Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Are the Dodgers As Confused As They Look?

To answer the question posed in the headline, I’m not sure, but the Dodgers seem more confused now that Frank McCourt, the new owner of the Dodgers, has taken the reins of this once proud organization.

What changes are forthcoming? New GM? This one seems to be a done deal, but the way they are going about it seems very odd.

Dan Evans is out, yet he remains on the watch.

Not only are the two rumored candidates Billy Beane and Pat Gillick the most qualified out there, but it seems that these two are the most unlikely to replace Evans who is unbelivably part of the process selecting his own successor.

The A’s claim they won’t give Beane permission to interview for the job. OK, not withstanding all the specualtion that the A’s will cave in and give Beane the go ahead, it looks like Beane is here in Oakland, for the 2004 season.

Pat Gillick? He’s not a GM anywhere right now, in fact he is a consultant to the new Mariner GM Bill Bavasi (his successor in Seattle), so there is nothing holding the Dodgers from naming this veteran knowledgeable baseball man right now.

But they haven’t, what’s the delay in naming Gillick?

Click below for more!It seems that the Dodgers are reluctant to hand the club over to Gillick who built winning teams in Toronto, Baltimore, and Seattle. They may be waiting for Oakland to give Beane the green light or they really may want to turn the club over to Beane’s assistant Paul DePodesta.

Not doubt Beane would like to be the president and general manager of some team in the future. If the A’s aren’t careful, DePodesta could leave for the LA job and Beane follow next fall to be president of the Dodgers. Beane has said in the past that he would eventually like to own a ball club. Well, becoming president of a team is the next step in that process. Just ask Larry Lucchino in Boston who has followed the same game plan to an ownership interest in the Red Sox.

If that scenario played out the A’s would then be in the market for a new GM from outside the organization because the likeable David Forst, third in command in Oakland is far from ready to be the number one guy.

So, the Dodgers muddle along with spring training two weeks away.

It’s rumored that manager Jim Tracy who had major clubhouse trouble at the end of last season will be the next to go. Will that take place before spring training? Probably not unless the new GM is in place within the next two weeks and has someone who can be quickly available ala the way Jack McKeon was in Florida last season.

The Dodgers don’t hit very well, no secret. Yet who is the one player linked to LA right now? Greg Maddux. The Dodgers could use Maddux if they trade Odalis Perez to the White Sox for Paul Konerko. The rumor mill has Frank Thomas possibly coming to LA, but I can’t see that one because the Big Hurt simply cannot play first base. His arm is shot and if you think Jason Giambi or Scott Hatteberg have trouble throwing wait until you see Thomas try to throw from first to second.

The Sox would love to move Thomas because he will be a constant pain to new manager Ozzie Guillen once Guillen installs his upbeat atmosphere in the White Sox clubhouse this spring.

Magglio Ordonez is definitely leaving Chicago next season and along with Carlos Beltran in Kansas City, will be the major midseason prizes if their teams are struggling.

Seattle looks like it will play the waiting game because there is no one out there right now to trade for and it isn’t clear what position on the Mariners will need fortifying by July. The Mariners have no bench whatsoever and any injury to Edgar Martinez or John Olerud will be costly. Word is Olerud’s bat speed has fallen dramatically and this should be his last season playing for the Mariners.

Eric Chavez didn’t show up to the A’s FanFest this weekend, but I don’t take that as a negative sign. Not having any other explanation I surmise he didn’t want to be grilled by the fans or the media as to whether or not he will sign a long term deal. I think the A’s will make a legitimate effort to sign Chavez unless either side grossly misreads the market. Of course, if Beane has designs on going to LA he is in the middle of a real quandry because Chavez would fit beautifully in Dodger blue, but it would take Oliver Stone and his conspiracy theories to figure that one out.

Meanwhile, I read the Brewers are coming up with a novel idea. They intend to have some of their low level minor league teams experiment with this plan. They want their young starting pitchers to learn how to pitch late in the game when and if they make the big leagues. The team will start the game with a three inning relief stint by the bullpen, then bring the starter in in the fourth inning hoping he will still be in the game in the eighth or ninth with the game on the line, so he will have the experience of closing the game as starters used to do when they pitched complete games.

I like it, but why not just teach and condition the pitcher to go nine innings instead of six? Leave it to the Brewers to come up with a plan like this.

What’s next rotating managers during the sesason like the Cubs and the Wrigley’s did in the early 1960’s?

There was a book written about the Dodgers approximately 20 years ago detailing how the LA franchise fell apart and did so poorly that they moved back to Brooklyn. I grew up in Brooklyn and remember the Brooklyn Bums fondly, could it happen, could they go back?

If they don’t get it straight in LA very soon perhaps….naw it only happens in movies, but wait a minute they are in Hollywood…. I can only hope!


1 Anonymous { 02.08.04 at 12:36 pm }

I don’t think the dodgers will make any changes until next year. I don’t think it wise to dum tracy now. he has done a fair job with the material the front office has given him.McCourt should noy make a desparate move now. It may take him a season to get the feel for the club then dump the front office and the manager and coaches. There will be some that say that McCourt should clean house immediately and start fresh with his guys. But he did not have anyone lined up to jump in.
He had time to start lining up people during the purchase process and certainly could have made the personal feeling is that he will wait a year then make changes but I have been wrong in the past.

Jerry F

2 marty { 02.08.04 at 1:57 pm }

Jerry when you are that rich and get a new toy you want to see what it will do when you open the throttle. I expect the Dodgers to even make changes in the broadcast booth, Vin Scully is safe, but I would not be be comfortable if I were Rick Monday or Ross Porter. let’s ee what happens over the next two weeks or so.

3 Dave { 02.09.04 at 12:42 am }

Great interview with the outfield at Fanfest. It was great getting to see the new guys, and I was especially impressed with Mark Kotsay. His knowledge of the game is very impressive, and is a gamer just like Mark Ellis. He seems like the type of player who can bring energy to the team by leading by example. Eric Byrnes and Billy McMillon aren’t bad options to have coming off the bench, either.
Anyway, about the Brewers’ idea, it makes little sense to me. For a team that puts sub-par players on the field, I don’t think they’ll have a chance. Give them credit for thinking differently, but this seems like an extreme. By reworking the definition of a bullpen, it could be too late for the Brewers going into the third or fourth inning. Basically, relievers are failed starting pitchers. Typically you want your best pitcher going out there every night to go all the way. By pitching a game backwards, the starter could come into a 3-2 game and pitch a no-hitter (six innings worth, of course) and lose it. An extra-innings game could also prove to be fatal, considering two or three pitchers would have already been used. Very odd, indeed.
Chavez’ contract seems to be a different story. The Giambi ordeal was handled like both teams understood what their interests were, and had a competition to see who could make it the other party’s fault for the departure to NY. The Tejada ordeal was simply because Schott couldn’t afford it, and Tejada’s camp was asking for Jeteresque money. Why would Chavez be any different from Tejada? I don’t think there are excuses for losing Chavez now, because all the pieces are in place. Dye’s contract is coming off the books, Billy and Stew were teammates on the ’89 WS team together, there are no hot third base prospects anywhere in the organization, and Beane loves Chavez’ game.
But Scott Rolen commanded $90 million over eight years, so Chavez is probably going to expect that type of money. I just don’t see how this can happen, even if all the factors are in Oakland’s favor.

4 Anonymous { 02.09.04 at 1:27 pm }

My take on Chavez is that he does not want the NY spotlight day in and day out.
Chavez is California all the way and he struggles with the monkey on the back that is “producing to his potential”.
The A’s have a good opportunity to lock Chavez up long term because they possess a number of intangibles that work for Chavez.
$$ wise I see Chavez content with Oakland #’s…
-he’ll be rich and comfortable in the Green & Gold verses filthy rich and constantly under pressure in pinstripes.
-by the same token though I could see him in Dodger Blue!
-C Pyle

5 Anonymous { 02.09.04 at 2:29 pm }

Guys, there’s someting you have to understand. Most MLB players take the highest offer. As simple as that. You may think all these location factors, loyalty factors, spotlight factors, etc. play a role, but they really don’t. What’s truly a factor here is that Scott Rolen got 90 mil. Chavez is in the same class as Scott so you better believe thats what he’s looking at.
Seriously guys, if you look to the far west point of the planet you’ll see Eric Chavez. If you look to the far north point of the planet you’ll see an un-signed contract with Eric Chavez’ name on it. If you look to the far east point of the planet you’ll see Eric Chavez’ favorite A’s contract signing pen. And if you look to the far south point of the earth, I guess there’s some snow there, but that’s away from the point. See the point though?
Whats important is realism in relation to Eric Chavez and the A’s. And that’s that I just don’t see him coming back.

6 Dave { 02.09.04 at 2:47 pm }

Ned, I have no idea what the heck that means.

7 Anonymous { 02.09.04 at 10:13 pm }


McCourt is basically a real estate developer –he is heavily leveraged in this deal, and that’s what took MLB so long approving his ownership bid.

What has many people worried is the pressure McCourt will bring on maintaining both Vero Beach Dodgertown and the Chavez Ravine complex as oases of baseball’s history and glamour.

Seeing the O’Malleys pack up and abandon Flatbush was a surreal nightmare —no one is really prepared to see Dodgertown become a housing development, or Chavez Ravine become a retail and condo site.

Even though Northern Californians have little love for Dodger Blue, anyone who loves the game has great suspicion when guys like McCourt get their hands on a prized asset of MLB.

8 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

9 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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