Kenley Jansen and Why We Root for Laundry

Last week we discussed why I feel the Dodgers should resign Justin Turner, and this week I had planned on writing about how they should handle the pending free agency for closer Kenley Jansen.  I was going to go over other closers entering free agency, what the best closers are getting paid, and other pertinent information.


That plan screeched to a halt around 3pm thursday afternoon, when the Dodgers traded catcher AJ Ellis for Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash. What does that have to do with KJ? We’ll get there…just gimme a minute.

I’m glad I wasn’t tasked with the ‘who won the trade’ article for the AJ trade; in the end, the Dodgers won the trade because we got a catcher who is marginally better at hitting left handed pitching, at the cost of a player who sat more than he played.  Cut and dry.  Very easy. Today we’re going to delve into the idea that, at our core, all us fans really root for is laundry.

[graphiq id=”amlAnThLCJL” title=”Carlos Ruiz Career Batting Triple Slash” width=”640″ height=”494″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/amlAnThLCJL” link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/14235/Carlos-Ruiz” link_text=”Carlos Ruiz Career Batting Triple Slash | PointAfter” ]

Stay with me here…

Imagine a parallel universe; one where California is on the east coast, coffee is your go-to adult beverage, and your Los Angeles Dodgers have won world series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Dodgers stars like Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Brandon Belt adorn Los Angeles kid’s walls, and Joe Panik spends his off days visiting kids at a local LA hospital.

Meanwhile, yucky smelly Clayton Kershaw is a dirty SF Giant, Adrian Gonzalez is the greatest Giant first baseman, and Justin Turner and Joc Pederson are smashing home runs into McCovey cove nightly.

Let that soak in…

Would you feel any differently about your Dodgers?  Of course not.  There would probably be a few more Dodgers fans, but other than that, you would still love them.  Still root for them. Still hate the teams/players that better them, and pray that they win that next game, the next series, make the playoffs, etc.  You would because you wouldn’t know any better; to you, the Dodgers were destined to win those 3 rings, the dumb Giants can’t win in the postseason, etc.

You see…we root for laundry.  At the end of the day, while we remain fans of players that come and go during our fanships, our allegiances stay with the Dodgers. Period.  You aren’t going to start rooting for the Phillies now that AJ was traded, are you?  No.  Why?  Because you love the Dodgers, not the guys wearing the uniforms.  We root for laundry; some of us burn with a white-hot passion, insatiable when it comes to anything and everything Dodgers.  Others are luke-warm; they might check the standings once a week, watch a game if it’s on TV, but couldn’t tell you who the back-up 1st baseman is. Either route is great, but the fact remains; you root for the Dodgers, not the Corey Seager/Joc Pederson/Adrian Gonzalez’es.

Look at the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade: we gave up 3 really good prospects, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton.  Just to clue in the uninitiated: Holmes and Montas have major league arms, and will be pitching in the majors soon.  Cotton threw a no-hitter within a week of the trade, so we gave up a TON of talent, but we did get some in return, as evidenced by Rich Hills dominant start vs. the Giants Wednesday night.

Did the fact that Rich Hill was an Oakland A somehow tarnish his performance Wednesday night? Nope. You cheered him on, told Buster to sit down after striking out, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his performance. He’s now a Dodger, one of us, and because he wears the right laundry, he’s our guy.

See? It wasn’t that hard. Welcome to the club, Rich! I’m being as patient as possible with your buddy Josh, and I feel he’ll turn it around soon enough…

Now, what does any of this have to do with Kenley Jansen?  Well, a little, and a lot.

Kenley is a free agent at the end of this year, and a quick glance at the list of free agent closers tells me 2 things; we are EXTREMELY lucky to have KJ on our staff, as his numbers stack up with any of the guys available, and he’s relatively young for a closer, tied for the youngest on our prestigious list at 28 yrs young.

screenshot-www.google.com 2016-08-26 20-02-06

Kenley deserves to get paid; no two ways about that.  A lot of teams will line up to throw a lot of money at him, but if you combine his age, his skill set, and his manageable cost, resigning KJ is a no-brainer.

Still not convinced?  Let’s look at some of the top closer salaries:

  • Rafael Soriano 2yrs $28m
  • Jonathan Papelbon 4yrs $50m
  • Heath Bell 3yrs $27m

One look at that list and you get an idea as to what the Dodgers are up against; I expect Kenley to fetch something like 3 to 4 years, $14m a  year, which is understandable considering some of those bloated deals listed above.

Do the Dodgers suck it up and pay him?  I hope, but, as evidenced just yesterday, baseball is a business, and our front office will stop at nothing to ensure that we have whatever edge necessary to win.  And while that sounds great in theory, in function, it costs us clubhouse leaders like AJ Ellis, who couldn’t hit his weight if he tried, but left many Dodger fans, this one included, in tears at the news of his trade.  At the end of the day, I’ll root for the Dodgers anyway; after all, I really just root for laundry.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://dodgersnation.com/aj-ellis-and-yasiel-puig-do-intangibles-matter/2016/08/28/”]AJ Ellis and Yasiel Puig – Do Intangibles Matter?[/button]

Christiaan Sorensen

Lifelong Dodger fan living on the beach in San Clemente; I love all things Dodgers/Lakers/Kings and Denver Broncos (#champs). Honored to be able to write about the best franchise in sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers.


