Forget the playoffs: Guillen banned without pay

Updated: September 27, 2004, 1:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Angels left fielder Jose Guillen was suspended for the rest of the season Sunday for his outburst after being lifted for a pinch runner a day earlier.

Jose Guillen
Left Field
Anaheim Angels
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
148 27 104 88 5 .294

Guillen was informed of the club's decision after batting practice, when the Angels closed their clubhouse for 75 minutes. Anaheim said he was being suspended without pay and the suspension would continue into the postseason if the Angels qualify for the playoffs.

"He was obviously not happy with the decision," Anaheim general manager Bill Stoneman said. "Unfortunately, this was not the first time something has cropped up with Jose."

Guillen was hit by a pitch to open the eighth inning of Saturday's 5-3 victory over Oakland. Angels manager Mike Scioscia sent Alfredo Amezaga in to pinch run.

Guillen walked off the field as the A's changed pitchers, tossed his helmet toward the side of the dugout Scioscia was standing in and walked to the opposite side of the dugout before entering. He tossed his glove against the wall.

Scioscia downplayed the incident, as did Guillen after the game. However, Scioscia said he didn't sleep Saturday night.

"We had to do something with Jose,"' he said. "This is about the organization, not one guy. Bill wanted to be loud and clear with the message. It was an issue getting in the way of winning."

Stoneman said the club advised the commissioner's office of Guillen's punishment and send a fax to the players' association. Stoneman said the decision was based on the team's opinion that Guillen violated the conduct provision in the uniform player's contract.

Guillen's agent, Adam Katz, declined comment.

"It's certainly not conduct that we would expect," said Stoneman, who reached the decision with Scioscia.

Scioscia wouldn't say whether Guillen was contrite when told of his suspension.

"He understands the line he crossed," Scioscia said. "It was needed. It wasn't just from yesterday."

Guillen will not be allowed to be with the team the rest of the regular season, which ends next Sunday. Stoneman said the decision was "very difficult" because the Angels are chasing division-leading Oakland in the AL West.

"This is something we considered very carefully," he said.

Guillen, who signed a $6 million, two-year contract during the offseason, went on a profanity-laced tirade after being beaned in a game at Toronto in May, complaining that his teammates weren't retaliating on his behalf. Anaheim pitcher Jarrod Washburn was annoyed Guillen went public with his complaint.

"I can't answer right now, if this is going to affect his future with the team," Stoneman added. "This is our decision and not Major League Baseball's. Guillen violated rules in his contract."

The Angels were aware of Guillen's past when they signed him in the offseason.

"He's been with other teams, so we knew his past," he added. "We considered this thoroughly before making this decision, given the timing of this incident. Yesterday's incident is what really triggered this decision. This doesn't have any intent to send a message, just a disciplinary action."

Adam Riggs started in place of Guillen.

Guillen had just three RBI this month after driving in 20 runs in August. He hit .294 with 27 homers and a career-high 104 RBI in 148 games.

Catcher Bengie Molina and utility outfielder Jeff DaVanon expressed surprise at the sanction.

"He's aggressive, he's a good teammate," Molina said. "I would be more than glad to have him back."

Reliever Troy Percival said the team's focus has to remain on the pennant race.

"It's not shock level because we don't have time for that," he said. "If we start thinking about anything else than winning ballgames, it's not going to help us at all."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.