Monday, April 14, 2008

Things Could Be Worse for Guillen

Just when I thought things couldn't get much worse for Jose Guillen, I found this article about David Ortiz, written by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Ortiz, the four-time All-Star selection of the Boston Red Sox, the guy with the nickname "Big Papi," is in a dreadful slump to start the 2008 season. Yes, pretty close to matching Guillen's troubles at the plate. Ortiz is just 3-for-43 for a line of .070/.231/.140 with one home run, six runs scored, and three runs batted in. So, the Big Papi has essentially become the Big Pop Up.

Guillen, as any true Kansas City Royals fan would know, is batting just .122/.157/.163 with six hits (two doubles) in 49 at bats, five runs batted in, and three runs scored. All you have to do is take a look at the results of the poll on this site to see the level of KC fans' frustration with Guillen so far this year. He batted cleanup for the first 10 games of the season, and then switched places with designated hitter Billy Butler and has been batting fifth the past two games.

Something has to break this slump for Guillen, and I'm hoping it's this week's West Coast road swing through three of his former stomping grounds. The Royals open with a pair of games at Seattle, where Guillen played in 2007, then travel to Los Angeles for two games against an Angels team he played for in 2004, and end the trip with three games in Oakland, where he spent part of his 2003 season.

You have to figure that Guillen might want to show the Mariners' brass that they made a mistake by not signing him to a contract extension when they had a chance this offseason. He's even more likely to be out for blood when he faces Mike Scioscia's Angels. Guillen's time in Anaheim ended in an ugly manner, when he was suspended by Scioscia for making some critical comments about the manager, and he's been very open about the importance he places on the games any time he faces the Angels, or Scioscia, the rest of his career.

And, if nothing else, hopefully some warmer temperatures on the West Coast will bring Guillen's bat out of the freezer. Something needs to click, though, because writing a comparison to the Big Pop Up is getting pretty desperate. I'm banking on a big week from the Royals' new free agent slugger.

Jose Guillen Photo Credit: Duane Burleson/AP

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