Monday, January 30, 2023
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Dodgers Pound Giants on Vin Scully Night

Vin Scully

The Dodgers came into Friday night’s exhibition affair with the Giants having lost seven in a row, and 10 of their last 11 games. That doesn’t count Thursday night’s 5-5 tie with the Indians. I know these games don’t count in the standings, but it would be nice to win a couple. Opening day is just ten days away and there is not much time for the club to start piecing together the active roster. If anything, it’s good for morale to win a few of these spring games.

The Dodgers got a huge morale boost after blowing out the Giants 13-0 on Vin Scully day. It was a truly wonderful night for the Dodgers. Nothing bad happened. The Dodgers scored eight runs in the first three innings, Carlos Frias looked great in five shutout innings, The Dodgers threw out two Giants at the plate, and we got to hear Vin Scully’s beautiful voice for the first time this season. Nobody got hurt either, to the best of my knowledge. I think beating the Giants has inherent healing properties. I think I heard Corey Seager’s knee getting better after each run crossed the plate on Friday night. Pounding the Giants always brings us joy.

Speaking of the great Vin Scully, the hall of fame broadcaster enters his 67 season behind the microphone. He sat down with the press before the game to answer some questions and was his usual incredibly humble self. Scully noted that he will miss the fans and the roar of the crowd as he enters his final season.

Scully also noted that he doesn’t want any farewell tours. He doesn’t want to become more important than the game. Once again, Scully is amazingly humble.

“It bothers me making it sound like because it’s my last year I’m almost more important than the game. That scares me to death.”

“I’m just an announcer; I belong in the press box,” he said. “Believe me, from the bottom of my heart, I’m the luckiest person in the world. To allow me to go this far is fine, but it’s not really me. I’m not going to bring me on a tour like I’m some Stradivarius.”

Of course we all know that Vin is more than just a broadcaster. He has been the voice of the Dodgers and our guide throughout the season for 66 years. Every Dodger fan must come to terms and accept that Vin will no longer be announcing Dodger games in their own way. It will be painful for all of us, but we can get through it together. This is why we must cherish every inning we get to hear his beautiful dulcet tones. Every game he announces is a gift.

Scully went on to talk about Kirk Gibson’s legendary home run in game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and some of his colleagues. He mentioned Joe Garagiola, who recently passed away, and former Dodger coach Joe Amalfitano. The former Dodger third base coach was allowed to coach third base for the Giants during Friday night’s game.

As for the game, it wasn’t much of one. The Dodgers defeated the Giants 13-0. The Dodgers scored 13 runs on 17 hits. The Dodgers collected six extra-base hits. You know you’re having a good game when even Charlie Culberson gets into the act. He had an RBI double in the bottom of the third inning. Giant’s starter Clayton Blackburn got pulverized through only two thirds of an inning. He allowed three runs off three hits and couldn’t make it out of the first inning. The Dodgers got run scoring singles from Joc Pederson, and Rob Segedin. Chase Utley had two hits including an RBI double. Adrian Gonzalez blasted a two-run home run, and even Frias himself smacked an RBI single.

Speaking of Frias, he looked very good on the mound as he attempts to lock up the fifth starter spot. Since everyone else is hurt, it’s his spot to lose. Frias tossed four shutout frames, allowing six hits and striking out three. He was even involved in the rarest of plays. In the top of the third, Gregor Blanco walked and advanced to third on a Hunter Pence single. With Buster Posey at the plate, Frias uncorcked a wild pitch, and Blanco tried to score. Austin Barnes quickly relayed the ball to Frias and Blanco was tagged out at the plate. It’s just your run of the mill every day 2-1 putout.

Carl Crawford threw out a runner at the plate, granted it was the pitcher Adalberto Mejia, but still. They didn’t make a single error or miscue either. It was an all around great night for the Dodgers. I think the club needed this one after all of the depressing injury news.

The Dodgers have a split squad day on Saturday. In the afternoon half of the club will travel to Peoria to face the Mariners. Scott Kazmir will counter Wade Miley in a battle of lefties. In the second game, the other half of the club will remain at Camelback Ranch to play the White Sox. In the nightcap Zach Lee will go up against right hander Carson Fulmer at 7:05 PM.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
http://ladodgerreport.com

66 thoughts on “Dodgers Pound Giants on Vin Scully Night

  1. It’s always nice to win – especially against the Giants, but it’s only Spring Training. Depending upon how things shake out, each team may have only had four starters in the lineup – the Giants may have had three.

    Except for Forjet, the ERA’s of their pitchers were 6.23, 20.25, 8.71, 9.00 and 9.00. What I saw was Frias getting a lot of ground balls, but he wasn’t fooling many. He still doesn’t have enough pitches to be a starter, IMO. Still, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the team. Maybe he will get the #5 spot by default.

    What I did see was a healthy Yasiel Puig who looks ready to play and the same with Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez. Good health for those three players bodes well for the Dodgers.

    I would say that Coleman and Baez are locks to make the team. Sierra? I cannot form much of an opinion as yet, but he looked OK.

    JOC Pederson is being taught to hit by Turner Ward with the ball of his foot on the ground and his toes up in the air, which seems opposite of everything I know. He is hitting .302 but it’s such a small sampling that I can’t tell if it’s helping or not. What is different is that he is not walking much (3 in 43 AB’s with 18 K’s – he usually strikes out as much as he walks).

    1. Mark Ward really hasn’t worked with Joc, as much as you think. Joc was working with his former coach from I believe AAA, in the off season. And he had already made these adjustments. I know this, because earlier in spring training , the TWC interviewed him, on there local show. He worked with Joc a few times at Dodger stadium, and in spring training. But Joc’s stance and swing, was made by Joc’s former coach, and Joc. Ward might have tried to tinker a little, with Joc’s adjustment, but it was mostly, already there.

      1. Good info MJ. Joc appears to have changed his stance, but not his swing. If he continues with that that long overswing, Major League pitchers will continue to eat his lunch.

        1. Badger I was disapointed that Joc went back, to the guy who taught him that big swing, and had Joc use that heavy bat. I think your right about the stance, and the swing. It looks like Joc and that AAA coach, thought that if Joc eliminated pickling up his foot, he would have better balance, and more time, to have that big swing. Ward may have had Joc raise his foot slightly, just to try to eliminate, a bad habit, that Joc has picked up.

          1. Badger, MJ, et al, My observation is that he has changed his swing and is going the opposite field often now. But, he does revert from time to time to his big swing, especially in the top half of his swing.

            The other day during the game, Ward seemed more positive about Puig than he did about Joc. Joc does have a high BABIP so it is hard to judge the small sample size of this spring.

            He isn’t walking as much perhaps due to pitchers pitching diffenently during the spring than they will in the regular season. Nobody wants to walk anybody in the spring. Plus, Joc is swinging more at first pitches and putting them in play.

            About Vin’s comment about Joc being a mystery. That’s obvious. He is a huge mystery.

  2. Joc looks to me like he is still over swinging. I think I heard Vin comment on that very thing. I say I think he did cuz the broadcast was cutting in and out all night. Joc appears to be a hard headed student. I hope he figures it out.

    Yeah, it was good to see the team pounding the gnats, but are any of those pitchers actually on the team? I hope so. And I sure hope we continue to hit. We are getting close to starting this thing and we are 1-7-1 in our last 9. That’s the bad news. The good news? We’re on a win streak.

    1. Badger Vinny did say that. The sound thing, happened maybe for a second or two, where I am, but not much at all. I notice that cable does that a second or two, here and there. DirectTV doesn’t do any of that, as long as every outside is tied down correctly. This is the first time, I have had cable.

  3. I’ll probably be conked out during the game today even if any streams are available to me due to meds. Pretty rough stuff and has my sleep hrs all screwed up. At least I’m certain to catch the evening game. Frias is most likely to be on the 25. Either the rotation or the pen I’m saying he’s made a pretty loud statement. It wasn’t the Giants B team he faced and I’ll be happy him doing more just like last night.

  4. Nice win by the Dodgers last night.

    Changing gears a little, there is a good article in Fangraphs in response to the Dylan Hernandez piece on the long-sighted Dodgers wasting Kershaw’s prime years narrative. There was another similar piece in DD, though the refrain is that DD is some sort FAZ mouthpiece – which I don’t see evidence of, but is repeated often enough here. No one can accuse Fangraphs of being in the bag for some team’s front office.

    The article is effective I believe because of a key phrase: “Let’s look at some facts.” That can be further distilled down to a single word- FACTS.

    I bring this up because a few of us brown nosers have been accused of not accepting “facts” in evidence. Well, I hope the preternaturally negative among us will make more judicious use of facts when making their points, and will address facts forthrightly when they are offered. 🙂

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-dodgers-arent-wasting-clayton-kershaws-prime/

    1. dodgerpatch, excellent article. Thanks for posting. I am going to have to remember to check in on “fangraphs” more often.

      dodgerpatch: ” I hope the preternaturally negative among us will make more judicious use of facts when making their points, and will address facts forthrightly when they are offered”. Sorry, aint going to happen. I am willing to bet the naysayers on this board are, almost all, of a certain political persuasion, you know the one where facts don’t matter, only feelings.

