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Vladimir Guerrero will retire as an Angel

Mar 31, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

Vladimir Guerrero announced his retirement from baseball last September, but we learned today that he’s going to officially go out as a member of the Angels after he throws out the first pitch tonight:

Of course, this ultimately doesn’t mean much. Still, it feels a little weird, as Guerrero spent more time with the Expos and put up slightly bigger numbers there. Then again, he won his only MVP as a member of the Angels. If Guerrero gets elected to the Hall of Fame, which he has a very strong case for, his plaque figures to be an interesting topic of conversation.

  1. lazlosother - Mar 31, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    It just kills me that Cashman had Vlad all but signed, when George stepped in and negotiated personally with Sheffield (and I think paid him more). Gary was OK for the most part, but Guerrero would have been better. The two-edged Steinbrenner sword was an interesting and sometimes painful thing.

    • genericcommenter - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      Sheff was more than OK. I think maybe the reputation of his personality detracted from his performance (not for you personally, but in general). He was a legit MVP candidate his first 2 seasons. As a Yankees fan in 2004 and 2005, there was no one I wanted up to bat more in a clutch situation. Of course Vlad WON the MVP, was younger, and would have provided 4 solid seasons before falling off.

      By that time I was pretty used to Steinbrenner messing things up for the majority of my 20 years of fandom. The team was always best with his money and zero baseball input. His banishment probably help the team more than anything else.

    • gatorprof - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Agreed, Sheff over Vlad was a huge mistake. Sheff was o.k. stats wise, but was a cancer. Overpaid for 2 years, wasted 1.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Mar 31, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Dude was scary, and one of the best pure hitters maybe in the history of baseball.

    But to be honest, I’m not sure what we point to as the base argument for his placement in the HOF.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t belong by any means….I just honestly don’t know what the argument is. That he was really good at a lot of things, but not elite at any? At least as far as measurables go?

    • lazlosother - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      I don’t really see a HOF case either. Vlad’s problem was that he was done as an elite player by 31. Not enough years. Not enough counting stats. But I used to love watching him hit. He hit a homer in the all-star game one year that appeared to be nose high and a good six inches outside.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:14 PM

        See, that’s the thing….guy has a lot of “Can you believe it” moments….but kind of seems to not have lived up to what should have been almost limitless potential.

      • gatorprof - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Start with the facts…

        The guy played 16 years and had the following averages over 162 game season (2147 games averages to 13.25 full seasons). More than enough time and certainly elite numbers for his generation.

        .318/.379/.931, with 34 HRs, 113 RBIs…you can keep going with the advanced stats, awards and comparisons below.

        Just because he was hidden in Montreal, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t one of the elite players of his time.

        Here is one stat that is telling… The only active players with higher career averages are…Mauer (.323), Pujols (.321), Cabrera (.321) and Suzuki (.319).

        Only two of those guys (to a much greater extent…understatement) were considered power threats are locks for the HOF.

  3. taftfan88 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    I doubt he could retire as an Expo, since the team is defunct. Looking forward to him making the Hall of Fame, although it may take a few years.

    • tuberippin - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Not defunct. They’re still a franchise, they’re just now known as the Washington Nationals.

      Kind of like how the Atlanta Braves used to be the Boston Braves and Milwaukee Braves, the Dodgers used to be the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Texas Rangers used to be the “replacement” (’61-’71) Washington Senators, the Minnesota Twins used to be the “original” (until 1961) Washington Senators, etc.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Why would he retire as a Washington National when he never played for them?

      • tuberippin - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:07 AM

        The location can change, but the franchise’s history doesn’t.

  4. gilly327 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    If he goes in the hall should be as an expo. Don’t think he’ll get in though. I don’t have a vote just an opinion

  5. tuberippin - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    I’d be highly surprised if Vlad Guerrero doesn’t make the Hall of Fame. Agree with what another poster said here, that his time as an “elite” hitter was relatively short, but the overall numbers point to him getting in there.

    AL MVP, three top-3 MVP finishes, four top-5 MVP finishes
    Nine-time All-Star
    OPS above .900 for ten consecutive seasons
    SLG% above .500 for eleven consecutive seasons
    Hit above .300 for twelve consecutive years and 13 out of 16 career seasons
    Career .318/.379/.553 line, good for a career .930 OPS and 140 OPS+
    Led the AL in intentional walks five times and every season from 2005-2008

    Vlad finished with just under 60 career WAR, despite his awful fielding. That’s more career WAR than Jeff Kent, Todd Helton, and a number of men that are already in the Hall of Fame (guys like Enos Slaughter, George Sisler, Bill Dickey, Jim Rice, Orlando Cepeda, Kirby Puckett, Ralph Kiner, etc.).

    He might get overlooked for a while, but that’s simply because he was overshadowed by bigger-name players for much of the 00s (Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Chipper Jones, Ichiro, Carlos Beltran, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, and for brief periods of time both Lance Berkman and Andruw Jones). He was consistently amongst the top 10-15 hitters in the league for most of the period between 1998 and 2007. In fact, between ’98 and ’07 there were only seven players in the game who put up better stats than him: Pujols, Bonds, Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Jeter, and Scott Rolen.

    Lastly, he passes the eye test…I’ve had the pleasure of watching some otherworldy hitters in my time, but even Barry Bonds couldn’t hit a bad pitch like Vlad Guerrero was able to do. He was able to hit pitches that almost no other player in the game could hit.

    • skerney - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:58 AM

      You’re right about everything. I will add though that Barry never hit a bad pitch because he never swung at one. Best plate discipline I have ever seen.

  6. raysfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    “Vlad the Impaler”…one of my favorite nicknames. Best of luck to him.

  7. luz56 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    The greatest Montreal Expo ever!

    • ptfu - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      Gary Carter, Tim Raines, and Andre Dawson would like to have a word with you! Also, Steve Rogers and Tim Wallach were useful Expos for a long time.

  8. dondada10 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    The Jays and Mets just played two games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. It would’ve been nice to see Vlad throw out the first pitch at one of those games.

  9. raine011 - Apr 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Dawson was inducted as an Expo. To the question “Why did you sign a contract with the Angels to retire?”, Vlad rrplied “Because the team I wanted to sign with doesn’t exist anymore.” He will definitely enter the Hall as an Expo. Just for this

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