I've said this a few times before, but now that Erstad is part of our team's rumors, let me make this exceedingly clear: I cannot stand Darin Erstad.
Let's ignore that I think Erstad is a punk and a fake tough guy touting a football background because he was a punter at Nebraska. I do think those things, but that is not really the point. I liked Albert Belle, so what judge of character am I?
This is about baseball, and how Darin Erstad sucks.
Is he a very good, even great, defensive center fielder? Yes. Is he a very good defensive first baseman? Yes. The man can handle the leather, and I'm not arguing against that. And that's a valuable part of the game, to be sure.
But this team's problems center on stopping the opposition from scoring more runs than us, as well as not putting up enough runs to get by with what is not going to be a good rotation at any point in the near future. Darin Erstad's defense cannot make up for the fact that he is a minus at the plate. Furthermore, we have a center fielder, and while I'm not the biggest Corey supporter on the board -- let alone in the world -- he is better than Erstad.
Erstad has had three good seasons, one of them very good. The first two were in 1997 and 1998, and that's basically ancient history. The last was in 2000. Since then, he has not reached league average at the plate even one time. He's not the marginal base-stealing threat he used to be. His power is gone.
Every single season-high offensive statistic of Erstad's career was set in 2000, except for walks (he drew 62 in '00 and 64 in '99). He hit .355/.409/.541 with 39 doubles, six triples, 25 homers, 100 RBI and 28 steals. He had a fantastic year in 2000.
How many times since then has he reached double digits in home runs? Once, with 10 in 2002. I know nobody likes to rely on runs batted in, and I don't either, but how many times has he driven in 70 since then? Once, with 73 in 2002. To be fair, if he stays healthy over a full year, he's always in the 60s. That's being fair.
He's had 30 doubles once since then. 20 steals once since then. He hasn't hit .300, his OBP has been over .331 one time, he hasn't slugged over .400.
I would rather give Luis Gonzalez $15 million for next season than sign Darin Erstad to take at-bats away from Kevin Millar. And taking at-bats away from Kevin Millar should never be a serious concern.
I'd imagine Angels fans will always have some love for Darin Erstad, and he's certainly earned that. But I'm not an Angels fan, and I don't want him on my team. I can't envision a scenario where I'm truly rooting for Darin Erstad. If Erstad has orange letters on his chest and I need him to get on base, yeah, I'm rooting for him to do that, but that's about the team. Furthermore, Erstad will let me down at a phenomenal rate in those situations, and though I wasn't sure I could like him any less, putting him in a position on the team I root for, where he endlessly annoys me -- AND YOU -- with his non-hitting would be just the way to go about it.
No Darin Erstad. Not now, not ever. If we sign Erstad, it's a white flag with big black letters that reads, "Holy shit, we don't know what we're doing!"