White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hates being in the spotlight on Sunday nights. But it's not because he feels added pressure from fans and the media.
"I don't like it because I should be having dinner with my family," Guillen said before Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, in which his White Sox are seeking a sweep over their crosstown rivals.
Still, Guillen appreciates what being in the spotlight means for the White Sox. It's the second straight Sunday night game between the two Chicago baseball teams, televised by ESPN, and that's something that's giving Guillen a special feeling of pride.
"When you are in last place, they don't want to see you or even talk about you," Guillen said. "I feel proud of the Chicago teams. [Cubs manager] Lou Piniella and [Cubs GM] Jim Hendry and [White Sox GM] Kenny [Williams] should feel proud about what we are doing this year. Both teams are in first place and hope they continue to do that. I never remember this city being so excited about these ballclubs.
"It's great for baseball. It's great for the city," Guillen added. "Hopefully both ballclubs continue to play well and continue the fight, and we can get something really nice for this city."
If there's one thing the White Sox-Cubs series has given the South Siders, it's a feel for what the playoffs may bring, in terms of the atmosphere, crowd energy and media attention.
"For the people that haven't played in it before, it's a good experience," White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye said. "It's about as close to the playoffs as you get. I think you get a little feel of what it's like if we do make it to the playoffs. That's a plus."
If the White Sox continue their first-place pace and reach the playoffs, then Guillen will be forced to miss a whole bunch of dinners. The same might hold true for Piniella.
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