Joe Beimel Missed Playoffs

Joe Beimel

While news about Dukes-in-the-pros has been very good lately, this time a Duquesne alum is in hot water. Joe Beimel was having the best season of his six-year MLB career and his team, the L.A. Dodgers, were heading to the National League playoffs. Then, the proverbial knife struck ...

The facts:

  • Joe Beimel was the Dodgers' best left-handed relief pitcher this season. He was 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 70 innings pitched in 60 games. His record in September was 0-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 12 2/3 innings in 13 appearances.
  • There were two other lefties on the 25-man roster:
    • Mark Hendrickson was primarily a starter (31/25). He had a 6-16 record and a 4.21 ERA.
    • Hong-Chih Kuo, who was recalled in September, started the last five games he pitched. Overall in 2006, he was 1-6 with a 4.22 ERA. But in those five September starts, Kuo was 1-1, the win coming against the Mets, with a 3.07 ERA.
  • The Dodgers were the National League Wild Card team. Their opponent, the New York Mets, had the best regular season mark in the league, i.e., the number one seed (NY) vs. the #4 seed (LA).
  • Beimel was in a bar at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 37 hours before the first game with the Mets but after curfew, when he cut his hand on a broken glass. After doing what he could in the closest bathroom, Beimel went back to his room and from there, called the Dodger trainer for help.
  • He originally told the team that the accident occurred in his room.
  • Reports surfaced within a day that it happened in a bar, and that he was not the only player in the Manhattan pub.
  • Because of the injury, he was removed from the playoff roster. Righthander Chad Billingsley replaced him.
  • Beimel was sent back to Los Angeles to have the finger examined by team physicians and, therefore, missed the first two games in New York.
  • Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Beimel admitted the injury actually happened in a bar.
  • Friday there was anger and disappointment in the locker room about Beimel's letting the team done. Those quoted, e.g., manager Grady Little and pitcher Brett Tomko, told reporters their focus was on game three.
  • Beimel apologized to his Dodger teammates in a closed door meeting before Saturday's game.
  • The Mets swept the Dodgers, 3-0, in the best of five series.
  • Beimel is still on the Dodgers' 40-man roster. (Note: He wasn't listed on the LA website Saturday but is today, Sunday)

Beimel's future with the team is a question mark at this point. The apology may have started his recuperation.

Sports writers are pointing out that there were many other reasons the Dodgers lost, the most striking --- the double play at home-plate of two players trying to score in game 1. Los Angeles Daily News Kevin Modesti's column today puts Beimel's mistakes in perspective.

The future for Joe is not bleak. The Dodgers could re-sign him. If they don't, his record this season will be very attractive to other teams. To paraphrase the Clinton 1992 campaign motto, "It's about winning, stupid."

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