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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Dodgers promote former MLB reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager as L.A. reshapes front office

The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted former big-league reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager, the team announced Tuesday. Gomes had been an assistant general manager since 2019. The Dodgers had been operating without a general manager since Farhan Zaidi left to join the rival San Francisco Giants in Nov. 2018.

“He’s had such an incredible impact on everything he’s touched,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “He’s moved pretty quickly, but you could argue that he could’ve moved even quicker.” 

Gomes, 37, retired as a player in 2016 and joined the Dodgers the following year. He quickly ascended from pitching coordinator to director of player development to vice president and assistant general manager. Gomes turned down a chance to interview with the New York Mets for their president of baseball operations job earlier this offseason amid speculation the Dodgers would soon promote him.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Transaction Retrospection: The Pirates Take Roberto Clemente From The Dodgers In The Rule 5 Draft

In a 2019 piece for The Athletic, Stephen J. Nesbitt unraveled some of the mythology surrounding Clemente’s brief Dodgers tenure.  The popular version of the story is that Montreal tried to shield Clemente from rival scouts by limiting his playing time and benching him whenever he had a good game, or removing him from the lineup if he had a big hit early in a game.  However, SABR researcher Stew Thornley noted that the right-handed hitting Clemente was almost never deployed against right-handed pitching, so a strict platoon could have been more to blame for Clemente’s lack of playing time than any attempt from the Dodgers to try and “hide” him.

Besides, while Clemente hit only .257/.286/.372 in his 155 plate appearances with Montreal, his raw ability was hard to miss.  (Clemente was also on fire while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico around the time of the R5.)  The Pirates took clear notice, and since they had the first pick of the 1954 Rule 5 Draft, Clemente was quickly Pittsburgh-bound that offseason.  If the Dodgers’ strategy was indeed to just hope that other teams would ignore such a prominent prospect, the bet didn’t pay off.

As Nesbitt notes, longtime Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi has told a few different stories in regard to why or how Brooklyn lost Clemente, such as Pirates GM Branch Rickey backing out of a gentleman’s agreement to not take Clemente in the Rule 5 Draft.  In another version, Bavasi claimed the Dodgers signed Clemente solely to keep him away from the arch-rival Giants, and eventually direct him via the R5 to an also-ran team.  Bavasi also said in an e-mail to Thornley in 2005 that Jackie Robinson personally told the front office that adding Clemente to the team and removing a white player from the roster “would be setting our program back five years.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2022 at 05:21 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, roberto clemente

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Taylor expected to reach deal, sources say

The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to reach a deal with versatile All-Star Chris Taylor as soon as Wednesday, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The 31-year-old Taylor earned his first All-Star selection with the Dodgers in 2001, hitting .254 with 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 13 steals. He saw the majority of his playing time as a center fielder and at second base, but he also saw action at the other outfield positions as well as shortstop and third base.

He had been offered a qualifying offer worth $18.4 million for one year following the season, but he turned it down to enter free agency.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2021 at 05:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: chris taylor, dodgers

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hernández: The time has come for Andrew Friedman to push Dodgers’ reset button

With Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer free agents, they could have to rebuild their pitching rotation. With Corey Seager and Chris Taylor also on the open market, they could have to revamp their lineup. With their bench weaker this year than it was in previous seasons, they will have to restock on versatile role players.

Ironically, the most stable part of their team could be the group that’s usually the hardest to assemble: the bullpen. Even there, they could have to find a new closer, as Kenley Jansen pitched well enough in his walk year to warrant a multiyear contract.

Counting Bauer and arbitration-eligible players such as Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner and Julio Urias, the Dodgers are expected to have more than $200 million committed to the players already under their control.

Re-signing all of their free agents would push the payroll considerably over $300 million, something Friedman acknowledged might not be realistic.

It’s not as if that would solve all of their problems.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Monday, November 08, 2021

Dodgers To Sign Andrew Heaney

3:44 pm: It’s an $8.5MM guarantee, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (via Twitter).

3:37 pm: The Dodgers are signing free agent left-hander Andrew Heaney to a one-year contract, pending a physical, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (Twitter link). The deal is for more than $8MM, according to Rosenthal.

It’s the first major significant free agent strike of the offseason, as Heaney checked in 50th on MLBTR’s just-released free agent rankings. The southpaw returns to Southern California, where he’d spent parts of the 2015-21 seasons with the Angels. He split the 2021 campaign between the Angels and the Yankees, who acquired him at the trade deadline for a pair of pitching prospects.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 08, 2021 at 05:03 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew heaney, dodgers

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Justin Turner likely out for rest of postseason with hamstring injury

- His hamstring injured and his season likely over, Justin Turner got to within 25 feet of first base and tried to stop. He throttled back, hobbling at first before slowing enough to turn the hobble to a limp. Slowly, painfully, he worked his way back to the Dodgers’ dugout, wincing with every step, before Albert Pujols helped him down the stairs and through the tunnel that leads to to the clubhouse.

So now, one loss away from an inglorious end to a remarkable season, the Dodgers are faced with overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series without their All-Star third baseman, who sustained a hamstring injury while hitting into a double-play in the seventh inning of the 9-2 loss against the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed in his postgame interview that the early indication is that Turner has a Grade 2 strain, which is defined as a partial tear of one or more hamstring muscles.

“So, I think that’ll be it for him,” Roberts said. The normal recovery period for a partial tear is four to eight weeks.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘All-in’ Dodgers stealing at will in October

The Dodgers, simply put, are gambling in such a way that the odds are hugely in their favor every time they attempt a steal. Through eight postseason games, the Dodgers are 11-for-11 on stolen-base attempts, including six in two National League Championship Series games. They’re the first team to steal multiple bases in three consecutive postseason games since 1999.

It’s not just one player, either. Those 11 steals have come via five Dodgers. As a team, they’re capitalizing on opposing pitchers by getting elite jumps. Against Atlanta, they’ve taken advantage of slower pop times from catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

With those statistical advantages tilted in their favor, the philosophy is more or less the same as it was for Roberts when he took off for second base at Fenway Park 17 years ago.

“In the postseason, where things are more magnified, you just can’t be afraid to fail,” Roberts said. “Careful, in the postseason, doesn’t play. … You’ve got to be all in.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, stolen bases

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw exits with left forearm discomfort; playoff availability ‘not looking great’

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saw Clayton Kershaw occasionally wince as he navigated through the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup on Friday night and thought—hoped—he was merely upset at not getting some strike calls. It turned out to be far more serious—a recurrence of the forearm/elbow inflammation that kept Kershaw out for an extended period earlier this season, forcing an abrupt exit in the top of the second inning.

With the playoffs approaching, Kershaw’s season is seemingly over. With his contract expiring, it’s fair to wonder if Kershaw’s illustrious Dodgers career is over as well.

Kershaw, still in uniform moments after the Dodgers’ 8-6 comeback victory, called it “a tough blow.”

“It just got bad enough to where I couldn’t keep going tonight,” Kershaw said. “I’ll get it looked at again, obviously, in the next couple days. Haven’t quite wrapped my head around all that yet. The biggest thing was I just wanted to be part of this team going through October. This team is special. You saw tonight. ... I’ve known that. I know that we’re gonna do something special this year, and I wanted to be a part of that. That’s the hardest part for me right now is just knowing that chances are it’s not looking great for October right now.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2021 at 11:50 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Dodgers playoff-bound for 9th straight year

Winning back-to-back titles served as enough motivation for the Dodgers heading into this season, but the lack of normalcy in 2020 certainly fueled their desires to try to win another title and do all the things they weren’t able to do last year.

With an 8-4 win over the D-backs on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, paired with losses by the Padres and Reds, the Dodgers took their first step in their quest to repeat, clinching their ninth consecutive postseason berth.


“It’s a special moment, to be able to get to the postseason for, what is it, nine years in a row now?” said Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy. “It’s quite an accomplishment. You can’t take the postseason for granted. It’s a special moment, and everyone’s excited about it.”

