Dodgers withdraw offer to Manny … for now

Doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, but it’s gone for the moment.
“The offer expired,” Ned Colletti said.
I then asked where the Dodgers go from here.
“We’ll see,” he said. “It doesn’t preclude us from more conversations, but every offer yo make has a deadline to it so that it doesn’t stand out there forever. That offer expired and is off the table, and hopefully, we’ll have more conversations and see where they take us.”
Colletti said the Dodgers have yet to make a formal offer to any of their 13 other free agents, but that he has had conversations with the agents for Casey Blake (Jim McDowell) and Rafael Furcal (Paul Kinzer). Furcal remains at the top of the Dodgers’ wish list at shortstop as opposed to signing another free agent or making a trade.
“(Blake and Furcal) want to see what else is out there,” Colletti said. “They know we have strong interest and that we want them back. We’ll continue to stay in touch.”

Dodgers release first Cactus League schedule

It will start early (Feb. 25) because of the World Baseball Classic, and it will start with four away games, presumably because the new stadium in Glendale won’t be ready until March 1, when the boys host the Brewers at the new complex across the street from my house. There also will be TWO scheduled off-days (March 11/18) as opposed to the traditional ONE. Also, there are only three scheduled games with the White Sox, which is rather strange when you consider the two teams will be sharing a complex. My guess is that is a hedge against the possibility that the White Sox can’t get out of their Tucson lease for another year, something that is expected to be determined with certainty sometime in the next week or two. The Dodgers are the visiting team for two of those three games, meaning that if the White Sox can’t move in until 2010, the Dodgers will have to make FOUR trips to Tucson next spring instead of two.

Here is the link to the schedule on the Dodgers’ official web site:

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/spring_training/tentative.jsp?c_id=la

Brad Penny … a.k.a. the baseball guy

Here is the link to a TMZ video of Brad Penny and a few of his buddies getting into a scuffle in a Hollywood nightspot a couple of weeks ago. It’s very unclear from the video what any of this was about, but the funny part is that right at the end, when order seems to have been restored and the camera is shooting nothing but a hardwood floor, some girl can be overheard explaining to someone her version of what happened, and she refers to Penny as “the baseball guy.” One day you’re a two-time All-Star, the next day you’re just a “baseball guy.”

http://www.tmz.com/2008/10/28/dodger-pitcher-dodges-punches-at-key-club/

Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal will re-sign with Dodgers

At least according to betonline.com, they will. They issued odds today that say the Dodgers are the favorites to land both players. Here are those odds, so take them for whatever you think they’re worth:

BetOnline.com: Manny Ramirez Contenders

Dodgers 1/2

Yankees 4/1

Mets 6/1

Blue Jays 6/1

Other 3/1

BetOnline.com: Rafael Furcal Contenders

Dodgers 7/5

Cubs 3/1

Giants 5/1

Blue Jays 5/1

Athletics 8/1

Other 11/4

More Manny stuff

Here is the link to a story that just appeared today on the Boston Globe’s web site in which David Ortiz speaks candidly (albeit not always coherently) on Manny Ramirez’s final days with the Red Sox. Interesting comment in there about the media being “family.”

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2008/11/papi_opens_up_o.html

Also, my colleague Dylan Hernandez wrote in today’s Times that the Dodgers’ two-year, $45 million offer to Manny is $15 million in 2009, $22.5 million in 2010 and a $7.5 million buyout of a $22.5 million club option for 2011; that Frank McCourt might be open to guaranteeing the third year if that’s what it takes to get a deal done; and that this particular offer will stand only through tomorrow, although that doesn’t mean the Dodgers’ attempts to re-sign Manny will end there.

Below is a press release I received this morning from ESPN about this Sunday’s edition of OTL, which will focus largely on Manny.

Sunday’s Outside the Lines (9 a.m. ET ESPN, noon ESPNEWS) will examine Manny Ramirez’ upcoming free agency, his final days in Boston and circumstances that led to his trade, and a behind-the-scenes look at his 2000 free-agent signing with the Red Sox. Pedro Gomez reports.

Sunday’s show will also reprise excerpts from the December 2000 Outside the Lines: Inside the Deal in which cameras followed Manny Ramirez’ agent Jeff Moorad for seven weeks as he strategized with his client, criss-crossed the country, worked the phones, and met with general managers, to eventually produce the eight-year, $160 million contract with Boston.

