From the home clubhouse here, the
The Giants are threatening to turn the
"I think they'll be OK," Schumaker said. "They've got so much talent, it's crazy.
"But that is not always a formula to win. You can't always out-talent somebody."
Schumaker, who went from the Dodgers' bench last year to the Reds' bench this year, doubled, singled and scored two runs as the Reds beat the Dodgers on Thursday, 4-1.
He would have been happy to return to the Dodgers, he said, but he had two-year offers from multiple clubs and no offer from the Dodgers. No hard feelings, he said.
Schumaker, 34, is not the difference between the Dodgers winning and losing. Indeed, they have a better record than the Reds, and he has a .263 on-base percentage. In his place as a versatile utility man, the Dodgers have
But the Dodgers also have a five-man bench when, at full strength, includes two outfielders who could be playing every day.
"Those guys aren't used to it," Schumaker said. "I doubt [
Kemp and Crawford each has spoken of his uneasiness with the situation, and Ethier has said the situation would be uncomfortable if the Dodgers are not winning. To Schumaker, those are the kinds of clubhouse dilemmas that a veteran bench can help resolve, or at least defuse.
"I feel like it's vital," Schumaker said. "There are a lot of things that should never get to the manager."
"The bench always seems like it turns over," Mattingly said. "It's hard to keep that mix the same. The guys we've had have been good. The guys we have now have been good. It's not fair to compare one year against the other."
Schumaker said the Dodgers are in a "tough spot" amid a glut of talent and a mountain of expectations.
"You need to have guys that have been through it all and won, and have seen it all," he said. "We definitely had those guys last year.
"I don't have the pulse of the clubhouse now.
The Dodgers last year got within two victories of the
"They've got pitching. They've got hitting. They've got speed. They've got superstars," Schumaker said. "It's not always that. I wouldn't say that if I didn't know it firsthand. I truly believe that.
"It was kind of a neat little thing we had going last year."