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Please Say No to Linden

Scott Caruso over at Rays of Light made a plea of sorts for the Rays to get Todd Linden:

Linden plays all three outfield positions (apparently halfway decently), is a switch-hitter, and has absolutely assaulted minor league and Spring Training pitching during his career. Get this - he hit 30 home runs in 340 at bats at Fresno in 2005. THIRTY! He walks a decent amount and only turns 28 this year. He even stole 14 bases one year in the minors and is 8-for-8 on steal attempts in the bigs.

No offense to Jon Weber, John Rodriguez, or Eric Hinske, but Linden is EXACTLY what this team needs. If Andrew isn't on the phone trying to get a deal done, I'd be both shocked a little disappointed.

The problem with those 30 homeruns are that presumably he hit quite a few of those in Fresno. Remember that Jon Weber post accusing his good seasons of being frauds because of the environment and ballpark? Same story here, sure those 30 homeruns are pretty on paper, but examine Fresno's 1.15 HR rate - slightly less than Durham's 1.17 that sparked a Kevin Witt explosion - and you have to wonder what happens when you put him in a pitching park.

In fact you don't have to wonder, his career OPS is .638 playing in San Francisco and Florida. Sure, he had a very nice 2006 in San Francisco as well, but his LD% was 29.8, his previous high was 24%, giving a scent of fluke to his production.

Add on murmurs that his attitude isn't the grandest and I really don't see this guy morphing into a beneficial move for the Rays. Luckily it appears he might be getting a job in Japan, if he picks the right ballpark I wouldn't be shocked to see him put up another 30-40 homer season.

Also look at Damon Minor who hit 30 homeruns in Fresno and looks like a great player from purely glancing at his numbers.