Former Tiger Carlos Guillen retired from Major League Baseball, the Mariners announced today.
Carlos Guillen just announced his retirement from baseball after a great 14-year career that included 3 All-Star games. #Mariners— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 6, 2012
Guillen may have called it a career after putting on the Mariners' uniform, but he'll be best remembered for his time in Detroit. Acquired in a trade prior to the 2004 season, Guillen was a key member of the group of players who turned around the Tigers. In 2004 and 2006, he batted better than .300 with OPS better than .920. He earned All-Star appearances in 2004, 2007 and 2008. During his career in Detroit, he batted .297 with .366 on-base percentage and .443 OPS.
Sadly, he battled injuries, especially during the latter years of his career. He was unable to find a position to call his own when healthy, and moved all around the diamond and in the outfield. He played in just 68 games in 2010 and 28 in 2011.
The knees did him in. Guillen told MLB.com's Greg Johns, on his decision to retire:
"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."
Favorite memories? Two come to mind. The first is obviously his home run against Jered Weaver last July. Guillen was coming off another injury, tempers were flaring on both teams. Weaver barked at Magglio Ordonez several times after a misunderstanding occured when Ordonez watched to see if his home run would go foul or fail. In return, Guillen stood like a statue watching a clear home run ball, and let Weaver know all about it. The other is Guillen's walk-off HR in the middle of the night against the Yankees a few years ago. I forget when the game ended. Somewhere around 3:30 or 4 in the morning, after a long rain delay. That may have been one of the highlights of that season, actually.
Speculation in the past has pointed toward Guillen joining fellow Venezuelan infielder/Guillen Ozzie Guillen in the ranks of manager. We'll have to see if Carlos announces what his future plans are.