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Lockout Lookup: Cristian Guzman


Twins Daily Contributor

The Twins didn't always have a problem finding an answer at the shortstop position, even if that answer wasn't always the best one. This is the tale of Cristian Guzman.

Subject: Cristian Guzman

Why You Remember Him: A key part of the Chuck Knoblauch trade along with Eric Milton (no offense to Brian Buchanan and Danny Mota), Guzman held down the shortstop position during Minnesota’s early-‘00s renaissance. Most noteworthy was his All-Star 2001 campaign, which the New York Times’ Aaron Gleeman ranks as the 8th-best season ever by a Twins shortstop.

Equally noteworthy, if less pleasant, is that he just couldn’t hit that good outside his 2001 surge. Gleeman notes in the link that Guzman has the lowest OPS+ of any Minnesota Twin with that many plate appearances. As someone who remembers Tim Laudner hitting .203 with seven home runs for what felt like 100 years, this surprised me.

That said, any Metrodome attendee from 1999-2004 will remember Bob Casey bellowing “Cristian Guuuuuuuuuuuuuzman” until their dying day. There are worse legacies.

Guzman left the Twins in free agency for the Washington Nationals in 2005. After an injury-plagued start in D.C., he managed a second All-Star appearance in 2008. He last played with the Texas Rangers in 2010.

What You Don’t Remember: His 1999 salary was $200,000.

What You Might Remember: Guzman led the American League in triples in 2000, 2001, and 2003. When he did get on base, Guzman could move. He also led AL shortstops in errors in 2001. 

What’s He Up To: Per Wikipedia, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and six children. No other sources for that claim, but there's also a Cristian Guzman Carpentry LLC listed in Springfield, NJ, so it's at least possible.


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5 hours ago, theBOMisthebomb said:

Guzman made $37MM during his MLB career. If he has to swing a hammer to make ends meet, then I am speechless.

I mean, I get your point, but dude is only 44....could be just to keep mind busy and having something to do.  Being retired that early in life, you have to do something to stay busy

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To this day, the worst single baseball swing I've ever seen in MLB was from Cristian Guzman. He was caught unprepared for a fastball and about half a second after the catcher's glove popped, Guzman started the most pathetic swing you will ever see from a professional hitter.

Everyone just kind of stopped and stared for a moment. It was super awkward.

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

To this day, the worst single baseball swing I've ever seen in MLB was from Cristian Guzman. He was caught unprepared for a fastball and about half a second after the catcher's glove popped, Guzman started the most pathetic swing you will ever see from a professional hitter.

Everyone just kind of stopped and stared for a moment. It was super awkward.

Maybe you're right, but this swing can't have been much worse. Be sure to watch the slo-mo replay.

And BTW, note who's catching.

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15 minutes ago, Nine of twelve said:

Maybe you're right, but this swing can't have been much worse. Be sure to watch the slo-mo replay.

And BTW, note who's catching.

It was so much worse than that. Guzman literally started his swing after the ball hit the glove. It was maybe 2000-ish so finding video is probably impossible.

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