Thu Oct 28 02:06am EDT
SAN FRANCISCO —After watching Vladimir Guerrero's(notes) two-error hatchet job in right field on Wednesday night, you'd think that Ron Washington would admit to reconsidering the use of his slugger for the World Series games that are played at AT&T Park.
But if the Texas Rangers manager is experiencing doubts about his plan to keep Guerrero's bat in the lineup, he didn't own up to it after the 11-7 loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series.
"No, I don't," Washington said when asked if he had to reconsider Guerrero playing the outfield. "A couple balls got by him."
Actually, that would be quite a good reason to question the benefit of fielding a defense featuring a creaky-kneed 35-year-old manning San Francisco's spacious triples alley.
But Washington also never said if Guerrero will be in the lineup for Thursday's Game 2 and I just don't see how they can again risk his defensive play in a crucial game that would figure to be a lot closer.
Both of Guerrero's errors came in the eighth inning. A single by Edgar Renteria(notes) got by him and rolled to the wall, allowing the San Francisco shortstop to advance to third. A few batters later, Freddy Sanchez(notes) hit a ball that rolled into the Rangers bullpen and Guerrero booted it around a bit, allowing Sanchez to reach second.
The Giants scored three runs in the eighth and, despite their big lead, you can't say that they were inconsequential. Texas also scored three runs in the top of the ninth, and the tying and winning runs might have eventually come to the plate if they had held the Giants in check.
Guerrero said he's willing to take another crack in Game 2, but knows it's not his decision.
"It is not my decision," Guerrero said. "Wash has to decide that. If I am here, I want to play. But, it is his decision. It is not mine."
But even if you take away the errors, Guerrero simply didn't look good getting around on other balls that were hit to him. Washington should do the right thing and put Nelson Cruz(notes) in right and David Murphy(notes) in left. Guerrero's bat will still be available for pinch-hit opportunities and again on a full-time designated hitter basis when the series arrives in Texas for Game 3.
What do you think? Should Guerrero start in right field again?