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The Rats Are Abandoning The Sinking Ship

The Rats Are Abandoning The Sinking Ship

Let me be the first to say it:

Tim Hallgren & Logan White

The fact that Tim Hallgren is leaving the Dodgers to take a scouting job with the Detroit Tigers proves that the Dodgers are a sinking ship and the rats are abandoning it.

I know that’s what the McCourt Haters will say next, so I just beat them to the punch!  Actually, I think it’s probably just a difference of opinion between Logan White and Tim which led to this.  Now that Logan knows he’s staying in LA, Tim may have felt it better to move on.  It happens all the time – that’s just a  hunch. Their duties seemed to overlap quite a bit.

LILLY’S DEAL – It turns out that Ted Lilly’s contract counts for only $7.5 million next year as the contract is back-loaded.    I think all deals will be that way until the divorce is decided.

BUSTER POSEY – Can you say “Perennial All-Star Catcher?”  The Giants have a GREAT one here.

THE GIANTS – All of a sudden the Giants are some great team?  Hey, I am really pulling for them.  I would love to see the big spenders (Phillies and Yankees) get spanked by teams that spend dramatically less, but let’s not forget what the Giants are.  You wanna’ talk about “geezers, wannabes and neverweres?”

The Giants are absolutely that:  Huff, Uribe, Burrell, Sanchez, Renteria, Fontenot, Ross and others are simply “over-the-hill” or journeymen, and the 300 pound panda often looks just that.  Javier Lopez who had a 9.26 ERA last year has a 2.36 ERA this year. Brian Wilson’s ERA (1.81) is half of what his career ERA is.  Santiago Casilla has an ERA of 1.95, but up until this year, his career ERA was over 5.00 (it was 5.96 last year).  Sergio Romo had a 3.97 ERA last year and has a 2.18 ERA this year.  ”Run Backwards” Mota is also part of that pen.

The point I am making is that while the Giants have excellent starting pitching, their bullpen has been outstanding.   Historically, the pitchers that they are relying on this year, have not been so reliable in the past.  Bullpen’s are fickle.  The Dodgers pen was horrid this year, but could lead the league next year (and Broxton could sprout wings and fly).  Aubrey Huff was signed for $2 mil and had a career year.  So did Uribe, and then Burrell came back from the dead.  It’s a “rag-tag” team, but they have caught lightening in a bottle.  Good for them.  I am not a hater (except for maybe the Yankees).

Bill Shaikin of The LA Times speaks about Jamie or Magic Johnson putting together a group to buy the Dodgers, but I think it’s more likely that Frank McCourt would do that.  The Dodgers and the Land around Dodger Stadium is a goldmine.  Don’t under-estimate what plans Frank has and don’t think for a minute that Bug Selig can intervene.  If Bud tried that, Frank would sue him until from here to the 22nd Century.  Shaikin, Dilbeck, Simers and Plaschke are all delusional.

MATTINGLY’S POSSE –  It looks like Trey Hillman may be the bench coach for Donnie Ballgame and the rest of the staff is shaping up with Jeff Pentland, Chili Davis and Manny Mota, Rick Honeycutt, Wallach and Howell.  One could be the first base coach or another could be added.  It appears that Wallach will coach 3B.  Who will manage AAA is the new question?

RICK RHODEN – It appears that in addition to Matt Herges, Rick Rhoden has now returned to the Dodgers in some capacity as a coach.  Again, I think the fans perception of the Dodgers is far away from the reality.

DE JON WATSON ON THE AFL PLAYERSKen Gurnick of interviewed De Jon.  I’m publishing the interview in it’s entirety:

When not overseeing 60 farmhands at instructional league or welcoming Chili Davis and Rick Rhoden back to baseball as coaches, DeJon Watson is monitoring eight Dodgers farmhands playing for Don Mattingly in the Arizona Fall League.

It’s a busy time for the assistant general manager who runs the Dodgers’ Minor League system.

