The benching of Orlando Hudson at the end of the season is something that has been talked about by Dodger fans, at the time and up to now. For the record, I stated that Hudson should have been the starter in the playoffs. However, I am going to remind everyone that Joe Torre was closer to the situation that any of us and any reporter. Let’s consider a few quotes from the parties:
On September 19, 2009, Joe Torre stated this about Orlando Hudson and Ronnie Belliard:
”…over the course of the season it’s probably taken a little bit of a toll on him, I think there’s some fatigue now. I’m taking advantage right now with Ronnie swinging the bat the way he is to use him, and then decide what choices we’re going to have going forward,”
On that same date, Orlando Hudson then stated::
“I haven’t been doing the job. My man Belliard came in, they made a great trade to get him in here and he’s doing a great job at second base. All I can do is cheer for him.”
On November 12, 2009, after the season was over, Orlando Hudson said the following:
“My teammates talked to me about it more than Joe did, but I never had any answers because Torre and I never talked, there was no conversation.”
Now, that one sentence is a little contradictory, in that he said his “teammates to talked to me about it more than Joe did” implying that there was conversation, but very little. He then concluded by saying that “Torre and I never talked … there was no conversation.”
A lot has been made about this one sentence, but no one has asked O-Dog “Did Torre EVER talk to you about the benching?” It’s common knowledge that Joe Torre is a “players manager,” especially a veteran player. It seems highly unlikely that Torre NEVER talked with O-Dog. It seems more likely that there was not much conversation. It also seems likely to me that Hudson was concealing an injury. Maybe Torre knew about it, maybe he didn’t. Hudson certainly has a history of late season injuries. Maybe Orlando was protecting his impending Free Agency. Maybe Joe was too…
The fact of the matter is, that from where I sit, I still would have started Orlando Hudson!
- In case you haven’t seen it yet, Jose Offerman punched an umpire in the Dominican last night.
For those of you who believe the Giants will be better, consider what Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle wrote:
Pablo Sandoval‘s weight is going to be an issue for the rest of his life (he lost 10 pounds through a rigorous conditioning program in Arizona, then gained most of it back when he returned home to play in the Venezuelan winter league). Many scouts around the National League can’t figure out why the Giants simply don’t stick him at first base and leave him there.
The Giants obviously don’t see it that way. They made a two-year offer to Adam LaRoche, who wisely turned it down (no left-handed pull hitter feels an attraction to AT&T Park unless he has Prince Fielder-like power). Then they signed Aubrey Huff, a terrible defensive player at any position. Understand the larger point: The Giants have filled some embarrassing holes with professional hitters, and Huff easily could revert to his 100-RBI form. But in this park, with that pitching staff, defense has to be a priority – and it could be a problem all season.
With Sandoval at third and Edgar Renteria at shortstop, the left side of the infield has a glaring lack of range. Freddy Sanchez is a competent second baseman, but is also 32 years old and coming off knee surgery.
Mark DeRosa, an infielder by trade, should be an ordinary left fielder at best. Aaron Rowand is a noted fly-chaser but has become known for fundamental mistakes in his time with the Giants. Nate Schierholtz is a strong-armed right fielder, but isn’t likely to measure up to Randy Winn defensively.