Urban: Guillen is Here. What Does that Mean?


Urban: Guillen is Here. What Does that Mean?

Aug. 13, 2010


Mychael Urban

The conversation about Jose Guillen coming to the Giants started in earnest Tuesday, and a spirited conversation its been. Now the subject shifts, from, Should they get him ? to, Now that they have him, what does it mean?

One part of the former discussion -- hes a bad clubhouse guy should now be addressed in the latter. What does Guillens reputation as a frequent malcontent mean? In this case, absolutely nothing.This was a baseball decision, pure and simple. Guillen has some history of bad behavior, no doubt about it, but consider the following while wondering if hes going to be a wave maker on the shores of McCovey Cove:- Hes going from a miserable team to a legitimate World Series contender. That in itself should keep him happy for his short stay in San Francisco.- Hes playing for a 2011 contract. His three-year, 36 million deal with the Royals expires at the end of the season, and theres only one way to capitalize on free agency: Light it up on a big stage before you hit the open market. If he goes the bad-boy route here at all, hes going to cost himself a ton of glue. Wont happen. Theyre going to give him regular run in right field, moving Aubrey Huff to first base -- a source close to Guillen told that the Giants told their newcomer that he'll start at least four games per week for now. That means he's got a real shot to prove hes got more left in the tank than most people believe.- Hes coming to a team with an impressive, high-integrity collection of clubhouse characters. This is a biggie, the reason it was a baseball-only decision to add Guillen. So strong is the cohesion on the club that the Giants brass is convinced it would mitigate any unpleasantness brought in from the outside.- Part of the great clubhouse vibe stems from the high-character Latin players on the team. Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Andres Torres, Guillermo Mota step out of line while representing the fraternal Latin brand and youll get pulled aside in a heartbeat.- And finally, theres precedent for good behavior from Guillen in this situation. I covered the As team that acquired him in midstream in 2003, and he was a pleasure to cover. A bit off-center, to be sure, but not in the scary Milton Bradley sense. In 45 games he hit eight homers and drove in 23 runs to help Oakland get to the playoffs, and he was their best hitter in the teams loss to Boston in the ALDS, hitting .455 with a .571 on-base percentage -- while playing with a broken bone in his hand!
If Guillen is going to be a problem here, it wont be based on his ability to play nice with his teammates. Itll be a matter of production. Hes been a roller coaster all year, batting .304, .202, .340 and .207 in the first four months of the season, respectively, before the Royals dumped him after an 0-for-15 start to August.Is he the big bat many fans think the team needs? That, of course, will be determined over time. But as weve seen with Pat Burrell, a happy player is often a very good player, and Guillen has many, many reasons to be happy with the Giants.

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

HOUSTON — Some losses go down tougher than others, and that’s true for Bob Melvin whether it’s April or whether it’s August and his team is playing out the string.

The body language and demeanor said it all for the A’s manager Saturday after a 3-0 loss to the Astros, in which Oakland didn’t advance a single runner past second base.

Houston right-hander Collin McHugh brought a 4.88 ERA into the game over five starts since returning from a shoulder injury. He wound up celebrating his first victory of 2017 after six stellar innings.

“He threw the ball good, (but) I expected us to score some runs tonight,” Melvin said.

The A’s were done in by five ground-ball double plays, including a game-ending 5-4-3 job from Ryon Healy, which was reversed on replay review after Healy initially was called safe.

“Those things are killers,” catcher Bruce Maxwell said. “It just didn’t roll our way today.”

So the A’s (53-70) were left to pick through the scraps of this one to find some silver linings, and there were a couple.

Kendall Graveman held Houston to two runs over six innings, and the damage off him came on a two-run single from Marwin Gonzalez that glanced off the glove of second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second strong outing in a row for Graveman, who’s now got four starts under his belt since returning from his second stint on the disabled list this season for shoulder issues.

Most encouraging from his standpoint was he didn’t really have his best stuff, yet still managed to limit an opponent that leads the majors in every significant offensive category, including runs, batting average and homers.

“I think it’s the first one where I’ve been back when I had to kind of pitch and grind through,” said Graveman (3-4). “I didn’t have my best stuff. It’s just one of those where you’ve got to get out there and compete.”

The highlight of the game for the A’s came when center fielder Boog Powell unleashed a strike to home plate that nailed Alex Bregman trying to score from second on Jose Altuve’s single in the fifth.

Maxwell barely had to move his mitt to apply the tag, and count the A’s catcher as the most surprised person in the ballpark that Powell even gave him a chance on the play.

“It caught me off guard,” Maxwell admitted. “I haven’t played with Powell in a long time. I didn’t expect there to be that big of a play at home. He was fairly deep in the outfield as well.”

Powell, a 24-year-old rookie who was acquired from Seattle for Yonder Alonso, said he’s worked on his throwing in the minors in recent seasons.

“I didn’t (have a good arm) back in the day,” Powell said. “I’m definitely improving my arm strength. I pride myself on getting the ball out as quick as I can.”

It’s the kind of play that sticks in the memory bank as Powell tries to make his mark in the wide open battle to be the A’s center fielder in 2018. His throw to ring up Bregman was at least one moment from Saturday night that gave Melvin reason to smile.

“He can play the outfield, no doubt about it,” Melvin said. “It was a big play at the time, and it should give you a little momentum to go back out there and do a little better offensively.”

Despite injury concerns, Foster, Bowman play 20 snaps in exhibition vs Broncos


Despite injury concerns, Foster, Bowman play 20 snaps in exhibition vs Broncos

SANTA CLARA -- Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, who was limited in Thursday’s practice due to a shoulder sprain, started the 49ers’ exhibition game Saturday night against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium.

Foster played 20 snaps and recorded one tackle before the 49ers’ first-team defense was removed in the second quarter.

There were some concerns when Foster was included on the 49ers’ pre-practice injury report Thursday with an injury to his surgically repaired shoulder. But the 49ers said the injury was not related to the torn rotator cuff he sustained for Alabama in the national semifinal game against Washington.

NaVorro Bowman, who was removed from practice Thursday with a similar shoulder condition, also started and played every snap alongside Foster. Bowman was credited with two tackles.

With Foster and Bowman on the field, the Broncos totaled just 63 yards of total offense.