Diamond Notes & Commentary      Home     Where Are They Now     About Us     Contact
  . .
Off Base
The Character Card

September 5, 2005

Well, it’s official; you can stick a fork in the 2005 Los Angeles Dodgers. And not a minute too soon.

With Paul DePodesta taking responsibility for the entire mess, albeit with fingers crossed behind his back and the injury excuse never farther than a sentence away, and with Frank McCourt playing the character card, are the Dodgers even remotely ready to move forward?

Hasn’t the character issue just opened up a gigantic new can of worms? Grilled or steamed; doesn’t matter. Can character really be defined? And if so, by whom?

For example, is Derek Lowe a character guy because he wins huge postseason games or is he a man of questionable character because of the carousing? Should a team base its roster decisions on suspicion or is videotape required?

Is Odalis Perez a greater character risk than Lowe because he’s hurt at crunch and makes stupid comments, pretty much all the time? Can you trade them both and lose Jeff Weaver to free agency, or do you bite the character bullet against your better judgment?

Is J.D. Drew a character guy because of his obvious family and religious virtue or does he lack character because he’s always hurt and because Tony LaRussa says so?

Brad Penny is a World Series hero one minute, pulling clubhouse milk pranks the next. So you trade him too, right?

Jose Lima hosts a rollicking postseason celebration at Dodger Stadium, is all around Mr. Fun, but gives herpes to women not his wife. Which is it, good character or bad?

Dave Stewart was an absolute stud, coming up big in the postseason eight times. A total team leader. Should be a general manager today. Surely a character guy you want around. The transvestite in the alley thing and the Steve Howe episode can be forgiven if it means World Series victories, can’t they?

Are the Dodgers a character organization because they give a player like Milton Bradley every chance to get well, or are we even having this discussion if it’s Jason Grabowski with the anger management problem…

Quote of the Week: "Looking back, trading Dave Roberts was a mistake.”

Well thank you very much, Paul DePodesta. Roberts was 86’d essentially to unclog the outfield of possible starters, and to make Jason Werth a tad more comfortable. Reminds me of when Fred Claire traded away superior shortstops like Jose Vizcaino to boost the self esteem of one Jose Offerman.

Good Will Hunting: A new BS feature. Each week in this space, we’ll post at least one suggestion to Dodgers brass; tossing out simple, sensible steps the club can take to get back in our good graces. My guess is it’ll take us till Spring Training to cover them all. Your suggestions are very much welcome. Click here.

Here’s the first one, and damn easy to accomplish: bring back Ross Porter. Five announcers is two too many. Give Al Downing Eric Tracy’s old job and send Steve Lyons to charm school. He’ll be gone for years…

Quote of the Week, Part Deux: ''My understanding from what I have read and heard is that [J.D. Drew] is making progress.'' My understanding from what I’ve read and heard is that Mr. Tracy ought to have more of a clue about the condition of his charges. See Eric Gagne…

Milton Bradley would make a good Oakland Raider…

Subscribe Free: To be warned, uh, notified when Off Base is updated: baseballsavvy@aol.com.

Caught this tidbit on Rotoworld.com: “Ray Liotta, 22, is 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA in six starts since moving up to the Carolina League. His low-90s fastball and quality curve give him quite a bit of potential as a starting pitcher.”

Not that Ray Liotta, who batted right and threw left as Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” instead of the other way around?! Nah.

Bong Charge Dropped: No, Tommy Chong wasn’t busted for selling paraphernalia over the Internet again. It’s much worse. The Cincinnati Post reports, “A domestic battery charge filed against Reds pitcher Jung Keun Bong has been dropped.” Now that, I’m quite sure, is an example of a ball player of questionable character…

Prediction: Steve Finley to the Padres this winter…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues, so please scroll down to the photo below and vote yes on 32…

Remember, glove conquers all….



. .  
Copyright © 2005 by BaseballSavvy.com.