My, How Times Have Changed

While we wait to see which Dodgers will get offered arbitration and which free agents other teams will sign, I thought it’d be interesting to take a quick step back and see what we were discussing one year ago at this time. Believe it or not, it wasn’t entirely “all Manny, all the time”. So what was the topic du jour on November 30, 2008?

For all the talk flying around about CC Sabathia, Manny Ramirez, and whether we should prefer a winning baseball team or helping children, it’s really looking more and more likely that shortstop is going to be the most important decision the Dodgers have to make this offseason. With Rafael Furcal sounding like he’s all but a memory (likely to the A’s or Giants), Chin-Lung Hu hardly impressive in 2008, and Ivan DeJesus, Jr. not ready to be handed the Opening Day gig, the Dodgers are going to have to find a shortstop somewhere.

Which then led to a discussion of the merits, or lack thereof, of Jack Wilson, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, and *shudders as cold hand of death traces down my spine* Angel Berroa. Of course, Furcal came back, and the crisis was averted, though he of course was thoroughly mediocre.

How about in 2007? On December 2 of that year, we were drowing in ridiculous trade rumors:

For all of the rumors the Dodgers have been involved in over the last 3 weeks or so, they’ve all been pretty much the same.

- Dodgers to trade Kemp, Kershaw, Loney, Koufax, Hershiser to Marlins for Cabrera!
- Dodgers to trade LaRoche, Martin, Hu, Lasorda, Hodges to Twins for Santana!
- Dodgers to sign Aaron Rowand to a 7 year, $187 million deal!

And so forth. But tomorrow, friends, expect the rumor mill to really heat up. For all of our baseball heroes – you know, management – descend on the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Or as Buster Olney describes it, “a terrible work environment, a terrible place to get things done.”

After so much excitement the last two years, this year seems to be a long slog towards not trading for an “ace” and seeing what bottom of the barrel guys are still left out there in February, along with praying that some of the young talent (i.e., MATT KEMP) gets signed to long-term deals.

Then again, I guess not everything has changed, because what were we talking about on November 26, 2008? That’s right; how much we despise the McCourts:

I know Jamie McCourt is a smart woman with her fancy degrees and all, but I am actually getting offended with how stupid she thinks baseball fans are. Are you really, truly, honestly suggesting that if contracts weren’t guaranteed, then underperforming players would be cut loose and their salary given to the community? Would you really be giving the $18 million or so due Andruw Jones to needy families? Or are you saying that you can’t afford to give more to charity because your cash is all tied up in expensive players? We’ve said pretty much everything bad you can say about Juan Pierre around here, but “takes food out of the mouths of orphans” isn’t exactly a level we’ve made it to yet.

Hmm. I suppose the more things change, they more they do stay the same.