Dodgers of the Decade: Center Field

It’s our first surprise of the balloting, at least in my opinion - Gary Sheffield beats out Manny Ramirez in left field, and while him winning isn’t the surprise, I am intrigued that Sheffield won by nearly 30%. Let’s put him up on the board…

Dodgers of the Decade team:
C: Russell Martin (68%)
1B: James Loney (62%)
2B: Jeff Kent (88%)
3B: Adrian Beltre (80%)
SS: Rafael Furcal (87%)
LF: Gary Sheffield (62%)

…and move on to center. Hey, there’s a chance that Juan Pierre beats Matt Kemp, right? Personally, I’m voting for Marquis Grissom.

Center Field

Matt Kemp (464 games, 2006-09)
Dodger stats: .299/.346/.480 .826 61 hr 242 rbi
WAR: 9.5

Juan Pierre (426 games, 2007-09)
Dodger stats: .294/.339/.357 .696 1 hr 100 rbi
WAR: 1.4

Dave Roberts (302 games, 2002-04)
Dodger stats: .262/.342/.341 .683 7 hr 71 rbi
WAR: 4.8

Marquis Grissom (246 games, 2001-02)
Dodger stats: .245/.281/.450 .731 38 hr 130 rbi
WAR: 0.9

Jason Repko (230 games, 2005-09)
Dodger stats: .226/.297/.371 .668 11 hr 47 rbi
WAR: -0.1

Milton Bradley (216 games, 2004-05)
Dodger stats: .275/.358/.446 .804 32 hr 105 rbi
WAR: 4.8

Tom Goodwin (161 games, 2000-01)
Dodger stats: .239/.296/.316 .612 5 hr 33 rbi
WAR: -0.2

Kenny Lofton (129 games, 2006)
Dodger stats: .301/.360/.403 .763 3 hr 41 rbi
WAR: 0.9

Top three seasons
5.8 WAR Kemp, 2009
3.6 WAR Bradley, 2004
3.0 WAR Kemp, 2008

Man, I forgot how good Kenny Lofton was for the Dodgers in 2006. Imagine if they’d just signed him to a cheap one-year deal to keep the seat warm for Matt Kemp in 2007 rather than giving $44m to Pierre? I can only imagine where this franchise could be right now.

Best center fielder? Have at it.

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Does Anyone Miss This Guy?

Look, I don’t usually like to poke fun at people who’ve hurt themselves. But if you haven’t seen what former Dodger Milton “Gameboy” Bradley pulled last night, well, that’s why MSTI is here to provide you with the video.

Let me preface this by saying that this is a guy who:

1. Was sentenced to 3 days in jail in February 2004 for evading police after a traffic stop
2. Was dumped by Cleveland in spring training 2004 after refusing to run out a popup and disrespecting manager Eric Wedge
3. Was suspended later in 2004 after tossing a bag of baseballs onto the field
4. Was suspended again in 2004 after slamming a plastic bottle at fans in the right field seats at Dodger Stadium
5. Nearly caused a race riot at Chavez Ravine when he accused Jeff Kent of “a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players”. (This later led to one of my favorite quotes of all time, and I’m paraphrasing here because I can’t find the exact link, when Kent’s former teammate Lance Berkman said, “Jeff Kent is not a racist. He hates white people, black people, and Latinos equally.”
6. Had the police called to his home on suspicion of spousal abuse
7. Accused A’s GM Billy Beane of “using him up” and “lying to him”
8. Called the Oakland organization racist
9. Was traded to Kansas City, but had the deal voided when the Royals were concerned about his health
10. Injured fellow outfielder Mike Cameron by accidentally stepping on his hand, tearing ligaments in Cameron’s thumb and possibly sidelining him for the season
11. Invaded Poland in 1939, saying, “the Poles don’t respect black people, but god damn it, they will now.”‘

One of those might not actually be true – I don’t really remember the plastic bottle incident.

And yet, despite all that, this is the most insanely ridiculous thing that’s ever happened to him:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iutmc9zR5x4]

That’s right – after jawing with the ump, he goes after him.. and has his ACL blown out when his own manager wrestles him to the ground to keep him from killing the umpire. You can’t even make this stuff up.

With all that, I’d say if the Dodgers could have just traded him for the bag of balls that he threw out on the field, that’d be a pretty good move. Who was it they got instead? I can’t seem to remember. Thanks, Billy!

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