Blow It All Up!

I was a reading a piece the other day about how some basketball teams are built to win in the regular season, but not the playoffs.  Case-in-point:  the Toronto Raptors, led by Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka. They shine in the regular season but cannot advance in the playoffs. Love or hate LeBron James, he steps up in the clutch.  Of course Dodger Fans remember Kirk Gibson’s Home Run in 1988, but don’t forget the Dodgers Ace who had a postseason ERA of barely over 1.00. Orel Hershiser had 3 complete games and did not have a loss.  Tim Leary and Alejandro Pena also both stepped up in that series, as the Dodgers held the powerful A’s offense to a .177 BA.

Sadly, my favorite Dodger, Clayton Kershaw is not the Ace you can win with.  Not only does he not step up in the playoffs, he gets worse.  I can’t spin this any other way.  In the regular season his career ERA is 2.37, but in the playoffs, it balloons by 2.00 runs to 4.35!  To win a World Series, in most cases, your Ace has to step up and deliver. Madison Bumgarner’s career ERA is 3.01, but in the playoffs, it is 2.11 and in three World Series, it is 0.25.  That’s not a typo- 0.25!  Love him or hate him, he has been spectacular on the biggest stage and that is why the Giants won 3 times in 5 years.

It pains me to write this, but the Dodgers will not win a World Series with Clayton Kershaw as their Ace. Over the last ten years, he has been the greatest pitcher in baseball, but he’s not the guy who can carry the team to a World Series Championship.  I think the Dodger Brass know that and I think his teammates also know. It’s demoralizing!  Do you see any demoralized players playing for the Dodgers.  I see a bunch!

Just about everyone is blasting FAZ right now, but FAZ put the Dodgers in a position to win it all in 2017.  The fact of the matter is Clayton Kershaw did not rise to the occasion, in fact he dropped to the occasion as usual.  Yu Darvish literally imploded and may never be right again as it appears to have damaged his psyche irreparably.  Kenley Jansen also failed to do his part.  He failed to do what a superstar is supposed to do in the clutch… and maybe his 218 problems are also mental.

Clayton Kershaw is a very smart guy.  So is Yu Darvish and Kenley Jansen and so is Josh Reddick.  Do you know where I am going with this?  Sometimes the smart ones overthink or over-analyze situations.  If you talk to Madison Bumgarner you will realize he’s not a rocket scientist… maybe that’s something to consider.  On MLB.Radio they were talking about Chris Archer to the Dodgers or Yankees and they likened him to Darvish – very smart and NO, he would not do well in either city.  Their opinion…

FAZ was going to get under the Luxury Tax come hell or high water – I actually thought it would be in 2017, but they were all in to win in 2017. Maybe FAZ has come to the conclusion that the Dodgers will not win with Clayton Kershaw as their Ace, especially with his decline in pitch speed and injury.  Maybe it is time to trade him… but maybe the time has passed.  Maybe the return will not be great.

Maybe this team IS demoralized.  Maybe they know that last year was their best chance and that with Seager out this year and Kershaw still the Ace, they have no chance. Oh, they can be good, but they can’t do it in the clutch because their Ace can’t.  At age 30 and in obvious decline, is that suddenly going to change?  Maybe the team knows that, feels that… and is demoralized.  What else can it be? I see guys who are totally and completely demoralized. Maybe they know their best shot was in 2017 and their Ace, #2 and Closer blew it.  It’s hard to recover from that.

I say:BLOW IT UP!The prospects are off limits.  Bellinger and Seager are off limits as is Buehler.  Kershaw, Jansen, Wood, Hill, Maeda, Ryu, Turner, Forsythe, Taylor, Grandal, Barnes, Puig, Pederson, Kike, Kemp and others are on the block.  The farm is loaded…get it loaderer!BLOW THIS DAMN THING UP AND START OVER! This is not on FAZ. They have done an outstanding job – the players have to be changed.  If they do it right, they will be back in 2020! I’m on board.

That could net them 7-9 TOP 5 Draft Picks – a lot of talent. Young talent.

