Watching the Dodgers’ collapse on their latest trip left me searching for a one-word acronym that best describes their current state of affairs:
B: Below Mendoza Line team batting average.
S: Suffering fan base.
T: Third place finish in NL West at best.
After witnessing the Dodgers’ historically dismal visit to the Bay Area, two runs in 54 innings, I am left wondering if I missed the news that the Transportation Security Administration has prohibited major league bats from being carried on intrastate flights.
The Dodgers have finally settled into the team that they really are after playing two months far above what the team has in talent. They have absolutely no offense; Uribe is an embarrassment; Kershaw obviously isn’t what he was last year; Ethier has tailed off; and their star attraction, who seems to be getting all the ink, Dee Gordon, is hitting 214, hardly an offensive positive for the team. They’ll need more than Matt Kemp to keep them from ending up in last place by the end of the season.
Santa Maria, Calif.
Now that the euphoria of an ownership change and an incredible start out of the gate has faded, the cold, hard reality of the middle of a grueling 162-game season is in full view. Not so pretty, is it? Without significant personnel changes, the rest of the way could be ugly.
Will someone please wake up Ned Colletti and tell him that if he waits till the trading deadline to make a deal, there’s a good chance the Dodgers will already have been mathematically eliminated.
The Dodgers’ slide toward mediocrity was predictable and there is probably no quick fix. It will be interesting to see what ownership will do about it.
My Dodger Blue blood has turned my face beet red, as going scoreless in San Francisco this week has to be one of if not the most embarrassing on-field events in Dodgers history.
The four biggest problems the Dodgers have are:
1. An inexperienced manager who pulls the lineup out of a hat, then bunts with two strikes and swings 3-0.
2. A lineup of retreads and benchwarmers.
3. An overrated ownership group no better than their predecessors.
4. Nobody knows what to get Jimmy and Millie for a wedding gift.
Watching the Dodgers blow a five-run lead to the Angels was no surprise at all. Just look at some of their infielders:
James Loney is better performing the hit-and-run from behind the wheel of his car than from the batter’s box.
Dee Gordon is a weak leadoff man who can’t bunt to save his life.
Juan Uribe is more valuable to the team on the disabled list than at the plate.
Adam Kennedy — Really?
Don’t sneeze, because Mattingly’s house of cards is on the verge of collapse.
What has T.J. been smoking? First he gets all lovey-dovey over the Dodgers shortstop who’s hitting .228, because the guy lost his mother at age 6. Next, he is buddying up to Matt Kemp, whose narcissistic ramblings seem incoherent. What’s next, candles and wine?
I’d hate to see the only Times columnist who isn’t afraid to say the Dodgers are mediocre losers suddenly get star-struck like a kid.
Every so often, “Mr. Negativity” drops the sarcasm and comes through with a real gem.T.J. Simers’ heartfelt interview with Dee Gordon was not only informative and eye-opening, but truly touching.
Perhaps the Dodgers ought to spend more energy shopping for a hitter, rather than the marketing scam that gouges the fans by requiring ticket purchases to 10 games, just to be able to obtain a Koufax or Scully bobblehead.
The Lakers’ problem
It’s nice to see that T.J. Simers has it all figured out. It’s not Jim Buss’ fault. It’s not Mike Brown’s fault. It’s not the fault of one of the worst benches in the league. No, it’s all Kobe’s fault [June 24]. And it’s not because Simers can’t stand Kobe, it’s just that Kobe can’t win. Of course he has five rings and is by far the best player on the team.
Simers concludes he will stay a Clippers fan. Promise?
Ralph S. Brax
Good for T.J. Finally someone in the L.A. media is willing to risk the wrath of Lakers fans and Kobe lovers by accepting reality.
The gist of T.J.'s column was correct: It is still all about Kobe. Jim Buss gives us the impression he runs the Lakers. It is clear he does not. Kobe runs the team and has done so since Shaq left. Buss should be honest with the fans and take the following action. He should fire Mike Brown and make Kobe the coach. This would end the charade of “Your Los Angeles Lakers.” Kobe would have no one to blame but himself. It would truly be Kobe’s team.
Rarely do I agree with any of the Times sportswriters, but Simers nailed the Lakers’ problem. This article will get Simers a lot of hate mail from Kobe fans. The Lakers are married to Kobe and there is no divorce.
Phil Jackson never got the credit he deserved for winning the last two Lakers championships and the championships at Chicago. At Chicago he got a bunch of misfits with giant egos to play together as a team. And with Kobe he was able to occasionally get team play from the uncoachable Lakers superstar. Jackson won championships by getting teamwork from talented players other teams wouldn’t touch. That’s a really great coach.
