Not a Good Sign for the New Season

I try to be optimistic at the beginning of every Dodger season, but sometimes it’s difficult. Here are just a few of the issues / mishaps that are plaguing the team and the pitchers and catchers have just reported for work.

  • The ongoing battle that is the McCourt’s divorce – How can the question of who will own the team by the end of the season not be a distraction? It certainly didn’t help the Dodgers in the post-season last year.
  • They failed to pick up Roy Halladay.
  • Pitcher Jose Padilla was accidentally shot in the leg by his own bodyguard at a shooting range in the off-season. 

“I was shooting, then my gun just stopped,” Padilla said. “It jammed. I
looked for the bullet, and I couldn’t find it. I gave it to one of my
guys, and he couldn’t find it, either. Then it went off and hit me in
the leg.”

Sigh.

Update:  This story from LA Observed indicates that the Dodgers are planning on spending less on players, but will significantly raise ticket prices over the next few years. This is apparently to woo potential new investors. Just how do they plan to tell a family of four that, in these troubling times, the Dodgers plan to price families right out of the ballpark?

Wow!

Wow, what a game! I do wish that the Dodgers wouldn’t make us wait through so much tension, but they do have a knack for the comeback. I listened to the game last night on MLB audio because it wasn’t on television here, but I watched the comeback video this morning (I’m not sure how long they leave these videos up).

Just a few thoughts after last nights game:

  • The Dodgers owe too much to other team’s mistakes. They’re a great team, but they owe last night’s victory to the error on Holliday and Franklin’s pitching falling apart.
  • The best line of the night was Scully saying of Holliday’s error, “It hit him right in the groin. Hopefully he’s wearing a cup.”
  • I expect Manny’s career with the Dodger’s to be over before the snow has finished melting in my backyard next spring.

Prediction for Postseason

I know that it’s been too long since my last post, but there are actually more important things in life than the Dodgers (gasp). Anyway, while there was a bit of fear there, our boys did win the division and finished with the best record in the National League.

That being said, here are my predictions for the postseason. I think that, at the most, there will be one upset with the Twins possibly taking out the Yankees. The Dodgers will beat St. Louis, Phillies over Rockies (they’ve already won the first game) and the Angels will take down Boston.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the Dodgers will play the winner of the Yankees / Twins series in the World Series.

Update: Technically the Rockies aren’t the underdog since they finished with a better record than the Phils, but because they’re the wild card, I’m calling them the underdog here.

Dodgers Up to the Challenge

I subscribe to the Dodgers News and read it via my RSS reader. I was disheartened and a bit disturbed to see the headline Dodgers Hope to Finish What They Started back on September 10. The article talked about the potential for this to be the “club’s worst collapse since Bobby Thomson’s ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World‘ in 1951″. Seriously, this is on the Dodger’s Web site.

Well, it appears that the Dodgers may have seen that and are answering the call to keep that collapse from happening. Since the article appeared the Dodgers have gone 4 and 1 and have increase their lead over Colorado to five games (it helps that the Rockies have gone 2 and 4 since then).

The boys finish off the series against Pittsburgh tonight and have tomorrow off. The Giants come to town on Friday for a weekend series before the Dodgers head out for a nine game road trip. When they get back they’ll face Colorado for the final three games of the regular season, then on to the playoffs.

The Stretch Begins

Here we are, it’s September 2 and the
Dodgers have a 5 ½ game lead over the Colorado Rockies and 6 ½ over
the Giants. This is good considering that they are 6-4 in their last
ten games. While this isn’t great, it’s certainly better than the
train wreck that they seemed to be in the month after the all-star
break

I spoke with my brother yesterday about
the recent Dodger acquisitions – Jim Thome from the White Sox and
Jon Garland from Arizona. While we’re both happy that these two have
joined our team, we wonder how White Sox fans feel about GM Kenny
Williams giving away the farm while the team was still in playoff
contention (hey, they’re in a better position than the Blue Jays).

Garland will be pitching tonight
against his former teammates, who we frankly won’t be seeing in the
post-season either.

On a funny note, check out Keith
Olberman’s post from last night comparing the new helmet worn by NY
Met David Wright to “Fred Flintston’s little green prehistoric
Shark-Jumping visitor from outer space.”

