Yes, I did… when it was announced that he was buying the Dodgers from a Fortune 500 Company who ran them like a drunken sailor runs on the deck of a ship in a hurricane. See, FOX had no clue – they even traded away Mike Piazza… among many other blunders too numerous and painful to count.
I was excited to see the Dodger bought by a “little guy” who I hoped would run it like a family business. I was excited because even before FOX bought the Dodgers, they were been managed poorly by Peter O’Malley and family who had lost their edge and evidently felt they could no longer compete as a family-owned business. Peter had no imagination, no chutzpah and evidently not a lot of understanding how to run a baseball franchise.
I am convinced he could have kept the team… but he never believed it. In the mid-to-late 80’s the farms was slipping, the organization was poorly run and even though they won the World Series in 1988, it was done by Smoke and Mirrors and a Fat Little Italian who convinced them they could fly. Stuff like that may not happen anymore.
That Fat Little Italian (I say that with affection) was a great manager but a terrible GM (we won’t even talk about “the big one” but it was worse than “The Trade.”) Tommy may have been baseball’s last True Believer. Anyway, even in 1988, the team’s infrastructure was crumbling and the Dodger Way to Play Baseball was almost forgotten, even before Al Campanis was ousted for racist remarks.
So, while O’Malley was not investing heavily into the Dodger Way of Doing Things for Years, which stifled the farm system, he did remain an amazing boss to his employees, treating them so well the Dodgers were regarded as a great place to work. Mind you, I am not trashing Peter O’Malley, but after he sold the team to FOX, it was apparent that was blunder.
Then, when FOX got out and sold to Frank McCourt, it was easily for me to get behind an Underdog… a small businessman who was in a unique position to grow the team smartly and slowly and profit when the new TV deal came in. McCourt did profit immensely when he was forced to sell the team because he was bankrupt. He had been morally bankrupt longer before he was financially bankrupt… and he made Billions! Sickening!
Anyway, I was not excited to see another Big Business like Guggenheim and Company buy the Dodgers, but when they hired Andrew Friedman, I was sold. It took a while for many others to be sold, but I think most are on board with the new Dodger Way to Play Baseball.
Peter O’Malley and Frank McCourt could have saved us all a lot of pain and suffering, but three years into the Andrew Friedman Era, the Dodgers are an amazing organization. Today, they released their Minor League Coaches and Managers… here it is:
DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2018 MINOR LEAGUE COACHING STAFFS
LOS ANGELES– The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates for the 2018 season:
Triple-A Oklahoma City
- Manager – Bill Haselman
- Pitching Coach – Bill Simas
- Hitting Coach – Adam Melhuse
- Coach – Luis Matos
- Manager – Scott Hennessey
- Pitching Coach – Dave Borkowski
- Hitting Coach – Terrmel Sledge
- Coach – Leo Garcia
Single-A Rancho Cucamonga
- Manager – Drew Saylor
- Pitching Coach – Connor McGuinness
- Hitting Coach – Justin Viele
- Coach – Petie Montero
Single-A Great Lakes
- Manager – John Shoemaker (42 Years with the Dodgers)
- Pitching Coach – Bobby Cuellar
- Hitting Coach – Jair Fernandez
- Coach – Seth Conner
- Manager – Jeremy Rodriguez
- Pitching Coach – Dean Stiles
- Hitting Coach – Dustin Kelly
- Coach – Fumimasa Ishibashi
Rookie-level AZL Dodgers
- Manager – Mark Kertenian
- Pitching Coach – Luis Meza
- Hitting Coach – Jarek Cunningham
- Coach- Tony Cappuccilli
- Coach- Jairo Pacheco
- Coach- Chris Gutierrez
Dominican Summer League Dodgers
- Managers – Keyter Collado and Austin Chubb
- Pitching Coaches – Roberto Giron and Ramon Troncoso (welcome back)
- Hitting Coach – Sergio Mendez
- CLP Defensive Coordinator – Pedro Mega
- Coach- Antonio Bautista
- CLP Coach – Dunior Zerpa
- CLP Coach – Eduardo Calzado
The managers of the Dodgers’ top three affiliates remain intact, while new skippers are in place for Single-A Great Lakes, Rookie-advanced Ogden and Rookie-level AZL. John Shoemaker will manage the Great Lakes Loons after spending 2017 with the AZL Dodgers, Jeremy Rodriguez will become the skipper for the Ogden Raptors after spending last season with Great Lakes, and Mark Kertenian will become the manager for the AZL Dodgers after managing the Raptors last year to its first ever Pioneer League championship. Keyter Collado and Austin Chubb will return as the managers for the Dodgers’ Dominican Summer League teams.
Haselman, 51, will return for his third season as the manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City and for his fifth season with the Dodger organization. Bill Simas will join the OKC Dodgers staff as the pitching coach after serving last season in the same position with Double-A Tulsa, while coach Luis Matos enters his third season with Oklahoma City. Adam Melhuse will round out the staff as he joins the club as the newest hitting coach. Melhuse spent the past two seasons as the manager for the Los Angeles Angels’ Single-A Burlington Bees (2016-17) and prior to joining the Angels organization in 2016, he was with the Chicago Cubs as an advanced scout. The Santa Clara, California, native and former UCLA Bruin played eight Major League seasons (2000-08) with the Dodgers, Rockies, Athletics and Rangers, appearing in 311 games and hitting .234 with 24 home runs and 98 RBI.
