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 The Legacy of Jackie Robinson – He Still Impacts the Game

Almost 79 years since he signed his contract to play baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson still impacts the game.

Every April, all the players in the major leagues don his number 42 in his honor. His number is retired across all of major league baseball, and his impact on players of color is there for all to see.

He has a statue outside of Dodger Stadium at the pavilion entrance along with another Dodger icon, Sandy Koufax. There are actually 8 statues of Robinson around the country. There is one at UCLA where he went to college.

Two of the more famous to Dodger fans are the one in Youngstown Ohio, which depicts Jackie being greeted at home by George Shuba, and one in Brooklyn showing Jackie and Pee Wee caught in the moment Pee Wee put his arm around Jackie at Crosley Field.

For those who do not know that story, Jackie was getting death threats if he tried to play in Cincinnati. Pee Wee came over, put his arm around Jack letting him know he was not alone.

The other day, a statue of Jackie in Wichita Kansas was stolen and then melted down. Donations to replace the statue are pouring in. He still stirs controversy today.

I only saw clips of him playing in the World Series. But you could see the determination and desire to beat you on his face. He played hard. I cannot fathom the amount of abuse he had to endure.

I believe it is a shame he left the game and went into business instead, but he always marched to his own drum. He could have taught young players a lot.

You can name the number of players who have impacted the game like he has on the fingers of one hand. Players who virtually changed the game.

Babe Ruth changed the game from finesse to power with his homers. Robinson paved the way for players of color to become MLB stars.

Roberto Clemente was the first Latino star, and in many ways I feel his number should be retired too. Not only for his extraordinary skills on the field, but his humanitarian efforts also.

Maury Wills brought back the stolen base, and Ricky Henderson turned it into a lethal weapon. How many runners have stolen 100 or more bases in a season?  Four. Wills, Brock, Vince Coleman, 3 times, and Henderson, three.

With Jackie, it wasn’t how many steals he had, 37 was his top mark, and he had 200 in his career. He was also caught 76 times, so his percentage was around 3-1. It was when and the way he did it. He could get in a pitchers head to where he wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the hitter.

He also loved stealing home. He did it 19 times. He was also caught stealing home 12 times. And many forget, he was a natural SS, but because the Dodgers had Reese, he began his career playing first base. He stayed there until Hodges took over and then moved to second.

He would also play some third base and outfield for the Dodgers. It was a disappointment for him that he was not on the field when the Dodgers clinched their first championship. Don Hoak was playing third.

I have a baseball card of Jackie in a SF Giants uniform. It is one of those what if cards. Topps did a lot of them. I did not realize for many years that there was no Duke Snider Topps 1951 card. But there is a 51 Snider by Bowman.

Jackie as a Giant is a copy of a 1959 Topps. They did a Campy 59 too, but he is shown as a Dodger coach. One of the reasons Jackie’s performance declined his last two seasons was the onset of diabetes. Many players today can control the disease, but in the mid-50’s, it was not so.

After his worst season, he was traded to the Giants for Dick Littlefield, but the trade never went through. The Dodgers did not know it, but Robinson had already agreed to retire and take an executive position with Chock full o’Nuts.

He had also sold the rights to any retirement story to Look magazine, so his retirement was announced through Look and not the Dodgers.

One of the reasons he did not retire and work for the Dodgers had to be his dislike of owner Walter O’Malley. That started in 1950 after Branch Rickey was bought out by O’Malley. Walter had referred to Robinson as Rickey’s prima donna. That was because Jackie had gone to Hollywood and played himself in the movie, “The Jackie Robinson Story”.

Even though his career was relatively short, 10 years, he was named to the All-Century team in 1999. Jackie was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 1962 with 77.5% of the vote. Bob Feller went in with him.

His jersey, 42, was retired in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium on June 4, 1972, along with Sandy Koufax and Roy Campanella.

Jackie was active in many different areas after he retired. But his work for civil rights was a passion of his. The ROY in the major leagues is called the Jackie Robinson Award.

Jackie has had one of the more lasting impacts on the sport of baseball. It is recognition earned the hard way.

 

 

 

 

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Duke Not Snider

Thanks for another good one, Bear.
Jackie is one of the most important athletes of all time. Perhaps the most important. When SI was doing it’s “Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century” thing, I would argue it should be between Jackie and Ali. How do we define “greatness”? (I think SI took a narrow path and chose Michael Jordan, who failed at baseball.)
It’s not really fair to judge Jackie’s career stats. He was 28 when he debuted in Brooklyn and played 10 years–but if not for institutional racism he could have played for 16-17 years. He and other stars who transitioned from the Negro Leagues are shortchanged (of course) by the record books.
But a “what if?” with Jackie is tricky. What if he didn’t go to UCLA and went straight to pro ball? What if he didn’t serve in WWII? The war cost a lot great players some career stats–but for a just cause, not an unjust one.
I read somewhere that Duke Snider, who grew up in Compton when it was a white suburb of LA, talked about how he and friends traveled to UCLA to witness Jackie in action. It was said that Jackie wore his track silks under his baseball jersey. He warmed up for baseball, then stripped down to quickly win the long jump, and then got back to the baseball field. (A lot people forget that his big brother Mack finished second to Jesse Owens in the ’36 Hitler Olympics)
As a ballplayer, Jackie was probably the most disruptive force of his time. It’s hard to imagine the pressure he faced (though “42” with the late Chadwick Boseman did a pretty good job.) Maury and Ricky Henderson later took on that disruptive role.
Jackie’s legacy is one of reason why it’s nice to be a Dodgers fan. So glad it was Branch Rickey and Dodgers, not the Giants or any other team, that had the vision and cojones to sign Jackie. And he proved to be perfect in the role.

In other matters, I wonder if Jackie would go after Adames and Devin Williams….

Oldbear48

Thanks Duke. Much appreciated. Williams Si! Adames NO!!!! LOL

Badger

“He still stirs controversy today.”

How in the world can that possibly be? I think we know why.

He was the right man for that assignment. But a lot of hate was directed at this good and decent man for many years. He died at age 53.

Make mine Blue

I’ve watched and learned all my life that some will stir controversy by doing great things against tall odds, some will stir controversy by having a knack for just being a-holes with the purpose of being disruptive without giving a thought for others. So controversy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sometimes a very useful thing. Jackie was an inspiring figure to be celebrated. Let us all have the desire to inspire those that are around us.

Bobby

Very good point.

Oldbear48

I knew Jackie faced a lot of racism, but the intensity of it never really hit me until I saw 42. It is no surprise to me that the Phillies fired Ben Chapman after the season. The way he treated Robinson was over the top. And I also think it is a bit disgraceful that the umpiring crew let it continue.

Duke Not Snider

Good point about the umps. Perhaps they agreed with Chapman.

Oldbear48

Considering the era, that is probably true. But a guy like Babe Pinelli, who was born in San Francisco and who was a very fair umpire during his time, might have put a lid on it. Pinelli was behind the plate for Don Larsen’s perfect game. When the series ended, Babe retired.

SandyAmoros

Bear always intersting insights any chance you do one on Wills?

Duke Not Snider

I would love that too.
Maury was my childhood hero, tied with Sandy.

Oldbear48

Loved Wills and Sandy, but my favorite was Duke.

Mark Timmons

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Oldbear48

Yes, I can do that for you.

Duke Not Snider

On another matter, I just now learned that, according to Jacob DeGrom, both he and Scherzer expect to return to the Rangers at midseason.
Just another reason to think that Kershaw will be back with the Dodgers.

Mark Timmons

Part of him would like to pitch at home, but Dodger Blue Blood runs in his veins. If he can pitch, he will be back. I wasn’t sure until recently.

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
dodger dad

clayton will be back! i believe we’ll never see another pitcher/human being like him again. i’m not saying there aren’t any good people out there playing baseball, just don’t think you’ll see a player stay with the same team for his whole career. and what clayton means to the dodgers is invaluable. with agents like scott boras calling the shots, there will be very little loyalty with players.

Badger

Loyalty is an interesting concept when it comes to a job. Yes, it is important to remain loyal to your employer, but how loyal is that employer to those who work for them? And if a better offer comes along, most people would jump on it.

Baseball players all know they could be traded in a heartbeat. Teams also know that contracts last only so long and chances are players will all follow the money. And who can blame them?

Kershaw can play wherever he wants. He could go home and play for a team that’s already won it all without him, or he could stay in LA. He will be 36 in mid March, not that old, many pitchers have lasted longer than that. Even those who have had injuries and surgeries. deGrom and Verlander are still pitching.

I suspect Kershaw will want in on what is happening in LA. If he can still pitch this year or even next year, he will do so in LA.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

Loyalty has to go both ways. Snider was traded, Hodges was allowed to be drafted by an expansion team. Kersh and Andre Ethier are the last two players I can remember that spent their entire MLB career with the Dodgers. Yes, I know Ethier was obtained from the A’s, but all 12 of his MLB career was spent in Los Angeles. Other players I felt should have been career Dodgers, Garvey and Cey. Yeager played on year in Seattle. Scioscia spent his entire playing career in LA.

Bumsrap

Bill Russell.

Oldbear48

Yes, Russell did too. Tied with Zack Wheat as the longest tenured Dodger with 18 years as a Dodger.

Duke Not Snider

I’ve always expected Kershaw to stay–but I sure hope he returns in good health.
Dodger news is trickling in…
Roberts confirmed that Buhler will start the season on IL, with an unclear timetable to ease him back in. My guess is that Sheehan and Stone will begin the season in a six-man rotation (whether they call it that or not.) But with a strong spring, guys like Knack, Frasso and Ryan could compete as well.
And ex-rival Dinelson Lamet has been signed to a minor league contract. He used be a good SP and is now a not-so-good RP. Seems like a good project for Prior and his staff.
In alumni news, both Alex Wood and Ross Stripling will be pitching for the A’s. (I try not to feel sorry for professional athletes, but…)

Ron Fairly fan

Frasso had labrum surgery he’s done until after the all star break at the earliest and probably the season.

Duke Not Snider

I’m guessing that this was the surgery Frasso was hoping to avoid…
That thins the competition for opening day rotation.

Jeff Dominique

Probably not Opening Day. I think Nick was down on the depth chart for Opening Day. But certainly an in-season consideration.

Oldbear48

Gomes stated that Buehler will not be on the 60-day IL. So it seems to me that he will start on the 15-day IL they use for pitchers.

Bumsrap

By August the rotation could be a bit crowded. Let’s hope so.

Bobby

I don’t buy players jerseys anymore, as players tend to leave. As of now I’ve not purchased an Ohtani, or ever even had a Kersh (greatest LA Dodger ever).

So, the only 4 jerseys of my teams that I have, and wear, are Jackie Robinson, Kobe Bryant, Walter Payton, and Wayne Gretzky.

I saw TONS of new Ohtani jerseys yesterday amongst the 35,000 at Dodgerfest. I also saw way more Freemans than I thought i would. I had my #42 on, along with a brand new pair of Hoka’s which I swear are the most comfy shoes I’ve ever worn!

