Earlier this week, you might have read a story I wrote for the paper about Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino and how the Dodgers let him get away TWICE via the Rule 5 draft and how they turned down a chance to get him back the second time when the Phillies offered him back midway through the 2005 season. Well, there was one factual error in the story, and out of that factual error, there was a glaring misconception. As it turns out, the Dodgers had a very sound reason for not taking him back. First, the error: I wrote that Victorino had never been on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, which turned out to be not true. The fact is, he HAD been on the 40-man once previously and had been outrighted OFF the 40-man. In light of that, the Dodgers’ reasoning for not taking him back: teams who make Rule 5 draft selections pay $50,000 for them, and if they don’t keep that player on their 25-man roster for all of the following season, they must offer him back to his original team for $25,000. But when the Phillies offered Victorino back to the Dodgers, the Dodgers were NOT going to put him on their 25-man OR their 40-man roster. Therefore, they would have to outright him to the minors. Well, any player who is outrighted more than once has the right to decline outright assignments, beginning with his second one, and become a free agent. As I understand it, the Dodgers were fairly certain at the time — 99.99 percent, as it was told to me — that Victorino was going to decline the assignment and opt for free agency. In that case, the Dodgers would have been throwing away $25,000. Granted, that seems like chump change in the grand scheme of a major-league payroll. But throwing away 25 grand is still throwing away 25 grand. Hope that clears things up.
Also, we just received word that Charlie Manuel’s mother passed away this morning, so thoughts and prayers go out to him. He is one of the truly good guys in this game. I’m told he IS expected to manage today’s game for the Phillies.
Here are today’s lineups: