While most people are aware of the struggles that Boston's David Ortiz has been suffering through this season, there's another Dominican slugger located on the other coast that's been scuffling himself. Vladimir Guerrero is hitting a respectable .273 this season for the Angels, but when you're a man with a career average of .322, it's somewhat worrisome.
More worrisome is the fact that Guerrero's power numbers leave a lot to be desired. He may have 393 career homers but only one of them has come this season, and Vlad's only driven in ten runs to go along with that one homer. Now he did miss about five weeks of action this season, so that's definitely playing a factor in those numbers, but he's just not driving the ball like he used to. So at this point he's willing to do anything to shake out of this slump, and on Tuesday Guerrero said goodbye to his dreadlocks.
Guerrero has had shoulder-length dreadlocks for more than a year, but on Tuesday, the Angels' slugger, who had one home run and six extra-base hits in 128 at-bats this season, showed up with a crew cut, making him look younger and more aerodynamic.
"They found the Dead Sea Scrolls in there," [Mike] Scioscia said, when asked what he thought of Guerrero's new hairdo. "I know one thing; he's a lot more handsome today than he was yesterday."
More handsome or not, the haircut didn't work for Guerrero on Tuesday night as he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Angels beat the Rockies 4-3.
As for his slump, Guerrero's been too great of a hitter throughout his career to think he'd just lose it overnight, and though he may not end up hitting .330 with 30 homers, his numbers should start to improve. I think the five weeks he lost in April and May to injury are definitely responsible for some his struggles along with the fact he's 34 now.
He may not be the Vlad of old, but I don't think he's an old Vlad just yet.