Carlos Guillen returns to Comerica Park

The Tigers held their annual Fiesta Tigres luncheon on Friday, and they used the occasion to celebrate the career of Carlos Guillen. Before they introduced him as the guest of honor, they ran a video montage of highlights from his eight seasons as a Tiger.

Yes, his home run off Jered Weaver last year was one of the highlights. It drew an applause.

It was the next-to-last of his 124 Major League home runs, and it came during a time when his career was clearly on its last legs. Yet it might go down as one of his most popular moments as a Tiger, and he’s fine with it.

“Oh, everybody [remembers it],” Guillen said. “In Venezuela, it’s the same. I think everybody nationally was watching it. I had fun when I hit that home run. I respect Jered Weaver. To me, he’s one of the best pitchers in the big leagues right now. He was one of the best back then. It’s part of the game. …

“You know, the fans, they come to watch you play baseball and have fun. Why not have fun when you play? It’s part of the game. Everybody talks about what I did that day? Nobody says what [Weaver] did to Magglio when he hit a home run. They show on ESPN only Carlos Guillen, but they don’t show he was yelling at Magglio. But I don’t care. It’s fine. I worry when they’re not talking about you.

“It’s part of the game. The game was on the line. He’s a good pitcher. Verlander was pitching a good game. He was pitching a good game.”

Guillen did a lot of reflecting on his career, including on his time when he joined the Tigers. He admitted, maybe for the first time, that he initially wasn’t happy when he was traded to the Tigers after the 2003 season. He saw a team coming off 119 losses and he questioned what direction it was going in. The fact that he had nearly been traded to a Cleveland team with a much more recent history of winning — the Indians and Mariners had a deal, only to see it nullified when Omar Vizquel failed his physical — didn’t help.

“The first moment when they traded me, I didn’t want to come here,” Guillen said Friday. “The scout who signed me to play professional baseball, [Andres Reiner], he called me and said, ‘You want to play for Dave Dombrowski and Alan Trammell. They’re good. I bet you they’re going to do their best to turn around the team.’ It made me feel different. …

“I came here, not to teach everybody because they knew how to play baseball, but trying to put everybody on the same page, to believe in ourselves. That’s what I learned when I played in Seattle, because I was the younger guy and Ken Griffey Jr., Alex [Rodriguez] and Edgar [Martinez] were my teachers. I tried to do the things that they did for me.”

You hear a lot of talk from Guillen about passing along what he learned. It’s one of the ideas behind his baseball academy in Venezuela, now at about three dozen kids. It’s one reason he doesn’t rule out getting involved with a Major League club later in life after his kids are older, or maybe getting involved with the Venzuelan team for the World Baseball Classic next spring (he said he has been approached about that).


Excited to see Carlos tonight……he’s awesome!

Thanks for everything Carlos!

You don’t often see a game played under protest outside of little league. In this case, Konerko was actually running on the grass inside the firstbase line. The Angels have a good point.

Carlos did everything asked of him. In his prime he was one of the best all-round shortstops in the game IMO.
Interesting quote yesterday from Leyland regarding when Shin-Soo Choo hit into a double play: “As it turned out,” said Leyland, “we probably won the game in the first inning.”
Now why can’t he keep in mind that games ARE sometimes actually won in the 1st or early innings? My point here is if insists on batting Berry in the 2nd spot and we get a game-opening lead-off walk (or hit) from AJ, why not deploy the bunting game? Why not get a man on 2nd for Cabby and stay out of the DP? Worse thing that happens is maybe they walk Cabby? Ridiculous. And even if they do we now have TWO men on for another RBI producer.
I know I have harped on this but it makes no sense not to use a weapon like Berry’s speed to pressure the defense . Especially right out of the gate.

Your point is well taken, and the fact that the Tigers are a team that needs to get the early lead makes it more so.

For the four years between 2004 and 2007, Carlos Guillen was the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers. Much was made of the Pudge signing, and Maggs certainly had great seasons, but Carlos was the glue. In a game situation, he was the guy I wanted at the plate.
He hit a number of memorable homers that have been well documented, but to me the biggest was the game tying shot in Yankee Stadium in game two of the 2006 ALDS. We were down a game, had trailed in this one 3-0, but the Guillen homer was the turning point that started a 7-game win streak, led to Kenny Rogers and then the big celebration at Comerica, followed by the World Series.
He represented the Tigers well and was good with the fans. A true class act.

I am a little surprised they have not promoted Garcia or Castellanos to Toledo.
There are good reasons to do so.
First, whoever they promote is “close”. They can be called up in an emergency and able to report within an hour or two.
Second, Toledo needs some offense and their fans deserve it.
Third, it can only benefit the player.

Prospects are kept at AA more often, and get called up before going to AAA.

What you say is generally true. Triple A is inventory. What I think is underlying to slowbyrne is how close Castellanos is to being MLB ready.

Tiger of the Year (Selected by the Detroit chapter of the BBWAA) 2006: Carlos Guillén
Three times All Star.

Brian Britten‏@BBritten_Tigers

Tonight’s lineup: Jackson 8, Berry 7, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Boesch 9, Young dh, Avila 2, Peralta 6, Infante 4. Fister is starting.

Will always remember Carlos blowing a kiss to his wife during the game, while she was hospitalized for serious complications after the birth of his daughter. And, that HR at 3:30 am. He was such a professional hitter and the heart & soul of that ’06 team. Will never forget Senor Cycle.

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