His most promising prospects — such as organizational pitcher of the year Rubby De La Rosa and last year’s organizational player of the year Dee Gordon — are based at the shared training complex of Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

But in the AFL are the more accomplished, including Scott Elbert, on the comeback trail after missing time with personal problems, and Jerry Sands, this year’s player of the year.

Here are Watson’s summaries of each Dodger in the Arizona Fall League:

Sands, IF/OF: “He’s on the taxi squad, so he’ll play twice a week, and we’re double-dipping with him because when he’s not in the Fall League, he’s at instructs. He’s an accomplished outfielder and first baseman, and we are working with him to get ground balls at third base, just to get another glove in his bag. He’s also working on his offensive approach. He had a big year offensively, but he still has things to work on offensively. There’s more room for growth there.”

Trayvon Robinson, OF: “He had a big year. Look at his numbers over the last three years, the trend is up. His on-base percentage has gone up 150 points in a three-year window. We’re trying to expand his overall game, to get him to be more aggressive defensively. He’s still pushing the envelope with his baserunning. We want him a little more aggressive going first to third. He gets good reads and jumps. He’s relatively close to finishing off the skill set. This will be a really good test for him. Last year he was on the taxi squad until the last two weeks. He’s playing against more advanced players to gauge where he is. And we’d like to find something [winter ball] for him after this. He has a chance to be a true center fielder down the road.”

Matt Wallach, C: “He keeps getting better. He had a strong year defensively. He finished at Double-A. His swing continues to improve. He’s changed his swing approach to be flatter. He had been a little hooky. Overall, his catching improved. We see him as a backup down the road. He has great makeup. His game-calling is getting better.”

Ivan DeJesus Jr., 2B: “With Ivan, we want to keep him playing, keep him moving. He’s coming off a broken leg and missed all of 2009. He’ll play second base, and we’ll mix him in at third, just to get his bat in lineup, not because that’s where we see him as a player. And after the Fall League, he’ll continue working at Camelback.”

Jon Link, RHP: “He was up and down [from the Minor Leagues to Major Leagues]. He has a three-pitch mix. We’ll use him here in a starting role to get him stretched out. We know he can pitch in the middle of the bullpen at the big league level. We want to get him stretched out here to create more value going into Spring Training.”

Javy Guerra, RHP: “He was off-and-on with his health this year [shoulder tendinitis]. He has a chance to be a legitimate bullpen piece. He has a 94-mph fastball and a tight slider with a change. He needs innings. And he’s more than likely going to Mazatlan to play in the Mexican Winter League and carry that into Spring Training to make up for the innings he missed while he was out.”

Justin Miller, RHP: “We’ll try to push the envelope with him. He has a sinking fastball. He’s a ground-ball pitcher, and we want to get him prepared for next level. He’ll probably start the season at Double-A. We want him facing better hitters here to understand the adjustments he’ll need to make. He can be deceptive, and we want him to get to where hitters are chasing his pitches.”

Elbert, LHP: “Obviously he missed time. We just want to get him back on the mound and acclimated and competing again. Physically, he’s healthy. He’s working out of the bullpen here, and we’ll leave him in that role. We want him to tighten up his delivery and his mechanics and see where it takes us.”

About Mark Timmons

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

18 Responses to “The Rats Are Abandoning The Sinking Ship”

  1. Badger says:

    Great piece this morning Mark!

    Hows that little ray?

    I find it hilarious that people expect rats to stay on a sinking ship. If a rat gets a better offer, why shouldn’t he take it?

    I have to tip my hat to the gints. They are a gritty bunch. They have already accomplished what the Dogs couldn’t do in two tries – beat the Phillies three times in the NLCS.

    Just perused the threads you suggested. Not much new there, but I have a question – how many of those minor leaguers mentioned from April of 2008 are now with the big club helping out?

  2. Ken says:

    Frank is cutting adminstrative payroll in order to afford some players next year that do not need BOWA kicking their ass everyday in order to stay motivated. Frank was actually very smart in hiring all of those executives during the marriage because now he can swear in court that “he knew nothing about baseball and his personal time and efforts did not increase the value of the team, it was just a natural result of the economy stupid”.

    “We know where we’re going,’’ Colletti said. “It’s up from a year ago, but that’s all I want to tell you.’’ We want you to tell us what the definition of “Salary” is. Will we ever see in writing or hear in an interview what the word “salary” actually means?

    Bud CAN intervene. Read the CBA!!! The only issue is what the definition of is is. Sorry Badger. What the definition of Debt is. The debt can be structured on the nonbaseball deals in a manner that does not count toward the operational restriction formula. Obviously an attorney smarter than Jamie will have to figure out how to structure the transaction(s). Now that Frank is completed his training period he thinks that he can hire low cost coaches and make them do the work of 2 people. Clean out the coaches for 2011 and if that does not work clean out the Trust Fund attitude players before 2012 starts.

    Yea the gints remind me of the 1988 Dodgers. I agree Texas v SF would be great for baseball. That plus a better socialist luxury tax. All players salaries and game ticket prices should be tied to the Cost of Living Index for each Meteropolitan Statistical Area in which the team is located.

    Cool, a plan to grow in house a 3B to replace the Old Grey Beard. If Sands can field, then a new relief pitcher will also arrive in 2 years.

  3. Badger says:

    Amen Ken.

    Now that’s intelligent posting.

    But, since I don’t speak legalese, what exactly does this mean:

    “The debt can be structured on the nonbaseball deals in a manner that does not count toward the operational restriction formula.”

    Non baseball deals? Isn’t everything that McCoursechange writes a check for a “baseball” deal? And, are the Trust Fund players our own guys that McGrease will have to pay big bucks to eventually?

    I am going to have to read that again…. later. Got a meeting with my peeps.

  4. SpokaneBob says:

    This Philly team is not the same one we played. I was always a National League guy, but if its the Giants and Rangers I will be pulling for Josh Hamilton and Nolan Ryan. At least if the Giants pull it off Barry won’t be getting a ring.

  5. Keith Law on our Logan White:

    Jon (Ithaca)

    Best talent evaluator in the game? Besides yourself, of course.
    Klaw (1:15 PM)

    Lot of candidates for that. Logan White. Tim Wilken – even when he makes a pick people don’t get, scouts are extremely reluctant to doubt him. Ray Montgomery, just hired as Arizona’s SD. Jason McLeod. John Coppolella. Damon Oppenheimer. Dave Findlay, a Boston cross-checker. I could probably give you one name per team, easily, but it might get a little boring to read. And, by the way, I’ve never pitched myself as a great talent evaluator. I’m a writer who can scout a little, not a scout who can write a little.

  6. Anew says:

    Mark, at just what point in time, did you realize that the ship was sinking???

    Some of us have been wearing life-jackets, in the water, waiting for the rescue boats — for about six months now.

    Welcome. You have the midnight watch.

    We are just off the island of Cuban, near Magic-Land.

  7. Badgerer says:

    Well at least he admits it Roger. That’s a step in the right direction.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    I hope you know I said that “tongue-in-cheek.”

  9. Badger says:

    Was the threat to ban those who disagree with you also tongue-in-cheek?

  10. lawdog says:

    How can one be expected to differentiate between “tongue in check” comments and those that you mean from the bottom of your heart when they both have the same tone and content? :rolleyes:

  11. lawdog says:

    Whazzat? Did i just get banned? My last post disappeared. :shock:

  12. lawdog says:

    Well, I guess not…. yet anyway.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    Where have I threatened to ban anyone, except for using fake names. I had to do that because OD used about 20 names and it was getting ridunckolus!

  14. lawdog says:

    So “nervous nellie” is okay with you? If I use that moniker I won’t be cast out into outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth?

  15. Jon Ball says:

    Was this posted before the Phillies won game 5? That series is not over yet, and it looks like the Giants might be about ready to pull a 2002 if Sanchez burns himself out with that steady diet of sliders.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yep, it was up before that game


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