      1. Okay, I’ll bite. If you’re including those who say the F/O was light in their loafers at the trade deadlines as naysayers then I’d wrongly include you saying the F/O acted perfectly at that time period. It would be wrong of me to draw that conclusion and classify that you’re in favor of every move this F/O has made. I don’t think anybody here is in total agreement with Hernandez but some of those points hold valid as do vise-versa. There is middle ground and I’ve noticed how everybody isn’t as certain one way or the other. The payroll reduction isn’t as big of the part of the plan as it was spoken of at an earlier time while some of the signings are showing promise. If I’m a naysayer because I saw areas more in need of tending like the bullpen rather than 2B I say my point is valid. Trading Kemp is something I wouldn’t of done but I’m glad the F/O did. This F/O is making some good moves but they’ve screwed up in a couple spots as well. So I’m not a naysayer nor am I a yaysayer.

    2. Dodger patch I read that, and it was all about what money counts against the luxary tax, and the money the front office is spending on all the Cubans, doesn’t count aganist the luxary tax. It made some good points, but didn’t talk about the money lost, by signing the injury risk pitchers. But it is hard for the fans, to know all of these things.

    3. The article makes some good points, but fails to mention the deplorable state of the bullpen in 2014 and 2015. It points out that Kershaw has struggled in some of his playoff games but overlooks the fact that most of the runs have been given up the third time through good lineups, when teams like the Royals would have a fresh arm warming up.

      Haven’t really followed Dodger Digest for long, but some of their writers seem to be cheerleaders for the front office, whether it be FAZ or Mount Baldy. That’s OK, they’re entitled to their opinion, but I like writers who can admit when they’re wrong, as we ALL are some of the time, and move on.

  5. The end of an era. And all of us will be sad to see it end. Typically, Vin does not want to have every one make it all about him. He is still the best there ever has been. He has slipped some, but age will do that. He still has some of the best story’s to tell. I feel a little sorry for Davis who has to follow THE VOICE. To the game…Frias did well….got outs when he needed them and except for the misguided attempt at a double, he kept his head. Crawford mis judged a fly ball, that just as easily been called an error. Joc looked lost his first 2 at bats…..then cracked a long double off a LH. All in all not a bad game…always nice to see Bochy have to take a pitcher out that early in a game

    1. Romeo and Juliette is the most enduring love story of all time. Vin Scully is the finest announcer and the most enduring piece of the best franchise of all time. I can’t help it if he means more to me than he wishes, but it’s on him that he does.

  6. I find my gut is as big as facts. And sadly that’s all too true a fact. Maybe I’m able to forget many more of the things that turn out I was wrong and thus I look at my prejudgements falsely with a higher than deserved grade. Not a bad thing in pursuit of happiness. As long as I don’t try to cash my fool’s gold it’s just as valuable as gold.

  7. Good fangraphs piece. For the record, I already read it. And I agree with it in principle. Still, it would be a yuge disappointment if after ’18 Kershaw leaves without any championships. Also, nice to see you guys referencing fangraphs. As you know, nobody in here has referenced fangraphs more than me. Keep the facts coming.

    1. Badger do you think that Joc has gained some weight? On Dodger com, people were saying that Joc has gained a lot of weight. Someone asked if it might be muscle, and they said, look at Joc’s back end, that is not muscle.

      1. The only thing I noticed was he looks different when he’s running. And yeah, the difference I see is he doesn’t look as fast. Could be an illusion. There are illusions everywhere I look these days.

  8. I love Vin Scully, but all this adoration makes me think that it is by default because the team is so disappointing. I would rather have a few rings and no mention of Vinnie. The promotion people think it’s great, but the best promotion is to win it all. Vinnie would probably agree. The giants played a split squad yesterday, which makes the win a little less satisfying. The other team beat the Royals, no small task. Still any win against them is a good one. Let’s not put too much stock in it, though. Six hits in four innings isn’t stellar unless you compare it to stinko. Frias isn’t the answer to #4 or 5. But neither is Wood and the others. I still say #4 and 5 are somewhere on the farm. Time is getting short. I expect this next week for the team to put it’s starters on the field and to get serious. I don’t think Crawford should be the choice for LF. I would rather have SVS there full time or Thompson full time. Peterson is getting some hits, but where is the power? Trading singles for HRs? I’ll take it for now.

  9. The Dodger play the Giants on April 7, and that is the Giant’s opening day, at home. And Peavy is starting that game. That is quick. Has everyone noticed, that the Dodgers have not had Kazmir, pitch any of the A games? They have kept him, on the b games, it seems, especially in these split games. I don’t think we have seen him pitch much, since he pitched against the Angels, I think it was.

    1. Interesting questions raised Bobbie. I don’t know where the championship level starting pitching will come from but I don’t see what we’ve been putting out there as World Class. It feels to me like it will be much like last year, with a lot of guys getting try outs. I said earlier I believe this Division will go to the dback, giant, or Dodgers team that pitches the best. I don’t really know which team that will be. Right now I have the Dodgers and Dbacks as a toss up for best offense. But again, I have no idea who among the three will have the best pitching stats.

