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Plaschke:

Vin Scully can find his way into our hearts even during the gloomiest winter afternoons, as he proved again Thursday when he unwittingly starred in his own holiday movie.

The Ribs That Saved Christmas.

"I feel like such a dummy," Scully said with a laugh. "Only Scully could lose a ring while putting meat in a bag."

Our story begins with the legendary Dodgers announcer doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with his wife, Sandi, at the Costco in Westlake Village

The boutique of baseball voices loves Costco.

 

"There's so much stuff there, stuff everywhere, the first couple of times I was a little intimidated," he said. "But it's become my home away from home."

Sandi does the shopping, Vin works the cart.

"I'm the donkey, but I'm really very good at it, I can cut all kind of corners with that cart," he said. "I tell Sandi, 'Stay out of the way so I don't run this truck over your heels!' "'

Their system is always the same. Sandi points to packages the approximate size of small homes, and Vin topples or shoves or simply drags them into that cart.

"We fill that sucker up, we pile that heap as high as possible," he said.


He stacks the items so high, and cuts the corner so close, that once a fellow shopper asked him what was more exciting, going to a ballgame or Costco.

"I told him, it's Costco, because the outcome is really in doubt," Vin said.

On Tuesday, they were walking past the meat department when Sandi pointed at some ribs. With five grown children and 16 children to feed during the holidays, we're talking Fred Flintstone-sized ribs. Vin grabbed the packaged meat, stuffed it into plastic bags, and piled it on top of the overflowing cart. Eventually the couple navigated the extravaganza past the cashier, past the hot dog and pizza stand, and out to their SUV in the parking lot.

 

Once they had loaded the trunk, Scully climbed into the front seat, glanced down at his Costco-weary hands, and noticed something missing.

His 1988 World Series ring had disappeared from his finger.

"I said, 'Oh my God, I've lost my ring,' " Vin said.

The ring is one of six earned by Scully during his 65-year Dodgers announcing career, but the only one he has not given to his children, and the one that represents perhaps his most famous home-run description, "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"

"I kept telling myself, 'A ring is only a thing, it's only a thing,' " Scully said. "But I felt so terrible."

  • To Vin, I've never met you but you've been in the family for 3 generations! Thanks for the play by play and let's hope for a great 2015 season! Looking forward to hearing you during spring training in a few months! Tommy Apollo at 7:51 PM December 18, 2014

Scully immediately walked back into the store and informed assistant general manager Elias Rahhal, who acted as if he had lost his own ring.

"I went into a panic, I assured him we'd do everything to help find the ring, Vin is like family to us," said Rahhal, who printed out Scully's receipt and began a painstaking retracing of Scully's steps through the tower stacks and free food samples. Meanwhile, Vin called the Dodgers publicity sage Steve Brener, who immediately sent out a tweet informing the nation that Scully had lost the ring and asking anybody with information to call the Dodger Stadium switchboard. Then Vin and Sandi drove home while Vin continued to remind himself it was only jewelry and paled in comparison to the large and loving family that awaited his 88th holiday celebration.

"You know, maybe God heard me say that," he said.

Sure enough, while Vin was unloading the stacks of items, he heard a cry from inside the house. While emptying the ribs, Sandi found the ring at the bottom of the bag.

"I'm still laughing about it," said Vin. "But you know, I think I've been laughing about things all winter."

Scully phoned Costco's Rahhal and wished him Merry Christmas. He phoned the Dodgers' Brener and wished him Merry Christmas.

"This time of year just blows me away," said Vin.

Of course, this could not be a Christmas story without a Grinch, as Brener later discovered two people actually called the Dodgers and claimed they had the ring.

Meanwhile, Scully, still laughing, said he has unique celebration plans to honor the Ribs That Saved Christmas.

"We're going to use them for a small family dinner," Vin said.

And, oh yeah, he unwrapped the gift he is giving his city, confirming he will work every home game and road games in Anaheim and San Francisco next season, which means 95 more chances to spend a few hours with a treasure.

Merry Christmas to us.

3 days, 11 hours ago on Matt Kemp, Right Now, Is Still A Dodger

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Royals Review analyzes Dodgers outfield for possible trades:


Yasiel Puig
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 5.1/9.1
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 147/152
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: 4.9/12
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .294/.372/.490, 23 HR, 145 wRC+, 5.2 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $6.25 million/$31 million through 2018
  • 2015 Age: 24

Wouldn't it be nice to have Puig? A 5 WAR player under an extremely reasonable contract for the next four seasons? Yeah, Friedman thinks so too.  Puig stays.

Carl Crawford
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 2.5/41.2
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 119/106
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: N/A
  • 2015 Steamer Projection:.274/.317/.412, 13 HR, 107 wRC+, 2.3 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $20.5 million/$42.25 million through 2017
  • 2015 Age:33

After signing a giant contract with the Red Sox in 2011, Crawford immediately pulled off the two worst seasons of his career.  The Dodgers, eager to improve and with apparently limitless money to spend, took him on in 2013.  Since then, Crawford has been pretty productive, putting up 5.4 WAR.  There are three problems about acquiring Crawford: age, handedness, and fielding history.  Crawford is not Benjamin Button and will (most likely, you never know) age normally, which is to say for a baseball player entering his mid 30s, not well.  Furthermore, he's a lefty who has never played right field in the major leagues.  The Royals already have two lefties in the outfield, and getting someone with some experience in right is probably a focus for them.  Crawford's out.

Andre Ethier
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 0.7/20.6
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 98/121
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: -5.9/-20
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: ..261/.336/.400, 4 HR, 109 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $18 million/$53.5 million (plus a $17.5M vesting option for 2018) through 2017
  • 2015 Age: 33

Ethier is a player who's earned his keep from his above average hitting, which is now in decline.  He's getting paid a lot of money to do so.  Steamer projects him at exactly 0.0 WAR, though where it has him playing in the field I don't know.  Ethier played mostly center field this year, which was bad as you might expect, but wouldn't play center under any circumstances with the Royals if they were to acquire him.

Here's where salary comes into play.  Part of the reason to trade an outfielder like Ethier is to do so for salary relief, but he's under contract for so much that the Dodgers would have to eat some of the salary.  Ethier could probably be acquired cheaply in terms of prospects, and would be a decent veteran acquisition should he be on the free agent market.  If the Dodgers kick in at least $10 million a year, the Royals could consider Ethier.

Matt Kemp
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 1.8/22.1
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 140/128
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: -6.7/-1
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .272/.339/.470, 26 HR, 128 wRC+, 2.5 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: $21 million/$107 million through 2019
  • 2015 Age: 30

Here's where things are really interesting.  Matt Kemp sounds like a big name, yes, but Kemp is probably one of the most overrated players in baseball.  In 2011, he put up 8.4 WAR, smashing 39 home runs and hitting 68% above league average in the process.  In his other eight seasons, he's never put up more than 5 WAR; in fact, over half of his career value has come from 2009 and 2011.  Alex Gordon is a significantly better outfielder than Matt Kemp is, and it's not really close.

However, Kemp is being paid like he's putting up 2011 numbers, which is unfortunate for the Dodgers, because he's been injured and/or awful in the three years since.  He's a horror to watch in center, but his best position is right field where he's merely not good--Defensive Runs Saved from the Fielding Bible even basically has him as an average defender there for his career.  He's definitely a defensive liability going forward, but his bat more than makes up for it.

If the Dodgers kicked in enough so that a trade would mean 5 years and $50 million commitment, the Royals should listen.  With the value of the win rising and his contract locked in and even each year, and considering a healthy Kemp is worth between 2 and 3 WAR, I think the Royals would seriously think about it.  If the Royals were on the hook for 5 years and $40 million, I think it would be even more attractive.

Scott Van Slyke
  • 2014 WAR/Career WAR: 2.8/0.8
  • 2014 wRC+/Career wRC+: 160/134
  • Career RF UZR/150/DRS: 12.4/1
  • 2015 Steamer Projection: .239/.324/.406, 7 HR, 110 wRC+, 0.8 WAR
  • 2015 Contract/Overall Contract: League minimum/Arb eligible in 2016
  • 2015 Age:28

Van Slyke is also an interesting option.  A career minor leaguer who has spent 9 seasons in the MiLB, Van Slyke debuted with the Dodgers in 2012 and has gained more playing time each year since.  He had an amazing offensive season in 2014, but it was fueled by a huge .394 BABIP, and he's not particularly fast or powerful so that number should be considered an outlier.  Even with a BABIP in the range of mortals, Steamer projects good offense from him, although with some iffy defense.

