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Vladimir Guerrero

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Biography

Vladimir Alvino Guerrero (born February 9, 1976 in Don Gregorio, Nizao, Dominican Republic), and known in his native Dominican Republic as Miquéas (Spanish for Micah), is a Major League Baseball right fielder who plays for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 2004, he was voted the American League's MVP Award.

Vladimir was born on February 9, 1976 in Don Gregorio, Nizao, Dominican Republic). He is the younger brother of major leaguer Wilton Guerrero. They both played with the Montreal Expos. He is also the older brother of current minor leaguer Cristian Guerrero of the Harrisburg Senators. He is one of nine children.

He posted similar or slightly improved numbers through the 2002 season. He also developed a running game, stealing 37 bases in 2001 and 40 in 2002. In 2002, he stole a career-high 40 bases, and fell one home run short of becoming the 4th member of the "40-40 Club." However, he hit 30+ home runs and stole 30+ bases in both 2001 and 2002 (see 30-30 club).Vlad at bat vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, August 28, 2005.

Guerrero's 2003 season was shortened due to a back injury. In 394 at-bats, he hit .330 with 25 HRs and 79 RBIs. Because of the injury, some in the media thought signing him would be a risk.

The Angels won the Western Division again in 2005, with Guerrero batting .317 with 32 home runs and 108 RBIs in 520 at bats. Late in the season, Guerrero became the 12th player to hit his 300th home run before the age of 30 (along with Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Juan González, and Andruw Jones, who achieved the mark about the same time as Guerrero).

It has been suggested that Guerrero's signing with the Angels has helped lengthen his career, as many of his early career injuries were attributable to playing on the hard artificial surface at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Guerrero bats without wearing batting gloves, a custom rarely seen in modern baseball. To improve his grip on the bat, he coats his helmet with pine tar and simply rubs his helmet before going into the on-deck circle. As the season progresses, his batting helmet becomes covered in the substance. This is particularly noticeable with the bright red helmet of the Angels. Teammate Orlando Cabrera followed this approach to helmet-based pine-tar hoarding, although Cabrera wears batting gloves.

He had a 44-game hitting streak exclusively against the Texas Rangers from 2004-2006, the longest such player-vs.-team streak in MLB history. The streak occurred over his first 44 appearances against the Rangers.

His nickname among peers and commentators is "Vladdy". He has also been called "Vlad the Impaler," "Big Daddy Vladdy," "Bad Vlad," "Super Vlad,", "Vladiator", and "Vlad Man."

Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler, commenting about Guerrero's personal strike zone, often says "From his nose to his toes, everybody knows, that's how Vladdy goes."

5 years, $70 million (2004-2008), plus $15 million 2009 club option -$5 million signing bonus
- 2004: $10 million
- 2005: $11.5 million
- 2006: $12.5 million
- 2007: $13.5 million
- 2008: $14.5 million
- 2009: $15 million club option ($3 million buyout)
- $0.2 million bonus for finishing 3rd in 2005 MVP vote
- $0.1 million All-Star incentive annually



 


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