"The Definition of Insanity" -- The 2019-20 Hot Stove Off-Season Thread

Petro

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My son married a Canadian and lived in Calgary for several years. He has been back for over ten years (divorced) but still occasionally uses eh? in chats. Have to admit have not heard him say it in years.
the whole Eh thing is a little overblown, when I lived in Toronto, you almost never heard it, I now live about 1.5 hrs outside Toronto and still rarely hear it used.
 

beefchopper

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It was ‘Animal House’: An oral history of Tommy Lasorda’s Dodgers clubhouse
By Jayson Jenks

Tommy Lasorda managed the Dodgers for two decades, won two World Series and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Judging by the wild stories of pranks, hijinks and shenanigans relayed by former players, coaches and even the Phillie Phanatic, Lasorda also had one hell of a fun time.

Just to be upfront: The stories that follow involve extreme amounts of toilet humor. The words “crop dusting,” “bad gut” and “flatulence” are mentioned. This is not an oral history for the faint of heart.

(Editor’s note: He’s not joking.)

Todd Maulding, bullpen catcher: Everybody loved to screw with Lasorda. I mean, everybody.

Jerry Reuss, pitcher: Well, because he did it to them.

Tim Belcher, pitcher: He was notorious for being a practical joker.

Belcher: As is often the case with guys who are good at practical joking, he wasn’t very good at taking it.

Maulding: So you knew if you screwed with him, you’d get this unbelievable reaction.

John Shelby, outfielder: There were a lot of crazy things that happened, and we had some crazy people on the team.

Maulding: It was “Animal House.”

Jay Howell, pitcher: God, there was just something every week.

Maulding: It was such a family. It’s tough to explain. I don’t know, it was just so much fun.

Steve Garvey, first baseman: I think it was one of the big reasons why we had so much success.

Reuss: These are stories that when you look back and in your 70s, you just shake your head and say, “Did that really happen?” And then you know the answer before you even ask it: “Yeah, that really happened.” It was just a crazy time.

Steve Sax, second base: The final day of cuts at the end of spring training. Did you hear what he’d do?

Reuss: Lasorda would look at Cresse and say, “Mark, who’s in the clubhouse right now?”

Mark Cresse, bullpen coach: You know how Johnny Carson had Ed McMahon? Well, I was Ed McMahon and Tom was Johnny Carson.

Reuss: The clubhouse was a couple steps from Lasorda’s office. Mark would take a quick glance and then report back to Lasorda who was there. Lasorda would say, “Tell so-and-so I want to talk to them.” And then he would send them in.

Maulding: Into the shitter!

Belcher: He’d be in his office with the main office door open and the bathroom door open, so when you walked in all you saw was this old guy on the toilet.

Sax: The player goes in there thinking he’s going to get cut. He goes in there and Tommy says, “Come on in here and close the door. I’ve got to talk to you.”

Maulding: Like he wanted privacy.

Sax: He’d ask him, “What do you think you have to do better? How do you think spring training went for you? Do you think you had a chance to make the team?”

Maulding: This guy is in this 3-foot-by-3-foot cubicle. Door is closed.

Cresse: You’d need a hazard mask to survive in there.

Sax: At the very end, after about 15 minutes, he says, “By the way, you made the team.” And then the worst thing is Tommy makes him shake his hand!

Shelby: Oh my goodness. He tried to get me when I first got traded. … One of the coaches came and said, “Hey, Tommy wants you. He needs to talk to you.” So I went in his office and straight ahead there he was, sitting on the toilet, with the door wide open. I said, “I’ll come back.” He said, “No, get in here. I need to talk to you.” I said, “No, I’ll come back.” He tried to raise his voice like he was dead serious: “I need to talk to you right now, and you need to come in here and listen!” I looked at him and said, “You can do whatever you want to do, I’m not coming in there.” He just busted out laughing.

Maulding: Then there’s another time when Tommy was really into that SlimFast crap.

Cresse: I was his guy. I got $25,000 to make sure Tommy lost weight for his commercials.

Shelby: The SlimFast guy came in one time, and he was talking to Tommy. He couldn’t understand why Tommy wasn’t losing weight. He was getting paid some good money for the SlimFast commercials, but he wasn’t losing weight. I remember the guy specifically coming in and Tommy saying, “Look, you can check my pants. This is what size I wear.” He would show it to the guy and the guy would nod and say, “I have no idea what’s going on.” When the guy left, Tommy was laughing so hard. He said, “I had the clubhouse guy put my waist size from my old pants in these big pants so every time that he comes he sees my waist size with these pants is way bigger.” Oh my god. It was hilarious, man.

