A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vladamir Guerrero

There's something to be said for the waiting. As Tom Petty once said, it's the hardest part, but the old proverb says that good things come to those who wait. I'm hoping that's true since I keep filling out applications and sending out resumes in hopes of more and better employment, which should be something in my wheelhouse because now I have a Masters Degree, but alas... the waiting continues.
It continues for Manny Ramirez, too, but after his dismal showing in Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago, his suitors are non-existent in much the same way they were for Barry Bonds after his last season. This is a guy who hit .276 and 28 home runs in his final season. Never mind that he led the league with 132 walks, of which 43 were intentional (he had 120/232 official intentional base on balls in his 2004 season). In addition, his OPS was 1.045, which isn't slouch numbers, but that said, he was a steroids guy who was rather hated, so nobody wanted him other than San Francisco, who only wanted him long enough to set the HR record, and when that was done...
Now, nobody wants Manny. I guess that's because he's a steroids guy with a bad attitude as well.
For a second season in a row, nobody seems to want to take a chance on Johnny Damon, the adorable "Idiot" of the 2004 Red Sox, who gave it all up to go to New York for more years. Can't blame him, but the plan isn't panning out lately despite his .271 average and 51 RBIs for a season with Detroit. All in all, it was a better season than the one in Oakland before he went to Boston, but yeah... still up for grabs.
And we all remember Tom Verducci's telling of the Carl Pavano tale in his book about Joe Torre. We knew most of it already, but we got to read it from the perspective of the Yankees. Somehow, after injuries, he rebounded last year going 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA and 117 strikeouts. They're not shabby numbers, and they tell the tale of a man who rebounded from obscurity to make something of himself again, but alas, he's still out there in limbo.
And Jim Thome, while a full time DH is sitting on 589 home runs, which gives him a chance to hit 600 for a career, but other than rumors, he has no guaranteed spot on a roster.
Perhaps this is the era we're in where teams respect records by not signing players - or signing specific players, but alas, there are a lot of veterans, either steroids mirages or above average numbers inflated by the era who aren't signed.
And so it goes all the way to Vladamir Guerrero who reinvented himself in the regular season with Texas, but who phoned in the post season show as he had 6 RBIs, no HRs, and a 1/14 performance in the World Series. Clutch isn't the word for the guy who was once the best bad ball hitter in the game, but there is no home for him either.
Perhaps we're all on the Island of Misfit Toys, looking for a home and a solid job option for the new year.
Like me, I guess they just have to believe.

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