Sorry Clayton – I still love you! Just calling it the way it is.

This article has 53 Comments

  1. I think I put Roberts on the chopping block as well. I was sadly disappointed with his game management in the World Series and after last night and his quick hook on Stripling … well I think he over manages. Let the players play.

  2. And while we are at it, if FAZ’s philosophy is just hit a HR, then I think that is rather stupid as well. Baseball is a game of movement. Hit and Run, stealing a base, hitting behind the runner, sacrifice fly, bunt. They are all part of the game. The home run is just one part of that arsenal, not the only weapon in the arsenal. Maybe FAZ needs to go as well.

      1. Bluto

        Why do you think the Astros won game seven?

        After Springer hit that double, the Astros young third baseman, gave up his at bat, and hit a ball to the right side, to move Springer over to third.

        But Cody miss played the ball, and the Astros young third baseman got on base anyways.

        And both Springer and the Astro’s young third baseman, came around and scored in that first half inning.

        In the next half inning, we had Taylor hit a double and he was standing on second with no outs.

        What did our hitters do, after they saw the Astros do in the inning before, they tried to do to much, and not one run was scored.

        Because both Cody and Corey, both struck out, with Taylor standing on second, and the hitters behind Corey and Cody couldn’t get a hit, to score Taylor from second.

        When hitters strike out, there is very little chance of getting on base, and runs will not be hit in.

        And there is no chance of an infielder miss playing a ball.

        Usually in these post season games, a team will be facing tough pitching, and because of that, it is very hard to hit HRs, and very easy to strike out.

        1. And both the Astros and the Cubs, play small ball, although they also use saber metrics as a tool too.

          Because they know, that gives a team more then one way, to score runs, especially tough runs, against good pitching, or when a team is having a lot of trouble, scoring runs.

          Remember that one bunt the Cubs second baseman made, in that one game at Dodger Stadium, the year before in the play offs, is what turned that game around, and turned that series around, that we later lost.

    1. Lack of situational hitting is most often the deeper in the postseason a team gets. That’s a big Dodger weakness because it’s not emphasized by management.

  3. If we’re going to blow this thing up start with the manager love Kershaw but his time has come as a Dodger start with Harper and the kids. Buehler on the right urais on the left.

  4. This mess is largely on FAZ. They could have done what your are suggesting while still being very competitive. Puig, Joc, Grandal and others could have tactically been dealt over the last couple of years to acquire young talent to keep the pipeline full, but they held onto all of them to the point their ROI will be a bag of balls and a jock strap.

    The problem with the FO has been their inability to acquire the right talent, the right depth and their overall evaluation of said talent, both their own players and the players they would like to acquire via trade and FA. The Hill, Kazmir, McCarthy, Koehler FA signings were horrible, the offering of the QO to Anderson was abysmal and then the decision to not sufficiently deal with the BP by moving Maeda there are just a few examples of their disastrous leadership and talent evaluation.

    They’ve sent Puig and Joc down to OKC for some soul searching, might it be time for some CT3 and Bellinger time in OKC so they can realize just how nice the big leagues are? The strikeouts by CT3 and Bellinger are alarming and bunting for a base hit in the bottom of the 9th with a 3-0 count makes you shake your head and wonder where the basic fundamental baseball knowledge has gone for some players, especially ones that have a dad who played big league baseball.

    The sad reality is the FO doesn’t need to do a fire sell as suggested, but instead could have been more strategic in the off season by trading some pieces for talent. The $9 million to Forsythe could have been reallocated to the BP, the $2 million to Joc could have been used on Toles with about $1.5 left over for BP or SP, the $7 million to Puig might have been used somewhere else.

    1. That “disaster” yielded 104 wins! The very best in baseball. Come on, that’s pure nonsense. And what could they have gotten for Joc or Puig or Pederson or Grandal? Not much. Fans tend to overvalue their players. You might have gotten couple top 10 prospects and how does that help win now?
      Then you want to send CT3 and Belly to the minors? Those two would get you a haul.

