Ozzie Guillen heard the boos late Tuesday night as he walked down the dugout steps in the eighth inning. He pointed to where his 2005 World Series ring would be, and gave the thumbs-up sign.
Thats how Guillen keeps score: Every time you walk to Cellular Field, the first (bleep) you see is me holding the trophy.
So even if it looked strange not wearing a White Sox uniform, the Miami Marlins manager was totally in his element, back at Wrigley Field and messing with Cubs fans.
I love it, Guillen said after a 9-5 victory. Tomorrow, fill up those seats and boo me. That would be pretty nice. Even my wife was booing me. I asked her why. She said she didnt want anyone to know she was my wife.
So Guillen would have liked a bigger crowd (34,397), and has certainly expected more out of his 44-46 team, a 118 million reality show being filmed by Showtime.
But Guillen enjoyed getting his audience with the Chicago media. Hours before first pitch, one Marlin looked at all the reporters and cameramen camped outside the dugout and turned to a teammate and whispered in a mock voice: Ozzie Frenzy!
We did some pretty good stuff, Guillen said. I think we made this town happy for a couple days. I think I was a hero for a month and I was here eight, nine years.
They boo me everywhere. Im not looking for a standing ovation Im looking for three wins. Thats why I come here. Im not here to promote myself or be a candidate for president. Im here to win.
The feelings are more complicated than that. Guillen compared it to getting divorced and remarried. Guillen has no issue with his replacement, Robin Ventura, a great friend and the perfect choice for the job in his mind.
Guillens problem is with the narrative or what hes perceived to be the story that the White Sox are in first place after a disappointing 79-83 season simply because hes gone.
I wish the best for Robin and I'm rooting for the White Sox, Guillen said. If the things changed in the clubhouse, good. Everybody's happy, everybody is doing what theyre supposed to do. But the thing that bothers me is when they say, Well, they're playing better because of the change in the clubhouse.
No, they're playing better because they're good. All those people that say they're playing better because managers and coaches changed no, they're good because Robin is doing a tremendous job and the players are responding the way they should respond. I said last year it's too bad that they didn't play good for me.
Guillen said he talked to Paul Konerko a few days ago and had drinks with A.J. Pierzynski during the All-Star break.
Guillen described Alex Rios as a dear friend, and indicated that he has as much respect for Adam Dunn as anyone else in the game, for how the slugger handled himself during an awful 2011 season.
Their bounce-back years along with Jake Peavy re-emerging as a frontline pitcher has the White Sox thinking about October.
Dont say theyre winning because Im not there, Guillen said. Thats not fair at all. They have same guy (in) command (of) the pitching (Don Cooper). They talk about Greg Walker how bad a hitting coach he was well, I think the Atlanta Braves are doing pretty good.
To be honest, whatever people say about me and the White Sox, I am a true White Sox. Put it this way: 21 years with the same organization. Nobody can say (bleep) about me in the White Sox organization. Nobody. I am a true White Sox. I spent more years in the White Sox than anybody out there. The White Sox will always be in my heart.