Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell to '08

On this last day of '08, we reflect on what was an amazing year in baseball. Here are just a few facts up for discussion, in no particular order...

--The Tampa Bay Rays go from worst to first and win their first division title, their first playoff series, and make their first World Series appearance. (Despite what the masses may say, this is GOOD for baseball. Not monetarily, but morally.)

--Manny Ramirez is dealt west and carries the Dodgers to the NLCS. (He single-handedly changed the atmosphere at Chavez Ravine.)

--CC Sabathia is dealt west and carries the Brewers to the playoffs. (The Brewers return to the postseason for the first time since 1982 as Sabathia goes 11-2 for Milwaukee. A "feel good" story for baseball.)

--Barry Bonds does not see a single pitch in the majors. (It's amazing how karma works.)

--The Yankees and the Mets both play their last game at their respective ballparks. (Both teams fail to make the postseason as the Mets choke down the stretch once again, and the Yanks fail to catch the Rays...missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993.)

--Tim Lincecum emerges as the new class of NL pitching as he wins his 1st Cy Young by a landslide. (This kid is good...really good.)

--Francisco Rodriguez sets the single-season save record, but posts a 7.71 ERA in the playoffs. (It's fitting that he's headed to "save" the Mets.)

--Instant Replay is instituted for disputed home-run calls. (What took so long?)

--Despite the best record in the NL, the Cubs are swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS. (I don't believe in curses, but i do believe in sparks. See: Ramirez, Manuel.)

Happy New Year!!

Dodger News

- Ned and Boras are talking Manny again.

- Mets offered Derek Lowe a 3-year/$36M deal

- Dodgers signed SP Claudio Vargas to a cheap deal.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is Manny Ramirez Dunn in Los Angeles?

According to ESPN the Dodgers have picked up talks with Adam Dunn as they grow tired of waiting for Manny Ramirez to make up his mind. While this could be an effort on the Dodgers part to wake up the sleeping giant that is Ramirez, lets not put anything past them.

Adam Dunn's power numbers hold their own against Manny's, but his batting average and strikeout numbers are noticeably off. And for all the talk of Manny being a poor defensive option, his fielding percentage is better than Dunn's.

Another issue I take beef with in Dunn's is his stubbornness to acknowledge the severe defensive shift that other teams put on against him. Often times the 3rd baseman is playing between the SS and 2B position. When asked recently why he doesn't run one down the third base line he simply replied, "they don't pay me to bunt." What's wrong with getting on base?

Manny Ramirez has the chance to be top dog in ALL of Los Angeles sports. The energy and excitement he brings to Dodger Stadium could never be matched by Dunn. Additionally, the Dodgers wouldn't be weighted down by the long term contract that Dunn might be hoping for. When you factor in that Manny would cost only $5-6 million more per year while providing far greater merchandise revenue the choice should be clear for the Dodgers.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Value being redefined?

Something very interesting is happening in the offices of GM's across the baseball landscape. Sure, the Yankees are still the Yankees and they can spend with anybody. The Red Sox and Mets play catch up. And the LA and Chicago teams don't slouch around much either. But the other 23 teams are probably finding these tough economic times a bit distressing. If fans are hurting for money will they still come to the ballpark and purchase food and merchandise? I think it's safe to say that declines, in smaller markets especially, can be expected.

So what does this do to the still potent crop of FA's on the market? As it stands, we're in the midst of shell game...but with Sabathia, Teixeira, Furcal and Burnett out of the picture can Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Derek Lowe and Orlando Hudson expect a flurry of phone calls in the coming days? There is no doubt that all of these players have the ability make many a team better.

1st round picks are the prized possession of any GM and baseball is the only sport where your top picks can be given away in compensation rounds to other teams. A statistical formula reviews the player's recent stats and then determines his value and also cost in picks on the open market. Most FA's will bring this burden to their new team. Not every team is willing to pay that price, and then again not every team is willing to pay that price more than once. Adding 2 or 3 FA's could really hurt a draft class for anybody. This will especially affect role players, middle relievers and aging vets. A team should expect a star if a 1st round draft pick is tacked on to the price of an incoming player. Especially if you consider the advantage to having young talent in your organization.