The Era

I just finished reading The Era: 1947-1957 when the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers ruled the world by Roger Kahn. Overall this is a great book about some great baseball teams, but here are some specific thoughts.

  • It was good, but depressing, to hear the details of what ended the promising career of Pete Reiser.
  • Kahn does a good job of putting those years in baseball into context with historical events happening off of the field.
  • While I love that I got to grow up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, I finished this book hating Walter O’Malley even more than I already did.
  • I was disappointed that Kahn spent the first approximately 300 pages covering the first six years of the Era and about 40 or so pages covering the last four (the Dodgers winning their first World Series and the Bums and Giants leaving New York for California).

It’s a good read and I recommend it, but I also suggest that you check out Bums: an Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers by Peter Golenbock.

It’s Been How Long?

I’ve been reminded this week of just how hard it is to be a Cubs fan. I think that we can all admit that it’s much harder than being a Dodgers fan especially with the clobber the Dodgers gave the Cubs last night (thank you Russell Martin)

My great aunt, who grew up in Chicago, died this week. The Cubs never won a World Series in her lifetime. But wait, there’s more.

My grandmother, who also grew up in Chicago, turned 99-years-old in June. The Cubs haven’t even won a World Series in her life time.

In the meantime, the Dodgers have won six World Series titles (55, 59, 63, 65, 81 and 88). Of course the Blue Jays have won their only two titles since the last time the Dodgers were even in the Series (92 and 93).

Kuroda and Dodgers Go Down

Kuroda taking a line drive to the head last night is just the latest problem for the Dodgers. He’s apparently going to be fine, which is great. The Dodgers, however, have apparently been hit by something, and we’re all suffering as a result.

The team has spent almost the entire season in first place, but you wouldn’t know it from watching them lately. Since the All-Star break they are 13 -16 and in the month of August 5 – 9. Their last three games have ended with losses to teams in their own division.

If they don’t put the breaks on the slide soon they may be heading home for the winter sooner than we all thought just a few short weeks ago.

Unruly Fans and Baseball

The Dodgers had yesterday off, but I wanted to take a moment and write a quick post about what happened to Shane Victorino of the Phillies during a game at Wrigley Field. For those of you who haven’t heard, a Cubs fan threw a beer, cup and all, at Victorino as he was catching a long fly by Jake Fox.

The fan initially escaped as security grabbed the wrong guy, but has since turned himself in. Victorino filed a complaint with the police before the 21-year-old perpetrator finally did the right thing. I’m not using his name because the guy doesn’t deserve any fame for his stupidity.

The Cubs apologized to Victorino on behalf of the entire organization and fans, and Victorino has been really gracious about the whole thing.

These incidents are rare, but they do happen. If the Cubs didn’t sell beer the guy probably would’ve thrown a soft-drink or something else. Security was on the area (but the wrong guy) quickly. There really isn’t anything else that the Cubs organization could’ve done to prevent this from happening.

These rare incidents also aren’t new. Somebody threw a whole chair at Roger Maris when he was in the home run race with Micky Mantle. He thankfully missed.

Whether these losers are throwing cups or furniture or syringes (at Barry Bonds) at players or yelling obscenities at rival fans, they ruin the game for everyone. Grow up people. It’s a game.

A Shout-Out and a Quick Disturbing Fact

My good friends Andy and Nicole are in San Francisco and I’m pretty sure that they caught the game today at AT&T Park. If so, they caught a good one. Tim Lincecum, who is the best pitcher in the National League this season, was starting for the Giants. Jeff Weaver started for the Dodgers.

The game, which I listened to, included the benches clearing (no actual brawl), Giants manager Bruce Bochey and bench coach Ron Wotus were both ejected, the Dodgers tied it on what could have been the last strike of the game, and then Juan Uribe hit a walk-off homer to win the game. It obviously wasn’t the ending that I wanted, but it was still an exciting game to listen to.

Quick note, while I’m confident that our boys will keep it together, make it into the playoffs and go all the way, I thought of something very disturbing. Those individuals for whom this is the first summer that they can legally drink at a Dodgers’ game, they were not yet born the last time the Dodgers went to (and won) the World Series.

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