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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Kemp Happy to be a Dodger

There's a great article in the LA Times about Matt Kemp. I'll post it here but if you want to read the original go here.

From friends and relatives, Matt Kemp heard the countless trade rumors this winter that involved him. So whenever Kemp heard his cellphone ring, he braced himself for the worst.

"If you look at your cellphone and there's a 323 number or a 310 number that you know nothing about, you're like, 'Oh, here we go,' " Kemp said.

The dreaded call never came. Still a Dodger on Tuesday, Kemp was part of the team's caravan that made stops at the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, L.A. Marshall High, the Dodger Dream Field at Culver Marina Little League and the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Of the interest that other clubs showed in him, Kemp said, "It's a little bit flattering, but I don't want to be on any team other than this one. This is the team that drafted me. This is the team that had faith in me to get here and this is where I want to be for the rest of my career."

Kemp downplayed the rift in the clubhouse last season, a rift that fueled speculation that he might be traded, saying it was a result of "frustration" and "miscommunication."

Kemp spent most of the winter working out in Arizona, sculpting a frame that he said now weighs around 220 pounds. He was up to 240 at the end of last season.

"I had to shed some pounds so I could move a little bit more," Kemp said. "I feel quicker, I feel way stronger. Last year, I was over in the Dominican playing winter ball and I didn't get to work out as much. I was doing baseball stuff."

Kemp batted .342 over 98 big league games last season, including .382 in September.

Catcher Russell Martin also spent time working out in Arizona. Though Martin appeared broader-shouldered on Tuesday than he did in the fall, he said he lost weight, something he credited to reducing his body fat percentage from close to 10% to 9%.

"I feel more explosive," Martin said.

Martin was less forthcoming when asked about General Manager Ned Colletti's claim that his agent declined to discuss a multi-year extension that would have bought out at least some of his arbitration years.

Martin's agent, Bob Garber, acknowledged that he never had formal talks with the Dodgers about an extension, but would not comment on the matter any further.

"It's not up to me and Bob," Martin said. "It's up to the team. If the team wants to offer something legitimate, it'd be idiotic not to look at it."

Closer Takashi Saito is "close" to signing a one-year deal with the Dodgers and should be under contract by spring training, a team source said. Saito, who made $1.2 million last season, is under the Dodgers' control.

With the 90,505 tickets that were available for the Dodgers' exhibition game at the Coliseum against the Boston Red Sox on March 29 already sold out, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said the club is studying the feasibility of adding seats and selling more tickets. Seats were not available in center field, the side of the east end zone on the days the venue is used for football.

Asked if the additional seats could push the attendance past the single-game major league record of 93,103 fans, McCourt replied, "I think for sure."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dodgers resign Seanez

Dodgers resign relief pitcher Seanez for a deal that could go up to $1.3 million. I personally don't like the deal AT ALL. Seanez was great for a one year relief pitcher who did a lot better than what everyone expected. But now that year's over, we don't need him anymore especially for a deal that could be over 1 million. I'm pretty sure he's going to be 38 next year and judging by how he faded last year, he can no longer pitch a complete season. He might be good for 2/3rd of next year but I wouldn't be surprised if he never regains the form he had last year. Hopefully I'm wrong but even if I'm not, the Dodgers have plenty of talent in the minors to replace him.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Megatrade affecting the Dodgers?

Since Johan Santana was traded to the Mets and the deal is officially final, I will try to explore on some of the implications this has on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Personally, I don't see this affecting the Dodgers too much during the regular season because the likely hood of them facing Santana is 2 to 3 times max, but this could become a major hurdle for the post season (yes, I do expect the Dodgers to get into the post season). First off, as I have stated in my previous posts, I feel that Santana is the best pitcher in baseball. He has devastating stuff and a high baseball IQ. Furthermore, he has the ability to simply dominate a game and single handedly win a game for a team. If the Dodgers happen to meet the Mets in the post season, I feel that this acquisition will greatly benefit the Mets because no matter how good the Dodger's pitching staff is, they have no one who is on the caliber that Santana is. Nevertheless, I feel this trade is good for the National League as a whole because it's bringing in more and better talent to the National League, which for years has lagged behind the American League. I'll be looking forward to the Dodgers playing against the Mets when Santana is pitching.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Twins trade Santana

