Let the Second Half Begin

Screenshot_2014-07-18-12-50-50-1

The Dodgers, despite their spotty offense, have the best record in the National League as the second part of the season starts tonight in St. Louis.
Dan Haren, with his 11.57 July ERA and 0-2 record, takes the mound.

With the Cardinals, followed by the Pirates, and finishing with the Giants, this road trip will not be a walk in the park. It will require the Dodgers to add some timely hitting to the expected good pitching that has put them on top so far.

Matt Kemp has made his wishes to play everyday, preferably in Center Field, publicly known, through his agent, former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart. His “play me or trade me” position can’t be helping the climate in the clubhouse. What a great team player. Not.

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100 Responses to Let the Second Half Begin

  1. 32and53fan says:

    It’s (almost) time for Dodger baseball!

  2. crash24now says:

    What if the Dodgers win the 2014 World Series but they have no fans (due to the lack of televised games for 70% of Los Angeles)?

    • 32and53fan says:

      What is the use of the Dodgers owning the channel if they cannot control the distribution? They bear most of the responsibility for the fiasco.

  3. trublu4ever says:

    I’m looking forward to see what dumb deals Ned makes.

    • 32and53fan says:

      I’m looking forward to seeing what great deals Brian Sabean makes that make the Giants an even more difficult team to beat.
      There is already talk of them getting Ben Zobrist, who Kevin Kennedy would love to see on the Dodgers.

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Let’s face it, if the Dodgers can’t win with all they’ve got on the team as it stands right now, then they deserve to get beat by the Giants.

  4. messagebear says:

    Matt’s attitude won’t help, but that’s what you occasionally get when you extend these huge long contracts – it’s like the banks that are too big to fail. “My contract is too big not to play every day whatever position I want to.” You try to trade a guy who’s expressed that view, and all the other GM’s know that you’re at a disadvantage – add to that the fact that Ned seems always at a disadvantage to begin with, and what have you got but another poor trade.

    • 32and53fan says:

      Why don’t you make a bear for Kemp holding wads of cash, a blue hat with a $ instead of LA and a shirt that says “My shit don’t stink!”? Send it to Mitch Poole and have him put it in Kemps locker.

      While you’re at it, make a Dave Stewart bear sitting in a car, and a transvestite prostitute bear named Lucille performing a lewd act on Dave bear. Send it to Stewart so the next time Kemp goes to Stewart’s office, he’ll be reminded of what great character judgment his agent possesses.

      • crash24now says:

        Wow. I love this blog. It’s so damn much better than Inside the Dodgers.

        Thanks again, 32and53fan!!!

      • 32and53fan says:

        To Stewart’s credit, he didn’t know that “Lucille” was actually a man named Elson Tyler. After his arrest, he was due to receive the Texas Rangers “Good Guy” award. From http://deadspin.com/5950378/history-lesson-the-time-dave-stewart-was-arrested-for-soliciting-a-transvestite-prostitute

        “Undaunted by what must have been, at the very least, overwhelming embarrassment, he attended the ceremony. Stewart accepted the award and, after pausing for an uncomfortably long couple of seconds, did the only thing a Good Guy could:

        He then turned and looked owner Eddie Chiles in the eye and apologized to him and his wife. He looked across the stage at all of his teammates and did the same. And then he apologized to the fans in the room.

  5. crash24now says:

    Lineup

    Gordon 2B
    All star strike out King Puig RF
    Don’t hurt me Ramirez SS
    Forgot how to hit Gonzalez 1B
    My shit don’t stink Kemp LF
    Lost my swing when my pinkie broke Ethier CF
    Uribe 3B
    Ellis C
    HR Pitcher (except to Puig) Haren P

  6. kahliforni says:

    I am a Kemp fan and support his agent’s shitty attitude. How can you not agree with his assessment of center field when genius Donnie throws Scott van Clydesdale out there when Ethier is out of the line-up? No player or agent should be held accountable for his quotes as long as Torre’s hand-picked, no-experience protégé continues to “lead” this team. I know the Dodgers have the best record in the National League, but is that because of Mattingly…or in spite of him? I’d say it’s because of the Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu and Beckett.

