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You remember Mike Cameron , don't you? Key piece of what the M's got back in the Griffey trade when Griffey forced his way out

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Franklin Gutierrez Is the New Mike Cameron

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You remember Mike Cameron, don't you? Key piece of what the M's got back in the Griffey trade when Griffey forced his way out of town, and who, currently with Boston, has actually ended up having a better post-trade career than the recently-retired Kid. Five-tool, Gold Glove-caliber center fielder who could never quite put it all together at the plate due to an epic tendency to strike out, despite power and speed to burn.

Christ, we could be explaining Franklin Gutierrez, couldn't we?

After hitting .283 with 18 homers and 70 RBIs last season, his first in Seattle, Gutierrez received a four-year, $20.5 million extension that the "Jack Z for Genius" camp instantly hailed--and continues to hail--as ironclad proof of the GM's savvy.

That still looks like a solid signing, and Gutierrez, who's yet to commit an error this season, is having one of the greatest defensive campaigns of any center fielder in baseball history. But after a torrid first couple weeks at the plate, he's regressed a great deal, hitting a paltry .167 thus far in July--although last night's game-winning single (one of three hits) was certainly encouraging.

For the season, he's hitting .257 with eight home runs, 38 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, and 82 strikeouts in 91 games. If he holds pace, Gutierrez will have had a season at the plate that's eerily reminiscent to Cameron's final two--and worst--campaigns in Seattle.

So why haven't the Gute's struggles been so much as whispered about in the press? Because his teammates, namely Chone Figgins, have been so much more disappointing that merely struggling feels like a supreme achievement amidst the M's ongoing nightmare.

 
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