There are a lot of national baseball writers out there who are talented, bring a lot to the table and are worth reading all the time.
Rob Neyer is clearly one of them. He may be underrated and almost always has some real knowledge to spread with his opinions.
But I don't agree with this column where he is down on the Orioles' addition of Vladimir Guerrero.
Let's take some of this point by point, with some excerpts from his column.
Guerrero's got a name, obviously. But can you really imagine the good people of Charm City getting excited about the chance to see Guerrero bat four times?
Neyer has clearly missed the local fan reaction here. They have been buzzing about this possible additiion for weeks. While it won't by itself push the O's attendance back over two million, I do expect this to sell some tickets for this team and interest is high in the club right now.
But wait, this gets worse. Guerrero's presence actually shoves a younger, cheaper, and decent-enough player to the bench (or the minors) and weakens the defense.
There are a wide variety of opinions on Luke Scott's defense. Scott is very confident he can play well in left and told me so last night. Either way, while he may be the least effective on defense of the three - himself, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold - how much of a dropoff will there be?
Pie and Reimold could surely still get a chance to play a lot on this team, this year or next. There are always injuries and while both are still promising young players, it's not like the O's are blocking a 22-year-old prospect that has been tearing it up for years.
Do you have any idea how many teenaged Dominicans and Venezuelans you can sign for $8 million?
No doubt, a lot. But how many literally hundreds of Dominican players have the O's signed over the last ten years and how many Guerreros have they produced with all those signings? How many thousands of Dominican players have all big league teams signed the last 10 years and how many Guerreros have there been?
The goal with any club's international signings is to find the next Albert Pujols or Guerrero. The O's got the current model, better late than never. Sure, the O's international efforts are sadly lacking. But this was a good move by the club for 2011.
I usually agree with almost everything Neyer says. Just not this time.