In the latest chapter of the White Sox's roller-coaster season, tensions heightened Wednesday night en route to one of their biggest comeback victories of the year.
Teammate Jose Contreras had to restrain Orlando Cabrera in the dugout after he charged Jermaine Dye during the celebration following Cabrera scoring the tying run in the eighth inning of the Sox's 7-6 victory over the Royals.
Cabrera and Dye quickly settled their differences, but the emotions were quite peculiar for teammates of a club that rallied from a five-run deficit to win and expand their lead over Minnesota to 31/2 games in the American League Central.
"You know why I like that?" manager Ozzie Guillen said of the spat that overshadowed Carlos Quentin's two two-run home runs that helped overcome starter Javier Vazquez's struggles. "I don't see guys mumbling behind people's backs and stabbing teammates in the back. If you want to say something, say it there and then we figure out things to settle down."
In this case, Cabrera stole third base with Dye at the plate. Dye eventually struck out before Jim Thome hit the game-tying single.
As Cabrera returned to the dugout, television cameras caught Dye high-fiving him but saying something that Cabrera apparently didn't like.
Cabrera, as per his custom, quickly left the clubhouse while Guillen was addressing reporters and was unavailable for comment. Dye was somewhat more forthcoming.
"It was a misunderstanding," Dye said. "A little bit of a misunderstanding. When you're together for so long, things like that happen and after it was all said and done, we came up and hugged. It's over.
"I'm not going to go into what it was about. It's not necessarily that [the stolen base could have distracted me]. But it was a little something, and we're fine now."
The Sox carried on as Quentin scored the go-ahead run when Ramon Ramirez committed a balk.
Cabrera had started the winning rally with a leadoff walk and two stolen bases.
"[Cabrera] is a team player and, no matter if it's Orlando or some other player on the team, we go through times where we're together so long we're going to argue, fight," Dye said. "But you just get over it and talk it out, be done with it. It's a misunderstanding, that's all it was and we're fine."
Then Octavio Dotel filled in for a fatigued Scott Linebrink and struck out the side in the ninth to earn his first White Sox save.
Guillen spoke to his players after the game about the importance of staying unified.
"I don't want good guys," Guillen said. "I want winners. That's what I want. I don't want good guys. Good guys finish last. I want guys who bust their tails, back each other up and protect each other.
"This is a family and you live with a family for so long, you fight with your brother, dad, everybody.
"It wasn't a fight, it was a misunderstanding."