09 December 2008

Chasing...Dodgers...Profits...Pavements?

At first glance, today's LA and AZ depth charts appear to render hand wringing by Diamondback fans a bit premature and melodramatic:

R Martin....C....Snyder

J Loney....1B....Tracy/Jackson

T Abreu...2B....FA

A Berroa..SS....Drew

J Pierre....LF...Jackson/Byrnes

M Kemp...CF...Young

Ethier.......RF...Upton

Downright silly, when one eyeballs starting pitching:

Billingsley..SP....Webb

Kuroda.......SP....Haren

Kershaw....SP....Scherzer

Schmidt.....SP....Davis

Stults.........SP....Petit

OK, the Dodgers have a big bullpen advantage:

Broxton.....RP....Qualls

Saito..........RP....Rauch

Wade.........RP....Pena

Kuo............RP....Slaten


but, still, why are so many Diamondback fans seemingly throwing in the towel?

Lack of confidence in owners, mostly, who've been comically nickle and diming everyone from Randy Johnson to Ramon Vasquez and Mark Loretta - acquiring none, while LA is pursuing high profile gamechangers like CC Sabathia, Manny Ramirez and Rafael Furcal. Apparently the recession hasnt hit southern California quite so hard.

The funny thing about Manny (this week, anyway) is how he and Scott Boras insist on some massive long term contract after the depression. I refer, of course, not to our alarming national decrease in employment, but to Manny's costly sulking in Boston, that appears to have whittled his current roster of long term suitors to zero.

The Dodgers have also advanced to the "final four" for Furcal, an error-prone but rangy shortstop with a superlative arm, who can also run and hit (Career OPS+ 96.) Either Ramirez or Furcal would efficiently boost LA's lineup, because their skills complement, rather than overlap, the team's existing strengths. The left handed Furcal is a significant tablesetting improvement over Juan Pierre - while also addressing shortstop - and Ramirez is to hitting what Gov Blagojevich is to old school quid pro quo patronage. He's the tops!!

The biggest prize here, though, is Sabathia, whether Ned Coletti knows it or not. With the departure of Derrick Lowe, CC's singular durability could catapult a suddenly thin rotation close to Arizona's quintet - which combined with LA's superior bullpen depth, makes LA the clear frontrunner. Add Furcal or Manny to Sabathia, and the Dodgers become prohibitive favorites. Add Furcal or Manny, however, without Sabathia, and I wouldnt engrave the trophy just yet. Somebody has to get hitters out, Lowe's gone and Billingsley broke his leg. One look no further than the 2008 Tigers, or Yankees for that matter, to see that stockpiling hitters at the expense of starting pitching is a suspect strategy.

Maybe Arizona can locate the money they saved from not signing Randy Johnson, Orlando Hudson, Adam Dunn (or either compensatory draft pick they squandered), Juan Cruz, the $7.5M 'saved' from the final indignity of Russ Ortiz' lingering fiduciary nightmare, and make a credible stab at Randy and/or Kelly Johnson.

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Song of the Day - Chasing Pavements (Adele)

2 comments:

Jeff said...

"...lingering fiduciary nightmare"

That's a nice flowing phrase. I'm wondering how you'd describe the Pavano/Yankees deal of yesteryear...

Matt said...

Jeff -

In a hellbent frenzy to convey Dbax responsibility to Ortiz, I misused 'fiduciary', which denotes a less tangible sense of financial responsibility. I'm ashamed, really.

Since Pavano's complaints about his ass, how about "Yankee Spankee"?

Also, what do you think of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? I enjoyed one the other night and cant decide if it's because it was really good or because I havent had a beer in a while - and I wont know until you tell me.

Rgds