Hanley's Glove, Dee's D and Poor Pete

Hanley Ramirez won't be returning to the Dodgers in 2015. His defense has regressed from "lovably awful" to "is he throwing with the wrong arm?" He wants a ton of cash and many years to earn it. The Dodgers have a ton of cash, but many other players willing to glove up to earn it.

And, no, Hanley's future is not at third base. Double clutch throws are bad enough at shortstop. Add another 25 feet to the throw and you're giving teams an extra out or two per game. Somewhere along the line, somebody royally screwed up not getting him over to second base at this point in his career. He literally makes Clayton Kershaw not perfect.

Meanwhile, Dee Gordon's defense has improved from "get him the hell out of there" to "was he just drunk playing shortstop all those years?" His performance is so unexpected, I can't imagine the Dodgers shelling out $28-million for Alex Guerrero if they had any idea he was going to break through like this. The Spring Training competition was rigged for Guerrero to win. His top competition was a failed shortstop learning a new position and a deadbeat who didn't even play last year.

Prior to 2014, this was a 50-50 proposition.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo

Still, the most dangerous ball is the ball hit right at Dee. It's never been a question of range for him. He's always been able to track down a fly ball, pop up or a grounder in the hole. But, he's come this far, so there's every reason to believe he'll soon consistently charge those in-betweeners or at the very least not freeze up from time to time. I haven't seen him drop a knee for a ground ball for a few weeks now, so that's encouraging. Onward and upward.

I continue to be befuddled by Matt Kemp. Am I supposed to be frustrated with him, Mattingly, the wall at Coors Field, Rihanna, who? I can accept Kemp's sentence to left field, but I can't accept him being behind Scott Van Slyke on the center field depth chart. Kemp standing in left watching Van Slyke sloth around at angles only a geometry teacher could love has to be like selling your house but still living in the same neighborhood, watching your old place get overrun by weeds and cars on blocks.

On the one hand, I feel his pain in his never-ending quest to de-wall his shoulder and regain his swagger. On the other hand, a week ago I saw a guy not run out a dribbler up the line that rolled fair and was weakly tagged out at the plate. It was like he was off in left field.

Practicing ballroom dancing with Juan Uribe doesn't help Matt's case at all.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo
And because it just continually bugs me, I wish Pete Rose would man up. Yes, the captain of grit, Charlie Hustle himself, has been hustling baseball fans for 25 years with his poor me schtick. First, he denied betting on baseball. Then he said it was OK since he was betting on his team to win. Then he started profiting off his quest for reinstatement. He's a clueless, rationalizing liar.

Pete Rose is not a victim. He did the one thing everybody knows you can't do in professional sports at any level of involvement, be it a player, manager or umpire. The punishment for this crime was on the books for nearly 70 years before Rose was thrown out of the game. Now we have to make an exception because Pete Rose puts on a sad face and because too few people understand just how serious a connection to gambling is for a man who was in his position of authority and trust?

But why end the blog on a sour note like that? How about this: Kershaw and Zack Greinke will be teammates on the Dodgers through at least 2018. Good night, National League West.

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Attention Dodgers fans in Southern California: this is what SportsNetLA looks like!
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo

2 comments:

  1. The joy I felt the day the Marlins traded Hanley. SUCKERS!!!

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    1. Agreed! It was a great trade at a great point in his contract. Great spark in 2012, but we came up just short at the end in missing the playoffs. Obviously a key player in 2013. I think we've gotten the best out of him and at this point in his career... I think a heartfelt "thank you" is in order and we should let him get a big deal elsewhere.

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