There’s a lot going on these days at Dodger Stadium, and that’s a great thing. With Juan Uribe flying to Los Angeles to take his physical, Ned Colletti and his staff obviously realized that once he passed, we would have an extra infielder (Ryan Theriot) and he had a deal in place to move Ryan to St. Louis in exchange for Blake Hawksworth.
News like this tends to have a lot of moving parts, with Uribe heading to the doctor for the physical, sorting through the media availability for various players, making sure that word of a trade doesn’t get out before the players hear it from their respective teams. So of course, with that, is a lot of internal planning.
But, we have a great front office and PR department, medical staff, etc. who helped today run seamlessly. We got word that Juan was official and let the media know that the deal was done and that he’d be available on a conference call. From there, Ned had to call Ryan and let him know that he had been traded to St. Louis. And then, Juan headed to the stadium for a quick visit with team officials, a tour of the clubhouse and the conference call before he grabs dinner and catches a very early morning flight back to the D.R.
He couldn’t have been a nicer guy and his wife was also very kind. He said that Manny Mota pretty much called him every day after the World Series telling him how much the Dodgers wanted to see him in Blue and he said that it was very meaningful to him that the team cared so much about him. Before they took off from the stadium, we armed them with all sorts of hats and Dodger items to bring back to the Dominican and we’re certainly looking forward to having him on the team in 2011.
For those who follow such things, Blake is on Twitter @blakehawksworth but he’s yet to weigh in via that account…still, I’m sure he’ll be picking up a lot of L.A. followers. And hopefully he’ll add a nice arm to the bullpen for 2011.
Ned seems to still be on the hunt for more pitching, a LF and, as he says, to sort through the catching situation. Stay tuned…we certainly hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.
Today, on Veteran’s Day, everyone at the Dodger organization salutes those who sacrifice for others to make this country what is is today. There are so many great things going on around the nation today, including a really exciting event at Dodger Stadium where members of the military will be taking BP, hanging out on the field, meeting legends like Tommy and Newk and enjoying a great day at the stadium.
Before that, we’ll head out to the Veteran’s Hospital in Westwood with Tommy and Vin Scully to spend some time with those who are there and thank them for their service. It’s all part of a larger program we’ll be starting in 2011 to honor the military.
The Dodgers Media Network (www.dodgers.com/dmn) has a great tribute video to Dodger legend Rick Monday’s proud moment of saving the flag, while Bill Plaschke weighed in this morning with a heartfelt column as well.
And while we’re saluting the efforts of others, it’s important to note that Joe Torre will host his annual Safe at Home dinner tonight in New York to benefit the great work that his foundation does to stop domestic violence, while Ryan Theriot’s inaugural celebrity golf classic is tomorrow in Louisiana to benefit three great causes (www.ryantheriot.com).
What a whirlwind morning. With a series of moves over the last few days, Ned was able to improve the team in four different spots – outfield, rotation, bullpen and second base (though some have said they feel it’s a wash with Theriot and DeWitt). Hopefully this is the shot in the arm the Dodgers need to go on a roll.
There’s no doubt Ned likes to make deals and at the deadline, he seems to do his best work. Obviously only time will tell how the various prospects turn out, but he’s acquired numerous likely HOFers (Manny, Maddux, Thome), and a ton of other valuable veterans that have helped enormously down the stretch (Sherrill, Belliard, Garland, Padilla, Podsednik, Dotel, Lilly and Theriot…well, we still have to see what the last four do down the stretch).
That said, it’s never easy to say goodbye to an indvidual as classy as Blake DeWitt. He’s gone through so much in the past few years and I’m not sure I can name anyone whose handled it with more grace. It’s a good opportunity for him to be closer to home, which is cool, though I’d imagine the fine folks in Sikeston, MO are going to have a hard time rooting for the Cubs in Cardinal-town. I wonder if they’ll start to carry Cubs’ games the way they carried ours!?
Chad did a great job today on short rest and as the team looks to hold on to a 1-0 lead, the team has got to be feeling pretty good about the moves that were made today. Should be a fun final two months!