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Moving On

Over the years I have noticed it is really difficult for some fans to move on after a favorite player leaves the team either by trade, free agency, or just getting released.

My first real test of this myself was when the Dodgers sold Duke Snider to the Mets. I was devastated. I felt Duke should have spent his entire career as a Dodger. He was their longest tenured veteran at that point, he was closing in on 400 homers, and in effect, he was the team captain, even without the title. But it was also a slap in the face since they got only money in return. I was livid at Buzzie Bavasi.

The next pang to the heart strings was when Koufax retired. It was sudden, it was totally unexpected. The guy after all had just finished a season where he won 27 games. Of course in those days fans knew less about a player’s health than they do today.

All of the news about how bad his arm really was did not come out until later. That the Dodgers tried to convince him to hold off on announcing to give them time to find a replacement also was not known at the time he retired. That came out much later.

All most of us knew is that when spring training started there was no Koufax. The only guy there whose name started with a K was Mike Kekich.

Being in the Army and not really following the day to day play of the team, I was more insulated from the comings and goings. I knew Rosey and Perry went to the Twins in a trade. Podres was gone. Tommy Davis finally got dealt. So most of my childhood heroes were gone anyway.

It wasn’t until I was out of the service and back home in California that I really started paying a lot of attention to the team.

In 1974, I, like most Dodger fans, had a new guy to cheer for, Jimmy Wynn. That this seemingly small man could hit a baseball that far was not something we had seen every day. Had it not been for the play of Steve Garvey that year, Wynn may well have won the MVP award.

In 1976, he was suddenly gone. In his place came one Dusty Baker, who, sadly for him, had an awful year. And boy did the fans let him know it. But in Atlanta, Wynn had a bad year and was gone by the next season. Fortunately for Dusty, he became a fan favorite.

The decision to trade Bill Buckner drew mixed reviews from most fans. There were those who saw Buck as an underachiever. There were also some who saw him as a future batting champ and wondered why LA would trade him. I was more neutral as I really respected Rick Monday.

It was a while before another player leaving really hit home. Right up to the point where he signed with the Padres, I thought Steve Garvey would not leave. It was amazing to me that the Dodgers did not try harder to re-sign Garvey. Perennial All-Star, solid hitter and RBI guy. But I guess they thought Greg Brock was going to be something special. He wasn’t.

You could tell the fans were not happy the first time Garvey came back to LA and got one of the loudest ovations for a visiting player. Only one I have heard that was louder was when Pujols came back last September and hit his 699th and 700th homer’s at Dodger Stadium. Dodger fans truly liked that guy.

Slowly the favorites of the 70’s were moving on. Garvey as a free agent, Lopes and Cey in trades. Russell finally retired.

New faces replaced them and the team won the pennant and World Series in 88 behind Gibson and Hershiser. Fernando left after the 1990 season, but he had not been the same pitcher for about 4 seasons.

The new kids started coming in the early 90’s, five straight Rookies of the Year. Karros, Piazza, Nomo, Mondesi and Hollandsworth.

Hershiser, after having a few down years following his injury left after the 96 season as a free agent.

Then came the shocker, early in the 1998 season, after the Dodgers had been sold to FOX and Jacob Murdock, FOX execs, without the knowledge of GM, Fred Claire, traded Piazza and Todd Zeile to the Marlins in a five for two deal.

Dodgers fans were livid. It did not matter who came to LA, they were mad. They traded a home grown talent, maybe one of the best offensive catchers ever and in Dodger fans eyes, got back garbage except for Gary Sheffield.

Sheffield was the only one who lasted more than a season in LA. Piazza’s supposed replacement, Charles Johnson was gone by the next season, as was Bonilla. Eisenreich played in 75 games, hit .197 and was gone. The fifth guy in the trade, Manuel Barrios, pitched in one game. To add injury to insult, Miami then traded Piazza to the Mets.

After that, Nomo was traded to the Mets in 98 for a couple of pitchers. He would return to LA in 2002. Hollandsworth was traded to the Rockies in 2000 for Tom Goodwin.

Mondesi was traded in 1999 for Shawn Green. I actually liked that trade. Eric Karros went to the Cubs along with Grudzielanek for Todd Hundley and Chad Hermanson. Karros was 35 at the time of the trade, so I was fine with that. That happened after the 2002 season.

It was rather weird though that the Dodgers replaced 35 year old Karros with 39 year old Fred McGriff. Robin Ventura, also 35, was McGriff’s back up.

In 2004, although I am sure most Dodger fans do not remember this, Shawn Green was the Dodgers primary first baseman. They also had He Sop Choi.