Teams control the rights of their young players, after 2 or 3 seasons a player is eligible for the discount prices of arbitration. Before that they play for the league minimum. Once their arbitration years are complete, the players become FA's and cash in. Obviously it is more economically feasible to produce as many quality young players as possible. In tough times, this model seems most ideal.

The big questions still remain....will the players still on the market have to lessen their demands for outrageous contracts or are they inline for $80-100M contracts? Are there enough suitors to go around? And how late will everyone wait to make their move?

Only about a month and half before pitchers and catchers start reporting...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Unit becomes a Giant Unit?

Our buddy Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Randy Johnson has agreed to a 1-year-deal with the Giants. What happened to the youth movement?

We don't dream of this Jeanne

Fellow bloggers have already given their thoughts on Jeanne Zelasko's interest in doing play-by-play for the Dodgers, now that Charley Steiner's move to radio has opened a spot. Zelasko self-admittedly has no experience doing play-by-play for baseball, but i'm sure the Dodgers front office would love to be recognized for such a bold move. Although the interest does not seem to be mutual just yet, the thought of Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Lyons in the same broadcast booth makes me sick.

If there is one bright spot to Zelasko joining the Dodgers broadcast team, it would be a sudden turn of events that puts Derek Lowe back in a Dodgers uniform. I'll leave that one for you to figure out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Starting Rotation, Part 2

The guys over at MSTI have also authored a post in regards to starting pitching. They have the usual suspects (the two Randys, Garland) but also dive into Ben Sheets and Oliver Perez. Check them out.

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is Manny Ramirez

There have been several media outlets reporting that the Yankees have offered up a contract to Manny Ramirez for 3 years/ $75 million. Yankees GM Brian Cashman says thats not true, but isn't that what they all say. While there's always some truth to any rumor floating around, Reflections of Blue will remain at DEFCON 5 until further developments break.

The Dodgers were very smart in making the initial offer low (after all why tip your hand) but low offers are made for a reason. Let the dust settle, wait until someone else throws out a number, and then shift into buying or selling gear (see: Furcal, Rafael). If for some reason Manny Ramirez signs with the Yankees for the above amount, the Dodgers are going to have a hard time explaining a sell.

Until we reflect again, happy holidays.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Starting Rotation

The starting rotation for the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers currently exits as follows:

Chad Billingsley
Hiroki Kuroda
Clayton Kershaw

(Note: While there has been speculation that James McDonald is the fourth man, nothing is guaranteed until we see him pitch in Spring Training. Jason Schmidt, admittedly a “long shot” by Ned Colletti, will not be considered for this article.)

The Dodgers, needing to fill at least one starting spot, have been linked to several pitchers this off-season but thus far those associations have failed to produce anything more than water-cooler fodder. For discussion purposes, lets evaluate the names that have been swirling around.


While his career numbers are incredible (295 wins, career 3.25 ERA) the one number that jumps out is 45. That’s how old Johnson will be when the season begins. Jamie Moyer might argue differently, but 45 is awfully old for a baseball player. Moyer outstanding, there haven’t exactly been any 40+ pitchers tearing it up recently. Some people will point to Roger Clemens, but it’s apparently clear he had a little extra help.

Last season, at age 44, Johnson appeared in 30 games and punched the clock for a total of 184 innings. That averages out to 6.13 innings per game. Not exactly what you’re looking for if the bullpen turns out to be less than reliable.

Johnson made $15 million last season. Any team would be crazy to give him that, but a one year deal for $7-8 million seems reasonable.

If the Dodgers are looking for a one year fix while developing from within, then look no further than the Big Unit. Johnson won’t be lights out (or even dimly lit), but should provide enough stability in ’09 while they evaluate their prospects for 2010.


The ghost of Jason Schmidt will probably prevent Randy Wolf from a second tour of duty in Los Angeles. Although he appeared in 33 games last year his ’05-’07 appearances (13, 12, 18 games) should set off some alarms. Given the unwillingness to bring back Takashi Saito one would have a hard time believing the Dodgers would roll the dice with Wolf on a multi year contract.

