Not Much of A Generational Gap After All

September 22, 2011

I was perusing across the web last night, trying to get that awful game outta my mind, and came across some interesting pieces. Most of them were of the same things we write and speak of on here. However, it wasn’t until I scrolled down to someone’s comment that I got to thinking, this is interesting. What I’m referring to is the fact that someone brought up the fact that another crop of youngsters are about ready to step in for the veterans, again, and yet, this team has stayed in some sort of a limbo, where they’ve yet to know what they have in certain players (Loney), and know what they get in others (Kemp). Then there’s the enigma that is Broxton, and Martin, two Dodgers who became integral parts of this team when they first came up way back in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

With the likes of De La Rosa, Guerra, Jansen, Federowicz, Sands, Gordon, Lindblom, Elbert, Eovaldi, Sellers, De Jesus Jr., Van Slyke, etc., being ready to claim their place in Dodger lore, what can we say about our first core group of the new Millennium.? Most have matured and hit their peak, some have yet to find it, some have found a need to re-invent themselves, and yet, all are under 31. The only lack of minor league talent seems to be 3B, as again, we have used the old adage of signing players instead of developing them in order to fix our problems.

My rambling is such as to not only draw concern for this group but also to say, in a way, what would of been. Had Broxton not imploded, had he had a coach force him to lose the weight, had Martin eased up on his workload, had he not stepped the way he did when running home. What would of been in those playoffs, had Broxton not given up that bomb to Matt Stairs or the hit by Rollins. Would we have made it to the World Series?

What I can’t argue is the fact that had we won both Game 4’s, we’d of been tied up at 2 a piece, and from there, who’s to say we wouldn’t of won the next two. So many ifs, but with the 1st core, we accomplished so much, if even overachieving, with grit and determination. What can we do with this bunch. Dee looks to be a demon on the basepaths, Guerra and Jansen look deadly in the pen, Sands in hitting, Elbert is finally pitching well, and others should come along.

In essence, I write this not only to ask for some thoughts on what would of been, but also of what will be of this group, and can they jell together in time to see Loney, Billz and Ethier produce like they were intended to, not too long ago.


Thank you sir, may I have another?

September 14, 2011

The Dodgers, who were still flying high less than a week ago, took another paddling yesterday from the still scorching Arizona Diamondbacks.  The boys in blue, blew a 4-2 lead after climbing back from their own 0-2 deficit.  The D’backs climbed back and tied the score with a run in the third and seventh innings.  The Dodgers could not respond and the game went into extra innings.  The normally lights out Javy Guerra melted down and after a single, sacrifice bunt and a swinging strikeout by Justin Upton, Guerra intentionally walked Miguel Montero to put runners on first and second with two outs.

As Vin Scully so often points out, walking a batter intentionally sometimes messes up a pitchers control.  Unfortunately, that was the case with Javy Guerra.  He next walked Paul Goldschmidt, loading the bases and causing a visit from Rick Honeycutt.  Whatever Bunnynutts said had no effect as Guerra then walked Chris Young on four straight with Geraldo Parra scoring the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 10th, after Justin Sellers struck out swinging, Matt Kemp was then called out on strikes.  After Rod Barajas, pinch hitting for Javy Guerra, drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Eugeni0-for-ever, James Loney grounded meekly out to second baseman Aaron Hill to end the game.

The Dodgers have now had their butts whipped for the last three games.  Hopefully Sergeant Kershaw can put an end to the corporal punishment and stop the spanking.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 14, 2002 – Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24-year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.

Who are these guys?

September 3, 2011

Yesterday, I left my house in Camarillo to head over to Oxnard where I get a better price on a smog check for my truck.  I flipped on AM 1450 KVEN, part of the Dodger Radio Network and recently changed from “The Boomer” baby boomer demographics programming to being part of the ESPN radio group.  I was just in time to hear the dulcet tones of Charlie Steiner describing the Braves three run rally in the second inning.

I got to Oxnard only to find that my usual place had recently changed from a “Test Only” to a test and repair station and could not test my truck until a month from now.  The proprietor recommended a couple of other places I could go to but by the time I got there, they were closed.  For some reason, Saviers Road in Oxnard is filled with Smog Check places and I was able to find one and negotiate a better price.

By the time I was finished and headed home, the score was 5-0 Atlanta.  I turned off the radio figuring that the Dodgers, who came to Atlanta winning nine of their last ten games, had run into a buzz saw of the number two team of the league.  I went home and tried to register my car online only to find that the smog certificate filed electronically from the shop to the DMV in Sacramento had not yet reached the registration web page.  Oh well, I will sort it out later.

