How Much is Don Mattingly to Blame for “Bad” Chemistry of Past Dodger Teams?

The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, they were led by a manager who was a master motivator of individuals, and of molding them into a unified group, seamlessly working together, to reach a common goal.  Tommy Lasorda used the metaphor of 25 men all pulling together on a rope to symbolize success through teamwork, and he did it from the championship of baseball to a gold medal in the Olympics. .

Today the Dodgers are led by Dave Roberts, who is currently leading his Dodgers squad on a Sherman-like march through the National League, seemingly on the way to baseball’s promised land. Much has been made of this year’s clubhouse culture, it’s cohesiveness, and unselfish approach to winning. Despite a number of players that could be legitimate team MVPs, there are no outward signs of over sized egos or jealousy when someone else shines in the spotlight. Instead, there is a sincere feeling of camaraderie, shared struggle, and unselfishness that underlies this team’s victories.

Word is growing around social media that former Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly, could have and should have cultivated the same philosophy with the squads under his leadership. The rumor is the Dodgers didn’t reach the same level of baseball fellowship because of Mattingly’s faults.

Granted, Don Mattingly is no Tommy Lasorda, whether as a leader of men or as a baseball strategist, but I remember Mattingly did a pretty good job of holding together a team populated with selfish and bloated egos. He also managed to keep a good amount of their drama off the front pages.

Don Mattingly isn’t a very good manager between the lines, but what do you expect when someone is given that challenging position without any managing experience at the lower levels? Mattingly had to learn to manage a marquee team on the fly, and it turned out he wasn’t very good at it.  One thing he did learn from Joe Torre, his managing mentor, was how to deal with clubhouse drama in a mostly calm and quiet way.

Mattingly had to walk a blue minefield of hair-trigger egos, such as overpaid has-been, Carl Crawford, “leave me alone” Zack Grienke, pouty Andre Ethier, and “play me or I’ll throw a tantrum” Matt Kemp. In The Best Team Money Can Buy, author Molly Knight said, “The 2013 Dodgers were less a team than they were twenty-five separate corporations.”  One anonymous team executive was quoted as saying the Dodgers were “more like a collection of fancy baseball cards than an actual team.”

Despite having to juggle 25 individual islands, Don Mattingly was the only franchise manager to lead the Dodgers to three straight playoff appearances. Today we are comparing this year’s Dodgers’ mind-blowing winning streak of 43-7 with Mattingly’s 2013 Dodgers 42-8 streak. The team repeatedly won the National League West under Mattingly, but they were always let down by a manager who never mastered in-game strategy. Unfortunately for Dodger fans, he never showed much aptitude to effectively learn from the experience either.

Dave Roberts is certainly responsible for much of the culture within his clubhouse. But similar to circumstances in our lives, his work environment is also shaped by a number of circumstances beyond his control. Dodgers President Andrew Friedman has been crafting the Dodgers’ team chemistry since 2014, and it’s finally paying dividends.  General Manager Farhan Zaidi adds new ingredients to the Dodgers with one eye fixed on any new player’s personal history and how they will gel – or not – with the Dodgers concept of synergy.

Other circumstances outside Roberts’ control this season: injuries and a lackluster squad that forced the Dodgers to get younger, much faster than they planned. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor weren’t on the opening day roster. They were shoved into the lineup by necessity.

Andre Ethier and his often combative personality were sidelined early, by a spring training broken leg. Yasiel Puig was one year older and wiser, and batting coach Turner Ward found the key to harnessing  Puig’s youthful enthusiasm. Erase one potential malcontent, add a maturing superstar and several players who are grateful just to be in the show, and that makes the job a lot easier for a manager who’s clearly a natural for the position.

Don Mattingly just isn’t a World Series caliber manager. I don’t know if he will ever be. However, it’s an unfair jab to take two completely different sets of circumstances and apply them equally to him. Every manager has to balance player’s egos, the goals of the organization, and his own self-preservation. It isn’t an easy job for any of them, but it sure helps when the boss and fate are on your side.

 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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41 thoughts on “How Much is Don Mattingly to Blame for “Bad” Chemistry of Past Dodger Teams?

  1. I was never a Donnie T-Ball fan, he managed to get less out of a player and a group of players, never more. While Miami isn’t nearly as talented, I think it is easy to see that he manages (or mismanages) in the same way there. I thank the Lord above that Donnie was kicked to the curb.

