MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Magglio, Guillen reunite at Caribbean Series

Former teammates attend semifinal between Venezuela, Cuba

Magglio, Guillen reunite at Caribbean Series

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Mayor Magglio Ordonez and President Carlos Guillen made a special appearance at the semifinal game of the Caribbean Series between Venezuela and Cuba on Saturday night at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

The former teammates have been busy in "retirement."

Ordonez is part owner of the Venezuelan Winter League champion Caribes de Anzoategui club and the mayor of the eastern Venezuelan city of Sotillo.

"I've always wanted to stay in baseball because I've played the game my entire life and I was looking for a way to stay involved," Ordonez said. "I am who I am because of baseball and I wanted stay involved. I'm enjoying it. We have been a successful team and it takes a lot of time and effort to make a championship team."

Ordonez sported a .309 batting average with 294 home runs during 15 seasons with the Tigers and the White Sox. He played his last Major League game in 2011 and officially retired the next year. In 2013, he was elected in Sotillo, a city with 250,000 people, as a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Ordonez's win was announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. According to the Associated Press, Maduro turned to celebrity candidates to garner support in his country's election.

"That's another experience. It wasn't in my initial plans of my life, but now I'm involved in the politics," Ordonez said. "I try use my discipline and my experience from baseball into being a mayor so our government and city can be successful."

"It's not easy. Politics, like religion, is complicated. There are always different visions. Some people believe what they believe. Every person has their own opinion and I can't change that. As a Venezuelan mayor, it's my job to do the best I can to make my municipality a success. I try to use the experience I had in the Major Leagues, the experience I had in the Minor Leagues and everything I have had since I started baseball in practice as a mayor. Nothing is easy but we are doing it."

Guillen, who played for the Mariners and Tigers from 1998-2011 and was a teammate of Ordonez's in Detroit, runs the Carlos Guillen Baseball Academy for teenage prospects. He's also the president of the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League.

"It's different than being a player because as a player if you go 0-for-4, you go home and forget about. In my role you stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning trying to figure out what went wrong and how to make your team better," Guillen said. "But I'm having fun. You have to have fun in baseball and I like to teach baseball."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.