Making Ned Resign
Today's regularly scheduled programming has been changed. It was my intention to rank the Top Ten Free Agent Pitchers. However, I couldn't resist discussing the free agent signing of Juan Pierre and what it might foretell for the future of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I'm quite certain that General Manager Ned Colletti believes he just found the perfect fit for his ball club. With Pierre now in the fold, the Dodgers don't have to worry about a center fielder or a lead-off hitter for five years. Yes, five years. Wait a minute. . .Come to think of it, this signing means the Dodgers do have to worry about center field and the man at the top of their lineup for five years. And that, my Dodgers friends, is the problem.
As I see it, this acquisition says more about Colletti and his "old school" philosophy than any move he has made thus far. If he believes tying up $45 million over the next five years on a player such as Pierre is a good use of the organization's resources, well, what can I say that I haven't said already?
I wrote the following in my 2006-2007 Free Agency Preview on Monday:
Pierre has led the league in hits in two of the past three seasons, but he has also finished in the top two in outs in each of the last four campaigns. The hits are nice. The outs are painful. As a lead-off hitter who plays everyday and doesn't walk or strike out much, he gets plenty of both.
The bottom line is that Pierre is one of the most overrated players in the game. He was first-team All-OOPs in 2006 and second-team All-OOPs in 2005. Pierre can still run and, in fact, has finished first or second in stolen bases in every full season of his career. He can chase down fly balls but his arm is well below average, making him nothing more than a passable center fielder.
In order to be defamed as an All-OOPs honoree, a player, by definition, is a singles hitter who only walks on occasion and rarely slugs home runs. In other words, batting average makes up the lion's share of his value.
I mean, I just don't get it. Here is what I wrote in the comments section attached to yesterday's article.
Why the Dodgers would ink Pierre to a long-term deal is beyond me. Not only do they have Matt Kemp in waiting but re-signing Kenny Lofton for one year could give the team almost everything Pierre can (albeit in 25 or so fewer games) for a lot less money - and I'm not even a Lofton fan!
In the grand opening of Weekend at Colletti's last year, the movie poster stated, "Ned Colletti would be the perfect General Manager except for one small thing. . .He's working for Frank and Jamie McCourt."
Well, it's no longer on the McCourts. You see, the Pierre signing is on Colletti and nobody else. No blaming Frank and Jamie here. No blaming Paul DePodesta. Heck, you can't even blame Al Campanis for this one.
As a public service for all Dodgers fans, I am hereby releasing the sequel to last year's blockbuster. The name of the movie? Making Ned Resign. Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Who knows? Maybe it will be a (Logan) White Christmas after all. If not this year, then perhaps next.