The Turner Diaries

The Dodgers and Justin Turner are still a couple of years apart before they can make a deal. Turner, who’s 36, wants a four-year deal. The Dodgers, in part because he’s 36, don’t want to give him more than a two-year deal. MLB’s Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday that there are three teams beside the Dodgers expressing interest, although one of them, the Blue Jays, may have lost interest now that they’ve signed infielder Marcus Semien. The Braves and Brewers are likely the other two.

In other news, stupidity shut down Dodger Stadium for an hour this afternoon; approximately fifty anti-everything* people blocked an entrance to the Stadium where COVID-19 vaccinations were being performed.

*A post on social media described the demonstration as the “Scamdemic Protest/March.” It advised participants to “please refrain from wearing Trump/MAGA attire as we want our statement to resonate with the sheeple. No flags but informational signs only.

“This is a sharing information protest and march against everything COVID, Vaccine, PCR Tests, Lockdowns, Masks, Fauci, Gates, Newsom, China, digital tracking, etc.”

119 thoughts on “The Turner Diaries

  1. Last month did a series of Top 10 players for 10 different positions. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers faired pretty well. They had at least 1 player listed in 8 out of 10 positions.

    Position/Player(s)/Spot in Top 10
    Starting Pitchers – Bauer, 4th; Kershaw, 7th; Buehler, 10th
    Relief Pitchers –
    Catcher – Will Smith, 3rd
    1B – Max Muncy, 5th
    2B – Chris Taylor, 8th(!)
    SS – Corey Seager, 6th
    3B – Justin Turner, 6th
    RF – Mookie Betts, 1st
    CF – Cody Bellinger, 2nd
    LF –

    Dodgers were certainly the only team to have 3 pitchers and I don’t recall if any other team even had 2. Also, surprised how well Taylor was rated, and felt Seager was several spots to low. And poor Pollock didn’t make the top 10 at all.

  2. Since the end of last season the following relievers have departed from the Dodgers’ roster: Floro (25 appearances), McGee (24), Kolarek (20), Baex (18) and Wood (7 and 2 starts).

  3. Just finished reading the Felipe Alou (Rojas) autobiography. Quite good. First Dominican straight off the island to play in the Bigs. Minor league he was first assigned to in Louisiana threatened to fold if he were to play, so they shipped him off to Florida. Not much better there for a black Dominican in the 1950s. Two brothers, Matty and Jesus also big leaguers. They all three played in the giants outfield for a couple of games.

    • LOOGY victim of the three batter rule. Would have been third lefty in pen, behind Victor and Scott Alexander both of whom have more success against righties. Apparently picked up a AAAA utility guy.

      • I see your point and partially agree. Kolarek still did quite well last year with the three-batter rule in effect. Alexander didn’t pitch after Sept. 1 and missed the entire post-season. His ERA last year was 2,92, compared to Kolarek’s 0.95. I couldn’t find what Kolarek is to make in 2021. Alexander will make $1 million this year. I like Gonzalez’s presence in the pen.

    • Wait a minute. I thought last year’s ASG was scheduled for Dodger Stadium for the first time in about 50 years. Out of the rotation again?

      Edited: Ah. Atlanta was already set, so the 2022 game will be in LA.

  4. I guess the Justin Turner situation will linger until it is known whether or not the National League will allow for the DH this year.

  5. A good friend of mine is a buddy of an MLB umpire, who was told that his first exhibition game would be February 27, the scheduled first day of games. The umpire doesn’t see that happening.

  6. This is amusing. Chuck Connors was a ballplayer in the Dodgers’ minor league system before he became “The Rifleman” and Jason McCord of “Branded.” He knew Walter O’Malley, and the two men bartered for a favor once. In 1948 when Connors was on the Montreal Royals and in Spring Training camp with the Dodgers in the Dominican Republic, O’Malley persuaded him to recite “Casey at the Bat” at the farewell party as the clubs headed back to the States. Connors apparently thought O’Malley owed him a favor as a result.

