Well, look at it this way. At least we don’t have to worry about the Dodgers going after the Buffalo Bills’ record of mediocrity.
I didn’t hear anyone talk about why the Dodgers lost Game 5 of the playoffs. The real reason was because it was Yom Kippur and Sandy Koufax wouldn’t come out of the bullpen.
Sorry, I have to make jokes like that to keep my sanity at times like these.
Sandy is only 83 now. I can dream, can’t I?
As Jay Leno famously asked Hugh Grant I’ll ask the same of Dave Roberts: “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!”
After witnessing Wednesday’s Game 5 debacle, I initially went through the usual stages of “sports misery,” experiencing shock, denial, anger, and reluctant acceptance. But oddly enough, I soon felt another emotion in the mix, which was sorrow. I felt bad for the millions of Dodger fans who have yet to revel in total euphoria and who weren’t even alive when the team won its last two World Series championships in 1981 and 1988. I was lucky to watch those games, and I still remember those clinching victories like it was yesterday.
There is a litany of problems as to why the Dodgers fared very poorly in the NLDS; there are too many to mention here. But for the team to not address those issues which adversely affected their team-record 106-win regular season performance, it is unfairly denying the new generation of staunch Dodger fans the same feelings I experienced years ago. Let’s hope team management takes fans’ hearts into consideration during off-season decision making to counteract these now-annual (and tiresome) fall meltdowns.
Mark J. Featherstone
Of course, fans and sportswriters can question, criticize and condemn Dave Roberts’ decisions while the Dodgers pitchers gave us a meltdown in Game 5.
But Roberts does not make decisions in a vacuum; in fact, he along with his pitching staff are a product of the hubris of a front office that way overestimates their own talent.
The inconsistency and injuries of the pitching staff they’ve assembled have been on display for the past three years. That is not something that gets a team through up to three post-season short series against very good teams rather than a weak National League.
But the obtaining the ring or avoiding the ire of disappointed fans isn’t important -- those fans keep buying the Kool-Aid and filing the seats and the owner’s pockets.
Two years ago, Dave Roberts cost the Dodgers a championship by repeatedly pulling his starting pitchers too early in the postseason, predictably leading to an overworked bullpen that imploded in the World Series. But this year, Roberts managed not just stupidly but sadistically. He set Kershaw up to fail in Game 5 of the NLDS. It’s a shame that all this Dodgers talent is consistently torpedoed in the playoffs by a manager with no clue how to manage a pitching staff. Dodgers players and fans deserve better.
Dear Dave Roberts,
If you have a starting pitcher who’s suffered problems all season in the first inning, whatever inning you bring him in to relieve will be the ostensible first inning. So don’t be surprised when he gets hammered. Metrics have their place, but they’re no match for logic.
I’ve never been a major league general manager or manager but one thing I believe is you can’t play the postseason like the regular season.
I just have one question: What does Tommy Lasorda think of Roberts’ performance?
I would like to propose a new law for California’s legislators. No, not the Fair Pay To Play Act. I am proposing taking away the driver’s licenses of any Dodgers fan who ever dares to compare Kershaw to Koufax again. There are already enough delusional drivers on the road.
Now, if you don’t mind, I need to get back to my annual October tradition of putting away my Dodgers stuff until spring.
Playa del Rey
The only things worse than the Dodgers losing in October are the “I told you so’s” and the Thursday morning bench coaching from Mr. Plaschke.
Thank you Dodgers for a great season. This senior citizen has been a fan for as long as I can remember. Obviously, I would have loved nine more wins but life has taught me things don’t always go as planned. And I don’t care about the “what if’s” -- trades, game strategies, etc. -- because we’ll never know how that might have been.
What I do know is that my Dodgers gave me a team to be proud of through the final out of the NLDS. Dave Roberts ranks up there with Alston and Lasorda in my book. The players made watching this team a joy all summer. With the veterans and youth we have, the future is bright. This year, it just wasn’t in the cards but not for anything lacking by the players on the field. And a special thanks to Clayton Kershaw for always being willing to do whatever is necessary to help the team. What happens, happens. You all gave it your best and we shouldn’t expect more.
