Justified!

Dodgers Clinch

If we go back to Spring Training and then through April to mid-September, most comments were that the Dodgers would not win enough games this year.  Except for Kershaw, nearly every pitcher on this staff has been much maligned.  Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson were maligned because they were injured.  Kazmir was maligned because of course he was, as was Maeda for “potential injury issues.” But, when the Dodger signed Joe Blanton, you could hear the wailing all the way to Sacramento.

Then when FAZ signed Louis Coleman, Josh Fields and Josh Ravin, they were accused of “<i>shopping at Dollar General</i>.”  According to popular opinion, FAZ called up Julio Urias “too soon” and Jose De Leon “too late”.  Lately, fans have given to denigrating Ross Stripling.  Oh, I almost forgot, fans treated Alex Wood like he had leprosy, and of course when they traded Chris Reed for Grant Dayton it was ”just to get rid of Ned’s guys”.

It seems to me that FAZ can’t do anything right in the eyes of the fans… except win! Even that is not enough to stifle the complaining.  All of the above-mentioned pitchers were instrumental in helping the 2016 version of the Dodgers become 4th in MLB in pitching and the bullpen is currently .01 point behind Baltimore for the #1 spot in all of baseball.  Not too bad for all of the horrible pitchers they signed.

We should all be glad that most of what was written was pure, unadulterated fiction!  I still have difficulty understanding why nearly everything Andrew Freidman does is so reviled.  It seems irrational and ugly to me.  The guy is actually pretty cool and down to earth.  According to most fans here, the Dodgers should not even be in the playoffs.  Everyone took the “under” on 92 wins (and “technically” they may be right).  So, since the Dodgers were supposed to be so inept, why the hell not sit back and enjoy it?

I suggest you enjoy the ride.  You might like it.  Of course, the playoffs are a different animal and I won’t predict what will happen, but I like the Dodgers chances.  The home field advantage over Washington is no big deal and the Dodgers were not going to get the home field advantage over the Cubs… so why try?

So, according to many, the Dodgers are playing on house money.  If you listen to most people, they should not be here – shades of 1988 it seems to me.  Some LA fans still ridicule the Dodgers, but not baseball insiders.  The opinions of Friedman among baseball professionals runs from “they are really doing good things” to “man, other teams are in trouble.”

The Dodgers started their regulars Saturday and lost 3-0.  OMG, the sky is falling!  Look, there’s nothing to play for.  Knocking the Giants out?  It means nothing.  The season is over.  Home field advantage?  Unless, they can leapfrog the Cubs, it means nothing!  They might wake up today in their final tune-up for the playoffs, but there’s not a lot to play for right now and I don’t believe it means a dad-gummed thing.

Maeda will start on 5 days rest again and hopefully he will get his 17th win.  That would be cool.  However, it seems that everyone fixates of what FAZ has done different than their own world-view.  Listen up:  baseball is in a huge transition to sabermetric analysis.  It’s not the end-all-be-all and if you have read anything I wrote for the past 15 years, you will know that I am not enamored with people who only use statistical analysis.  However, it’s just as stupid not to use it as it is to use it as a “sole predictor” of potential.

Get used to it.  All teams are using sabermetrics – some more successfully than others.  Ned Colletti was slow to embrace it, which he why he is a commentator now.  Sabermetrics are part of the new paradigm and aren’t going away anytime soon… nor should they.

By the way, all season long, I listened to stuff like this:

“Polish this turd all you want, if you could not SEE this offensive implosion coming from 2015, you were not paying attention.

I can’t stand this team anymore, this is NOT Dodger baseball, this is a robotic Friedman machine that has become the farthest thing from a Dodger club I have ever witnessed.

Also, I watched as many posted comments from Dodger Therapy all year long (repeatedly) about how horrid the front office was.  Have you noticed that the head ignoramus at Dodger Therapy has not posted since September 1, 2016…like the ones who left this board because they couldn’t stand the truth?

If I had been wrong in my defense of FAZ many would have rubbed my face in it BIG TIME, so it’s not like I am going to fail to mention it.  ALL SEASON many ridiculed what I wrote and now that they were wrong, they somehow want me to ignore it?  FAT CHANCE! Someone said I just use it to get attention.  I’m sorry to say this but I don’t need your attention… or approval for that matter.  I write what I believe is the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

There are lots of things that can go wrong over the course of a season and the Dodgers had just about everything go wrong, but here we are:  on the verge of history.  However, some simply can’t enjoy it.  I hope that you can learn to enjoy it like I have all year.  This might be really fun.

Mark Timmons

Mark is the founder of LA Dodger Talk which ran for nearly 15 years. He has been a Dodger fan for over 50 years and was the first blogger to sit in the Dodger Stadium Pressbox.

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13 thoughts on “Justified!