  2. Mattingly, just like Roberts, got to within two games of the WS. That was despite Kemp breaking his ankle, Hanley being nailed in the ribs, and Puig being shut down by StL pitching.

    2013 I thought we were the better team and lost. Last year, IMHO, the Cubs were the better team.

    Anyone read TBLA? They compare this team to other Dodger powerhouses: 1941, 1953, 1974. Those teams won 100 games but came up short in the WS.

    C’est la vie.

    1. I was about to say something similar Artie. I’m no fan of Mattingly but he did get the team close and was shorthanded at the finish line.

      We are all waiting for the same thing. October. The odds of the Dodgers making the playoffs stand at 100%. The first week of August. Has that ever happened before? We’ve got 51 games to go and we are being assured nobody is going to catch us. It’s fun, but it’s weird. It’s just not supposed to be this easy.

  3. I do lay blame at it the foot of Mattingly. I think he is a poor manager of personalities, a poor in game manager and a poor strategist who can think and plan for the long season and postseason. Roberts did a lot with the talent last year. Baseball players and athletes in general have their egos and the good managers get those egos working together. I don’t think it is easy at all getting our bevy of starters to accept lesser roles before Kershaw went down or to get everyone to accept a day off or a longer DL stint than absolutely necessary – those stints matter in dollar terms to these players, especially guys like Maeda and McCarthy who already has an injury risk tag on them and young enough to keep pitching beyond their current contract.

    I think the book The Best Team Money Can Buy did a disservice to the players and Colleti, by really leaving Mattingot as a helpless sympathetic figure. But it’s good reporting and just shows in retrospect what a tremendous job Honeycutt has done with our pitchers since he’s no longer under the Yankee’s way.

    One more tidbit. I remember one interesting thing that Justin Turner said – I think it was before last season in spring training – that one big difference he noticed with Roberts was that he would nip things in the bud (I remember those were his words) and Mattingly was non-confrontational would tend to let things play themselves out. This is from Turner, who really has no beef with anyone and is very well respected all around.

  4. I agree with a lot of what you say Yueh, and DM was no strategic genius, that’s for sure. He was not one of those to discipline players either. The problems in the clubhouse started before Torre was there. Jeff Kent had a real personality clash with Matt Kemp. That should have been nipped in the bud early. Mattingly tried to manage like Torre did which was like you would an American League team. They all waited for the 3 run blast too much. Mattingly also did not command the respect of his players like Torre did. I think a huge difference between DM and Roberts is that Roberts is constantly talking to his players. He informs them ahead of time when he has some idea of a change he wants to make. Everybody jumped on Kemp when he moved to LF and basically pouted about it, well the thing was he got zero advance warning or even any practice time there. DM just moved him very unceremoniously and never said a word to him. Roberts would have brought Matt into the office and explained the move and then had the coaches work with him out there before just throwing him into a game. He disrespected Kemp, who at the time was still recovering from that terrible crash into the wall and surgery, and that’s what set Kemp off. To his credit, when he moved to RF later in the year, he played well. He may have become a cancer by then, but the seed was planted by DM. I thought his bullpen was not as talented as it should have been, and to make matters worse he had favorites and basically wore those guys out. No wonder they collapsed in the playoffs. He had a better team in 2013 than the next 2 years, and had Hanley not been out, I think the story may have been different. 14 and 15 I think he screwed the pooch with poor field generalship, and lousy team management .

    1. Bullpen. Hanley. If those two things……

      I’m no DM fan. Glad he’s not here anymore. But, bullpen, Hanley……

    2. This is a good post, Michael. Good point about Roberts and his proactive communication skills. It puts the Kemp situation in context. One tends to forget that most men in their early to mid 20s are still a bit immature and ego driven – even professional athletes.

      Roberts is just a good leader.

      1. DodgerPatch said: One tends to forget that most men in their early to mid 20s are still a bit immature and ego driven –

        And some of us poor bastards never outgrow it….

    3. Like YF said, Mattingly had trouble handling different personalities, and he couldn’t handle any kind of conflict!

      Mattingly had much better starting pitching, then Roberts had last year, even before Kershaw went out.

      Mattingly never tried different pitchers in the bullpen, to get the job done, in certain situations, he continued to use the same pitchers, that were not doing their job.

      He was afraid to confront Brian Wilson, and he just never got out to his pitchers, soon enough.

      I remember when Frias made his first start in Colorado, and Mattingly didn’t get out to Frias in the first inning, until Frias had allowed 8 runs.

