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Guillen likely out for playoffs

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Carlos Guillen

  • The Mariners are not concerned that Carlos Guillen's tuberculosis will spread to other players, but they do not expect their valuable shortstop to be able to play in the postseason. They're also worried about David Bell's rib-cage injury. If Bell cannot play, the M's could be looking at Mark McLemore at short, Ed Sprague at third and Stan Javier playing left in the first round.

  • The Yankees believe that a critical figure in their series with the A's will be Randy Choate. The rookie situational lefty has held left-handers to a .172 average. But, more importantly, he has stopped Oakland's lefties -- from Jason Giambi to Jeremy Giambi to Eric Chavez to Terrence Long -- to the tune of 1-for-13.

  • If Barry Bonds returns to the Giants, it will have to be without the long-running show that free agents like Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Bonilla and even Bonds -- when he signed with the Giants -- played out. The Giants, who have averaged 90 wins the last five seasons on a mid-market budget, know what they can spend. So if Bonds drags on past Thanksgiving, the team will take the Bonds money and sign an outfielder and a third baseman and move on.

  • Eric Chavez has quietly become the American League's best defensive third baseman. And add this fact: Miguel Tejada and Chavez are the first left side of an infield to each have 30 homers and 100 RBI. Oh, yes: Tejada is 25, Chavez 23.

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