      1. I wasn’t saying they should be sent down, just wondering if that’s an option and to start debate. Thanks for taking the bait.

        Other than Hill every other player I named as part of the unmitigated disaster our FO is had nothing or very little to do with winning 104 games. McCarthy, Kazmir, Anderson, Koehler were either not a part of those 104 wins or had very little to do on the margins.

        If Daniel Hudson, Max Muncy, Zach Neal, Vindette, Koehler, Alexander, are part of the so-called depth I would rather see Sborz, Santana, Spitzbarth etc.

  5. Just read a good piece on minorleagueball on post-hype prospect connor joe on tulsa drillers roster. First round pedigree and could be late bloomer. Wasn’t on my radar before though I remember the trade for him. Sorry I can link. Maybe someone else could.

  6. Best post you have ever written mark, well in my opinion. The reality is we threw all our eggs in the Kershaw basket but unfortunately it didn’t work. Now his regular season career has been up there with the greatest of all time. But with everything going our way in Houston with a big lead and he can’t get to the fifth inning well…… and Kenley blew 2 games. He may have been hurt because he was great in the playoffs until last year but sadly with Kershaw just a repeat. I don’t blame the front office they made the moves to give us a chance and the players folded. We just need a retool. I would keep Buehler, urias, bellinger, seager, and probably Turner. The rest are available. Btw bellinger should be fined for not adhering to the sign given. Right now players are just trying to do too much and are waiting for the next bad bounce. No confidence and totally beaten but it will change if we get healthy. I think we can still compete although the seager injury may be too much. I think the most important thing you said is we can’t win a World Series with Kershaw. Put those resources into someone who can. If we don’t turn it around we will be helped in the draft and faz will need to earn their money.

  7. Many of us have said for several years now that Kersh chokes when it matters most. Now that he’s going to start his expected slow decline, there’s no reason to believe he’ll become the playoff ace that carries us to any title. If he has to be dealt this July, so be it. I don’t care for greatest regular season pitcher titles if it means zero rings.

    He’s failed to step up way more times than he has stepped up in October. I don’t care that he pitched 4 scoreless in game 7 last year. We were already losing 5-0, so there was zero pressure on him. There’s no reason to believe he would have thrown 4 scoreless if he started that game.

  8. FAZ are more stat nerds than baseball guys. We could use a real baseball person to be in charge. Plus, I have no confidence in Roberts. So he was NL Manager of the Year. Big deal. So were Matt Williams, Kirk Gibson, and JIM TRACY over the past ten years. Watching Roberts TRYING to manage has become painful. I don’t think even he has confidence in himself. Mark wants to jettison over 15 players (!!) instead of seeing where the blame really lies. I would rather have Kershaw, Jansen, Wood, Turner, and others, than have nerds running the asylum. At least Howard Cossell admitted that he never played the game.

  9. Is there a scherzer type free agent this year or trade in july that the Dodgers may look at to replace Kershaw and go along side our young studs.

  10. I’ve heard alot about players working on swing trajectory!??! Why??? Becuz chicks love the long ball.
    Why not work on ^&*( bunting the ball. I watch alot of HS ball local and the bunting art is dead… I was a great bunter becuz I had to be to help the team I was playing with. I was a catcher and ran up hill!!! It makes me puke to see a shift and players can’t bunt!!! The shift would disappear in a NY minute..
    Fine the Kid??? You’re crapping me aren’t you… You talk to the agent and then the union squashes it.
    Come on, be real!!! A majority of us, M.T. and the other people in the know thought we were we were a shoo in for another trip to Classic…
    Sh– happens..
    There’s no easy scapegoat… I start every year with We Need health and little luck and that hasn’t happened..
    P.S. You don’t talk trades when you’re bleeding and the sharks are circling!!!
    P.S.S. Big shout out to all the Mothers out there… Happy Mother’s Day… Mothers are like no others.
    Peace out…

  11. Look, I think there are valid reasons to blow it up. I also think there are valid reasons not to. This season has been a perfect storm and the team is at absolute rock bottom. I truly think that somewhere down deep many players believe that 2017 was their best shot.

    What if they blew it up and this was the lineup in 2020:

    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Wong
    SS – Machado
    3B – Seager
    LF – Toles
    CF- Verdugo
    RF – Harper
    C – Ruiz

    1. Buehler
    2. Mad Bum
    3. Urias
    4. Santana
    5, Ferguson

    Closer – Alvarez

    1. I would not trade Kershaw. Maybe he is not an Ace anymore, but he is a high quality pitcher that will not be duplicated by Urias, Santana, or Ferguson. He has three consecutive years with a DL stint. He can opt out. Plus he has a $3M trade bonus in his contract. There is not going to be a Chris Sale return.
      Bumgarner is a southern boy and my guess is he will end up somewhere in the South. Atlanta should be very good by 2020.
      I cannot see FAZ completely abandoning all of their principals and signing two FA like Machado and Harper.

      1. What would you do with Kershaw? He will almost assuredly opt out. Then what, you think we should give him more than what he is making now? I guess we could get a draft choice. We have been unable to win it all with him. He is still good but his best years are probably behind. If he doesn’t opt out ok 2 more years but I don’t think we should hamstring the organization by paying him more. What do you think?

  12. Mark, you have huuuuuge mood swings. You swing wildly from one pole to the other, telling us not to throw out the baby with the bathwater to blowing the whole thing up.

    As a fan, it’s hard to take the Dodgers’ inability to beat even the worst teams in the league. When a team is going well it’s easy to overlook the flaws, and when it’s going REALLY bad it’s easy to overlook the pluses. While the team is as good as its record, what do the Dodgers have to build on and what has to be rebuilt?

    1 – Build on the young talent. Bellinger, Seager (if he’s able to play SS after Tommy John surgery, no sure thing), Buehler.
    2 – As much as some here love the farm system, prospects are just that until they are major leaguers. Most won’t make it. I am reminded of Garrison Keillor’s fictional Lake Wobegon, where “all of the women are strong, all of the men are good looking, and all of the children are above average”. Except we know that not all prospects, even top ones are destined to be “above average”. Talent evaluation is key here. So far, give the Braintrust high marks here. The prospects that they have traded have flamed out and the ones they’ve kept haven’t.
    3 – Who do they keep from the older players and who do they trade? It depends on what they are trying to build. From what we’ve seen, they want to play Billy Ball. They want walks and 3 run homers, 5 inning starting pitchers and a bullpen of interchangeable flamethrowers. They want platoons and matchups. Speed is unimportant. If this is what the Braintrust wants to build, then some of the prospects (Verdugo, for example) should be traded now. Bat to ball skills without power are not going to be treasured by this group. This is why Joc Pederson is still on the team by the way. The new Joc with no power won’t stay long.
    4 – I don’t advocate blowing it up, but I do advocate analyzing the weaknesses and trying to find solutions.
    a. Who are one year wonders or who had career seasons in 2017? Wood, Taylor, Barnes, maybe Puig. They have to either go or figure out how to get back to 2017.
    b. Who just can’t play? Many in the bullpen (calling El Gasolino), Hudson, maybe Fields, and more. Many of the myriad utility players – Locastro, Farmer, Segedin, et al. Certainly Forsythe. 2B has been the biggest weakness on the roster since Dee Gordon was traded. Find guys who can play.
    c. Who is old or injury prone? Hill, Ryu, Utley.
    5 – How do you replace the replaceable? From the minors if possible, trades if possible, free agents if necessary. The Braintrust will not sign free agents to replace the replaceable. This is where the small market mentality may hurt the Dodgers.

    1. Rick,

      I am not moody and if you say that again, I’ll beat….

      Just Kidding. It’s a beautiful day in Indy and I am having a great time with the family. Baseball is a game and does not control my moods. I don’t like how the Dodgers are playing but it doesn’t control me.

      Blow it up or Keep it? I don’t know the right answer, but on this blog I present talking points and possibilities. Part of me wants to blow it up and another part wants to keep it.

      FAZ will decide… and I’m fine with that.

  13. Per TrueBlueLA, a loss today would tie the 1958 Dodgers for the worst W-L record at 40 games in the LA era (15 – 25).

  14. Last night in the bottom of the 5th with the Dodgers leading 3-1 the Dodgers had 2 runners on and 2 outs with Stripling up, now Roberts had 2 choices, let Stripling hit, or pinch hit for him. Roberts chose to let Stripling hit, and he makes the third out. Either way, nothing wrong. Now in the top of the 6th Stripling strikes out Votto and then gives up a single to Scooter Gennett, which immediately causes Roberts to take Stripling out of the game. and by taking Stripling out he makes letting Stripling hit in the bottom of the 5th the wrong move. Why take Stripling out?he had 1 out and a runner on first with the tying run coming to the plate, he should have been given the chance to at least face 1 more batter, see if he can get Suarez out or even hit into a double play. letting him hit in the bottom of the 5th you are making the decision to at least let Stripling go 6 innings before you turn it over to the very bad Dodger pen. You are also saying to Stripling that you have confidence in him to get the job done but pulling him after only facing 2 batters and already getting one out Roberts made the wrong decision in letting Stripling hit. Roberts, unlike with Stripling, lets Chargois continue to pitch after he gave up a hit and that proved to be game over.

    1. Roberts is managing scared, with no confidence whatsoever in his own decision making. Last night was another powerful example of that.

  15. So true Dodgerrick but you’ll gain no ground…
    So now, what if there’s Redass Bum, Machado and Harper???
    Yep and our Tweeter-in-Chief & First Lady will adopt a few Salvadorians in San Diego…

  16. Sorry for the length. This was going to be a blog post, but it fit right in with Mark’s.
    I do not think that it is a big mystery that Doc can do better in game management. Pulling Strip last night was not a good move. He showed absolutely zero confidence that Strip can get out of the inning but shows all the confidence in the world in Pedro Baez. Which one of those pitchers has failed more often? This was Strip’s game, to win or lose. If the starting pitchers have to pitch a shutout for a chance to win a game, the season truly is over.
    But I cannot totally blame Doc for how this season has gone. You do not lose your two best hitters that occupy the #2 and #3 spot in the lineup and expect to replace them. You do not expect to lose 40% of your starting rotation and expect to replace them. And then you have the bullpen that he has???? How do you expect to win over the long season?
    I was critical of Doc for refusing to move CT3 from the leadoff, but I came around to agree if not CT3, then who? It’s not Chase Utley. Maybe you give Locastro a try. I have been as critical as anyone about the lack of small ball on this team. But after reading what Vegas said about Friedman’s remarks on the lack of HR’s being the problem I immediately put two and two together. I may be old and slow, but I am not out of the race. This is FAZ’s team and they built this team on power. They have no real team speed, and they are not adept at situational hitting. They are swinging for the fences every swing. It worked last year, but when you lose the catalyst (Seager) and the glue (JT) you are already starting from way behind.
    Per Gurnick. “Those critical of Dave Roberts for not managing his injury-riddled, sluggish Dodgers out of their offensive misery with “small ball,” here’s his response:
    “You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game against the Reds. “When we are walking and slugging, that’s the profile of our players and that’s what we do. To ask our guys to hit-and-run, they’re not guys that handle the bat to hit-and-run, outside of Chase Utley, and to ask left-handed hitters to hit the ball the other way and not advance to third base, doesn’t make sense.
    “And then you have to take the combination of a swing and miss, now you’re exposing a baserunner. To bunt, we don’t have guys that typically bunt. And can the guy advance with his foot speed. For me to change the way I manage our guys, that for me is a flawed thought process.”
    Doc is correct. We as fans may not like it, but that is the team he has. It is a team built on power. I am also not blaming FAZ on this. Their approach worked for the 1st three years. It is not working this year…yet. But how do you replace a Seager, Turner, Forsythe, and 40% of your starting rotation? How do you respond with the regression of Yasiel Puig? Everybody thought he turned the corner last year. Is it Doc’s fault that Puig has gone backwards? Or do you stay with him until it kicks in. This is only May 13. There is nothing wrong with depth as long as your stars perform. It is when the stars are on the DL and the team has to rely on the depth as regulars, that’s when you get the results the Dodgers have. I have no problem with Kike’, Locastro, Muncy, Farmer, or Valera as players. However when they are on the same 25 man roster, that is a lot of utility players. If Seager, Forsythe, and JT were on the 25 man, only Kike’ would be on the team. The others would be back in OKC. Valera is already back in OKC. Two of Muncy, Farmer, and Locastro will not be getting on the plane to Miami.
    But do you tear down a team because you do not have adequate backup players for Seager/Turner/and Kershaw? What team can replace them?
    FAZ was given an edict to get below the luxury tax this past winter. That is exactly what they did. It seems apparent to me that Todd Boehly is more listened to than Magic Johnson (who knows just a little about winning). He also learned that good ownership cares more about championships that profits. I do not believe that Boehly feels that way. But FAZ could have done more. I have already made my case to trade for Gerrit Cole, re-signing Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson. They could have declined the Forsythe option and traded Ryu, and there would have been no luxury tax issues. They chose not to. Do I think they hang on to their prospects more than other FO personnel? Absolutely. Does it work? It hasn’t yet, but it has only been three drafts. Walker Buehler was their first draft pick, and he looks like an Ace in the waiting. All in all, there are 14 players remaining with the team from the 2015 draft. Josh Sborz, Kyle Garlick, Edwin Rios, and Matt Beaty are assigned to AAA OKC. Nolan Long, Corey Copping, and Andrew Istler are at AAA. There are 6 others at Rancho and Great Lakes. They were forced to trade Philip Pfeifer in order to get Bud Norris when Kershaw went down in 2016. Willie Calhoun and Brendon Davis were traded for Yu Darvish. Others were traded in the Carlos Ruiz and Brett Eibner trades, but they are not expected to reach the Show.
    I know that it is fashionable to beat up on Joc. He has not produced, and he was arguably beat out in ST by Toles. I have no feeling pro or against Joc. But management believed that Toles needed to play every day to get his baseball legs fully functioning. That actually tells me that Toles was more thought of than Joc. But that being said, Joc is not the problem. This team would be struggling just as much with Toles rather than Joc. This team is struggling because they are without their two best offensive players that occupy the #2 and #3 spots in the lineup and they have nobody else to replace them. They lost 40% of their starting rotation, and they have a very weak bullpen. Maybe there are better choices than Joc, but this team’s predicament cannot be placed on him. I also agree with Dodgerrick that Joc was also retained because of his long ball potential. That is what FAZ builds around.
    I do think FAZ has to wear the poor play of the bullpen. They threw players together and it worked for them last year. But it has not this year. At some point the clock turns midnight on that approach. Maybe it will still come together, but so far it has been horrid.
    Cody is having problems right now. Last year he had Corey and JT hitting in front of him. This year he doesn’t. Doesn’t anybody else see a problem with that? It is quite a lot to expect a 22 year old in his sophomore season to become the face of the team, especially when you have a manager call you out in the press for not hustling. When the season started, the face of the team was Kershaw/Seager/JT, and with all three of them out, who becomes the new face?
    I am not tearing down the team. I am trimming and letting the kids come up and see what they got. Then next winter add where there is obvious needs. Start with 2B and sign DJ LeMahieu.

    1. AC

      The problem is that both the Cubs and the Astros use saber metrics as a tool, but they still use small ball too.

      And if Maddon used small ball under Friedman, so can Roberts.

      Friedman has said he only uses saber metric as a tool, too.

      Yesterday Roberts blurted out what our GM had said earlier in the week about the team, not hitting enough HRs.

      And Roberts has been under a lot of pressure, so I didn’t take what Roberts blurted out yesterday, that seriously.

      And I don’t think that is the team’s total concept, or why are they trying to help Joc hit the other way?

      Because Roberts blurted out that they don’t do that, either.

      And about Joc, the best players should make the major league team.

      Not only because the obvious, to make the team better, but because, that sets a bad example to the other players, and the young players in the minors, when someone like Joc makes the major league team, without earning it.

      And even you, didn’t think Joc would get much playing time early in the season, and he did, even before everyone got hurt.

      And that is why you thought it would be better for Toles, to go down to AAA, and play everyday.

      Toles doesn’t have to be taught to hit the ball the other way, and hit with power, and this isn’t his fourth year, in the majors.

      But you are right, Joc is not the sole problem on the team, outside of Turner and Corey, he is just one of the problems, on the team.

  17. Bellinger’s bone head move in the 9th was not only a mental error and reflection of the players panic buttons being pressed, it was also an indication of a lack of confidence in their manager.
    But just like that it’s all ok today. Hmm. What are we in store for today.

  18. Meanwhile, Machado is just batting .350 with a 1.100 OPS

    Please just sign him FAZ.

        1. The good news is that we can have Machado MJ! Its all in FAZ hands. We are due a big signing, or let me say it better, A NEW FACE TO THIS FRANCHISE.

  19. Have to give credit to AC’s point that FAZ did little to improve the team’s weaknesses exposed when we came in 2nd the season before. One thing for certain is getting rid of the best pitcher on the planet ain’t the answer. That’s the last thing that should take place. Talk about a fickle bunch. The problems during the post season aren’t faced if we don’t get there. The bandages we call depth are coming up a little short of expectations. Can’t get lucky all the time. The bullpen, well even FAZ ain’t running as perfect as some think. It would take very little here and there and this team could start steam rolling. JT’s return will show to be one of those small things and a bullpen fix would only help too. Too much talent? Who’s gonna play in the ASG? Can’t play when on the DL.

  20. Although most of what you said about Kersh, Darvish, and Kenley and their performances in the World Series is true, it’s also true that…

    -Kersh pitched one hell of a game 1
    -Hill was taken out in the 4th inning in game 2 (Way too early in my opinion)
    -Kenley was asked to pitch 2 innings for no reason (due in part to pulling Hill to early and mismanagement of BP)
    -Morrow was brought into game 5, even though the team said he had (and needed) the night off
    -Roberts & Honeycutt left Morrow in too long in game 5, although it was obvious immediately that he had nothing that night
    -FO / Roberts / Honeycutt decided to go with Darvish in game 7 after seeing what they saw in game 3 (When Wood plus the bullpen was obviously the safer bet)

    Docs in-game managing and pre-game strategy always slightly annoyed me but things really reached a boiling point last year during the playoffs and especially during the world series. I really feel that several of his decisions or lack of decisions affected the outcome of at least 2 games. I still feel that the players did their part (excluding Darvish) and deserved to win it all last year.

    Everything you say about Kersh can be said about Roberts… even more so in my opinion. I don’t think you can win a World Series with Dave Roberts as your manager. I feel that even if we had the ideal team heading into the playoffs… as long as he was in charge of making those pre-game and in-game decisions I would be extremely nervous and pessimistic about our chances to win it all.

    As for this year so far… I can nitpick some of his decisions sure… but the team has been absolutely decimated by injuries. With the players that are available to him over the last few weeks, he’s doing the best he can. I think his biggest flaw at the moment is that he’s too nice… he’s just not a confrontational guy. His easy going personality works pretty well when the team is cruising… but this team (right now) needs someone confronting them… someone challenging them… they need someone trying to light a fire / spark some emotion… but Dave is most definitely not that kind of guy / manager.

  21. I think some of what you say AC is wrong. We do have speed in Bellinger, Verdugo, Toles and Taylor. Yet Doc would never run. Bunt, why can’t we bunt? How much practice does it take. Most should be done in ST and keep it sharp in hitting practice. I read what Doc said. I do not agree with Doc and FAZ. If you are going to build your club on just power and walks, you have eliminated small ball completely. Then when your team does not hit for power and get walks you deserve what we are doing. Lose!!! How about doing both? Some of what they say makes no sense to me. Joc hits home runs and strikes out. That is what he did. What is he doing this year? He is not hitting HRs. He is hitting singles and doubles. Yes losing your 2 and 3 batter hurts. Losing 40% of your starters hurts. However we are just playing crappy baseball. Who do we blame that on? When you make dumb decisions on removing starting pitchers, who do we blame that on. The fact that Bellinger is not sitting today tells me everything I need to know about Doc. I just think too many bad decisions were made in ST and coming out of ST that has affected this team.

    1. Al, none of those Dodgers are effective base runners. They have decent speed, but they are not good enough base runners. The Dodgers as a team have 12 SB and 7 CS. CT3 has 2 SB and 3 CS. The team leader is Puig with 4/1. Utley has 2 SB and 0 CS. Ender Inciarte (17/3), Dee Gordon (15/2), and Trea Turner (12/1) are base runners. Last year 6 Dodgers had 20+ HR’s and none with 20 SB’s. Three players (CT3, Puig, and Cody) had 10+. We as fans do not have to like it, but this team is not built for speed. It is built for power. Now 2 of the 6 players with 20+ HR are out, and 1 hit his 1st today. Belli doesn’t look like he is going to approach 39. I found something interesting in analyzing the team stats for the minor league affiliations. As the league got better, the SB numbers went down.
      Great Lakes (#2) in the league – 51 SB 12 CS – Brayan Morales #1 in league with 16.
      RC – 38 SB 16 CS – Jeren Kendall #3 in league 13.
      Tulsa – 23 SB 9 CS
      OKC – 20 SB 9 CS
      The only two teams above .500 are the two with the least number of SB. I make no correlation, it is just information.
      Friedman and Doc are right that the lack of HR’s is different. That is how they were built. Fans can disagree whether that is the best way to build a team, but once it is built, only results can tell if it worked. Without the HR’s this year, it is not working.
      It should also be noted that the Cubs are one of the two teams with less SB than the Dodgers. They have 8.

  22. One more thing I want to say. Beuhler is 23 years old and they still want him on a pitch count. Urias was on a pitch count and what did it do for him? There is to much babying baseball players. Let them play.

  23. Machado is just a rental. The Braintrust will not trade premium prospects for a rental.

    Roberts manages the way that the Braintrust wants him to. He emphasizes the numbers while making decisions. That’s not going to change. And they won’t replace him. He is a prototype for the new age manager – upbeat, good communicator, inexperienced and young. Look at the guys hired by the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Nationals.

    1. Rick

      We are not like the A’s, and Maddan did use small ball at times, under Friedman.

      Our GM as you know, is from the A’s, the model for Moneyball.

      Like I already said, the Cubs and the Astros use saber metrics as a tool, but they also use small ball, when it is tough to score runs.

      And when Alex Cora left to manage the Red Sox from the Astros, he is using the tools of small ball too.

      I consider us more like the Cubs, the Astros, and now the Red Sox’s.

      And the A’s have not won a World Series, since they practiced the Moneyball model.

      And a team needs more then one way to get runs in, especially against good pitching, and when a team is having a lot of trouble to score runs.

      JD Martinez another guy that might have helped us in the post season, hit his tenth HR today.

  24. It’s Sunday night & we are about to be swept by The Reds.

    And for once in my life, I really don’t know what to say…

    I think everyone needs to take a breath, because what happens next is very important to the future of this Franchise.


    This is a big moment in the larger scheme of things.

    1. You’re lucky you live so far away! Today is the 2nd day I’ve refused to watch, and I dred sports talk tomorrow (unless it’s about Laker free agency)

  25. 0-4 against a vey bad team. Taylor and Bellinger made errors today on fairly easy grounders. The poor hitting may be affecting their defense.

  26. We Dodger fans are pretty dissapointed, frustrated, deflated over how our team is playing. It hurts bad. Maybe some are even angry.
    But image how these players are feeling, most of them were in the fall classic last year, one game away from the ring. These guys have spent all there lives trying to become big leaguers, and now night after night they go out and mess their pants. I got to tell you, I feel alot worse for them then I do for me and I feel pretty bad.

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