Sunday, March 9, 2008

He's just a card or two.... or dozen short.

Bill Plaschke:
Garciaparra gets third chance with Dodgers (I'm not sure about this "third" chance thing? Nomar had down year last year and he wasn't really that bad. Just no power. )

Veteran will be the team's starting third baseman on opening day after LaRoche injures his thumb and will be out two months. ( he really should just end it here. This is all we need to know)

March 8, 2008

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- He wanted a chance at forgiveness. He has just been granted two months of very public remorse. I don't know of any time that Nomar has asked for forgiveness. I don't know how "very public remorse" qualifies as forgiveness?

He wanted a chance at another contract. He has just been granted two months of very public negotiations. No one has said anything about a contract?

Nomar Garciaparra wanted one more chance to be Nomar Garciaparra. In all truth last year he looked more like Mia Hamm.

Well, that chance is now. Nice to meet you. See you down at third base. Don't blow it. Thank You Bill Plaschke. You are the new Dodgers GM. You are the new guy that determines who plays and who doesn't. Stop writing like you're a part of the organization. You're an embarassment to the english language.

The most enigmatic of Dodgers veterans has suddenly become perhaps the most important, Because he's not Juan Pierre? Garciaparra's being pushed into the lineup as the starting third baseman Friday after his young competition, Andy LaRoche, tore up his thumb. There was a good chance he was going to start anyway.

A starting third baseman who had 59 runs batted in last season. And 93 the year before. Where are you going with this?... What better way to have veteran depth as talented as Nomar?

A starting third baseman who had more errors (10) than homers (seven). Oh boy... this is going ot get intersting.

A starting third baseman who declined so precipitously from the previous season that everybody assumed he was hiding some horrid injury. He had an ops+ of 78. Just a hare better than Juan Pierre.

Nope. At age 34, Garciaparra just had a lousy season. Now, a year later, he wants the Dodgers to believe that he can find himself again. Because they are literally backed into a corner here.

Well, now they have no choice.

The competition with the kid LaRoche ended as quickly as a non-roster catcher named Danny Ardoin, attempting a pickoff against the St. Louis Cardinals, could throw the ball 90 feet and watch it ricochet into LaRoche's right hand. Why didn't ardoin dosomething like this years ago?

First things first. Where's you're crapper? I've got a brown snake playing peekaboo with my but cheeks.

Could Joe Torre please follow the lead of Grady Little and play Russell Martin every single inning of every single game for the rest of his Dodgers career? Oh boy... Bill!... CAN YOU HEAR ME??? BILL!!!..... YOU.... ARE ..... STUPID!!!!....... For those of you who don't know or have just been living under Jessica Simpsons door mat for the last 2 years, Russell Martin is a catcher. Catchers get tired because they squat and stand repreatedly throughout the game. They typically need a break once a week. Russell is young and can play through the pain. Last year he really slowed down at the end of the year. Playing him every single game will literally ruin his career.

Now, for the rest of the story. Maybe it will be quick and painless. Probably not.

It is all about Garciaparra. And has nothing to do with anyone else on the team. Because our season hinges on the play of Nomar. Even if Jeff Kent never returns healthy, Andruw Jones hits .220 with 20 Hr, and Juan Pierre is Juan Pierre, the entire Dodgers season rests on Nomar playing the first two months of the season (likely batting 7th) out of his mind.

As the spring games began, he essentially had the third-base job locked -- Torre's fondness for veterans and all -- but LaRoche had recently been gaining ground. It was probably the other way around. but ok... Chalk that up to Bill just being stupid.

LaRoche is a good kid, a hard worker, listens and learns and was hitting .350 with a homer.

Garciaparra was hitting .375 with his first homer coming earlier in Friday's game.

Oddly, one inning before LaRoche's injury, Garciaparra was struck in the wrist by a pitch and eventually wound up going to the hospital with LaRoche. This is kind of an old story now but ok... I'm not totally unimpressed with your news reporting.

For a couple of hours, Dodgers fans everywhere found themselves cheering for competing X-rays. I live in Alaska. I was sure this meant a Juan Pierre trade for either Joe Crede or Eric Chaves.

Did your horse win? Chances are, it didn't. I know... not even a hint of trading Slappy McPopup.

If you are like many Dodgers fans, you wanted LaRoche to take the job. I did.

Now, he probably won't show up at full strength until the middle of May. Shucks.

Now, maybe you are cheering for the Dodgers to trade for Chicago's Joe Crede or Detroit's Brandon Inge? Having Inge would be a disaster. A Juan Pierre like disaster. Not only is he declining, but his contract is for another 3 years!

Easy. Enough. Ned Colletti needs to save his ammo for an eventual trade for a starting pitcher. Because the 19 starting pitchers we have just isn't enough. Nevermind Clayton Kershaw has just been promoted to the major league spring training roster. Or jason Johnson is finally being Jason Johnson. Esteban has come out of his shell... and of course Jason Schmidt is finally... well, nevermind.

Garciaparra batted .307 with 19 RBIs in the first month of last season. It was his best month of the year.

If this is an issue of his brittle body breaking down, well, he should be fine until LaRoche returns.
Time for a parade. Bill just put together two logical statements back to back. If Nomar can just keep the hot corner warm until Laroche is healthy, it will spell "Good News" for the Dodgers organization. Nomar has been viewed as a supersub for this season until Laroche's injury. As it is, Nomar doesn't necessarily have a heathly streak in him. And playing 3rd isn't his "natural"position. Much has been made, though not by Bill, of Nomar arm angle when throwing from 3rd. He has a strange motion for a third baseman. One similar to a shortstop I presume. Lets hope he can stay healthy until June.

There is also the matter of convincing a six-time All-Star that he has to accept part-time play at a variety of position and pinch-hitting spots. I'm pretty sure he and Torre already talked about it. There should have been no "convincing" at all.

This could be Garciaparra's eventual role with the Dodgers, but he is the competitive sort who would never swallow it unless he was given a fair opportunity to stay in the starting job.

This chance will be fair. This will be as many as two months to show that his skills have not yet disappeared. So, you're basically telling me things I already knew. Garciaparra would be on the bench as a utility infielder / right hand bat off the bench. Basically a talented skinny Oldmendo Saenz.

If he does well, he keeps the job and LaRoche returns to the minor leagues. Until he gets injured... Then we bring up Laroche, when he should have been starting anyway, and Nomar goes down. I'm getting tired of this "veterans play first" thing that Colletti has establisted.

If Garciaparra struggles, he goes quietly to the bench while LaRoche gives the team a burst of early-season energy. Unless he gets injured. Which he already has... So it will be more like midseason energy.

LaRoche's injury simplifies a complicated situation, and gives a popular veteran one last gasp at hometown greatness. I'm going to watch the Dodgers tomorrow just to see if Garciaparra gasps.

That doesn't make it any better, just more workable. Personally I think it is a situation the Dodgers were given too get out of the Juan Pierre debacle. A mixed blassing if you ask me.

That also doesn't change the fact that the Dodgers starting third baseman will be a guy who, among the major leagues' 24 third basemen with at least 425 at-bats last season, ranked 22nd in homers and 20th in RBIs. Good thing we had a center fielder who ranked DEAD LAST in everything.

By the way, what did happen to Garciaparra last season? Maybe it had something to do with having twins. I have a 7 month old and it turned my world up side down.

I've asked and asked and, in typical elusive Garciaparra fashion, he has never quite given me a straight answer. He's a good guy. He's not going to blame anything. Especially if it was his kids.

When pressed about it again earlier this week by Times reporter Dylan Hernandez, Garciaparra talked around the issue as usual before finally saying, "I have an idea. Maybe I'll talk about it one day."

That talk needs to be action. That day is now. The world is hanging by a thread because Nomar wont talk about why had a bad season.

Bill, we all know you have issues writing drama. Mostly because every piece you write is drama. Bad drama! If all you did was give us the facts, showed up early, and stole some bases, you'd get 9 million dollars. wait... wait... wrong argument....

Bill, just stop writing. This is my plea. Stop writing.

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