Russell Martin: you are dead to me.
Chad Billingsely: also dead to me.
Blake DeWitt: your tombstone awaits you.
After getting that out of the way, I can say that after the Dodgers horrifying loss to the Phillies, I have learned to love again! Some of my “friends” who “post” on 215hiphop.com have been bad sportsmen by “shoving it in my face” that the boys in blue were “going home” to “fist their grandmothers” or something along those lines. I love Philadelphia. I just don’t like their strikeout laden baseball team with a shoddy starting rotation getting the best of my squad, a team filled with over $50mill in dead money (Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, Brad Penny), grumpy has beens (Nomar, Jeff Kent), and underperforming “young studs” (Kemp, Billz, Blake DeWitt).
Come to think of it…
Losing to a wifebeater, an anti-Rick Ross (J-Roll ain’t hustlin‘–oh snap!), Foghorn Leghorn at manager, and the worst collection of facial hair I’ve ever seen* isn’t so bad. Losing to The Tampa Bay Rays would be worse. I couldn’t stomach the Dodgers losing the World Series in Tampa Bay in front of their tens of hundreds of fans.
*Quick note: this series had the most unconnected, haphazardly thrown together displays of playoff “beards” I’ve ever seen. Props to Pedro Feliz, Casey Blake, and Russell Martin (still dead to me) for keeping that shit tight and fierce. Scott Ehyre, Brad Lidge, James Loney, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Brett Myers–you are all on notice. Grab one of these at Target for 20 beans or go to one of these–they, like sneaker stores at the mall, are popping up everywhere. Y’all look like 14 year old boys proudly displaying their hormones in high school. HANDLE THAT!
The Tony Toupe of Baseball
Anyway, Dodgers’ GM “Hair Club for Ned” Colletti has quite a difficult offseason on his hands. First, re-signing Manny is a must. Even though he’s 36 years old, he could be the first documented case of a Latin born player mislabeling his birth certificate the wrong way–the way he hits, I wouldn’t be shocked if he was actually 28 years old.
Second, letting the old farts escape the trousers is a necessity (Kent, Nomar, Lowe, Blake, Mark Sweeney). Greg Maddux is the one old fart I’d hold back like I was meeting a girl’s parents for the first time.
Third, the Lennon/McCartney of All Free Agent Busts (word to Bill Simmons) need to broken up to save the band: Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones. I love Pierre as a fourth outfielder, but not at $9mill per. I love Andruw Jones as a cautionary tale to minor leaugers as to what not to do when you sign a $36mill contract (show up fat, get hurt, strike out 4 times a game in limited duty, forget to DVR “The Office”) but I only want to pay him in canned hams and Dunkin Donuts gift cards, not US coin.
Fourth, either move Russell Martin full-time to third base or trade him and Brad Penny/Pierre/Matt Kemp for a legitimate power hitter if you plan on re-signing Manny. Loney and Ethier are Joe Torre guys and have the right approach to hitting that will ensure them long-term, possible All-Star careers. If you re-sign Manny, you’re committing to winning now. Torre’s on board for 2 more years. Middle of the pack just won’t cut it, and filling a lineup with Manny’s 30-40 bombs coupled with four guys that’ll maybe hit 18-25 dingers isn’t legitimate. Maybe taking a flyer on Joe Crede is the best short term answer though there has been rumors of the boys reacquiring Adrian Beltre. I’m not totally sold on him, but if you have slightly above average power already, hitting behind Manny is good for another 5-10 on your yearly total.
In retrospect, it’s been a helluva year for the boys. I’ll be missing Tony Jackson’s everyday blog on updates about lineup changes, DL trips for Nomar, and great quotes from Torre. I’ll miss Blake DeWitt grounding out to second base for inning ending double plays in key situations. I’ll miss Russell Martin trying to do too much, whether he’s batting second, fourth, or sixth. I’ll miss Andre Ethier’s strategic approach to hitting, James “Nice Guy” Loney scooping errant throws out of the dirt, and Jonathon Broxton scaring the every living shit out of me in the ninth inning with a 2 run lead.
But I’ll miss you, Manny, most of all. And your 90s fashion sense.