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Off Base

Those Who Fail to Understand History...

September 15, 2005

Are condemned to the Dodgers front office. A pit of despair, if ever there was one.

Five years for $55 million. 5 and 55. L.A. knows the number like no other in Dodger history. 32, 53, 104, 382, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988 all pale by comparison.

Five years at $11 million per equals Darren Dreifort. Darren James Dreifort. An entire city cringed at the eerie similarity, and everyone knew what was coming except the general manager. But there was Paul DePodesta, awarding J.D. Drew the same exact deal. Shoot, why not throw in an extra mil just to avoid the comparison?

The g.m.’s explanation today: “J.D. Drew is [injury prone] purely by reputation. The past five seasons he has averaged 120 games, never playing less than 100.” Good Paul, way to lead with your best.

Here’s the thing. Forget “character.” Really really forget “runs produced minus runs allowed,” and if you mention on base percentage one more time I’m gonna smack you senseless. Uh, more senseless.

The most important stat in baseball is games played. Games bleeping played!! “Injuries come with the territory,” says DePodesta. Well no actually, they don’t. Not by their lonesome, they don’t. It's about choices.

The Dodgers planned an Opening Day roster which included Wilson Alvarez, Milton Bradley, J.D. Drew, Odalis Perez and Jayson Werth; five guys who are hurt essentially all the time. That’s 20% of the roster you can count on not being there for extended periods. Just pencil it in as a given.

Removed from the roster were three guys, Shawn Green, Adrian Beltre and Steve Finley, who either don’t get hurt or play with their ailments. All the time.

Add to the pressure that puts on the rest, Scott Erickson, Rule 5 D.J. Houlton, monster-sized holes at third base, first base and catcher, and that’s more than a third of your team a complete mess to start the season. “Injuries come with the territory,” my bleep.

Let’s stop all the talk of Drew playing center field right now. What a thoroughly lame idea that is. If there’s enough gauze on the planet to hold the man together long enough to pull the wool over, the Dodgers should offer Atlanta $15 or 20 million to take him off their hands. Odalis Perez too.

If Arizona will take $10 mil and Shawn Green, the Braves just might accept $20 mil for two of their own. Fine, $25 million. The Dodgers will still save in the end. We’ll take Julio Franco’s dad in return…

Memo to Eric Karros: Whoa young fella, easy does it, whoa now. Two words, E.K: lighten up…  

Trivia: The city of Cooperstown, New York, is famous for something other than being the home of baseball’s Hall of Fame. What is it?

On a Positive Note: A musical note that is, my good friend Dawn Danielle is singing the anthem at Dodger Stadium, Saturday night, September 24, 2005. She’ll be awesome, and you can leave right after…  

Move Over Rick Monday: Former Padres homer broadcaster now Giants homer broadcaster Mark Grant said the following after a tide-turning hit by Pedro Feliz: "The fingers that were crossed just got answered."

Pitchers and catchers and Jason Phillips report February 17…

Good Will Hunting: Each week in this space, we post at least one suggestion to the Dodgers brass. Easy to achieve steps the club can take to get back in our good graces. Click here to chime in.

Here’s this week’s: Dear Dodgers, next time you’re 14 games under .500 in September and about to bill your season ticket customers thousands for the postseason when they’re very seriously re-thinking their original investment, don’t...

Memo to Charlize Theron: Will you start taking roles where you get to look like yourself again, please… 

Statue for J.D. Drew: Extra-strength metal construction, with reinforced Super Glue around the knees, wrists and shoulders. On display at 60 home games only… 

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Trivia Answer: Cooperstown was the birthplace of American novelist and author of “The Last of the Mohicans,” James Fenimore Cooper. Hence the name…

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….


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