T.J. SIMERS

Staying positive with the Dodgers, even during negative times

When Bundy "hits" it to Gonzalez he bends over and looks between his legs as if the ball has gone through and into right field. It's pretty funny stuff.

They run double plays without a ball and go around the horn after every play.

Mark Ellis goes deep behind second, throwing off balance to Gonzalez, who makes like the ball is never going to come down. For the first time since he's been here, Gonzalez appears relaxed.

Team President Stan Kasten has flown in for the game, and I'm not the one who is going to jump to the conclusion he's here to scrutinize Don Mattingly's managerial work.

He's probably just here for the infield show. GM Ned Colletti and assistant GM Logan White are also here, high-fives all around as everyone watches the Dodgers at their best as they fire the imaginary ball around.

Inside the clubhouse Matt Treanor apologizes for becoming too emotional a day earlier. He says his outburst was out of character and he was only trying to be supportive of his teammates.

Treanor jokes he was caught without his athletic supporter while having Page 2 read to him and he will not make that mistake again. I have no idea what he means but he comes across as a great guy.

It's another upbeat sign; maybe the Dodgers suddenly can turn into a great team. Go Dodgers go.

The game begins, two men on with Gonzalez up and maybe he really is relaxed. He hits a rocket double to right. Two runs score and there's no cheering in the press box, but it's all right in the hometown newspaper.

Yipee.

They win this game, as Kasten is saying, and phantom batting practice is next, our new owners thinking of everything.

But I wonder what I should write if we lose, and while that's not a possibility, of course, that would make 11 losses in 17 games since the Boston trade.

"What is the deal with your tired anti-Dodger act?" writes Chris in an e-mail.

I don't know; I've always struggled to say nice things about losers.

"You owe the players an apology," writes Chuck in an email received earlier in the day; and here I thought the Dodgers were disappointing, but it's really me.

Should I be telling the Dodgers not to worry? We're with them no matter what happens? Should I avoid any mention of losing or failing to score? Should I keep my criticism to myself?

It'd sure make it easier to be a hometown columnist if they won on occasion.

They are trailing 3-2. I can't believe it; our guys looked so good playing without a ball.

STOP THE PRESSES! We have Kemp leading off the ninth followed by the top two players acquired in trades. Your hometown newspaper applauds such promise.

Kemp grounds out to first.

No worries, we have Gonzalez, and who else would you want in a situation like this? OK, so maybe not Gonzalez because he takes a called third strike for the second straight night in the ninth.

But it's not his fault the umps have it in for him as he tells everyone later. And as his hometown newspaper now we'll overlook the crybaby antics.

Ramirez grounds out to end the game, but the important thing here is our team gave it their best.

It's just too bad their best isn't much to write home about.

t.j.simers@latimes.com
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