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.
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.
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.
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.
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.