The Los Angeles Dodgers, most expensive mediocre team in baseball history?
Of course, they’re the most expensive any kind of team right now, but are hardly looking like that juggernaut that was supposed to pillage the Nation League on its way to the World Series.
The 22-20 Dodgers seem so incredibly middling. They are hardly inspiring, just average beyond reason.
The season is one-fourth over now and it is time for the lads to get it in gear, or at least out of neutral. To buckle up and play with some urgency, to play crisp, focused baseball.
The timing is pretty good, what with the Dodgers beginning a nine-game road trip Friday in Arizona against their favorite patsy. The Dodgers are 7-1 against the Diamondbacks this season and 15-19 against everyone else.
Plus, they’re fairly healthy. Catcher A.J. Ellis has returned, Juan Uribe is back in the lineup Friday and they have Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw lined up to start the first two games.
And Manager Don Mattingly, unlike the last 5-4 road trip, actually was encouraged by the way the Dodgers played on their just-completed 3-4 homestand.
“I have actually been a little disappointed with our play on the trip, even though we went 5-4,” he said. “We had a chance to go 6-3. I didn’t like our energy.
“I thought the last five or six days it was our club again. We won two out of three [against Miami], and those last couple games against the Giants I felt better. It felt more like our club.”
His current club is in third place in the National League West, five games back of the San Francisco Giants. It isn’t that they’ve been terrible, just completely underwhelming for such a talented team.
It’s only the middle of May, but thinking there is plenty of time can be a mental trap. They’re not going to go on a 42-8 run again this season. The Giants are unlikely to go away. The Dodgers are going to have to win it.
This would be an excellent time to start.
“The last five or six days, it’s felt more like our team last year than it has at any other time,” Mattingly said. “I’m hoping we’re starting to head that way.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times