It seems that Josh Roddick cannot get over his short and not so sweet time with the Dodgers and the Dodger fans are not going to let him off the hook. Do a little Googling of “Josh Reddick Dodgers” and you’ll see plenty of the back and forth. When the Astros came to town from August 3-5, Reddick opened up his mouth again with the resulting resounding boos from the Dodgers faithful. I’m going to go through some of the history of how and why this has occurred.
- The Trade: Josh Reddick was acquired from the A’s along with Rich Hill for Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton at the 2016 trade deadline. At the time, Reddick was probably the best available outfielder as the Dodgers were getting tired of Yasiel Puig (more on this below).
- Yasiel Puig: Puig is clearly one of the most popular Dodgers and Reddick was being brought in essntially to replace or supplement him. Although Puig had started to hit, there were clearly other factors that caused the Dodgers to move on from him. He was either going to be traded or sent to the minors. The Dodgers didn’t find any takers in the trade market so he was sent to AAA, with some false rumors being fed to the media about Puig throwing a fit. It was not true.
- Post Puig Demotion: Many Dodgers fans thought the demotion of Puig was unjustified, so this helped make his replacement an instant target. He was boo’d in his first game at Dodger Stadium, in my opinion, because he was replacing Puig. Not necessarily because the fans didn’t like him upon arrival. This happened even more as he started to play quite poorly.
- Reddick Starts Poorly: His full August slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS) was .161/.223/.172/.396, worse than any month Puig has had. He even had a fluke finger injury. Here’s something he said to Jack Baer when he started coming out of the slump:
“Coming in here, these guys did a great job of welcoming me in, but I still felt kind of out of place,” Reddick said. “One, because I wasn’t contributing right away and it’s still tough. I’m still trying to learn new guys. We’re in September and the clubhouse is pretty much full, so I’m trying to learn a lot of new guys and still learning new things about certain guys.”
- Reddick Gets Better: In September Reddick slashed .400/.435/.569/1.004 and ended up with a final slash of .258/.307/.335/.643 with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in with a .2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). His game by game statistics are here.
- Post-Season: Despite what seems to be a common thought, Reddick did not have a bad 2016 post-season with a slash of .308/.333/.308/.641. What was missing was extra-base hits; he didn’t have any.
- After the 2016 season, Reddick signed a 4-year contract with the Astros.
The Dodgers went on to meet the Astros in the 2017 World Series, and then Reddick opened his mouth:
“I got booed going into right field in my first game (at Dodger Stadium),” Reddick said. “That wasn’t what I expected. My August here with the Dodgers was downright awful. I ran into some bad luck and tried to get out of it. I could understand why there was frustration. I didn’t do well. I didn’t perform.”
This is fine as it looks to be the truth. Then this:
Josh Reddick said he wanted to play the Dodgers in the World Series because of the way fans treated him in his two months there last season. pic.twitter.com/FplDH3odBm
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) October 22, 2017
To be honest, he was going to get boo’d during the World Series regardless. But it would have been pretty tame if he’d just said the first quote. He also never realized how popular Puig is with the Dodgers fan base. He was pretty bad during the postseason in 2017 posting a slash line of .169/.229/.185/.413, but he did have a key hit in game 2 and scored the first run of that game. The ultimate revenge for Reddick was winning the World Series and you’d think that would be more than enough. Just like some of the other Astros players though, he didn’t exhibit much class in victory:
Of course, instead of ending it, Reddick continues to bash the Dodger fans as was evidenced last weekend. There isn’t even an apology needed. Saying something like “I know I was replacing a popular player and, on top of it, I didn’t perform up to expectations. Given that, I am grateful for my experiences as a Dodger and will treasure our successes for the rest of my life.”
Plenty of people have said Josh Reddick is a good person and a good teammate. What he is doing is not a good look and was easily avoided. The Dodger fans will continue to boo him and let’s hope the opportunity raises itself in the 2018 World Series.
Personally, I’m done booing Reddick until he opens his mouth again. We have a much improved Puig and a team I enjoy rooting for.
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