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Guillen criticized by Cards coach

Guillen criticized by Cards coach

CHICAGO -- On a day when a possible feud between Ozzie Guillen and Houston manager Phil Garner ended before it got started, the White Sox manager apparently found a new sparring partner in St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan.

Appearing Thursday afternoon on WSCR 670 AM, the White Sox flagship radio station, Duncan called Guillen a liar in a couple different instances during the interview. Duncan challenged Guillen's assertion that he called Duncan after realizing after the fact his son, Chris, was the one David Riske hit Tuesday.

Duncan also shared a belief that Guillen wasn't as innocent as he depicted himself in the intent of Riske's pitch.

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"I thought at the time Riske felt like he had to stand up for his team, and I'm a little disappointed in Ozzie," Duncan said on The Score. "I read in the paper Ozzie said he didn't know he was my son, which indicates he had some involvement in instructing Riske to do something.

"I'm tired of listening to Ozzie make excuses. Any controversy he has, he has an excuse for it."

Tuesday's situation began when St. Louis reliever Sidney Ponson drilled Brian Anderson and Pablo Ozuna in consecutive at-bats with the bases loaded in the sixth. The Ozuna plunking came on a 0-2 count.

Ponson denied hitting either batter intentionally after the game. Duncan pointed to the fact that the White Sox are going to get hit a great deal because "they are a strong over the plate club.

"You have to have the right type of judgment sitting in that dugout to know when a team is doing something intentionally or when it's part of the game."

The second part of Tuesday's scenario played out when Riske nailed Chris Duncan in the backside with a pitch in the top of the seventh. Riske was immediately was ejected, as was Guillen, since both benches had been warned in the previous inning.

On Thursday, Major League Baseball suspended Guillen for one game and Riske for three in relation to Tuesday. Guillen served his suspension in the series finale against St. Louis, while the right-handed reliever appealed the decision.

"I don't think I did it on purpose," said Riske, prior to Thursday's contest. "I don't want to get suspended, but it's a game and that's what they do."

"The suspension for what happened with hitting guys? Yes, that's normal rules. I expected it," Guillen added.

It was a busy day for the White Sox manager, and he wasn't even taking part in Thursday's game. Guillen picked up his third fine in three days, with two coming from the hit batsman incident Tuesday, and one coming from Commissioner Selig, for his offensive language in his diatribe aimed at Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti.

But Guillen still had enough energy left to discuss Duncan's calling out of his character. Guillen pointed out that if the White Sox were to believe that Ponson's pair of hit batsmen were unintentional, as the team claimed they were, then why shouldn't Duncan believe Riske's move fell in the same category or that the right-hander was acting on his own?

Guillen also explained the discrepancy in his Wednesday comments that he called Duncan after finding out Chris Duncan was his son. Guillen clarified that he talked to St. Louis manager Tony La Russa after Tuesday's game and then tracked down Duncan on the field before the pitching coach headed to the bullpen Wednesday.

Approached Thursday in the Cardinals' clubhouse, Duncan said that he had not talked to Guillen following the afternoon's events and his radio interview.

"Has Ozzie approached me? For what?" Duncan said. "I have not talked to Ozzie. No. For what reason? I still am upset. I don't like liars."

La Russa was asked about the situation prior to Thursday's contest and expressed a pointed desire to return the focus to plays that decide the game on the field, not the ancillary action. He also showed support for both his longtime pitching coach and his friend, former player and long-distance protégée.

"I have 100 percent, ultimate respect for Dunc's judgment, intelligence, professionalism," La Russa said. "I've never regretted anything he's done. I also have said that from the first day I saw Ozzie in 1985, I saw a literally brilliant baseball player.

"He's become a hell of a coach and now a hell of a manager," La Russa added.

Guillen closed out the Duncan portion of his 40-minute pre-game talk by expressing his respect for the Cardinals' pitching coach, both on and off the field. He also pointed out that while he remains close with La Russa, Guillen and Duncan are not currently and never were friends.

Before letting loose with his final thoughts, Guillen couldn't help but take a thinly veiled shot at Duncan's verbal assault through his explanation of the situation. It also served as another strident defense of himself and his team.

"If that call come from me, I guarantee you I'm not going to hit Duncan," said Guillen of Duncan's son, who was reassigned to Memphis Thursday to make room for Albert Pujols. "He's in Triple-A now. You think I will hit someone not important.

"At 20-2, why would I hit a Triple-A player? I respect Tony and I respect [Duncan], what they did in the game, but they aren't bigger than me. When you say I'm lying, I think it's something where [Duncan] don't know me."

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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