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Tag Archives: Rafael Furcal

I empathize with Braves GM Frank Wren, but ultimately, I feel he’s being childish. I don’t for a second believe that the Braves are going to follow through and ignore every single Wasserman client (which includes current Brave Peter Moylan, among others) from here on out. It’s just bravado; saving face in the wake of being publicly humiliated by Rafael Furcal and his agents. It’s the same sort of bravado Dodger GM Ned Colletti displayed when J.D. Drew and Scott Boras caught Colletti with his pants down. He too claimed he would “never deal with” Boras again. Yet, there’s a contract offer floating around from the Dodgers to Boras client Manny Ramirez.

Again, I won’t deny their anger, but really, business is business. Until Furcal’s signature appeared on the bottom of a contract, nothing was, well, nothing. It may be in bad faith, it may even be unethical, but it certainly wasn’t illegal for (Furcal agent) Paul Kinzer to ask for a term sheet (apparently recognized as the step immediately prior to finalization of a deal) and then use it as leverage to get a better deal from the Dodgers.

In fact, for once, it shows due diligence on the part of Dodger GM Ned Colletti. The agent claims theres “another offer?” Well, let’s SEE that other offer!

I remember the fiasco that was Kevin Brown’s signing — with Scott Boras ultimately getting the Dodgers to bid against themselves, since the “other offers” Boras spoke about were non-existent. In fact, what’s going on the Mark Teixiera fun-for-all is probably the exact same thing — Boras is probably trying to get the Angels, Nationals, et. al., to all bid against themselves — prompting a flat-out denial on the part of Red Sox owner John Henry.

We often forget that sports, for as much as our hearts are in invested in it, is and always will be a business first. The athletes, the clubs, everyone is in it to get theirs. So when Rafael Furcal is doing his best to get his, really, we can’t be surprised.

When Elton Brand did his best to get his, I wasn’t surprised — although I do take a littleĀ  bit of snide satisfaction that his defection to a “title contender” hasn’t exactly panned out.

Blame the agents if you must, blame the players, but don’t blame the game. Mainly because the game is always and always will be business, never personal.

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Even in his best year, his AL ROY-winning 2003, Angel Berroa still only managed a pedestrian .789 OPS. In 332 plate appearances for Triple-A Omaha, Berroa had a .797 OPS. While that certainly is an improvement over Chin-Lung Hu (.430) and Luis Maza (.585), was it really worth spending the $500,000 the Dodgers will pay to buy out Berroa’s option for 2009?

Silver lining? Acquiring Berroa probably signals the end of Chin-Lung Hu’s time with the big club. Hu just looks flat-out awful at the plate, and should benefit from some time in Las Vegas. In a perfect world, Mark Sweeney and Luis Maza would join him as well. But the Dodger world under Ned Colletti has been far from perfect.

I expect Hu to be sent down, and with no backups to incumbent 3B Blake DeWitt, Andy LaRoche should finally be recalled to L.A. If Rafael Furcal can return on June 17th as the club seems to think, that should also signal the end for Luis Maza, leaving Furcal and Berroa as the primary middle infielders, with LaRoche backing them up.

Still, you can’t help but be amused when you hear four-time World Champion managerā„¢ Joe Torre say that he needs time to evaluate what Berroa can do. Um, Joe, I can do that for you, and save the club valuable time and money. Berroa sucks.

In spite of Berroa’s suckitude and Hu’s apparent need for a change of scenery, assuming Rafael Furcal is back in a week as anticipated, why even bother with Berroa? Hu’s defensive ability clearly outshines Berroa’s. And while Berroa is marginally better with the bat, any gain made there is erased by his defensive inability. Hu certainly could benefit from time in Las Vegas, but the Dodgers don’t benefit at all by having Berroa. They could’ve easily gone with a combination of LaRoche, Maza, Tiffee, and Hu to fill in for Furcal until he returns.