Dodgers Have Granderson: Really? REALLY?
August 24, 2017
I considered several topics for my column this week. Topics from different sports. Less than an hour into my thinking I had my answer. It wasn’t a difficult decision. In fact, it was ridiculously easy.The Dodgers getting Curtis Granderson for a very low price boggled my mind. Granderson, now 36, has hit 314 home runs in his 14 major league seasons and driven in 862 runs. He’s made more than $100 million in his 14 major league seasons and been an All-Star three times.
Known as The Grandy Man, he most recently became the first player in major league history to hit two grand slam home runs with two different teams in four days. The second one allowed the Dodgers to overcome a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Pirates Monday night. Granderson has been honored for his many contributions off the field and was once voted the friendliest player in the major leagues. He has traveled to numerous countries to promote baseball. He was a star for the Detroit Tigers and then the Yankees. Lately he’s been with the lowly Mets and teams out of contention often get rid of expensive players late in the season. So it was likely they’d trade Granderson. But to the Dodgers? That was quite a surprise. It illustrates how serious the Dodgers are about winning the World Series this season, their first since 1988.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball and lead their division by 20 games. But they haven’t progressed through the playoffs in the last four years, and failing to improve their roster with veteran players at this crucial stage of the season was a factor. Now they’ve decided to add elite pitcher Yu Darvish and Granderson. It’s no guarantee they’ll win the World Series but they’re giving themselves their best chance. Granderson and Darvish will both be free agents next season but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Granderson offers one reason for his outstanding hitting. “I try to be aggressive,” he says. "If I’m aggressive I won’t be hitting with two strikes as often.”
To make room for Granderson the Dodgers optioned center fielder Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Pederson has been one of their most promising youngsters the last few years but his batting average has slipped to .219. He needs to sharpen his game and most likely he’ll be brought back to the Dodgers when roster limits are increased next month. The Dodgers haven’t given up on him but they seek improvement. Remember, Yasiel Puig was sent to Oklahoma City a few years ago and returned with a much better grip on his game.