Skip to content

No Bill, the Dodgers could not have had Cliff Lee: Now with Update

Oct 19, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke goes on and on this morning about how the Dodgers’ “whiffed” in nixing a trade for Cliff Lee at the deadline:

Why did the Dodgers sacrifice the chance to acquire Lee, the starter stolen instead by the Phillies at the trading deadline, the guy who brilliantly held the Dodgers to three singles in eight innings of puzzled stares?

Why did the Dodgers sacrifice a sensible postseason rotation, forcing Joe Torre to hand the ball to a spooked Hiroki Kuroda, who threw it well for all of about one batter?

Except they didn’t sacrifice anything because they were never in the running to land Cliff Lee.  There was a single Ken Rosenthal piece back in July that had Lee going to the Dodgers for James Loney and either Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley. At the time the Dodgers said that there was “less than zero truth” to the rumor.  Even better, the shooting down of that rumor came from Plaschke’s very own paper. There was zero speculation, informed or otherwise, of any other possible deal and no indication whatsoever that the teams talked.

Sure, it would be nice if the Dodgers had Cliff Lee, but it would be nice if they had Albert Pujols, Tim Lincecum and the reincarnation of Honus Wagner too.  And all of them, it seems, had just as good a chance of becoming a Dodger last summer as Cliff Lee did.

There are plenty of reasons to slam the Dodgers this morning, Bill, but failing to trade for Cliff Lee is not one of them.

 

UPDATE:  CBS’ Danny Knobler has multiple quotes from Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti saying that, yes, the Dodgers were actively trying to get Lee and were almost there:

The way Colletti tells it, the Dodgers tried very hard. Colletti didn’t come right out and say he thought the Dodgers had offered more for Lee than the Phillies did, but he was willing to say they offered a lot.

“We offered four guys,” he said. “We were choking on the third guy, and we went to the fourth [too].”

That certainly changes my comments re: Plaschke’s piece.  But, based on the quotes I used to form my opinion on Plaschke’s piece in the first place, it also shows that the Dodgers told a bald faced lie to the Los Angeles Times back in July. 

The rumor business: it’s ugly stuff.

  1. SteelMohawk - Oct 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Thank you for putting this out into the National media, Dodgers fans, even those that use the LA Times everyday, have been waiting for someone besides our bloggers and TJ Simmers, and I am not slamming either of those sources.

  2. george - Oct 19, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Craig,
    CBS sees it differently:
    It’s that when the Phillies got Lee from the Indians on July 29, the Dodgers were trying to get him, too. And if there were a team that needed a pitcher like Lee more than the Phillies did, it was the Dodgers.
    “And that’s why we tried,” general manager Ned Colletti said.
    The way Colletti tells it, the Dodgers tried very hard. Colletti didn’t come right out and say he thought the Dodgers had offered more for Lee than the Phillies did, but he was willing to say they offered a lot.
    Videos
    Manuel: Total team effort
    Torre: Kuroda’s pitches ‘didn’t behave’
    More Phillies-Dodgers links
    Game 3: Phillies 11, Dodgers 0
    Freeman: Torre managing like average Joe
    Series: Phillies 2, Dodgers 1
    This year, Kuroda a disaster in Game 3
    “We offered four guys,” he said. “We were choking on the third guy, and we went to the fourth [too].”
    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/12384622/rss

  3. George - Oct 19, 2009 at 5:10 PM

    The Dodgers owners were so cheap that they refused to give any money, money I said, to acquire “Lee”…what a stupid blunder…and they will pay dearly for it as they did Sunday night!
    Coletti is the first one I would fire when it comes time to replace, repair and dismantle the dummies in their organization…Why wiat do it now or they will come up with more brilliant excuses that the ownership plants…no money, we are drained, but, there is huge home that we want to buy, only costs $78 million, great for entertaining!! Ha And so go the Dodgers, to bad Joe Torre is cauught up in that mess, he is to good to be worked over like that….We love you Joe!!!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Colby-on-Colby crime in Toronto
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Street (3458)
  2. C. Lee (2619)
  3. H. Ramirez (2332)
  4. M. Trout (2294)
  5. D. Price (2040)
  1. Y. Puig (2034)
  2. J. Segura (2003)
  3. B. Belt (1994)
  4. T. Tulowitzki (1962)
  5. D. Uggla (1937)