Your Straight Jacket is Ready…

When the Dodgers were sold the last time, Guggenheim and Company were not my pick to be the owners, but here we are.  There’s nothing you or I can do about that. They are the owners, and they certainly have a very peculiar set of circumstances. They are under SEC investigation, defending lawsuits, their principals are using their personal wealth as security, shareholders are upset (maybe even revolting), they are trying to sell minority interests in the club and in financial documents they say they will stay under baseball’s luxury tax (why they would even say that is puzzling).  All of this is happening while they have the second largest Cable TV Deal in baseball and yet many of their fans rarely see them on TV.In fairness, the Dodgers don’t come close to the Yankees in generating revenue.  The Yankees generated $619 million in revenue while the Dodgers are $97 million behind the Yankees at $522 million. The Yanks are valued at $4 Billion, the Dodgers are valued at $3 Billion. The fact that the Yankees went over the Luxury Tax Threshold does not mean the Dodgers should do the same. That, and the Yankees have no outside shareholders to revolt.  Hopefully you can understand that.From the year after they bought the Dodgers (2013) they were second in payroll and then first in all of MLB Payroll in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Last year, they dropped back to third, and of course Dodger fans started losing their minds… evidently due to advanaced psychosis. The Dodgers outspent the Yankees for four straight years, even though they had less revenue… much less revenue. That should tell you something.It must be psychosis, because psychosis is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality, andthe reality of the situation is that the Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim and Company and until they aren’t (which doesn’t seem to be anytime soon), they are going to run the team however they damn well please. I mean Guggs and Company… not Andrew Friedman. If you want to bitch and moan about the fact that they “evidently” do not want to go over the Luxury Tax Threshold, you can do that, but watch over your shoulder for the guys with the straight jackets.  You are getting close to that psychotic arena. If you complain about things that real and unchanging, you are the problem.Look, we can’t change whatever they are going to do.  Well, I guess we could, if everyone stopped going to games, but that ain’t happening, so all that is left is to move on.  The Dodgers didn’t win any World Series in the years when the had the highest payroll from 2013 to 2017, so maybe, just maybe, that ain’t the Holy Grail anyway.Theo Epstien was/is considered a genius by many as he rebuilt the Cubs and and won another World Championship in 2016, but a few bad contracts derailed his genius.  Notice that the Cubs have been quiet this offsesaon?  They are about another $75 million behind the Dodgers in revenue and yet they have a similar payroll.  They simply can’t afford to pay in free agency this winter since Darvish, Chatwood, Morrow, Zobrist and Heyward are owed $65 million this year and must either produce or the Cubs are screwed!Some of you get confused and blame Andrew Friedman for all this.  You are simply shooting the messenger when you complain about him and then call me a “homer.”  I don’t like Guggs and Company, but I do like Friedman.  I like what he is doing. I like it a lot and like I said yesterday, he is not done, but even if he was done, the team could really be better than last year.
  • Corey Seager is back
  • Martin and Barnes could rebound
  • Several other players will have incremental growth
  • Guys like Scott Alexander and Joe Kelley will play a big part (after the season, you may be convinced why I like Kelley and Alexander – Alexander wasn’t far off last year)
You look at the Yankees bullpen and if you are playing Strat-O-Matic baseball, not one will ever get a hit off them.  What are the odds that their bullpen is not as good as everyone thinks?  Bullpens are fickle.  Ask Colorado about their bullpen last year.  Maybe they will rebound this year, but they spent more and got less than just about anyone on their bullpen. Stockpiling a bullpen made of big name relievers is seldom the path to success.I know it’s not popular, but I think many of you who liked Yasiel Puig do not understand what a player like that can do to a lockerroom.  We will see, but I still feel that the 2019 version of the Dodgers could very well be better than the 2018 version and that is even if they don’t make another trade… which they will!Lots of Dodger fans told me that the Dodgers would not win in 2017.  They did!  Then I was told they would not win in 2018.  They did.  Now, AGAIN, many are telling me they won’t win in 2019.  They will!  And… you will be saying the same in 2020, yada, yada, yada.  Some of you say you are not Friedman haters (maybe basher is a better word), but if not, why are you always “Johnny-on-the-spot” to post articles that depict the team in a bad light?  You can say you are not a hater, but your actions say otherwise.  You love to hear the bad news.  I wish I had more for you, but this might ruin your day: Watch the Dodgers win in 2019.  You are entitled to your opinion – some (mostly not on this blog) have been bashing Friedman since he was hired.  This has to be getting old for you I would think.This 2019 version of the Dodgers will be younger, faster and more focused.  You won’t see as many platoons, you will see more controlled swings at two strike counts, you will see more hit and runs and YES, you will see more bunting.  Write that down.  These guys  will not have a World Series Hangover.  They understand who’s to blame and they intend to fix it.  I am still fixated on Castellanos, but would be fine starting the season with what they currently have…. because I still think they are better… for a myriad of reasons.You can point to the Dodgers Ace or their closer and say that’s why they lost two World Series in a row, but the fact of the matter is:  Like Doc said, you won’t win if your batting average is below .200 in the World Series. Improving their hitting, especially situational hitting is the focus this year.  Sometimes less is more!

