Dodger Fans Need to Root for… Seattle?

space-needle.jpgThat’s right – on Friday night, if you care at all about the Dodgers, you need to pull for our friends from the north, those plucky Seattle Mariners, to have a big game. Bring me your Ben Broussards, your Yuniesky Betancourts, and yes, even Adrian Beltre too, and root for them to blast balls into the Puget Sound.

Why the sudden interest in the mighty Mariners? Well, it’s more than the ten-year anniversary of┬áthe only time I’ve watched baseball indoors (the Kingdome, friends, was like watching baseball in a tomb). It’s this, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Jose Contreras, who hasn’t started since yielding seven runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Yankees on July 31, will return to the rotation Friday, putting the squeeze on either Danks or Floyd.

”We promised Jose he’d start Friday,” Guillen said. ”I’m a man of my word, [and] he deserves it.”

Contreras, who is owed $20 million through the 2009 season, has passed through waivers and could be dealt this month. Several contenders, including the Dodgers, are expected to scout Contreras on Friday. He remains a trade target because of his 4-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 12 postseason outings.

Contreras hasn’t won a start since June 18, but the right-hander pitched five scoreless relief innings against the Mariners on Saturday.

Yikes. Leatherface has been awful this season. And it’s the special kind of awful – the kind of unholy funk that shines through in statistics both traditional and futuristic:

(I’d like to suggest that children under the age of 13 please leave the room now. The following information is rated R for Really Really bad pitching):

Jose Contreras, 2007contrerasap.jpg
W-L: 6-14
ERA: 6.24
ERA+: 73
WHIP: 1.621
VORP: -15.2
VORP rank: 629 of 635 MLB pitchers. (!)
Money owed through 2008: $20 million
Young Dodger fans crying at the thought: 1,000,000,000

Hey, I’m not against trying to get some rotation help. This isn’t like the outfield situation where there’s good young options on the bench who could help – we can’t even get enough warm bodies to get Lurch and Bombko out of the rotation. I wouldn’t even be all that upset if the Dodgers took a flyer on David Wells, because he’s only signed for the remainder of the year, and there’s nothing quite like an angry fat man bent on vengeance.

But don’t forget – not only is Contreras bad, expensive, and signed for next year; he’d require trading players to get him. Wow. Where do I sign up?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

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