Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Johnson and Mark Sweeney all filed for free agency today, joining Manny Ramirez, Greg Maddux, Joe Beimel, Derek Lowe and Casey Blake from Thursday. That leaves Jeff Kent and Rafael Furcal and possibly Pablo Ozuna (option) as the only potential free agents yet to file. Forty-man roster is at 32, not counting 60-day DL guys.
There are a lot of names that will jump out at you as you read this release from the Dodgers, which I have posted below. The biggest one is Lenny Harris, who joins the organization as a hitting instructor with an emphasis on the Rookie levels and the Dominican Republic. John Shoemaker, who has been with the organization for 31 seasons as a player, coach, coordinator or manager and just finished his 18th season as a minor-league manager, will step down as skipper at Double-A Jacksonville for an opportunity to basically RUN the new Arizona facility, where he will be in charge of instilling in young players the fundamentals and the professionalism that Ned said the other day he wanted to place an emphasis on. John Valentin takes over at Double-A (now Chattanooga) after one season managing at Inland Empire. Lo Bundy returns for a third season at Triple-A (now Albuquerque), and his staff remains intact. Carlos Subero, whose contract wasn’t renewed by the White Sox after he guided their Double-A Birmingham affiliate this year, takes over at Inland Empire. Former big-league catcher Damon Berryhill takes over at Ogden, and De Jon Watson tells me his value is largely based on his experience behind the plate and his ability to teach those skills. Mike Brumley, who managed at Ogden last year, moves full-time into the minor-league field coordinator’s role (basically the organization’s top player-development official under Watson). He replaces P.J. Carey, who is scaling back into a similar but smaller role because of health issues. Rafael Chaves, a former big-league pitching coach who had tremendous success as the Yankees’ Triple-A pitching coach last year, is the new roving pitching coordinator. The other coordinator spots are unchanged. Oh, and Aaron Sele, who pitched for the Dodgers as recently as 2006 and in the big leagues as recently as last year, is added as a special-assignment pitching coach. Here is the release:
DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2009 MINOR LEAGUE COACHING STAFFS AND COORDINATORS
Former Major Leaguers Lenny Harris, Aaron Sele, and Damon Berryhill join Dodger organization
LOS ANGELES – The 2008 National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers today named their minor league coaches and coordinators for the 2009 season. Assistant General Manager, Player Development De Jon Watson made the announcement.
Three of the Dodgers’ seven minor league clubs will welcome new managers. John Valentin moves to manage Double-A Chattanooga after leading the 2008 Single-A Inland Empire club. Former White Sox minor league manager Carlos Subero joins the Dodger organization as manager of Inland Empire. Former big league catcher Damon Berryhill joins the Dodger family to manage short-season Single-A Ogden.
Lenny Harris, baseball’s all-time leader in pinch-hits, also joins the organization as the senior hitting coach at the team’s new complex in Glendale, Arizona. Former right-hander Aaron Sele, meanwhile, will serve as a minor league pitching instructor.
The complete list of coaches and instructors:
Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes
Manager – Lorenzo Bundy
Hitting Coach – John Moses
Pitching Coach – Jim Slaton
Athletic Trainer – Greg Harrel
Bundy will enter his third season as manager of the Dodgers’ Triple-A club. He guided the 2008 Las Vegas team to a 74-69 record, best among Dodger minor league clubs and a seven-win improvement from his 2007 squad. Prior to his tenure with the Dodgers, the 49-year-old spent four years in the Diamondbacks’ system as the hitting coach for Triple-A Tucson from 2003-06. Bundy has been a minor league manager for a combined eight seasons in the Montreal (1990-94), Florida (1997), and Los Angeles (2007-present) systems.
Moses will enter his second season as hitting coach of the Triple-A squad. The Los Angeles native last year guided the offense to a Pacific Coast League-best .301 average, while its 844 runs scored ranked second in the league behind only Colorado Springs’ 855. Moses joined the Dodger organization after serving as an associate coach with Seattle’s Major League club in 2007. He has six years of big league coaching experience overall, also serving as Cincinnati’s bench coach in 2005 and as Seattle’s first-base coach from 2000-03. In 2004, he was the Mariners’ minor league outfield/baserunning instructor. Moses played 12 seasons in the Majors with Seattle (1982-87, 1992), Minnesota (1988-90), and Detroit (1991).
