- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MIAMI (AP) - Hours before the Florida Marlins‘ final game in the stadium they’re leaving, the Ozzie era is expected to begin.

The Marlins scheduled a news conference Wednesday, and they’re expected to introduce Ozzie Guillen as manager.

Guillen’s website leaked the news late Monday that he had agreed to become the Marlins‘ manager, and he tweeted Tuesday that he was in Miami and “ready to go.” Team officials have declined to comment.

Manager Jack McKeon said Monday he planned to retire at the end of the season. Hours later, Guillen announced he was leaving the Chicago White Sox after eight seasons, including a run to the World Series title in 2005.

The Marlins are leaving the stadium where they’ve played since their first game in 1993, and will move into a new ballpark next spring as the Miami Marlins. The franchise planned a big ceremony in conjunction with the final game of the season Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.

“All the pieces are coming together,” slugger Mike Stanton said. “We got the stadium, and we got the manager.”

There had been speculation for more than a year that Guillen’s next move would be to Miami, which gets him closer to his native Venezuela. He worked for owner Jeffrey Loria as McKeon’s third base coach with the Marlins‘ 2003 World Series championship team.

Guillen became the White Sox manager that November, and in eight seasons he had a record of 678-617. Only Jimmy Dykes and Al Lopez won more games with the franchise.

Guillen had a year left on his White Sox contract, and general manager Ken Williams confirmed Tuesday that the club had an agreement with another team for compensation for the manager. But he did not identify the players involved and declined to say the Marlins were the other team.

The White Sox were expected to contend for the AL Central title this year but struggled to their third sub-.500 finish under Guillen. It was a sometimes stormy tenure, and the outspoken Guillen’s relationship with Marlins management could create some off-the-field excitement.

Strong-willed Joe Girardi lasted only one season with Florida in 2006, clashed with Loria and others in the organization, and was fired shortly before being chosen NL manager of the year.

This year the Marlins are staggering to a last-place finish in the NL East. With the team moving to a new home and making a push to become a contender, Loria said he wanted an experienced manager. The new skipper will be Loria’s fourth since early 2010.

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