Categorized | Mark Timmons

How Is This Relevant?

How Is This Relevant?

Issue #1:

Ned Welcomes Juan Uribe to the Dodger Family

The Dodgers have spent early and spent often this off-season.  Their four (4) Free Agent Signings started with Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland, which catapulted the Dodgers 2011 starting rotation into potentially one of the best in baseball.  Calm down, I didn’t say “BEST,” but it arguably does has the potential to be.

How is this Relevant? Kuroda and Garland could have gotten bigger contracts if they hadn’t wanted to return to LA, but all three of the newly signed Dodger starters wanted to play for the Dodgers!  You can’t win a championship without good starting pitching, so the Dodgers resolved that issue early.

Issue #2:

Juan Uribe signs with the Dodgers for 3 years and $21 million spurning a matching offer from the Giants. The stat geeks are all up in arms over both the amount of the contract and the length of the contract (of course,  they hated on Jamey Carroll too).

How is this relevant? Look, Juan Uribe is not a superstar, he has a poor on-base percentage, strikes out a lot. and has a  low batting average, but he has a unique skill set in that he can play every infield position, and play them all well.  He has a knack for getting key hits, not “stat-padding” hits.  Most of all, he’s “been-there-done-that” as a key part of two World Series Champions.  What is relevant about this is that the Dodgers reached out to him with the idea that they wanted his influence felt  in the clubhouse.  What he can impart to the Dodgers young players can’t be measured by any “stat geek.”  It’s also very relevant that the Giants matched his offer with the Dodgers, but he chose to become a Dodger.  This says several things to me:  #1 – He must think the Dodgers have a pretty good chance of winning; and #2 – Maybe since his fellow Dominican, Manny Mota reached out to him, Uribe will be instrumental in reaching out to another Dominican who plays 3B. Juan Uribe went where he felt most wanted and that was LA.

Maybe a fellow Dominican would have never left, had our then GM made him feel that wanted… and maybe Mota and Uribe are “recruiting” one Adrian Beltre.”  I know of no better way to do it!

My step-son is a big Giants fan and he says that Uribe’s leaving is a big blow to the Giants.  He has watched every Giant game during Uribe’s tenure and says that stats alone can’t measure Uribe’s contributions.  He’s sorry to see him go and says the Giants are worse off now.

Issue #3:

Jon Garland’s arm.  Allegedly, he couldn’t get a better deal for fear of the number of innings on his arm and MRI’s.  Maybe.  Maybe not!  We’ll never know because of confidentiality.

How is this Relevant? Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia could all have their arms fall off tomorrow.  It’s always a crap-shoot when you sign a pitcher.  After Jason Schmidt, I am sure Ned has done his due diligence… but time will tell.

Issue #4:

Ryan Theriot is probably a perfect 2B for St. Louis. Someone said that he was going to play SS for them, and if he does, they have a secondbaseman at SS is all I can say.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Ryan led the league in hitting in St. Louis, but it wasn’t happening in LA, so they got Blake Hawksworth, who was a pretty poor starter, but who has the makings of being a pretty good reliever.

How is this relevant? Theriot was done is LA, so Ned got something for nothing.  Maybe he’ll be nothing, but I like him as a reliever.  Uribe is penciled in at 2B, but he could play 3B (if the Dodgers don’t get Beltre) and if Ivan DeJesus, Jr. has a good spring.  By the way, IDJ2 is not a SS on the major league level.  He’s a 2B period!  He doesn’t have the range or the arm for 3B or SS.

Issue #5:

The settlement proposal offered by the mediator in McCourt divorce mediation is off the table, because the parties could not agree.

How is this Relevant?

Frank McCourt allegedly agreed entirely with the settlement, which means that it did not award the Dodgers to Jamie and what was offered must have been in line with what Frank was willing to pay. Jamie evidently finds herself behind the eight-ball again.  Read more about this at Dodger Divorce, The LA Times and Jon Weisman’s column.

If you want some more hope for 2011, read Tim Kurkjian’s article on Don Mattingly.

About Mark Timmons

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

47 Responses to “How Is This Relevant?”

  1. Bobby says:

    mark if we get beltre to play 3b, which means uribe is our fulltime 2b for the next 3 yrs, which means dejesus is going to be traded:

    i will buy u a beer. any beer, from any country. and i love all ethnic beers, so pick a good one!

    in fact, if we do get beltre after all this, we all need to get a few pitchers!