  1. Great perspective. The one thing you do not cover is the human element. Once those guys are in that laundry most of them play their hearts out day in and day out. We see that and it bonds us to the team and the players. 
    I will always appreciate Matt Kemp. He damaged his career by trying too hard. He went into a wall and severely damaged his shoulder. 
    Other players same thing the talent to stay in up in the Show can be overcome by injury in the flash of a moment. These guys risk their careers to play hard, play the right way. 
    Many of them like AJ are in the clubhouse several hours before games working on how to pitch to batters. 
    So it starts with Laundry but does end with the players…..

  2. Tmaxster But from what I understand, Matt Kemp was a clubhouse cancer just like Hanley Ramirez was.  From what I understand A.J. was a real leader in the clubhouse.

  3. Brad Machado Tmaxster Yep Kemp they say was a cancer. But the example still stands here is a guy was is branded a cancer but goes fearlessly into a wall because he is competing as hard as he can. 

    That is the action of guy playing the right way. My point though is you see guys give up their bodies. And that body is what pays their bills and provides for their families and futures. 

    AJ is the embodiment of the Team Guy I know Ruiz is an amazing WS Winning catcher and he caught a rotation that was arguably as good as any in the history of the game from what stats tell us. But do not do a trade like that in the last of a pennant drive when the club has overcome so much.

    Maury Wills, Koufax, Etheir, AJ Ellis will always be favorite players as much as the fact they were Dodgers but they gave their all for Dodger Blue. I still salute Kemp he was the real MVP of the NL League one year and the MVP of the team several years in a row. 

    It is more than Laundry….To think that is the to agree with the stat nerds like Friedman and I do not agree.

  4. I may be in the minority. I do care about the players i the laundry. When AJ got traded I changed out of Dodger Blue and into basic black. (Yes, I’m sitting shiva, to honor today’s promotion.) Why? Because the people in the unis matter, at least to me it does. If I were to wake up one day during the winter meetings and discover that not only have we lost Kenley, but Corey, JT and (Great Dodger in the Sky forbid) Kersh I would not only curse the front office more than I am now, I’d probably put my Dodger cap into storage and treat the Dodgers like I have treated my hometown A’ints after getting sick of them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory one time too many. Yes, the A’ints won the Super Bowl a few weeks ago (or as I call it, the Stupid Bowl), but I don’t care because I stopped following football.

    Any well trained group of monkeys can play baseball, but it’s the players that I like. If our front office decides they want to trade all of my favorites in favor of a (percieved) increased possibility of going all the way I’d have no problem disowning the Dodgers. After all, AJ, Kenley, Corey, JT and Kersh aren’t just players, they’re like family. And of you can’t back up your family (blood or “adopted”) what good are you?

    Of course I may be the only one who feels this way. As always, your mileage may vary. But I’m one fan who won’t watch games this weekend because it’s one of the few things I can do to support a much-loved player who was cast off like Wednesday’s fish. That’s my story and you’d better believe I’m sticking with it. #TeamAJforever

  5. I want to clarify something. I’m not just bent out of shape because Friedman traded AJ, I’m also pissed at how he did it. He said he didn’t discuss it with any of the players because it would have been unfair to AJ, but what was wrong with telling AJ he might get traded? AJ’s honorable enough that if AF asked him to keep it to himself he probably would have done that, although I suspect AJ would have insisted on reading Kersh in. Instead, the Cubbies knew the trade was in the works but the Dodgers (players) were blindsided by the news. A little advance warning of a huge change can go a long way toward softening a blow, and AF obviously didn’t care enough about AJ to let him know his future may not be in Dodger Blue. I’m hearing AJ may not have made it through September with the team, and I’m curious to know how factual that was, but the way AF handled the trade sucks rocks. I can’t do anything to “punish” Friedman (for lack of a better word) but I can stop watching games for a few days. My heart may bleed Dodger Blue, but the way the FO is doing things it may as well bleed Black & Gold.

  6. JMHardinwrites The nice part about it for A.J. was that he had moved up from the worst Dodger hitter to second worst, thanks to Mo Friedman’s brilliant pickup of Josh Reddick. 74 at bats with one double and ZERO R.B.I. This clown should be embarrassed to accept a paycheck,

  7. Brad Machado JMHardinwrites And they pinch hit Reddick against Lester. Reddick can’t hit lefties his entire career and right now he cannot hit anyone yet they keep trying to give him more at bats. 
    We are in the middle of a pennant race play Toles or Segedin. Toles scored the only run in today’s game and yes I do give the Front Office credit for him and Segedin but they are master Dumpster Divers…..
    But when one of their guys bombs they keep forcing him down the throat of the team rather than cross him off and try another one…..I sure hope they do not sign him this Spring We have enough Outfielders without signing a free agent.  And one that does not hit to boot….

    It will be very interesting to see if Ryu comes back next year or retires. If he comes back in good shape they will have some very tough decisions to make. And probably get them wrong as they are terrible at evaluating pitching talent…

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