Tuesday night in San Francisco the Dodgers won the NL West. Nothing more. Nothing less. Yet the postgame celebration looked like they just won the World Series.
If the Dodgers' only goal is to make the playoffs then I sincerely apologize for mocking this excessive celebration. I would also ask the team to let us know this so we know to lower expectations and be OK with another postseason being shorter than it should be.
But with a payroll higher than the GNP of most Third World countries, the Dodgers' goal had better be more than a handful of games in October — especially with two of the best pitchers in the game and a manager very likely to be unemployed for anything less than making the NLCS at the very least and probably the World Series.
As a Dodgers fan, I know that October has not gone well for us in the recent (last 27 years) past, but I can't help getting excited again. When the leaves begin to fall, I feel like Charlie Brown. Lucy's got the football teed up. I'm running up on it full blast. I can't wait to see what happens next!
For the Dodgers, the Guggenheim equation of greed stacks up to something like this: a $2-billion sales price, $403 million in revenue, $8 billion garnered from Time Warner Cable, and a 20% increase in value over three years.
The fan side of the equation is much less lucrative: Less than 50% of fans can view games while radio broadcasts reveal that a team paid $250 million plays with extreme torpor, and three starting pitchers provide batting practice for opponents.
Good management, both general management and field management, leads to a team's peaking at the right time. Which is why the Dodgers are going to be in the postseason this year. For about a week. (I hope I'm wrong about the duration.)
When it's time for somebody not named Kershaw or Greinke to start, why not simply insert the name of a reliever who'll have to be summoned within three or four innings anyway and not be four runs down?
It will be a lot of fun to watch this unpleasant mess of a Dodgers team fall to the Mets. It's always interesting when you have a different leadoff hitter every day. I love the guessing games. Which three guys are gonna play the outfield today? Who's on second? Will it be Turner, Guerrero, Hernandez, or Utley at third? Plus, because I haven't been able to watch them all year again, I have no idea what Corey Seager or Joc Pederson look like, and it will be nice to see whether Donnie Baseball is sporting a soul patch or not before he gets fired.
It only make sense the Angels would pick up Mat Latos, who had an ERA of 6.66 with the Dodgers. Heaven help us.
A friend of mine in Westwood emailed me when he heard that Myles Jack was out for the season, writing that UCLA's season was finished. I responded by writing, "All UCLA needs to do is step up the offense and score 50 points per game."
How in the world are college football rankings established? Last weekend, No. UCLA was the only school in the top 10 to play a ranked opponent (No. 16 Arizona), and the Bruins beat them handily. The Pac-12 Conference should be accorded high praise for having its universities play major teams rather than marginal patsies.
What known football powerhouses are Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Vanderbilt, Rice, Massachusetts and Southern? Until the other conferences schedule recognized football programs, the rankings should be taken with a big dose of skepticism.
I am aware that is Bill Plaschke's goal in life to see good in everyone. But if he has spotted humility in Kobe Bryant, I respectfully recommend that Bill have his head or his eyes or very possibly both examined.
The Mamba is over the hill.
Not worth half of his 24 mil.
Swaggy P is now Nicholas
Re-signing Metta is ridiculous.
How much longer till they bring back old Phil?
Gary H. Miller
I'm in serious trouble. Already, even before the first exhibition game and the Lakers are still in Hawaii, I'm sick and tired of Swaggy P and his endless efforts to market himself rather than help the Lakers rebound.
Jim B. Parsons
I think "Swaggy P" should definitely change his nickname to something Lakers fans would embrace. Like maybe "Nick Young, the Clipper."
Why all the fuss about Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout? The preseason World Series favorite Nationals have been choking all year!
Mark S. Roth
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