Guerrero heads to old stomping grounds

Guerrero heads to old stomping grounds

ARLINGTON -- Rangers designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is returning to the place where he spent the past six years of his career.

The Rangers begin a pivotal three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting Tuesday, marking Guerrero's first trip back since he became a Ranger during the offseason.

But if you ask Guerrero, it's just another game.

"We're in the same division, so I knew it was going to happen," Guerrero said. "That's really all it is."

In six seasons with the Angels, Guerrero hit .319 with 173 home runs and 616 RBIs and won the American League MVP Award in 2004. But after hitting just .295 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 2009, the Angels did not bring him back, and he signed with the Rangers.

But Guerrero says he's still unsure as to what type of reception he'll garner from fans during his first at-bat.

"It was quite good with all the fans over there and with my teammates," Guerrero said. "I didn't have any problems with anyone. So that's why I don't know what the reaction is going to be, now that I'm going back for the first time."

Guerrero's move has certainly paid off for him and the Rangers alike, as he's hitting .326 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs for the first-place club. He leads all designated hitters in All-Star votes, having garnered more than a million more votes than Angels' DH Hideki Matsui.

"I feel good. I've had a lot of years, and now I'm playing healthy," Guerrero said. "I just have to keep working and stay healthy. And that's my main focus."

Guerrero certainly reflects fondly on his time as a Halo, but he knows what's at stake when the Rangers travel to Angel Stadium with a decent lead in the AL West (four games over the second-lace Angels heading into Sunday's game).

"I spent six years with them and it was a good time for me," Guerrero said. "I'm happy with that, but we'll have to see what happens in this series."