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September 27, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Guillen on McLaren; hear audio

A nervy ninth for Brandon Morrow, giving up a Kelly Shoppach double that got the tying run to the plate. But Morrow and George Sherrill got out of it, with a final out pickoff throw to first base by Kenji Johjima in a 4-2 win by Seattle that gave the M’s their 85th victory of the season. Sherrill notches the save without actually retiring a hitter. Nice when that happens. For a while, when the team lost 15 of 17, it looked as if the Mariners wouldn’t reach 85 wins. Then again, all through August, anywhere from 90 to 95 wins seemed possible.
The most interesting quotes after this game came from Jose Guillen. Who else? The man says what’s on his mind. Right now, coming back to the Mariners “family” is on his mind. He says he’d rather be back here than testing free-agent waters this winter.
Other than that, he had some interesting comments about newly-extended manager John McLaren. The two have had a great relationship since spring training, but Guillen was candid when asked to assess the manager’s attributes.
“Hopefully we got the right man for the job, but we’ll see,” Guillen said. “We’re going to have to wait and see next year what kind of manager he’s going to be.”
Asked what he likes most about McLaren, Guillen again departed from the conventional script and offered:
“He’s too nice to everybody. I want to see him get tougher and get mean to a lot of people. That’s what I want to see from him. And I told him. I don’t care. That’s what I want to see from him.”
He later added: “He’s here and that means that next year, we’re going to have to win. It’s not like we’re going to be a .500 team. We have to win. Hopefully Bavasi’s going to give him the pieces we need and hopefully we’ll win a championship.
“I want to win with these guys. This is a veteran club and it’s been a lot of fun this year.”
It’s times like this when the audio clips our blog offers up can be a delight to listen to. Here you go. Have a listen to what Guillen said.
Here’s some more audio from Guillen about his own status and his desire to return to the club.
‘I’m sick and tired of having to keep moving around to different teams,” he said, adding that he’d “like to build a nice little career here.”
Sherrill said the players were pleased to see both GM Bill Bavasi and mcLaren return.
“Since Bavasi’s been here, the record’s gotten better,” he said. “Hearing you (media) guys talk, some people out there aren’t real happy with how we run stuff but I think our record speaks for itself.”
On McLaren, he said: “He knows everybody in here and knows how everybody clicks. It’s just a matter of bringing in the right pieces and doing something special next year.”
Hear Sherrill’s audio clip here.
The two-run homers from Guillen and Jose Lopez made a winner out of Cha Seung Baek, another of those guys who’ll be competing for a rotation job next spring — we think. He tossed six innings of one-run ball and finished 4-3 with a 5.15 ERA in 13 starts for the M’s this season. He last started a game back in June before that shoulder injury so this was an important test for him. Doesn’t clinch a job or anything. Baek couldn’t do that with a much stronger September last season. But, he should be “in the mix” with Ryan Feierabend, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Morrow next spring.
At least, that’s what McLaren said in his post-game press conference, the audio of which is right here.
Interesting day. Lots ot talk about. I sense plenty of frustration out there from fans, which doesn’t surprise me. To answer one of your questions, no, I don’t believe that the organization did this entire evaluation in the eight days since I spoke to team president Chuck Armstrong.
This seems like pretty much a foregone conclusion to me. The only thing that might have changed it would have been another nine-game losing streak and a losing season to maybe change some plans. But once this team got to 82 wins, I’m pretty sure the decisions to bring back both Bavasi and McLaren were rubber stamped. Just my opinion. But yes, eight days does seem a rather quick time in which to be making not one, but two decisions of this magnitude. Unless this whole “running a baseball team” deal really is as easy as it looks.

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