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Despite a Banner Year, Guerrero Says He Could Have Done More, and Now Must Wait to See If He Is Traded

October 05, 1987|SAM McMANIS

If any Dodger has the right to feel personally satisfied about the just-concluded season, it would figure to be Pedro Guerrero, who overcame a debilitating knee injury in 1986 to post an All-Star season.

But Guerrero, the leading candidate for the National League comeback player of the year, is not happy despite finishing second in the league batting average race to San Diego's Tony Gwynn.

Guerrero felt the Dodgers should have contended for the Western division title and also felt he could have contributed more. Guerrero hit .338, with 27 home runs and 89 runs batted in. He led the Dodgers in all three categories, eclipsing his average and RBI totals from 1985. But hit 33 homers in 1985.

"I feel I could've had more home runs and more RBIs, too," he said. "You can't blame my teammates or injuries. If I don't hit home runs, it's nobody's fault but mine."

Guerrero's left knee, which he severely injured last season in spring training, did not bother him this season. But he played most of the season with a sprained left wrist, a sore thumb and other assorted pains.

"I think my wrist bothered (me) most," Guerrero said. "I've been hitting the balls with top spin. A lot of the balls that I hit for line drives, I used to hit out. Most of my power comes from my wrists. If you have a wrist problem, you just try to get on base, hit to right field."

Because of his injury history and the fact he might be one of the few Dodgers who would attract attention on the market, Guerrero has been mentioned as one of the most likely to be traded.

"I know it might happen," said Guerrero, who added that he would prefer to finish his career with the Dodgers. "Ask them (management). They are the ones who have to look at everybody and decide. "Why should I worry about it? They are the ones who got to do what they do."

Guerrero admitted that he might never regain the power he displayed in 1985. He said that even an off-season of rest won't mend his chronic wrist injury.

"I could be feeling good and one swing can make it worse for the rest of the season," he said.

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