I hate to say “I told you so,” but one of those occasions has certainly occurred and, well- I told you so. The Orioles acquisition of Vlad Guerrero in February got Baltimore baseball fans excited and understandably so. Vlad came to town carrying some pretty impressive career credentials: an MVP award and a 9-time All-Star. But as I pointed out in February, Vlad’s credentials were eerily similar to those of Sammy Sosa when the O’s acquired him in 2005. Sosa, too, had won an MVP and was a 7-time All-Star. And maybe most importantly – both Sosa and Guerrero were both 36 years old when they came to Baltimore, both obviously past their primes.
Well, the verdict is in and the disappointment has been realized and again is eerily similar. Sosa played 102 games with the O’s in 2005, his season cut short by injury. Guerrero reached the 102 game mark with the O’s this week. And here’s how the numbers look.
Sosa 102 games, 380 AB, 14 HR, 45 RBI, .221 avg.
Vlad 102 games, 388 AB, 10 HR, 41 RBI, .276 avg.
The biggest difference is in batting average, but Sosa’s .221 is 52 points below his career average. Vlad’s .276 is 41 points below his career average, so they under-performed their career averages rather closely.
What’s worth watching next is what Guerrero does next year if he joins a decent team. Remember, Sosa left the Orioles and played one last season with the Texas Rangers where he hit 21 HR and drove in 92 runs. Sadly, Baltimore is a place where veterans go to die.
Posted by: Mark Viviano