In desperate need of damage-control for his reputation, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen announced last week that he planned to attend the Gay Games, which begin Saturday in Chicago. Leaders of the week-long event welcomed Guillen with open arms, allowing him to throw out the first insult of the festivities.

Last month, Guillen found himself embroiled in controversy when he called Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti a “fag.” This time, however, his putdown will be encouraged.

“Mr. Guillen’s comments about Mr. Mariotti did more to advance our cause than 100 pride parades,” said Gay Games spokesperson Shirley White. “We’re honored to formally involve this publicity lightning rod in the Gay Games.”

Guillen is not taking this opportunity lightly. Never at a loss for words, the Sox skipper is putting forth great effort to choose the best insult to direct at the Gay Games.

“I think I’m going to open by thanking all the fags and child molesters for inviting me to their queer fest,” said Guillen. “I’d also like to bring up how funny it is that all the men at the Gay Games throw like little girls and the women all have mustaches and armpit hair.”

For his part, Mariotti said he won’t be attending the Gay Games, but has pledged to write three weeks’ worth of columns about the controversy, inserting himself in the fray at every possible turn and ignoring all other sports news in the process.