How many games must the Dodgers give away before Dave Roberts is fired? He continues to screw up every bullpen opportunity he has, choosing another incompetent reliever to blow another game.
One problem is Roberts’ blind adherence to baseball convention: Use right-handed pitchers against left-handed batters and vice versa, and worrying about pitch counts. It’s not working, yet he continues to do the same thing. Insanity.
Monday night, Kershaw was cruising through eight innings. But having tossed 110 pitches, Roberts opted to replace him. Result? Dodgers lost another game they should have won, and once again, Roberts was the problem.
Regarding the reader last week who didn't find any positives concerning the Dodgers' 50/50 raffle during games: The team could offer an even bigger incentive to its fans. Instead of offering a cash prize, the Dodgers should offer a bullpen spot to the lucky winner. I'm sure they couldn't do worse than the gasoline fires the horrendous and embarrassing Dodgers relief pitchers are creating on a nightly basis.
Mark J. Featherstone
It is beyond obvious that the Dodgers bullpen without Jansen is a not-so-funny joke, full of inexperienced pitchers who crumble under the pressure of a save opportunity. But what about the offense? The only reason that most of these blown saves were even save opportunities is that the offense has disappeared. Everyone seems to have slumped at the same time. They couldn’t even score more than a run or two a game in Colorado. It is time for these high-priced hitters to generate some offense. Otherwise it will be exclusively football this October in L.A.
Are you kidding me, Dave Roberts? Not letting an uber competitor like Kershaw at least go out for the ninth inning? And what's up with putting Max Muncy at first base in place of defensive whiz Cody Bellinger with a ground-ball pitcher in Alexander on the mound? Terrible choices, Dave, just terrible.
You can chalk up the losses to Colorado and San Francisco to Dave Roberts. He doesn’t know when to remove a relief pitcher. Very frustrating from a fan’s point of view. Time to look for a new manager.
It is unconscionable that a team belonging to the richest ownership group with the richest TV contract and most enviable attendance numbers in its sport has to mix-and-match to patch together a starting rotation and relief corps. Windows of opportunity to win championships close quickly and the mega-rich Dodgers owners decided to gamble away a precious year of ours by saving money instead of going for it.
So the Dodgers lose two games in Denver with late-game mistakes by the depleted pitching staff. Sure Kenley Jansen is injured and not in the bullpen, but can’t a major-league manager like Dave Roberts find someone who can avoid blowing a late-inning lead in successive nights?
L.A. lost Game 7 of last year’s World Series in part because Roberts stayed with starter Yu Darvish despite his obvious lack of command until the Astros mounted an insurmountable 5-0 lead. The Dodgers have talent, certainly enough to get back to the World Series. But with Roberts continually mismanaging his pitching staff, it’s only a matter of time before his poor judgment costs the Dodgers again.
Rosscup, Chargois, Floro, Alexander, Cingrani, Goeddel … there's a reason these pitchers were available for the Dodgers to sign. Maeda, a closer? Seem to recall he usually had it toughest in the first one or two innings of his starts. We did get a dynamite shortstop for a few months though, and a great hitting second baseman. That's what we really needed, right Mr. Friedman?
Dodger president Andrew Friedman says the bullpen will get its act together.
Friedman needs to work on getting his own act together first.
Barry P. Resnick
The Dodgers pay Clayton Kershaw $35 million a year but they will not let him pitch the ninth inning. Why are they saving his arm? Is it so that he can make $40 million next year to pitch for a Texas team?
Radical times call for radical solutions and I realize this will not happen, but isn’t it obvious that the Dodgers have plenty of starters but zero closers?
So simply put Kershaw in the closer role where he can have the biggest impact of all. He could conceivably be involved in 3-4 games a week rather than one.
Why not try it? I realize all the baseball traditionalists will scream bloody murder but the Dodgers need to try something different or they will be on the outside looking in with what they are doing now.
Jim B. Parsons
Even Bruins loved this column
Bill Plaschke’s article regarding Pete Arbogast was a true humanitarian eye-opener for all of us. I’m sure there are only a handful of people who were aware of Arbogast’s humble life and dedication to others. Many thanks to Plaschke for bringing this story to the forefront.
It was also startling to find out that a man who is as closely identified with building and spreading the USC football and university brand as anyone is treated as an afterthought by the university. How can a man who positively touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people on any given football Saturday broadcast be compensated on a per-game basis only?
He is truly a model for all of us to measure against as we ask ourselves if we are doing our best to help our families and the thousands of others who are alone, forgotten and underserved.
Thank you for the exquisite article on Pete Arbogast. This is the face of USC that I choose to keep in mind. We need more people who achieve their contentment through affecting the contentment of others.
As a former editor of the Daily Bruin, a UCLA Extension instructor for 35 years, and Chairman of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, there's little doubt where my loyalties lie. But I gladly tip my UCLA cap to Trojan football announcer Pete Arbogast for his work with No One Dies Alone program. To voluntarily be with people in their last moments of life is courageous, compassionate and caring. Despite all the travails facing USC these days, had I gone to that university, today he would make me proud to be a Trojan.
TV’s missing the big picture
Baseball on television is only giving us half the picture. It would be nice to see the defense, as in the NFL, NBA, MLS or NHL. Unfortunately, we don’t know where the defense is positioned until the ball is hit. What we do see are endless closeups of the pitcher’s face and the hitter. I’ve heard, “It’s a sharp grounder up the middle to the third baseman.” What!? How did that happen?
With ratings sagging, more stats such as launch angles and speed-off-the-bat are not needed. What is needed is a more immersive experience through enhanced graphics.The solution is simple: Just add a brief, transparent graphic of the defensive positions for each new batter.
It was big of The Times to put the picture of Brooks Koepka above the fold, and also larger than the one of Tiger. The TV networks still made Tiger's second-place finish the story, and gave him about five times the air time.
All Koepka has done is win three of the last seven majors.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
2300 E. Imperial Highway.
El Segundo, CA 90245