Letters to Sports: Roberts, Bellinger and Jansen, the Dodgers’ definition of insanity
Dave Roberts owes huge apologies to Julio Urías and Walker Buehler for wasting their great efforts against the hated Giants. And Roberts owes an apology to his whole team and, most importantly, Dodgers fans, for stubbornly sticking with Kenley Jansen trying to “get him right” and costing the Dodgers devastating defeats. Roberts should be suspended for his mismanagement, along with whoever it is that’s been tinkering with Cody Bellinger’s swing and turning an MVP into a Mendoza-line wannabe.
New definition of insanity: Pitching Jansen. Playing Bellinger.
If you needed evidence that these Dodgers are not last year’s World Series champions, witness the ninth inning Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Cody Bellinger’s career is in trouble. Anyone with eyes can see this except the Dodgers and especially the batting coaches. They continue to send him to the plate with the worse batting flaw I have ever seen. Every single swing is a flailing uppercut. With every swing he pulls out and pulls his head. Either the coaching staff is inept or Bellinger refuses to change. Regardless of his defensive prowess and speed on the base paths, if he can’t get on base, he can no longer be in the lineup.
Does Kenley Jansen still feel like he should have been on the All-Star team?
I’ve been observing Cody Bellinger’s approach at the plate and strongly believe he has two major flaws. 1. He stands too close to home plate to achieve optimum swing extension and “barrel up” pitches on the inner and middle parts of the strike zone. 2. He swings way too hard, except for rare occasions when he tones it down to place a hit up the middle or to left field. Cody must make adjustments to his “home run or nothing” approach at the plate, and the Dodger coaching staff should emphasize that strategy or move him down the lineup.
After Friday’s 10th-inning loss to the Rockies, the Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games this season.
Do the Dodgers have a hitting coach? In the offseason Cody Bellinger tinkered with his batting swing. When are the coaches going to sit him down and change his swing? I’ve watched the Dodgers when they played in Ebbets Field. And I’ve never seen this kind of drop off. His approach to batting should be broken down and rebuilt.
When will Dave Roberts realize that Kenley Jansen is no longer the dominant closer he was four years ago? Roberts finally seemed to realize Jansen’s diminished effectiveness in the World Series last year after he lost Game 4. Jansen did not pitch in Games 5 and 6 despite Roberts deploying nine relievers over the two wins. Last year’s title is looking more and more like an outlier rather than the start of a dynasty.
I’m not much for dancing, but when the Dodgers finally get rid of Kenley Jansen, I will dance.
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is contesting a restraining order request filed against him by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.
It seems incomprehensible to cancel the Tokyo Olympics at this late date, especially because many of the competitions have already started. But cancel they should. The home country, with just a 20% vaccination rate and racked by COVID, doesn’t want it. Bars are shut down, restaurants close early and foreigners are not allowed in the country. Has there ever been a more likely superspreader?
Palos Verdes Estates
A Tokyo Games mired in controversy could cast the Olympic movement into a void that could have consequences that reach all the way to Los Angeles.
Once again experts are predicting that the U.S. will win more Olympic medals than any other nation. Such bragging rights are great and everything but I think the stakes should be higher, especially with competitors like Russia and China. How about if we win the most medals, China has to begin allowing dissent in their society, and Putin can no longer provide safe harbor to Russian hackers? Yeah. That’ll work.
The ever grateful and humble Vin Scully. Even when President Obama’s press secretary called Vin in 2016 to tell him he would be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, Vin answered, “Are you sure? I’m just an old baseball announcer.”
Now Vin is “hanging in there,” as Bill Plaschke describes him, as he mourns the loss of his wife. But he still speaks of gratitude for his life and career, and his family who keep him upright each day.
The humble part? It’s still there as he says he won’t be back to announce even one inning of a game. He did give us 67 years! It’s no longer his time, he says, and people have heard him enough. Personally, I could never tire of hearing Vin, and wish I could personally thank him for the inspiration that he continues to be to the Dodgers, to Los Angeles, and to each and every sports fan.
Vin Scully, legendary voice of the Dodgers, honestly speaks about the January death of his wife, Sandi, with the same elegant grace he delivered on broadcasts.
Say what you want about Bill Plaschke. He may not be the best at predicting outcomes of major sporting events. Plus his opinions at times tend to irritate readers … causing them to go on rants. But the other side of Plaschke is the touching, and human side that a lot of people forget. His recent column (as well as his access) to legendary Vin Scully was a testimony not only to Vinnie … but to the gentle side of Plaschke. Throw in past articles on Kobe, Bill’s personal experience with COVID-19 … and many other human interest stories about everyday people and you have a true sports/newspaper columnist; which in today’s age is hard to find.
That was a beautiful article by Bill Plaschke on Tuesday. It was easy for Plaschke, of course, because the subject was Vin Scully and Vin’s tribute to Sandi and his career with the Dodgers.
On Plaschke, if you like him, read him! If you don’t like him, don’t read him! Either way, he does stir up conversation. Sometimes, he opens a Pandora’s box or a can of worms. Really, though, he is everyman … but with a publisher!
On the case
This Perry Mason fan appreciated the photograph on Page B7 of the July 20 Times. White Sox players Hamilton and Burger were shown celebrating.
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