Tomko Wasn't Treated Well? ... Huh?

Brett Tomko, designated for release with a knowing smile, nevertheless did opine that he wasn't treated well in LA. He could not have meant by the team's brass. They will have paid him $8.7 million over two years, about a million a win.

He could not have meant by the field staff who always supported him and say he had good stuff and couldn't figure out why he was winning more.

He could not have meant whoever puts guys into the starting rotation because Tomko was given more chances than a cat has lives.

He couldn't have meant the local press, who gave him as well as the rest of the players kid glove treatment, giving every alibi the credence of gospel.

Now if Tomko named me as one writer who gave him a bad time, he'd have been right on. For what the team spent, we wanted more results, more payback for a large investment.

When you chalk anybody into 20 per cent of the team's starts, we want more than a meager two wins on the season.

Still in all, Tomko did pitch better than his record, and even though he didn't fit into the team's short or long range plans, it is surprising the Dodgers kept 42-year-old Roberto Hernandez and targeted Tomko instead for assignment.

Hernandez major contributions have been to pitch in his 1,000th game, a personal record, and to perform the mop-up role, meaning dont waste a good picture in a game already lost. He hardly fits into the Dodgers plans either unless it is maybe as a coach.

The Dodgers just as easily could have designated Mark Hendricksen, as much a failure in Dodgers Blue as Tomko, but Hendricksen has two things going for him. He is tall, for whatever that means.

And he is lefty, which does count for something in baseball.

But that being said, might the Dodgers turn to their media booth and be eyeing the latest return of Fernando Venezuela and then designating Hendricksen? Hey, he's younger than Lasorda, still pitches winter ball in the Mexican League. Hendricksen has never been a winning pitcher anyplace whereas Fernando has always been a winner wherever he went and at any age.

The Dodgers could have designated infield reserve Ramon Martinez for assignment instead of Tomko, but then Hu would replace him? (There is a case where the question might be the answer: Hu, who is doing well at Vegas, and never heard of the Mendoza/Martinez line.)

The thing is, the Dodgers decision to jettison Tomko is also surprising because they have 10 days to move him, release him, trade him. By then, September 1 will have come and gone and the Dodgers could have kept him as the deadline for expanding rosters will have come and gone. The Dodgers would have had a major league pitcher for free, since they have to pay Tomko either way.

One wonders is the homer-poor Dodgers thought about the merits of trying to get Craig Monroe,lately discarded by the Tigers. With 28 regular season and 5 post season homers just last year, Monroe looks good compared to the Dodgers with only one 20 HR guy a year ago and none so far this year. He could have fit into Olmedo Saenz slot as primary right-hand pinch-hitter and part time first baseman-outfielder nicely.

Will the Dodgers have any shot at anybody with Monroe's credentials in the off season. But then again, Monroe is both under 30 and has never played for the Giants, making him a long shot for the Dodgers on two counts.

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