Beltre left as a free agent, many fans were not happy that the Dodgers did not re-sign him, and over the years this has been brought up by many fans repeatedly since after that, Beltre had what is considered a Hall of Fame career.

They traded Green after the 2004 season in a trade that for me was a head scratcher, Green to Arizona for three minor leaguers, none of whom ever made it to Los Angeles, and Dioner Navarro, who was very underwhelming in his time in LA.

By 2005, I was pretty leery of having favorite players. Seemed they did not stay in LA long. But they traded Milton Bradley for Andre Eithier who would become a favorite.

They had Jeff Kent, but I never really warmed up to that guy. They had signed Nomar and Matt Kemp arrived in 2006 and by the next season was playing a lot more. He became a regular in 2008.

Of course Manny came aboard that year. It was a fun ride. For the first time in many seasons, they had a shot at winning. They ended up just falling short. Here is a little tidbit some fans might not know. Ethier led the team with 20 homers in 2008. Kemp had 18. Both of them played well over 140 games for the Dodgers.

Manny Ramirez played in 53 games as a Dodger. He slammed 17 homers in those games, just three away from the team lead.

It would be a while before a player left and I got pretty upset about it. They had a pretty static roster until the trade in 2012. I was happy with it because I always liked and respected Adrian Gonzalez and none of my favorite guys went to the Red Sox.

But when Freidman took over after the 2014 season, changes were coming, and they came fast and furious.

Kemp went to the Padres. Huh? For Grandal???? WHY???? I was livid. Of course some fans were down on Kemp as he was viewed as a supposed clubhouse cancer. And he had not been the 2011 version who should have been the NL MVP and was robbed by PED using Braun. I still think his injury in 2012 at Colorado was the reason. His shoulder was never the same. At the time of the injury, Kemp was hitting in the .330’s.

Next he sent Dee Gordon to the Marlins. Again, I thought this was a really bad deal. Gordon was no SS, that was obvious, but he was decent at 2nd and the one speed demon on the team.

Now AF was on my bad side. I do not know about other fans, but I was really irked about both of those trades. And I could not let it go.

I never warmed to Grandal, not once his entire time as a Dodger. He was defensively challenged, too many passed balls, and he was totally lousy in the clutch. To me, he was a rally killer.

I was not really happy with who they got back for Gordon either. Hernandez and Barnes were the only two who really stayed and made an impact.

I warmed to Kike some as he was fun to watch. I liked Barnes as a defensive catcher, and he had some bat to ball skills when he got chances. He would even replace Grandal in the playoffs in 2017.

But the team got really good and they were keeping their homegrown guys and adding by free agency and minor trades.

One free agent who became a favorite of everybody was Justin Turner. His play once he became a regular was excellent. He teamed up with the rising stars, and added to a solid lineup.

He was excellent in the playoffs. JT’s playoff stats are very good. He played in 86 games, all as a Dodger, hit .270 with 13 homers, tied with Seager for the most postseason career home runs by a Dodger. Duke Snider hit 11 in the World Series, still a Dodger record, and he drove in 42. Many of those hits were clutch.

Despite that, his last couple of series were nowhere near as good. So I was not surprised when they let him leave via free agency. I was surprised when they non-tendered Bellinger, but I understood their reasoning. I have been happy Belli bounced back, but I know his time in LA is through. Chances he ever comes back are slim.

I was more irate that they did not try to re-sign Corey Seager when he left. But then again he would have cost them a lot more than Texas paid simply because of the state income tax.

But I have noticed fans have had a really hard time getting over them letting JT walk. Even with the success JD Martinez has had a DH. Fans still want JT to return. Letting go for some is not easy.

 

 

PCL Championship Series – Game 1

 

OKC Dodgers 8 – Round Rock Express (Texas) 3

OKC jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Round Rock fought back with solo runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th to tighten it up to 4-3.  OKC scored 1 in the 6th, and 3 in the 7th to seemingly put the game away.

25 year old RHP, Kyle Hurt, started for OKC and got through 4.0 innings.  He delivered 73 pitches (43 strikes).  He allowed 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks, and registered 8 Ks.  He did not allow a hit in his first 3.0 IP, but did allow the three walks.  Single, WP and 2 out single for the run in the 4th.

Tyson Miller pitched the next two innings and surrendered 2 hits and 3 walks which generated a pair of runs (1 earned).  Bryan Hudson, Ricky Vanasco, and Wander Suero each pitched a scoreless and hitless inning each, to wrap up the victory.  OKC pitchers compiled 13 Ks in the game, allowed 4 hits, but 7 walks.

OKC had 10 hits, with the big bat belonging to 27 year old CF Drew Avans with 4 hits, including a double.  Yonny Hernández had 2 hits with a double.  The OKC lone HR was a solo shot from Hunter Feduccia in the 6th inning.

Key Performers:

  • Drew Avans – 4-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 3BI, double
  • Yonny Hernández – 2-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI, double
  • Hunter Feduccia – 1-3, 1 BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR

The bottom 3 in the order (Jorbit Vivas, Yonny Hernández, and Hunter Feduccia) scored 6 of the 8 runs.  Michael Busch, Ryan Ward, and Jorbit Vivas each had a single.

OKC takes a 1 game to none lead in best of 3 series.  Game 2 will be in OKC on Wednesday.

 

Box Score

 

 

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Jeff Dominique

The kids are leading the way. Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, and Michael Grove pitched a total of 14.1 of the 18.0 innings. They allowed 3 runs, on 13 hits, and impressively 1 BB and 19 Ks. And in Coors. Quite an accomplishment.  If Pepiot is a piggyback choice in the playoffs, I hope he will have someone other than Caleb Ferguson as the opener. I have long been a Ferguson fan (since his Great Lakes days), but I am not all that confident with him this season. Hopefully he will change my mind in the playoffs.

Emmet Sheehan will be the 4th rookie pitcher to pitch in Coors this series when he starts for LAD in Wednesday’s game.

Oldbear48

Second game was better than the first, but I am beginning to have some concerns about the lack of offense from Will Smith. He was the only starter who did not get a hit or get on base. Freeman got his 27th homer and double number 57. Heyward had 3 hits in the opener, Outman had 4 in the nightcap. The loss was the 100th for the Rockies. I am really impressed with the young outfielder, Nolan Jones.

Oldbear48

Correction, it was Freddie’s 58th double of the year.

Dave

Ferguson is inconsistent, good at times and really bad at others. I have a hard time trusting him in a close game. I can see the strategy of an opener but if not for Miller, Kershaw and Lynn why for Pepiot?
Miller goes deep into games, Kershaw will need a rh to follow him, Sheehan? Grove?
Yarbrough can come in behind Lynn or Pepiot.
I would like to know how often Yarbrough can pitch if he only pitches 2 innings, or 3? They give him alot of days inbetween hus appearances.

Last edited 8 months ago by Dave
Claude Osteen

Lol, you were ok with Dodgers letting Karros go at 35 but not Snider at 36. Great post though.

Oldbear48

Duke was my all-time favorite player. I patterned my batting stance after him. He was one of those guys who should have played his entire career with LA. Let him get his 400 homers and then retire. Snider was a Dodger legend; Karros was merely a good player in LA. To me, it was just something that should not have been done. They dumped Hodges in the expansion draft.

Last edited 8 months ago by Oldbear48
Oldbear48

Snider was a Dodger legend. Only player in team history to hit 40 homers in a season 5 years in a row. That is almost as many homers as Karros had his entire career. No comparison.

Badger

How many people work for the same company their entire career?

Our rookies are getting valuable experience. Will these innings against inferior lineups with nobody watching prepare them for playing the best lineups under intense conditions with millions tuning in? Guess we’ll see soon enough.

OhioDodger

It can’t hurt.

Bobby

And, regardless of how it goes in Oct, it’s great experience for the 2024 team.

Oldbear48

A lot of people stay at the same job. Some do not, but in baseball, there have been some, especially those who were superstars in their prime. You didn’t see the Yankees unloading Mantle or Berra or even Ford. Snider deserved the same. Just my opinion.

Badger

Maybe you’ve noticed, things have changed since the 60s.

Bumsrap

Steve Sax, Beltre, Tommy John, Joc Pederson are four players the Dodgers should have done more to keep IMHO

Oldbear48

Tommy John had just had his surgery. They kept him for three years after he missed all of 75. In hindsight, since he had two of his better years after he left LA in 78, they probably should have given him a couple of years, but he got a four-year deal from the Yankees. Sax got a huge deal from the Yankees who pounced almost as soon as he was a free agent. Beltre was a mistake. But he got a lot more money from Seattle than the Dodgers were willing to pay. As for Pederson, his lack of success against LHP pretty much doomed him in LA. Also he was not the same CF he had been when he came up.

Bumsrap

All 4 of the players I mentioned would have greatly helped the Dodgers win one or more WS than they did.

Sometimes value is more important than cost if those costs don’t sink the ship.

Badger

Beltre was offered more money. He took it. They all take it. That’s not a mistake, that’s business. It happens everywhere.

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Beltre was kriptonite to depodesta”s career.

Sam Oyed

The Dodgers will need to sign/trade for a LH relief pitcher this off season. Josh Hader is a free agent. While still one of the best relief pitchers out there, I don’t see AF signing him for the money he will want.

There’s also this; a couple of nights ago the Padres were up 1-0 bottom of the 8th inning. Two runners on with left hand pitch hitter Conforto coming up to bat. Does Hader come in; no. Seems he doesn’t like multi-inning relief appearances. Giants go on to win as Conforto comes through with a hit. When asked about it after the game, Hader said it wasn’t the right time, even though his team is on the verge of elimination.

Definite pass on Hader

Jeff Dominique

Not just a LHRP. They are going to need to sign (or trade for) at least one LHSP as well. If Kershaw decides to retire or sign with Texas, the Dodgers will have no LHSP to call on in the organization. The closest is Justin Wrobleski and maybe Maddux Bruns who are at Great Lakes (A+). That is why I think it is more likely the Dodgers will pursue Shōta Imanaga harder than Yoshinobu Yamamoto, although I fully expect him to be pursued heavily as well.

Here is the LHRP who will/can become FA:

Richard Bleier (37) – $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout
Andrew Chafin (34) – $7.25MM club option with a $750K buyout
Aroldis Chapman (36)
Jake Diekman (37) – $4MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Jarlin Garcia (31) – $3.25MM club option
Amir Garrett (32)
Josh Hader (30)
Brad Hand (34) – $7MM club option with a $500K buyout
Aaron Loup (36) – $7.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Matt Moore (35)
Wandy Peralta (32)
Drew Pomeranz (34)
Brooks Raley (36) – $6.5MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout
Joely Rodriguez (32) – $4.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Caleb Smith (32)
Will Smith (34)
Brent Suter (34)

I would not mind if they took a shot at Matt Moore or Brent Suter. But they will probably stick with Vesia, VGon, Ferguson, and Yarbrough.

LHSP who will/can become FA:

Blake Snell (31)
Jordan Montgomery (31)*

Andrew Heaney (33) – $13MM+ player option with a $500K buyout
Rich Hill (44)
Sean Manaea (32) – can opt out of remaining one year and $12.5MM
Wade Miley (37) – $10MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Martin Perez (33)
Eduardo Rodriguez (31) – can opt out of remaining three years and $49MM*
Alex Wood (33)

Outside of Snell and Montgomery, not a lot to choose from.

Jeff Dominique

OKC has three LHRP

  • Alec Gamboa
  • Bryan Hudson
  • John Rooney

And Tulsa has 1

  • Ben Harris
Singing the Blue

Definitely not great pickings on the left-handed side of things this winter. I’m really not sure how much confidence they have in VGon at this point and wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him dealt this off season.

I think it may also be time to say good-bye to Fergie, who really hasn’t seemed happy in LA for the past couple of years.

That said, I haven’t a clue where they’ll find replacements for those guys if they move them.

As far as starting pitching is concerned, I agree that AF might definitely go hard after Imanaga, especially if CK retires.

Last edited 8 months ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

If we don’t have access to good LHRP then find great RHRP who can get anybody out.

Jeff Dominique

Tonight, OKC goes for their first PCL championship since 1999, and first as a LAD affiliate. Gavin Stone gets the call to start for OKC in this game.

Durham Bulls (Rays) lead the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore) 1-0 in the International League’s AAA Championship series. The winners of the two series face each other in a winner take all one game AAA championship in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Bumsrap

Stone pitching for a championship was great planning by Dodgers if that was the plan when they sent him down.

Singing the Blue

I’m guessing the plan was to clear a roster spot for Michael Grove.

Singing the Blue

Here’s a link to an interesting article in Fangraphs which has calculated which teams are best put together for post season success. The theory he uses is that depth counts less in the playoffs because of the short amount of time involved and the fact that teams tend to play their best players as much as possible during the post season.

It’s an interesting premise, and I found the article worth a read.

Which Teams Are Best Built for Postseason Success? | FanGraphs Baseball

Last edited 8 months ago by Singing the Blue
Bobby

Interesting article, yes.

It would be fun to see those zips projections for our last 11 years of playoff teams

Badger

I think it sums up what most people believe – the Braves are the top seed (favorite) in the National League. And I wouldn’t bet against Houston in the AL.

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
OhioDodger

Outstanding performance by Emmet tonight. Sheehan, Miller, Pepiot looking good now and 2024.

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