Here are some quotes from Herald Writer Jack McCarthy in Chicago.
WILL OZZIE BE MISSED? "Of course he will be missed. (He's a) guy that never that never kept his mouth shut. He's always talking, getting people motivated. How can you not miss a guy that's as loud as him."
Also he's a guy that built a an empire of fans, not only for his game or with his personality (but) the way that he brought a championship to this city. I'm sure there's a lot of people that are going to miss him. No doubt about that."
HE WORKED WELL WITH A VETERAN TEAM, HOW ABOUT YOUNGER TEAM IN MIAMI? "He'll be great. He's the type of guy who (reaches) people with his energy. I think the younger guys might have a bigger impact. He's the kind of guy who's not going to bullshit around. He's going to tell you from his heart. If he thinks you belong to the team he's going to tell you and if you're not going to make, he'll tell you. Some of the younger guys are going to have a little time to adjust."
FAVORITE OZZIE STORY? "There are so many, it's hard to mention a couple. I enjoyed every time he'd go take a pitcher out and say something completely out of the ordinary to make the guy laugh or something like that."
A LITTLE QUIETER AROUND CLUBHOUSE WITHOUT OZZIE? "Yeah, a little bit. It seems a little quieter. It's a business, it's a part of the game. To me, Ozzie was a great manager, a good guy and a passionate person and he gave me the first opportunity to close some games and do something I always wanted to do. I wish him the best and I'm sure he's going to have tons of success."
FAVORITE OZZIE STORY? "I think the one everybody saw when I made the team. I had tears in my eyes because it was such a long journey. He said: "That's great and all, but don't make me cry in August with your pitching. And that kind of broke the tension a little bit."
IS CHANGE GOOD? "Change can be good at times. I think with both parties. Ozzie was getting worn out a little bit, stressed and so it'll be good for him and his family to be in a new place and I'm sure he's going to be successful. He just has that personality."
DID WELL WITH VETERAN TEAMS HERE, HOW WILL HE FARE WITH YOUNGER TEAM IN MIAMI? "Good. He's passionate. He's a passionate guy. He kind of wears his feelings on his sleeve. All he wants is for his guys to play aggressive. I'm sure he's going to be successful and do really well in Florida."
ON OZZIE'S PERSONALITY: "The one thing I always thank Ozzie for, and I care about Ozzie a lot, is that he understood me as a player. That's one thing he did his best -- to understand his players and what motivated them. I think he understood me and let me play. He let me be as I am and I think he appreciated that I played hard for him. Because of that respect he gave me, I played as hard as I could for him."
ON OZZIE DEPARTURE: "He did what he had to do. You can't fault a guy for taking care of his family and I don't have any animosity towards him for leaving or anything like that. It's a business and it's part of it. And we'll move on."
HOW DIFFERENT IN CLUBHOUSE TODAY: "It'll be quieter for sure. It'll be a little more apparent at game time, looking over there and not seeing him sitting there. It'll be different. That's baseball."
FAVORITE OZZIE STORY?: "Not really, there's so many. He's just colorful every day. That's how he was. He was fun to be around, even when we were going bad. He was fun to be around. It'll be different."
SUCCESSFUL HERE WITH VETERAN TEAM, HOW WILL HE DO WITH YOUNGER TEAM IN FLORIDA? "I think he'll be good. I've been a young guy under him. He's good. He relates to everybody. He let's the veteran guys be veterans and kind of run the clubhouse. But he knows when to step in when he has to."
MOST VALUABLE LESSON LEARNED FROM OZZIE BACK WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER? "Really just respect the game. Obviously people had their own opinions about him and things he says and does, when it all comes down to it, he had a great respect for the game. He understood that no one was bigger than the game and I'd say that's one of the things I'll remember."
PITCHING COACH DON COOPER: "Yesterday was a tough day. We got the group in there, our coaches, we've got eight years together.You go through an awful lot. Eight years is a pretty good chunk of time in a player or a coach's career. And it's also a good chunk of time in someone's life. Whether we're in the clubhouse, whether in the dugout, whether on the plane, whether we're on the bus, in the hotel, we're together an awful lot. Relationships are there. It's tough to see something come to an end. I don't think there's a good guy or a bad guy, I think it just ran its course."
