The Top 12 Turkeys ● 1989 – 2017

o-butterball-animal-cruelty-facebookHAPPY THANKSGIVING


 1 thru 12

You make the call!


28 thoughts on “The Top 12 Turkeys ● 1989 – 2017

  1. Schmidt vs Jones?
    P. Martinez?
    Manny anyone?

    Should we break them down into categories…

    1)Dead-line/in-season deals
    2)Winter acquisations.
    3)Player draft
    4)Foreign player


  2. The worst trade ever was Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields…. And letting Paul Konerko go is way up there.

    The whole trade with the Red Sox in my opinion was an almost total bust. Ill advised and stupid. We are still paying thru the nose for it. Dumb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We could have gotten a good 1st baseman for a lot less. And AGon really hasn’t been all that great. Decent but not great. One of the worst trades of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only seen my grandaughter once. That time, I told her I was Santa Claus. She was intrigued, as she’s young. Tomorrow morning she is supposed to stop-in.

        It’s all Thanksgiving throughout the house except in the baseball room.

        It’s now a workshop with Santa caps and candy-canes.

        I’m hoping to make some simple reindeer cookies in here tomorrow for her to take home.

        This is the set-up in front of the love-seat.


  3. My favorite turkey was Ned hiring Grandpa Joe and then telling Grandpa to bring a sycophant successor along with him as his bench coach, highlighting not only Ned’s willingness to pass the buck regarding any future responsibility for hiring the next Dodgers manager, but also highlighting a checked-out, distracted doofus owner like McCourt.

    And I agree, crash, Andruw Jones was a complete loser.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. #12 The 1992 season. 63-99. When Tom Candiotti was your ace, that’s a bad team.

    #11 Lasorda as GM. Who needs a skinny kid pitcher?

    #10 Don Mattingly. There might be some surprised he’s only #10, but that just means there are 9 bigger turkeys.

    #9 The Jason Schmidt signing. Who in their right mind would sign a guy you knew had shoulder problems?

    #8 Trading Mike Piazza. Though we did end up with a competent bat in Sheffield, Piazza was a Dodger dammit, and a HOFer at that.

    #7 The Fox regime. Never cared about anything except turning a buck.

    #6 The Boston Cluster Fuck. Taking on over $200M just so you could get a 1B is some pretty serious stupid.

    #5 Joe Torre. Never met a PVL he didn’t like.

    #4 Andruw Jones. I’ve never hated a ballplayer on the Dodgers until Andruw came along. I still hate the guy.

    #3 Ned Coletti. By my last count I had him up over half a billion (that’s with a B) wasted on worthless players. Think of all the houses McCourt could’ve bought with that money. Half a billion should’ve bought some pretty good players, but in the hands of Ned…

    #2 Frank McCourt. Embarrassing, petty and any other adjective you’d like to ascribe to him.

    #1 Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShits. One of the best pitchers of all time who’s only a footnote in Dodger history.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Isn’t hindsight great? It is hard to say which of all these so called blunders is the worst but I have to say the one that infuriates me the most was the Piazza trade. Why? The other trades and signings mentioned above may have been foolish but they were all done with the intent to either fill a hole or make the team better. They were made for baseball reasons, although finances certainly could have influenced some of them. The Piazza trade had nothing to do with trying to make the team better; it was solely punitive and consummated by people with little if any baseball acumen. Does Piazza share some of the responsibility? I believe he does but certainly cooler heads could have prevailed had there been any.

    I will say the Andruw Jones deal takes the prize for what the Dodgers got from him. At least the Dodgers knew Jason Schmidt was damaged goods but at least he cared. Obviously the Dodgers looked the other way with Jones, who did not look like he cared at all. While I understand why the Dodgers never looked into legal action with Jones for violations of the basic contract, they might have been justified if they had.

    I do have to comment on the Delino Deshields trade for Pedro. Whenever I hear people complain about this trade I feel obligated to complete the story. Yes, Lasorda did not think Pedro was strong enough and that by itself is just a judgement call that went bad. The trade is something else. We have to remember why the Dodgers made that specific trade and in order to do that, we have to remember Jody Reed. Reed was the Dodger second baseman who rejected a generous free agent deal to remain with the Dodgers. He would have been overpaid had he accepted but he thought he was worth more. He wasn’t and as I recall, he ended up signing with another team for far less than the Dodgers offered and headed into baseball obscurity. Meanwhile, needing a second baseman, the Dodgers made the deal for Deshields, who at the time was a decent player and probably better than Reed. The problem here, however, was Deshields really did not want to play for the Dodgers and got hurt. We all know how Pedro’s career went but we should mention that his career took off after being traded again.

