Utterly Embarrasing

October 7, 2011

It has been painful to  read some of the stories about Frank McCourt vs MLB.  Headlines like “Dodgers ask bankruptcy judge to reconsider limits on arguments” make me cringe.  Other headlines and sentences from recent articles include: “MLB calls Dodgers’ document demands ‘totally irrelevant'”, “The Dodgers also alleged that discovery “has been one-sided in favor of MLB” because Gross denied the Dodgers‘ previous requests…”, “Dodgers‘ argument fails to move bankruptcy judge”, “The Dodgers failed again on Wednesday to persuade U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross that they needed documents about other Major League Baseball teams”…

These stories make the Dodgers sound like a whiny, pathetic organization.  This is the organization of “The Boys of Summer”, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.  It is not “the Dodgers” making all of these desperate legal ploys, it is Frank McCourt!  I for one, cannot wait until this weasel is long gone from Los Angeles and the Dodgers can begin the long journey of rebuilding the legacy that we have come to know and love.

Attention headline writers and reporters: Stop writing Dodgers and write that McCourt is the one responsible for the legal maneuvering.

Brewers advance to NLCS

The Milwaukee Brewers just defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings.  In the other game five action, the Cardinals are leading the Phillies going into the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Colletti talks about the off-season

Ned Colletti talked to ESPN’s Jim Bowden about the 2011 performances of some players and his thoughts for next year at http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7071525/los-angeles-dodgers-gm-ned-colletti-assesses-team-personnel-season-come

Jon Weisman remembers 2011

The Dodger Thoughts blogger has been busy in the last week taking a look at various Dodger players including Justin Sellers, John Ely, Eugeni0-for-ever, Nathan Eovaldi, Casey Blake, Juan Castro, Aaron Miles and Javy Guerra.  See http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-thoughts/archive/_/month/october-2011

Dodgers signal they won’t bring back Rod Barajas

Wallach on Red Sox’ list of manager candidates

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We found out

September 15, 2011

On Tuesday night, Gerardo Parra hit a home run, then paused before running the bases just a little too long to suit the Dodgers.  The home run followed a previous at bat by Parra in which he had to duck an errant throw from Hong-Chih Kuo.   A.J. Ellis yelled “You’re better than that.” to Parra after his showboat antics when he crossed the plate.  Clayton Kershaw went ballistic in the dugout and traded shouts with D’backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, who at some point asked Kershaw what he would do about the situation.  “You’ll find out!  You’ll find out!”, came the heated reply from Kershaw, well within earshot of hundreds of fans, players, coaches and umpires.

Last night, leading in the 6th inning 2-0, Kershaw threw a pitch several inches inside to Parra, nicking him on his elbow.  Home plate umpire Bill Welke immediately ejected Clayton from the game.  While Rod Barajas and Kershaw were arguing about that decision in disbelief, Don Mattingly emerged from the dugout just about as angry as he has been this season and argued the case.  Soon however, he crossed a line and was also tossed from the game.  It was highly unusual that Kershaw was thrown out of the game since there were no prior warnings given.

Rookie pitcher Josh Lindblom hurriedly warmed up then took over the pitching duties, determined to hold the lead for Kershaw.  Lindblom made 29 pitches while striking out five batters in two innings.  He was removed for pinch hitter Trent Oeltjen in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Nathan Eovaldi and Kenley Jansen followed with solid performances and the Dodgers won 3-2.

Despite his ejection, Kershaw improved his standing in the race for the Cy Young Award by winning his 19th game and throwing five shutout innings and striking out five.  Welke’s poor judgement robbed Kershaw of the chance to pitch more scoreless innings and build up his strikeout total, further improving his Cy Young chances.

Tony Jackson has more on this event and the reactions from Kershaw, Mattingly and umpiring chief, Tim Tschida in his column.

Today’s probable starters are Dana Eveland, 2-0, 0.60 ERA going against the Pirate’s Ross Ohlendorf, 0-2, 8.03 ERA.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 15, 1978 – In front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, Don Sutton throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. With tonight’s attendance, Los Angeles becomes the first team to draw three million fans at home in major league history.


