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 SEATTLE (AP) -Mariners outfielder Jose Guillen chose the hours before Monday's showdown series with the Los Angeles Angels to be far more forgiving than he's been about his past with Mike Scioscia.
``You make mistakes in life. I have no hard feelings ... He's a great manager,'' Seattle's well-traveled right fielder said of the man who essentially kicked him off the Angels during the final days of the 2004 pennant race because of insubordination.
``I've always been getting a lot of second chances in this game,'' Guillen said, with a huge grin.
This one in Seattle is working out better than perhaps any of the other eight organizations that have parted with Guillen in the previous eight years.
Guillen entered Monday batting .295 with 19 home runs and 81 RBIs while entrenched as the No. 3 hitter for a Mariners team that was 18 games over .500 and two games behind the Angels for the division lead. He's shown he still has his strong throwing arm following season-ending elbow reconstruction surgery last summer, which led to Washington letting become a free agent and Seattle signing him a one-year contract with a $9 million option for 2008.
``His leadership has been enormous,'' Seattle manager John McLaren said. ``He's pushing guys, encouraging guys, getting on them. I don't think anyone had seen him in that light (before).''
None of that is news to Guillen.
``I've always been a great man,'' he said. ``I know the incident happened with Mike. I want to ask you this question: Any of you guys ever hear about me doing things I know a lot of guys do: DUI, drug problems, fighting, problems in bars, whatever? Anyone one of you guys heard of that with Jose Guillen? Anyone? OK.
``I'm a trouble maker because I want to play baseball hard? ... I guess you make one mistake in your career when you are younger and it stays with you forever.''
Back in September 2004, Scioscia pulled Guillen for a pinch-runner during a game against Oakland. After he walked off the field as the A's changed pitchers, Guillen tossed his helmet toward the side of the dugout where Scioscia was standing and walked to the opposite side of the dugout. Guillen then slammed his glove against the wall.
Guillen was originally suspended for seven days without pay by the Angels, but he and the team reached a financial settlement to resolve the grievance he filed and he ended up being docked two days' pay - or $24,043.72.
In April, before his first series as an AL West rival of the Angels since the incident, Guillen said he was still upset that Scioscia ``crushed'' him in front of his teammates during a clubhouse argument instead of taking the issue into the manager's office.
``My relationship with him will never be fixed,'' Guillen said then, adding he would not try to approach Scioscia or welcome the manager approaching him.
``I will never forgive him. I don't care if he tries to cross by me 100 times.''
Monday, when asked if he would now try to talk with Scioscia this week, Guillen said, ``Why not?''
Scioscia didn't talk about the ``new'' Guillen Monday. But in April, he said he thought Guillen had put the incident behind him.
``It was an unfortunate incident, and we've certainly moved on,'' Scioscia said.
``I hope Jose grows from it. He told me he took anger management classes and put the whole incident behind him and was going to grow from it.''
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