My sentiments exactly! Moreover, when Kobe commits a turnover, nobody dares to criticize him as he is quick to do when a teammate commits the infraction. And I don’t recall ever seeing a Laker player slack off when Magic was the captain.
I don’t agree with T.J. OK, Kobe’s numbers decline at the end of games because he misses shots; the fact is, at his basketball age he plays too many minutes. Wonder why that is? Because the Lakers have no depth and they have to keep relying on the same scoring option.
Yes, he’s probably slightly overpaid (relatively speaking) considering his level of output. But he’s still the best player on that team. Who else can score at will (when not tired) and possesses the will each night? Who has the motivation and leadership in that locker room? Kobe may be ball hungry and an occasional defensive fool but he’s not the problem. The problem is the team chemistry (Bynum’s immaturity, Metta’s stupidity, etc.), coaching and lack of roster depth.
Can we all please go back to hating the Celtics now?
Thank you to Chris Dufresne for being a realist about this proposed college football playoff. Everyone has been so excited about finally getting a playoff to get a “true” champion to end the controversy, but really, the controversy is just beginning. Right now it is the No. 3 team that is upset. If we move to a four-team playoff, then there will be an argument over No. 5. If it ever goes to an 8-team playoff, there will be an outcry over team No. 9. And so on.
That is the inherent problem with college sports with uneven schedules and unbalanced levels of competition. People are even upset about team No. 69 in college basketball, so no one will ever be happy.
I’d be more inclined to just return to the bowls the way they used to be, because fans, media, players will never be satisfied in this never-ending chase to pick a “true” champion. There is always, always, going to be someone left out, so just return to the old bowl games where the Rose Bowl was the goal, not an afterthought.
The new three-game playoff for national champion will be a disaster for college football.
1). It will solve nothing. Last year LSU had a magnificent season, beating Alabama in the regular season but losing to the Tide in the BCS Championship. Was Alabama the best team in the country? Maybe. Maybe not.
2). It sends a message to all athletic directors and coaches that if you don’t make the final four your season is a loss.
3). It will make the elite teams even stronger.
4). It turns college football into more of a professional sport that makes vast sums of money played by amateur young men, most of whom will never actually see the pros.
5). What about the fifth- and sixth-place teams? Maybe just as worthy but shut out of the riches and glory. Soon there will be a call for a larger playoff format. It will never end.
6). Rose Bowl and Pac-12get sucker-punched again, as the SEC, ACC and Big 12 will dominate.
Paul L. Hovsepian
What an unkind, inaccurate and petty remark Helene Elliott made that Lolo Jones has just been just hype, and needs to prove there is some substance. Somebody ought to tell her that Lolo has won numerous big races, is ranked No. 1 in the world, won the Olympic trials and led the final at the 2008 Olympic Games until she hit the second-to-last hurdle. That is proven substance, not hype caused by her looks, faith and virginity.
She hasn’t won the ultimate prize and maybe never will, but tell Elliott that neither did Jim Ryun, Ted Williams, Dan Marino or Elgin Baylor and many other champions.
In reference to the June 26 article about Venus Williams’ defeat at Wimbledon, I was appalled by Diane Pucin’s criticism of. Williams’ attitude toward her condition and role in the WTA, as well as the cavalier statement, “The era of Williams sister domination seems over.” Serena Williams’ loss at Roland Garros and now her sister’s at Wimbledon should be seen as sad days for tennis, true watersheds, and not used to make grandiose statements nor as a means to attack a phenomenal athlete on how she manages her press.
I mean, seriously, is THAT what you took out of those two losses? Talk about a strange perspective on events.
What did you want Venus to say: “Well, I retire.” I love her conviction and commitment and suspect, as she said, it’s how she got to five Wimbledon Championships in the first place.
I wonder what you would have written about Roger Federer if it were his first-round loss.
The New Jersey Devils can keep and enjoy the Game 6 puck, because I guarantee you the Kings will get much more pleasure owning the Stanley Cup.
An off-season hockey column by new NHL fan Bill Plaschke? What’s next, T.J. Simers commenting on the nonstop excitement that is Sparks basketball?
The Sports front page on Monday headlines “Kid Power,” featuring 11- and 12-year-old skateboarders, while Wimbledon, the globe’s premier tennis tournament, is relegated to Page 8.
As John McEnroe would say, you can’t be serious.
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