This article has 43 Comments

    1. Oh my Bums, you almost had me bight on a political parity retort. I had to hold down the backspace key. No politics, religion or sex at the dinner table, at parties, or on sports blogs. 😉

      1. That was barely political and mostly funny. But, if I edged a small toe across the political line, I apologize.

  1. I sure hope you’re right. But, it’s still a bad look to fans to decrease payroll after increasing revenue by over $60 million from the previous year. I am still of the opinion that they aren’t done spending this off season and agree that waiting it out is the smart and right thing to do as long as the guys you’re targeting are still available. A couple more relievers recently signed, but I think we’re pretty set in the pen. All those second basemen signed, but I think we’re better off sticking with our three headed monster. The infield is set, the catching market wasn’t pretty. The way to improve the offense is in the outfield and there’s still 2 pretty good ones out there. I don’t think there’s room for Manny with a healthy Seager, Turner and Lux coming on strong. So, we are where we’re at. We need JTRM (not at that ridiculous price), Harper or at the very least, Pollock. I still say Harper and Pollock and flip Joc.

    It’ll be interesting for them to change their hitting philosophy and get buy in from everyone. I still think there’s less depth and too much left handedness in the lineup. But, there’s still options to change that. Castellenos would help fix that, but would rather have Pollock’s defense. I’d rather give up a draft pick than several prospects.

  2. Austin Barnes had a wRC+ in 2017 of 142, and a WAR of 2.5 in about a half a season worth of plate appearances. To place this in some context, that 142 wRC+ number, which is an objective measure of a player’s offensive worth – how many runs they create – puts Barnes right below Paul Goldschmidt and right above Charlie Blackmon.
    As far as WAR, he got a 2.5 value in about 2/3 a season worth of games and a little less than half the at bats of most starting players, so projecting that number out to a full season, it’s not unreasonable to think his WAR value would have approached 5. What other catcher had the same 2.5 WAR value over the course of a full season? Yasmani Grandal.
    However, what makes Grandal somewhat exceptional and desirable is his framing ability. According to Statcast, however, Barnes is nearly Grandal’s equal in this metric- at least in 2017. Grandal hit for more power in 2017, but Barnes struck out much less and walked much more, and, overall, Barnes was a much better run creator and offensive player.
    In 2017
    Barnes regressed – face planted might be a more apt description – in 2018. So what are the projections for Barnes in 2019? Steamer puts his wRC+ at 94, which pretty much spits the difference between 2017 and 2018. I’m ok with going with Barnes as the starter, with Martin acting as the backup/mentor. Defensively both are more than capable, and Martin signed that expensive contract with the Jays precisely because of his ability to frame pitches and manage a pitching staff. That’s more important, in the overall scheme of baseball team management, than Realmuto’s gaudy offensive numbers. If that’s what the Dodgers wanted, they should have just more aggressively pursued Grandal for a one or two year contract when it was apparent the market softened for him. You don’t let a guy walk away and then trade Bellinger or top talent for a comparable offensive and defensive player. Clearly the Dodgers had moved on from Grandal after two straight playoffs where he disappeared (remember Barnes took his job in 2017) or choked.
    I’d rather stockpile the talent and go with Barnes, hoping the new hitting coach and renewed focus can get him back on track. I think Friedman deserves a lot of credit for trading Dee Gordon to the Marlins and getting two valuable pieces in Kike and Barnes. What ever happened to Gordon, anyway?
    As for the rest. I don’t know. There are some financial restrictions and internal pressure that I nor anyone else is really privy to. I would like to see a little more flexibility to go over the threshold just a little bit and temporarily, and with the realization that it will be an investment that will pay off down the road. As I commented yesterday, there needs to be a balance between reducing costs and investment for growth. The Dodgers are in cost cutting mode right now – if that threshold is a line that is never to be crossed under any circumstance – and I’m not really sure why.
    The Dodgers have always been a draw, and their attendance remains pretty consistent year to year. But, there are more options now. The Rams are back in town and good. Lebron has star power and is a perfect fit for LA. If the Dodgers fall flat this year, and if they fall flat and don’t really have any players that fans can identify with (Kershaw is this guy…maybe Seager, too, but Kershaw’s star is starting to diminish) then the Dodgers will see revenue drop as well.

