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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Carlos Lee and Ozzie Guillen are already on the same page.
“Ozzie is a good manager,” Lee said before the Miami Marlins played the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. “All he wants is for you also to play the game right. I feel the same way.”
The Marlins acquired Lee from the Houston Astros in a trade on Wednesday.
Guillen and Lee were together one year with the Chicago White Sox. Now Guillen looks for Lee to provide offensive punch and veteran leadership.
Lee knows that Guillen is intense and passionate about the game.
“In Chicago, that was the way he was,” Lee said. “He let you play and make sure you play the game right.”
Lee spent his first five seasons with Chicago under Jerry Manuel. Guillen took over for the 2004 season.
With Lee’s help, Guillen steered the White Sox to a second-place finish in the AL Central.
Lee, who played left field, batted .305 in 153 games that season. He hit 31 home runs and drove in 99 RBIs. While a White Sox, he never drove in less than 80 RBIs.
The Marlins hope that Lee, who said he knows most of his new teammates, is the spark to get them back into the NL East race. The 36-year-old first baseman spent five-plus seasons with the Astros and is hitting .287 with five homers and 29 RBI this year.
“Everybody says this is a nice clubhouse,” he said. “They have fun playing the game.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke saw no reason why Lee couldn’t be productive for the Marlins.
“He does what it takes to drive in that run,” Roenicke said. “He’ll get jammed and still hit a ground ball and score a run. He’s really good at that.”
Lee believes he still has plenty left in his tank.
“I know I can do it,” said Lee, who started at first base. “I still do it (drive in runs). With this team, I could have a lot more opportunities. I look forward to the challenge.”
Lee said his decision not to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers was personal.
“It’s a family thing,” he said. “Basically, I couldn’t get everyone to agree to it.”
The Astros acquired third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen in the deal with the Marlins. He did not have to approve the trade because the Marlins were not listed on his limited no-trade clause.
“It’s a good hitting park, if you’re a line drive hitter,” he said of Marlins Park. “If you’re a home run hitter, it’s kind of (tough). It’s a pretty big porch.”
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