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It Started and Ended With Manny

It Started and Ended With Manny

Mannywood and Mannymania – It was fun for a season!

In 2008, Manny arrived in LA and proceeded to take the Dodgers on his back and carry them to the playoffs.  In 2009, he became a distraction, but was still a cog in the Dodger machine.  However, this year it was his inability to stay off the DL that cost the Dodgers their chance for a record three years in the post-season.  That, and Raffy’s extended stays there as well.

What happened this year was exactly what I feared when the Dodgers signed Manny for two years – and some people wanted the Dodgers to ink him for five?  Manny may be productive for a couple of more years as a DH, but his time in LA had expired.  I am sure Joe wasn’t playing him at the request of Ned to keep Manny healthy, but I doubt that Joe had to be prodded.  Manny was still being Manny.  Sometimes he didn’t hustle, other times he did.  His fielding was the major concern and he didn’t appear to have fun anymore.  Let’s face it, after his 50 game suspension, he was really never the same hitter – he had flashes, but he was not the difference-maker he once was.  It was time for him to go and when the Dodgers had someone (ChiSox) step forward, his fate was sealed.

When he got thrown out of the game with the bases loaded yesterday because some Ignorant Savage named Gary Cederstrom, behind the plate called a pitch that was 8″ outside a strike, and Manny dared question him, I thought that Manny got himself ejected on purpose.  However, after further review, I really saw no justification, other than the umpire was an Ignorant Savage!  I won’t go into some diatribe about the umpires, but I will say that was over-reaction.

Speaking of over-reaction, the opposite was true of Joe Torre.  He just sat there while Manny was ejected, serving out his time as Dodger Skipper barely going through the motions.  I will be glad when this season is over and he is gone, hopefully with all the rest of the coaches.  FREE TIM WALLACH!

The McCourt Divorce Trial Starts today and it should be interesting, unless a settlement is reached along the way.  If one side or the other begins to feel the pinch, they will be motivated to settle.  You just never know how a trail will go.

Me, I’ve got better things to thing about, like:

  1. Will the Dodgers try and sign Ted Lilly (a 3-year deal might be nice)?
  2. Is Ryan Theriot the answer or a question at 2B?
  3. The Dodgers really won’t try and sign an aging Scott Podsednik?   Will they?
  4. Can the Dodgers find a 3B like, oh, maybe Adrian Beltre and make Casey Blake a super-sub?
  5. Who will get traded in a blockbuster deal?  The Dodgers need a REALLY big bat!
  6. Can Russ Mitchell be a serviceable backup?  He’s really Casey Blake!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

9 Responses to “It Started and Ended With Manny”

  1. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Nice report Mark. But I disagree on that pitch off the plate. I re-played the video on my DVR 48 times, and it was exactly 8 and 1/2 inches off the plate, not 8.

    The Dodgers rolled the dice taking Manny. He pumped much needed air into the club, the fans, and the media. Then, getting caught taking stuff, his career as a Dodger just fell apart.

    When folks say he acted like a little kid sometimes — remember — Manny is a little kid. That is him.

    I wish him well in Chicago. Pierre is there and will take care of him.

  2. Badger says:

    All I can say is I wish Manny hadn’t been caught.

    As for what the Dodgers will do? Not much until they know what this divorce is going to cost Frankie Blueballs. I stand by what I said at the beginning of the year – uh oh…. the Dodgers are in serious trouble.

    I agree 100% about the umpires. Something should be done. Nothing will be as long as Selig is the Commish. He has no stones.

    Off to a day in Palm Springs. Can somebody here tell me what happens to the deferred $18 million to Manny? Still no writers and no talking heads speaking to that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Your list is right on Mark.

    I would like to see us sign Lilly and I like Theriot for 2nd.

    The biggest issue seems to big the FACT that this offense needs that big bat in the middle to be productive.

    I don’t know about a blockbuster trade but we need to get that bat somehow over the winter. My first choice (and it is a long shot) would be to sign Joe Mauer.

  4. SpokaneBob says:

    My post above

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger. The Dodgers pay all the deferred money. The Sox only pay for the time they have him!

  6. Ray says:

    Anonymous-

    Mauer is already signed long term. He signed a big deal with the Twins in teh offseason.