    1. I get the feeling (but have no insight) that if Bryce Harper could be signed under the right conditions, the Dodgers would go over the LTT for one year. So far, I see no evidence of that.

      That would be a very lefty heavy lineup…

      1. Which is why I kind of like Castellanos. As far as 2018 goes, Harper and Castellanos matched pretty closely. Harper was a little better defensively, which isn’t saying much because Castellanos was terrible. If the Dodgers wait till after the ASB, perhaps the prospect haul required to get him goes down.
        but he’s not a star.

  3. Some of you get confused and blame Andrew Friedman for all this.
    If you are talking about your first 6 paragraphs i do not think anyone here is blaming Friedman.

    You are simply shooting the messenger when you complain about him and then call me a “homer.”
    I do believe you are a homer.

    I don’t like Guggs and Company, but I do like Friedman. I like what he is doing. I like it a lot and like I said yesterday,
    he is not done, but even if he was done, the team could really be better than last year.
    Again Mark, most here feel the same as you about Friedman, and as the team stands now I think they will win the
    west in a close race and that will be all.

    Guys like Scott Alexander and Joe Kelley will play a big part (after the season, you may be convinced why I like Kelley and Alexander – Alexander wasn’t far off last year)
    I think from day one of the trade just about all have said getting Kelly is a big help to the pen.

    I know it’s not popular, but I think many of you who liked Yasiel Puig do not understand what a player like that can do to a lockerroom. We understand, but what about Roberts, You think all the platoons he did only upset Puig, and I think Hill has some thoughts on Roberts. Thoughts like these do not make me any less a Dodger fan. I believe I said I think Roberts is a poor game day manager and I think it was you who said he was dumb and should be fired,did that make you any less a Dodger fan.

    This 2019 version of the Dodgers will be younger, faster and more focused.
    That remains to be seen,at this time we do not know that.

    You can point to the Dodgers Ace or their closer and say that’s why they lost two World Series in a row, but the fact of the matter is: Like Doc said, you won’t win if your batting average is below .200 in the World Series. Improving their hitting, especially situational hitting is the focus this year. Sometimes less is more!

    The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series because of the hitting, but most of all to the failure of Kershaw( again ) to win when he had to , also when Jansen blew the save, and once again to some of the moves Roberts maid.
    The 2018 World Series was lost because the Red Sox were the better team.

    Rant all you want Mark, but maybe you should give the people on this blog more credit and respect for there views.

    1. The Dodgers swept the Yankees with Koufax,Drysdale,and Podres and a boring offense. If a team is build around pitching and defense, the pitching has to step up. Hershiser steppped up. Larry Sherry stepped up.
      Boston used lefties to keep Pederson, Bellinger, and Muncy on the bench and Kelly was much better than his normal. The 2018 WS required the Dodger pitchers to step up and unlike in 1988 and 1963, they did not.

  4. BB1439,

    I give credit where credit is due and just about everyone who posts here gets that credit.

    You just need to realize that 1,000’s more read, but don’t post…. so if it doesn’t apply to you, don’t worry.

    This was not a rant… but I can!

  5. Possibilities:
    1. Dodgers trade Hill to Yanks for Gray and save $8.5M AAV.
    2. Dodgers trade Gray, Maeda, Taylor, Rios and $$ to Seattle for Haniger.
    3. Dodgers trade Verdugo and Ruiz for Kluber or Syndergaard or Snell. Might have to sweeten with one or more from Alvarez, White, Santana., Stewart.
    Kershaw, Buehler, “Kluber”, Ryu, Stripling, (Gonsolen, Urias, May = depth)
    Is that enough for everybody to be satisfied with the off season?
    Obviously I don’t value Ruiz and Verdugo as mush as many here. But then I also have been somewhat in tune with Friedman with my support for Joc and non-support for Puig. Joc keeps getting contracts above the predicted amount as if someone in FO appreciates him more than most here. And, well, Puig is gone.

  6. If you say so. you love nicknames so when talking to you from now on I will refer to you as homer.

    1. A Manny addition should brighten everybody’s winter of discontent including those that don’t like Manny’s attitude.

  7. I will make a couple of comments, but save much of what I want to say for tomorrow.
    Anyone who disagrees with you that this team as constructed is better than last year are not necessarily wrong. They may turn out to be wrong, but as of now no games have played and all of our opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s. I may be ready for a straight jacket but not because I believe the Dodgers can be better than they are right now.
    You said that the Cubs are about another $75 million behind the Dodgers in revenue and yet they have a similar payroll. The Cubs are nowhere close to the Dodgers payroll. Cubs AAV payroll is $222,372,143. Dodgers AAV payroll $186,743,333. That is a difference of $35,628,810. That is a 19% increase over the Dodgers payroll. IMO that is not similar. You may not think much of Cole Hamels, but he was pretty clutch down the stretch for the Cubs. Is Hamels better than Drew Smyly and Gio Gonzalez? I would say yes. Is Daniel Descalso a quality utility player? Again I would argue that he is. Are the Cubs better with Hamels and Descalso than without them? IMO, absolutely.
    The Cubs won 95 games last year, 4 more than the Dodgers’ 91. You like to point out that CT3, Barnes, Belli, Urias, and any other Dodger, are going to have bounce back years. And they may very well. I think ALL OF US hope so. At the same time, can’t Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, and Tyler Chatwood also have bounce back years, or is that only reserved for Dodger players?
    I can appreciate that you are writing for a lot more than the sizable base that comment on this site regularly. But almost all who do regularly post here believe that Friedman is doing a great job under the circumstances he was dealt. I have on a multitude of occasions blamed the financial concerns on the ownership group, and principally Todd Boehly, and never on Friedman.
    You stated, “You look at the Yankees bullpen and if you are playing Strat-O-Matic baseball, not one will ever get a hit off them. What are the odds that their bullpen is not as good as everyone thinks? Bullpens are fickle.” I will ask you the question, what if Scott Alexander and Joe Kelly are not as good as you think? I cannot believe that even you believe that the Dodgers bullpen is on par with NYY. I am sorry, but that is a homer belief. Not that being a homer is bad. I will be one beginning Game 1 of the 2019 season, but until then, I choose to look at the team on paper and criticize if I believe it is warranted. IMO the Dodgers bullpen is not on par with NYY bullpen.
    You stated, “This 2019 version of the Dodgers will be younger, faster and more focused.” I agree with BB1439…that remains to be seen. There is nothing of substance that can be shown to be evidence that the team will be more focused. “They understand who is to blame and intend to fix it.” Who is to blame? Turner Ward? Farhan Zaidi? Yasiel Puig? Manny Machado? Friedman is the President of Baseball Operations. Shouldn’t he shoulder some of the blame. Or were all of the in game strategies and player personnel machinations made without any input from Friedman?
    No the 2017 WS was not lost because the team could not hit.
    Game 2 – Dodgers were ahead going into the 8th leading 3-1. They had enough runs to win the game, but it was their relief pitching that let them down…not the offense. Brandon Morrow gave up a run in the 8th, but the Dodgers were still in a position to win if Kenley Jansen had closed it up. He didn’t . The bullpen continued falter with Josh Fields allowing two runs in extra innings. The Dodgers offense fought back to tie the game, only for Brandon McCarthy to give up two more runs. This time the offense could only get one run back. The game 2 loss was entirely due to poor relief pitching.
    Game 5 – The offense staked Clayton Kershaw to a 4-0 lead that he relinquished. The same offense put the Dodgers up 7-4 which Kershaw relinquished yet again. The offense put the Dodgers up 8-7, and the bullpen faltered again. The offense scored three more in the 9th to tie the game, only for Jansen to give up a game winning run in the 10th.
    The offense scored 18 runs in those two games and lost both because the pitching gave up 20. If the pitching holds in either of those games, the Dodgers would have won the WS. If you want to follow the Dave Roberts/Andrew Friedman line that it was the offense, go ahead. But to many of us it wasn’t because of the offense that the Dodgers lost the 2017 WS.
    The 2018 WS was won by the better team, not because there was a lack of offense.

    1. Let me get this straight AC. This is your short comment? The long one is coming tomorrow? Just yanking your chain a little as I try to deal with the frustration of the winter inactivity. Always enjoy reading your comments, short or long.

      1. It got longer as it went along. This may be longer than what I have for tomorrow. Don’t know for sure because I haven’t finished it yet. I just get on a roll and can’t help myself.

    2. That is exactly what I wanted to say about the 2017 World Series but you nailed it. Too lazy to look it up but I think mark pointed out that we out scored Houston in that series but maybe not. However, you slice it our pitching beat us. I agree Boston was just better in 2018 but you could also say our pitching killed us again. I think we were down 2-1 in the series after the marathon game and had a 4-0 lead to tie the series with our ace waiting. As we all know the bullpen blew the game and we went down 3-1. Then our ace did what he annually does pitch like a 3-4 rotation guy. So as bad as our offense was there pitching staff out pitched us and seemed to want it more than ours. Their pitchers were available as needed whereas ours didn’t seem to be as accommodating.

      1. I think both teams scored 34 runs in the 2017 WS. That is nearly a 5 run average per game. It was not the offense that let the team down in 2017.

  8. Barnes is definitely a bounce back candidate. He has hit well his whole career so I would expect him to make a comeback. Martin is a good backup if he can stay healthy and motivated. Both of those players will see a lot of pitches and mostly can make contact. So I would prioritize a big game pitcher or a solid rh bat.

  9. The offensive side of the ball was horrible last year. If they will just change their philosophy they will be a lot better.
    1. When they shift, bunt the ball.
    2. Steal more. Verdugo, Taylor and Cody can all run.
    3. Two strikes, change your attitude.
    4. Swing at the first pitch, if is a good one. It may be the only good one you get. Most people believe you get one good pitch to hit at each at bat. Dozier and some others would take the first pitch regardless. The pitcher would throw a fastball right down the middle and they would take it. Seager does not take a good pitch. He is up there to hit. I also think if you take the first pitch it puts you in a defensive mode in that at bat.
    5. I would like to see more run and hit, but maybe that is a lost art.

    Friedman did say and so did Doc that there was going to be a change in philosophy. I hope it is true.

    1. Agree with all your points, 1-5. Puig was another one who rarely swung at the first pitch. Used to drive me crazy. Not sure if that was Turner Ward’s philosophy or something Puig decided on his own.

