Morning Juice: Guerrero, the greatest Vladimir, hits 400th homer

David Brown
August 11, 2009
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This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in Anaheim, where we celebrate a significant accomplishment of laddie named Vladdie.

Game of the Day: Angels 8, Rays 7

Vlad to meet you: He came into the league in '97 with a Russian-sounding first name and a common Spanish last name while playing for a French-Canadian team that doesn't exist anymore. He doesn't say much in English, but his bat talks real purdy; it swings at anything but hits the ball so hard, nobody cares.

Please put your virtual hands together for Vladimir Guerrero(notes) of the Los Angeles Angels on the birth of his 400th career home run! Let's hear ya', folks! Four-hundred homers! C'mon! Only 45 guys have reached 400 homers (though it seems like 40 of them happened within the past 10 seasons).

He's also accrued nearly 2,200 career hits and eight All-Star berths.

"It's a Hall of Fame career," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Guerrero hit two homers Monday night — as did teammate Kendry Morales(notes) — and Guerrero's second, the 400th, was key. It came in the seventh (coincidentally against 400-year-old Russ Springer(notes)) and proved to be the plus/minus in the Angels' victory.

The milestone had been discussed at Guerrero's house over the weekend, with his family speculating on when and how it would happen.

"My mom kept telling me there's two more. My brother Wilton had bad math and said it was one more," he said. "It's good it came here in front of the family."

Here's a video recording of the event. More sharp analysis continues below.

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Vlads, but not vleast: First, there was Vlad the Impaler (right). Then, there was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (V.I. Lenin). Today, a man not alleged to be either the inspiration for the world's most infamous vampire or the Mother of All Marxist Revolutionaries has achieved an important baseball milestone barely 5 minutes from America's premier theme park and Mouse-ke-torium. Is this a great country, or what?

Like a modern-day Van Helsing/Leon Trotzky Trotzky, the Rays' Ben Zobrist(notes) tried to foil Vlad's celebration by tying the score with his own homer with two outs in the top of the ninth, but the clout didn't have enough juice to make it out of Disneyland.

Juan Rivera makes the catch, driving a stake through the Rays. Knew he had it all along.

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Feelin' Rundown (and here's the rest of the games, c'mere you little munchkins):

Red Sox 6, Tigers 5: Terry Francona used the word "desperate" to describe the Red Sawx, who came in with a six-game losing streak (oh no, they've switched places with the Nationals!). After barely generating a pulse in New York City, the Bostons knocked around Edwin Jackson(notes) pretty good, but frankly they were lucky to escape against the plucky Tigers. I said plucky.

Rockies 11, Cubs 5: Vroom-vroom, pedal-pedal. It was the greatest game in the history of Troy Tulowitzki(notes).

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4: Adios, Alex Rios(notes)! The Jays bid him bon voyage by putting a temporary hold on the Yankees' World Series celebration.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Unless they've gotten around to cloning Kung Fu Panda (it is Victor Conte's back yard, after all), I don't think the Giants are capable of mouting a serious challenge to the team in first place.

Mariners 6, White Sox 4: Zombie catcher Kenji Johjima(notes) returns from the undead and gets the big hit. ... Would the umpires notice an outfield of Dye, Quentin, Podsednik and Rios? I think it's worth finding out.

D-backs 7, Mets 4: Crikey, this Aussie mate Trent Oeltjen(notes) is bonzer, fair dinkum!

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: I said I'd like to know where they got the Lohse, uhh.

Athletics 9, Orioles 1: It was so hot, Gio Gonzalez(notes) said, "it was like fighting fireballs" out there. Radical!

Marlins 8, Astros 6: VandenHurkules!