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Thursday, June 30, 2011
Bring it on Wrigley Field, Ozzie is ready

By Doug Padilla

DENVER – Wrigley Field’s most vocal critic is looking forward to at least some of the hype surrounding the weekend series between the White Sox and Cubs on the North Side.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has bemoaned the cramped quarters and the rats in the crawlspace of the ballpark beloved by a large number of baseball fans. He isn’t backing off what he said in the past but wasn’t stirring the pot either on Thursday.

“I don’t want to talk about the ballpark but I like to go there. I do. I really do,” Guillen said. “The games out there are very fun. The people who work at Wrigley field are amazing, nice people who go out of their way to make the White Sox people feel comfortable in their ballpark.”

Along with Fenway Park, Wrigley Field has the most cramped visiting locker room in baseball. The walk from the clubhouse to the dugout is a maze of turns. And if the ballpark’s charm is lost on you, as it apparently is with Guillen, then it can make for a long afternoon.

But come the 1:20 p.m. first pitch, the White Sox’s manager will settle into a comfort zone.

“I love when the games start there,” said Guillen, who has mentioned in the past that he prefers intimate ballparks where the fans are close to the field. “It’s just a different thing, a different feel about the game. It’s kind of a Boston feel when the game start. When not playing it’s a little bit uncomfortable.

“But that’s fun. When we play in Wrigley Field it’s huge for the fans in Chicago, a special weekend for us. Everybody is happy, excited with the Taste of Chicago, Fourth of July, all those things together. That’s something I looking forward to. I don’t mind playing against them.”