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07/19/08 8:03 PM ET
Wilson just worried about baseball
Feud with White Sox manager fueled by more words
By Thor Nystrom / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ozzie Guillen has always been one to stoke the fire of verbal wars. C.J. Wilson, in response to the Chicago skipper's most recent scathing comments directed toward him, is apparently trying to extinguish the flames. In fact, the Rangers closer said on Saturday he never saw the spat with Guillen as an issue. The pair began feuding on Sunday during the Rangers' 12-11 victory over the White Sox. Wilson entered the game with his club leading, 12-8. The closer gave up four consecutive singles before securing a popout from Carlos Quentin. Guillen became agitated at this point because of Wilson's reaction to the play and began yelling from the dugout. Jermaine Dye followed with a two-run single cut the lead to one. Wilson would later say Guillen's harsh words provided the adrenaline boost necessary to strike out Jim Thome and Paul Konerko to end the game. Guillen countered that Wilson had showed up Quentin and Thome with the his reaction following the important outs. Wilson said he was angered by Guillen's taunts and that they took his game "to another level." On Friday, prior to Chicago's game against Kansas City, Guillen had more to say: "When your closer comes up with a seven-run lead and you almost blow it, then look yourself in the mirror and then start talking," Guillen said. Guillen negatively compared Wilson's on-field demeanor to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, whom the Chicago skipper considers the best closer in baseball history. Guillen said Rivera gets the job done without showing up the opposition. Wilson is 0-2 with 22 saves in 24 chances and a 5.01 ERA this season. He will get another shot at the White Sox when the Rangers visit Chicago for a three-game series beginning Monday. "I like people when they are good. I don't like people when they are [bad] and they are cocky," said Guillen to MLB.com. "When you are good and cocky, that's fine with me. But when you aren't that good and you try to pretend like you are that good ... "He showed a couple of my players up, and I don't like that. He showed my dugout up in that inning and that's why I screamed at him. The only reason I was screaming is because he was not professional." Responded Wilson on Saturday: "I have a Mohawk, how am I supposed to say that I am professional? Just look at me: baggy uniform, I shave once a week, I have a Mohawk. I'm here to compete and play baseball. I'm not worried about whatever else is going on." Guillen often jaws with the opposition, mostly in good fun, from his perch in Chicago's dugout. This was not one of those situations. "As a player or a manager, I never scream to anyone for no reason," Guillen said. "I don't mind you being cocky or have your emotions on the field. That's fine. That's part of the game. But when you show up a professional player, you better do something before that happens." Wilson disagreed with that connotation. "I wouldn't say I'm cocky, but I'm definitely emotional," Wilson said. The closer went on to provide an explanation for his actions Sunday. "If guys take strikes and complain about it, then they are showing up the umpire. That's what happened," Wilson said. "I don't care who is on the other team, I am going to try to get them out. I don't care how good he is, or how big a fan of this guy I was growing up, which was the case with Thome. It doesn't matter. I don't care how nice he is, I'm trying to get him out. He's not going to help me out. He's not going to send me money for Christmas." Texas manager Ron Washington, who has played and managed against Guillen, had no problem with the Chicago skipper's personality. "Some people get offended by it," Washington said. "But for me it's refreshing." Washington also backed his closer. "He was in trouble out there," Washington said. "He got two pretty darn good hitters in Thome and Konerko. He showed some excitement, I have no problem with that. "He just showed emotion, that's good to me."
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter at MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.