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NLCS Game 6 Lineups: Is This it?

Clayton Kershaw

We’ve arrived at game 6 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cubs have a 3-2 series lead and are one win away from clinching their first World Series birth since 1945. The Dodgers have to win both games tonight and tomorrow night to clinch their first World Series birth since 1988. Tonight the Dodgers will give the ball to Clayton Kershaw to keep their season alive as the Cubs send Kyle Hendricks to the mound. With all of the drama unfolding you have to ask yourself one question. Do you believe in curses?

If you do then the Dodgers should win tonight. If the curse of the billy goat is real then the Dodgers will win both games and advance to the World Series. If the Cubs win one of the next two games then the curse never existed. Let me explain what I mean.

Curses can’t be lifted by just winning. If someone puts a curse on a baseball club and it’s a real curse then the only person that can remove the curse would be the person that created it. Curses can’t just be lifted by success. Either a curse is real and exists or it never did. For example, the Cubs have been one win away from the World Series before more than once. In 1984 a ground ball went through the legs of Leon Durham in San Diego and the Cubs lost game 5 of the NLCS to the Padres. The Cubs had a 2-0 lead in that best of 5 series and lost three in a row in San Diego.

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Of course we all remember the 2003 NLCS between the Cubs and the Marlins which is more infamously known as the Bartman series. In that NLCS the Cubs had a 3-1 series lead and lost three in a row to the Fish including the last two games at Wrigley Field. They actually had a lead in game 6 and were 5 outs away from the pennant before the Marlins scored 8 runs in that frame. The Cubs are 0-6 in games where they are one win from clinching the pennant.

I believe that we’ll find out if this supposed curse is real or not in the next two nights. I’m hoping and praying that this curse is the real deal because that means the Dodgers will win the pennant. Regardless we still have a pretty darn good pitcher on the mound named Clayton Kershaw. I certainly trust him, but not so sure if I trust the offense to score off of Kyle Hendricks.

This is the lineup the Dodgers will use tonight

Andrew Toles is back in the lineup and he is batting lead-off as Chase Utley gets pushed down to the eighth spot. Toles is 5 for 10 in the NLCS with two doubles so this makes sense to me. Toles will be in left field as the rest of the lineup looks the same.

Game time – 5 PM PST TV – FS1

Here is the Cubs lineup….

Looks like Jason Heyward is riding the pine tonight as he is just 1 for 16 in the series.

The Dodgers need to get an early lead and take the crowd out of the game right away. I think if the Dodgers can win tonight then there will be a lot of pressure on the Cubs tomorrow. The fans will start thinking about the curse and so will the players. Hopefully Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and the goat can help us to game 7 tomorrow. I don’t want it to end tonight guys.

Go Dodgers please.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

288 thoughts on “NLCS Game 6 Lineups: Is This it?

  1. I’m glad to see Toles leading off, but I would certainly rather see Puig than Reddick, and although I’m a big fan of Utley, he has been ice cold with bat & glove. Howie is unlucky not to be starting this one.

    It is not enough to heap it all on Kershaw’s shoulders, the offense must produce.

    1. Bobby

      So am I, and because of that, I can’t watch any baseball show.

      Part of me, just wants someone to tell me later, if we win tonight.

      But I am still going to watch tonight.

      I hope we don’t give the eight hitter, any good pitch to hit.

      Because the pitcher is on deck, and the eighth hitter, has burned us enough already.

        1. I’m working up until game time. I won’t let any neighbors come over to watch the game either. Don’t need any bad mojo around me.

          1. Hawkeye
            Did you see that Nomar said the same thing, about moving up in the batter’s box, like you said?

  2. Curse?

    As long as we are talking curse, why not speak to the curse that is far more relevant to us than any goat curse is to Chicago. Ef Chicago. That’s in another world, the world of Illinois. I’ve been there and it sucks. The relevant curse is of course The Piazza Curse, put on us by the evil empire of FOX. Had to know we were in trouble when that group took over. But to trade Piazza? No way. Even the ridonkulous Fox ain’t that stupid. Yeah, they are. Bad juju Fox. Since then it’s only gotten worse – the McCourt ownership, one clown show after another on the field – Andruw Jones, the insane Milton Bradley, Darren Dreifort, Jason Schmidt the Untinkable Kevin Brown, Carlos Perez, losing Lo Duca, Brett Tomko, Brian Wilson, Juan Pierre, Brandon League, Brett Anderson, Kevin McCarthy – the list is longer but UCLA has the ball……

    The Piazza Curse. I think it’s real. We’ll know soon enough.

    1. Lotsa chuckles, here, Badger. I like it, even though you were
      from the popular “Clayton-as-choker” school rather than the
      more evidenced “Clayton-outta-gas” school, preferred by a
      minority of folks who like William of Occam. (Take the first
      reasonable explanation and run with it). He was tired, AND
      it was the Cards. A few of you may recall I recommended
      seeing past the “ace” stuff, and realize the Cards were, for
      whatever reasons, honorable and not, his nemesis. Start
      Zach game one, I said. Start Ryu 2. Start Clayton 3, and if
      it goes seven, keep that order.

      So I don’t idolize the kid. Just recognize how little gas he
      was workin’ with that (and a couple other) years.

      Clayton has more long-term fuel tonite. But he’s pitched a lotta
      high-tax innings the last ten days.

      If I’m still bettin’, I dope it like this:

      Chances he repeats game 2 level? 3 in 10. Chances he is good,
      but not game 2 good? 4 in 10. Chances he’s ordinary? 2 in 10.
      Chances he gets bombed? Slight, but real: 1 in 10.
      So I gotta get a very good number to risk this against a quality
      starter with a good, but young lineup, especially considering
      my pre-playoff take on the Dodger at-bats.

      If I don’t get a good number (in the 2-for-1 range), I pass.
      Way too many variables, including DR’s promise to use Joe
      as If he’s September Joe and not the more recent October
      my-slider-disappears-at-the-darndest-times Joe:-).

      Hope it’s a well-played game; hope the Ds prevail. But have a
      bunch of Cub friends from Wisconsin days, and they’ve been
      waitin’ a lot longer than ’88….

      Good to see Toles on top. A reasonable risk, I think, though a
      tough, tough spot for the kid….

  3. Toles has led off innings several times during this series, and not once has he laid down a bunt. I’m not a big bunt guy, but I do like to see it occasionally from a lead off hitter with speed. But glad to see Toles leading off, and also glad to see Utley moved down in the lineup.

    Except for the game in which he got 3 hits, does it seem to anyone else that Seager is trying to pull too much, and also swinging too hard?

    Screw the curse. Just score a bunch of runs, and win the game. And then I’ll start worrying about tomorrow. Maybe breaking the Dodgers 28 year old World Series drought just has to be difficult.

    I agree MJ, part of me also wants to get the score later. I should just DVR the game, and watch it later, if the Dodgers win. But of course I’ll watch the game live. Guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. Getting too old for this stuff.

    1. Brooklyn

      In many of the games this year, when something goes really bad, or really good, we seem to both show up on here, about the same time.

  4. I would also like to see more bunts. If I had to criticize Chase this year it would be not bunting against the shift more often, especially since he’s been in a slump. If the Dodgers can win tonight, they have a chance against Arrietta tomorrow. They will have to play better baseball than they have last two games, but that shouldn’t be too hard.

  5. Yeah, screw both curses. May the best team win.

    You would think those guys that figure things out would have looked at that shift and said…
    “Hmm. How can we beat this 33% of the time”. I’m not a wizard with algorithms but as soon as I saw it the hole at third base was visible. Don’t need a calculator to see that. I KNOW I can bunt a ball to the third baseman once out of every three attempts. Better than that if I worked at it. Rizzo showed everyone how to do it. Analyze that. But, they don’t. They continue to hit it where they is.

  6. Well, I am going to enjoy the game, but after reading all the comments today on the other thread, it seems like we are doomed. I have never seen such negativity when the finish line is so close. It felt like we just lost 106 games this year. I guess it’s just generational.
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    BTW, Farhan Zaidi is married, so that narrative won’t work…

  7. This is so simple:

    A couple of the Dodger hitters need to take charge and HIT the ball. Quit looking at strikes.

    Toles has yet to win me over in the field. Seen some terrible throws and missed played glove issues. His speed is nice, but there is more to the game than that.

    Reddick just got picked off. A basic that should not have happened on a possible final game. Wake up guys or the Cubs will march on.

    1. Hawkeye

      Reddick is on this front office!

      That is the only reason he has been playing.

      Even if Puig doesn’t hit, he can get to more balls, and has much much better arm.

        1. Hawkeye

          Do you really think Roberts really thinks Reddick is good?

          I think Roberts feels that he has to play Reddick.

    1. I can’t hear the announcers, but that graphic of those 96 MPH pitches sailing high tells me you’re right.

  8. When is Joc going to get in his brain, that you don’t swing from your heels with two strikes, with runners on base?

    He has ebough trouble making contact, with one strike!

    1. Reddick with no real offensive production, and with his four errors, and three times being picked off, he is still played all of the time, except against lefties.

      That makes most of the people here dislike him.

  9. I think there was some funky things going on before the game, this afternoon.

    Like major surgery in Chicago. That the guy pitching now for Chicago is really Kershaw with arm surgery that switched arms from left to right, and the guy pitching for the Dodgers is really the Cubs starter with his arms switched.

    Because Kershaw is really never this bad.

  10. Clayton is being hit like in a Spring Training game — that does not count.

    And Roberts is kinda playing it that way.

    And I bet some of the guys in the bullpen are saying, “heck I don’t get hit that hard.”

  11. Kershaw is human. If you all think Urias, Hill, DeLeon, Kazmir, McCarthy, Maeda, Anderson or Wood would be better going into a VERY HOSTILE environment with the temps in the 50’s in an elimination game than maybe they should trade this bum Kershaw. All I’m going to say is that he has made FAZ look better than they really are. He has VERY LITTLE help.

  12. Well the offense is not showing up, but give Hendricks a little credit. The guy knows how to get this team out….

      1. Personally, I think he is just missing his spot and the Cubs are being very aggressive. That is the book on how to beat CK. Be aggressive. I also think he does not pitch well on more than 4 days rest, and the record says so…..his ERA is over 6 in those games……he should have pitched game 5…

          1. Him having more rest has been a bad thing in the past…….like I said his ERA is over 6 in those games…..

        1. Exactly! I’d have gone all in with him in Game 5. If he won, he could’ve pitched first game of WS; if he lost, it would be the dumb manager’s fault. This was ugly.

