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Monday, September 27, 2004

Suspend Guillen, Unlock The Treasure Chest

"Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You'll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you'll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press will think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob."
-- Crash Davis, Bull Durham
Chronicles has a nice summary of the around-the-blogosphere reaction to Guillen's suspension, which passed largely unremarked-upon in these parts. I see no compelling reason for keeping Guillen outside of his absurdly streaky bat, and generally agree with the wrist-smacking he got. In the absence of actual production, he needed to be treated like the pouty AAA player he was. Instead, for a change, I take this time to consider the wonderful opportunity the Angels now have to do a couple things that the team desperately needs to do:
  1. Clear the outfield of its present logjam. Yes, logjam. I still want Erstad back in center. Anderson isn't cutting it in center, hasn't all year, and won't do so next year. Put a quality flycatcher back there and an extreme flyballer like Washburn might have a shot at another 18-win year. Just make sure Erstad knows he's not supposed to kill himself -- he's still got better speed than Garret.
  2. Find a place for Kotchman. Kotchman needs to come up to the majors; his record in the minors shows he doesn't have much left to learn there.
  3. Resign Glaus. The fear with McPherson seems to be his defense, though I've seen him play sparkling D so far. Fair enough -- let's assume he's not ready and needs another half-season in the minors to clean up some things. Bring back Glaus. After Shawn Green's early season collapse, he recovered and started hitting well. I don't know of a reason Glaus couldn't, and his home runs since coming back from the DL are a good sign. We'll need a good stick; why not his?
  4. Get another starting pitcher. Sure, Guillen's something like damaged goods at the moment, but why not make a run at a quality starter using Jose as tradebait?
All these things are good, and unloading Guillen is the linchpin for getting them started. Let's go.

Kotchman did a great job of covering first earlier in the season. Move Erstad back to center and put Kotchman on first.

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