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Where Is Kirk Gibson for 2023

I think a light bulb went off for Dave Roberts. A reporter actually asked a question other than…”what are the emotions you are feeling right now?”  Heavy hitting standard question that fits every situation.

Reporter:

“I think one thing that served you guys well, you have a lot of guys that are even keeled. I know Mookie on the elimination day was like it’s another type of game type thing. But in October, do you kind of need to have that NFL Sunday type of mindset? Would something like that help?”

Roberts:

“I think there’s some truth to that. As a manager, you never want to say that somebody wants it more than you because I think that speaks to the preparation part of it, the mental part of it.

 But I will say that you look at that dugout versus our dugout, there was more intensity there. And so not asking guys to be outside of who they are. But that sense of the ultimate sense of urgency each pitch, I think that we’re going to make sure that that’s noted, because I do think the retrospect, the postmortem, kind of looking at it, I sensed it. I sensed it. So that part of it, I think that I’ve got to certainly take ownership of for sure.”

Question:

“Was that a need this winter to maybe go out find that type of guy?”

Roberts:

“I think that’s more — not necessarily, I think the personnel was there. I think it’s more of bringing that message to light and that’s my job.”

The reporter called out Mookie by name.  Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux, CT3, Austin Barnes, Will Smith, Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, Tyler Anderson.  Prior years…Corey Seager. Need I keep going.  The team is made up from these types of personalities.  Stoic, non-plussed, and yes even keeled.  They appear to take the sport of baseball as a business and not a game.  For the grind of a 162 game season, that probably works.  Don’t get too up or too down.  But in a “short series” win or go home “crap-shoot”, I think there needs to be more of a sense of urgency.

Max Muncy has an attitude.  We saw it against the White Sox.  We saw it against Madison Bumgarner.  But the other times we saw it from him was when he is striking out.  Not much incentive there.  Unfortunately the other attitudes on the roster were not the stars.  Brusdar Graterol, Alex Vesia, Hanser Alberto.

This LAD team does not have a Manny Machado, Tim Anderson, Francisco Lindor, Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar, Jose Altuve, Juan Soto, a younger Madison Bumgarner, and Alex Rodriguez.  Yes, even Carlos Correa.  Someone who can take all of the s*** with a smile, and put the team on his back.

Attitudes Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson dominated the 2001 WS.  Madison Bumgarner in 2014.  The 2004 Red Sox team was full of those types.  Early 70’s A’s.  1988 Kirk Gibson.

Gone are the fiery managers. There is no Tommy Lasorda going after the Philly Phanatic or giving Kurt Bevacqua speeches.  There is no Walter Alston inviting anyone on a bus to meet him outside. This game has been turned over to computer geeks.  Players sit in the dugout and look at their last ABs on their I-Pad.  Where are the Chase Utley’s who study the pitcher to pick up his pitcher tells.  Where are the jokesters…Jerry Reuss and Jay Johnstone?

When asked if there are plans to get that player in the Winter, I will repeat what Doc said:

“I think that’s more — not necessarily, I think the personnel was there. I think it’s more of bringing that message to light and that’s my job.”

I don’t remember Bob Melvin being the leader bringing the attitude to the surface.  Does anyone think that Manny Machado or Jurickson Profar, or Trent Grisham need a manager to tell them to play with a sense of urgency or a chip on their shoulder?

It is the players.  It does not have to be a dugout full of attitudes.  It really only needs to be one or two that are comfortable with bringing the ‘tude.  Who has the wide shoulders to carry the team?

I do not know who those players are.  But the Dodgers are missing that “Guy”.  Dansby Swanson?  He would be a current Dodger clone.

 

 

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Jacob Burch

Rodon has fire. Pay the money and add a top arm to the rotation. Roll with Urias, Rodon, Kershaw, Gonsolin, May, Pepiot. Play the young bats.

Badger

It feels like maybe the Tower of Bauer is casting an ominous shadow over the Dodgers ability to operate this winter. If staying under the CBT lid is paramount and they only have $12 million to do it, there won’t be any big name purchases any time soon. As mentioned, at this point that situation feels contrived and highly unprofessional. I may be wrong about all that, and if so I wait to stand corrected.

