Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I am writing this in code so the Cardinals don't hack me and steal all my secrets.
So I spend part of the last Dodgers Dugout congratulating the team on the good season so far, reminding everyone that the Dodgers have the third-best record in baseball, then they go out and lose three of four to the Texas Rangers. Every time I think this team has a real chance to win the World Series, they go and do something like this. How are they going to win a seven-game series in the playoffs if they can only win one game against a team like Texas?
Mattingly's odd decision
Manager Don Mattingly made a very strange lineup decision in Monday's loss to Texas. Since they were playing at Texas, the Dodgers got to use a DH. Seems like an easy decision. After all, he has Alex Guerrero, a good hitter but poor fielder, a guy born to be a DH. Just put him down at DH, problem solved. No. Instead, Mattingly puts Adrian Gonzalez at DH, moves Justin Turner to first base and starts Alberto Callaspo at third. So, he weakens the offense and the defense. Doesn't make a lot of sense. If someone needed some rest, rest them before or after the two games in the AL park and get your natural DH in the lineup.
Have you ever noticed that he likes to sit regulars whenever Clayton Kershaw starts? I went to one game against St. Louis, and Joc Pederson and Gonzalez were on the bench. Wednesday, Pederson was on the bench again. Don't you want your best team out there when the ace is on the mound? Mattingly seems to be a great clubhouse guy, but when it comes to managing a game, he doesn't remind anyone of Tommy Lasorda out there. You don't see him manufacturing a lot of runs by sending runners on a hit-and-run or doing anything that makes you sit up and take notice.
Those cheating Cardinals
I was going to write an item about the St. Louis Cardinals' hacking scandal and how it could raise questions about the playoff wins over the Dodgers the last two years, but Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke already did, and wrote it better than I would have. So what are you waiting for, go read it.
Is it wrong to celebrate a player going on the disabled list? If it is wrong, pay no attention to the fact the Dodgers put Chris Hatcher on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, making room for Scott Van Slyke.
Your favorite Dodgers
Lewis Leader of Carmel Valley: Duke Snider was always my favorite Dodger. As a small boy in Brooklyn, I recall the arguments on the sidewalk about whether Snider, Mays or Mantle was the best. There was no doubt in my mind. It was Snider. After we moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ahead of the Dodgers, I attended a clinic at either Wrigley Field or Gilmore Stadium where players gave tips to youngsters. I got an autographed baseball from the Duke, only to lose it while playing baseball in an alley behind our home in East L.A. Finally, I attended several Dodgers Adult Baseball Fantasy Camps in Vero Beach. At one of them, my locker was next to Snider's. I got another autographed baseball from him. The circle was complete.
Noah Drinkward-Herrmann of parts unknown: My favorite Dodger that I got to see play was Nomar Garciaparra. He had the most fun on and off the field.
David T. Snyder of parts unknown: Billy Grabarkewitz, great name! I won a spelling bee in 8th grade spelling his name.
The Giants come to town for three games starting tonight. If the Dodgers get swept by them, then I may never be able to wear my Dodgers cap in public again.