I know that by writing this I'm inviting a mountain of derision, but I've admitted to a lot worse and I'm still around so here goes. I have not hated every single player who has played for the Dodgers. I know, gasp, right? It feels almost treasonous to actually type those words, but this is a circle of trust. I know more than a few of you had a guy or two that made you sad to see them in Dodger blue; you just wanted better for them. That's what I'm talking about here.
I'd venture to say that the younger Tony Gwynn would be near the top of most Padres fans' list of tolerable Dodgers, and I can't argue with that. When he was up with Los Angeles I basically rooted for him to single with nobody on base, steal second, and get stranded every time. That was also my general attitude when Scott Radinsky and Alex Cora spent time with the Dodgers back in the day: I wanted them to do well in blowout losses.
Scott Radinsky has lived pretty much every little kid's dream in one way or another, and then some. Not only did he pitch for over a decade, he owns Skatelab, has been a singer in prominent punk rock bands, and kicked cancer's ass. Well, I don't think many little kids dream of growing up to do that last one, but it's still extraordinarily badass.
Radinsky's baseball and musical careers both began in the mid-'80s. He was the frontman of Scared Straight at the time he was drafted in the third round of the 1986 draft by the White Sox. By the time he made it to the majors in 1990, the band had changed their name to Ten Foot Pole to avoid being lumped in with a new influx of meathead straight edge bands. They gave him the boot before too long because they wanted a singer who could tour around the calendar, so he formed Pulley in 1994, as he was recovering from the aforementioned ass-kicking he laid on cancer. Pulley's most recognizable song is probably "Cashed In". It was featured on Epitaph's Punk-O-Rama 2, which anyone will tell you was the best of all the Punk-O-Rama comps.
After making a comeback with the White Sox in 1995, Radinsky joined the Dodgers for three successful seasons. After that he made brief stops in St. Louis and Cleveland, and retired following a 2002 season spent entirely with AAA Calgary in the Marlins' chain. He focused on his music and put out a few more great albums before getting back into baseball as a coach. Radinsky worked his way up the Indians' ladder, eventually becoming the big club's bullpen coach and then pitching coach. He got the axe before this season, as the team switched up their whole staff, and signed back on with the Dodgers as a minor league coach and spring training instructor.
Much in the same way as I was with Radinsky, I was a fan of Alex Cora before he became a Dodger. I remember finding out that my favorite player Joey Cora had a little (well, younger) brother, watching him in the College World Series and seeing him in the pages of Sports Illustrated as a Miami Hurricane, and then being disappointed when the Dodgers drafted him. He was there for seven seasons, capped off with a legendary 18-pitch at-bat ending with a home run against Matt Clement, then with the Cubs. After leaving Los Angeles, Cora went on to play seven more seasons with the Indians, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, and Nationals. He now works as an analyst for ESPN, while his older brother earns checks from the rival MLB Network.
How about you? Has there been a Dodger or two that you wanted to see do well on a personal level? Don't worry, I won't judge you.* This is a safe place.**
*I can't speak for any other commenters.
**Your level of safety may vary.