Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Joe Gallagher BRO b. 1914, played 1940, d. 1998-02-25
Dan Griner BRO b. 1888, played 1918, d. 1950-06-03
Merwin Jacobson BRO b. 1894, played 1926-1927, d. 1978-01-13
Jeff Kent LAN b. 1968, played 2005, All-Star: 1999-2001, 2004-2005. Happy birthday to the crankiest guy in the Dodger lineup.
Dick Loftus BRO b. 1901, played 1924-1925, d. 1972-01-21
Doc Scanlan BRO b. 1881, played 1904-1907, 1909-1911, d. 1949-05-29
"Spiritual" = "Show Me The Money": More On The J.D. Drew SagaI didn't have time to comment more thoroughly on yesterday's Kevin Baxter-penned story about J.D. Drew's migration to the Red Sox, so let's get to it:
"I know J.D. is a spiritual guy and a man of his word," Colletti said at the time. "I guess he changed his word."Regardless of how Drew views this, he'll never be more than just another Boras-run mercenary in my eyes. He's got the stats (yes, in 2006 he actually did perform well enough to earn the dollars paid him), he's got — finally — a year of being healthy and productive behind him, but the fact is that in the end, he took the money, something that also came out in the Register's version of events:
"Those things kind of offended me," Drew said. "At the time that I talked to Ned — and I still feel this way greatly about L.A. — I loved playing there and I loved where I lived. And I would have stayed if we could have come to an agreement.
"We were upfront when we opted out that they were on the top of the list and we wanted to keep the channels open about re-signing there. But after I opted out they really showed no interest."
Three days before Drew opted out of his contract, Colletti had lunch with Boras to discuss free agent Greg Maddux and Eric Gagne, who was at the mercy of the team's option. Boras told Colletti that Drew's situation also needed to be discussed.And that was that, despite what he earlier told Bill Plunkett of the Register. So, so long, J.D. Your bat may be missed, but your DL time and your mercenary attitude won't. Here's hoping the Red Sox fans will forgive you when you make an appallingly stupid baserunning blunder in the postseason, because the chances of that happening are almost as slim as your staying healthy over the duration of your Boston contract.
"He said, 'J.D. would love to stay and this and that,'" Colletti said. "I said, 'Well, I'm not about to add years or dollars to the deal.'"
- The Dodgers beat the Twins 7-4 with Jason Schmidt striking out a pair.
- Wilson Valdez is out of options and nearly out of hope of making the 25-man.
- Joe Beimel and Rafael Furcal could both be back in the lineup soon after grappling with their respective injuries (elbow irritation and a sore shoulder, respectively).
- Nomar could find himself back at third base, according to Grady Little. It's an implicit endorsement of James Loney at first, though the latter's name isn't even mentioned in the dodgers.com article. More from Jon.
- Oh, no! Garret Anderson isn't comfortable batting fifth! Panic!
- Duh: The Angels have no grounds to void Gary Matthews, Jr.'s contract if it can be proved he received an HGH shipment in 2004. Regardless of that, it appears he could be suspended for up to 80 days for his role in purchasing the stuff. The team wants him to say something:
"We've made it clear to him that we want him to make a statement," Stoneman said. "We've encouraged him to get the facts out, get his side of the story out, whatever that story is. I understand that when lawyers get involved they generally tell you to be quiet about things. That doesn't address the public side of it."Update: More on this from Jon:
The subtext of Stoneman's statement is fury, because surely, Stoneman realizes that at this point, Matthews would have declared his innocence if his legal situation wasn't, at a minimum, nuanced. Matthews falling on his sword is all well and good, but with a government investigation underway and his fate still negotiable, it should be understood that there is a limit to what it's prudent for Matthews to say. As the Times points out today, a still-avoidable conviction against Matthews could add jail time and extend his MLB suspension from 50 to 80 games."Nuanced" is a kindly way to put it. He was almost certainly using HGH, but it's hard to imagine how much it helped him in 2004. If there's any upside to all this, it's that knowledge. That, and the unlikely possibility that the Angels might somehow be able to wriggle out of his contract.
- Mike Scioscia now thinks that Bartolo Colon could return in April following an encouraging bullpen session in which he threw off the mound for the first time since July 26, 2006.
- It's now likely that Jered Weaver will miss one start at the beginning of the season, as he missed a bullpen session due to flu-like symptoms.
- Justin Speier will make his first spring training appearance today, and Scot Shields is expected to make his on Friday.
- The Angels lost 8-4 to the Giants in a game where the opposition scored the winning runs against Phil Seibel. Oops.
- I haven't linked to anything from the Baseball Analysts in a while; here's a piece by Patrick Sullivan entitled "More Name Than Game", about players whose previous careers have gotten them more playing time than they deserve; the roll call includes Nomar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield, Cesar Izturis, and Luis Gonzales. How did he miss Gary Matthews, Jr.? Oh, right, he was never a name.
That's really the crux of the issue. Drew doesn't care much about the fans or the teams he plays for and the fans and teams don't really care much for him. He's, like you said, a mercenary. If only Alex Rodriguez could have the same attitude as Drew.
The Randy Wolf move was news because it was so rare. And let's see, at the end of his contract, whether he or the Dodgers show the kind of money-second attitude that Drew is damned for lacking and Colletti is erroneously praised for having.
All of this is to say I completely see why people don't love Drew, but after all this time, I still don't get why he gets singled out.
I don't fault him for that necessarily. He exercises free will, and has every right to make that choice. But many ballplayers do at least consider other factors when it comes to picking a team, such as likelihood of success from both a personal and team standpoint (while also recognizing that playing for a winner can have financial implications), where one might like to live, the organization & management, teammates, etc., particularly if the money is close.
Boras seeks out clients whose only line is the bottom line. Drew is a classic example of this. His lazy, uninspired play on the field only serves to reinforce the idea that he does not care about the game, does not care about winning, and that his only concern is how much he gets paid. Most ballplayers try to show some love for the game, even if their primary motivation is the all-mightly dollar.
I am not generally a Scott Boras fan, but I hope that this causes teams to consider the potential effects of such clauses in the future. This was a lose-lose deal for the Dodgers, and they should stop trying to deflect the blame for making the deal in the first place.
It seems that many of the comments deal with JD Drew's reputation for being greedy and soft. Let's not confuse this with the Dodgers putting a stupid clause in his contract. This is not Drew's fault, and Ned should stop whining. I'm looking forward to seeing how A-Rod's situation is handled this year.
I don't see any evidence that most ballplayers consider these factors more than Drew. Look at the teams Drew has played for.
Good Point! I know that the Dodgers aren't devastated by the loss of Drew. But, my point is that he doesn't opt out of the contract if he is injured or struggling. This option certainly worked out as well as it could have for both parties. My comment is not that the Dodgers are screwed, simply that an opt-out clause is very powerful and only exposes the club to risk. I think that teams should be very hesitant to offer such clauses in a contract.