From Sunday’s Show:

“Every question was about Manny Ramirez. We lost a game — it was ‘Why Manny didn’t run a ball out?’ We win a game – ‘Is Manny going to show up tomorrow and play?’ So it got to the point that, I don’t want to say it got to us, but it was this dark cloud over the team.” – Alex Cora, Red Sox SS

Colletti on the possibility of life without Manny

Checked in with Ned Colletti today. Absolutely nothing is going on with the Dodgers, so you won’t see anything in tomorrow’s paper, but even in down times, I like to check in at least once a week or so, as do the other beat writers. One thing I asked him was whether he has to proceed now on the assumption that Manny Ramirez isn’t coming back so he isn’t unnecessarily hampered in his pursuit of other free agents or possible trades. Here is what he said:

“No. I think we have to do business as it comes our way. I think we have to sign players we want to sign as we agree to do deals with them. We have enough areas of need that we can’t wait by the side and wait for one person to make up their mind, really. We have to continue. We would love to have Manny back, but that is going to be a decision that will probably take some time. In the meantime, we will still try to add some other pieces to it.”

It doesn’t appear likely that one of those pieces will be another outfielder. Ned said he is comfortable with the outfield quartet of Ethier, Jones, Kemp and Pierre if Manny ends up signing elsewhere.

Dodgers hire new security chief

His name is Ray Maytorena, and he comes from the U.S. Secret Service. He replaces Lon Rosenberg, who will be free now to concentrate fully on his primary duties as stadium operations director. The two will work closely together and report to Dodgers chief operating officer Dennis Mannion. What I know on general background, culled over the past few months, is that the club is trying to find a happy medium between keeping the atmosphere safe — meaning trying to cut down on the number of fights in the stands — and keeping the atmosphere pleasant — meaning making Dodger Stadium fell a little less like a police state and strongly encouraging the security detail there to improve their guest-relations skills. At any rate, I don’t think you’ll be seeing 15 guards getting out of their chairs and walking into fair territory down each line every time a manager or pitching coach goes to the mound anymore. Below is the official release.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today named Ray Maytorena as Vice President of Security. Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion made the announcement.

Maytorena has spent the past 24 years working for the United States Secret Service and has lived in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, San Diego, and Puerto Rico.

“Ray’s extensive background will be a tremendous asset to the Dodger organization,” said Mannion. “One of our three primary goals is to provide the best fan experience in all of sports, and Ray will play a huge role in ensuring that Dodger Stadium remains a safe and family-friendly place for all fans.

“Ray has traveled the world extensively and has had leadership roles in Secret Service offices here, elsewhere in the United States, and internationally. His extensive experience includes security, personal protection, and criminal investigation.”

Most recently, Maytorena served as the Special Agent in Charge (SES) of the Los Angeles field office, the nation’s third-largest district, in which he managed more than 250 employees. In that capacity, he oversaw security and protection for the numerous large events, including the State Funeral of President Gerald Ford, and served as the lead advance agent for the 1996 Republic National Convention in San Diego.

Maytorena, who is bilingual in Spanish, serves as an Executive Board member of the Los Angeles FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and an Executive Board Member of the Police Officers Association Los Angeles County (POALAC).

Maytorena received a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

Preacher Roe dies

Just got the release, which I have pasted below. His son used to live up the street from my family in Arkansas when I was growing up. My dad, who had seen him play, got to meet him one time when he was visiting. Preacher Roe was 92 when he died last night. Here is the release:

STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF FORMER DODGER GREAT PREACHER ROE (1915-2008)

The Dodgers are saddened to announce that former Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Elwin Charles “Preacher” Roe passed away last night at the age of 92. Roe pitched 12 seasons in the Major Leagues (1938-54), including seven seasons with the Dodgers (1948-54). Roe was named to the National League All-Star team on five occasions and he went 22-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 1951 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, his best season in the Majors. That year, he was named the National League’s Best Pitcher by The Sporting News and finished fifth in the NL MVP voting.

Roe was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 1949 World Series, pitching a complete-game shutout against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He also earned a complete-game victory in Game 3 of the 1952 World Series for the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. He pitched a complete game in all three of his career postseason starts while posting a 2.54 ERA during five Fall Classic appearances.

Roe went on to serve as an instructor during several of the Dodgers’ Adult Baseball Camps in Vero Beach, FL.

Funeral services will be held this Thursday at:
Carter Funeral Home
1316 Porter Wagoner Boulevard
West Plains, MO 65775

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting contributions to:
The MSU Foundation
Attn: Golf Program
Missouri State University
West Plains, MO 65775

Dodger Owner Frank McCourt and President Jamie McCourt released the following statement on his passing:

“Preacher Roe left an indelible mark in Dodger history. He was one of the original ‘Boys of Summer’ and his success in the World Series against the Yankees in 1949, 1952, and 1953 helped pave the way for the 1955 World Champions. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.”