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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The "Good" Is The Enemy Of Excellence

I have mostly shied away from commentary of late because I have nothing to add to the current scheme. The Dodgers' front office has made far too many dumb moves in the Ned Colletti regime, but then they acquired Manny Ramirez and all that entails, and so now the woods fairly swarm with those willing to excuse all his stupidity prior to that, and who indeed laud the Manny trade as the best the Dodgers have made in years.

Jon is not one of those (he's tempered his enthusiasm with an understanding that the trade might be too dear in the future), but I wanted to respond to a paragraph in this piece today:

Let me start by saying that I don't really expect Manny Ramirez to end up being a Dodger next season, mainly because I'm not convinced they'll launch their offer into the stratospheric heights and lengths it will probably take to get him.
And why would the Dodgers not have that money? The Dodgers are, after all, a major market team. The answers are Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, and Juan Pierre. Now, there are legitimate reasons not to extend Manny past three years — the man will be playing out his age 40 season at the end of even a three-year deal — but the Dodgers went all-in on the Manny trade. Boom, a hole at third base in addition to a hole in the outfield. Welcome to the corner the Dodgers backed themselves into.


Considering that said player traded away, Andy LaRoche decided to put up a 24 OPS+ with the Pirates after he was traded away, I would believe the Dodgers would still think 3rd base was a hole. I don't know if DeWitt is a permanent answer at 3rd base, but I like him more than LaRoche at the moment.
Andy LaRoche's minor league numbers included slugging percentages that Blake DeWitt could only dream of. 164 at-bats in a Pirates uniform are not indicative of the player he will become, or at least, it isn't enough time to really know.
I know Andy LaRoche's minor league numbers look stellar, but he's also old for the years he played in each league, and his major league stats aren't up to scratch. I don't know when you just have ignore prior performance in the minor leagues and just mark LaRoche as a bust, but he's nearing it for better or worse, and the Dodgers have recognized it.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to me just not loving LaRoche like most of the rest of the DT community, and thinking this is one 'mistake' that is not going to bite the Dodgers in the long run.
If there was a compelling reason I've heard all year for trading LaRoche, it is this, which basically bagged on his health "skill". Moreover, 23 is hardly old for the PCL, where he hit .309/.399/.589.
Yeah, that's the one thing I wrote when I did his profile.

His inability to ever be fully healthy is a serious problem. :o

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