A marvelous big-league career ended with dignity when Carlos Guillen, the veteran infielder in camp with the Seattle Mariners, announced his retirement today.
"Your body tells you, you know?" Guillen said in the Seattle clubhouse. "I'm going to go home."
Bad knees, a strained calf injury that wouldn't go away - Guillen didn't play an inning this spring, including intra-squad games, and rarely was able to take batting practice. The last few days, he said, he'd been tinking hard about retirement.
Among the men he talked to this morning was Mariners great Edgar Martinez, in camp to work with young hitters.
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"I remember a lot of good things, the time I played here with Jay Buhner, Edgar, Ken Griffey Jr and A-Rod," Guillen said.
A 14-year veteran, Guillen was a Houston minor league player until traded to Seattle on 1998, sent to the Mariners with Freddy Garcia and John Halama for Randy Johnson. He played 488 games as a Mariner, then was traded to Detroit in 2004.
Guillen retired with a career .285 batting average, a three-time All-Star who'd hoped for one more season.
"It's hard to get out of the game," he said. "I'd like to help kids, help young players become better players and better people. What will I miss most? When a lot of people cheer for you, it means a lot. I enjoy being around other players, being in a clubhouse. This is going to be a big change."