2009 All-Wacko Baseball Team

A.J. PierzynskiGQ.com is doing a pretty cool feature where you can vote on which ball players deserve to be on their 2009 All-Wacko Baseball Team.

Some of the notables that you can vote on are White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski (should be on the all douche team), Dodgers’ outfielder Manny Ramirez and Nationals’ outfielder Elijah Dukes.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and A’s infielder Nomar Garciaparra are on the list as well, which I don’t get, but the site has descriptions of why they could be “All-Wacko” this year so check it out.

Click here to cast your votes.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

The Battle of Los Angeles

As both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels enter the postseason, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke fantasizes about a potential freeway series.

Angels World Series
This fall is only the second time in those 48 seasons that both of our teams have made the postseason in the same year.

Yet this fall is the first time that our dreams have a real chance.

Beginning the postseason today as respective division champions, the Dodgers and Angels have baseball’s two best managers, two of its most dangerous sluggers, two of its best pressure starting pitchers, and two of its best bullpens.

The Dodgers will be fighting against the vagaries of youth. The Angels will be fighting against the perils of rust.

But if there was ever a moment in their history that they could both turn this fall into a true Southern California classic, it is now.

Here are 30.92 reasons it could happen, one for every mile:

* Mile 1: The Dodgers open against a Chicago Cubs team that hasn’t won a World Series in 100 years and will mess it up again. You know it, I know it, and, most important, they know it.

* Mile 2: The Angels open against a Boston Red Sox team that they have beaten six straight times.

* Mile 3: After the first round, the Dodgers would play either the Philadelphia Phillies or Milwaukee Brewers, two teams against which they had a combined winning record.

The Angels finished the season with the best record in baseball. The Dodgers narrowly won their division. However, they did it with their most talented team in the past twenty years. The city of Los Angeles has always been a baseball town first, despite the many great years Magic and Kobe have given with the Lakers. As Plaschke states, the Dodgers and Angeles have never met in the World Series, whereas the Cubs have played the White Sox (1906), the Yankees and the Mets (2000), and even the Athletics and the Giants (1989). For veterans like Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, and Vladimir Guererro, a World Series ring would be the icing on the cake of their exceptional careers.

Introducing Andre Ethier: The New Face of the Dodgers

Andre EthierAfter getting called up to the big leagues in 2005, Andre Ethier was immediately traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Los Angles Dodgers, in exchange for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez. Though the Dodgers gave up a formidable talent in Bradley, they saw something special in the minor-league right fielder. Simply stated, it was potential. When new general manager Ned Colletti was given the reins in 2005, he focused on creating a starting lineup that depended on its youngsters. Since then, he’s been brutally criticized for signing former stars to bulky contracts that have failed to pan out. However, he should be credited for completing what he set out to do way back in 2005. By dipping into his farm system instead of his check book, Colletti has made Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier into everyday players.

At times, it’s tough to be a Dodger fan. Besides the Yankees, the Dodgers make more transactions involving blue chip players than any other organization. Their starting lineup one day may be completely different the next, as a smorgasbord of future hall-of-famers and one-time greats jump in and out of the lineup. Colletti has taken huge risks in spending enormous sums on big-name players. Manny Ramirez is proving to be his first untainted success after the unfruitful acquisitions of Andruw Jones, Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, and Brad Penny. Colletti is paying each of these guys at least $5 million a year and is hearing about it every day.

Then there’s Andre Ethier. After signing a one-year $425,000 deal for the 2007-08 season, Ethier has quickly matured into the Dodgers’ most economic star. Actually, forget “economic.” He is the Dodgers’ best all-around player and will soon become the face of their organization if Colletti plays his cards right. Keep in mind, Ramirez came aboard more than two-thirds into the season. At 36 years-old, Manny is a future hall-of-famer with only a few years remaining. As much as the Dodgers and their fans would love to keep the free-spirited slugger, his contract is up at the end of the season, and all signs point to Manny in pinstripes.

Ethier is only 26 and just finishing his third professional season. He has an unbelievable arm, can hit for both power and average, and has avoided injury. On a roster that contains five capable outfielders—Ethier, Jones, Kemp, Ramirez, and Pierre—Ethier has undeniably earned a starting slot. He leads the Dodgers in homeruns (20) and batting average (.299), is tied with Matt Kemp in doubles (36), and is second in RBIs (71) and triples (6). Ethier is a free agent at the end of this season and, as these numbers show, he’s proven more valuable than those other cash cows.

The Dodgers are finally breaking away from the Diamondbacks and are running a blue streak towards the pennant. This current success can be found in the bats of the veteran Ramirez and the youngster Ethier. Next year, the Dodgers are likely to look much different. (Manny Ramirez, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Greg Maddux, Chad Billingsley, and Derek Lowe are all up for contract renegotiation.) Hopefully, Ned Colletti will follow those same instincts he had in 2005 and focus on youth by re-signing Andre Ethier.

Related Posts