  13. And Rizzo makes it 5-0……..hello 2017……good bye World Series dreams./…….thank you so much FAZ,……we enjoyed the agony……

    1. Michael

      You said to much rest, but you said Kershaw should have pitched tomorrow, and that would be even more rest.

      1. No I said game 5………………on short rest……make the series 3-2 Dodgers and the pressure is on the Cubs..

  14. Abandon the stupid 3/4 pitch. Cripes, Rizzo almost took him deep on that Game 2 but it went foul. Just stupid.

    1. Hawkeyes

      Why do you think Kershaw has such bad command tonight?

      I thought that 3/4 pitch wasn’t a good, because of injury.

      1. He’s overthrowing the ball just like he did game 1 against the Nationals. Cheap double to start the game, a dropped ball and then Kershaw starts overthrowing. He really hasn’t had a curveball since he game off the DL. He’s gotten away with fastball and slider but when he overthrows he doesn’t get bite on his slider.

        1. Hawkeye


          That is kind of what he did, against the Cardinals.

          Intead of sticking with his other pitches, he kept on heaving fastball after fastball.

          And when he gets tired he does the same thing.

        2. Hawkeyes

          Kershsaw gave up a hit right after that double, to Bryant.

          I was suprised he through an outside pitch to Bryant there.

          Then after those two hits, that is when Toles made the bad play.

          1. Yeah I know. The double was cheap. I too didn’t care for where they were attacking Bryant. He hasn’t handle anything on the inside corner the entire series.

  15. Theo’s aquisitions….Rizzo, Bryant, Russell, Baez, Contreras, Zobrist, Heyward, Soler, Almora, Lackey, Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Chapman, Rondon, Montero, Ross and Schwarber.

    Friedman’s acquisitions…..Hill, Reddick, Grandal, Toles, Ruiz, Utley, Kendrick, Kazmir, Maeda, Anderson, Blanton, McCarthy.

    That is almost laughable.
    Yep, Friedman still jumping up trying to look through the window to see the Big boys table.

    1. You are not serious are you?

      After 2 years in Chicago, Epstien’s team had a 127-197 Won-Loss Record.

      After 2 year in LA Friedman’s team has a 190-141 Won-Loss Record.

      Theo was allowed to blow up the team while rebuilding and accumulated many high draft picks.

      In case you didn’t read the article posted yesterday, FAZ was mandated to win while rebuilding. Epstien was allowed to start with a blank canvas and rebuild while the team was terrible for 4 years.

      Also, Theo didn’t get Contreras. He’s been in the system since 2009.

      What you are comparing makes no sense. Try harder to make some sense!

      1. You def miss the point. Allow me to simplify. Look at who Epstein acquires for his team and then look at who FAZ acquires.

        Food for thought it might behoove you to get your site up and running so that you and your henchmen can kiss Friedman’s ass.

      2. Excuse me, but Friedman had a better team to work with. The Cubs went young and did not sign huge free agents in those years. Friedman’s main guys were already in place………

  16. And after a gazillion dollars and three thousand moves to improve the club,
    the club is right where it was against the Cards a few years ago.

    And, oh, the DEPTH!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Forget Kershaw for a minute.

    The hitting side of this team is terrible. The GM has lots of work to do over the winter. Lots of work.

    Agon is just getting older and slower and not as productive. Time to move and make a change there? or wait a year?

    2nd base — no real player there, just bodies.

    Too many outfielders with no stars any more.

    The Pen and Starters — so many holes, if it were a boat, it would sink.

    1. Agree, Roger. The Cubs have let them know there’s a ways to go.

      Adrian seems to have done OK first round since he got here, but
      like others on the squad, has little left as the games wear on.

      Like CK, he carries a huge load of pressure thru the season, and
      knows he’s not likely to get help from the likes of five or six
      other full-timers, just like CK knew tonite that lineup of his
      was unlikely to get much more than a run against this fine
      emerging PITCHER (from who that super-talented still-young
      Texan could still take a few lessons about the “slow” part of
      the moundsman’s art):-).

  18. Bryant and Baez were both top first round draft picks that were available to the Cubs because they were perennial losers. And Addison Russell was a top first round pick by the Athletics who was traded to the Cubs in the deal that brought Jeff Samardzja and Jason Hammel to Oakland. At the time the Cubs were in last place and Oakland was a contender looking for pitching.

    1. Please tell me how high the Rays minor league system is? There MLB team lost 96 games. Friedman was there for 9 years. They have nothing! You all live in LALA land.

      1. Look at the payroll he was given. In his years in TB, he won more games per dollar spent than any other executive in baseball. The Red Sox routinely spent 3 times what he was given. Friedman had no assets to use and there was a constant flow of players out of the organization. Pick something relevant. There is simply no comparison.

        1. And no championships…great he proved he knows how to not spend money and not win the big one…..great hero you have there….

  19. There will be lots of changes this winter.

    They will try and move A-Gon, but his contract will make it difficult. They will have to eat half of it.

    However, I am proud of the team. They were the Third team standing.

    Last year, the Cubs lost the NLCS while we lost the NLDS. Both teams have went a round further.

    I hate the loss but I’m OK with it!

    I’m not a big Ned-Basher – he did a lot, but he left FAZ with over $60 million of unproductive contracts (A-Gon, Ethier and CC). A-Gon is a great guy with a good glove but a lot of the past 4 years failure to deliver with RISP needs to fall on him. Puig is gone and I hope Reddick too.

    There are a bunch of youngsters on the horizon.

    1. Mark is a absolutely right with this post and the last one referring to Theo being allowed to rebuild while sucking. We haven’t been able to do that and we still have a top farm.

      Overall a good year. We’ll be back. Again. And we’ll be frustrated. Again.

    2. Mark: I like some of your insights, and have supported them.

      But you lose SO MUCH credibility when you get locked in on a lie,
      and keep repeating it. Agon has been NOTHING BUT PRODUCTIVE
      since he came here. Stop grouping him with CC (I warned about him
      BEFORE the deal was struck), and Andre, who has had tough luck with
      a body that was pretty damned useful before the last two years.

      And the hugely fewer millions are crumbs to these drunk sailors. Check
      what they threw away on the already over-the-hill rook from Cuba, Hector
      Olivera (and don’t even try to sell me on the guys they got back for him –
      another in a worrisome list of disappointing players obtained
      in their “we’re smarter than everyone else!!!!” deals. For 2% of his salary,
      a bunch of posters here coulda built a better roster, at least so far….

      And I’m not anti-Friedman. I’ve liked almost all his strategy. It’s the tactics
      that have been sorely lacking in actual on-field value. He wasn’t hired
      (and paid) to do ordinary and less. He was hired to get them the next few
      yards, to paydirt, and has had enormous resources, dwarfing what was
      available to Ned’s guys, to do it. The organization, having invested probably
      more than a billion in his vision, is running in place, blind.

      There go Ned’s Dodgers, a failure in the last rounds again.
      There go Andy’s exponentially-more-costly Dodgers, failures in the last rounds

      1. Good post. I think Mark’s point with his persistent ranting about The Trade is the lack of flexibility it affords a club when they lock in an expensive free agent long term. Adrian’s been productive, but he has cost the Dodgers around 40 million a year when you consider Ned had to take CC’s contract to get him. He’s been productive, but very very expensive, and now he’s on the decline and the Dodgers are on the hook for his declining years. I’m generally ok with The Trade. It made the Dodgers relevant again after the McCourt regime, but paying that much for “stars” as Badger puts it is not the most effective way, in the long run, to develop a deep and successful organization. Would you rather have an Adrian or a Rizzo? To be fair, at least it’s not a Pujols contract. There’s a good contrast: the Cubs, who did it right, and the Angels, who did it completely wrong. Ned was leaning more towards the Angels managerial direction, and now Friedman has the Dodgers heading in the direction of the Cubs model, though they had the advantage of completely tearing down that house to the foundation and starting over.

        For that I give them the benefit of the doubt. Olivera was a bust, but I think it was generally smart to invest big in an untapped market. The FO was able to get good value out of that mistake. The organization that really got screwed were the Braves.

        I don’t think it’s fair to say the final story of this FO tenure has been written. Their long term plan, and it is more of a long term plan, has not really come to fruition. This year was really about a patchwork. This team should’ve been in second or third place….or worse. All of these dumpster diving moves that was been so derided somehow kept a team together and got the Dodgers within a couple of games of the WS against a team that won 103 games this year. To that I give the FO credit, but it doesn’t hide the fact that this team has weaknesses. They were never in the same league as the Cubs, but we always knew that, and they gave it a good run.

        This team needs to do some work to get better. We’ll see what happens.

        1. Good start to off season discussion patch.

          The question regarding having Gonzalez or Rizzo is a curious one. From ’12 to ’14, with Adrian playing solid defense and driving in over 100 – he was the clear choice. Going forward? Of course you want the younger Rizzo. We didn’t get it done with AGon anchoring our lineup. Now we transition to the Bellinger years, though he may not be ready until ’18.

          I hope I’ve been clear in my feeling toward this FO. I didn’t like their deadline moves, and I think it was obvious the goal this year was to compete, put butts in seats, (3.7 million, lead MLB again) while trimming payroll and not denting the system while preparing for the future. With the exception of the Oakland trade, that mission was accomplished. As you know, I think I would have kept Peraza and Montas too, but, whatever. Our system still looks good and we have Seager and Urias to lead the way.

          The culling of this roster should begin right after the World Series. I’m anxious to see the first moves.

          1. You’re right about the present versus future comparison with Agon/Rizzo, but the larger point is HOW you go about acquiring that production. The Dodgers overpayed, a la Pujols, the Cubs acquired prospect talent and developed it (and honestly, probably got really lucky with Rizzo. He traded hands a couple of times and apparently wasn’t that highly valued as a prospect).

            Bellinger might not really even fill the shoes of a guy of Agon’s caliber. He could be a Brandon Belt – solid, not spectacular.

            I think you were more high on Peraza than most baseball people. Great contact, great speed, decent glove….doesn’t walk…at all. In the context of our previous Matt Kemp – batting ave versus OPS/wOBA discussion, walks are really important to the sabre geek guys.

          2. I value hitting more than you do. I believe it possible to learn how to control personal strike zones and walk more as a player progresses as a pro. And I do indeed value speed. Do the geeks? I have no idea. Maybe you do.

        2. Dodger patch

          If McCarthy does what he has done most of his career, he is going to cost the team 48 million dollars.

          At least Agone has stayed on the field, and has been the best RBI guy, the Dodgers have had.

          And even in his decline this year, he still was close to the biggest RBI guy on this team.

          Agone cost 40 million, and if McCarthy possible 48 million.

