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Can Magic Johnson play third base?

Mar 30, 2012, 11:18 PM EDT

Juan Uribe Getty Images

Because Juan Uribe is looking pretty much cooked.

Fresh off an inaugural season with the Dodgers in which he hit .204/.264/.293 with four homers in 270 at-bats, Uribe is batting .231/.286/.282 in 39 at-bats this spring. It’s also a safe guess he wasn’t the subject of any “best shape of his life” articles after reporting to camp.

Uribe is only entering the second year of that ridiculous three-year, $21 million contract that Ned Colletti gave him last season, so the Dodgers are pretty much handing him a starting job at third base. They might well be better off with Jerry Hairston Jr. or Josh Fields there, though.

The Dodgers enter the season seemingly assured of below average production at third, second and behind the plate, and things also aren’t so rosy at first base or in left field. It’s going to be up to Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw to carry the load again, but there is one good sign: Andre Ethier is having a terrific spring (.390/.435/.878 in 41 AB) and seems poised to give the Dodgers a legitimate bat behind Kemp in the order.

  1. hep3 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Ned Colletti and genius should never be used in the sentence. Ned is a maroon. Luckily the new Dodger owners can afford the $14 million that Juan Uribe is still owed.

    • jimbo1949 - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      1. Did you mean “Ned Colletti and genius should never be used in the same sentence?”
      2. If so, why did you do it?

    • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 2:24 AM

      Ned Colletti is a “maroon”… Is that French?

  2. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    This is the definition of an unfortunate headline. Yikes.

  3. sasquash20 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Magic can do anything. Play center in the finals and dominate, beat AIDS, and I’m sure play 3rd.

  4. wj4122 - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Unfortunately this is what Ned does when going into the offseason if he has a player or two who underperformed he is content with saying “if they play the way they should we will be in good shape”….yeah that works out. Give me a break Ned see the warning signs and do something about it. The situation and terrible signing of Juan is not an isolated incident he has done this several times before. Andrew jones, Jason Schmidt just to name a few

  5. singingfriar - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Coletti is still coasting on the strength of Paul DePodesta’s drafting as GM of the Dodgers. The free agent contracts Coletti has given out (Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt, etc.) should have gotten him fired long ago.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 31, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      Not quite, as Depo (and FMC) coasted on the strength of the farm system developed in large part by Dan Evans, the man who was in charge when drafting Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, etc. Depo did trade Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier, but he also traded the services of Adrian Beltre for the likes of Jose “I lost the ball in the chalk” Valentin.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        I thought Beltre left as a FA?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 31, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        He left as a free agent after the Dodgers didn’t offer him anything.

        Check that. He rejected the Detroit Tigers deal because the Dodgers didn’t offer him anything. And then he got the Seattle offer to upon which the Dodgers finally offered him something that was less than his offer.

        Read between the lines and you will see a dickish owner not wanting to spend the money on his 3rd baseman who was going through his first free agency after having an MVP caliber year.

        Depo’s got us Jose Valentin, who never played 3rd. He then “lost the ball in the chalk” on opening day against the Giants, and the Dodgers proceeded to go through another 15 3rd basemen before trading Carlos Santana (another Dan Evans draftee) to the Indians for Casey Blake.

        Bottom line? McCourt = Dick. Depo = Dipstick. Dodgers = Screwed.

        And that is one reason why I despise the Frank McCourt years.

      • davidpom50 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        sigh… Koufax, so much wrong information in one post.
        GM Timeline:
        Dan Evans: 2001 – 2/2004
        Paul DePodesta: 2/2004 – 10/2005
        Ned Colletti: 11/2005 – present

        Dates of Events you mentioned:
        Kemp Draft: June 5th, 2003 (Evans)
        Kershaw Draft: June 6th, 2006 (Colletti)
        Bradley/Ethier Trade: Dec 13, 2005 (Colletti)
        Beltre/Valentin Trade: I wrote a whole long thing about this, then saw you addressed it below.

        2 for 4 ain’t bad as a batting average, but it’s awful when disseminating information.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Really, dude? Can you name the players drafted by DePo that OP and 8 others claim Colleti has been coasting with?

        That was my point. Sure, I’ll admit I was wrong in terms of when Kershaw was drafted and who picked him. And I’ll gladly give credit to Ned for the trade of Andre. The point of my point was that DePo was far from the genius that created the Dodgers team which old Ned “coasted” to victories.

        May I suggest you be honest with the intent of the post? Nevermind how 10 people think that DePo was constructed some winning Dodgers team which made Ned’s life so much easier.


        Right? Is that how you do it?

      • davidpom50 - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        First of all, the intention of your post does not excuse completely wrong information. Google is your friend, double check before ripping in to people.

        Second, Depo had only 2 drafts to work with. In 2004, he selected current closer Javy Guerra, current bullpen lefty Scott Elbert, former reliever Cory Wade (who was the top setup man during the 2008 NLCS run), and a high school pitcher who picked college over the pros by the name of David Price. Not really a bad draft at all, and definitely helped both previous playoff teams and the current team. He missed with his first pick of 2005, selecting and failing to sign Luke Hochevar. Last year’s organizational player of the year, Scott Van Slyke, was selected in that draft. So was Trayvon Robinson, whom Ned stupidly wasted last season right when Trayvon was becoming a pretty solid prospect. Also, not a bad draft.

        Now, I don’t entirely agree with singingfriar. Colletti is coasting on the strength of two NLCS teams mostly built by DePo AND Evans. Evans (and really, if we’re being honest, Logan White) did most of the drafting (Kemp, Loney, Martin, Billingsley, Broxton, etc) while DePo did much of the signing free agents and trading (Jeff Kent, Brad Penny, Derek Lowe) that got those teams to the post season. However, Colletti added important pieces including Furcal, Manny, Blake (though he gave up too much to get him), and Ethier. Colletti has been a frustrating combination of brilliant moves, moves to get the right players but for the wrong prices, and just flat out dumb moves (like giving $56 million to a pitcher with a bum shoulder).

        Koufax, my problem wasn’t at all your sentiment. It’s that you cited completely incorrect information to try to prove your point. That serves no purpose whatsoever. I rarely comment here, but I read often, and you’re a sharp guy who I know is capable of being more accurate.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 3, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        I appreciate your thoughtful comments about my posting. I don’t do this as a job; I do this while I’m on a job. I’ll admit to shooting from the hip. Considering your comments, I can see it as a weakness. I shall keep your post in mind when in the future trying to make a factual point.

        I’ll conclude that my intention wasn’t to attack singingfriar so much as it was to attack DePo. The trade deadline deals in 2004 sucked and. in my opinion, gave the Red Sox their World Series for cheap.

  6. AlohaMrHand - Mar 31, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    what the hell?Whys everyone bashing Uribe?Just because he trained in the offseason at Taco Bell…..

  7. paperlions - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    I’m sure Magic can play third as well as Cabrera can, though I would expect his strikeout rate to be around 99% (he can bunt to third for a few hits when they play the Tigers in interleague).

    • ptfu - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Magic at 3B would have big soft hands, catch everything that comes to him, and lead the league in assists. Magic wouldn’t do much at the plate, although he’d have his share of steals, and make everyone around him that much better.

  8. wj4122 - Mar 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I really hope Stan looks at Ned and gets rid of him knowing that ned is a fool with free agent signings and is probably not the person He would want to trust a bunch of new money to.

  9. beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    This headline was pretty awesome. If the Dodgers end dumping Uribe’s salary, he will need to get in line behind Andruw Jones & Manny Ramirez. They still have 2 more years of getting paid. However, good news! Juan Pierre’s deferred salary is finally off the books and paid in full.

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