What If Theo Hired Ozzie? (A Complete Fabrication)

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

You don't want it. I don't want it. It's not going to happen. But what if Ozzie Guillen were the Cubs' manager in 2014?

Let's make one thing clear before I start this. I don't, under any circumstances, want Ozzie Guillen to manage the Cubs. Ever. Neither do you. Most likely, neither does Theo Epstein.

But what if Theo went through all the other candidates, couldn't find even one of them that he thought was a good match, and in a fit of madness, hired Ozzie to manage the Cubs in 2014?

Here's a timeline of what might happen if Ozzie the Cubs Manager came to pass. (Remember, this is all in fun.)

November 1: At his introductory news conference, Ozzie holds up a rat he claims he found in the manager's office when he began to move in. Season-ticket holders hold rally outside Wrigley and burn season tickets. He Who Shall Not Be Named attempts to crash the news conference, is hauled outside by Cubs security and jailed.

December 5: Ozzie talks Theo into re-signing Carlos Zambrano. Says he's going to make Big Z the Cubs' closer. Says, "No worries! I can handle him!"

January 7: Ozzie talks Theo into signing A.J. Pierzynski to back up and mentor Welington Castillo at catcher. Says, "No worries! I can handle him!"

January 21: Ozzie remembers when Grady Sizemore dropped a fly ball in 2005 that went for a double and a key Indians loss, helping the White Sox move on to clinch the division over the Indians, and talks Theo into signing him.

February 14: Pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs' new spring-training complex in Mesa, but Ozzie isn't there. Paul Sullivan finally finds Ozzie waiting outside Ho Ho Kam Park, muttering to himself, "Where is everybody?" When Sully tells Ozzie about the new complex, Ozzie wonders why no one told him, although there were more expletives in his reply than I can post here without violating site rules.

March 28: The Cubs finish spring training with a 26-8 record, surprising everyone. Ozzie's mixing of lineups and pitching staffs, all done by pulling names out of a hat, has produced the best record in the Cactus League. Big Z has posted a 0.00 ERA in eight appearances and will be installed as closer on Opening Day; Sizemore beats out Ryan Sweeney for the starting center-field spot, though Sweeney remains on the team as a backup, because he played for Ozzie for the White Sox.

April 4: Ozzie brings a dead rat out to his lineup exchange with Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. After the game, says he has never forgiven Sandberg for doing better than he did in the very first Cubs/White Sox interleague game in 1997. A large group of White Sox fans sit behind the Cubs dugout and boo Ozzie every time he comes out during the Cubs' 11-0 loss to the Phillies. Ozzie responds by thumbing his nose at them and sticking out his tongue. After the game, he tells reporters, "Get over it."

May 5: On the White Sox' first visit to Wrigley Field with Ozzie as Cubs manager, Robin Ventura comes to visit Ozzie in his manager's office. Ozzie immediately blames his former teammate for the severe ankle injury he suffered in 1992. Ventura responds in kind for his own 1997 injury. The two men come to blows and have to be separated by Zambrano and Pierzynski.

May 7: The Cubs/White Sox series moves to the Cell for two games. White Sox security refuses Ozzie admission to the ballpark. "Orders from the top, sir," they tell the Cubs manager. Bench coach Dusty Baker manages the Cubs for the two South Side games, which they win.

June 13: The Cubs' visit to Philadelphia results in a refusal by Sandberg to meet with Guillen at the plate to deliver the lineups. Instead, Ryno sends Phillies starter Matt Garza to the plate with a shaving-cream pie, but Ozzie has his own pie hidden behind his back. The resulting pie-fight between the two teams causes the game to be postponed due to various pie fillings winding up all over the infield.

June 16: Ozzie makes his triumphant return to Miami, scene of his last managing job with the Marlins. Not a single person notices.

July 13: The Cubs suddenly gel behind Sizemore and Starlin Castro, who makes his third All-Star appearance with a .331/.401/.470 mark at the break. They enter the break on an 11-game winning streak, in first place in the N.L. Central ahead of the slumping Pirates, who have been struck by a mysterious string of injuries that began right after their visit to Wrigley in late June. Ozzie denies being anywhere near the visitors' clubhouse during that series. Ozzie is also named a coach for the N.L. All-Star team.

August 30: Ozzie has led the Cubs to a surprising 77-59 record as they head to St. Louis for a key series with their division rival. Carlos Zambrano has had no incidents all year and recently posted his 30th save. But on this night, plate umpire Joe West blows a couple of calls on Big Z, after which he gives up a game-winning hit to Allen Craig. Zambrano yells and screams at West and is tackled by Ozzie. Z winds up on the disabled list with a shoulder injury; Guillen stands triumphantly atop his pitcher, yelling, "I told you I could keep him in line!"

September 9: Ozzie is stopped by Canadian immigration officials at the airport in Toronto, as he has forgotten his passport in Chicago. He gets into an argument with the officials and is detained in protective custody when he starts yelling at them in Spanish, which is illegal in Canada. Bench coach Dusty Baker again manages the team through this series; the Cubs get swept and their division lead is down to three games, with just 16 games remaining. The Cubs won't make the playoffs if they don't win the division, because the Nationals and Diamondbacks both have better records in second place in their divisions.

September 28: The Cubs must win the final regular-season game at Milwaukee or be eliminated from the playoffs. Pierzynski hits two home runs and the Cubs take a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth with Zambrano, who has just returned from his shoulder injury, on to close for his 40th save. With the bases loaded, Ryan Braun hits a fly ball to Sizemore... who drops it. Two runs score, the Cubs lose, and somewhere Ron Santo's voice can be heard yelling, "Oh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Theo Epstein storms into the clubhouse, fires Ozzie on the spot and names Dusty Baker manager.

And then, we all woke up from this nightmare...

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