November 27, 2014

Straight Dealin': Dodgers Go Big at the Trading Deadline

Hanley Ramirez.  Randy Choate.  Shane Victorino.  Brandon League.  Did the Dodgers really pick up all four of those guys at the trading deadline? Un-freaking-believable.  Say what you will about the Dodgers not landing Ryan Dempster (or any starting pitcher for that matter) after trading away starter Nathan Eovaldi, but this ownership group made a statement that that they are here to win – and win soon.

Before the game, Magic Johnson said (per Eric Stephen): “We definitely want to win this year.  We’re not sitting back waiting on next year or the year after.  We want to win now.  We had needs, and we feel like we upgraded our team.”

But best of all, General Manager Ned Colletti didn’t give up any of his top-tier minor leaguers, instead keeping those guys off the block and moving strong minor leaguers (along with Eovaldi and Josh Lindbloom) while stockpiling arms in the bullpen, adding outfield depth and an explosive (albeit temperamental) young third baseman/shortstop who will be with the Dodgers for another two years.

And with the NL West all tied up with the Giants and the Diamondbacks lurking in the shadows, this summer is looking really, really exciting.

Go Blue!

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Katoly Arvai

Jim Thome, Jon Garland Traded to Dodgers!

Jim Thome

Wow.  Was just watching tonight’s game when Vin Scully made the announcement: “The Dodgers have just announced that they have aquired Jim Thome for a player to be named later.  Big Jim with 23 home runs this year…wow, will he fit in.  Imagine the lineup with Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Jim Thome.  Whoa.”

This definitely was one move I  was not expecting the Dodgers to make.  I guess if you can’t get more starting pitching, the next best thing is add more power, right?  A free agent after this season, Thome must have waived his no trade clause.  Speaking of new Dodgers, Ronnie Belliard went deep in his first at bat as a Dodger (and fifth time this year!) while turning two double plays – very nice.

So where exactly is Thome (normally a DH) going to play?  It definitely sounds like more moves are coming…is Thome really a fourth or fifth outfielder?  A left hander off the bench?  Maybe.  Can  he play first base?  I doubt it…he hasn’t played in the field for nearly two full years.

UPDATE: Just learned that Jon Garland has also been traded to the Dodgers for a player to be named later.  Garland is 8-11 this year with a 4.29 ERA, but he is traditionally known as an “innings eater”, a guy who has won his last two starts and I believe is someone the Dodgers were considering making a run at before last season.  Interesting to note that Garland and Thome were teammates on the White Sox a few seasons ago.  Even more interesting to note that Garland was supposed to start against the Dodgers on Thursday, and now could start the same night against his old team that same night.

Ned Colletti on “Dodgers Live” after tonight’s game:

“Jim Thome is a great hitter, a home run hittter.  Is he in the twilight of his career?  No question…he’ll tell you the same thing.  He’s also a great leader and we felt that we needed as much leadership as you can have, especially late in the season.  He (Thome) called me about 8:30 tonight and said, ‘Look I wanted to call you.  I know you guys have interest and I want you to know that me playing first base is probably not going to be an option, but I’ll come off the bench and I’ll do everything I can to help this team win.’  I says, if you’re in, we’re in.  He says, ‘I’m all in.’  And I says, lets go do it.”

Well, say what you will about Ned, but he’s certainly going for it.  Frankly, he had to as the team in it’s composition yesterday was simply not good enough to advance far in the playoffs.  These moves were needed.  The Dodgers have only three pinch hit home runs all year, and craved power from the reserves.  Thome and Belliard are huge upgrades and veteran leadership.  Plus, what a DH the Dodgers have in Thome if they go to the World Series.

So what do you think?  Good moves for the post season or not the right moves?  Let’s hear your thoughts!

Manny Ramirez Delivers 21st Grand Slam Home Run

WOW – sorry I missed seeing this live. Manny steps in as a pinch hitter on his BOBBLEHEAD night no less and smacks a grand slam HR!

Footage of the hit:

Post-game Interview with Manny and Torre:

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SWEEP! Dodgers Over “The Mess”

Sweep!
Sweep!

Ahhh…how sweet a sweep is!  So many great memories from tonight’s game, including a strong starting performance from Weaver after having been bounced like a pinball between starting and the bullpen, Ethier’s walk and subsequent move to third on J. Martin’s clutch hit allowing him to score, O-Dog’s 11-game hitting streak, Leach’s clutch pitching performance, earning him his first career victory.  Good times, good times.

So as usual tonight, I was listening to the game on my way home from working out and I SWEAR I hear Vin Scully in the second inning say, “Four hits, one run for the Dodgers. One hit, no runs for the Mess.”  How appropriate, right?  Just looks at these stats from the Mets:
- Six errors in the first two games (none tonight)
- 3 for 27 with runners in scoring position (.111 AVG)
- 20 men left on base
And the crazy thing is, they had a legitimate shot to win at least two of these games!  As the saying goes, I’d rather be lucky than good, but this series the Dodgers seemed to have a little bit of both working for them.  Great job Dodgers, and enjoy your day off!

Manny Signed?

ESPN says the deal is done: two years, $45 million with a player opt out clause. Manny reportedly heading west for a physical and to join the team. BUT Tony Jackson says no deal yet. Dodger fans continue to wait…