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Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge The Dodgers

The Dodger’s 2019 season went up in flames on Wednesday night during a shocking display of utter incompetence. The Dodgers allowed six runs, three home runs and a grand slam in the final three innings of their 7-3 ten inning loss to the Washington Nationals in game 5 of the National League division Series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers were just six outs away from reaching the NLCS. Throughout the regular season this year many of our posters over here predicted the Dodgers getting knocked out quickly despite their franchise record 106 win regular season record.

Even I wrote and commented multiple times that the Dodgers did not have the pitching to get through the postseason this year. Sure enough, I was right. The rest of the guys over here were right too. Trust me when I say I take no pleasure or joy in being right here. I want the Dodgers to win and I was just as infuriated and crushed when Dave Roberts and the Dodger’s below average pitching torpedoed their quest to reach their third consecutive World Series.

Guys like Bluefan, Package, True Blue, Michael Norris and others were ridiculed by other sites even up to the day before the team was eliminated from postseason play. We have been called negative, second guessers, and critics. Of course once all of those losing apologists and arrogant loudmouths are proven wrong they slink back into their caves never to be heard from until the next season begins.

This site is not negative, nor positive. This is a place where all Dodger fans, regardless of opinion can express themselves without fear of being labeled. This is a place for Dodgers discussion, and not everyone over here is in love with the direction the Dodgers are going in. We all have one thing in common, love for the Dodgers and wanting the boys in blue to win the World Series. I’ve voiced my opinion over here many times about the front office’s small market mentalities, and inability to build a strong pitching staff for years now. It’s all here, written, documented over the course of years.

I read and hear a lot of excuses from the apologists on many other forms of media. They normally just spout the same platitudes and excuses. I am sure you have heard a few of these before yourself. Allow me to go over a few of them with you for a moment.

“The best team doesn’t always win”

“The Dodgers were the better team!”

“The best team did not win the NLDS”

“”Don’t be a second guesser!”

“Don’t be a critic!”

“You are negative!”

And it goes on and on and on and on. My opinion has always been that the best team is the one that wins the series! No, the Dodgers are not the best team because they did not win the series. Good teams find a way to win. That’s a fact that is true in all sports. But let me address something else for a minute.

I believe that fans should always challenge their teams. If you are not actively challenging your club to be better than you are not a fan, but merely a spectator. It’s my job as a writer/blogger to critique the performance of the team. I do this every season and make no excuses for anything I write over here. I don’t blow smoke. I will always give it to you straight. That’s why back in April when the Dodgers went like the first two weeks of the season without a game in which they allowed less than four runs, I let everyone know that I noticed that the Dodger’s pitching staff sucked. As it turned out, I was right as the pitching staff allowed six runs in three frames in game 5, blowing the series within a blink of an eye.

You god damn right I’m a critic. That’s my job as a writer, and that’s your job as a fan. Don’t ever become a mindless spectator afraid to ever challenge the club. These guys are making millions of dollars per year playing baseball in front of millions of people. Being critiqued and second guessed is part of the job. Don’t ever make excuses for incompetence or losing. Continue to challenge the Dodgers to play better because the goal of all of this is to win a championship, not just make the playoffs and lose in excruciating ways every season.

“The best team won”

Yeah, that’s right the best team did win…..the Nationals.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

44 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge The Dodgers

  1. Well said, Scott! well said.

    You are exactly right… we are just Fans. frustrated fans who are tired of the “Same O, Same O”, year after frickin’ year.

    Everyone who posts on LADR are just that, “Fans”. Some of us just do not accept excuses, or wear Blue Tinted Goggles. We tell it like it is, and sometimes the truth hurts. I am sorry, but it is just reality. Yes, we all want a Championship. Probably more than these owners do.

    Dodgers were, possibly, the best team on paper, based on stats from years past, but the real measure is, “What are they doing now?” Kershaw may be one of the greatest pitchers in MLB, and definitely a future Hall of Famer, but “What about now?”Jansen may be one of the best closers in baseball, in his prime, but “What is he doing now?”. Pollock was a pain in the ass for the Dodgers, a literal, “Dodger Killer”, but after getting old, and fighting injuries, “What could he do for the Dodgers, now?”. Kelly totally dominated the Dodgers in the World Series, but was he really capable of doing the same for the Dodgers? His career stats said he was just a so-so reliever. He just so happened to shut down the Dodgers’ listless offense.

    I just want to mention the worst excuse that just makes me laugh.

    “Yeah they should have won, but they blew it and lost. Don’t be so negative, Bluefan. It is just one game.” It just so happened, that “one game” happened to be Game 5 of a 5-game series this time.

    There is nothing wrong with being a serious fan, who understands the game of baseball, and expects millionaire ballplayers to put up a decent effort. When a player makes millions, we have the right to expect perfection, or at least something close to it..

    So, follow the bouncing baseball, Dodger Fans. Possibly another repeat, in 2020. You can sugarcoat it all you want, or you can be truthful to yourself, dissect it, and criticize it. I, and many others choose the latter.

    1. I totally agree with all you said Scott. A guy on an earlier post said the Dodgers did not slug enough to win and that they needed more power hitters and a Babe Ruth type hitter. As most knowledgeable fans know, good pitching beats good hitting and the Nats had that this series. Their big game guys pitched better than ours save Buehler who did his job. Ryu pitched well in game 3, and gave them the series lead, but not having anyone who could match Scherzer in game 4 they were forced into a game 5 against a guy who totally shut them down in game 2. They got to Strasburg, and then Roberts brought in Kershaw and the whole season went down the drain. He should have went to Maeda who was pitching better than anyone else in the pen. Maeda closed the doors after Kershaw blew the lead, but then Roberts made his worst decision and sent Kelly back out for a second inning and season over just like that. Of course, if it had been a day game where the ball flies better Smith might well have had a walkoff in the bottom of the 9th, but it did not happen and that was that. Their powerful, but flawed offense stopped producing after the 2nd inning. Game, set, match and Dodger fans for the 32nd season in a row are left with a bitter taste in their mouths and enough anger to generate power for all of California. There are some fans who are chiding those of us who have seen enough of Doc’s mis handling of the bullpen in a crisis situation, and who are trying to spin the magical season scenario because the team set all kinds of team records. Granted, there were plenty of exciting moments. The maturity that the kids showed bodes well for the future. And they have some pretty good pieces to build with. Does that make up for the angst caused by another melt down? Not even. I have watched this team win and lose for over 60 years. I am as die hard a Dodger fan as anyone out there. I am totally fed up with having to watch another team win the world series. I am sick and tired of the 3 true outcome approach to hitting, tired of shifts, which led directly to some rally’s that cost them games, totally tired of pitchers who cannot get past the 6th inning and relievers who walk batters that turn into winning runs simply because they have no conception where the damn strike zone is. And I am totally fed up with an ownership who allows the guy running the team to pack it with fringe or less than premium talent when they are making money hand over foot and then raising the ticket prices every year since they have been here to watch failure after failure. And I am tired of them not signing players who would actually make a difference and going for the cheap fix.

      1. Michael, I am sure most fans here are as tired of these things you pointed as you yourself expressed here. to be honest I really do not believe the Dodgers will recover from this years early PS dumping and the manner in which it took place, certainly not by the time 2020 begins, which I honestly believe will be a long long year.

    2. Ya said what I truly believe 100% Bluefan!. Look at what the Nats have done in those 2 games against the Cards…pitching!!!!!!!! And great pitching wins championships. Dodgers have NOWHERE CLOSE to the pitching the nats have. and did ya notice one other thing? That is the Nats manager did not have to shuffle his lineup around to the extent that Roberts does or did in this case on a DAILY basis.

      1. Absolutely right, Paul.

        To tell you the truth, I have not watched any baseball after the Dodger meltdown. I could not care less who wins. But, it does not surprise me at all what the Nats are doing. It is what we have been preaching all season. I don’t know if Roberts and the owners are watching the playoffs…. I am almost sure the owners are not. “If” DR is watching, I hope he takes some good notes.

        Stop the shuffling, Stop the excessive reliance in matchups, and Stop playing the overly exaggerated shift. Stop babying the starters and overworking the bullpen. Condition them to be real pitchers. Real starting pitchers can go 120 pitches and/or 7-8 innings. Real relievers can go 1-2 innings and put out fires. Start conditioning a pitcher to take over the closing duties, since AF will not get a replacement “lights out” closer.

        Sorry…. sounding like a broken record again. Oh well…. these posts just keep getting me started, and I hop back on my soapbox.

        1. Bluefan,
          I actually recorded that Nats/Cards game on my DVR and was amazed at what the Nats pitching has done to a very fine Cardinal lineup. Believe me, if the Cards were to be playing the Dodgers in this NLCS their offensive numbers would be much much better. And I also noticed that Martinez did not use a revolving door with his lineups for these 2 games. Granted I don’t know if the Cardinals even have a LH starting pitcher but ya get my point I am sure. But now, I myself is getting away from these games and turning to such shows as LIFE BELOW ZERO, COPS, LIVE PD , NAKED AND AFRAID etc. What these shows and I know they are shows have in common is something the Dodgers didn’t have as far as the people that are on those shows….GUTS

    1. Well, he apparently fits the mold, for the Guggenheims. He is popular and likable, he makes no waves, he signifies diversity in the LA Melting pot, and he follows his marching orders to a “T”. Heck, I like the guy, but that is not bringing the Dodgers a championship.

      So, even if he goes, they will just hire another cheap scapegoat. Friedman is probably hitting the dumpsters now, trying to find a replacement, before he fires DR. They would never hire a Manager who defies them, and marches to his own tune. A great manager will never consider taking on this bag of stale donuts….. too many holes to fill, and egos to deal with. A great Manager would cost too much for the owners to consider.

      Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to this conundrum. Maybe new owners that love baseball, and not just a bunch of greedy investors, who only see green, and could care less if the Dodger Blue wins a championship. Face it, Guggenheim’s have too much money, and would never sell this cash cow.

      1. Just so we are clear:

        Guggenheim Partners, the insurance/financial firm, doesn’t own nor have a stake in the Dodgers. The group that does, Guggenheim Baseball Management, is just a holding company controlled by Walter.

        I think.

        1. I believe you are right, Bluto. But, all it boils down to is the baseball management entity is just a small branch of the humongous Guggenheim empire, …same boss. But thanks for clarification.

          1. One other thing now to consider and I believe it sadly may be true, and that is I do NOT believe any potential impact FA will want to sign with Dodgers based upon how Roberts and Co. run things . And there probably isn’t any MLB player who may be an impact player that would be on the trading market will want to be dealt to here for sure. Especially a everyday type player would not want to see his playing time compromised as it most surly would if he came here.

          2. Bluto,

            When you have a huge empire like the Guggenheims, there are many branches and many bosses, but they all report to one ultimate boss.

            As far as Guggenheim Partners, and Guggenheim Baseball Management is concerned:

            Guggenheim Baseball Management – Mark Walters, Controlling Partner

            Guggenheim Partners – Mark Walters, CEO

            Enough said…. “Same Boss”

            Geez, you don’t give up do you Bluto ????

            I don’t know why I waste my time.

          3. My point Bluefan, and I made it poorly, is that they are two distinct corporate entities.

            One is not part of the other or vice versa.


    2. Stunned? Why? The guy has it made, and the ownership loves him. He is a puppet and they love that. He believes in the philosophy that the President of baseball operations puts forth, that being Ol Andy, and he has the kind of temperament that they want. By all accounts he is a very good communicator and he connects with his players. They all respect him. I do not see that he is a disciplinarian. I have only seen him pull a player for lackadaisical play once. Puig, I think he should have done the same and sent a message to Machado a couple of times, but he did not. They picked up his option and tagged on 3 more years, why in the world would he walk away from that? I think the only chance of him leaving is if Friedman is not retained and the new guy, who would not be a GM since they do not have one yet, wanted his own guy in there, and then it would be wise to change the entire coaching staff. No, Davey will be with us for the foreseeable future.

      1. I know the guy has it made, but he totally screwed the pooch in that final game.

        I’m not expecting him to walk away, nor am I expecting he would stay unemployed long.

  2. And I will add that the offense is just as much to blame for this team getting bounced early because these hitters are not as good as some think, that’s the first thing here, Roberts shuffling the lineup and players around whenever a LHP goes against them was another problem because it rarely if ever produced a win. All or most of the power and run production comes from the left side of the plate, the strikeouts increased dramatically from about August on until the end of the season. But the good thing is we won’t have to worry about losing 3 WS in row on our home field. And I KNEW from the beginning of this year to the end that this teams lineup and shuffling analytics strategy will NOT work in the PS. This team was totally exposed on all counts offensively and in the pitching as Scott here points out. Great post Scott, I am sure most of us could not agree with ya more. OH, and one other thing that bares repeating :
    Some teams have what it takes
    And the Dodgers just have excuses!!!!!!!!

    1. Actually Paul, the Dodgers were much better against lefty’s this year than the last couple of years. They hit .251 against them and had a 30-22 record. Not great, but better than before. One of the reasons was that Bellinger and Muncy were much improved against southpaws and Verdugo hit them at over .300. Guys who had good success in their careers against lefty’s, Kike and Taylor struggled some against them.

      1. Against the below average LHP, yes, but for the most part, against the better LHP, that was questionable. But no matter what , each time i check in on the NLCS or ALCS, Dodgers would have been absolutely no match for any of those teams.

  3. What Scott said, what most of us said all season, what other kiss ass sites couldn’t see or understand, the Dodgers really don’t have any excuses. I have said it all, all season long. I have not watched one minute since the Kershinger debacle or looked at any scores. I’m done and putting it behind me. ONe more thing, Kershinger is no HOF pitcher, I’ll be pissed if he gets in and we have to constantly hear that he was a great regular season pitcher, BULLSHIT he flat out is no HOFer, period.

    BTW where did that little pussy Stickypatch run and hide?

    1. What really pisses me off is there are these players, who are dominant, and have had tremendous careers, maybe fo 7-8 years or so. Then these dumb ass owners lock them into ridiculous contracts that extend them way beyond their life expectancy in the game of baseball. These players make enough money to retire after 6 years and live comfortably, but they get greedy. These washed up players end up hanging around like a swarm of flies on ?, and end up robbing the younger players of an opportunity to break into the bigs.

      Kershaw, don’t be selfish. Retire, and let the new regime take the baton, don’t be a bump on a log. Leave the game on a high note, and don’t subject yourself to ridicule because you no longer have it. You have enough to get into the HOF. Don’t go out a loser.

      Jansen, Pollock, and Kelly, likewise. You no longer have it…. Please retire. I know money is nice and is hard to turn down when your boss throws it at your feet, but to be able to justify your big money has proven to be more than you can handle. Do yourself AND your teammates a favor. Do your Fans a favor.

      1. Any of those guys you mentioned even considers retiring and I would go into shock. 62 mil for Kersh, 38 for Kenley, 30 plus for Pollock and 18 for Kelly, they are not retiring any time soon. Best thing you can hope for is Jansen opting out, and nah, that ain’t happening. Besides, they all love the spotlight and the adoration showered on them by the Blue Lemming Colony. What is irritating is that we have to wait until after the World Series before we find out the fate of Fraudman. If he is retained, expect more of the same from the Dodgers over the length of his new contract. Dumpster diving analytic driven baseball with out any real stars played in a city that loves it’s celebrity’s and adored by people like Pantone 294 who should sue the team to get their travel money back.

        1. At $8 million/WAR Kershaw only has to put up 7.75 WAR to earn his $62 million. Will he do it? I doubt it. He put up 3.6 this year. Like so many veteran players we are paying him for what he did, not what he is doing. It’s part of the game. The Pollock, Kelly and Jansen contracts were just bad signings. Friedman has had his share of those.

          Blue Lemming Colony. Good description. They’ll be back. It’s a good show for 6 months.

  4. Well, it is “Automatic Raise Time”, and 12-14 players will probably be getting huge raises. Raises from $600,000 to “12.000,000. Lots of “zeros” for “ZERO”! Even Yimi “A Home Run” Garcia! Seriously? Even the “Automatic Outs” will be getting substantial raises. Definitely beats your token cost of living raise if 3.5% for all the hard work you do. Imagine if your Boss came up to you, woke you up at your desk, and said, “I’m going to double your salary, even though you did absolutely nothing this year!”

    That’s MLB Today, ladies and gentlemen, so don’t be surprised if your Dodger Stadium Experience gets more expensive next season….. start saving your pennies now!

    1. It’s good to be in the Major Leagues. A few years on the job and you and your family are set for life. Part of that 1% deal we hear so much about.

      The Dodgers should have plenty to spend. I haven’t researched it but payroll information can be found on various sites. I’m assuming per ownership dictate we will stay under the cap again. I wonder if the plan has changed since we failed so miserably on the “this is the year” campaign. These guys just aren’t champions. They have proved that to me. April to the end of September they are money. Maybe that’s all that is necessary with this ownership. We’ll see. Seems to me it’s time for change, but, what do I know. In April it seemed to me this was the year. Got that wrong. I’m not going to predict anything at this point.

        1. That is really a laugher. A player makes $5-$10-$20 Million a year, and he needs a pension? Give us on SSA a break. What about all those Pioneer Veterans who basically have nothing? The majority of these players today, could care less about how these veterans paved the way for them.

          1. The point, BlueFan, is that everyone should get a pension. Past players, current players and future players. Just like all workers should get a pension.

          2. Right on, Bluefan, and while they are at it why don’t they give us an SSA break on those absolutely ludicrous Medicare Part B Premiums they STEAL, AND I MEAN STEAL from all those getting Soc. Sec.!!!!!!!!!

          3. Bluto,

            I believe Pensions are a thing of the past, for most companies. Only those, with strong union representation possibly may still have established pensions. Majority of companies now encourage their lower level employees to establish their own 401-K.. Strictly up to the employee, not mandated by the employer. The higher ups are usually rewarded in stock options.

            Yes, I agree everyone deserves a pension, but times have changed. My point is, like I said before, “Why” would a millionaire ballplayer need a pension? Their outrageous salaries will allow them to live comfortably for the rest of their life., without one. The veteran pioneers of baseball did not have pensions. Majority of blue collar Dodger Fans probably do not have pensions offered by their employers.

          4. Blue,

            I think we agree on about 79% of this subject.

            You can boil my point down to:

            If everyone should have a pension, let’s not lament those who do.

            Yes, strong Unions are less prevalent than they should be on the private side. It’s a real tragedy, IMO. MY opinion alone.
            Don’t lament

    2. Yimi is not going to get an automatic raise, he is arb eligible true, but I think he will be non-tendered. He has no options left and he is a HR machine. 3.5%? I would kill for that, SSA is going up 1.6. Bellinger will probably get the biggest hike, he is only making 600,000, and projections have him getting a contract in the 11 million range. Pederson will get a nice jump too, but not all 12 are going to be retained.

    3. Michael, as I said , I am not sure how the Dodgers from top to bottom can even show up next ST. I wish I knew if there have been any cancellations by fans as far as the season ticket holders go.

  5. … Arbitration? More like “Regurgitation”. Instant millionaires. Sometimes there is no justification for what these guys are awarded. Too much based on market value, than ability…. like buying an avocado today, hoping it will be mature in time to make some guacamole for Saturday, only to find out it was a dud, and failed to ripen.

    /rəˌɡərjəˈtāSH(ə)n/ a noun

    The action of bringing swallowed food up again to the mouth:
    Example: What happened to Dodger Fans after Game 5 of NLDS.

    The repetition of information without analysis or comprehension:
    Example: How MLB Player’s salaries are determined, in the arbitration process.

  6. Folks, the concern I have is that it may take quite a while, for Dodgers to overcome the slamming they took in this year’s NLDS. Since Roberts is returning and IDK about Freidman but both will not be greeted warmly next Spring at all. In fact what happened in this year’s NLDS may have a negative impact on this team for maybe a few years unless something dramatically changes as far as players and management go

  7. Friedman expects to have his new deal in place in the next few days. Package can implode now. Both Roberts and AF back in charge. AF said in his presser that the Dodgers would be active in the free agent market, how accurate that statement is remains to be seen.

    1. It means stay tuned but we must also consider said free agents ,after seeing what took place and how Roberts ‘managed’ the pitching and these shuffling of lineups may not want to sign here. If the player is an everyday type player, I cannot see them ‘buying in’ on having to time share with others on a daily basis.

      1. Well, Honeycutt is hanging up his cleats. Mark Prior is said to take over head coaching job, so, I definitely do not see any improvement with pitching. I never felt good about hiring Prior as bullpen coach. I think he is one reason why the bullpen was crap the last two years.

  8. Sooo, Dodgers (Friedman) finally release details about Kelly’s “whole-body-itus”. They knew about the problem, yet they threw him out on the mound in a critical game 5 situation. He had no business being out there, let alone being on the playoff roster, period.

    … Friedman definitely should be fired. He knew Kelly was not game ready, yet he probably directed DR to use him in game 5.

    Fred Roggin said that Cory Seager may be gone, as he may be the only player that may be traded, who the Dodgers feel they can get substantial return. The rest of the team really has no trade value. Seager, being considered expendable because he failed miserably in the NLDS.

    Soooo, the post season drama begins….

    1. Bluefan. Consider this:
      • Friedman said he believes the Dodgers have a championship bullpen.

      “I feel like the one-through-eight and the different looks and the length and the way different guys could match up against different types of hitters, I do feel like it was a bullpen that was capable of winning a World Series,” he said.

      • Friedman said the front office needs to be open to changing the complexion of the roster, even though he’s convinced it is anchored by a talented core of players.

      • Reacting to suggestions the front office can predetermine the moves made during a game, Friedman insisted that “you can’t possibly script out a baseball game.”
      I cannot believe he said this.

      1. Yup, he said it, with that stupid ass grin on his face.

        I just cannot believe these owners are so blind. They really do not care about winning at all. They just look at the numbers showing humungous profits and therefore give this clown an extension.

        Ticket prices will go up, for sure. This ownership will squeeze every penny out of those fans who faithfully attend games.

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