Right about now, many Dodger fans are beside themselves. They want to believe they will be getting a new owner, but with Frank McCourt being involved, they can’t be sure that he won’t do a 180, and they have some apprehension that the new one might be as bad as the former (current) one. I have always said that ousting Frank would be difficult, if not impossible, but we shall see. To top it all off, fans are really peeved that Ned Colletti has signed players this off-season whose combined ages date back to the Dark Ages. They wanted Prince or Albert in the Can, instead they got a plethora of players older than dirt.
Here’s how I see it:
- Juan Rivera had a nice run with the Dodgers last year and was on the team when the Dodgers were one of the best teams in baseball the second half of last season. Ned overpaid for Rivera under the impression that the team will play better baseball with Rivera than without him. Maybe – I can see Rivera doing well next season while getting about 400 AB’s.
- The Dodgers overpaid for Mark Ellis to shore-up their infield defense and give them a journeyman bat at a position where they needed help. Yes, Ned overpaid, but he had to to get him when he did. I can’t fault this.
- Ned signed Matt Treanor because he lusted after Misty May, Matt’s wife – there is no other possible explanation. I hate this deal.
- Ned overpaid (slightly) for Adam Kennedy because he wanted another experienced pro in the clubhouse. I am OK with this.
- Rather than overpay for Hiroki Kuroda, never got two for the price of one in Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. We’ll see how it works out, but I like the idea.
- Jerry Hariston is slightly puzzling, but I can’t fault the deal. He’s a versatile player and a nice guy to have in the clubhouse. Again, Ned might have overpaid, but he wanted a strong veteran bench presence and he got it. Again, time will tell.
The dominating theme is that these guys are all Geezers, but other than Mark Ellis, none are considered “everyday players” and it could turn out well… or not. All the Stat Geeks have their takes and most don’t like the deals, but I get it. I’d get it even more if Ned ended up signing Prince in the Can, but that’s not likely.
As it stands, the Dodgers are likely a better team than last year and let’s not forget that the D-Backs were expected to be second-tier last year and they won 94 games. The Cards won it all with a Superstar, some retreads, has-beens and never-weres. Let’s not forget that stats are just ways of measuring or predicting something, and while they are useful, they are not the end-all-be-all.
For any team to win it all, lots of things have to happen the right way and that is no different with the 2012 LA Dodgers. James Loney and Andre Ethier have to play somewhat close to their potential and quit being platoon players. Juan Uribe and/or Jerry Hariston needs to step-up and play ball at 3B. The oldsters have to stay together and the rookie at SS needs to show he is the real deal. Lots of questions. Lots of potential. Reason to believe.
According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti announced on Saturday a restructuring of his inner circle, with Vance Lovelace and Rick Ragazzo emerging with new titles and greater influence in Major League player evaluation. Gurnich went on to say this:
Lovelace, previously a special assistant to the GM and director of player scouting, is now director of professional personnel. Ragazzo, previously a special assistant to the GM, is now director of pro scouting.
Alex Tamin, a lawyer hired after the season, has quickly assumed a significant role in player analysis and arbitration preparation as director of contracts, research and operations.
Colletti said the front office is more “streamlined” with this reallocation of responsibilities following the spring departure of former assistant GM Kim Ng, who now works for former manager Joe Torre in the Commissioner’s Office.
Logan White remains assistant GM in charge for amateur (Draft) and international scouting and DeJon Watson remains assistant GM for player development (Minor Leagues). Tony Howell and Ken Bracey remain as special assistants to Colletti.
“Vance and Rick have really grown into their roles as player evaluators,” Colletti said. “Vance is a very good judge of talent and an even better judge of people. He’s become very important to the organization and he will spend more time in L.A. with the big league team. These changes have allowed for a more streamlined decision-making process.”
Lovelace, who had a 13-year career as a pitcher, joined the Dodgers in 2001 as a scout. He originally came to the Dodgers from the Cubs in the 1983 Ron Cey trade (at the time, Colletti worked for the Cubs). Ragazzo joined the Dodgers four years ago after 17 seasons in baseball operations and scouting for San Francisco, where he worked with Colletti.
Former players Bill Mueller, Aaron Sele, Mark Sweeney, Jose Vizcaino and Juan Castro remain as special assistants to baseball operations.
Logan White, who had been acting as Director of Pro Scouting, and is now back exclusively with International Scouting and the Amateur Draft. That’s his best place to be, in my humble opinion.
With the front office re-organization, Ned is campaigning to stay the GM when (if) the new owner takes over. If that owner is Magic Johnson, it is interesting that Ned and Magic are working a charity event together today. Hummm….