Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Carlos Guillén takes over at SS after ARod leaves

Sep 23, 2021, 11:30 AM
Mariners Carlos Guillén Alex Rodriguez...
Carlos Guillén of the Seattle Mariners talks with Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers on Sept. 26, 2001. (Getty - Ronald Martinez/ALLSPORT)
(Getty - Ronald Martinez/ALLSPORT)

2001: A Baseball Odyssey – a weekly look back at the record-setting 2001 Mariners and the players who made them who they were.

After the team’s emotional clinching of the division on Sept. 18, the Mariners went into a funk, losing four of their next six games. They came out of it, though, thanks in no small part to the man who replaced Alex Rodriguez.

Jerry Dipoto Show: Flexen’s importance to M’s, Seager’s option

The Mariners had incredibly good fortune in replacing the three superstars from the late 1990s that had they lost. First, Randy Johnson’s departure was eased by the success of young Freddy Garcia, who was acquired in the deal that sent Johnson to Houston. Ken Griffey Jr. was missed, but not so much thanks to Mike Cameron. And although people tend to think Alex Rodriguez was replaced by Ichiro (and as a star he was), his replacement in the field also came from the Johnson deal, and that was Carlos Guillén.

Guillén got some at-bats at third base and second base during the first few years after he joined the Mariners, and he had a terrific moment in the 2000 playoffs, delivering a walk-off, series-winning drag bunt single against the White Sox.

In 2001, the 25-year-old Guillén got his chance to be a regular, replacing Rodriguez after the 1999 American League MVP left in free agency for the Rangers.

The Mariners’ bats were back in business in a 13-2 win Sept. 25 in Texas, and Guillen had himself a day, going 3 for 5 with a homer and a triple as the M’s kept the quest for 116 wins alive (click here for the box score). Guillén had a solid season in ’01 and several more until the Mariners made an unwise trade with Detroit, where Guillén made three All-Star teams.

There was always something special to him about his time with the Mariners, though, and after leaving the Tigers as a free agent, he signed a minor league deal with Seattle in February 2012. He was hoping for one last year with the team, but after a month he called it quits on a fine 14-year career.

More 2001 Mariners memories from Groz

Seattle’s special moment after baseball’s post-9/11 return
On Sept. 10, M’s were still doing what they did best
Hometown hero John Olerud’s big year
Solid and steady David Bell
• Mike Cameron pulls off the impossible
• Kazuhiro Sasaki, Mariners’ man of mystery
• The infamous Cleveland comeback
• When Ichiro became Ichiro
• The curious case of Al Martin
• Freddy García replaces the ace he was traded for
• Kaz Sasaki and Seattle’s incredible bullpen
• Seattle hosts an All-Star Game for the ages
• The bounceback year of M’s Hall of Famer Dan Wilson
• Mark McLemore, the all-important 10th man
• Edgar Martinez cements his legacy with his last great season
• Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’
• Bret Boone gave Seattle a huge, surprising boost
• Paul Abbott, the forgotten hero of the historic ’01 M’s
• Introduction: Celebrating the 2001 Mariners, 20 years later

See you next season

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Griffey...
The Associated Press

Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. joins Mariners ownership group

Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is investing in the Mariners in a way he never has before. He’ll be part of the ownership group going forward.
1 day ago
Mariners Blue Jays Marcus Semien...
Brent Stecker

Morosi: Marcus Semien, Trevor Story make sense for Mariners to target

With the Mariners committed to J.P. Crawford at shortstop but interested in the SS free-agency class, Jon Morosi details the two names that fit the best.
1 day ago
Mariners Shed Long Jr....
Shannon Drayer

Mariners make 6 roster moves ahead of 40-man roster crunch

The Mariners announced six player moves Friday afternoon, creating three 40-man roster spots ahead of an expected offseason roster crunch.
4 days ago
Mike Salk

Mariners’ Mitch Haniger, Jerry Dipoto sound more like they’re on same page

Comments Thursday by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto about Mitch Haniger on 710 ESPN Seattle paint a better picture about a possible extension than before.
4 days ago
Mariners Semien Crawford...
Brent Stecker

Jerry Dipoto addresses how Mariners may find a fit in SS free-agency class

The Mariners have their shortstop, so why would they be interested in one of the big name free agent shortstops? Jerry Dipoto sheds some light.
5 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is the future of the Mariners’ outfield as set as we thought?

The outfield is where the Mariners appeared to have the brightest future entering 2021, but the way the season played out changed some things.
9 days ago
Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Carlos Guillén takes over at SS after ARod leaves