Tim Brown of Yahoo! was the first one to get comments from Tom Schieffer following his appointment as the “Monitor” of the Dodgers’ organization. The former ambassador to Japan and Australia was asked about whether he’s up to the challenge of fixing the dysfunctional Dodgers:
“Oh, I’ve had some pretty difficult jobs before. Dealing with the North Koreans is generally a pretty tough day.”
I suppose it’s an open question as to whether the Dodgers’ kleptocracy or North Korea’s will be harder to fix.
One question that is also open, based on Schieffer’s comments, regards the future of Frank McCourt. I found this exchange pretty telling:
Asked if he believed the Dodgers could be restored with McCourt as the owner, Schieffer said he would not address particular issues.
“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “We’ll see what happens as we go forward. I do hope my experience in management can help there.”
In other words, don’t print your business cards in bulk, Frank.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.