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Guillen, Showalter engage in gamesmanship

Guillen, Showalter engage in gamesmanship

BALTIMORE -- There's a nearly 100 percent chance White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and Orioles new skipper Buck Showalter never will exchange holiday cards in December or take family vacations together in the fall.

Any lingering animosity from a somewhat one-sided affair in Guillen's colorful favor and somewhat humorous war of words between the two from six years ago -- when Guillen was in his first year with the White Sox and Showalter was running the Rangers -- seemed to be washed away as this four-game set at Camden Yards approached. Guillen went as far as to say the Orioles would play better for Showalter, a fact proven true by Baltimore's four straight wins since the veteran skipper took over.

This managerial armistice didn't stop the two from engaging in a little gamesmanship during Friday's 2-1 victory for Baltimore in 10 innings.

The primary situation centered on a Felix Pie line drive to right fielder Carlos Quentin with one out in the seventh, which replays showed Quentin clearly trapped. First-base umpire Jerry Crawford ruled the play a catch, bringing Showalter out to argue the point.

And argue the point, and then argue the point some more. The discussion went long enough where Guillen went from a frustrated pose at the top step of the White Sox dugout to coming on to the field to complain to third-base umpire Chris Guccione.

Showalter effectively was icing White Sox starter John Danks as the argument continued.

"My job is, I've got my pitcher out there, but Showalter was doing his job," Guillen said. "He tried to get the play whatever it was. But I've got to protect my pitcher and I've got to try and get [Showalter] off the field, because I've got a guy waiting to throw the pitch."

The case presented by Showalter for his lengthy discussion centered on getting the call right.

"Jerry, I don't think he lets me go that long unless ..." said Showalter of Crawford, who appeared to miss another call in the fifth, when he ruled Brian Roberts safe on an infield hit with two outs. "Jerry's one of the best umpires in the game. He's a crew chief, and he's very adamant he got that right. I don't know that for sure when I go out there.

"I ask someone, and I'm not going to do the replay thing on him. I thought the second-base umpire was making a signal too, but Jerry was adamant about it and didn't feel like he needed any help.

"Obviously, I've seen the replay like you all have. You can see it's a real tough call. Jerry wants to get it right, they all do. And he felt like he did."

Not to be outdone, Guillen came out before the start of the ninth, with Baltimore reliever Alfredo Simon on the mound and ready to throw, and questioned home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora concerning a lone man who appeared to do some work with a hose out behind the 40-foot-high center-field fence.

Guillen thought the guy working had something to do with preparations for the postgame fireworks show.

There was one other moment between the two in the seventh, when Showalter finished pleading his case and Guillen still was discussing the delay on the field. Showalter appeared to shoot a bit of an extended stare toward his counterpart as he entered the Baltimore dugout. It didn't seem to bother Guillen, even if that stare was meant intentionally for him.

"He's got his job, I got my job. I don't pay attention to that [stuff]," Guillen said. "I don't blame him for being out there, I blame the umpire for letting him be out there that long."

As for the job Showalter has done with Baltimore, Guillen was nothing but complimentary. The man who Guillen said he was better looking than, was a better player than and had more money than back in 2004, when Showalter questioned Guillen's knowledge of baseball rules, now is being painted by Guillen as nothing but good for Baltimore.

Before exiting Friday's postgame media session, though, Guillen couldn't resist one final poke about Showalter's great Orioles turnaround.

"Four wins, no [losses]," said Guillen, when asked about a noticeable difference in the Orioles under Showalter.

"Believe me, managers don't make baseball teams," said Guillen. "They make them play better, but when you pitch the way they pitched against us and the kind of offense they have, you win games."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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