Grandal is a Goat!

That’s what THEY say.

It was a ball that Grandal should have caught or at least blocked and then if he made a good throw, the runner would have been out.  It was really two errors on the same play.  If he makes that play, they Dodgers and Angels are probably still playing right now.  Nevermind that there would have been no bottom of the 9th without Yasmani’s blast to CF that tied the game.  Yasmani got half of the Dodger’s hits last night and notwithstanding his errors, he’s still one of the TOP catchers in baseball.  No one is perfect, but without his HR, there could have been no error.  Of course, Yasmani-Bashers’ are losing their minds.  “Framing isn’t a real thing,” Blah, Blah, Blah!”

Here’s one FAZ-BASHER who has the guts to admit he was wrong.  Jeff Miller comes clean:

They were ruining the Dodgers, the once-proud franchise likened to a burning car careening off a cliff, the listless future best represented by the image of a deflating balloon.

The conclusion was this team was drowning in a pit of “smoldering, putrid negativity.”

Strong and biting was the opinion delivered in mid-December of 2015. Strong and biting and oh so wretchedly wrong.

I just wish I wasn’t the one who had delivered it.

Believe it or not, folks, I was wrong. Yeah, wrong, like putting a wedding dress on a walrus would be wrong.

Putrid instead described my performance 18 months ago when I mocked Dodgers executives Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi, my listless effort best represented by the sound of a deflating whoopee cushion.

The Dodgers had just won 92 games, lost the NL Division Series to the Mets and replaced the successful Don Mattingly with the unproven Dave Roberts.

Zack Greinke had been permitted to leave for Arizona, the absolute no-brainer of a decision to re-sign him somehow eluding the brains running the Dodgers.

At that point, Friedman and Zaidi had done nothing to boost the roster, the signing of Kenta Maeda still three weeks away, the addition of Joe Blanton a month from happening.

So, with the subtlety of a blowtorch-welding chimp, I fried the Dodgers’ front office for allowing something good, something with life to inexplicably go bad, to die in the approaching winter chill.

Entering Tuesday, since that column appeared, the Dodgers were 142-98, a winning percentage of .591, their victory total equaled only by the reigning World Series champion Cubs.

Those would be the same Cubs who knocked the Dodgers out of the National League Championship Series last fall, meaning they might have been the only obstacle between the Dodgers and winning the title.

On the occasion of this team putting together a just-snapped 10-game winning streak and a 16-1 overall stretch, I figured today would be as wise a time as any to expose my ignorance.

Some writers and commentators never admit when they’re wrong, and that’s just fine.

It is a matter of personal choice, after all, my personal choice always being that, if I were so smart about sports, rather than reporting on these games, I’d be betting on them.

I also believe you have to keep the proper perspective concerning these things and maintain a sense of humor.

That’s why I took particular note Tuesday of the knee soreness that kept Yasiel Puig out of the Dodgers’ starting lineup against the Angels.

“It gets worse,” Roberts explained before the game, “when he decelerates.” Funny, because the same could be said of Puig’s reputation on his home run trots. It gets worse every time he slows down.

At any rate, the Dodgers really have made me look bad over the past season and a half, and looking bad is usually something I can do on my own, thank you very much.

Honestly, though, in December of 2015, who knew about Andrew Toles? About Charlie Culberson? Trayce Thompson was well known, of course, but as Mychal’s son and Klay’s brother.

Not to make any excuses, but at that point, Cody Bellinger had just spent the season in the California League, hitting home runs against teams nicknamed the Nuts and Rawhide.

Today, Bellinger is being mentioned as a candidate for the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game next month in Miami, the stunning reality being that, during the contest, the homer frequency of his rookie season could slow and he still might hit enough to win the thing.

Naturally, the regime of Friedman and Zaidi deserves credit for knowing a lot more than the rest of us do, me especially. Sure, that is their job. But they have done it exceptionally well.

Their incessant tinkering and unending attempts to upgrade at every level have resulted in a roster good enough to compete for the World Series and deep enough to win the AFC West.

