By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal/With wire service reports
The typical fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may look down the list of major league batting leaders and frown to see no Halos; he or she might even frown to see a former Angel in there having a stellar year after the club let him go to free agency.
The player in question, of course, is Vladimir Guererro, the one-time Angel now swinging a bat for the Texas Rangers, who now lead the American League West. Vladdie, as Angel fans know him, played six memorable seasons for the Halos. He won not only the 2004 American League MVP award, but also the hearts of fans for his “I-will-swing-at-anything” batting style.
For his new team, he’s batting .340 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. The player the Angels acquired to replace him in the lineup, Hideki Matsui, is batting .234 with five homers and 19 RBIs.
Would he like to demonstrate to the Angels what they gave up?
“I don’t need to show anything to anybody,” said Guererro after Monday’s 4-3 win over the Angels. “I always feel I’ve done my job my whole career.”
Guerrero had two hits in that game, which snapped the Angels’ three-game winning streak. After losing two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays in Anaheim, the Halos snapped back with a three-game sweep of the Oakland A’s.
On Tuesday Vlad drove home the point, literally, with a home run and a single as the Rangers rallied to defeat the Angels 8-7.
Guererro’s home run in the fourth made him the 32nd player in major league history to homer against all 30 franchises.
The Halos posted a 7-3 lead in the early going, but couldn’t hang on.
The loss dropped the Angels to 18-23, four and a half games behind the Rangers in the AL West .
On Wednesday, the Angels visited the Chicago White Sox (results too late for our deadline), then play them again today (Thursday).
On Friday they step into interleague play for a bit, visiting the St. Louis Cardinals through Sunday.
Then it’s back to Anaheim for a three-game series hosting the Toronto Blue Jays through Wednesday.