    Mark-
    I would like LAD to sign Lilly, let Theriot go….trade for a big bat? Prince Fielder will be available. Not sure if I would want him or not. He is more of a DH type at this point.
    Sign Beltre in the offseason and make Blake a PH and backup 3bman/1bman.

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Just returned from two weeks in Jamaica yesterday. Kept up with some Dodger news, but not extensively.

    1. Lilly might be a good sign, but there may be other pitchers available. I would offer him arbitration, and then look at the entire field of available pitchers (free agents, and those that can be acquired in a deal).

    2. Theriot might be the answer at 2B. I would also want to know what else might be available, and at what cost. But with other needs that have to be filled, I’d be happy to have him back, and add elsewhere.

    3. Podsednik would be a nice piece to have off the bench, and for occasional starts. He’s what Garret Anderson was not.

    4. Adrian Beltre is represented by Boras after a great year. He’ll be 32 next year, and Boras will be looking for a lucrative multi-year deal. I definitely want a change at 3B, but I’d be hesitant to throw the bank at Beltre for an extended period. Then again, I don’t know who else might be available and/or acquirable, be it for players, prospects, or via free agency. Blake might be a valuable sub, but if possible, I would try to move him if only to create more payroll room.

    5. I guess a blockbuster is possible as a means of acquiring a big bat. But what do we surrender to get that bat? There are also free agent possibilities like Jayson Werth (if he would ever consider returning to the Dodgers), Carl Crawford, and who knows who else.

    6. Can Russ Mitchell be a serviceable backup? Who knows? Remember, he hit .241 in AA in 2009. AFL and PCL numbers don’t convince me that he’s a player to be counted on heavily. Maybe he’s a late bloomer, maybe not. Only time will tell.

    And for the record, the Dodgers don’t need a left-fielder, they need an outfielder. Kemp can play all three outfield spots, and Ethier can play both corners, but is best suited for left field.

    The “Ignorant Savage” definitely over-reacted. I hold Manny blameless for this one, but I’m glad to see him gone along with some of his money (which hopefully, the Dodgers will make use of during the winter).

    Right now I will welcome almost any new manager, but I definitely do not want it to be Mattingly. Wallach might be good, but so might Ausmus, Valentine, and probably others. And whoever it is, hopefully they bring in an enitrely new coaching staff. Someone mentioned a while back that Scioscia could be available. Given his 10-year deal with the Angels I’m wondering how that’s so. But if it is, he’s my preference over anyone else.

    Prince Fielder’s power would be welcome, but Loney’s defense would be missed. And what could we get for Loney, since Fielder’s presence would render him useless to the Dodgers. Could Loney play the outfield. I suspect not, and that he might bring back memories of the Mets’ attempt to convert Todd Hundley to the outfield a number of years back. In a word, it was a DISASTER.

    Furcal is probably going to be back at shortstop unless something can be worked out over the winter, or unless he’s unable to physically handle it. We know that Hu can handle it defensively, but his bat is still questionable. I am not even ruling out Dee Gordon, simply based on his athleticism, and the possibility that he conceivably could see an acceleration of his baseball growth, given that he’s relatively new to the sport. Gordon is likely to continue his development this winter in the AFL, and perhaps he will be ready to challenge for a spot at the beginning of next year, or perhaps at mid-season. Clearly I’m speculating, and frankly, I have nothing concrete to offer.

    Russell Martin does nothing but frustrate me. My own observations tell me that he still has the talent, but needs a new approach at the least, and perhaps an attitude adjustment. Watching him swing for the fences the last two years has had me wondering when he’s going to get the message that all he needs to do is make contact and hit the ball up the middle and to the large part of the field. Watching him has been exasperating, and makes me wonder if perhaps he needs new voices in his ear, other than Torre, Mattingly, Pentland, et al. If he recovers from his injury, I still believe he can be a productive player. And I believe, Rod Barajas would be a perfect backup, providing him with more days off than he’s had in the past.