          That is the problem when Mark uses Agone, but doesn’t mention McCarthy, Anderson, and Kazmir.

          1. You’re comparing two different things. The Dodgers effectively give Agon 40 mil Per YEAR. McCarthy’s contract works out to 12 mil per year, which really isn’t that bad. A team can absorb a bad contract if it’s not that expensive and not that long. Front offices can and will make mistakes. In the grand scheme of things, that wasn’t too bad. And if he comes back and gives the team two solid years, then it’ll STILL be worth it.

    3. There you go again…..Ned did not do that stuff alone. The Owners signed off on those deals so it is not all on Ned. Was he a genius? No, but neither is Friedman. How many world championships has Friedman won?>??? NONE…..and only 1 trip to the series and he lost that……..A-Gone is the one guy who has produced…..get your facts straight. Ethier was so so in 14, but much better in 15. CC at one point in 2014 carried the team in September…….it is easy to forget that stuff though….

    4. And how many oh great sage of those young talents are really going to contribute to winning championships?? None of that is written in stone, they are what they are, prospects, a lot of talent and no credentials yet. They are on the horizon, yes, but how many will shine?

    5. Mark

      Don’t make Agone the scrape goat.

      Kershaw still hasn’t been able to win the big game.

      And this is the first year, that Agone has had some decline.

      The front office let Hanley go, and traded Kemp.

      But they never brought back a good right hand power bat to help Agone, with this offense.

      And because of that, our team is vulnerable to leftie pitchers.

      They let go of those big right hand bats, but without Agone, we would have never won these last two National League West titles.

    1. Hawkeye

      That is the reason I get so upset with Joc.

      He swings from his heels to much with two strikes, and runners in scoring position.

      To me that isn’t being a team player.

      1. That was Gonzo. Joc is 24 years old. Joc is frustrating but getting better I hope. If Adrian is playing first base in LA next year, he shouldn’t be hitting in the cleanup spot anymore.

  20. In spite of the benighted one complaining about the “dribble”
    earlier today, it’s the “dribble” that often makes the difference.

    They can’t bunt very well. The bases are still a mystery, so they
    often hurry to get off them too soon. (How ’bout Corey, for
    one, at the start, not try to pull the first pitch he sees into the
    shift, and maybe bunts up the third base line, a la that great
    master of the play, the slugger named Rizzo? Think two on and
    no outs woulda been a better start than the DP?

    The “ace” needs someone wise to talk to him at crunch time,
    (not Donnie Baseball, not Rick, not his best friend AJ vs. the
    Cards; not Rick, not Yasmani, not DR this time – and it
    begins to appear that he won’t listen even if they did, trying
    still to “power” thru hard innings, instead of pitching thru them).
    and no one is there. If I’m managing, Clayton comes out after the
    second inning – the only desperate chance they had to win.
    But DR, like 99.9% of MLB managers ever, gets caught in the
    “ace” trap. Can’t take my ace out, even when he clearly is way
    off his game (his breaking balls, curve and slider, were sub par
    last out, but the fastball was just good enough, and Cub hitters
    bad enough, to let him get away with it. Tonight, the breakers
    were even worse, and the fastball was uncommanded.

    I was afraid (and so, a little glad after the two shutouts) that if
    they played a Maddon team, they would get revealed, undressed.
    There was a fair share of Clown Ball vs. the Nats, but the Nats
    play a brand that let’s you get away with some of that. The Cubs,
    most of the time, do not.

    So near and yet so far. Wait ’til next year! (better make that 2025:-).

      1. MJ: I’m not sure what you’re saying here.

        Maddon’s teams play sound fundamental ball, with
        fair shares of imagination and guts thrown in. (Game earlier
        this year, against all current wisdom, has a good hitter,
        eighth inning tie game, bunt with no outs and man on second.
        Bunt done well, man at third, one out. Has another RBI guy
        up. BUNTS AGAIN!!!! The rarely used (’til this year, when a few
        other gutsy and astute managers copied him) safety squeeze.
        One of the best unused bets in baseball. Bunt again executed well
        (safety squeeze doesn’t have to be perfect:-). Cubs win.

        Friedman’s Dodgers, after two years, are not close
        to that fun-to-watch brand.

        Does that make my meaning clearer? Good on yer.
        Enjoy the off-season, as much as you can.

        I’ve often enjoyed your “testimony.”

        1. What I am saying is that Friedman hired Maddon, and Maddon was Friedman’s manager for years, until Friedman left to the Dodgers.

          1. Friedman would have had to fire Mattingly to hire Maddon, and he did not want to do that for some reason, and I personally do not think Maddon is a baseball genius. He is more easy going than DM…but he does connect with his players which is unusual for a manager who is that much older than the guys….

    1. Karma…and remember…..Friedman has led his teams to 1 World Series…that is it, and they lost……

    1. “We” went the same place they went under Ned
      against the Cards, the year they beat the Braves.

      Running in place, for four and five times the dollars….

    2. Whoopee doo!! You satisfied with that???? Not me……I would like to see another World Series before I shuffle off………Sorry, I would have pitched Kersh in game 5……then used the whole staff the next 2 games……because this strategy was terrible….they got beat 3 straight, 2 at home……what ever they were thinking they were out scored 23 to 6 the last 3 games………..gee, a really good starter might have won one of those games……

        1. Probably not, but after thought is always better….But Kersh would have been a better choice than rag armed Maeda, who hasn’t done squat…

  21. I’m sure we’ll have some awesome discussions over the next few weeks about this year and our future

    Can’t wait !

      1. Michael

        I do think the Indians can beat them.

        I think the Indians have a really good manager.

        You don’t see him all over like Maddon, but he doesn’t like the media to much.

  22. Eveyone this isn’t Roberts fault, or the players.

    They did pretty well, in spite of the starting pitching rotation, and Kershaw going down.

    We were very lucky to get this far really.

    Is Kershaw ever going to be able to dominate, in the post season?

    1. Agree with the sentiment, MJ.

      But DR had a lot to do with this failure.

      As he had a lot to do with previous and surprising success.

    2. CK will dominate if he gets truly humble, and learns to
      pitch, especially in Big Moments. He still reverts to tried-and-no-
      longer-so-true power, especially when he’s not physically in sync.

      He’s gotta be WAY more patient with his softer stuff on nights when
      he’s struggling to find it. First inning, Bryant was ripe for the
      slider or curve (Jon S. even mentioned the back-foot slider).

      Off last game (and I guess his pre-game pen), he wouldn’t even
      try it. Same with Rizzo after two nice strikes, same with Zobrist.
      Game and season over right there….and he had thrown a great
      slider to Z for strike two. One of many instances where I thought
      whoever was calling the pitches did a way-less than championship job:-(.

      One possible excuse: maybe his back is more of an issue when he
      throws anything but the flame.

  23. Dave Roberts plan just did not work out. It was that in the 9th inning — he had planned on 9 walks and then a double up the gap. That would have been just enough to win the game.

    But alas.

  24. MJ – I might agree with you, but hitting is a part of this game, and it has to kick in. There are some games that end up 8-9 or 6-7 or what ever, but only getting 2 hits in the kick-out game of the season and no real wood on any of the other pitches all night — that is not playing baseball, that is falling on a team’s face.

      1. I think we all did…….dreams die hard……but this was a pipe dream…..the team over achieved, beat a Giants team that tanked and caught the Nats without their 2nd best pitcher and all star catcher….they were very lucky and very gritty, but the BP and the starting staff was too worn out and stretched thin to get it done….Thanks FAZ….for nothing

    1. Roger

      He can only work with what he has.

      You know he had a tough team to have to manage, with no real starting pitching rotation.

      And always having to go to the bullpen.

  25. My last post of the year……….It is hard for any fan to watch his team lose. It is harder when for the last 4 years they have won their division and then fallen short in the playoffs. I am sure Buffalo Bills fans felt pretty much the same when the Bills tanked in 4 straight Super Bowls. The idea is to win championships not get close to them. When you miss chances, chances are that you will not get those chances back. Now FAZ has his way of building a team. There are some here who agree with that strategy and some who do not. This winter there will be changes. Whether or not those changes are for the better we will not know until next year. He has kept his top prospects and resisted the urge to trade for top notch talent. He made the statement this year that the Dodgers were pursuing elite players at the deadline. Instead we got Reddick and Hill, a couple of rentals. Not the elite we the fans were expecting, and not the desired results from either of them. Hill had a couple of good games and Reddick had maybe 1 good week. The bull pen was over worked, supposedly by design because none of the starters could get past the 5th inning most of the time. Promising young kids got to show case their talent early because the staff was decimated by injury’s. All things taken into consideration, the Dodgers were extremely lucky that A. The Giants tanked, and B. The bullpen was the best in the majors after Kershaw went down. The two factors combined with the grit, the one thing this team had in spades, allowed the Dodgers to turn a 8 game deficit into a 4 game lead at the end of the season. Although they sleep walked through the last 6 games costing them home field in the first round. And despite what the FAZOMANIACS think, the starting staff sucked. Their free agent signings except Maeda were abysmal. The guys who spent most of the year on the DL, Ryu, McCarthy and Anderson were pretty much terrible when they came back. Kazmir was ok sometimes and lousy the rest. But losing him to the DL did really hurt because it forced them to use a rookie, Urias, who is close, but not quite there yet. Luckily, Anderson is gone…..he will not be resigned. In all likely hood, Hill is gone too. Ryu is an unknown, but the Dodger starters under contract next year are Kershaw, Urias, Kazmir, Stripling, Ryu, McCarthy, Maeda, Stewart and Deleon. Depth, but outside of Kersh, nothing too awe inspiring. Pretty young in some spots, close to over the hill in others. Who do they move, and who do they keep? Big questions, By the way, the QO this winter is over 17 million… not think they offer that to Anderson again. But they will with Kenley and Turner. They tried to trade McCarthy to Milwaukee, so maybe we fans get lucky and he actually leaves…..would be one of FAZ’s best moves. The bullpen will be over hauled again. Some one, (the Giants maybe) makes Kenley an insane offer. Howell will be let go, I see them keeping Dayton, Fields, Avilan, Baez and making Wood a reliever, unless he blows them away as a starter in spring, and he also could be trade bait. Stewart, Sborz, and Oak will get long looks. We will most likely see Calhoun, Bellinger and Verdugo in spring…Yadier Alvarez, Buehler, Farmer, and Scavuzzo will also get a look see. And next year there is no more Vin Scully, so we will have to endure an entire season of Joe Davis…….boring………..Seager will get rookie of the year, Maddon will edge Dave Roberts for manager of the year. and whether we like it or not, we will have to wait yet again for the elusive World Series, which is now 28 years and counting….Good luck Cubbies… deserved the win….

      1. I know, I am getting stuff packed and ready to move in January. I am going home to California for Xmas. I will probably be on during the winter meetings, but after that I will be extremely busy.

  26. Just heard that FAZ is taking orders for their specially made Kool-Aid. Also heard that it will be much more potent. After consumption, Maeda looks like Grienke, Kazmir looks like Hamels and Puig looks like Cespedes.

    Get your orders in now as they are hoping to double their sales over last year.

  27. Can’t much disagree with anything you said Michael. Many saw this coming, I thought they wouldn’t get this far. Good year considering how many holes had to be filled.

    Much to talk about. How to actually build a serious championship contender will be at the top of the list. Better starters. Better right handed platoon players. Replacements for those who will be leaving. A lot of work yet to do to get there by 2018.

    1. Again I concur. They really want to stockpile players,,,, trade Kersh……He is leaving in 2 years anyway, and it decreases the anxiety we all feel about his bad back. I am sure someone would give up the farm for him, but trade him to the AL…..

        1. I know..I personally would not like to see that happening, but if money is seriously the problem as El Patron Mark makes it out to be and they want to CUT payroll….he is the obvious choice….

    2. Their vision needs some serious adjusting; the consistent mediocrity
      of their trades is no accident. They have the $$$, they have the
      research. They lack serious feel.

      Additionally, they gotta find the folks who can preach, and the choir-
      boys who will listen, about bunting, base-running, and most important,
      situational hitting (Joc and Yasmani first up for that last, followed by

      1. Dud dew

        Good luck with Joc.

        He still can’t stop swinging from his heels, with two strikes, and runners in scoring position.

        1. MJ, Joc had one less HR this year, a higher batting average and a much better second half of the season. Does he revert sometimes? Yes, but he is still only a 2nd year player and next spring you can bet he will be one of the main projects of the batting coach and staff. He at least can field his position and hit for average. Grandal on the other hand is a lousy fielder…..

          1. Michael

            For as many times as both of those players swing from there heels, they should have more HRs.

            That Baez on the Cubs, use to swing from his heels worse then Joc.

            But he has gotten better, and does swing smaller with two strikes, and runners in scoring position.

            Our line up wasn’t as good in the post season, because the pitching is to good.

            And players that swing like that, are easier outs.

          2. Bum

            Wants Joc hitting next to Corey, in that meat of the order.

            I would love to see that, because hitting up there, is not like hitting seventh and eighth.

            I’m glad your coming home for Xmas, you deserve a good stress free time, after what you went through this last year.

  28. Wow. Quite the opening gambit there Michael.

    I’ll see your Kershaw and raise you Puig, Gonzalez and Frankie Avilan.

    Ok, I just threw that last one out. I haven’t given the off season much thought. Still trying to figure how FAZ thinks and their moves are yet to make a whole lot of sense – other than a “not this year” approach.

    1. Badger

      Do you ever think Kerhaw will be good in the post season?

      He does the same thing all the time.

      He just throws fastball after fastball.

      Orel said that Kershaw missed a lot on the pitch that first hitter, hit for a double.

      And he kept on doing that, even before Toles dropped that ball.

      And Kershaw never adjusted form there.

      1. Up until this game MJ, he did fine, He was 2-0 with a save. He pitched well in the NLDS last year. I think the post season thing with him is over blown. It was simple tonight. He was over throwing and missing his spots consistently, allowing the hitters to sit on his fastball because his slider was not working and neither was his curve……A guy who wins 3 Cy Young awards definitely knows how to pitch……I wonder if AJ being there would have made a difference, but we will never know.

        1. Michael

          Roberts talked like having this extra time off, might have messed a little with Kershaw psyche too.

          But what has me worried about Kershaw, is that he doesn’t handle adversity very well.

          When a team hits him hard, he doesn’t pitch, he throws.

      2. He missed on the spot but he was still beat and hit a flare down the 1st base line. Things snowballed from there. Kershaw would have had to throw a shutout tonight to maybe win the way the offense choked.

        1. Hawkeyes

          Orel said that bloop double wasn’t a fluke.

          He said that Kershaw missed his spot, by quite a bit, on that hit.

      3. He missed on the spot but he was still beat and hit a flare down the 1st base line. Things snowballed from there. Kershaw would have had to throw a shutout tonight to maybe win the way the offense choked.

        How many games did the Dodgers win this post season that Kershaw didn’t pitch in?

    2. I agree, and one other thing….that flight back to LA is going to be long and very quiet……they went out with a whimper and were out scored 23-6 the last 3 games…that is terrible pitching……..and the offense and defense crumbled…….

  29. Too early to begin making predictions about what will happen over the winter.

    There will be three closers available. Jansen, Chapman, and Melancon, all of whom do not require draft pick compensation from the Dodgers. My best bet is that the Dodgers re-sign Jansen, and possibly make a move for one of the others. I wonder if Melancon would be be willing to move to the 8th inning if the money is right.

    I doubt if Utley will be returning, and certainly don’t think he’s any part of the answer at 2B. Maybe Kendrick gets his job back, or perhaps the Dodgers keep him around as a utility player, and seek an upgrade at 2B.

    I don’t know if Bellinger is ready, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Agon traded. My best guess is that he would be more valuable to an American League team, where he could get an occasional day off from the field at DH. Chances are that the Dodgers would be satisfied to get salary relief from about half his salary, maybe a little more.

    I wonder if the Dodgers will offer Justin Turner a QO. I’m not sure what kind of long term deal that he can command in the market. It might be that $17 million for one year with the option of entering the free agent market again after 2017 could be enticing to him. Depends on the other options available at 3B (e.g., a trade for Evan Longoria), or even shortstop if the Dodgers are willing to slide Corey Seager over to 3B.

    And if Cespedes decides to exercise his opt out with the Mets, would the Dodgers be willing to enter the free agent market to obtain his big righthanded bat?

    Of course this is all just speculation, especially since I don’t have a clue at this time who might be available via trade or free agency. I do see numerous possibilities for pitching to come from within the Dodgers organization, but not much in the way of righthanded hitting.

    Right now all I want is for the World Series to be over, and the hot stove to begin.

    Finally, I do believe that the Dodgers had a good year overall. They made it to the LCS, and were therefore among the last 4 teams standing. Also, Corey Seager lived up to expectations, and I expect more going forward, including an increase in his power as he gains more experience, and matures physically. And Julio Urias will benefit from his experience this year, and will have less restrictions next year. I also like what I saw from Brock Stewart.

    1. I doubt they offer Jansen the HUGE money he is going to get. Not their MO. Originally I think they were going to use Montas to replace him but they blew that trading him for a rental. Avilan, Howell, Hatcher, Chavez, will most likely be gone, at least we hope. Fields might get resigned, Anderson is gone, thank you Jesus, and who knows what they get out of McCarthy. Bellinger is as much a crap shoot as anything else, But they could move Ethier to first base if they wanted to and trade Adrian. SVS will probably not be back, but they could platoon Ethier and Kendrick at 1st base, same thing goes for 2nd with Kendrick, Kike and Barnes in the equation. Taylor will be in there somewhere and Calhoun will get a look see. Who knows, they might even let Micah Johnson try out for it. One thing for sure…..the 2017 LA Dodgers will look a lot different than the 2016 version……..and it is never too early to talk about this stuff just to see how BAD FAZ messes it up………can’t wait for 2018!

    2. Finally a voice of reason Brooklyn Dodger.

      Agree, Dodgers could very well be in on two of the closers you mentioned. Could get two, could get none.

      Agree, Utley could be moving on. Dodgers are getting younger. FAZ has told us this. Good veteran to have if he comes cheap.

      Agree, Gonzalez is fading fast. Problem is two year contract at $20M/yr. He could be back, but, hopefully a deadline deal next year. Bellinger is the future, good defense, potentially good offense.

      Justin Turner definitely gets a QO. Please take it Justin, please!!

      Cespedes, interesting thought. Lots of platooning in the outfield again next year. Could use some right handed bats. What is the cost?????

      Agree, Dodgers had a good year, no a great year. Very exciting. I know many said they saw us falling short, very bold prediction. But many of the same people saw AZ/SF/WASH beating us out.

      Agree, Seager is the cornerstone, beautiful building block. So glad FAZ didn’t listen to critics and trade him for Hamels.

      Agree, the pitching future looks bright. Very excited to see spot starts, ala Urias, from many of the young studs coming up.

  30. They better not sign Reddick, he is a waste.

    He should have been sitting on the bench.

    Maybe if Toles would have been given more playing time, he wouldn’t have made these errors in the big lights, of this series.

    He had already out hit Reddick, in his first few games up in the majors.

    He would have also given this team, something they needed speed.

    Playing Reddick and Howie, was not best for this team.

    And what are they going to do with Howie next year.?

    1. He has one more year on his contract, and I see more of the same type of usage, and in all honesty, the guy contributed a lot during the regular season. The whole team crapped out this series. Toles took his eye off that ball, it was all on him. I doubt they resign Mister I could not hit my entire first month as a Dodger and even less chance of retaining Hill who wants to pitch on the east coast……so that trade was a bust. Not worth what we gave up………Jharel Cotton could have been a starter, and Montas a closer…..and who knows how good Holmes will turn out….nice job fazman……

      1. Montas will be the one we miss, if he doesn’t get injured again.

        They are not signing Kenley, and it sounds like he is going for the top dollar.

        I think they will sign Turner, unless they insult him, with a low ball amount.

        Where is Boxout?

        No wonder he said that we have our best pitcher pitching, and if we don’t win, it wasn’t meant to be.

        But up until today, we were where we were, because of the great Faz.

        What is bad about all of this, is that Roberts and his coaches, and the players, all played hard, despite what the front office gave them to work with.

        And I know some think that Roberts should have told the front office to F off, and manage like he wants.

        But these guys are his bosses, and this is his first year managing.

        There is no way that this team would have went this far with Mattingly.

    2. Playing Reddick and Howie, was not best for this team….

      And that is all on your choice for Manager of the Year. I too had hopes for Roberts but they were quickly dashed when he showed just how dumb he was.

    1. Brooklyn

      The Cubs fans could trust Epstein more, because he has created a team that won the World Series.

      Friedman has never won a World Series, or worked for a big market team, like Epstein did.

      That is part of the reason people are concerned.

      We don’t want be another Rays or A’s!

      The reason that they signed McCarthy,
      Anderson, and Kazmir, because they knew them, from these teams.

      They didn’t try to look any farther.

      And Kazmir wasn’t even there top choice, they signed him quickly, after not getting Greinke, and letting that Japanese pitcher walk.

      And they did the same with Blanton, after letting Chapman go.

      I didn’t want them to make a deal with Billy Beane, because I thought we would come out on the bad side of this deal.

      And we did, because Reddick is a joke, the A’s only gave him a one year contract.

      And really Hill only pitched well, only in one game, in the post season, and that was after he slow start.

    1. Jason

      I feel the same way about Kershaw.

      A lot of people say we are wasting Kershaw’s best years, but he has been part of the problem, in the post season.

      1. The Dodgers didn’t score a run period. When the Cubs got two in the first, the offense choked and did nothing to pick up CK. We wouldn’t have been this close if Kershaw didn’t shut them out in Game 2. He hasn’t had his curve since he came off the DL. The offense choked darn near every time a lefty took the mound down the stretch. CK’s own teammates put everything on a guy tonight who missed 2 1/2 months with a herniated disk by getting outscored 18-6 in games 4 and 5. The Cubs have a history of choking, but when Clayton gave up two cheap runs in the 1st inning and his teammates saw he didn’t have his best stuff as well, the other 24 players choked and did nothing to pick up their leader.

        1. Hawkeyes

          What do you think this team did, after Kershaw went out?

          Kershaw wouldn’t be pitching now, without this team’s offense!

          1. If I find out later if Kershsaw couldn’t pitch his off speed pitches, because of a hidden injury I will feel different.

          2. And then when he came back? No bats and 6 errors in 3 games. The team was very flawed and lucky to get past Washington. I don’t think it’s gloom and doom for the future. It is a crapshoot once you make the playoffs More young talent is on the way but the Dodgers need another prime time player or two on offense. Agone hasn’t been primetime in the playoffs. Turner is the only vet who has shown up to play in the post season. Dead weight like McCarthy and Kazmir must get out of the way.

  31. Interesting takes. Turner will not accept the qualifying offer. He’s going to get at least 4 years. Will he give the Dodgers a bit of a home town discount. I believe so. He has to be top priority. He’s earned it and would be a hole the Dodgers couldn’t fill.

    Let’s remember, paying Kenley is about the year’s not the his annual salary. He was already one of the highest paid closers in the game. After this playoff performance and the lack of miles on the former catcher the Dodgers will push hard to keep him from SF. I do agree that the Dodgers could push for Melancon too. They definitely need an 8th inning guy not named Joey Pancakes. Although I have no problem bringing him back in middle relief. Of course moving Montas creates a bigger hole there assuming Montas can come back for Oakland.

    As much as Chase was a good leader and example he has to go. We have too many LH bats already and need more speed. We were also not the greatest turning two this year with a combo of Utley and Seager. Utley really doesn’t offer any more than Howie for next season. There is too much of a log jam in the outfield to have Howie cluttering things up there as well. I’d prefer an upgrade all together over Utley, Kendrick, and Kike.

    The rotation needs a #2. We have Kershaw, Urias, Maeda, and a bunch of question marks. Some like Stewart, Deleon, Wood have plenty of potential, but we can’t count on them to be #2’s.

    So, Cespedes? Interesting idea. Fills the need for a RH bat. Comes with lackadaisical defense. Also, has issues hustling out of the batters box. Honestly, more hustle issues than Puig and a defensive drop off. Puig is a knucklehead but Cespedes issues are attitude. Cespedes WILL opt out. There is no doubt about it. So, how long do you want to sign him and how much because he loves NY? Do you want to get locked into a long-term deal with a guy who has his own clubhouse issues. Toles, Joc, Cespedes, Trayce, Andre in the outfield and use McCarthy, Puig, and some others in trades? I guarantee that Ethier won’t be a good teammate if he’s both healthy and sitting the bench next year.

    Bullpen will need an annual re-build. Time to say goodbye to Baez, Howell, and Hatcher. I hope Yimi can get healthy next year. I’d rather see him than Baez and Hatcher. JP just looked done to me.

    Anyways, Go Indians! The Cubs are good not great. Like someone mentioned the Dodgers overachieved and really after Washington lost Strasburg and Ramos there weren’t any other really good teams in the NL. I hope Cleveland takes them out quickly and we get on with the offseason.

    1. Hawkeye

      I agree about the Cubs.

      If Blanton makes better pitches, we could have won a couple more games.

      And we didn’t have the starting pitching, and we still could have beat the Cubs, so they are not great!

      And I think the Indians have a better manager, so don’t sell them out!

      They took care of the Bluejay’s bats, they can do the same to the Cubs.

      1. Hawkeyes

        I do agree with you about Cespedes.

        If Cespedes didn’t have all of those attitude problems, more teams would be after him.

        Because Cespedes is a good run producer, and a much better hitter then Puig.

        But Puig is better with everything else, including attitude, believe it or not.

        We need to good hitter, with power, that hits good pitching.

        And hit both lefties and righties.

    2. As much as the Giants would love Kenley, I think they would rather have Chapman and save a first-round pick. The Dodgers may try to revisit the Braun deal; I don’t see them suddenly going after Cespedes or any other high-priced FA.

      I’m not rooting for an AL team. The Cubs won fair and square, they built their team the right way and their fans have waited long enough.

  32. dud dew: “And after a gazillion dollars and three thousand moves to improve the club,
    the club is right where it was against the Cards a few years ago.”

    dud dew: “He was hired to get them the next few
    yards, to paydirt, and has had enormous resources, dwarfing what was
    available to Ned’s guys, to do it. The organization, having invested probably
    more than a billion in his vision, is running in place, blind.”

    dud dew: “There go Andy’s exponentially-more-costly Dodgers, failures in the last rounds.”

    While I always enjoy a good rant, I’m wondering: Do you work for the government? In the finance department? Or the way you make stuff up, are you a MSM reporter? Seriously, have you EVER studied the players signed by NED and FAZ? Ever looked at the Dodger payroll over the last few years? I seriously doubt it. Go ahead, try and tell us all about the gazillion dollars and exponentially-more-costly Dodgers under FAZ. C’mon I dare you.

    I will start the debate. Before doing anything to field the team they wanted in 2015 FAZ had to start with at least the following NED salaries.

    Kershaw, $32M, Greinke, $25M, Gonzalez, $22M, Crawford, $21M, Ethier, $18M, Jansen, $7M, Guerrero, $7M, Puig, $6M, Howell, $6M, Ellis, $4M, Turner, $3M, Ryu, $5M, Kemp, $18M, Haren, $10M, Wilson, $10M, League, $9M, Billingsley, $3M, Uribe, $3M, Arruebarrena, $5M.
    Total, $214M

    Before doing anything to field the team they wanted in 2016 FAZ had to start with at least the following NED salaries.

    Kershaw, $35M, Jansen, $11M, Turner, $5M, Gonzalez, $21M, Ethier, $18M, Puig, $7M, Howell, $6M, Ryu, $8M, Crawford, $22M, Guerrero, $7M, Kemp, $4M, Ellis, $4M, Arruebarrena, $5M.
    Total, $153M

    My question to you, can you list the gazillion billion dollars FAZ spent to field the rest of the teams for 2015 and 2016?

        1. Boxout

          I was just teasing you about posting about the same thing.

          I just don’t think you get, the problem with the starting pitching rotation.

          It isn’t better to pay out still a lot of money, and don’t get anything for it.

    1. The answer is no, Michael. AJ was no help when he ran into similar
      probs against the Cards. I’m not sure Clayton listens to anyone, while once
      I simply assumed he did.

      Post season “thing” not overblown on a team that’s just set a record
      for qualifying for playoffs without advancing to Series – ten tries, and
      the #30million dollar “ace” has disappointed so consistently. I was worried
      tonight he had had too many high-stress innings in the previous ten days.

      You can’t simply say he was missing his spots without an explanation. That’s
      a little TOO simple:-).

      (This was in response to your reply to MJ about Clayton’s struggles, way above).

    2. The answer is no, Michael. AJ was no help when he ran into similar
      probs against the Cards. I’m not sure Clayton listens to anyone, while once
      I simply assumed he did.

      Post season “thing” not overblown on a team that’s just set a record
      for qualifying for playoffs without advancing to Series – ten tries, and
      the #30million dollar “ace” has disappointed so consistently. I was worried
      tonight he had had too many high-stress innings in the previous ten days.

      You can’t simply say he was missing his spots without an explanation. That’s
      a little TOO simple:-).

      (This was in response to your reply to MJ about Clayton’s struggles, way above).

    3. Yes, within the strictures of honorable, logical discourse,
      and with great effort and concentration, I believe I can!

      OTOH, if I can use the Rule of Massive Distortion displayed by you
      in finally getting to your question, it would be a snap.

      By the way, did you used to do traveling medicine shows when
      younger? Sell certain things?

      (This is a response to Master Boxout at 10:25)

      1. dud dew

        Oh course, I am looking for honorable, logical discourse.

        In spirit of honorable, logical discourse, please explain my use of “Rule of Massive Distortion”, in your response.

        “Traveling medicine shows”? No, I was never a politician.

        Looking forward to your response.


        Master Boxout

  33. MJ: “Where is Boxout?

    No wonder he said that we have our best pitcher pitching, and if we don’t win, it wasn’t meant to be.

    But up until today, we were where we were, because of the great Faz.”

    Largely agree, It was a great year, we were better than 90% of the other teams. Players, Manager, Coaches and the great FAZ ALL deserve credit.

  34. By the way: I would never match gazillion and billion.
    It would break my brain.

    And be a wee hyperbolic…..

    And I could agree, too, if y’hadn’t snuck in that adjective before

  35. And, sadly, that was the Ds best regular season pitcher.

    For playoffs, not so much. Clay had not much left after the
    tax of the previous ten days, so resorted to throwing.

    The only pitching being done was by the young bear.

    1. Maeda was worthless in the playoffs. Just flat ran out of gas, and he was the only free agent pitcher that was worth spit that FAZ signed. Kazmir was so so, and everybody else just got injured or sucked……Can’t wait to see how screwed up it gets next year….what rag arm will they sign to fill the holes? Who knows….they get the credit when the team wins, and now they can shoulder the blame for this debacle….

      1. Michael

        I still think Maeda has some kind of injury.

        Alanna asked if Maeda was healthy, the last two times he has pitched.

        You never know, because the Dodgers don’t disclose stuff like that, at times.

        You gave more credit to Kazmir, then I would give.

  36. 11 potential free agents if you include Ruiz who they have an option on and Kazmir who can opt out, but how many think he will bail on 24 mil? So we will be stuck with his lame arm again and McCarthy who is so totally worth the 48 million FAZ wasted on his ass…….The QO only 2, Jansen and Turner. Everybody else can leave….no big loss.