Wolf will be 32 at the start of next season and earned $4.5 million last season, despite earning $9 million in 2007. If Wolf were willing to accept a similar “prove it” contract he played under in 2008 with the Padres, then the Dodgers could do a lot worse than $5-6 million for this guy. After all, upon being traded from a crappy team (San Diego) to a contender (Houston) he posted a 6-2 record with a 3.57 ERA down the stretch.


Signing a player of this caliber would erase the question marks currently surrounding the Dodgers rotation. A poster boy for stability in terms of appearances (never less than 32 since his 2nd season) and wins (double digit wins the last 7 years), there is little doubt Garland would bolster the pitching staff tremendously.

However, it’s either going to be Manny or high profile starting pitching this off-season. Garland earned $12 million last season from Anaheim and will be looking for a long term deal. Given the factors above, he’s all but priced himself out of Dodgertown. Besides, if the Dodgers were looking to sign a stable, high profile pitcher they would be in the mix for…


..which they’re not. Of all the Dodger players heading into free agency Derek Lowe was certainly in the top 3 in terms of value for 2009. Lowe will certainly be seeking big dollars and a long-term contract; however, despite professing his desire to return, it seems the Dodgers have already written him off. Lowe says the Dodgers didn’t even call. Frankly, that’s a shame.

Lowe gave the Dodgers 850 innings over the past 4 seasons, and did so without ever posting an ERA above 4.00. He won double-digit games all four seasons, and never found himself on the disabled list. If Colletti truly is playing it safe this off-season then he’d be foolish to not even inquire about D. Lowe. If the demands are too high in the end then walk away. At least put in the effort before making a decision.

So who’s it going to be? Only time will tell. If anyone else has suggestions on possible pitchers I’d love to hear them. Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dancing The Night Away

Way back in middle school my buddies and I went to our first male/female school dance. Sporting a freshly ironed shirt (courtesy of mom) my friends and I piled into my mom’s minivan and away we went. Anxiety was in the air, curiosity was on the mind, and uncertainty was the theme of the night. Before entering the dance we huddled up outside and discussed which girls we might pursue. After a quick check in the bathroom mirror we strutted into the room. And what before our little eyes did appear?


No one was dancing.

There stood the boys on one side of the room, and the girls on the other. Each side was eyeing nervously but doing nothing about it. Occassionally a boy would wander over to the girls side, point a finger back at his male companion, plead for a few moments, and then scurry back. This went on for a solid hour.

Eventually the principal grabbed the microphone and proclaimed that unless we started doing something the school dance would be cancelled. Slowly and cautiously, one couple began to dance. Then another. Then another. Before long everyone was in the mix and courting each other on the dance floor.

Sometimes, all it takes is one “Brave” couple to kickstart the dance.

While the start of the off-season was slow to get going, the recent signing of Rafael Furcal should speed things up in Dodgertown. Still missing an outfielder (hoping for Manny) and a starting pitcher (hoping for the longshot in Lowe) the Dodgers have broken the ice and can begin to dance with other players in attempts to fill up their little black book

Bringing back Ramirez and Lowe would enable the Dodgers to march out the exact same starting lineup in 2009 that was used to dismantle the Cubs in last season’s NLDS. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

The bullpen needs help, and a decent backup catcher would be nice too. However, if enough research is done and enough players are courted then the Dodgers should find themselves dancing the night away in 2009. Lets hope Ned’s mom has a nice shirt ironed for him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

He's not going anywhere

Pending a physical, Rafael Furcal will stay a Dodger after agreeing to a three-year deal on Wednesday. Let's be clear that no official announcement has been made, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Going Home

There is a report on ESPN stating that Rafael Furcal is returning to the Atlanta Braves. Although no money was announced, the deal is believed to be for 3 years with a 4th year club option. The deal is pending a physical.

Rafael Furcal was Ned Colletti's first major signing when the shortstop agreed to a 3 year, $39 million deal in 2006. While no one doubted his baseball ability, it was his inability to stay healthy that will linger in several people's minds. Remember however, that before Manny's arrival in late 2008, Furcal was the most dynamic player at the Ravine. The Dodgers should be complimented for not giving in to Furcal's lofty contract demands; however, they should be scorned for not doing more to bring him back. Farewell and best wishes Raffy. We know you "hit the ball" and "play the game everyday."

The guys over at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness have a great post about this subject. It echo's our thoughts EXACTLY.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Steriods Have Shrunken His Brain Too

This guy never ceases to amaze me with his illusions of grandeur. Barry Bonds was recently quoted as saying, "I'm not retiring." Omitted from the article was his follow statement, "I'll be back right after my stint in a Federal PMITA Prison."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Throwing a name in the hat

If we must start thinking about what the heck to do when Vin decides to hang it up (and there will come a time unfortunately), Matt Vasgersian would be a fine candidate to join the Dodgers TV broadcasts. He recently parted ways with the San Diego Padres after 7 years of broadcasting for the Friars. He's reported to join the new MLB Network as their lead anchor. I've heard Vasgersian on some of Fox's national coverage, and i have to admit that i didn't dislike his style.

Ok, i started it. Now let's hear some other options.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Biggest Offseason Move?

Citing a need for broadcast consistency, Charley Steiner has been banished to the AM dial. This means that you'll hear Scully's words for the first three innings, followed by Steiner and Rick Monday for the rest of the game. You could make the argument that radio broadcasters have a more difficult task than TV play-by-play guys because they don't have any pictures to back up their words. doesn't make much sense that we're putting a guy in the radio booth that has awful judgements of a ball hit in play. We only had to deal with this for a portion of last season as we had Monday on radio to save us when Steiner did TV. So from now on, we'll all be riding the Steiner-emotional-roller-coaster for every fly ball hit "WAY BACK THERE!!" to find that it was really a routine catch.

More importantly, the Dodgers are interviewing candidates to replace Steiner on TV. Of course, Scully will handle the duties west of Colorado, but someone needs to be hired to keep Steve Lyons in check everywhere else. And, if you read between the lines, this new hire will potentially take the place of our beloved Scully when he decides to hang it up.

Fans are being asked for their input in the situation as well. If you have any ideas, send them to

Love Me (Non) Tender

The Dodgers have decided to non-tender Takashi Saito, essentially making him a non-Dodger in 2009. From the article:

Had Saito been tendered, he would have been eligible for salary arbitration and a raise from $2 million to about $3.5 million. Because the right-hander is coming off an elbow injury that sidelined him for two months, the Dodgers were only willing to take as much risk as a $2.5 million contract plus incentives. It really was a "staredown," as general manager Ned Colletti described. There were no negotiations after Tuesday.

Is it just me, or is Ned playing it overly safe this off-season? Now I'm not saying the Dodgers should have signed Saito this year, after all he decided to skip recommended Tommy John surgery for experimental stem cell injection. When you add that to the fact that he is 39 years old, who knows what you are going to get in terms of production for 2009. It appears evident however, that Ned is folding hand after hand trying to make four aces with none of them being named Sabathia, Burnett, or Lowe. Why is Ned willing to offer Saito $2.5 plus incentives, but spurned at a contract worth $3.5? Maybe he's putting on the tough face for Manny's negotiations. But at the pace that those seem to be developing he better not hold that face for long. People will think he's walking around constipated.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rumblings, Part 2

Jon over at Dodger Thoughts has a good post about the Dodgers and Takashi Saito.

There are reports that the Dodgers might be courting Omar Vizquel. Not only is he a Giant, but he's not exactly good anymore. And at 42 he's also pretty damn old for a shortstop. If this guy gets anywhere near a Dodger jersey it better be because he's the new equipment manager.

Still nothing on Furcal; however, we'll definitely hear something about him before we hear anything about Manny. Speaking of Manny, if he signs in Los Angeles it better be in LOS ANGELES and not in Anaheim.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Meeting Rumblings

Quick notes from Tuesday's news:

It appears as if CC Sabathia will be going to New York to the tune of 160 million dollars. No way the Dodgers could match that offer, and no reason they should attempted to.

The Dodgers were aware of Jason Schmidt's injury problems before signing him. While every players certainly has nagging problems you don't want to mess around with a pitcher who has elbow or shoulder problems. Dodgers should have seen this one coming.

Also noted in the same article is that the Dodgers offered Furcal a contract; however, not for the four years that he is hoping for. Colletti declined to reveal the terms.

