Peter O'Malley slams the McCourts

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The O’Malley family owned the Dodgers for 47 years. While there are some old coots in Brooklyn who still hate them, they’re pretty much Dodgers royalty. Since selling the team the O’Malleys haven’t been terribly outspoken about the Dodgers, serving more as sources for historians, documentary filmmakers and authors and stuff than critics of the current regime. Which makes former owner Peter O’Malley’s comments to the L.A. Times about the McCourt saga yesterday fairly significant:

“The current Dodger ownership has lost all credibility throughout the
city. In my judgment, it would
be best for the franchise and the city if there was new ownership. For many years, the Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious
institutions in our city and throughout professional sports. Sadly, that is not the case today.”

Not that it will make any difference of course. The McCourts see the Dodgers as a cash machine and little more, and as long as it continues to dispense the cash — or at the very least serve as useful collateral for irresponsible borrowing — they’ll have no interest in selling the team to more responsible stewards. And that’s the case no matter how much they are publicly shamed either by the words of others or through their own shameless actions.

Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley almost got into a physical confrontation

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A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.

Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .

Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?

That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.

Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?