Despite securing a playoff spot, though, the Dodgers’ focus is on winning the National League West for a ninth straight season. That’s become more difficult than anticipated, as the Dodgers remain 2 1/2 games behind the Giants with 16 games left in the regular season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2021 at 10:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cole Hamels gets $1 million from Dodgers to throw 0 innings


The Los Angeles Dodgers were hoping MLB veteran Cole Hamels could provide some help in their rotation down the stretch. Instead, they were only left with the bill.

The team announced Monday that it had placed Hamels on the 60-day injured list, effectively ending his season. According to MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, Hamels experienced arm pain during a simulated inning on Monday.

The injury creates some question of whether Hamels will appear in another MLB game. He missed nearly all of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury, pitching only 3.1 innings in one start on a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Hamels attempted to mount an MLB comeback earlier this year and had a number of teams intrigued, but ultimately signed with the Dodgers for $1 million. He wasn’t expected to contribute to the team immediately as he required some stretching out, but the team was certainly hoping for some help by the time September rolled around.

It’s unclear if the Dodgers had any sort of insurance on Hamels’ contract that could mitigate the payment they owe him. Obviously, this is the risk teams take on when they sign 37-year-old pitchers who have appeared in one game over the past two seasons, and it’s hard to blame Hamels for taking the money that teams give him.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 12:46 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, dodgers

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Dodgers, Cole Hamels reportedly close to deal as L.A. adds rotation depth

The Los Angeles Dodgers are closing in on deal with veteran free agent left-hander Cole Hamels, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports. Hamels, now 37, made only one start last season with the Braves because of triceps tendinitis followed by shoulder fatigue. After his one-year contract with Atlanta expired, he went unsigned this past winter.

In 2019 with the Cubs, Hamels pitched to a 3.81 ERA and 2.55 K/BB ratio in 141 2/3 innings. For his career, Hamels has 163 wins and an ERA+ of 123 across parts of 15 MLB seasons.

Because of his age and recent injury concerns, Hamels went unsigned this past offseason. He then held a showcase for interested teams in the middle of July, and the Dodgers have reportedly emerged from that fray as the landing spot.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, dodgers

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers finalizing deal to acquire stars Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from Washington Nationals, sources say

The Los Angeles Dodgers are finalizing a deal to acquire star right-hander Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals for a massive prospect haul, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Thursday.

The Dodgers will currently send the Nationals four prospects, a source confirmed to Passan: Right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray, catcher Keibert Ruiz, right-handed pitcher Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donovan Casey.

Gray and Ruiz were rated by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel as the Dodgers’ top two prospects entering the season.

Gray was ranked No. 36 among the top 100 prospects in MLB entering the season, according to McDaniel. Ruiz was ranked No. 74.

Scherzer is 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 19 starts this season. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to become a free agent after 2021.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2021 at 11:19 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max scherzer, nationals, trea turner

Los Angeles Dodgers acquire veteran pitcher Danny Duffy from Kansas City Royals

The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired veteran left-hander Danny Duffy from the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later, it was announced on Thursday.


Duffy, who is on the injured list with a flexor strain, waived his no-trade clause. He will be a free agent this winter.

The 32-year-old veteran had spent his entire 11-year career with the Royals, who selected him in the third round of the 2007 MLB draft.

Duffy was 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched for the Royals this season. He is 68-68 with a 3.95 ERA in his career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2021 at 11:18 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: danny duffy, dodgers, royals

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

L.A. Times: The Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Tebow and Jesus Christ

Kershaw is a devout Christian, though unlike Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, he is hardly in your face about it. Kershaw and Tebow are two highly famous young professional athletes who outwardly approach their strong faith in markedly different ways.

If there is a showy, look-at-me aspect to Tebow and his kneeling in prayer on the football field and near zeal off it, Kershaw is more understated in his approach, if no less sincere.

I’ve never heard him bring up God in postgame interviews or seen him point to the sky after a big strikeout. Yet, I still have a clear understanding of his commitment.

