Spirit of 88

untitled  Normally, this is around the time Dodgers fans start to wonder if this will be the Dodgers’ year. As most of us know this is the fourth straight season the Dodgers are in the playoffs. Around the city, there is a noticeable lack of buzz. Expectations seem low especially after losing 5 of 6 to end the season.

The Dodgers were beset by injuries like no other team this season. The Dodgers aren’t supposed to be in this position, similar to how the Hershiser-led 1988 edition of the team wasn’t supposed to win the franchise’s sixth championship.

Remember Vin Scully’s famous call when Kirk Gibson blasted the most dramatic home run in baseball history in the opening game of the World Series that year? “In the year of the improbable …”

What would be more improbable than the Dodgers winning the World Series this season? They have a rookie manager in Dave Roberts. Clayton Kershaw remains at less than full strength. The club can’t seem to hit any lefty that throws at them.

The Dodgers don’t look like a World Series team. But Hershiser’s Dodgers didn’t, either. I remember the Mighty Mets owned the Dodgers during the regular season that season in 88. The Dodgers took out the Mets in 7. They also had to contend with the “Bash Brothers” on the Oakland A’s in the World Series.

charley-steiner-espn-1988-nlcs

The Dodgers were 14-2 when Kershaw started and 29-35 in other games prior to him going down. So when Kershaw went down so did everyone’s hopes for the season. But then a funny thing happened. The team got really hot and the Giants bullpen imploded.

Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal, and Howie Kendricks bats awakened and led to an offensive surge. With contributions from rookie starters Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart and Jose De Leon, the Dodgers surged past the Giants. In the process, they gained an identity of being a gritty bunch.

 

I still can’t believe the Dodgers didn’t fight for home field in the NLDS or to try and knock the Giants out of the postseason all together. I still haven’t heard an explanation why they just laid down like dogs. I hope it doesn’t come back to bite them.

But I guess onward we go as the Dodgers will open in Washington on friday. The way the Dodgers will prove successful in this postseason is to be the same gritty bunch they were when Kershaw went down. This year’s team to me has more grit then the previous Dodgers teams the past three seasons.

They will need solid pitching from the starters and the bullpen. They have to continue to be good defensively. The major issue for will be hitting with runners in scoring position.

I feel they need to use the element of surprise. Put things in motion and don’t just be a station to station team. Nobody believed in the 88 Dodgers. I feel this team has that same grit to surprise this postseason and hopefully bring home a winner.

1988-nlcs-game-4-dodgers-lineup

 

James Moya

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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84 thoughts on “Spirit of 88

  1. Everyone knows who they would like to see win the NL Pennant. Who would you like (or pulling for) to win the AL pennant and why?

      1. The Indians lost at least two of there starting pitchers, that would have pitched in the post season, and maybe one more.

  2. James,

    I agree. If they would have won just 1 of those games over the weekend the Giants would have had to travel to St. Louis to play the Cardinals Monday night. 50/50 game. IF they would have won then play the Mets in NY. 50/50 game. I say they would not have won both of those games. Oh well. The only good thing is that if they beat the Mets than they will get the Cubbies and one of those 2 teams will be done.

      1. Yes, they did but potentially gave life to the Giants. Hmmmmm. So if it’s Cubs vs. Giants? Sure most will be pulling for the Cubs but it would be nice to see them knocked out. Whereas if it was Mets or Cards vs. Cubs I’m thinking most Dodger fans would be rooting for Mets or Cards.

  3. There was an article in Ringer, about the Dodgers.

    The title is The Dodgers only have one weakness.

    What do you guys think about the analysis, in Ringer?

      1. LaRussa was basically demoted, though he may leave on his own. Stewart and Hale were fired and it had nothing to do with Greinke. It was Lopez, Swanson and those new uniforms that did him in.

        I’ve seen a lot of them and I still think the dbacks are not that far off.

        1. Badger
          I think it is more that trade, and Miller not being able to pitch like he had.

          The Dbacks shouldn’t have messed with Miller, during the season.

          They should have left Miller alone.

    1. Greinke and MILLER? That would be me and at least about 10 million baseball fans outside of Arizona.

      Sometimes fans are right vs they”professionals”.

  4. No Kike or JP on playoff roster.

    Culberson and Barnes are the two utility players that made the roster.

    Fields, Dayton, Avilan, Baez, Blanton, Kenley, Stripling, Urias.

    I think that is all for pen, and we already know everyone else.

  5. The Shelby Miller deal was dumb but you could argue that they didn’t get enough time especially if it was the owner that pushed Stewart to make the Greinke deal. Pollack going down was big.

  6. Playoff roster is announced. Culberson, Barnes, and Avilan in. 14 players, 11pitchers. Kike, Wood, Howell out.

      1. Hawkeye
        I already know you know this, but Kike should have spent at least a month or more in AAA, after he came back from the DL.

        He hasn’t hit at all this year, except that first game against Bumgarner early in the season.

  7. I like our playoff roster. And I called Ethier being on the playoff roster a few weeks ago. He’s going to be our Mike Davis this year!

  8. Disregarding match ups, I would have preferred Wood over Fields.

    Looks like Joc will hit against lefties. I like that.

    For Kike’–wait til next year.

    If Toles’ wrist doesn’t get back to 100%, he might not stay on the playoff roster.

    1. Toles wrist isn’t that bad, he is already on the post season roster.

      And actually Joc fell on that same shoulder, in that last game.

      He has had pain from it, but he thinks it went away.

      They have an article in Dodger Insider, where Friedman and Roberts, explained why they picked this line up.

  9. I would prefer Wood, but overall roster looks good…Play Ball!!!
    A lil change of pace… Read something yesterday that made me throw up a lil in the back of my throat… In a couple weeks I’ll make my annual trek back to Camelback for AFL baseball… A lot of great young players and some fringe, but a great deal for fans… NY Mets have decided to ship Tim Tebow to participate after what, a couple weeks in instructional lg.??? I’m sure there were a few young Met players who wanted/deserved that spot…
    Big business, don’t you just love it…
    Off to get my epidural… Relief in sight..

  10. There were a few surprises on the roster. I did not think Barnes would make it over Kike, but he gives flexibility at C. I thought Woods would get it, but I have no quarrel. I don’t believe in second guessing. Second guessing is just a cheap shot.

  11. When everyone writes, or discuss the Dodgers bad stats against lefties, those bad stats, are not really the regular team’s stats, against lefties.

    Those are stats of the platoon team, of part time players, and Agone, Turner, and Corey, against lefties.

    I wish they would have played the regular team sooner against lefties, so they could have had more at bats against lefties, and see if they could get better, against lefties, earlier in the season.

    In that article I listed in Ringer, it showed that Agone, Turner, and Utley, have had better stats against lefties in the recent past.

    And in that article, they don’t see these bad stats against lefties, continuing.

    But the it has to be harder to hit, in a line up, that has so many part time players, in it.

  12. Not many quibbles on the roster. Wood rather than Barnes. The pitchers are always a crap shoot so his selections are probably as good as any I would choose or draw by lottery. Except the fore mentioned Wood.

  13. The Dodgers are taking several non-roster players with them to DC as a “Taxi Squad”. Do you know where that name came from? Back in the early days of the NFL Paul Brown was the coach (and owner???) of the Cleveland Browns and he gave some “spare” football players jobs with his taxi company to keep them handy for use on the team in case of injury or whatever.

    1. Good story. But ‘cept I think it was Arthur McBride. Same guy Dylan wrote about:

      And the little wee drummer, we flattened his bow
      And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow
      Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll
      And bade it a tedious returning

      Oh me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
      As we went walkin down by the seaside
      There’s nothing in Cleaveland, a boring dirt town
      So my cousin Arthur called them the Browns….

      Ok, that last part I made up.

      Some Midwestern yahoo yesterday said the Indians should win because the city could use it. Hey, they have LeBron. F Cleveland.

      Did you see LeBron is backing Hillary and the mortgage lender billionaire Trump supporter Dan Gilbert ain’t too happy about it. Maybe LeBron should take his talents to another beach city.

        1. Thank you MJ. I believe words matter.

          Regarding your 8:01 post. I’ve read a lot in local papers and dback fan blogs regarding Miller, d Greinke and the dbacks in genera. Most fans were bumfuzzled about how much was given up for Miller, but also most were on board with a young stud 200 inning 3.0 starter to insert behind the LHer Patrick Corbin. The lineup, with Pollack in it, looked terrific. It fell apart. Stuff happens. If everyone comes back healthy, that team is a contender.

          1. Badger
            The Dbacks owners, hasn’t had much patience, with any of the people they have put in there front office.

    2. Wondering

      Good back story!

      I like to watch the history channel, when they have that show on how these words and saying to root.

  14. Wow! This high powered analytics administration went “old school”; a ten man pitching staff!

    So Ruiz, Barnes, or Culberson pinch hits for Joc vs a lefty. I guess Toles would then play CF.

  15. That guy on High Heat said the Dodgers will regret signing Roberts, because he won’t make the right moves in the post season.

    And he brought that up, when they were talking about the Orioles managers bad move last night.

    And this was a move done by a veteran manager, not a rookie manager, so it wasn’t really a good comparasion.

    He must be hoping that will happen to the Dodgers, because he is a Giant lover.

    1. As was pointed out in that article yesterday, nothing in the playoffs is predictable. Bourn makes that routine catch on a lazy fly with an 83.6 exit velocity, a launch angle of 33 degrees and going a projected 282 feet, Baltimore wins. It should be noted that of the 262 batted balls with an 84 mph exit velocity and a launch angle between 31 and 35 degrees only 2 dropped for hits. (That’s for Michael as I know how he loves all the saber twaddle)

      Toronto the first team to get lucky. Who’s next?

    2. I enjoy his show. He picked the Giants to lose tonight. His take was that every move in the post season is scrutinized and rookies usually make a mistake and Showalter made a rookie mistake.

      Listening to him kill Showslter was hilarious.

      1. Hawkeye
        I am sure you know he is a Giant lover.

        But he always says the opposite when it comes to his Giants, in order to ignite the team.

        And he always has his side kick, reassuring him, that the Giants will do well, or like today, tell him the Giants will win this game tonight.

        He always uses that reverse psychology on the Giants.

        I understood his point, but he said that the Dodgers made a mistake by hiring a young manager, and paying less.

        But like he ranted, even a so called great veteran manager, can make a big mistake.

        So that is a counter diction to what he said, about Roberts.

        And all of those baseball people on the MLB
        channel, are always saying the Orioles manager, is one of the best managers in all of baseball.

        1. I know. Some of his earlier rants about Puig this year were off base to me. Not really focusing on the real issues with Puig. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to baseball history. Don’t always agree with him, but I find the show entertaining and funny at times.

          1. Hawkeye
            I enjoy his show too.

            I was disapointed when he said nothing about that game, that our team hit all of those HRs off Greinke in.

            Yes he knows baseball history he majored in history in college.

  16. The Diamondbacks lost Pollack. So what. Every team lose some players. We lost Ethier and 4/5 of our starters. Yet we won. We had depth. FAZ accumulated depth and some of the other GM’s got fired.

    1. Not parallel al. The dbacks can’t keep throwing money at the problem the way the Dodgers do. They get hurt, they’re screwed. And they didn’t just lose Pollock. Peralta, Owings, Miller, Ahmed, DeLa Rosa – and more.

  17. They spent all of their money on Grienke, which was stupid. Maybe if they had not spent that money on Grienke, they would of had some money to add some depth. Then they traded away two very two very good players for Miller. Some really bad decisions. That is why they are looking for a job.

    1. Stupid? We offered Greinke very much the same amount. We did at the same time we offered McCarthy/Anderson close to $30 million. The difference is we’re stupid rich. They aren’t.

      1. Stupid rich?

        Is that how the bullpen was constructed? Is that why the team ended up passing on Iwakuma? Cueto? How Kemp was unloaded?

        I’d say the Diamondbacks are stupid. The Dodgers smart and rich.

  18. Miller was not necessary and a bad trade for them. Wen you are in the middle of a major bid, and win, you often get carried away and then try to swing from your heels again. I’ve seen it many many times. I often tell my clients that once they do a big deal, do a few little ones after that, don’t do big deals back to back – you usually get killed on the second one because your judgment is being clouded by the euphoria from the first deal. Makes you take more risks that others can see plainly.

    1. Not many are saying it wasn’t necessarily a bad trade for them. I’m inclined to agree. Miller is 25, and last year as a 24 year old he put up 3.6 WAR. Plug that in behind Greinke, for arb money, and it could be very cost effective 200 innings for the dbacks. He got hurt. Stuff happens. But unlike our hurt starters, Miller is young. All those good young hitters with another year of experience, that team could still be good in a hurry.

      1. “Not many are saying it wasn’t necessarily” that’s a general and conditional opening to a statement.

        For a reminder, Miller was sent to the minors this year!

        Yes, the hurt Dodgers starters are old, but the healthy ones are young. Who really cares about McCarthy or Kazmir if their role is depth or back-end starters? Hell, when they are healthy they are good front-end starters!

        The Dodgers have good young starters, and depth in injured older ones.

        That, to me, is a great recipe. It’s also what led the team to first place.

        And the team has the top Farm Systm in the nation. (Or did last off-season. Should still be top 10 at worst…)

  19. Can you believe it another nobody wins this game for the Giants.

    And that umpire in tonights game, was bad.

    He wouldn’t call a low strike, but he gave Bumgarner a high strike all night.

  20. I heard on the pregame show for this game, that Bumgarner has never given up a hit, with runners in scoring position in post season play.

    Can you imagine if Kershaw could do the same thing?

      1. He won’t.

        The Dodgers do have a few good young starters, but none of them are ready to go deep. This is a 5-6 inning starting staff. Kershaw is the one guy who can go 7. I don’t see those patterns changing because it’s the playoffs. This starting staff was at the bottom of the league in innings pitched. There is a very good reason for that.

        1. I think that’s the plan. It has been all year. It’s what the Devil Rays have started to do. Go five or six and have a variety of different pitchers finish the game.

          It’s an interesting idea and has worked well here.

        1. Its the playoffs. There is no way to predict winners from here on out.

          That said, I predict Chicago will hand them their ass.

          I’m not making a prediction in our series. I like our chances. Kershaw Scherzer – still 52% Dodgers. But Vegas has the series 54.7% Nationals.

  21. Here’s the thing about signing Greinke. They don’t draw enough fans to afford him. A few years back Arizona was in first and the Dodgers were catching them. It was first vs second and they averaged 23,000 a game for the set and you know there were plenty of Dodgers fans in the crowd. If they don’t win next year and they’re drawing around 20,000 a game tops they will have to ship him off. He will never see the end of that deal in AZ. Miller caved under the pressure of that trade.

    Badger is right that they can win a lot more games next year, but they can’t afford the injuries that the Dodgers can afford to handle. Goldschmidt has to hit 35 dingers for them to contend too. He has to be great not only very good and he had a real slow start for him last year. I don’t see them going to the playoffs next year, but they will be better, but could still finish fourth They have to be better, but it’s going to be a much tougher division next year. Colorado will be better too. They finally seem to have some young pitching to build on.

    Anyways, Arizona seems to get in trouble everytime they hand out these big contracts with deferments. When things don’t go their way they wind up blowing up the team.

      1. That too. They say they’re committed to making him a lifer but if they aren’t winning and drawing more people good luck with that.

        1. You’re right about that. I don’t know why they don’t draw, as the team when playing well is a fun group to watch. Without the resources, they can’t cover the injuries. Stupid rich, smart rich, whatever, the Dodgers and their tv deal plus 3.7 mil draw every year can keep taking risks and throwing money at the problem. The dbacks when hurt are toast. A lot of teams fall into that category. It’s good to be rich.

          1. You were wondering why the DiamondBacks don’t draw more fans… I’m am astonished that any team draws as well as they do. I cannot see why anyone would want to go to a live game: truly outrageous ticket prices, not to mention parking fees and mind boggling food prices and having to fight the crowd before, during, and after the game. Even Ray Charles could see how more infinitely pleasant it is to watch it in the comfort of your own home with better food and drink of your own choosing and more pleasing and well behaved company of your own choosing. I lived in SoCal but the last game I went to was in 1976. I literally wouldn’t go to a game unless they paid me and paid me well. The teams should sell TV oasses. I would pay $100 to be able to watch every game on TV. And I’m cheap and not much interested in watching every game. If they made TV passes available to every body no matter where they lived, thousands of them would be glad to pay $3 a game ($500 a year), far more than now buy season tickets. Eventually, 50 or a hundred years from now it will be that way…

          2. I used to love taking in the entire experience, including watching infield and batting practices. I only go once a year now, twice if you count ST. I get discounted tickets for being a veteran so box seats cost me about $37 each at Chase. Parking there is easy, getting in and out is a breeze (compared to LA) and I still say this young team in Arizona is worth watching. But, that said, fans here may get enough baseball during the Spring. And a lot of people down there are not from down there. Every time I go the stands are loaded with fans from visiting teams. When the Dodgers are here I think there is more blue in that park than Sedona Red. It’s odd. But, it is what it is. If the dbacks start winning, they might draw a few more, but they will never draw 3 million, and the new tv rights? 20 years, $1.5 billion, about $80 million per season. That should help, but I don’t believe this team will ever get payroll close to luxury tax levels. Like many teams competing with the larger market teams, they have to be smart and the stars have to remain healthy.

  22. And that being said, I’d love for the Dodgers to trade Agon for Goldie, maybe throw in some other players and take that awful Greinke contract from them as well…

    1. Goldschmidt is a 7-8 WAR player still in his prime. You want to trade for him? Seager and Urias. All trades with the Dodgers begin with Seager and Urias.

        1. I get it. Good thought. They might would give away Greinke. Greinke might earn his money for 3-4 more years. I doubt they deal with us. And they won’t part with Goldy.

          1. But will Goldy depart from them? When he reaches free agency he may prefer to play for a contender, which the Snakes might never be again.

          2. Remains to be seen. He’s a quiet guy. I’ve heard nothing suggesting he isn’t happy. They extended him early, and he was thrilled about it. He’s a humble guy, I expect him to stay after ’19, but who knows.

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