Maulding: Sunday morning, Tommy would always hold court about how great his shakes were, and he’d tell another Lasorda story. We’d heard them all a million times. I looked over and Mickey Hatcher is going behind his back and throwing donuts and every kind of shit you can think of in the blender.

Cresse: They would just take a chocolate donut and throw it in the blender.

Maulding: He was telling a story, and you’d hear this (blender noise) and there’d be another donut dropped in his shake.

Cresse: He was drinking so many calories it was like going to Häagen-Dazs for him.

Maulding: Well, here Lasorda is getting paid to lose weight and we just gave him like 4,000 more calories.

Cresse: The thing about the SlimFast is it caused Tommy to fart horribly. He called it crop dusting.

Howell: The crop dusting.

Cresse: On the airplane, it would be like 1 in the morning, and we’d be flying across the country. Everyone would be asleep. All of a sudden you’d hear, “Oh! Oh! Oh!”

Howell: He would come walking down the plane.

Cresse: Tommy would just go from the front, where he sat in first class, all the way to the back, just blasting the whole way.

Howell: We’d be in the back of the plane, and Saxy would say, “Just stop right there! Don’t come any farther!”

Cresse: Tommy would have this little grin he’d get on his face when he’d do it because he knew what the reaction was going to be.

Howell: That was like a rite of passage. It was just how Lasorda did it.
 

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continued:

Belcher: You remember the Phillie Phanatic, of course.

Sax: By far the best mascot ever.

Belcher: Every time the Dodgers went to Philadelphia, he loved to just prank the hell out of Lasorda.

David Raymond, the Phanatic: I would come out pregame in a four-wheeler, and I would dust a little trail of SlimFast all the way from the front of the dugout to the front of the four-wheeler. I’d put a little pile of it at the front wheel. So there’d be a little pile where he’d be standing, and it would lead all the way up to the four-wheeler. Then I took a bat and hid behind the four-wheeler and kept peeking up like he was going to follow the trail and I’m going to whack him.

Belcher: He’d bring these cans of SlimFast out. It was like a coffee can full of this powder. He’d get the groundskeeper’s tamper, the thing they used to tamp home plate and the pitcher’s mound, and just blow the cans up in front of our dugout.

Raymond: And Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” would be singing in the background.

Belcher: One time, late in the year, we were in Philadelphia and here comes the Phanatic out for one of his little skits. He’s got a dummy dressed up in a Dodger uniform, with a big fat belly and a No. 2, like it’s a Lasorda dummy.

Raymond: Steve Sax would actually get me his jersey.

Sax: He would have me go in there and take his uniform to him when Lasorda was out on the field.

Raymond: It was almost like a scene out of “The Shining” when Jack Nicholson crashes through the bathroom and he puts his face in there and says, “Here’s Johnny!” Steve would knock on my door, and I would open it up a crack. He’d stick his face in like that and shove his hand in with the jersey and go, “Don’t you ever tell him I got you this jersey.”

Sax: I just thought it was hilarious, man.

Raymond: He would do it just because it would piss off Tommy.

Sax: He’d just do all that stuff to Tommy Lasorda to piss him off.

Raymond: Over time, (Lasorda) had told the clubhouse manager, “I only want one jersey for this trip because I’m not getting to Philadelphia and having the Phanatic getting my jersey.” He didn’t know who was giving it to me, but he knew I was getting one, so he eliminated the additional jersey, which is funny in and of itself that he went to those measures. So I went and spent $150 to get a real Dodgers jersey and had Lasorda embroidered in it.

Belcher: When he came out and was defacing the Dodger uniform, Tommy literally got mad. He got mad as hell.

Raymond: He came out and grabbed the four-wheeler. I thought he was going to pull it into the Dodgers dugout, which I would have gotten in trouble because that would have delayed the game because there was no way to get it out of there unless the ground crew came and pulled it up the steps again. So that’s why I went to try to stop him, and he used it as a ploy to catch me.

Belcher: He literally went out and took him to the ground and was trying to rip his costume off him and take the dummy away from him.

