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Just Some Stuff

  • As I mentioned in yesterday’s crack-of-dawn mini-post, I planned to write about the Randy Johnson trade today. However, John Barten from ‘Till You’re Blue in the Face beat me to the punch with his blasting of the disaster site that is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pretty much summed up my thoughts in an exact fashion; I don’t really have anything to add, so I’m just going to bow out on writing a long version of that topic. The ‘backs just need to take a long look in the mirror, realize they aren’t in the "success" part of their success cycle, and stop handing out lucrative contracts to big names with injury problems (Troy Glaus) or who’ve been overvalued (Russ Ortiz).

  • If I were a member of a front office, I think I would be willing to acquire and put up with a good player who has a slight attitude problem as long as he produced on the field. However, if there ever came a time when my tolerance level with the player exceeded his production, that player wouldn’t have a bat in his hands on the first day of Spring Training, he’d have a plane ticket out of town.

    Obviously, I don’t have first-hand knowledge of how the Dodgers brass views Milton Bradley, but apparently his behavior hasn’t reached their Boiling Point yet. They gave Bradley a one-year deal yesterday worth $2.5 million to avoid arbitration, which really surprised me. What he does well on the field – draw walks, hit for moderate power, and play a pretty darned good centerfield – is probably worth the money, but in my opinion, his off-field problems don’t make the Los Angeles organization look good. Heck, I think they’re far worse than anything Barry Bonds has ever been criticized for.

    Milton’s had a history of not controlling his temper on the field and not being able to stop himself from screaming at news reporters, but those incidents aren’t what I’m talking about. In August of 2003 (while he was still with the Indians), Bradley was pulled over by police for driving 52 mph in a 25 mph zone. What did he do? The dumbest thing possible to do in that situation; refuse to sign the speeding ticket, roll up his window, and drive off. He served three days in the hole for that offense last month. In November of last year, he was charged with disorderly conduct in another traffic-related incident in which he interfered with another person’s traffic stop. He could get another 30 days in jail for that offense.

    I know Bradley’s a valuable piece of a winning baseball team, but enough’s enough. The Indians cut bait with him, and I think it’s time for the Dodgers to do the same. Bradley’s tolerance level has exceeded his production, and LA’s too classy of an organization to be related to nonsensical behavior like that.

  • It takes a keen eye (and a little bit of optimism) to see that what Allard Baird’s doing in the present is going to make the Royals a much better team in the future, but the need for that keen eye is becoming less and less as days go by. As Baseball Prospectus noted in their 2004 Royals team essay, "A re-examination of his two most notorious trades are in order, because understanding why he made them is key to understanding what’s really going on in Kansas City." While the Damon and Dye trades aren’t relevant to this discussion, the second part of the sentence – understanding what’s really going on in KC – is very relevant. What’s going on is a continuous string of good decisions that was only slightly interrupted by the questionable signing of Jose Lima.

    The latest good decision came today when Shaun McGinn, formerly the director of player development, was bumped up to Senior Director of Minor League Operations. Sure, it’s a move that won’t make a bit of difference in the on-field product directly, but McGinn thinks along the same sabermetric lines Baird does. The Royals haven’t had any success in drafting and developing players from their farm system, but they have a great trio in place – Baird, McGinn, and Senior Director of Player Personnel Donny Rowland – to reverse that trend.

    The Next Good Royals Team has started with Zack Greinke, and it’s going to continue with Justin Huber, Billy Butler, John Buck, Mark Teahen, Denny Bautista, David DeJesus, and hopefully Justin Upton after the Royals pick in this June’s amateur draft.

  • Speaking of young Royals players, it was reported in an mlb.com article today that with the Reds having cut bait with Barry Larkin and youngster Anderson Machado injuring his knee (perhaps seriously) in winter ball, that the Reds might be willing to part with Austin Kearns to get Andres Blanco. The Reds want to find out just how serious Machado’s knee injury is before making any sort of a move, but this would be a fantastic trade for the Royals if they can get Reds GM Dan O’Brien to bite. I have serious doubts they’d part with Kearns for Blanco alone, so Allard should be willing to include two or three other quality young players to get the deal done. After all, they have an excess of young pitching and middle infielders to deal.
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