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“Nobody sits in Vlad’s seat”

Oct 28, 2010, 1:29 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants, Game 1 Getty Images

Interesting insight from Buster Olney on Vlad Guerrero today:

Vladimir Guerrero is more than just the Rangers’ cleanup hitter. He is a centerpiece of respect and dignity and consistency, the wise old man of the group. He sits in the same seat on the team’s bus everyday, and if you happen to sit in his seat accidentally, before he arrives, one of the other players will politely inform you that you are residing in Vlad’s seat.

Then, after going over the possibilities for Game 2 — including benching Vlad — Olney says:

But within the Rangers family, which has functioned particularly well this year, the impact of those kinds of alterations would probably disturb their internal dynamic — and Washington probably does not want to be perceived as changing stuff. Remember: Nobody sits in Vlad’s seat. And it’s hard to imagine, unless Guerrero went to Washington and took himself out of the lineup before Game 2, that anybody else would be hitting cleanup and playing right field.

Most of us ignore the internal clubhouse dynamics most of the time because we simply can’t know about them.  Then we hear stuff like this and it makes us re-think what happens on a baseball field. Not every sub-optimal decision by a manager is a “dumb” decision.  A lot of the times they’re driven by all manner of concerns, some tactical, some political. We’d probably be better served as fans to consider that more often. God knows I ignore it most of the time.

That said, this is the World Series. And with all due respect to Vlad Guerrero’s seat on the bus, if the Rangers want the best chance to win Game 2, he should probably have a seat on the bench. And I bet even those on the Rangers who revere him the most would agree with that.

  1. bloodysock - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Time for someone else to sit in Vlad’s seat – or at least hit spot in RF. Any team or player will tell you that you do different things in the playoffs than you do in the regular season.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I bet Frenchy sits in Vlad’s seat all the time just to be a douchenozzle. He then explains to Vlad that OBP doesn’t matter and Vlad responds stating “yeah, maybe if you can hit in the first place, now get up and get the shine box bitch!”

  3. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Also, nobody puts Vladi in a corner.

    • BC - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

      RIP Patrick Swayze.

    • hasbeen5 - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:22 PM

      I was going to say it’s pretty unmanly to reference Dirty Dancing on a baseball blog, but then I realized that I got the reference, and so now I’m questioning my manhood.

      • scatterbrian - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

        I’ve managed to avoid that flick for 23 years, and even I know the reference. Your manhood remains intact.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    If he really wants to be wise and be this member of the team that the other guys look up to, he should know his role right now and sit down for a game or two at least, because that would be best for the team. Put Murphy out there.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

      True. And it’s just ONE game for now and maybe 6 and 7, if necessary. Otherwise, he can DH back down in Texas.

  5. mcsnide - Oct 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Over at the book blog, they ran some sims on this very question: http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/how_much_does_playing_guerrero_in_game_2_cost/. If you consider the club dynamics and MGL’s finding of a very small advantage, Washington’s probably making the right call.

  6. The Rabbit - Oct 28, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    There’s another reason that Vlad gets respect….His mom’s cooking. There was an extensive article about it when he was with the Angels.
    When she’s visiting him, she cooks enough food for an army and he transports to the clubhouse. Even the visiting teams stop in for dinner.
    BTW, Her recipes looked awesome.

  7. Adam - Oct 28, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Actually I think the Rangers should stick with the “nobody sits in Vlad’s seat” theory. Because that would keep him at DH, where he’s been all year. That’s why he was awful last night, he was sitting in the wrong seat!

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