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Marlins series loses homecoming aspect


CHICAGO -- White Sox fans and players circled this coming weekend on the 2013 baseball calendar when the schedule was first released last September. The Marlins were coming to town, with Ozzie Guillen leading the team and Mark Buehrle as part of the starting rotation -- two key components to the 2005 White Sox World Series run.

But Guillen was replaced as Marlins manager in late October and Buehrle was traded to the Blue Jays, with the White Sox already having faced him in April. Now this weekend's get together becomes another Interleague series.

"I don't know if disappointed is the word but you are disappointed not to see them over there," said White Sox pitcher John Danks, who admitted to everyone being a little excited by the prospect of this series when the schedule was released. "It would have been a fun series had they been here. Hopefully, it will just be a good weekend for the White Sox."

"You got Ozzie coming, [former White Sox bench coach] Joey [Cora] and Buehrle, but obviously all that has changed," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "That would have been interesting to see."

Guillen was an iconic figure for more than two decades as a player and a manager with the White Sox, although he had a somewhat turbulent departure after the 2011 season. During a Wednesday morning interview on WGN 720 AM radio's Jonathon Brandmeier Show, Guillen talked with fondness of the White Sox as one of the topics covered in the 30-minute segment.

"If I say I hate the White Sox, that would be very stupid," said Guillen, whose foundation is hosting a charitable fundraiser Wednesday night at The Grid in Chicago. "I grew up with the White Sox. I'm a White Sox fan and Bulls fan. I love Robin Ventura. I love [general manager] Rick Hahn. I still have a lot of friends with the White Sox."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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