- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2006

BALTIMORE — When Jose Guillen launched a homer high over the Green Monster at Fenway Park last Monday, it might have led some to believe the Washington Nationals’ right fielder finally was back on track.

He wasn’t.

One week later and Guillen is still looking for his next base hit. And he wasn’t going to find it yesterday after manager Frank Robinson benched him for only the second time since he returned from the disabled list two weeks ago.

“He’s just not getting himself in position to have success against pitches that are being thrown to him,” Robinson said of Guillen, who is 0-for-16 since his homer in Boston.

Guillen’s slump has left him with a .210 batting average that is a far cry from his career mark of .272. He’s particularly struggled since coming back from a hamstring injury earlier this month, leading some to question whether he’s feeling pressure to make up for his lost time.

“If he is, he’s putting it on himself,” said Robinson, who spoke with Guillen about the very subject a few weeks ago. “You can’t get back what you lost. He doesn’t have to carry this team.”

Weather management

It’s too late now, but Robinson would have liked to see the umpiring crew at Camden Yards handle Saturday’s lengthy rain delay a little better.

Robinson was upset chief Mike Reilly’s crew waited until after reliever Chad Cordero threw his warm-up pitches in the bottom of the ninth before calling for the tarp to cover the infield.

The two teams wound up sitting through a 2-hour, 18-minute rain delay before the inning resumed, with Cordero still on the mound. The Washington closer was given as much time as he needed to get loose again, but he walked the first batter he faced and ultimately surrendered the game-winning single to Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez.

“Now, did it have an effect? I don’t think so,” Robinson said. “But still, it was eight pitches that he didn’t have to throw at that time. … That’s a long wait. But I don’t blame them. I don’t think it had any effect on the way we played. The other team came out and did what they had to do to win the ballgame.”

No O’s!

MASN viewers in Washington might have been surprised the last two days to see Baltimore referred to as “O’s” on the in-game scorebox. The Orioles’ name has long been abbreviated that way on the team’s own broadcasts, but some were upset it was still listed that way (instead of as “BAL”) on the Nationals’ TV broadcast.

According a MASN employee, the decision to use the “O’s” abbreviation was made by Orioles owner Peter Angelos, whose club owns 90 percent of MASN to the Nationals’ 10 percent.

The Nationals, as always on MASN broadcasts, were abbreviated as “WSH” during this weekend’s games.

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To

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