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    I’ll take you up on that!

  3. Bootz says:

    Try Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale if you haven’t. It is a seasonal beer and well worth the wait every year.

  4. Bootz says:

    Issue #6

    Garret Anderson won’t be on the 25 man roster next year. That calls for a celebratory beer in itself.

  5. Bobby says:

    nor will we have russ and/or ramon ortiz!!

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    I am waiting for my flight out of SF and I have had several Sierra Nevada Pale Ales.

  7. dtwdodger says:

    Very relevant piece. Well thought out, well written.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Nice piece Mark. It would be a good thing to have Beltre back, but I have a sense that it will take more than Mota, Uribe and other fellow Dominicans to do it. Given that Beltre’s agent is Boras, whether or not he comes back to LA will depend in large degree as to how much he is his own man. It will probably come down to dollars, years, and how the contract is structured. Uribe’s contract is another example of how a lot of money is being pushed out into the future, closer to the 2014 establishment of Dodger TV.

    I am clearly not in love with McCourt as the owner, but I have long felt that he would be willing to spend more as 2014 got closer. And I’m certain that McCourt recognizes that a winning team will create more sponsorship dollars for that network than mediocrity. I’m also getting the feeling that Frank may have been less the problem than Jamie. Only time will let us know about that one.

  9. Ken says:

    1. Dodger 2011 pitching budget is only $1.3 higher than 2010 if Sherrill is DFAd. Good job Ned in resolving the starting pitching after receiving a Salary Budget after learning what the Judge’s “Favorable to Frank” mediation proposal was? You betcha!!.
    2. As I previously guessed the 2011 salary amount is close to the amount that TheRot will be paid in arbitration, with mimimal deferred comp. Nice to see that year 2013 salary is less than year 2012 so that the ability to trade Uribe in 2013 is not zero (if things do not work out). Beltre?? Only if the Mediation Proposal was completely biased toward Frank.
    3. Garland is a lower risk than all of the other pitchers that we know have injuries. The Dodgers have 5 legit starters and at least 2 legit fill-in guys in case of injuries.
    4. Great trade, considering all of the legal, economic, mareket,and personnel facts related or not.
    5. The Judge screwed the pooch. When was the mediation proposal given to the parties? When did Frank jump for joy and raise the Salary Budget? Who is the new beancounter at LA Dodger. LLC that is making all of these good off season budget moves? Ned is making good personnel moves. The Mediation proposal provides a modicum of certainty to Frank resulting in a “small business” owner being willing to expand the business, raise salaries, and take on some risk!!! Anyone in WS DC listening?

  10. Ken says:

    ACE LAD SFG LAD SFG
    Cain 2.77 2.77 1
    Kershaw 2.93 2.93 2
    Lily 3.06 3.06 3
    Kuroda 3.19 3.19 4
    Bumgarner 3.22 3.22 5
    Lincecum 3.27 3.27 6
    Sanchez 3.34 3.34 7
    Billingsley 3.47 3.47 8
    Garland 3.52 3.52 9
    Zito 3.90 3.90 10
    16.17 16.50 26 29

    • Ken says:

      Not being able to post a Table is screwy. Where is the EDIT button.

      Past performance only being an indicator of the future, I prefer the 2011 Dodger starting Pitchers over the Giant Starters. Using cross country scoring system Dodgers 26 and Giant 29 = Dodgers are better based upon the ACE Meter.

      More importantly the top 3 Dodger Starters are better than the top 3 Giant starters.

      Possibly Bills will improve and Lily will regress in 2011. The key to 2011 will be Kuroda.

  11. lawdog says:

    Jef Gordon’s column from the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the Cards acquisition of Theriot:

    “The Cardinals had enough talent to dominate lesser teams last season. They didn’t, so they missed the playoffs.

    Why did they lose so many games they should have won?

    Pitching injuries forced the team to get by with three quality starters for much of the season. The offensive table setters – Skip Schumaker, Felipe Lopez, Brendan Ryan – didn’t get on base enough. The batting order lacked consistent clout behind Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday.

    But a more insidious issue derailed the team, too: Its startling lack of focus, which was unusual for a Tony La Russa-managed team.

    The Cards played hard for most of last season, but they played sloppily. The mental side of their game went bad.

    They ran into outs on the basepaths. They yielded extra outs in the field. They gave away at-bat after at-bat against no-name pitching.

    Some of the Cards’ 2010 failure could be explained through statistical analysis. But a big part of the flop fell into the broad category of “bad baseball” – doing many little things wrong, for reasons nobody could really explain.

    This led to the acquisition of Ryan Theriot, a gritty La Russa-type player in the David Eckstein mold.

    “We look at him as a winning player, somebody who will bring more offense to the position than we’ve had in the past,” general manager John Mozeliak said.
    Yes, St. Louis, the man is scrappy.

    “I just go out there and play hard every day,” Theriot said Tuesday after learning of the trade. “That’s kind of what I’ve done traditionally in my career. I’m going to give you guys as much as I’ve got. Hopefully it’ll be good enough.”

    The arrival of Theriot will likely ensure the departure of Ryan, the poster boy for this team’s 2010 underachievement. Efforts to make Ryan a consistent everyday player here failed.

    Ryan possesses remarkable fielding range. Does any shortstop cover more ground? He has lots of energy (perhaps too much) and competes very hard.
    At his best, Ryan also offers decent offense. He hit .292 with 14 stolen bases in 2009 after taking over for troubled veteran Khalil Greene. He was a classic “second leadoff hitter” for the No. 9 hole, with the pitcher hitting eighth.
    But Ryan also has issues, most notably his attention deficit. As his 2010 slump worsened, he became spastic at the plate – flailing helplessly at pitches. His hitting problems carried over to the field, where he made uncharacteristic throwing errors.

    Maybe he could come back next spring and be just fine. After missing the playoffs three out of four years, though, the Cards can’t take that chance.
    Ryan could blossom into a fine player elsewhere, but it appears he has run his course here.

    (The Cards could also address the team focus issue by dealing Colby Ramsus, who has concentration problems of his own. But this team needs more offense, not less, so improving the team via a Rasmus deal would be very difficult.)
    The Cards need to refocus. If he plays as he did for the Cubs, Theriot should help that cause. He is a solid .280-type singles hitter, likely to steal 20-plus bases if he stays healthy.

    This team will sacrifice fielding range if it uses Theriot as the everyday shortstop. But the team sacrificed fielding range by replacing Edgar Renteria with Eckstein and won a World Series.

    “I won two divisions playing at shortstop,” Theriot said. “We won the Central twice when I played for the Cubs. It’s the position I played my whole life.
    “Just catch every ball that is hit to you. Don’t try to make SportsCenter plays. Catch the ball and throw the batter out. I loved the way David Eckstein played shortstop because he caught every ball hit at him.”

    More changes are forthcoming for the Cardinals. Mozeliak has retained No. 4 starting pitcher Jake Westbrook, addressed the left side of his bullpen and added a tenacious infielder without subtracting any real assets
    .
    Now the team needs to add more offense. The team needs more pop on the bench, starting with a No. 2 catcher who can actually hit. A proven third baseman is needed to protect against David Freese’s chronic ankle injuries.
    Another outfielder with power could help, in case minor league star Allen Craig doesn’t achieve a Ryan Ludwick-like breakout. Perhaps the Cards will upgrade at second base, since Schumaker isn’t a mortal lock to start there. Mozeliak wouldn’t rule out adding another shortstop, but that market appeared to be moving away from this team in a hurry.

    “We have to make sure the complementary players we have around our core can make sure we score runs,” Mozeliak said. “That is what we’re going to work on between now and opening day. The key thing for us is, whatever our next moves look like, we have to make sure it helps our offense.

    “We have to find ways to get guys on base and allow Albert and Matt and Colby to hit them in.”

    Theriot sounds ready to help.

    “If you can steal bases and get into scoring position, that equates into runs and that equates into winning ballgames,” he said. “Get into scoring position as much as you can. Scoring runs is probably the most important thing in my game.”

    Cards fans are going to like this guy.

  12. lawdog says:

    Hawksworth looked very good in his first year (2009) in very limited work with the big club in St. Loo. But last year he literally stunk it up. Acquiring him for a good offensive second baseman who is projected to start for the Cards would be like trading a Furcal (with less “range” and weaker “arm” but healthier back) for Troncoso or Haeger.

    Our club tends to give away players when it wants to make a change to save a few shekels. If you don’t get fair value back, eventually you end up dwelling in the cellar with that approach.

  13. Jaydavis says:

    It is what it is. Now it’s time to sign Brad Hawpe

  14. Bill Russell says:

    Ned has said he is looking for a right handed bat but Brad Hawpe wouldn’t be a bad signing.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    A rumor the other day had Johnny Damon on the scope of the Dodgers.