  37. Called it a night early. Rams on now.

    Entertaining takes going on until late here. I wonder where Mark is. Probably working on the Dodgertalk site. Box showed up. Good for him. Not much out of patch. Could take a few days for the pain to subside. Me? I think it was a remarkably successful season.

    Interesting Post article. Looked familiar. I was with it until “Hill and Reddick. The combination had them in as good a position to win that first title since 1988, without jeopardizing chances to keep on going for it.” Don’t buy that one. Frankly I’d prefer having those prospects back moving forward.

    The concept of “competing” is a curious one. I certainly get it, but I for one did not need to be artificially convinced of it. Once the move to Moneyball was made, I figured we would immediately follow the Cubs model. They’ve been working on it for over 5 years now, and of course started from further back. As I said early and often in the process, we were a 90 win team but a few pieces short. We just didn’t get those pieces. Yeah, many moves were made, hoping to discover hidden gold, but this roster just wasn’t going to beat the superior Cubs. Those guys are good. They won going away. And, though we know how difficult it is to repeat, the Cubs are built to last. They will be good for a long time.

    And we will get better. After some contracts clear, and our prospects mature, we too will be in a position to compete with the elite. I sure hope once in position to no longer bargain shop, our 2.0 team can find the right talent.

    This will be a most interesting off season.

    1. Badger

      Can you post that post article about Hill and Reddick please.

      All I can say is that we better be that good in 2018.

      There won’t be anymore excuses, or others to blame.

      And I hope everyone is right about 2018.

  38. Mercifully over. We had high hopes. So did 29 other teams. We finished above 27 of them, we have nothing to be ashamed about. But we could have done better. The failure is in what we didn’t have: at least one decent starting pitcher and at least one good right handed hitter. And a manager that’s smart enough to play his best players. The Dodger players did well for what they are. Our loss comes from a Front Office who for two years now has failed to acquire what the club needed. Clayton Kershaw hasn’t the right to feel he let the club down; Nay, the club let him down. He gave everything he had. Failure this year can once again be told in three letters: FAZ!

    1. Wondering

      I agree with most of that, but about Roberts.

      There are not any teams really left, where the manager doesn’t work with the front office, and Maddon was hired from Friedman.

      For some who were blaming the players for not getting hits, and some runs for Kershaw, I feel that is wrong.

      Those players have been working hard since Kershaw went out, and almost the whole starting pitching rotation went down.

      The players can’t always bale every pitcher, or the front office out.

      They did pretty well, considering the situation.

          1. Badger

            That is why I think some people are giving Maddon to much credit.

            He wasn’t the one that taught some of these young players, how to but, and made the right fundamental ways.

        1. Wondering

          Maddon couldn’t come to the Dodgers, because the head Dodger owner, made Friedman keep Mattingly, for the rest of his contract.

          There was also the problem with being called out for tampering from baseball.

          And in fact the Rays wanted to Pursue tampering charges against the Cubs.

        2. No FAZ kept DM because he did not want to upset the apple cart right out of the gate. That’s why they let the so called cancers of Ramirez and Kemp be let go..

  39. I think it is because of FAZ that we got this far and that our future is bright. FAZ is not perfect. Everyone makes mistakes ,especially when you make a lot of deals and it is extremely foolish to try and evaluate those deals right away. Sometimes it takes years… especially if you are talking about young players.

    The Phillies beat the Rays in 2008 with a payroll of $112 Million while the Rays had a $51 Million payroll. They also beat out Epstien’s Red Sox who had a $147 Million payroll that year. You need to quit making that comparison – it makes you look really dumb. Friedman had no ability to increase payroll, but he won more games per dollar spent than any GM – PERIOD! It wasn’t his fault the owners didn’t have money. Make a real argument. That’s so devoid of reason!

    Also, in the post-steroid era, older players are not playing as well. The roadmap to success ain’t what it used to be. I know why we are here and if I can figure it out, you should be able to as well. We did not have stud starting pitchers because FAZ would not trade top prospects and sign long-term deals. Still, when FAZ got the best starter available at the trade deadline you still complained because he traded some mid-level prospects. Maybe Cotton will be Pedro and maybe Montas will be a closer, but I think Holmes = Lee!

    Most of you have made up your minds that FAZ is horrible. REAL baseball minds think otherwise. 2017 will be a different year.

    Free Agents
    • Rich Hill – I wouldn’t mind seeing him back on a two-year/$30 million deal. The thing is, someone will pay him more and I’m really OK with that.
    • Kenley Jansen – The Dodgers will make a run and offer him arbitration, but he will command a huge deal. I can’t see it! He will do what Greinke did and follow the money.
    • Brett Anderson – Two words: Bye, Bye!
    • Chase Utley – Chase has brought a blue collar professional mentality to the Dodgers and they are grateful for what he has done, but unless he wants to accept a utility role at about $4 million a year, he will take his diminishing skills and great hustle elsewhere.
    • Josh Reddick – No need for him and he has not shown he is worth of a contract. Next.
    • J.P. Howell – Believe it or not, I could see him coming back on an incentive-laden deal.
    • Justin Turner – The Dodgers will offer him arbitration, but it will take a huge deal to keep him. I would do that deal with an eye to moving him to 1B in time.
    • Joe Blanton – He could come back on a similar deal to this year.

    Most Likely to be Traded
    • Yasiel Puig
    • Adrian Gonzalez
    • Howie Kendrick
    • Enrique Hernandez

    I don’t put all of the failure on A-Gon, but he is no longer a #3, #4 or #5 hitter and he is slow A-Gon needs to hit #6 and the Dodgers need a couple of stud RH bats. This may be the time to trade Verdugo and/or Bellinger along with someone like Puig and Stewart to get that guy and I don’t mean Ryan Braun. Seager and Toles and Pederson and Ethier and Grandal and A-Gon are all LH. FAZ needs to balance that out. The guy they are looking for is not that 30 year-old like Paul Goldschmidt (whom may be on the block) but a younger version.

    I am anxious to see what the team does under Turner Ward in his second year. There should be more progress. I also think maybe it’s time to move Honeycutt upstairs and get a new pitching coach. I think Clayton needs a new voice. Rick Honeycutt has been great, but sometimes it just becomes necessary to go a new direction. That time is now. Again, he has been great for a long time. In my opinion we just need a new direction.

    My lineup next year is this:

    1. Toles LF
    2. ___________________________ 2B (RH Hitter)
    3. Seager SS
    4. ____________________________ RF (RH Hitter)
    5. Turner 3B
    6. A-Gon 1B
    7. Grandal C
    8. Pederson CF

    To fill those spots, the Dodgers are going to have to trade Puig, Verdugo, Bellinger, Calhoun, Stewart, De Jong and others. They now have the resources. It should be interesting. I am going to be gone for a while. A visit to the AFL is on the horizon and I will post again at my old home.

    1. “To fill those spots, the Dodgers are going to have to trade Puig, Verdugo, Bellinger, Calhoun, Stewart, De Jong and others.”

      What?! I don’t want that! I already have this empty feeling knowing Montas, Holmes and Calhoun are gone without much to show for it. It’s sort of like that feeling when you’re in Vegas and you take a bunch of money out of the ATM because you’re on a hot streak and…well….you know the rest. I’d feel even more sick if the Dodgers were in exactly in the same spot with Cole Hamels, ….and Seager was out there being the ROY somewhere else. Whenever you give up the future to increase your short term prospects, it’s a straight up dice roll gamble. I prefer investment.

      1. Seager was never going anywhere. Stop it with that. We’ve been over this many times. The deal we proposed here was our third best prospect, rated higher than any of the Texas prospects used, and a few others, like Peraza, for the team controlled Hamels. Didn’t happen. Wood and Johnson happened. That worked well.

        1. Oh yeah, make a list of Friedman’s pitcher pick ups and it looks like the waiting room in a trauma center, and the amount of money he has spent on lame arms, that’s encouraging. Look, Friedman has a better winning record in his first two years as the BOSS because most of the pieces were already in place before he got here. Epstein did not have that luxury, and his free agent signings are far better than the GARBAGE Freidman got,,,,,,nuff said end of story…….He had better draft picks because the Cubs were perennial losers……

          1. nuff said end of story? Not quite!

            Epstein free agent signings? How about Heyward for $184M/8 years.

            Freidman has better winning record because most of the pieces were in place? Like, Crawford, $21M, Ethier, $18M, Guerrero, $7M, Howell, $6M, Ellis, $4M, Ryu, $5M, Kemp, $18M, Haren, $10M, Wilson, $10M, League, $9M, Billingsley, $3M and Arruebarrena, $5M?

          2. No moron…….Gonzo, Turner, Puig, AJ, Kershaw, Greinke, Jansen, Howell, Baez, and excuse me, but when CC was not injured he played pretty well……..They traded Kemp, let Hanley go, and brought in Grandal, and Kendrick. But the core was already there. By the way, Ethier had a pretty decent 2015, Guererro was every body’s fair haired boy and they wanted DM to play the guy every day except he can’t field. Howell had the best ERA in the BP in 2015, Haren was traded before they even played a game…….if they did not have Kemp, we would not be saddled with Lead glove Grandal……

        2. That’s all fine and dandy, but the deal you proposed here, in some vacuum of some obscure blog, is not the deal that’s going to work in the real world. From the all we actually know, the best information that we have, is that the Phils were asking for prospects the Dodgers were simply not willing to give up.

          I laugh at the some of the arm chair GM-ing here. “Kike was worthless this year!! Stupid FAZ could’ve traded him and Barnes for a REAL pitcher….like Sale or Archer!”

          The other GMs are just as greedy and shrewd, and want to take their pound of flesh out of the Dodgers, too. Somehow to think you can always get what you want on your terms is folly.

      2. He is blowing wind……….most of those guys are going no where. They have nobody in the farm system besides Bellinger who is even close enough to replace Gonzo when he finally leaves….just trying to show his so called I told you so attitude…..guy is a total windbag.

      3. Dodger patch

        I didn’t understand trading those players either.

        Why do we suddenly have enough good prospects, to trade, and are not that some of our position player prospects?

    2. I want to keep Bellinger and start him in 2017. Kendrick would be told that he is only a pinch hitter and protection at first should Bellinger need a break to reset like Trout did in his first year up.

      Given the preponderance of lefty bats, both now on the Dodgers and coming up, the Dodgers need to try to swap some prospects as one way to get a righty bat. I would like to keep Puig as well so maybe it is Verdugo and Toles that are the young players that might get the Dodgers a solid young righty bat.