Twins traded Santana to Mets. I'll post more about the impact this could have on the Dodgers later.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lieberthal retires

Not that it's that important, but the most underused backup catcher is going to retire. I must admit, if i was a backup catcher, I would definitely want to be the backup to Russel Martin. I wouldn't need to do much, and still get paid a lot. Well, here's a farewell to Lieberthal who had a great 14 year career.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dodgers sign Proctor

Dodgers sign Scott Proctor for a 1 year deal worth $1.1 million to avoid arbitration. Personally, I like the move a lot. I know during the last season, a lot of people complained about the Proctor trade, but I feel that the trade paid off in the end. First, the Dodgers had no use for Betemit. Sure, he was a great power bat off the bench, but his hitting is simply too inconsistent. Secondly, Proctor is a workhorse. It might have contributed to his decreased effectiveness but he does have above average stuff on most nights. Thus, it increases the deepness of the Dodgers rotation. Thirdly, Proctor was amazing down the stretch. For that reason, I feel he will be great for the Dodgers this year. With Proctor, Beimel (whom the Dodgers still need to sign or go to arbitration with), Broxton and Saito, the Dodgers definitely have one of the better bullpens in the National League. Furthermore, if Brazabon can come back and Meloan can emerge as a successful reliver, then the Dodgers will be an extremely deep team.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Schmidt throws off mound!!

Breaking News! Breaking News! Jason Schmidt throws off a mound!! Just as we thought he was going to be another Darren Dreiford, he proves us wrong! okay maybe I'm getting ahead of myself but I am rather hopeful for a full Schmidt recovery. I don't think he'll be able to return to his ace form, but I think he'll make a solid 4 or 5 pitcher with the Dodgers. If Schmidt can fully recovery and post a era in the low 4s, then the Dodgers will definitely have one of the best rotations in all of the National League (too bad the other great rotations are in the National League West too). Here's to hoping Schmidt fully recovers and can contribute to the Dodgers this year!!

In other news, Mark Hendrickson signs a one year contract with the Marlins. All i can say about his tenure with the Dodgers is that he was decent out of the bullpen. But with the addition of Kuroda and the hopeful return of Brazoban and rising stars in Meloan, there simply isn't a place for Hendrickson anymore. Now the Dodgers just need to sign Beimel and Sweeney, then it would be an A+ off season in my opinion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Season In 2.5 month

Man, I am extremely excited for the season! I really feel the Dodgers have a great shot of winning the West this year! It's good to bleed blue this year!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Colletti's Most Important Agenda

Now that the off season signings are pretty much over aside from a few minor league invites here and there, I feel that Ned should turn his attention to the next big issue: resigning Furcal. Furcal is currently in the last year of his 3 year $39 million contract and will become a free agent at the end of the next season. I want to see Ned lock up Furcal to a 3 to 5 year extension before the season begins.

Now, I know that the Dodgers have many highly touted youngsters coming up in the farm who can play shortstop (most specifically Hu), but no matter how good they are, they can't bring the intangibles Furcal brings. First of all, Furcal is a fierce competitor. For example, he played hurt all of last year and never made an excuse about it. That's definitely the type of player and the type of example I want on the Dodgers. Hopefully, his fiery attitude towards playing baseball would influence the younger players on the team.

Secondly, he's the spark to the entire Dodgers offense. He has the ability to get on base and make things happen. Although Pierre can also lead off, he simply does not have the same abilities Furcal does in terms of igniting the offense. In addition, Furcal also have the power numbers to remain a threat in the RBI category. Thus, Furcal is a instant boost to the Dodgers lineup when he bats lead off.

Thirdly, he's in his prime and is one of the only veterans on the team. He's currently 30 years old and should be in prime condition to play for at least the next 6 years. With the young lineup that the Dodgers have, they need a legitimate veteran player in his prime. For that reason, the Dodgers need Furcal and the leadership attributes he brings.

Even with Furcal, the Dodgers can still play their Future All Star Games MVP Hu. Hu can switch positions to 2B and be the heir of Kents after this year. With Furcal, Hu, LaRoach and Loney, the Dodgers will have terrific infield defense in the future. For all these reasons, I feel that Ned needs to sign Furcal.