    Interesting. Fits Ned’s screen like a tee. Now 36 years old. Coming off a so-so season in Detroit.

    Hit .271, with only 512 RBIs, 8 HR, 5 triples, 36 doubles, 11 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances.

    He is a free agent this winter.

  16. Bobby says:

    i’ll take those rbi’s!!

  17. Bill Russell says:

    That’s almost an RBI per plate appearance Roger. I wonder why the Tigers would let me go if he’s driven in runs as he’s strking out. I really hope Ned doesn’t go after Damon. Too much money for a pop gun arm and declining offense.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Hawpe would be nice if we had a player to platoon with him. Good power, great arm. And I wouldn’t want that player to be Casey Blake, who I believe would probably be a disaster in the outfield.

  19. Bill Russell says:

    How about a Gibbons / Hawpe platoon? Gibbons showed good power with limited at bats.

  20. Bill Russell says:

    As far as Casey goes, he’s playing 3rd base/ getting traded with the Dodgers eating mucho salary or sittin on the pine. I can’t see him in the outfield. Besides, Ned is looking for outfield help.

  21. Jaydavis says:

    I keeping my fingers crossed for Brad Hawpe. Wouldn’t cost much to sign him, a little less then Uribe, maybe 12-15 million for 3 years.
    I’m just happy the dodgers are spending.

  22. lawdog says:

    Ken–Lincecum is slightly better than Kershaw although that might change next year. I expect Lincecum’s arm to fall off sooner rather than later due to the way he delivers his fastball. But Cain is much better than Bills will ever be. And the other two left handers, Bumgarner in particular, are better than any of the three remaining Dodger starters, Sanchez and Kuroda might be close, but the Giants have a legit #1, a legit #2 and two legit number threes. The dodgers don’t come close–even with the addition of Lilly and Garland.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Gibbons and Hawpe cannot, strictly speaking, be a platoon. They both hit lefthanded.

    Also, if the Dodgers did sign Hawpe and platoon him, it would be best for his platoon partner to be able to play right field. Hawpe’s cannon belongs in right with Ethier shifting to left, where he is best suited to play. If Hawpe’s platoon partner had to play left, it would mean having Ethier shifting back and forth between right and left. Not a good idea.

    Of course, this is all academic. Hawpe hasn’t been signed as yet, nor might he ever be.

  24. lawdog says:

    Hawpe had a good run from 2004-2009 but last year he bit .248 with 9 hrs. Why in the hell whould hou want to sign him for mmore than a twinkie and a cup of coffee when Garland is about the same age and put up similar stats in the past and certainly looked a thousand times better in 2010?

    I’sd rather sing Dunn and gamble his avg will go up. It did last year until the end of season when fatigue set in and he dropped down in his average. Give me those 38 hrs 100 rbis and a .350 OPB anyday.

    The fact he’s a class A FA means his value will go down on the open market–but it will raise his value for McGoo who hates throwing money at first, sandwich, or second round draft picks…

    I’ll bet you can get Dunn for 2 years for 24 million plus incentives. He’s the last piece of the puzzle.

  25. lawdog says:

    Why didn’t we go after sinker ball pitcher Brandon Webb??? He’s probably totally back from his injury and would have been a legitimate Ace.

  26. lawdog says:

    Whoops. I meant to say Gibbons put up numbers similar to Hawpe in the past and better numbers in the last year.

  27. lawdog says:

    For those of you who agree with Ken that our rotation is now on a par with the Giants I have to ask you folks, which rotation would you rather go into the playoffs with, ours or theirs. It’s obviously a no brainer.

  28. Roger Dodger says:

    Pitching. As I remember, there were a number of games last season, when the Dodgers were in the game, nose to nose — then in the 6th or 7th inning, the middle relief Dodger pitchers could not hold other teams — and presto, another loss.

    Or, it went to the 8th or 9th, and Broxton could not hold it (but only in the second half).

    That middle relief needs to be strong — and the starting 5 win more games. Make more money — then leave via free agency sooner, because they will want more money — what a deal.

