Then keep rolling him out there and his option for $10 million will vest with him, not the club.  He hasn’t been horrible, but he’s been consistently hittable after a good April.  I don’t think he can pitch out of the pen, so it’s one of two options:  (1) DL; or (2) DFA.  He needs 60-some innings and he’s got a new $10 million deal for next year.   Do the Dodgers want that?  I’m convinced that Haren’s stiff back is the source of his problems and it’s not going to get better.

Where’s Josh Beckett when you need him?  Yeah, where is he?  Can the Dodgers count on Beckett?  I doubt it.  Ryu is showing signs of fatigue, although he looked good his last start.   Maholm looked good his last start, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high.

At first blush, it appears to me that the Phillies might be willing to part with Jonathan Paplebon and Cliff Lee.  Lee is owed the remainder of his $25 million salary this year, $25 million next year and $12.5 million in 2016.  He could be serviceable as a starter.  Paplebon is owed $13 million next year plus the balance of this season.    That’s $38 million is salaries.

Would Philly be willing to take Carl Crawford, Zach Lee, Chris Reed and Pedro Baez to dump $18 million a year of salary?  Maybe, maybe not.  It’s worth a try.  Then how about sending Ethier to a contender for a reliever or prospect?  I would like to see Van Slyke and Pederson more.  Frankly, I am getting tired of Matt Kemp – the Dodgers could conceivably trade away their entire starting outfield of early last year.  Wouldn’t that be wild?

Telling quote from Alex Halstead of

I’m going to play center field again,” Kemp said as the Dodgers began the season’s second half Friday. “I’m going to play center field every day.”

Don Mattingly, when told Friday of Kemp’s belief that he remains a center fielder, was unmoved.

“That’s fine,” Mattingly said. “He can view himself however he wants. I’m playing him in left.”

Read between the lines – there is friction between Kemp and Mattingly!

How about this lineup?

  1. Gordon  CF
  2. Ramirez  SS
  3. Puig  RF
  4. Gonzo  1B
  5. Van Slyke  LF
  6. Pederson  CF
  7. Uribe  3B
  8. Ellis  C

The way these guys are hitting, I’d try anything!

  • FedEx is tearing up AAA (.897 OPS).
  • Guerrero played his 6th game at AZL






  1. Badger says:

    I read both the Haren vesting and Kemp talking articles too. Not good. This may indeed be the time to move Kemp. Unless he turns it around in dramatic fashion I can’t see Haren getting the 180 innings.

    For what it’s worth Plaschke gives a strong argument for throwing whatever it takes at the Rays to land Price. They think they still have a shot at the playoffs (and they do) so why wouldn’t they hold on to him? As for Lee and Papelbon, I am cautious. Lee coming off elbow problems and Popoff-at-the-mouth appears to be the consummate a**hole. Can Lee go 18 or so starts and another 120 innings? Will the ‘bon piss everybody off? I’d rather see Price but those two Phillies may be easier to acquire. It’s a risk, but this is the year. If it doesn’t work I can see the a Dodgers becoming the Lakers next year.

  2. Watford Dodger says:

    For the first time ever I find myself totally agreeing with you Mark.
    Like that team, at least to see how it rolls.
    Love that trade idea – would take Lee & Paplebon in an instant. It’s not my money & we are not giving up much in the way of talent.
    It would make us much stronger for the post season.
    Use your hotline to Ned to get it done.

    • Badger says:

      I’ve got it on W and haven’t heard results, other than Sergio did well, which I don’t really care about. I’m looking for Tiger to shoot 5 under. If not him…… RORY,

  3. bobbie17 says:

    Mattingly could have been a little more diplomatic in his response. This will have one of two outcomes: Kemp quits playing. Or he plays better with a grudge. Last night seems to prove the former. My feeling is that this is a lost year for Kemp. But he still has that “potential.” How does the team use it? Either to wait for it or to trade it. I still say to wait for it. Before he was hurt, he was a good center fielder, very athletic, etc. I have not noticed his loss of that skill, but a lot of you have. And apparently the manager has too. He won’t play there again for the Dodgers, so he should accept his position in left. He should play everyday there, though. No platoon. Crawford can sit or can be let go. On another note: Good news, Paco threw a clean inning last night. Bad news, 3 fly balls. I don’t like that. I don’t know if I would trust him in a game winning situation right now. Time will tell. The schedule the next 2 series favors the a….holes from SF. Then, a big series at the most wonderful stadium in the history of sport. The boys better win with the 1,2, and 3 on the mound. I fear that other team may get on another roll. Hope not.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, let me give my final thoughts on the Rose and gambling issues.

    Yesterday I simply shared Fay Vincent’s remarks that he told Mark and myself several years ago in Vero during Spring Training. That if MLB wavers on the band for gambling — if opens the door for others to take the risk — and then gamblers get their foot back in the door of professional baseball.

    You raise a good point in that salaries today are much bigger than in 1918 or even in the 1960s and players have maybe enough money.

    But we know that gambling can be a disease for some. The need to have to gamble. For some, on almost anything — horses, cars, sports, politics, and will the surfer fall down on that wave or make it ashore . . . gambling can become a disease and even a professional ball player making $22,000,000 or so a season — if the gambling disease bug bites him and he gambles — he could be in negative figures for awhile — and then the gamblers come and offer him to do this or that for relief from gambling debts.

    As for Rose, as a player, he was a winner. He played a long time (24 years) and put up some great numbers. My only insight to Rose as a player, he really does not have a position on an all-time all star team. With my eyes, he was just average at 2B, 3B, 1B, and in the outfield. Take any of those positions — look at the HOF members, make a first team — Rose will not be on it. Make a second team — Rose will not be on it. Make a third team — Rose will not be on it. Make a fourth team — Rose will not be on it. But he did play a long time and had a lot of hits (10 seasons he had over 200 hits). And he only averaged 52 strikeouts per season; the highest was 76.

    I have a large picture signed by 4 of the Big Red Machine: Perez, Bench, Morgan, and Rose. The first three are in the HOF . . . the picture is valuable and will only increase, if or when Rose is elected.

    • Badger says:

      Roger. Point taken. Opinion noted.

      My last take as well. I don’t believe allowing him back in the game opens the door to anything but forgiveness.

      ROY, MVP, 2 GG, SS, 17 time All Star, all time leader in games, plate appearances, at bats and hits, and a flawed man with a horrible addiction. He’s spent over 20 years being banned from the game he loves. He is 73. He belongs in the HOF BEFORE he dies. You believe differently. I accept that.

      bobbie – if you believe in metrics, Kemp is one of the worst outfielders in all of MLB. His offense is simply ok. He is currently, by nearly ALL MEASURES, past his prime and a sub replacement player. IMO if we could get younger and more potential WAR in trade I would do it.

  5. A R says:

    Haren is a #5 starter and he is pitching exactly like that. Over the course of a long season I think he does more good than harm. Nothing wrong with trying to improve the rotation. But if he is on the team come playoff time he going right into the bullpen, which is fine. I’m fine with Haren next year, or Fife, or Magill, or Bills (hopefully)

  6. BOB says:

    NO! I would pull Haren at 179 2/3rds innings and start Patterson the rest of the way. If Haren gets pulled at 4 2/3 rds innings from now on he won’t reach 180 innings.

    At least the rested bullpen pitched ok last night. It was a morale victory last night as the Dodger only lost 2-3 with their #5 starter against the Cards #2 starter. Hopefully the Dodgers will win the next two games as their #2 goes against the Cards #5, and #1 goes against their #4. Does Mattingly think that Greinke is the best starter on the Dodgers since he pitches before Kershaw’s spot in the rotation.

    What a difference a day makes. Now the Dodgers are in 2nd place and have only the 4th best record in the NL. Parity? Struggles during July and August will make them stronger.

    Badger, your comments are beginning to sound kinda like some of ours did in May. However, your writing is becoming more creative and funny!

    My auto mechanic could fix Kemp’s ankle and athleticism after the season is over and Kemp would be an average OF next spring. Can anyone fix his concave and convex routes to the ball?

    Is it really true? Are the Dodgers on TV Today?

    • Badger says:

      Bud wanted parity. Methinks he’s getting it.

