CHICAGO—In a hastily arranged press conference yesterday, former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen announced that he had agreed to a three-year contract to serve as president of the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, the charitable organization best known for its annual genius grants.
Guillen lamented the Florida Marlins’ decision to fire him following an unsuccessful 2012 season, a tumultuous tenure in which he praised Fidel Castro and alienated many in Miami’s Cuban community, but he said he was happy to return to Chicago and to get to work right away for MacArthur, an organization that better understood how his management style fostered creative thinking and free expression of ideas.
“I always loved it here,” Guillen said. “The city is filled with great people. It’s a great baseball town, and really a great sports town overall. Aaron Rogers, I mean, does it get better than him? There’s one genius right there I think we can all agree.” Guillen said his new job did not give him the direct authority to award genius grants but he was “pretty sure” he’d have some influence over the process.
“You know, for example, if I’m in a meeting and I hear they’re thinking about giving some award to, you know, like that douchebag Philip Roth, I’m pretty sure I could kill that one and say, you know, diplomatically, how about maybe Konerko instead?”
Guillen said he wasn’t sure what the MacArthur job would entail, day to day, but that he was confident he would pick it up on the fly.
“I’m just glad to be back in Chicago,” he said. He said he was looking forward to working with “Oprah, Mayor Bloomberg and all the other Chicago geniuses and especially Theo Epstein, because all of us geniuses, man, we gotta stick together.”
MacArthur Foundation officials could not be reached for comment.
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