I'd like to think that I'm a lot more calm and patient than I was when I started writing almost three years ago. I look back at my stuff from the old DePodesta For President days and my thoughts alternate from "my God, I was a braying jackass" and "wow, I was a lot dumber than I thought I was". Pretty much, I was this guy, just without the clever ways of saying that Jim Tracy/Ned Colletti can provide me pleasure as a woman would. Here, the writer takes the Reds to task for signing Corey Patterson to a minor league contract instead of giving the job to Jay Bruce without considering the following:
-The nicest thing you can say about the Reds this year is that they're a dark horse team in a weak division. It makes a ton of sense to start Bruce in the minors so you gain an extra year of service time. The Reds time is somewhere around 2010, no sense in burning a year of a potential superstar for an outside shot at contention this year.
-An Adam Dunn/Bruce/Ken Griffey outfield would be historically bad defensively and might be the first time that the three worst defensive outfielders played on the same team.
-Bruce isn't a finished product yet. He put up gaudy numbers at three levels, but struck out once every 3.89 at bats, which tells me that he'd struggle initially in the bigs. Another half season in the minors would probably do wonders for him.
-Corey Patterson on a minor league deal is a great move. He's an excellent defender, the sixth best in baseball over the last three years according to +/-, with a solid arm, and he at least has a chance of helping offensively. At the very least, he's probably better than Juan Pierre.
(Yes I realize the irony in saying that I'm not a braying jackass then ripping apart some guy's article. There's no need to point it out.)
Sometime between not having to deal with Jim Tracy, and being constantly wrong (I was sure Antonio Perez would have been a competent starting shortstop) took my aggression level from Manchester United Fan to dude at Grateful Dead concert. Start Juan Pierre and Nomar all year? Terrible move, but they're the guys making the money, and reality is that that makes a huge difference in most front offices, so there's no sense in getting that worked up about it.
However, there is one thing that would probably make me snap and force me to threaten to fork stab Ned, Torre, and anyone remotely affiliated with the Dodger front office: if Chan Ho Park ever throws a pitch in a Dodger uniform, without half of our pitching staff being taken down in an FBI sting.
Chan Ho Park is, to put it nicely, horrible. His best season since leaving the Dodgers was in 2004 when he had a 5.46 ERA (a 93 ERA+) in 95 innings for the Rangers. Last year, splitting time between AAA New Orleans and Round Rock, he had a 5.97 ERA and allowed 1.80 home runs per nine to AAA quality players. As a nice break, he made one major league start where he allowed seven runs in four innings and gave up two more bombs. In short, the guy is completely finished. Pretty much every pitcher on the 40 man roster, along with a large portion of our non roster invitees, are better pitchers than Park. There is no reason for this guy to ever, ever throw a pitch for the Dodgers. Plus we'd have to find space for him on a crowded 40 man roster just to get him there.
Giving innings to pitchers because they've been here before is a time honored tradition that really needs to stop. Part of me believes that Park will see as much time on the mound for the Dodgers as I will this year, much like the random NRI dreck we bring in every year. However, another part of me believes that we aren't that far from at least making him our mop up man. All that has to happen is we put Schmidt and/or Kuo on the 60 day DL, and then Chan Ho has a solid Spring using his veteran guile to get AA hitters out. Eric Stults, Justin Orenduff, James McDonald, and heck even Jason Johnson at least have recently demonstrated the ability to get Japanese hitters out, which Park has pretty much failed to do since Cal Ripken Jr. took him yard at the All Star Game. Shooting yourself in the foot because a guy is getting paid, yeah, I can understand it. Shooting yourself in the foot for no reason is something that I can't wrap my head around.
(Note: this was motivated by a discussion on Dodger Thoughts and is not indicative of anything I actually think the front office will do.)