Showalter and MacPhail on Vlad
This is president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail’s opening statement from this afternoon’s Vladimir Guerrero press conference..
“This is kind of a fun way to wake up in the morning when you know you’ve got this announcement pending in the afternoon. It’s rare when you get a chance to introduce someone who has had over 10 seasons of 100-plus RBIs, he’s been an MVP award winner, life-time .320 hitter, and I can’t remember in recent memory where we’ve made a signing that has generated as much enthusiasm as this one has; not just among our fan base which is obviously important but our entire organization, not the least of which is our players.
I’ve been told and seen a little bit some of the wide-eyes amusement and the wide-eyed amazement that our players have shown when Vlad has come on, and how excited they are to have him. And I would be remiss if I really did not thank ownership for this. I blew past a couple numbers that we had agreed on and this signing certainly takes us there. I think we’ll have a payroll in excess of $20 million where we were a year ago.
This is really ownership’s objective to try to capture and sustain the momentum that we showed when Buck came on board in August and we played with almost a .600 winning percentage. We’re very grateful to [principal owner] Peter [Angelos] and his family to be able to make this announcement today.”
Manager Buck Showalter, on the addition of Guerrero to the Oriole’s lineup:
“It obviously helps everybody. It kind of gives us a little more of a pass the baton situation. It stretches out the lineup. It gives us less breathing spots. Obviously, there are not many guys capable of handling the four hole, three hole, wherever you want to put him out. You want to put him at one of those two spots. Right-left, what have you.
It gives us a presence in our lineup that we’ve added to from last year. This is kind of not necessarily the finishing touch but it puts us in position where we have nine spots if everybody’s healthy, it presents a challenge. It doesn’t automatically mean that someone is going to hit better than they did in the past. But it does take the focus off of one spot all the time where someone has to.
That’s something we wanted to do in the offseason, get a little bit more of a pass the baton mentality.”