I think some of you don’t understand what it takes to be a professional athlete…. and I don’t mean that with any disrespect. I’m not talking about the level of skill required or the hours and years of hard work. I’m talking about the mental part of the game. It’s just that these guys are praised, coddled and treated like royalty from the time they are kids. The position they play becomes part of their persona and as big and strong as they may be, their psyche’s are somewhat fragile.
How do you think Matt Kemp would have responded if the Dodgers had anointed Shane Victorino the CF when he was acquired? Victorino is after all, a better CF than Kemp. The Dodgers didn’t even consider it because after all, Matt is a CF – part of his DNA now. The Dodgers knew he probably couldn’t mentally handle the change and who knows, maybe that’s why Victorino didn’t do well either. He’s a CF too forced to play LF. Maybe it messed with his head.
So why rail on Hanley Ramirez whose persona is that of a shortstop? Oh, he says he will move to 3B, but everyone who has ever been around him at all knows it will mess with his head. A happy Hanley can be MVP. An unhappy Hanley can hit .255. Mark Saxon of ESPN/LA wrote this yesterday:
Gordon is blocked for the foreseeable future by Hanley Ramirez and, if he’s sent to Triple-A in March, he’s not going to be a happy player.
Mark covers the Dodgers for ESPN/LA and knows what the score is about SS. There’s not even a question that Hanley won’t be the Dodgers shortstop next year. Forget the silliness of moving Gordon to 2B – I’ll play there before he does! If there were any inclination Gordon would play 2B, he’d be getting time there now. He’s not.
I used to be high on Dee Gordon, but I’m not keeping on the blinders like I did for Andy LaRoche. I was convinced that Andy LaRoche would be the second coming of Mike Piazza. Boy was I wrong! Let’s face it – Dee’s time with the Dodgers is likely over. Saxon suggests that the Dodgers trade Zach Lee, Dee Gordon and a 3rd prospect (Pederson?) for James Shields. I’d do that is a New York minute and throw in Harang or Capuano too… and some money.
We talk about Gordons’ speed, but in the DWL he has stolen 9 bases and been caught 6 times. He also has 9 errors and is no longer playing the field as much. Maybe he will make it, but I now see him as a utility player. He can’t even harness his great speed.
Dodger Player Targets at the Winter Meetings:
- Zach Greinke – The Dodgers need a number 2.
- Kyle Lohse – Maybe for a 3-year deal, but I hate losing a pick.
- Anibel Sanchez – He’;; get 5 year deal. Yikes!!! I am not sold on him.
- Jair Jurrjens – There’s a reason ATL is letting him walk. He’s damaged goods.
- James Shields – and a number 3 Starter – He’d look good there.
- Brian Wilson – (2) TJ’s leave doubt… but…
- Joel Hanrahan – Closer material and the rumor is Capuano – I’d do that.
- Daniel Schlereth – LH specialist?
- Third Baseman, but I don’t know who…
CLICK HERE for the full Baseball Winter Meetings Schedule.