Ken Rosenthal: My New Favorite Writer

Ken Rosenthal! Please! Enlighten us. And wondering what’s with the picture? It popped up on a Google Image Search for “Ken Rosenthal”. I’m assuming it’s an artist by the same name, and not a self-portrait of the writer, but it seems to fit all the same.

After signing Torii Hunter and trading for Jon Garland, the Angels are pushing hard to acquire Miguel Cabrera.
The Dodgers?kerosenthal4d.jpgTheir off-season might have been over before it began, judging from comments by owner Frank McCourt in Sunday’s Boston Globe

“I think we’re in good position right now,” McCourt said. “We don’t have to make a deal. We made the biggest move we needed to make in signing Joe.”

First of all, I still don’t understand why we should care even a little bit what the Angels do. The Dodgers outdrew Anawhatever last year, as they do nearly every year. Except for the 6 interleague games a year, the Angels aren’t a direct competitor on the field, either. Why do I care what goes on down there? Well, except to point and laugh when they give Torii Hunter a ridiculous contract to give themselves 6 outfielders. Thanks, guys! Also, “we don’t have to make a deal” is a good thing, no? Keeps our great young prospects? Right?

Well, Torre is not enough.

His hiring should be a beginning, not an end — especially for a team that plays in the booming L.A. market and has finished second only to the Yankees in home attendance the past four seasons.

Judging by my calendar, it’s November 26.  The Winter Meetings haven’t even started yet. There’s been about 3 trades and 4 free agents who’ve gone to new teams. Have they moved Opening Day up to December 1 and no one told me about it? Relax, Kenny.

The lowly Reds, for goodness sake, are not content with the hiring of a big-name manager, Dusty Baker. They’re trying to sustain their momentum and build a better team. Signing free-agent closer Francisco Cordero to a four-year, $46 million contract doesn’t exactly qualify as shrewd, but at least it demonstrates commitment.

I’ll give you this – it takes some real journalistic talent to contradict yourself in the space of one sentence. Cordero’s deal was a completely insane one, especially for a team that had such starting rotation issues it couldn’t even get a lead to the closer half the time. Not only that, Rosenthal admits in this exact paragraph that it wasn’t “shrewd”. But hey, “at least it demonstrates commitment.” Committment to fiscal irresponsibility by a small-market team, perhaps. Did anyone really want the Dodgers to give $46 million to Francisco Cordero? Anyone?

McCourt talks the talk, saying, “If there’s a player or two out there that can make us better, I’m very interested.”

But let’s see him back up those words.

Again. The season ended like 10 minutes ago.  Pitchers and  catchers don’t report for nearly 3 more  months.

This is my favorite part of the article coming up:

Two of the Dodgers’ division rivals, the Rockies and Diamondbacks, met in the NL Championship Series — and only figure to get better. A third NL West club, the Padres, routinely contends despite limited resources.

And the Dodgers’ answer to this is … nothing?

Please. Someone, please explain this to me – on more than one level.

1. “The Rockies and Diamondbacks only figure to get better.” Why do you say that, Ken? Because they have a good amount of young, inexpensive homegrown prospects who are just making their mark on the bigs, and figure to improve over the next few years? Well, good point. The Dodgers have absolutely no one who fits that description.

2. “And the Dodgers’ answer to this is … nothing?” Setting aside how early in the offseason it still is, what exactly have the Rockies and D-Backs done? Colorado’s probably losing their starting catcher, half of their bullpen, and their second baseman. Arizona hasn’t made a single move at all. You’re right. We better hurry to catch up!

No, that would be too strong, too early a condemnation. The Dodgers remain in the mix for Cabrera. They could sign Aaron Rowand or Andruw Jones to play center field. They might even attempt to trade for Johan Santana.

Oh, they’re going to do something, but they’ve already passed on Hunter and appear destined to pass on Cabrera, who would cost them at least two elite young players in a trade.

Wait, now you’re saying it’s too early to condemn them?  After you’ve been, you know, condemning them for not doing anything yet? And, by the way, passing on Hunter was a GOOD thing, for the contract he got, and for how slightly-above-average he is.

It’s also understandable that the Dodgers do not want to include both outfielder Matt Kemp and Class AA left-hander Clayton Kershaw in a deal for Cabrera. Both could develop into stars, centerpieces of the Dodgers’ next championship team. Then again, the same was said of former Dodgers phenoms such as Joel Guzman and Edwin Jackson, and neither came close to fulfilling his hype.

Did you ever think that, just maybe, the Dodgers see something in Kemp and Kershaw that they didn’t see in Guzman and Jackson? You can knock Colletti forever for the dreck he got back from Tampa Bay – I’m no fan of Lurch or Lugo. But maybe, just maybe, the man has a talent for trading away the right prospects and holding onto the guys who can succeed.  I don’t think anyone misses Guzman or Jackson… but we’re all happy we still have Martin, Billingsley, and Loney.

I’m not even going to quote the rest, because he just blathers on about how the Dodgers have money, and they don’t spend as much of it as the Angels – which, fine, but I’m still not sure why I should care about what they do.

So Ken. Please. Relax. Take a vacation. Have a mai-tai on the beach. Remember how early in the offseason it is. And stop advocating that we send all of our best young players for older, more expensive players. You’ve no idea how many sheep there are out there that take this kind of crap seriously.

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