      Mattingly also never reacted to anything in decent time, like when he continued to have Joc lead off, and when he had Rollins leading off, too.

      Like Michael said, Mattingly didn’t handle Kemp in the right way either.

      Kemp was dealing with not being able to do what he use to do, because of his injury issue, and most athletes have trouble with coming to terms, that they are not the same player.

      And Mattingly of all people, should have understood that, with his back issues.

      And Mattingly continued to play Joc everyday, in Joc’s first season up, when Joc hadn’t done anything decent at bat, since the first month of the season.

      Joc should have probably been sent down to AAA, and maybe Joc would have listened to the advice he was told, that he would have to change, or shorten his swing, to hit in the majors.

      The only reason that Joc was finally sit down, was when the front office traded to get Utley, so Kike could play centerfield.

      Mattingly wanted to work with young players, because he wanted players that looked up to him, and listen to everything he says, but Mattingly is to out of touch, with today’s player’s, and he should have never been given the Job, to manage the Dodgers.

      1. I don’t believe Mattingly was “afraid” of anyone. I have little doubt he didn’t much care for guys like Brian Wilson, Yasiel Puig or Matt Kemp. But he’s hardly alone with that.

        I think it’s pretty clear FAZ decided to find personalities that would be much easier to guide toward the team concept. For that I give them credit.

        1. Badger

          Mattingly was afraid to confront people, because he doesn’t do well, with conflict.

          If he wasn’t afraid to confront Wilson, then why did he continue to pitch him, after his velocity went down, and Wilson was saying he was saving his velocity, for the post season.

          And even if a manager doesn’t like one of his players, that doesn’t mean, he should not communicate with them, that is why he is getting paid.

          After all, the title is manager, so he was suppose to be able to manage his players, and their personalities.

          Roberts is more responsible for the bringing the new culture to the team, then the front office.

          Roberts and his coaches, are around these players, almost everyday, in the season.

          And that gives Roberts a better chance to groom the team, and the players, then the guys in the front office.

        2. I agree Badger, I do not think DM was really afraid of any of his players. To the contrary, I just think he avoided confrontation. The guy has a temper and I have seen him lose it more than once. He lacked good communication skills and that was obvious. DM was more or less grandfathered into the Dodger job. When Joe Torre decided not to return and manage anymore, it was pretty much a given that DM was getting the job. And you have to remember who owned the team at the time. McDumb-ass was getting ready to sell the team and needed continuity and a winner in place. By not changing the culture of the team he was doing that, except, DM was no Joe Torre, who was adored by most of his players, at least when he was in NY.

          1. Ethier stood up to DM, and as a veteran he said what was on his mind. Kemp did not hide his contempt for DM at all. He did after all say what he said after the move, he obviously did not care what Mattingly said. Wilson that first year was very effective, not so much after they resigned him, and DM thinking he had the guy from the year before kept running him out there, same with Brandon League. But the BP was a lot weaker partially because of the way DM overused his favorites.

  5. From MLBTR:
    Andre Ethier, OF, Dodgers — $17.5MM option, $2.5MM buyout: While Ethier could still be ready to return late in the year after failing to suit up to this point, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where the Dodgers take on that salary.

    Logan Forsythe, 2B, Dodgers — $8.5MM option, $1MM buyout: When the Dodgers shipped out Jose De Leon to get Forsythe, the assumption was this contract would stay on the books. That’s no longer clear, as the veteran has posted a tepid .238/.365/.318 slash — somewhat oddly exhibiting a near-doubling of his career walk rate (to 16.0%) combined with a total collapse of power (.079 isolated slugging, three home runs).

      1. My issues with both Joc and Forsythe are not that they aren’t adequate major league players, but simply that we PROBABLY have better player available to us, on the team or in the minors.

        1. I think much will depend on how this team, and those players for whom decisions need to made, finish. If For example Forsythe were to win a post season MVP award the Dodgers just might pick up that option. I think it’s time to let Ethier go, no matter what he might do in September, but what if he he goes Cody on the league the last 30 days of the season? If he were 100% I’d rather have him in the outfield than Toles. But, again, I think he’s gone. And we still have a 36 year old Gonzalez and his $22.3mm. Any ideas about him? Maybe we give him to the Padres for CTBNL. (Cash) We pay whatever he doesn’t earn for them. He needs to put up a 3 WAR to earn his salary. If he doesn’t, at say a reasonable $7mm per WAR point, we absorb the loss. If he’s playing everyday I think he can still put up a 3, but if he doesn’t it costs the Padres much less. They can also include a PTNL that is predicated on production.