    Same thing with Konerko. He never had much of an opportunity with the Dodgers and when he did, he could not force the Dodgers to play him. Once again, he did not flourish with the team to which he was first traded but he certainly did with the next.

    With all this said, I still feel the Dodgers troubles began when Al Campanis was fired for that disastrous and unfortunate Night Line interview. He might have been old school and on the way out anyway in a few years but he still knew a lot about how to but a team together and his counsel could have benefited those who followed him had he been able to retire in a normal way. The sale to Fox and then to McCourt are also huge low points in my Dodger timeline.

    I still do not understand the big opposition to the Red Sox trade. Adrian Gonzalez has been one of the more consistent Dodger hitters and his defense has been great. I think the Dodgers have gotten their money’s worth with him.

    Anyway, hope everyone has a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 3 people

    • We had to eat Crawfords contract to get AGon. We are still paying. AGon has been decent. But not great. Like Beav pointed out, we could have signed a decent 1st baseman. The whole trade was an ill advised panic move that was stupid. One of Neds last great blunders. Good God, he had alot of them… Maybe Beav can itemize and list them… Somewhere near a half a billion dollars wasted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I should’ve kept a complete list. Best I can do off the top of my head: Pierre ($44M), Schmidt ($48M) and Jones ($36.1M) and we’re already up over $128M. There was also Nomar II ($18M), Manny II ($45M), Meuller ($8-$10M), and Andre’s ill advised extension ($85M even if you only count half its $42M). League ($21M), Guerrier ($12M), Lilly. A plethora of PVLs. Its an enormously long list as I recall.

        To the Boston debacle, don’t forget to tack on Josh Beckett’s contract. I’ll give Punto a pass. Considering all they got from Crawford & Beckett is league average at best, those two cost over $100M. Now we’re up over $373M, and I don’t recall what Lilly made or you could add a good portion of that as well. I won’t even count Kemp as that seemed like a good deal at the time, but you could argue much of that contract should be counted as well.

        Pretty pathetic when you look at Ned’s entire body of work. I think for every 10 guys he’d acquire, he’d maybe hit on one, but that’s another list for another time.


  6. Ralph Branca, Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up ‘the shot heard round the world,’ dead at 90

    By Keith Thursby

    November 23, 2016, 7:30 AM

    Ralph Branca, the Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up one of baseball’s most dramatic home runs — “the Shot Heard Round the World” hit by the New York Giants’ Bobby Thomson in 1951 — died Wednesday. He was 90.

    Branca’s son-in-law, former Dodger Bobby Valentine, announced the death on Twitter. No cause was given.

    “One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is longer with us,” Valentine tweeted. “Ralph Branca passed this morning.”

    A three-time All-Star, Branca won 88 games during his 12-year major league career, including 21 for the Dodgers in 1947. But the right-hander’s accomplishments were overshadowed by a game he lost — the third and deciding game of a playoff for the National League pennant and a World Series berth in 1951.

    Thomson’s ninth-inning home run gave the Giants a 5-4 victory and made him a legendary figure. Branca went back to the Dodgers’ clubhouse and wept.

    “Bobby was the hero, but the fellow who came out of that incident 10 feet tall was Ralph Branca,” Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully said after Thomson died in 2010. “Ralph to me carried the cross exceptionally well. After a while it had to be excruciating.”

    There was no escaping the moment. “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! “ screamed the team’s broadcaster, Russ Hodges, in a radio call that would be replayed relentlessly over the years.

    Published reports decades later that the 1951 Giants were stealing signs from the opposing catcher — and thus batters knew what kind of pitch was coming — seemed to provide Branca with a measure of vindication.

    “My tongue has loosened because the truth has set me free,” Branca told the Journal News of Westchester County, N.Y., in 2001. “I don’t think Bobby understands the ramifications of what stealing signs did. They stole the pennant from the Dodger fans, still the greatest fans who ever lived. They stole the opportunity of Dodger players to go to the World Series and maybe beat the Yankees. They stole the glory and money from the Dodger owners.”

    Thomson maintained that although he knew which pitches were coming the first three times he hit in the decisive playoff game, he chose not to know what Branca was going to throw when he came to the plate that final time.

    “We did steal signs, and I did take some, and I don’t feel good about it. But I didn’t get the sign on that pitch,” Thomson told the Journal News in 2001. “Ralph says I did, and if that eases the burden of what he’s carried around all these years, I’m glad for that.”