    2. Good points, a little of all of that will go a long way. I especially agree with 3 and 4. You have to go up to the plate with a plan and you are looking for your pitch-if you get it drive it. When you get to 2 strikes all bets are off! You brought up Seager-great example-he likes the 1st pitch and must have a sky high average on it. Yet with 2 strikes he chokes up, shortens up his swing and tries to put the ball in play. He just happens to be about the most clutch hitter they have, and can hit lefties.

  10. OK, some of you don’t agree that the Dodgers are better than last year. I do, but you may be right…. or I could be right. That’s the fun of all this… we shall find out.

    If everyone agreed with me, what’s the use?

    The Dodgers have a pretty large number of young players who are at or near an age where they are going to be in their “best years.” Not all will accelerate their development, but 27 of the players on the 40-man are under 30.

    I also think that less platooning and the new hitting culture will result in more consistent offense.

    The fact that Friedman traded 4 players for two prospects and salary relief tells me that there were not many buyers interested in those players.“You mean that Friedman couldn’t get any more than he did for Wood and Puig?”Yep. That’s what I mean! I guess many Dodger fans valued them higher than other GM’s did.

    We shall see, but I just advise to avoid those straight jackets.
    — Signed, Homer

    1. The 2019 Dodgers will be as good or better than both the 2017 and 2018 Dodgers even Homer can see that who by many accounts of Homer’s life, was a blind bard from Ionia. 😉

    2. Yeah well, you can put all the lipstick on that pig of a trade you want to, it was still a terrible trade on it’s face. Besides you I have yet to hear anyone praise it. Nosler had about 1,000 comments on his post you trashed, most all of them agreeing with him. I think the team COULD be better, it Jan 18th after all, but not because of that horrible trade.

      1. Terrible trade based on what? Says who? And what should the Dodgers have gotten instead?
        The Dodgers got what they did because that’s what the market price for those players was. There have been rumors swirling for years that the Dodgers were shopping Puig. It’s been happening every year since 2015. Apparently there weren’t a ton of takers. Remember he was sent down the the minors mid-season a couple of years ago. He was hitting a non atrocious .260 something at the time. Was it his attitude that got him sent down? Was he not exhibiting the right work ethic? Was he a disruptive influence? s Friedman alluded as much when asked his thoughts about Puig postscript following the trade.
        Not saying that Puig was a clubhouse cancer or uncoachable, but there were clearly some personality issues that factored into the decision to trade him. If it was an issue with the Dodgers, you don’t think the other teams knew the inside scoop? ..and you don’t think that impacted his trade value.
        He’s also in his last year of team control. Wood is in his last year, and apparently he didn’t fit in the Dodgers plans. I’m sure as a competitor he wasn’t pleased with the prospect of being an expensive LOOGY.
        Kemp’s trade value was negative. They had to essentially bribe Cincy to take him, and this impacted the trade value of the other players in the package. “Ok, fine. We’ll take Kemp, but this is all you get then for Wood and Puig. Oh yeah. Take Bailey, too”
        It’s one thing to say it was a terrible trade, but you have to make a compelling reason why the Dodgers should’ve gotten more. My issue with the Dodgers and their off season moves so far is not so much the trade, but they haven’t addressed the holes. It gave them financial and roster flexibility…to do what, exactly?

        1. Well for starters how about a useful piece back like Tucker Barnhart on a nice contract or Scooter Gennett who also is 1 year from FA in positions of need instead of the corpse of Homer Bailey and prospects? The Reds got 3 starting players in a contract year and off loaded a dead contract. Not sure how much Farmer or the 2 prospects are really worth.

      2. I thought it was a good trade, all players sent did not have a long term future with the dodgers. Only Puig was likely to start-and that was blocking other OF’s. Wood was odd man out in rotation. Kemp (despite his start in 2018) was not unlikely to start in2019 and might have been a DFA candidate if he was in same shape as he finished the year.

        I do think it was also made to open up room for a future trade/signing. When that can actually happen is only partially controlled by the Dodgers. Without that flexibility/room it won’t happen.

