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August 21, 2007 at 9:41 PM

Guillen keys 7-2 win; hear audio

NOTE: To “Mr. Myke” below, Ron Gardenhire was upset that Brandon Morrow got a second chance to warm up before taking the mound in the eighth. There is no rule prohibiting that, so long as it doesn’t delay the start of an inning. In this case, it didn’t. The M’s were within the rules. I personally thought Gardenhire was just trying to keep all of those Twins fans from bailing like they were. Figured the team’s skinflint owner had called, demanding Gardenhire do something to keep the fans’ attention so they wouldn’t leave — and maybe would buy a few more hotdogs. Anyway…
Boy do we have some good audio for you tonight. How about Jose Guillen paying tribute to the teachings of former manager Mike Scioscia — his sworn enemy from Anaheim? The Angels manager who caused him years of anger and frustration by throwing him off that squad during a 2004 pennant race?
Or Jarrod Washburn actually praising Guillen for the things he does right on the field? Washburn and Guillen had a good feud going three years ago while on the Angels. They mutually agreed to co-exist without incident this year. But the type of praise Washburn threw around hasn’t been said by one man about the other — at least for public consumption — all season.
Hey, maybe this is going to be a special year. The Mariners won their fifth in a row, 7-2 over the Minnesota Twins. But it was only 3-2 in the eighth before Guillen’s second takeout slide of the night at second, thwarting a possible inning-ending double-play, enabled the M’s to go on to score four more runs and blow things open.
Washburn gets his first win since way back on July 4, victimized by low run support and untimely hit barrages in the interim, while Seattle will likely move to 2 1/2 up on New York in the wild-card race. The Yankees are getting blown away by the Angels, despite five early runs off Kelvim Escobar (who should get his 14th win). The Angels must be fed up with seeing the M’s in their rear-view mirror.
Let’s get to the quotes. First from Guillen, praising Scioscia’s teachings.
“Every little thing in this game counts,” Guillen said. “Hopefully some of these young kids understand how important it is to run hard and take the extra bases. It’s very important.
“You guys would be surprised where I learned this. I played for the Angels,” he said. “That’s the one thing that Mike Scioscia always said, If you don’t run the bases hard and you don’t run hard, you’re not going to play for me.’ ”
OK, so he didn’t say “I love that man!” but this is big stuff.
Hear the entire audio from Guillen right here.
Is this Guillen, the mature veteran, we’re seeing? He told us after the game that he’d laid into Jose Lopez pretty good about the need to run hard on every play. Poor old Lopez is just taking it from everybody these days.
He was running like a man possessed on that second inning double, when he chewed some dirt on that hilarious head first slide. He’ll be hearing about that one for a long time.
“He pretty much listened to me today,” Guillen said. “But I just don’t want to see that slide that he made over there today where he almost broke his face.”
What did Lopez’s “friend” Felix Hernandez think about his fellow Venezuelan scraping up his chin and eating dirt? He was rolling around on the ground laughing.
“I couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes,” Hernandez said.
Hear what hits machine Jose Vidro thought about the Lopez slide. Has a good story about former teammate Juan Rivera and an even worse slide he did while with the Montreal Expos. Talks about Guillen as well.
Washburn also thought it was pretty funny, as did the rest of the team. They all teased Lopez in the dugout and the clubhouse. But Washburn was far more serious in discussing Guillen and the impact his slides had on the game.
“That’s the kind of thing you’ve got to do to win ballgames,” Washburn said. “Little things like that and Jose did a good job today. Two hard slides at second base. Breaking up double plays. You’ve got to do things like that to take that next step and win big games.”
Want more? How’s this?
“Back in Anaheim he was always a hard nosed player that played the game the right way, played really hard, did little things correctly,” Washburn said. “And he’s still the same way. He’s just like anybody. As your career evolves, you learn little tricks and you get to be a smarter baseball player.”
Remember, this is Jarrod Washburn talking about Jose Guillen, not Andy Pettitte discussing Derek Jeter. But hey, things can change. And even if they never really do, it doesn’t matter as long as the team wins and they stay civil. Still, you’ve got to like what you’re hearing if you’re an M’s fan.
Here’s that Washburn audio.
Mariners manager John McLaren liked what he saw from Guillen. McLaren was concerned with all the runners the Mariners stranded up until the eighth, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position before that frame. But his team won again, so he wasn’t going to be overly critical. Listen to his post-game press conference right here.
He opens by describing how Washburn set the tone with his pitching and adds that the game was a little too close for comfort. In all though, he suggests that Guillen is one of the latest players to take a turn carrying this club.
A win is a win. And a series sweep here would really help Seattle’s cause heading off to Texas. It won’t be easy, with Carlos Silva on the mound. Keep hitting like this and it won’t matter who’s out there, though. It must be a fun time to be a Mariners fan.



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