He's not flashy nor a big name, and there's probably no upside left for a 28 year old, but Van Slyke is a good acquisition for the Royals.  He's making the league minimum for another year, and will reach modest arbitration salaries starting in 2016.  For a guy who's probably somewhere around league average, and for a team whose own young players are getting paid in arbitration, Van Slyke is an acceptable, dare I say 'cromulent,' option for right field a la Aoki.

Joc Pederson, Scott Schebler

It's worth mentioning these players, for they are truly the reason for the Outfield Scramble.  Pederson put up an OPS of over 1 in AAA in 2014, continuing his trend of destroying every baseball possible in the minor leagues.  Schebler hasn't been quite as good, but has posted an OPS of safely over .900 for two straight years (in A+ and AA, respectively) and is a legitimate prospect who will be 24 next year.  The Royals probably won't move to acquire either, as they are searching for veterans and not prospects at this juncture.  But they are a duo to watch, for sure.

***

The more that I think about it, the more I like trying to pry Kemp from the Dodgers for as little as possible.  Kemp is still reasonably young at 30.  Furthermore, Kemp could be utilized as a DH some days in 2015 and might eventually shift there part or full time as he enters his mid 30s.

After that, I think I would like Van Slyke over Ethier.  I'm wary of Ethier's aging and offensive decline, and while Van Slyke isn't exciting, he's also extremely functional and available.

Regardless, the Dodgers are a possible trade partner for the Royals.  Keep an eye on the Dodgers--they're going to trade with someone, but only Friedman knows what he's looking to do.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rejoice! Dodgers To Hire Farhan Zaidi as GM

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@FantasticFlex @Lobo its a fucking QS, bitch.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: So That Happened, Again

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@OCDodger except StL seems to own him and his tendency to choke in playoffs.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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Agon got jobbed

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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puig got jobbed

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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know what we need? First pitch swings...WTF.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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@moneynow27 pitching to Carp is sure up there.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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We need to bring in a fucking RIGHTY to pitch to that moth$%^&*er Carpenter

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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Rojas, GW Single. 11th.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Cardinals Oct. 6, 2014: NLDS Game 3, Ryu vs. Lackey

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I know he is hated, but this line resonates:


You're winning and it's OK that this team's only real leader is not the guy who leads the league in runs batted in and billboard photos — Adrian Gonzalez — but a guy who plays just once every five days. If you don't think Kershaw deserves the MVP award for keeping this circus under one tent, then you haven't been paying attention.- Plaschke

3 months ago on Rockies 10, Dodgers 4: Coors Field, Still The Worst

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Oh he of famous Lasorda rant, Kurt Bevacqua is on twitter: https://twitter.com/KurtBevacqua

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Cubs 7, Dodgers 3: Bad Pitching Is Bad

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it's only one game.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Tigers July 8, 2014: Hyun-jin Ryu And A Former Mismatch

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best soccer gif ever: Tim Howard's 16 saves:


https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/Br1IlF4IIAAce1W.mp4

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Rockies 8, Dodgers 7: The Most Fun Loss Of The Year

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@DBrim @MSTI>Dodgers Digestlove Dodgers Digest, just shows you how much Iloved MSTI. No disrespect intended

8 months ago on Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 19, 2014: Bolsinger?

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Kenley coming in for the the Chokeston impression?

8 months ago on Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 19, 2014: Bolsinger?

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@DBrim @MSTI>Dodgers DigestIt's more a problem with moving on that I have

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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Why did Hanley cut off Puig in 1st?

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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DEEEEEE, 1st pitch swinging machine

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Dodgers @ Padres, March 30, 2014: Grand Re-opening

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Gonna smoke those snakes!

9 months ago on Dodgers announce Australia roster, with a few surprises

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Good deal for the Dodgers to lock up Kenley

10 months, 1 week ago on Dodgers sign Kenley Jansen to $4.3 million deal, avoid arbitration

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it happens

1 year ago on No News Is Good News

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what about getting hit in head with ball as batter where helmet is insufficient?

1 year ago on No News Is Good News

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yeah, like I said, it's a poor slide. Call it what you want, it's a slide. 


BAN SLIDING!

1 year ago on No News Is Good News

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