All of the whispers have had Frank McCourt not making payroll at the end of the month. And of course, if that happens, he probably loses the Dodgers. It’s kind of like the plot of the Blues Brothers but, you know, totally not fun.
But apparently McCourt played a big house show last night, collected the money and drove 106 miles to Chicago, because according to Bill Shaikin in the L.A. Times, McCourt has got the money and will meet payroll.
I’m giving serious consideration about putting together a betting pool as to how he came up with the $9.8 million. A bank job? Did his number come in? Did he mortgage Vin Scully? There’s not a ton to work with there.
Anyway, this is good news for McCourt, but probably only good news of the short term variety. Because, you know, he has to meet payroll again in June. And as Shaikin notes, it will be way harder because the Dodgers owe Manny Ramirez a big deferred compensation payment on top of the usual monthly bogey.
Of course it’s possible that McCourt could just give Manny a suitcase full of green Post-it-Notes with dollar signs drawn on them in black Sharpie marker. It would probably take a couple of months before Manny got suspicious, what with him being a big picture guy and everything. And only then because the soda machine won’t accept one of the Post-its in the bill feeder.
Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel was included in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Nationals. It’s notable because it’s only his eighth start in August. The Phillies selected Goeddel from the Rays in the Rule 5 draft during the winter, which means the club has had to keep him on its 25-man roster all season. If the club didn’t, it would have had to offer Goddel back to the Rays.
Goeddel is by no means a top prospect, but the Phillies deemed him worthy enough of taking a year-long 25-man roster spot, which are quite valuable. And the rebuilding Phillies aren’t exactly fighting for a playoff spot, so why not play him?
As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, manager Pete Mackanin asked, “What’s the point?” in regards to starting Goeddel. Mackanin said, “I’ve seen enough of Goeddel to know. We’ve kept him this long and we’re going to keep him and we’ll see where we go next year with him. I don’t see a need to play him, especially after he hasn’t played so much.”
That seems like circular logic. You don’t see a need to play him because he hasn’t played much. Well, maybe if you played him more often, you’d see a reason?
In fairness, Goeddel hasn’t exactly torn the cover off the ball, putting up a .191/.250/.296 triple-slash line in 217 plate appearances. But the Phillies have chosen to play utilityman Cody Asche and journeyman Jimmy Paredes (“an extra player,” according to Mackanin), who both don’t figure to be in the Phillies’ future plans. Goeddel is only 23 years old. In May, when he was starting regularly, he posted a .794 OPS.
This isn’t a roster blunder on the Ruben Amaro, Jr. scale, but it’s a very odd way to handle a Rule-5 player for a rebuilding team.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller returned to the majors on Wednesday after a stint of about a month and a half in the minor leagues. The right-hander had compiled an ugly 2-9 record and a 7.14 ERA over 14 big league starts along with a finger injury and the minor league demotion.
On Wednesday afternoon against the Giants at AT&T Park, Miller still got the loss, but he gave up only two runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in three innings. It’s the fifth time in 15 starts he gave up two or fewer runs. Opposing starter Matt Moore, who nearly authored a no-hitter his last time out, was just a little bit better, limiting the D-Backs’ offense to a lone run in 5 1/3 innings. The Giants ultimately won 4-2.
You may recall Miller was part of the trade that forced the Diamondbacks to send Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves. It’s a trade that chief baseball officer Tony La Russa defended as recently as last week.