With rotation injuries sprouting up like mushrooms--Randy Wolf may be done for the year, while Brad Penny and Derek Lowe narrowly escape DL stints--the Dodgers trade away their most productive third baseman for an overworked reliever and spend the rest of their deadline arguing internally over which prospects to keep and which to deal without pulling the trigger. That this one's so obvious even Bill Plaschke gets it right is a sign that whatever the current regime's faults, they know how to deal in PR. Bad news: Jeff Kent strains a hammy after a .447/.500/.737 July.Yes, that's a Bill Plaschke link in the Hit List, and for once, my nemesis actually written something about the Dodgers that I agree with:
For the first time in a decade, they are no longer the kind of team that needs to do calisthenics every July to be strong for many Octobers.Sorry about that spacing; like high-powered magnets, Plaschke's thoughts continue to be too weighty to put side-by-side. Anyway, while none of the prospects Dodger GM Ned Colletti has traded have come back to bite the Dodgers thus far, every deadline gives Dodger fans the feeling that he's playing Russian roulette, willing to sacrifice a prospect or two in spectacularly shocking fashion. The GM puts up a unified front in the Plaschke piece, but the buzz leading up to the deadline had Colletti clashing with the team's player development arm over which prospects were tradable, particularly 19-year-old southpaw Clayton Kershaw, who stands a good chance of being one of the top three pitching prospects on next year's lists. Even with the Dodgers on the edge of a playoff spot, I can't fault them for keeping the kids together; 2007 won't be their last playoff chase by any means.
They have a nucleus. They have a surplus. They have a clue.
What they may not eventually have this season is a spot in the playoffs, but -- and I can't believe I'm writing this -- maybe that can wait.
Maybe they have to sacrifice a September for James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to learn how to play in the heat.
Maybe they have to lose a division for Jonathon Broxton to learn how to pitch under the glare.
Maybe Dodgers fans, just this once, will agree to pay for two months of soaring, skidding fun with an October of silence.
Having finally collected enough good players to contend for several years, the Dodgers smartly refused to break them up for the sake of this one.
Maybe, by taking no big steps, they have actually taken a giant one.
“This to me is different,” Scully said. “Aaron was received with great love, affection, adoration. I’m not sure how this one will be received. The story won’t be what I say. The story will be what the crowd will say. So I will shut up and let them take it.”Speaking of that call, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Furman Bisher recently did a completely irresponsible hatchet job by taking Scully's call out of context, as though race were the first thing he mentioned.
Scully is famous for going silent at the right times. When Aaron hit his 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth, Scully let 26 seconds pass, allowing the crowd in Atlanta to roar. Only then did he reflect on the setting, the meaning and the times:
“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron.”
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