Dear fellow L.A. Dodger investor: I am quite pleased to notify you that we have exceeded our return-on-investment goal for 2019. It was a great year in which we met our commitment to our loyal fans by once again winning our division. In fact, we so dominated our division that we see few personnel changes required for the 2020 season, which bodes well for investment returns in 2020. Be assured that the loyal Dodgers fans will continue to vigorously support the team in 2020. Regards. CEO, LA Dodgers.
Despite the Dodgers’ loss to the Nationals there were champagne toasts in the owner’s suite to commemorate their approval of the higher prices fans will have to pay next season for parking, tickets, food and Dodger Blue souvenirs to support “their” team. Are we supposed to get in line now?
As usual, all Dodger fans have to look forward to in October is Halloween.
Rob Vance Jr.
I know Dave Roberts played baseball at UCLA, but letting Chip Kelly pitch in Game 5 was a bad decision.
After this one I’m switching from Spectrum back to DirecTV. I can’t take anymore.
Marina del Rey
I’m 63 years old, a retired public school teacher, and a lifetime Dodgers fan. My dad grew up in Brooklyn.
In early March, just as spring training was getting underway, I was diagnosed with cancer. It’s been a long eight months.
I was able to watch almost all 167 regular season and playoff games (yes, I get Spectrum.) Even though it ended with a crushing disappointment, what a season, and what a team.
I looked forward to every game as a respite and escape from my own struggle. Isn’t that what sports is all about? Providing a release from the everyday pressures of life?
I want to thank all the players, the classy veterans and the impressive rookies, the coaching staff, the broadcasting crew. and the Times writers, as well as the fans who rocked the stadium, for a great year. I can’t wait for spring training.
Blue Chips are down
When you hire Karl Dorrell, no experience, Rick Neuheisel,a cheat, Jim Mora, very average and now Chip Kelly — why should fans attend at the Rose Bowl?
You want a sellout, move to Carson or Drake Stadium on campus!
Desperate times dictate desperate measures. Turn over the UCLA football team defense to Mick Cronin.
Coach Kelly gives a new meaning to “Chips & Dip”.
Yes, this Bruin team stinks. But regardless of their record or play I am very disappointed in the fans. To see them booing these young men was pathetic.
The true laughingstocks of the Pac-12 are the UCLA fans. If they aren’t flying a plane with a fire-the-coach banner or booing their own team they lack class and understanding. The damage they have done to UCLA athletics is huge. What player or coach would want to enlist for such a thankless task that UCLA football has become? It is time for UCLA fans to look in the mirror as the true cause for UCLA football’s current condition.
When is some rich UCLA alum going to step forward and buy out the rest of Kelly’s contract? The man has proven he can’t coach or recruit. His decision to go for a first down on fourth and one at his own 30-yard line against Oregon State was insane.
Let’s get Urban Meyer before SC does. As an 80 year-old alum, I’m tired of losing because of a poor coach.
I’m sure Tom Hoffarth has heard of Anthony Davis, and USC coming back from a 24-0 deficit to win going away in a way past year, or Jack Snow’s Irish losing to heavy underdog USC some year’s back. It’s not good to diss the hometown team in the hometown paper, because these are exactly the kind of games the Trojans win, and Hoffarth may have to eat his words in his own hometown paper.
I realize how bad our local college football teams are , when I saw that a local grocery chain is offering a free ticket to a UCLA or USC game with a purchase of $35 worth of groceries . Maybe we can use the grocery bags to cover our heads at the game
NBA vs. China
It appears freedom of expression and from repression is not in vogue this year. So, for years we pay lip service to freedom and justice for everyone — unless financial gains “trump” that long-forgotten nuance. Well, looks like everyone in the NBA, including the players, can’t find it in their hearts to express a simple sentiment of support for the peace and freedom-loving residents of Hong Kong. Guess when the going gets tough and you have to choose between your lifestyle and someone else’s quality of life, it’s time to pass the ball and maybe you will get an assist from the adoring crowds that blindly flock to NBA arenas every season.
So, the NBA regrets Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protestors. Right. Wouldn’t want to offend those who support the Chinese dictatorship. Makes you wonder how such amoralism might have applied in pre-war Nazi Germany. I’m guessing that the NBA would’ve regretted any offense to pro-Hitler Germans, especially if that included NBA business partners.
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 Hwy.
El Segundo, CA 90245