Raymond: I was pissed. I got on the Phillies dugout the next inning. I had the dummy on my lap like a puppet and I had a pizza box. I was pantomiming like I’m looking one way while the dummy stuffs his head in the pizza box and then I’d pull him out of the pizza box and start slapping his face. Like, you’re on a diet. I did that for the whole next inning. He wasn’t looking at the game, he was just staring at me like, “I’m going to murder you.”

Belcher: Oh yeah, he was nuts.

Raymond: Years later, in Orlando during the winter meetings, I walked into the hotel and there’s Tommy Lasorda, standing in the lobby of the hotel. Like usual, he’s got a little gathering around him and he’s holding court. I came up and excused myself and said, “Hey, Tommy, how are you doing?” The first thing he said to me was, “How’s your dad doing?” as he’d always do. I said, “He’s doing great, Tommy. I just wanted to say hello.” He took a good look at everybody in the group and then said, “See that kid right there? He’s lucky he’s alive.” … He just laughed and patted me on the back.

Cresse: We were in spring training at Minnesota’s field in Orlando. We had to drive a bus over there so we wore our casual clothes over there and put our uniforms on at the field. Then we’d shower after the game, put our clothes back on and go home. That was the plan.

Maulding: The Twins had a third baseman at the time named Mickey Hatcher — the same Mickey Hatcher that had been with the Dodgers.

Cresse: Normal day. Pregame batting practice, infield, everything going to plan. Both teams are standing in front of the dugout as they’re about to sing the national anthem. I’m standing next to Lasorda. When Mickey puts his right hand over his heart across the way, he had this blue armband on. I go to Lasorda, “What’s Mickey got on his arm?”

Maulding: Well, he went in our clubhouse and he took a pair of Tommy’s trousers.

Cresse: All of the sudden it hit Lasorda … Tommy had worn a light blue pair of dress slacks to the game. Mickey had gone in there while we were in batting practice and he’d cut the legs off to make them shorts. That’s what he had on his arm. That’s why he had a shit-eating grin while he was looking over at us.

Maulding: And he cut a hole in the ass.

Cresse: Mickey cut a big football slice in the butt so Tommy’s whole butt was exposed. Tommy turned around, and Bill Russell and I started busting laughing. It was too much to take.

Maulding: So now Lasorda has to wear a uniform all the way home from Orlando to Vero Beach.

Cresse: And then Tommy got really pissed. He wanted our pitcher to drill Mickey when he came up to bat.

Howell: If you did it to him, it would just piss him off big time. Big time. He’d tell you to go fuck yourself. He’d light your ass up. Yeah, he would.

Cresse: When he came to our ballpark, he told me, “When they’re taking batting practice, I want you to go into his locker and just shred his jeans and we’ll run his jeans up the flagpole.”

Steve Brener, team publicist: So Tommy got back at him and cut his clothes up and put them up in centerfield on our flagpole in Vero Beach. They always had fun.

Belcher: He would always pitch this early BP we had. It was like a competition for him. He was trying to get guys out. He was throwing curveballs and everything, screaming at the top of his lungs.

Garvey: He had this 12-6 curveball, and he just loved throwing.

Belcher: He’d throw a curveball and a guy would swing and miss, and he’d just start screaming at him, “Go sit down! You’re fucking out!”

Howell: Lasorda would get grumpy to try to get you out of sleep with his meetings.

Shelby: He’d always walk around the locker room before (meetings) and check out trash cans just to see what was in them. Then, during the meeting, he would absolutely go berserk, just hollering, cussing and screaming.

Howell: Cresse would bring the counter and we’d have him count how many “fucks” would be in the meeting, then we’d bet on the over/under on how many fucks we’d get.

Shelby: And then he would go over and kick a garbage can. And every time he would kick a garbage can, there wasn’t much stuff in it. He would never kick a garbage can if he didn’t know what was in it.

Garvey: I was never a prankster, but I figured I’ve got to do something. We played on a Sunday and then we were going to leave and come back after 10 days. So I said to Nobe Kawano, the clubhouse man, I said, “Nobe, I’ve got something I want you to do for me.” We went on the road for 10 days and came back. Tommy came in and the press was around him and he grabbed his pants and jersey and threw them on. He walked out for a little presser in the dugout and guys were kind of chuckling around him. Tommy’s looking around: “What are you guys smiling about?” He walked around batting practice and people were still chuckling. Batting practice is over, and we walk inside. In the tunnel are mirrors, but they’re only about chest high. He finally gets to the end and there’s a big vertical mirror. He looks at it and he turns and looks at the back of his jersey a second. What I had done was I had Nobe Kawano put “Lasagna” on the back instead of Lasorda. He goes, “WHO DID THIS? I’LL GET THE SOB WHO DID THIS! DISGRACING MY NAME LIKE THIS!”

