Tim Brown

  • Dave Roberts is the definition of what a Dodger is today

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    My kid, as all kids in Los Angeles eventually get around to, once inquired, “Dad, what’s a Dodger?”

    That’s the baseball team here, son.

    “No, I mean, what’s a ‘Dodger?' ”

    Ah. Like Jazz in Utah. The Lakers here. Or, maybe, what’s a Knickerbocker? Are there really Braves in Atlanta?

    It’s a person who, uh, dodges. Trolleys, back in the day. Now, it would seem, stability. Consistency.

    Since the last championship, eight managers have come, including, expected as of Monday, Dave Roberts. Seven have gone. Five general managers, not including Tommy Lasorda, but including Andrew Friedman/Farhan Zaidi. Four ownership groups, not including Major League Baseball, which covered the time between Frank McCourt and the Guggenheim posse.

    That’s over 27 years, but still, with every owner, every general manager, every field manager came new ideas, new directions, new players, new commitments to “doing it the right way” and fresh fawning over a tradition that was in the process of being paper-cutted into mediocrity.

    So, what’s a Dodger? Depends on the day. Depends on who’s doing the talking. Depends on who’s driving the trolley.

    And that’s what a Dodger is today.

  • Sources: Los Angeles Dodgers expected to hire Dave Roberts as next manager

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday are expected to hire Dave Roberts to be their next manager, sources told Yahoo Sports, ending a four-week search for the field leader of a franchise loaded with financial might and annual disappointment.

    Roberts, 43, was a former outfielder for the Dodgers and spent the past two seasons as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.

    The job was available under slightly odd circumstances. Though Don Mattingly had a year remaining on his contract, Mattingly and members of new management – notably Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi – apparently were too fond of each other to continue, as surmised by sunny post break-up comments. So Mattingly interviewed and came to terms with the Miami Marlins in an unusually brief period after Mattingly and the Dodgers split, and the Dodgers chose not to make a big thing over the unusually brief period required for the Marlins and Mattingly to come together.

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  • The inside story of Clayton Kershaw's 'Mean Street Posse'

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    The Clayton Kershaw posse knows you're laughing.

    The three guys in commercial real estate know. The two in oil and gas know. The guy at Goldman Sachs knows. The CPA knows. (They also know you might've guessed accurately what they do for a living, you know, as a goof. Anyway.)

    The sweaters are on purpose, by the way. First off, they wear sweaters a lot because it can get chilly in Dallas but second – there's a second – you made fun of the sweaters so they brought them back, and then they brought them back again and tied them around their necks. For you.

    As one asked the rest on the eve of the Cy Young Award unveiling this week, "How can we look like the most preposterously pretentious group possible?"

    As another answered, "Easy. Sweaters around the neck."

    You're welcome.

    In the stoicism on their clean-shaven, glee club, ever-so-milky mugs, they are reaching for levels of deadpan dorkiness not yet summited, because they understand you need them to be hangers-on, to be the most stereotypically uncool crew in the history of crews. So, you should laud their efforts, and then perhaps ignore how naturally it came to them.

    The Internet, of course, leapt.


  • Nothing overrated about Bryce Harper’s maturation, unanimous MVP season

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Months ago, when his fellow players were conspiring to label him the most overrated player in the game (again), Bryce Harper smiled and shook his head at the notion he wasn’t much loved by his peers. He didn’t say much that day, something along the lines of Whadda ya gonna do?, as he had a clubhouse of men whose expectations meant more (and maybe, who knows, voted with that majority), and a heart that demanded better than any dumb magazine poll of fellow big leaguers.

    Besides, he had to go hit.

    On the front end of 654 plate appearances in his fourth big-league season, Harper first endured the sort of sandbox ridicule that comes with choosing a sandbox profession. On the back end he led the National League in home runs, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, WAR and neck abrasions, then learned the same juvenile clique had decided he was the league’s most outstanding player, and then on Thursday discovered the writers had made it, in all ways, unanimous.

    Bryce Harper is the pretty girl nobody wants to like, the pretty girl with a beard and eye black and 1.109 OPS it must be said, who also – turns out – kicks their asses.

    And then, at 22, he hit .330 with 42 jacks.

  • David Ortiz, both great and flawed, deserves appreciation

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    We have a habit now – maybe it's even an obsession, from the looks of it – to attach a number to every man who plays the game. Like a bar code, so we know without question that he was worth this, precisely this, nothing less, nothing more. That's how teams are built and torn down anymore, how the checks are written. It's how ballplayers are judged from the day they arrive to the day they lift their helmets to say thank you and goodbye, it's been swell.

    So, yeah, great.

    The better parts were when they were champions or not, in that instant they realized it. The life was in the happiness and the disappointment, in the very second they honored the work and commitment and good fortune, when they cursed the inch or two they missed by.

    That, to me, is David Ortiz – a great and flawed player, a champion and not a champion, a big ol' guy from Santo Domingo who's lived every bit of it all for nearly 20 years, who swung hard because that's the best part of the game. He laughed harder than anyone, and that won't change, and got mad sometimes, and that won't either, and he damned well wanted his money and gave a lot of it away too, mostly to the children.

  • San Diego's reconstruction continues as Craig Kimbrel is shipped to Boston

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    Digging out of their third last-place finish in four years, and this time under new management, the Boston Red Sox on Friday night acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four minor leagues.

    The Padres, conversely, appear to be restocking a minor-league system stripped bare by their hell-bent efforts to compete in the NL West for the first time in a half-decade.

    Kimbrel has 224 saves over the past five seasons. In four of them, all with the Atlanta Braves, his total led the National League. He was traded to the Padres on the eve of the 2015 season in what was viewed as another piece toward rare Padres relevance. It did not work, though Kimbrel posted 39 saves and a 2.58 ERA.

    On Thursday, Preller traded Joaquin Benoit, the Padres’ eighth-inning reliever, to the Seattle Mariners for two minor leaguers, a pitcher and an infielder.

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  • Braves trade SS Andrelton Simmons to Angels for Erick Aybar, top prospects

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    The rebuilding Atlanta Braves and the dormant Los Angeles Angels found each other Thursday, and as a result shortstop Andrelton Simmons is headed west in a trade that will bring the Braves veteran shortstop Erick Aybar and the Angels’ top two pitching prospects.

    Simmons is the best defensive shortstop in baseball and, at 26, is under contract through 2020 for another $53 million. He also, last season, was more productive offensively than Aybar, who has a year and $8.5 million remaining on his contract.

    The real gain for the Braves is in the pitchers. Sean Newcomb, 22, is a 6-foot-5 left-hander who many believed was the Angels’ ace of the future. The previous regime in Anaheim – first Jerry Dipoto and in the weeks leading to the recent trading deadline Bill Stoneman and Matt Klentak – frequently spurned offers for Newcomb in spite of deficits on the big-league roster that resulted in a third-place finish in the AL West. The other is Chris Ellis, a 23-year-old, 6-foot-4 right-hander.

  • Why Tommy Hanson's premature death at 29 years old makes no sense

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    The day after Tommy Hanson died at 29 years old, a man called to say his children would miss Tommy’s phone calls, the ones where they’d laugh and goof on each other and talk about where they’d go hunting next. Another, maybe tired of holding it all in his own head, called to wonder how this could happen, how Tommy could be gone, because it made no sense, just none at all.

    They wanted to know what took Tommy Hanson.

    He had a good soul, they said. He worked tirelessly, desperately, to be the pitcher he once was, a hell of a thing when you’re 27 or 28 or 29. He lugged the death of a younger brother with him, that from two years ago, which doesn’t go away with a good season or a bad one, or with time, or with anything.

    They were afraid baseball had taken Tommy Hanson, that this had something to do with the fastball that slipped away and the career that stalled for it. They were afraid they hadn’t helped enough, or been friend enough, and now all they could think about was Tommy’s young wife and Tommy’s parents and all that could have been out there for Tommy, no matter the baseball.

    Then everyone started saying his goodbyes.

    “It’s bothering me,” said one of the men who called.

  • Matt Harvey decision haunts Mets after World Series collapse

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 23 days ago

    NEW YORK – Matt Harvey wanted the ninth inning Sunday night. Insisted on it. Damn near bullied his way into it. Maybe even deserved it. He certainly thought so. Almost everyone did.

    This was the most meaningful game he'd ever pitched, and this was about finishing that. Maybe it was about more, too, about selling out for the men around him, and for the people who filled his ballpark, and for the city, about setting his soul on fire for everyone who wished to believe in him.

    He is 26 years old, filled with that optimism. He is big and strong but carries the crescent scar on his elbow. Once he'd been bulletproof. And there he was on the crest of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the World Series, feeling every bit that again, feeling as though he alone would carry this luckless franchise to Kansas City, to the hope of another day.

    "I won't be sleeping much the next couple days," Collins said early Monday morning, "I'll tell you that."

    According to Collins, Harvey had said, "I want this game. I want it bad. You've got to leave me in."

    Collins said he responded, "Matt, you've got us exactly where we wanted [you] to get [us]."


  • Daniel Murphy goes from hero to goat as Royals back Mets against wall in World Series

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 24 days ago

    NEW YORK – Outside, the people sat in their cars, inching away from Citi Field. Some climbed the subway stairs to the Mets/Willets Point Station, together in their slow progress and cheerlessness. In the hallways that pass beneath the stadium, the owner, Fred Wilpon, grim-faced, made for his ride home, followed by Chris Christie, his hands deep in his pockets.

    The game has a way of rewarding neat piles of effort and hope with mountains of regret, and so a World Series they believed promised better had quite possibly passed an inch or two or three from where they’d held their unsteady hand.

    In a hall just off the clubhouse, the one that leads to the food room, Daniel Murphy felt a hand on his back. He looked up.

    “You’re going to be the hero tomorrow,” the veteran Michael Cuddyer told him, what they’d all have to believe now that today was done.

    Murphy said nothing.

    “Wish I woulda caught it,” Murphy said.

    He wished he’d come in lower. He wished he’d used two hands. He wished he had another chance at the play.

    “I didn’t make it,” he said, “the only time it counted.”

    “He’s the reason we’re here,” Familia said of Murphy.

    “Anybody could miss that,” Flores said.