  7. crash24now says:

    We know what a loser Mattingly was during his playing career. Fourteen years with the Yankees, only one playoff appearance, in which they lost. The Yankees won the pennant the year before Mattingly joined them and broke them.

    What about Torre? Eight years with the Braves, no playoff appearances. In fact his trade to the Cardinals in the ’68/’69 off season broke the Cards and improved the Braves. The Braves finally made it to the playoffs in 1969. The Cardinals, who had won three pennants and two World Series from 1964 through 1968, went dead during Torre’s stay there from 1969 through 1974. Torre finished his playing career with the Mets from 1975 through 1977, with no playoff appearances, even though the Mets won the pennant in 1973.

    How did Torre win so much as a manager of the Yankees? He waited to manage the Yankees until 1996, the year after Mattingly retired as a player.

  8. trublu4ever says:

    Paco and JT are back with the team.

  9. crash24now says:

    Sweet! The Cavalry has arrived! In the form of Paco Rodriquez and Justin Turner!

    And we still have Rojas!

    (Figgins – stay injured, please.)

  10. crash24now says:

    Wasted a double by Hanley. SSDD.

  11. crash24now says:

    No big surprise that Haren gave up a run, only that it took two doubles rather than one home run.

  12. enchantedbeaver says:

    Anyone shocked they can’t score a runner from third with an out?

    Makes you almost want to root against them just so maybe sometime, somewhere some changes will be made.

  13. enchantedbeaver says:

    And that asshole Kemp thinks he should be playing everyday?

    Its like watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island thinking that this is the episode they’ll get rescued.

  14. trublu4ever says:

    Surprise, surprise…..Matt strikes out with the bases loaded.

  15. messagebear says:

    I say, that guy who should be playing CF every day is really making a case for himself.

  16. messagebear says:

    And imagine, we’re in first place and currently hold the best record in the league. Can you picture what this blog would look like if we were let’s say in third place? Somebody might be calling for the head of Mattingly, or even Ned.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      That best record is a total aberration Bear. All starting pitching and no hitting, bully or defense is going to catch up to them now that they’re playing winning teams.

    • lbirken says:

      Not sure winning it all would make a difference for some people.

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Birk, IMO this team couldn’t win it all if the other team left the field. No fire, no heart, no hit.

  17. trublu4ever says:

    Giants are winning big…so, we better get it together.

  18. trublu4ever says:

    Well…..fudge!

  19. lbirken says:

    Haren did the best he could but the team needs better. Of course, with the difficulty the Dodgers have scoring runs there is little room for error.

  20. grizzy says:

    Very little.

  21. lbirken says:

    The Dodgers have not won a game yet this season in which they are trailing after 7 innings? Hard to believe. Then again, maybe not.

  22. 32and53fan says:

    Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully the bats will wake up before the game.

  23. Didn’t watch the game tonight, but I see I didn’t miss anything. They’re still not scoring much and Haren is still giving up home runs.
    I’ll be watching tomorrow’s game. Hope they win.

  24. Dodger4life says:

    I tuned in as A-Gon was being pinch-run for… Mr. Clutch didn’t come through… Then quietly went to the dugout and calmly put away his helmet after taking strike 3 in a tight game.

  25. JhallWally says:

    Well, rats!!! Another pathetically disappointing showing by our vaunted (read overpaid and overhyped) offense..
    The bullpen stepped in and kept us in it.

    Oh well, we’ll get’em tonight…. Go Dodgers!!!!

    • trublu4ever says:

      Orel said it best last night: What bothers me about the offense tonight is, this pitcher is not throwing anything special…we should be able to tee off on him. I agree….once again our anemic bats cost us again.