Maulding: If somebody screwed with Tommy, nobody dared say a word. Even though you knew who it was, you didn’t dare say it. It was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Tommy.”

Garvey: For the longest time — years and years, maybe decades — he thought it was either Reuss or (Jay) Johnstone. Finally, about 10 years ago, I let the cat out of the bag. He gave me that look like, “How could you do that” and started laughing.
 

beefchopper

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continued:
Sax: Do you want to hear one more? Now, this other one has to do with taking a shit as well. This is what this is all about.

Cresse: Did Jerry tell you the one about the sausage in St. Louis? That’s a real story.

Reuss: Charlie Gitto was an Italian restaurateur in St. Louis, and Lasorda loved him for a couple reasons. One was that Gitto was Italian, and Lasorda loved everything Italian. Most important, though, was that Lasorda ate there for free.

Cresse: A guy in St. Louis gave Tommy an ice chest of this real special sausage. I mean, it was good. It was Italian sausage, and it was the real stuff. He gave him an ice chest full of it to take home because we were going home that day.

Reuss: I’m from St. Louis, and I walk in the clubhouse. All of a sudden, meeting me there was a security guard and Lasorda. Lasorda tells the security guard, “That’s the guy I’m talking about. This is the guy I want you to keep away from that box.” And he points it out in his office. Now, what do you think I’m gonna do?

Sax: A couple of the guys created a ruckus and they said, “Guard, guard, there’s a fight out here!” The guard runs out to the field, and that gave Jerry Reuss and Steve Howe enough time to run in there, into his office, and grab the sausages.

Reuss: Steve Howe just happened to be there. He looked at me and said, “You’re not going to let Lasorda tell you what to do, are ya?”

Maulding: Steve Howe really screwed with Lasorda, better than anyone.

Sax: Anyway, the game is over. We go home. Tommy has his sausages, and he brings them home. Monday is an off day. Tuesday, he walks into the locker room and, I mean, he is pissed off. He’s yelling, “I’ll find the motherfuckers that did this.” What happened is, Steve Howe and Jerry Reuss grabbed the sausages, threw the sausages away and they both took a shit inside the foil.

Reuss: No. Howe did.

Sax: And Tommy took it home! I swear to God! Oh my God! Unbelievable!

Shelby: Those were some crazy dudes.

Shelby: Tommy was always joking and getting on people. There wasn’t one place you could go where someone didn’t know Tommy Lasorda.

Garvey: I nicknamed him the P.T. Barnum of baseball. And he was.

Shelby: I loved playing for him.

Garvey: He’s been like a second father over the years.

Shelby: He was hilarious. I’m telling you. And I’m thankful I got a chance to play for him and know him.

Raymond: I hate to see baseball without him. He’s been such a strong part of my memories. He really was super to me. He made the Phanatic relevant.

Charlie Strasser, trainer: Tommy was Tommy.

Raymond: He just was good for baseball, and, honestly, there’s nobody else like him. There’s just nobody close to him.
 

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It was ‘Animal House’: An oral history of Tommy Lasorda’s Dodgers clubhouse
By Jayson Jenks

Tommy Lasorda managed the Dodgers for two decades, won two World Series and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Judging by the wild stories of pranks, hijinks and shenanigans relayed by former players, coaches and even the Phillie Phanatic, Lasorda also had one hell of a fun time.

Just to be upfront: The stories that follow involve extreme amounts of toilet humor. The words “crop dusting,” “bad gut” and “flatulence” are mentioned. This is not an oral history for the faint of heart.

(Editor’s note: He’s not joking.)

Todd Maulding, bullpen catcher: Everybody loved to screw with Lasorda. I mean, everybody.

Jerry Reuss, pitcher: Well, because he did it to them.

Tim Belcher, pitcher: He was notorious for being a practical joker.

Belcher: As is often the case with guys who are good at practical joking, he wasn’t very good at taking it.

Maulding: So you knew if you screwed with him, you’d get this unbelievable reaction.

John Shelby, outfielder: There were a lot of crazy things that happened, and we had some crazy people on the team.

Maulding: It was “Animal House.”

Jay Howell, pitcher: God, there was just something every week.