Last edited 4 months ago by Bobby
Oldbear48

I have several. Robinson, Koufax, Gibson, Bellinger, Freeman, Kershaw, Gonzalez and Seager. I also have a Kurt Warner jersey from his Cardinal days and Beanie Wells. I also have an old wool Brooklyn Jersey #7 and a Red Sox Road jersey with no number on it.

dodgerrick

I collect Dodger Hall of Famer jerseys. I have Snider, Robinson, Pee Wee, Hodges, Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton, Piazza – oh, and Kershaw. I will get a Campy jersey this year.

Oldbear48

Hard to find. If I got one, I would not want his name on the back. Just his number like my Robinson and Koufax.

Bumsrap

I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” –

JACKIE ROBINSON

Bumsrap

There was some trade talk yesterday and while I don’t like to get involved in trade scenarios, I wanted to put in my two cents. The Dodgers need young controllable players because they can’t keep buying talent at the price it has been going for.

Swapping Adames for Lux seems very short sighted. Including Outman in a Lois Robert trade might help get Robert but that would give the Dodgers one outfielder for 2025.

If the Dodgers really want to improve the left side defense then they should start with third base and not shortstop. Third baseman made 8932 assists and were involved in 921 double plays in 2023. Shortstops had 11,913 assists and involved in 2535 double plays in 2023.

Unless most of the worry is about Lux being able to turn a double play it looks like with the ball being hit to third about the same amount of times as it is hit to short that defense at 3rd is meaningful.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bumsrap
Oldbear48

Totally agree. Yamamoto, Mookie and Shohei are going to be around a while, and Freddie has four more years. So they are going to need some young blood around them at some point.

Jeff Dominique

I do not believe the Dodgers will have any problem finding young blood in pitching prospects. Even without Frasso (which thoroughly bums me out), the current group is remarkedly good, but as I outlined a few days back, the next group is knocking on the door. But the position players? They better hold on to Lux, Smith, Outman, Vargas, Cartaya or Rushing, and Pages. There are no other close to MLB position players on the horizon in the LAD organization. Lux has three years, Smith has two years, Vargas and the others have six or more years. I would add Feduccia, except he is really a backup catcher in the LAD organization.

The margin of error is much less with the load of pitching, while they cannot afford to miss on the position players.

I stated that the Dodgers should and would trade one of Miguel Vargas or Michael Busch. They chose to trade Busch, and did quite well in the trade. There is no urgency to trade Vargas, and with the potential of injury at the MLB level, Vargas should be stashed in OKC until needed. He may not like it, but with with the current 26 man roster, he has no position right now. If we talk about stashing young pitching, then we should talk about stashing young position players. He is listed as a 3B in FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, and is mentioned as a 1B, 2B, 3B, and LF on multiple depth charts. Not the typical utility player, but the Dodgers are not a typical team. If Vargas hits as well as he projects, they can certainly hide him in LF.

Pages could be ready in 2025. It could be Vargas, Outman, and Pages in the LAD OF starting in 2025.

Ron Fairly fan

I agree with your outfield for 25. I also think Feduccia and Gauthier will replace Barnes and Rojas on the roster.

Jeff Dominique

I am ready to anoint Feduccia the backup catcher for 2025. I need to see where Gauthier plays and how he plays at OKC before I am ready to declare him to be MLB ready. He does not have the defensive chops of Miguel Rojas or even CT3. He played five positions in 2023 –

3B – 32 games/31 starts – .952 fielding percentage, .906 career fielding percentage
SS – 30 games/28 starts – .961 fielding percentage, .946 career fielding percentage
2B – 28 games/27 starts – .959 fielding percentage, .961 career fielding percentage
LF – 19 games/17 starts – 1.000 fielding percentage, 1.000 career fielding percentage
RF – 18 games/16 starts – 1.000 fielding percentage, 1.000 career fielding percentage

First opportunities in the OF, so very small sample size.

But his walk to strikeout is exceptional. Career 226 walks (19.1%) vs 221 strikeouts (18.7%). He is an OBP machine – .433 career OBP. He gets better every year. If last year trend continues, Austin will be back at AA to start the year, and then get bumped up to AAA. He will be 25 this year, so I would like to see him pushed.

I still would like to see what it would take to acquire Tyler Black from Milwaukee. He is not Rule 5 draft eligible until this year. Potential trade – Brewers get Miguel Vargas and Gavin Stone and LAD gets Devin Williams and Tyler Black. The Trade Simulator says this is an acceptable trade.

Ron Fairly fan

I definitely believe Feduccia will be the backup catcher in 25. It might be wishful thinking on my part but I think Gauthier will be able to be a utility guy in 25. I think to get Black and Williams it would take Stone and Grove. The Brewers need arms.

Jeff Dominique

Do it!!

Duke Not Snider

I am always skeptical of fielding %, since doesn’t consider range. A fast, quick player might make an error on a play that the slow player can’t reach.
Anyway, which player has the better future with the Dodgers: Vargas, Sweeney or Gauthier?
While Vargas should have more upside, I don’t see him cracking the starting lineup any time soon. (I’d be curious to see a Dodgers depth chart. If Max goes down, who plays third? Taylor and Rojas can play 3B, and Vargas could come up. Hmm.)
Gauthier, unlike Vargas, has done nothing yet to disappoint the Dodgers. If he keeps hitting (and walking) at OKC, his versatility could give him an edge. If Max went down, perhap Taylor would take over 3B and Gauthier would get the UT job ahead of Vargas. (Again, he reminds me of McKinstry, a good underdog story.)
If former first-rounder Sweeney plays well in OKC, he could get the call.

I looked up Tyler Black…
Yes! Swing a deal for Williams + Black!

Badger
Duke Not Snider

Freddie’s in great shape and obviously loves to play. He is aging quite well and will probably sign a nice extension.
Just a gut feeling.
And when is AF going to extend Will Smith? This seems important given the diminished expectations for Cartaya. It’s great to have Rushing too, but Smith is proven.

dodgerpatch

I saw Mark’s proposal yesterday about swapping Outman and BUNCH of prospects for two years of Robert.

