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.
Even while injured, Miguel Cabrera is a force to be reckoned with. The 33-year-old slugger has been playing with a contusion on his knee since Wednesday, according to postgame comments made by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus.
That didn’t stop him from whacking a 410-foot home run against Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler on Friday night, skirting the center field fence to put the Tigers up 3-0 in the first inning. In the third, he lead off the inning with another long drive off of Wisler, targeting his changeup for a 421-foot shot, his 38th home run of the season:
It’s Cabrera’s sixth two-run homer game since the start of the season, and his first against the Braves since 2005. He needs just two more home runs to keep an even 40 on the year, which would return him to the kind of league-leading levels that accentuated his MVP case in 2012 and 2013. If he can do it by the end of this Tigers-Braves game (unlikely, but not unheard of), he’ll be the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in a single game.
The Reds will roll with manager Bryan Price for at least one more season. Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Price has been extended through the 2017 season with a club option for 2018. He won’t be the only familiar face leading the team, as the Reds have reportedly asked the entire coaching staff to return as well.
This is Price’s second consecutive season with 90+ losses since Cincinnati signed him to a three-year contract back in 2014. While he hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of success that former skipper Dusty Baker found in 2012 and 2013, he’s been saddled with a team that’s still in the throes of rebuilding, not one that looks on the cusp of playoff contention. It is, after all, the same team that has not seen a healthy season from Homer Bailey since Price’s arrival, one that unloaded Jay Bruce for a pair of prospects earlier this year and one whose pitching staff set a single-season record for most home runs given up by a major league team.
Justifying Price’s extension requires a different kind of yardstick, one that measures player development and individual success over the cumulative win-loss record. Here, Price has overseen solid performances from contributors like Adam Duvall, who is batting .244/.297/.506 with 2.9 fWAR in his first full major-league season, as well as young arms like Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen, among others.
From comments made by Reds’ CFO Bob Castellini, Price’s success within a rough rebuilding process appears to have cemented his place within the club, at least for the time being.
I like the young, aggressive team Walt and Dick have put together with players from within our system and from recent trades. […] Bryan has been here seven seasons now. He’s comfortable with the direction we are heading with our young players, and we are comfortable with him leading us in that direction.