          1. Badger

            Toles has not been the problem in the outfield, Joc has been given more chances then most everyone on this team, and he has not hit consistently, after two plus years, unlike Toles, who has hit consistently, since his first at bat, in the majors.

            And apparently Joc has 0 war, in baseball reference

          2. First, I am pretty sure that incentive or performance based compensation is not allowed in the MLB.

            Second, Gonzalez has vested 5&10 rights. Why would he want to go play behind Myers for a bad team in San Diego?

            Wait, is Myers playing first?

            Gonzalez is, given his salary and his 5&10 rights, going to be an albatross for one more year I think.

          3. Bluto, check out Maeda’s contract. If MLB allowed that, why wouldn’t they let two teams work out details of what is to be named later?

            You’re probably right about what AGon would want, but he won’t be playing much here. San Diego, his home town, would welcome him back. Will Myers is a RH Joc without the OBP. He leads the league in strikeouts. The Pads would be wise to unload him while they can.

          4. One is a contract with a team, and one is a trade. Also Maeda’s triggers are only around innings, not to statistical achievements.

            I faintly remember reading that conditions/incentives aren’t allowed in trades (beyond the list for a PTBNL). And that re-enforced by my working knowledge that can’t cite a single one either.

            You are right about Myers, I couldn’t even remember where he played.

          5. Ok, then how about this:

            Dodgers trade AGon to the Padres with some cash for a PTBNL. The teams have up to year to decide who the player is. After a certain period of time, up to a year, the player that is named later and sent to the Dodgers? Adrian Gonzalez.

          6. Love that idea Badger, (I think it’s happened once or twice before in the past a player traded for himself.) But Gonzalez only has a year left, so when would he theoretically revert?

            That said, I can’t see Gonzalez or the Padres agreeing to that.

          7. He goes now or this winter and comes back next Fall. The Padres trade Myers to Oakland for Matt Olsen and bring him up mid to late next year. Oakland uses Myers until the deadline and flips him for 2-3 more prospects. Everyone wins.

            Too clever by half?

            Not a chance, I know. You can say it – “Badger – you’re fired.”

  6. I have no clue what FAZ is going to do this offseason, but I think how they finish and the end result will have a huge impact on the 2018 team. I have believed from the beginning that this was Ethier’s last year on the team. I really felt bad when he went down in spring because if nothing else I wanted to see him have a decent last year with the team. I also think if Toles were healthy, he might be out there instead of Joc. They probably would have either traded him or sent him to the minors if Toles were playing since I do think Andrew would have put up numbers better than Joc has so far. But herein is the problem, Toles is not here, Pederson is. And although he was improving when he came off the DL, his performance lately has been disappointing to say the least. But nothing is going to change this year. If anything a decision on Joc will not come until the offseason. As for Gonzalez, I think he will have a limited role the rest of the year, because with Bellinger’s performance so far they have zero reason to rush him headlong into things. If at all possible, and if his health allows it, I would hope they would find a way to trade him to a team where he could end his career with the same amount of dignity that he has exhibited his whole career. Because in my eyes, and I am sure most Dodger fans eyes, he is no longer needed as the everyday 1st baseman on the team. Bellinger is the present and the future. I think if things continue as they have, they will buy out Forsythe and Ethier. Verdugo will get a look see in September and a serious look in spring. Taylor will shift back to the infield and become the every day 2nd baseman at some point. On days A-Gone plays, Cody shifts to LF and Taylor to 2nd. That probably gives them their strongest starting lineup. The rest will as we say, play itself out.

    1. Michael

      And agree with you, Agone at first, Bellinger in left, and Taylor at second, does give us the best line up, if Agone is able to hit like he did in the second half, last year.

  7. Michael

    What bothers me about Joc, is that he was given centerfielder, from what he did, at AAA.

    But he doesn’t have close to the numbers, he had in AAA.

    And he seems to show up at spring training every year, with no real swing, and it takes him, a few months, before he even gets a swing down.

    And we have players like Turner, Taylor, and Toles, who work hard in the off season, to try to get better.

    And they all had to earn their way on this team, by producing, and producing consistently, to stay in this line up.

    And on a team like the Dodgers, most players wouldn’t even get three months, to prove themselves, and Joc has been given almost three years.

