Saturday, October 3, 2009

F-U-Ndamentals and Kershaw the Komeback Kid

Frustrated? check. Anxious? double check. Given up? NEVER. If there is one thing I know about my Dodgers and this crazy sport of baseball, is we are only one Kirk Gibson homerun away from a change. Sure, that doesn't happen very often....but it DOES happen.

Tonight is the night. Watch out for flying champagne corks, stay off the freeways, and tivo the game. They are going to win tonight and who more fitting to bring them the win? Kershaw. That's right. Sure he hasnt won in his last 10 starts, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's still one of the best in the league and the last time he pitched to the Rockies he went 5 scoreless innings. Tonight the pressure is on for Kershaw as he needs to solidify his likely number 2 spot in the playoffs.

Sure we can go on and on about how embarrassing the Dodgers are playing these last several games (nope, I refuse to attach a number there) OR we can look at the victory we DID have last night. Let's not forget that Ethier came out of his horrible road trip slump, Casey Blake looked good defensively, and we were able to cut the lead to one each time. Furcal is continuing to dominate, Wolf shook off his horrible 1st inning high pitch count and took better control of the ball, Sherrill and Broxton revealed once again why they're the best relievers in the league, and the boys got some confidence that they can take the rockies bullpen. Sure that doesn't make the cork fly off the champagne bottle or ensure a date for my playoff tickets BUT its something.
Let's flashback to 2006 shall we? Those darn red birds the 2006 Cardinals, they were 3-6 or something awful at the end of the season and they went on to win the World Series. Sure they played the Astros and the Padres (I think) but it doesnt much matter. The Rockies (stats wise) are playing better baseball than any other playoff ready team lately. If the Rockies end up playing the Cardinals, the Cardinals can't assume that they have it in the bag and I'd love to see the Rockies take them out.

What we need to do tonight (besides flipping win) is to walk a fine line between pressing and having some fun. These boys have talent, but it's obvious they're not playing to play and have fun and showcase their talent. Even Manny was showing he wasn't patient at the plate last night. He left some men stranded, but he'll be back "on" tonight I'm sure. I believe, and I wont stop. If there's something I know about my boys is that they're not done till they're done and there's still a lot of baseball to be played in October.

So take out those champagne bottles, look to the future, and watch them work their Magic. Torre is never one to shy away from a challenge.........

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baseball is a Sport, not a place to judge Character

Selig needs to retire so that Pete Rose can get into the Hall of Fame. I'd love to have a chance meeting with Selig to discuss The Great Pete Rose. I'm not saying the gambling thing was a high point in his career or life but that had ZERO to do with his ability and the reason that he DESERVES to be in the Hall of Fame. He broke Ty Cobb's record for most hits......did that have anything to do with gambling?

Sure, ban Rose from baseball. Don't let him manage or coach or be in a power position with the sport anymore. This protects the game and the rules that go along with it. I can get on board with that. But, really, don't allow him to be part of an elite group of players and be recognized for his hard work and playing ability? That's a tragedy really. He's going to be remembered regardless of being a Hall of Famer or not, so why not?

There are rules that must be followed and a certain pretense upheld, this I understand. But he is not going into the Hall of Fame based on his character and who he is as a person. Nothing he did effected the way he played the game. If we start picking Hall of Famers by who they are as a person and not what they did as a ball player, many of the talented athletes would not stand a chance of getting in. And I'm sure a good number of ball players already inducted would have to be removed. I'm not condoning jerkish behavior, but that Hall of Fame is based on talent, stats, and records.

Isn't there some sort of separation of baseball and character in the Constitution? Well, maybe there should be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Need For a Dustpan......

Well Alright, Then. We beat the birds!!! We are BACK ON TOP. Yesterday we shared the best record in baseball with the Yanks (booooo) but today, we're back holding our title!! This team sure is resilient. What other team in baseball can come back from 3 straight losses (one in which they SHOULDN'T have lost) and win? Only a team with a lot of heart and one that comes in with a good attitude ready to get the job done. I'm also going to have to go ahead and thank Wellemeyer for being one of the worst pitchers in baseball. Not only did that aid in our win, but allowed our pitching staff to for once be showcased in a good light.