As for a cheerleader I don’t feel it’s all that necessary with this team. They need a big hit not a big mouth. That clown act in the Padres dugout often looks silly and staged to me. Often, not always. I prefer to outscore everybody with good pitching and professional at bats and act like you’ve been there before. High fives yes, but the rehearsed dances, bling necklaces and wheelbarrow rides looks overdone to me. But I’m old fashioned that way.

OhioDodger

It is obvious that Manfred has a personal vendetta against Bauer. And seems to have some kind of bug up his ass about the Dodgers. The commissioner of baseball should be an impartial 3rd party and not a tool appointed by the owners.

Badger

100% agree.

Bumsrap

I am laid back and have never been a rah rah guy. I liked Joc being the first out of the dugout to celebrate a big hit but he wasn’t otherwise a rah rah guy. Kike’ liked to celebrate. There is a difference between celebrating and being a Kirk Gibson. I am not for adding a Kirk Gibson.

The Dodgers have never had a wheelbarrow but they have had a bubble machine.

I’ll take execution over Gibson. I’ll take smart at bats over big swings. I’ll take swings over passive at bats. I’ll take trusting the next guy up over trying to be the hero.

All that said, I think Correa adds a lot to a clubhouse. I think Jeff Kent subtracted from the clubhouse. There is a difference between laid back but focused and hyped but unfocused. I think watching a video of one’s last at bat is good as long as the player is paying attention to the next 7 hitters’ at bats.

Repeating myself, if Friedman really tried to sign Trea and or Verlander then he is willing to exceed the CBT for the right player. Swanson and Correa are in play. They are also in play if Friedman trades away payroll. Would anybody prefer Swanson or Correa over Muncy or Taylor?

RF Betts
2B Lux
1B Freeman
C Smith
SS Correa or Swanson
DH Busch
3B Verdugo
CF Thompson
LF Outman

Last edited 1 month ago by Bumsrap
Jacob Burch

Verdugo at 3B is a bold prediction  😉 

Bumsrap

Oops. The other V guy.

Bumsrap

While I toss out a lot of trades, I, more than anybody else, have said I am ready to start the season with what the Dodgers already have.

Why would Friedman stay in contact or meet with any free agents if there were not some interest in signing them. It’s fair to say that if Friedman seriously considered signing a big free agent then it follows that he was willing to zip past the CBT for the right free agent at the right price.

Oldbear48

According to MLBTR, Rodon is seeking a 7-year deal. AF has never given any pitcher more than 4 years, and none in a while.

Jacob Burch

Middle-tier talents like Bassit, Benitendi & Drury are probably getting greedy right now and holding out for more money from teams who missed out on the bigger names. Out of those names, only Drury holds any real appeal to me, but mostly because of his versatility and [theoretical] lower cost. MLBTR had him at 2y/$18; I’ll predict 2y/$24m if we sign him.

Singing the Blue

Totally agree with your main point here, Jeff.
Badger, they don’t need a cheerleader, because Doc is quite capable of filling that role. They need someone to stir up some passion.
Passion is the key, in my opinion, and they totally play without that most of the time.
Might as well re-name the team the Los Angeles Robots.

I have no idea who that player might be, but I hope they find him sooner than later. And I think it would be beneficial if that person was a position player rather than a pitcher, someone who plays every day.

First and foremost, you need a roster with talent, but a lot of teams have talent. In a short series (or a group of short series) you need someone to stir things up and have your guys rise above their normal level of talent. That’s what we seem to be missing and what I saw in the Padres dugout during the playoffs last season.

Yes, the playoffs are still a crapshoot, but passion is just one more advantage, if you have it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Singing the Blue
Bluto

I think this has been in the air for a while. When Machado was traded for, it was reported that Friedman wanted “more of an edge” in the clubhouse.

It’s interesting, to me at least.

Can’t believe we have to suffer through another Croatia game.

Jacob Burch

We need a player who’s willing to fight his manager.

OhioDodger

We need a manager that is willing to fight his players and get in their business.

Jacob Burch

Roberts would have to put his glass of wine down first.

Oldbear48

Good point Bluto. But Machado in any uniform is an ass. And that was not the main reason, it was because Seager was out, and Taylor was no Seager. Kemp was also on that team, and he was having a resurgent year. So much for being a cancer in the clubhouse. I do not know what the team needs to put them over the top. Better preparation if they get the bye might help. Whether anyone believes it or not, that 5-day layoff, well they went totally cold even though they were playing against each other in intrasquad games. In the meantime, the Padres were fighting for their playoff lives against the Mets. That kind of intensity makes a difference. Yeah, the Padres dugout is full of those kinds of guys, but they outplayed the Mets, and then they took their revenge for all the beatdowns LA had put on them during the season by knocking to so called best team out of the playoffs. They came a lot closer to going to the World Series than the Dodgers did.
In my humble opinion, we are not going to see much action out of the Dodgers signing players until after the New Year. Same thing happened last year, mostly because of the lockout. But until they have a definitive read on what is happening with Bauer, I doubt they sign any A or B list free agent. There will be more Heyward type deals than major ones. If Bauer is reinstated, all bets are off, they will go with what they have, or make a trade. Correa and Swanson are not coming to LA.

Bumsrap

…”Correa and Swanson are not coming to LA.”

I love it when you make such definitive statements.

Oldbear48

Well, Bum, until AF has some idea about the Bauer situation, they are not going to make a major signing. No way Correa is ever a Dodger. The fan backlash would be huge, and AF mentioned that. As for Swanson, he is more likely than Correa, but I do not think he wants to wait until LA figures out what they are going to do. It is more a commonsense statement than some of the dream scenarios most fans come up with, I am a realist, and the reality is until they have some definitive result about Bauer, they are not going to sign a big-name contract. If I turn out to be wrong, well that has happened before. But not too often.

Jacob Burch

Regarding free agency and the financial trends we’re seeing in the current market, I think Friedman is hamstrung a bit because his preferred course of action [shorter term/higher AAV] is not happening that much right now with deals. In some ways, the only thing that matters is the one-year hit, which is why Nimmo for roughly $20m per was a pretty savvy use of resources, considering he’s a productive and complete everyday player at a prime position. The fact that it’s an eight-year deal doesn’t matter as much because where will you be in eight years? Exactly, nobody knows.

Also, there is some truth to the “stars and scrubs” label put on Friedman’s moves. The fact that we were rumored to be in on Verlander suggests he’s willing to pay a large number as long as it doesn’t extend far into the future. That is reserved for superstars like Betts or Freeman [which latter, btw, was a hell of a deal for us].

Ironically, the two impact players that are the best fits for us at this point have opposing ideal contracts: Rodon would be best on a short, high AAV deal while Swanson would be better to extend in time to lower the AAV. Rodon for three years or Swanson for seven are signings that make sense in the current environment.

I’m purposely ignoring Senga because that is purely a scouting matter. We simply don’t know how our brain-trust values his skillset. My guess would he’d be a long-term deal with a lower AAV.

Badger

In on Verlander. We’ve been “linked” to a number of players. I’m not sure I believe we were ever really in on any of them. Friedman has known for a while this Bauer thing won’t likely be resolved until next year.

Jeff, you mentioned above that Manfred is acting unilaterally. He works for the owners. Doesn’t he need their official , or otherwise, okey dokey to make decisions like this? I’ve made that assumption but I know I could be wrong about that.

Badger

Great information, thank you.

Who signs his paychecks? Who fires him if he f’s up?

Bluto

The owners. And he is very, very, very far from fucking up.

Labor piece, rising franchise values, this Bauer thing off the headlines.

His only flaw may be curtailing Cohen’s spending.

Badger

And that’s my point. The owners know exactly what he’s doing and are ok with it.

I still believe there will be some kind of reduction in his suspension, he will be eligible to pitch at some time in ‘23, and the Dodgers will be on the hook for whatever is left. His count against the cap is $35,333,334. Half a year would give us about $17 million to play with. That could definitely get something done, even at the deadline should the team decide they are good enough to go for it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bluto

100%

Dionysus

Who are the quality prospects most expendable in our system?