      Your auto mechanic must have a double major BOB. I don’t recall our May conversation but I assume it was spirited. As for fixing Kemp’s routes, ask your mechanic if he can hook Matt up to a EIG 1000 5 Channel Pico Scope Advanced Diagnostic Analyzer. That bad boy can diagnosticate everything from inversion hemorrhoids to forked bilateral zygomastc scroinges. I think Kemp has both. As for the roots to his balls……… I’ll let Mark tackle that one.

  7. Michael says:

    Very happy to report CC starts today and Kemp sits. Hope he demands a trade
    FoxSports1 today for those who have it in your TV package, even denizens of LA.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Seems you were very selective in choosing what to quote about Kemp. He also said this, which is quoted in the same article.

    “I want to play every day. If it’s with the Dodgers, if it’s with someone else. It’s not my decision, I don’t make that decision. Right now I’m with the Dodgers, so I’m going to help them win. That’s my team. If I get traded or if I don’t, I don’t have control over anything, so it’s not like I can be like, ‘I don’t want to go here.’ I don’t have a no-trade clause, I don’t have any of that. I’m a Dodger.”

    “I haven’t played defense as good as I’ve wanted to; of course not. I just need to get better. I’ve made a lot of errors this year, stupid errors that I probably could have cut down on and maybe flagged some balls out there I probably could have flagged. It’s going to come back.”

    Here’s a link to the entire article to help people reach their own conclusions:

    My take from this is that Kemp is thinking of himself as a CF long term when he says he’s going to play CF again, everyday. Sounds to me as if he’s content to play LF for the time being, and is being anything but difficult. If there’s anyone to criticize, it’s probably his agent, Dave Stewart, because it was him, not Kemp, who started all this talk to begin with.

    I don’t know if Kemp is going to get his skills back, or anything approaching those skills. Only time will tell us that. But whereas others see a malcontent, I see a frustrated player who’s giving his best effort, but simply may not have recovered enough to give us the performance we’d like to see. Whatever he says is likely to be judged in the context of his performance. If he does well, he’ll be looked on positively, if not, people will seek out and find the demons. It may well be that Kemp needs another full offseason of hard work to regain most of the skills he’s lost, or maybe that won’t help either.

    As for Paco last night, he really wasn’t very impressive. Got by with a clean inning, but those balls were hit hard. He’s a question mark in my mind.

    As for Haren, his short start last night (4.2 innings), which follows a 4.0 inning performance against the lowly Padres, does not augur well for him getting to those 180 innings. And if the Dodgers make a move to add a starting pitcher or two, his workload is likely to drop significantly. In fact, if he continues to just go 4-5 innings, he simply won’t last long in the rotation. I doubt if he makes the 180 innings.

    If Papelbon comes cheap, then why not? I’d steer clear of Cliff Lee, who will be 36 in August. Not someone I’d want to surrender good prospects for either. Seems to me there are better ways to allocate resources.

    All Fedex’s numbers do is create doubt about Joc’s numbers.

    • grumpy3b says:

      Agree about Kemp’s “statements”. He was simply being candid about the situation. I generally have never liked Kemp’s public persona but he does seem like a team guy even if he is all about Kemp talking Kemp because Kemp is really going to be The Kemp again…oh, wait that was Rickey being Rickey about Ricky. 😉

      I don’t have any issue with moving him but think he is pretty much going to be the best Dusty Baker he can be…and right now it’s all he has left. In fact I’d be happy if he played that well.

    • Quasimodo says:

      Yes, it does appear that Kemp’s agent stirred the pot of shit and the odor is anything but pleasant, Wat. In yesterday’s game, Kemps 1st at bat showed him trying hard with no success of finding his old self. All that movement before the pitch really told of his discomfort. I sure hope he finds himself soon, I really miss cheering him being on deck.

  9. Badger says:

    Stewart negotiated that $160,000,000,000,000,000 contract. I’m sure Matt is grateful. Now he’s working to get Kemp a starting job somewhere. I hope he is successful.

    1st inning. Us? Down with whimper and 2 errors already. Them? Scoreboard.

    Brooklyn, I hope you are right. You are the one who quoted Shakespeare’s “we all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again, and by that destiny to perform an act whereof what’s past is prologue”. What does that mean? He will have another MVP year? Or he, like SO MANY, will have had his best years long before reaching 30?

