Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sanity Returns...but Only for a Second...

It appears that Ron Washington's sanity has returned.  Vladmir Guerrero has been removed from the Rangers starting lineup, and will be replaced by David Murphy.  As I discussed earlier, Vlad gives the Rangers a slight advantage offensively (over Murphy), but that advantage is completely erased (and then some) by his complete inability to field his position.  It appears that Washington's return to sanity appears to be short lived:
"If we come back here for Games 6 and 7, I'm going to play Guerrero a game here too," Washington said. "We're here because of Vlad. So I'm supposed to play two games in San Francisco and not let him touch the field? It won't happen."
Well, it appears that Washington is not only insane, but also a bit delusional.  Guerrero was certainly a big reason for the Rangers making the playoffs, but he's far from being the reason they're "here".  If anyone is the reason the Rangers are in their current position, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, C.J. Wilson, Neftali Perez, Cliff Lee, and Colby Lewis are all better examples.  Plus, it's not like he's been lighting up the world in the playoffs where his OPS is .612 in 49 at bats. 

To answer Washington's question, though, the answer is yes.  You are supposed to play games 6 and 7 in San Francisco, and not let him touch the field--not even for a second.  Guerrero is still an above average hitter, but he's below average in every other facet of the game.  The best strategy to winning in a best of seven series is to put your best players on the field at all times.  Allowing Vlad Guerrero to play any position other than DH compromises the Rangers ability to put their best team on the field.  As the manager, Washington has the right to play Guerrero in RF, but at his own peril.  

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