Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
give you all the news on the boys in blue

Category: Logan White

Dodgers Web musings: Clayton Kershaw and the long term [Videos]

Plenty to get to today, leading off with … so the Dodgers have signed Clayton Kershaw to a two-year, $19-million deal. Exactly right for the moment or does more have to be done?

Buster Olney argues in this ESPN video that the new owner’s first order of business should be to sign Kershaw to a long-term deal. He argues Kershaw would be only 26 in his first year of free agency and free-spending teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies would be circling.

Olney estimates a five-year deal for Kershaw would cost between $100 to $120 million.

Meanwhile, Robert Timm at Dodger Dugout argues there is risk in signing any pitcher to a long-term deal and the Dodgers were smart to settle for a two-year agreement.

Also on the Web:

--The Left Field Pavilion has organized a charity softball tournament of teams representing several Dodgers blogs on Saturday at the Big League Dreams fields in West Covina.

Play starts at 8 a.m. Admission is only $3 and includes a drink. Fans are asked to bring a box or bag of food for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

--It never ends: USA Today thinks the Dodgers could be in line for a $5-billion TV rights deal. Guess that $3 billion Frank McCourt wanted to sign up for with Fox might have been just a tad low.

--Eric Stephen at True Blue LA has his Dodgers preview. He doesn’t think Jerry Sands makes the 25-man roster, but Josh Fields does.

--FanGraphs’ David Laurila has a lengthy and detailed Q&A with Dodgers scouting director Logan White, while Dodgers Thoughts’ Jon Weisman interviews farm director De Jon Watson.

--MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin looks at the Dodgers' top 20 prospects, while ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider status required) rates their system 12th overall in the majors.

--The Times’ Dylan Hernandez talks to James Loney about his bizarre freeway accident. Loney blames it on a blow to his head.

--The Times’ Bill Shaikin adds an 11th and, really, possibly final Dodgers bidder in Michael Heisley, the 75-year-old owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. He could bring Jerry West into the deal.

--ESPN’s Baseball Tonight crew looks at what could be next for Matt Kemp.

--Reuters’ Sue Zeidler writes that the second round of bids on the Dodgers is due around Feb. 23.

--NBC Sports’ Tony DeMarco thinks that with the right owner the Dodgers could be a power fairly quickly.

--Fox Sports' Mike Martinez checks in with shortstop Dee Gordon. Gordon on how many bases he’s capable of stealing: “a hundred.”

--Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth is auctioning off a Kershaw-autographed copy of his new book, “Arise,” on EBay to raise funds for a Watts literacy center.

--Daily Breeze columnist Mike Waldner looks at the Dodgers auction situation: “McCourt's first, last and always goal has been to line his pockets.”

--Oh, goody: Russell Martin tells the New York Daily News he’s all giddy the Yankees have added Hiroki Kuroda.

--And finally, Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy has found a video of a vintage TV commercial, this one from 1981. Warning: Hope you like looking at a shirtless Bill Russell.

 

-- Steve Dilbeck

 

Dodgers Web musings: Frank McCourt has eviction notice?

Sometimes you want something to be true so badly, the blinders come on to all the potential pitfalls. History be damned, you just want to believe.

And so it is with the official news that Frank McCourt must bid a final adieu to the Dodgers by April 30th.

It’s in writing and everything, though we’ve been down that road before. Late Tuesday night the sales agreement reached between McCourt and Major League Baseball was finally filed in bankruptcy court.

As The Times’ Bill Shaikin reported, it wasn’t exactly all good news. As expected, the agreement does give McCourt the ability to keep the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium and sign a "long-term lease" with the new owner. That’s plenty scary, so you just have to cross fingers that an agreement is reached for the team, stadium and surrounding property.

Otherwise, the agreement actually allows McCourt to build parking garages to replace existing spaces so he could develop the property. How insane is that? Somebody is going to drop a billion dollars to buy the team and stadium, only to watch McCourt develop the property around it? I’m thinking they’re going to want a lot more control than that.

But it’s still encouraging that the agreement does require McCourt divest himself of the team by April 30. Count the days.

Initial bids for the team are due by Jan. 13.

Also on the Web:

— Meet the new Dodgers, same as the old Dodgers? The Times’ Dylan Hernandez looks at Don Mattingly’s current team overview at the winter meetings.

— MLB.com offers a video of part of Mattingly’s interview, including an almost desperate plea: "We’re going to have to have guys have good years."

   

— Despite their flurry of activity, Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA writes that the Dodgers are still pursuing another bat, but this one via trade.

— Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness tries to determine which player could be that hoped-for bat.

— The Times in an editorial wants a new Dodgers owner who values the community.

— Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy on news of Clayton Kershaw’s next scheduled sojourn to Africa.

— Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com has the details of the team's spring training schedule. Shaikin writes that it returns the traditional Freeway Series this spring with the Angels.

— The Times’ Diane Pucin writes that the Dodgers’ next media-rights contract is shaping up as a monster battle between titans Fox and Time Warner.

— The Astros have interviewed Dodgers Assistant General Manager Logan White for their vacant GM position.

— Hall of Fame baseball writer Ross Newhan thinks Magic Johnson might be wise to cool his talk of spending big if he gets ownership of the Dodgers.

— ESPN’s David Schoenfield doesn’t think much of the Dodgers’ off-season acquisitions, figuring he’s added a bunch of mediocre 30-somethings.

— ESPN’s Jon Weisman is feeling uninspired by the Dodgers’ winter but longs for spring.

— SB Nation’s Jeff Sullivan is actually depressed looking at the Dodgers’ infield for 2012.

— If you doubt Tommy Lasorda can still spin a good yarn, check out his stories on new Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine in the Boston Globe.

— And finally, remember that scene in the John Cusack film "High Fidelity" when he envisions different scenarios on how to greet rival Tim Robbins when he comes into his record store? Including the one where Jack Black leaps over the counter?

TMZ plays off that on its premise of what you might say to McCourt if you ran into him in a restaurant.

   

— Steve Dilbeck

 

Don Mattingly talks about Dodgers' ownership issues

Don3
Manager Don Mattingly said that as a player or coach, he never understood the influence an owner had on a team.

“When you’re a player, you’re just kind of playing and you’re thinking, ‘What’s the owner doing?’” Mattingly said. “It’s, ‘We have to do it down here.’"

As a rookie manager leading a team with major ownership issues last season, Mattingly said his thinking changed.

While Mattingly maintained the off-the-field problems didn’t affect the way players approached their at-bats or fielded ground balls, he said, “That’s the one thing I really felt like I had an understanding of, that force that ownership causes. It’s a driving force that says, ‘We’re going here. This is our mission. This is how we’re going to get there. You guys are entrusted to make that happen, but this is where we’re going.’”

Mattingly said he felt that circumstances forced him and General Manager Ned Colletti to take that responsibility.

“You just can’t do it from those seats,” Mattingly said. “I know there was lots of trouble with everything that was going on and Mr. (Frank) McCourt didn’t want to be a distraction by being down in the clubhouse … and he a lot to deal with … but I think that’s what we missed last year, more than anything, is that driving force.”

Mattingly said he hasn’t spoken to McCourt this winter.

What about Magic Johnson? The former Lakers star is part of a group preparing to bid for the Dodgers.

“Have not,” he said. “I haven’t talked to Larry Bird, either.”

Continue reading »

Dodgers Web musings: Red Sox interested in Tim Wallach?

The guy many wanted to see become the Dodgers' successor to Joe Torre was Tim Wallach.

Wallach was an ex-Dodgers third baseman, hitting coach and had successfully managed their triple-A Albuquerque team. He had the right temperament, was liked and respected by players, front office personnel and the media.

When the baton was handed down to Don Mattingly, Wallach accepted a position on his staff as the third base coach. Most figure it’s a temp gig until another team comes calling.

And one may soon.

The Boston Herald is reporting Wallach is on the list of candidates the Boston Red Sox are considering for their next manager.

Plenty of worthy names are reportedly on their list –- Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Tampa Bay bench coach Dave Martinez, Cleveland third base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Milwaukee hitting coach Dale Sveum –- but it would be difficult to find a better candidate than Wallach.

Also on the Web:

-- The Pirates have hired Dodgers assistant trainer Todd Tomczyk, 34, as their new head trainer. He spent five seasons with the Dodgers.

-- Meanwhile, Baseball Trade Rumors looks at Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White as a potential GM.

-- Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA has five key questions for the Dodgers to consider this offseason.

-- Ramona Shelburne writes that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti won’t put an opening day deadline to signing Matt Kemp to a long-term extension, as Kemp’s shy agent Dave Stewart has suggested.

-- Mike Petriello looks for where this big bat the Dodgers supposedly desire would come from if they are unable to sign Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.

-- And here’s a brief but fun news reel looking at the Brooklyn Dodgers as they reported to spring training in 1954 under rookie Manager Walt Alston.

  

 -- Steve Dilbeck

Tough duty: Dodgers hire new director of contract negotiations

Fulldodgerslogo I love titles.Particularly in the business world. They get so wound up in themselves, so discombobulated, it’s hard to even guess what the person actually does. For example, take my official title here: Greatest Blogger in the History of Mankind, All Nine Planets and the Rest of the Solar System Who Covers the Dodgers for The Los Angeles Times.

For convenience sake, we shortened it to Dodgers Blogger.

I know, rolls right off the tongue.

The Dodgers made a new hire Thursday, and if his title is a doozy, wait until you hear the actual job description. Meet Alex Tamin, the Dodgers new director of baseball contracts, research and operations.

Said General Manager Ned Colletti in a statement: “Alex will be a tremendous asset to the baseball operations staff. His background has given him a wealth of experience in contract negotiation and arbitration cases and we think he adds an important element to our team.”

Continue reading »

A little Dodgers miracle: Ned Colletti still GM despite Frank McCourt's vote of confidence

Colletti_640
And in today’s news upset, Ned Colletti remains general manager of the Dodgers. Hey, Mikee, get out the big type!

This is not news because Colletti has done a miserable job as the Dodgers general manager -- a discussion for another day -- but simply because earlier this week owner Frank McCourt gave him the dreaded vote of confidence.

Actually, McCourt didn’t utter a word about Colletti, but offered his support through his newest mouthpiece, Steve Sugerman.

This came, apparently, after the hot rumor of the day at the All-Star break in Phoenix was McCourt was about to can Colletti and promote one of his assistants, Logan White or DeJon Watson.

"Any rumors about Ned being replaced are inaccurate, false and utterly unfounded," said a statement issued by Sugerman. "He has Frank's support."

See, McCourt didn’t actually say it, but Sugerman. Just imagine how much better Colletti must have slept after that.

Origins of a rumor can be difficult to track down, particularly when it spreads like wildfire through a mass media gathering at the All-Star game. This one appeared multi-headed, which still leaves it at pure rumor.

Now, I don’t have to remind anyone McCourt has a healthy list of wacky things he’s done, but I tend to think this actually was rumor.

The All-Star break seems an odd time to determine your general manager is not up to snuff, particularly when you’ve left him semi-handcuffed by a shrinking payroll and taken the franchise into bankruptcy. Talk about your dream GM jobs.

Certainly, the Dodgers have been disappointing this season, but that’s largely disappointing because they are the Dodgers and not because anyone really looked at that roster in the spring and started visualizing a return to glory.

The only possible reason for axing Colletti now would be if McCourt figured he needed a scapegoat. And here’s a private word just for McCourt: At this point you’re light years beyond unearthing a scapegoat, although you do have to wonder what a spurned Vladimir Shpunt is capable of.

Still, nothing seems to portend Colletti’s time has come. Save for that vote of confidence, which is typically issued mere days or weeks before a manager or general manager is shown the door.

Pretty sure McCourt has enough going on in his life right now that he doesn’t need to shake things up further by canning his GM. Anyway, that’s the rumor.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ned Colletti. Credit: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Chris Reed: From obscurity to first-round pick

Reed_640
Chris Reed
was second-team all-league as a high school senior in the San Fernando Valley and he pitched sparingly in his first two years at Stanford. But last May, Reed set a goal for himself: to be a first-round draft pick.

“I knew I could outwork everybody else,” he said. “I was blessed with some good height, and being a lefty, I had the tools. I decided to develop them.”

Reed his completed his transformation from unknown to top prospect on Monday, when the Dodgers drafted him with the 16th pick of the first round.

“It’s obviously a dramatic transformation from where I was,” Reed said. “I worked hard to get here.”

Reed has been closing this year for Stanford, which will visit North Carolina in the Super Regional round of the NCAA baseball tournament.

Continue reading »

Dodgers Web Musings: The numbers say it's over

The Dodgers are so done. The season is so over, the team is so finished it awaits only its final coup de grace.

If nothing else, baseball is about numbers. And alas, blue bleeders, it’s all there in bad digits.

It was troubling enough when the Wall Street Journal reported that, since the wild-card format was introduced in 1996, just 9% of teams that have had a losing record on June 1 have gone on to to win 90 games, the number typically considered the playoff minimum.