It does annoy a little bit, this team using the disabled list out of strategy as much as necessity. But their plan is working, even if someone as important as Clayton Kershaw has taken exception to the Dodgers’ extremely hands-on approach.

Eighteen months ago, Corey Seager had appeared in 27 big-league games. Chris Taylor was coming off a season in which he batted .170 for Seattle.

Brandon McCarthy, after starting four games, had a torn elbow ligament. Rich Hill had just spent September with the Boston Red Sox but most of summer with the Long Island Ducks.

And look at them now, the Dodgers with the best record in the National League and on their way to another division crown.

Maybe you saw this coming way back when. I sure didn’t, blinded by my own blowtorch.

Maybe some morons who felt the same way can admit their folly… nah, no chance!

Rants and Raves

  • It did seem odd to me that Bellinger was not at 1B, but hindsight is 20/20. I’m sure he had his reasons.
  • So, I hear that Cody Bellinger is the fastest player on the Dodgers now that Andrew Toles is on the DL.  Chris Taylor is second fastest!  “The Natural” is really the Speedster?
  • Ryu acquitted himself very well last night – hopefully that line drive off his foot didn’t do any major damage.
  • The fan All-Star vote is a joke.  The players need to vote as well.
  • Corey SEager may be back Today… or Tomorrow
  • Trayce Thompson picked a good time for his first hit and HR this year.
  • It was announced that OKC has four All-Stars:  Verdugo, Calhoun, Younginer and Font.
  • I think the Dodgers will keep Calhoun because Manfred is going to install the DH in both leagues – and FAZ already knows!
  • Scott Kazmir will get another rehab start Saturday or Sunday.  He says he is close.  Doc say he hit 91 in his last start.  Oh, Goody – Another starter!
  • I am not worried about Taylor or Forsythe – both are hitting the ball – the hits will come.
  • Baseball’s Top Ace
  • Minor League Report
  • Clay Bellinger on Cody:

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 41 Comments

    1. There is something worse: a walk off strikeout if are 2-11 in your last 13 games, but they are 11-2 in their last 13 games.

      1. Mark

        That is one thing that Calhoun is, a pretty good hitter!

        He might be a better hitter, then some of the players on the major league team, if not better!

        And I think Friedman really likes Calhoun’s confidence, and his personality.

  1. Seems like Utley could have caught that throw from Grandal, but it doesn’t matter now. It happens. Move on.

  2. Mark

    I can’t see how anyone can blame Grandal from losing that game, when he was the one Dodger, that had the hit, that allowed the team, to continue to play further into, this game.

    Not one player was responsible, for losing this game.

    This loss was on the team!

    That Angel’s young starting pitcher, put plenty of the Dodger’s hitters, on base, early in this game.

    And the team just didn’t capitalize on, these free bases.

    The team has had trouble scoring runs, in all of the games against the Angels.

    And they are going to need to do better, on offense, if they want to continue to win.

    We can’t win every game or score in every game with a HR, because HRs are harder to come by.

    They need to be more productive on offense, and do the small things, to score runs, especially when runs, are harder to come by.

    And they are just not doing that, right now.

    I do think Roberts needs to realize it is not good, to have to many players out of their positions, or even just one, especially late in games.

    Because it just might come back and bite you, in a close game, where good defense, is even more important.

    1. BR

      That out at first was not important, so Chase should have got off the base, and caught the ball, if he could.

      Taylor should have made a clean play on that grounder up the middle, even if that play, still might be close.

      And that is the problem, everyone on the team, should have done better.

  3. Seems like a good time to pause and take a breath and realize this is a pretty darn good team. Could it be better? Sure but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. The second base platoon seems to be the only weak link right now and Forsythe and Utley are a pair of veterans that contribute in many ways. They will get some more time to work through things. Starting pitching is solid, bullpen is very nice, defense consistent, power to spare, what is not to like? The 25 man and 40 man rosters will be tweaked, trade options considered, minor league call ups discussed-in other words Faz and Roberts are still tinkering around the edges and considering bigger moves to make the team even better. Also the upcoming month has a soft schedule with lots of off days (8) for the team to get healthy and rested and perhaps some regulars assert themselves and lose the platoon label. Enjoy the ride Dodger fans, it will be a fun summer!

  4. For me, I was glad to see both Maddingly and the old front office go. It just wasn’t working. Getting Friedman was pretty cool considering what he had done in Tampa but I was a bit nervous about what he might do with such a huge payroll after such a tiny one. Would he use the same philosophy or would he adapt? Glad to see he’s done both. Big dollar guys and a bunch of sabre stars. This is the most fun and confidence I have had in a Dodger team for years.

  5. Nice article Mark. Your right, those FAZophobic “morons” on the old board would never admit their folly!
    It takes a big man to admit they were wrong. Way to go Jeff Miller! Reminds me of the last time I was wrong, back in 1978, I did the same thing!


  7. Well said Vegas!!! The 11-2 patient has a pulse… We will win this thing as a team and I really can’t see anything besides injuries to derail us…
    Now how in the hell are we gonna get Vinny out of retirement for a couple games in the future, say October???

  8. You have to take the good with the bad with any player. Grandal has many plusses – he is not a good pitch blocker in my opinion but the Dodgers wouldn’t have been in position to play the bottom of the 9th without Grandal in the top of the 9th. Yeah – he blew that one and it won’t be the last, but that’s not to say that he was to “blame” for the loss anyway. What about the disappearance of the offense the past 3 games anyway? What about all of the walks and the runners LOB? What about the HR given up by Ryu to the light-hitting Simmons?

    As most here know, I do not love the Braintrust but the Dodgers have been playing great ball so if they lose a game or 2, why go crazy? You have to keep the big picture in mind. They are still in 1st and have the 2nd best record in baseball, and the best run differential. I don’t complain when they win. I still have disagreements with the way that the rotation is built and have my concerns, but now is the time to cheer the Dodgers, not to complain.

    1. Remember Ryu got hit with the ball, and that might have effected him, later in the game.

      It was his foot he uses to push off the rubber with, and that could have effected his follow through, on his curves.

  9. I’m gonna leave for awhile now and see if I can a halibut or 2 that wanna die in AK ..
    This is the most excited I’ve been about a Dodger team in a long time. Being a Notre Dame football fan, I’ve had alot of practice with patience (both 88)… There are alot of fans(?) who would bitch if they were hung with a new rope, but not this fan…


  11. Look at the sheer Joy on Joc’s face. That was great. If Bum liked Grandal just a little bit, I’d call him a genius… but I have my scruples!

    1. I like Grandal more than a little a little bit but I don’t think he should start more than 50% of the games, maybe 60%. He plays better with rest. I like Barnes a little more but haven’t seen enough of him to know how he would do if he started 50% or more of the games.
      I am looking forward to Smith and his speed behind the plate.

    2. Ya gotta love the little boy in Joc. Baseball can look like a job but people usually enjoy watching other people having fun.

  12. God bless you too Dino…One day at a time… This may be our year my man.
    MT… Born into a Irish Catholic family and never liked USC…

    1. Got it! My youngest son went to a Catholic school and it really helped shape him into the great kid he is. Living in Indy, I have always liked ND. It’s a magical place… though not so much of late. We root for ND. My son would have played for them had they offered a scholarship— they didn’t. Their loss – my gain. I have several close friends who are grads of ND. Top notch guys all!

      1. Spending most of this week in South Bend. It’s ND surrounded by a dump. I’ve never seen so many crappy roads and parking lots in my life.

        1. You nailed it.

          South Bend is in Northern Indiana.

          North Vernon is in Southern Indiana.

          … and French Lick (home of Larry Bird) is not what you think.

  13. Half way there and on course for 106 wins which is amazing.
    I think Avilan might be due an injury to have a freshen up but apart from him, things are looking good.
    Interesting that Doc didn’t turn to Hatchet or Ohno in that high leverage 8th. I’m hoping that come October those two are nothing but a memory.
    We have enough decent arms.

  14. I didn’t know that – what’s wrong with him? Nothing trivial I hope. (That was a joke)

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