What's wrong with the 1989 Dodgers?
In order of importance:
1. Living in the past, i.e., 1988.
2. Fred Claire's ego.
3. Peter O'Malley's softness.
Living in 1988, example one: Gibson, batting .219 and waiting for Tom Lasorda to take him out, which Lasorda will not do. Why not? Because in 1988 Gibson was an absolute miracle. Taking Gibson out, even for a week, would help the team and help Gibson.
Living in 1988, example two: John Shelby, batting .156. Still, at every opportunity Lasorda inserts him, as a pinch-hitter, no less. Why? Because in 1988 he helped the team. Today, the Dodgers should give him away. Fred Claire: He made that swap for John Tudor. So what--lots of trades turn out poorly. But in order to prove it was not a bad trade , he rushed Tudor into the rotation, which threw off the entire staff.
Claire will mature when he accepts that some trades work out real well and others do not, and it is not required of him to prove over and over how smart he is.
Peter O'Malley: He's a nice guy lacking the iron in his soul to bawl out Claire when it's needed. After he suffers through a money-losing year (which has not happened), he will acquire the steel to be chief executive. Till then, he is a pleasant spectator, allowing Claire and Lasorda to screw up the team.
EDWARD H. MOSS