Free agency, trades, being called up, being sent down, this is all part of the beautiful game we call baseball. Yesterday was a sobering reminder that even the best teams make mistakes, even Joe Saunders bobble head night could not erase the pain inflicted by one of our own, one of the most beloved Angels of all time, personally one of my favorite players, Vladimir Guerrero.
When I first heard that the Angels were not going to offer him another contract, I had a mixed bag of emotions. There was a part of me that felt that Guerrero just had a bad year and that he would bounce back and be the “Angel of old” this year. I had the overwhelming feeling that the Angels were going to regret this decision. On the other hand, Guerrero was looking like he was past his prime and he was striking out in key situations when the Angels needed key wins. He looked a bit sluggish and frustrated, it looked like his body was not responding to him anymore.
I believe, that in order to stay competitive, the Angels decided to not sign him and instead sign Hideki Matsui, from the New York Yankees, and truth be told, if the Angels were in the playoffs in a situation where they needed a key hit, I would breathe easier knowing Matsui could pull off the win.
Although Guerrero is a wonderful player, the Angels believed Matsui was a better fit this year. Guerrero was becoming ‘trigger happy’ where Matsui exercises patience. However, last night Guerrero gave the Angels a reminder of what they lost. With the Angels up 3 to nothing, Guerrero hit a Grand Slam to put the Rangers up 4 to 3. His next time up, he hit a home run. Guerrero’s two home run performance, made Angels’ fans question whether Guerrero was truly past his prime. Last nights performance was a very clear no. Throughout his Angels career, Vladimir Guerrero was known as ” The Rangers Killer” could it be possible that he will now be known as “The Angels Killer?” I sincerely hope not. I don’t know what hurt more, confirming my initial feeling that the Angels made a mistake or being part of the Angels’ crowd last night and watching it as it happened.