Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Verducci Re-opens Wound, Pours Salt

By now we all know how Ned Colletti's attempts to get a power bat have proved futile. But leave it to Tom Verducci to bring up a big fish that got away in his latest mailbag:

With the Yankees' recent bump in the road on their trip through Anaheim, and the Angels' continued success against them, it reminded me of something I've been puzzled about since the 2003 offseason: Why did the Yankees pursue Gary Sheffield instead of Vladimir Guerrero when they were both free agents?

Guerrero is younger, a better hitter, better defender, and faster than Sheffield. Plus, he would not have come with all of the attitude and hoopla that Sheffield generates. In the end, they signed Sheffield for nearly as much money per season (three years, $39 million) than Guerrero signed for (five years, $70 million). -- Jeff Neiger, Chicago

[Verducci:] Good observation. In fact, there was a split among Yankees people on which guy to pursue. A lot of the baseball people wanted Guerrero, largely because he was younger. George Steinbrenner, though, preferred Sheffield. Remember, too, some people in baseball were concerned about Vlad's back at the time. The team you also should call out for not signing Vlad was the Dodgers, who let him slip through their hands to the Angels.

What's even more painful about this mailbag response is that the Dodgers weren't even mentioned in the original question, yet out of nowhere they get suckerpunched. Maybe we just like our crappy batting average with RISP, Tom. Did you ever think of that?


Orel said...

You know this only means the Dodgers will sign Vlad...when he's 44.