Responding to growing criticism for his offseason moves, Paul DePodesta reminded the press last month that the Dodger team he inherted was heavily flawed."It's not like I broke up a dynasty," DePodesta said.
No, it wasn't. And DePodesta can feel vindicated by how things have gone so far. His acquisitions of Jeff Kent, JD Drew, Derek Lowe, Jason Phillips, and others have helped propel the Dodgers to first place in the NL West. But what about the old guard?
Adrian Beltre has looked awful this season, hitting .233, with 19 strikeouts and just 4 walks. After hitting 48 home runs a year ago, Beltre has hit 2, and is slugging a measly .325. The Mariners are praying Beltre turns it around quickly, because they owe him $65 million for the next five years.
Many were outraged that DePodesta let Steve Finley go after his late-season heroics clinched a playoff berth for the Dodgers last year. But Finley is hitting a putrid .189, and people are wondering if his 40-year old body has broken down.
Some were upset DePodesta let Shawn Green go, implying that they treated him poorly. Green of course gobbled up almost $80 million from Dodger ownership while never quite living up to superstar promise, and then fading badly in the past two seasons because he insisted on playing with a bad shoulder. Green made some noise with a few big games against the Dodgers, but calling his 2005 season "average" (.265 BA, .328 OBP, 427 SLG) would be a compliment.
In the meantime, Alex Cora is hitting his predictable .242 in Cleveland, Kaz Ishii has found the DL after he failed to find the strike zone with the Mets, and Jose Lima's 6.63 ERA in Kansas City doesn't have too many people nostalgic for his Game 3 start against the Cardinals.
In fact, you could argue that Hideo Nomo and his 7.04 ERA in Tampa Bay is the only player who DePodesta let go this past offseason, that has actually improved with his new team.
What dynasty were we talking about again?