Intriguing. Robert had a pretty fantastic year last year, and he’s only 26, but …

His walk rate is really low. This hurts his OBP. This, in turn, hurts his overall run producing ability.

Outman’s wRC+ was 118. His overall WAR was 4.4.
Robert’s wRC+ was 128. His overall WAR was 5.0.

Mark suggested giving up a horde of prospects in addition to Outman to get an additional .6 WAR, and Outman isn’t even ARB eligible until 2026. Robert will be a FA.

That’s what you call a “dope fiend move.”

Last edited 4 months ago by dodgerpatch
Duke Not Snider

Luis Robert is pretty awesome, but I don’t think the White Sox would give him up unless the return is HUGE. He is a marquee talent.
One reason the Dodgers can commit north of $1 billion to Shohei and Yamamoto is their ability to save with homegrown talent like Outman. He’ll be a relative bargain for the next few years, while Robert could soon command a contract with an AAV near $30 million.
As Patch points out, Outman compares pretty well in cost-to-benefit analysis.
Anyway, it all seems like a moot point, especially with Teoscar aboard. (On offense, he’s kind of like Luis Robert Lite.) The Dodger brass is obviously comfortable with Outman in CF

Last edited 4 months ago by Duke Not Snider
Bluto

Somewhat random notes. Forgive me if already posted, but I couldn’t read another silly post about Adames.

ESPN says Kershaw widely expected to sign a 2-year deal if/when he next signs. Dave Roberts seems to imply there’s no urgency for him to sign.

@Dodgerfest Ohtani said he’s been hitting soft toss and off of a tee at Dodger Stadium, and plans to start hitting in the cages once he reports to spring training in Arizona. “If very confident that I’m right on schedule — not ahead or behind schedule,” Ohtani said at the Saturday event and went on with, “As long as there’s no setbacks going forward, I should be ready.”

Also @Dodgerfest Roberts let it be known that Buehler will start the season on the IL. He added, “… but the rehab work looks great.”

Mark Timmons

There is a lot to be decided this Spring:

Can Lux play 130 Games at SS? – I realize I am in the minority, but I also know that conventional wisdom is often wrong. I also realize I could be wrong, so don’t crucify me for having an opinion. I am not saying you have to embrace that opinion, but in times past, I have not backed down on my opinions about many players. Sometimes, I have been wrong. I hope I am with Gavin Lux. I love his bat! I think his arm is the issue. We shall see.What happens with Miguel Vargas? Jeff Dominique nailed it! However, some of this is based on dominos. If Lux proves me wrong, then Rojas is redundant (CT3 can be the backup SS). Some teams will need a SS, and the Dodgers can get another prospect for Rojas. Miguel Vargas then moves to a utility position.What will James Outman do? Can he cut down on his strikeouts by 15% and hit RHP just a little better (I hope so)? Or… is he a fitter and faster Joc Pederson? If he can improve incrementally, he is a beast!Will Teoscar be rejuvenated? He may be the beast we are looking for. I could see him playing RF against LHP and LF against Righties. 38 HR (over or under?).Who will be the Ace? Maybe we won’t know until later in the season, but who starts on Opening Day? Yamamoto or Glasnow… or the Dark Horse – Bobby Miller?What will the pitching staff look like on Opening Day? I would bet that 100 people could all predict the pitching staff and still not get it right!What will the lineup look like? I’d like to see this one:Betts 2B (R)
Freeman 1B (L)
Smith C (R)
Ohtani DH (L)
Hernandez LF (R)
Muncy 3B (L)
Outman CF (L)
Heyward RF (L)
Lux SS (L)

That’s OK against RHP, but what about tough LHP?

Betts 2B (R)
Freeman 1B (L)
Smith C (R)
Ohtani DH (L)
Hernandez RF (R)
Muncy 3B (L)
Margot CF (R)
Vargas LF (R)
Lux SS (L)

See, I am riding with Lux… But… I am from Missouri!😘

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Badger

Ohtani always bats in the first inning. Smith hits cleanup.

Lux will play 135 games.

Teoscar under 38.

Yamamoto will be the ace.

You’re from Indiana. The popcorn state.

Mark Timmons

Actually, it is the Hoosier State.

Hoosier Daddy?

Me.

😎

Badger

hoosier is a demonym for flatboatsman. Popcorn is the state food.

I’m sure you are somebody’s daddy. Not mine though. Mine actually was from Missouri.

Mark Timmons

It must be me!

That’s where I am from!

Duke Not Snider

Yes, Betts, Freeman and Ohtani ALWAYS bat in the first inning and get the most ABs by a wide margin. Arguably the best 1-2-3 in the game’s history.
Smith will likely bat cleanup, but Teoscar should bat there when Smith sits. Teoscar will K a lot but also slug a lot.
Lux SHOULD play 135 games.
Teoscar under 38? What does that mean?
Yes, Yamamoto should be the ace. From what I’ve read, he should be the most durable SP on the squad. (Fingers crossed on the health of Glasnow and Buhler and, well, everybody.)

Badger

Mark did an O/U of 38 home runs for Teoscar.

Duke Not Snider

Oh, thanks.
Teoscar will be under.
But Shohei should hit 50+. If he avoids injury, he should set a Dodger record. I’ll predict 53.
Why?
For starters, remember that he was on a 50+ pace last season before he strained his lat–even though he wasn’t protected by Trout for much of the year. Second, he’s now surrounded by a better lineup and should see more strikes. Third, he doesn’t have to worry about pitching this season and can focus on hitting.
BTW, I think we should expect some regression from Mookie and Freddie, and perhaps Shohei too.
Their ’23 seasons were simply spectacular. Hard to imagine them equalling or topping those performances.
And can Outman avoid a “sophomore slump”?

