- It's not a trap: Jamey Carroll wins the Dodgers' Roy Campanella Award (dodgers.com):
"My dad grew up a Gil Hodges fan," Carroll said. "I have an understanding of what this organization is all about."
In his first year with the Dodgers, Carroll showed that understanding on the field every day. More than anyone on the team this season, Carroll stood out for his hustle, leadership and willingness to do whatever was asked.
At home plate at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, Carroll was honored with perhaps the highest award the team can bestow, the Roy Campanella Award. The fifth annual recipient, Carroll was chosen near unanimously by Dodgers uniform personnel as the player who best exemplified the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.
"Especially being a utility player, nobody ever knows what you're doing or where you're going," Carroll said. "I'm honored."
- On second thought, wait a second, maybe it is a trap after all: At the same time, the Dodgers are also utilizing Campanella's name to try and improve the sullied reputation of the Dodgers Dream Foundation (Steve Dilbeck's Dodgers blog):
Why would anyone donate money to the Dodgers Dream Foundation? Why would they even want to be affiliated with it?
The foundation is under investigation by the California attorney general’s office for paying club executive Howard Sunkin a salary of $400,000 in 2007 -- which was over a quarter of the charity’s entire budget. […]
I mean, who would write these people a check? Why would they?
The easy answer is, the charity still does good work. That despite the Sunkin fiasco, it can otherwise point to nine baseball or softball fields it has built or renovated in the community. To the camps and clinics it hosts.
But there are plenty of charities that do good work. The Dodgers even have another one -- which is actually their official charity -- ThinkCure!
Yet the Dodgers Dream Foundation not only forges ahead, Thursday it will announce a new venture, partnering with Cal State Northridge to carry on the legacy of Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella.
The funds reportedly still come in because the Dream Foundation doesn’t rely on Joe Blow to write a check. Its funding comes from businesses affiliated with the Dodgers which were finagled into a donation, from golf tournaments, fundraisers and, of course, the players.
The Dodgers already got into trouble once with the Dream Foundation. After signing Manny Ramirez to his last contract, they had him make out a donation and then said that would be their model for future contracts. At least it was until it was thrown back at them by the Players Union.
- According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Tim Wallach is the missing piece that the Blue Jays might need next year:
If the Toronto Blue Jays wish to pursue Tim Wallach as their next manager, one of his players could provide a unique reference.
“He’s just a different kind of manager than anybody I’ve ever had,” said outfielder Jay Gibbons, a veteran of seven major-league seasons who played for Wallach on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top farm club, the Albuquerque Isotopes.
“I never saw anybody have any animosity [toward him] or have anybody not like him – and that’s rare in a manager,” Gibbons said. “He knows the daily grind that a player goes through. I feel like he just gets it as a former player.”
Wallach, a five-time all-star as a third baseman for the Montreal Expos, could be guiding a major-league club next year. With Cito Gaston’s second stint as Jays manager expiring at season’s end, the club is looking for a replacement. As many as 200 candidates are reportedly under consideration by general manager Alex Anthopolous, including Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield and New York Yankees first base coach Rob Thomson, an Ontario native.
The Globe and Mail has learned that Wallach is also on the radar, too, because of his style, experience, growing reputation and previous connection to Canada. He played for the Expos between 1980 and 1992.
photo of Joni Campanella Roan and Admiral Ackbar by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers (who else?)