    And Orel has said on more then one occasion, that Joc and Puig didn’t take their at bats seriously, or take other things seriously, until after Corey, and Cody, came up.

    But when both Corey and Cody came up, they took their at bats seriously, and took their work seriously, to get better.

    And they will probably both be superstar players, but they didn’t take anything for granted, like both Joc and Puig.

    And this year, Puig is taking his hitting seriously, and he has been working hard with Turner Ward, and we have all seen the results with Puig!

    But with Joc, we haven’t heard much about him, except the time he went down to AAA, and got help from his former coach, down there.

    And Joc probably needs more help with his hitting, then any other player, on this team.

    Because Joc has had more trouble hitting consistently, then any other player on this team, that starts, and plays, in most of the games.

    It is like Idahoal has often said, just when you think Joc or Puig have got it, they will look lost, in the next month, or even in the next game, or next at bat.

    But Puig has been hitting consistently, now.

    I thought Joc had finally got it, in the middle of July, but he doesn’t seem to stick with what made him successful, before.

    I just think Joc has took some things for granted, but haven’t we all?

    1. MJ, a lot of players are given time to get their sea legs under them and adjust to the major leagues. All of them get jobs based on how well they played in AAA. Seager was a force in AAA, Puig never played in AAA before he was called up, but he was hitting over 400 in AA. Pederson earned his promotion and he played really well the next spring, and the first 1 1/2 months of his first year, he was a force. He regressed the 2nd half, and the first part of his second year the same thing. But he rebounded the 2nd half of 2016 and raised his batting average over 40 points from its low point. This spring Joc hit well, hit a grand slam on opening day and then it was down hill after that. He went on the DL, did his rehab and when he came back his power had returned and he was hitting well over .300 for quite a while. And as Roberts had said no one is going to lose his starting job because of an injury, so Joc got his job back and he kept it because of the improvement he made. Remember, he was down about .200 and his average got up to a little over .240. Now he has regressed again and is more or less in a platoon position. He is not going to be playing very much against left handed pitching. But never think that his opportunities were not earned. He gets playing time for the same reason that Taylor does, he has potential, whether he ever becomes what he was in AAA is still up in the air. But for now, he is on the team and against RHP he is the starting CF. I doubt Joc has taken anything for granted especially when Dave Roberts announced when he was on the DL that Joc would have to prove he was able to adjust and be productive. He did exactly that when he came off the DL. When I saw him hit in NY over the weekend, I noticed he had changed his stance again. So obviously he and Turner Ward are still working on things. Assuming he takes things for granted when you do not know him or the situation in the clubhouse or on the field just jades ones perspective. You might feel he has had more than enough opportunities, but who are you going to put in CF every day? The obvious option, Taylor, is playing LF. Kike cannot hit RHP, Toles is out, Eibner a natural CF at AAA is out for the year. Ethier if healthy could handle LF. So Joc, for the time being is there by default. Verdugo is not on the 40 man right now and is not an option, but you can bet there will be adjustments between now and October. But plugging a pure rookie like Verdugo at this point is not an option. What I do believe is that when A-Gone is actually ready he will get some time at first, Bellinger will get some OF time and this manager will mix and match as he see’s fit. It has worked so far and I doubt they make any major adjustments until next year. As for Joc needing more help with his hitting, I would think that Kike and Forsythe would benefit from better approaches too. Kike still over swings a lot, and Forsythe takes way too many pitches. Joc is not the only one. Puig for a long time thought his pure talent would get him by. He found out different and it shows.

      1. Michael

        Both Joc and Puig didn’t hit well in spring this year.

        They hit some HRs, but all of their numbers, were bad at the end of spring.

        Joc had as many at bats, in April and May, that he had in June and July.

        And Joc barely hit over 200 in April and under 200 in May, and his OPS in both those months, was under 300.

        He hit well for half of June, and the first part of July, then the middle of July, his numbers started coming down, and he has not gotten one hit in August yet.

        So at this point Joc has done well in for just over a month, because he missed the first half of June.

        In his first year, he only hit well, in the first month of the season, and although he did hit HRs, in that first half, his other numbers after the first month of April, were not good.

        And in the second half of his first year, he was terrible.

        He did hit well in 8 games in July last year, because he was on the DL for most of July last year.

        But he didn’t hit well in August, most of his good numbers, came in September and October, and Joc had more at bats, in August, then September and October combined.

