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The strange, awkward case of Dodgers reliever George Sherrill continues

The Dodgers had a left-handed reliever warming up in the ninth inning Wednesday, but it wasn’t George Sherrill. It was Hong-Chih Kuo, who’s had four elbow operations and had thrown two innings the night before.

They added another left-handed reliever to their roster Wednesday in journeyman reliever Jack Taschner.

Meanwhile, the guy who is supposed to be their star left-handed reliever, who absolutely was last season, sits in limbo. Sits wondering. Sits knowing he has cleared waivers.

Sherrill has suffered a mysterious fall, going from a guy who had a 0.65 ERA last season to one carrying a 7.48 ERA this season.

Plenty of guys clear waivers unclaimed during the course of a season. Most, though, never know about it. The list is normally a highly guarded secret. Sherrill’s name, however, somehow leaked out this month.

It’s made for an awkward situation for the Dodgers, but mostly for Sherrill.
"Unfortunately, that got out," said Manager Joe Torre. "Our conversation [with him] included a lot of things, but I think the fact that he had to sit and explain it or talk about it was more uncomfortable than the fact that it happened.

"But he’s part of this team and we never really wanted him not to be part of this team. We’re always looking to try and make him better, and that’s what we’re trying to find the answer to, and he was always a part of that conversation."

Some are confused as to why Sherrill remains with the Dodgers if he’s cleared waivers. But that only means the Dodgers can now send him to the minors without him being claimed, not that they have to. He could go the rest of the season on their 25-man roster.

Yet if he continues to pitch the way he has -- his fastball flat, struggling to not only get out right-handed hitters, but left-handed ones too -- how long can the Dodgers carry him? How far can their patience go?

Particularly now with two other left-handed relievers on the squad.

Sherrill has said he would go down to the minors if the Dodgers thought it best but otherwise loathes the idea, fearing he may not return. He could refuse and become a free agent.

Torre said he would not ask Sherrill to go to triple-A Albuquerque unless he saw the potential benefit, unless he was willing. He said they had discussed it.

"That was part of the conversation, but this is something that he needs to feel that would help or he would want to do it," Torre said. "It was never something that was demanded. It was more a conversation, how are we going to get this machine working again."

Meanwhile, Sherrill waits, searching for signs he’s about to get that feeling back. Sits in the clubhouse almost daily working crossword puzzles, Sherrill right now the Dodgers’ largest puzzle of all.

-- Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (8)

The comments to this entry are closed.

What do Vegas pit bosses "know" that Torre doesn't?

When a dealer's hand turns cold, and the house begins to lose, it's time to change personnel, ASAP.

"Why" a dealer goes from hot to cold, is for the gods and statisticians to know, and not for mere mortals, including managers.

This is what is so odd about the situation. Now that Sherrill has agreed to go, a question a few days ago, they should send him down with a specific timetable. If he and the Dodger management don't feel after a period of time that he meets those benchmarks he should then be released.

Sadly the Sherrill situation maybe a metaphor for the Dodger season at this point. Little consistancy.

If the game is in peril, don't go to Sherrill
If there's three outs to go, bring in Kuo
Broxton can close, but you may lose those
No answers to be found, but don't let Mattingly near the mound....

Steve, please explain all the options to the Dodgers and to Sherrill regarding the money angle of any action on Sherrill. I believe this is the issue that keeps this saga ongoing. Joe doesn't have to be that nice of a guy and I would think that he would put his team first over this slug. But, of course, if there is positive money to be made by the Dodgers, Joe has to suck it up and go with the program. Joe had an exit book on the Yankees with some biting remarks sprinkled throughout. He could have an encyclopedia on his exit from the Dodgers.

Who the he** is the Schlossman twit and what planet did he buzz in from?

A blogger with a 'puter in his momma's basement? Parbly!

Still trying to sort out his jibberish as to just what just what Colletti's mistakes (other than Sherrill) were _duh!

I'm tired of jerk's comments like the noted URL. It's a big so what. That I read it represents 30 secs of my life I can't get back.

Stan: Since no team claimed George Sherrill, they are stuck with the rest of his $4.5 million-contract this season (unless they could actually trade him, which they cant). They can either keep him up with the team, ask him to go down to Albuquerque or release him. If they ask him to go down, as a five-year vet, he can refuse. At which point they would likely be forced to release him. George, however, has said he would go down if the Dodgers were adamant.

you've got to be kidding me! Sherrill is a flaming gas-can... why on Earth do the Dodgers continue to coddle this bum... Bring back the "GAME OVER" t-shirts when Sherrill takes the mound...GAME OVER for the Dodgers.

Why doesn't he start with losing 30 lbs. ? I don't remember him looking as big as a Brox ! He was definitely a key factor for us last year & the formula for Dodger victories is infected . Get well soon George !


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