      We don’t know if Thompson was a 45 day wonder or if his first 45 days represent what he can do with a good back. If it were the back, he would be a good righty bat in left field.

      I would like to see if Verdugo and Toles could get Shea Turner and put him at either second or short depending on whether Justin Turner re-signs.

      For those who want to trade Kershaw, I would be okay with that if it helped get the Dodgers Trout.

      1. I would like to trade both Gonzales and Grandal if it could get a good return. Wil Smith is a couple of years away from being the Dodgers catcher so if Grandal leaves, Barnes would have to step up as catcher unless the Dodgers were to get a catcher back in the Grandal and Gonzales trade.

        Looking for a good righty bat at the catcher position. Lucroy would be nice as he would be a place holder for Smith.

      2. Bottom line, Toles has proved that he can hit, more then most of the other outfielders on this team have, in the last couple of years.

        He also possesses something no other player has on this team speed.

        And if he is allowed to play everyday, he may be a even better player, both offensively and defensively.

        He hit better then anyone in this last series in the post season.

        And he just came up, from A ball this year.

        Just like Corey, Toles hit right away in his first taste of the bigs, unlike a few other players.

    3. Mark

      I was more impressed with Stewart then JDL.

      And I thought Stewart might pitch against the Cubs, since he pitched so well against them.

  40. In an effort to begin anew, I am going to ask you if it be possible you post your opinions without the incessant insults to those who see things differently. If you can’t do that, and to date you have not, then start your own blog right now and take the “you’re all morons, bow to my superior REAL baseball mind” attitude with you.

    1. You do realize, don’t you, that you just made a thinly veiled insult, without any provocation, directed at one particular individual, and you just told him to shove off and start his own blog, right?

      You are aware of what you just did, right? Just checking 😉

      1. Without provocation is inaccurate. You apparently don’t see the condescending language because it isn’t aimed at you.

  41. Disappointing, but we knew the Cubs were good, and I think we all knew the Dodgers were playing over their heads….pretty much the entire second half of this season. With Kershaw going down, no one hitting and with all of those injuries, I think what the Dodgers did was near miraculous.

    So, I can’t be too disappointed. I’m not too disappointed in Toles for his two huge errors this series, or Blanton’s hanging sliders. I think I’m most disappointed in Kershaw last night. That was hubris. He is SO competitive, he is SO intense during his game days, and he feels he needs to carry this entire team on his back. As a result, he just was overthrowing. He was trying to do more than he was capable and more than what has made him successful. So, you see all of these fastballs at 95-96 sailing high, and we know he normally throws 93 with great location. What irritates me is that he’s too bull headed to realize this and calm down….or LISTEN to ANYBODY. We know that if Honeycutt went out there to calm him down, he would just turn his back to him and mutter something and then try to throw 105 the next pitch.

    He’s Kobe. Similar hypercompetitive, hyper-intense personality type. Both feel they need to do it all themselves, often times to the detriment of the team. I remember, though, that Kobe learned something. I remember his interview after the Lakers beat the Celtics in that game seven a few years ago. Nothing was working for him that night. The harder he tried, the more he tried to will a win, the more he missed. He realized he had to let go a little bit and let his teammates help him win the game. So, instead of taking that three pointer, he passed it to Metta who sank it. I loved that interview the Metta after the game, too. “he passed me that ball! He let me shoot it!”

    But Kobe grew in that moment. Kobe is a thoughtful and extremely intelligent guy, too. Kershaw needs to grow mentally. I think the FO, in one of their better offseason moves, needs to ship Kershaw off to Tibet and have him learn how to medidate. You can’t be rage monster and pitch.

    1. It appeared Kershaw didn’t have his curveball working. And he was missing his spots with his other pitches. Not his night.

      Is Tibet a small town outside Dallas?

        1. Kershaw goes to exotic places in the off season. The question, raised by some here, is whether Clayton and Ellen will move the family permanently to Texas. I doubt it, but, it’s a good idea to investigate the possibility.

          1. MJ. Kershaw is a Dallas native so there is a lot of chatter about him wanting to pitch in his home state at some point. That is why most believe he will opt out of his contract after 2018 and sign with one of the Texas teams. And the only good thing about that is they are both in the AL.

      1. I’m trying to meditate and practice mindfulness more. It’s actually hard and takes a lot of practice.

        I thought all of you ex-hippie progressive types love all that New Agey, Eastern philosophy vegan bean sprout stuff?

        1. I’ve been a vegetarian and have been following an Eastern path since 1971. It’s helped me be the mellow fellow you all know. Once the mind is calmed you can see through the chaos. Of course, clarity of thought doesn’t guarantee a REAL baseball mind, as has been pointed out repeatedly in here.

    2. Dodger Patch

      I’m glad you adresssed Kershaw, because some think, he is untouchable.

      I love that he goes the extra mile to try to help the team, but sometimes the best for the team, is to take Kershaw out, in certain situations.

      Like in that second game, that Kershaw pitched against the Nats.

      Kershaw pitched a great six innings, but once the first hitter got on base, he should have been taken out, even if he insisted he could get these outs.

      And like you said Kershaw doesn’t want anyone to come out there, but he doesn’t adjust to certain adversity well.

      When he keeps on getting hit, he just throws harder, and doesn’t pitch.

      Yes Toles should have caught that ball, but because Kershaw missed badly on the pitch that Flowler hit for a double, and didn’t make a good pitch to Bryant, after he was ahead on the count, Kershaw was responsible for the two runners on base.

      And he didn’t change his approach, in the next inning either. .

      1. When you’re so big, so important, so The Guy, you almost become uncoachable. I don’t think Kershaw is selfish, but …when you’re that good and that important to a team, it’s almost a case of being too big to fail, there’s less accountability, to yourself and to your team.

        1. Dodger Patch

          I don’t think he is selfish, at all, but if Kershaw isn’t hurt, I think it is ok to expect him to win big games like this is the post season.

          But I think it is part mental with Kershaw, and the behavoir you pointed out, that gets in Kershaw’s way.

          I couldn’t believe in that last game against the Nats, that more people was concerned with Kershaw’s post season rep, then winning that game.

          And thought that what Kenley did, was harder then Kershaw having to get those last two hitters out.

          But Kershaw got most of the credit.

      2. What would you have changed his approach to? Other than stop overthrowing. He hasn’t had a good curve since he came off the DL. So, he’s down to slider and fastball. Slider is missing, curve ball is missing. He didn’t have it. Maeda didn’t have it the entire playoffs. Hill had it for a game. They won as a team this year. They folded as a team this year. You asked why Lester was good and Kershaw wasn’t. Well, for one, the Dodgers suck against lefties. Really any lefty with a pulse and it doesn’t matter what the lineup or batting order was. They were putrid against lefties. Hindsight, is 20/20 and it seems like CK doesn’t overthrow when on short rest but it’s quite a risk to keep sending a guy out on short rest who had a herniated disk in his back when eventually someone else needs to win a game.

  42. I am not blaming FAZ anymore than I blamed Ned when he had the responsibility and also failed. I don’t believe one single batter hit 1.000 this year, as a matter of fact, we’re very happy if a batter has even 30% success! But we seem to demand more of Managers and GMs. At least I do, as unreasonable as that is. There has never been a Dodger Manager or General Manager that I liked the things they did. That’s all my fault, I will never be happy, so discount my gripes if you like. I think sports salaries have gotten far too high so I actually approve of the intent to reduce operating costs. In that respect, Go, Friedman! But he still spent a lot of money, unwisely as it were. I can understand his saying I’m not paying what these guys (Good pitchers) want, I just don’t see putting 50% to 80% of that much into a bad pitcher who has very little chance to do well. I would have been inclined to go more with the young pitchers on the farm, mixed in with selected veterans. Which is pretty much what happened after blowing a wad on Kazmir, McCarthey, etc. And knowing how badly a right handed batter was needed, why did he take Reddick (even though Oakland was desperate to get rid of him)? Maybe his Muslim buddy still belongs to Billy Beane.

    1. I still think they knew where the flaws in this team were but to fix them would cost too much – in minor league resources and in $$. The goal is clear to me, get payroll to luxury tax minimum and introduce young talent where possible. Verdugo, Bellinger, hopefully Thompson and the Cubans will be given every opportunity to make the team. Urias and De Leon are surely behind Kershaw and Maeda. Seager, Pederson and Grandal are starters. Barnes had better be in the plans too. The rest of this team moving forward is anybody’s guess but I suspect the risky injured players will be jettisoned. Hill and Reddick should be gone, Anderson and McCarthty are useless, we’re stuck with Kazmir, Blanton could be useful and won’t be expensive, Toles might stick, Ethier is here, Hernandez isn’t valued anymore, one has to wonder why him in the first place. I’m not happy with the way FAZ went about it, but I’ll give them the benefit of doubt as I figured this had a 4-5 year plan look about it. Let this off season games begin.

    2. Wondering

      I don’t mind your complaints.

      And we all complain to a point anyways, because we all want the Dodgers, to do well, just like in the past.

      Like when we first fell in love with the Dodgers, when we were much younger.

  43. With all the negative talk about trading our prospects this past year. From now on let’s just hold on to ALL of them and also let ALL our FA walk too. We certainly have enough pitchers (10) in our top 30 to do that. Are they all ready for THE SHOW? Who knows, let’s find out. Certainly DeLeon, Urias, are ready so might be Alverez, Buehler, Sheffield, Stewart, Sborz, Rhame, etc.
    Infield: Bellinger(trade AGon + cash); Let Utley walk & trade Hendricks(for more prospects); move Seager to 3rd to replace Turner and have Lutz take the SS position. Calhoun would play 2B.
    OF: Toles; Diaz; Verdugo; Scavuzzo. Trade Puig and Joc for prospects.
    C: Trade Grandal for what else? Prospects. We already have Barnes, Farmer and Smith.
    Bench: Estevez; Heredia; Davis; Johnson; Brito
    Side benefit is all the money we would save since that seems to be a main focal point here and elsewhere and we would SAVE MORE if we traded CK.
    Our payroll would be well under $20 million and we would be in a great position to have the 1st pick in the draft too. Seems like a dream come true doesn’t it??

  44. A reasoned and thoughtful post, Badger at 7:19AM above

    Agree, “a remarkably successful season”. Thank you again, players, manager, coaches and FAZ. I didn’t see any reason to “boycott” the Dodgers as suggested by some bloggers and posters.