Slaton will go into his second season as pitching coach with the Triple-A club. Prior to joining the Dodgers, he spent the previous 11 seasons as a coach in the Mariners’ organization, including three years as the big league club’s bullpen coach from 2004-06. In 2008, Slaton served as the Dodgers’ interim bullpen coach for three weeks leading into the All-Star break while Ken Howell was recovering from a foot injury. Slaton pitched for 16 seasons in the Majors from 1971-86 with Milwaukee (1971-77 and 1979-83), Detroit (1978 and 1986), and California (1984-85). He went 151-158 with 86 complete games, 22 shutouts, 14 saves, and a 4.03 ERA in 496 games (360 starts). He was an American League All-Star in 1977, and pitched in the 1982 World Series with the Brewers.
Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts
Manager – John Valentin
Hitting Coach – Luis Salazar
Pitching Coach – Glenn Dishman
Athletic Trainer – Yosuke Nakajima
Valentin makes the jump to Chattanooga after his managerial debut in 2008 with Single-A Inland Empire, which was his first season as a coach in the Dodger organization. The 41-year-old, who played 11 Major League seasons from 1992-2002, guided Inland Empire to a 68-73 record, including a 38-34 in the season’s second half to earn a California League playoff berth. Valentin, a former infielder, played in the Majors from 1992-2002. He was a career .279 hitter, and won the American League Silver Slugger Award for shortstops in 1995 after batting .298 with 27 homers and 102 RBI in 135 games with the Red Sox.
Salazar will enter his third season as the hitting coach for the Dodgers’ Double-A club. Prior to this hitting coach stint, he served as the manager for the Vero Beach Dodgers of the Single-A Florida State League in 2006. Salazar joined the Dodger organization in 2002 after spending the previous seven seasons as a coach in the Milwaukee system. He had a 13-year Major League playing career from 1980-92 with the Padres (1980-84, 1987, 1989), White Sox (1985-86), Tigers (1988), and Cubs (1989-92). Salazar was mainly a third baseman, but played every position in the field except for catcher.
Dishman will return for his second season as the pitching for the Dodgers’ Double-A club, his fifth overall in the Dodger organization. The former big league pitcher served in the same capacity with Single-A Great Lakes in 2007. He also served as pitching coach for Single-A Vero Beach in 2006 and Single-A Columbus in 2005.
Single-A Inland Empire 66ers
Manager – Carlos Subero
Hitting Coach – Jason Wood
Pitching Coach – Charlie Hough
Athletic Trainer – TBD
Subero joins the Dodger organization after managing the White Sox’s Double-A Birmingham club in 2008 to a 74-63 record and a berth in the Southern League playoffs. The 36-year-old native of Venezuela spent the previous nine seasons in the Texas system, including seven as a manager with Single-A Bakersfield (2006-07), Single-A Clinton (2003-05), and the GCL Rangers (2001-02). He has a combined 455-494 record as a minor league manager.
Wood will enter the Dodger organization and his first year of coaching at any level since wrapping up an 18-year pro playing career in September. He played 1,890 minor league games and enjoyed parts of five big league seasons with Oakland (1998), Detroit (1998-99), and Florida (2006-08).
Hough will enter his third straight season as the pitching coach for Inland Empire. The former All-Star knuckleballer has served as a big league pitching coach for the New York Mets from 2001-02 and the Dodgers from 1998-99. His coaching career began in 1996 as the Dodgers High-A pitching coach. Hough pitched for the Dodgers for 11 seasons from 1970-80 after being selected by the club in the eighth round of the 1966 draft. He enjoyed a 25-year Major League career, going 216-216 with 107 complete games, 61 saves, and a 3.75 ERA in 858 games (440 starts). Hough pitched in three World Series with the Dodgers in 1974, 1977, and 1978, and was an American League All-Star in 1986 with Texas.
Single-A Great Lakes Loons
Manager – Juan Bustabad
Hitting Coach – Michael Boughton
Pitching Coach – Danny Darwin
Athletic Trainer – Zachary Hoffmann
Bustabad will return for his second season as manager of Great Lakes, his ninth year overall as a member of the Dodger organization. His 2008 club posted a 54-85 record, including a 25-29 mark through May. In 11 seasons as a minor league manager overall, the 47-year-old has notched a 537-446 record and seven division titles.
Boughton will make the jump to Great Lakes after serving as the hitting coach with short-season Single-A Ogden in 2008. Prior to joining the Dodger organization last year, the 33-year-old was a baseball instructor in the Dallas area from 2000-07. He owned the Rookie Baseball Academy in Dallas from 2003-06 and was the head instructor of the Dallas Baseball Academy from 2000-03. Boughton also served as an assistant coach at Northwood University from 2000-01.
