Off Base
Knuckleballers Need Not Apply

July 13, 2010, 3:25 p.m. Sorry, Charlie.

Los Angeles needs a starter, and since there's been little evidence of the Dodgers being star-kissed recently, knuckleballers are out.

Wife beaters are out too, but more on Brett Myers in a minute. It's the other Houston pitcher I want. You know, Roy Oswalt, the guy I've been begging the Dodgers to get for a year.

I'm not going to bore you by rehashing the entire case for Oswalt, which I made so damn well in May. I'll still bore you; just not with the entire case.

But look, my current argument is this. Roy Oswalt is the ace the Dodgers need. Get it? The ace.

Oswalt just plain is that good. He's having a great year in an awful home park, he pitches well in Dodger Stadium, he's great in the second half, and he's been a stud in the playoffs. NLCS MVP stud, to be precise, in 2006.

Yes, he makes a lot of money. Like, duh. The Astros will pick up a healthy chunk of what's left on the deal – I'm telling you they will – and there will be plenty of Dodger dollars to satisfy the participants at divorce court. And Los Angeles does have the prospects in the organization.

The friends slash sources closer to the club than I say the McCourts won't spend money on roster improvement. I say they will. My friends say there's no way Frank's going to settle, nor part with the franchise. I say he will.

So why not sell a World Series club for millions more than you would otherwise be able to, and make everyone happy in the process? What's the downside?

As for Mr. Myers, he gets the same treatment here as Bobby Cox. Forever and always. In other words, "wife beater."

That's the label for both men. Not "great regular season manager" for Cox, or "currently pitching well but without the body of work required to be a Dodger" for Myers. Wife beater. It's part of their bios and never to be forgotten.

The Dodgers have enough guys sans good-citizenship marks. They don't need a domestic abuser too, and especially not another one whose excuses fell well short of apologies, and who's managed to skate by with nary a mention in any other baseball publication except this one.

To review, no knuckleballers, no wife beaters. Yes Houston aces.

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Other Starting Pitching Possibilities: Livan Hernandez has had a nice first half in Washington, and the guy does come back from Nowhereland every so often, but I can see his ERA exploding the minute he's traded. I can also see the Dodgers taking a flyer and getting him for next to nothing.

Check with me again if it happens. We'll debate the merits and get the first-name pronunciation ("LA-von" not "LEE-von") right once and for all.

Ricky Nolasco, on the hand, would be a great fit at Chavez Ravine. He's been solid in the second half from 2007 to 2009 (12-6, 3.84 ERA, and 6-2 with a 3.54 in the three Septembers) and does well versus NL West opponents (8-3 vs. Arizona, Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco, over the same period).

There's a fall-off after Oswalt and Nolasco, but whatareyagonnado? Don't be surprised if the Dodgers end up with one of these starters: Dave Bush, Fausto Carmona, Ryan Dempster, Zach Duke, Shaun Marcom, Wandy Rodriguez, Jake Westbrook, or even Randy Wolf.

Javier Vazquez would be a treat, and the Yankees would have to land another starter first to even consider going there, but we can dream, can't we?

Oh, and consider yourself warned. John Ely's likely to go in one of these deals, and very likely if the return is Oswalt, Nolasco or Vazquez. And Ned Colletti will have my endorsement…

Media Savvy: Interesting piece from an interesting source – former Bush 43 EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg – pondering the what-if-Roberto Clemente-had-remained-a-Dodger question

World Cup: If given the chance, I'd announce a scoring play in soccer this way: "Goal." That's it, just "Goal." Too bad for you if you miss it…

George Likes His Kung Pao Spicy: Rest in peace, Mr. Steinbrenner. With no disrespect intended, here's one of the first articles I wrote for this publication, back in May of 2000…

Last Add All-Star Game: Raise your hand if you've had enough of the ASG determining home field in the World Series. Good, that's all of you…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….


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