Nov 282013

The veteran lefty Ted Lilly who spent the last two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers has called it quits after 15 major league seasons.ted-lilly

The Dodgers released Lilly in August after numerous injuries which plagued him during his stay in Los Angeles. The California native attempted to gain some momentum by pitching in the Venezuelan league, but decided it was best to call it a career.

Lilly owned a 4.14 lifetime ERA, while goes 130-113, with 2 All-Star appearances.

 11/28/2013  Posted by at 11:24 am Dodgers History, Dodgers News No Responses »
Feb 162013

Former Los Angeles Dodger and 12-time All-Star Mike Piazza admitted to taking amphetamines and Androstenedione during his career.

Earlier, Piazza reiterated his long standing denial of taking performance-enhancing drugs during his career. However, in his book, Longshot, he addresses the accusations even further.

When asked, if he ever used performance-enhancing drugs during his baseball career, he acknowledged, in a round-about way that he had done some PEDs.

“My histories of denial are documented all the way back to 1997. So, I never really thought that was news,” Piazza said. “But, obviously, in the light of the history, and I try to put that into perspective. You know, paint a picture of the history of the game and how not just PEDs, but generally the whole philosophy on training for the game changed with weight training and guys. Generally it was discouraged when I was a kid. ”

He continued, “I remember people saying, ‘you’re gonna get muscle-bound, you’re gonna get too tight. Ball players don’t train’. So I kind of wanted to paint a picture just generally. training in general changed. Guys realized, ‘wait a minute, I’m getting stronger, the ball is going further as long as I stretch and as long as I keep hitting.’ So, generally that whole philosophy did change.”

In his book, he quotes himself from 1997 saying, “I don’t use steroids. I’m not upset by the rumors.”

When asked how a player who professes to be clean could not be upset by rumors he replies, “I just think there are some people you can’t convince. I can only do so much.”

However, in his book he admits to much more. On MLB Network he confirms that he used greenies, Androstenedione, Rofecoxib (Vioxx), and other now-banned substances, blaming it on trainers.

“Well, most of the stuff I documented was pretty much through the training room, through the trainers,” Piazza said. “I just wanted to paint a picture that drugs, unfortunately, is a part of sports. Obviously, it’s part of the training room. Sometimes you have to do those things.”

He goes on more about blurring lines and painting pictures before letting us know what Androstenedione meant for him.

“For me, it was just a supplement that came in a pack that I bought and once I learned it was being discouraged, I stopped it.”

As if calling out Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully wasn’t enough to hurt his standing with the fans and Hall of Fame voters.

When asked if he was disappointed in the last hall of Fame ballot where he didn’t get voted in, he said that he was not and that he, “respected the process.”

Last time I checked, playing baseball was part of that process and taking any form of performance enhancing drug was not respecting that process.

I never liked Mike Piazza. But I respected him as a ball player. I considered him the greatest catcher of my generation and perhaps of all-time.

Now, I consider him no better then Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Eric Gagne and the rest.

When I cast my ballot for the Internet Base Ball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame last year, I voted for him. Next year, I will not.

 02/16/2013  Posted by at 10:43 pm Dodgers History, Dodgers News, Thinking Blue 4 Responses »
Sep 032012

This is a complete list of every signing and release from Dodgers GM Ned Colletti through September 1, 2012. This is the most complete and accurate list of signings and releases on the web.

Colletti became the 10th General Manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the 5th General Manager for the team in the past 8 years when he was hired prior to the start of the 2006 season. He came in replacing Paul DePodesta, when he was fired after a very disappointing 2005 season. His first job with the team was to hire a new manager, which he did by hiring Grady Little.

