Andre Ethier absolutely gave the Dodgers a Home team Discount. Had he continued his productive season, he could have commanded a contract that was maybe $20-25 million larger than the one he signed with the Dodgers. However, two things come into play:
- The Jody Reed Factor (i.e., turning down a good contract only to find the market has changed and having to sign a much smaller one); and
- Andre wants to be a Dodger. Always has!
The deal got done. Yes, it’s $85 million, but it’s a good deal for both sides. Now, the Dodgers have a Big Three (count ‘em 3): Kemp, Ethier and Gordon to build around. One more power bat is needed. Ned will be trolling as we near the deadline. This team is built to win as soon as now. I know some of you think these guys are going to play .500 ball the rest of the way. Not Happening! In 2011, you saw the real Dodger team the second half of the season and you are seeing the real Dodger team now. They are a lot better than many of you give them credit.
Last night was a classic example. Behind most of the game, the Dodgers rallied to tie and then won with Rivera’s 3-Run homer in the 8th. Rivera drove in 4 of the 5 runs and Kenley Jansen bounced back to save the game. Junkyard Dogs, all!
Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA.com had this to say about Rivera:
Barely a week removed from an almost month-long stint on the disabled list because of a left-hamstring strain, Rivera drove in a season-high four runs for the Dodgers, the final three of them on a no-doubt, first-pitch homer that broke a 2-2 tie with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning against a tiring Jerome Williams.
That gave the Dodgers all the offense they needed against the team with which Rivera spent six seasons before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and, a half-season later, to the Dodgers at last year’s All-Star break.
Since that trade, the Dodgers are 81-51.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how, or even if, Rivera’s sudden presence has directly contributed to that figure. In his time with the Dodgers, Rivera’s offensive numbers aren’t exactly the stuff that makes your eyes pop out of your head. He is hitting .265, with eight homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games and 325 at-bats. Over a full 162 games, that prorates out to a pedestrian 14 homers and a stellar 110 RBIs, but on a team where two or three starts get the vast majority of the attention, Rivera’s performance has gone mostly unnoticed, which seems to fit perfectly with his reserved personality.
But what Rivera did when he arrived last year was give the Dodgers an additional power threat in the middle of the order. And sometimes, in some ways, a power threat can be as valuable as power itself, because it can change how an opposing team goes about trying to beat you. That is essentially what Rivera did for the Dodgers last season, all while hitting .274 with five homers and 46 RBIs. He forced other teams to pitch to Kemp and Ethier, at least more than they did before.
This year, it was much the same for Rivera, or at least it was before he got hurt. His DL stint began before the first of Kemp’s two DL stints, so when he returned on June 4, it marked the first time this season that Rivera was active at a time Kemp wasn’t. That meant that the Dodgers would rely on Rivera in a way they never had before, and Rivera responded by going 4-for-20 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in his first seven games.
Let’s Throw Capuano Under the Bus
This guy isn’t that good. I just knew it. His ERA is nearly up to 3.00. I knew he was a bum. He’s never been any good. He’s had two bad starts in a row. He’s done. I want him to implode. I won’t be able to stand it if Timmons was right and he wins 20 games. This can’t be happening. He has to be a bum because I said he was. OMG, could I be wrong? No way! I’m right! Capuano is a bum…. he won’t win 20…. will he? Will he? I hope he doesn’t. I love to be miserable. Don’t deprive me of my misery.
Yeah, you are the same guys who wanted Dee Gordon out as SS. Haters all! This Dodger team has the best damn record in all of baseball. Quit crying! Chris Capuano is on track to be an All-Star… again. What is wrong with you?
The guy is 8-2 with a 2.87 ERA. Do you get that?
Capuano has already been an All-Star. Harang and Capuano have been awesome for the Dodgers this year. Why do some of you feel the need to throw him under the bus? He has allowed just 61 hits in 78 innings. If Tim Linecum pitched for the Dodgers you would probably assassinate him on the mound.
Adam Kennedy almost lost the game for the Dodgers single-handedly. Juan Rivera paid the Angels back and won the game single-handedly! Yeah, Dee Gordon got the error – he should have caught the throw from Kennedy, but the play was to 1B. That was a bone-headed play by a guy who should know better.