Jacob Burch

I’ll bite.

Let’s start with our area of greatest strength: SP power arms. While Pepiot & Grove have already seen MLB time, Miller & Stone haven’t, but are not that far behind. Think mid-2023 for both. Nastrini & Sheehan have serious helium and there are more down the line. High-upside types like Bruns, Kopp & Heubeck could be decent tertiary pieces in a major deal.

Next is catcher, where Cartaya is probably untouchable but Rushing has burst on the scene. Rushing probably has some decent value and it’s hard to miss what you never really had [-ish].

Finally, we have utility-type bats or rather guys who haven’t quite settled into one true position. Vivas is probably a 2b long-term but Leonard could be 2B/CF/?.

Personally, I’d consider moving Pages, especially if we brought a semi-permanent OF into the mix in the same deal [thinking Reynolds here]. He’s a low-average guy with big swing-and-miss who is young, raw & no sure thing.

Tough pill to swallow but if we’re not spending cash and want to go shopping with Miller, Bruns, Rushing, Vivas & Pages . . . have to think we’d bring home some loot.

Singing the Blue

I think they may all be expendable.

Our highest rated prospect, Cartaya, is backed by Yeiner Fernandez and Dalton Rushing, both of whom are excellent catching prospects.

If you trade Bobby Miller you still have Gavin Stone, and vice versa, plus we have a number of very good pitchers coming up behind them.

Pages is another highly ranked prospect but corner outfielders are easier to come up with in free agency and trade than most other positions.

The one guy I don’t want to get rid of is Vargas. But that’s just me. A year from now I might be very sorry I said that.

So, in the right deal, I would trade any of our prospects because, after all, until they prove themselves at the major league level, they are still only prospects.

The two guys at the top of my “keep them” list, though, are Vargas and Stone.

Jacob Burch

Mine are Nastrini & Sheehan. Both those guys’ stuff just hits different.

Singing the Blue

I’m very high on both of those guys, although I wouldn’t consider them untouchable.

Those two, along with Nick Frasso, I find to be very intriguing and I look forward to seeing their progress next year……………….assuming we don’t trade them for Tatis.  😎 

Oldbear48

San Diego is not going to trade Tatis to the Dodgers. Never not no how no way.

Singing the Blue

Did you notice the smiley face I included at the end?

Oldbear48

Whoops missed that one. I just thought you were being smug. LOL> Quintana to the Mets on a two-year deal.

Badger

They would if they honestly felt he will do a career Belli flop. It would also free up about $300 million for them. I too doubt it would happen. They can afford to nurse him along as the next two years he’s only making about $19 mil combined.

Bumsrap

Hmmm.

Oldbear48

I am making this prediction based on a gut feeling. The Dodgers are not going to make it to the playoffs this year. I think and believe with their commitment to a youth movement, management and ownership is fine with that. They are not close to being the best team in the NL anymore. They are not even the best team in their own division.

Singing the Blue

How about waiting until opening day to make that prediction, Bear?
We added a number of our better players, including Mookie and Freddie, after the first of the year.
They may not add anyone of consequence or any one else at all, but give AF a little bit of time just in case.
I don’t think ownership would have a problem if we don’t win 111 games next year, or even if we don’t win the division.
I do think they’d have a problem if we missed the playoffs all together.

Badger

It depends on if we are paying Bauer or not.

We have a good enough team to stay close until the deadline.

Oldbear48

Why should I do that? We all know they are wanting to bring on the kids, but sorry, a prospect is just that until he isn’t. And we are talking about at least 6 kids and expecting them to make impacts. They might, one never knows about that kind of thing, but I think it puts more pressure on the kids to produce when you are talking about A. A major market team trying to get back to the World Series and B. A group of players who have less than a full years experience in the majors between all of them. They are also counting on the return to form from May and Gonsolin, Hoping the injury bug does not bite them again. Treinen is not going to be available all year, Miller is a reclamation project. No guarantee Hudson is ready by opening day. Just too many question marks and huge holes for me to consider anything else. Not pessimistic at all.

