Friday, November 01, 2013

Want a Backup Defensive Outfielder - Why Not Franklin Gutierrez?

Well, we got word this afternoon that Franklin Gutierrez has been let loose by the Mariners, and baring a re-signing at a lower salary to Seattle, is likely to be sought after by teams wanting his glove.  Via a tweet from Bob Nightengale:

If the Dodgers are looking to add some outfield depth - that is, a strong defensive option to shore up the outfield in the late innings - then they should look no further than to Franklin Gutierrez.  He is easily, and I don't think I'm mincing words here, the best defensive outfielder in the game.  Unfortunately for him, his bat (or lack thereof) limits his chances at being a regular starter.

Heck, I even mentioned this last week.  I wrote about him during an attempt at poking fun at Milton Bradley, here:
Joking aside, Franklin Gutierrez has stayed in the Majors since he left the Dodger nest.  That's a total of 9 years longer than I'll ever get to experience, and 3 years short of Milton "please don't kill me" Bradley's career.  He doesn't hit much; which limits his playing time to being a spot starter or reserve defensive outfielder.  Gutierrez's value as a ballplayer is in his work on the field.  He is truly a great defender, and if you need a guy off the bench to shore up your outfield during the late innings, then I can't think of anyone better.  After all, you don't get nicknamed "death to flying things" for being a duck hunter.

Franklin Gutierrez is likely to be a free agent this Winter (Seattle holds a $7.5Mil option/$500k buyout for 2014), so if your team is shopping I'd suggest looking Franklin's way.  His glove will probably be a difference maker in tight-hard-fought games.
With an outfield already stacked with four potential starters, Scott Van Slyke waiting in the wings, and prospects like Nick Buss and Joc Pederson looking for their shot, it's not likely he'll be a viable option.  On the other hand, if the Dodgers do finally move a piece or two (i.e. Andre Ethier) then a defensive specialist like Gutierrez might be in the cards.

Or, maybe this is just idle speculation as I sit here at my desk, mentally ruminating, in a state of Winter Baseball boredom.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2013 Topps Triple Threads Baseball - Dodgers' Autographed Cards

Here are pics of all of the Dodgers' autographed cards that I've been able to track down, so far.  Go here to see my previous post regarding Dodgers' cards within Topps 2013 Triple Threads Baseball set.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of Dodgers who have redemption cards inserted into packs instead of the actual cards; such as Clayton Kershaw (#TTAR-CKE1) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (on numerous combo autographed cards).  One surprising redemption is for Dodger great Johnny Podres (#TTAR-JPO1, #TTAR-JPO2, #TTAR-JPO3, #TTAR-JPO4).  He had died in 2008, so Topps can't possibly be waiting for autographs since it's likely they have hundreds (if not thousands) of his stored away on stickers.  It just might be that they just ran out of time, and couldn't get them made in time for this release.

As always, triple threads consist of cards that have relic pieces fashioned to express a saying or phrase that represents the player - usually a nickname.  I will add, though, that the Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig cards have me a bit confused.  What exactly does "Andre 3000" and "Still Andre" mean.  Also, since when has Puig been called "The Bull"?

Triple Threads Autograph Relics

#TTAR-AET1 Andre Ethier

#TTAR-AET2 Andre Ethier

#TTAR-AGO1 Adrian Gonzalez

#TTAR-DSN1 Duke Snider

#TTAR-DSN2 Duke Snider

#TTAR-DSN3 Duke Snider

#TTAR-SK1 Sandy Koufax

#TTAR-YP1 Yasiel Puig

Triple Threads Jumbo Plus Autograph Relics

#TTJPAR-AG Adrian Gonzalez

There is also a Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese Dual Cut Above Autograph card (#TTDCA-6), but it has yet to make an appearance.

Triple Threads Dual Cut Above Autographs

#TTDCA-1 Jackie Robinson - Ted Williams

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Some Great Vintage Photos from Hunt Auctions - Including Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues

Earlier this week, I shared some great Dodgers' artwork and memorabilia available at Hunt's annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory auction.  Now, I share some vintage photographic negatives from the Dennis Brearley Collection that features Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues from the turn of the century.

Dennis Brearley was a Pulitzer Prize winning photo journalist once employed by a Boston area newspaper and as the team photographer for the Boston Red Sox.  So, he had access to many of the greats in Baseball.

Below are a couple of original vintage negatives of Jackie Robinson.
(auction link)

The next two items are also from the collection of Dennis Brearley and date to the 1900's to 1910's, but were not actually taken by him.  Nevertheless, they are rare turn of the century negatives of a team that were rarely photographed.  These photos are believed to be of the vaunted Cuban Giants.

The below 2 photos are thought to be of Hall of Famer Jose Mendez.
(auction link)

Here are a couple more action photos of the Cuban Giants.  The name of the players is not known.
(auction link)

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Blog Kiosk: 11/1/2013 - Dodgers Links - Podres, Capuano, Mark Ellis and Happy Birthday Fernando

Happy Birthday!  El Toro turns 53 today.  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012.
“When I was in Little League, Johnny came to our games and would watch me pitch,” said Salerno, of Port Henry, N.Y. “That was a great thrill. I started collecting because he was so nice to me. He helped me get a lot of stuff and then signed everything for me.”
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers lead NL with 16 GIBBY nominations".
  • Ken also provides some news on Capuano and Mark Ellis, via twitter.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Ellis stay with the Dodgers in a back-up role.  Capuano, on the other hand, is likely to go elsewhere.
  • Nick Diunte at put together a great obituary on Bill Sharman; including nice details and quotes from former Baseball teammates.
  • FYI, here is the schedule for the announcements of the various BBWAA awards; such as MVP, Cy Youngs, etc.
(twitter link)
  • This is a clear sign of the lack of respect in our society today.  Via Bob Lemke, "Attempt made to steal (Lou) Gehrig's ashes".  Wha.....?
  • Howard Foxx at Gunaxin Sports has put together a collection of photographs of athletes in their Halloween costumes.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *