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Just Ramblin’

I feel truly blessed to have grown up in Southern California during the 50s, 60s and 70s.   There was, of course, the weather.  Just how awesome was the weather for a youngster.  Rain?  We don’t need no stinking rain, we’ve got the sunshine.  I can’t count the times my friends and I ditched school and hitchhiked down Beach Boulevard to Huntington Beach to hangout at life guard station #19, where we would ogle the girls and body surf.  It was so much of a temptation, that but for continuation school, I might never have graduated high school(but that’s a story for another time).  I have to add, that my friends and I were hitchhikers with high standards, we absolutely refused to accept a ride in a Studebaker or DeSoto.

 

In addition to the beach, we could also play baseball year round.  Many are the times that I would ride my bike(a Schwinn Speedster with extended handle bars and a rack on the back to both to my paper delivery bags), with my glove and bat in tow, to Artesia Park. There I would always find someone with whom I could play over the line.  What memories I have of those simple days.  I was paperboy for the Herald Examiner starting in 4th grade and later graduated to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.  I continued to deliver papers until 9th grade. Which leads me to my next ramble.

 

Not only did we have the beach and year round sports weather, we were also blessed to have some of the greatest sportswriters to have ever put pen to paper.  In a comment to my last article, Fred Vogel reminded me of the great Allan Malamud, the former sports journalist of the Herald Examiner and later the L. A. Times, best known for his “Notes on a Scorecard.”  I loved reading his articles.  We also had, of course, Jim Murray, who wrote columns for the L. A. Times.  He may have been the best of them all.  There was also Bud Furillo, and his column “The Steam Room”; Doug Krikorian of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and Melvin Durslag of the Herald Examiner.  Now a days we have the internet which, to a point, is a valuable tool for research and finding out information.  However, it has also led to an over abundance of blogs, most of which repeat the same stories, over and over and over.  You can also sign on to Twitter and get your information in bite size form; or there’s MLB Trade Rumors, which can fill your brain with gossip and the latest transactions. If knowing that “the Orioles outrighted catcher Aramis Garcia and pitcher Chris Ellis to Triple-A Norfolk” is information you can’t live without, then that’s the place to go and do your reading.  There’s also Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, Society for American Baseball Research (where Bear and I get most of our information for articles on players from the past), Baseball America, The Athletic and so on.  For Dodger Baseball news, you have this blog, LA Dodger Talk, Dodgers Digest, True Blue LA, Dodger Poke Report, Think Blue LA, Dodger Thoughts and so many more. Some provide useful information, many don’t.  Of course, along with the articles on the blogs you also get the comments that in response to those articles.  With the exception of this blog, of course, if you spend any time reading the comments, you’re bound to lose some brain cells reading the inane comments.  In addition, you will also soon learn that there is a total lack of civility in our society.  Despite this overabundance of information on the Dodgers and sports in general, I miss the sportswriters of my youth. I love reading in general, and these sportswriters whetted my appetite for more reading, as they each had a unique ability to turn a phrase, inject humor into their articles and further describe the subject of their articles in such a way to leave a lasting impression and yearning for more.  They were the Mark Twain’s of my youth.

 

Not only did Southern California have great sportswriters, we were blessed with some of the greatest play by play announcers of all-time.  Of course that conversation starts with Vin Scully.  I can’t even begin to estimate the number of times that I invited him to ride along with me in my car, talk to me while I was working in the yard, let him speak to me through my pillow as I went to sleep (I would wake to the sounds of “It’s a high drive to deep right field, it’s a way back, she issss . . gone!) or come into my family room to describe for me that days game and entertain me with his marvelous stories.  But not only did we have Vinnie, there were more: Chick Hearn of the Lakers(“You can put this one in the refrigerator. The door’s closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling.”); Dick Enberg(Angels, UCLA and the Rams); Tom Kelly (USC); Jerry Doggett(Dodgers); Bob Starr (Rams and Angels); Ross Porter and Don Drysdale (Dodgers); and if you liked wrestling and roller derby, there was Dick Lane.  I’m certain there are more, but these voices come to mind from my younger days.

 

Vin Scully called so many great games for the Dodgers and had some of the most memorable calls of all-time.  The one game that stands out so vividly in my mind was in July 1993, when he and Ross Porter called the game between the Dodgers and Montreal Expos (an otherwise boring 6-4 Dodger loss), knowing that Don Drysdale had died earlier that day.  His death couldn’t be announced because Don’s wife Ann, had not yet been located to be notified.  It wasn’t until the 8th inning that Vin Scully announced Don’s death.  It brought tears to my eyes then, and it does now as I write this.  Scully later said it was the toughest broadcast of his life, and yet he handled it with such tremendous dignity and class, as he always did.  In my mind, it cemented the notion that Vin Scully was truly something very unique and special.

 

Switching gears, I recently read about Rob Manfred’s announcement that the extra inning/ghost runner is being brought back for 2023.  According to him “The clubs like it, the players like it, and I think overall the fans like it. I think it does bring sort of a focus to the end of the baseball game in a way that has been positively received.”  That caused me to ponder: has there ever been a time that Manfred cared what the players or fans liked?  I couldn’t think of one.  Maybe one of you astute readers can.  By the way, I do not like the rule.  Moreover, I would think that if you polled relief pitchers, most of them would also cast their vote for not liking the rule.

 

Manfred also opined that Oakland doesn’t have the pace to continue as a home for the A’s and that they should consider moving to Las Vegas.  Wonder why he would suggest Vegas, over say Portland, San Jose or any of a number of other deserving cities.  I bet this wouldn’t have anything to do with money, would you?  But I love the way that he so casually throws the Oakland owners and fans under the bus.

 

On the other hand, Manfred is convinced that Tampa Bay, despite its consistently low attendance, will figure it out and get a new stadium built, such that they can stay in Tampa. Okay, that makes sense, or maybe it doesn’t.  The average combined attendance of the Rays and the Marlins is 25,130.  That’s less than 16 other teams in baseball.  Admittedly, the A’s only average 9,973 per game.  But then again, the city of Oakland is the arm pit of California, they have sucky teams and they compete for fans with the Giants across the bay, who average 30,650 per game.  I guess the day, I figure out what Manfred is thinking, will be the day they transfer to me to a rest home.

 

I don’t expect the Dodgers to sign any free agent that receives a qualifying offer from their current team.  The loss in draft capital would be too great.  Mind you, I understand that having an Edwin Diaz or Aaron Judge would be better not only short term, and would increase the likelihood of the Dodgers winning a World Series in the near future, more than any player they could select at the bottom of the second or fifth round in the draft.  I just don’t see this as a strategy that Dodgers management will employ.  I can, however, see them trading for one or more of the competitive balance picks at the end of the first round.  This extra draft capital would help them keep the prospect pipeline from becoming depleted and would open the door to trading prospects for players that can help the team now. Come on down Shane Bieber or Shohei Ohtani.

 

While we’re on the subject I, for one, think that MLB teams should be allowed to trade draft picks.  Presently, the MLB draft is about as boring as boring can be. Listening to Manfred say “with the 4th pick of the Major League Player Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates select . . . .”  or listening to Harold Reynolds and the prospect experts at ESPN drone on about how a certain drafted high school player is going to turn into Mike Trout is absolutely mind numbing. After a minute or 2 of that, I’m ready to join the wife in watching the latest episode of “Downton Abby.” Just think how much more exciting it would be if the Nationals, A’s, Pirates, or whoever might win the lottery could trade their pick. I might be interested in watching to learn that the Dodgers traded all their draft picks for the No. 1 pick and selected Dylan Crews. That might be worth watching.  Certainly, it would add a little more excitement for the 20 rounds.

 

The Dodgers are known for their love of Swiss Army Knife type of players.  With few exceptions, they are endlessly moving players all over the field.  While it is good to have a few subs that can do that, my preference is to have players who are good at one position and let them stay at that position and excel. Take Lux for example. He’s drafted as a shortstop, he comes up through the minor leagues as a shortstop.  Then, once in the majors, they move him to second base.  Then he’s shuffled off to left field, and back to second base again.  If he’s your second baseman, let him play second.  If not, then let him play short.  If he’s not good enough to do that for you, then use him to acquire someone who you have faith and trust in.  It’s also my opinion (not based on any conducted studies) that when players are moved around so much, they suffer offensively. Now I know that there are exceptions to the rule. Manny Machado was a really good shortstop and he’s now become a really good third baseman.  Bellinger was an outstanding first baseman and he became an outstanding centerfielder.

 

Speaking of Bellinger, it appears that Bryan Reynolds has become the current flavor of choice to become the Dodger’s future centerfielder.  I don’t see that happening. If he’s that good, why would the Pirates entertain trading him? Other than, perhaps, they are the Pirates. Moreover, I still believe that Bellinger stays.  But, should the Dodgers cut ties with Bellinger and they can’t acquire Reynolds, what about Cedric Mullins as an alternative?

 

I’m not a Phillies fan, but I am so much less of an Astros fan. Therefore, I sincerely hope that the Phillies win the next three games and send the Astros packing.

 

I recently read a comparison of Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander World Series stats.  Despite the fact that Clayton is the subject of much ridicule over his world series pitching performance, he actually outshines Verlander by a country mile.  This got me to looking at their  career statistics.  They are both great pitchers, and their overall stats are close, but Kershaw is the sightly better pitcher over all.  While they would both be nice in Dodger blue, I would pass on Verlander, keep Kershaw and bring in a younger stud to take the place of Kershaw when he retires.  It seemed that Walker Buehler was primed to be that guy, but with his latest operation that may not happen.  In any event we won’t find out how he responds to the surgery for a year.

 

I’m done ramblin’ for the time being.  Till next time.

 

 

From Jeff:

Okay, which one of the Allman Brothers or Waylon Jennings Ramblin’ Man YouTube songs/videos should we keep for Rob. Is he Southern Country Rock or just Country?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Badger

Felt like I could have written that. Except we were closer to the pier at Huntington Beach.

Sounds like we weren’t that far from each other back then Rob. Remember the Hwy 39 Drive In Theater? I spent a lot of weekend nights at that place. Maybe we’ve talked about this before?

I agree about Reynolds. The only reason they would trade him would be to get two potential 3 WAR players in return. Friedman won’t do that.

I also agree about Lux. I’d leave him at second, and I’ve always seen him as a two hole hitter. I can’t help but construct a lineup old school – left handed line drive hitter in the two hole, for the reasons an old school player would understand.

Im not a Phillies fan either, just anyone but the A**tros. Anyone except the giants.

Speaking of them, could they get Judge and Correa? Nah.

Odd year. National turmoil, Dodgers flounder, Rams and Lakers look troubled, UCLA and USC look good, but I don’t see either in the CFP. Yep. Odd year. And it’s possible nothing happens with the Dodgers for weeks.

Rob Schelling

I remember the Hwy 39 Drive In, but living in Dairy Valley (now Cerritos) which was right on the LA County/Orange County border, we spent more time hanging out on Bellflower Boulevard or at the Nu-Pike in Long Beach

Badger

What high school did you attend? Year?

I spent a few nights at the Pike. Weird place. I have an LSD story that began on a bar stool there.

Rob Schelling

Richard Gahr HS 1965-69.

I have few of those stories also.

Badger

Western, ‘66. Lived in Rossmoor before Los Alamitos High was built.

Fred Vogel

Really good stuff, Rob.

I had forgotten about Bud Furillo and his Steam Room.

If I may, I would like to add Bob Miller, long-time announcer for the LA Kings, to your list of great SoCal announcers.

I vote for the Allman Brothers but I have a sneaky suspicion that my vote will be cancelled out by Mr. Bear.

Rob Schelling

Fred – that was a complete brain fog oversight. Bob Miller ranks right up there with Vinnie and Chick!!!

I’m partial to the Allman Brothers as well.

Badger

They were all excellent. Nobody better than Murray. Still my all time favorite.

Allman Brothers. Not even close.

Bluto

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of trades that Friedman and Company have made?

It seems to me they never trade for a player like Reynolds (above average, non-Superstar).

It’s either an upside play or an out and out superstar.

Rob Schelling

I wrote an article for LA Dodger Talk awhile back outlining all the trades made by AF. I’ll dust it off, update it and repost here, Jeff be willing.

Bluto

Here’s a list, but only through 2020:
si.com/mlb/dodgers/news/andrew-friedmans-dodgers-trades-the-complete-list

I guess maybe the Grandal trade is most akin to Reynolds.

I’m reaching, but I tend to think of that trade as more a product of its time than a strategy. The Dodgers roster was so dreadful back then. Reaching.

Jeff Dominique

Here is the rest of the trades from the SI Article thru today:

2020-2021

08/31/2020 – Traded RHP Ross Stripling to Toronto for MiLB RHP Kendall Williams and MiLB 1B Ryan Noda

12/02/2020 – Traded MiLB LHP Leo Crawford to Milwaukee for RHRP Corey Knebel

12/26/2020 – Three Team Trade – Dodgers get LHRP Garrett Cleavinger from Philadelphia, 1B Dillon Paulson (from LAD to Tampa Bay), and LHP Jose Alvarado (from Tampa Bay to Philadelphia)

02/12/2021 – Traded LHRP Adam Kolarek and MiLB OF Cody Thomas to Oakland for 3B Sheldon Neuse and RHP Gus Varland

02/12/2021 – Traded RHRP Dylan Floro to Miami for LHRP Alex Vesia and MiLB RHP Kyle Hurt

02/16/2021 – Traded RHRP Josh Sborz to Texas for MiLB RHP Jhan Zambrano

06/17/2021 – Traded RHP Dennis Santana to Texas for MiLB LHP Kelvin Bautista

07/10/2021 – Traded MiLB RHP Hugo Beltran to Baltimore

07/21/2021 – Traded MiLB OF Carlos Rincon to NYM for LF Billy McKinney

07/29/2021 – Sent cash to KC for RHSP Danny Duffy

07/30/2021 – Traded C Keibert Ruiz, RHSP Josiah Gray, MiLB RHRP Gerardo Carrillo, and MiLB OF Donovan Casey to Washington Nationals for RHSP Max Scherzer and SS Trea Turner

2021-2022

08/31/2021 – Traded MiLB C Stevie Berman to Minnesota for LHP Andrew Vazquez

10/20/2021 – Traded RHRP Zach Willeman to KC to complete Danny Duffy Trade

11/22/2021 – Traded LF Billy McKinney and OF Zach Reks to Texas for cash

03/18/2022 – Traded LF Luke Raley to Tampa Bay for RHP Tanner Dodson

03/28/2022 – Traded 1B Matt Beaty to San Diego for RHP River Ryan

04/01/2022 – Traded LF AJ Pollock to ChiSox for RHRP Craig Kimbrel

05/22/2022 – Traded MiLB LHP Andrew Shaps to Detroit

05/23/2022 – Traded MiLB RHP Jean Herrera to Arizona

05/24/2022 – Traded MiLB RHP Francisco Lucumi to Toronto

06/04/2022 – Traded MiLB C Juan Zabala to San Diego

06/20/2022 – Traded cash to Detroit for OF Trayce Thompson

07/30/2022 – Traded Utility Player Zach McKinstry to Cubs for RHRP Chris Martin

08/01/2022 – Traded LHRP Garrett Cleavinger to Tampa Bay for MiLB OF German Tapia

08/02/2022 – Traded MiLB RHP Clayton Beeter to NYY for OF Joey Gallo

08/02/2022 – Traded RHP Mitch White and MiLB 3B Alex De Jesus to Toronto for MiLB RHP Nick Frasso and MiLB LHP Moises Brito

Bluto

I think (THINK) this list proves my point. Or maybe it doesn’t…

Is the Kimbrel trade like a potential Reynolds one? Maybe.
Beyond that?

There really aren’t, non-deadline, trades for average or above-average players. Or even high-end prospects anywhere.

Jeff Dominique

While that may be true, the Dodgers under AF had not signed one player to a 9 figure contract or one for more than 5 years, and then signed Mookie Betts for 12 years and $365MM.

AF had not signed a pitcher to a 9 figure contract, and then came Trevor Bauer. Kershaw and Greinke were under Colletti. AF did offer Greinke and Cole 9 figure deals, but did not get them signed.

They would never have traded for Manny Machado unless Corey Seager was injured.

They would never had traded for Scherzer had Bauer not gone off the deep end and Kersh and May not been injured. Trea Turner was a bonus, and insurance for if Seager left.

Every year is different. The Dodgers have multiple needs this winter (not the trade deadline). They have choices, but one of those choices is a Bryan Reynolds type deal. They have the prospect capital to get deals done, and probably more top tier prospects than they can keep. It may not be Reynolds because AF may learn that the cost would be prohibitive and Pittsburgh may not want to trade him. But I would never say that the Bryan Reynolds, Shane Bieber, Pablo Lopez, Ian Happ…type deals cannot happen because they have not in the past.

Bluto

Nobody is saying anything cannot happen, I’m just saying it probably wont

Jeff Dominique

Of course Jeff is willing.

I have done it before as well, but I could not locate it. It may have been a comment and not a post.

Badger

This Phillies team looks like a juggernaut. How did they come in as a 6 seed? Hope they can keep it up for 2 more wins.

Dombrowski. He’s pretty good isn’t he.

Bluto

Because the playoffs are a crapshoot. Phillies are a way more flawed team and lineup than the Dodgers.

As a massive BoSox fan, Dombrowski is a dish that goes bad quickly. But tastes great at first.

Singing the Blue

Speaking of the BoSox, it looks like they may have a problem keeping either Bogaerts (this year) OR Devers (next year).

Since we definitely need a long term third baseman (Vargas is our long term left fielder), maybe we need to explore bringing Devers aboard next year, either by trade at the deadline or in free agency.

I’m asking your permission Bluto.

Bluto

?

Fred Vogel

and the Mysterians.

Badger

Oh, I know that one. 96 Tears

Bumsrap

Devers wants a $300M contract. That’s about a $100M more than Riley got from Atlanta and only would get it because he has more leverage than Riley had. Dever would be awesome as a Dodger.

Badger

He’s taken 4 different franchises to the World Series. That’s something

Bumsrap

I too grew up in Southern California. I was born in SC and lived there through age 36 and have split time since in the Pacific NW, New Hampshire, and AZ.

We played softball before school, after school, every recess, and lunch times starting in the 4th grade, the first grade we were allowed to play it. I remember my 4th grade teacher saying we could play softball now and before releasing us to our first recess said for us to grab the bats and balls and take them to the backstop and that she would soon follow us out to get us organized. When she got there we were already playing workup and didn’t need her unless she wanted to be umpire.

Kids were into softball/baseball back then. The entire class listened to the World Series on the radio every year regardless of the teams playing.

That wasn’t the case for my kids who went to school in the NorthWest. Too cold and wet during the school year.

I believe that prospects should play on winning teams while in the minors to help them prepare for winning in the Majors. So, that means the Dodgers should maintain strength in the minors. Rule 5 though protects players from management who would not promote or trade those that could be playing in the Majors if on a team that would play them there.

The Dodgers are going to lose some players to Rule 5 if they don’t do a few 2 or 1 or 3 for 1 trades. Whether that would net them Devers, or Reynolds, or Gelof, or Bieber, only Friedman knows.

If they want to sign an expensive free agent and want to get under the CBT then they probably need to think about whose salary they could eliminate. Those salaries include Bellinger, Taylor, Justin, Kershaw, Bauer.

Badger

Hey Bum, I just perused your site again. I check it now and then. You know, your social commenting skills are professional grade. Have you considered writing here?

I’ll bet New Hampshire was different. I know I couldn’t the handle winters there. 7 years in Wisconsin cured me of winters. No thanks.

Devers. Yeah, he would work. Do all of them expect $300 million now?

Singing the Blue

Do all of them expect $300 million now?”
I know I do.
Just a reminder that your first installment is due on the 15th.

Bumsrap

New Hampshire had more mosquitos and humidity than I was used to. We enjoyed the snow and of course the Fall colors. I actually enjoyed snow blowing the driveway. I’m really glad we lived there for 10 years. There is a lot we still miss.

I no longer take baseball and the Dodgers as seriously as I used to and it would be hard for me to take the time to do a decent job with the lead Post. Maybe I will use the winter days to again post social commentary on my site. Or not.

Singing the Blue

Bauer will either be MLB’s or Bauer’s choice. Andrew has no say in that one.
Kimbrel and Price have already saved them $32MM
Belli would save another $18-20MM.
Those three alone would be enough to pay any expensive free agent.
Going into the future, even assuming JT and CK are back next year, they won’t be here much longer.
At the max, Bauer is here one more year.

Last edited 1 month ago by Singing the Blue
Bumsrap

I wonder if the Dodgers will wait one year before they splurge to reset their CBT payroll?

Singing the Blue

I would think they’ll try pretty hard to reset this off-season. It’s not so much the $ penalties that bother them, but the lost or lower draft picks and spending money reductions that they’ve been hit with.

Last edited 1 month ago by Singing the Blue
Jeff Dominique

I wonder how long after the end of the WS will we hear of the arbitration hearing result for Bauer.

Singing the Blue

That decision will certainly affect AF’s off-season plans, so they’ll probably hold up the announcement until February. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Manfred has a personal vendetta against Mr. Friedman. At least that’s how it’s played out with regard to Bauer.

Jeff Dominique

I do not disagree.

Badger

From juggernaut to slugger not in 24 hours. Glad I don’t care.

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