September 2, 2014

Repko’s Back

 

Happy MLK Day, everyone!  Just read on Tony Jackson’s blog that the Dodgers came to terms on another one-year deal with outfielder Jason Repko, thus avoiding arbitration.  According to Jackson, Repko will get a small raise in base pay to $500,000 (up $12,500).  Now considering that Repko had a whopping 20 at bats in 2008, that means he received $24,375 per at bat.  I did a little quick research, and in 2008 Manny earned $34,293 per at bat and A-Rod earned $54,901 per at bat.  In 2007 dollars, this would have landed Repko at #17 on the list, right behind Johnny Damon and right before David Ortiz – not bad! (Note: I know these stats require a minimum number of at bats, but still thought it was a fun statistic to look up).

I’ve always liked Repko as a #5 outfielder and am glad to see the Dodgers came to terms with the guy (even if his name is not you-know-who).

PS – Speaking of you know you, just heard from someone over at the Dodgers that all is definitely quiet on the Manny Ramirez front…we’ll let you know if we anything changes!

Rumor Mill: Free Agent Andruw Jones?

According to TJ Simers at the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by Yahoo! Sports, that’s a scenario that the Dodgers are exploring with Jones’ agent, potentially through a deferred buyout or maybe a jinky contract extension moving the money owed to future years. Along with every other Dodger fan with a pulse, a contract buyout is something that we heartily endorse and a fantastic way to start off the new year fresh. Nothing like washing away the sins of 2008, right?

BTW, we loved the story about how the Giants are reportedly interested in entering the Man-Ram sweepstakes. Yeah, right. I’m sure those knuckleheads up in SF are indeed interested in having Manny in their outfield to sell some tickets now that they have The Big Unit on board for one year, but do you think Boras would seriously consider parking Manny in the Bay for 4-5 years? That’s the baseball equivalent of doing a stint in Alcatraz. Boras knows he needs another bidder to drive the price up with the Dodgers, and what better team to use than The Hated Ones?

A Dunn Deal?

Is it time to say goodbye to Man-Ram and hello to Adam Dunn? The more I think about this, the more I like the move. While it’s impossible to argue with the production, excitement and enthusiasm that Manny brought to the Dodgers last season, he comes with a certain amount of baggage. Like Terrell Owens, this tiger is not going to change his stripes. Sure, the Dodgers could sign Manny to a three-year, big money deal. But it’s not the money that’s the issue, it’s his attitude in the last year of his contract. Manny was truly a cancer for the Red Sox before they traded him, and Ramirez was clearly on his best behavior while in LA. But would this be the case in the last year of his contract here in LA? Which Manny would show up?

Adam Dunn is consistency to Manny Ramirez’s excitement. The guy hits 40 HRs practically every year, which is more than anyone since Beltre in 2004 (thanks ESPN.com). He’s going to come (relatively) cheap, potentially opening the door to additional pitching help this off season. Plus, Colletti doesn’t want to be left at the alter in late-January with no replacement for Ramirez if Manny walks to another team.

So all things being equal, I’d of course take Manny in a heartbeat. But given the realities of baseball, I’ll take Adam Dunn. Something tells me Frank McCourt will too.

A High Fly Ball to Right Field…

Hard to believe Kirk Gibson’s legendary, series-changing home run in Game 1 if the 1988 World Series was 20 years ago today.  I remember it well: I was 18 and on a college tour with my parents somewhere on the East Coast.  At that moment, I was watching the game with my mom and explaining the improbability of the Dodgers winning the series without Gibson in the game.  It ranks as my favorite Dodgers moment of all time, and I can still hear Vin Scully in my head saying incredulously, “The impossible has happened!”  How can that not give you chills?  Hard to believe that was the first come from behind, walk-off HR in World Series history.

I wish I could pull the clip from Ken Burns’ “Baseball” documentary, as he put together a great piece on “the moment,” interviewing everyone associated with this game, but instead I found the clip on YouTube.  Rather than rehashing a moment we all know so well, I thought I would share other’s takes on the home run from the Detroit Free-Press (this is great) and the Los Angeles Times.

So where you, Dodger fans?  Let’s hear your stories!  And Gibby, dust off those cleats and meet us out at the Ravine…we need you for Game 5!

Welcome to Hollywood, Manny Ramirez!

Wow. Seriously, is there a better way word to describe this deal? Maybe unfathomable. Unbelievable. Extraordinary. Am I dreaming? Did the Dodgers really get Manny Friggin’ Ramirez for Andy LaRoche and a 21 year-old Class A minor league pitcher that’s already been through Tommy John surgery? Did I mention that the Red Sox are also reportedly picking up Manny’s salary? That’s like the bow on top of this gift from Theo Epstein. I was working at the X Games today, and my phone was ringing off the hook as fellow Dodger fans called to celebrate the news. Congrats to SI’s John Donovan for breaking the news.

Read my comments on an earlier Manny Ramirez post from Alex earlier today, and I was critical of adding Manny to the Dodgers for fear of the cost of what we’d have to give up as well as what might happen behind the clubhouse walls. I never imagined that we would get possibly the greatest hitter of his generation for practically nothing. Two months of Manny while in a tight pennant race is just too good to pass up, even if he’s just average. Plus, you have to remember that Manny’s teammates have loved the guy a great majority of the time. It’s the media and the front office that usually have the problem with him (and for extremely valid reasons, I might add). But the Dodgers know it’s just for two months, and Manny’s in a contract year, so he’ll be on his best behavior. Congratualtions Ned. I never thought you had this in you!

A few thoughts on “The Trade” from Dodger executives, the media and our fellow bloggers:

- From Tim Kurkjian (ESPN): “Three potential Hall of Famers were traded within 24 hours (Ramirez, Griffey Jr. and Ivan Rodriguez. The last time this happened was 1966 when Robin Roberts, Orlando Hernandez and Fergie Jenkins were moved…and that was over the course of several months.”

- From a giddy Frank McCourt: “He (Ramirez) is an elite athlete. As close as you can come to being an artist of the game….Certainly a baseball classic.”

- Understatement of the year from Joe Torre: “Manny in the middle of the lineup will certainly get people’s attention.”

- From Dodger Thoughts (the blog of all Dodger blogs): “If Ramirez replaces Pierre/Jones in the lineup, this deal makes the Dodgers a more serious contender to finish over .500 in 2008. (I kid! I think they can do even better.) It weakens the Dodgers beyond 2008, but honestly, there’s time enough to solve that.”

- From the good folks over at the Sons of Steve Garvey: “The right personnel on the field does not include Andruw Jones or Juan Pierre–BOTH OF WHOM ARE STARTING TONIGHT in what I hope is to allow the obligatory “farewell waves to the crowd” for at least one of those players. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp simply cannot ride the pine if we hope to make a run.”

This last quote from “Steve Sax” really says it all. This move has got to mean that Jones has earned a permanent spot on the bench. The man is a strikeout machine and it’s becoming abundantly clear that Andruw has lost his mojo. Permanently.