Vin Scully says he’s returning for 66th season with Dodgers
Vin Scully, with wife Sandi at his side, waves to the crowd during a ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster before the game Sept. 23, 2016, at Dodger Stadium.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax embrace during the pregame ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster on Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts (30) joins MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, right, in presenting a check to Vin Scully to be donated to the Dodgers broadcaster’s favorite charity during a pregame ceremoney Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Fans wipe away tears during the pregame ceremony honoring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully with Jerry Doggett in the announcer’s booth at Dodgertown during spring training in Vero Beach, Florida on April 8, 1985.(Jayne Kamin / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully has broadcast Dodgers games since before the team moved to L.A. in 1958.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hall of Fame Dodger announcer Vin Scully before the start of a Dodgers - Reds game at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2010.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers announcer Vin Scully takes the stage to speak about his decision to come back for a 66th season in the broadcast booth during a news conference at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2014.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully is applauded on the field at Dodger Stadium, by family members, as he is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the “longest tenured sports team employee” on September 23, 2015.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully talks to members of the media at Camelback Ranch before a spring training game Friday.(Tom Tingle / Arizona Republic)
In this crazy week, when trade rumors are amplified and dissected with every passing second, the Dodgers commanded the attention of their fans Tuesday with two words: “BREAKING NEWS.”
On the public address system. On the video board. In the second inning.
Surely this would be good news for the home team. David Price? Jon Lester? Cole Hamels?
Better, as it turned out. Way better.
Hyun-Jin Ryu delivered the news in Korean, and there was barely any reaction at Dodger Stadium. Yasiel Puig spoke in Spanish, and there was a little bit of buzz.
Then Justin Turner spoke in English, and the crowd erupted in a deafening roar and a lengthy standing ovation.
In any language, the news was delightful: Vin Scully is coming back next year.
Scully thought long and hard about whether to return for a 66th season, at several points last year telling friends he believed this year might be his last. Scully, widely considered the greatest baseball broadcaster of all time, was inducted into the Hall of Fame 32 years ago. He turns 87 in November.
“It is very difficult to say goodbye,” Scully said in a statement. “God willing I will be back next year. Over the years I have been blessed to have so many friends including those that sit in the stands and listen as well as those at home, who listen and watch.
“It is just too hard to say goodbye to all these friends. Naturally there will come a time when I will have to say goodbye, but I’ve soul-searched and this is not the time.”
And that returned the focus to the issue at hand: Might the Dodgers be about to say goodbye to one of their outfielders?
In these final hours before Thursday’s trading deadline, the Dodgers’ priority is clear: Add pitching — a starter or a reliever, or better yet one of each.
Of the Dodgers’ top three prospects — outfielder Joc Pederson, infielder Corey Seager and pitcher Julio Urias — an official with another club said he believed the Dodgers would be most likely to move Pederson.
The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly want all three for Hamels. The Tampa Bay Rays are believed to want at least two for Price. The Dodgers would prefer not to deal any to the Boston Red Sox for Lester, who can leave as a free agent after the season. The Rays and Red Sox also have scouted pitcher Chris Anderson, the Dodgers’ first-round pick last year.
The Dodgers also could expand a deal — or do a separate deal — in order to clear their logjam of veteran outfielders. Matt Kemp has five years and $107 million left on his contract; Carl Crawford three years and $62 million; Andre Ethier three years and $56 million — and the Dodgers probably likely would have to help pay off those contracts in order to move them.
With the Dodgers in first place in the National League West, Crawford said he would not expect that kind of shakeup of the major league roster.
“The way the team is playing, I’d be surprised if something like that were to happen. But you never know,” Crawford said. “I thought I was stuck in Boston for seven years. I was out of there in a year and a half.”
Crawford said he is not hoping to be traded somewhere he could be assured of playing every day.
“I can’t speak for the rest of the guys,” he said. “For myself, winning is the bigger picture right now. It eases the pain of not playing, a little bit.
“I’ve tried to make it real clear I like being here. I don’t think about being anywhere else right now.”
Neither does Ethier, who is the odd man out for the moment. Manager Don Mattingly appears to have settled on an outfield of Crawford in left, Yasiel Puig in center and Kemp in right.
“I don’t think you can use the word ‘settle,’” Ethier said. “A lot of things can happen over the course of a week, or a couple days.
“If we have a chance to win — and everybody believes that — this is where I want to be. I want to win a championship, in whatever capacity I’m involved. I’ve been here for a long time trying to achieve that goal. It’s something I want to be a part of — playing every day, coming off the bench, or whatever is needed.”
Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, has suggested Kemp would welcome a trade to any team that would play him in center field. On Tuesday, Kemp declined to say where he would want to be after the trade deadline.
“I’m not worried about that right now,” he said. “I’m playing right field for the Dodgers now. I’m helping my team win.”
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