This series was going to be a sprawling 3 or 4 part epic in which I tried to meticulously break down all the reactions to the Vladimir Guerrero deal but, quite frankly, I am sick of writing about Vlad, so this will be it.
In my first post, I looked at what Vlad Guerrero brings to the table for the 2011 Baltimore Orioles. In this post, we're going to look at what he does not bring.
A post over at ESPN.com opines that Vlad brings some things to the Oriole lineup that it was lacking. Here's something he doesn't bring: on base percentage.
The Orioles have been ranked in the lower half of the league in terms of OBP for the past 5 seasons and 2010 was especially bad in that respect. Guerrero, free swinger that he is, only got on base at a .345 clip in 2010 despite hitting .300. His walk rates for 2009 and 2010 were the worst of his career and that's saying something. I can't find a projection that puts his OBP for 2011 any higher than .335.
But that's not why the Orioles brought him to town.
Everyone talks about the process of becoming a winner. Well, it's gotta start at some point, even if it's a 6 or 8 game improvement. And Vlad can help with that.
Of course he won't put is in contention for anything. If you keep that mindset year in and year out you basically run in place. This organization used up it's goodwill with the fans years and years ago.
"One season doesn't mean anything" is the reason we are still fighting to get out of 5th place. Until a season DOES matter we will be where we've been for the last decade plus.
This is desperation talking. A fan who is happy to be thrown a bone. To be pandered to as the team makes a move that might be worth two or three wins if things break right. Sure, I would love for this team to win in 2011. I will be hoping for it. But this team ain't there yet. It's not. So you've relegated a viable lineup option in Nolan Reimold to Norfolk? I don't care what anybody says, I've made my case for him and I would rather watch a healthy Reimold crash and burn all season long than to watch Vlad take his hacks.
Ladies and gentlemen, the formula is clear. You have to get younger and you have to let those guys play if you ever hope to build a core of players to compete. The Yanks did it, the Red Sox did it, the Rays did it. The Orioles need to commit to it and just do it. I don't mind the Derrek Lee signing...there are no real options in AAA ready to play first base. I don't mind the Mark Reynolds trade...Josh Bell is clearly not ready and when he is, Reynolds can be moved across the diamond. But this signing blocks a couple younger guys and does nothing to advance the team beyond 2011. Given his recent stats, injury history and age, it is even questionable that he helps much this season either.
Wow, sounds like a great investment of your $8 million, huh?