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Tag Archives: Derek Lowe

Hobby Pack (4.99) x5

Pack 1:
6 Vladimir Guererro
41 Lance Berkman
17 Carlos Beltran
AA40 Justin Morneau
Sign of the Times dual AU: Joe Nathan/Billy Wagner #11/75

Pack 2:
28 Jimmy Rollins
40 Carlos Lee
3 Albert Pujols
1 Ken Griffey Jr
AA3 Randy Johnson

Pack 3:
22 Justin Upton
97 Hideki Matsui
8 Eric Chavez
80 Rick Ankiel
AA22 Hanley Ramirez

Pack 4:
69 Justin Morneau
98 Jeff Francoeur
99 Alfonso Soriano
42 Hunter Pence
AA49 Miguel Cabrera

Pack 5:
58 Ben Sheets
66 Erik Bedard
94 Jason Bay
48 Justin Verlander
5 Daisuke Matsuzaka
14 Frank Thomas
AA39 Lance Berkman
138 Rookie Jersey Autograph Johnny Cueto 914/999

Impressions: What a boring-looking card! The players are chopped out of their natural backgrounds and plastered onto an all-white background. I was pretty happy with landing two “hits” in just five packs, although whoever else pulls from this box is going to be pretty disappointed paying approximately $1 per card and getting not much else.

At least it’s a mercifully smaller base set of just 100 cards. An additional 50 rookie jersey autographs make up the rest of the checklist.

And I must quibble with UD once AGAIN choosing Andruw Jones as a Dodger representative (Russell Martin was the other in the base set, with Clayton Kershaw part of the rookie set). Really Upper Deck, there was no one else worth depicting? I don’t know, maybe Derek Lowe or Hiroki Kuroda? Andre Ethier?

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I can’t say that I’ve ever thought highly of Derek Lowe, his brilliant signing notwithstanding. As dependable as he’s been the four years he’s been here, there’s just something about the guy that I just don’t like. Nonetheless, he’s been arguably the Dodgers’ best free-agent signing of recent note. He signed a four-year, $32 million deal after being unceremoniously jettisoned by the 2004 WS Champion Red Sox — this after pitching well in the clinching games of the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.

Former GM Paul DePodesta was 100% right about Lowe — this groundball specialist would thrive at Dodger Stadium, and even signed him to a very modest contract to boot.

Lots to love about Lowe, statistically speaking. Outside the lines, he’s been a grade-A scumbag. He divorced the mother of his children, whom he left behind on the east coast, so that he could continue his affair with former FSN West reporter Carolyn Hughes, and bemoaned (along with Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez) management’s choice to hold on to the “kids” in 2007 in lieu of trading them away for a trade-deadline rental.

Haven’t heard much of Lowe this year, which incidentally, is a contract year for him. Either he’s happy that so many of his 2004 Red Sox teammates are now Dodgers (Nomar, Manny, advisor to the GM Bill Mueller), or he knows he needs to keep his trap shut and avoid controversy considering he’s old (2009 will be his 36-year-old season) and probably still wants another multi-year deal.

That said, given the Dodgers’ offensive malaise — whole lot of change Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake did for the team — it’s surprising that he was so forgiving of the their inability to score recently. After yesterday’s loss to the 39 games under .500 Nationals, Lowe had this to say:

“I think, in this game, trying harder normally doesn’t get you anywhere, and I think that’s such a hard thing to fight,” he said. “You can’t give 110 percent. I think that’s where we are. There’s no lack of preparation, there’s no such thing as guys not trying. I think, as a collective group, sometimes you’ve got to try less to get more.

Knowing how quick everyone involved with the Dodgers has been willing to betray and blame Ethier/Kemp/Loney/Martin … I mean, their teammates for everything under the sun, it’s a little refreshing to hear Lowe not blame anyone.

In the end though, blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Ned Colletti. There’s a reason why the Dodgers are a singles-hitting team that relies heavily on a high BABIP, and will be in for epic failure when their BABIP falls as it has recently. That reason is Ned Colletti. Ned spent $57 million on Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Nomar, Jason Schmidt, and Rafael Furcal. The only one of that bunch that’s doing anything remotely productive is Andruw, and that’s solely because he’s been banished to Triple-A and not wasting a roster spot. (Okay, neither are Furcal and Schmidt).

Pierre and Nomar (not to mention Mark Sweeney, Pablo Ozuna, and Angel Berroa) continue to soak up valuable playing time, thus further delaying the advancement of players such as Delwyn Young, Chin-Lung Hu, and Ivan DeJesus — players who may actual be useful for the Dodgers.

Rather than use the money (or their minor leaguers) to acquire useful players such as Manny, or Adam Dunn, whom the Reds essentially gave away, the Dodgers waste their “stock” on retreads such as Casey Blake and Greg Maddux.

And then they cobble together a roster that has no punch aside from Kemp, Ethier, and Manny. So is it any surprise that a singles-hitting team can’t do anything other than hit singles?