A farewell to Furcal

It’s certainly a weird feeling to be at the trade deadline and dealing players away rather than getting them back, but today the Dodgers dealt Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals for minor league outfielder Alex Castellanos. To say that Raffy will be missed is truly an understatement.

Though he spent much of his time at the Dodgers battling injuries, you’d be hard pressed to find a more caring individual during his six years in Los Angeles. He is beloved by his teammates and everyone around the game because of what he does on the field, but as someone who dealt with him primarily on off-field endeavors, I can assure you that he was even more important to the franchise and to his home country in that regard.

Not only did he donate huge amounts of money to the Dodgers Dream Foundation over the last six years, but I will always recall a conversation we had at the sushi bar in our Pittsburgh hotel at the end of the 2008 season. He never really tells anyone about all that he does back home in his hometown of Loma de Cabrera, but we got to talking about the poverty he grew up around. He made a passing comment about the local hospital and how the residents know that if they can’t afford their bills, the hospital just bills him. It was unfathomable, but in his mind it was simply what he is supposed to do.

That’s also the first time he mentioned that his hometown doesn’t have a firetruck, another concept that’s hard to believe for those of us in the States. When a fire burns here, we pick up the phone, call 911 and people come and help put it out. Down there, they simply don’t have that luxury. That’s when we talked about the fact that if he returned to the Dodgers as a free agent, we would make sure that his hometown gets a firetruck.

Well, it took some time and effort from a lot of people, but there’s now an LAFD firetruck in customs in the Dominican, en route to his hometown and Raffy’s efforts in that regard will truly save lives. And his generosity at the local hospital saves lives. And for those who saw his “Before the Bigs” on Prime Ticket, you truly get a sense of the heartache he’s experienced in his life.

I’m sure he feels like there was unfinished business here on the field, but off the field he’s made his mark and on the field, he was truly a lineup changer whenever he was healthy. And if you’ve had the pleasure of watching a five-year-old Raffy Jr. in a batting cage at Camelback Ranch, you get the sense we’ll be seeing that kid someday in the big leagues.

On behalf of the entire Dodger organization and its fans, good luck, Raffy. You and your family deserve nothing but the best.


  1. kimmielou929

    I’m so sad to see Furcal go. He has so much heart for the Dodgers, it won’t be the same without him. I need to stop getting so attached to these players.

  2. dodgerslove

    I didn’t think I was going to be this sad, I just can’t believe it! It’s hard for me to picture him in another uniform, thanks for the memories Fookie! you will ALWAYS be loved in Dodgertown! Wish you nothing but the best in St Louis!

    • Arthur Marx

      Somebody once OWNED Furcal?

      That must have been in the Dominican Republic, as slavery was outlawed in the United States a long time ago.

  3. trueblue323

    Thank you raffy for your dedication and hard work. I got to meet you out at camelback, earlier on this year. The fact that it was raining and you stayed out to sign for us the fans said a lot. Most of the dodgers passed us by with a cart or running. Showed your true loving colors. The best to you Furcal. Thank you for the memories.

  4. northstateblues

    Thanks for the memories, Raffy. Whenever he runs on all cylinders, he’s the best catalyst on the team. St. Louis will be as strong at SS as he is.

    In other news… looks like Ned got taken for magic beans again. Wouldn’t be a Trade Ned-line without a good fleecing of the still-born future.

    • northstateblues

      In Shakespearean:

      “And my poor fool is hanged – No, no, no life?
      Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
      And thou no breath at all? Oh, thou’lt come no more,
      Never, never, never, never, never. – ” – King Lear (V.3.320)

  5. Mark

    Dee Gordon is healthy, fast and reliable. Just needs a little intelligence at the plate. Shocked you gave up Trayvon Robinson for Bedard, he’s a five tool guy.

  6. messagebear

    Sounds like Raffy was an especially good man, even if not very bright, considering how much he was fleeced by Frank and the organization for Frank’s favorite charity.

  7. Leticia Lupe Cadena

    Rafael, tu eres mi jugador favorito me entristece que ya no seas parte de Los Dodgers, pero se que te va ir muy bien en San Luis, que Dios te Vendiga siempe y que siempre tengas mucho éxito XOXO

  8. Martha Montes

    Rafael Furcal, I will miss you so much! You were my favorite Dodger thus far, it breaks my heart to hear the news that you aren’t with The Dodgers…but once a Dodger, always a Dodger! Your exceptional plays will be missed on the field – for sure! Much love & continued success in your career!

  9. Kathy St. Germain

    I think it is pathetic, that a team like the Dodgers, has been so demoralized NY it’s owners and management that someone of Furcal’s talent and ability is traded away. A re-run of poor choices. Spend millions on bums like Ramirez, but have no consideration for players who actually procduce wins for the team. Until the McCourt’s are gone, I am following other teams. It’s too painful to watch them sink to one of the worst teams in baseball.

  10. grizzy

    It does make me sad to see him go. Gordon is indeed the future and all that blah blah, but Furcal’s departure underscores what a crappy situation the team is in. Best of luck, Raffy.

  11. emann

    Rafa, thank you for your hustle, your service, and professionalism as a Dodger. I will miss seeing you in Dodger blue and wearing #15 . Gracias y Dios de bediga.

  12. steve

    Fire Colletti!! He didn’t upgrade the Dodgers minor league system with this or the other piss poor trade. It’s indicative that the other GM’s are either/or laughing at him and/or taking advantage of him in these trades. You don’t trade a major league ready, 4 or 5 tool player for 3 minor league players, who are not major league ready and may never be, an upgrade of your system!!!! Maybe this is an indicator of his lousy DRAFTING!!!!!

  13. trublu4ever

    Frank and Ned have completely destroyed our Dodger franchise. I am still a fan and, always will be. But, until those two are gone……NO MONEY OF MINE WILL GO INTO THEIR POCKETS!!!!!
    For all Dodger fans, please Frank, get your hands off our team! SELL THE TEAM AND LEAVE L.A.!!!!!

  14. Nellyjune

    Raffy – The best of luck with the Cards!! I hope you get to the playoffs and beyond with them. Glad you got off the sinking ship when you could. It’s a good move on your part.

  15. vl4eccjr

    Adios Raffy. Hasta luego. On one hand, we’re sad to see you go. On the other, you have a much better chance of getting a ring this year now that you’re gone from this circus.

  16. mccourtbegone

    Good for you Raffy, You can now be proud of the team your on. You no longer need to hang your head low knowing you work for one of the biggest scumbags in baseball and his whore ugly bitch soon to be X.
    Congrats Raffy! Enjoy what its like to work for a respectable organization!

  17. Natalie

    i hate to see raffy go but i’m happy that he has a better change to get that ring now. ❤ i have no motivation to go to dodger games anymore.

  18. ThinkingBlue

    I hate to see dedicated players go to other teams. Raffy is a great player and gave 6 hard played years with the Dodgers. He will be missed. I wish him a successful career with the Cardinals.

  19. Collie

    Good luck to Raffy. It was fun watching him play. He went all out and I wish he could of been healthier with the Blue. I always felt that Raffy was the difference maker for this team (Other than the last 2 years when the difference maker would of been a Frankless, Nedless, and Conteless team).

  20. OldBrookynFan

    Hi Everybody.
    Yes it’s sad to see Raffy go. That’s why I never buy a T-shirt with an active Dodger’s name on it. He’s a great one when he’s healthy because he plays his heart out. We’ll also miss his power at the plate, which I don’t think we can expect from Gordon. I wish him luck, but the Cardinals have always been one of my lease liked teams. (Because of their post season records)
    Right now I’m hoping the Dodgers can avoid losing 100 games. I just hate a 3 digit number in their loss column and it hasn’t happened since 1908.
    We’ll just take it one game at a time.
    I’ll be around.

  21. northstateblues

    Yeah, I’m hoping the Dodgers avoid 100 losses too. The last thing the team needs this season.

    Part of what has always appealed to me about the Dodgers is that, unlike the spoiled Yankees fans, Dodger fans had no illusions about the championship “belonging” to them every year. It’s something to earn.

    Every season, it didn’t matter if they were a winning team or a losing team, I supported them. I still support them today, even though I’m absent more often than not these days. Even amid all the turmoil, even being in the heart of Giants country, I still support them.

    When the bickering children disappear, we’ll all have more fun. But I just push them aside as much as possible, not allowing them to become bigger than the team. That’s what they’ve always wanted, after all, “Dodgers are the name, McCourt is the brand.”

    I”d love nothing more than to spoil SF’s chances to let Gibby get a crack at the postseason. Well, I’d love a championship more… but we all know the chances of that this year.

    Go Dodgers

  22. northstateblues

    Glad to see the Dodgers take care of business in San Diego for a night. My sister (who works at PetCo) was very happy, I’m sure.

