9:09 PM PDT, October 18, 2013
I wanted to compliment The Times on its great coverage of the baseball playoffs and especially the NLCS preview. Other than the part where you picked the Dodgers to have an edge in every category (starting pitching, relief pitching, hitting, defense, bench) and the prediction of the Dodgers winning in six games, you really nailed it.
It's sad when Dodgers fans turn off Game 6 of the NL Championship Series and switch to the Louisville- Central Florida football game. Maybe next year.
I realize that Bill Plaschke is not a firm believer in Don Mattingly and certainly has the right to question his decisions, but do we really need to read his wild speculation about whether those decisions had an impact on players' mind-sets the next game? Saying that Mattingly's decision to pull Adrian Gonzalez for a pinch runner in Game 1 "perhaps led to several distracted plate appearances Saturday by a team whose mind seemed elsewhere" seems like a bit of a stretch and a desperate attempt to try and overplay a decision that may have backfired the prior night.
The leaked information before Game 4 that Don Mattingly would be retained next season as the Dodgers' manager came just in time to avoid shoving Zack Greinke onto the mound to pitch on three' days rest. Had the information not have surfaced, Mattingly may have started Greinke in a desperate move to save the season and perhaps his job, much the way Mike D'Antoni ran Kobe into the ground in last-ditch efforts to make the playoffs and perhaps save his own position.
After watching the Cardinals play and execute fundamental baseball, it's time to ask Manager Mattingly why he refuses to do so. One might ask, "Why bunt a runner to scoring position when it's easier to hit into a double play and kill the opportunity to score a run?"
Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran says that Yasiel Puig's display of emotion shows that he "doesn't know how to act" and that "you've got to act with a little more calm."
Why do stodgy baseball players frown at shows of passion and emotion? Unlike those "cool" faceless ballplayers who play mainly for the money, a guy like Puig projects his boyhood joy in playing the game he loves. How can you not love that?
Earlier this year I had a letter published in which I compared Carl Crawford with 1982 Dodger Don Stanhouse, a free agent who was paid a lot to stink. I'd like to admit I was wrong.
Carl Crawford has been worth every cent the Dodgers have paid him and without him I don't think we would be listening to Vin Scully on the radio while turning the TV sound down.
Nothing against DJ Severe (Oct. 16), but when did "fan experience" become fan torture?
Wednesday we arrived early to beat the traffic. Happy to be in the ballpark and not at work, I was expecting to spend a sleepy hour unwinding, taking in the pre-playoff scenery.
But about 12:30 the monster speaker in center field came to life. It reached out, grabbed me, and hammered, hammered, hammered all the way up to game time, and then all through the game! So loud, it was like being trapped in a nightclub. Conversation? Forget it. What ever happened to the Dodger Stadium atmosphere I fell in love with as a kid?
Dodgers, even if you subscribe to the notion (I don't) that fans want or need to be "amped," please, for the sake of comfort, tone it down.
Q: How can you tell an "old school" Dodgers fan?
A: He watches young fans wearing Cardinal-red caps with Dodgers logos and he ... doesn't get it.
While reading the fine guest column of Oct. 17 by St. Louis Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz, I noticed yet another reference to the gentle skill of Vin Scully — "The great Vin Scully described the danger."
We all know we love Vinny, we grew up with him. I was listening to that voice when I was 6 years old and playing in the backyard, and I'm 62 now, but it always is somehow warming to hear that others across this nation are listening too, and they know what we know. How much I'll miss him, when and if that day comes, is unfathomable.
If you don't want to injure your head, don't play NFL football. If you don't want to get killed during the Indy 500, don't drive a race car. If you don't want to get hit with a bullet on the battlefield, don't join the army.
After taking constant hits to the head during countless games, if any former NFL player thought he would merely have a few broken fingers in his old age, then his head wasn't screwed on right in the first place. None of these realities will prevent the endless litigation and liability claims that are now on the way. The lawyers are about to have a field day.
So Bill Dwyre and the pantywaist documentarians over at PBS think the NFL is too violent and dangerous, blah, blah, blah.… News flash! It's a tough game played by tough men and beloved by a tough (or at least we were) country and it's been watered down enough. My suggestion to Dwyre: Leave the writing about football to tough-minded men and instead hop in your Volvo, swill on your latte, and go cover a tennis match somewhere.
No Rice, please
Condoleezza Rice as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee? Putting aside her football credentials, there is a major issue concerning her judgment and her honesty. Rice was a major architect and supporter of the disastrous and immoral Iraq war. To this day she defends her role and refuses to admit that she and the war were disastrously wrong. Her poor judgment and dishonesty should disqualify her from a position on this committee.
Oh, grow up
Here is how I see it, putting it in kid terms, as Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has turned this weekend's Peyton Manning celebration into "Romper Room."
Irsay discarded his once favorite toy (Manning) in favor of the newest version (Andrew Luck), assuming Peyton was forever broken. Mr. Irsay, think "Toy Story." Andy would never have done this to Woody. You made your decision, now live with it. Too bad dignity and respect are grown-up words you can't embrace.
Rancho Palos Verdes
So the U.S. rescued Mexico from the disgrace of failing to qualify for the World Cup in one of the world's weakest regions. Hopefully the next time the U.S. plays in Mexico City the home fans will keep that in mind as they contemplate their normal routine of throwing bags of urine at the U.S. players.
A world apart
On Tuesday morning I watched Tuesday night's Lakers game from China. That's about as confusing as this year's lineup.
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