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East coast guy, my thoughts

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  • East coast guy, my thoughts

    I have found a way to watch Dodger games on my computer. I live on the East Coast now and I miss my team. I have seen many of their games this year and I can tell you one thing for sure.

    They are not very good. I know this might come as a shocker, but they aren't even "pretty good" or just "good".

    If you look at their batting order, you cannot say for sure they are threat to score in a particular inning. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched an inning when the other team is batting and looked to see who is "due up next" for the Dodgers and thought to myself: Nope, that's a doughnut in that half of the inning.

    Since the days of Ron Cey, on to Pedro Guerrero, over to Kirk Gibson and then on to Mike Piazza and later Gary Sheffield...

    the Dodgers have been at their very best when ONE guy is hot and carries the team. When was the last time they had something close to a balanced attack? In 1962 they scored 842 runs thanks to Tommy Davis driving in 153 and Frank Howard figuring out how to drive in more than one run a game at Dodger Stadium in its first year of existence. They did this without a third baseman. How terrific. Thank you Tommy Davis for your 73 RBI at home and your 80! on the road. The next year they scored 200 fewer runs and still won the World Series. But 800 runs is 800 runs.

    Since then the Dodgers have managed to score more than 800 runs in exactly one season. That was in 2006 and they had a balanced attack.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/2006.shtml

    I remember Olmedo Saenz hitting way over his head and this young guy Matt Kemp struggling for playing time. They too scored 800 runs (820) without a real third baseman, bully for them. Two guys hit 20 homers. Two guys had between 93 and 100 RBI. It was a balanced team. They ALLOWED 751 runs, but it was a fun team to watch.

    The 2013 team is built on the idea they will always be able to field a team because they have five utility players. They look like my fantasy baseball team on a monday or a thursday. If you know anything about fantasy baseball and the MLB schedule, you know what I mean.

    They are also built on the idea that you surely have five good pitchers if eight of them are major league starters. Any football team will tell you two number two average quarterbacks don't add up to one good one.

    I blame the GM. Juan Uribe? Bad idea. Taking on Josh Beckett just to get Adrian Gonzalez and hope he hits like he did in San Diego (pre contract)... bad idea. Thinking Chad Billingsley is a number two or even a number three starter, wishful thinking. And speaking of wishful thinking... I wonder how many fans wish some of these guys would hand their uniforms over to their fathers and let them try. You would think at least one of these guys would be better than their Dad. We had, what, five sons of former major leaguers on the roster last year?

    Five things need to happen for this team to finish over .500 this year. If only four of them happen, put me down for 20 bucks on the under.

    1) The first baseman and the center fielder have to start hitting for power. Those are the two guys who can carry a team and one of them needs to start, well, now.

    2) The team's OBP is fifth in the league, great, but they are 14th in runs because they are at or near the bottom in extra-base hits. Their team SLG is .360 and to give you an idea of the team's current "slash" lines... Jerry Hairston had .273/.342/.387 last year. This year's team is below all three of those numbers right now.

    3) The bullpen has some talent, but what about the defining the roles a little better? Their starting pitching will work itself out as soon as one of these kids at AAA takes advantage of the opportunity of this current hole in the rotation. Someone needs to step up.

    4) The team does not have a third baseman, but we've overcome that before (see above). Maybe Hanley will come back and hit a little. That's better than Uribe or whatever utility guy they put out there now. We also don't have a shortstop. Maybe they could play Dee Gordon every day for two months and finally see what they have. I would do that, sure.

    5) The Dodgers recognized they have an opportunity right now to build around TWO of the best young players they have ever had at the same time. The last time they had someone like Kershaw and Kemp was Guerrero and Valenzuela. But Pedro was a head case and Valenzuela just pitched too much. That was a shame to see. That said, they are mis-firing on the type of players it takes to generate offense. Let me give you a clue as to what I mean. Until the lead-off batter is a short stop or a second baseman who can get on base, they will continue to struggle with scoring runners. Crawford is hitting there not because he is terrific, but because almost everyone else stinks or is slow. Fix that, and we have something.
    Your Second Base Coach
    Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

  • #2
    SBC,
    It has been so painful watching this team. I am at the stadium day in and day out. Monday most of the team were triple-A players but surprise surpise! They managed to come from a 6-1 defict! Even with Kemp striking out four times finishing the day going 0 for 5. He should have gotten an error in the first inning. Donny needs to sit Kemp and not bring him in as a pinch hitter. Perhaps he needs to hit the DL. He says the shoulder is not bothering him but something got to be wrong with him.
    .
    Yeah, we don't have a true third baseman and a short stop. Dee has been sent to Triple A hence Hairston being activated. At least Uribe is hitting.
    .
    coming back from a 6-1 deficit was a huge accomplishment. Maybe, just maybe this is a turning point. Let's see what happens tonight with Babe-Ryu on the mound.
    -Emma

    Comment


    • #3
      As for the offense, they have not come close to having the same batting order on any two consecutive days. Apart from Crawford as lead off and pitcher #9 every other batter must arrive at the ballpark wondering if a) will I be in the team today? and b) if I am in the team where will I bat? Yes there have been injuries but even the guys who have been ok are getting changed around every day. Surely it is not hard to find a niche batting position for a player and try to keep him there every game he plays!!
      "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

      No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
        As for the offense, they have not come close to having the same batting order on any two consecutive days. Apart from Crawford as lead off and pitcher #9 every other batter must arrive at the ballpark wondering if a) will I be in the team today? and b) if I am in the team where will I bat? Yes there have been injuries but even the guys who have been ok are getting changed around every day. Surely it is not hard to find a niche batting position for a player and try to keep him there every game he plays!!
        Here is something you will love. In 1977, the Dodgers used the same top eight 42 times. I have not been able to find another team in history to use the same batting order that many times over the course of a season. Switch Burke for Monday and you get that batting order 18 times.

        Unreal, but not really. It was also very successful.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/te...g-orders.shtml

        In the 42 games the Dodgers used Lopes, Russell, Smith, Cey, Garvey, Monday, Baker and Yeager in that batting order...

        plus the nine games they used the same guys with the only difference being Monday and Baker switched in the batting order...

        the Dodgers had a record of something close to 35 and 16. About half of those games came in the first third of the season. I QUICKLY counted up a record of 20-6 through the first 51 games of the season. I may be off on my numbers by one or two, but there you have an example of a set lineup being very successful providing the starting eight get the same chance night in and night out.

        Here is baseball reference page:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/te...g-orders.shtml
        Your Second Base Coach
        Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

        Comment

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