Results tagged ‘ Lou Piniella ’

Guillen speaks on Zambrano outburst

When fans rise in unison and a murmur starts in the stands during the Crosstown Classic at either Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field, usually it means a fight has broken out between passionate Cubs and White Sox supporters.

There clearly was something different going on after the first inning of Friday’s 6-0 victory for the White Sox.

Fans seated near the White Sox dugout and near the Cubs dugout watched Carlos Zambrano let loose on anyone who would listen as he stomped around his teammates, screaming about his team’s performance during a four-run first inning for the South Siders. Of course, nobody on his team hung a 0-2 changeup to Carlos Quentin, resulting in a three-run home run.

Zambrano’s crazy tirade resulted in the right-hander being pulled from the game after one inning, a suspension issued by the Cubs and an embarrassment for an organization already suffering through a miserable 2010 campaign. It was the topic of conversation for much of Ozzie Guillen’s postgame press conference, primarily because of Guillen’s close relationship with Zambrano, Derrek Lee, who had to be kept apart from Zambrano and Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

Zambrano and the Guillen family also had dinner after Friday’s contest.

“He got a lot of time to make the reservation,” said Guillen of Zambrano, drawing a big laugh from the assembled media.

Guillen defended Zambrano after the incident, stating how Carlos is a great guy. It’s a sentiment echoed by many who know the hurler around the city of Chicago, but that off-field persona might not be able to save his on-field temper in this situation.

“A lot of people don’t know Carlos,” Guillen said. “When he puts his uniform on he like to compete, likes to do well. Off the field, he’s a different cat.

“That’s part of the game. That’s the way he is. If I see him, that’s the way he is and you’re not going to change that. Now he has to come back to the team and talk to his teammates I guess. It’s not an easy situation, but he will be alright.”

One of the questions asked of Guillen was whether he could manage someone like Zambrano. He quickly responded, ‘Yes,’ adding how he could manage anyone.

In a credit to White Sox general manager Ken Williams, Guillen hasn’t been saddled with any players causing situations such as Friday’s during his seven-year reign. He has made some disciplinary moves but never had to handle such a disrespectful maneuver toward teammates.

Yet, in theory, Guillen thought he could handle Zambrano.

“I can manage anybody. I can,” Guillen said. “Why not? You go about your stuff, you believe in yourself, you believe in respect. I’m not afraid [to manage] any player in baseball because I’m going to give them all the respect I can to perform for me.

“You can call me lucky because sometimes guys overreact out there. You tell them right away, ‘Cut it down.’ With that situation, I don’t know how I would react because that hasn’t happened to us yet. If that happened to us, that’s different and you would have to see how I would respond. That hasn’t happened yet.

“I’m the one that’s crazy in the clubhouse,” a smiling Guillen said. “I’m not saying I’m a dictator, but I don’t believe in guys going out there and fighting each other.

“Sometimes that’s good for the team. Sometimes they need that, you never know. When that happens, it wakes a lot of people up and they play better. But I don’t think it puts the Cubs in a different situation. They’re going to go out there and try and win the game tomorrow.”

Jake Peavy earned the win on Friday with seven scoreless innings, and the laid-back, good-natured right-hander is a demonstrative force in his own right on the field. Peavy spoke of composure being so important to success, especially in a high-energy, high-profile series like the Cubs-White Sox, after the intense competitor’s victory.

“Composure is everything in this game,” Peavy said. “It’s easy with the adrenaline and atmosphere you have in this series. There’s no doubt about it, when you take the field, when you come to the ballpark, when you wake up, you know it’s a little bit different day than your normal start day.

“That’s fun. That’s what you live for as a player. I can tell you I had a little more nerves going into this game than I did five days ago going when we played in Washington. That’s just the bottom line.

“In a game like this, it’s very easy if things don’t go well on the field or off the field, you can let your emotions get the best of you,” Peavy said. “The biggest thing is channeling your emotions the right way. I certainly haven’t done it all the time but today I was able to do it for the most part. Obviously, I know Carlos had a rough day and had some stuff happen. They’ll get that resolved as a team.”

Guillen hopes Blackhawks score

Chicago’s celebration over the  immense success of the Blackhawks, who reached the Western Conference Finals against San Jose by virtue of a 5-1 victory over Vancouver on Tuesday, has crossed over into the world of Major League Baseball.

