- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Thom Loverro: Guzman should see All-Star roster spot
The symbolism of it? Anything is possible.
Not so long ago, a reasonable person might have bet that Guzman would be out of baseball by now.
Guzman, after all, batted .219 in 142 games in his first season in Washington - and he had to rally at the end of the season just to do that well. He followed that up by missing the entire 2006 season because of injuries - not what the club hoped to get in return for the four-year, $16 million contract it gave him.
Nationals fans were hoping that Guzman, if he was still in the game, would at least be out of the District by now.
How things change. Those same fans now should hope that Guzman stays next season and the season after, that the team and player agree on a two-year contract extension.
After all, shortstops who bat .315 and lead the league in hits are hard to come by. (That performance appears to be no fluke, either: Guzman batted .328 in 46 games in his injury-shortened 2007 season.)
What is amazing about his transformation is that the reason for it is so simple: Guzman couldn’t see the ball, at least not until he underwent Lasik eye surgery before the 2007 season.
His success since the surgery is well documented. Still, you have to marvel every time you see Guzman drive a ball - and he drives them hard - at the notion that a player could get through seven major league seasons without being able to see the ball.
Guzman delivered some solid years in his first seven seasons in Minnesota, batting .302 in 2001 and hitting .274 in 2004.
But much of Guzman’s success in Minnesota came from bounced shots off the artificial turf, not hard drives down the line.
“A lot of times in Minnesota, he used the turf,” Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. “We figured he was a .260 hitter out of the Metrodome, because a lot of his hits were bounce and run. We knew that, but he is a much better hitter now than he was in Minnesota.”
Guzman pulled a Mickey Mantle in spring training this year, hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in one game.
“I asked him [last Saturday], ‘Could you imagine what you could have done in Minnesota before if you were able to see the way you can see now?’” manager Manny Acta said. “He just laughed about it. He had a good career there and played well, but you have to wonder: What if? What if he were able to see better? Especially in a dome, which is even tougher. It is day and night, the difference, from both sides of the plate.
“Even when he is not the most patient guy, the difference now is he puts the barrel of the bat on the ball very consistently compared to before. He hits so many balls hard, driving the ball.”
About the Author
- LOVERRO: Capitals' major challenge is finding someone who can win with Alex Ovechkin
- LOVERRO: Bo Belinsky, Sonny Liston share a cemetery - one found peace, the other didn't
- LOVERRO: Injured hand didn't keep Scott Christopher from a life of baseball and art
- LOVERRO: It's time for the Wizards to be bold and go get John Calipari
- LOVERRO: Gary Williams earned Hall of Fame through sweat equity
Latest Blog Entries
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.