Maulding: It was such a family. It’s tough to explain. I don’t know, it was just so much fun.

Steve Garvey, first baseman: I think it was one of the big reasons why we had so much success.

Reuss: These are stories that when you look back and in your 70s, you just shake your head and say, “Did that really happen?” And then you know the answer before you even ask it: “Yeah, that really happened.” It was just a crazy time.

Steve Sax, second base: The final day of cuts at the end of spring training. Did you hear what he’d do?

Reuss: Lasorda would look at Cresse and say, “Mark, who’s in the clubhouse right now?”

Mark Cresse, bullpen coach: You know how Johnny Carson had Ed McMahon? Well, I was Ed McMahon and Tom was Johnny Carson.

Reuss: The clubhouse was a couple steps from Lasorda’s office. Mark would take a quick glance and then report back to Lasorda who was there. Lasorda would say, “Tell so-and-so I want to talk to them.” And then he would send them in.

Maulding: Into the shitter!

Belcher: He’d be in his office with the main office door open and the bathroom door open, so when you walked in all you saw was this old guy on the toilet.

Sax: The player goes in there thinking he’s going to get cut. He goes in there and Tommy says, “Come on in here and close the door. I’ve got to talk to you.”

Maulding: Like he wanted privacy.

Sax: He’d ask him, “What do you think you have to do better? How do you think spring training went for you? Do you think you had a chance to make the team?”

Maulding: This guy is in this 3-foot-by-3-foot cubicle. Door is closed.

Cresse: You’d need a hazard mask to survive in there.

Sax: At the very end, after about 15 minutes, he says, “By the way, you made the team.” And then the worst thing is Tommy makes him shake his hand!

Shelby: Oh my goodness. He tried to get me when I first got traded. … One of the coaches came and said, “Hey, Tommy wants you. He needs to talk to you.” So I went in his office and straight ahead there he was, sitting on the toilet, with the door wide open. I said, “I’ll come back.” He said, “No, get in here. I need to talk to you.” I said, “No, I’ll come back.” He tried to raise his voice like he was dead serious: “I need to talk to you right now, and you need to come in here and listen!” I looked at him and said, “You can do whatever you want to do, I’m not coming in there.” He just busted out laughing.

Maulding: Then there’s another time when Tommy was really into that SlimFast crap.

Cresse: I was his guy. I got $25,000 to make sure Tommy lost weight for his commercials.

Shelby: The SlimFast guy came in one time, and he was talking to Tommy. He couldn’t understand why Tommy wasn’t losing weight. He was getting paid some good money for the SlimFast commercials, but he wasn’t losing weight. I remember the guy specifically coming in and Tommy saying, “Look, you can check my pants. This is what size I wear.” He would show it to the guy and the guy would nod and say, “I have no idea what’s going on.” When the guy left, Tommy was laughing so hard. He said, “I had the clubhouse guy put my waist size from my old pants in these big pants so every time that he comes he sees my waist size with these pants is way bigger.” Oh my god. It was hilarious, man.

Maulding: Sunday morning, Tommy would always hold court about how great his shakes were, and he’d tell another Lasorda story. We’d heard them all a million times. I looked over and Mickey Hatcher is going behind his back and throwing donuts and every kind of shit you can think of in the blender.

Cresse: They would just take a chocolate donut and throw it in the blender.

Maulding: He was telling a story, and you’d hear this (blender noise) and there’d be another donut dropped in his shake.

Cresse: He was drinking so many calories it was like going to Häagen-Dazs for him.

Maulding: Well, here Lasorda is getting paid to lose weight and we just gave him like 4,000 more calories.

Cresse: The thing about the SlimFast is it caused Tommy to fart horribly. He called it crop dusting.

Howell: The crop dusting.

Cresse: On the airplane, it would be like 1 in the morning, and we’d be flying across the country. Everyone would be asleep. All of a sudden you’d hear, “Oh! Oh! Oh!”

Howell: He would come walking down the plane.

Cresse: Tommy would just go from the front, where he sat in first class, all the way to the back, just blasting the whole way.

Howell: We’d be in the back of the plane, and Saxy would say, “Just stop right there! Don’t come any farther!”

Cresse: Tommy would have this little grin he’d get on his face when he’d do it because he knew what the reaction was going to be.

Howell: That was like a rite of passage. It was just how Lasorda did it.