Our pitching is getting some much needed help. Even though the only "new" person we brought in is Sherrill (I knew Neddy boy would get us it possible we still might get Doc?) but we're starting to put ourselves back together. We have never lost one of the best era's in baseball, but our pitchers haven't been able to go that deep leaving it on the shoulders of the bull pen many a night. This is also due to the lack of offense we've seen of late (Manny, what is wrong, buddy? doesnt have to be a Grand Slam into Mannywood EVERY time!). Our pitching really needs back up from our offense......Blake and Kemp did their job tonight. We need to shake up the lineup, maybe Ethier NOT batting cleanup behind Manny?
I'd put Kershaw up against anyone's ace. This kid, as I've said before, has really got it. Since he's added his slider to his repetoire of pitches, he's really gotten a better handle. It will also be interesting to see what Joe does when there's a bevy of leftys in the when we play the Phillies. Will he use Sherrill or big John? What I do know is you NEVER know with Joe. That's what I love about him. Sure, sometimes he makes bad choices (why didnt you leave Kershaw IN joe?) but it all works out in the end. Hello, what a CRAZY move to load up the bases with 2 Big Card batters (Pujols/Holliday). But go big or go home. You either lose by a little or you lose by a lot. At least in the "a lot" category you know you did everything you could (usually).

Kuo is beginning to exhibit signs of being his "pre-surgery" self and if that stays true our bullpen just got infinetly stronger. We just need to get Mota back on track and we've got Leach out of the mix for a minute. That kid needs to settle down and take some lessons from J-Mac about the nerves. Even though we lost 3 out of 4, I think weve still got a chance against the cards. Minus this series it hasn't been all bad...right??

Things are only looking up when our new reliever's at the plate song is Blood Milk and Sky by White Zombie. Although, maybe Ned's not done yet.......could the Doc be in a Dodgers uniform soon?? or is that just too much wishful thinking.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just put me in, Coach!!!

Woah. Did I just see Loretta pitch in a major league game?? We're talking a utility infielder, here. Man would I have wanted to be a fly on the wall in the Dodger dugout last night. Maybe something like this:
Joe: who should we put in?
Bowa: Well, Troncoso is warming up in the bull pen, Joe. Let's bring him in. Even though he's pretty worn out.
Loretta: Hey guys, I couldn't help but overhear you talking about bringing in a new pitcher. Listen, Troncoso is tired, we're already down by 10. It's been about 8 years...but i think I can do it!!
Joe: Hey, you know what? Let's do it. There's no need to bring in an actual reliever at this point.

The best part? Loretta hit Holliday and then got the out that he had promised he would. Man, I love the Dodgers.

The last few games could be a glimpse into what we're facing in October (cuz we're gonna make it). If we don't play the Cards then we're gonna have to play the Phillies and they still have an incredible pitching staff. I'm not down on the dodgers. So what that we've lost 3 in a row now? Hellllo, it's the 1st time in 100 games we've lost more than two. Shouldn't we commending our boys on a job well done? I'm not too worried about our pitching staff either, but we need to find a kid that can go deep into the game. Bills would be a GREAT Cy young candidate if games were only 5 innings long. What also needs to happen is our offense needs to back up our pitching. But can we really expect that from our team when they're playing a team who's pitching staff have a collective ERA's of less than 2?

Enter: Kershaw. He is our light at the end of the tunnel with an ERA of what, .95 in the last 8 starts. Hopefully he can go deep into tonights game. Our boys in blue really need it. I can't believe that ANYONE thought that Ned would trade this pride and joy even if it was for veteran Lee. What the Dodgers are getting back to are their roots of growing their own team. Even if we don't win the world series this year, we will and soon. These kids are gooooooooood.

