Tag: Jose Guillen

The Free Agent Team: A Team Assembled by Who’s Left on the Free Agent Market

There are still plenty of players left on the free agent market that could improve a major league club. What if it was decided there would be a new expansion team? The team would have to assemble itself by whoever is left, and this is what I believe this team would look like. A team filled with former all-stars, and overlooked players.

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MLB Free Agency: 10 Clubhouse Cancers Your Team Should Avoid

MLB Free Agency 2011 continues with most of the big names still on the market.

Aside from making a big splash by landing Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee, most Major League clubs will be looking to bolster their depth by adding veteran hitting and pitching.

As usual, there are plenty reliable role players available.

There are also a few players who you might want your favorite teams to ignore for one reason or another.

Here’s a look at 10 clubhouse cancers who could stir up trouble with their new clubs.

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MLB Free Agents: The 10 Most Underrated Players on the Free Agent Market

Every offseason the free-agent class is headlined by a small group of big-name players. In 2008, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were the big names. Last year, it was probably John Lackey. In 2010, Cliff Lee is undoubtedly the biggest fish in a very, very small pond.

The problem is, players of this ilk command huge salaries and usually end up on big-market teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets. The most interesting part of free agency is to be found when one looks past the big names at bargain players—those whom people had forgotten about.

Even when looking at the underrated players on the market, this year’s free-agent class is still poor.

Not to kill the suspense but, no, Cliff Lee will not be appearing on this list.

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Jose Guillen is Under Investigation By the MLB and DEA for Alleged HGH Shipment

During the 2010 MLB season, 34-year-old outfielder Jose Guillen batted .258 with 19 home runs and 77 RBIs for the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Despite those solid numbers, Guillen was left off of the Giants World Series roster. It seemed to be no great mystery why. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media Guillen had a neck injury.

Another report—one that was quickly forgotten—was that Bochy kept Guillen off the Giants roster because Guillen was under investigation for performance-enhancing drugs. That rumor is suddenly gaining legs.

In 2008, Guillen was supposed to miss the first 15 games of the season due to a suspension for breaking the MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. However, Guillen was granted a reprieve courtesy of MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

When the MLB released the controversial “Mitchell Report” prior to the 2008 season, Guillen and all of the other players named as being associated with, or known to have used, performance-enhancing drugs were let off the proverbial hook. Selig was not about to retroactively punish players for past indiscretions. Despite having been given his suspension prior to the Mitchell Report’s release, Guillen never had to serve it.

Flash-forward to this past fall and Guillen perhaps hasn’t learned his lesson yet. Neither has the MLB.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Guillen is under investigation for allegedly arranging a shipment of 50 syringes loaded with human growth hormone (HGH). While HGH is a substance banned in the MLB, the league currently conducts no tests for the drug.  Only a blood test can detect HGH, and the players’ union has been able to prevent the league from instituting such a test.

Now the circumstances surrounding Guillen could re-open a healing wound within baseball. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) along with the investigative arm of Major League Baseball are digging deeper and deeper into Guillen and his wife Yamel. After the DEA seized the package shipped to Guillen’s home which was signed for by his wife, she reportedly left the United States for the Dominican Republic.

Of course, it is the Dominican Republic that has become a thorn in the MLB’s side. Many HGH and steroid shipments are alleged to originate there, and it was in the Dominican Republic where Alex Rodriguez supposedly took what he assumed were not “tic-tacs” which led to his admission of steroid usage. 

While the MLB is quietly trying to clean up baseball within that country, the DEA and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are perhaps doing even more. In a report on Yahoo Sports, WADA was working with the MLB in a steroids investigation, one that is perhaps linked to game fixing. No further word has come forth in this apparently ongoing operation.

While it is in baseball’s best interest to see Guillen’s situation swept under the rug, that same rug could once again be pulled out from under the MLB.

While baseball will maintain its players are clean, the investigation by the DEA into Jose Guillen may prove that to be just another fairy tale.

For more, visit: www.thefixisin.net 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Philadelphia Phillies Should Target These 10 Free Agents

As the Philadelphia Phillies’ season came to an abrupt end against the Giants in the NLCS, the offseason went about itself the next day.

We have already seen J.C. Romero’s $4.5 million option not picked up and heard from Jayson Werth about him testing the free agent waters. All odds are pointing toward him not being in a Philadelphia uniform in 2011. With that being said, there are definitely some needs that this Phillies team has to address, and the most likely way to address that is through free agency.

We don’t have any major flaws and we don’t have much payroll that were going to want to add, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be aggressive in the free agent market for the positions that we need to address.

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Report: San Francisco Giants Outfielder Jose Guillen Linked To PED Investigation

Jose Guillen, a midseason pickup by the National League champion San Francisco Giants, has been linked to a federal performance-enhancing drug investigation, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

According to the Times, federal investigators informed Major League Baseball just prior to the start of the playoffs that they were looking into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs—including human growth hormone (HGH)—to Guillen’s wife at their Bay Area home.

Guillen, who came to the Giants from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for cash and a player to be named later on Aug. 13, hit .266 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 42 games.

Despite his relative lack of production, he was still expected to be named to San Francisco’s postseason roster. Surprisingly, fellow outfielder Aaron Rowand, who had struggled all season long, was named instead.

This could be why.

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San Francisco Giants NL West Chase: 10 Key Things to Watch Down the Stretch

The Giants’ season-long chase after the San Diego Padres has finally paid off. San Francisco is half a game back of the Padres.

Getting here has been a lengthy and remarkable pursuit marked by the resilience and dedication of the boys in orange and black.

And it isn’t over. Much will depend on how the Giants play their last remaining games.

And yet there are some things beyond the Giants control that may happen to hamper their run at NL West Pennant.

Let’s take a look at 10 key things to watch for down the stretch for the Giants.

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San Francisco Giants Take Fascinating, Gut-Wrenching Path To Tie for First Place

Where were we?

Oh, right, nothing about yesterday’s game matters once today’s game starts.

The Giants belted the Padres 7-3 to win the opener of the important four-game NL West series Thursday in San Diego. Giants fans were roaring that everything had fallen into place.

Then on Friday night, the Giants squeaked out a gut-wrenching and fascinating 1-0 win over the Padres to move into a tie for the NL West lead.

San Francisco SP Jonathan Sanchez pieced together the five most maddening shutout innings that one could imagine. Five scoreless innings despite seven walks prove that even big league hitters aren’t crazy comfortable hitting against a guy with nasty stuff but no idea where the ball’s going.

San Diego’s Clayton Richard, an All-American sort who looks like he fell off the front of a Wheaties box, was breezing through the same Giants who crushed four home runs Thursday night. If he did not make quick work of the Giants, Sanchez and his search for the strike zone might have resulted in the top of the utterly intriguing seventh inning starting somewhere around midnight.

Truly, the top of the seventh might have been the most intriguing half inning a Giants fan has witnessed all year.

Richard hit Huff with a pitch to start the sixth. The lefty was cruising, but his first pitch was a ball to right-hand hitting Pat Burrell. It was Richard’s 85th pitch of the game. It was also his last. Manager Bud Black replaced Richard with righty Luke Gregerson. Richard was wavering and Black, understandably, didn’t want the next misplaced pitch to float out over the middle of the plate to Burrell.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, in contrast, let Sanchez work through his walk on the wild side, figuring the lefty had pitched two wonderful games and that the Padres hadn’t solved him through five.

Still, once Sanchez escaped a jam in the fifth with a double play ground ball, Bochy pulled Sanchez with his shutout still in tact. There have been times in his tenure with the Giants where Bochy might have stuck with Sanchez as long as the game was scoreless. Credit him for calling the pitcher down from the tight rope and giving the game to the bullpen in an important game on Friday. (Also, remember the move when the pitcher bats for himself to start the sixth inning of a scoreless tie in April. All games are not created equal.)

Bochy deserves credit for sending Huff as Burrell struck out. The knock on the manager has been that he’s unwilling to put baserunners in motion or try to create runs. When he put Huff in motion, the first baseman stole his sixth base of the season.

Jose Guillen hit the ball hard into the hole at shortstop. Baseball rules dictate that a ball hit in front of a runner, like Huff, at second base requires the runner to stay put. Huff, however, broke at the crack of the bat because he thought the ball was going to scoot past Miguel Tejada into left field. (Don’t believe the talk of aggressive baserunning. Huff’s a veteran and breaking for third there means he misread the ball off the bat.)

Two things happened that didn’t have to happen and both benefited the Giants.

Tejada could’ve thrown out Guillen easily at first base, leaving Gregersen to deal with slumping Juan Uribe with Huff at third and two out. Instead, Tejada threw to third base where Huff should’ve been out.

However, third baseman Chase Headley was oddly positioned on the outfield side of the bag and had to take the throw with only Huff’s bent right trail leg to tag. Huff’s left foot reached the bag first. Headley was guilty of anticipating, rather than simply covering third base, straddling it so that a simple tag would’ve nailed Huff.

Now, Nate Schierholtz won’t go down as one of the Giants’ all-time playoff stretch heroes, but his takeout slide that kept Padres second baseman David Eckstein from doubling up Uribe on a bouncer to third allowed Huff to score.

Inside baseball note: Eckstein didn’t position himself with his left foot on the outside of the base to protect himself from Schierholtz, who has shown a few times his best position might be fullback. If Eckstein had been more on the left field side of the bag, Schierholtz would’ve needed to slide after he reached the base, but Eckstein would have still been able to get Uribe. Instead, Schierholtz had time to reach and take Eckstein’s legs out from under him.

Fans will long remember the home run barrage on Thursday night, but that seventh inning sequence that plated the lone run will go down as a wonderful example of why true baseball fans simply love the game. Headley was just slightly out of position. Huff read base hit to left. Tejada made the right play, but it turned out to be the wrong play.

Then, the Giants bullpen kept the door closed for four innings on what has been a resourceful San Diego offense.

Simply magnificent.

Bochy, again, showed that fans who groan that he isn’t suited to manage this Giants team are wrong. His willingness to let Sanchez work in and out of jams proved that sometimes the best thing a manager can do is be patient and do nothing. Then, when he does something, do it quickly and don’t look back.

Everything starts new with the first pitch on Saturday.

Ted Sillanpaa is a Northern California sports writer and columnist. Reach Ted at tsillanpaa1956@gmail.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

San Francisco Giants Execute Comeback, Beat LA Dodgers 5-4

Down 4-0 by the fifth inning, the Giants did not throw in the towels. Not one bit.

Matt Cain settled down and threw shutout innings in the fifth, sixth, and seventh for a final line of 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 K.

The Giants offense put together a noble (and successful) comeback effort. In the seventh inning, Posey cut the deficit to three with a solo home run. In the eighth, Renteria and Burrell cut the lead to one with back-to-back solo home runs. Finally, in the ninth, after a Cody Ross single (which he just barely beat out), Juan Uribe crushed a two-run homer to left-center field off of Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.

Brian Wilson came in, and after Dodgers had runners on the corners and just one out, he was able to settle down and shut the Dodgers down, securing the Giants win.

The Giants, now that the Padres have lost a staggering nine games in a row, are now just two games back in the NL West. 

Now, here are some notes:

Each day brings more evidence that Jose Guillen should not be a starting outfielder. Pat Burrell hit a home run, Andres Torres is, well, Andres Torres, and Cody Ross scored the game-tying run. Oh, yeah and Jose Guillen had a golden sombrero (four strikeouts in a game, for those of you that aren’t well-versed in baseball terminology).

Although not completely relevant to the Giants, it’s quite interesting to note that the Dodgers have not caught a runner stealing since July 23. Darren Ford stole second in the eighth inning with two outs and the Giants down 4-3.

The Giants have now executed three comebacks of four runs or more: June 4 against the PiratesJuly 20 against the Dodgers (you might remember that as the game in which Bruce Bochy got Broxton taken out of the game because Mattingly stepped on the mound twice); and of course, Saturday, September 4 against the Dodgers. 

Props to Pat Burrell: he was able to come off the bench and battle for an eight-pitch at-bat, culminating in his solo home run off of Octavio Dotel. 

The Giants had four home runs. Quite satisfying.

Saturday’s game was symbolically a juxtaposition of the Dodgers’ and Giants’ relative seasons. At home, the Dodgers blew a game they should have won thanks to yet another poor performance by Broxton, who has brought the Dodgers down with him during his second-half downfall.

The Giants, in contrast, executed a beautiful comeback, and Brian Wilson was able to settle down and shut down the Dodgers to win the game, as he has done for most of 2010. 

Uribe had a WPA of .622 on Saturday: he raised the Giants’ chances of winning the game by 62.2 percent with his offensive performance. 

Tomorrow: Hiroki Kuroda will face Jonathan Sanchez. They are both coming off of dazzling performances, in which they went seven-plus innings and gave up one earned run or fewer. The Giants bat a collective .153 against Kuroda in 72 career at bats, which is just…miserable.

Watch out for Matt Kemp—9 for 20 in his career against Sanchez. If the Giants can secure the series win on Sunday night, it will go a long way toward building momentum as they get ready to face a hot Diamondbacks team and then the division-leading Padres.   

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

San Francisco Giants: Why Cody Ross Should Start Instead of Jose Guillen

A few weeks ago, the Giants acquired Jose Guillen in order to give them an extra bat to push them into the playoffs. About a week later, the Giants were awarded Cody Ross off waivers.

Since then, Jose Guillen has been the starting right fielder, with Cody Ross getting occasional playing time. This is a poor decision for several reasons…

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