Off Base
Re Trades Involving the Dodgers, Your Guess is as Good as Mine

July 27, 2009, 4:21 p.m. And all of our guesses are better than the things we're hearing from the "experts."

I mean, c'mon, the Dodgers are not trading James Loney, either Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley, and two, three or four of their top prospects to Cleveland for Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. That rumor is courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, and my response to him is this: did you know that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary.

The thing is, predicting trades this time of year truly is guesswork. Understand that, and you'll make it through unscathed. And if you can take most of what you hear with a grain of salt, you'll save yourself some grief. Front office people and player agents have agendas, most of them selfish and for some good reason, and the juicy rumors come from those guys. And gals.

Throw out the counterintelligence and hope for a bite, general managers, and you just might come away with the steal of summer. Tell the world the chances of Roy Halladay being traded are "very slim," as Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi did Sunday, and for all you know, some desperate executive might just believe you. What do you have to lose by trying it?

Halladay will be traded. Absolutely, positively, it's 100% going to happen. I can't tell you where and I'm not going to guess that it's to Los Angeles just to satisfy my lame desire to say "I told you so" later, but the man is leaving Canada shortly. And the Blue Jays are going to get a nice package for him.

This much I know. There are some intriguing deals being bandied about that not a single reporter has info on. Not Rosenthal, not Buster Olney of ESPN.com, not Jon Heyman at SI.com, not the ambitious fellow with a Dodger-centric BS-initialed website, temporarily hanging in Beverly Glen.
And this much I really know. Ned Colletti is a savvy guy - baseball savvy, you might say, and the smartest Dodgers GM since a decade to go in Al Campanis' reign.

Paul DePodesta? Please. The man often tabbed "the smartest guy in the room" was either too smart to make baseball sense or too often found in a sub-par room. You remember DePodesta, he of the "I'll take eight Milton Bradleys" line.

Colletti knows what he's doing. I have faith in him. I haven't always, but I do now. Before he signs off on a gut-the-future deal for Roy Halladay, he'll make every effort to get more and give up less. He'll try for Cliff Lee, just not in the manner outlined by Rosenthal. He'll try for pitchers supposedly untradable. Guys like Dan Haren, Wandy Rodriguez, maybe even Johan Santana. He'll settle for Jon Garland or Zach Duke before sending L.A. into suicide watch, trust me, and we'll all live if that's how it turns out.

The Dodgers will be acquiring a veteran reliever too, guaranteed, and quite possibly two. Jason Frasor, Chad Qualls, Arthur Rhodes, Russ Springer, David Weathers, to name a few worth getting.

Everything's going to be OK at Chavez Ravine. And Halladay might just be a Dodger. That's my guess, anyway. Just don't count on the club being set by July 31…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Russell Martin Day-Off-Oh-Meter: With Russell Martin getting his customary day-game-after-a-night-game assignment yet again yesterday, just a quick note to mention he's caught nine of 10 games since the All-Star Break, and is behind the plate tonight in muggy St. Louis. Sometime in August, Martin will have caught more games in 2009 than his manager did in a single season, ever. Joe's career high? 114. I'm just saying…

Oh, Schmidt!! As I said last time, the Dodgers sacrificed a game to give a nice guy a chance. Finishing the season, and possibly a career as a 1-1 pitcher is as good a way to say good-bye as this was going to go for him, and like I said last week, there's no reason to be mean.

The Dodgers will probably go ahead and put Schmidt back on the DL in the next day or so, with the possibility of giving him another chance when the rosters expand in September. With a division clinched, perhaps.

After watching Torre remove Schmidt from Sunday's game, I left the room for a moment, leaving the Main Squeeze behind to hear what she said was "Vin Scully delivering a eulogy." Ah, out of the mouths of babes…

IBWAA Sets Hall of Fame Voting Guidelines for Steroid Era Players: On the morning of July 14, 2009, the Base Ball Writers Association of America ( BBWAA ), in its infinite wisdom, voted against forming a committee to establish guidelines for Hall of Fame voting regarding players of the steroid era.

By 3:00 p.m. PST the same day, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America ( IBWAA), of which I am the acting queso grande of, had formed a committee to develop guidelines on the matter for the association's members. Results are as follows:

1. IBWAA steroid era Hall of Fame guidelines have been established for IBWAA voting purposes only. It is neither our intention to tell the BBWAA how to run its business, nor to criticize the Hall in any way, shape or form. We do, however, think the BBWAA's decision not to form a committee was silly.

2. Our performance-enhancing drug ( PED ) guidelines are subject to addendum. It is the expressed intention of the IBWAA to change on the fly, to be inclusive, and to incorporate new members' thoughts into existing policies and procedures.

3. Hall of Fame voting is to be, first and foremost, a democratic process. One person, one vote, with voting by secret ballot, and every vote counting equally.

4. Individual members are free to share his or her votes publicly, and in any form of media available, but are under no obligation to do so. Members choosing to discuss his or her votes publicly do not speak for the IBWAA as a group in so doing.

5. Voters may consider a player's performance-enhancing drug use as part of the selection process. While there is to be no suggestion by the IBWAA to its members that a player's name appearing in the Mitchell Report be considered with any particular degree of severity in the selection process, a member may consider such an appearance as part of his or her thinking.

6. Similarly, voters may consider a player's suspension by Major League Baseball for having tested positive for a banned substance during his career, but are not required to do so.

7. The IBWAA strongly suggests that while qualities of sportsmanship and character be considered as part of the equation, members should endeavor not to be influenced by rumors, hearsay, unsubstantiated items found to be in publication, a player's ethnic background or physical appearance as voting criteria.

How complicated was that?

We're currently at 17 strong and looking for more. Our newest member is Peter Golenbock, author of George: The Poor Little Rich Boy who Built the Yankee Empire. and Tampa Bay Rays blogger, who can be read at ThePlayersPoint.com. Check him out…

Congratulations BBWAA: For electing two worthy men, in Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice. And congrats to the new inductees. I just think Rickey should've gone in as a Dodger…

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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