Scoreboard Watching

September 5, 2014

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 3

After Donnie mismanaged Wednesday’s game, the Dodgers find themselves just two games ahead of the Giants with twenty-two games left to play.  A big chunk (six of the 22) will be head-to-head matches with the Giants.  But this weekend, the Dodgers play the GM-less D-Backs while the Giants take on the Tigers in Detroit.  This difference in strength of schedule will hopefully advantage the Blue, and give us a chance to increase our divisional lead over the weekend.

So, will we be watching the scoreboard?  You betcha.  But the Dodgers need to take care of business on the field.  It won’t be easy, as the offense has been pathetic.  Yes, Justin Turner is still red-hot.  Carl Crawford is pulling his weight.  But Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig have gone stone cold at the top of the lineup.  Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez are not helping a lot.  Matt Kemp can help, but will Donnie put him in the lineup?  Meanwhile, Joc Pederson has misfired in his first three games, contributing five strikeouts in his first eight at bats.

As for the bullpen, an article by Dustin Nosler in yesterday’s Dodgers Digest pretty much sums it up.  http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/09/04/dodgers-bullpen-needs-saving-but-dont-expect-pedro-baez-to-do-it/  Our bullpen stalwarts are Kenley Jansen and JP Howell.  Other than that, the bullpen is weak.

With a little help from the Tigers, we may still win the division.  Another big determining factor in that success is the fact that Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start games against the Giants in both of our final head-to-head series against them.  But success in the playoffs looks gloomy given the offense and the bullpen.

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Dodgers Look for NLCS Revenge

June 26, 2014

NLCSPuig

With the Cardinals in town for a four game series, the Dodgers look to improve on their lifetime record of 1,047-1,078 against the Redbirds.  The Blue are throwing their best four starters, Josh Beckett, Hyun-jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.

The last time the Dodgers played St. Louis, Clayton Kershaw performed like a mere shell of his current self (Game 6 of the NLCS).  This time, Kershaw has the momentum working in his favor, as he works to improve on his current streak of 21 scoreless innings.

Puig thought he hit a home run in Game 3 of the NLCS, but when the ball hit the wall, he had to turn on the hyper-drive to turn his hit into a triple.  We’ll be looking for more of this hyper-drive gear, not only from Puig, but also from Gordon.

Dee may or may not steal many bases off the stingy Yadier Molina, but look for the possibility of extra bases with every hit to the outfield.  Gordon has been on an extra base tear of late, as he has hit three of his league leading nine triples in the past nine games.


Mattingly: “Basically, we’re shitty…”

June 5, 2014


Say what you will about Don Mattingly, but he is the only Dodger manager in recent memory who is not afraid to tell it like it is. No matter how bad the team played, guys like Jim Tracy and Joe Torre always put a spin on the way the Dodgers were performing.

Coming off a horrible home stand, where they were 4-6 against mediocre teams and pitching, Don admitted that his team was not very good. He is tired of answering for his players and told the media to talk to the players. Matt Kemp, who is getting paid 20 million dollars this year, would not man up and face the reporters, leaving it up to guys like Turner and Butera to face the scrum. Even when he does talk to reporters, Kemp almost always spouts some mindless cliché like “It is what it is.”

To his credit, Hanley Ramirez agreed to talk. “I don’t know what to say. I still go out, hustle, do the best I can. Of course you’ve got to be mad,” Ramirez said. “We’re not doing nothing right now, so we’ve got to start playing better. Everybody should be angry the way we’re playing right now.”

Those guys are being paid to put up numbers, not grumble about being removed for defensive purposes late in the game, or being shifted to left field. Kemp, whose monster ego won’t allow him the humility to admit that, at least until he is healthy again, he is no longer a premier player. He has gone 4 for his last 32 at bats and is again striking out by pathetically flailing away at pitches well off the plate and in the dirt.

Dee Gordon has fallen back to Earth after his meteoric start and has reverted to hitting fly balls and making some poor decisions on the bases.

At the moment, only Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner are playing well. André Ethier is playing well in center field but his offense has been spotty.

Going into Denver, the Dodgers will face the Rockies, who, while not high up in the standings, are the best hitting team in the league. Even though the Dodgers starting pitchers have been good, giving up 2 or 3 runs might be more than the anemic Dodgers hitters can overcome.

The Dodgers are in a shit storm and will need a Rocky Mountain sized amount of toilet paper to clean it all up. And if some of these multi multi millionaire Prima Donna players don’t start playing for the name on front of their jerseys instead of the name on the back, even that won’t be enough.


First Quarter Extrapolations

May 13, 2014

nofibgraph1333

 

Lying with statistics.  We all do it, yet we all hate to be fooled by it.  It’s fun to do, yet exasperating.  Let’s see what happens when we apply it to the 2014 Dodgers:

  • Their final record will be 85-77, good enough for third place and 18 games behind the Giants.  The Giants finish the season at an incredible 103-59.
  • Adrian Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 36 HRs and 108 RBIs.
  • Yasiel Puig finishes his sophomore season with 28 HRs and 116 RBIs.
  • Dee Gordon steals 96 bases and is caught just 12 times.
  • Zack Greinke and Dan Haren lead the pitching staff with records of 24-4 and 20-4, respectively.
  • Clayton Kershaw is only able to chip in with eight wins on the year.
  • Kenley Jansen has 48 saves, but 8 blown saves.
  • Brian Wilson finishes with an 0-8 record and 4 blown saves.
  • AJ Ellis has eight walks in 58 plate appearances.

Obviously, none of the above is going to happen.  That’s why they play the games.

Here’s looking forward to the last three quarters of the season being more successful than the first one quarter.


The Reinjury of Matt Kemp

May 31, 2012

Having Matt Kemp return to the Dodgers after a great two day rehab assignment in Albuquerque was great news.  Having him aggravate his hamstring on Wednesday night was not so great.

Steve Lyons was talking about hamstring injuries on the Dodgers Live post game broadcast.  He said that it is common to bring back a player slowly after returning from a hammy DL stint by resting the player after the first game back.  When Don Mattingly brought up the possibility of Kemp sitting out a game, Kemp responded with a resounding “No way!”

I am beginning to wonder if Donny has the cashews to deal with prima donna players.  He was reluctant to sit Kemp while he had his consecutive game streak going.  If he thought Kemp should rest but got talked out of it by the player, it does not bode well for his leadership.

I don’t know if I am the only one bothered by this, but I thought it was not smart to let Kemp be such a boisterous cheerleader while he was in the middle of his DL stint.  Seeing him rush onto the field after a walkoff win and tackle someone with his “winning hurts” hijinks looked like an accident, or re-aggravated hammy waiting to happen.  With so many players getting injured from freak accidents like pushing their car like Dick Allen did in 1967, or pulling on a pair of cowboy boots like Wade Boggs, I keep waiting for something bad to happen each time Kemp, Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon jump up in the air to bump their bodies together after a victory.  I know the boyz gots to have their fun, but when one of them sprains an ankle, it won’t be very funny.

After the first three game losing streak of the year, lets hope that the Brewers have left their brooms in Milwaukee.


When Will Our Next ROTY Come?

September 10, 2011

It’s obviously a weird subject to touch upon, but in all seriousness, when will our next ROTY come?

It’s been almost 15 years since the last Dodger rookie put it upon himself to rise above the competition and play at a level worth rewarding.

These 16 players below have not only represented the Los Angeles Dodgers within my lifetime, but have also done so throughout the Brooklyn and golden years of this team.

1. Todd Hollandsworth

2. Raul Mondesi

3. Mike Piazza

4. Hideo Nomo

5. Eric Karros

6. Rick Sutcliffe

7. Steve Howe

8. Fernando Valenzuela

9. Steve Sax

10. Ted Sizemore

11. Jim Lefebvre

12. Frank Howard

13. Jim Gilliam

14. Joe Black

15. Don Newcombe

16. Jackie Robinson

These players have represented this franchise, and even when there was no Dodger player named as ROTY, there was always one player in consideration who wore Dodgers across his chest. But what happened.? Obviously, those days are gone, but why.?

I do so believe that the lack of minor league recruiting talent has diminished to the sense that we’ve underspent on signing Draft picks whom could make a difference. Think about this?

Since 2004, the first season that Frank McCourt was officially entrusted as the brain-trust of this team, this team has drafted notables such as:

-Blake Dewitt

-Scott Elbert

-Jamie Hoffman

-Javy Guerra

-Luke Hochevar

-Ivan DeJesus

-Josh Bell

-Jonathan Meloan

-Brent Leach

-Trayvon Robinson

-Scott Van Slyke

-Chase D’Arnaud

-Clayton Kershaw

-Bryan Morris

-Preston Mattingly

-Chris Withrow

-James Adkins

-Andrew Lambo

-Ethan Martin

-Josh Lindblom

-Kyle Russell

-Dee Gordon

-Cole St. Clair

-Nate Eovaldi

-Allen Webster

-Aaron Miller

-Garrett Gould

-Brett Wallach

-J.T. Wise

-Austin King

-Zach Lee

-Shawn Tolleson

-Devon Ethier

-Cody Martin

-Chris Reed

-Alex Santana

-Ryan O’Sullivan

Out of all these drafts, only six players are currently in the majors with this team, while most have yet to break through due to their slow development. Many have been traded, such as I count 10 who are no longer with this organization.

At what point are we going to stop signing pitchers whom furthermore have yet to produce more than Clayton Kershaw, who was rushed and made to learn on the fly. When are we going to sign talent whom we could use now and in the future. When are we going to tap into the Asian, Latin, and African continent for players.

I do not speak for many, but for the lack of money, we have diminished the talent level in the minors, and thus, what once in a while ago was deemed as a common thing, is now foreign to us. Who will finally break through and capture this now unattainable trophy. We have a probable Cy Young and MVP within our ranks today, and to think that we could someday have a 3rd piece of hardware to add to that in a ROTY, it would signal the overturn of an organization that as of now is in turmoil, and will continue to be in turmoil while this ownership group, and to reiterate this brain-trust is finally put out to pasture and shot down in the spirit of all that is decent and holy. Sorta to put it outta it’s misery.

This Day In Los Angeles Baseball History

September 10, 2008 – With a 4-2 victory over the visiting Yankees, the Angels clinch the division flag on the earliest date in the history of the American League West. The Halos, the first club this season to secure a post-season spot, have finished in first place four times in the past five seasons.

(If you know anything of interest that happened in Dodgers history, go ahead and post a comment.)


Wait ’til next year

August 26, 2011

Those famous words were the Dodgers motto for years when they were still in Brooklyn.  It seemed that the Dodgers were always the bridesmaid, but never the bride.  Of course that all changed with the magical 1955 season.

Tony Jackson has an article that outlines what the Dodgers need to do for the remainder of 2011.

Over at the Los Angeles Times blog, Steve Dilbeck has lots of links for your Dodgers browsing pleasure.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 26, 1939 – At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS. The Dodgers and Reds split a doubleheader.