      1. Puig was scratch from today’s game, because he has hamstring tightness. This is why I don’t want Puig taking the extra base, in spring training.

        He as tried to make his single into a double twice, in spring training. I just wish he would save that for real games, and when his body, is built up for the season.

        He says it is no big deal, but that is what he said last year.

  10. For all of you faint of heart and worrying about the Dodgers play this Spring. See, last night against the Giants the Dodgers proved again that they are masters of the N.L. West.

    Go Dodgers !!!

    1. I’m not worried at all! I’m going to sit back and listen to Vinny tell stories and tales of days long gone, of a beautiful game played in a beautiful way.
      Happy Saturday everyone!

    2. Weather looking good in Texas Roger.

      I’m watching the golf from Austin.

      The news about Puig’s hamstring is not good.
      Many here think we sink or swim on how he & Joc bounce back from last season.

      If that is true, added to our pitching woes, then I’m beginning to feel uneasy.

  11. The Braintrust has been in control of the Dodgers for 2 off-seasons and 1 season, so you can’t really attribute the successes or lack thereof of any season but last season to its efforts.

    Thus far, they have in fact spent millions on Cubans who may or may not be any good – there are a couple of top prospects among them but many nondescript players were obtained.

    They have not made similar expenditures on the major league roster. They have spent millions on injured or injury-prone pitchers. Anderson had a decent season last year – McCarthy not so much. This year looks like neither of them will make an impact. Beachy was a cheap bet, relatively. It didn’t work last year and i would be surprised if it does this year. We hope that Kazmir and Maeda survive the season and make a good contribution – we will have to see how it works out.

    What the Braintrust did not do is to retain Greinke or to sign another ace-caliber pitcher.

    The Braintrust inherited a sub-par bullpen. it has done little to resolve the problem, hoping that minor leaguers and young pitchers obtained by the prior regime will grow into the job.

    Similarly, the Braintrust has done little to reform the major league roster of position players. Other thanTurner and Grandal, there isn’t a starting player obtained by the Braintrust. For all of the bellyaching in some quarters about “The Trade”, Adrian Gonzalez continues to be the Dodgers’ most valuable offensive player.

    Whether all of this goes into some internal calculus in Kershaw’s mind and colors his decision whether to stay or leave after 2018 is an unknown.

    For all of the cheerleading about the future of the franchise because of the prospects in the minors, the Braintrust’s drafts thus far appear to me to be lackluster, but again only time and experience will tell. The same is true of all of the Cubans – the Dodgers have probably spent more on Cubans than that island’s GDP in the past couple of years. All that I know is that Seager, DeLeon, Urias et al were procured by the prior regime. The Braintrust only gets credit for not trading them away.

    I argue facts for a living. I know that facts can be amassed to support multiple sides of an argument. (There are frequently more than 2.)To imply that there are only facts to support 1 side of an argument is false, and it is insulting to imply that those who are not cheerleaders for the Braintrust are factless and feckless. I haven’t made any false factual assertions and where i have stated opinion, i have made it clear that it is my opinion but haven’t been fixed in my opinion as I am willing to let the season play itself out.

    I will admit to being disappointed in what the Braintrust has not done. They have not retained Greinke. They have not replaced him with his equal. They have not even signed a #2 quality starter in my opinion. They have done little to reform the bullpen. They have done little to reform the major league roster’s position players. (Granted, given some of the contracts that they inherited, they didn’t have much flexibility here.) I have been a Dodger fan for over 50 years. Since the team has been in LA< they have won when they had great pitching. I just don't see that with this bunch.

    1. I agree with much that you have said especially about the pitching. Some of the stop-gap moves to hold down spot until the kids are ready haven’t paid off. Injury or no injury, I would have never give McCarthy that contract. He’s not that good. However, Kendrick, Turner, and Grandal were all brought in by the new regime. Seager and Joc were moving up from the minors. So really that only leaves Gonzo, Puig, and the two contacts in LF. To be fair replacing 3 of 6 positions isn’t doing nothing with the starting players.

    2. Facts, like statistics – or passages from the Bible – can be used and manipulated to support most any position. You’re right. But a preponderance of facts, ones based on reason, can make for a compelling argument. It is the orientation of facts in a logical sequence that makes a position sound – even superior.

      The Dodgers aren’t better without Grienke. You’re right. But there has to be a limit. What Cameron did effectively was highlight the true cost to the Dodgers for signing Greinke. Scarcity of resources is a fact of existence, for all things. Even the Dodgers have limits to what is sustainable in terms of payroll. To commit in excess to what the Diamondbacks were willing to pay doesn’t account for the true costs, which, as Cameron pointed out, would be upwards of 50 million a year for an aging player who may not even be in baseball by the end of his contract. With scarcity, with this unavoidable fact, one has to make choices, and, by implication, that involves a sacrifice or a trade-off. We can’t eat our cake and have it.

      What are the historical trends – or facts if we may call them – to signing pitchers who are past the 30 year mark to long-term contracts? The single most unassailable fact you can make with respect to the Greinke non-signing is that you can’t argue with mortality. People decline as they age. There’s no getting around that, and it has been true for every single living organism since the dawn of existence. Players decline past 30, and signing players past 30 to expensive contracts rarely – if ever – pays off in the end.

      Could that money be spent elsewhere to get more value in the long run? And what do the facts say about the history of World Series champions? Have they been loaded with starting pitching aces? As Cameron points out, how were the Royals and the Giants and the Red Sox and the Yankees able to win without a stockpile of Cy Young winners. Even the Mets, who are loaded, didn’t win last year. Koufax and Drysdale was 50 years ago.

      I honestly wish we had Greinke….or Price…or both. There’s a part of me that, if I were the FO, would have just opened up the checkbook. But I also understand the long-term costs. Would I have gotten Hamels if it meant giving up just DeLeon? I probably would have. But I understand the long-term costs involved in giving up future value. It doesn’t mean that you or Badger don’t have facts on your side. However, I can also understand what the long-term strategy is, and understand the idea of creating a bridge to the future by not over-committing in the present. That doesn’t mean a fire sale or implosion. You can still build a winning team that will compete for a WS by being smart and finding value rather than overpaying.

      The fact is, the Dodgers payroll is still the highest – by far – in the league and in baseball history. To say that the FO invests in Cuban prospects but is not making a comparable investment at the major league level is not in accordance with the facts.

      The Cubs are stacked. The Cubs, by most projections, have the best team in baseball by a large margin, and they’re going to be good for a long time. Their payroll is less than the Dodgers – fact. I want to see the Dodgers compete for the world series this year and next, but I also want to see the Dodgers be more like the Cubs. I want that core of incredible young talent supplemented by smart free agent signings. I realize it will take waiting for expiring contracts to get there. I also understand the balance between winning now and committing to the future and winning then. I wish the team had Greinke, Price and Hamels, but I’m ok with those hard choices.

      1. Dodgerpatch what you have said makes good sense. The truth there is no front office that will make all the right decisions. And when people try to claim that, it is hard to take them seriously, and I know you are not claiming that, and I know Mark isn’t either.

        I think it is that pitching is about eighty percent of the game, and the Dodgers have always been known for there pitching, so it is hard to watch these pitchers, that are here, only to get to the young pitchers. This is especially hard after having both Greinke and Kershaw, for the last three years.

        And Greinke is more then just a pitcher, he is a great athlete, and had has a robotic mind, when it comes to pitching. And the fact that the Dodgers were able to win the division, after Ryu and MCCarthy went down, proves just how important, that these two pitchers have been for the Dodgers.

        They were under Constant pressure, to be perfect, because of that loss of the other pitchers, and since the Dodgers, have not had a decent bullpen, to make it to Kenley.

  12. I’ve had that “uneasy” feeling for several months W. Management has taken risks, and they haven’t paid off. They have signed nobody of note. The new training staff hasn’t shown their fitness routines are any more effective than the last group and Joc continues swinging at everything like he’s still in the home run contest.

    Yes. It could all come together for Vin’s final chapter. Wouldn’t that be something.

  13. Puig and his leg injuries. I talked about this last season. And I do not think that Puig uses his legs in a smart way.

    What do I mean? He hits a shot into right center or left center, he runs really hard — turns first and is dying to make 2nd base. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he is thrown out. And SOMETIMES HE INJURES HIS LEG and then has to come out of the game, then go on the DL.

    Or, he hits a ball to an infielder and runs like hell trying to beat it out. And come up lame at 1st base.

    Now — it is not the hustle I am concerned about. It is that his legs cannot take that kind of running.

    I will use the same example I gave last year —– Years ago, in a Spring Training game in Tucson with the Giants against the Indians — Willie Mays, his first 3 times up to bat, grounded out, flew out, and grounded out — he ran to first base, knowing that he was going to be out — and kind of limped down the base line. No hustle. Then in a late inning of the game — Willie hit a shot up the left field gap —- and he was like a canon shot around the bases sliding safe into third.

    What I learned there was this — there is a time to run hard and a time to just take it easy because the out was probably going to happen. Today in the TV game, several Dodgers hit a ball to an infielder and just ran to first, knowing they we be out. The extra, look at me with the extra hard running, for some players, their legs cannot take it. Puig, I believe, is one of those players.

    Now transfer that to other players. Some have a body that can hustle all the time and run hard most of the time. Fine. Others, like Puig, have a body that needs to run smart. The wear on the body might be greater. Translate that — Puig needs to run smarter or I believe he will have a career of DL time.

  14. Just read this. Kazmir came out of the game earlier them expected, and the next pitcher, was allowed to throw as many pitches, as needed, to get warmed up. The writer believes that maybe Kazmir, may be hurting, because of the above.

  15. The wind must be blowing in centerfield again.

    And the sound on my mlbtv connection isn’t working again. It’s always something.

  16. Bum I wouldn’t worry about Joc walking, because he needs to hit, and that is what spring training is for. You are right about him going for the first pitch more, and that is good, if that is the only good pitch, he is getting. Only time will tell, and I hope for the Dodgers, and you Bum, that everything turns out fine. I know how invested you are, so I hope the best. And you can get tell me and Badger, to shut up.

    1. MJ, you guys aren’t saying anything that I haven’t thought and I know both of you will be just as happy as I will be if Joc becomes JOC.

  17. It is funny how people choose to interpret what Dave Cameron wrote in Fangraphs. You may or may not want to agree with metrics and their predictive capabilities, but they are not subject to bias. Cameron’s point was more that the Dodgers are not wasting Kershaw’s prime years, as Dylan Hernandez suggests. They have averaged 92+ wins over the last three years, and his publication and others are predicting 90+ wins again in 2016. Cameron also opines that the Dodgers have not got back to the WS in some part because of Kershaw. Many on this site blame FAZ for not going out to get Hamels/Price/Cueto in July for not getting to the WS. They blame the Anderson/Wood game, and yet Cameron reminds us that the Dodgers had Kershaw and Greinke start 4 of the 5 games in the NLDS, and still only won 2 of those 4 games. The Dodgers lost the NLDS because of Daniel Murphy, not because they did not have Hamels/Price/Cueto. If they win NLDS, who knows what happens after that.

    As Cameron speculated, Hernandez (as are others, especially here) are still upset over the loss of Greinke. While some of us have moved past that, and believe that the Dodgers do have the players that can win, others choose to continue to downgrade the current Dodger roster. A quick review of his career reminds us that Greinke has never pitched in the WS, and until he signed with the Dodgers, he had only been to the playoffs 1 year (2011 w/Brewers). So Greinke, with or without Kershaw, has never been the key. Cameron’s financial point was that he did not believe that the FO wanted to pay Greinke nearly $50 million per year (including luxury tax) at the end of the contract.

    Nobody believed the 88 Dodgers could win. In 1988, Tim Leary hads a career year and gets 17 wins. Brian Holton had a 1.7 ERA from the pen, and goes on to pitch a sub 4.00 ERA only one other time (3.89). Tim Belcher’s rookie year with 12 wins. Alejandro Pena’s 1st year exclusively in the pen. Nobody had any idea how these guys would pitch. Offensively, the team BA was .248, and not a single hitter with a BA north of .300. Mike Marshall led the team with 82 RBIs. This team had no business winning 94 games during the year, or beating the Mets AND As, and yet they did. I guess that is why they play the games.

    I don’t know if the Dodgers will win 90+ games, but I will go into the season believing they can. While jury duty and work have kept me from posting, I continue to read this blog every day. I applaud Patch and Boxout who continue to believe in this team under the onslaught of those that do not believe, including those who believe that LAD is a sub .500 team. And Bums who continues to try to find ways to make the Dodgers better. Mark is Mark. Those of us who do believe will hopefully completely enjoy October, while others appear to be more content in saying “I told you so” in October.

    1. I applaud all those who see a potential problem and speak up about it. If you see something say something.

      I also accept the fact not everybody sees a problem. We won’t know how this team will play until they actually do. And how will they finish? There is no answer to that for obvious reasons.

      It’s going to be a long season for this team, for the organization, and for the fans. I plan on talking baseball and pulling for the Dodgers all year. And I will be expressing my opinion all year. We all will.

      I haven’t made any predictions other than I see it going down to the last week with 3 teams involved.

      Yep, gonna be a long year. Best of luck to us all.

      1. Your perspective is one-sided. To applaud those who complain about the problems of the current course of action – or inaction – without also looking at the potential problems of the opposing course of action is avoiding the larger picture.

        1. I choose to take a more positive approach. I applaud those on both sides of an issue who present a view without resorting to sophomoric methods such as name calling. Your argument loses merit when that is done.

          It looked to me, and others, like the Dodgers had a window of opportunity that most likely closed with the loss of Greinke. I have said it started closing when management chose Latos over a real arm. Maybe the die was cast when they didn’t get the reliever needed the year before, but, whatever, I think the immediate window closed. We couldn’t get it done with Greinke, I doubt we get it done with Kazmir and Lee. But, those who believe in the FAZ have jumped with both feet onto any thought questioning their moves.

          And now we find ourselves right where those who dared question methods feared we might be. This team isn’t ready. I still look to the future. But I give due respect to those organizations that are going for it now. I’m actually looking forward to how the moves made by the Dbacks work out. I also notice that there must be some money coming in on SF as they are 10/1.

          I look forward to debating the issues.

          1. Name calling? You mean like “FAZophant” and brown noser? …and, to me, to simply characterize my position as jumping in with both feet and not putting any thought into questioning the FO moves is to dismiss what I so assiduously tried to explain.

            Without The Trade, or more specifically AG, would the Dodgers have been able to win over 90 games the last three years? I don’t think so. Has it also limited the Dodgers’ current flexibility, and will the team be better when those contracts expire? Yes. ……trade-offs…. but at the time a necessary move.

    2. I am tired of being denigrated as “negative” because I do not wholeheartedly endorse every move made by the Braintrust. And really – is it your argument that the Dodgers are better off without Zach Greinke because after all, he’s never pitched in the World Series? Hall of Famers like Ernie Banks, Rod Carew, Ken Griffey Jr. and many others never played in the Series – were their teams better off without them? Were they the reason that their teams never made it to the Series? Heck, even Ted Williams only played in the Series once and he didn’t do well. This doesn’t speak at all to his value as a ball player.

      This may be the least persuasive argument I have ever seen as to why the Dodgers didn’t sign Greinke. Really, don’t keep Greinke because he’s never pitched in the Series? And how do they replace his wins?

      I never advocated that the Dodgers sell the farm last year to get Hamels – but what they did do didn’t work. And this offseason, the Braintrust followed the same blueprint that they did last offseason – hire injury-prone or injured pitchers they could get cheaply and call it depth and hope that enough of them survive the season to get by. The walking wounded that calls itself the Dodgers’ pitching staff is not going to replace Greinke.

      All I know is that Greinke went 19 – 3 last year and although he wasn’t going to repeat that this year, the guys that are intended to replace him are his inferiors (Kazmir and Maeda). Anderson, McCarthy and Beachy are still hurt. Wood is still mediocre at best. I will repeat what I said before – since the Dodgers have been in LA, they have been successful when the pitching has been great, and not otherwise. All of the LA Dodgers in the Hall of Fame are pitchers (except Piazza) – Koufax and Drysdale, Sutton. They have had one MVP on the offensive side of the field (Gibson) but lots of Cy Young winners (Koufax, Drysdale, Kershaw, Gagne, Kershaw, Hersheiser, and Marshall).

      They don’t have high quality pitching this year – and I predict that they will be competitive but that they have lost some of the competitive advantage that they previously had over the Giants and D-backs.

      Once in a while, a team does better in the post-season then their regular season would suggest. The ’88 Dodgers were inferior to both the Mets and A’s that year and got hot at the right time. As a fan, I was thrilled. But no fan should expect this to happen all of the time. Look at the postseason last year. All of the wild cards won and the teams with lesser records beat teams with better records. Does that mean that the Dodgers should aspire to less success in hope that they will be better in the postseason?

      As to predictions for the season, I have seen predictions as low as 87 for this year’s Dodgers. Opinions are like noses – everyone has one. I expect that they will be competitive this year but believe that they have lost come of the competitive advantage they had over their rivals in the division. I don’t believe they will finish below .500 – they may even win the Division. But they may well not.

      1. Well said rick.

        It’s hard to make a prediction on wins as this is a team that will evolve over the next few weeks, not to mention the changes that will occur over the next few months. Maybe it works out, but the team that is on the field now won’t win 90. This morning it’s being suggested Grandal will start the year on the DL, Kazmir and Puig have soreness, Ethier is out, Seager and Kendrick haven’t been seen, Pederson looks strange, there are still questions in the bullpen and now we are discussing Lee being the #5. I’m about a 50 on my confidence meter. Hard to get a real handle on who we are. Next year looks ok. The year after that looks good. Today? Turner looks ready. Lead him off and bat him cleanup on the same day.

    3. While at the moment Greinke signed with Arizona I felt the F/O screwed up. Loving Greinke but then thinking about it shortly after I’d come to realize Greinke got more than I want the Dodgers to pay. There’s only so much superstar money and whatever the cost is is passed down to us. I’m already mad about the increases and hoop jumping it takes to watch the Dodgers. And besides, it’s easier to be proud of those obtained at the earlier time of their careers. If Colletti had kept his office another season and didn’t address the problems of the bullpen I’d of been mad at him. Everybody recognized there were serious issues with the bullpen but those issues were not addressed by FAZ for 2015. I brought this up way back then. I know some here remember as I was cosigned in that. Trading Gordon wasn’t an issue that needed the sort of attention that the bullpen did. I’m still not happy about Gordon being on the frontburner for trade before more pressing issues and making 2B an issue for the future. I love Kike, I love Barns. But tackle the problems 1st. FAZ was right in trading Kemp – I was wrong. FAZ is doing much right but I sure don’t think it’s all good. I hope FAZ brings the Dodgers to 100+ wins and I’ll still feel they dropped the ball in 2015. You may feel different but I’d bet not 100% different. The plan was around longer than FAZ as were the kids on the farm and I know nobody wanted to gut the farm regardless of accusation. I’m no prince with words but I know I have a point. Not a 100% accurate point also not 100% inaccurate.

    4. I believe in this team, but I’m not a true believer in a Kool Aid drinking sense. I understand the weaknesses of the current roster, but I also understand why some of those decisions have to be made. I understand that using some sort of ROI standard in finding value is, in the long-run, the best way to have a consistently competitive team. As my old professor once said, “There are no free lunches.”

      I’m excited about Maeda. I’m even more excited based on the fact that he was signed to such a team friendly deal, and that other teams passed on him. So far, and it’s still early, do I think this might be a SMARTER signing than one for a Samardija? I’m hopefully optimistic that it is, and that’s what I respect about the current FO. There’s a certain rationality in their approach that bucks the traditional view on how to construct a roster. I sigh a little when I think Maeda could be Greinke. I wish Grienke was on the team. But I understand choices.

      I find it exasperating and mind boggling that some, in their zeal to criticize the FO becuase of some visceral Sabre-Ludditism, are actually critical of the Kemp trade. That’s the litmus for me. The Greinke argument can go either way. A case can be made for Hamels at the deadline. But if you really want Kemp on this team and don’t want Grandal, you have no idea what’s going on and just don’t get it.

      1. Dodgerpatch I am excited about Maeda too. And I think he is going to be better, then anyone thinks. He does pitch a lot like Greinke, and he pitched better, in Japan, then many of these pitchers, from Japan, who were, and are successful pitchers in the US.

      2. Who disapproves of trading Kemp? If Kemp had stayed his 2011 I would of strongly complained. I’m suspicious of how far Kemp declined and never recovered anywhere close to what he was in 2011.

  18. I see very little change in Pederson. His front leg kick is not quite as high, but the big swing is still there. I hope like hell I am wrong, but major league pitcher will find the holes. Thompson may be our center fielder by the all star break.

    I hope our new medical staff is doing their job. Right now I have concerns. Most of the injuries has to do with muscles. This can be caused by not stretching properly.

    Right now it looks like we have two starting pitchers and the others are auditioning for 3-4-5.

    The one thing that I have enjoyed is the base running.

    1. If you look at Joc’s front foot, you will see that he puts the toe up and the weight on the ball. Orel talked about it too.

      I believe that Justin Turner is running better than I have ever seen him run.

      1. Oddly the outer ball of one’s foot is towards the inside and where your two largest toes connect. The inner ball is (outside of foot) is where the two small toes connect. You mean the heel – heel bone. If ball pain wasn’t a major part of all my adult life I wouldn’t know this. Sadly I know this too well.

    2. I agree al. His stance, which I criticized last year is better. But the swing is still a work in progress. I know he can do it because I’ve seen him do it before. He has hit them down the left field line, and he can shorten up and go back through the box. It looks to me like he is currently choosing not to. He gets two strikes faster and more often than anyone on the team and even with two strikes he doesn’t protect, he flails away. He can still pound mistakes occasionally, which is how hit .200 last year. I hope Turner gets through to him. If not, trade him.

      1. I wouldn’t say Stan Musial’s swing was shorter, but it was more level. While a very unique swing I think it could be the answer to Pederson’s problems. I know I’m swayed by the way I feel about ‘Stan The Man’ but I’d bet it’d do more for him than the far more unique thing he’s trying. It did work for Stan for more than two decades!

  19. I would give ALMOST anything for Ender Inciarte. He could fill LF and leadoff.

    Get him NOW FAZ, get him now.

    How about this (since is rebuilding and hoarding prospects:

    The Dodgers get Inciarte for the following players: Alex Verdugo, Micah Johnson, Jharel Cotton and Carl Crawford (Dodgers pay 100% of his salary)

    Lineup:
    1. Inciarte LF
    2. Puig RF
    3. Turner 3B
    5. Gonzo 1B
    6. Kendrick/Utley 2B
    7. Seager SS
    8. Pederson CF

    Dang, that’s a lot to pay, but I would love to have him.

    1. I don’t think it’s paying too much. I’d like seeing hat lineup but I’d also like seeing the pitchers slot inserted after Kendrick-before Seager. To me it seems a better spot to ask for a bunt.

    2. Mark I like him too, but has he had more then one really good season? I think the Dbacks are going to miss his offense, and his defense. Even the Cardinals didn’t value Sheby Miller, as much as the Dbacks did. They traded Miller, for a rental of Heyward.

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