The Angels made a bold move very recently concerning their arguably second best hitter. The outfielder had twenty-seven home runs with a .294 batting average on the season; he was considered quite a stalwart for the injury-riddled Anaheim Angels. To take him out of the lineup for the remainder of the season and postseason, should the Angels make it, is a very risky move.
So, why would any team suspend a good player for this long of a time period in the close race known as the wild AL West?
Well, Jose Guillen did throw his helmet towards his manager on Saturday after being removed for a pinch runner. It is all right if you do that kind of thing to Art Howe in New York, but definitely not Mike Scioscia, one of the most respected managers in the American League, as well as being a major leader in the Anaheim clubhouse.
The manager Mike Scioscia, general manager Bill Stoneman, and owner Arte Moreno all deliberated over the suspension for quite a while before reaching their decision.
“This absolutely wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction. The magnitude of this move shows the affect of what Jose did and what it could do to our organization. We want to have a player of that caliber all the time, and to lose him at this time says a lot.”
The Angels are taking quite a gamble by ridding themselves of Guillen’s services for the remainder of the season, but their team is one that is built around a family-first approach. Suspending players without pay is nothing new for this team, as they did it in 1997 after Tony Phillips was suspended for charges of cocaine, as well as times before then.
The Angels, though taking a huge risk, are making the right move. Guillen was considered a cancer to the clubhouse, as his frequent antics were not tolerated much. In May he called out the Angels pitching staff for not retaliating by hitting any Toronto Blue Jays hitters when he was dealt a pitch to the ribs. In his career with the Reds, Guillen punched a wall because he was pinch-hit for and in Oakland last year; he ripped manager Ken Macha because his skipper gave him the day off. One of the largest factors in his suspension was when he downplayed the importance of a team meeting called by Darin Erstad.
The team currently (thru action of Wednesday) stands in first place of the Oakland A’s for the AL West division lead. And just think they caught up to Oakland minus a star left-fielder, relying on a platoon of Jeff DeVanon and a fringe outfielder by the name of Adam Riggs.