In 2009, the Dodgers could have picked up Cliff Lee for a measly $10 million. They didn't; the Phillies did, and they went to the World Series.
Shift to 2014. St. Louis is very much in the hunt for David Price. If the Dodgers are serious about getting to the Series, they can't let him go to the Cardinals. It would be deja vu all over again. When examined against a payroll of $231 million, the Price can't be that much.
So, in his July 19 article, Bill Plaschke says the Dodgers need to bite the bullet and get David Price as a starting pitcher. On July 20, he says that the Dodgers need to replace their ailing power hitters. I am reminded of Father Guido Sarducci, who advised that the way to make money in the stock market is to buy a lot of stock that goes up in value and then sell it at a profit. Plaschke, if you weren't so dumb you'd be a genius.
Don Mattingly continues to start Dan Haren, who like Paul Maholm earlier this year, essentially guarantees a Dodgers loss every time he takes the mound. L.A. is supposed to have the best starting rotation in baseball, but aside from Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers would be better off choosing a fan from the seats to pitch.
Should the Dodgers not win the NL West given the talent on the club, Mattingly ought to be fired.
Brian C. Gura
Matt Kemp was quoted as saying he wants a "full time gig" and "I love playing baseball, man. I'm not here to sit and watch." No, but he'll stand and watch as pitches down the pipe go for called strikes and then swing wildly at one over his head and then one in the dirt. Strike three. Maybe he can get a full-time gig at Rancho Cucamonga or even here in Bakersfield. It sure wouldn't be Albuquerque, that's triple A, man.
I can't hit major league pitching either, but I'm not being paid eight figures a year to try to do so.
Matt Kemp has to be the epitome of today's spoiled, overpaid baseball player. From his choice of an agent, the self-centered Dave Stewart, to his pronouncements that he is an "everyday player" to the latest "news" that he is happy playing in right field, it is all about Kemp. He must have missed the lesson every kid learns that there is no "I" in team. The Dodgers should swallow his contract and ship him off to a city that hasn't grown as tired of his antics as Dodgers fans have.
I am surprised that the leadership in Major League Baseball has not noticed or decided not to notice how dirty the St. Louis Cardinals have been. No coincidence Joe Kelly took out the Dodgers' hottest hitter in the postseason by cracking Hanley Ramirez's rib. The consequence for that? A World Series.
When the NFL found out about the headhunting of the New Orleans Saints, several heads rolled. But not the gutless leaders of the MLB. They allow it to continue unpunished. How in the world can it not be clear that their actions are not intentional?
It is utterly unfathomable that major league pitchers are still purposely throwing fastballs into the bodies of opposing players and getting away with it. Forget the shenanigans and posturing. Players in the past have been killed and careers lost by beanings, even accidentally.
Throwing a baseball 90 mph directly at another player is insane. Clayton Kershaw shamed himself on national TV in St. Louis on Sunday night. He should have been immediately thrown out of the game and suspended for a month if MLB had any conscience.
And shame on Bill Plaschke, normally Mr. Politically Correct, for condoning the action.
Reader Michael Hawkins (Letters, July 19) claims that DirecTV is aligning "with the free-market definition of fairness" by asking that only those customers who want the Dodgers be forced to pay extra for them. There is currently no "free market" in cable television. My DirecTV package comes with over 225 channels, of which I watch maybe 20. I am therefore supplementing all those other channels and the viewers who have preferences other than mine (Cooking Channel, anyone?). The actual "free market" will come when an a la carte programming option exists. Until then, givememyDodgers.com.
Good to see that the Dodger Stadium Express is shuttling fans to the ballpark from Union Station. But if the Dodgers really want to do the right thing, they need to shuttle fans to local sports bars that have SportsNet LA.
When will teams learn that pitchers acquired from the San Diego Padres seldom if ever have the same success with their new team? From Kevin Brown to Ernesto Frieri, the reasons are fairly obvious. Padres pitchers perform in a no-pressure situation where wins and losses are usually meaningless. Huston Street basically had 21 meaningless saves in meaningless games. Petco Park is beyond "pitcher friendly."Their manager is a former pitching coach and their pitchers are "coached up." Add to that mix a fawning local media and you have a perfect situation for pitchers to succeed.
Now Street finds himself in the middle of a pennant race where every pitch has consequence and the stakes are high, a situation that is very foreign to him. Good luck, Angels.
The Angels should extend General Manager Jerry Dipoto's contract for the fine job he has done. Most of his trades have turned out well, and you can hardly blame him for some of the bad free-agent signings. Right, Arte?
I am a lifelong Angels fan, and have as much admiration for Mike Trout's overall baseball skills as anyone. But anointing him as anything more than a very good player is premature. For instance, he strikes out too much because he's too selective with two strikes when he should be more aggressive rather than putting the fate of his at-bat in the hands of the umpire. Also, he is somewhat timid on balls hit in front of him in center field, often letting bloopers fall that better outfielders catch.
And lastly, he is not stealing bases primarily because he doesn't get major league-sized leads. Notice that when pitchers throw over to first with Trout on, he gets back easily? Quality base-stealers cut it close enough to maximize their chance for a good jump. Teammate Howie Kendrick does this well.
Making excuses for Trout, as Mike Scioscia does, won't work to improve his few shortcomings. Until Trout gets some coaching in these areas, he will remain an extremely talented player with immense potential.
I enjoyed Bill Dwyre's story on Jim Healy. It was the postgame news conference after the 1989 All-Star game in which American League leadoff hitter Bo Jackson opened the game with a mammoth home run to straightaway center field. I innocently asked National League Manager Tom Lasorda what he thought of Bo Jackson's performance. The Los Angeles media, remembering Lasorda's colorful response to the exact same question about Dave Kingman, burst into laughter. Lasorda thought for a moment, put up his hand and solemnly replied, "I'm not touching that."
Thank you, Bill Dwyre, for your great article on one of L.A.'s forgotten sports icons, Jim Healy. His 20- to 30-minute daily show could never be contained in such a short time period today. Too many goofs in the sports world going the Leonard Tose route, which Healy would no doubt rename the Donald Sterling route today.
Not missing NFL
What good will we get from having a new pro football team in L.A. [July 20]? Has tourism dropped since "our" teams left town 20 years ago? Do we miss traffic jams near the stadium on game day? The TV blackouts for home games? Why are we working so hard to lure another losing team into moving away from an audience that's too smart to pay to see its games?
Arthur O. Armstrong
The fact that Tony Dungy claims that Michael Sam would be a distraction has to be the most hypocritical statement this year. This from a man who advocated for, of all people, convicted dog killer Michael Vick. Lest we forget, Dungy's voice is heard only because people before him let a person be judged by performance alone, nothing else. Et tu, Dungy?
So Tony Dungy wouldn't want the distraction that Michael Sam's presence in the locker room would have supposedly created? Apparently, every other team than the Rams probably thought the same thing as well or else they would have drafted the consensus All-American before the Rams finally took him in the last round.
What happens now? Do we ban Dungy from football, like the NBA is trying to do with Donald Sterling in basketball, or does he get a Magic Johnson or Tom Lasorda pass because it seems as if those two are immune from any criticism at all when it comes to Mike D'Antoni's resignation or Dave Kingman's performance?
Had Ray Rice beat a dog, the media would be demanding a ban of at least a year or a lifetime ban. But the media have been pretty quiet about Ray Rice compared to how they demanded Michael Vick's head on a stick.
No matter who the Lakers hire as a coach, Kobe Bryant will continue to ignore the coach and coach "his team." Why not make him player/coach? I think his current salary will cover this new title.
No head coach for the Lakers yet? Waiting for Doc, of course!
Sao Paulo, Brazil
I don't even want to know what Plan C was for the Lakers.
Tiger Woods declared that despite having a miserable performance at the British Open, and doing little prior to that, he is looking forward to being named to the Ryder Cup team. Naming Woods to the Ryder Cup team would be like naming Mark Sanchez to the Pro Bowl.
Ralph S. Brax
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