With Nationals SS Cristian Guzman in serious danger of finishing the year with a batting average below .200, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga raises the issue with DC manager Frank Robinson.
Asked if finishing the season above .200 would save Guzman from a certain stigma for the rest of his career, Robinson said: “That’s exactly right. Everybody wants to finish off the season as well as they can.
“If he was hitting near .300, rather than .299, he’d rather be at .300. It has a different sound, a different ring to it.”
Robinson recalled a teammate who, he said, sat out the last game of the season to protect his average at .1995, which rounds up to .200. Robinson wouldn’t name the player, but it turns out it was Baltimore Orioles outfielder Curt Blefary (above). In 1968, Blefary was 90 for 451 with three games remaining, and he didn’t play the rest of the way.
Robinson said he would take the same approach with Guzman with a game or two left.
“If he was at .1995,” Robinson said, “I’d sit him.”
Guzman was 0 for 3 in today’s 4-0 loss to Atlanta, and was robbed of a probable 2 run HR taken away on a terrific catch by Branves OF Jeff Francoeur.