Welcome Back Stephen Strasburg / The Mind of Mattingly

September 6, 2011

Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals fireballing phenom, will make his season debut today against the Dodgers.  Last year, Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA before undergoing the Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in September.  He was on a rehab assignment by August, going 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA in six games.  Tuesday’s start, against Ted Lilly, will be Strasburg’s first big league game since Aug. 21, 2010.

If Strasburg can pick up where he left off, last year he routinely posted a close to triple digit fastball and a wicked curve, the currently struggling Dodger offense will face quite a challenge.

Lilly, who had a 2.35 ERA in August after a mediocre June and July, is looking for his first three-game winning streak of the season.

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Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly wants more offense for 2012.  Mattingly says the team needs to boost its offensive production, but that could deplete the team’s pitching, one of its few strong points.

More from Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:

…Don Mattingly said that if he had to decide between the Dodgers‘ adding a quality bat or a quality arm over the winter, he would take the bat.  “A solid bat is something we’ve got to have or we’ll right back to where we were,” Mattingly said.  By that, he means before their mid-July acquisition of Juan Rivera, who has helped transform the Dodgers’ offense from abysmal to respectable.  “It tells you what one bat can do to your lineup,” Mattingly said.

But at what cost?  With the Dodgers in bankruptcy and their ownership situation in limbo, adding offense could force them to subtract pitching.  Starting pitching has been about the only part of the organization that hasn’t appeared compromised by its financial troubles.

Anchored by Cy Young Award candidate Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ rotation has the third-lowest earned-run average in the National League behind the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.  The Dodgers were designed this way. They went into spring training with six established starters — Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla, who was sent to the bullpen.

When Garland and Padilla went down because of season-ending injuries, they called up top prospect Rubby De La Rosa, who was armed with a 100-mph fastball. When De La Rosa was lost to an elbow operation, they replaced him with another top prospect, Nathan Eovaldi.  “Every time we walk out there, you feel like you have a starter who’s going to keep you in the game and give you a chance to win,” Mattingly said…

This Day in Dodgers History

September 6, 1981 – With his seventh blanking, Dodger lefty Fernando Valenzuela ties the major league rookie record for shutouts beating the Cardinal, 5-0.


Welcome Nathan Eovaldi

August 6, 2011

It looks like Tony Jackson’s tweet from last Tuesday has come true… sort of.  Jackson predicted that Nate Eovaldi would start next Tuesday.  He will have his major league debut today instead.  More from Tony about Eovaldi on his blog, ESPN/LA.

I did not know much about Eovaldi until I read an introductory post about him on Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness.  MSTI relayed a scouting report by Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally that included these notes:

  • Excellent size; Eovaldi looked closer to 210 lbs. than his listed weight of 195
  • Well-proportioned frame; Size through the quads and shoulders; Athletic pitcher’s frame
  • Fluid delivery with good pacing; Generates easy velocity
  • High 3/4 arm slot; Limits movement on his fastball
  • 94-96 MPH 4-seam fastball
  • 4-seamer lacked movement; Worked pitch in-and-out effectively
  • Maintained velocity throughout the start; Still touching 95 MPH in the 5th
  • 91-92 MPH 2-seam fastball; Some arm side run
  • 84 MPH slider; Best breaking ball; Used as out pitch
  • Pitch featured late cut; Depth improved throughout the course of the game
  • 78 MPH curveball; Threw sparingly; One CB was thrown behind RHH to backstop; Below average offering
  • 83-84 MPH Changeup; Threw sparingly; Slowed arm action

From a velocity standpoint, Eovaldi nearly matched Rubby De La Rosa pitch-for-pitch. As impressive as that statement is, Eovaldi’s fastball lacked the movement to make the offering elite. Add to this a plethora of breaking pitches in need of further refinement, and Eovaldi is on his way, but not ready for Los Angeles yet. As one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League, he has plenty of time to improve and become more than a fastball/slider pitcher.

Welcome to the show Nate.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August  6, 1981 –  The players approved a split-season format necessitated by seven-week strike. The Yankees, A’s, Phillies and Dodgers are declared the first-half champions and will be automatically qualified for the divisional series.