Report: Guillen kept off playoff roster due to HGH investigation

When the San Francisco Giants left outfielder Jose Guillen(notes) off their roster for the NLDS, the explanation was that Guillen couldn't play because of a neck injury.

The decision seemed surprising, considering the Giants acquired him to help push them to the playoffs. As manager Bruce Bochy said at the time, "We didn't acquire him to be on the bench."

But Guillen batted .217/.267/.337 in September and October for the Giants, and had trouble driving the ball. The injury, described as a bulging disk near the base of his neck (which also gave him problems last season), appeared to be a suitable explanation for his struggles.

It turns out, however, that Guillen might not be with the Giants during their World Series run for a far more serious reason. At least as far as federal authorities are concerned.

According to a report in the New York Times, Guillen is under investigation for a shipment of human growth hormone that was sent to his wife in the Bay Area.

Federal investigators informed Major League Baseball of the probe days before the postseason began. According to the report, the commissioner's office then directed the Giants to keep Guillen off their playoff roster.

Apparently, the NYT wasn't the only publication aware that something like this might be going on. As Game 2 was being played, San Jose Mercury News writer Andrew Baggarly admitted that his paper was working on the same story. But the NYT received confirmation from lawyers involved in the investigation (speaking on condition of anonymity, naturally).

Did MLB tell Bochy (or anyone else associated with the team, for that matter) why Guillen was to be left off the roster? If so, Bochy didn't say what he knew, if anything, when asked about the investigation after the Giants' 9-0 win on Thursday.


"I can't comment on that. I don't know anything about it, and right now I don't have a comment on that."

What can Bochy be expected to say? The man is trying to win a World Series, and is surely more immediately concerned with the players available to him, not the ones he can't use. No one would want to deal with this sort of distraction right now.

This isn't the first time that Guillen has been linked to an investigation involving performance-enhancing drugs. In 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Guillen ordered more than $19,000 worth of steroids and HGH from an anti-aging clinic in Florida between 2002 and 2005. Records show orders being shipped to addresses in Arizona, Orange County and Oakland while Guillen played in those cities.

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