Report: Giants OF Jose Guillen tied to drug probe

After winning their first two World Series games at home, the

San Francisco Giants had to deal with some surprising news.

Jose Guillen, an outfielder left off the team’s postseason

roster, is linked to a federal investigation into shipments of

performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported on its

website Thursday night.

”I don’t know anything about it and right now I don’t have a

comment,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

The story, citing several unidentified lawyers, said federal

authorities told Major League Baseball they were looking into

shipments of human growth hormone, allegedly sent to Guillen’s wife

in the Bay Area.

That was just before the postseason began, The Times said.

Guillen was left off the Giants’ roster for all three rounds

because of a nagging neck injury, according to Bochy.

A person in Major League Baseball confirmed the investigation to

The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity

because the probe was ongoing.

Jay Reisinger, Guillen’s attorney, also declined comment in an

e-mail. San Francisco beat the Texas Rangers 9-0 on Thursday night

for a 2-0 lead in the World Series.

Guillen’s teammates were surprised to learn of the

investigation.

”Hmmm, I never heard about it,” Eugenio Velez said.

”Wow.”

Pablo Sandoval also had no knowledge of Guillen’s situation and

would not comment.

It was a bit of a surprise when Guillen wasn’t included on the

Giants’ roster for their first playoff series against Atlanta. And

while other players who were left off – including $126 million

pitcher Barry Zito – have been around throughout the team’s October

run, Guillen has been curiously absent.

Hitting coach Hensley Meulens said he hadn’t been in contact

with Guillen since the playoffs began.

”I have no clue, no idea,” Meulens said upon being told of the

investigation.

The 34-year-old Guillen has been tied to performance-enhancing

drugs before. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2007 that he

allegedly purchased more than $19,000 worth of HGH, steroids and

other drugs from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between May

2002 and June 2005.

MLB suspended Guillen for 15 days following the report, then

rescinded the penalty in May 2008 as part of a deal between players

and owners to toughen the sport’s drug rules.

Guillen has played for 10 teams since breaking into the big

leagues with Pittsburgh in 1997. He is a .270 career hitter with

214 homers and 887 RBIs.

Guillen was suspended by the Angels for the last two weeks of

the 2004 regular season and postseason for inappropriate conduct

after expressing his displeasure with manager Mike Scioscia. After

the year, Guillen was traded to the Washington Nationals.

In July 2008, Guillen got into a heated clubhouse exchange with

Royals pitching coach Bob McClure, knocking over chairs before

several players separated them before a game at Tampa Bay. Guillen

also unleashed a profanity-filled tirade against his teammates that

May.

Looking for more offense, the Giants acquired Guillen from the

Kansas City Royals in a trade on Aug. 13. He batted .266 with three

homers and 15 RBIs in 42 games for the NL West champions.

In July, baseball implemented random blood testing for HGH in

the minor leagues, the first professional sports league in the

United States to take the aggressive step against doping.

Testing was limited to players with minor league contracts

because they are not members of the players’ association, which

means blood testing is not subject to collective bargaining. The

players’ association has long been against blood testing for HGH,

though the union has discussed the issue with MLB.

Bochy spoke with several of Guillen’s former managers and

coaches before the Giants acquired him and received good reports.

The manager also talked to Guillen himself.

Three years ago, the outfielder-designated hitter signed a $36

million, three-year contract that made him the Royals’ highest paid

player per year in team history. He was leading the Royals with 62

RBIs and 16 home runs when he was designated for assignment on Aug.

5 this year.

Guillen struggled with injuries in Kansas City. He played in

only 81 games last year and hit nine homers, tied for his fewest

since 2002. He was out for weeks after injuring his knee while

putting on a shin guard and missed several days of spring training

in 2009 after deciding to rip out an ingrown toenail with a pair of

pliers.

This season, Guillen struggled with a left quadriceps injury and

ended his stint in Kansas City in an 0-for-21 slump.

AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this story.