Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jiminy Christmas

I'm not sure what to make of this.

The tone and content are so over-the-top fawning that I initially thought it was satirical. After all, Simers has been critical of the Dodgers' front office -- and in this same wry manner -- before. So, read and enjoy with this warning: the joke may be on you. Yes, you, not me. I am infallible. Plus, as is always our preference here at FJM, we like to take everything at face value, because then we have more ways to avoid working at our real jobs.

One way or the other, you have to love the headline:

It's a no-brainer, Dodgers' Ned Colletti is baseball's best general manager


No. No, he is not.

And furthermore, hypothetically serious-and-not-satirical L.A. Times: you think it's a "no-brainer?!" You not only think that Ned Coletti is baseball's best general manager, you think the fact that Ned Coletti is baseball's best manager is a no-fucking-brainer?!!?!?!?!?1/1/11/

(Man, I hope this isn't a parody. Because I am already borderline-hysterical, and we're only at the headline.)

I guess when you make a completely unsupportable, borderline-sociopathic claim, your only real move is to launch immediately into an over-the-top support of it. Like when you say that living relatively close to an uninhabited part of Russia not only means something, it makes you good at foreign policy. (One admires the chutzpah, even while one is offended at the notion that someone thought that would work.)

Who says the Dodgers' decision-maker is out of his league?

Me! Me! Over here! I do!

With the acquisitions of Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake, he's fooled the rest of the National League.

I'm going to go ahead and short-circuit this whole line of reasoning right off the top. These were both fine deadline-pick-ups. But the Red Sox were the very definition of desperate. Even when offering to pay the man's entire salary, there were only two teams interested in Manny -- L.A. and Florida, and Florida apparently wanted not the $7m left on his contract, but in fact $9m, the extra $2m ostensibly to sign the draft pick(s) they would get when they offered Manny arbitration at the end of the year, he declined, and they got the compensation pick. Demanding extra cash, on top of the 100% subsidy you are being offered to have one of the greatest RHH in a generation come play for you, seems like the MLB version of extortion to me.

Anyway, the point is, the Dodgers -- on July 31 at like 3:01 PM -- were the only game in town. Now, Coletti deserves credit for being that game, but it's not like he picked up some scrub from the scrap heap because he believed in him, and now that guy is awesome. He traded a few guys for Manny Ramirez. Who's leaving at the end of the year. And yes, it has certainly energized this city, but again...the team is under .500 since the trade.

As for Blake, when he was acquired he had an .830 OPS. He now has an .826 OPS. He had a .303 OBP in August. He's 35.

Sat down with Ned Colletti before Tuesday's Dodgers game to discuss the details of his acceptance speech once he's officially named Major League Baseball's executive of the year. "Huh?" said Colletti,

The correct response.

and now you know why he needs a speech writer.

And better Assistant GMs.

It's over, of course, the Dodgers playing minor league outfits now, and a lock to win the division title on the strength of Colletti's wizardry-- Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

The Dodgers are 69-70. A game and a half back of Arizona. They are 15-16 since the trades. They recently lost like 8 in a row. And they're "a lock" to win the division? A fucking "lock?"

This is, however, what makes me think the article is earnest. The Dodgers do have an incredibly easy schedule down the stretch.'s genuine, right?

"Help me out here, Manny," Colletti shouted, while trying to divert attention from his genius.

Hang on. Is this a satire? I suddenly think this is a satire again. Hang on -- I have to go read it again to see if Simers is punking me.

I don't know. Too close to call. I'm going to keep on keepin' on, becuase I'm in too deep now.

"What do you need?" said Ramirez, later hitting his 10th homer as a Dodger.

"Don't you think Ned is baseball's executive of the year?" I asked.

"Yeah," Ramirez said, "for having me here for free."

Andruw Jones
Juan Pierre
Nomar Garciaparra
Jason Schmidt
Chan Ho Park


2 months of Manny Ramirez.

The team is under .500.