  26. grizzy says:

    Shades of Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen. It looks more and more like we’re only going as far as the starters carry the team. It’s hard for me to believe that this line up cannot score more than they do. It’s hard for me to believe they have all turned into has beens all at the same time. Doesn’t seem possible.
    *
    I keep seeing reports about the team looking for another starter, but where will you find one that will be successful with this lack of offense? It’s true Haren has had a couple of bad ones and is giving up to many dingers, but I do not think he is the problem. All told, the Dodgers gave up THREE runs yesterday and lost. WTF!!!!!!

  27. Dodger4life says:

    The Kemp press…is all about ego-ball…

    I just read his comments about not having a no-trade clause and having no control over where he plays.

    This squad won’t win anything playing ego-ball.

  28. Here’s hoping Greinke can put the Cards away today, with a some help from the offense.

  29. trublu4ever says:

    No Matt or Dre in lineup today….SVS and CC get the nod….Bear will be happy….I am NOT!

    • 32and53fan says:

      Dodgers lineup at Cardinals:
      Gordon 2B
      Crawford LF
      Puig RF
      Ramirez SS
      Gonzalez 1B
      Van Slyke CF
      Uribe 3B
      Ellis C
      Greinke P

    • 32and53fan says:

      @dylanohernandez
      Kemp batting .167 (1 for 6, BB) vs. #Cardinals starter Joe Kelly. Crawford batting .444 (4 for 9, HR)

  30. crash24now says:

    Seems like Dodgers need to trade for a live bat to spark the offense.

  31. 32and53fan says:

    Today is another, extremely rare, opportunity to watch the game if you are not a Time-Warner subscriber. You do, however, have to have cable with Fox Sports 1.

  32. I’m watching on MLB Extra Innings. The Cardinal feed.

  33. McCarver said the Cards have to score early and first on Greinke. It doesn’t look good. They do.

  34. crash24now says:

    What the hell? A Gordon error partly caused by Greinke. Now Greinke gives up the gopher ball and all of a sudden it is 4-0. Yuck.

  35. grizzy says:

    Looks like it’s going to be a long afternoon.

  36. 32and53fan says:

    The big difference between this year and last is that this year if the Dodgers are losing after the 6th inning, their record is 1-35. Last year I recall quite a few come from behind victories.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Another sign of a not very good team. Couple that with the longest winning streak being 3 games and I think its pretty indicative of a not so good team playing not so good ball.

      • trublu4ever says:

        I don’t want to make excuses but, the Ump behind home is really squeezing Zack……terrible strike zone!

        • enchantedbeaver says:

          Doesn’t really matter – they can’t hit anyway, so anything more than a 2-3 run deficit is insurmountable. I won’t doubt after this long stretch against good or better teams they’ll be closer to being 9 1/2 out again than they will be even.

          Despite what they say publicly, I really don’t think there are many on this club that have any confidence in [or respect for] Donnie to lead them to victory. On the other side of the coin, I’ve never seen team as a whole age beyond their years before this to where it doesn’t matter who Mattingly puts out there – they all look and play poorly like a bunch of 40 year olds.

          • crash24now says:

            The offense got off to a bad start when Crawford swung at the first pitch in the first inning with Dee on first base. Instead of giving Dee a chance to steal second, Carl wound up hitting into a double play. And that was all she wrote.

  37. Well we got one run back.

  38. crash24now says:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………….

  39. The Dodgers have all been bitten by a big bad bug called “Lethargy”. It’s highly contagious and causes maladies such as lack of patience at the plate and occasional poor fielding. I do not believe a cure has, as yet, been found. Maybe electro-shock therapy would help.

    • crash24now says:

      Time for something completely stupid, such as flipping the lineup around. Let’s try this tomorrow:

      Gonzalez
      Kershaw
      Turner
      Gordon
      Butera
      Rojas
      Puig
      Kemp
      Van Slyke

    • 32and53fan says:

      Lackadaisical is the word used to describe them by Monday or Kennedy on Dodger Clubhouse. Then to close out the show, they said what was needed, one word (I said it to myself before they did), ENERGY.

  40. crash24now says:

    Crawford, Ellis, and now Ethier. GIDP.

  41. Another game down the drain. Maybe we can get ‘em tomorrow!

  42. Well it’s Kershaw tomorrow, maybe he can pitch a shutout and the Dodgers score..

  43. enchantedbeaver says:

    What a 9th inning rally. 1-36 when trailing after 6 isn’t the sign of a champion.

    One would hope that a man like Kasten would see that this team needs new players with some drive in them, and someone running the club that will lead them.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      And what Ned needs to realize is that HE SHOULD be paying for Kemp, Dre and Crawford to be playing on someone else’s team.

  44. messagebear says:

    Well, there goes this series. I’m not sure that I see Matt or Andre or anybody else on the team much excited about that. Hopefully the usual Kersh shows up tomorrow and we can score at least one run to save the sweep.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Heads need to start rolling bear. Seems to me they hit better with Hansen as the batting coach, yet they fired him for less and with lesser players. Start by firing Mr. Steroid and keep going until the get to Kasten.

  45. messagebear says:

    I think Kasten suffers from constipation of the brain caused in large part by having too much money at his disposal. He seemingly accomplished a lot more with less back when. Of course, he might have been heavily overhyped as well.

    • 32and53fan says:

      Everything about the Dodgers is, and has been, overhyped for years. Most of the prospects hyped over the years never amounted to much. A couple of them that they didn’t thing much of and discarded, turned out to be great: Pedro Martinez and Paul Konerko.

  46. Dodger4life says:

    I’m gonna say this as polite as I possibly can…
    .
    Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!
    .
    Runners on base… cluck your way into a double play.
    Runners on base again…. cluck 1, cluck 2, cluck 3
    Runners on base again….hit another fuckin’, cluckin’ grounder.
    .
    Tomorrow is Sunday. I can’t wait to see what kinda chicken scratch Donnie decides to throw out on the ball-field for Kershaw.

    • Dodger4life says:

      How many times now has Gordon been on 1st base and not been given the opportunity to advance on his own… Any team that has failed to grasp this execution by the second half of the season… is being poorly managed.
      .
      No Mor Chickin’
      Donnie-Ball
      We Deserve Beef!!

  47. lbirken says:

    I understand the frustration but please don’t bring up ancient history about the Dodgers giving up Martinez and Konerko as if these events have any bearing on the current team. Remember, if Jody Reed had accepted a bloated contract offered to him by the Dodgers, there would have been no immediate need to trade for Delino Deshields, a pretty good player who just did not want to be in Los Angeles. Pedro went on to star mostly in Boston, not Montreal. And Konerko turned out to be a really good player on mostly bad White Sox teams but there is no certainty he would have done that in a Dodger uniform. He did not do much with the limited opportunities he had and once again, he starred on the next team, not the one to which he was originally traded. And the Dodgers received a good reliever in Jeff Shaw. Did those trades work out? Easy to say after the fact. For the most part, the so called Dodger prospects the Dodgers traded away or let go have not become superstars. Is Jayson Werth a superstar? He was a victim of numbers and injuries. Jason Repko? What happened to him. The Dodgers kept Ethier. I think that worked out ok. Carlos Santana? He has had a decent career and I am not going to say the Dodgers could not have used him but at the time we had a pretty good catcher in Russell Martin. At the time I though Martin would be a Dodger for 10 years but he also was the victim of injuries and the Dodgers decided to go in a different direction. These were calculated risks. The sad truth is the failure of the Dodgers to draft and develop better players so they did not have to go after “PVL’s” or other high priced free agents. At least this current team has some players who came up in the Dodger system such as Kemp, Kershaw, Ethier (the best trade Ned has made but not a player developed by the Dodgers) and some of the relievers. But we are seeing that the players we argued so hard for to get a chance when they were younger players are now the same players whose decline is the subject of the day. Somehow I think being the GM of a major league team is not as easy as it looks.

    • 32and53fan says:

      I brought up Martinez and Konerko just to illustrate that it is extremely difficult to forecast which players will become stars and which will be soon forgotten. We, as fans, are fed hype on certain players by the media and the club PR and marketing machine. I still remember like it was yesterday reading in the official Dodger yearbook, just after his signing, the story of how Willie Crawford was going to be the next Willie Mays. He was touted as a can’t miss superstar. He turned out to have an okay career, but he was never a star. In fact, when I looked him up in Baseball-Reference.com, I was surprised to see how many seasons he played.

