Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Blue: Dodgers Revamp With Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett

And Carl Crawford and Nick Punto too.

Amazing. The Dodgers are two games back in the National League West, but all eyes are on Los Angeles to lead the league toward the World Championship.

What a monster trading deal this weekend. The Los Angeles Times has lots of coverage. See, "Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett introduce themselves to L.A."

And, "Adrian Gonzalez makes great first impression":

Only two pitches and Adrian Gonzalez was already illustrating the vision the Dodgers had when they inherited $260 million in salary commitments to acquire him from the Boston Red Sox.

Gonzalez redirected an inside fastball from Josh Johnson inside the right-field foul pole for a three-run home run, and the same fans who were on their feet when he first stepped into the batter's box were standing again, only this time they roared even louder.

When Gonzalez completed rounding the bases after his first-inning blast in the Dodgers' 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins, Matt Kemp was waiting for him at the plate. Hanley Ramirez was in the on-deck circle. Andre Ethier was climbing up the dugout steps.

The centerpiece of a historic nine-player trade that was completed earlier in the day, Gonzalez was far removed from the drama of the Red Sox and now part of a middle-of-the-lineup quartet that was arguably the best in baseball.

Talking of what the addition meant to his lineup, Manager Don Mattingly recalled how he was once a coach on a New York Yankees team that batted a young Robinson Cano ninth.

"It's getting there," Mattingly said.

Mattingly unveiled what he said would be the Dodgers' everyday lineup: Kemp batting third, followed by Gonzalez, Ramirez and Ethier.

"How do you mix and match them?" Mattingly said. "They're all stars. They all can't hit third."

The four players have made a combined 14 All-Star appearances. They are all still in the primes of their careers, between the ages of 27 and 30.

"It's great, man, it's awesome," Kemp said.
And even more good news, "Vin Scully will be back in the booth next season."

Still more coverage here, "An extraordinary day in Dodgers history: A recap."