Tag Archive | "Vladimir Guerrero"

BALTIMORE, :  Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina throws to home plate in the first inning 15 October during game six of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Indians lead the series 3-2.    AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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Former Orioles star Mussina moves closer to Hall of Fame

Posted on 24 January 2018 by Luke Jones

Mike Mussina will continue to wait, but eventual election to the Baseball Hall of Fame is looking more and more like a matter of “when” and not “if” for the former Orioles ace.

The 270-game winner and five-time All-Star starting pitcher missed out on induction with the 2018 class, but he received 63.5 percent of the votes, up from 51.8 percent a year ago and continuing a substantial climb after he received less than 25 percent of the vote in his first two years of eligibility. Players must receive at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected, and he fell just 49 votes shy this year.

The voting process has fallen under much scrutiny in recent years as baseball writers try to navigate the fallout of the steroid era, but Mussina’s perception has benefited greatly from the increasing acceptance of sabermetrics. The seven-time Gold Glove winner never won a Cy Young Award, but his 82.7 wins above replacement rank 24th on the all-time list for pitchers and his adjusted earned run average (ERA+) of 123 is among the best starting pitchers in major league history and accounts for the difficult run-scoring environment and ballparks in which he pitched. Mussina’s peak may not shine as brightly as other Hall of Fame pitchers, but his long-term success pitching in the lucrative era of performance-enhancing drugs and spending his entire career — 10 seasons with the Orioles and eight with the New York Yankees — in the American League East only strengthen his case.

It’s easy to point to Mussina’s career 3.68 ERA or only one 20-win season as justification to keep him out of Cooperstown, but too many fail to recognize a 3.68 ERA in 2000 was vastly different from a 3.68 ERA in 1975 or 1945 or 1915. That’s why numbers such as WAR and ERA+ are so important for context as we attempt to evaluate players across different eras.

Even if you’re not a believer in “new-age” statistics, Mussina still ranks 33rd in wins, 66th in innings pitched, and 20th in career strikeouts. He also had a strong postseason career with a 3.42 ERA in 139 2/3 innings. Mussina also very likely would have had two more 20-win seasons had it not been for the infamous 1994 strike when he had 16 wins by mid-August and then won 19 games in an abbreviated 144-game season a year later.

Mussina did not make the Hall of Fame cut in 2018, but two others who concluded their long major league careers with the Orioles were elected as Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome received the call Wednesday.

Guerrero last played in the majors with the Orioles in 2011, hitting .290 with 13 home runs and 63 runs batted in over 590 plate appearances. He signed a minor-league deal with Toronto the following year, but the Dominican slugger didn’t make it back to the majors and was eventually granted his release.

Thome arrived in Baltimore in a 2012 summer trade with Philadelphia, hitting .257 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 115 plate appearances. At age 42, he went 2-for-15 in the 2012 postseason and never played again before officially announcing his retirement in 2014.

Third baseman Chipper Jones and closer Trevor Hoffman were also elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class on Wednesday.

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Once with Orioles, Raines finally elected to Hall of Fame

Posted on 18 January 2017 by Luke Jones

The wait has finally ended for Tim Raines while other former Orioles will wait at least another year for the invitation to Cooperstown.

In his 10th and final year on the ballot, the seven-time All-Star outfielder was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by garnering 86.0 percent of the vote, comfortably more than the required 75 percent. First baseman Jeff Bagwell and catcher Ivan Rodriguez will also be part of the 2017 Hall of Fame induction class.

The sabermetrics era has helped Raines’ Hall of Fame cause as his .385 career on-base percentage and sensational 84.7 percent stolen-base percentage in his career were just two accomplishments that were underappreciated as he was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson, the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history. His 69.1 wins above replacement rank 108th on Baseball Reference’s all-time list.

A 42-year-old Raines was only an Oriole for four games as Baltimore made a trade to allow him to play with his son, Tim Raines Jr., at the end of the 2001 season. Though understandably overshadowed by the final days of Cal Ripken’s brilliant Hall of Fame career, the two became the second father-son duo in major league history to play in the same game on Oct. 3, 2001.

The older Raines went 3-for-11 with a home run and five RBIs in 12 plate appearances with the Orioles while his son posted a career .213 average in parts of three major league seasons with Baltimore.

Former Orioles stating pitcher Mike Mussina again fell short of Cooperstown in his fourth year on the ballot, but he received 51.8 percent of the vote after earning 43.0 percent in 2016, an encouraging trend for his potential induction down the road.