  1. Very disappointed with the game yesterday. For me, it was a playoff game, and the team didn’t show up. I can’t believe it didn’t care if it knocked the giants out of the playoffs. If that is true, this team has no chance in the playoffs. There should have been the will to win yesterday with the ace on the mound, and still a big, fat egg. This will now be Robert’s biggest challenge to date: to get these guys on the same page with that hunger to go all the way. It wasn’t there yesterday, and it should have been. If he cannot, he will be remembered as Mattingly’s successor, only. That’s it. On the reverse side of the coin, if the giants end up winning it all, I will point to THIS series as what started it. How can we let those idiots off so easily? If we lose today, it will be downright shameful. I can’t stand the thought of the giants being in/winning another championship. Shameful that we let them do it.

  2. I want a win today, only to go out on a good note. If SF gets in, great, then we can finally get our dream NLCS matchup, which would give most of us heart attacks and raise the prices for blood pressure medicine.

    As for the content of this article: most of us really don’t care who’s right and who’s wrong on this board. We don’t care to rub it in anyone’s faces. We are happy if we win, and sad/mad if we lose. This isn’t anyone vs anyone else. If someone really needs to make this about themselves only, then wow.

    For me, this Dodger division title feels great; feels a bit different. Feels like maybe we have the “mental stamina” to handle adversity and win this time. I didn’t quite feel that the last year or 2. I expected us to win on pure talent the last couple years. Everyone on this board has been right and been wrong. If somebody wants to go find “evidence” of such comments, go ahead and waste your time. I believe I predicted 92 wins or so and a close division title over SF. I didn’t think we’d win the division by 6 games! I hope Scott has those predictions saved. I know we discussed it back in March or April that itd be fun to bring those predictions back come October.

    I use this board to discuss the Dodgers, good and bad. Anyone on here who gets their feelings hurt and leaves, or threatens to leave, and comes back, or who needs to talk about himself over and over needs mental help. It’s a damn message board

  3. For me, it’s about the truth and several others have spoke it too. I’m just the messenger. The message should be clear by now.

    I agree about the mental stamina – but let me say something: If you have ever played any competitive sports and worked hard for a long time, over a long grind and you are lucky enough to win, you know there is often a big let down after you win it. The Dodgers won it a week ago and Dave Roberts knows how players experience a natural letdown. The best thing he could do as a manager is just “let it be.”

    I think today is the day he gives the team that “TALK” and gets them fired up for the playoffs. You don’t want to do it too soon. Let them re-group and get that edge back. I think DOC knows exactly what he is doing. I think they will be ready for the playoffs and probably today as well.

  4. Ethier makes the post season roster. As does Reddick.

    So does that mean no Kike? Or does it mean 1 less pitcher, which would make sense as you don’t need to keep a 5th starter on the roster on the roster anyway?

  5. We are allowed to discuss what has taken place this week, right? We can have a difference of opinion on how this week was handled, correct? You have to be blind to see that a rotation of Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore, and Samardzia are much more dangerous in the playoffs than what the Mets are Cardinals have too offer. Maybe that’s a good thing because we play the Nationals, and maybe it doesn’t matter at all because they won’t be around after the Cubs get a hold of them, but the young Cubs have little history of winning big games that matter. In fact, the history of the Cubs is one of chokers. I for one am tired of the even year shit even so much that I would prefer to see the Cardinals in the tournament.

    Yesterday was the first day of what appeared to be a real effort and they were shut out by another lefty with a pulse. That is concerning to me. I think playing an entire week like it is spring training is stupid. I get it if Gonzalez is hurt or sick, but bringing in a bum with the yips on Friday night was shameful. The game should have a little more integrity than that. McCarthy isn’t maligned because he was injured. He was maligned because he was never that good. I hope he proves me wrong next year, but he better be 20 games over .500 the next two years to even say that contract was justified. All GM’s make mistakes, it happens. Just because I didn’t like the McCarthy deal doesn’t mean I think our front office is terrible. It’s not one or the other all the time.

    We can all criticize how this week was handled without it being an indictment on FAZ or Roberts. It’s just a discussion about what we have all watched on Tuesday-Sunday this week. As Mark likes to say, I hope we don’t rue the day that the let the Giants in the playoffs or gave up home field advantage. I loathe letting the Vagiants in the playoffs, but if they make it at least the Cardinals are sitting at home.

      1. And I’m in a foul mood. The Hawkeyes suck, the Colts suck, the Lakers will in all likelihood suck so I want a little more than I’ve gotten from the Dodgers this week.

  6. I really am starting to lean towards the opinion the Dodgers play yesterday was serving possum. I think they intended to seem less and be much more. The previous couple seasons Dodgers weren’t winning games played vs winning clubs. They didn’t fair nearly as well rallying in later inning like this season. An earlier season road trip neither Nats or Cubs gave Dodgers trouble. And the club stepping up during Kershaw’s absence. But Dodgers haven’t been so lackadaisical where it’s really counted.

  7. I can tell you for sure why the Dodgers are likely to lose today and why they lost 5 days ago: FAZ told Roberts to pitch Maeda. They did it because it gets him to his bonuses and the Dodgers want Free Agents to know the FO respects them and doesn’t want to screw them.

    Maeda simply is generally not effective on 5 days rest which means he should be excellent in game 3!

    I was hoping to see Vin sent out with a win….

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