Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Lightning 10.4.2009

  • I grow tired of battering you----but I'll continue if you insist:

Every few months another stat zombie pops up with a promotion/defense of former Dodgers GM and star of Moneyball Paul DePodesta; and for every interview, informercial disguised as even-handed analysis and outright ludicrous defense of this overmatched and overrated executive, I've retorted with little more than facts. I don't have to go over the top in a similar fashion to prove my points because truth is on my side. Yet again, as another GM job opens and DePodesta is perfectly situated to replace the fired Kevin Towers in San Diego with the Padres, it begins again.

Conflicting reports are surfacing as to DePodesta's interest in the job. Supposedly, he doesn't want it; but that hasn't stopped the staunch and irrational defenders who pose as cold and calculating statisticians from again advocating that DePodesta get the job. Again, I'll be more than happy to bat you around again. I'd be lying if I said I take no pleasure in it, but it's become tiresome. You asked for it.

Much like most of the partisan discussions disguised as analysis, in Matthew Carruth's blog discussing the Towers firing, he made the following statement regarding DePodesta:

Who is going to step into Towers role? Obviously the first speculation is going to point at Assistant GM Paul DePodesta, who certainly deserves another shot after being railroaded out of Los Angeles.






Paul DePodesta was what?

He was railroaded out of Los Angeles?

And precisely how was he "railroaded" out of Los Angeles? Railroaded by whom? By the owner, who let him do whatever he wanted whether it made sense or not? Railroaded by the fans who greeted him as a conquering hero and omnipotent genius after the absurdity that is Moneyball portrayed him as a combination of Branch Rickey and Albert Einstein?

These are the people who have the audacity to ridicule me because I expose them for the fools that they are.

For the last time, here are the facts of Paul DePodesta's tenure as Dodgers GM.


DePodesta took a team that had been built the right way, with a combination of youth and veterans; who liked and trusted one another and their excellent manager Jim Tracy; they'd developed into a cohesive unit with baseball's best bullpen and were rolling along in first place, well on their way to a division title and built----built----specifically for the post-season with that shutdown bullpen when DePodesta detonated everything that had been built with one arrogant and stupid decision to trade baseball's best set-up man, Guillermo Mota along with team leader Paul Lo Duca and outfielder Juan Encarnacion for Brad Penny, Hee Seop Choi and Bill Murphy.

No matter how much DePodesta denies it, the Penny acquisition was a precursor to spin him off to the Diamondbacks for Randy Johnson. Johnson refused to waive his no-trade clause and the Dodgers were stuck with Penny, who made one start and went on the disabled list. Choi was atrocious for the Dodgers and they replaced Lo Duca----the manager's favorite player and the glue in the clubhouse----with no-hit journeyman Brent Mayne. Oft-injured former second pick in the draft Darren Dreifort was inserted as Eric Gagne's set-up man, was horrendous and got hurt.

The team held on to win the division in 2004 and were dispatched by the Cardinals in four games in the NLDS. The next year, the wheels came off. DePodesta stuck Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent in the same clubhouse ignoring any potential personality conflicts; spent a ton of money on indifferent outfielder J.D. Drew; lavished a ridiculous contract to keep Odalis Perez; and watched as the team stumbled to 71-91---after a 12-2 start!!!

After the season, Tracy was fired. DePodesta's reasoning for firing the manager was that he needed someone on the "same page". Which page from what book is unclear. The impending hiring of twice fired and noted lunatic Terry Collins was the final straw for owner Frank McCourt, who made the smart decision to dump his GM before he could do any more damage.

He was a rotten GM. His drafts were horrific. He was not "railroaded". He was ill-equipped for the job and has no business to even be in a discussion for another opportunity after what he did to the Dodgers in 20 months. Yet we hear it again and again from the zombies because they have something invested in getting another one of their own in the big chair for a club.

And I've had it.

It's enough.

If you like being brutalized like this, then fine, I'll dole out the punishment, but I'm getting bored. Maybe it's time for you to try something new. Somehow, I don't think I've heard the last of this. That's just my intuition and it's usually right on the money.

  • Twins 5-Royals 4; White Sox 5-Tigers 1:

I've seen this story before with a club who shall remain nameless. The Tigers look barely able to conceal their panic and if history is any indication, it's going to be a bad ending.

  • This is true, I guess:

Bill Madden wrote the following in giving his personal American League Executive of the Year to Yankees GM Brian Cashman:

No doubt, Cashman will be accused of merely buying himself this accolade, but all three of his expensive free agent signings, Sabathia, Teixeira and A.J. Burnett more than lived up to the money...

A.J. Burnett lived up to the money? Really?

Burnett is making $16.5 million this year. Has he lived up to that money? Granted, Burnett's been healthy; and when he's on, he's all but unhittable; but look at the overall numbers. 12-9 record; 4.10 ERA; 202 innings; 186 hits; 192 strikeouts and he's leading the league in walks with 96 and 17 wild pitches----and you see that Burnett is what he's always been. He's horribly inconsistent and you never know from one start to the next what you're going to get. You can say that Burnett has lived up to his usual performance and be right, but worth $16.5 million? I don't think so.

  • J.P. Ricciardi's career calling:
For all of his missteps as an executive, now-former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi proved one thing during his tenure----he's got the chops to be a superlative broadcaster. He's unhinged, loses his temper and is unfailingly candid. Sounds like a prime alternative to what we have to listen to now in what passes for analysis. He's be a winner somewhere at least----in the booth.

No comments: