Ramon Laureano did not make an impact upon the Oakland A’s 10-5 victory over the Guardians on Saturday based on the box score.
After all, he was 0-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double play before being ejected after the top of the seventh. And yet, it was his fiery tirade before the top of the inning that lit a fire under the A’s, helping them snap a ten game losing streak as they scored eight runs over the final three innings to earn the victory.
Ramon Laureano shows why Oakland A’s need to keep him long term
Laureano’s fire and drive have never been questioned. His willingness to fight the entire Astros team in 2020 after being repetitively hit by pitches showed that spark. It was also notably absent after he was suspended for PED use last year as the A’s appeared to be going through the motions at times as they fell out of the playoff picture.
Sometimes, all it takes is an outburst like that to snap a team out of the doldrums. Frankie Montas felt that it was something that they all needed to hear. Manager Mark Kotsay said that is “just Ramon being himself.”
It is something that the A’s desperately need. While there is plenty of focus on Laureano’s solid all around game, there is far more than his respectable power and speed coupled to his Gold Glove caliber defense. There is that leadership quality, that ability to fire up his teammates and his intangibles, that make him such an irreplaceable figure in the clubhouse.
It is also why the A’s need to recognize what they have. Laureano is the heart and soul of the team. He is clearly their vocal leader, someone that can kick people into gear. As the A’s rebuild, and put together a younger roster, they will need a veteran who can do exactly that. Or, they could keep Laureano as a building block, someone who can help teach the youngsters the A’s Way, and keep an exciting talent who is still entering his prime.
Ramon Laureano showed his value to the Oakland A’s on Saturday. Even if he did not get a hit, he helped spark the team to victory.