“I think everybody has different approaches to it,” Kershaw said. “For me, everything I do has a purpose to it beyond what’s in this lifetime. At the same time, on the field I have a job to do and that’s what I’m focused on.

“I guess you could say I’m a little more understated than Tim is. Not to say either one is wrong, that’s just kind of my personality a little bit.”

Indeed, even if it’s not exactly his way, Kershaw admires Tebow for using his high-profile platform to bring attention to his faith.

“I have a lot of respect for Tim,” Kershaw said. “I don’t know him personally, but I think what he’s doing is special. I think what he’s trying to do should be recognized, in whatever way that you try to do it. He’s playing football but I think there’s more to it than that.

Tripon Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rockies

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

L.A. Times: Helping baseball’s scouts in a post-‘Moneyball’ world

In the front offices of major league clubs, the statistics-vs.-scouts debate ended long ago. No club today could imagine winning without tapping the resources of the increasingly sophisticated statistical tools available as well as the experience of scouts trained to look at a kid today and project his tomorrows.

Yet that debate was very much alive in 2003, sparked by the book “Moneyball,” and by author Michael Lewis’ portrayal of how Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane and assistant Paul DePodesta challenged the hegemony of the scouting community.

“Billy had his own idea about where to find future major league baseball players: inside Paul’s computer,” Lewis wrote. “He’d flirted with the idea of firing all the scouts and just drafting the kids straight from Paul’s laptop.”

The response from some owners was all too predictable. The A’s won, at less cost, with fewer scouts. In the winter following the publication of “Moneyball,” 103 scouts lost their jobs, according to veteran baseball executive Roland Hemond.

There was some small consolation in the timing. Hemond was among several baseball lifers concerned about how the sport treated scouts — the talent seekers living in chain hotels and eating fast food all summer, for wages so low that a savings account might be an extravagance.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, special topics

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dodgers, Fox Sports Reach Settlement

A bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved a settlement between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports that clears the way for a sale of the team.

The settlement approved at a hearing in Delaware ends a contentious legal battle between the ball club and Fox.

Under the settlement, the Dodgers are giving up plans to sell media rights to games starting in 2014 and sticking with their existing contract with Fox, which gives Fox exclusive rights to try to negotiate a contract extension starting later this year.

Major League Baseball and the Dodgers’ committee of unsecured creditors support the settlement, which allows the team to be sold by April 30.


Long national nightmare #2397 finally on course for a wake-up call?

Don Malcolm Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mattingly: Braun shouldn’t be MVP if PED appeal fails.

Throwing that bogus 4.2% bump in HOF voting weight around already, eh Donnie.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hopes that Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is successful in appealing his positive test for a banned substance, but that it would “make sense” to revote on the MVP award, or strip Braun of the award if it is found that he indeed used a banned substance.

“In the end, I hope the appeal it’s something that was a mistake. I don’t want to see anything bad come out of it for him,” Mattingly said.

When asked if a player who tested positive for a banned substance should be stripped of the MVP award, Mattingly answered, “I don’t know. It makes sense though, a little bit. It’s not 10 years later, it’s a month later.”

...Mattingly said he thinks Kemp should’ve won the award in the first place.

“To me Matt was the best player in the game last year,” Mattingly said. “Ryan had a great year too.

“But you guys (the media) always ask me about unwritten rules, about catchers and stuff like that. Then we have the unwritten rules about voting, because he wasn’t on a winning team. You guys gotta get your unwritten rules together.”

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:59 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, dodgers, steroids

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Shaikin: Disney family to bid for Dodgers, sources say

Iwerks for the Dodgers and only the Dodgers!

The Disney name graced the last World Series champion in Southern California. The Disney name could grace the next World Series champion in town too, if Stanley Gold succeeds in his bid to buy the Dodgers.

The family of the late Roy Disney has partnered with Gold, entrusting the man who runs the family investment firm to lead the charge for the Dodgers and try to restore prominent local ownership to the team.

The partnership was disclosed Saturday by a person familiar with the bid but not authorized to discuss it. Neither Gold nor any member of Roy Disney’s family would comment Saturday, spokesman Terry Fahn said.

