I remember when an auspicious five-word rallying cry was actually meant to invoke anticipation and inspire excitement. But this season, "it's time for Dodger baseball" serves more like a danger warning, becoming increasingly ominous and foreboding with every call to the bullpen and runner left on base.
If, at the beginning of the season, you told the San Diego Padres that they would be one game behind the Dodgers on May 14 they would be thrilled. If you told the Dodgers the same thing they would wonder how the Padres got so good. And if you turned the newspaper upside down while perusing the standings, it would almost be true.
When Dave Roberts said : "I don't think we're there yet." Was he talking about last place?
There is one question Dodgers fans should ask. When do pitchers and catchers report for 2019 spring training?
Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are fast becoming to the Dodgers what Steve Bartman was to the Cubs. The only chance Dodgers fans have for a World Series championship is if Friedman and Zaidi take a cue from Bartman and fade away.
Barry P. Resnick
Dave Roberts says that he is open to suggestions. Well, here are but a few.
1. Tell management not to get any starting pitchers who can't go seven innings (even after four days' rest).
2. There are only a couple of pitchers in the bullpen that you should keep. And Baez isn't one of them.
3. Tell your bullheaded players, that if the shift is on, go the other way. Get rid of the coaches how can't teach them how.
4. If you can't teach your players how to bunt, then quit. At the very least, bring in Maury Wills during spring training.
5. You say that you cannot manufacture runs. Well, your sluggers can slug. You had better try to.
This is this year, not last year. Your job is to manage this year's team. You know the definition of insanity.
I think I have finally figured out the Dodgers' "analytics" approach to offense. You take strikes early in the count and swing for the fences at balls late in the count. But alas, I fear that the "launch angle" of this season has become more like a failure to launch.
The team of Friedman, Zaidi and Roberts has admitted that they are just as much at fault as the current bunch of big league impersonators wearing blue. And that being the case, why are they not being demoted to Oklahoma City or Rancho Cucamonga for rehab?
Lawrence Martin Kates
The Dodgers need a team shrink to help the players stop feeling guilty about the World Series. Notice that Kemp and Buehler, who weren't on that team, are having great starts. Time for everyone else to stop moping and play ball!
The Dodgers' payroll is $190 million plus. How many teams have better record and spend less. Don't allow the front office a loophole by printing that ownership told them to stay under the tax threshold. That is still $190 million and change. Freidman and his boys were allowed to spend and were clueless on how. But at least he can rest his laurels on all those championships he won in Tampa Bay. Right?
Boy, did Andrew Friedman tap dance around all those questions from Bill Shaikin. Perhaps he would be better suited for politics than baseball management.
If the Dodgers were a football team they would be the old "Ground Chuck" Rams: Run off tackle three times and punt. The Dodgers: No matter the score, no matter the situation, swing from the heels and strike out.
Dave Roberts will be managing at Reseda High next year —if he's lucky. The front Office will be running a team in Visalia.
You could almost smell the very minute Dodger management said they were going with the team we last saw lose last season's Game 7 of the World Series that this season would be a quick study in disaster planning.
Last season, so many holes got patched up. The team had inconsistent and erratic energy and played from 10 levels over its head to abysmal during winning streaks and losing streaks.
Kershaw is no longer Kershaw. Ryu is a Jason Schmidt clone. They unload reliables Tony Watson and Brendan Morrow and how long did they think the Rich Hill experiment would last? He's been one pitch away from done for seven years.
Then they send Energizer Bunny Andy Toles down and replace him with the recycled bad juju of Matt Kemp.
They re-signed Chase Utley, and you have to love him, but you just can't ride him to the Series. Turner goes down immediately, Seager is out and they've made no provisions for any of this.
What could possibly go right? Oh, here's what. Ownership bails out while simultaneously raising prices, served up piping hot to, more or less, 50,000 chumps no matter what each and every night.
Since my hockey packaged morphed into the MLB package I get all major league games free every night. We watched every game last season. Now, we'll go to the single-A Salem Red Sox here before we'd watch a Dodger game.
I hope that the majority of Dodger fans have now realized that the hedge fund which owns the team is far more interested in maximum profits for its shareholders, than in actually winning championships.
They could have won the title last year had they signed Verlander instead of Darvish, but they didn't, because they didn't want to pay the extra year of Verlander's salary. Giancarlo Stanton wanted to come here; his long-term contract is quite reasonable; and the Dodgers had a big hole in left field. But the owners didn't want the contract burden; so the Yankees came up with the money, and might win five titles in the next 10 years, while the Dodgers won't even make the World Series in any of them .They treat the loyal fans with virtual contempt, figuring that they can keep cutting salary and passing on top free agents, and yet still get the 3.8 million in attendance, so why bother to spend any potential profits on putting together a strong team every year, since the rise in attendance will be marginal? That's how hedge funds think, with regard to all of the many companies they own. Sentiment has nothing to do with it.
Actually, we're not much better now going forward than in the McCourt era, which at least had the excuse that the owner was massively cash-poor. This absentee ownership has trillions of dollars, but like all hedge funds, wants to grind out profits and keep their shareholders happy above all. There is no logical way to imagine that this kind of approach is going to keep up with the franchises that are more about on-field achievements than money and marketing.
Dave Roberts, despite the numerous mistakes you made last year we made it to the World Series. We would have won the Series if you had not continued with your mistakes on pitching decisions. That team was so good that my grandson could have coached them to the Series.
This year is different with all of the injuries. This is when real managers manage. Real managers motivate the players to excel. Now is when real managers don't whine about the injuries but rather they get the absolute most out of the team he has. It looks like this year will be a sub-.500 year. Really? It will be the biggest collapse that I can remember. Grow up and manage or pack your luggage and leave.
Can Justin Turner pitch? Oh, wait, that's that other L.A. team. Never mind.
People refer to the 70% of the fans who have been blocked out by the Dodgers and their media as if they actually exist. These fans may have existed once, but no more. A lot of us have moved on. The current "base" is probably not much larger than the number of Spectrum subscribers.
At first they wouldn't let me watch the Dodgers.
Now I don't want to watch them.
Don't like Mike
As an Angels fan, I'm fine with Justin Verlander's complete game win this week. Perhaps after seeing it first-hand, Mike Scioscia will finally understand that you don't have to pull your starting pitcher in the late innings when he's cruising only to endanger the win or lose the game as he did the previous two nights.
Tampa Bay's C.J. Cron is the latest Angel to bloom after leaving Scoscia's chaotic substitution patterns. Cron say, "Knowing that you are playing every day helps to make adjustments; when you are playing three days a week, your career hinges on that day." A not too subtle criticism of Scoscia's platoon lunacy. Players need consistency to develop confidence.
Legalized sports gambling will have an immediate impact in an increase in viewership in all major sports. For those who think not, let me know if you'll be watching a meaningless Suns-Trail Blazers game at 10:45 at night next year, with the Blazers up by 10 points and one second on the clock hoping that the last guy on the Portland bench misses or makes a free throw.
So, does this make Pete Rose a visionary who was just ahead of his time. ?
I live in Southern California but I opened the L.A. Times Sunday sports section and found the hated Boston Celtics on page one while the hometown Dodgers were relegated to page three. Shouldn't it have been the other way around?
Most of the time after reading one of Bill Plaschke's sports articles my back stiffens. This time, after reading his tribute to his mom, my knees buckled. Looking good, Bill.
It doesn't get much better than Plaschke's column on his mother. I wish my mother was still alive so that I could send it to her.
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