Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Colletti Moves that Favor the Veteran Mediocre Players are Catching Up

Today’s top three hitters in the lineup have to be one of the weakest in recent Dodger history:
Tony Gwynn
Aaron Miles
Jay Gibbons

It certainly isn’t Murderer’s Row.  Those three must have really struck fear in Cub starter Carlos Zambrano who mowed down the Dodger lineup with the confidence of a staff ace, something that he used to be considered.  Players like Miles and Gibbons are lucky to have major league jobs and probably wouldn’t if GMs like Ned Colletti weren’t still in the game.  Why is it that Colletti loves these poor to mediocre veterans to serve as roster fodder year after year.  Take a look at this list, (and it is bigger than this folks, believe me).
Juan Castro, Ramon Martinez, Jose Cruz Jr.,  Oscar Robles, Ricky Ledee, Luis Gonzalez, Shea Hilldenbrand, Marlon Anderson,  Esteban Loaiza, Mike Lieberthal, Angel Berroa, Mark Loretta, Ronnie Belliard, Eric Milton, Brad Ausmus, Doug Mientkiewicz, Garrett Anderson, Scott Podsednik, Jack Taschner, Russ Ortiz, Ramon Ortiz, Justin Miller, Marcus Thames, Jay Gibbons, and Aaron Miles.  These are often the types of players that come to mind during Ned Colletti’s tenure.
That list is a who’s who of reject players pulled off the 2000’s scrap heap.  Some of them have worked out and even performed well with the club at times, (Ausmus, Anderson, Belliard come to mind), but overwhelmingly, those guys are major league scrubs well past their prime years.
Ned Colletti has shown that he's quick to jettison young players with potential off to other clubs to keep the veteran scrubs.  He swapped Cody Ross for next to nothing in order to keep a guy like Ricky Ledee.  He let Jayson Werth walk in the off season in favor of Juan Pierre and a 39 year old Luis Gonzalez.  Why are these moves made?  Often the answer is that a youngster is out of options, or he gives up on a player after an injury.  Additionally, and this seems to be Colletti’s M.O., he deals a young player in a last minute trade deadline move.
Cody Ross, James McDonald,  Jayson Werth, Delwyn Young, Xavier Paul, Carlos Santana, Blake DeWitt, Jason Repko, Shane Victorino, James McDonald, Andy LaRoche, Willy Aybar, Tony Abreu and Edwin Jackson are names to come to mind.

Now I don’t profess to be knowledgeable enough to be a General Manager.  I realize that there are intricacies to contracts and rules about veterans becoming free agents after so much service time, etc, (a la the Tommy Lasorda’s fiasco with the Jeff Shaw/Paul Konerko trade), that must be understood.  But come on!  The Colletti track record in handling the young talent at L.A. is questionable.   I can appreciate that he left the young core of Kemp, Ethier, Billingsley, Kershaw, Martin, Loney and Broxton alone, but there could have been more talent coming in return for many of the names mentioned in the paragraph above.  A classic example was dealing James McDonald and Andrew Lambo for less than a month of an over the hill Octavio Dotel. The fact that we lost Russell Martin this off-season and Carlos Santana wasn’t even an option to replace him because he was dealt two season’s earlier in a money saving deal, is the classic problem that Dodger fans have faced during the Colletti years.

The Schedule is in the Dodgers favor.

Thirty-two games in and the club is 15-17.  It is a disappointing start, but with significant injuries forcing the club to play a significant period of time without Furcal, Blake, Kuo, and Uribe, things could be much, much worse.  Additionally, with Broxton's horrendous start, you can only pin one or two losses on the big closer.   Being the ultimate optimist that I am, this club is a good road trip away from being on the doorstep of the division lead.   The schedule is starting to get easier, it's a lousy time to start playing bad now, so I'm hopeful that they turn things around on the road against lower level clubs like New York, Pittsburgh and at home against Arizona, Milwaukee and San Francisco over the next  14 games.  Now is the time to make a move in the standings.

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