Schmidt, Pierre Deals Were Bummers

After nearly three months of a six months season having ticked by, it's not too early to render a judgment on Dodger GM Ned Colletti's off season deals. The judgment can only be harsh.

Colletti, the former Giant, could not have known more about top line starter Jason Schmidt. He even had hired the director of training and health stuff from the Giants, a guy said to be the best in baseball. So there can be no excuses.

Schmidt had to be rested several times last year as the wear and tear of nearly a decade starting every four or five days began to take their toll on Schmidt. That should have been a warning.

Yet the Dodgers shelled out $45 million on an aging pitcher with tell tale signs that should  have warned even a beginning GM. But Colletti and the Dodgers were not deterred.

For their decision and major investment, the Dodgers have only a single win in almost three months and with Schmidt on the DL, that single digit return is all they will get prior to the all star break. Colletti took his chances and lost.

His decision to offer a multi year contract to Juan Pierre has also, so far, been a bummer. Pierre has nary a homer, nary a defensive out supplied by his arm (or lack thereof), the Dodgers have scores of runners take advantage of their outfield defense.

The most that can be said of the Dodgers defense is that it has been offensive.

Pierre,no longer a youngster, will not get faster. His arm will not return (from a place it never was).  He is unlikely, even he historically has been a second half player, to get a whole lot better.

Like Schmidt, the Dodgers will find few if any takers for aging players with declining skills and mega year contracts at too high levels.

With a payroll the Dodgers would like to cap at near the $100 million level, having so much tied up in two contracts that frankly have not worked out, certainly cramps a team that is just off the pace and in need of help down the stretch.

The decision to offer Nomar Garciaparra a two year big bucks extension has produced one home run, repeat a single home run, so far. The resigning decision hardly wins raves three months into the season.

The Randy Wolf decision, which looked so good the first six weeks, frankly has gone south as the Dodgers have slipped out of a lead it held for two months.

The Dodgers decision to place Brett Tomko and Mark Hendrickson in the starting rotation has already been abandoned. The decision to bring in Brady Clark is already slipping into the minutiae of Dodgers history.

In their favor, the Dodgers have corrected their earlier decisions and restored James Loney and Matt Kemp to the roster and also correctly added Winston Abreu to the big league team. Sooner or later, the Dodgers will take Chad Billingsley to the rotation. He has pitched so well so long in relief that it  will become increasingly hard to try to hide him.

The first half report card on Ned Colletti yields neither an A or even a B.

Notes from the Bleachers-- Ex Marlins manager Joe Girardi is seen as favorite to be the new Baltimore manager...Leo Mazzone may not want to continue as pitching coach in Baltimore now that his chum Sam Perlozzi is out...Mazzone would look awful good in Dodgers Blue...  

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