        Kike never gets consistent at bats, so it is hard to keep your average up, playing part time, but Kike and Joc’s power numbers, are really close.

        And I agree about Forsythe.

  8. I also think that believing Joc takes things for granted might be inspired by the fact that he as a person is pretty laid back. Things came easy for him until now, and for some, that is a little hard to handle, especially since he is so laid back. Now he has to work to get to where he once was. To some, that is very hard to do. He will probably benefit at some point in a change of scenery. His potential will make him attractive to another team no matter how little some Dodger fans think of his abilities. He would not be the first Dodger to be moved and then thrive on another team.

    1. Michael

      That perspective about Joc, comes straight from Orel, not me!

      And Orel has said that, more then a few times!

      And Corey and Cody are much more talented then Joc, and they don’t take anything for granted.

      1. MJ, Orel was a pitcher as we all know, and he made a lot out of the ability he had, but he had to be pushed by the master motivator, Tommy Lasorda. Joc has never really had that kind of a manager until now. I know what Orel says, but he does not really know what is going on with Joc. Kike would get more at bats if he showed anything against RH pitching. Orel works for the media now, even though he is paid by the team. I know what Joc did, but what you and Orel seem to pass over is Joc’s POTENTIAL. That is why he is where he is. The front office and Roberts for the most part believe in that potential. That is why he is playing. I know the numbers, but it matters not what you or I think, it matters what the team thinks, and in their minds, Joc has more potential to do damage than Kike does. Kike walks into one once in a while and hits a homer, he also is good at hitting in the gaps and gets a lot of doubles. But he, like Joc has weakness’s. And his playing time is based on the fact that he has not improved on those shortcomings. Neither has Joc, so they play when they have the most chances of success. Joc Pederson had excellent numbers at AAA, so saying Cody and Corey are much more talented than Joc is not really true. They have capitalized on their ability’s and made adjustments. Joc has not, but this is a kid who hit 26, then 25 home runs in his first two full seasons. Kike does not have that kind of power. Joc will in all probability never be the kind of player that Cory and Cody are. But thinking because he has had slumps and ups and downs that he will never be very serviceable as a player and that he will never make the adjustment is to think that the game is easy. It is not, if it was, we all could be playing. To even get to the level he is playing at takes talent and he has that talent. But not you or I or even Orel knows the kids mindset unless you walk up to him and talk to him personally. So assuming what he is thinking is wrong. Assuming that Orel knows what he is thinking and feeling is also wrong. Only Joc knows how he feels or if he is taking his spot on this team for granted. If he finishes with an average close to .250, which is still possible, and close to 20 homers I am sure the FO will be very happy. The league is adjusting to Bellinger, and soon we will see how he does the longer he is successful. I think he is smart enough to adjust. I have seen a lot of kids who had great success not be able to sustain it. As for Kike, his versatility is probably the biggest thing that holds him back from being a regular. Maybe on another team he would be, but he is no more than a reserve on this team simply because his versatility and his potential say he is. He is no where near the power hitter Joc could be and at this point is not even hitting in the same neighborhood average wise. Things will change at some point, but not now. Oh and by the way, perspective is not reality and an announcer should know better than to speculate how or what a player is feeling or dealing with. Orel is a wind bag anyway. His constant droning takes away from the game and I find his analysis boring and pointless a lot of the time.

        1. Joc put up 3.4 WAR last year, 2.3 the year before. He’s not going to do that this year unless he goes ape the last 50 games. He’s already got 6.9 career oWAR and he hasn’t been paid $2 million yet. He’s not arb eligible until next year and not a free agent until ’21. Now is a great time to have team controlled players like the ones we have for the simple reason they are extremely cost effective and they make up for those guys on our inflated payroll NOT earning what we pay them. The Dodgers obviously can afford it but no team wants dead and dying contracts on payroll. Joc will be valuable to this team for three more years for the very uncomplicated reason he has enormous potential AND HE COMES CHEAP!

          I agree about Orel. Every now and then he comes up with something informed and even prescient, but he’s mostly just not that interesting to listen to. Davis is growing on me. I actually like Brenly unless the dbacks play the Dodgers. He’s funny, he’s clever and he knows a lot about baseball. He becomes an insufferable homer when he calls games against the Dodgers.

          1. I told you guys that I was worried about the HRs that our relievers have been giving up.

            Puig, thanks for your nice catch!

            Joc actually hit the ball hard finally too.

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