McCheap Being McCheap

McCheap being McCheap. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind when Colletti signed Jamey Carroll this past winter. While other G.M.’s were given an actual budget to strengthen their teams, we were scouring the bargain bins in our attempt to finally reach the World Series. One would think that after coming so close, just being denied by the Phillies two years running, that the Dodgers front office would have been a bit more aggressive, but this is the era of McCheap being McCheap.

Of course Colletti wouldn’t find names, like Lackey, Damon, or Lee, in the bargain bins. However, he would find Jamey Carroll, whose most notable accomplishment to date could be scoring the last run for the Montreal Expos before the franchise moved to DC. A career .275 hitter, the utility infielder gives the Dodgers a good, reliable glove at any infield position. A bargain at $1.5 million, especially when you divide that salary by 3 (the 3 of 4 IF positions he has played in the Majors).

Does he remind anybody else of J.P. filling in for Manny during his 50-game P.E.D. suspension last season? Where would the Dodgers have been without Juan Pierre? Where would the Dodgers be this season without Jamey Carroll?

I think there is a growing sentiment to give Carroll more playing time. He’s hitting .294 and provides the team some much needed speed on the bases. Carroll made some great plays at 2nd last night and had one of the four Dodger hits against Sabathia. And given the fact that he even hits RHP better than the lefty hitting DeWitt (.308 vs .268), shouldn’t Carroll start at 2nd over DeWitt?

C’mon Joe. We need to find ways to win. Forget who we thought was more impressive during Spring Training. That was yesterday. Our starting nine has to be the nine who gives the Dodgers the best opportunity to win. In my opinion, that is with Carroll playing 2nd and hitting in the 2-hole.

I guess sometimes being McCheap can pay off. Just like it did last night at dinner when I tipped $5 on a $200 check.

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You asked for pitching???

My initial reaction in our recent attempts to bolster the Dodger pitching staff has simply been laughter in disgust. The same type of laughter when you first heard Barry Bonds deny using steroids. However, after witnessing Troncoso, Belisario, and Sherrill repeatedly blow hold opportunities, I’m ready to welcome anybody to our bullpen who will give these three an opportunity to work things out in Albuquerque.

Here’s a snapshot of the three pitchers recently added by Colletti:

Kiko Calera – 35 yrs old from Puerto Rico – Career Stats: 14-12, 3.24 ERA, 1.196 WHIP

Most recent news bite: “Calero was released last month by the Mets after posting a 10.59 ERA in 10 appearances for their Triple-A Buffalo affiliate.”

Jesus Colome – 32 yrs old from Dominican Republic – Career Stats: 19-27, 4.69 ERA, 1.506 WHIP

Most recent news bite: “Jesus Colome, who struggled so badly with his control in Sunday’s loss to the Angels, was designated for assignment (by the Mariners).”

Claudio Vargas – 32 yrs old from Dominican Republic – Career Stats: 48-40, 4.83 ERA, 1.432 WHIP

Most recent news bite: “The Brewers also released right-hander Claudio Vargas, who was 1-0 with a 7.32 ERA in 17 appearances.”

Do any of these pitchers have what it takes to script a fairytale comeback in this last stage of their careers and help lead the Dodgers to the World Series?

Please Sell The Dodgers Frank McCourt!

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading fan comments on all that is wrong with the Dodgers. A lot of finger pointing. Kemp’s lack of hustle. Manny being Manny. Casey’s beard…or lack thereof. Garret Anderson’s BA < his weight. Belisario, Troncoso, and Sherrill blowing holds. Haeger pitching hangers. Furcal’s injuries. Loney’s lack of power. Torre abusing the bullpen. And on and on…

Some are valid points.  Some are ridiculous.  I think the only Dodger who has avoided any blame is Ethier. Dre practices hard, plays hard, and has truly earned his Captain Clutch nickname.  It doesn’t hurt that the ladies find him dreamy.

But let’s all please go to the root of the Dodger woes.  It starts at the top.  Frank McCourt.

A parking lot developer from Boston who first tried to buy his beloved Red Sox…followed by the Angels and the Tampa Bay Bucs.  Finally he settled on the Dodgers and since MLB was anxious to replace the evil Murdoch, Bud Selig overlooked McCourt’s questionable liquidity and character.

What a goldmine this turned out to be for the real estate developer who immediately realized the untapped retail possibilities in Chavez Ravine.  Who cares about a World Series title when McCourt stands to make hundreds of millions after he develops Chavez Ravine into a restaurant and retail strip mall?  And who cares about the pristine character and history of Chavez Ravine?  Obviously not Frank McCourt.

McCourt has since dragged the good Dodger name through the mud and tabloids with his high-profile divorce.  This divorce has revealed a slush fund created by McCourt to extract more money from the Dodgers than allowed by the Board of Directors and an exorbitant salary paid to his two sons for doing nothing.  And let’s not forget the recent discovery of a Russian wizard, Vladimir Schpunt, who McCourt paid a six-figure salary to channel positive energy to the team.

What is most disturbing to me is the promise McCourt once made to Dodger fans to keep the Dodgers in the top 25% of payroll in the league.  In 2010, this should have left us at approximately $115 million…roughly $20 million more than current.  For $20 million, we could have offered arbitration to both Wolf and Garland….and acquired Cliff Lee this past winter.

Where would we be right now with these three on our roster?