07/18/12 12:01 AM ET
Nats send autographed Harper bat to Ozzie
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
A stir was created after Guillen took issue with Harper showing a bat that didn't have much pine tar on it in the fourth inning at Marlins Park.
The story received plenty of attention as Guillen felt he was being shown up, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson felt the Marlins manager was trying to intimidate his player.
During the feud, several Washington players pulled a prank. Adam LaRoche had Harper sign a bat for him. Harper didn't know the purpose, but it's common for players to get autographs from each other.
From there, LaRoche added next to the signature, "To my hero, Ozzie, love you."
The Nationals players had the bat smeared with pine tar and sent it to Guillen.
"It was funny," Guillen said. "I've got a few friends on their side. All those guys were making fun of me. I found out later they made the kid sign the bat. They put the rest. 'To my hero, Ozzie, love you.'"
From his playing days with the White Sox, Guillen remembers seeing LaRoche as a young child. LaRoche's father, Dave, formerly pitched in Chicago.
Guillen noted that he remains a fan of Harper, and he considers the pine-tar issue over.
"To make this thing clear, I don't have anything against the kid," Guillen said. "I don't. Whatever happened, happened. Whatever I say, I say. Whatever my reaction was, it was. But I think this kid is going to be good for the game. No doubt. This kid is very good. We need players like that to come out and play the game right. That's good. I think what he did, maybe he did because he's a kid. I hope he learned from that.
"His manager said I was trying to intimidate him. I wasn't. That was the last thing on my mind. I hope he learned from that and moved on."
Marlins know winning would calm trade winds
CHICAGO -- Win now or face the possibility of changes to the roster. The Marlins are basically in that situation as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.
Coming off a four-game split with the Nationals, the Marlins opened a three-game set against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
"It's up to the players," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "If we're playing good this week, they'll be fine. If we're not, that's everywhere. That's everywhere with teams in our situation. If you want to stay here, just win some games."
The Marlins have a standing policy of listening to possible offers for any of their players. That said, the club has no intention of trading slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
If the Marlins fall further back by the end of the month, right-hander Anibal Sanchez could be a possible trade candidate. Sanchez is a free agent after the season, and Miami hasn't sought to sign him long term.
Guillen noted that the players need to do their part right now and show they can make a playoff push.
"I want everybody here," Guillen said. "The front-office people want everybody here. A few people want to finish the season with the players we had from the start. They want to win this thing.
"It's up to the players. If they play good, nobody is going to leave. If that play bad, that's part of the business."
Elbow likely to keep Oviedo out this season
CHICAGO -- Chances of Juan Carlos Oviedo pitching for the Marlins this season are slim.
An MRI exam showed the 30-year-old reliever has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Oviedo may get a second opinion.
The setback means the reliever likely won't be available for the rest of the season.
Oviedo is scheduled to come off the restricted list on July 23. At that time, he will be placed on the disabled list.
"I feel terrible for him," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "I think he handled his mistake well. I feel bad for us, in that, at least in the short term or maybe not at all, we're not going to have production from him. It's a sad situation, all the way around."
Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, was suspended eight weeks for playing under a false identity.
The hope was to have him activated on July 23, when he would have offered experience to the back end of the bullpen.
On Saturday while pitching in a rehab game for Triple-A New Orleans, Oviedo exited the seventh inning with elbow discomfort. He traveled to Miami on Sunday for an examination.
"Right now we have to move ahead with the thought that he's not going to be [back]," Beinfest said.
Oviedo is a free agent after the season, and chances are he won't return in 2013. Foremost, he has to show he is healthy.
With Mujica returning, Marlins option Webb
CHICAGO -- The Marlins made a mild shakeup to their bullpen after Tuesday's 9-5 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Edward Mujica will be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, and Ryan Webb has been optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Mujica went on the DL on June 30 with a fractured bone in his right pinky toe. The injury occurred when he was struck by a comeback shot off the bat of Philadelphia's Placido Polanco.
The right-hander had been mostly used in the seventh and eighth innings.
Webb appeared in 38 games for the Marlins, posting a 3-2 record and a 5.50 ERA.
Zambrano a different pitcher in return to Wrigley
CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano is no longer the same hotheaded pitcher the Cubs traded to Miami in the offseason.
In his return to Wrigley Field on Tuesday, Zambrano said Cubs fans deserve an apology for any inconvenience he caused them toward the tail end of his 11-year stint in Chicago, and he credits his relationship with God as pointing him back in the right direction.
At one point with the Cubs, the 31-year-old pitcher debated retirement.
"Maybe I don't know my future, but God knows it," Zambrano said. "He wants me to still play, so I will play. I'm looking forward to continuing in the City of Miami."
Zambrano said his relationship with former Cubs teammates and fans isn't strained, despite the outbursts that occurred throughout his career.
Now, Zambrano is receiving praise as a teammate from manager Ozzie Guillen and pitcher Mark Buehrle, both of whom also made their returns to Chicago.
Buehrle described Zambrano as one of the best teammates he's ever played with.
"He's been awesome," Buehrle said. "He's funny in the dugout, plane rides, in the clubhouse. He hasn't had one, I'll say, rant or one time where it looks like he's going to blow up."
Zambrano said he's moved past his time with the Cubs, and looks back at it with positive memories. He said he can still rub people the wrong way, because he speaks his mind and goes straight to the source when he sees something he doesn't like.
But even through the rough patches of a 5-7 record this year, he hasn't reacted unfavorably.
"A couple of guys were looking around, like, 'Is this going to be the time he beats the [heck] out of something?" Buehrle said. "But he's come into the clubhouse laughing, just enjoying himself. I don't know what's changed or if he's just always been like this, but he's been outstanding."
Back in Chicago, Ozzie reflects on White Sox tenure
CHICAGO -- Whether he is cheered or jeered, Ozzie Guillen enjoys the energy and atmosphere at Wrigley Field.
The Marlins manager previously managed the White Sox for eight seasons. He played shortstop for them before that, and he continues to have a home in Chicago.
A few days ago, Guillen was asked about returning to Chicago. He said he would maybe look to make visits to the mound just to hear the crowd boo.
"When I was with the White Sox, it was different," Guillen said. "The rivalry was different. I was different. They don't like me. Everything was funny. I have a lot of fun here. I enjoy coming here. I think game time here is amazing."
Chicago is a homecoming of sorts for Guillen, Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle.
Zambrano, of course, had a tumultuous tenure with the Cubs. And Buehrle was a steady presence for the White Sox.
Guillen joked with his kids about keeping their distance from Zambrano.
"I'm going to stay away from Carlos," the manager said. "I've already told my kids, if you are going to shag [fly balls], make sure you're 100 yards away from Carlos. You might get shot."