  29. Bill Russell says:

    Yes Brooklyn, for some reason I was thinking Gibbons was right handed. Platooning Gibbons and Hawpe would make no sense. I just think it would be nice to add Dodger killers to the team to avoid being killed. Most feel Dunn belongs in the AL including me. I’m not sure which outfielder besides Werth and Crawford that I would like. It sounds like Boston and the Angels will get them and the Yankmes will land Cliff Lee, so who’s left? Frasor from the Jays would be a great relief pitcher. Stay Tuned

  30. lawdog says:

    Glass have full–I can’t believe you’d rather have our rotation thanthe Giants. The damn giants won the championship with a great 4 rotation and nothing when it came to fire power. Just like the88 Dodgers.

    So now you think our anemic rotation is better than theres? God luck folks!A

  31. lawdog says:

    Good luck, folks!

  32. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Maybe the Giants rotation is slightly better, but maybe not. And statistically speaking, Kershaw was a better pitcher than Lincecum last year. I’m not even going to go back and check the stats, but instead rely on my faulty memory, which tells me that BAA for Lincecum was .243 and .214 for Kershaw. Kershaw also gave up less hits per 9, and had an ERA that was about a half run better (2.91 vs. 3.43, I think). Add that Kershaw is four years younger and beginning to get greater and greater command, and you have a no brainer. Oh, and Kershaw is a lefthander.

    Cain had better stats than Bills, but Bills began to make significant progress in the second half. If that continues, I see little difference between the two. Maybe Sanchez is getting better, or maybe he’ll revert to the pitcher the Dodgers have bounced around in the past. Bumgarner looks like he’ll be very good, but he’s still not a proven big league starter. He could go through trials and tribulations just like Kershaw and Billingsley have.

    And if Broxton finds his way, the Giants having nothing to match the Dodgers in the late innings when you include Kuo and Jansen.

  33. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Just like the88 Dodgers.” And what did the ’89 Dodgers do?

  34. Bobby says:

    89 dodgers actually got stronger with eddie murray and willie randolph, but then stunk it up. i think gibson was hurt most of that year?

  35. Ken says:

    Yes I believe that the 2010 stats of the 5 starting pitchers who will pitch for the Dodgers in 2011 were better than the stats of the 5 starting pitchers that pitched for the Giants in 2010. Does that mean that the Dodger starters will be better than the Giant starters in 2011? Maybe. Maybe Not.

    their 2011 stats will be effected by age, coaches, offense, growth, imnprovement, luck, fielding, park, etc.

    Just as prior year performance does not equal next year’s performance, performance during the season does not always predict post season performance.

    These stats only provide a basis for HOPE for superior performance in 2011, not an expectation or guarantee of superior performance.

  36. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    Cain was better than Billingsley in 2010. You are correct.

    Kershaw was better than Lincecum is 2010. That is a fact!

    If Kershaw had half the pen Timmy boy did, he’d have been close to the top in the Cy Young.

    I mean, look at the stats, man.

    On Theriot: I agree that Theriot will do well in St. Louis (as a hitter), but the Cards can have players like Theriot because they have players like Pujols, Holiday and Rasmus. Pujols alone makes a huge difference and the Dodgers didn’t get rid of Theriot to save money – his replacement makes a lot more. They did it because they needed more power.

  37. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, I only glanced through this thread earlier, and didn’t notice Ray’s mention of Zito. I totally forgot about Zito. The Giants may have a nice front four (although I still have doubts about Sanchez), but # 5 for them is problematical. Of course, you never know, and they could come up with someone. Maybe a pitcher from their farm system, or whatever. But for now, Zito represents a bit of instability in the 5th slot.

    And remember, in the playoffs they only needed FOUR starters. That doesn’t hold for the regular season. And their bullpen is not exactly lights out. And while Brian Wilson might be getting better, I’ve never been particularly impressed with him.

  38. Roger Dodger says:

    I guess we can sit here and talk all we want on which starting 5 pitching staff is better between the Giants and Dodgers. Throw stats around and all.

    But for the time being — the Giants have a Ring and the Dodgers have not even played for one since 1988 — last century.

    It is not always which pitcher pitches best, but can a team win.

    I remember back in the Sandy and Don pitching days. I think Drysdale was sent ahead for a series — and was told that Sandy had just pitched a no-hitter. He asked, “Did he win the game?”

  39. lawdog says:

    Zito or Garland as #5? What’s the difference?

  40. Roger Dodger says:

    Noticed this in the NY Times sports today:

    SPORTS OF THE TIMES
    Maybe Jeter Should Leave and Expand His Horizons
    By GEORGE VECSEY
    Published: December 1, 2010

    The most ludicrous sight I ever saw in a baseball uniform was Joe DiMaggio wearing the green-and-gold outfit of the Oakland A’s.

