Even at your best, there isn't much of a chance for victory.
Then again, it wasn't the words coming from Texas closer C.J. Wilson after last Sunday's 12-11 victory in Arlington that drew Guillen's ire. Instead, it was Wilson's demeanor on the mound as he tried to hang on to a four-run lead that caused Guillen to speak out during the ninth inning and again prior to the start of Friday's contest with the Royals.
Texas held a 12-8 lead when Wilson entered the game and promptly gave up consecutive singles to Toby Hall, Juan Uribe, Orlando Cabrera and Alexei Ramirez. Carlos Quentin popped out to first baseman Chris Davis for the frame's first out, but Jermaine Dye followed with a two-run single to cut the lead to one.
At that point, Wilson claimed it was Guillen's terse words aimed at him from the dugout that produced that extra boost of adrenaline to strike out both Jim Thome and Paul Konerko looking to end the game. Guillen, in turn, said his criticism was brought about by Wilson showing up Quentin and Thome through his reaction after recording the important outs.
On Friday, Guillen explained his actions and held nothing back when talking about Wilson.
"It's a funny thing about it. I like people when they are good. I don't like people when they are [bad] and they are cocky," said Guillen to MLB.com, using more colorful and profane terms to describe "bad" in this scenario. "When you are good and cocky, that's fine with me. But when you aren't that good and you try to pretend like you are that good...
"He showed a couple of my players up, and I don't like that. He showed my dugout up in that inning and that's why I screamed at him. The only reason I was screaming is because he was not professional."
Guillen frequently can be seen during the course of a game humorously jousting from the dugout with opposing players or managers whom he counts as friends. Maybe the comments deal with a particularly wild swing or some sort of wild pitch, but they are primarily made in good fun.
His verbal volleys lobbed from the dugout at Wilson on Sunday were not intended to be humorous. Guillen compared the behavior of Wilson, who entered Friday with 22 saves and a 5.01 ERA, to Mariano Rivera, whom Guillen considers baseball's top all-time closer. Guillen pointed out how Rivera gets his job done quietly and efficiently, without showing up the opposition.
"As a player or a manager, I never scream to anyone for no reason," Guillen said. "I don't mind you being cocky or have your emotions on the field. That's fine. That's part of the game. But when you show up a professional player, you better do something before that happens."
While Wilson admitted he became angry and took his game "to another level" after Guillen's taunts, according to Wilson's comments, Guillen said that Wilson should take a closer look at the manager's postgame comments from Sunday.
"I don't think he read my quote about 'whoever pitched in this game, he should be embarrassed,'" said Guillen of Wilson. "I think that was one of the biggest reasons.
"When your closer comes up with a seven-run lead and you almost blow it, then look yourself in the mirror and then start talking," Guillen said.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.