Darwin will return for his second season as the pitching coach with Great Lakes, his fourth season in the Dodger organization overall. He previously served as Double-A Jacksonville’s pitching coach from 2005-06. The 53-year-old enjoyed a 21-year Major League career from 1978-98.
Short-Season Single-A Ogden Raptors
Manager – Damon Berryhill
Hitting Coach – Henry Cruz
Pitching Coach – Chuck Crim
Athletic Trainer – TBD
Berryhill last year made his managerial debut with the Texas Rangers’ Single-A Bakersfield club. The team went 62-78, including a 36-34 mark in the season’s first half. The 44-year-old spent four seasons in the Texas system, the first three as the catching coordinator. Prior to joining the Rangers, he served as the catching coordinator in the Diamondbacks’ system from 2003-04. Berryhill began his coaching career with the Angels in 2002, serving as a coach with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The Laguna Beach native enjoyed a 10-year Major League career with the Cubs (1987-91), Braves (1991-93), Red Sox (1994), Reds (1995), and Giants (1997). The former catcher appeared in three postseasons in 1992-93 with Atlanta and 1997 with San Francisco. He won the National League pennant with the Braves in 1992, and his three-run homer off Jack Morris in Game 1 of the World Series against Toronto that year gave Atlanta a 3-1 win.
Cruz will return to Ogden, where he served as the hitting coach in 2006 in his first year with the organization. The former Dodger outfielder last year was the hitting coach with Single-A Inland Empire. The 56-year-old was a coach in the Cleveland system from 1996-2005. Cruz played parts of four Major League seasons with the Dodgers (1975-76) and White Sox (1977-78).
Crim will make his coaching debut after spending the last two years as a Dodger amateur scout in the central and southern California regions. The 47-year-old is responsible for scouting and signing outfielder Andrew Lambo, who was selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. Lambo enjoyed a breakout season in 2008, advancing to Double-A Jacksonville for the final week of the season after an All-Star campaign with Single-A Great Lakes.
Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers
Manager – Jeff Carter
Hitting Coach – Leo Garcia
Pitching Coach – Casey Deskins
Athletic Trainer – TBD
Carter will return for his second season as manager of the Dodgers’ rookie-level squad. The 45-year-old last year guided the GCL Dodgers to a 30-26 record. Carter managed short-season Single-A Ogden in 2007, leading the Raptors to a 34-41 mark. He also managed Kansas City’s Single-A High Desert club in 2006. Prior to the Royals, he worked for nine seasons as a coach in the Twins’ organization. Carter was named Appalachian League Manager of the Year in 2000 after leading short-season Single-A Elizabethton to the league title.
Garcia joins the Dodger organization after spending the last nine years as a coach and coordinator in the Giants’ minor league system. He most recently served as the organization’s Latin America Coordinator for the last two years. He also served as the hitting coach for the Giants’ rookie-level Arizona League club in Scottsdale from 2001-06. The 45-year-old managed the Giants’ Dominican Summer League team in 2000.
Deskins will return for his third season as the pitching coach with the Dodgers’ rookie-level club and his 13th overall in the organization. The 36-year-old spent seven years as the Major League club’s video coordinator from 1999-2005 after pitching for three seasons in the Dodger chain.
Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Dodgers
Manager – Pedro Mega
Hitting Coach – Tony Mota
Pitching Coach – Kremlin Martinez
Athletic Trainer – Luis Santana
Mega will return for his third season as manager of the DSL Dodgers. From 2005-06, he served as the infield coordinator at Campo Las Palmas, the Dodgers’ baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. The 2009 season will mark Mega’s 10th year as a Dodger manager in the DSL. He has compiled a 348-260 record in that time, including a 27-44 mark last year.
Mota will return for his third season as the hitting coach of the DSL Dodgers. The 30-year-old played 10 years of minor league baseball from 1996-2005, including his first six seasons in the Dodger chain. The former outfielder, whose father is Dodger coach and legend Manny Mota, was originally selected by Los Angeles in the 17th round of the 1995 draft.
Martinez will be back for his fourth season as the pitching coach of the DSL Dodgers. From 2004-05, he served as a part-time scout and assistant pitching coach in the Dominican Republic.
