Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Random Ramblings, Super Bowl/Caribb. Series/Franklin Gutierrez

What’s an L.A. fan that lives in the Bay Area to do on days when Bay Area teams vie for the championship of their sport?  Well work of course.  I volunteered to work today and start at 4:00 pm, far away from the Super Bowl feasts and the revelers.  I get to immerse myself in my work, (which, by the way, is engaged in seizing and destroying counterfeit Super Bowl jerseys and merchandise...another story), and avoid the activities all together.

Giants, 49ers, the surprising Warriors and currently undefeated Sharks.  It’s enough to make an L.A. fan nauseous.  Signs and flags all over the place.  Bandwagon fans popping out at every quarter, and then if 49ers win, we get to watch them torch the town,  Aren’t sports championships fun?
49ers fan arrested in San Francisco for vandalism following impromptu celebrations after their NFC championship win on January 20, 2013 (photo by Jason Henry, San Francisco Chronicle)

I turned my back on watching NFL football right around the time that the Jeff Benedecit and Don Yaeger book came out,  Pros and Cons, The Criminals that Play in the NFL.    It was released in 1998 and identified a large percentage of the league, both coaches and players, being overall thugs and criminals.  It was a complete turn off to me and I decided then and there I wouldn’t spend any time and money following that sport.

As much as many fans were turned off to baseball after the ’94 strike and later the steroid exposure, those issues pale in comparison to the NFL’s thug element that has permeated the sport for decades.  Worse yet, the NFL administration has done everything in their power to cover up the thuggery and protect the criminal element from exposure.  Some teams actually hiring criminals and nefarious ex-cops that have been thrown off forces to keep NFL players “out of trouble.”  Through their Law Enforcement connections, often times, law enforcement agencies have turned the other way and not arrested athletes that always seem to get in trouble.

The most shocking exposure made was that coaches, team owners and NFL executives often found ways to defend and excuse the criminal behavior.  These star players were obviously protected because their value made the league.  They were seen as investments that had to be retained.  Every now and then a player like Rae Carruth or Darryl Henley committed crimes so egregious that the league couldn’t protect them.  But too often star players have gotten away with criminal behavior that should have landed stars in prison.  Ben Roethlisberger, Lawrence Phillips, Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, PacMan Jones and Michael Irvin come to mind.

One truth exposed in Pros and Cons was that many talented athletes are coddled treated differently from the time they were young children up until they make it in the pros.  Be it being excused from the basic societal rules because of their extraordinary “talent” and “abilities” in the sports world.  Often they arrive to professional levels without ever having to conform to basic laws and rules of society, thus giving them a sense of entitlement that has excused them from conforming to common decency.  This occurs with many athletes, and baseball isn’t exempt from it,  but the NFL seems to be the worst in this aspect.

With that I say, Enjoy the Super Bowl.  Oh, and that linebacker on the Ravens that many are celebrating for his achievements.  Well, he should have been incarcerated 12-13 years ago for murder, but he escaped the conviction through a legal technicality.  


Back to the DODGERS and baseball news.  Hanley Ramirez continues to toil for Escogido in the Caribbean Series down in Hermosillo, Mexico, where the Dominican Republic team is 2-0 after the first two contests.  It is reported that Ramirez will get a rare start at Shortstop in todays game against Mexico this afternoon.  Alden Gonzalez writes about Ramirez at mlb.com  
The DR celebrates a 7-2 win over Venezuela in Friday night's action (photo by Andres Leighton/AP)

There has been some criticism levied at Mexico for hosting the Caribbean Series this year as Northern Mexico has been rampant with drug violence for the last half dozen years.  Hermosillo, the host of this years event has not been exempt and it is said that the completion of the state’s cozy new stadium in as little as 13-14 months couldn’t have been completed without drug money.  

The games so far are off to a rousing success as capacity crowds have watched clubs from the four representative countries engage in the annual event.  It is reported that an attempt will be made to expand the Caribbean Series to include other nations, (such as Cuba), in future events.  Other countries to possibly be extended invitations are Panama, Nicaragua, and Colombia.  (2011 article on the topic LINKED HERE)  and (2013 mlb.com piece linked HERE)


Recent rumors of the Dodgers trading for former Dodger Franklin Gutierrez in exchange for Capuano I find intriguing.  First because Gutierrez is a defensive gem who could patrol right field well and his splits against left handed pitching are quite impressive.
(photo by John Froshauer/AP)

Franklin Gutierrez's 2013 numbers against lefties:  71 plate appearances, .400 BA, .437 OBP, 4 homers,  1.160 OPS.  Granted, the sample size is small, but over the course of his entire career, his stats against lefties are still impressive:  789 plate appearances, .293 BA, .350 OBP, 27 homers, .830 OPS.

This would be a good grab.  Acquire the 29 year old  Gutierrez from Seattle and platoon him with Ethier.  The numbers don’t lie and the excess pitching the Dodgers have with 9 starters allows a move like this to happen.  This trade could really make an impact if Mattingly is willing to hurt Ethier’s feelings and platoon him.  If it does happen, be prepared to watch a lot of defensive highlights from Gutierrez.  We who watched him at Spring Training in Vero Beach remember the defensive shows he was putting on there.

Mike Petriello at MSTI addressed this topic a few days ago (LINKED HERE)  and provides much more detailed insight.  Of note are Gutierrez offensive splits showing outside of Seattle's Safeco Park, his numbers are quite impressive.


  1. That would be the same Franklin Gutierrez that the Dodgers drafted and traded to Cleveland as part of the Milton Bradley trade.

    So what we are saying is that we need two guys to take Milton Bradley's place. LOL

    Interesting though that both Gutierrez and Ethier were involved in Milton Bradley trades. Gutierrez had a couple of good years with Seattle - pretty good HR and SB numbers. And, as stated, is an outstanding defensive player. I hope his last couple of injury plagued seasons were the exception and not his career trend. Would be refreshing to have a young player come on board instead of the usual diet of aging players the past few years.

  2. Hi Evan,

    Did you read about the drug money or you're just speculating? If you read it, can you give me a link?

    All my mom's family live in Hermosillo. This is what I know, they taxed the citizens who have recently or to those that will buy a new car. My cousin and aunt have bought cars recently and they were taxed. They weren't happy. Many citizens of Hermosillo went to the streets last Friday (first day of Serie del Caribe) to protest the tax rate.

    The stadium cost was about $31 million. I've read that it's still hasn't been payed and eventually it's the citizens that are picking up the tab. Also, they worked on the stadium 24/7 non-stop.

    You mentioned that there was criticism that Hermosillo held the Serie del Caribe because of the drug violence. I have yet to read anything like that. I've been to Hermosillo many times and I have to tell you that it's a very safe and Americanized city. I've been to Nogales, Mexicali and Tijuana (border towns) and those cities do have a drug problem. I wouldn't say Hermosillo has a problem. Of course, like any other big city, you will see problems but Hermosillo is not like those border towns. I've driven from Los Angeles to Hermosillo and never had a problem besides a bad cop stopping me trying to get money out of me. But since I speak Spanish and defend myself, I usually get away from that.

    That's all. Thanks Evan, would like to read your feedback on this.

  3. Hi Roberto, Sorry for the delay in my response. I don't know how to address your questions without perhaps offending those with ties to Mexico such as yourself. I know your experience visiting Hermosillo has been positive and I'm glad to hear that. Truth is though, Northern Mexico is a mess. State Department warnings are quick to tell us that. As you mentioned, the border towns are very dangerous, but the violence has spread all over.

    You name the major city: Monterrey, Hermosillo, Guaymas, Los Mochis, Culiacan, Mazatlan and on further south, the cartels are running the show and have infiltrated municipal governments.
    As much as I don't want to turn this into a political discussion, the topic can't be avoided when extortion, kidnappings, homicides, armed robberies are all up, and not marginally...we are talking ten fold.

    My comments linking the Hermosillo baseball stadium construction to drug cartels may be considered speculation, but a close associate of mine, a long time businessman from Hermosillo swears that it has occurred. I can't address the specifics because he didn't address them, so perhaps the comment is reckless on my part as I have no evidence or links to periodicals to that fact. I read today about the protests to a 3% raise in fees assessed to vehicle registrations of newer cars.

    He tells the story of having to change his route to work everyday for fear of being kidnapped for ransom. He speaks of the precautions his family has taken for safety and the plans they have in place with code words and specific things they will say in the event that a kidnapping occurs amongst his family. He tells of the extortion he must pay in order to maintain his business and the government contacts that are in cahoots with it. He relates the story of how the police department has been infiltrated with Sinaloa cartel members that grant safe passage of their contraband on the way North to the U.S.

    Truth is that Hermosillo hasn't suffered the major influx of crime that many other cities in Mexico have, but it has been enough for the Dept. of State to issue warnings. The modernization of some locations can often give a false sense of security. This isn't coming from someone that hasn't traveled throughout Latin America, I've stepped in virtually every country there with the exception of Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba and Guyana. Mexico in it's present state is about as dangerous as any place I've been to. Everything is fine, you're driving along and suddenly there's a road block and anything can happen. This situation there is precarious at best in my opinion.