My opinion: We need to let Leach rest it out a little bit and bring Elbert back up when he passes his "has to be in the minors for 10 days" stint. I can't believe we put him back down there to make room for Schmidt. Ok, so Schimidt should get the perserverance award but if he doesn't figure out how to throw with his "new" arm, then he better kiss the rotation goodbye. He's had one good(ish) outing and one not so good. So far as it seems at the moment, he'll be pitching on Friday. Do or Die time Schmidty. Let us remember why we're excited we brought on board 10 years ago. :)

I'm anxious about the trade deadline. I don't always understand or agree with Coletti's picks and moves, but I do admire his ballsyness (is that a word?) and I'm sure that this Friday won't disappoint. For a ball club that needs some help in the bull pen so much, it's been awfully quiet on the forefront. But, really...that's my boy Ned's style. And then......all of the sudden....BAM!! and something awesome happens. For now, we know it's not longer Lee. Sherill perhaps? Only time will tell......fortunately it's a short time!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where an adult can be a kid....ASG

Sometimes when we become adults, we can lose that zest for life that we survived on as a child. It's easy to get caught up in the mundane ins and outs of life and forget our passions that used to keep us going. We try to look for the deeper meaning behind anything that happens to us rather than just allowing ourselves to fall head first into the giddyness that we once would allow ourselves to feel. I allow myself to fall, lighting speed head first, into the giddyness I feel when watching the ALL STAR GAME.

Sure, the national league tends to lose often and the game often stirs up controversy as to who should have made the team and how certain players didn't deserve to be an all star. Sure, inevitably something goes wrong and we lose sight of why we're all there to watch: the game of baseball. But if we step back for a moment and look through those rose colored glasses we used to wear as a kid, we can watch the ASG for what it REALLY is: the uniting of all the rock stars of baseball in ONE place at ONE time playing with each other. It's enough to knock any true baseball fan off their feet. Who cares if this may have happened during interleague play..... It's a chance to watch the best of the best in baseball play for hours. I mean Lincecum vs Derek Jeter? I'll take it!

We should be proud of our boys and how they did in the ASG. Well, sure, Bills allowed a run and Broxton didnt even actually play but O-Dawg was on fire. The only thing missing? Matt Kemp. I AM disappointed with the NL and the fact that they didn't win. In my opinion, it wasn't so much that the AL won but more than the NL lost it for themselves. It's ok Howard, we'll only blame you until there's a new bandwagon to jump on.

The ASG is coming to Anaheim next year and I'll find a way to be there. You hear that Selig? put me on the roster!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Sandoval and Vicotrino who??? Can someone please explain to me why Matt Kemp is not on the All Star team this year? I would like to believe his AMAZING game tonight was just to rub it in everyone's faces. Like, ok, fine.....I don't need to be on the all star team to play great baseball. But really, Matty, you ARE an all star. Look at his stats of late and his offense? Incredible. He consistently makes great plays in the outfield and leads with outfield assists. Tonight it seemed like Matt was channeling the great Willie Mays with that incredible basket catch he made to end the game. And this right after his long shot grand slam (his 3rd of the year!!) Wow. What a night for him, and what a night for the Dodgers. I have to say, games like this one that are back and forth, back and forth, are more fun to watch but man are they anxiety driven!! Tonight I was told by my friends I am no longer allowed to be facing big screen t.v.'s when out to eat while the Dodgers are playing. I admit, I'm not a great conversationalist when the Dodgers are playing. But sorry friends, tonight was DEFINETLY a game worth watching!