Dionysus

Your gut is wrong.

Oldbear48

Maybe, I just don’t see how they can rely on so many untried players. Now, they can always add at the deadline, I just believe that they are really interested in keeping below the Luxury tax, and if they have to pay Bauer, they are going to try their darmdest to keep as low as possible. I see no real rush or urgency from AF at all. They waited until almost spring to make the Betts trade in 20, and they waited until almost spring last year to bring on Freeman. My gut is not often wrong. I knew they were going to have a lot of trouble bringing back any of their free agents besides Kershaw. They still might bring back JT, but now there is a lot of competition for his services,

Badger

It’s not that outrageous a prediction. I can see how it could happen. I can also see a Wild Card entry if we don’t win the Division. This is still a very good team. 91 wins if we do little else. And Friedman will do a lot more than little less.

Oldbear48

Yeah, there is always that possibility. But my gut says they are going to have to play flawless baseball. If Lux is the SS, he is going to have to hit close to .300 and play stellar defense. No time for him to get the yips on his throws again. Whoever ends up on third is also going to have to play solid defense. I trust Thompson in center more than Outman and Taylor at this point. But I also think Taylor can handle SS very easily since that is his favorite place to play on the field. Busch is going to have most of spring to prove he is the real deal. And in my eye, the starting pitching beyond Kersh, Urias and Gonsolin is very iffy. May needs to prove he can pitch a full season. He hasn’t done that yet. Beyond those guys you are looking at a batch of untested but very promising and talented kids. Unless AF jumps in and finds a #5 starter, I do not have a whole lot of faith in those kids.

Badger

Yes, all that could happen.

In today’s game, it’s not a batting average of .300, it’s an OPS of .800. I think Lux can get close to that, though his projections don’t show it. I also believe if he starts taking grounders every day now, he will be fine at SS. Urias is the only starter I see that can be counted on for 30 starts and 150+ innings so the bullpen needs to be deep. Muncy and CT need to hit. They certainly are capable of it. I also do not believe Friedman is done.

I see what you’re saying Bear. I am hopeful the team will prove you wrong. But we’ve both lived long enough to not be surprised by anything.

Oldbear48

Exactly

Sam Oyed

Hayward/Thompson platoon.

Singing the Blue

Can Heyward still play a decent centerfield? Seems to me I’d rather take my chances with Outman, who will probably out hit and out field him. Don’t mind having Heyward as an extra piece but given a choice to platoon Heyward or Outman to start the year, I’m choosing Outman.

Fred Vogel

Heyward in left?

Singing the Blue

He was an excellent fielder at one point so I’m sure he’d still do a good job in one of the corner spots……………….if we don’t care about his hitting.

Bumsrap

He is a right fielder. He is a Dodger because he is free. We don’t know how well Outman and Thompson will hit for a full season. We have a much better idea on how well Heyward will hit though. I think Heyward should be insurance and remain on the back burner, simmering. Back burner as in Oklahoma.

Thompson is a good defensive center fielder who seems to hit righties better than lefties. We’ve seen Outman videos making great catches in RF.

Taylor is saying he would love to play shortstop and if not, then he would love to play center field. It would be nice if he said he wants to backup multiple positions or that he wants to strike out less. I think I would prefer that he said the latter.

OhioDodger

Totally agree on Taylor. Cut down on the strike outs. Stop swinging for the fence on every pitch. You’ve got your money. Put the ball in play.

Oldbear48

Well do not have to worry about them signing Kiermaier. He re-signed with the Rays.

Singing the Blue

They did us a favor.

Singing the Blue

Question for the rules experts.
Let’s say the arbitrator says Bauer can play this year. He has an opt out for 2023.
How long does he have to say yes or no to that part of his contract?

OhioDodger

Good question. I doubt that he opts out. I think he will be pitching for us in 2023.

Singing the Blue

He could opt in and still not be pitching for us.
They might as well just sign Correa and have Bauer pitch next year. All will be forgiven by the fans when we win the WS.
And while they’re at it they can bring back Puig.

Dionysus

I think OJ Simpson will throw out the first pitch. My gut tells me that.

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