“I love it. Chicago really needs it,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of the Blackhawks. “We all (stink). All sports in Chicago are very bad, and we need that.

“We need something good and positive for the city. We all need that. I spent more time in Chicago than Caracas. I’m a big Chicago fan.”

Guillen doesn’t claim to be a bandwagon jumper because he doesn’t know enough about the NHL to even qualify in that category. He’s simply happy for the city of Chicago.

“It’s a great sports city. The fans need wins,” Guillen said. “They’re desperate to have fun, and I don’t think there’s a more fun city when they’re winning.

“The Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, the Bears–we’re not doing too good. Hopefully at the end of the season, the White Sox made those guys smile. But right now we don’t and we need the Blackhawks to eat the Sharks in San Jose.”

Before closing out his analysis of the Chicago professional sports landscape, Guillen ventured into the world of the NBA and addressed LeBron James’ future.

“He can’t go to Chicago because he wants to be the man and Ozzie Guillen is the man,” said Guillen with a laugh. “He’s going to be No. 3 there. Lou Piniella is No. 2.”

Week in Quotes

At the end of each week during Spring Training and hopefully beyond, I’ll try to give you a little flavor from the past seven days of White Sox action with some of the more telling or even humorous quotes. Here’s a look from the first week of action in Arizona, in no particular order.

1. “People talk about trade deadlines and offseasons and timing on things. We are always looking to take that next step to get us that much better. That goes for today and the trading deadline season. All that means is other clubs are more apt to want to do things and if something arises where we have a need, regardless of where that need is, we are going to try to fill it.”
–White Sox general manager Ken Williams on the team’s aggressive philosophy in pursuit of top talent.

2. “We do things right, then we are out of here quick. If we play around and we do the wrong thing, throw to the wrong bases, and don’t take ground balls seriously or run the bases seriously, we are going to be out there for a long time. The best we work, we out of here.

“I’m not going to babysit them. It’s not an instructional league. You are in the big leagues for a reason. I’m not supposed to teach you here. We are supposed to remind you about what goes on with baseball.”
–Manager Ozzie Guillen, explaining White Sox players will dictate how long they are on the field for practice each day.

3. “Make sure you take that young guy under your wing and show him the ropes.”
–Guillen to Freddy Garcia, whose Spring Training locker is situated next to 22-year-veteran Omar Vizquel.

4. “This is a different type of team. We are not the slugging White Sox that hit 250 home runs and go base to base. But that’s a good thing.”
–White Sox veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the change in philosophy on offense for 2010.

5. “I’m always asked that question and I just want to get as many at-bats as I can get. That’s what I’m looking for. Ozzie is the king of making that lineup and wherever he puts me, I’ll be happy.”
–Carlos Quentin on the ideal spot for him to hit in the lineup.

6. “It’s extremely strange. I talked to both a good bit this winter. They are dear friends for life, and I have a great deal of respect for them and their fabulous careers. But more than that, I have a lot of respect for them as people. I know the fans appreciate all they did for us. It was an honor to coach them, and when I retire and look back, those two are right up at the top of my list to be around.”
–Hitting coach Greg Walker on not having Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye in camp.

7. “I don’t want to bring up names, but you take Jermaine. I remember Jermaine telling me at the end of the year, ‘If I don’t like what I see during the offseason or I don’t get what I want, and that doesn’t mean money, it means just the situation and everything I want, I have no problem, I’m happy to not go play. I’ll maybe go during the season if someone asks me, but I’m content with that.’ I would say that would probably be my mindset, where I’m not going to force something if it’s not there because I have other things, I have a perspective of what’s important and what isn’t.”
–Team captain Paul Konerko, on possibly not playing after his contract runs out following this season if he doesn’t find the right fit.

8. “The bottom line is when you get [weather] like this, you have to be like the Marines – adapt and overcome.”
–Pitching coach Don Cooper, on making workout adjustments during a rare Arizona rainy period.

9. “Getting [drunk] every night. Let’s put it plain and simple. When I took a long, hard look at myself and saw where I was headed, at that point, I was headed in the wrong direction.”
–Closer Bobby Jenks, who came into camp in phenomenal condition, on why he stopped drinking during the offseason.

10. “Joey and everyone were praising him and saying how great he looks. He said, ‘I’m on a mission. I’m the best center fielder you have here.’ And Joey said, ‘Well, you should be there are only pitchers and catchers in camp.’ Line of the day.”
–Williams, at the start of camp, recounting a conversation between Andruw Jones and bench coach Joey Cora.