    I’m just waiting for the day that the 800 lb nitwit in the room leaves for good, so that… well, what of the Dodgers will be left except for the wordmark on the jersey? Especially if they move from the Ravine site?

    That will be for the fans to decide, but I’m sure SOMEBODY’s spinning the “boycott” as “well, the fans just don’t want to come to this rusty ol’ bucket of bolts anymore. Did you know it’s : gasp : half as old as Fenway?!”

    But everything changes. I guess that’s why everyone’s so upset. For many years, the Dodgers were the one thing that didn’t change. Year in, year out, there was a trust between the Dodgers and the fans, a bond so strong, fans showed up even in bad years, as few and far they were.

    People from other cities see us as laid back, coming in the 3rd, leaving in the 7th, uncaring of how good or bad the team was. A.) I’d love to see these people’s opinions after sitting in their car in the parking lot for 45 minutes after the game, trying to edge over to the lane that’s their exit, only to spend another half hour getting to the on-ramp, and 15 minutes on the actual on-ramp.

    B.) That support through thick and thin wasn’t born of blindness, but of dedication. A respect that the Dodgers are bigger than any one person, or city, for that matter. A respect that Frank McCourt has failed to show Dodger fans time and time again.

    • northstateblues

      And all this notion over whose a “true fan” and who isn’t is cockamamie nonsense. I think people so obsessed over pointing fingers at who’s a “true” fan and who isn’t probably have their own adequacy issues to work over.

      I’m old hat at this internet boards/blog/commenting game, and I’ve seen this happen with the internet community for a favorite band of mine. A band who was comprised of four members from 1988-2000, save for a few years when a member was kicked out for drug problems. They made some of the greatest music of the 90’s, and each member was a facet of the total product, and even though the egocentric bandleader did most of the work, they never denied that their band was those four people. The fans each had their favorite or favorites, and managed to get along for the most part rather well despite differences in opinion.

      Well, fast forward to this century, and within 7 years, the bandleader reformed the band, sans any original members except for the drummer, who left within two years. The band leader, using the same name of the band, said the band was his, hitched the 12-year legacy of the previous incarnation to the current band, which hardly shares any likeness with the original product (but is vastly reminiscent of the bandleader’s solo projects).

      Fans of the band railed against this erasure of their favorite members of the band, who would not be coming back even if the leader grovelled. But there came a new breed of people who were in diapers when the band released their seminal third album in the 90’s. A breed of people so blind in their love for the leader, they dismissed the old bandmembers and the old fans as “not being in tune with the current situation”. People who have shelled out hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars over the better part of two decades were charged with not being : gasp : “real fans”, and the bandleader went on with this new band wearing the old band’s name (while wearing chandeliers on his head as a “fashion statement”) with nary a thanks, instead saying his true fans would stand by him, as his freshly-diapered youth league pushed the veteran fans out. Oh, they said they supported “differences in opinions”, but it became obvious that their support of different opinions only went so far as everyone agreed that this band is the same band as the one in the 90’s, which… was BUNK.

  23. northstateblues

    Needless to say, I stopped visiting that site, though still listen to every new song that comes out (for free, as they put them out for free at this point). When they re-release their old catalog, I will be there to buy the albums on vinyl I’ve yet to get, not caring that the money’s going to him (he did write most of the songs) or that the newer fans will be hanging theirs on the wall instead of putting them in the turntable. But as far as the “fan” community went, I got tired of the bull, and disappeared, checking in every now and again to see the smoldering embers of what once was undeniably one of the greatest acts of their time.

  24. Collie

    Nice posts NSB. I really enjoy your comments. Always have and always look forward to what you have to say.
    To me a true fan is someone who loves, cheers, and has a favorite team.
    I don’t question a fan if they go to a game or not. I’ve said it before that if others go to a game I don’t mind. I’m not upset one bit with them and don’t question their “fandom”. I don’t think others are either. They might in their anger and frustration say something but do realize that those that might say something to that affect are mostly venting & feel that the only way they can force McCourt out is by boycotting. I for one think it would be great if they go, they could chant anti McCourt chants. I for one would feel weird going. That being said I won’t rip on others that do.
    I for one am giving all of us fans a break as we go through this. Whether I agree with others or not. I do appreciate others passion even though I don’t always agree with what is said or how it’s stated.
    I hope everybody is doing well tonight and have a great week!!!

Leave a Reply to 32and53fan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s