Carlos Guillen announces retirement

Three-time All-Star Carlos Guillen announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday, deciding to hang it up after a brief shot in camp with the Mariners on a Minor League contract this spring.

Guillen, 36, struggled with his legs since reporting to the Mariners three weeks ago and had yet to play in a Cactus League game or any of the team’s four intrasquad contests this spring.

Guillen said his family wanted him to keep going, but he decided in the last few days that it was time to move on.

“It’s a tough decision,” he said. “I tried to come back, but I couldn’t. I’ve been through a lot of injuries. You have to keep your head up and be in the right position to keep going. But at this time, your body tells you, you know?

“It’s hard because you only make this decision one time in your career and in your life.”

Guillen played the last eight seasons for the Tigers, where he made the American League All-Star team in 2004, ’07 and ’08 and helped Detroit reach the World Series in 2006.

He began his career in Seattle from 1998-03 and the Mariners brought him back this season with the idea that he might provide a veteran bat who could compete at third base and provide a backup at first as well.

Chone Figgins and Kyle Seager have received the bulk of the work at third this spring, with Vinnie Catricala also getting a good look there after being named the club’s Minor League Player of the Year last season following a strong year in Class-A and Double-A.

Guillen hit .285 with 124 home runs and 660 RBIs in 1,305 games in his 14 seasons in the Majors. He appeared in six postseasons, batting .344 in 19 games.

His walk-off squeeze bunt single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3 at Safeco Field clinched the Mariners’ sweep of the 2000 AL Division Series against the White Sox.

“That was an exciting moment, one of the best of my career,” Guillen said. “Lou [Piniella] had a lot of confidence in myself and he told me he wanted me to hit a ground ball to first base. The first pitch I thought, well, maybe a deep fly ball would bring the winning run in. So I swung at the first pitch and he said, ‘Hey son, what did I tell you?’

“I said, ‘OK, OK.’ And I just thought if he throws me a fastball inside, it’s going to be hard to hit a groundball to first base,” he said. “So I had to find a way and I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll drag a bunt.’ Then the ball went through and we won the ball game. It was a great moment for me and fans in Seattle and everybody because when you win, you’re having fun.”

3 Comments

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Reblogged this on The J Square and commented:
A real bummer here. Guillen was always one of my favorite players. Who could forget that classic drag bunt in game 4 of the ALDS in 2000 against the White Sox? It’s certainly not “The Double” but it’s one of the most memorable players in Seattle Mariners history. Hats off to a great career riddled with unfortunate injuries!

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