Guillen arrives, says he'll talk about Mitchell Report later Print
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Tuesday, 19 February 2008 14:47
MLB Headline News

 SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -Jose Guillen arrived right on time Tuesday, bouncing into the Kansas City clubhouse bright and early with a happy smile and a polite refusal to talk about steroids, the Mitchell Report or the 15-day suspension hanging over his head.
The power-hitting outfielder said he would discuss all that after his appeal is decided.
``I'm pretty sure we're going to be talking before the season starts, as soon as the situation gets resolved,'' he said. ``Right now, it's in the process and I'm looking forward to getting this over with.''
Last December, literally hours after Kansas City signed him to a three-year, $36 million contract, Guillen was suspended for 15 days for violation of baseball's drug policy. He had been linked in media reports to the buying of thousands of dollars worth of human growth hormone. He appealed immediately and an arbitrator's decision is expected before the end of spring training.
Guillen said he's been keeping up with the Mitchell Report and baseball's embarrassing steroids scandal.
``I always watch the TV and what's going on. I'm not worried too much about what's going on,'' he said. ``I know it's not good for the game. But again, when my situation gets resolved I'm going to talk and you guys can ask me questions and I'm going to answer all the questions. But right now I cannot talk anything about that situation.''
Guillen spent much of the first full morning of the Royals' camp introducing himself to players he hadn't met and hugging those he's known while playing for eight different teams in 11 years.
He'll be the highest-paid player per year in Kansas City history, counted on to provide much-needed pop in the middle of a weak lineup.
``They know what they got, so I'm a player and I'm going to work hard and do the best I can to help this team win,'' Guillen said. ``That's one thing they're going to get from me. The real guy, the real Jose Guillen, not the guy who's going to be talking too much. I'm going to do my best to help these guys.''
Guillen is not the only new Royal who is appealing a suspension. Backup catcher Miguel Olivo is appealing a five-game penalty for an on-field fight near the end of last season with the Florida Marlins.
If Guillen's suspension is not reduced, he will miss 12 games because the penalty starts on the first day of the season, when the Royals are off. Olivo's suspension is not based on days, but on games. He'll sit out five games regardless of when they are played.
If the players don't win their appeals, the Royals will probably go short-handed and open the season with a 24- instead of a 25-man roster, leaving off either a pitcher or a position player. They would have a backup catcher to replace Olivo in case something should happen to starter John Buck.
That would not be ideal for a team that notoriously gets off to slow starts. But the Royals insist they knew a suspension was a possibility before signing Guillen, who has a .274 lifetime average with 166 home runs and 673 RBIs.
``We talked about it before the winter meetings, we talked about it during the winter meetings,'' manager Trey Hillman said. ``We knew it was a possibility with the Guillen situation. And obviously, it affects us.
``I can't say it's going to be a positive. I'm not going to go there. But the schedule does help us a little bit because we could have more consecutive games to start the season being short-handed by one on the roster.''
Guillen made news last month when he told a reporter at a Royals fan fair that he would not play left field but would insist on being in right, which was contrary to what Hillman had been saying. After meeting with Guillen, Hillman said he had changed his mind and Guillen would indeed be the right fielder and Mark Teahen would move to left.
``One thing that I'm very encouraged by is the fact he's always had passion,'' Hillman said. ``Sometimes passion is misconstrued as a bad attitude. I don't see it that way. Ten times over one I'd rather have a guy you've got to help continue to learn to control his presentation, rather than a guy you've got to put a cattle prod on his rear end and get him going.
``It's a lot easier proposition to help tame someone with passion. I like what he had to say. I like the fact he wants to come to the Kansas City Royals because he believes we can win now.''
 

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