He’s 40 years old, his last major league season was in 2011, and yet Vladimir Guerrero still hit more home runs in this year’s Caribbean Series Home Run Derby (3) than Matt Kemp and Robinson Cano combined in the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby (1).
The Caribbean Series Home Run Derby was originally supposed to feature David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera and the aforementioned Cano, but the Major League Baseball Players Association “forbid” them from participating in order to prevent any of the players getting injured.
“Unfortunately, the people in charge of the event didn’t follow the necessary protocol to ensure that any major leaguers participating in an event like that one is protected from a possible injury,” said Tony Clark, MLBPA’s executive director. “As a result, in order to protect the rights and interests of the players invited to compete, we were forced to advise those players and their representatives that participating in the event was not in their best interests.”
Well, in their absence, we were rewarded with getting to see Vladdy launch a few home runs one last time with his signature, violent hacks. Along with having one of the greatest rocket arms in the history of the game, it will be those signature, violent hacks that will eventually land him in Cooperstown. Guerrero is eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2017. It might take a couple of tries to get in, but he’ll get in.