Additionally, Colletti has made it public that a few teams are inquring about Andruw Jones, although according to Colletti, "they'd ask for us to pick up the vast majority of his salary." Jones is currently owed $22 million dollars this season. How much is reasonable for the Dodgers to eat to rid themselves of Jones? If another club shells out $6 million dollars then I say ship him away and use that $6 million towards Manny.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blake, Dodgers close to a deal?

This would be huge....

CC wants to be a Dodger

CC tells Colletti of interest in Dodgers
Dodgers GM hopes to re-sign Blake; talks for Cano not substantial

By Ken Gurnick /

LAS VEGAS -- In the Bellagio Hotel to meet with Yankees brass on Sunday night, free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia ran into Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and told him he wants to be a Dodger, Colletti said on Monday.

Colletti didn't reveal any more of the conversation, but he allowed there's "a possibility" that the Dodgers could enter the mix for the native Californian, who hasn't accepted a three-week-old offer from the Yankees of six years and $140 million.

Because even a shorter-term commitment to Sabathia would "change the dynamic of the club," Colletti said he must "be wary if you believe something is not going to happen so you build the club accordingly because something can happen."

After observing one of his 14 free agents, Greg Maddux, officially retire at a Winter Meetings press conference, Colletti held a far-ranging briefing for reporters.
Colletti seemed cautiously optimistic that he can successfully and soon re-sign third baseman Casey Blake, who has been asking for a three-year contract.
"He'd be a huge piece for us," said Colletti, as that would allow Blake DeWitt to remain at second base. Colletti said he was about to meet with the agent for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has reportedly rejected a four-year contract from Oakland. Colletti wants Furcal back, but only with a shorter-term, incentive-filled deal because of the back surgery Furcal had this year.
Colletti said that if he loses Blake, he'd probably move DeWitt to third and might sign a platoon of free-agent middle infielders to fill in at second base, presumably not someone with the price tag of Orlando Hudson. He also knocked down rumors of a trade with the Yankees for Robinson Cano, saying he hasn't "had any talks of merit" with the Yankees.

While repeating that his priority is firming up the infield and acquiring a couple pitchers to replace departed free agents like Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Joe Beimel and Maddux, Colletti said he hasn't given up on the return of outfielder Manny Ramirez, who did not respond to the Dodgers' two-year offer of $45 million plus an option, or their offer of salary arbitration. Colletti said he finds it "curious" that there has been no discussion between the two sides since the General Managers Meetings a month ago.

"His name hasn't come up, and I don't feel it's my place to bring it up," said Colletti. "If our offer wasn't good enough, apparently it wasn't because he didn't take it. We'll see. As great as he was for the organization for two months, L.A. is attracted to that star-type player and buzz was electric. The best scenario is to have that type player on a team that wins. The worst-case scenario is that type of player on a team that's not going to win."

Nonetheless, he said if Ramirez shows up for Spring Training at Glendale, Ariz., "we'll find him a hat and uniform."
He said the club hasn't made an offer to Lowe because "it seemed Derek doesn't want to be here. We're not spending much time trying to persuade him. We haven't talked seriously."
Lowe is likely to receive a three- or four-year contract around $15 million annually and has insisted his top priority is being on a team fully committed to winning.
Colletti said he suspects the general economy is having some impact on a generally slow free-agent market.
"When you make an offer, you're getting less verification whether it's a good or bad one," Colletti said of his talks with agents. "That tells me they don't know if it's the best they'll get or the worst."

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ramirez, Lowe, and Blake decline arbitration...

If Not Lowe, Who?

It's been widely reported by the media that Derek Lowe wanted nothing to do with Los Angeles. However, according to's Ken Gurnick that isn't the case.

Lowe said he was hoping that Scott Boras could have extracted a multiyear contract from the Dodgers, who appeared in the postseason twice during the veteran's four-year stint in Los Angeles, but the only offer the club made him was for salary arbitration, which Lowe declined.

"Scott tried hard to make it work with the Dodgers, but it didn't work out," Lowe said. "People say I wanted to go back east or I wasn't happy. I really wanted to come back, but they didn't call. It's easy to turn down nothing."

If what Lowe is saying is true, that the Dodgers didn't want him back, then Ned has some explaining to do. Lowe would certainly provide more stability than the other names (Randy Johnson) floating around.

Kemp's Busy Sunday

After putting in some time on the final day of the Dodgers Holiday Caravan at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Matt Kemp made an appearance at the Lakers / Bucks game at Staples Center tonight. He was briefly interviewed by the Lakers play-by-play team of Joel Meyers and Stu Lantz as he watched another Lakers win. Kemp, a good friend of Lakers guard Trevor Ariza, played high school basketball as well as AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) ball before deciding that "baseball would get me further." Although Kemp still has the desire to play on the hard-wood, the Dodgers restrict certain off-season activities for their players and Kemp reaffirmed this by saying "we know better."

When the topic of Manny was brought up, Kemp quickly added, "I love playing with him...hopefully we can get him back in L.A...he wants to come back, he loves L.A." News flash to Mr. Ramirez: L.A. loves Manny back.

Manny or Sabathia

With winter meetings set to kick off tomorrow at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas the Dodgers undoubtedly have their work cut out for them. After losing several starters to free agency there will be many holes to fill. Perhaps the biggest debate going this off-season is whether the Dodgers should go after Manny Ramirez or CC Sabathia. As the financial status of the Dodgers is well known, they certainly can't go after both.

Bill Plaschke wrote an article awhile back stating his case for Sabathia, while several articles have been written backing Ramirez.

Lets take a closer look and compare the two players.


Both Ramirez and Sabathia carried their respective teams in the playoffs last season with other-wordly numbers down the stretch. Ramirez hit .396 and posted 53 RBI's in 53 games while Sabathia went 11-2 and toted a 1.69 ERA after arriving with the Brew Crew. While it is easy to count the number of wins that CC accounted for (11), he certainly can't bring the same overall value that Manny can. Ramirez's contributions go much deeper than what he provides on the field.

Edge: Manny


I couldn't go to a game last season without seeing loads of people wearing Manny Dreads. While you would never catch me sporting one, they certainly brought money to the Dodgers. What would the Dodgers market for Sabathia? A fat suit? Even if they did, people might confuse it for Andruw Jones merchandise. We know McCourt loves money, so its a no-brainer here.

Edge: Manny


The Dodgers will get 3.5 million fans regardless, so this one is tougher to gauge; however, people can go see Ramirez play everyday versus only one-fifth of the days for Sabathia.

Edge: Manny

Run Support

Manny can drive them in, and out, like no other. However, the rest of the team lacked power. Only Either had 20 or more home runs (he got number 20 on the last day of the season) and only one player (Loney) had more than 90 RBI's. If Ramirez isn't in blue next season there certainly won't be another player that can provide runs like him. If there is no power and little runs scored, it won't matter how well Sabathia pitches. Just ask Derek Lowe.

Edge: Manny


Neither player has had any significant injuries, and its only if "Manny being Manny" pops up again that Ramirez might prove to be a problem. While the Dodgers have been burned on big pitching contracts (Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort, Eric Gagne, Jason Schmidt) that shouldn't be enough to deter them from going after Sabathia. If Manny gets hurt, we are looking at Juan Pierre in left field. If Sabathia gets hurt, we might be looking at Eric Stults. Huge downside for Ramirez.

Edge: Sabathia


Only certain teams can afford these two players and unfortunately one of those teams is the Yankees. While Boras will probably use the Yankees to drive up offers, the Dodgers are most likely looking at $25 -$30 million per year to Ramirez and probably $18-25 million per year to Sabathia. The Dodgers would be on hook for more years with Sabathia so he will cost them far more in overall dollars.

Edge: Ramirez


The deadline for accepting arbitration is 9pm today. If Manny accepts arbitration (Buster Olney thinks he should) then this column is mute. If he declines then the Dodgers are looking at $25 - $30 million for 3 years. They won't go higher, and certainly not longer than 3 years. A club option for a fourth year would be okay in my opinion. Sabathia was rumored to be offered $140 million from the Yankees for six years. I don't think the Dodgers can go that high, or that long. Manny is cheaper, but Sabathia would be with the team longer. Both contracts are huge. Calling this one a tie.

