Yesterday all of Birdland exploded with talk of Vlad Guerrero. Unfortunately (as a lot of us predicted when he was signed in a publicity stunt) this explosion was not due to how he has been tearing up the league with his offensive pedigree. No, it is because he has been almost worthless to anyone but opposing pitchers by selectively hunting down Orioles rallies and would be rallies and murdering them with the type of cold-blooded ruthless regularity that you would only expect to find from a comic book villain.
Of course, we told all of you many many times that he was terrible. Some of you (mainstream media) didn’t want to listen. Surely you are starting to see the light. I read this written by Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, and in some places he agrees but also seems to be fighting it with every bit of his being.
But he simply is not driving in runs this season. He has 28 RBIs from the four hole — that’s sixth on the team. His slugging percentage is an awful .386 this year — compare it with his career mark of .563 heading into 2011.
All of this is true, he is having a career worst year in just about every category. Most notably slugging percentage and on base percentage which are two pretty big things you may want to look for when selecting a cleanup hitter.
Then he laid this on us
So here’s the dilemma: Yes, Guerrero is not getting it done at cleanup. But there’s no real obvious alternative.
Do you stick with Vlady and hope he figures it out?
Or do you put someone else in there? Like Jones or Lee or Wieters or Reynolds?
He didn’t provide us with his opinion so I was left wondering what he thought. Perhaps this was on purpose, or perhaps he doesn’t know the answer either. Hell, Buck hasn’t figured it out yet why should we be able to. I already made my opinion on the cleanup spot known before the season started so here is a link to save you from a 7 page post this time around. Hell, I was dead nuts on about Hardy being our best leadoff option so we have no choice but to believe that I am right in this instance as well.
Lucky for me one local media member did put his opinion out there:
I know he’s struggling, but to me vlad is still the o’s only cleanup hitter
Basically this guys argument for having Vladdy as the DH is lack of better options so I imagined him at a restaurant about to order dinner. He has been working hard all day and has a craving for a nice juicy piece of steak. Seeing Ken’s mouth watering for a nice steak the waiter comes over to break some bad news. “Mr. Weinman,” he says, “we have a great menu for you tonight. You’re choice of a nice thick pork chop, fresh caught tuna or a wonderful rack of lamb.” Ken thinks it over and asks politely, “Don’t you have any steak, I would really love a steak for dinner.” The waiter goes to the back to check his inventory once more and returns to Mr. Weinman’s table. “Sir, good news and bad news,” he says, “We have one piece of steak, but it has been sitting out at room temperature getting progressively worse for the last 3 years.” “You know what”, says Ken, “it was steak once, and I’m sure it will be steak again. After all I really really want a steak. I’ll do it, get me that steak, sir.”
Honestly, that entire scene played out in my head. Now you see why twitter was not enough.
But maybe we’ve all been duped, maybe Vlad has a stunt double he has been using early in the season to avoid the dramatic drop off he suffered in the second half last year. I did a little bit of investigating and I think this is the most likely scenario and I think I have found the culprit:
Come on Vlad, let’s make the second half a Fantastic Voyage.