    Hedda Hopper writes in her column how Walter O’Malley came to appear on the television show “Branded” with Chuck Connors. “He (Connors) asked me to appear on the show. I said, ‘Sure, sounds like fun’. Then I get back from Florida, where I’m building my players a little golf course, and this yarn about my turning actor is in all the papers. When I get through with the part, all actors may be out of work.” Los Angeles Times columnist Sid Ziff was present on the set with O’Malley on the day of filming and writes a full column of O’Malley’s day. Ziff writes that O’Malley spoke the following lines, “That’s a bad wound. Almost a severed tendon. Don’t figure to use that arm for at least two weeks.” Ziff relates a story from O’Malley on the first time he (O’Malley) saw Connors and the young rookie had 13 pieces of luggage on reporting to Spring Training. Ziff writes that O’Malley said “I knew then he was going places.” O’Malley told the story of Connors’ only major league at bat with the Dodgers. “The only time he (Connors) came to bat as a Dodger he hit into a double play and kept right on going to the clubhouse. Jake Pitler was coaching. Hey, where do you think you’re going, Connors?’ shouted Pitler. ‘To Montreal (Dodgers’AAA club)’ he said. You know, that’s a true story. Chuck figured he didn’t have a chance.” Ziff finished his column by writing, “It was easy to fit O’Malley into the picture. He was the one who looked liked Sydney Greenstreet and had just enough ham to sail into the part with flying colors.”

    • Great story. Thanks. I looked up the game. It was May 1, 1949. Connors’ DP came in the bottom of the 9th at Ebbets Field with a runner on first and one out and ended the contest, which the Dodgers lost, 4-2. For some reason, he was pinch-hitting for Carl Furillo. Connors had a solid 1949 season at Montreal, hitting .319. He had many past and future Dodgers as teammates. One was Dan Bankhead, who in August 1947 became the first African-American MLB pitcher. He also homered in his first at bat. Connors played in 1951 for the Cubs, appearing in 68 games and hitting .239 in 214 at bats. That was the end of his big league career. Before he appeared for the Dodgers, Connors had played one full season with the Boston Celtics of the old Basketball Association of America and briefly for them for another year. Acting, not pro sports, was clearly a better choice for Connors, who was a native of Brooklyn.

  7. I realize that signing Bauer could have an impact on retaining CK but I still hold out hope that the Dodgers can keep him and let him retire a Dodger.

    • I also worry about what this does for the Dodgers’ likelihood of keeping Seager. Losing him would be truly detrimental, and he knows what the Dodgers have paid to Betts and now Bauer and Seager was the NLCS and WS MVP.

      • There are several premium SS due for free agency next season, including Story, Lindor and Correa. That should make it likelier to retain Seager (or acquire a more than capable replacement).

  8. Rosenthal at The Athletic, on the Bauer signing:

    His teammates in Cincinnati liked him. Two of his former Cleveland teammates, shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco, recommended him to their new team, the Mets. Bauer will continue working extremely hard to succeed, and while it’s possible to envision his idiosyncracies rubbing Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler the wrong way, it’s also possible to envision those pitchers embracing and incorporating aspects of Bauer’s unique thought process.

  9. I’ve heard and read a few comments about the Dodgers’ signing of Bauer for $100M just two months after laying off a bunch of non-playing employees. I agree it’s not a good look at all.

    • What a poignant and heartfelt piece of writing. I hate to see him go but understand even better why. He didn’t have much to say about Doc, did he? Hmmmm…

      • Now he needs to perform his dreams. He is in his prime and I think he will have a more evolved plan when he is at bat. Hopefully he will come to camp mean and lean and relaxed.

    • From what I have been hearing his personality is at best an acquired taste and potentially toxic. He deepens the rotation for sure, but at what cost (financial and otherwise)?

      • I like the signing. He is idiosyncratic and several teams couldn’t deal with that. I saw him pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium at UCLA many years ago, and he was impressive. But his warmup regimen is unusual. What the Dodgers should look to do now is package May or Gonsolin with another roster player plus one of two top prospects and obtain a hard-hitting, right-handed batting third baseball, if there is one available. The Turner situation has been twisting in the wind too long.

        • Have my eye on Chapman. Billy Beane is always up for a deal, though Chapman still has a bunch of controlled years and he usually doesn’t sell that early.