      I believe that it is true that our top three prospects should not be traded for a one year and two month rental. After reading http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/19/4243900/bill-plaschke-haren-still-isnt.html, I started to ponder the situation.

      Joc and Corey are extremely rare… Dodgers position player prospects that are highly rated by all of baseball. As we all know, most of the Dodgers high round Draft picks have been pitchers for many years now. Hopefully, the improved development infrastructure that is Kasten’s goal, will start to pay dividends and we will start to see a surplus of good position players.

  48. lbirken says:

    And I remember all the fuss about trading Trayvon Robinson. I think even I was upset about that. Where is he now? He had a cup of coffee with Seattle and the last we saw of him he was trying to catch on again with the Dodgers.

    By the way, I only bring this up just as a reminder that all trades and signings have risk. And I am not suggesting the Dodgers should trade prospects right now. I would much rather the Dodgers develop talent like they used to years ago and like some teams seem to be able to do. My point here is to put all these deals in perspective. Thanks for letting me vent.

  49. Dodger4life says:

    Somehow I think being the GM of a major league team is not as easy as it looks.
    .
    Ned used to have magic beans to work with… Now he has the goose that lays golden eggs.

  50. Dodger4life says:

    This team’s softer than a custard filled quiche…

  51. kahliforni says:

    Trades and/or personnel are not the problem, in my opinion. A manager “manages” his players, especially if he is not gifted with handling a bullpen or in-game genius. Do the Dodgers seem like a happy bunch…all aware of their roles and expectations? Are the position players put in a situation to succeed? Does the media get the story before the players do? Is there a steady line-up players can count on, let alone a steady batting order?

    • Kahli, you have a great way of expressing yourself. You have hit the nail on the head once again. Well said, my friend, well said.

    • 32and53fan says:

      It seems that Mattingly and his coaches are perplexed when the players don’t take their coaching. When Gordon is on first, the number two batter’s job is to give him an opportunity to steal. Did Crawford know that before he swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play? Should Mattingly have put on the take sign?
      Star players make bad managers. I think that they just think players know how to play the game as well as they did. It is hard for me to believe that some guys who are in the big leagues seem so clueless about the fundamentals of the game. Maybe a non-star ex-catcher like Kevin Kennedy would have a better chance of communicating and enforcing his policies.

      • trublu4ever says:

        I agree 100%! I’ve said it before…our team reflects the manager…and, I think Kennedy would be a good choice for us….I’d even consider Yeager.

  52. grizzy says:

    espn la has an explanation why the Dodgers are just good and not great. Gonzalez, Kemp, Ethier, and to a lesser extent Ramirez are all playing well below past levels of performance. Prolonged decline, as the article said….Ouch….I sat there for several minutes as that sank in….The last several days I’ve been starting to think this may not be our year (not giving up, understand, a team can get hot at the end and win the whole thing at the end) because the heart of the lineup is just not getting it done plain and simple. In the past, teams having good years have a group of players having career years and we are not getting that by far. I’d think long and hard before giving up any kind of prospect for pitching help. What difference would that make? Many tough decisions to be made going forward, for the remainder of the season and next year. Any way you cut it, the Dodgers are going to be eating a lot of money.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      I’m afraid the Dodgers “chance” was last year Griz. Too many entitled players, too clueless a manager, too stupid a GM, and too puzzled a coaching staff doesn’t make for a solid team. Frankly, I wouldn’t even call this team good. Given their supposed talent, this team is nothing short of mediocre with the exception of the starting pitching, which is the ONLY reason they are where they are.

      Proof this team sucks is in the 1-36 record when losing after 6 and the fact that even with the starting staff they have, they can’t put together anything more than a 3-game winning streak. Now that they’re playing good teams for a month, every weakness they have will be exploited, and all Ned will do is pick up a couple of unneeded relievers or a bench player that will help absolutely nothing because he’s as clueless as the rest.

  53. I hope to catch at least the end of the game tonight,, but mainly I just hope we win.

  54. lbirken says:

    I was thinking about this current Dodger team as most of you have been doing, wondering what is wrong. Of course, there still is a lot of baseball to be played and this team still could win the division and do well in the playoffs. At least we all hope so. But the truth is the most “talented” team does not always win it all. Think back at all the great Dodger teams from the late 1940′s into the 50′s. Those teams won a lot of National League pennants but only one World Series. They were talented enough but just could not get the job done except for 1955. The teams that won in the 1960′s had solid pitching and defense but were not great run scoring teams. Those wonderful, exciting teams of the 1970′s with the infield of Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey and the 4 30 home run hitting players did not win a World Series. In my mind those teams should have won at least the two against the Yankees. The two World Champion teams in the 80′s clearly were not the most talented teams. So talent alone does not always win. I think we all know that but still find it frustrating that this current team struggles the way it does.

  55. 32and53fan says:

    Where’d everybody go? This is another rare nationally broadcast games.

    Just watched “I’m a everyday player, man.”, “I’m a centerfielder, man.”, ultimate team player Kemp up with 1 out, men on 1st and 3rd. He swung at the first pitch and weakly grounded to short into an inning ending double play. He is really making a case for Mattingly to play him every inning.

    • trublu4ever says:

      I’m here….just haven’t had much to say. I will state for a fact…John Kruk sucks…it makes the game almost unbearable to watch! I really DESPISE ESPN!!!!! While I’m at it…STOP GIVING US LOUSY UMPIRES!!!!! Let the Giants have them for a while.

  56. enchantedbeaver says:

    Typical late inning offense consisting of 2Ks and what, a ground out? Can’t expect Kersh to be perfect every time out. Way to pick him up guys.

    Maybe this whole team falling off a cliff is what’s needed to get some changes made. Sticking these same bullshit players out there every day and expecting different results is insane.

  57. enchantedbeaver says:

    When are our pitchers going to start drilling these bastards in the head?

    • trublu4ever says:

      Next time we meet.

      • JhallWally says:

        I hope so Tru… We need to send these bastards a message…….. And a message to all of the league… We aren’t going to take it….

        • trublu4ever says:

          The Giants are good at hitting our guys also (mainly Uribe) …. Lincescum in particular…and, they claim he’s a little wild …wild my ass! Let’s see what happens this weekend in SF.

          • JhallWally says:

            It is time to play “Hard Ball”.. These guys need to wake up and realize that the good teams are taking potshots at them…. It is time to draw the line… And, if Mattingly won’t do it, then the team needs to do it for him….

    • kahliforni says:

      Agreed…Cardinals have more than exceeded their limit of “pitches that just got away…”

    • JhallWally says:

      Exactly Beav…. That seems to be all they will understand… The trend of Cardinal pitchers, hitting and injuring our hitters has gone way beyond accidental… They are head hunting.. We need to go for their collective heads as well… I hate the Cards and now that it has become clear what their approach to us is, we need to retaliate, with interest… Holliday, Shaw, look out, it should be coming at your head….. I’m tired and fed up with their bush league bullshit……..

  58. Just watched the ninth, saw us score a tough run to win it. Good to be back in that Virtual tie for first place with the Giants.

  59. That’s one win after the break, now let’s make it two in a row.
    Go Ryu and Dodger bats.

  60. grizzy says:

    If you are not good enough to pitch inside without injuring people, you shouldn’t pitch inside. Apparently this is something the Cardinals need to learn. I don’t necessarily agree about head hunting, though. Knee caps should work…though maybe something in the area of their chins will give their pitchers something to think about…so I guess I don’t necessarily disagree either.
    *
    The bats showed a little life last night. Who knows, maybe events last night will stir up the club house a little.

  61. enchantedbeaver says:

    Too bad Greinke wasn’t on the mound. At least he’d drill a couple for the team.

    Namby pamby Mattingly would never order it though. This team’s strictly on its own.

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