The Los Angeles Dodgers spend a lot of money and the accusation has been flung around that they want to just buy a World Series title. But no sense going through life with one hand tied behind your back: the Dodgers are serious about building from within too. To wit: Keith Law of ESPN is reporting that they just hired Roy Clark away from the Washington Nationals.
Clark has been a Nationals assistant GM and v.p. of player personnel for the past four years. Before that he was the Braves longtime scouting director. He joined the Braves when they were a laughingstock in the late 80s and helped build arguably the best pipeline of talent in all of baseball over the course of 20 years. When he joined the Nationals at the end of the 2009 season they were thought of as a laughingstock too. They are no longer.
It’s hard to tell from afar how much input any one person has on the player development process, but Clark has been at the scene of a couple of pretty great turnarounds, and his eye for talent is considered among the best in the game. The Dodgers just hired themselves a good one.
It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.
If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.
Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.
Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.