Call me crazy, but I think the Dodgers’ current woes are the result of Major League Baseball allowing an overly-leveraged dilettante into the ownership club and then watching as that dilettante did even worse things to the franchise’s business than anyone could have imagined.
George Vecsey of the New York Times has another theory, however: he says the Dodgers are being impacted by “a communal curse” visited upon the organization because, over 50 years ago, Walter O’Malley decided to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Vecsey calls it “The Flatbush Curse.”
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows how I feel about curses. At best they’re little psychological tools people use to cope with perceived injustices. At worst they’re cynical fabrications used to sell books and t-shirts and stuff. The common denominator is that, for any given “curse” there are a dozen better reasons why a given misfortune has taken place.
But let’s say there was a Flastbush Curse. Let’s say some little old woman from Brooklyn called it into being on New Year’s Day 1958 with great drama, gesticulation and the spilling of lamb’s blood. Even if that happened, isn’t this the worst curse ever? Before it was invoked, the Dodgers won nine pennants and one World Series. After it was invoked they won nine pennants and five World Series, in a far shorter period of time.
It’s almost enough to make you think that the current problems of the team have some other explanation than the move to Los Angeles. A move that, by far, was the smartest thing the Dodgers ever did.
Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.
It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.
Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.