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Topicbaseball's most lopsided trades in history

  • Tue 1st Dec 2020 - 7:05am

    Reigning National League MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger, who homered in Game 3's 15-3 victory over the Braves and tripled in Game 2's 8-7 loss of the NL Championship Series, seemed amused when asked his thoughts on analysts Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Frank Thomas breaking down his stance and swing on the FOX pregame show on Wednesday. “Yeah, I mean, I didn't even watch it,” said Bellinger. “It doesn't bother me. I mean, I'm just going out, playing my game still. People are always going to have their opinion on everything. I just got to go out and play my game.” The analysts focused on Bellinger's stance Jackie Robinson Youth Jersey, particularly how close he stands to home plate compared to last year. “It's pretty similar,” Bellinger said. “I was on the dish last year. No one really said a word. It's just I didn't hit as well as last year, obviously. But I'm feeling confident, feeling good. It's not about myself, it's more about the team. That's just a fact.” Wood on Dodgers' dominant display Former Brave and Georgia Bulldog alumnus Alex Wood said his Dodgers teammates issued “an incredible answer” to losing the first two games of the National League Championship Series with a 15-3 win in Game 3. “It really felt like that was the first game of the year that we really put it all together in all aspects,” he said. Wood also speculated that the Dodgers occasionally need to get “punched in the face” to bring out their best, borrowing an observation by Mookie Betts after a stinging loss to the Padres in mid-September. Wood said dominance in the regular season and annual postseason appearances and "you start to feel stagnant a little bit” when it becomes “expected and normal.” Dodgers set mark in power-packed 1st inning “So they punched us in the face the first two games,” he said. “To see how we came back in the ninth inning of the second game and how we came out in the first inning last night was one of the cooler games I've been part of my whole career. It woke us up. “The 2020 team, we've kind of out-talented everyone up until this point. The way we came back in Game 2 and answered yesterday, that checked a lot of boxes of if this is the best team I've ever been a part of. There's a difference between the most talented [team] and the best team, but it's scary to see the two combine, and it's going to be a lot of fun the rest of the way.” Seager's surge Past Octobers have not been kind to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager Joc Pederson Jersey, but this October there's been a different Corey Seager. In 31 postseason games before 2020, Seager's slashline is .203/.275/.331 with three home runs in 118 at-bats. This year: .367/.444/.800 with three home runs in 30 at-bats. What has Seager learned from past failures that has resulted in his current clutch production? “You've been around it. You know what to expect,” Seager said. “The game changes. You get pitched to differently. Taking your walks is just as good as a hit. Moving runners. Anything you can do to help your team win, you know? And results come. At the end of the day, you're not worried about your own results, you're worried about making the last out and winning games.” Did Seager feel he tried too hard to do too much on the big stage? “I don't know if it's necessarily that, but definitely trying to be too aggressive,” he said. “Swinging at pitches you shouldn't. Getting into bad counts. Not realizing how important moving the chain is. Not realizing how important just a walk is. You just kind of learn those things over the years and try to do them as best you can.”When the Dodgers and Rays face off to start the World Series on Tuesday night, there will be many interesting connections between the clubs. Despite entirely different approaches to roster building Julio Urias Jersey, they were the two best teams in the Majors in 2020, making this only the fourth time in the Wild Card Era that each league's top seed will face off for the championship. Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, was the Rays' GM the last time Tampa Bay was in the Fall Classic. And the Dodgers even had three former Rays on their NLCS roster in relievers Jake McGee, Adam Kolarek and Dylan Floro. (David Price would be a fourth, though he has yet to suit up with the team after opting out of the 2020 season.) Those aren't the only players to have suited up for both clubs, though. Fifty-eight players have played for both Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, and we've narrowed that list down to nine of the most notable. Chances are, they're going to have a harder time figuring out who to root for than you will. álvarez was the first pitcher to sign with the then-Devil Rays and was the first to throw a pitch for the new expansion team, too. The veteran starter was a steadying presence on those early Tampa Bay teams, though injuries were a constant issue and they forced him to miss all of 2000-01. After leaving the Rays, álvarez signed with Los Angeles, where he had one of the best seasons of his career in '03. He posted a 2.37 ERA while starting 12 games and appearing in nine more in relief Justin Turner Jersey. After another solid year in '04, álvarez struggled in '05 before retiring at the end of the season. Crawford was a bonafide superstar and Rays legend thanks to his blend of speed, defense and a solid bat. He led the Majors in steals and triples four separate times, and is the franchise's all-time leader in hits, triples and stolen bases, and is second to Evan Longoria among position players in WAR. Unfortunately, Crawford wasn't the same player when he joined the Dodgers. Sent to L.A. from the Red Sox along with Adrián González, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto in 2012 as part of a salary dump, Crawford struggled with injuries over the final four seasons of his career. After playing only 99 games across 2015-16, the Dodgers released the outfielder with two years left on his contract. Still, he had his moments, including when he hit three home runs in the 2013 NLDS against the Braves to help L.A. advance to that season's NLCS. Hendrickson did it all! Not only did he play for both the Rays and Dodgers, but the 6-foot-9 lefty also played in the NBA and CBA. Hendrickson joined the Rays before the 2004 season after being part of a three-team trade and soon became an essential starter for the team. The towering lefty led the team in innings pitched from 2004-05. The next year, he was traded to the Dodgers along with Toby Hall in exchange for Dioner Navarro and Jae Weong Seo. Hendrickson took on a swingman role in L.A., and he played in the postseason for the only time in his career in the 2006 NLDS against the Mets. Of course Jackson is on this list. How could he not? Jackson played for an MLB-record 14 teams in his big league career, but it all began with Los Angeles. Baseball America ranked Jackson among their Top 100 prospects three times, and he was just 19 years old when he made his big league debut for the Dodgers. Unfortunately, Jackson struggled in limited appearances across three seasons, and he was traded to Tampa Bay for bullpen help before the 2006 season. Though Jackson's numbers weren't much better with the Rays, he was a member of the 2008 American League champion Rays and pitched two innings in the World Series against the Phillies that fall. After joining Tampa Bay following one of baseball's most lopsided trades in history, the southpaw quickly became the Rays' ace as they transformed from cellar dwellers to the annual contenders they are today. Unfortunately, Kazmir often dealt with injuries in his career, limiting his effectiveness and eventually leading to his trade to the Angels in 2009. Later, after returning to the Majors after pitching in independent ball, Kazmir signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers in 2016. He was an effective option in the back of the rotation -- and even defeated the Rays in a return to the Trop -- but a hip injury flared up that summer. After being activated from the injured list, Kazmir pitched one inning on Sept. 23, and hasn't been seen in the big leagues since. Loney was a solid role player for both teams, and he had his fair share of highlight-reel success, too -- even if he never lived up to the dreams fans had for him given the hot start to his career. Loney immediately started hitting when called up to the Dodgers in 2006. He even recorded a four-hit, two-homer, nine-RBI game against the Rockies on Sept. 28. The next season, Loney hit .331 in 96 games, while blasting a career-high 15 home runs. Perhaps that set expectations too high Kirk Gibson Jersey, as he looked on the brink of stardom. Instead, after four straight years of declining performance, Loney was sent to the Red Sox in 2012 as part of the Crawford deal. The next season, Loney signed with the Rays and put up his best numbers since his rookie season. He hit .299 with 13 home runs and was an important part of the Rays' Wild Card winning-team. Unfortunately, his pattern with the Dodgers continued in Tampa Bay, and he was released before the 2016 season. The Crime Dog came so close to hitting 500 homers. If he pulled it off, it would have been thanks to this season's World Series contenders. The Rays tried to jumpstart their way to being competitive by bringing in big-name stars like McGriff, Wade Boggs and José Canseco in their early seasons as an expansion team. That didn't work out well except for McGriff, who experienced a career resurgence with his hometown team. He hit 97 home runs in three-and-a-half years, earning him a trade to the contending Cubs in 2001. After another 30-homer season with the Cubs, the slugger joined the Dodgers for the 2003 season -- only 22 home runs shy of 500. Unfortunately for McGriff, he struggled and hit only 13 home runs with L.A. He rejoined Tampa Bay the next season to make one more go at the mark, but age had fully caught up with him. After hitting just two dingers with a .181 average, the Rays released him that July, ending his career seven homers shy of 500. Still, his 99 home runs rank seventh all-time in Rays history. The Tornado! Nomo was a baseball sensation when his funky, twisting windup and unhittable fastball/forkball combination led the right-hander to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1995 with the Dodgers. Perhaps even more amazing than his rookie season was when he threw a no-hitter at Coors Field the next year. How does that even happen? Unfortunately for Dodgers and Rays fans, Nomo struggled with injuries later in his career. Following shoulder surgery, Nomo posted an 8.25 ERA with Los Angeles in 2004, and then made only 19 starts with a 7.24 ERA with the Rays the next season. Ramírez was a revelation when he joined the Dodgers after being dealt from the Red Sox. (Notice a theme here?) The left-field stands became Mannywood, and fans flocked to the park in Ramírez cosplay. His performance even earned him a bobblehead and, sure enough, Ramírez hit a pinch-hit grand slam on the day it was handed out: Meanwhile, it's OK if you've completely memory holed Ramírez's time in Tampa Bay. Ramírez played only five games with the Rays and picked up just one hit in 17 at-bats before he abruptly retired following a positive test for a banned performance-enhancing drug.

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