    Branca told The Times in 2010: “I think [Thomson] didn’t want to demean what he did, but in my mind, I think he would have been a bigger man if he admitted it.”

    Despite the controversy, Branca and Thomson became friendly over the years, linked by the home run and frequent appearances for charities and memorabilia shows. “He was a good guy, was humble, never lorded it over me,” Branca told The Times. Branca blamed the Giants’ management for stealing the signs and said Thomson was “just a foot soldier.”

    Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the 15th of 17 children of Katherine and John Branca. He played baseball and basketball in high school but was at first overshadowed by a teammate, his older brother, John, wrote Joshua Prager in the 2006 book “The Echoing Green.”

    One of their sisters, Ann, wrote the three New York baseball teams to have the Brancas invited to tryouts. Teams were looking for players as the start of World War II depleted rosters. Branca signed with the Dodgers in 1942. His brother was drafted by the Army Air Forces.

    Branca debuted with the Dodgers in 1944 and had his best season in 1947 when he won 21 games and led the team to the World Series.

    “His fastball snarled, his big curve snapped,” Roger Kahn wrote in “The Era: 1947-1957” in 2002. “Young Branca had the world before him. There was not a better youthful pitcher on earth.”

    But the Dodgers lost the World Series in seven games to the New York Yankees. Branca pitched in three of the games, winning one and losing one.

    In 1951, the Giants and Dodgers ended the regular season tied for first in the National League. The Dodgers had been in first place for most of the season, but the Giants won 37 of their last 42 regular-season games to force the rare best-of-three game playoff.

    The Dodgers lost the first game, 3-1, on Oct. 1 at Ebbets Field. Branca pitched eight innings and gave up two home runs, including one to Thomson.

    The Dodgers won the second game the next day at the Polo Grounds, 10-0.
    The deciding game on Oct. 3 also was at the Polo Grounds. The Dodgers led, 4-2, in bottom of the ninth inning when Branca relieved starting pitcher Don Newcombe with two runners on base.

    Branca threw Thomson a fastball that was taken for a strike and planned to throw him another, hoping to set Thomson up for a curveball.

    He never got the chance. Thomson hit the second pitch over the left-field fence.

    Branca wrote about the game and the aftermath in his 2011 memoir “A Moment in Time.”

    “I was a good pitcher, but I was only known for throwing Thomson that home run pitch,” Branca said in a 2014 interview with Lindsay Berra, a columnist for Major League Baseball’s website. “That gave me notoriety. People say I became famous, but I say I became infamous.”

    The following spring, Branca injured his back and was never the same pitcher. He was acquired by the Detroit Tigers in 1953 and learned from a new teammate who had played for the Giants about their elaborate system of stealing signs.

    Branca won only 12 games after Thomson’s home run. He also pitched for the Yankees before briefly returning to Brooklyn in 1956. He was out of baseball at age 30.

    Branca worked as an insurance agent and financial planner after he retired from baseball. He was the first president of the Baseball Assistance Team, which was started to assist former major leaguers who needed financial, medical or other types of help after their careers had ended.

    “My only regret,” Branca told The Times in 1974, “is that I wasn’t able to pitch effectively after that ’51 season, that I wasn’t able to show people that the home run didn’t affect me.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s always nice to hear from you Shad.

      (Rest in Peace, Mr. Branca.)

      It’s a good thing too. I was just about to erect the “Think-Blue Nedisajerk Memorial
      Interment” section in the side-bar. I’m glad to see your still around. Happy Thanksgiving

      Happy Thanksgiving to the rest of ya’ as well…


  7. I was sad to read yesterday of the death of Ralph Branca, one of the many Dodger stars of the Dodgers, when the team was in Brooklyn. I once met him at a luncheon of Bill Gallo’s “Old Geezers” at Gallagher’s steak house in New York a few years ago. I was 13 years old when Branca gave up the infamous home run to Bobby Thomson.
    My condolences to his family and friends and may he rest in piece..

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I met Mr Branca at Vero Beach during spring training… He was the epitome of class.

    I just happened to be wearing my Brooklyn hat that day and he signed it. I will treasure it forever…..

    Mr Branca, may you rest in peace……


    • My Thanksgiving was outstanding. I successfully made my grandaughter believe I was Santa. This was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Hopefully, my daughter will bring her around more often.

      I trust you and everyone else are enjoying this Holiday season as well.


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