    I’m still hopeful that Matt Kemp will learn from this year, and come back a more committed, mature and focused player. And he’s also a player who simply needs to adjust his approach at the plate with the aim of hitting the ball to the large part of the field. Kemp is best when he’s hitting the ball to center and right center, and when he just tries to just make contact. He’s got humongous power (which will probably get greater with further maturity), and has to learn that he can hit the ball out of any part of the field without really trying. He’s another player who needs to hear new voices in his ear.

    Andre Ethier’s season was clearly sabotaged, at least to a degree, by his finger injury. And I still think that the jerry rigged splint that was used to get him back in action quicker, may have contributed to his developing bad habits. Also, someone has to get into his head that he can hit lefties when he takes them up the middle and to left field. He only has problems with them when he tries to pull.

    And although Prince Fielder’s power would be a welcome addition, I’m not convinced that we wouldn’t be just as well off with Loney. I’m still not convinced that he can’t hit for more power, and see 20-30 HRs as a real possibility. He turns 27 next year, and I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see a sudden power breakout. But then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen.

    Pitching is an area that needs to be addressed. As of now, we open next season with just two starting pitchers, Billingsley and Kershaw. Maybe Charlie Haeger becomes the next R.A. Dickey, and maybe not. Maybe Monasterios steps in to fill a spot, or perhaps he just remains in the pen. In fact, since he’s completed a full year at the big league level, he can conceivably be sent out for further seasoning. Unless I’m overlooking someone, I don’t see anyone in the Dodger organization stepping up into a starting role next year. Maybe RDLR surprises, but at his young age his innings would likely be limited. He could even be a factor in the bullpen. So not only will the Dodgers need to be looking for a big bat over the winter, but more pitching should also be on the menu.

    I would trade anyone for the right return, but not simply for the sake of trading them. I still believe that Broxton can be an elite closer, but he too needs new voices in his ear. A return of his once biting slider, and another off speed pitch (like the splitter he’s worked on in the past) are all he needs. His recent lack of success has nothing to do with a lack of toughness, but everything to do with a lack of weapons. I firmly believe in having a deep back end of the bullpen to close out games after he 6th inning. Using Kuo, Jansen and Broxton in that capacity could make the Dodgers awfully difficult to beat in the late innings. Belisario throws hard with good movement, but like Broxton, he too needs something off-speed in his arsenal. It’s preferable to have another lefthander to complement Kuo, and thankfully, it’s not likely to be Sherrill. Maybe Elbert suddenly finds control (he probably could also be a starting candidate), or we acquire a lefty in a deal, through free agency, or an unexpected minor leaguer or non-roster invitee suddenly emerges.

    I’m sure I left a lot of stuff out, but I’m getting tired, and anyone reading this is probably also feeling some fatigue. It should be an interesting winter, and I haven’t even mentioned Frank and Jamie.

  8. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Great to have you back Brooklyn. Your writing feels like it is two days after the season and we are about to re-do the team.

    Somewhere in the lineup needs to be a power bat. Dunn or Fielder as has been mentioned many times. The present lineup has too many singles and doubles hitters.

    Kemp needs to get better at “hand to eye” coordination in hitting. But in two ways. I think he has trouble recognizing pitches or thinking pitches. He lets so many good pitches go by and swings a so many bad pitches. And second, he just plain misses too many pitches that he swings at.

    I get lost at all of the money the Dodgers owe player no long with the team. It is millions, but must be getting smaller year by year.

  9. Badger says:

    So, we pick up the Manny bill for the next two years – $18.6 mil.

    Does anyone else smell the rancid begonia here?

    Manny $18.6 million total
    Blake $6.5 million total
    Furcal $12 million and $3 million
    Martin $6.5 million and $9 million
    Pierre $3.5 million and $3 million
    Jones $3.75 million and $3.75 million
    Schmidt $1.5 million

    Kemp, Ethier and Bills all get large raises.

    The Dodgers payroll for next year right now is $88.4 million – without Podsednik, without Lilly, without Kuroda, without adding a player and without any raises due the middle guys. For 2012 it’s $89.1 million without any of those guys.

    And McLitigate has his pants around his ankles at the moment. Maybe he comes out ok, maybe not, but make no mistake this divorce IS going to cost him. Stand by for some large increases in the cost to go to a ball game in Los Angeles.

    As for players…. take a good look at what you see right now.

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