11. “If that thing offends anyone, beat it because I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this ballclub. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this organization or Major League Baseball, period.”
–Guillen on the one-day Twitter-gate, after the entertaining manager started his own account, which is now up to 29,203 followers in less than one week.

12. “I’m really not a Facebook or Twitter guy. I’m a prime rib and baked potato guy. I hate to say that but it’s true. Maybe somebody should teach me.”
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella, when asked about the Guillen Twitter controversy.

13. “I’m ticked. We need to get the word out.”
–A smiling Mark Teahen on Guillen’s total of followers on Twitter surpassing the total for the followers of his popular dog, ESPY Teahen.

14. “I stopped pitching freshman year in high school. I closed then and used to throw hard.”
–Sergio Santos, who is making the successful switch from infielder to reliever with a fastball in the range of 98 mph.

15. “You mean Babe? Yeah. He’s a natural. Freaks like that just don’t happen. Don’t go looking for another Buehrle.”
–Scott Linebrink, when asked if Mark Buehrle, who hit his first career home run last year, would be the best candidate to follow Santos and go from pitcher to position player.

16. “I was happy to see him smiling and at peace with his decision and his family was around. I thought it was great. It was a great turn out from the Chicago media and it played well when it went out that night.”
–Williams on Frank Thomas’ retirement ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field.

17. “It was big for us. There were a lot of losing years. I got a chance to go to it, since it was in Miami, and I live there. They are still partying back there. That’s why it snowed in Louisiana.”
–Juan Pierre, on his beloved New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.

18. “Good for the city? Try the whole state. It’s been a big party down there since it happened.”
–White Sox 2009 first-round pick Jared Mitchell, who played baseball and football at LSU, talking about the effect of the Saints’ Super Bowl win on New Orleans.

19. “They gave me an opportunity, and I didn’t put up numbers. So, this is where I find myself.”
–Cole Armstrong, once the White Sox catcher of the future, with a refreshing look at now being in camp as a non-roster invite.

20. “I still feel like I’m a productive player and feel like I can contribute, but teams want me as a backup player, and that’s something I’m not ready to do. I feel undervalued, basically. I don’t think I have to go out there and prove anything to anyone. My numbers the last five or six years show I can help someone.”
–Dye, speaking to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, concerning his shock to still be without a Major League job.

(Personal Bonus): “No, Merkin. I’m the animal whisperer and got that animal to lie down in front of me.”
–Pierzynski, showing off of a special calendar featuring the big game hunted on an African safari he took with Aaron Rowand and their wives. The response was to my question as to whether the mammoth animal in front of him really was dead.

Crosstown Showdown: U.S. Cellular Wrap

John Danks already has earned the utmost respect from his teammates over three big-league seasons, and throwing seven scoreless innings as he did during Sunday’s 6-0 victory over the Cubs only increases that respect.

But Danks also stepped up and showed he had his teammates’ backs by hitting Ryan Freel to open the seventh. Carlos Zambrano already had hit Scott Podsednik and Dewayne Wise earlier in the game, with Wise’s situation causing words to briefly be exchanged between the two in the bottom of the sixth.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would not go as far as to categorize Danks’ effort as a purpose pitch.

“It’s part of the game,” Guillen said. “I cannot say he hit him on purpose because that’s accusing people.”

When Danks hit Freel in the left forearm, Freel blew on the spot as if to indicate a lack of velocity or pain on impact as he ran to first. But Danks had the last laugh on this particular day.

“To be totally honest with you, I didn’t even see him,” Danks said. “He went to first base and fortunately, we were able to strand him. Whatever he did, that’s something you would have to ask him. It didn’t bother me a bit; I didn’t even see it.”

–This just in: According to a well-placed family source, Danks and Scott Linebrink combined for an all Round Rock, Texas shutout on Sunday. Linebrink, who fanned four in two perfect innings, graduated from Round Rock McNeil High School, and Danks from Round Rock High School. There’s some interesting trivia to amuse your friends.

–Danks made sure to spread the credit to catcher A.J. Pierzynski for Sunday’s victory.

“I didn’t shake A.J. once. A.J. did a great job, he always does,” Danks said. “I know that for the most part, I just have to follow his lead and try to hit his glove with whatever pitch he tells me to throw.”

Pierzynski pointed to Danks’ changeup as his outpitch against the Cubs.

“He kept getting swings and misses and weak ground balls with the changeups,” Pierzynski said.

–As Pierzynski was talking about Chris Getz’s steal of home in the clubhouse, Gary Matthews Jr. swiped home during the Angels’ game on one of the televisions on at the time.

–Guillen showed strong pregame support for the White Sox visiting clubhouse staff amidst Cubs’ allegations that there was a leak surrounding what was said during Friday’s Lou Piniella-Milton Bradley spat. Guillen also shared his thoughts on Mark DeRosa moving from Cleveland to St. Louis.

“It’s funny. Mark DeRosa was my backup (in Atlanta). Now he’s the most wanted guy in baseball,” Guillen said with a laugh. “I was the backup at shortstop and Mark was my backup. I think this guy can help a lot of people.

“He can play every position very well, he’s a great man in the clubhouse. You can play him second, third, you can hit him leadoff. He can do so many great things in baseball. I think Tony picked the right guy. I think he’s going to help him.”

–Finally, here’s Jermaine Dye’s take on the 2009 competition with the Cubs, which has one more makeup game at Wrigley Field on Sept. 3 or 10.

“This series is always great, especially for the city of Chicago and the fans and for us and the clubhouse,” Dye said. “It’s a great atmosphere.

“What a series for everyone. The city of Chicago – three great games and a lot of excitement going on. That’s what you like to see when two teams in the city are playing each other.”

–Actually, one final note. Here’s a closing aside from Wise on Zambrano hitting him after Getz swiped home.

“My thing is just go out and try to get the guy out,” Wise said. “Don’t get mad and throw at someone and hit them. Play baseball and try to get the guy out.”

Crosstown Showdown: U.S. Cellular Field version

Here are a few additional tidbits from the Cubs 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Friday, a competitive and entertaining affair, which sadly is sure to be overshadowed by the dugout outburst from one Cubs outfielder.

–Paul Konerko had his 118-game errorless streak come to an end in the seventh inning, when he bobbled Mike Fontenot’s chopper as Konerko was moving toward second and then couldn’t get the ball to Jose Contreras covering at first base. Geovany Soto followed with a three-run blast to left-center that proved to be the game-winner.

Konerko is an extremely underrated defensive player at first base, and was given the out by one reporter on the miscue coming off of a bad hop. Instead, Konerko explained the thought process on the play.

“That play, it’s one where, as a first baseman, you’ve got kind of a choice when that ball is hit,” Konerko said. “If you just pull up, you can go back to the bag and just get an easy out at first, and then you have a guy at second.

“Then, if there’s a broken-bat hit, you feel sick.You aggressively go after it, and you know it’s kind of a do or die, and I died there. But it’s aggressive. You’re going to make errors. I’d rather make them hard and aggressive like that than laying back. No worries there.

“I wish I would have made it,” Konerko said. “I feel bad when I make an error like that behind Jose because he was pitching so well. I thought he was having a really good day. He threw the ball really well today and battled. You’re sick in that respect, but you’re going to make errors. If I can make them all like that, I’ll be happy.”

Meanwhile, the White Sox might have put a bigger scare into Kevin Gregg in the ninth if not for a great play by Derrek Lee. Pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise hit a shot to Lee, who made a diving stop and flipped to Gregg covering first base, with Gregg beating Wise by half a step for the inning’s second out.

– Ozzie Guillen pinch-hit Josh Fields for Gordon Beckham with two outs in the ninth inning because he wanted to go for the tie with the White Sox trailing by one and down to their last bullet.

“Besides that, the on-base percentage is a lot different,” Guillen said. “Fields had a good at-bat and gave us a chance to get somebody on base, and Beckham has struggled lately.”

Fields drew a walk, after being down in the count at 1-2, before Scott Podsednik took a called third strike that appeared to be a bit outside on a 2-2 pitch for the game’s final out.

– Nobody on the Cubs asked me, but here’s a lineup idea presented by my brother, Jeff, once Aramis Ramirez returns. Move Alfonso Soriano to second base and put Jake Fox in left field. It’s hard to imagine Fox’s big bat going to the Minors or the bench.

And remember, he’s another proud producer from the University of Michigan pipeline.

–Jose Contreras has allowed eight home runs in his last three starts against the Cubs. He also suffered from back spasms during Friday’s game but stayed in the game after the discomfort dissipated.

“I felt a little pinch,” said Contreras through interpreter and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. “I had to lower myself a little bit to throw the forkball, but luckily it was nothing. It was just a little pinch at that moment.”

–Sight not seen by the masses: As Guillen was exiting his postgame press conference in the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center, he paused briefly to exchange hugs and a few words with Lou Piniella outside the Cubs clubhouse, before Piniella went into his meeting with the media.

–And finally, one comment from Konerko on getting a look at any of Milton Bradley’s dugout outburst.

“Not at all. Well, I shouldn’t say not at all,” Konerko said. “I saw some guys move down in the tunnel. I didn’t know why. I didn’t even know who it had to do with. And that was it. And then you kind of caught wind of it later in the game.

“That’s all I know. You tell me. I’m sure I’ll find out. I’m sure some one will let us know. But yeah, it’s not our business.”

–Actually, one final note. Remember, the White Sox lost the first game of the series in Milwaukee and Cincinnati and at home against the Dodgers, but they came back to win all three series. They are 9-7 overall in Interleague Play.

 

Crosstown Showdown: Round 2

The White Sox lineup should be extremely small-ball focused in Friday night’s series opener against the Reds.

Jim Thome once again will be out of action, as the White Sox move on to their third and final three-game Interleague set without a designated hitter at a National League ballpark. This run will end up covering just eight games, due to Tuesday’s postponement.

Carlos Quentin continues to be sidelined during his recovery from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and now it looks as if Jermaine Dye will rest on Friday as he battles through an ongoing left calf strain.

“I might not play him tomorrow, give him some rest [for his left calf], see how that feels,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Dye. “Hopefully, with a day off he’ll feel better, but we’re going by ear. We gave him back-to-back days off and that didn’t help him. I have to be careful with him. If Dye goes down, Quentin is already down, it will be tough on us.”

–Without productiviy from Gavin Floyd and Alexei Ramirez that somewhat resembles last year’s breakout performances, the White Sox probably won’t be playoff contenders. So, despite Thursday’s tough loss, the team has to be encouraged with the signs of resurgence from both.

Ramirez homered for the second straight game and had two hits, after going 4-for-25 in his last six games.

“We’re looking for that,” said Guillen of Ramirez’s effort. “He’s had a tough year this year, a really tough year. Hopefully little by little, he’s getting some big hits for us.”

Floyd lost his chance for a second straight victory due to a rare late-inning bullpen malfunction, as Curtis Granderson’s two-run, ninth-inning home run off of Bobby Jenks cost Floyd last Thursday. Floyd has given up three runs or less in each of his last six starts, working at least seven innings in all but one.

He would trade in Thursday’s stellar mound work for a victory.

“To not win as a team, I think that’s the most disappointing thing,” Floyd said. “I want those (bullpen) guys in there every single time. It just didn’t work out for them. We’re going to bounce back.”

–With all the talk over the past week concerning the Cubs hitting woes, don’t lose sight of back-to-back great efforts from Floyd and John Danks. As has been said many times before, ultimately this team goes as far as it’s pitching and defense.

– Josh Fields pinch-hit for Floyd in the eighth inning of Thursday’s loss and drew a walk off of Sean Marshall. Since June 9, Fields has just 11 plate appearances and once again could find himself as the odd-man out when Quentin gets healthy. Guillen addressed that issue prior to Thursday’s contest.

“I don’t think we’re going to make a move yet,” Guillen said. “We still got to wait for (Bartolo) Colon and see how he is, how he feels.

“That’s the tough move we’re going to make. Josh Fields is still with us. Unfortunately, I could not give him enough playing time. I got to wait to see if I can give Paul a rest at first base and if he can help a little bit by DHing, but I try to do the best I can to accommodate his situation, but it’s tough right now.”

When asked if Fields needed to play full-time somewhere at this stage of his career, even in the Minors, Guillen provided the following response.

“We don’t have that conversation yet,” Guillen said. “Fields never brought it up. Kenny never brought it up to me. Right now, we’re playing well. When you’re playing well, you don’t want to make any moves. You want to leave the team the way it is. Right now it’s not in our plans.”

–White Sox fans have to be smiling over the development of young players such as Chris Getz and Gordon Beckham, not to mention the next step up being taken by Brian Anderson in center. The team appears to have formed a youthful core to keep it strong in the present and for years to come.

