know."

 

Gaston returned to Toronto in 2000 to be the team's hitting coach. He lost his job Oct. 6, 2001, the same day the Jays released third-base coach Terry Bevington, a former Sox manager.

 

Gaston said he turned down an offer to become Boston's hitting coach after the 2001 season because he didn't want then-manager Joe Kerrigan to be looking over his shoulder. The Expos wanted to hire him in the same capacity.

 

"In Montreal, we just couldn't get together on a good figure," Gaston was quoted as saying. "I couldn't afford to go there for what they wanted to pay me. I've had some offers, but not like you'd imagine I should have, really."

 

Gaston returned to the Blue Jays as a special assistant to team President Paul Godfrey for the 2002 season.

 

"I'm a big fan," Godfrey said Wednesday. "He's not only a perfect gentleman but a great baseball man. I don't want to be too praiseworthy and hurt his chances [with the Sox.]"

 

Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune

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I saw this article earlier. What are your thoughts on Cito, Bmr?

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I saw this article earlier.  What are your thoughts on Cito, Bmr?

I like him. He has two rings and everyone seems to respect him. Sounds like a good fit to me. :huh:

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I like him.  He has two rings and everyone seems to respect him.  Sounds like a good fit to me. :huh:

I didn't recall you ever saying what you thought. I think he'd be perfect for the Sox. As for Ozzie Guillen, hire him as the 3B coach and let him tutor under Cito and Nossek for a couple of years.

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I didn't recall you ever saying what you thought.  I think he'd be perfect for the Sox.  As for Ozzie Guillen, hire him as the 3B coach and let him tutor under Cito and Nossek for a couple of years.

Sounds good but sounds costly...... :P

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Sounds good but sounds costly...... :P

We have to have a 3B coach anyway. Ozzie has experience there, is an ex-Sox and a fan favorite, with a few exceptions. Sounds like a perfect fit, to me.

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Here is a dilemna. Lets say the sox talked to Cito and liked him, and eventually hire him. Isnt that unfair to Ozzie, considering hes still in the playoffs and working??? :huh:

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Hopefully if Cito's da guy, Robbie will come back on a cheap deal. He certainly holds him in high esteem.

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Im starting to get a little excited. If JR dishes out the payroll and we can sign Cito, i like our chances next season........ :)

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Here is a dilemna.  Lets say the sox talked to Cito and liked him, and eventually hire him.  Isnt that unfair to Ozzie, considering hes still in the playoffs and working???    :huh:

I don't think they'll make that hire without talking to Ozzie.... unless Ozzie is pure speculation and the brass isn't even considering him at this point.

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Will Florida even let us talk to him? Maybe they mite think Jack McKeon hasn't got much left, and they mite want Ozzie as their new manager?

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I'd be interesting in Cito, more than Ozzie. I would much rather see Ozzie get somemore seasoning before being a manager.

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I don't think they'll make that hire without talking to Ozzie.... unless Ozzie is pure speculation and the brass isn't even considering him at this point.

I hope they aren't considering him for a managerial position. IMO, he needs more experience before being given control. Ozzie makes decisions from the heart.. I think he needs to toughen up a bit more. Also.. he played with Frank and I don't think he'd be able to manage him properly.

 

FWIW, I have not heard that Ozzie is a "serious candidate" for "manager". :rolleyes:

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Yeah I think KW's got his mind set on Cito since he couldn't get LaRussa from the Cards.

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Do the reporters on ESPN radio know anything? They, and the Sox beat writer, seem to be standing behind it being Buddy Bell. But everything they were saying was stuff talked about a few days ago. Tom Share was even asking how much in the running LaRussa was, and I thought Kenny pretty much killed that one in the press conference.

:fthecubs :drink

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I don't think they'll make that hire without talking to Ozzie.... unless Ozzie is pure speculation and the brass isn't even considering him at this point.

Ozzie better be speculation. :fyou Guillen

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The only big league winner I have heard about is Cito Gaston. I guess Hargrove also from his days in Cleveland, but why take someone who just recently got canned? Organizationally you have Backman and ex-Sox wise you have Ozzie. Both may need more time to develop, but I wouldn't have heartburn if one or the other was selected. I would still love to see Carlton Fisk be considered.

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Guest JimH

In addition to managerial experience, the big plus with Gaston is he's got hitting coach skills. He was hitting coach in Toronto and the Red Sox wanted him in that capacity.

 

If there's ever been a team who needs a better approach to hitting, it's the White Sox.