I'll say again how much affection I have for the great Joe Torre. Man his managing is unlike anything I've ever seen with the Dodgers for a looooong time. He really does manage this ball club well, especially when he makes moves such as having Kemp bat 8th in the order. Naysayers have a problem with this and think he should be behind Manny and that on many other teams he'd be batting cleanup. But Joe oh Joe is a thinker. He doesn't put Kemp there, oh no...he bats him 8th so that he can contribute some RBIs to the bottom of the order. And that's why I like Joe. He isn't afraid to look at things from a different standpoint. And, hey, it seems to be working out right? Still the Best Record in Baseball. Now if we compare stats the 2009 Dodgers are still inferior in many aspects to the 1955 Dodgers, but this team (as it stands now) is my generations BOYS OF SUMMER.

I'm kind of tired of everyone talking about the lack of stuff our pitching staff has. I mean, I'm not going to lie and say that oh yeah we'd be a heck of a matchup but our pen and our starters are still having solid years. Wolf, although shakey at times, as been pretty dominant all year but you'd never know it looking at his record. Bills has been having some off nights (could it be something with where his toe is pointing?) He has just lost a little control and demand of the ball, but it will be interesting to see the changes he makes after the break.....but ALL players have their ups and downs. Let's not forget his consistent he has been to have it all blown in the save. Kuroda has just come back but he's proved himself in the playoffs and I still think he's a pretty solid pitcher. and KERSHAW. wow what pitcher this kid is turning out to be. I would venture to say that Kershaw is a Lincecum in the making. For the last 30 innings, Kershaw has only allowed 2 ER and HE'S ONLY 21!!!!! We DO need a starter that can go a little deeper....(can we do 7 innings at least, people?) and I don't think Kershaw is steady enough to be able to count on for that......yet. We'll see how he does on Sunday.

I think it's funny that our bullpen is actually dominating by Mota right now. (and weaver has been excelling coming out of the bullpen and taking the 5th spot) Tonight, Mota got 3 outs on 6 pitches but still ended up with the blown save. AM i back in that parallel universe? Where are all those haters that wanted to kick Ned Colletti's butt for bringing back Weaver and Mota? I bet they're hiding somewhere....although I'm sure they'll pop right back up if these guys start to flounder again. It's not that we have bad pitching, it's that the rest of our awesome defense is overshadowing that of our pitching. I do think we need another pitcher before the deadline, but I am dead set against trading J. Mac or Dewitt and I think those are two of our most valuable people to make a trade. We'll see.

Giants fans need to make sure they don't fall of their bandwagon too fast after last nights game. I'll give it up to Sanchez (as a baseball fan) for his no hitter but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. It was ONE game and um, oh yeah, it was against the Padres.....are they even still playing?? The Giants DO Have an incredible pitching staff but they're not unbeatable. They have ONE guy as the title holder of the Cy Young award (Lincecum) but Cain isnt gonna get it this year and the two other guys on the team that are previous Cy Young award winners (Zito/Johnson) are in the second half of their careers. Now don't get me wrong, I think it be awesome to see a match up in NLCS between the Giants and the Dodgers but its JULY people. and you're still 7 games back. and Jim Tracy is doing something he apparently never chose to do with the Dodgers with those Rockies, so I wouldn't get too confident just yet. Remember, pitching does win championships but bad defense loses games. :)

Weaver takes the mound tonight and I'm confident our boys in blue will dominate again tonight. In the last 4 games we've scored what like 40 runs and the pitching hasn't been that great. It gets more difficult to score when there's nothing to hit but we're even putting up the double digits.

Interesting that now the ESPN dudes are talking about the NL West and how maybe it isn't a "soft division". ha, yeah. Thanks my earlier blog...I knew that long ago!! Too bad they're still not gonna give us any air time. That's ok...pretty soon we'll give them no choice.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Sultan of Swat....How much do you LOVE baseball?

Please notice that The Great Bambino is sitting in a DODGERS uniform in this legitimate photo. No you don't need a new set of spectacles or to refresh your browser. This famous Yank sported a Dodgers jersey (the year after the green jerseys) for half a year. Who knows why the King of Clout is wearing Dodger blue? No fair looking it up! and Bonus points for knowing why the Dodgers were Dodger green for a season!!