Last edited 4 months ago by Duke Not Snider
Duke Not Snider

Mr. Missouri, what has Miguelito shown you on the ML level?
Meanwhile, the elder Miguel showed us a lot on defense in ’23–and he actually hit lefties pretty well.
And of course you want to platoon Outman. But why?
Against lefties in ’23, Margot had a .316 OBP. Outman, meanwhile, had an OBP against lefties of .351.
That’s a pretty big gap. Clearly Mookie would have a lot more RBI opportunities with Outman in the lineup.

As for Lux/Adames debate, my priority would be to get Devin Williams and ride with Lux.
But if the Dodgers really want to build a “superteam,” it’s AF could angle for a Lux-Adames platoon.
Essentially Adames would replace Rojas on the roster. He’d start against lefties, provide power off the bench and serve as a late-inning defensive upgrade. Assuming he plays well, Lux would get most of the starts because most SPs are northpaws. If Lux falls short of expectations, Adames takes over full-time.
I’m not saying this is necessarily a good idea, but I’ve seen worse, like playing Margot instead of Outman. Getting both Adames and Williams would not be cheap.
At any rate, I’m fine with Lux because he is backed by Rojas, Taylor and perhaps Mookie too. Dodgers can always reassess at midseason.

Duke Not Snider

Oh, just realized that you would bench Outman against lefties and instead play BOTH Margot and Vargas.
In 2023, Vargas’s OBP on the ML level was .306, so also much worse than Outman’s.351 and a bit below Margot’s .316.
So Margot should play LF, because he’s a much better defender than Vargas.
I hope Miguelito morphs into a force this year. But unless there are some injuries or trades, he seems ticketed to start at OKC.
Or maybe he gets dealt.
How about Grove + Varland + Vargas for Devin Williams?

Last edited 4 months ago by Duke Not Snider
Badger

Outman should play every day. RF is the only platoon.

What does the simulator say about that trade? Without looking I’d say do it.

I don’t think Adames is coming here. The Dodgers don’t need him.

I still see no need for Margot.

Duke Not Snider

Trade Margot for a prospect and sign Kike?

Badger

Ok by me. Though I kinda figure Taylor and Kiké are the same guy.

Mark Timmons

I guess you continue to believe that two broken fingers have no bearing on a player’s ability to hit.

Duke Not Snider

His fingers weren’t broken in ’22. Yes, he was a rookie but he was clearly overmatched. The vaunted hit tool disappeared, and so did the plate discipline. Only two walks in 50 plate appearances. He did not deserve to be on the playoff roster–and yet there he was, riding the pine.
Was Miguelito actually playing with broken fingers in ’23? Why would the Dodgers let him do that? Did they not let him heal?
He was not a vital part of the team, but a replaceable part. What gives? The brass obviously love his talent, but they did a disservice in handing him (evidently injured) the 2B job and not having a true competition.
The trip back to OKC couldn’t have good for his ego, but surely his hands were healed. He got regular reps–but was outplayed by Busch, and so Busch got called up.
The Dodgers brass will publicly profess complete confidence in Vargas. But actions speak louder than words, and Vargas has clearly lost some luster. They aren’t giving him a starting job now, and he seems likely to start back at OKC. Even injured, his stock was high in ’23–and not high now.
Vargas has a lot to prove.

Jeff Dominique

When there is not a lot of interesting LAD or baseball going on, I check in on twitter to see what baseball could be trending. Here are a few I felt like posting. Enjoy…or not.

I don’t think Mookie wanted to take a full polar plunge.

How about this for an athletic move?

Bobby Miller is 6’5” 220 pounds. Even next to Miller, Tyler Glasnow is a BIG boy. 

https://twitter.com/THEREAL_DV/status/1754197803889496216?s=20

And then check him out near Jason Heyward and Freddie.

A lot of neck up farmers’ tans, especially Outman.

And then one of my all-time favorite Dodgers:



Badger

Look at the arms on Will Smith. I had no idea.

dodgerpatch

I liked the Ken Burns treatment of Robinson, and for baseball fans here, if you haven’t had the opportunity to watch his Baseball documentary, I can’t encourage you enough to do it. Once upon a time I taught high school History. I actually showed it and used it a lesson. Burns, IMO, did a masterful job of showing the parallel developments in baseball as reflections of the broader changes in American society. Showing Baseball was a good way, I thought, in getting young minds to think laterally and recognize larger trends versus just looking at History in an individual vacuum.

Robinson was not a wallflower. Prejudice made him angry, and he often showed his anger. Both Rickey and he understood that, for this experiment to work, he had to suppress that anger and turn the other cheek. They both understood that he was going to be subject to incredible amounts of abuse, and he had to rise above it.

Also, he wasn’t a stereotype. He grew up in Southern California. He went to UCLA. He wasn’t easy to typecast as a typical Southern negro by typical Southern racists, and he carried himself with dignity. He was serendipitously the right person at the right time.

Oldbear48

I have the series on DVD including the 10th inning. Burns does there kinds of things well. His country music doc and the one about the Civil War are top notch productions.

Badger
Mark Timmons

It could be or sometimes stuff just goes wrong with the human body for reasons we cannot comprehend. It was almost 30 years ago that my ex-wife died at 37 years old of brain cancer – she was a fitness freak and health food enthusiast.
[URLcomment image?width=960&height=720&fit=bounds[/IMG][/URL]

Badger

Well, stuff happens doesn’t it.

Alloststic load is a thing.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32799204/#:~:text=Introduction%3A%20Allostatic%20load%20refers%20to,at%20varying%20degrees%20of%20activity.

Makes sense. Stress. It can be a killer.

porpoiseboy

Puhleez!

dodgerpatch

When racism is the only tool in your explanatory toolbox, everything is a nail.

porpoiseboy

True story

Oldbear48

Al McBean has passed away at the age of 85. McBean was the first pitcher, and just one of 15 players who have come from the Virgin Islands. He pitched for the Pirates mostly, but spent parts of two seasons, 69-70 with the Dodgers. He pitched in 32 games and had a 2-6 record.

Oldbear48

One of the reasons I picked the painting of Jackie is that it really shows his intensity. The man came to win.

Mark Timmons

You’ve probably seen it, but here is a great gallery tribute to Jackie:

PHOTOS: Jackie Robinson: A life in pictures

R C Ray

From MLB All underrated team:

“Relief pitcher: Brusdar Graterol, Dodgers
Look at how Graterol’s numbers over the past four seasons compare to one of the most heralded, decorated (and well-compensated) relievers in the sport:
Graterol: 158 ERA+, 173 2/3 innings, 1.05 WHIP, 3.5 K/BB
Josh Hader: 160 ERA+, 184 innings, 1.05 WHIP, 3.5 K/BB
Graterol does not possess Hader’s strikeout stuff, but he’s been every bit as effective thanks to his extreme ground-ball and weak-contact tendencies and his ability to limit walks at an elite rate.”

Anthony Castrovince

Last edited 4 months ago by R C Ray
tedraymond

Per Jon Heyman Caleb Ferguson going to the Yankees. Terms and player(s) to follow.

Bluto

Two morning notes:

Caleb Ferguson being traded to the NYY.
• Return is (according to Joel Sherman, pretty good with Yankee info IMO): Haven’t been told the names of the prospects, but were described to me as a faraway prospect who has pitched in the Dominican Summer League the past few years and a Quadruple-A type pitcher. (Matt Gage being the latter, I think.)
•That leaves Vesia, Yarborough and Paxton as the only lefties?
•Has to be opening a spot for some lefty, somewhere.

Keith Law released his top 100 prospects. ($$$)
https://theathletic.com/5245693/2024/02/05/top-100-mlb-prospects-2024-keith-law/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mlbtw&source=mlbtw
• He’s high on River Ryan and De Paul1
• Five (5) Dodgers made the list.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bluto
Jeff Dominique

This has to be the precursor to a bigger trade or FA signing (Brasier?). If the prospect has pitched in the DSL for the past few years, we are talking about a loooow lottery ticket. The good ones last one year in the DSL and then come to US. Jasson Dominguez did not spend a few years in the DSL for NYY. Neither did De Paula or Cartaya for LAD. And of course many many many others.

AAAA pitcher? How many do the Dodgers need?

I am not sure what LHRP is available.

Yes, Caleb Ferguson is one of my favorites since he was drafted. I have no problem with him being traded, and even suggested it was time. But if all the Dodgers can get is a pitcher who has pitched a few years in the DSL and a AAAA pitcher, I will not be happy.

OhioDodger

I agree that is not much of a return for a proven left handed reliever.

Last edited 4 months ago by OhioDodger
Duke Not Snider

Time will tell, of course.
But clearly this trade wasn’t made in a vacuum.
I’ve always liked Caleb, but right now I like Brasier a lot more. And I’ve read or heard a report that Brasier, with his new cutter, was more effective than Caleb against lefties.
And I agree with folks here who think this probably sets up another move, perhaps for lefty Tanner Scott from the Marlins.
If the Dodgers want to bring back Kike, they could offer the Marlins a package that includes Margot or Miguel Rojas and a pitcher. (I’d prefer to keep Rojas as insurance for Lux.)
I’m not sure what extras the Marlins could offer, but I still think Miguelito’s Cuban roots could play better in Miami than LA.

Singing the Blue

There’s been a disconnect between Caleb and the front office ever since they sent him down in 2022. I really don’t think he’s been happy here. It was time for a divorce. I know Mark is expecting big things from Fergie this year, but now the Yankees will reap the benefit (if you’re right about that, Mark).

Considering Sherman’s description of what we’re getting back, this definitely looks like a move to clear space for an incoming reliever. Williams? Brassier? A lefty to take Fergie’s place? Stay tuned.

Oldbear48

They are re-signing Brasier.

OhioDodger

Now Fergy and Verdugo can dis on the Dodgers with each other.

dodgerpatch

Where did you hear this?

Not necessarily doubting this, because who the Dodgers are getting don’t seem like a big upgrade. It seems like it’s more of a lateral move, although the sum of Brasier + Gage maybe is more than one of Ferguson. Still, I think the one issue I had with the proposed bullpen was a slight lack of a really really solid lefty. Ferguson’s 95+ fastball played. Gage is a waiver wire reclamation project.

OhioDodger

On the surface, this trade does not make a lot of sense for the Dodgers. Some things going on that we don’t know about and probably never will.

Jeff Dominique

Some reports have the Dodgers getting 19 year old RHSP Christian Zazueta from Mexico. He is 19 who has pitched two years in the DSL. The Dodgers have a LOOOTTTT of these. This is looking like a Caleb Ferguson for Matt Gage deal. Without knowing all of the facts, on surface, Methinks they could have done better. But seldom does AF ever do something on the surface. He generally has a plan.

Matt Gage does have an option remaining, and this could have been a critical part of the overall plan.

