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Ron Washington's Refusal To Move Vlad Guerrero Is A Mistake

Ron Washington reiterated today that he is not moving Vladimir Guerrero and won't no matter what happens for the rest of the playoffs, reasoning that he's only "one swing away from doing damage." 

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"That's the way I ran my lineup out there all year. That's the way my lineup's going to stay. Never thought about flip-flopping anybody," the manager said. "A guy of Vlad's stature is only one swing away from doing damage. He's our No. 4 hitter and I'm going to leave him in the No. 4 spot."

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Guerrero remained one swing away from doing any damage in game two Saturday, doing nothing with a remarkable eight men on base, partially thanks to the Yankees being perfectly happy to walk Josh Hamilton to get to Vlad. 

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I fail to understand the sanctity of keeping a player in the same spot in the order, and with Nelson Cruz essentially carrying the team from the fifth spot, it is baffling to me why Washington thinks that a move a spot or two or three down the order for Guerrero is not worth considering. 

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If this were a knee-jerk situation, you probably wouldn't move a veteran like him. But it's far from that. Guerrero hit .278/.322/.426 after the all-star break with his team in a pennant race. This is a mistake by Washington that could cost his team a trip to the World Series.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.