–Check out Guillen’s take on the wholesale lineup changes Cubs manager Lou Piniella suggested were coming after Wednesday’s loss.

“”He made one, he put (Anders) Blanco in,” said Guillen with a laugh

Crosstown Showdown: Round 1

It’s sometimes easy to forget the managerial acumen possessed by Ozzie Guillen.

That aspect of the overall person that is Guillen often gets lost when he’s telling humorous stories about buying T-shirts that make fun of him on the streets near Wrigley Field, not to mention the other comical yarns he spins on a daily basis. But anyone who watched the White Sox in action during Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs understands his sharp and aggressive managerial mindset and how the White Sox take their cue from their leader.

I’m not saying Guillen outmanaged Lou Piniella. In all honesty, I’m not sure if Houdini could have produced a win for the Cubs on Wednesday with as listless as that lineup looks. But the non station-to-station game played by the Whtie Sox is the sort of game Guillen would prefer to see from his team every day.

–I’m just throwing this out there and I want to see how many, if any, of you agree.

If a vote was taken today, would Scott Podsednik be the White Sox Most Valuable Player? That’s where I would throw my support, although a case could be made for everyone from Paul Konerko to Jermaine Dye to A.J. Pierzynski to Mark Buehrle. But Podsednik has changed the dynamic of this lineup.

He reached base three more times on Wednesday, having now reached base in 32 of his last 34 games, and Podsednik is hitting .315.

– Slowly but surely, the White Sox have put together what looks to be a solid bottom part of the batting order. That group includes Chris Getz, Brian Anderson and Gordon Beckham. On Wednesday, the trio reached base six combined times.

“I think we are playing well,” Beckham said. “We’ve all done something in the last couple of games. It helps that our older guys don’t always have to do it. They don’t always have to have the big hits.”

All three have helped out defensively, with Anderson still standing as one of the best with the glove in the American League at his position.

– Here’s Podsednik’s take on the importance of doing the little things in victory.

“That’s what we haven’t been doing in series before this one,” Podsednik said. “That’s what we needed to clean up a little bit: The way we handled the bats, getting guys over, getting guys in with less than two outs. So, the team that takes the field and is able to do those things consistently is going to be able to win games.”

–Guillen had these words of encouragement for Cubs fans after another tough home loss.

“They’ve got a good ballclub,” Guillen said. “If I had to bet, with all respect to St. Louis, Milwaukee and all those teams, the Cubs are going to be in the pennant race.

“Just people in Chicago relax. Quit panicking. Worry about something else. Worry about your family, the kids going back to school and having good grades. Don’t worry about the Cubs, they’ll be fine.”

On Tuesday night, Guillen predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central by 10 games.

All about Ozzie

As me and my media bretheren were milling around the White Sox clubhouse Wednesday morning, Ozzie Guillen called me into his office to show off a new shirt he had purchased.

The shirt read, “Ozzie mows Wrigley,” and had Guillen on a riding motor super-imposed into a rendering of Wrigley Field. He apparently bought the shirt off of some street t-shirt vendor, with many other politically incorrect options to be had, I’m sure. Actually, I’ve seen many of them.

Guillen laughed at the joke on the shirt, poking fun at his dislike for the visiting facilities at Wrigley Field. But he also told the vendor that while he might mow Wrigley Field, he’s not standing out in the rain selling t-shirts like this guy was on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Guillen had an equally humorous take when asked about the lack of outbursts coming from him and Cubs manager Lou Piniella this season. Are they getting calmer as they advance in years?

“Well, I think Lou is getting old and I’m getting poor. I’m broke. Every year I donate too much money to Major League Baseball,” said Guillen, drawing his daily laugh from the media. “I don’t think we need it.

“One thing I follow in baseball is Lou’s press conference. I never miss them, I never do. I think they’re fun.”

Guillen had harsh words for his team following last Monday’s first-game loss to the Tigers during a home doubleheader. The White Sox seem to have responded to his challenge.

“I say what I have to say the day we played poorly, I say that because of the way we were playing,” Guillen said. “Right now, I don’t think we have to do it. When we have to do it, we’re going out and doing it.

“Sometimes, it’s like when your parents, day in and day out, they are all over you, and then all of a sudden the kids just start making fun of you and don’t listen to you. You have to pick your spots when to say stuff, and how.”

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