Thursday, December 13, 2007

Paul Lo Duca, Eric Gagne, Bill Plaschke, T.J. Simers, and the Receipt of New Information

Followup to my posts from 11:52 am and 1:14 pm.

Bill Plaschke wrote the following this afternoon:

Baseball will survive, because as long as there are summer nights and bleacher seats, baseball will always survive.

But the players listed in the report, and the wondrous history surrounding them, will not.

Eric Gagne's 84-consecutive-save streak?


Kevin Brown and the magical 1998 San Diego Padres?


The renowned leadership of catcher Paul Lo Duca?

A sham.

Capitol Punishment comments:

Heady stuff from the guy who's love for Lo Duca led him to repeatedly bash LA's then-GM day after day after day after day for loving spreadsheets and not manly virtuous men who will their teams to victory with the sheer volume of their charisma like Paul Lo Duca.


Nevermind! /Litella

Back in August 2004, "Love of Sox" posted two articles - one from Bill Plaschke, the other from T.J. Simers - which mentioned a couple of people whose names were mentioned today.

From Plaschke:

Dodgers Didn't Need to Do This
Bill Plaschke

August 1, 2004

Hello? Anybody here? Anybody left?

You are wading through rubble that, only 48 hours ago, was a special baseball team.

You are sifting through the fallen chunks and thick dust of a Dodger clubhouse that led the league in comeback wins, in last-gasp effort, in unmitigated belief.

You knew that the team could use a few swipes of a paint brush. You had no idea its owner would attack it with a wrecking ball.

Stepping carefully over uprooted cornerstones, you're looking for words of inspiration, so you seek the guy who epitomizes the word.

Paul Lo Duca? You in there? No?

Hopping over ripped foundations, you search for other signs of strength, the kind that are found in baseball's best bullpen.

Guillermo Mota? ¿Estas aqui? ¿Hola?

They are clearly gone, but, wait a minute. The only way anyone would gut this team would be to acquire the gutsiest pitcher in the game, right? A Cy Young winner, a World Series champion, the one guy who might make it all worth it.

Randy Johnson? Hello? Hello?...

The week started with the best team in the National League since July 1 requiring one ace starting pitcher to have a legitimate shot at a world championship.

The week has ended with the Dodgers acquiring an almost-ace starter, a slumping first baseman and an aging outfielder in trades that sent away a clubhouse leader and fan favorite, an important bullpen bridge, and the team's best speed in Dave Roberts.

This all would have been fine, even Lo Duca's departure, if the guy coming back was Randy Johnson.

Seems like DePodesta made Friday's deal with the Florida Marlins only because he thought it would lead to Johnson.

Sounds like once the Arizona Diamondbacks gained all the leverage Friday night, they made additional demands on the Dodgers (Edwin Jackson?) that made the trade unworkable.

Looks like the rookie general manager put the cart before the ace....

these Dodgers didn't become a first-place team with paper. Among baseball's top teams, the Dodgers were the least likely contenders on paper.

They have done it, for the first time in a long time, with a sense of teamwork and sacrifice and smarts. They have done it with what Lo Duca brought into that clubhouse every day during each of his four seasons as a full-time Dodger.

Well, based upon his stationery, we know what Lo Duca brought into the clubhouse.

Let's see what Simers says:

EARLY FEEDBACK on the massive overhaul to turn the Dodgers from winners — overnight — into losers: The Dodgers won't have to rely as much on Eric Gagne with Darren Dreifort taking over for Guillermo Mota as the team's eighth-inning reliever. The opposition will score, as the Padres did twice Saturday night to turn a 2-1 Dodger win into a 3-2 San Diego victory, and Gagne can sit down.

THE FIRST look at Hee Seop Choi: He ran hard to first while grounding into a double play. Like that hustle.

JIM TRACY, the Micro Manager, said the duo of David Ross and Brent Mayne are an "upgrade" at catcher over Paul Lo Duca. That was before Ross was charged with a passed ball and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. Lo Duca hit a homer on the first pitch thrown to him playing for Florida.

Fast forward to November 2007, when Dhivy tried to predict who would be in the Mitchell Report. Here's one of his choices:

Paul Lo Duca – Only so many of his tantrums can be attributed to a fiery Italian temper. Plus I want to see Ramon Castro get the starting job for New York, so I'm starting a rumor that 'Lo Duca' is Italian for 'the clear'.

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