Field Coordinator – Mike Brumley (first season), who in 2008 managed short-season Single-A Ogden and served as Assistant Field Coordinator
Hitting Coordinator – Gene Clines (second)
Pitching Coordinator – Rafael Chaves (first)
Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator – Rodney McCray (second)
Infield Coordinator – Matt Martin (third)
Catching Coordinator – Travis Barbary (third)
Field Coordinator, Campo Las Palmas – Antonio Bautista
Catching Coordinator, Campo Las Palmas – Jose D. Martinez Hernandez
DSL Assistant – George Bautista
Senior Advisor to Player Development – P.J. Carey, who spent the last two years as the Dodgers’ minor league field coordinator
Rehab Coordinator/Physical Therapist – Dave Rivera
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Landon Brandes
Strength and Conditioning Coach – Stephen Downey
Strength and Conditioning Coach – Yousef Zamat
Former big league right-hander Sele will serve as a minor league pitching instructor. The Minnesota native enjoyed a 15-year Major League career with the Red Sox (1993-97), Rangers (1998-99), Mariners (2000-01, 2005), Angels (2002-04), Dodgers (2006), and Mets (2007). He went 148-112 with a 4.61 ERA in 404 career games (352 starts), including an 8-6 mark with a 4.53 ERA in 28 games (15 starts) in 2006 with the Dodgers. Sele was a two-time All-Star in 1998 with Texas and in 2000 with Seattle.
The following staff members will be based at the Dodgers’ complex in Glendale, Arizona
Coordinator – John Shoemaker
Pitching – George Culver
Senior Hitting Coach – Lenny Harris
Shoemaker has been a player, coach, manager, or coordinator in the Dodger organization since 1977. He spent the last four seasons as manager of Double-A Jacksonville, compiling a 313-247 record in that time. He also managed Jacksonville in 2001, when he guided the club to an 83-56 regular-season record and a Southern League co-championship.
Culver returned to the Dodger organization in 2008 as the pitching coach with the GCL Dodgers after three years away from pro ball. He also served as the pitching coach with the GCL club from 2002-05. The former right-handed pitcher enjoyed nine seasons in the Majors with Cleveland (1966-67), Cincinnati (1968-69), St. Louis (1970), Houston (1970-72), Los Angeles (1973), and Philadelphia (1973-74).
Harris spent the last season and a half as the Washington Nationals’ hitting coach. The 44-year-old, who enjoyed an 18-year big league career, is baseball’s all-time leader in pinch hits with 212. He also ranks fourth in baseball history with 90 pinch-RBI. Harris donned a Dodger uniform from 1989-93, and batted .279 with 116 walks and only 115 strikeouts in 578 games. He was a career .269 hitter with 37 homers, 369 RBI, and just 337 strikeouts in 1,903 games.
Manny Ramirez led a contingent that also included Joe Beimel, Casey Blake, Derek Lowe and Greg Maddux. These guys didn’t waste any time, especially the Scott Boras clients. Manny, D-Lowe and Maddux all use the services of the Newport Beach-based superagent, and there is at least a decent chance that all three are headed elsewhere. Today was the first day of the free-agent filing period, which won’t end until Nov. 13. After that, teams can start negotiating. Teams can negotiate with their OWN free-agent players NOW, but none of these Boras clients is going to sign before testing the market.
These showed up in my email this morning, from Grant Marek of Formula PR. His source is Betonline.com. These are the odds for winning the 2009 World Series. Don’t forget, though, that the last time the Phillies won the World Series (the ONLY time until now), the Dodgers won it the next year.
Boston Red Sox 3/1
Chicago Cubs 5/1
LA Angels 5/1
Philadelphia Phillies 6/1
New York Yankees 6/1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10/1
Chicago White Sox 10/1
New York Mets 12/1
Milwaukee Brewers 15/1
Minnesota Twins 15/1
LA Dodgers 15/1
Toronto Blue Jays 20/1
Detroit Tigers 25/1
Florida Marlins 30/1
Houston Astros 30/1
St. Louis Cardinals 30/1
Cleveland Indians 30/1
Atlanta Braves 30/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 40/1
Colorado Rockies 40/1
Texas Rangers 50/1
Cincinnati Reds 50/1
Oakland Athletics 50/1
San Francisco Giants 80/1
KC Royals 100/1
Baltimore Orioles 100/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 200/1
Washington Nationals 300/1
Let me know if you have any questions,
Congrats to the Phillies — and especially to Jayson Werth, who was one of the all-time good guys during his stint with the Dodgers — on winning the World Series. Now, would somebody please light the hot stove? Players who are eligible for free agency can start filing tomorrow. Ned Colletti said today that he still hasn’t spoken with Scott Boras (the two HAVE exchanged voice mails) about ANY of his Dodgers clients, not only Manny Ramirez but also Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, Tony Abreu and Andruw Jones (Abreu and Jones are NOT free agents). Ned said he has spoken with the agents for Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake and Nomar Garciaparra, but only in a very preliminary manner. … Ned also said a couple of other interesting things today, the most interesting being that the club’s player-development system needs to get better at, well, player development. His exact quotes will be in tomorrow’s paper, as will a comment he made about Russell Martin possibly benefiting from not catching as often. … I did receive some sad news today. The Dodgers have fired their entire Vero Beach staff, which consisted of three people. But they were three of the nicest, coolest, most professional folks you could ever work with, co-general managers Katie Siegfried and Shawn Marette and communications manager Christa McElyea. I spoke with Katie today. She said they were all hoping to be brought to Arizona and that they were all disappointed it didn’t happen. But she also said all three of them were free to apply for similar jobs in Glendale, although those jobs are being filled as part of a joint venture between the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox (who apparently haven’t even officially determined whether they’ll be joining the Dodgers in Glendale next spring or if they’ll put off their move from Tucson to 2010). … That’s about it for now. Sorry about the long posting drought, but I have been extremely busy with moving, the details of which I’ll be posting here in the next day or two. Thanks for your patience. And thanks for all the great emails I have received from several of you who took the time to write over the past few days.
It’s nothing major, just the removal of a spur in the back of his right elbow and a repositioning of the ulnar nerve. He has been experiencing discomfort when throwing, so I guess it’s a good thing he doesn’t throw that much. He is expected to being throwing (without pain) in about six weeks and be ready by the start of spring training. … By the way, Mariano Duncan was inducted Sunday into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame, the 93rd player to be so enshrined. And if you read today’s paper, where I listed the Dodgers’ arbitration-eligible guys this winter, I forgot to mention Takashi Saito, so add him to the list.
Manny Ramirez was cleaning out his Dodgers locker in the clubhouse Thursday morning. But he wasn’t really talking, not about his free-agent status, anyway. I caught up with him in the hallway, and asked him if he had a second. He said: “No, I’m done talking. see you next year.”
Here in Los Angeles?
“I don’t know,” he said.
Manny was approached by a group of reporters at the elevator as he was about to leave. Questions were fired at him, but he either said nothing or said he wasn’t talking again.
“I said all I’ve got to say yesterday,” he said.
Manny was wearing jeans, a black T-shirt, a grey bandana on his dreadlocks and sunglasses. He was carrying CDs.
When the elevator finally arrived, he got in said “I’ll send you guys a Christmas card.”
This was a stinker from the Dodgers’ standpoint: another bad (and short) outing by Billingsley, three errors by Furcal in a single inning, a wild pitch that Russell Martin made no attempt to get in front of and a throw from James Loney that went to the backstop. But given that it all came in a series the Dodgers were never going to win anyway after they lost Game 4, none of that should mar the fact that this was a spectacular season, the best around here since 1988. More importantly, it was a season this team can build on. They have a lot of veteran free agents, many of whom won’t be back. But they also have a nice core of young talent that will be here for years to come. … I will keep up this blog as much as possible this winter, but don’t hold me to posting something every day (and DEFINITELY not tomorrow). I would like to say thank you to you, the readers, for all your comments and all your emails and all your hits this season, and I appreciate your patience with the occasional glitches here and there. See you soon.
Dodgers tickets for Game 5 of the NLCS were selling for as little as $8 on Wednesday afternoon. The Dodgers are down 3-1 in the NLCS and were on the verge of being eliminated at Dodger Stadium. Apparently Dodgers fans didn’t put much stock in getting a win against Philly ace Cole Hamels.
Here’s the story from the Associated Presss:
I might have mentioned a time or two that I am trying to move in the middle of all this playoff coverage. Last night, while in the process of doing so, I was purging a bunch of stuff from this one drawer where I keep a ton of old greeting cards, handwritten notes and correspondence from readers (yes, back in the day, I used to get actual LETTERS from readers, like that came through the U.S. mail). Anyway, I ran across a note I received while working at the Rocky Mountain News in the late 1990s. During that time, one of my baseball-season responsibilities was a regular Monday feature called Colorado Connection, in which I would pick a minor-league player from Colorado, try to get in touch with him and write a brief story about him. Well, the note I found had a return address from Ralph T. Lidge of Englewood, Colorado, and it read as follows:
I wanted to thank you for the recent article you wrote concerning Brad. We are very grateful to you and Tracy (Ringolsby) for continuing to cover him and for your effort to contact Brad and the Astros in order to present some insight regarding his activity in Kissimmee. Thank you, Tony. Please feel free to call us at any time.
Brad Lidge, a former standout at Cherry Creek High School in Denver, was an Astros prospect pitching at Single-A Kissimmee of the Florida State League that year. And now, he is someone Dodgers fans have gotten to know all too well over the past few days.
Anyway, here is tonight’s lineup