1. We have a bad citizen. The Dodgers are sorely lacking in nastiness, and the plunk-happy Padilla gives them some. This isn't like the days of Jeff Kent bringing down the clubhouse with his sourpuss ways. Kent was an everyday player with seniority; Padilla is an additional starter new to the team. Plus, part of the reason Joe Torre is being paid $13 million is to handle players like this.
2. He gets the NL bump. It's been proven: Pitchers who migrate from the AL to the NL have better numbers after the switch. Although Padilla is re-entering the pressure of a pennant race, the Dodgers aren't asking him to be an ace, just a serviceable fourth starter.
3. Less pressure on Kuroda. Hiroki's a tough mofo, but the last thing we need is him hurting himself and the team by trying to come back too early after suffering that concussion. He needs his rest, and Padilla gives him a good reason not to try to rush back.
4. He's cheap. True Blue LA estimates the Dodgers will be paying Padilla $83,060, while the Rangers owe him $13.75 million. That almost makes up for the Andruw Jones debacle!
5. We need some new blood. Let's face it: George Sherrill is clutch, but he wasn't the starter we were hoping for. Neither is Padilla, but an infusion of new talent is the first step to busting this damn slump.
photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers