Tuesday, December 13, 2005

All Fun and Games
By Ben Valentine

Dodger baseball is at work again.

Today the most brilliant organization in baseball dealt Milton Bradley to the Oakland A’s along with reserve infielder Antonio Perez for outfield prospect Andre Ethier. Ned Colletti is proving himself to be everything he was billed to be in dealing away a Paul DePodesta problem child to bring the winning ways back to LA.

Note the sarcasm in the above paragraph.

Last year in 75 games (283 ABs) Bradley posted splits of .290/.350/.484/.835… in Dodger Stadium, as a centerfielder. He will be turning 28 in April of next year. They dealt him for a 23 year old AA prospect who hit .319/.385/.487/.872 last season. That’s not bad, but considering how difficult it is to hit at Dodger stadium and the value of a centerfielder, you would figure Bradley would command more value. At least get someone back who can contribute immediately. Instead the Dodgers get a guy who’s at least a level away.

But then I’m still confused as to why Bradley is so lowly regarded all of a sudden. Considering his age and his production, there’s no reason why more teams shouldn’t have been lined up to acquire him. Are you telling me the Yankees couldn’t have used Bradley to play centerfield? What about the Red Sox? Bradley going to be a far more useful player both offensively and defensively than Johnny Damon. Plus he’s going to cost far less. And can he really be a bigger distraction than Manny Ramirez?

Billy Beane comes up with a steal here. With Bobby Crosby, Eric Chavez and now Bradley, the A’s are putting together a pretty nifty middle of the order. If they can spin Mark Kotsay into something and Nick Swisher can continue his development, I’d say they have to be the favorites to win the AL West.

Meanwhile the Dodgers have taken more bite out of their lineup. Outside of Jeff Kent, who is there to drive runs in for this team? J.D. Drew I guess, but remember he’s going to miss at least 40 games at some point this year. Then what?

In my opinion this move makes no sense. Again, what has Bradley done? It can’t be about getting rid of troublemakers and filling the clubhouse with “character guys.” This team just threw 13 million dollars at a guy who did jail time a year ago. The Dodgers dealt away a talented cheap player who could hit in Dodger stadium, and who is entering his prime years, for a decent prospect; but a prospect who has yet to prove anything above AA. Please, someone explain the logic to me here.

I’m sure Bill Plaschke will love it though. After all, a DePo acquired player is gone; sent to mother of all that is wrong with baseball; that evil statistical, money ball-man Billy Beane. Let them deal with that firecracker Bradley in his prime years while the Dodgers continue with their throw back to old time baseball. You know when men were men, boys were boys, and you judged a player by the dirt on his jersey, not his .310 on base percentage and .390 slugging.

That’s probably why I’ll end up picking the A’s to win the AL West next year and the Dodgers to end up somewhere in between first place and the Colorado Rockies.


Blogger Todd said...

I'm diggin the new layout.

6:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home