In case you had any doubts about this being the proper time for Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox to part ways, you only need to read the comments made by the team's best and most tenured player -- first baseman Paul Konerko.
Guillen was 58 games over .500 (272-214) his first three years with the Sox. The last five seasons, he went two games over .500 (406-404). Things have gotten stale, haven't they?
"My first thoughts are everything kind of ran its course," Konerko said. "I think this probably needed to be done on both sides of it. For Ozzie, I think he's been kind of just burned out on this whole thing and probably likewise on the other side, and that's how it goes.
"It doesn't always have to be that someone's right, someone's wrong, this person hates that person. Sometimes in sports -- any business but especially sports -- a coaching staff or a manager or a head coach whoever it might be, that kind of regime runs its course, and that's what we have here."
The captain also expressed a sense of relief that this whole crapstorm is over.
"I don't think anybody's more relieved than kind of the principal people involved, himself and the people that have to make those decisions -- that they're finally getting on with something and starting fresh on something," Konerko said. "But same thing with us, this has been kind of a thing hanging over the organization for awhile. If we would have come out this year and performed well on the field and done well, this could have maybe been avoided. So as a player you kind of feel a little bit a part of that because of the way the season went on the field it caused all these chain reactions of things that happened.
"But even if we had won, maybe this would have happened, who knows? I think relief is probably the best word to describe everybody's feeling. Everybody in here is still a human being -- Ozzie, Kenny, Jerry (Reinsdorf), players in here -- everybody's a human being. So when it comes to your job there's only so much you can take of just every day, the stress level and everything else. I think when something like this happens, everybody kind of feels a little relieved and everybody realizes this isn't life and death. Ozzie's going to be fine, Kenny's going to be fine, everybody's going to be fine. And we're going to move on."
These comments confirm what many of us have suspected all along. There is just too much tension, too much stress, too much pressure, surrounding the White Sox these days. And all that pressure is self-inflicted. Is it any wonder this team spits the bit so often in clutch situations? The environment is no longer conducive to winning. That's the bottom line.
Over the long haul, Ozzie Guillen was good for the White Sox, and the White Sox were good for Ozzie Guillen. I don't see any need for bad feelings. It was just time for a change, for the good of everyone involved.
For White Sox fans, a change should be welcome.