Why Do Guillen and Peña Need a Night Off? Maybe It’s that They Can’t Hit

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By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

Trey Hillman gave the night off to two players last night.

1. Tony Peña Jr.

Stated reason for night off: in slump.

Possible alternative reason for night off: cannot hit, which is a good thing to do if you’re a major-league position player.

2. Jose Guillen.

Stated reason for night off: some rest, as he is frustrated and pressing, according to Royals manager Trey Hillman.

Possible alternative reason for night off: apparently has given up the pretense of “trying hard.” Guillen is getting booed at the stadium and is being killed on local radio due to his horrific start, his sizable contract and his alleged past use of performance-enhancing drugs.

And now he takes a night off against a team that he openly holds in contempt.

Guillen has an interesting history. He is on his ninth team in 11 years. After Angels manager Mike Scoscia suspended him during the 2004 playoff run, he called Scoscia a “piece of garbage.” With the Nationals, he reportedly had heated exchanges with teammates Brad Wilkerson, Brian Schneider and Esteban Loaiza. Similar incidents have reportedly occurred in his previous stops at Cincinatti, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

So here’s Guillen’s tally so far: Thirty-six million dollars. Three years. Terrible start. One large temper.

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