October 31, 2014
The World Series is over. Now is the time for Andrew Friedman to step up to the plate. The next few months will set the course for the Dodger’s future.
The first decision will be what to do about Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers have until 2 p.m. PT on Monday to offer a qualifying offer to Ramirez, a one-year, $15.3 million contract that if he declines would give the Dodgers a supplemental 2015 draft pick in between the first and second rounds. It is a safe bet that he will decline the offer. All 22 players in the two years since the qualifying offer system was enacted have declined, though some wish they hadn’t.
With the departure of Logan White, Friedman has one more top lieutenant spot in his scouting and player development team to fill. White’s departure leaves the Dodgers with three key vacancies: Scouting Director (White’s former role), Director of Player Development (DeJon Watson left for the Arizona Diamondbacks) and General Manager (Buh bye, Ned Colletti).
While the core of the team is intact, Friedman and the rest of the Dodger brain trust need to bolster the back end of starting pitching, the bullpen, and, if Ramirez leaves, find a shortstop who can hit, as well as field. Finding a catcher who can provide offense, as well as handle a pitching staff, and trading one or more of the excess outfielders is also on the agenda.
October 20, 2014
The former thread was getting too long to scroll through quickly, so here is a fresh one.
The Dodgers kicked the Giants’ butts during the regular season, but the hated ones had that special something that works so well in the postseason. In a short series, the ability to execute plays, hit in the clutch and aggressively run the bases trumps a team that can’t deliver with the game on the line. So while the Giants are playing in their third World Series in the last five years, the Dodgers got an early vacation.
Most of the Dodgers will be kicking back, enjoying the warm California, Arizona or Florida sun golfing, swimming and maybe catching a glimpse of the games on their 80″ HDTVs or burning up the road in a $550K white 2014 Lamborghini Aventador, that shoots flames out the back. Don Mattingly, on the other hand, will be trudging through the snow, in freezing weather at daybreak, to feed his horses and shovel the shit from the stable.
I have enjoyed reading your detailed and well thought out comments, which I think represent a high point for this blog. With the demise from power of Ned Colletti and the hiring of Andrew Friedman, this promises to be a very interesting offseason, that will keep the hot stove burning.
Keep up your great analysis.
October 2, 2014
The 2014 National League Division Series that the Dodgers are competing in starts Friday and features the top pitcher in baseball against a very, very good one.
The Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw will face St. Louis Cardinal Adam Wainwright in the first game at beautiful Dodger Stadium.
For us old school fans, that harkens back to the mid ’60s Dodgers/Cardinals rivalry when 32 and 53 faced Bob Gibson, who was almost as mean as Drysdale, and had a lower ERA in 1968 than Koufax ever did. Gibson also won the Cy Young Award AND the N.L. MVP Award in that same season. Kershaw has a lock on the Cy Young Award and a very good chance to nab the MVP, especially if he leads the Dodgers to a world championship.
The comparison between the Dodgers
and Cardinals goes way back to the turn of the last century, but mostly started when Branch Rickey helmed the Redbirds from 1919 until 1942. His focus on building a great farm system and teaching fundamentals and the “Cardinal way” to all levels, including the big league team, came with him when he became the General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers at end of the 1942 season. Since 1901, only the Cardinals and Giants have a winning record against the Dodgers, not including inter – league play.
Of course, past history is not a predictor of future results. The 2014 Dodgers are a better team than the Cardinals and, barring multiple injuries or a massive meltdown, should beat them and progress to the next level. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to focus on one game at a time.