Billingsley's Break and Other Turkeys

Twenty years ago Thanksgiving Week, the Dodgers unceremoniously shipped Steve Sax to the Yankees, breaking the hearts of many preteen and teenage Dodgers fans. This Thanksgiving Week, the Dodgers news that Chad Billingsley had broken his left leg (the one righties land on) and had to undergo surgery was not good news.

Baseball lifers will remember in the 1930s when superstar pitcher Dizzy Dean broke a toe and this simple thing destroyed his career.

Billingsley will be back in spring training ready, maybe too ready, to rejump his career,particularly after losing TWO postseason games to the World Champion Phillies.

Dodgers fingers everywhere will be crossed that Billingsley doesn't pull a Dizzy Dean or a Darrin Dreifort.

The Dodgers have already jettisoned Brad Penny. Many other teams are throwing non-Dodgers type money at Derek Lowe who will take his sinker and his off-field love life far  away from LA. Greg Maddux wants back, but the Maddux talent diminishes by the game as he nears his mid-40s. Brother Saito will probably be back, he of 39 years and an 80 year old arm.

The Dodgers medical/pitching coaching staff acumen with pitchers with health glitches has been well, generously,  of very little value in recent years. (There have been no changes in this brain trust, meaning an iffy situation will be put into the hands of the iffy handlers, not exactly a situation to make Thanksgiving dinners a lot to be thankful about).

Face it, pitching is 90 per cent of baseball, as it always has been, and the Dodgers pitching by age and injury and other factors has cried for retooling of late - even before the Billingsley break. It further complicates an already complicated situation.

One suggested replacement for the pitching staff is aging lefty Andy Pettite. While Pettite is a lefty, for whom the rules are of course different, the fact is he had a very, very high ERA after the All Star break last year, and even so he wouldn't come cheap.

Less expensive options might be Aaron Heilmann of the Mets or ex Dodgers hurler Edwin Jackson of the Tampa Bay Bucs. While Pettite is old and expensive, right up the Dodgers alley, this hasn't often worked out well in the past decade.