The Dodgers just lost two out of three to the WORST team in the National League, making them a dismal 4 and 9 during their current crucial 19 game stretch to end the month of May, and Frank McCourt announced today that he expects to make May’s month end payroll. So to sum up just what it means to be a Dodgers fan these days, the team has more players on the DL than any other team in baseball, thus they are severly under performing on the field offensively and in the bullpen, and the guy who has caused this mess that has become the L.A. Dodgers organization may be sticking around longer than expected. As the great Vince Lombardi so poetically put it “What in the hell is going on out here?”
Want more evidence of just how bad the Dodgers are right now you say? Okay, their 175 runs scored in 51 games played is the WORST in ALL of MLB, unless Minnesota doesn’t score 11 runs in their next game, which is unlikely so okay just the worst in the NL, assuming the Padres score 4 runs tomorrow against a starting pitcher with an ERA over 5.00.
Yesterday they faced Astros starter Aneury Rodriguez who was making his 4th career start. In his previous three he hadn’t made it past the fifth inning and had an ERA just below 7.00. Yet against the Dodgers lineup consisting of Matt Kemp and guys who are past their prime, never had a prime or should still be in AAA, Rodriguez dominated. Allowing one run, a homer by Kemp of course, and striking out 6 while only giving up 4 hits in six innings. Really?
Oh yeah and the guy who got the winning hit off of the Dodgers 12 million dollar reliever had ZERO hits in his last 32 at-bats. But of course he just needed to face the Dodgers and wallah 0-for-32 turns into a 3 hit game. Oh and back to Matt Guerrier the $12 million dollar man who was really good until he became a Dodger, unless you consider 26 hits and 11 walks allowed in 25 innings good. Perhaps Ned Colletti should have considered that he had made over 300 appearances the last four years, tops in ALL of MLB, compiling over 311 innings during that span. Even Joe Torre thinks that’s excessive.
Let’s also not forget Ned’s penchant for back loading contracts, most likely because the Dodgers don’t have the money to pay the actual contract amount due to the close to $500 million in debt the teams owner has amassed in his seven years at the helm. If your keeping score at home it equates to just over $70 million per season in debt, even though the Dodgers were always at the top of the league in attendance, and as the owner he was charging his own team rent to play in Dodger stadium but that’s a story for another day.
My point is how is Matt Guerrier going to look as a 34/35 yr old in the final year of his contract when he’ll be making close to $5 million because his contract in back loaded? What about a 37 year old Ted Lilly who will be making $13.5 million dollars in the final year of his deal? Considering how hittable both have been this year they should be real fun to watch two years from now, that is if they aren’t on the DL. Both are likely candidates to follow the Casey Blake plan, who at 35 years of age was given a 3 year deal by Colletti, with a $6 million option for next season, Blake has spent most of the season on the DL.
As bad as this team has performed offensively, and you can blame injuries all you want, remember this is the club Ned Colletti assembled, a lot of the blame rests solely on his shoulders. Obviously he is hamstrung by an owner who would rather buy matching Malibu beach homes than invest in an ace pitcher or a left fielder, but this team has Colletti’s fingerprints all over it.
Jay Gibbons, Marcus Thames, Aaron Miles, Juan Castro, Dioner Navarro, Tony Gwynn Jr. and until recently Lance Cormier, seriously? How many other rosters in MLB would these guys make? Obviously they have been forced to play more due to injuries but that’s what happens when you give 3 year deals to 35 year old third basemen and a 33 year old short stops with chronic back problems. Plus the trend of back loading player contracts, whether influenced my Mccourt’s financial incompetence or not has led to some of the worst free-agent signings in baseball the past few seasons, and as a result they limit what the club can do this year, which is why you see the names Navarro, Castro, Gibbons etc…on the roster and even worse in the starting lineup.
Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt were both terrible signings, and that’s not me looking at results after the fact and saying I told you so. Scouts all over baseball ripped both signings. Jason Schmidt, who the Dodgers are still paying $1.5 million this year even though he hasn’t pitched since 2009.had thrown over a thousand innings in the 5 season prior to his signing in LA. Giants fans mocked the Dodgers for giving him $45 million dollars, which works out to $15 for each win he gave the team in return.
Jones is even more mind boggling. He was coming off of his worst season as a Brave, a season which he .220, got on base at a .311 clip and the Braves made NO attempt to resign him. Shouldn’t that have told someone in the Dodgers front office something about the player they were getting? And how did Jones repay Ned Colletti for giving him $36 million dollars over two years? He showed up fat, out of shape played all of 75 games before being asked to just go away. Oh yeah and the Dodgers and paying him $3, 375,000 to play for the Yankees this year. They will pay him the same amount next year to play somewhere else, in 2013 they will pay him the same amount to play somewhere else that is pure genius on the part of Ned Colletti.
I wont go in to Juan Pierre who the Dodgers owe $6.5 million this year and next to play for the White Sox, but I will tell Ned how stupid it was to bid against himself and give Manny Ramirez $45 million dollars when NO ONE in baseball wanted him, despite the terrific 2 months he had for Dodgers. Manny repaid the Dodgers by getting suspended for 50 games, but the problem is for once in his career Scott Boras had ZERO leverage over a club for his client.
The Dodgers were the only team who wanted Manny, go figure, they could have named their price and Manny would have had no choice but to take it, yet Colletti again overpaid, having learned nothing from the Schmidt and Jones debacles. And for those of you keeping score at home the Dodgers owe Manny $7.6 million this year, $8 million next year, and $4 million the year after that. Well played Ned once again you got a fabulous return on your investment.
Oh yeah and just to rub a little salt in the wound remember Octavio Dotel, who the Dodgers traded away 2 promising prospects for late last year, then a few weeks later traded for a player to be named later who no one had ever heard of? They are paying Dotel $150 K this year, I know it’s a small amount but it’s just the principle behind it. And if the 2011 Dodgers weren’t suffering so badly from the awful decisions made by their owner and GM the last few years I guess it would be funny.
For the first time in a long time the Dodgers could very well be sellers at the trade deadline this year. Howard Cole at the Orange County Register has even suggested that it may be time to trade Andre Ethier, that the team trading for him would have control of him past this year and the Dodgers could likely get several top prospects in return. Considering that Ned Colletti traded one of the best catching prospects in all of baseball, Carlos Santanta, to get Casey Blake maybe it’s not such a bad idea, the only problem would be finding a trading partner who is as big of a sucker as Ned, which would net the Dodgers as big of a return. Good luck with that.
Topics: Aaron Miles, Andre Ethier, Andruw Jones, Carlos Santana, Casey Blake, Dioner Navarro, Frank McCourt, Jason Schmidt, Jay Gibbons, Juan Castro, Juan Pierre, Lance Cormier, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Ramirez, Marcus Thames, Matt Guerrier, Matt Kemp, Ned Colletti, Octavio Dotel, Rafael Furcal, Ted Lilly