Enough is enough!
Enough is enough!
Throwing the first Dodger no-hitter since 1996, Josh Beckett provided the reason for a happy flight home after a so-so road trip.
As the Reds come to Chavez Ravine to kick off a home stand on Memorial Day, take a few moments to reflect upon the occasion, and silently thank those men and women who gave their lives so we can pursue happiness by listening to the Dodger game while enjoying a cheeseburger and a favorite libation.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will be starting against Johnny Cueto, one of the best pitchers in the game this year. He entered play Monday leading the National League in ERA (1.25), walks and hits per innings pitched (0.708), innings pitched (72.0) and strikeouts (76).
Coming off what was possibly the worst played game in years, the Dodger multimillionaires with their apathetic “It is what it is.” attitude, strolled into Philly with all the lassitude of that dance made famous in 1958 by American Bandstand right there in that city.
The stink of this team goes all the way to the top, where the Guggenheim Group slept, while Derrick Hall hired the “take no bullshit” Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa to take charge of a struggling Diamondbacks.
It is unimaginable to me that men at the highest level of baseball are so clueless at knowing and executing the fundamentals of the game. Al Campanis, long time Dodger minor league manager, scout, and General Manager, literally wrote the book on fundamentals, “The Dodger Way to Play Baseball”, in 1954. In it, Campanis writes:
There are five qualities that distinguish the good manager or coach. These are:
1. The ability to control his players or team.
2. The ability to stimulate his players to give their best at all times.
3. The ability to teach baseball fundamentals.
4. Knowledge of the game and strategy.
5. And courage … to carry out his convictions or impulses.
CONTROL OF TEAM
A manager who can not control his team soon loses their respect and the players become openly defiant. This is evidenced by the deliberate missing of signs, and the breaking of curfew and training rules. The manager who allows his team
to get away from him is well on his way to a losing season. If you are by nature an easy going type, you must then be a good ‘actor’. Be a bit stern at times just to let the team know that YOU are running the club.”
Are you listening Stan Kasten? If you want to continue your winning legacy, you better get guys in there that can get the job done and not be afraid to hurt the feelings of multi-multi-multi-millionaires like “I’m not a platoon player.” Matt Kemp. Mattingly needs the cashews to tell Kemp that the MANAGER decides who plays, and who sits. The way Kemp has been screwing up defensively lately, tells me that he has regressed into his five tool, but no brain way of playing of a few years ago, or that his ankle is much worse than he wants to admit. If the latter is true, he might be on the cusp of entering the realm of other Dodger superstars like Tommy Davis and Bobby Valentine, whose careers were ruined by ankle injuries. At least in their cases, they damaged their ankles by going hard after a ball, not because their head was up their ass strolling from third to home, then being surprised by a throw to the catcher, and lunging wildly at the plate. So because of his thoughtless way of playing, he lost his “explosiveness” when starting to run, changing himself from being a gold glove center fielder, to a well below average one.
The picture of Citizens Bank Park shows “Ashburn Alley”, the concourse behind the brick Batter’s Eye, named in honor of HOF Philly center fielder Richie Ashburn.
The champions on paper meet the New York Mets at Citi Field in Queens, New York City for the start of a three game series.
The problem is… other teams don’t care about how good their opponents are on paper. It’s all about how teams function on the field. And so far, the Dodgers are not firing on all cylinders.
For those interested in the salary comparison, check out http://graphics.latimes.com/mlb-salaries-2014/#dodgers-2014:mets-2014
The Dodgers are back on their own turf as they start a four game series with the league leading Giants. Like bullies, the Dodgers can beat up on weak teams like the D’ backs and Twins, but came up short against a strong Washington Nationals. Overall, the trip was “Ok”, according to Don Mattingly. It would have been “good”, had they figured out Stephen Strasburg.
The middle of the order is starting to get some hits, so things may be looking up. Crawford, Ethier and Kemp had multiple hit games on the road trip. However, clutch pinch hits remain hard to come by. Kemp and some others are pressing in those situations by taking long swings, gambling to get a extra base hit and coming up with snake eyes and strikeouts.
Mattingly knows that the Giants are a tough tean, especially against the Dodgers. Maybe he can take some lessons from Bruce Bochy about how to get his players to play tough as a team, not just as individuals concerned about their own stats.