Guillen to toss ceremonial first pitch before Game 3
OAKLAND -- While Detroit waits for Jhonny Peralta to work his way into left field, the Tigers will open the home portion of their postseason schedule by welcoming their last former shortstop to try playing in left.
Carlos Guillen, a two-time All-Star during his Detroit tenure, will return to Comerica Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 3 of the Tigers' American League Division Series against the A's Monday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, MLB Network).
It'll be Guillen's second trip to Comerica Park since his retirement after the 2011 season. He returned in the summer of 2012 for a ceremony honoring his Tigers tenure. However, he visited the team just last week in Miami during their series against the Marlins.
Guillen will go down in Tigers history as one of the key acquisitions of the team's turnaround from 119 losses in 2003 to the World Series in 2006. After the 2003 season, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski went looking for a shortstop on the market, was rebuffed in early courtships of free agents Miguel Tejada and Rich Aurilia, then struck when the Mariners failed to trade Guillen to Cleveland for Omar Vizquel.
The Tigers acquired Guillen for infielders Juan Gonzalez and Ramon Santiago, the latter of whom ended up back with the Tigers a few years later. Guillen, meanwhile, emerged as an offensive player in Detroit, batting .318 with 20 homers and 97 RBIs in 2004 before hitting .320 with 19 homers and 85 RBIs for the World Series team a couple years later.
Guillen batted .297 with 95 home runs, 449 RBIs and an .842 OPS over eight seasons as a Tiger. The last four of them saw him move out from shortstop to play first base, then third base, then left field, then second base. All the while, injuries to his knee, back and shoulder wore him down in his early-to-mid-30s.
In addition to Guillen's return, the Tigers will feature local musicians performing the national anthem. Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, two Detroit natives who are part of the band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., will perform ahead of the release of their new album on Tuesday.