Bluto

Zazueta:

Started 12 games for the DSL Yankees last season, posting a 3.29 ERA, 3.98 xFIP, 1.10 WHIP, 23.6 K%, 7.5 BB%

Video:

Bluto

Longenhagen on Zazueta:
“Zazueta led the DSL Yankees in innings pitched with 52. He has the pitch movement foundation to break out if he can throw harder as he matures. He currently has a rise-and-run upper-80s fastball, a shapely mid-70s curveball, and a precocious changeup, all of which have bat-missing promise.”

Duke Not Snider

I agree. As I understand it, Caleb was out of options, and the Dodgers love to shuttle relievers back and forth between LA and OKC.
The moves enhances their flexibility. And it allows them to flex their financial advantage.

Duke Not Snider

Dodgers do well with reclamation projects, as Brasier illustrates.
The scouting department seems to have a knack for finding these kind of fixer-uppers. Just part of the team’s DNA.
Why spend megabucks on Hader when you can fix an Evan Phillips or Ryan Brasier?

Mark Timmons

Precisely!

Singing the Blue

Welcome back Mr. Brassier!

Oldbear48

Dodgers re-signing Brasier and trading Ferguson to the Yankees for two prospects.

Watford Dodger

Brasier

2 years – $9m

Last edited 4 months ago by Watford Dodger
Oldbear48

One of the players they are receiving for Ferguson is LHRP Matt Gage, Gage is 30 years old and has 16 games of big-league experience with Toronto and Houston. He is 0-1 with a 1.83 ERA in those games. His WHIP is 1.068. He has 20 K’s and 9 walks in 19.2 innings in the majors.

OhioDodger

The Dodgers are re-signing right-hander Ryan Brasier, reports Jon Heyman of The New York Post. It’s a two-year, $9MM deal for the ALIGND Sports Agency client, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, with the possibility for Brasier to earn a total of $13MM via incentives.

Scott Andes

Happy to see Brasier back, a little bummed to see Fergie go. Rgaterol, Brasier, Phillips, primary back end relievers for the 7th, 8th and 9th.

Jeff Dominique

And Treinen. He says he is back. We will also see about Hudson in ST. The bullpen would be better if they acquired Devin Williams, but they will be just fine without him.

Scott Andes

I think they could use another lefty, but bullpen should be fine going forward. Didn’t understand the Ferguson for Gage deal, but they did get a prospect out of it.

Jeff Dominique

One pitcher coming back to LAD is LHRP Matt Gage who NYY just picked up off waivers from Houston. So that means that another spot has to be cleared since Gage needs to go onto the 40 man.

Singing the Blue

With May, Gonsolin and Frasso going on the 60-day IL later this week, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Per Josh Thomas on Twitter:
“In his limited time in the bigs last year, Matt Gage’s cutter had a Stuff+ of 130. Among MLB pitchers who tossed 50+ IP, that would rank 6th.”

Last edited 4 months ago by Singing the Blue
Jeff Dominique

I am not upset with Matt Gage. He has been released and picked up off waivers twice in the last year (Toronto and Houston). There is nothing to say that a 30 year old LHRP cannot find lightning in a bottle this year. The question is, is he better than Caleb Ferguson? I am not so sure. Maybe…maybe not! You are probably right that the Dodgers will hold off on making the Brasier signing official until the Dodgers report to ST this week. But they could have done the same thing without trading Ferguson. There has to be more to the story. Ferguson ask for a trade????

Bluto

Quoting Daniel at Dodgers Digest:
“I like Ferguson but turning him into a broadly similar pitcher with more team control plus a prospect lottery ticket is very Dodgers

Mark Timmons

All I know is that Caleb has a very high opinion of his skills, and it can be difficult at times. Maturity may be the cure, or a change of scenery could work too. When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change… you change!

RC Dodger

I like the signing of Brassier.
And I also agree that it was unnecessary to trade Caleb. They have now let Caleb, Gonzalez, Shelby Miller, and Almonte go who were all recent bullpen contributors for next to nothing. They should be in a win now mode with all of the money they have spent this year. Strange to let those guys walk cheaply yet resign Joe Kelly for $8 million.

Duke Not Snider

Yeah, the brass really just seems to like Joe Kelly. I think he’s fine but overpriced.
The late innings are now covered by Phillips, Graterol, Kelly and Brasier. Maybe Treinen too.
I’m glad Brasier is coming back but I hope AF isn’t done with bullpen.
Tanner Scott?
Devin Williams?

Scott Andes

Agree with Jeff on this. Cant say Gage is better than Ferguson when hes only pitched 19 career MLB innings and he’s 30 years old.

Bobby

Sorry Bums, but Bobby Witt just signed an 11 year, $288mil deal with KC.

Bumsrap

KC did good.

Singing the Blue

This is not a bad thing. Now you and Andrew know exactly what you’ll be paying him for the next 11 years when you trade for him.

Jeff Dominique

He also has a three year $89MM option. If exercised, Witt will have the highest SS deal in MLB history: $377.77MM. Good for KC who has gone way out of their norm this year with a number of FA signings, and then this monstrous contract.

For those that want to read more into the terms of this record breaking contract.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2024/02/royals-bobby-witt-jr-agree-to-11-year-extension.html.

Kansas City is having a great couple of weeks. Chiefs in the Super Bowl and now Bobby Witt Jr. extension.

Jeff Dominique

The two pitchers the Dodgers received in the Caleb Ferguson trade.

A little of Matt Gage:

A little of Christian Zazueta:




Eric

Good swap. Ferguson out, Brasier in. Ferguson is not good under pressure. Considering the good swap, even if the return is not good it’s worth it.

I don’t know if it was necessary or not to trade Ferguson because of the 40 man roster crunch, I haven’t looked. Even if it wasn’t necessary, maybe something good for the bullpen is coming.

I’d like to see a spot for Hurt in the bullpen. I don’t know if it’s there or not.

And please go to a 6 man rotation, because I’m high on Sheehan.

Just my 2 cents.

Mark Timmons

There are 24 reasons why the Dodgers let Almonte, Miller, Gonzalez, and Ferguson go. They are:

Phillips
Graterol
Brasier
Kelly
Vesia
Treinen
Feyereisen
Hudson
Hurt
Yarbrough
Sheehan
Stone
Grove
Knack
Gage
May
Vanasco
Hernandez
Lamet
Crismatt
Fischer
Varand
Ryan
Kopp

You can only have about 7 of these guys on the 26-man roster at the same time!
There’s not enough room for all of these guys the way it is.

Gage’s time may be next year. He has a chance to be Priorized!

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Duke Not Snider

Yep, a whole lot of options.
And I read that Caleb was out of options. We may see guys like Hurt, Vanasco and Kopp shuttle between Oklahoma and LA.
Most teams can’t afford to carry so many ML-quality pitchers. Just another way that Dodgers flex their financial muscle.

Oldbear48

It does not bother me one bit that they traded Ferguson. He imploded a few times last season and when he got in trouble, he seemed to throw pitches right down the middle of the plate. Bullpen is loaded with some really good arms. Now trade for Williams and we are set. Marlins are still looking to upgrade at SS.

Badger

I won’t miss him. Neither will the Dodgers. The bullpen is looking deep to me.

Good for KC and their fans. They will now fill up the park and make the playoffs.

Mark Timmons

#1 – If Milwaukee trades Williams now, they are signaling to their ticket holders they are throwing in the towel for 2024. If the Dodgers acquire Williams, it will most likely be at the trade deadline (IMHO).
#2 – If Lux is “all that at SS,” why not send Rojas back to Florida for a prospect and let CT3 backup Lux? Maybe they are not as sure about Lux as many here are! The sign Kike. I’d rather have him than Rojas!

Jeff Dominique

Miami needs a starting SS. Rojas is really just a defense 1st backup SS. I do not think it is as much that the Dodgers are holding onto Rojas because they do not believe in Lux. The team needs a defensive minded backup SS. Rojas is a fantastic backup SS, better than Taylor at SS, allowing Taylor to play all over. I think it says more about the Dodgers and their apparent lack of interest in Kiké. Could it be the Dodgers prefer Margot to Kiké? It could also be that there is no real interest in Margot.

You can’t equate that the Dodgers are holding onto Rojas because they are not sure about Lux. Well I guess you can, but it is not logical (IMO).

Badger

Sounds like Mark will continue to make his stand on that hill. If he holds on long enough maybe he will be right, in 2032 when Lux is moved off SS.

Rojas was a 1.8 dWAR SS last year. I find that impressive. Maybe he won’t be needed as much this year but all pitchers like a guy like him behind them. I can see him finishing a lot of games this summer.

Mark Timmons

Your two paragraphs are in opposition to each other.

Badger

I don’t think so.

You see, in the first paragraph I’m talking about Lux. In the second paragraph I’m talking about his backup. A backup SS with a 1.8 dWAR is a luxury.

Mark Timmons

But why does he need a caddy to finish the game if he is all that? I think you also have concerns about him. You are too smart not to… no matter what you say!

See what I did there?

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Badger

Everyone needs a rest now and then to stay prepared for October. I can see a lot of guys playing 7 innings during the summer. And as I said earlier, Lux will play around 135 games,

Duke Not Snider

With weak-hitting Rojas at SS, the ’23 Dodgers ranked second in the MLB in run production.
The ’24 Dodgers have upgraded the offense at DH and LF.

If Lux gets hurt or flops and Rojas has to take again over SS, the team should be OK.

Badger

Good point.

Duke Not Snider

Kike fits better than Margot because he adds depth all over the field.
If the Dodgers aren’t interested in Kike, I hope the Angels sign him.

Bluto

Lux was as much “all that” last year at the time the Dodgers signed Rojas last year, IIRC Lux was injured after the Rojas signing.

Aren’t we back in that exact same spot?

Mark Timmons

No

or Maybe!

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Duke Not Snider

Some Brewer fans think they threw in the towel by dealing Burnes.
I don’t know what the Brewers need, but Dodgers could make an attractive offer for Williams.
I’d much rather have Kike than Margot. Rojas is a good glove-first backup, and his bat didn’t totally suck against lefty pitching.
With Kike on the team instead of Margot, Roberts could occasionally put out a lineup with Taylor in RF, Kike at 3B and Rojas at SS. The only lefties in the lineup would be Freddie, Shohei and Outman.

Eric

Andrew Friedman deserves an A grade for his offseason moves big time. Great job.

Mark Timmons

He did not do this on his own volition. Walter and Kasten handed him the key to the vault!

Duke Not Snider

I’ll give him an A minus, because there’s still a bit of work to be done.

If he signs Will Smith to an extension, the grade could be A+.

Eric

Yes Will Smith is a MUST to sign.

Eric

Who I think are the best 7 in the bullpen. With a 6 man rotation.
Phillips
Brasier
Hudson
Treinen
Feyereisen
Graterol
Hurt

RC Dodger

The Dodgers may have hurt their chances of extending Will Smith when they lowballed his arbitration salary this year. MLBTR projected $9.3 million for Smith but the Dodgers only paid him $8.55 million. Crazy to me that you pay over a billion $ to Ohtani, Yamamoto, and Glasnow who have not played one game for the Dodgers yet low ball homegrown Will Smith by $750K. Will was instrumental in the World Series run and the Dodgers probably don’t win without his HR off of his namesake. Also, Will seems like the type of player who would be very willing to extend with the Dodgers. I sure hope the Dodger spending spree doesn’t leave out Smith, Buehler and Kershaw.

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