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Dodgers: Rich Hill Has No Plans to Retire at 40 Years Old

For a team of comebacks, Rich Hill might be the best story of them all.

Dodgers
Rich Hill Could make a triumphant run at a postseason roster spot after the Dodgers clinch.

We know the story of Rich Hill’s rise from the Independent Leagues to the bright lights of the World Series. We know the story of Brooks Hill. We know him as ‘Dick Mountain’ and we know him as ‘Psycho Rich’. And he is easily a fan favorite among Dodgers fans.

He quickly won our hearts over and continues to do so every time he toes the rubber. His enthusiasm, bulldog mentality, and talent shine through with every pitch and every exasperated grunt.

In a recent column penned by Andy McCullough of The Atheltic, Rich Hill talks about his plans to pitch beyond 2019 and possibly beyond 2020. He wants to be a Dodger and you would be lying if you said you did not want to see a Hill-Dodgers reunion with his three-year contract coming to an end.

Hill has been on the injured list with a strained flexor in his pitching elbow since the middle of June. He is expected to return in a relief role as early as next week. We’ve all missed him greatly, and so have the Dodgers.

For Brooks and For Himself

Rich Hill’s story is one of the most remarkable that Major League Baseball has seen in recent memory and it doesn’t appear to be coming to an ending quite yet. Hill’s sheer will can carry him for a few seasons more, and he knows it:

“I always have a sense of urgency, because I’ve always been toeing the line. It’s like ‘You have a job . . . oh, you don’t have a job.’ Every time I go out there, I feel like, maybe I don’t have anything prove to anybody else, but I always have to prove it to myself that I’m going to be doing the best that I can, and giving the best effort that I can. And I know people appreciate it.”

Dodgers fans sure do appreciate the work at the ripe age of 39 years old that Dick Mountain puts in day in and day out.

Dodgers on Hill

As a player and a manager, Dave Roberts has seen players come from all sorts of different backgrounds and his fair share of comeback stories mixed in. He told McCullough that Hill is unique in every way imaginable and that people tend to gravitate towards him — something that we all could have guessed.

“There’s very few guys who have covered the whole spectrum of success, failure, injuries, being outside looking in. He has a great way of being able to relate to everyone. People just gravitate toward him.”

Reliever and long-tenured Dodger Kenley Jansen is one of the people who love Rich Hill, as we all do:

“Dick Mountain? Man, Dick Mountain. That dude is awesome.”

Justin Turner also recognized the alter-ego of Hill, Psycho Rich. A gamer and someone who has nothing to lose:

“He misses the hell out of being out there and competing. He knows what’s at stake, and what we can accomplish. He wants to be a part of it. He’s in there grinding everyday.”

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman also chimed in on Hill’s edgy personality:

“On the fifth day, he’s right out of central casting for the WWE.”

How Hill Wants to Be Known

“You want to make sure that you leave the game better than it was when you came in. And that’s hopefully something that I can do, is at least be encouraging to the guys who are here. Like when you have a tough outing, or it’s your fifth or sixth outing in the big leagues, like, ‘Hey, look, you’re going to be fine. Don’t think that this is the end of the world.’”

Overall

Dodgers Nation, how ready are we for the return of Dick Mountain?

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

7 Comments

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  1. It’s hard to imagine Hill playing for someone else next year. But will the FO give him a 2 yr contract with so many arms major league ready? And what about Ryu?
    Kershaw, Buehler, Maeda, Stripling, Goslin, Urias, May, Hill & Ryu. That’s alot of arms!

  2. Let him walk. He spends waaaaay to much time on the dl every year, and that’s not likely to get better as he ages. Use his money to either resign Ryu or go after a younger ace.

  3. Well, I like Rich’s guts. He is tough. If he gets 20 starts a year, he is worth the contract. He has hit 92 on the radar and with his nasty curves, he is extremely tough to hit when he is on. If he can be had for a 1 year with incentives for say 8-10, we should sign him. Our rookies look good, BUT. We can never have too much pitching. Ryu is another story. Not sure what has happened here. Haven’t been able to keep up with him the last 4 or 5 starts. Need to wait and see the rest of the year on him. Could be a hidden injury.

  4. I like Rich……..hope the Dodgers re-sign him and Ryu. Since he (Hill) came here from Oakland, he solidified our pitching staff, especially coming out of the Greinke defection to Arizona. We have several guys getting older that father time is going to displace, let’s not rush them out the door. Show them we have some class and appreciate what they have done for this organization. We have a nice mix of veterans and rookies working together right now. The turnover is inevitable. Rich, Kershaw, Turner now represent the old Dodger guard. They should be allowed to leave on their own terms.

  5. I second this motion:

    “Let him walk. He spends waaaaay too much time on the dl every year, and that’s not likely to get better as he ages. Use his money to either resign Ryu or go after a younger ace.”

    Hill is a good guy, but he has not earned close to his $16 million per year for the last three years.

    • You’re right. Hill was signed to a three-year, $48 million deal after the 2016 season and according to Fangraphs, has only been worth around $37.9 million over the three seasons.

      Not bad, but negative return on investment is not always a good thing. He has more than made up that $10.1 million in the postseason, though.

  6. Good for him but please don’t have it be with the Dodgers. He spends more time on the IL than he does on the active roster every season.

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