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.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.