Like it or not, I’m back (at least for a day)! For the record, I may or may not re-start LA Dodger Talk.com. Also, for the record, I have absolutely no problem with anyone disagreeing with me. Just back it up. I was going to explain this to you, but Dodgerpatch already said it best:
Mark gets impatient with repetitive foolishness, as do I. You don’t hesitate to repeat endlessly the canard that the FO are incompetent “fried brains,” or your everlasting reminders that you don’t like Grandal in spite of the objective data that shows him to be the 6th best catcher in baseball. You and others complain and whine and criticize and use salty pejoratives to leaven your criticism, and what Mark does is just take exactly what you dish out and shove it right back in your faces. You don’t like it. You don’t agree with it. Your ego can’t and won’t brook conflicting arguments and evidence, so you label Mark as the problem.
Well said, Patch. I couldn’t have said it better myself. People who work for me disagree with me every day – all I ask is that when they do, that they support it with a cogent argument. I am persuaded to change my mind many times because of that. I value dissonance! I was wrong about Urias being able to cut it this year (although my opinion of him has not changed). I’m wrong just like everyone else is. As usual, Badger is 180 degrees off on my ego and people disagreeing with me. Yes, I am frequently wrong, but he has his ego mixed up with mine. Silly, unsupported, fiction doesn’t cut it. Back it up! I may still disagree, but I will respect your opinion. You can even be negative… if you can back it up, but when you are always negative… that’s a problem.
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It is lost on the critics of Friedman, Zaidi and Roberts that despite losing more players to the disabled list than any other team, and losing the best pitcher in baseball for 60 days, the Dodgers are right in the thick of the playoff push. The fact of the matter is that the Dodgers are one DL trip away from having the most players lost to the DL in the history of the game. Ponder that for a minute.
Rookie manager + Most Trips to the DL + Losing your Ace = Recipe for Disaster.
However, this season has been anything BUT a disaster! Despite losing more players to the DL and losing their Ace for a considerable period of time, the Dodgers would still be in the playoffs… if the season ended today and they are one game out of first place. Many have mocked the team’s alleged depth, but how in the hell do you stay in the hunt with this much adversity without depth? The depth is there whether you choose to see it or not!
This team has warts – all teams do. Lefties baffle them a lot, but sometimes righties do too. The starters don’t pitch deep into games. The pen is overworked. But, just when you think they have been beat – they come back! The thing is: They battle. They work. They believe. They come back a lot. This team is resilient. That’s what Doc said too!
They felt Puig was divisive and showed him the door to AAA – he passed through waivers even though he has a team friendly contract. No one wanted him. He was the fourth player from Colletti’s administration to wear that scarlet letter this year. Now, it’s possible that he can turn it around. Everyone knows that he can’t hit the inside fastball and the low and away pitch. If he can gain the discipline needed, and fix that, he could be back in September… or sooner. By the way, it was Zack Greinke who said he was the worst teammate – ever! I have seen improvement in some areas, but he’s a problem.
They dumped Kemp upon the Padres who now rue the day they traded for Kemp. Have you been following all the crap from Kemp and the Padres owner? I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Matt Kemp was a cancer on the Dodgers and then the Padres. Maybe he’s learned his lesson and will be a team player with THE ATL, but he was just a bad teammate… worse than Puig in lots of ways because he was supposed to be a leader. By the way, the “garbage” they got for Kemp is in the TOP 5 Catchers in Baseball in:
- Home Runs
- Slugging %
- Pitch Framing (yeah, some of you don’t believe in that)
Calling for Friedman to be fired is absolutely silly. It’s like calling for Theo Epstien’s resignation two years into the Cubs re-building. Of course, the Cubs did it differently than the Dodgers, but it’s still a rebuild. First and foremost, IF YOU THINK THAT FRIEDMAN HAS AN EVEN SLIGHT CHANCE OF GETTING FIRED, YOU ARE TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY! It’s not going to happen. PERIOD! At least not this year or next! Rebuilding (or re-loading) or whatever you call it takes time.
Some of you say there is NO PLAN, so I am going to explain THE PLAN to you. It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence because, as you all know I am lacking in that department, but it does take some common sense. God gave me a lot of that to make up for my lack of intelligence. If I can condense THE PLAN down to its’ simplest essence, here it is:
- In the new baseball paradigm (post-steroids), teams are younger and homegrown;
- Build the farm, don’t sign players who cost draft picks, but hoard draft picks and prospects;
- No long-term deals to aging players; and
- Try and win now, but observe Rules 1, 2 and 3.
When you try and win now while rebuilding you have to make some questionable moves… and before we talk about “moves” lets’ establish some ground rules on how you evaluate these moves. Do you look at the first 15 or 20 at bats for a player or their first start or their second or their first two appearances? David Price has not had a good year – the Dodgers hammered him last night. Neither has Zack Greinke. Jordon Zimmerman started out 7-0 and looked like Cy Young – now he’s 9-5 with a 4.44 ERA. Johnny Cueto looked like Cy young until recently, but do you evaluate any of these trades in a week? A month? 100 games? A year, or over the life of the contract? You should know the answer.
The Dodgers picked up three players at the trade deadline. Josh Reddick who is 1 for whatever. Rich Hill who has yet to pitch, and Jesse Chavez who had a 19.29 ERA coming into the Sunday Night game (it’s now 5.20). They picked up Mat Latos and Jim Johnson last year who were duds, so that is what has happened this year too? Right? Many of you are thinking that. Baseball is a game of streaks. We all know that. Hot one day – cold the next! Two bad weeks – two great weeks!
Trades and Free Agents signings are evaluated over the duration of the deals. Johnny Cueto may be great this year – how about next year or the fifth year? Yet some want to point to Cueto as a guy we should have signed SIMPLY BASED UPON THIS YEAR! Hindsight is 20/20. That’s not how trades are evaluated. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances, not just a few days or part of a season. Reddick is Andre Ethier on steroids – better outfielder but can’t hit lefties, but 4 years younger. The Dodgers can sign him or not next year. Jessie Chavez gave us a glimpse of what he can do Sunday night – 95 MPH as a long man. Who knows what Rich Hill can do, but he has been very good this year… until THE BLISTER. We wait!
Some of you start with the premise that “Freidman and Zaidi are Horrible.” Then anything they do or don’t do is somehow twisted to prove your point. In case you haven’t noticed, the Dodgers are doing a lot better than most here expected before the season started. Go back and look up your predictions. One even left the board because he was convinced the team was so horrid! I have not lost faith. The Dodgers called up Segedin Sunday and boy, did he deliver, but I’m sure some will say “they should have called him up sooner.” If your mind is already made up, even when FAZ makes a good move, you will say it’s the wrong one! Geeeeezzz!
Sometimes I wonder if FAZ is so hated because of their race, religion or heritage… but I don’t know. I can only say it makes me wonder because of the often irrational hatred of anything they do. The Dodger Farm System has NEVER been this stacked for as long as I can remember. Some of you may have been around longer than me, but this is the best I’ve EVER seen it.
Who have they gotten by trade or signing?
Taylor, Segedin, Toles, Grandal, Reddick, Hill, Norris, Fields, Barnes, Chavez, Avalin, McCarthy (ouch after Sunday), Anderson, Kendrick, Utley, Hernandez, Blanton, Dayton, Maeda and Kazmir. Oh, yeah – Kazmir! He has a 4.51 ERA and is 9-5. Most importantly, the team has a winning record when he starts. On the other hand, a guy many of you pined for (David Price) has a 4.34 ERA and his team has a losing record when he starts. It’s pretty apparent to me that giving Scott Kazmir 3 years at $48 million, instead of the 7 year $217 million deal David Price got makes a ton of sense! If you can’t get that one, there’s no hope! Hello!
I wasn’t totally on board with the trade for Hill and Reddick, and maybe it will be just like last year, but they did it because they are trying to win now while not gutting the farm. They dealt three pitchers, all three of them are likely relief pitchers, which is the Dodgers huge area of surplus, for two players they hope can make a difference. They are trying, but they were not going to compromise and give up their top prospects. They could have gotten Matt Moore and Will Smith and Eduardo Nunez like the Giants did for the following players:
- LHP Adalberto Mejia – 2016 #10 Prospect
- SS Lucius Fox – 2106 #4 Prospect
- RHP Michael Santos – 2016 #19 Prospect
- 3B/SS Matt Duffy – 2016 #9 Prospect
- C Andrew Susac – 2015 #1 Prospect
- RHP Phil Bickford – 2016 #3 Prospect
WOW! The Giants were able to do that due to their home-grown talent (Belt, Posey, Crawford, Panik, MadBum, et al), but they gave up a whole lot! I mean a WHOLE LOT! I’m not saying they made the wrong decision, but they had better win it all to justify it. That paid to get another lefty to beat the Dodgers but the Dodgers proved they CAN beat lefties last night!
In January, in Indianapolis some people say: “It’s always cold here!” No it’s not. Sometimes it’s 65 or 70 in January. It may have been cold the last 2 weeks, but it’s not ALWAYS cold! That’s a dumb statement – full of emotion but devoid or reason! It’s like saying “Yeah FAZ ALWAYS____________________ (fill in the blank).” That’s not a smart thing to say either.
Here’s What the Future Holds:
This season is going to boil down to the THREE SERIES (9 GAMES) WITH THE GIANTS : August 23, 24 and 25th (without Kershaw), September 19, 20 and 21st (maybe with Kershaw) and September 30, October 1 and 2nd. That’s 9 games with the team we all love to hate. That’s where it will all be decided. Sit back and enjoy it! It’s going to be a blast. We are ONE GAME BACK – without our ACE. Whatever happens from here on will be more than some of you ever expected. We are all Dodgers! Can we just get along?