Guillen Excited For All-Star Experience

By  | 

DETROIT (AP) -- Carlos Guillen is known as quite the dresser in the Tigers' clubhouse.
"I don't like to wear the same shoes every day. Black or brown? I want something different," Guillen said. "I don't like the routine."
The Detroit third baseman soon will have a new addition to his wardrobe -- an All-Star patch. Guillen, the team's lone All-Star representative, was picked as a reserve.
"It's going to be a great experience," he said of Tuesday's game at Yankee Stadium. "I'm very happy."
It is Guillen's third appearance in the game for Detroit.
Three seems to be his lucky number -- he's made some game-saving plays at third base recently and his wife just gave birth to their third child.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely Guillen's newborn daughter will see him play in the game, at least not this year.
"She's a little too little," he said. "I hope next year."
Last year, five Tigers were named to the team, including Guillen. The solo representation this year is disappointing for a team that had high hopes in the preseason, but Guillen said he doesn't look at it that way.
"I don't think about being the only Tiger at all," he said. "We've got guys that work hard."
The Tigers limped into the break, having dropped three of four at home to AL Central rival Minnesota. Detroit, which entered 2008 with such high expectations, is a pedestrian 47-47, a full seven games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox.
Guillen, who was an All-Star shortstop for the Tigers, seems to be finding his place at third base.
During spring training, he prepared to play first base, but only lasted about a month in that position before manager Jim Leyland moved Miguel Cabrera from third to first and Guillen over to third.
It hasn't all been smooth for Guillen, though, at the hot corner, having already committed 10 errors there.
But Leyland is pleased with Guillen's position transition.
"He's a ball player. I like ball players," said the veteran manager.
Guillen played a vital role in the Tigers' come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Indians last week. Besides smacking a two-run double, he dropped to one knee in two different plays in the ninth inning to preserve the tie before Cabrera hit a walk-off homer.
The 32-year-old Venezuelan is hitting .284 with eight homers and 47 RBI. A season ago, Guillen hit .296 with 21 home runs.
Guillen made an easy transition to Motown when he was traded from Seattle in 2004. He hit 20 home runs in his first season with the Tigers. His batting average jumped from .276 in his last season with the Mariners to .318 in his inaugural season with the Tigers, and he was selected to the All-Star team.
Outfielder Curtis Granderson said Guillen is one of his favorite teammates.
"When they say `Who's your Tiger,' my answer has been Carlos Guillen since I got here," Granderson said. "On and off the field, he's the best."
Guillen also is close friends with Leyland. When he found out the skipper was taking up golf, he bought him some clubs.
"We'll see if he can play better," Guillen said with a laugh.
Leyland said he likes talking baseball with Guillen.
"He's got a great sense of humor, and he's very professional," Leyland said. "He's got a lot of nice combinations going for him."

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus