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Retired Numbers: Best Way to Honor Stars?

Last season the Dodgers retired Fernando’s #34 officially. Some say it was way overdue. I felt the same way when they finally retired Hodges #14. Just like I felt Gil’s election to the hall was way overdue.

Fernando joined Jim Gilliam as the only non Hall of Famers from the Dodgers with their number retired. Gilliam’s was retired shortly after his death. No one had worn 34 since Fernando left the Dodgers in 1990.

So in reality it was sort of retired then. Most likely, if things go as most think they will, Kershaw’s 22 will be the next one off of the board.

Kersh has been anointed a Hall of Famer by most baseball people today. His election five years after he retires is almost a foregone conclusion.

The only two players on the current roster whose careers are even close to HOF worthy are Betts and Freeman.

By his 35th birthday, Betts should be over 300 home runs and 2000 hits. Freddie will be over 400 by the end of his contract and closing in on 3000. But Freddie when elected would probably be put in the hall in a Braves cap. Mookie would definitely be in LA.

But is retiring numbers the best way to honor a team’s stars? The Yankees have the most retired numbers of any baseball team. 23. One number, 8, is retired for two players, Berra and Dickey. 10 of those 23 numbers are retired for players not in the hall.

But the Yankees also honor their best with a monument park in center field at Yankee Stadium. No Yankee will ever wear a number below 10 again, all of them are retired.

The Dodgers display the retired numbers in a ring of honor just below the press level at Dodger Stadium. There are also giant numbers around the stadium at different levels showing the retired numbers.

The Dodgers also started honoring former stars with their Legends of Dodger baseball bobbleheads and a day at the ballpark.

Current members are Garvey, Hershiser, Newcombe, Valenzuela, Mota. There will probably be more to come. There are also some plaques around the stadium with Koufax, Big D and others.

Myself, and I am probably in the minority here, I think retiring a number should be reserved for Hall of Famers, or a player who spent his entire career with the team and was, like Gilliam, an integral part of a winning culture. But that is just me.

Fernando was a phenomenon that came from nowhere and his impact on the city was unbelievable. I lived through Fernandomania and it surprised me. So he earned it.

But I do think the Dodgers really need their own Hall of Fame like many teams have, and they need somewhere to display memorabilia from their best players.

I also believe it is time for MLB to finally recognize the contributions of Roberto Clemente to the Latino community and baseball itself, and retire his # 21 all around the league. He had as much impact on bringing Latin players to the majors as Jackie did with the black players.

There will come a point in time when retiring numbers will not be a feasible way of honoring your best. They are bound to run out of numbers sometime.

 

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Jeff Dominique

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have agreed to a paid consulting gig that was made too lucrative for me to say no to. The tipping point in my evaluation of the yeas or nays, was that the funds I earn will be put to use next year for costs incurred at LA Dodger Chronicles. So, I am not going to be able to be able to consistently compose a lot of articles. There will be multiple days that posts will run back to back. My consulting engagement is due to end 12/22/2023. Bear will help out as he can, as he always has. Anyone else want to give it a try, I will not say no. Just let me know.

With that preface, there was the first MLB trade of the off season.

Braves send RHSP, Mike Soroka, LHP Jared Shuster, INF Nicky Lopez, INF Braden Shewmake, and RHP Riley Gowens to CWS for LHRP Aaron Bummer. Soroka was on his way to being a dominant MLB pitcher before the injuries. Jared Shuster and Braden Shewmake were highly regarded prospects until they weren’t. Maybe the White Sox can turn them around. If they do, it will be a nice haul for a reliever whose best days are in the rear view mirror. For 2019-2022, Bummer was exceptional. I advocated trading for him in 2019 before CWS extended him. He took a big turn south last year. Maybe Atlanta can turn him around. A lot of question marks in this deal. The risk is well worth it for both sides regardless if there is a reward or not.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Oldbear48

I saw that and thought that is a lot of players for a relief pitcher. But we will see how it turns out. Mookie second in the MVP vote as Acuna won it. He deserved it. Had Mookie not cooled down so much in September, the vote might have been closer.

Badger

We have a lot of players in the minors. It will take a deal like that to get the starter we need.

Retired numbers. Most players who are around long enough to be considered great have moved around too much to retire their number. If Pedro or Piazza had stuck with us, yeah, retire their numbers. But they didn’t.

Congratulations to Jeff on your new job. I think. I don’t need to worry about someone offering me a job. I’m unemployable.

Oldbear48

Yeah since both are Hall of Famers. I am long past unemployable. I doubt I could stay awake long enough to put in four hours, part time for us old codgers. Jeff, I will keep sending you posts as I get them done.

Jeff Dominique

It was a good deal for both or a bad deal for both. There are questions on every one of those players. But if all the players move toward their expected, the White Sox will get two good pitchers in Michael Soroka and Jared Shuster. Braden Shewmake (2019), Soroka (2015), and Shuster (2020) were all first round draft picks by the Braves. Shewmake and Shuster were both on the Dodgers short list for 1st round, but Atlanta selected both before the Dodgers got the chance. Gunnar Henderson was also on that 2019 short list, but the Dodgers passed on him for Kody Hoese and Michael Busch.

Bummer dominated for 3-4 years. Was last year an anomaly or a precursor to what is to become. I like the trade for Atlanta. Bummer has a chance to help the Braves far more than any of the players they traded away. And I am not sure that the CWS has the development team to resurrect Soroka and Shuster.

Dionysus

Make that money. We’ll behave

OhioDodger

“But I do think the Dodgers really need their own Hall of Fame like many teams have, and they need somewhere to display memorabilia from their best players.”

Totally agree Bear. Dodgers have such a long and rich history, there should be a place to showcase it and the players that were part of it.

I have been to the Cincinnati Reds HOF. It is awesome.

It would be cool if they retired Clemente’s #21.

Badger

Dodgers Hall of Fame. Good idea. There’s room in the Ravine for such a Hall.

Bumsrap

Individually, none of Garvey, Lopes, Cey, and Russell should be in the Hall or have their numbers retired but as a whole they have a place in a Dodger monument park.

Another group that might have a place in such a park could be Campanella, Hodges, Reese, Snider, Furillo, and Robinson.

Oldbear48

I agree with that. Guys in my LA Dodger Hall, Willie Davis, Maury Wills, Garvey Lopes, Cey and Russell, Sutton. Valenzuela, Kershaw, Mota, Gilliam and Tommy Davis, with Kirk Gibson getting an honorary spot. . Splurged on a Christmas present for myself. I got a Fender LT-50 guitar amp. Has 30 pre-sets and you can download more from the Fender website. Dodgers signed Eduardo Salazar. RHP out of the Reds organization to a minor league deal. Brewers exploring a Brandon Woodruff trade. He will be out until at least mid-season. Non-tender day, I think they non-tender three, Hudson, Yarbrough and Almonte. From Brooklyn, I would put Zack Wheat, Dazzy Vance, Babe Herman and also Dolph Camilli and Pete Reiser.

Last edited 6 months ago by Oldbear48
Badger

Good choices all.

Singing the Blue

Don’t forget to make room for Billy Grabarkewitz.

Oldbear48

Please.

Jeff Dominique

Is that a sarcastic please? 😃

Oldbear48

You bet, his only claim to fame was that his name almost did not fit on the back of his uni. Also one of the last players to wear # 1 before it was retired for Pee Wee. The last one who wore it? SS Rick Auerbach in 1976

Bluto

Not a huge fan of retiring numbers, like the Monuments park or ring of honor much more.

Retiring numbers feels like it won’t stand the test of time.

OhioDodger

Plaques and statues are much more enduring. Numbers are overrated. When I think of #22, I think of Brett Butler.

Oldbear48

Over Kershaw>>???

OhioDodger

I think of both, but, Butler was my favorite player for the Dodgers in the 90’s.

Dionysus

Over Piazza?

Jeff Dominique

Yes, for me.

OhioDodger

Oh yes.

Jeff Dominique

Loved Brett Butler. He was also my favorite Dodger in the 90’s. I had written more than once (probably more than 20 times) that the best thing the Dodgers could have done for Jeren Kendall was to hire Butler as a personal hitting coach. Loved the way he played the game. I got to meet Butler when he was the manager of the Reno Aces a few times. Very nice man.

Maybe they can get Butler to oversee the development of Kendall George, offensively and defensively.

OhioDodger

I had the privilege of meeting Brett several times at Vero Beach. Very nice guy and always took time for the fans. It was very cool because he was the same size as me. One heck of a ballplayer. We could use more like him.

Dionysus

He was a great player and an absolute pest. Dave Roberts was def BB Lite

Badger

There’s logic to that. Eventually we’d have to see numbers in 70s, 80s and 90s. Not many players would want those. Ring of Honor and occasional statues, for Hall of Fame members, would be better.

Jeff Dominique

Well Cal Quantrill did not last long. He lasted all the way to Colorado, very very very early in the waiver list. Colorado obviously selected him and Cleveland then traded him to the Rockies for 23 year old C Kody Huff. I think this is a huge pickup for Colorado. They need pitching. Although Quantrill has not had much previous success at Coors Field.  

Jeff Dominique

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be posted on Monday (11-20-2023). He can take the process through New Years if he so chooses. It has been reported that Shōta Imanaga is to be posted later than Yamamoto, to better gauge his market, and how that may impact his future home and contract. Players have until December 5 to be posted. If he waits until early December, his negotiation could go into mid January.

Bobby

I’ll assume that even if these guys haven’t been posted yet, teams and agents have already made intentions clear to them and gauged what kind of contract these guys want.

Jeff Dominique

I would think so, but I wonder how much. I wonder if they are still tied to their 2023 team and cannot negotiate in full good faith until being posted. They are technically not FA until posted. I do not know the answer to that.

Jeff Dominique

I read a couple of other potential non-tenders. Ryan Yarbrough and Yency Almonte are on most lists. But today it was speculated that Victor Gonzalez will be non-tendered, and an even more of a surprise was Dustin May.

It has been reported that May will NOT pitch in 2024. It was speculated that if the Dodgers do in fact follow through and acquire 2-3 top of the rotation pitchers on longer term deals, then May may not be necessary in 2025. It has also been reported that Dustin may have to move to the bullpen to resurrect his career. John Smoltz did it, maybe Dustin can return to the rotation.

I am not saying I am in favor of this, just what I read today. The writer was looking at it logically, not emotionally, as we fans so often do.

Singing the Blue

Non-tendering May would be a real shocker, even if it makes some sense.
Really doesn’t seem like the kind of move AF would pull just to save a couple million in salary.
Even one season of relief before he becomes a free agent is probably worth more than 2 million (actually I guess that would be 4 mil, 2 plus 2). I still don’t see it happening.

Last edited 6 months ago by Singing the Blue
Dionysus

I bet my TBLA membership that Bellinger WOULDN’T be nontendered.

I was wrong and so were the Dodgers.

Penny wise and pound foolish.

Singing the Blue

We’ll never know if he would have had the kind of 2023 he had if he had played it in a Dodger uniform.

Turns out AF made the wrong decision, but in my view he did it for all the right reasons.

Belli is going to get himself a very nice contract this winter. I’ll be interested to see how it turns out. I wish him the very best (as long as he doesn’t sign with an NL West team).

Dionysus

I love Belli. If Houston wouldn’t have cheated in 2017, that year would’ve been all-time.

I remember watching his debut with my dad.

Bobby

Agree with all the comments on Brett Butler. One of my faves as well and I wish to hell Kendall George becomes something like this (then again I also hoped for this with Jeren Kendell and Jake Vogel)

Another reason why I always liked Dave Roberts, as he played a lot like Brett Butler

Dionysus

Kendall George
Gelof
DePaula
Quintero
Diaz
Doncon
Munoz
Liranzo

Low level dudes are comin’

Singing the Blue

Jeren Kendall
Jake Vogel
Kendall George

If at first you don’t succeed……………………………………

Singing the Blue

Looks like I was right about Woodruff. No team was willing to pay his 11 mil salary and gamble that they’d get their money’s worth.

Brewers have non-tendered him.

Singing the Blue

Lots of Dodger players can now stop holding their breath.

No non-tenders.

Jeff Dominique

That just means multiple 40 man players will be moved via trade or via release. They have one spot remaining.

I still like the idea of signing Brandon Woodruff to a 2-year deal. This is an AF specialty.

Maybe some of the Dodgers were hoping to get non-tendered to get a better opportunity as a free agent.

Singing the Blue

What kind of deal would you think would be fair to both sides for Woodruff? I think AF would almost have to calculate his end of it with the assumption that Woodruff won’t pitch in 2024, so he’s basically looking at one year, returning from shoulder surgery. That seems very risky to me.

If Andrew could get away with it, there should be a low base amount and then pile on the incentives.

Last edited 6 months ago by Singing the Blue
Jeff Dominique

Garrett Richards was signed for 2 years and $17MM including $1.5MM buyout. Woodruff is a much better pitcher than Richards, thus I would guess that would be the floor.

Singing the Blue

Did Richards wind up pitching at all in year one of that deal?

Was the $1.5MM buyout for the second year?

Oldbear48

Richards pitched in 3 games in 2019, 14 games in 2020, 40 games in 2021 and 32 games in 2022. He is currently listed as a free agent as he has not retired officially.

Oldbear48

No non-tenders. Surprising. Braves traded two more of their young pitchers.

Jeff Dominique

Kyle Wright is hurt and out for the year. KC likes him as he was a somewhat dominant pitcher in 2022 and they will have him at a reasonable cost for 2025 and 2026. If he recovers to somewhat resemble 2022, KC will get a good pitcher. OTOH, Jackson Kowar is a reach. Maybe change of scenery for the former 2018 1st round pick (33rd overall).

Nick Anderson has had an injury impacted career. When he is healthy, he can be good. KC is probably looking at a potential trade deadline candidate here. They did not give up anything.

With all of their changes, they have jettisoned a lot of flotsam and saved about $10MM in the process. They are setting themselves up to acquire a lot of pitching.

Oldbear48

I knew all of them had injury problems. I am very surprised the Dodgers did not non-tender at least a couple of guys. But they either feel very comfortable with what they have, or they are stockpiling trade fodder. Yelich, Adames, Burnes keeps coming up. But I just cannot stomach Adames. I don’t see him as an upgrade over Lux.

Oldbear48

I could see them signing Woodruff. It is the kind of thing AF does. I read a lot of posts on other sites wanting them to trade for Yelich, Burnes and Adames. I just do not see the love for Adames. He is another K machine. They have enough of that on the roster as it is.

OhioDodger

I’m with you Bear. I don’t get everyone’s fascination with Adames. And there is no way in hell I would consider taking on Yelich’s contract. As for Woodruff, I doubt he pitches in 2024 and he may not ever be the pitcher he was pre injury. Shoulder injuries for pitchers are a death sentence. Think Jason Schmidt.

Last edited 6 months ago by OhioDodger
Badger

I want to see Lux at short next Spring. With all the rehab he will have done for the year he may be stronger. I read somewhere, actually on DodgerTalk, he’s running like a deer. Don’t know if that’s true, but I certainly believe he will be back. And it’s possible he will be better than ever.

AF will find one or two restoration projects and hopefully they will be more Anderson and less Syndergard.

Ohtani, an outfielder and 1 front of the rotation starter and I’ll be happy.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
OhioDodger

I too am anxious to see what Lux can do next year. Sure hope they move on from Barnes next year.

Singing the Blue

Hey Bear, as President and only member of the Billy Grabarkewitz Fan Club, I take umbrage with your besmirching of my man Billy.

I’ll have you know that in 1970, he was named to the All Star team and had a WAR of 6.5 with an OPS+ of 134. To this day, he holds the record of the highest WAR for a rookie without receiving any ROY votes.

I’m planning to have a bronze statue of him erected at shortstop. I just need to make sure that Lux doesn’t run into it and hurt himself.

I accept your apology and those of any of you other folks who asked, “who the hell is Billy Grabarkewitz?”

Bumsrap

He had one of the greatest half seasons in the history of well history.

Oldbear48

That was his only good year. He never came close to playing 100 games after that season. He also hit more homers in 1970 than he did over the rest of his career 17-11. He also dove in more runs than he would the rest of his career. You are a one-man fan club my friend. Had he played like that the next two years, the Dodgers would never have traded him. As it was he went to the Angels in the Frank Robinson trade and they unloaded him before the end of the year.

Badger

While that’s true Bear, he had a BGFC of 1.000 and there is no arguing that.

Oldbear48

I have no clue what that is. I thought he was going to be a star and he proved me wrong.

Bumsrap

2B Betts
1B Freeman
LF Trout
DH Ohtani
C Smith
CF Outman
3B Muncy
RF ?
SS Lux

Badger

Heyward

Singing the Blue

Acuna

Singing the Blue

Correction: Acuña

Bumsrap

Trout trade actually was said being talked.

Dionysus

Since you traded Vargas & Busch maybe we bring back Heyward for a year.

Dionysus

I also think any Trout trade includes Outman.

Bumsrap

Taylor and Muncy would offset the first 2 years of Trout’s huge salary. Hopefully Outman would not be included with all the young controllable players also included in such a trade.

Jeff Dominique

Once I got over the disappointment that the Dodgers drafted Lux over Bichette, I became a huge Gavin Lux fan. I saw him play quite a few games at SS while with Tulsa and OKC. I still do not believe he is an elite SS, while I do believe he would be an elite 2B. He moves well, has soft hands, and a strong arm. Unfortunately, the biggest concern with Lux is his arm. He will have one of the least accurate arms for SS. At 2B, while the accuracy was still suspect, they were shorter throws and less prone to being thrown away. In his first three seasons in pro ball, Lux had 61 errors in 208 games at SS. That is a .927 fielding percentage. That is not GG level.

That being said, my brain tells me that the Dodgers are going to put Lux at SS and not try to upgrade there. They let two All Stars leave presumably because they wanted Lux at SS. They are not going to move him away from SS as long as he is healthy.

Adames is an elite defensive SS with power. While fans may care (I do) Dodger management does not care one bit about strikeouts. As long as they hit HRs, the Ks will not be a problem. Thus, I do see the fascination with Adames in trade talks. However, I do not see Willie Adames coming to the Dodgers. Maybe they will move Lux back to 2B, but not this year. 

If the Dodgers were so inclined to upgrade, and if Bo Bichette is not available, then I would prefer that the Dodgers go big. KC is not going to trade Witt. Maybe they should, but they are not. Big for me is Francisco Lindor or Fernando Tatis Jr. Both NYM and SD want to pare down their payroll so they can add in different areas. 

SD has to get down to a payroll close to $200MM. Preller lost a big advocate for spending when Peter Seidler passed. Tatis is a very unlikely candidate to be traded (especially to LAD), but it would not stop me from checking. IMO, there is more of a chance that SD will trade Tatis than KC trading Witt. 

Lindor is a luxury that NYM does not need with all of their holes. Pete Alonso is the face of that franchise, and he is a year from FA. He is said to be asking for Judge $$$$.  NYM wants elite pitching and have been tied to all the top of the rotation pitchers, including $200+MM Yoshinobu Yamamoto. And Luisangel Acuña is the future SS for NYM. They have expensive needs, and very few options. Moving Lindor gives The NY Cohens a chance to upgrade in multiple areas, and have $$$ for Alonso. 

Of course I do not think any of these will happen. But IMO, if you are going to upgrade, then do so. If not, stick with what you have. Don’t tinker around the edges. LAD does not need another Miguel Rojas.

Since I do not believe there is an upgrade out there that is a potential trade option, Lux it is, and hope he does not remind us of Amed Rosario or Kiké Hernández at SS defensively.

BTW, I do not worry about Lux’s offense. He will be a solid offensive player.

Bumsrap

I 100% agree. I thought about what a trade for Tatis would look like and couldn’t think of who the Dodgers would trade to make it happen.

I’ve always liked Lindor.

Who else saw the Trout rumor?

Jeff Dominique

I saw people talking about “what if”. But not to the level that this rumor seems to be taking off. But it is still just a rumor, and I would still be surprised to see LAA trade him to the Dodgers, or AF give LAA what they would be requesting.

Bobby

I cannot for the life of me see the Angels trade Trout up the freeway, ESPECIALLY if we had already signed Ohtani as well.

Trout will be shipped off to the east coast somewhere, likely an NL team so Anaheim sees him as few times as possible.

Granted, I’d lose my mind if we signed Ohtani AND traded for Trout, but I cannot see us giving up prospects AND $75-$80mil/year for Trout/Ohtani, neither of whom can pitch in 2024.

Dionysus

Lindor is not being traded lol

Jeff Dominique

I believe that is what I said. But should that stop the Dodgers for checking in.

My comment – Of course I do not think any of these will happen.

If you want a difference maker, that is who you look for…not Jorbit Vivas or any other LAD MiLB middle infielder.

Dionysus

Lux still could be a dude.

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