Five Players File for Free Agency

The Dodgers not only lost their manager, they also lost five players off their 40-man roster when pitchers Rudy Seanez and David Wells and infielder Mark Sweeney filed for free agency and the club declined to exercise the 2008 contract options on catcher Mike Lieberthal and infielder Ramon Martinez.

Lieberthal receives a $100,000 buyout of his $1.5 million option. The club is expected to try to re-sign him at a lower figure. The Dodgers also are likely to re-sign Seanez, a middle reliever who made just $700,000 this season, and possibly Sweeney, who was acquired in August and is second on baseball's all-time pinch-hits list.

The club won't re-sign Martinez, who batted just .194 this year. The Dodgers also are highly unlikely to re-sign Wells, who is 44 and might simply retire.

T-Bone Hired-- John Shelby, who was dumped by the Pirates along with manager Jim Tracy, was named Baltimore's new first-base coach. Shelby, who was selected by the Orioles in the first round (20th overall) of the 1977 First-Year Player Draft, played 11 years in the big leagues and earned two World Series rings. He batted .258 as the regular center fielder for Baltimore in 1983, and later started for the Dodgers as they made their run to a World Series title over Oakland in 1988.

Shelby managed for almost five seasons in the Los Angeles farm system, notching a 291-335 record from 1993 to 1997. He moved on to the big league staff as a first-base coach in 1998 and spent the last two seasons in that capacity for Pittsburgh, after a 14-year run with Los Angeles.

Schilling's Shopping-- Curt Schilling, with his World Series check firmly in hand, has posted a lit of 13 teams he would be willing to play for next year as he enters free agency for the first time.

He pointed out that his first choice is to re-sign with the BoSox. But failing that, he listed Cleveland, the Angels, Philadelphia, Arizona and the Chicago Cubs, plus 2006 World Series teams Detroit and St. Louis, the Mets, Atlanta, San Diego, Milwaukee and (pause for breath) the Dodgers.

He also said he was looking for a one-year deal.

"Moonlight" Davis
Otis "Scat" Davis, the Dodgers' counterpart of Moonlight Graham, died last July 23 in Clearwater, Florida at the age of 86. Graham, featured in the movie Field of Dreams, got into a single game for the Giants and never had a time at bat in the majors.

Davis, after a number of sparkling minor league seasons, was obtained from the St. Louis Cardinals on waivers and got into his first (and last) game on April 22, 1946 against Boston in Ebbets Field. Trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Eddie Stanky walked and Davis ran for him.

Outfielder Pete Reiser smacked his fourth hit and his second double to score Davis from first to tie the game and the Dodgers went on to win in the bottom of the 10th.

That was the Alpha and the Omega for Davis, he never got into another major league game.

Boras Under Fire-- The New York Daily News ran an article about the current state of the Alex Rodriguez War with ARod and his agent, Scott Boras, facing-off against Yankees Management and GM Brian Cashman's statement that the Yankees will not resign Rodriguez is he opts out of his contract and forces the Yankees to lose the $30MM subsidy the Rangers agreed to pay when it dealt him four season ago.  

The article is mainly an indictment of agent Scott Boras and the magical powers he has over his clients and the owners he gets to agree to his pitch. Some excerpts from the article.

"Boras is the ultimate Svengali," a veteran baseball insider says. "Alex will come to a conclusion and express a conviction, and if it's counter to Boras' thoughts or Boras' best interests, in a nanosecond he can make Alex change his mind....

... the man who will sacrifice the truth and his own clients' best interests in order to get record contracts. He has been called hypnotic and manipulative, able to maneuver owners into signing deals they had no business signing. ....

The Yankees are well aware of what A-Rod will bring them, Boras says. He notes that since Rodriguez was traded to New York, annual attendance has increased every year, from 3.47 million the year before to 4.27 million this season.

In addition, Boras is in trouble with Major League Baseball for "accidentally" (wink, wink) announcing during the World Series that Rodriguez had opted out of his contract with NY.

Player Moves
Teams have been adjusting their major and minor league rosters and as a result, a number of former Dodger players have drawn their release. Those released include:

Reds- RHP Ricky Stone
Mets- RHP Lino Urandetta
Phillies-2B Joe Thurston
Padres- OF Hiram Bocachica
Devil Rays- RHP Jae Seo
Rangers- HP Francisco Cruceta

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