Padres will live and die by Giles brothers

As soon as Atlanta decided not to offer Marcus Giles a contract two weeks ago, the 28-year-old second baseman cast his eyes toward his hometown, where his brother Brian was playing.

"It's never been a secret that I wanted to play on the same team as Brian," Marcus Giles said after signing a contract with Padres. "You can't script a better story than two brothers playing on the same team in their hometown. It's a dream come true."

Marcus Giles is guaranteed $3.25 million to be the Padres second baseman in 2006. He could make another $1 million in incentives. In addition, the Padres have a $4 million option on his services for 2008.

Outfielder Brian Giles, 35, is signed with the Padres through the 2008 season.

The brothers figure to keep the Padres locker room loose. They are two of the game's leading jokers.

"I'm nowhere close to being Brian," said Marcus Giles, although the brothers participated in considerable give-and-take during the press conference called to announce Marcus's arrival. "There's two of me now," Brian said.

The Giles brothers are also known for their old-school competitiveness -- even against one another. Twice during the past three seasons, Brian slid hard into Marcus at second as the then-Brave was trying to turn the double play.

"No one has ever slid harder into me than my brother," Marcus Giles said. "But the two or three times he's come hard into me like that, I completed the double play. Playing hard like that is how we've been our entire lives."

Marcus Giles, a right-handed hitter, has a career average of .285, but he batted only .262 last season with 11 homers and 62 RBIs. His production has fallen each of the past three seasons.

Marcus Giles signed with the Padres after the Braves didn't tender him a contract. A tender would have led to arbitration, and the Braves were fearful of Giles being given a $6 million judgment.

"I didn't think Marcus was going to join us until the Braves didn't offer him a contract," Brian Giles said. "Then it was clear that the Padres wanted Marcus as much as he wanted to come home."

"As soon as the Braves didn't offer me a contract, my eyes turned to San Diego," Marcus Giles said.

The Giles brothers were raised in the suburb of El Cajon to the east of San Diego. Both attended Granite Hills High, where Marcus developed a friendship with NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

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