        Just because Nosler’s article got 1000 comments and most agreed with it doesn’t make it a good article content wise – click bait wise however it makes it a great article. Nosler is one of my favorite Dodger bloggers but that rant wasn’t up to his usual standards.

  11. I’ll give you some reasons the Dodgers could be better this year:
    1) Kershaw has a fine year, with a workout ethic second to none and a pitch selection tweak.
    2) Kenley has a bounce back season, gets in shape and is healthy.
    3) Full season of Buehler. 3A) Full season of Ryu.
    4) Hill pitches for a contract, Maeda pitches to stay out of the pen. Strip pitches well every opportunity.
    5) Kelly has a consistent season. Baez pitches like he did down the stretch.
    1) Full season of Muncy, with great results.
    2) Full season of Verdugo, with decent results.
    3) New hitting philosophy.
    4) Kike, CT3 and Cody work long and hard on their weaknesses and cut down K’s.
    5) Martin and Barnes are pleasant surprises at and behind the plate.
    Longshots? Maybe. All likely to happen? No but some will probably at least half. It may be enough and worst case some deadline deals so an entertaining season regardless.
    If Puig was a locker room problem, how did they make the post season all 6 years with the team?

    1. If Puig was a locker room problem…

      It’s not “IF”

      It’s how much of a problem…

        1. I have to admit I will too.

          His talent is /was amazing.

          Maybe he will realize it somewhere else.

          I wish him well… except when he plays us.

  12. I will tell you who ought to be in a straight jacket are those Einsteins who are still trying to sign Brett Anderson. I have read where teams still have interest in him. These are the types of reports that make you think that some of these brilliant people are too close to their work. With those ideas floating around people opining on this blog can’t ever feel too psychotic. I think we pretty much got our moneys worth out of Puig over the years and he helped us in the postseason but he wasn’t going to be extended, his defense got worse, his attitude didn’t help, verdugo cheaper and ready for opportunity, and apparently not much trade value. I like puig but I guess if he turns out to have a great year we could always go after him in the free agent market. Too bad he didn’t make it one more year and we could have given him a qualifying offer like we did….Brett Anderson.

  13. Living in Indy, I’ll be able to see Puig, Wood and the others play in Cincy if I suddenly find myself needing to do so easily. In fact, I’m going there in May with my wife but to see the Dodgers foremost, not them. I think the Dodgers will be able to adjust the style of play of the team to the talent available.

    A few topics ago, I tried to explain the importance of defensive excellence at first base was more important than at second base. The game of baseball in the NL has been, and should continue to be, driven by the tenets of pitching, defense, speed, and timely hitting with an emphasis on average and not power. The NL game has always been considered the more cerebral since the AL adopted the designated hitter and for an NL team to be successful in the WS,

    I believe that they must have outstanding starting pitching, a quality bullpen with excellent closers, excellent defensive catchers who help the pitching staff during the game by stealing a strike, blocking the wild pitch and preventing the passed ball, reducing the threat of the stolen base with a quick release and accurate throws and assuring that the defense is setup appropriately. The team must play excellent defense which means making all of the basic plays as well as the occasional exceptional play, must know before the pitch is thrown what they are going to do if the ball is hit to them in the air or on the ground, do the fundamental skills of defense such as throwing to the right base, hitting the cutoff man, backing up fielders on all hit balls and throws in order to prevent runner from advancing unnecessarily, and always hustling to be in position to make the play.

    NL teams also need hitters who can perform all skills needed including hitting for average and power, working the pitcher to generate both walks and pitches thrown, bunting for a hit or to advance the runner, hitting to the right side to advance the runner, hitting the fly ball to drive in a runner at third or advance the runner at second, and knowing how to perform these tasks when the time to do so is required.

    Baseball is a game of fundamentals, The teams that do this best generally win the big games and perform better in high stress situations. I hope that the Dodgers place more emphasis on doing the little things better, because it has been my experience in life that doing all of the humdrum, mundane, boring little tasks as well as possible make success much more likely.

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