Mar 25

Top target for 2014: Robinson Cano?

Years after those Matt Kemp-for-Robinson Cano rumors were all the rage, could they end up being teammates?

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors today listed the Yankee second baseman as the top free agent possibility of the 2013-14 offseason. Cano, who had a .929 OPS for New York last year, will be 31 1/2 when the 2014 season begins. Assuming all goes well for him this year, he’ll no doubt be the latest ballplayer to set some kind of salary record for position or age or what have you — but as you might have heard, the Dodgers are players in that game these days. On top of that, Los Angeles will have a vacancy at Cano’s position.

Of course, the Yankees figure to be players in that game as well — especially if they falter on the field in 2013, as so many expect, and will find themselves desperate not to lose such a key player.

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Another interesting tidbit from MLB Trade Rumors today: Former Dodger Jamey Carroll explains why a 27-year-old minor-leaguer who has no negotiating power could still use an agent.

“They were into finding out who I was in the [Montreal Expos] organization,” Carroll said, “what the organization felt about me, and where I fit and what my chances were to keep getting opportunities.  I think that’s one of the most important things, where you sit within the organization.  How they view you and what goals they have for you, I think those are tough questions to ask and they were able to do that for me.  I was at a time where I had quite a few years in the minor leagues and wasn’t sure what my future held.  To me that was more important than worrying about contracts and shoe deals and stuff like that.”

Sep 18

A forever toast to the Toaster

Baseball Toaster chief Ken Arneson has returned to regular blogging. He explains his mission here. There’s probably no better blog to check out at this time.

At the same time, it’s hard not to love all the different tastes that Alex Belth has been bringing to Bronx Banter, or be thrilled that Bob Timmermann has been posting at the Portable Griddle, or savor every post by Josh Wilker at Cardboard Gods.

I feel we did everything we could to keep Baseball Toaster alive. I don’t regret our efforts, just that they didn’t succeed.

Sep 16

September 16 game chat

Stephen Fife is starting for the Dodgers today in place of Clayton Kershaw. If he pitches well, he might keep starting. There is also talk of the Dodgers using a four-man rotation for the stretch run, though that would mean some guys going on three days’ rest.

Anyway, given the possibility that Fife might not stick in the rotation, leaving only Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, I was wondering what the Dodgers’ record is for most consecutive starts by a non-homegrown player. That is your research assignment for the day …

Cardinals at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.

Sep 15

How we feelin’ now?

Two runs with two out in the bottom of the ninth  – on hits by Andre Ethier, Luis Cruz and Juan Rivera – win it for the Dodgers, who are now tied for the second wild-card spot with St. Louis.

Incredibly, however, the Dodgers might be moving forward without their top three starting pitchers, now that Clayton Kershaw is sidelined indefinitely with a hip injury. And Matt Kemp is walking wounded as well, though he made a key assist in the top of the ninth to keep the Dodgers close.

Sep 15

Luis Cruz, hero

Wrap your troubles in a two-run home run from Andre Ethier and a three-run home run from Luis Cruz, and dream your troubles away.

Cardinals at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Mark Ellis, 2B
Shane Victorino, LF
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Joe Blanton, P
Sep 14

The Battle for Fourth Place

The current National League West Fourth-Place standings

Team	L	W	GB	Last 20 (L-W)
Padres	75	69	-	5-15
D’backs	72	71	2 ½	11-9
Dodgers	70	74	5	13-7
Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Shane Victorino, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Luis Cruz, 3B
Nick Punto, 2B
A.J. Ellis, C
Chris Capuano, P

As you can see, the Padres have gone into a winning slump, allowing the Dodgers to make up eight games in a hurry and get back into the race.

The Dodgers will have a big chance to catch up to San Diego in the loss column with a three-game series September 25-27 in San Diego. But first, the Padres must avoid not having trouble with Arizona from September 18-20.

Los Angeles holds a tiebreaker advantage over San Diego, nine losses to six.

Sep 14

Confession: I haven’t been watching

I haven’t been watching the Dodgers.

I was out of town and couldn’t watch. And then I returned and could. And still haven’t been.

Here and there, I flip over to the channel, catch the latest treadmill moment, and flip away.

Half the time I do it, I do it just to hear Vin Scully’s voice, because I know I can’t take that for granted. But neither that, nor the stuff that’s typically interesting about baseball to me, has kept me on board.

Eight straight games without scoring more than three runs. Seven losses in that time. It feels like I’ve got better ways to spend my time right now. I’ve slipped into being a frontrunner who has put the games on the backburner.

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From the Times:

Pedro E. Guerrero, a photographer whose early work with architect Frank Lloyd Wright sparked a long, distinguished career in the worlds of fine art and glossy magazines, died Thursday. He was 95. …

Sep 13

Masters of the long ball

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Mark Ellis, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Shane Victorino, LF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Josh Beckett, P

The list of Dodger home run leaders of 2012 is kind of fascinating. Let’s just say that getting in the top 10 is not a major feat:

18 Matt Kemp
17 Andre Ethier
11 A.J. Ellis
10 Hanley Ramirez
7 Juan Rivera
5 Mark Ellis
4 Jerry Hairston Jr.
4 James Loney
4 Luis Cruz
2 Bobby Abreu, Adam Kennedy, Matt Treanor, Juan Uribe, Scott Van Slyke

Bubbling underneath are Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers and Shane Victorino with one apiece.