Though he never won a Cy Young Award and won 20 games only once in his 18-year career, the five-time All-Star selection and seven-time Gold Glove winner ranks 58th on the Baseball Reference all-time WAR list. Despite playing his entire career in the American League East, Mussina finished sixth or better in Cy Young voting nine times and ranks 33rd on the all-time wins list with 270.

Despite playing the final eight years of his career with the New York Yankees, Mussina was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2012.

A designated hitter for the Orioles in the final year of his major league career in 2011, Vladimir Guerrero was not elected in his first year of eligibility despite being named to nine All-Star teams, winning the 2004 AL Most Valuable Player Award, hitting 449 home runs, and holding a career .318 batting average. Having received 71.7 percent of the vote this year, Guerrero is a virtual lock to make it next year.

Lee Smith, an All-Star closer in his only season with the Orioles in 1994, received 34.2 percent of the vote in his final year on the ballot. He was once baseball’s all-time saves leader with 478 before both Mariano Rivera (652) and Trevor Hoffman (601) shattered his mark.

Part of the Orioles’ infamous trade for Glenn Davis in 1991, right-handed pitcher Curt Schilling dropped from 52.3 percent to 45.0 percent in his fifth year of eligibility, likely a product of his controversial views and criticism for the media.

An Oriole in 2005, Sammy Sosa received only 8.6 percent of the vote.

Three other former Orioles — Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, and Derrek Lee — did not receive a single vote in their first year of eligibility and will now fall off the ballot. Mora was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2015, but he was never expected to receive consideration for Cooperstown.

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Season of “Moneyball” begins for Angelos, Duquette, Buck & Orioles of 2012

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

The second half of the Baltimore Orioles’ re-awakening 2012 season is about to begin and the local baseball fans are a bit befuddled by it all.

As a Baltimore sports fan, I’m never allergic to exciting wins and a 12-game over .500 start to any baseball season. We’ve seen a manager who not only channels Earl Weaver in his size, stature and mannerisms but also with shrewd use of role players and borderline big leaguers. It’s been three months of watching guys who are trying hard no matter who is called up from Norfolk or who hits the disabled list. We’ve witnessed the blossoming of a true superstar in Adam Jones, who signed a record contract in mid-May against all previous precedent given by the Angelos family.

And, for the first time since 1997, this version of the Baltimore Orioles has stirred fans’ awareness – if not necessarily their emotions or beliefs – that this could be a dog-days-of-summer presentation that will bare watching as the fellows in the purple sweaters practice in Owings Mills in two weeks.

But here’s the problem: the 2012 Baltimore Orioles roster — as currently assembled on July 13th — is either in parts of tatters, simply unproven or just flat-out stinks.

I’ve been watching baseball for 40 years and I can’t think of any situation that compares to this.

The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are 45-40, now just five games over .500. However, if the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs. It’s officially the second half of the season – I watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday night even if none of the rest of you did – and the Orioles have a legitimate chance to play at least one postseason baseball game in October.

In the new Bud Selig fantasy world of more October baseball and profit, the Orioles are truly contenders in a way we couldn’t have imagined in March and haven’t seen since the Clinton administration. And no one else in the American League East looks to be galvanized to go on a tear, either.

Meanwhile the young guns of Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter are all in Norfolk after repeated self-inflicted shots into the bleachers after a series of “Ball Ones” and long, hot innings of ineffectiveness and blown leads.

The now-rested bullpen will attempt to continue to atone for the sins of the many failed starts over the past eight weeks.

The offense is in tatters. Despite the trade for a post-40 Jim Thome – yet another acquisition a player who is in the December of his career ala Sammy Sosa and Vladimir Guerrero — the Orioles are at least making some attempt to get to October after such an encouraging start.

Will Brian Roberts be a factor in the second half? Is Nick Markakis fully healed from his hamate bone injury? Can J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters provide more offense in the second half? Is Xavier Avery a star or just another so-so-outfielder from the Orioles’ depth chart?

There are far more questions than answers heading into the second season of baseball.

The Orioles have been irrelevant for 15 years. This year it appears we’ll have the first-ever Ravens’ training camp opening where the orange team will be the ones making summer headlines.

Will they trade? Who will they trade? What will they get?

One thing we know: trades for legitimate pitchers and hitters who can help the Orioles will not only cost some prospects but will involve large sums of money to pay these proven

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Jays hoping former Oriole Guerrero can provide boost

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Live from Camden Yards: Are Vlad’s days as O’s cleanup hitter numbered?

Posted on 09 August 2011 by Peter Dilutis

BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles play the second game of a four game set against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night at Camden Yards as Jo-Jo Reyes makes his first start as an Oriole. Baltimore native Gavin Floyd will be making the start for the White Sox in his hometown.

Chris Davis is back in the lineup hitting 5th and playing 1B, which is welcome news for him to say the least. Davis has the final two months of 2011 to show Buck Showalter and the rest of the decision makers in the organization what he can do with the hopes of securing a spot on the team in 2012.

Buck was asked if these final two months will be a big enough sample size when the time comes to evaluate Davis’ performance.

“I think so,” Showalter said. “It gives you a pretty good sampling…I don’t think there’s anyone here sporting the background of minor league numbers like Chris. But, it’s minor league numbers. We’ll see. It’s the biggest jump in sports. The good thing about Chris is there are four sports you could put him in and he’d be an above average defender, so that’s exciting.”

Also in the lineup tonight is Vladimir Guerrero as he assumes his normal role in the cleanup spot. Guerrero, by all accounts, has been a tremendous disappointment for the Orioles after they gave him $8 million to be the big power bat that they have been missing for several seasons. As of Tuesday, Guerrero has hit just 9 HR’s while posting a career low .389 SLG and .700 OPS; and those career lows are by wide margins.

Buck Showalter was asked if he has considered moving Vlad out of the cleanup spot.

“I have,” Showalter said. “He obviously hasn’t been as productive as you’d like to see hitting in that spot in the order. If you look at some of our options, I know one I’ve considered; a couple. We’ll see. It is something I have considered.”

From being in the room, it was obvious that Showalter was treading carefully when discussing Vladimir Guerrero. This guy has a Hall of Fame track record and he is highly respected among his peers. Moving Vladimir Guerrero down in the order would be a big story, and I get the sense that Showalter doesn’t want to hurt his pride or create any sort of tension or awkwardness in the clubhouse.

That being said, Buck knows he has an obligation to the rest of the organization and Orioles’ fans across the globe to put the team in the best position to win, and right now it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Guerrero in the cleanup spot does not do that.

Tonight’s lineups:


SS: Hardy
RF: Markakis
CF: Jones
DH: Guerrero
1B: Davis
3B: Reynolds
C: Wieters
LF: Pie
2B: Andino

SP: Reyes


LF: Pierre
SS: Ramirez
DH: Konerko
RF: Quentin
C: Pierzynski
CF: Rios
1B: Lillibridge
2B: Beckham
3B: Morel

SP: Floyd

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Guerrero placed on 15-day DL with broken hand

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Following the Orioles’ 6-5 win over Cleveland to snap a nine-game losing streak, manager Buck Showalter announced Vladimir Guerrero will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a cracked bone in his right hand.

The Orioles have also optioned relief pitcher Pedro Viola to Double-A Bowie. Taking their spots on the roster will be outfielder Matt Angle and reliever Troy Patton from Triple-A Norfolk.

After Guerrero was hit by a pitch last Sunday in Boston, a second x-ray earlier this week revealed a small crack below his right pinkie. The designated hitter attempted to take batting practice on Friday, but he was unable to grip a bat without feeling pain. The move is retroactive to July 6.

Angle, the Orioles’ seventh-round pick in 2007, was hitting .266 with four home runs and 29 runs batted in for the Triple-A Tides. The speedy center fielder also has 20 stolen bases.

Patton is 4-1 with a 1.83 earned run average in 44 1/3 innings this season for Norfolk. In a brief stint earlier this season in Baltimore, the left-handed reliever allowed two earned runs and struck out three in 2 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees on May 19.

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Live from Camden Yards: No DL decision on Vlad yet, Scott close to returning

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

**Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis prior to Saturday night’s game with the Cleveland Indians**

BALTIMORE — While J.J. Hardy’s contract received the most attention Saturday afternoon, the Orioles continue to wait on a decision to place Vladimir Guerrero on the disabled list.

The 36-year-old designated hitter has a broken bone in his right hand and is unable to grip a bat without pain, but the Orioles appear willing to wait for another day, leaving them again with a short two-man bench of only backup catcher Craig Tatum and infielder Robert Andino for the third game of a four-game series with the Indians.

“Hopefully we’ll make a decision shortly,” said manager Buck Showalter, who has discussed Guerrero’s status with head trainer Richie Bancells.

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Considering Guerrero hasn’t played since Sunday in Boston, it seems pointless to wait for the Orioles to continue to wait when Guerrero could potentially return in 10 days if placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 11. Instead, the Orioles will play a man down.

Outfielder Luke Scott received a cortisone injection on Friday and has taken batting practice a day late. The plan is for Scott to receive at-bats with Double-A Bowie on Sunday and Monday with a potential activation on Tuesday against the Red Sox. With Guerrero likely going on the disabled list at some point over the next few days, Scott would become the full-time designated hitter.

Showalter also revealed Brad Bergesen as the likely starter against the Red Sox on Monday. Much of that depends on how much the bullpen might be used over the final two games of the Indians series. Bergesen warmed up in the bullpen during Friday’s game but was not used.

Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton pitched three innings — his scheduled workload — for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, allowing a solo home run on a 3-2 changeup. He will pitch again on Wednesday, but Showalter would not rule out a return prior to July 30, the projected date on which the Orioles would receive an extra year of service time.

“He could come back before the 30th,” Showalter said. “He controls that as much as we do.”

It’s the right thing to say, but it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which we see Britton back with the Orioles before month’s end.

Tonight’s starter Alfredo Simon will be placed on the restricted list on Sunday as he returns to the Dominican Republic to deal with his legal issues. The Orioles will gain a roster spot while Simon is away.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
1B Carlos Santana
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Austin Kearns
C Lou Marson
CF Ezequiel Carrera

SP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 4.28 ERA)

SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Felix Pie
DH Nolan Reimold
2B Blake Davis

SP Alfredo Simon (1-2, 4.85 ERA)

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Orioles shortstop Hardy relieved to have new contract

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Orioles shortstop Hardy relieved to have new contract

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With the trade deadline two weeks away and the possibility of multiple teams being after his services this offseason, shortstop J.J. Hardy decided he was having too much fun with the last-place Orioles this season.

The 28-year-old shortstop agreed to terms on a new three-year contract to remain with Baltimore through the 2014 season. Reports indicate the deal will pay him in the neighborhood of $22 million over the next three seasons and will include a limited no-trade clause. The deal is pending a physical and has not been officially signed.

“There are a lot of things I don’t have to worry about now,” Hardy said. “It’s definitely a relief, a big weight off my shoulders, and just worry about playing baseball now.”

His 13 home runs is third on the club despite missing a month of the season with a strained oblique muscle. While spending a significant portion of the season in the leadoff spot, Hardy’s .490 slugging percentage is tops among regulars in the Orioles lineup.

Hardy had represented the Orioles’ biggest trade chip, but 19-year-old prospect Manny Machado is a few years away from being ready to take over the shortstop position in Baltimore, prompting president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to lock up one of the few bright spots of a disappointing season. Given Hardy’s injury history, he likely chose to avoid playing out the final two months of the season and risk an injury that could diminish his value.

“The biggest thing for me was the fact that I have been having fun here,” said Hardy, who admitted he and his agent had discussed possible teams seeking a shortstop this winter. “I like this clubhouse, I like this organization, and that was a big part for me.”

The fact that Hardy thought enough of his brief time with the Orioles to want to stay has to be a minor boost for an organization heading toward its 14th straight losing season. The shortstop wants to be part of a turnaround and hopes to be a major reason for it.

“Right now, it’s not going that well, but there is some potential,” Hardy said. “I feel like this team is a lot better than what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks. I like challenges as well as being competitive. I feel like it’s definitely a big challenge to turn this whole organization around. If I can help be a part of that, then great.”

Given the Orioles’ current stretch of nine straight losses and 23 defeats in their last 29 games, there’s been growing sentiment for the organization to sell off players and start the rebuilding process again. However, the Hardy signing means the club appears to be pushing forward with the current group of young players — for better or worse.

Right fielder Nick Markakis expressed his satisfaction with the Orioles locking up Hardy for the next three years. It was just over a year ago when the normally soft-spoken Markakis publicly questioned the direction of the organization before MacPhail hired Showalter to manager the Orioles in late July.

“It definitely means a lot to the club, the organization, and, most of all, the fans,” said Markakis, who applauded Hardy’s work in the leadoff spot for the injured Brian Roberts. “The fans have been been here a lot longer than I have and all the guys in this clubhouse. They deserve it more than anything.

“We’re working, we’re trying to climb that mountain. We’re on that way; it’s just a matter of time.”

Listen to all of Hardy’s comments as well as more from Markakis in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

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Live from Camden Yards: Guerrero has “small crack” in hand, out again

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles face the Cleveland Indians in the second of a four-game set at Camden Yards**

BALTIMORE — As if an eight-game losing streak and losing 22 of their last 28 games weren’t enough, the Orioles received bad news in regards to Vladimir Guerrero’s injured right hand prior to tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

A second x-ray revealed a “small crack” on the hand below the pinkie and the 36-year-old designated hitter is again out of the lineup as the Orioles hope to snap out of a month-long stretch of abysmal baseball. Guerrero attempted to take batting practice on Friday afternoon, but the session did not go well, according to manager Buck Showalter.

“There comes a decision now how long we can or will wait,” Showalter said. “Depending on the severity of it and the pain, guys have played with [it]. It’s not the possibility of hurting it anymore or what have you; just a matter of when the discomfort goes away — if it does.”

While Guerrero’s lack of power (seven home runs and a .385 slugging percentage) has been disappointing, this latest development may dim the chances of moving Guerrero before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline. The future Hall of Fame slugger was an unlikely candidate to be dealt by July 31 even before the injury occurred in Boston on Sunday.

Should Guerrero need to go on the disabled list, Showalter said Luke Scott would likely assume the designated hitter spot when he returns from the disabled list. He is eligible to return on Tuesday, but the Orioles would like to get him some at-bats in a brief rehab assignment before activating the left-handed hitter.

Matt Wieters will hit in the cleanup spot for the second consecutive night and Nolan Reimold will assume Guerrero’s designated hitter position in the lineup, batting seventh. Showalter would like to see someone bring more production to the No. 4 spot in the order, and it appears the Orioles’ All-Star catcher is getting the first crack at it.

“You’d love to see somebody take it and run with it,” Showalter said.

To hear more from Showalter, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
C Carlos Santana
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Travis Buck
1B Matt LaPorta
3B Lonnie Chisenhall

SP Josh Tomlin (10-4, 3.81 ERA)

SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Nolan Reimold
LF Felix Pie
2B Robert Andino

SP Jake Arrieta (9-6, 4.90 ERA)

As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

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For Orioles, Vladimir Guerrero has been a tremendous disappointment

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Peter Dilutis

Over the winter, there was an abundance of buzz surrounding the Orioles when they were talking about signing Vladimir Guerrero. This guy was the bonafide, legitimate, middle of the order hitter that the O’s have been lacking for quite some time. Vlad was someone who was a threat to hit a 400 foot bomb each and every time he stepped up to the plate.

Sure, Guerrero had declined a bit during the second half of 2010, but he still would have been one of the best hitters on the O’s along with Luke Scott. All Vlad had to do was come close to his 2010 production and he would have been a great acquisition for Andy MacPhail and company.

Fast forward to June of 2011, and Vladimir Guerrero has been a huge disappointment in Baltimore. He is on pace for 12 home runs and only 60 RBI’s.

Once again, the Orioles signed a guy who was completely on his last legs.

I’ll admit that I didn’t see this one coming. I didn’t expect Vlad to repeat the season that he had in 2010, but I felt he would be productive in Camden Yards. I expected him to make everyone around him better, and to serve as the cleanup presence that this team has sorely lacked since the Palmeiro years.

Instead, Vladimir Guerrero has become a singles hitter who is too unathletic to play the field or run the bases. He is too high-maintenance, either in reality or in the eyes of Buck Showalter, to be moved down in the order where he clearly belongs. And the guy certainly didn’t come cheap, with the O’s on the hook for his $8 million unless he is traded before the end of August.

Why does this always happen to the O’s?

Aubrey Huff comes to the Orioles, has one good season out of three, and then signs in San Francisco and not only does he become one of their best hitters, but he also goes out in the outfield and plays full time out there! Really, Aubrey Huff?

Yet the Orioles bring a future Hall of Famer to Baltimore just months after he put up a MVP-like first half in 2010 and the guy just can’t get his feet off the ground.

At this point, what do you do with Vlad? Do you move him down a few spots in the lineup and risk the media storm that it will cause? Do you release him and give up on getting anything for him before the end of August? Should Buck keep riding him out in the #4 hole and hope that he goes on a hot streak?

It really is a shame that the Orioles always find themselves in these types of situations. Again, I’m not even blaming them for the signing. I thought it was a great move to sign Vladimir Guerrero. I really did.

Sometimes bad luck just can’t be avoided. One of these years Guerrero was going to decline. It just happened to be his first year in an Orioles uniform.

At this point, I think you have to trot him out there for the next 20-25 games and hope he catches fire, contributes a bit to the current team, and then is dealt for some prospects with solid ceilings.

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