But now comes Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, who writes that in that same period 96% of all teams that were both at least five games under .500 and at least five games out of first place failed to make the playoffs.

By the end of June 1, the Dodgers were left 26-31 and 5½ games out.

Verducci has the four teams that managed to buck the odds, including the 2005 Astros who were 13 games under .500 and ended up in the World Series.

The National League West, of course, continues to offer hope to all. No team has stood out, and its five teams are bunched up fairly closely.

Also on the Web:

--ESPN/L.A.’s Tony Jackson lunches with MLB trustee Tom Schieffer, who tells him: "I don't think there is any question there is a strain between the franchise and the community right now. And that isn't the community's fault.’’

--The Times’ Ben Bolch tries to figure out how Ubaldo Jimenez could do to the Dodgers Wednesday night what he couldn’t do to any other team in his first nine starts -- beat them.

--In a video, Fox Sports’ Kevin Kennedy says it would be foolish for the Dodgers to deal either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier: "You have to give fans a reason to come to the park.’’



--The Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth has more on the story first reported by Vin Scully Is My Homeboy’s Roberto Baly, of the Vogue covering up Vin Scully’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: The Vogue is haunted.

--That new Jackie Robinson movie is a go, to be written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who penned the classic "L.A. Confidential.’’

--True Blue L.A.’s Brandon Lennox looks at players with Dodgers bloodlines who will be eligible for next Monday’s MLB draft.

--ESPN/L.A.’s Jon Weisman thinks it’s time the performances of the youngsters in the bullpen received more due.

--Fox Sports’ Jack Magruder writes that the Diamondbacks have bought into Kirk Gibson’s ultra-competitive style and it’s working.

--Yahoo Sports' Steve Henson has a terrific piece on why Sparky Anderson eschewed a funeral.

--Giovanni Ramirez, the suspect in the Bryan Stow beating, has taken a second polygraph test, according to his lawyer.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' web musings: Logan White won't be taking GM job with Mets

Dodgers Assistant General Manager Logan White won’t be part of the recent front office exodus, as the Mets announced Friday that he is not one of their final two candidates for their open general manager position.

The Mets’ final candidates are Sandy Alderson, the former A’s general manager, and Josh Byrnes, the ex-Diamondbacks GM.

The is a bummer for White, who has GM aspirations, but good news for Dodgers fans.

On the heels of Frank McCourt firing Dennis Mannion as club president, Dodgers.com's Ken Gurnick said the Dodgers lost two club officials this week: Mark Weidemaier, a special assistant to General Manager Ned Colletti, who had been with the club for 13 years, and Tim Hallgren, the director of scouting who had with the team for nine years.

Both are seeking work elsewhere, which could indicate they weren’t exactly being welcomed back. The Dodgers had no comment.

Elsewhere on the Web:

-- Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth tells the interesting tale of how Johnny Podres was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1955, despite a losing record.

-- MikeSciosciasTragicIllness.com’s Mike Petriello takes a good look at possible Dodgers’ bench coach Trey Hillman.

-- Newhanonbaseball.com’s Ross Newhan thinks the Dodgers should consider bringing back Adrian Beltre at third, though isn’t optimistic McCourt will pony up.

-- MemoriesofKevinMalone.com’s Chad Moriyama has a different take from myself on the Dodgers' split with third-base coach Larry Bowa.

-- PaulOberjuergue.com’s namesake thinks given the bleak free-agent pool this winter, the Dodgers did right by signing Ted Lilly.

-- Steve Dilbeck


Assistant GM Logan White has a new deal with Dodgers -- and an interview for GM job with Mets

Dodgers Assistant General Manager Logan White will interview for the New York Mets’ vacant general manager’s post, according to a baseball source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

White will be back with the Dodgers next season in his present role if he isn’t hired by the Mets. With his current two-year contract set to expire this year, White has reached an agreement with the Dodgers on terms of a new deal.

The job interview will be the second of the year for White, who was also a candidate for the Arizona Diamondbacks position that went to Kevin Towers. White was also interviewed by the Houston Astros in 2007.

A highly regarded talent evaluator, White oversaw the drafts that produced a number of the Dodgers’ core players, including Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, James Loney and Russell Martin.

White will be the fifth person to be interviewed by the Mets, according to multiple reports. Others under consideration are Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes and Allard Baird.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About the Blogger

Recent Posts

Categories


Archives
 


Bleacher Report | Dodgers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Dodgers on Bleacher Report »




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: