December 19, 2014

Let the Manny Ramirez Negotiations Begin!

So ESPN is reporting that the $20-$25 million per year isn’t the issue, it’s the length of the contract, with Ned pushing for two years instead of five or six.

My take is that this is a smart move by Ned for several reasons: one, this is a negotiation. We all know a five or six-year deal for Manny makes absolutely no sense for a NL team. Where’s he going to hit when his knees break down? At 33, Manny’s no spring chicken! Two, the team has been burned by long-term contracts in the past. Does Darren Dreifort’s infamous five-year, $55 million contract in 2000 ring any bells? Personally, I’d take Manny for three years at A-Rod money. He proved a lot to me during his short stint in LA, and the effect he had on the players both on and off the field was undeniable.

Plus, Ned has shown that he likes short-term contracts while in LA, and it probably kept him from getting fired this off-season. Could you imagine if the Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt deals were for 4+ years??

I’m sure we’ll now see Scott Boras start talking about mythical offers from “unnamed clubs” in an effort to get Ned to bid against himself, but I think we’re long past the Boras shenanigans of old working in 2008 (God, at least I hope we are).

Your move, Manny…

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.

Welcome Back Andruw and Nomar!

I’ve got that “Welcome Back Kotter” song stuck in my head today as I prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday with an afternoon of hot dogs and beer.

Yes, Nomar and Andruw are back, but is this good news for the Dodgers? The reality is, the Dodgers desperately need Jones’ bat if they want to advance in the playoffs. Word is that Jones has slimmed down a bit, worked on his swing and wants to help the team win now. Ned must have agreed, as the team brought him back on the road in San Francisco, rather than saving him for the upcoming homestand. That’s the kind of veteran enthusiasm the Dodgers need (and probably what Ned needs if he wants to save his job).

As for Nomar, how bad can he be at shortstop? Sure, it’s been four years since he last played the position, but Angel Berroa was batting .194 and Luis Maza was hitting a blistering .225. Jesus, maybe Ned can bring us some relief before the trade deadline…and I’m not talking about some over-priced veteran that’s due to breakdown for the remainder of the season.

Of course, with the good comes the bad: Rafael Furcal is predictably transferred to the 60-day DL where he is to undergoe surgery on his bad back. Realistically Furcal is done for the season, which is a huge disappointment for the club after getting such a strong start out of their oft-injured shortstop.

Knee Injury Sidelines Andruw Jones for 4-6 Weeks

Knee Surgery

Well, Andruw Jones is officially out for 4-6 weeks, and I think I heard a cry of joy from Dodger Fans across the country. He’s headed under the knife and will miss approximately 4-6 weeks for rehab.

Now, having knee surgery probably won’t help Jones’ ongoing weight challenges any, but it does firm up a solid outfield lineup for the Dodgers in the meantime. Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier should be good to go for the next four weeks at a minimum, and create a situation where Jones may have some motivation to get back in shape before rejoining the team to improve his prospects for the starting lineup.

A technical note – the Dodgers put Jones on the 15-day DL right before game time today, and nabbed Terry Tiffee from AAA Las Vegas for their official roster (likely to act as a PH). This bumps our friend Nomar to the 60-day DL, so he’s going to be away even longer than expected.

Andruw Jones Has Torn Knee Cartilage

Yup, it’s true. According to ESPN, an MRI on Monday showed the tear. Jones is hoping to avoid surgery until the offseason. The thing is, a healthy Jones hasn’t been a whole lot of help so far in 2008, so what’s an injured Jones going to do? Maybe he should have the surgery now with a better opportunity to come back at full strength in next year’s spring training. That would then give us a starting outfield of Pierre, Kemp and Ethier. Thank God we had that fourth outfielder! What do you all think the Dodgers should do?