    We wait. And today he’s getting a nice rest.

  10. grumpy3b says:

    Don’t mind these moves…Would rather see a team with the good old “stunt men” attitude and perhaps that resulting lineup would indeed be more a “let’s just win, however and no matter how fugly as a win is a win is a win…” With this rotation that is all they need to win.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Crawford, runner on 3B, 1 out, swinging for the fences. Situational hitting 101. Just take what the pitcher gives you, and put the ball in play. How about just trying to hit that pitch up the middle or to the opposite field?

    Last year it was Hanley. Looks like this year Joe Kelly is going after Puig.

  12. BOB says:

    This Dodger team is a lot better on radio. On radio you can’t see why they are out but on TV you can see that they TRY OT PULL EVERY PITCH, except for Gordon.

  13. Badger says:

    Was Kemp announced before Neshak? They cut to commercial as Matheny was walking to the mound.

    Radio team. Los Angeles Radio Dodgers. They look good as long as you can’t see them.

    And of course 2 Ks and down they go.

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Guess it’s time to tell everyone that it’s darkest before the dawn. Is that grasping at straws?

    Last year it was Hanley that Kelly knocked out and cost us the NLCS. Is it Puig this year, costing us the division and the wild card?

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    These are painful days now with the Dodgers. Hitting has just stopped. But it has been this way for some time now.

    Each game, starters have to be thinking — I must allow no runs and I might win.

    Other teams are saying — they will hit into double plays or strikeout.

    Cardinals say — just hit a Dodger in the batters box — that will shut them down.

    Maybe Clayton can give them goose eggs tomorrow.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Crawford is just too impatient of a hitter to be hitting 2nd. Puig strikes out a lot, but he also gets on base a lot. Much prefer him in the 2-hole. Same can be said of Hanley. If he comes up, Pederson might be capable of hitting there, but that’s a lot to expect of a rookie, especially at this point in the season.

    Right now, watching grass grow is more exciting than watching the Dodgers play.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    I really expect Ned to announce a trade within the next several days. The slope is slippery and ownership will want to put a stop to this fooling around.

    Maybe one reason that Pederson has not been called up — is because he will be a piece in a trade, and they keep him in AAA to show off. If they brought him up and he sat on the bench or played just so so in the major, his stock might not be as high.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    The timing of when the Dodgers pull of any deals will depend on the willingness their trade partner(s) to deal at this time. GM’s are probably juggling multiple deals in their heads, and are have their hands tied to a certain degree by the willingness or unwillingness of other teams to move. I also speculated a while back that the Dodgers might be holding Joc back because he might be a potential piece in any number of deals the Dodgers are contemplating. And because they may also be discussing deals for Kemp, Ethier and Crawford, they probably would prefer to see if any of that stuff reaches fruition before bringing up Pederson. Whatever the case, the non-waiver trade deadline is only 11 days away. And, of course, stuff could happen in August.

    Corey Seager 1 for 6 with 4 K’s to begin his Chattanooga career. But the hit was a triple, and he has an RBI.

  19. Badger says:

    Plaschke’s right, this team looks old.

    But in reality, they aren’t. Uribe is 35. Gonzalez is 32. Ramirez 31. Kemp 29. Crawford 33 next month. Not in their prime of course, but they shouldn’t need to be. If all these guys were in there prime we would win 110 games. But early 30’s is not old. Why do they all look like they are weeks from needing a walker? Their bats are slow and they all need ice bags after every game. This isn’t September and they aren’t that freakin old.

    Maybe Ramirez should just get some time off. Kemp was fine last month now appears to be a sulking underperformer. Not sure what to do with a guy who publicly states he wants his old job back but plays outfield like Marv Throneberry and is hitting .200 the last month. Willie Mays, as woeful as he was at the end, actually had a better year at age 40 than Kemp is having at 29. That is just sad.

    I don’t know what is wrong here but I am still hopeful these guys will come around. There is just too much talent on this team to stay in funks for extended periods. And I do look forward to what is about to happen regarding Joc Pederson.

    Note to Zach Greinke. Take about 12 more full speed warmup pitches in the bullpen before next game. Either that or don’t come out until the second inning.

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