WHAT DE YOU LEARN FROM OZZIE IN TIME HERE? "I'll tell you what I learned before Ozzie. I was here as the interim in '95, I realized how important a manager was, how important a leader is. I saw it when I played with Billy Martin as the manger, this guy was a leader, you knew he was in charge. Ozzie did that. Ozzie took charge, Ozzie was the leader, and he led us to a world championship. It was my pleasure and I was awful lucky. As a coach you're always looking to hitch your wagon to somebody that has a career so you can have a career. And hopefully you can win and keep that going. And all that happened. And for that personally I'm grateful to him. Needless to say I wish him the best. I love the guy. When there's an ending to something there's beginning to other things. The White Sox will have a new beginning also."
WAS OZZIE LARGER THAN LIFE? "I don't believe what we've seen here and experienced here in the last eight years may ever happen again. I'm not talking about winning a world championship, I'm hoping that is in the cards. He was an interesting guy and certainly colorful. He helped all you guys do your jobs. Obviously you were looking for stories (and) they were easy to find."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH OZZIE? "Ozzie and I had unbelievable good communication on the pitchers on a daily basis -- knowing who's pitched when, who's the freshest, who needs a day and I would like to think that same communication is going to happen with anybody else."
CATCHER A.J. PIERZYNSKI
HOW WILL GUILLEN FARE WITH YOUNGER TEAM IN FLORIDA? "Ozzie will get their attention when he comes in. He obviously has the respect. He worked there before. He won a World Series there in '03, he won a WOrld Series here in '05, so he has that respect. He'll be fine. As long as guys play hard for him, Ozzie won't have any problems. As long as they go about their business the right way he should be happy."
LASTING MEMORY OF OZZIE? "Obviously 2005 when we won the World Series. He was a special guy with a unique ability to get people excited about coming to watch him manage and that's what he did best."
BEST OZZIE STORY? "There's a whole bunch. We could be here all day. He was always great to me great to my family."
LASTING MEMORIES OF OZZIE? "I’m going to remember a guy that was real firey and wanted to win and had fun doing it. He always had a joke to say to whoever was around wanting to hear it. He’s a fun guy who was obviously a great baseball player and manager."
WHAT DO THE MARLINS HAVE IN STORE WHEN OZZIE ARRIVES? "No telling. He’s going to be even more at home, where he lives. Miami’s going to get a guy who want sto win, has got a lot of personality and adds a whole different aspect to the game. I don’t see it a bad fit at all."
HE HAD SUCCESS WITH VETERAN TEAMS, HOW WILL HE DO WITH A YOUNGER TEAM? "It might be even better. Maybe he doesn’t expect everything. Maybe he’ll be even more laid back."
THOUGHTS ON OZZIE: "Ozzie is definitely one of the characters of the game, in the history of the game. He’s one of those guys that it’s tough for me to tell you what you’re in for, how to explain him. You just have to be around him."
WHAT ARE THE MARLINS IN FOR WITH OZZIE? "My initial thoughts are that he was here for eight years. First off, he treated me great as a player. He took care of me on a personal level as far as getting through seasons, paying attention and caring about what I needed all the time. And I appreciate that. I think it was because he was a younger guy -- he still is -- when he got the job and not too far removed from his playing days and he paid attention to all the things the players care about. The whole thing here kind of ran its course. I think it got a point where it go so stressful and became such a black cloud of like ‘what’s going to happen’ , the front office and him and all that. And it just got to a point where something kind of had to give. I think he’s happy. I think he’s relieved. I think it’s one of those things where I don’t think he never wanted to leave here but I think both sides were probably going to be relieved and happy. Everybody just shook hands, agreed to be friends and moved on in different directions. We won a World Series together and that’s something 20 years now that anybody who was a part it will always be special."
MOST VALUABLE LESSON PICKED UP FROM OZZIE? "Me and him were probably opposite personalities as far as I never really had fun playing the game, it was much more businesslike all the time. He’s not like that. He likes to have fun while he’s doing it. So he’s probably given me some perspective and some laughs at some moments while I’ve been playing that I normally wouldn’t have had about what’s really important and how to turn the page on every day. If I had a bad game the night before I probably wouldn’t be able to get rid of it quickly and he’s very good at that. He’s upbeat after the game, already looking forward to the next game."