I guess an appropriate accompaniment for that article from The Athletic is this video clip which I just uploaded to make it available here. Years ago (actually decades ago) in the era before DirecTV I had an eight foot satellite dish I used to watch Dodgers games. I would usually try to find a backhaul feed, the feed sent from the stadium up to a satellite which then relayed it down to the studio to add the commercials and send that polished broadcast including commercials out to the TV stations. If I was lucky enough to find them, I liked to watch the backhauls instead of the official broadcasts because the announcers would often leave the microphones on in the booth between innings, thinking nobody could hear those conversations. When they did leave the mikes open, over the backhaul you could hear whatever they were saying to each other under in what they thought was privacy. Sometimes that was very funny and often very foul.

One year Lasorda was part of the team doing the pregame show for the World Series in a year the Dodgers hadn't won the pennant. I wasn't going to be home for most of the game so I taped the backhaul feed of the game to watch when I got home. I started the recording before the pregame show came on and caught this conversation between Lasorda and the producer in the truck which occurred as the were doing sound checks for the theme song etc. You can only hear Lasorda's side of the conversation, I'd bet my life he has no idea this recording exists or even ever existed. Stick with it to the end. By the way, this was during the time in which he was being paid to do all those commercials as a spokesman for Sliimfast.

 
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Bluengineer

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I was thinking it would be cool if there was a robotic fan in a seat at dodger stadium complete with positionable camera, speaker and microphone that you could rent for a game. Then you could cheer on the team and take in the ambiance of the game from all the other robots. I would pay extra to do that.


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DodgerSSR

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it kinda look s like the union likes the medical proposal but the money is whats bringing the deal to a complete flop
The owners are supposed to submit a formal proposal to the players Tuesday. We'll see where it goes from there, and all we can do is hope is they will hammer out some kind of agreement and get the season started.

I just learned that in Texas, anyone who tested positive for CCP flu anti-bodies is included in the official list of victims. This is regardless of whether they ever exhibited any symptoms of the disease. Supposedly they are now going to start separating the numbers of those testing positive for the actual virus vs. those who only showed anti-bodies to the virus.
 
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beefchopper

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When every state and country uses their own interpretations and rules for counting there will never be an accurate count. Even with no political motivations (of which there are plenty) it still comes down to opinion and guessing. If someone dies and had the virus plus had a heart condition did the virus kill him or the heart condition? If he hadn't caught the virus would his heart have killed him? If he hadn't had the heart condition would the virus have killed him? Impossible to know with certainty without expensive, time consuming and dangerous autopsies. It comes down to guesswork in all these cases and I'd bet different doctors in the same hospital might fill out the cause of death for the same deceased person differently.
 

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Dodgers’ scouts remain ‘highly productive’ going into ‘free-for-all’ draft
By Pedro Moura
On June 10 and 11, the Dodgers will select six amateur players over two days, and then they will be done drafting. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball made the widely criticized decision to shorten this season’s draft from 40 rounds to five.

“To be honest,” Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino said on a conference call, “it was disappointing to us and most of the scouting community.”

Perhaps the most disappointing part: Gasparino expected this season’s draft to be the deepest in at least five years. Now, he expects the final two rounds to be “something of a free-for-all,” as teams try to assess which prospects they can keep from returning to school.

All undrafted players will be limited to $20,000 signing bonuses. In years past, prospects picked at the top of the sixth round received more than $300,000.

“It’s gonna push a lot of talent back to college baseball,” Gasparino said.

Teams would sometimes select leverage-less college seniors between the sixth and 10th rounds, offering them small sums to free up money for talented but raw high schoolers later in the draft. Gasparino lamented that loss of creativity.

But the lost 2020 amateur season is forcing additional scouting creativity. Some draft candidates in cold-weather communities hardly played at all this year. No one played more than a quarter of their slated schedule. The Dodgers must decide what matters most: last year’s games, offseason workouts, in-person meetings or those early-season games.

“How much weight do you put on that performance, good or bad, versus their history and track record?” Gasparino asked. “It’s gonna be a challenge. But we treat this as a 365-day-a-year process. We have seen these guys for nine and a half months, and we feel like we have a good foundation.”

They are receiving occasional supplements. Prospects are permitted to send the league video of their bullpen or batting-cage sessions, and the league then forwards the clips to teams.

“The reconfirming of basic stuff helps,” Gasparino said.

In any other year, Gasparino would have spent these last few months flying and driving across America, often to multiple places within one weekend. Instead, he and his staff are staging four-hour Zoom calls daily, discussing roughly 10 prospects per session. Scouts and cross-checkers with opinions are invited to weigh in.

“Not to plug Zoom too much,” Gasparino said, “but it’s really actually been highly productive.”

So much so that he said their process may change in future years.

The Dodgers’ process has worked quite well. When he became president of baseball operations after the 2014 season, Andrew Friedman hired Gasparino away from the Padres. Gasparino then made Walker Buehler his first selection, 24th overall in 2015, and since has hit on a number of top picks, including infielder Gavin Lux and catcher Will Smith, the 20th and 32nd overall selections in 2016, respectively.

This year, the Dodgers will first pick 29th overall, and then again at 60th, 66th, 100th, 130th, and 159th. They received the 66th selection, part of Competitive Balance Round B, from the Twins in the Kenta Maeda trade.

Gasparino will have just short of $6 million to split between those six picks’ bonuses. Only a maximum of $600,000 — no more than $100,000 to each pick — will be due within a month of their signings. The remaining money can be paid over the next 24 months. The league also delayed this year’s signing deadline to August 1, providing more time for drafted players to undergo physicals. With minor-league seasons looking unlikely, the Dodgers’ draftees could report to the team’s Camelback Ranch training facility after signing.

The five-round limit could cause ripples for years to come. Perhaps next year’s draft will end up as deep as this one, or deeper. In three years, the high schoolers who went to four-year colleges will again be eligible for selection. And just as the league attempts to shrink the number of minor-league affiliates, the talent infusion into the minors will be the smallest in years.

But all Gasparino can do is draft six players and attempt to sign them. The plan is for Friedman to be the team spokesman during the June 10 virtual draft. He’ll announce all six selections, likely from Dodger Stadium and via multiple platforms for fail-safe purposes.

“We’re expecting big things out of Andrew,” Gasparino said.
 

DodgerSSR

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Well there's this.


Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Not so fast! This from MLBTR:
3:39pm: The MLBPA’s “very disappointed” with MLB’s proposal, Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic report (on Twitter). While the league offered to share more playoff revenue, the players still don’t feel as if they’d do well in this situation. They believe they’d still have to make “massive” additional cuts, Drellich tweets. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) adds that the two sides are also far apart on health and safety issues. The union higher-ups will hold further discussions with the players before deciding whether to continue with negotiations, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
 

beefchopper

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I heard the owners proposed that the low paid players get pretty much their whole salaries but guys like Kershaw and Trout get 20% of theirs. Good luck selling that plan.
 

Petro

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I heard the owners proposed that the low paid players get pretty much their whole salaries but guys like Kershaw and Trout get 20% of theirs. Good luck selling that plan.
Very smart on the owner's part, drive a wedge in the players before the next CBA negotiations. There are a LOT more of the low paid players than the Kershaw's and Trout's. If they force a union vote, the low paid players would easily win if they can stick together. I'm sure they'll look at this like it takes Kershaw about 4 days of the regular season to make what the minimum salary player does all season. At 20% of his salary, he's still making 11x the minimum.
 

DodgerSSR

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I heard the owners proposed that the low paid players get pretty much their whole salaries but guys like Kershaw and Trout get 20% of theirs. Good luck selling that plan.
I hadn't heard those figures, but it would seem more than reasonable on the owners' part. The lost revenue from ticket sales, concessions, and licensed products would seem huge when playing in empty ball parks. It would be interesting know how the revenue stream is derived by category. Not every (any?) team has as lucrative a tv deal as the Dodgers.

All we can do is hope they hammer out a solution and neither side gets too greedy. I really feel that long, drawn out delays could be a dagger in the heart of MLB. Fans such as us will hang in there, but the casual fans may be so fed up they never return.
 

beefchopper

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Petro is right, there are a lot more low paid players who need the money more and will be getting pretty much all of their salaries in this proposal. I think this is an opening offer likely to be improved upon but if the highest paid players do get very dramatic cuts like this I would expect some to choose to sit out this season. That might actually be something the owners would want as they might want to go into the negotiations for the new contract after having shown that baseball drew high TV ratings even without some of the highest paid stars. Given how starved the country is for live sports now, the ratings would probably be relatively high even if Trout etc. sit out. It's probably easier to get people to watch games on TV without stars than it would have been to get them to pay high ticket prices to fill stadiums.