Hennessey, 47, enters his first full-season with the Drillers after inheriting the manager position on July 24, 2017. After taking over a .500 team, he led the Drillers to a 32-18 record and navigated the club to the Texas League Championship Series last year. Prior to being named the skipper, Hennessey had served as an amateur scout in the Dodger organization since 2007. Hitting Coach Terrmel Sledge will return for his third season with the Drillers, while coach Leo Garcia enters his fourth year with Tulsa. Dave Borkowski will join Double-A Tulsa as the pitching coach, after serving the same position with Houston’s Double-A Corpus Christi for the past two seasons. The former Major Leaguer had spent the past eight years as a pitching coach in the Astros’ system (2010-17) and was also the pitching coach for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League in 2013. Borkowski appeared in 181 big league games (21 starts) over seven seasons, going 13-20 with a 5.87 ERA with the Tigers (1999-2001), the Orioles (2004) and the Astros (2006-08).
Saylor, 33, enters his third season as the Quakes manager after leading the club to its third straight postseason last year. Pitching coach Connor McGuinness (28), hitting coach Justin Viele (27) and fourth coach Petie Montero (32) all enter their second season with the Dodger organization and will enter their first year with Rancho Cucamonga. McGuinness served as the pitching coach with Single-A Great Lakes last season and Viele was the hitting coach for Rookie-advanced Ogden in 2017. Montero served as a coach for the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers and DSL Dodgers 1 last year.
Shoemaker, 61, will embark on his 42nd season in the Los Angeles organization and 25th season as minor league manager as he becomes the Great Lakes skipper after spending last season with the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, Shoemaker has been with the club ever since, as a player (1977-80), manager, coach and coordinator and, in 2015, he was appointed as the Dodgers’ “Captain” of Player Development. Cuellar enters his fourth season with the Dodgers organization and returns for his second stint with Great Lakes as pitching coach (2016) after spending the past season with Ogden. Fernandez is entering his third season with the Dodgers organization, and his second with Single-A Great Lakes as the hitting coach. Conner begins his first year coaching with the Dodgers this season. The 25-year-old Missouri native played five minor league seasons in the Blue Jays organization (2011-14, 16) and posted a .244 batting average with six home runs and 76 RBI in 187 career games.
Rodriguez, 28, enters his second season with the Dodgers and his first year as the manager for the Ogden Raptors after spending last season as the Great Lakes skipper. The Southern California native played in parts of five minor league seasons (2011-15) in the San Diego organization after being selected by the Padres in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of California State University, Bakersfield. Newcomers Stiles and Kelly will become the Raptors pitching and hitting coach, respectively, as they both enter their first year with the Dodgers. Stiles joins the club after spending time at San José State as an assistant coach, Florida International University as a pitching coach and three seasons as the University of Oregon’s volunteer assistant coach in charge of pitching. Following the 2015 season, Stiles served as the bullpen coach for the Eugene Emeralds, a Class-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs. Kelly spent three years as an assistant coach at California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo. He played three seasons in the minor leagues as a second and third baseman, and shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Ishibashi, returns to Ogden for his second stint with the Raptors after being with Great Lakes for two seasons as the fourth coach and his eighth season overall with the Dodger organization as a coach.
Kertenian, 37, will manage Rookie-level AZL Dodgers after spending his first season with the organization as the skipper for the Ogden Raptors. Meza enters his third season with the Dodger organization as a pitching coach and his first year with the AZL Dodgers after spending 2017 with the DSL Dodgers in the same position. Cunningham will enter his second season as the AZL Dodgers hitting coach. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of high school and played eight seasons as second and third baseman. Cappuccilli also returns to the Dodgers for his second season with the AZL Dodgers after joining the organization mid-season last year. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Cappuccilli spent the previous three seasons with the University of New Mexico Lobos as an assistant coach. He played one year in the Frontier League for the Florence Freedom before turning to coaching, beginning at his alma mater Edison HS. From 2010-13 he was an assistant coach at Irvine Valley College, and spent the 2014 season as a volunteer assistant at UNLV. In 2010 he was also an assistant coach for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League, and from 2011-14 he was the head coach of the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Baseball League. The club also welcomes two new coaches to the organization that will assist the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers in multiple areas. Pacheco, 21, is making his coaching debut after finishing the 2017 season with the Ogden Raptors where he pitched in seven games and finished with a 4.63 ERA. He spent five seasons in the minor leagues and was awarded as a Pioneer League post-season All- Star in 2015. Pacheco was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on January 26, 2013 from Venezuela. Gutierrez joins the Dodger organization after serving as an assistant hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs organization from 2014-2016. Gutierrez played in 872 career minor league games and hit .252 with 16 homers and 289 RBI over nine seasons with the Blue Jays (2005-09), the Angels (2009), the Dodgers (2010) and the Marlins (2011-13) organizations.
Chubb, 28, enters his third season with the Dodger organization and his second year at the helm of the DSL Dodgers 2 after winning the Dominican Summer League title in his first season as manager over the DSL Dodgers 1 club. In 2017, Chubb became the first American manager in the history of Campo Las Palmas and prior to becoming the skipper, he entered the coaching ranks as Rookie-advanced Ogden’s hitting coach. Collado, 31, enters his seventh season in the Dodger organization and his third as the manager of the DSL Dodgers 1 after leading the club to a 47-24 record in the DSL Northwest division. Giron enters his fifth season as the pitching coach for the DSL Dodgers, while former big leaguer Ramon Troncoso joins the organization for his first coaching stint as the other pitching coach. Troncoso spent five years in the Majors (2008-11, 2013), including four seasons with the Dodgers (2008-11), going 8-8 with six saves and posting a 3.92 ERA in 175 relief appearances. Mendez will return for his third season as the hitting coach, while Mega (defensive coordinator) and Bautista (coach) will also return to the Campo Las Palmas staff in 2018. Zerpa and Calzado will round out the Campo Las Palmas staff next season and will assist the DSL clubs in multiple areas.
P.S. I no longer love the scumbag McCourt!