With a star-studded and deep-pocketed roster of bidders that could feature the likes of Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Mark Cuban and Peter O’Malley, outgoing owner Frank McCourt appears to believe the Dodgers can sell for at least $1.6 billion.

Gold is in discussions with potential investors, according to two people familiar with the talks. Roy Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, had a net worth of $1.4 billion in 2007, according to Forbes, before his divorce. The current net worth of the Roy Disney family is unclear.

Repoz Posted: January 08, 2012 at 11:59 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media

Friday, January 06, 2012

WSJ: Drinking With Mike Piazza

Domaine de la Rombacne Conte…mmm, squeezisito!

Mr. Piazza made this assertion halfway through a recent lunch at Gotham Bar and Grill in Manhattan. The ex-Met lives in Miami with his wife and two daughters but was back in New York for a few days, making a charity appearance and visiting friends. “I love coming back to New York. It’s always really emotional for me,” said Mr. Piazza, taking up a glass of Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Champagne that Gotham wine director Eric Zillier had just poured. Mr. Piazza sniffed the wine. “That smells really good. I love Champagne—Cristal, Dom Pérignon.” He laughed. “As an athlete you’re drawn by the status.”

...But any potential wine project would have to wait until he was finished with his memoir, “Open Mike” (“I stole the title from an L.A. columnist,” he admitted). The book, which will be published in 2013, covers his time as a player and his philosophy of life. What else was he doing with his time? Well, there were his two young children. And there was golf. He’d been playing a lot of golf. “It’s a really humbling game,” he said.

My last question was perhaps even more obvious. Where did Mr. Piazza rate himself on the list of all-time great catchers? In the top 10? Top five? “I’m a humble person, but I’d definitely put myself in the top five. I’d say Johnny [Bench] first for his charisma and talent—then I’d say Roy Campanella—he won three MVPs, after all. And Yogi Berra. If I put myself over Yogi, people would say, ‘Who does he think he is, he put himself over Yogi?’ ” Who indeed? On the other hand, Mr. Piazza has that other possible future title: the Garibaldi of Sicilian wine.

Repoz Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:45 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media, mets

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Andy Carey, helped preserve Larsen’s perfecto, dies

RIP,

Andy Carey, a former Yankees third baseman who helped preserve Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game, passed away on Dec. 15 in Costa Mesa, Calif., his family announced. He was 80.

A career .260 hitter, Carey played in 11 Major League seasons from 1952-62, beginning with the Yankees at age 20 in ‘52 and spending nine seasons wearing pinstripes.

Born on Oct. 18, 1931, in Oakland, Calif., Carey signed with the Yankees after spending a summer playing semi-pro ball in Weiser, Idaho. As New York’s everyday third baseman in ‘55, Carey led the league with 11 triples and was known as a solid defender and clutch hitter.

Carey played on four Yankees World Series teams, winning rings with the 1956 and ‘58 squads. He is remembered as playing a key role in Larsen’s Oct. 8, 1956, perfecto against the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium.

Repoz Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, obituaries, royals, white sox, yankees

Monday, January 02, 2012

hardball talk: Dodgers’ Ethier high on Theo’s wish list

The Cubs are looking for another outfielder long-term and a guy like Andre Ethier could be a good fit.

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says Ethier is high on Theo Epstein’s wish list and the Dodgers may not have enough funds to keep him around when his contract expires after 2012 now that they gave Matt Kemp a huge payday and have a contract extension for Clayton Kershaw looming.

But, the former second round pick is still superb at getting on base, with a career .364 OBP, thanks in part to a .291 career AVG. He won’t turn 30 until the 2012 season’s second week, so there are still several years left of his prime.

If Epstoyer can make a deal for Ethier in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made that move. But that might be hard to do. What do the Cubs have that the Dodgers want? Not much in the way of young talent to trade.

But if Ethier hits free agency this fall (man, feels weird to say that now that it’s 2012), expect Epstoyer to go hard after him.

The Cubs already have David DeJesus for the next two seasons (with an option for a third year) and Brett Jackson quickly ascending through the system, but if Theo and Jed Hoyer are somehow able to deal Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd, Ethier could be a great fit. He could play right and push DeJesus to left.

A starting outfield of DeJesus, Jackson and Ethier in 2013 would be mighty nice.

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, rumors

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ross Newhan: Who Needs Another Out of Town Owner?

The Out of Towners? Why, that had Sandy Baron and Sandy Dennis in it…on Sandy Koufax’s birthday no less!

The latest name to emerge is that of billionaire Steven Cohen—first revealed in the Wall Street Journal and expanded on in Wednesday’s editions of the Los Angeles Times. Cohen, 55, is the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Connecticut-based investment firm that controls $14 billion in assets. In September, Forbes estimated Cohen’s net worth at $8.l3 billion. According to multiple sources who talked to me only on the bases of anonymity Thursday, Cohen has built his hedge fund operation on the basis of total control and, at times, a volcanic temper. Two of his former managers have pleaded guilty to insider trading. and the SEC, according to a lawyer involved in the federal investigation of suponeanaed records, confided that the government continues to look into those record but that no charges have been filed against Cohen or his company.

  Since league owners have final say in approving bidders, it isn’t clear whether that investigation will or would create discomfort among owners if Cohen comes up for a vote. It certainly has not stopped Cohen from looking into the possible purchase of the Dodgers. According to The Times’ story he has met with several owners regarding the challenge of owning a sports team, retained Steve Greenberg, the former deputy commissioner and now a sports broker with Allen & Co. in New York and he has been accompanied in his meetings with the owners by noted player agent Arn Tellem, who is based in Los Angeles and could be a potential executive with the Dodgers if Cohen secures the team. Cohen has also retained Populous, a sports architecture firm, to suggest possible changes to Dodger Stadium that would improve comfort and safety.

...Both O’Malley and Gilbert refused comment Thursday, having signed the confidentiality agreement required of potential investors who have received a breakdown of Dodger finances from Blackstone Advisory Partners, the firm handling sale of the club, but the key question is rhetorical anyway. Why go to Connecticut or anywhere else when there are potential and quality owners in the neighborhood?

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 10:20 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Departing Q & A with George Vecsey

See ya, ol’ George! Gotta run…mom’s sending me down a righteous dish of escamoles!

Q. Was there any sports figure in particular that took issue with your column, enough to verbally abuse you; or threaten to harm you physically?

A: Really, only one. During the week of Watts in 1965, the Dodgers were pretty shook up, particularly African-American ones. A young pinch-runner named Willie Crawford missed 3B…costing a run, and, as I recall, a game. Afterward, in the clubhouse, we went to ask him about it. From the far end of the clubhouse, Willie Davis said (in the most gorgeous baritone), “Leave the kid alone.” I said, rather nicely, we had a job to do. Davis did not agree, and pretty quickly charged down the aisle of the clubhouse, looking like a man about to take a swing. From his own locker, John Roseboro stepped in and took the charge, as he did at home plate, saying, “Ummm, gentlemen, this is not the time or place for this.” (Or something like that, very calmly, in his own mellow voice.) Davis never got to me, for which I am grateful.

A day or two later, Roseboro got hit on the head by Marichal. Larry Fox of the Telly and I found Roseboro at the Dodger plane at the airport (we knew the clubhouse guy) and his bandages were covered by a Giant cap—Willie Mays’ cap. Willie was disgusted with what Marichal did. I tell this story often, to make the point of what a wonderful man Roseboro was. He should have been a manager.

...Q. How optimistic are you for the future of the U.S. Newspaper Industry?

A: Not. Newspapers are the engines that drive the Web. Without editors planning assignments and copy editors fixing mistakes, reporters quickly deteriorate into Underwear Guys writing blogs from their den. The sad thing is that everybody knows it—even politicians and business people know they need some source of actual information, even if they get whacked once in a while. But the economics and timidity of the newspaper business are working against that future. And the bloggers brag about knowing how things work from the sanctity of their dens.

Thanks to Lisa Swan.

Repoz Posted: December 29, 2011 at 02:31 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media

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