I flipped on the TV and fired up my laptop computer to check on the latest OTD comments and was shocked that the Dodgers were AHEAD 8 to 5.  Could it be that the formerly anemic bats that the Dodgers displayed when playing better teams were suddenly energized by their recent success against the Rockies and Padres?

The Dodgers are literally a different team than they were three months ago.  PVLs like Raphael Furcal, Juan Uribe as well as a couple of stiffs named Thames and Gibbons are nowhere to be found.  Juan Rivera has been a pleasant surprise and a clutch hitter since he was cast off from the Blue Jays.  Aaron Miles continues to provide some nice at bats and the solid play of newcomers Justin Sellers and Dee Gordon have contributed to the Dodgers recent success.  Of course Matt Kemp’s career year performance and the resurgence of James Loney and Andre Ethier have rounded out the newly powerful Dodgers.

Let’s hope they can keep their winning ways.  EnchantedTheBeav thought that Blake Hawksworth’s older sister brought us good luck and wanted her back today.  What can I say?  I created this blog for the crazy bunch of regulars that have found a home here away from the scripted marketing hype of that other place.  You asked for her… you got her.  I guess you really like her great smile.

Erin Hawksworth

Erin Hawksworth Displays Her Great Smile

This Day in Dodgers History

September 3, 1917 – Phillies hurler Grover Cleveland Alexander goes the distance in both games of doubleheader as Philadelphia sweeps the Dodgers, 5-0 and 9-3.

Kershaw Keeps on Truckin’

August 30, 2011

Clayton Kershaw showed why he is the Dodgers ace pitcher and a favorite to win the Cy Young award.  Despite not being overpowering in terms of strikeouts, Kershaw turned in a complete game masterpiece winning 4-1 over the Padres.  Kershaw is now 17-5 on the year and a dominating 10-1 with a 1.80 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

James Loney continued his hot streak with another homer.  He has gone 18 for 35 in his last 8 games, raising his batting average from .254 to .275.  Maybe he reads this blog and was tired of being called “Loweeny” all the time.  If Loney continues his torrid streak through the end of the year, the Dodgers will have a big decision to make regarding his salary for next year.

Señor Winces, AKA Andre Ethier, went 3 for 4 with an RBI.  Either his knee felt better, or he was grinning and bearing it.

Today Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound against the Padres Tim Stauffer.  Kuroda has gone 4-1 in August with a 2.16 ERA.  It is amazing what happens when the team scores runs for Kuroda.  They scored 27 runs in his 13 losses before August.  In his five games in August, they scored 28 runs.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 30, 1952 – Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughn drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

August 30

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.

Loney Getting Lonely on Bench

August 5, 2011

With the emergence of Juan Rivera, who has the second highest batting average on the team, James Loney has been starting a lot of games on the bench.  Once a steady hitter who averaged 90 RBI’s the last three years, Loney has struggled in the last month batting .176 and driving in 5 runs.

Loney’s future in LA is at risk according to Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA.

“…Loney is making $4.875 million this year, and he has one more winter of arbitration eligibility. Simple logic would suggest that the Dodgers won’t go there with him this year, that if he doesn’t agree to a salary for 2012 far below the roughly $5.5 million he would stand to make through arbitration, they will simply bid him adieu. …”

LA Times writer Dylan Hernandez says that Loney must play in order to prove himself.

“…They have a decision to make, and I want it easy on them to bring me back,” Loney said. “But I have to play well; I have to play up to my talent level.”

First, he has to play, period. …” Dodger beat writer Ken Gurnick has a story pointing to a telling offseason for James Loney.

“James Loney is having his worst season after a bad second half last year, and he’s not even the everyday first baseman anymore, manager Don Mattingly saying Loney will continue to share time with Juan Rivera when Rivera isn’t playing left field.

All of that means Loney is at the top of the list of likely non-tender candidates come December, as the Dodgers are unlikely to pay him a raise from the $4.875 million he receives this year. …”

All of this negative attention does not bode well for Loney.  We can hope that he will turn it around but it looks like the Dodgers may not tender him a contract this fall unless he agrees to a pay cut.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August 5, 1979 – In an 8-1 win over the Giants, Dodger right-hander Don Sutton becomes the team’s all-time strikeout leader with his 2,487th career strikeout.