Come on, buckaroo, keep that chin up. All disappointed today to find your Boys in Blue look exactly like they did the previous day?
Big names flew at the trading deadline and the Dodgers watched from the sideline. Offered polite applause. Admitted the A’s got better with Jon Lester and the Tigers with David Price.
A little hard to watch for the Dodgers fan who’s been waiting 26 years for another World Series title. The Dodgers are good but did not make a move to get better. A lot of trade buildup with no payoff.
“The trade deadline is exciting,” ace Clayton Kershaw said. “We all watch, just like everyone else. It’s fun to see all these big trades. Usually we’re a part of it, so it’s a different feeling for us not to be. It’s just a sign probably of how good our team is.”
There is that, of course. The Dodgers appear to have turned a corner. They are 15 games over .500 for the first time this season and at 62-47 have the best record in the National League.
But it should also be noted that the major moves all occurred in the American League. No contending team in the National League made a significant upgrade.
General Manager Ned Colletti talked to every interested team, weighed the value of his best prospects against what was being asked and took a pass.
“There was no trade where I was thinking, `Wow, we should have done that,’ ” Colletti said. “Cost on the prospect side exceeded where we saw as the value.”
The Dodgers hung on to their big three prospects – infielder Corey Seager, outfielder Joc Pederson and left-hander Julio Urias – players Colletti said he not only expects to become major leaguers but a chance to be “star players.”
It’s a tricky game, trying to win now while also building for the future. So the Dodgers managed to keep their top prospects, but you wonder at what cost?
The Dodgers’ biggest weakness is the back of the rotation and the bullpen. They have no problem matching their top three starters – Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu – with anyone. They’re certainly taking their chances getting out of the NL.
Should they get to the World Series to find the rotation-deep Tigers or A’s waiting, the only issue becomes their Game 4 starter. If Josh Beckett is able to pitch like he did in the first half, not really an issue. Or they could choose to start Kershaw on three days' rest. Sandy Koufax won a World Series pitching Game 7 on two days' rest.
There are worse things that could happen. Plus, there’s still August to acquire more help via a player who’s cleared waivers. It’s not like Colletti’s never had success there.
“We’ve been able to pick up some key players in that month,” he said.
So maybe Thursday proved disappointing. The team will get no lift because a significant addition is walking into the clubhouse on Friday. They’re still the favorites to win the pennant and still have their best prospects. Not all bad.
Even if the perception is they were afraid to go for the kill.
“I don’t worry about perception. I worry about winning games,” Colletti said. “Perception doesn’t win you games.”