Steve Dilbeck makes a list of the “Top Ten Coolest Dodgers” over at the L.A. Times. The top four — Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela and Jackie Robinson — were pre-selected. He picks 5-10. Click through to read them. Milk/cow/free, don’t you know.
With the understanding that “cool” is about as subjective an adjective there can be, I can’t argue too much with his list. Buster Olney — in whose column I saw the link to Dilbeck’s piece — disagrees with one particular ranking:
Sandy Koufax is No. 1, which makes sense … But Manny Ramirez ahead of Kirk Gibson? As a once-rabid Dodgers fan, I’ve got a major beef with that one.
There’s the famous story about how someone pranked Kirk Gibson on the first day of Spring Training in 1988 by putting shoe polish in his hat. Gibson went crazy and tore everyone a new one. That is often cited as his claim to leadership over the team. A clear signal that with Gibson in town shit just got real. The time for joking was over and the time for winning was now. When the Dodgers won the World Series that year — complete with Gibson’s MVP and his stunning home run — he more than backed up his bluster. This is the stuff from which legends are made.
But dudes: that ain’t cool. The shoe polish thing was funny. Lighten up, Gibby. That’s how you make the cool list, and having Manny above you is just the way it’s gotta be, babies.
Oh, and the dude to the right is Casey Stengel when he was with the Dodgers. If that ain’t cool, I don’t know what is.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.