          • Rios and Hoese should interest the A’s. Add a pitcher and a conversation might get started.

      • He might not have to fight as much with the Dodgers regarding his training methods as he has with other teams. Besides, he is now playing for the team he has always wanted to play with.

    • On the other hand, (and the other end of the pay scale), I’ve always liked Dexter Fowler…

      • No disrespect to Dexter Fowler, bit I always liked Art Fowler, who had a small role in helping the Dodgers win the pennant in 1959 but was sent to the minors before the season ended. He was awarded a full World Series share but not a ring. Eventually, the Dodgers gave him the ring.

      • No disrespect to Dexter Fowler, bit I always liked Art Fowler, who had a small role in helping the Dodgers win the pennant in 1959 but was sent to the minors before the season ended. He was awarded a full World Series share but not a ring. Eventually, the Dodgers gave him the ring.

        • Recall having an Art Fowler baseball card as a kid when he was an Angle. Never realized that he was an old friend. See that he spent ten years on the farm before debuting at age 31.

        • Never mind. He got WS rings with the Yankees as their pitching coach in ’77-’78. He and Billy Martin were a team in NYC, Detroit, Minnesota, Oakland and Texas.

    • Second guessing Friedman is tough. Worrisome for me is what it means now moneywise for getting JT back and Klayton extension, but I will put himself in his hands.

  10. From SI (which is going to go to a metered paywall soon, by the way)

    For MLB Owners, Playoff Money Trumps ‘Health and Safety’

    When Mom and Dad can’t stop fighting, it’s the kids who suffer. In the ongoing battle between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, the kids are all the normal people who work in and around the sport.

    In two weeks, a typical organization will dispatch to Arizona or Florida some 75 people making closer to the salary of Mike Trout’s barber than to that of Mike Trout. All of these people—athletic trainers, clubhouse attendants, media-relations staffers among them—have been strung along for three months, unable to sign spring-training leases, largely ineligible to be vaccinated yet, wondering if they would be sent to COVID hotspots as cases remain high.

    They will, as it turns out, because no one can agree on whether there should be 10 playoff teams or 14. The squabbling has lasted nearly the entire winter, and it has left us here: There will be no deal to postpone the start of the season until more people can be vaccinated. Instead spring training will start, as scheduled in the collective bargaining agreement, on Feb. 17.

    Most of the blame here rests with the league. The union can be intransigent, but it is not legally required to renegotiate things the CBA already covers. The league’s labor lawyers know this. Yet they continued to send the union proposals studded with what the union considers to be a poison pill: expanded playoffs.

    The real money for owners comes in the form of October television rights, so they crave this structure. The players’ position is that expanded playoffs will dilute competitiveness and suppress salaries: If you can make the postseason with 85 wins, why would you sign a big-ticket free agent? They agreed to a 16-team format last year, in an attempt to make back some of the money lost without ticket sales and as a failsafe in case the best teams failed to emerge at the end of 60 games. But the union has spent the offseason insisting that was a one-time concession.


    On Monday, once the union turned it down—and declined to make a counter-offer—MLB released a statement that read, in part: “On the advice of medical experts, we proposed a one-month delay to the start of Spring Training and the regular season to better protect the health and safety of players and support staff. … This was a good deal that reflected the best interests of everyone involved in the sport by merely moving the calendar of the season back one month for health and safety reasons.”

    If health and safety is really the priority, why submit a proposal you know the union won’t accept? If health and safety is really the priority, why not focus only on the timeline and leave the petty financial bickering for the next negotiations, which will come when the CBA expires in December? (Indeed, if health and safety is really the priority, why play baseball amid a global pandemic at all? But that ship has sailed.)

    The truth is that it isn’t, really. The priority is, as ever, further enriching the rich at the expense of the less rich.

    • Manfred worked for Selig for quite a while. If you’ve not read Pessah’s The Game, you should. It’s basically a history and lambasting of Selig as a self-dealing man who finagled a minority stake in the Brewers to multi-millionaire status, doing terrible harm to baseball along the way.

  11. Cardinals Acquire Nolan Arenado

    From MLB Trade Rumors, but citing other sources:

    Aftera few days of waiting for their complicated trade to be finalized, the Cardinals and Rockies have completed their deal centering on thirdbaseman Nolan Arenado, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The league and the union have signed off on the swap. The Rockies will receive left-hander Austin Gomber, third baseman Mateo Gil, infielder Elehuris Montero and right-handers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers in exchange for Arenado, per Mark Feinsand of Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previously reported Gomber’s spot in the deal, while Ken Rosenthal and Nick Groke of The Athletic tweeted that Gil would be in it.

  12. The Athletic:

    Hernández and Pederson accepted pay cuts from their pre-pandemic 2020 salaries. The bounties of the free market netted Rosario a $250,000 bump, far less than he would have received in arbitration. These men are part of a class of players who are seeing their salaries quietly and gradually siphoned away, a class of players that grows every offseason. Sometimes that money is stashed for superstars. Sometimes it is redirected toward starting pitchers. And sometimes it is not spent at all.

    Only a handful of years ago, free agency was a relative paradise. The players treated it like a privilege. For the elite talents, those like J.T. Realmuto and George Springer and DJ LeMahieu, it still is. For the sport’s middle class, the quality players who contribute to championships each autumn, it is a reminder of how dispensable this industry considers them. They can make money in this field. Just not as much as they used to — and often for only one year at a time.

    The squeeze has been subtle. Some in the industry view it as an evolution in valuation; teams view corner outfielders like Rosario as fungible, while effective starting pitching remains elusive. The Cubs were willing to non-tender Kyle Schwarber because they felt they could find a replacement who cost less and might be more productive. In signing Pederson, they were proved right.

  13. This is random news – but I had eye surgery this week. I had a detached retina in my right eye which was – not surprisingly – causing a lot of vision loss. So now I have a gas bubble inserted into my eye to aid the reattachment. Apparently, it takes about 2 months to fully work.

    Anyone else had this done before?

    • Wishing you a full and swift recovery. I think the start of the MLB season will be delayed to accommodate your perfect vision.

        • 2020 was the first year since 2001 that I didn’t umpire in Monterey County, CA, as no youth or adult league games were played. And, wow, did I miss it.

          • Scoop, did your house come through the rains OK, especially after the fires? I see Monterey got hit really hard.

          • WBBsAs: Thanks for your concern. We came out fine as we live in Carmel Valley Village high high above the Carmel River and the creeks that feed into it. We did receive an evacuation “warning” but not a “requirement.” The people whose homes were flooded live near the Carmel Lagoon, about 13 miles west of us, and where the Carmel River should empty into Carmel Bay. Normally, the sandbar that halts the river from flowing into Carmel Bay is bulldozed, but later in the year; had it been bulldozed in the midst of all these rains, there wouldn’t have been flooding. We did evacuate for five days during last summer’s fire, which came within a mile-and-a-half east of us. Sadly, some 50 homes were destroyed, also to the east. My Rotary club has raised money for those who lost their homes and also given some from our club finances, but he have only about 35 members.

    • My annual eye exam from a new doctor referred me to a specialist due to signs of potential retina detachment but it was a false alarm, thank goodness. Now taking eye drops to mitigate glaucoma. It’s always a little scary but stay positive and don’t let any doom inter your internal dialog.

      You’re on your way to full recovery Dave.

    • So discouraging – all of this ignorance and delusion! I got my first jab at Dodger Stadium on January 20th – long long wait but a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. I read this and I despair – so many people around the world would give anything for a vaccination.

      • It’s insane that anybody would obstruct others but, hey, there are Mitch McConnells everywhere. I got my initial Moderna on the 24th at Kaiser Richmond (we live just a couple blocks from Kaiser Oakland but couldn’t get an appointment there). It was quick and efficient, followed by a couple days’ mild arm soreness. Followup jab scheduled for end of this month.

    • Do you think that the Dodgers will primarily go with Rios as the sub, or will the Dodgers sign/trade for another infielder to spell off JT?

      • Maybe Smith moves to third and Ruiz is brought up.

        Similarly, In 2022, Lux could replace Seager at short.

        Okay, also in 2022, Rios at 1st and Bushe at second.

        Then we could get free parking with the savings 😉