Wednesday, July 30, 2008

That LoDuca Trade Keeps Looking Better And Better

Jerry Crasnick of espn.com has another post-mortem report on the Brad Penny for Paul LoDuca trade of 2006, Paul DePodesta's last big hurrah:

Los Angeles Dodgers trade catcher Paul Lo Duca, outfielder Juan Encarnacion and reliever Guillermo Mota to Florida for pitchers Brad Penny and Bill Murphy and first baseman Hee-Seop Choi -- July 30, 2004

The headline: "Dodgers didn't need to do this" (Los Angeles Times)

Why the heck is L.A. general manager Paul DePodesta doing so much tinkering when the Dodgers sport a 3½ game lead in the National League West?

This trade is panned, in part, because DePodesta mistakenly thought he could flip Penny in a deal for Randy Johnson. But the biggest outcry is over DePodesta's decision to trade Lo Duca, the team's resident leader, glue guy and "heart and soul," and inflict irreparable damage on the Dodgers' clubhouse chemistry.

The postscript: Los Angeles went on to win the NL West for the first time in nine years, and Penny posted 16-win seasons in 2006 and 2007. The Dodgers fired DePodesta in October 2005. But in a strange twist, his image hasn't taken nearly as big a pounding as the catcher he was panned for trading.

Since leaving Los Angeles, Lo Duca has been scrutinized for everything from his gambling habits to his extramarital flings to his comments that the Latin players in New York should be available for media interviews because they speak better English than everybody thinks.

And that was before Lo Duca's name popped up in the Mitchell report. Some people suspect that's why he was scratched from catching the ceremonial first pitch from President George Bush in the Nationals' 2008 season opener.

"According to interviews with alleged steroid suppliers, Paul Lo Duca wasn't so much a clubhouse leader as a clubhouse pusher," LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote in December 2007. That really hurts.

Crasnick doesn't even mention that if Paul LoDuca was still a Dodger, we never would have had to endure Dioner Navarro, but we also never would have gotten the chance to get to know Russell Martin. Say Nope to Dope, Russell! And stay away from the track, while you're at it.

2 comments:

Manny said...

I remember that I was PISSED about that trade when it went down... Man how things change over time.

cigarcow said...

Yeah, Loduca is a piece of crap and clearly Depodesta identified that before any of us did. He's just a rotten person, a fraud, 100 times phonier than Steve Garvey.