Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AJ Ellis, On Sweating The Trade Deadline

Jon Weismann found this first, a little piece by Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (filling in for Buster Olney) about how the trade deadline affects the players--actually, the people--whose lives might change or have changed in an instant. And since the link is insider only, I'll let you pickup some over there at Jon's place, and then you can pick up some more of the story here:

I found out when I woke up the next morning. This time it was the one we had come to expect from all the speculation. Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin were headed to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder and leadoff hitter Shane Victorino. Victorino had been a thorn in our side during our playoff defeats in the 2008 and '09 NLCS. His fearless defense, relentless baserunning and clutch hitting -- along with his confident attitude -- made Victorino the kind of player you hated to play against but secretly wanted on your team.

We gained a new spark and leader in Shane. A battle-tested veteran who has played year in and year out in the biggest games on the biggest stages, his addition changed our team dynamic from the outset. Shane stepped in the first day and added a strong voice to keep the team moving in the right direction and remind us that winning that day's game was all that mattered. The trade was another sign from our front office and ownership that they had our backs and that they want to win right now. In less than a week, ownership had fulfilled its promise to upgrade the roster and give us the pieces to contend for a championship, but at what cost?

To get something, you have to give up something, and for us, Nathan Eovaldi (traded for Ramirez and Choate) and Lindblom were the high costs to supplement our roster. We were able to catch up with Nate last week when we visited Miami, and it was odd, to say the least. Nate told us about his transition and the whirlwind of being traded across the country, from being met at the airport by a reality-show camera crew to walking into a clubhouse where he didn't know a single teammate. Fortunately for Nate, a player who had worn only Dodger blue, the fraternity of ballplayers is strong enough to help players, especially the younger ones, make the transition as he experienced the fears and anxiety of facing the unknown.

Ellis goes on to mention how sad he was to lose Josh Lindblom (the way the team figured out Lindblom might be gone was interesting), as well as what major league veterans (like Juan Pierre!) do to help new players get acclimated to unusual surroundings. It's a good piece from our versatile catcher!


Dusty Baker said...

Awesome AJ. At the risk of pissing off my man Spanky, I love the Victorino bit. It's great insight on clubhouse dynamics that are so important. Love that fact that Crown Vic showed up and jumped right into a leadership role.

I'm feelin this.

Fred's Brim said...

Me too

Dusty Baker said...

Oh, wait, that was Stubbs I was feeling. Pardon the grab.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

Then who just goosed me?

Dusty Baker said...

I think your own mom goosed you, Neeebs!

Steve Sax said...

That's not a goose, that's a wedgie.

Or in Neeebs' case, a wedgieee