Off Base
Manny Being an Ex-Dodger

August 23, 2010, 5:50 p.m. And the Dodgers being ex-contenders.

With my blogging brethren, almost to a man, having already called the season, on this blue Monday I finally surrender and join those with a brilliant grasp of the obvious.

After the series loser to Cincinnati yesterday, the only thing left for me to determine was a title for the column. I was torn between the obligatory "Stick a Fork in 'Em" and the slightly-less obligatory "The Dodgers are Toast" lines, which, if you parse the words – and really, word play is quite a bit more fun than watching L.A. baseball at this point in time – are contradictory.

Sticking a fork applies generally to something being broiled, or in this case, barbequed beyond recognition; as in the phrase, "the Dodgers are dead meat."

Whereas the Dodgers are toast suggests, well, toast. The Dodgers are without the manual dexterity required to accomplish the feat of being both dead meat and toast simultaneously, so that's out. And you wouldn't stick a fork in toast. So you see my dilemma.

But look, it's over. It's all over. Your 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers are finito. Kaput. Six feet under.

It's a lost season all the way around. We'll talk more about the whys and wherefore after the final out is recorded October 3, but if you step back for a minute, and look at it objectively, you might just think 2010 worked out exactly as it should have, the result fitting the participants perfectly. What with the baseball gods and all.

I don't think the previous notion needs much explanation, so for now let's just say there's more than enough blame to go around, from Joe Torre, who managed badly, to Ned Colletti, who GM'd badly, and to Frank McCourt, who owned badly, before we get anywhere near Matt Kemp, or even a one of his teammates.

And by the way, can we stop referring to the alleged nucleus of the Dodgers as "the core" now please? They were dubbed simply "the kids" for far too long, when they weren't really kids to begin with, and this "the core" label needs to go too.

The Core is a song by Eric Clapton, remember, from the Slowhand album. And Clapton rocks. The Dodgers don't. At least, not in 2010.

Anyway. It's time to prepare for the future, and that means jettisoning useless protoplasm. In other words, Manny Ramirez. He only came to say he must be going, and go he must.

Be-bye pal. Jackass. Do let the door hit you on the way out.

Prediction: Manny hits waivers tomorrow and is outta here Friday, on the exact same day as a settlement is announced in the McCourt court case. Friday for both.

With Ken Williams doling out quality pitchers like they grow on deep dish pizza, the White Sox make for as good a trading partner as any, so that's what I'm pulling for. Manny to Chicago, where he takes the roster spot of none other than Andruw Jones. Now wouldn't that be special?

But forget what you're hearing about Colletti selling off every able-bodied Dodger without a 2011 contract. You still have to field a team, so while there might be a demand for as many as three starters – Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly and Vicente Padilla – the Dodgers will no doubt trade whichever man brings the most in return. Probably just the one guy, and probably Lilly.

They'll jump at the chance to get Casey Blake, and the remaining year on his deal, off the ledger, so look for that too. Atlanta, most likely, and with very little in return, if anything. And I suppose they'll listen to offers for relievers too.

But it all starts with Manny Friday. Ding dong, the witch is dead. Friday. And I absolutely can't wait…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Predictions: However the ownership thing shakes out, Joe Torre's time in L.A. is coming to an end. About the only way he stays is with a generous contract and a consultant's role in the front office, and I just don't see him accepting even that much under a continued McCourt administration.

And if there's a sale coming – and that's what I've been suggesting all along – the new owner isn't going to need another former manager hanging around, to go with Tommy, much less a Yankee like Torre.

Larry Bowa and Bob Schaefer will follow Joe if there's another managing opportunity in the offing, with Don Mattingly finally accepting the proposition that the only way he gets to manage in the big leagues is by proving himself in the minors first.

Rick Honeycutt will stick in the Dodger organization, and maybe even keep his job under yet another manager, his third such gig in Los Angeles.

Dusty Baker is going to be that manager. Count on it…

Rhetorical Questions of the Day: Has Tim Lincecum turned into just another pitcher, and if so, is it because of his being unnecessarily overused by Bruce Bochy?

Steroid Zone: If you're new here, the Steroid Zone (scroll down below this column) is where we call out the latest major leaguer suspended for performance enhancing drug use. We've only had two such cheaters this season, in Reds' pitcher Edinson Volquez, whose mug shot has just been replaced by current douche bag, catcher Ronnie Paulino, of the Florida Marlins, so perhaps that's progress.

Poster boys Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro are permanent fixtures in the Zone, which is about the only shrine-like place they're ever going to be recognized. Enjoy…

Media Savvy: Check out this neat Column One piece, about baseball in South Africa, by Kevin Baxter, of the LAT.

And I'm especially excited about the great article on baseball statues, posted a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Joshua Pahigian, author of 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out for the nice plug. There's a prominent section devoted to the Statue for Sandy Koufax campaign of mine, and some awesome photos.

And special thanks to Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News for the follow-up plug…

Statue for Sandy: The beat goes on. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….


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