Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dodger "Businuess as Usual"

I stopped by my favorite Dodger blog today, and found a link to a Q&A with the Dodgers President. Hold onto your hats Dodger fans, the ride is about to get bumpy! This is my favorite part:

"We hear from you and Ned that it is "business as usual." Yet, that is becoming increasingly difficult for fans to believe, given the actions of a major-market team that just about broke even last season. In the last two years, in addition to the Wolf decision, the Dodgers have:

* Deferred more than $45 million in player salaries, most of that with Manny Ramirez

* Traded top prospects in lieu of picking up contracts

* Declined to bid on virtually every top free agent

*Declined to bid on top international prospects

* Spent fewer dollars than any other club in the last two drafts

* Delayed playoff ticket refunds this year

*Fired more than a dozen employees

* Didn't re-invest $19 million from the Jason Schmidt insurance payment and the Manny Ramirez suspension into baseball operations"

The Dodgers are where they are today primarily thanks to their farm system, and the lack of spending there is what will hurt them down the road. You know, after the divorce, through the sale and all that.

Boy the NL West has been busy this winter...Not!

Tim Dierkes at runs through all of the additions and subtractions for the NL West so far this winter. It's not just quiet in Padre land, it is quiet in the entire NL West! This list is downright embarrassing for all parties!

Well, outside of Arizona. They have been very active, but it is difficult to say they are a lot better off than before. Just getting Webb back will be huge for them, if he comes back to pre-shoulder injury form. But who is the real Edwin Jackson? The guy of the first half for the Tigers, or the guy that is on his fourth big league team before the age of 25 (ish, not really sure and too lazy to look it up)? And seems to me that their pitching wasn't a huge problem last year, it was their offense. Sure, the young guys might get better, but don't they bank on that every year? And this list was before Kelly Johnson, so maybe that will help, but not so much that I would worry about them this year.

The Dodgers are just hilarious. "The pending divorce has no effect on our baseball operations." "The pending divorce has no effect on our baseball operations." "The pending divorce has no effect on our baseball operations." Are they wearing ruby red slippers and clicking the heels together as they stick to their mantra? Because otherwise this is an out-and-out lie! They need about three starters.

The Giants need more offense, and 35 year old Mark DeRosa is not doing it all himself. If they could get some bats to go with that rotation, they would be a front runner in my book. They need to do something, but maybe they are worried about Lincecum's arbitration hearing and are saving money for that. Expect some proven major league veterans (read desperate former bats) to sign there in January to fill out the roster.

The Rockies haven't done much, but if you were them, and you considered yourself the class of the West, which I think they do, they really haven't been pushed to do much so far. Hopefully they continue their up and down cycle and have another off year.

And our Padres? They've done nothing, but at least that means that AG is still in town, and that's a good thing. They need big years from a lot of guys on offense, and some surprises from the starting pitching pool they've stockpiled, and maybe, just maybe, there is a 85 win season in there. As of right now, 85 might be enough!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Meetings Day 3 Recap

The headline is "Padres laying groundwork for moves". Translated, that means "We were working, even if it doesn't look like it". The Padre highlights:
  • Kouz: Drawing lots of interest, but no good offers. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Correia: "Hoyer said the team will likely either sign Correia to a deal before the deadline or they will trade him." So either he takes a lower than arbitration market figure to stay, or the Pads find someone else to give them a shade over league average performance for next year (for clearly the Pads aren't buying his last six game stretch as an indicator of future performance). So, there will be two open rotation spots (I'm putting down Young, Latos and Richard in pencil for now) with a pool of Stauffer, LeBlanc, Ramos, Gallagher and Poreda, plus the ubiquitous cheap veteran reclamation project they will sign during the end of January free agent clearance sale. I understand the argument that you really shouldn't pay a premium for basically replacement level players, but there is at least something to be said for KNOWING you will get at least replacement level performance . Also, I have this unfounded belief that pitchers develop later than hitters. I remember Jason Schmidt bouncing around the league then becoming a stud for the Giants, and I think that this happens all the time, even though, other than Jason Schmidt, I have no point of reference . What if Correia finally found his mojo at 29 and really can be the pitcher he was for his last 6 starts? The Pads, with scouts and analysis galore, say no, so I have to trust them.
  • De La Cruz: Released.
  • The rule 5 draft (technically this should be a day 4 recap item, since it happened this morning, but with this being the only real thing going on for day 4, I suspect there won't be a recap tomorrow): Pads made no selections in the major league portion. I thought with the dropping of de la Cruz yesterday they were clearing a spot to take someone in the rule 5 draft, but apparently not. Still one free spot on the 40 man roster, maybe it will be part of a 2 for 1 deal! Yeah, an actual deal, how about that?

In the rest of the majors, someone gave too much money and way too many years to Randy Wolf, a couple of relievers changed teams, some AL junk I sort of ignored, and that's about it. One of the quietest winter meetings I remember. Which should not be surprising in the quietest off season I remember so far. Sigh. I'm bored.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Meetings Day 2 Recap

And I thought Day 1 was quiet, Day 2 is two meager rumors about Kouz:
  • The Giants want Kouz, but Frandsen and Lewis does not sound like a serious offer. But that is exactly how I would start dealing with the Pads, assume they just want salary relief and offer diddly squat!
  • Apparently the Twins wouldn't mind Kouz as well, offering Glen Perkins. I think this is year 3 on that rumor, both Kouz to the Twins and Perkins coming to the Pads. It is so slow in Indy, people are just dusting off last year's fodder and throwing it around! And I hate when there are rumors of trades with the AL, I have no frame of reference. I don't watch the AL, like never.

That is it. Mr Hoyer said he would be busy, I didn't realize that part of that meant keeping all information away from any media source! Throw us a bone Jed, drop some names, something.

D-backs made a big trade, sending out two very young pitchers for two slightly older but still young pitchers. Dave Cameron and Keith Law didn't like it from the d-backs perspective, nice! That's all I need to know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Meetings Day 1 Recap

Much ado about nothing. Let's see:
  • Correia may be non-tendered if he does not give the Pads a home town discount.
  • The scouting department reshuffling continues. I love to see Chris Gwynn in the news, because his huge double in the final game of the 1996 season to win the West for the Pads is invariable brought up. One of my favorite games of all time.
  • Reed Johnson? Really? A 30+ year old never-was is option number 1 for a right handed hitting outfielder? Sure, if you want a narrow band of lead-off-hitting-right-handed-center-fielder, you don't have many options, but clearly, isn't there some minor league prospect that could do just as well and maybe, just maybe, have a smidgen of upside?
  • In the same article, Moorad says all decisions going forward are baseball decisions, rather than financial decisions. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. If you set a budget at $40 million, there are no baseball decisions that are not financial decisions. They are one in the same. If it was strictly a baseball decision, there would be no financial constraints! And after reading the other 'highlights' from day one, (which I know are nothing but rumors, humor me) clearly those are all baseball decisions. Right.

In the rest of baseball, still nothing big. Is this the quietest off season in history?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Flash over substance

Oh great, another PR move. If you have seen any of the recent Charger games with Enberg doing the play by play, this is not good news. Sure he is iconic, but damn, the details count too! (Well, not on the radio broadcasts since about 1987, but that is a completely different topic.) He is constantly getting stuff wrong (players names, down and distance, etc.) and it is extremely annoying. I can see messing up when it is two DBs and one is 26 while the other is 28, but he gets Tomlinson and Sproles wrong almost every time. Come on! The last thing a Padre broadcast needs is another bumbling septuagenarian!

Mark Neely gets bagged on because he is not Mattie V. Duh! Mattie V was the best play by play guy the Pads have ever had, Neely was doomed for failure the moment he stepped in the booth.

I watch a lot of Padre games on TV, almost all of them when I am not at the game (and next year there will be 20 more I will be watching). Once you get past the fact that Mattie V is gone and won’t be coming back, Neely did a decent job. Mark y Mark got along well together, especially towards the end of the year, and given more time I think they would have gotten even better together.

Instead, we get Enberg who hasn’t done a baseball broadcast since T Gywnn Sr was 165 pounds. Since the Pads wore brown and yellow. Since the price of gas was $1. What a stupid idea.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter Meetings Preview

After weeks and weeks of absolutely nothing in the way of Padres news or rumors, we have next week's Winter Meetings to anxiously look forward to. Maybe some action, hopefully some action, hopefully something that gives us a hint as to what Mr Hoyer plans to do. At this point, anything will do!

Corey Brock's preview for is up today. (If more pop up, I will update this post.) As par for the course, no great insight into the plan for the Pads this off season, just one quote about the pieces they are looking for:
"Offensively, finding a right-handed-hitting outfielder is something I would
like to do," Hoyer said. "We would be looking for a trade or free agent to do
that. I think we would like to add a veteran starter or reliever or both."

A right handed hitting outfielder, starter or bench guy? Like Kyle Blanks? Another one to balance out the five if Oscar is not in the mix? Come on Corey, ask some pointed questions!

Veteran stater or reliever, it's just so generic. With KT that meant a castoff that another team gave up on, what does that mean now? The budget remains the same, I would have to think the definition still applies. This was a specialty of KT's, so it will be interesting to see how Mr Hoyer approaches the same task with the same resources. It should tell us fans something.
"I expect to be really busy in Indy," Hoyer said.

Doing what he doesn't say, because the first quote doesn't seem like much work! (Maybe there is hazing ritual for new GMs at these meetings. Maybe, like a fraternity, he has to be a go-fre for the rest of the club.) And if he is busy, I hope we hear something about it or see some results from it. Because this month long silence is freaking annoying!
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