 

I really like the idea of bringing in Guillen as 3rd base coach if Gaston is the guy, but I don't know what connection exists between Gaston and Guillen ... positive, negative. I'm sure they are aware of each other, but may not know one another that well.

 

The Sox have said the coaches, minus Bruce Kimm, will be retained ... but that doesn't mean in their exact same roles. It's possible, though not probable, they could be reassigned in the organization if the new manager insists on input.

 

I'm sure Gaston has crossed paths at some point with Rafael Santana and Art Kusnyer, but the main guys he'd have to interact with are the hitting coach and the pitching coach ... Walker and Cooper.

 

There's lots of scenarios to play out.

 

Given the choice of Gaston and Buddy Bell or Mike Hargrove, I'd go with Gaston. Being out of the game for two years can be a good thing, stepping away can be refreshing. He seems to command a lot of respect and admiration, based on comments made by Alomar, DJ, etc. And then there's the "connect" with Williams ... if in fact it's Williams making the decision here.

 

All the same, getting a guy with two World Series rings isn't the worst we can do.

 

As for Guillen, I wouldn't mind seeing him back in the organization because he's got a passion for the franchise ... although I won't ever forget his stupidity in saying "we don't need the fans". That being said, everyone makes mistakes. But I don't think he's got enough experience yet ... and this franchise needs experience at manager ... for several reasons.

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Do the reporters on ESPN radio know anything? They, and the Sox beat writer, seem to be standing behind it being Buddy Bell. But everything they were saying was stuff talked about a few days ago. Tom Share was even asking how much in the running LaRussa was, and I thought Kenny pretty much killed that one in the press conference.

:fthecubs  :drink

Tom Shaer has been an idiot for many years now.

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Could the Sox lure Guillen away from the Marlins to become the 3rd base coach? Unless he's a free agent (or whatever you call an available coach) then you can take him otherwise he needs to be given a different position then he currently holds, unless the Marlins say he can go.

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Do the reporters on ESPN radio know anything? They, and the Sox beat writer, seem to be standing behind it being Buddy Bell. But everything they were saying was stuff talked about a few days ago. Tom Share was even asking how much in the running LaRussa was, and I thought Kenny pretty much killed that one in the press conference.

:fthecubs  :drink

Tom Shaer has been an idiot for many years now.

Amen to that -- Tom Shaer is the biggest moron on radio (and he's got alot of competition) :cheers

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Having Ozzie Guillen as 3rd base coach would be like having Wavin' Wally squared three times over.

 

We have a chance for a new manager and new approach and most people want a nostalgia ride to the past.

 

Let's have Harry Chappas as a coach!

 

Let's have Les Moss manage!

 

Come back, Norberto Martîn, all is forgiven!

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Having Ozzie Guillen as 3rd base coach would be like having Wavin' Wally squared three times over.

 

We have a chance for a new manager and new approach and most people want a nostalgia ride to the past.

 

Let's have Harry Chappas as a coach!

 

Let's have Les Moss manage!

 

Come back, Norberto Martîn, all is forgiven!

I was almost positive you were going to bring up He-who-shall-not-be-named.....I think you know who I'm talking about. ;) :lol:

 

I just hope that if Gaston does come here, he picks out a decent 3B coach.

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God help us if Cito is manager. He has two rings but all he had to do was put the same team out on the field over and over and then supervise. He wont be able to do that with this team...

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Guest JimH
be like having Wavin' Wally squared three times over.

 

We have a chance for a new manager and new approach and most people want a nostalgia ride to the past.

It's got nothing to do with a nostalgia ride, it has to do with someone who has:

 

1). Respect from the players because they know the 3B coach knows the game

 

2). Other intangible attributes he may bring to the table ... enthusiasm, passion, the ability to teach and coach

 

3). Someone who might be a managerial candidate in the future ... which Guillen certainly could be. He can learn from an experienced manager, and when that guy has had enough, you've got someone ready to step in. Succession planning.

 

4). The ability to help draw the team together, i.e. help the chemistry. Guillen was a captain here so it appears he has that ability.

 

Just because a guy did or didn't play for the Sox doesn't make him a good or bad candidate for a coaching or managerial position. It takes looking at the guy's experience, and making a baseball and personnel judgement what he can add to the franchise.

 

Guillen's perceived popularity as a former Sox player shouldn't really factor in, but with a franchise that continually struggles to sell tickets, it may have more weight than we want.

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