Ernest Hemingway published a book in in 1940 which was about a young man named Andrew Toles, who once was a top major league prospect that dropped out of baseball due to an anxiety disorder. This book was certainly a work of fiction because young Toles wound up working the early shift (4 AM) at a Kroger Grocery Store in the frozen food department. That may sound like a cool JOB (pun intended) but it only paid $7.50 and hour. Andrew knew he could do better!
After a few weeks, Andrew contacted Gabe Kapler of the Dodgers who called his boss, Andrew Friedman (who had drafted Toles in 2012) and without much hesitation, they signed Andrew to a minor league deal. Here’s where it really becomes fictional – Toles started at Rancho Cucamonga (A Ball) and slashed .370/.414/.914, then he moved to AA Tulsa where he slashed .314/.363/.877 followed by a stop at Oklahoma City in AAA where his slash line was .321/.339/.857/ Then he was called up to the Show where he slashed .314/.365/.870.
That Ernest Hemingway really has a crazy imagination – like something similar to that could ever happen? PLEASE! Great fiction! I read the book long ago, but somehow I don’t remember it like that – Maybe I’ll pick up a new copy of For Whom the Bell Toles – it Toles for Andrew – that much I know. There is a typo on the cover of the book – “Tolls” Old Ernest can’t even spell right!
Seriously, I am an Andrew Toles fan and it’s not just because he has beat his anxiety disorder with a combination of medication and counseling. I am a fan because he is as cool as the other side of the pillow and looks to be having great fun. He is fast, can play all three outfield spots and if paired with Pederson and Puig, would form one of the best defensive outfields in baseball. He also has and excellent arm. Did I mention that he fast and in fact, saves a lot of runs?
Andrew still has Rookie status and I look for him to make a run at Rookie of the Year. If he comes out of the chute playing at a high level and Andre Ethier does the same, I would look for the Dodgers to have a talk with Andre Ethier that goes something like this:
“Andre, we know you can still play and we thank you for being a good soldier but we have Andrew Toles who has tools you don’t. We would like to give you the opportunity to play everyday for a new contract so we will pay half your salary to allow you to go somewhere to play for your last contract. Just sign this paper waiving the “no trade clause” because we know you don’t want to sit on the bench.”
SIGN ZE PAPER, ANDRE! If he is healthy, someone will take him for $9 million and youth will be served. Of course, I am assuming that Andrew Toles is for real, but you don’t do what he did in 2016 – A, AA, AAA and MLB without some amazing talent and huge determination. He might not hot .300 this year, but he won’t hit .250 either. In my opinion, he’s the real deal! He could leadoff against RH pitchers, but for now that job belongs to Logan Forsythe.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
What if Ned Were Still GM?
The Dodgers Rotation would be Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Cueto and Hamels. Urias, De Leon and Seager would be playing for Philly, Kenley Jansen would be in Miami and Justin Turner would be in St. Louis. The Dodger outfield would be Kemp, Pederson and Ethier and AJ Ellis would be the catcher. Dee Gordon would be at 2B and who the hell knows who would be at 3B and SS? The Dodgers would be the first team with a $275 million payroll to not make the playoffs!