CAN'T REALLY call it the resurrection, because while he's good, he's not that good. But as GMs go, Colletti looked like a goner before Blake and Ramirez arrived.

"I didn't feel it," Colletti said, and as a general rule -- dead men don't feel anything.

The team has been almost exactly as mediocre since the trades. 15-16. 69-70.

Desperate times, desperate measures and Colletti improved the Dodgers without it costing the owner a penny. That makes him the best GM in baseball in the minds of most owners.

The Red Sox are currently starting home-grown players at first, second, third, and CF. Their best pitcher is home-grown, as is their closer who is top-3 in baseball. Their 6th inning guy is home-grown, their 7th-inning guy is home-grown, their spot-starter is home-grown. They've suffered significant injuries to Ortiz, Drew, Schilling, Lowell, and Beckett, and they're going to make the playoffs again, probably, for the fifth time in six years.

Theo Epstein < style="font-weight: bold;">"Do you think there are other teams out there saying, 'Ned's desperate, let's help Ned out?' " Colletti said, while proving the point, I guess, that he's just smarter than all the other GMs in somehow stealing Ramirez and Blake. No doubt, he fooled them all. Oldest trick in the book, too, luring your opponents to sleep, which explains why early on he signed Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre -- everyone figuring the Dodgers were finished with such a cast of misfits.

Okay, so this is obviously sarcastic. I honestly don't know what to think. Is he saying that Colletti is still a bonehead and that we should all remember how many bad choices he made, and that they shouldn't be whitewashed by the recent, more successful additions? Or is he saying that yes, the guy was a bonehead before, but now he is awesome and should be Executive of the Year, for realskies?


Then the Dodgers passed on David Eckstein, on the recommendation of scouts, Colletti said, even though the Dodgers needed a second baseman. Whatever it takes to make Arizona overconfident.

Again, he's being sarcastic, but I would argue that passing on Eckstein should automatically make someone Executive of the Year, just for having the guts to expose himself to what will surely be intense media hatred.

The Dodgers even allowed Arizona to claim him, another genius move by Colletti, the Diamondbacks probably thinking now they have added just the right missing piece to the puzzle. So how come they got drilled by St. Louis Tuesday night?

I'm so fucking confused.

Now he is saying that Colletti was smart to pass on Eckstein, because AZ...lost...with Eckstein...on Tuesday?

Maybe I'm just not that smart. But that's hard to believe, since I live fairly close to Stanford University, so I must be intelligent.

So many things go into the making of baseball's executive of the year, one day kids everywhere hoping to be just as cunning and famous as the Schmoozer, the former Cubs' PR guy who went on to become the great GM of the Dodgers.

"Stop the madness," Colletti said.

"It's over; Dodgers win the division," I said.

"We just lost eight straight," Colletti said.

WTF is going on? Colletti is the voice of reason? Or Simers is baiting him to his face? Or both?

And the Diamondbacks, who have 14 games remaining against challenging opponents to the Dodgers' six, completely fell for the feint. "Stop it," said Colletti, "it's not over."

Sincere again, somehow. This article is a sincerity Rorschach test.

Like an Academy Award nominee, I'm sure, he doesn't want to think about the baseball award until he actually hears his name called.

"I'm done winning awards," said Colletti, and you can just imagine how cluttered his office and home must be with all the awards won over the years.

The final blow to my sanity. This reads like a slam, but a quick glance assures us that Colletti has, indeed, won many awards.

I give up. I can't analyze baseball journalism anymore. I need to change careers. Oh -- I know: I live close to the Pacific Ocean, so that means I am a World Class marine biologist. I'll just focus on that, then.

1 comment:

  1. Adam votes: satire.

    It's T.J. Simers, he makes a living off of satirically making fun of people. His nickname for the McCourts are "The Parking Lot Attendant" and "The Screaming Meanie". The article was 100% making fun of Colletti to his face.

    Big ups to Simers.

    I think this is how I feel, too, now...though it's so weirdly presented.


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