October of 2007 Grady Little resigned as manager, Colletti’s next manager would be none other than the legendary Joe Torre. Torre and Colletti together helped lead the Dodgers to two straight NL West championships, and two back to back appearances against the Phillies in the NLCS. The Dodgers finished the 2010 season with a record of 80-82, a complete disappointment with Joe Torre as manager, a payroll of $102MM, and a wide variety of talent. Torre took a large part of the blame for the Dodgers 2010 downfall, and shortly before the conclusion of the 2010 season Torre announced his retirement. His successor would be his long time protegé Don Mattingly, and so it began, a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers of 2011 barely put together a winning season, going 82-79, finishing 11.5 games out of first place. A season filled with Frank McCourt and all of his reality series drama led to a very frustrating season for fans. From the brutally public divorce, the embarrassing battle with Bud Selig, the bankruptcy, and his eventual agreement to sell the team. The Dodgers were plagued with all sorts of misfortune in 2011. There were a few bright spots for the Dodgers though, the MVP caliber season turned in by Matt Kemp, and watching Clayton Kershaw dominate the National League, and eventually win his first Cy Young. Perhaps the brightest spots though was the way Colletti and Mattingly committed to the youth of the franchise. Going with players like Justin Sellers, Jerry Sands, Nate Eovaldi, and Javy Guerra. The Dodgers found a ton of success in the second half going 41-28 after the All-Star break. But the season was considered a huge disappointment as the Dodgers failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse the Dodgers had one of the highest payrolls in baseball at a $119MM.

In the winter of 2011 Colletti reverted right back to his old tricks by bringing back Juan Rivera, and adding veterans like Aaron Harang, Matt Treanor, Mark Ellis, Adam Kennedy, and Jerry Hairston Jr. The Dodgers were looking for inexpensive solutions to plug several holes on the roster and the dynamic duo of McCourt and Colletti failed to believe in their young talent. Instead of going with youngsters Nate Eovaldi and John Ely, Colletti opted to sign Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. Those two combine to make $22MM over the next two years. Capuano has worked out pretty well for the Dodgers, Harang on the other-hand has been a mixed bag. After committing another $47.6MM to the Dodgers payroll, fans were left with another disappointing winter from Ned Colletti. Of course McCourt and Colletti had one final hurrah before the eventual departure of Frank McCourt, an eight-year, $160MM extension to Matt Kemp. The biggest financial commitment ever by the Dodgers, a deal that had to be done, and Colletti was by far a big proponent, and an even bigger factor in the deal getting done.

On March 26, 2012 the Dodgers were purchased by Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Guggenheim Baseball for a record-setting $2.2BB. It officially began a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with Colletti’s history as GM for the Dodgers having mixed reviews to say the least, most fans and insiders believed Colletti would be sent packing. Immediately upon the new ownership group’s arrival, they made it very clear Colletti will be given a chance to really manage this franchise. Something that for the last 5 months Colletti has done very well. Colletti’s first big order of business in the Guggenheim era was extending Andre Ethier to a five-year $85MM deal. It’s impossible to ignore everything that Colletti has done to the Dodgers during the McCourt era, but with the new owners around it’s also hard to argue that Colletti is solely to blame. You will see once you dive in that Colletti has made a few good signings. But the far more of the majority has been one bad baseball decision after another. Millions upon millions wasted in free agency. This winter will be Colletti’s first, real true test, without McCourt around to point the finger at, I guess we will know once we see the roster on Opening Day 2013.

For now take a look at the complete history of all the signings and releases done by Ned Colletti. Post your thoughts in the comment section.

Ned Colletti Transaction History: Signings and Releases

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 09/03/2012  Posted by at 6:43 pm Dodgers History, Thinking Blue 1 Response »
Aug 262012

vin-scully-black-whiteThe legendary voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, has announced that he will be returning for his 64th season. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982, Scully is one of the most recognizable voices in all of sports, and he has become a staple in the Dodgers pressbox for the last 63 seasons. Scully is being honored with a bobblehead on August 30 as the Dodgers host the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, I’m doing everything possible to make sure I get my Dodger blue butt in a seat.

Scully is widely regarded as the greatest sportscaster of all time, Dodger fan, or not. His 63 years of services marks the longest tenure in broadcasting. He’s been calling all nine innings of Dodger baseball for a very long time. He still calls all nine innings of the Dodgers’ television broadcasts on Prime Ticket and KCAL 9, the first three innings of Scully’s games can be heard on AM 570 Fox Sports LA. Next season Scully will again call all Dodgers home and road games in California and Arizona.

“The new ownership of the Dodgers has revitalized the city, the team, the fans and myself,” Scully said. “I am so convinced of their great purpose and leadership that I eagerly look forward to joining them in pursuit of the next Dodgers championship.”

After all, Scully hasn’t seen a World Series since 1988, one more might just be all he wants before he decides to hang up the microphone.

Scully began his broadcasting career back in 1950, calling the games back when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. When Vin began broadcasting, the Dodgers didn’t have a World Series championship yet. Three years later, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person to ever broadcast a World Series game. A couple short years later, in1955, he had what he calls his most memorable moment, as he called the Dodgers’ first and only championship in Brooklyn.

That wasn’t all, Scully has witnessed Dodger greats like Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson, Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Piazza, Hideo Nomo, and Sandy Koufax. Calling three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series, and 12 All-Star Games. We heard his voice during one of the most iconic moments in Dodgers history, Kirk Gibson’s miraculous game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series. We also heard him calling all nine innings in Sandy Koufax’s iconic four no-hitters, and perfect game.

Scully was also there when Manny Ramirez arrived at Dodger Stadium in the summer of 2008, when Mannywood when crazy in Los Angeles. Scully called the Dodgers return to NL West supremacy in 2008 and 2009. Now, he’s here for the new era of the Dodgers. With Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier,  and Adrian Gonzalez. The prelude to a World Series return for the Dodgers? I don’t know about you, but I would love to hear Scully call one more World Series game.

The Dodgers aren’t the Dodgers without Vin Scully. He’s loved by fans, to this day fans arrive to Dodger Stadium with their radios in hand, because watching a Dodger game without Scully covering all the details, just isn’t a Dodger game. A Dodger Dog, some peanuts, a cold beer, the smell of the grass, the cheers of the fans around you is great, but without Vin something is missing. The sound of Scully’s voice still completes the full experience for Dodger fans. The day will come when his time will be done, but for now it’s time for Dodger baseball…

Aug 252012

The Dodgers have completed one of the biggest trades in MLB history. It’s a blockbuster for the ages as the Dodgers trade James Loney, Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, and Allen Webster to the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto. I’m still in shock. It’s almost surreal, like I’m going nuts building the ultimate team on MLB ’12 The Show, except it’s the real deal. There was a lot of doubt about the new owners ability to re-characterize the Dodgers franchise, but after today that has all been eliminated. There is nothing to doubt about Guggenheim Baseball, in a few short months Guggenheim has made the Dodgers the team to beat in MLB.

“We’re going to make it so nobody wants to play the Dodgers,” words recently uttered by Mark Walter. Mission accomplished.

Since the arrival of Guggenheim Baseball in Los Angeles we have seen the short-lived return of Aaron Miles,  a five-year extension for Andre Ethier, the additions of Bobby Abreu, Wes Roemer, Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, Joe Blanton, Ozzie Martinez, Brandon League, and Shane Victorino. Wow! Quite a statement right? That’s a major overhaul, but it wasn’t good enough for Walter and Co. The Dodgers failed to land the additional starting pitcher they desired at the trade deadline, missing out on Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers also tried to make an August waiver trade for Cliff Lee, but the Phillies never really intended on trading him.

Now the Dodgers have gotten exactly what they wanted, the best first baseman in all of baseball. A starting pitcher with World Series experience, a veteran infielder for the bench, and one of the best all-around players in baseball.

Gonzo is a four time All-Star, 2011 Silver Slugger, a three time Gold Glove winner, and one of the top-ten players in the game. A-Gon is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles today, and he is scheduled to be in tonight’s lineup wearing number 23.

A-Gon is batting .304/.349/.478 with 15 home runs and 85 RBI in 516 plate appearances this season. Gonzalez also owns a very respectable 2.9 WAR tying with Mark Teixeira, and behind only Edwin Encarnacion (3.7), Prince Fielder (3.4) , Paul Goldschimdt (3.2), and Albert Pujols (3.1).

Defensively, well, A-Gon is king. Adrian currently has a UZR of 14.0 and a RZR of .871 in 916 innings of play this season. Gonzalez has registered 155 plays at first base this season. That equates to Gonzo being the best defensive first baseman in all of baseball, the next player behind him isn’t even close.  A-Gon will be earning Gold Gloves for the Dodgers until 2018.

Crawford just underwent Tommy John surgery two days ago, so he is lost for the 2012 season. Crawford won’t get his shot to make an impact for the Dodgers until next season, but word on the street is, he’s smiling. The arrival of Crawford will likely mean the Dodgers let Shane Victorino walk as a free agent. Crawford will likely sit in the number two spot in the Dodgers lineup where he will be able to do the most damage. With the addition of Crawford the Dodgers have also blocked Yasiel Puig from arriving in the bigs next year. This leaves a huge question mark on the what the Dodgers will do about the little predicament. My guess is the Dodgers look to trade Crawford around the deadline next year. I wouldn’t rule out the Dodgers trading Puig for a front-end rotation pitcher this winter.

Josh Beckett has floundered this season over in Boston, his ERA continues to balloon, his confidence continues to sink, and now he gets a chance to go to a team that is favored to make a World Series appearance this season. Beckett has the ability to rise to the occasion, he is one of the most confident pitchers in baseball, and with his World Series experience this becomes a great addition for the Dodgers. Beckett will be sticking around for a couple of seasons. Even if he doesn’t get closer to his ace form he once had, the change of scenery should help him get out of the funk he has been in. I definitely can see Beckett rebounding and thriving in Los Angeles.

Nick Punto will be a good veteran addition to the bench for the Dodgers for the next season and a half. He can’t hit all that well, but with the rosters expanding it isn’t a big deal to bring him on board, especially if it becomes the end of the road for Juan Uribe. That would be a great addition to this trade, but I doubt it happens. Punto is under contract until the end of next season, meaning, a roster decision has to be made on the infield logjam the Dodgers are currently faced with.

The Dodgers are expected to take on about $259.5MM of the $271.5MM from the Red Sox, getting $12MM in cash from Boston.

Adrian Gonzalez will earn $21MM per season through 2016 and obtain a raise to $21.5MM for 2017-18. The total is about $131.82MM when factoring in the remainder of his 2012 salary. Josh Beckett will earn $15.75MM per season through 2014. Carl Crawford will earn $20MM in 2013, $20.25MM in 2014, $20.5MM in 2015, $20.75MM in 2016 and $21MM in 2017. Nick Punto earns $1.5MM per season through 2013.

The Dodgers may have just completed the biggest trade is MLB history. It’s some of the biggest names in baseball coming to the Dodgers, of course the Dodgers have dealt some of their brightest talent to the Red Sox to make it happen. The biggest prize Rubby De La Rosa, who has gained Pedro Martinez comparisons from some of the league’s best scouts. Ivan De Jesus, once a top prospect has had his path to the majors blocked for various reasons over the last few years. Jerry Sands, another top outfield/first base prospect. Sands will finally get an opportunity to shine in Boston, and he definitely has the talent to make the Dodgers regret trading him. With A-Gon locked in at first, and all of the outfield talent the Dodgers suddenly have, Sands was no longer going to fit into their long term plans. The other top prospect, Allen Webster, coveted by many other teams in the league over the last couple months. The Cubs wanted him, the Phillies, the Twins, pretty much every team the Dodgers have talked to in trade discussions. The Dodgers saved him for the right deal, and it payed off. The final piece, James Loney, good riddance! He was going to be non-tendered any way. I am so glad that this is the last time I have to right about him.

Basically how it shakes down is Loney, Rubby, De Jesus, Webster, and Sands for Adrian Gonzalez. The fact is the Dodgers would’ve had to trade that package if not more just to get Gonzo. The only reason Zach Lee is around is because we took Punto, Crawford, and Beckett of their hands. If you look at it that way it’s a lot easier to digest. We are talking the best first baseman in baseball. There really isn’t any prospect I wouldn’t have included to get Gonzalez. Not gonna lie, I am struggling with letting Rubby go, but hey, we got Gonzo! Suck on that Giants! Who wants a piece of the Dodgers? All I gotta say is good luck!