The hits keep on coming – Gary Bennett gets placed on the DL, per the official blog, and Dodger Thoughts has the reason: “Left foot plantar fasciitis.” Let me say, the quotes could not be thicker around that. We’ve had no word of any injury problems surrounding Bennett, but tons of stories about his throwing problems, and suddenly his foot hurts? Hey, call it a bad foot, the flu, or the heebie-jeebies; whatever it takes to get this guy’s head right and get those lollipop throws off the field. Seriously, he even made Rotoworld today, which is rare for a mediocre backup catcher, and at no point is the foot mentioned:
Gary Bennett admitted that a “mental block” has zapped his confidence in his ability to throw the ball back to the pitcher.
Bennett has been making high, slow tosses back to the pitcher all season. He’s been seeing a sports psychologist since early spring training, and has been working on throwing the ball back to the mound during bullpen sessions. He says it doesn’t affect the way he throws to the bases, despite making two bad throws to first in his start on Friday.
Coming up to take his place is 33-year-old Danny Ardoin, who’s not much of a hitter (.604 OPS in 372 at-bats over parts of 4 seasons with Minnesota, Texas, Baltimore, and Colorado), but is supposedly a pretty good defender. He’s at least put up an .815 OPS with Las Vegas so far, so his bat might not be a total black hole. Ardoin’s already a part of Dodger lore: he indirectly launched Blake DeWitt’s career by launching the throw that took out Andy LaRoche’s thumb in spring training.
Speaking of Rotoworld, a golf clap for this bit of humor regarding Andruw Jones’ knee:
An MRI revealed fluid and torn cartilage in Andrew Jones’ right knee.
After Monday’s game, Joe Torre said that Jones would be out until at least Friday due to the injury. Jones painted a more dire picture: “I’m going to give it two days, and if it doesn’t get better… we’ll go ahead and scope it,” said Jones. Arthroscopic surgery would keep Jones out of the lineup until July, making “arthroscopic surgery” a potential MVP candidate for the Dodgers. “Hopefully, I can just get treatment on it, and then probably get (the surgery) done during the offseason,” Jones said.
Finally, a fond farewell to Mike Piazza, who called it quits today. Piazza was always my favorite player growing up (not hard to see why: best player on my favorite team with the same first name and Italian last name that started with a P who came from absolutely nowhere). I had a “Mike Piazza 31″ hat I purchased on a trip to Dodger Stadium in 1995 that I wore nearly everyday for three years until it just about fell apart – and probably the most heartbreaking moment I had up until that point in my life was the day he was dealt to Florida in 1998, for really no good reason at all. Even though his best season (1997) was in Dodger blue, I’m pretty sure he’s going into the Hall as a Met, unfortunately. As far as baseball goes, it’s a tragedy he was ever allowed to leave LA. Good luck, Mike.
Edit: also, the picture at Sons of Steve Garvey’s Piazza post reminds me that as always, I am an idiot. That 1996 All-Star Game in which he launched two dingers and won the MVP? I was at that game, at the old Vet in Philadelphia. I have no idea how my dad lucked into those tickets, but as if being at an All-Star Game wasn’t exciting enough, seeing your favorite player park two and win the MVP was pretty much the best thing ever.