By Jon Weisman
This post is anything but a critique of Alex Guerrero, whose potential legitimacy as a Major Leaguer I have championed this year — in fairly lonely fashion until this week, really.
But even though Guerrero has started the season by going 5 for 12 with a double and two home runs in his first four games, the heated demands on Twitter to push him into the starting lineup — as if it were a crime to question the rush to coronation — got me wondering about other Dodger hot starters.
So, here’s an All-Star team of Dodgers who went wild in their first games of the year, then didn’t quite live up to that promise. We’ll even raise the stakes to 10 games played — more than twice the duration of Guerrero’s hot launch.
C — Kevin Pasley, 1976 (6 for 16, three walks, .911 OPS)
1B — Tracy Woodson, 1987 (6 for 21, one homer, .924 OPS)
2B — Elian Herrera, 2012 (12 for 33, three doubles, .887 OPS)
SS — Luis Maza, 2008 (8 for 20, one homer, 1.005 OPS)
3B — Andy LaRoche, 2007 (6 for 23, 12 walks, .818 OPS)
LF — Jerry Sands, 2012 (8 for 31, five doubles, .753 OPS)
CF — Mike Ramsey, 1987 (11 for 33, .765 OPS)
RF — Jason Repko, 2005 (8 for 26, three homers, 1.092 OPS)
P — John Ely, 2010 (Elymania)
Every one of these guys did or have done more in their baseball careers than 99.9 percent of the world — Sands, for that matter, was at it again this past week, starting 2015 with Cleveland by going 5 for 13 with two doubles. Some were productive for weeks, maybe even a couple of months. Sometimes it was injuries, rather than ability, that got in the way. But excitement soon gave way to retreat.
Alex Guerrero might well be a starting third baseman someday, and it will be thrilling if he is, but a certain amount of healthy skepticism is probably useful. Believe me, I have to remind myself of that sometimes. In the meantime, everyone can be happy he’s been so productive off the bench, part of the crew helping keep the Dodgers in every game.