Edge: Tie

Final Thoughts

In my opinion the Dodgers should go after Ramirez. I'll admit to being a little biased as I've had the privilege of watching Ramirez during last season. With Sabathia, I don't know what I might be missing. Manny has consistently put up Hall of Fame numbers (41 HR/ 133 RBI's per year average) over the last 10 years, while Sabathia put up above average stats (15-9 average win/loss record and a 3.66 ERA). There is a big difference between Hall of Fame and above average.

Given the factors listed above I believe the decision is clear. Sign Manny and hope Bills, Kershaw, and McDonald can provide above average pitching in 2009.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My 2 Cents

A no-hitter on a hot summer day by an aging Fernando Valenzuela...back to back to back to back home-runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, followed by a game-winning home-run in the 10th to take 1st place...Lima's win in Game 3 of the 2004 division series against the mighty St. Louis Cardinals...Game 1 of the 1988 World Series (well, only 7 innings, but we did get a jump on traffic!)

These are some of my fondest Dodger memories that I witnessed in-person at the timeless ballpark, Dodger Stadium. Of course, there have also been many games that didn't end with a Dodger win, but that didn't mean that it wasn't possible for 9 innings. For this reason, we always believe.

I'm excited to share my thoughts, opinions, and memories with fellow blue-bleeders. I think it's healthy for us to vent our feelings and comment on the Dodgers throughout the season and the off-season. The least we can do is to spare our "significant others" the burden. I will apologize now if tend to ramble, or go off on some irrelevant tangent, like as to why the Dodgers are represented in the score bug as "LAD" on Fox Sports broadcasts. That's bothered me since the first time i saw it. We can thank our "LAA" neighbors for that one.

So here's to the first of many posts and many sleepless nights, wondering if we'll get to hang out with Manny for a few more years.

We aren't haunted by a curse, we don't believe in a Red Sox Nation, and we don't sell-out to get behind a rally monkey. We Think Blue.

I wonder if Simers will attend in 2009

TJ Simers, putting all cheap shots aside, wrote an article in today's Los Angeles Times relating Ms. McCourt's now famous comments to the reality that we've all known for quite some time.

It doesn't matter who the Dodgers put on the field as each year they still manage to squeeze in 3 million people as evident by the numbers below.

2008-3.7 million fans
2007-3.8 million fans
2006-3.7 million fans
2005-3.6 million fans
2004-3.4 million fans

Those seasons include two years (2007 and 2005) when the team limped to a fourth place finish. You don't have to look too deep to understand McCourt's thoughts. Why spend $30 million per year on Manny (note: $18 million on Andruw Jones is okay though) when the faithful still show up to watch a fourth place team?

Dodger Stadium has always been my favorite place on earth. I will continue to attend games whether the Dodgers are kings or chumps. However, that doesn't mean I have to be satisfied with the team on the field. Settling for mediocrity is never something any fan should accept. If it means higher prices at the concession stands, or a few dollars extra for tickets then I am okay with that. If you're going to pay $10 for a beer then the front office better be putting on their best show.

Love Letters to Vin

It’s been quite a life for Vin Scully. After all, he is the most accomplished sports broadcaster of all-time. Not only is he a Hall-of-Famer, he’s previously been named Sportscaster of the 20th Century among a long list of others.

Having just turned 81 years old (Nov. 29), Scully’s life has brought him more than just the ups, downs and impossible happenings of the Dodgers for the last 59 seasons…he’s also endured personal tragedy, being left a widowed father of 3 children in 1972, and later suffering the loss of his oldest son to a helicopter crash. He even sued neighbor Sylvester Stallone in 1993, winning a split decision and receiving $69,000 for the property damage caused by runoff water from the residence of Mr. Rocky “Rambo” Balboa-Stallone III himself.

Through thick and thin, both personally and professionally, Scully has remained loyal to the Dodgers. From Flatbush to LA, there’s been feast and famine, penthouses and cellars and pleasant good evenings every spring to every fall every year since 1950.

As Dodger fans, we have been delighted and even spoiled by vocal artistry through it all. So in 2009, as he enters his 60th season as a broadcaster for our Los Angles Dodgers…here’s to the Sultan of Spoken Word, the King of Commentary, the Colussus of Class. I give a sincere thank you to Vin Scully.

Let’s win for Vin in 2009!