    The great Joe D. was a coach and vice president for the eccentric Charles O. Finley in 1968 and 1969; he had retired after 1951 but needed two years in uniform to qualify for the highest level of pension — a concern for a man who never made more than $100,000 per season.

    Derek Jeter, on the other hand, does not have to worry about his pension, not after 15 years of what he has been making. Jeter also does not have to worry so much about style, since major league uniforms have been growing more dignified in recent years.

    Maybe it was the era. I blame disco. Or Rupert Murdoch. But baseball uniforms were pretty grotesque for a generation. Who will ever forget Steve Garvey looking like a burrito in the Padres’ gauche brown-and-gold garb, or Pete Rose looking like a doorman in the Expos’ blue-white-and-red ensembles? The long and winding road of free agency can do weird things to a person’s image. Still, Jeter has every right to consider walking away from the Yankees.

    It might even be good for his personal growth — help him socialize with new chums in a new sandbox.

    Jeter does not want to make a fool of himself by joining the wrong team in the wrong uniform at the wrong time, but where is it written that an athlete must finish his career where he started? Is Jeter so limited that he must attach himself to the Yankees for life, like a living mascot?

    The real problem for Jeter is that no other team is likely to offer more than three years at $15 million per year, which is apparently being offered by the Yankees, with the obvious likelihood of some upgrade.

    Few teams need an expensive shortstop heading toward 37. The Red Sox, for example, have been more or less economizing at that position since they scuttled Nomar Garciaparra, and they have done all right.

    Still, if Jeter feels undervalued, this is what free agency is for — to give him the chance to find out what life is like somewhere else, for more money, if he can find it.

    It is not at all clear to me that Jeter’s life would be ruined if he played somewhere else. Players move on. I learned that late in the 1982 season when it became apparent that Garvey was playing his final games for the Dodgers. I thought it was disloyal and short-sighted of the Dodgers to let go of such a fixture, but my friend Al Campanis, the general manager at the time, set me straight.

    “I love Garv,” Campanis said. “We’d love to have him back at first base for a few years. But not at the price he wants.”

    Right. It was about money. Garvey wound up with a five-year contract for $6.6 million plus incentives from ages 34 through 38.

    He also helped the Padres win the pennant in 1984 after raising the professionalism on the field and in the clubhouse, even while looking like a burrito.

    There is life after the Yankees, too. Jeter ought to have enough confidence in himself to think he could thrive somewhere else. He has a lot of Michigan in him, and built a McMansion in Florida. Sometimes change is good. Ask those cool itinerants who helped the Giants win the World Series a month ago.

    And there is this: Jeter should not be surprised by the salvos being fired across his bow by Yankees management. Maybe it comes from the Bronx water or the mica schist under Yankee Stadium, but Yankees owners and executives have often managed to make their superstars feel crummy.

    They don’t mention this on those annoying Yankees histories they blare into your brain at the Stadium: maybe Babe Ruth was not a model citizen, but the Yankees let him go and did not fuss over him until he was dying. Lou Gehrig said he was lucky to live and die a Yankee, but the young DiMaggio felt Gehrig was calculatingly underpaid for all of his loyalty.

    When DiMaggio asked for a better contract for 1942, his employers questioned his patriotism (not so subtly, as an Italian-American) during wartime. Phil Rizzuto was dropped during a pennant drive. Yogi Berra was fired after winning a pennant. Mickey Mantle was given a pay cut after failing to win another Triple Crown.

    And Bernie Williams, clearly over the hill but beloved, was pretty much shunned. Jeter saw that one up close.

    Jeter and his agent may be unrealistic or greedy in seeking more money for more years. But that’s what Curt Flood had in mind when he went to the Supreme Court to seek free agency.

    There are 29 other uniforms. Most of them are pretty classy these days. I bet Jeter would have fun in some of them.

    E-mail: geovec@nytimes.com

  41. DRomo says:

    Any predictions for what happens to Russ Martin today?

    I heart wants something worked out and for Martin to be a Dodger, come back stronger than he was before and somehow be the All Star he was.

    My head says now is the time to move on. But we need a real option to take his place. I would even take a chance on Bengie Molina with AJ Ellis as the back up/ part time guy. Say what you will about Molina, that he is fat and slow, but he calls a great game and is a winner. Molina might be good for Bills and Kershaw.
    Hell, I’d even sign Molina and Martin if the price is low enough for Russ.

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