    Partially agree on Hill and Reddick. If my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think anyone was “jumping in the streets” happy about this trade. I believe everyone was sad to see the prospects go. And TODAY, with the benefit of hindsight, I believe EVERYONE would rather the trade hadn’t taken place. However, just days ago, after game three against the Cubs, many posters liked the trade. The trade DID give us a shot at a championship. I have long said; I don’t like trading at the “trade deadline” unless I am a seller. But, I am not in charge at Dodger headquarters and I don’t have all the scouting information on the prospects traded, so I will defer final judgement until a later date on this trade. In any event, we did get a window into the true cost of good pitching at the deadline.

    You criticized Mark’s “circular thinking” regarding trading prospects for pitching at this year’s trade deadline. But, were all-in on trading for Hamels last year at the trade deadline. Most objective sites indicate it would have taken Seager or Urias and much more. Why aren’t you also guilty of “circular thinking”?

    Badger: “And we will get better. After some contracts clear, and our prospects mature, we too will be in a position to compete with the elite.

    Sure hope you are right. FAZ is going about it in the right way, but, no guarantees. Their biggest accomplishment, this year, in my opinion, those “thousands of little moves” necessitated by a bloated salary structure and injuries. They gave us the opportunity to compete throughout the 2016 season after being left for dead many times.

    Badger: “I sure hope once in position to no longer bargain shop, our 2.0 team can find the right talent.”

    Does this statement mean we are in agreement that Dodgers DO have a budget?

    1. I thought we had a real shot at the title in ’15, but NEVER believed, as other REAL baseball minds apparently did, that it would have taken both the #1 and #3 prospects in all of baseball to land an over 30 ace that carried near $100 million contract into his age 35 season. And what Texas ended up paying for him proves I was right.

      I assume the Dodgers do have a budget and I base that assumption on the Dollar Store purchases made, though McCarthy, Anderson and Kazmir do give pause to that argument. The moneyball model is clearly the path chosen. Boston and Chicago, KC and even Cleveland, are showing the way. The difference with us of course is we have more money than any of them. Get the right free agent stars in here to mix with the youngsters, led by Seager and Urias. Can FAZ do that? Remains to be seen.

      1. Agreed, we had a real shot at a title in 2015. All we needed, and didn’t get, was Kershaw and Greinke winning three out of four starts, 75%, a C grade. Instead, two out four, 50% an F grade.

        I guess we will NEVER agree on the Hamels price. I don’t believe Texas’ package proves your point, in any way. I believe, if you were correct in the asking price, FAZ would have pulled the trigger.

        One thing for sure, even with Hamels no guarantees in 2015. He could have pulled a 16.2 ERA in 3.1 IP in game three last year, just like his playoff performance this year.

  45. I am tasting sour grapes. I’ve never liked either Cleveland or Chicago and hoped that their curses continued. Instead, we have ours. This series was ours for the taking after game 3. Dare I say “we choked”? I think that word aptly describes last night. I don’t believe that fly ball Toles dropped was lost in the lights, as he said. He took his eyes off the ball, looking at the runner. He has been one of our better players and I give him a pass, but I still think that in that play, his collar was a little tight. As for Kershaw, I can give him a pass as well because of the adversity and the “good old college try” during the season and postseason. But last night he had nothing from the get go. He probably had nothing in the bullpen before the game. A choke? I sensed that the gravity of the game got to him so that even without his best stuff, he had a hard time executing his other pitches. A lot of over throwing. It certainly is a fringe choke job. Again, for him. I’m afraid CK will never be in the same league as the great SK, who beat the Twins in 1965 with only his fastball because he didn’t have his curveball in game 7. I’m not so sure the hitters choked last night. First, as a group they are ok, but individually, inconsistent. This has been true all season, except for ROY. Hendrick is world class right now, the kind of pitcher the team was trying to get when they signed McCarthy, Anderson, Kazmir, et al. How did that work out? AGon has declined, but still productive enough to keep him. We got to 91 wins because of Roberts, who should be MOY, but won’t. Now. Roberts, though, probably overused Blanton, and I can see why, with his experience and bulldog approach to pitching. I would have done the same thing. Except for Jansen, Blanton was the most reliable of the bullpen guys. But still overused. Roberts may have over managed game 5, but Maeda just was no good, so he did his mix and match thing.
    The team was good enough to beat the Cubs in a seven game series. But…….. As for next year, keep Jansen, who will be used more and more like last night and who seems to be able to handle it. Certainly, don’t let him go to the giants. Forget: Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson, and Kazmir. There is not much future there. Don’t count on Urias for much next year. I’m still not convinced he is the best of the young guys. He pitches with too many guys on base. He seems to be always out of the stretch. Not a good formula. Reddick is a bust, in the same deplorable basket as Puig. Hill should be kept around because he is a decent #3, barring injury. We need a solid #2. Who? Is there any decent pitcher on the free agent market? Converting Wood to the bullpen is a good idea, but I don’t think anyone, including him, as bought into that idea. He still might be ok in the rotation as another back end guy.
    All in all, a good season. I’m looking forward to Spring. World Baseball Classic and all. And don’t forget, the giants suck.

    1. A lot of wisdom in that post, B17. Hendrick almost shut us out in Game 2 so it shouldn’t be a surprise hitters struggled, although I don’t think their approach helped. Kershaw without his breaking ball vs a team that struggles with the breaking ball was bad news from the start. Hill will be 38 and is going to get more than he’s worth in a thin FA market so help will have to come from the farm.

      1. It may not be easy to work around the contracts still here. AGon is signed through ’18 and might be difficult to trade. And who takes his place? Ethier is owed another $20 million. Kazmir, $32 mm and MCarthy, $20 mm, are boat anchors, Kendrick is signed for $10mm, Ryu is still owed $14mm, Puig is cheap for a couple more years, hard to know what Maeda will cost, but his contract structure is ridiculously team friendly, don’t know who else is signed past yesterday, many on the roster are due raises. Until I see who FAZ values and how they deal with aging players, I still see ’17 as part of the transition.

        1. The real boat anchors on that list are Gonzalez, Ethier, and maybe Ryu (if he is finished). Got to also consider the $22M owed to Crawford. Let’s hope Gonzalez still has something next year.

          Kazmir and McCarthy, if healthy, could be traded without losing many dollars, it is possible they might even be in demand, very little starting pitching out there this year. Kendrick not an anchor, easily tradable, but, still valuable. Puig???? I am probably the only one, but, I don’t throw him away, even though he is not cheap $8M. Looked to me, he got himself into physical shape, but, the space between the ears wasn’t there this year. I am closely monitoring Puig and seeing if any attitude adjustment is still possible.

          GM Master Boxout, is already hard at work for next season. Will be posting about plans soon.

          1. Master b.o., if you can trade Kazmir and McCarthy you are a stone cold GMius. (see what I did there).

            The $35 million owed Crawford was insured and what wasn’t covered will be used as a write off on this year’s taxes. That money can no longer be attached to AGon. I know it’s convenient to try to fool the nonREAL baseball people here, but as GMius you know I’m right.

          2. Yes, I did see what you did there!! Very hurtful and nasty.

            Badger: “In an effort to begin anew, I am going to ask you if it be possible you post your opinions without the incessant insults to those who see things differently.”

            How quickly some forget!!!

            I will be back when the pain subsides. Very very cruel!! Must be all those vegetables.

            But, before I go, nice try but, Crawford’s salary will ALWAYS be attached to Gonzalez. And even if you are right about insurance (which you aren’t) Crawford still counts on the luxury tax.


            I just can’t believe that you would be SO SO mean spirited to associate me with Barack Obozo (b.o.)

          3. Cruel? How so? I combined GM and genius and gave the title to you!

            I’m taking it back.

            Your Barack reference is just a cheap snipe. You just lost half your GMius points. Now you’re sub 100, which makes you below replacement GM level. In the words of your hero – “You’re fired!”

      1. Badger, I don’t think insurance covers bought out contracts like Crawford’s, only those players who are unable to play because of injury.

        1. His play hurt the Dodgers. That’s injury. Gaggonhumans Insurance LLC has provisions for all contingencies.

          Whatever. The company that has net worth estimates somewhere in the neighborhood of Plutus will no doubt use the write off. The Carl Crawford loss means nothing to them.

      2. He was watching the runner, and was not watching the ball. He lied…….he did not lose that ball in the lights. How can he lose it in the lights when he was looking right at second base?? Horse manure

  46. I just started reading Michael Connelly’s latest book,”The Wrong Side Of Goodbye” and right there in print, he dedicates the book “to Vin Scully With Many Thanks’.
    Wow! That does impress me.

    1. I still don’t see why some people are constantly harping on Agone’s contract.

      And these same people, don’t say a thing about the money wasted on some of these pitchers that was brought to the team.

      We always hear about Agone’s contract, and they always add the extra for Crawford.

      But they conveniently don’t talk about the money that was totally wasted in the last two years on McCarthy.

      And the money that was wasted on Anderson this year.

      Just these two pitchers, have cost the Dodgers 40 million dollars combined up to now.

      And who knows if McCarthy will be able to pitch in the next two years.

      And I didn’t even mention what Kazmir might cost the Dodgers.

      Really did one person here, even have a thought, that Kazmir, would opt out?

      And Kazmir has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, so who knows what the team will ever get out of Kazmir.

      When is it better to throw a lot of money away on pitchers who don’t pitch, then giving money, to a player that is on the field, and makes a contribution to the team?

      I really think these pitchers were signed because our GM was familar with them, because they were in the A’s.

      And I don’t think they look much farther.

      And it wasn’t these pitchers, or Greinke and Zimmerman.

    2. Wondering

      Thanks for that listing.

      I do remember that the ball was kind of right between Joc and Toles, and they both can cover a lot of ground.

      I remember them having to make a quick decision, who was going to get the ball, and it happened so fast, and it was so loud there too.

      I don’t see Toles making a lot of mistakes like that, because he slows
      the game down.

      I would like to see Toles given a chance to play everyday.

      Not many players come up even from AAA and hit right away like Toles did.

      I know he hasn’t had a lot of at bats, but I think the Dodgers need to take a chance on him.

    1. It is a crapshoot because 10 teams qualify for the playoffs and any of them can and has made it to the World Series. How about Cleveland, out of nowhere? How about the Dodgers and Giants, how many playoff appearances in the last 5 years? The Cubs paid their way there, I don’t begrudge them. If FAZ continues as they have been, they too will eventually make it. We are just too anxious…

      1. Wondering

        I sure hope so, and in 2018 I don’t want to hear any excuses.

        Orel was a little sad last night.

        He said he feels better this year, then in the previous three years, because he feels the team is going in the right direction.

        And he really complimented Roberts a lot.

        I just hope that when there is a good option out there, that Friedman will pay the price.

        Epstein was at a big market team, so he is more experience in that way.

        And I am tired of all of the retreads they got from the A’s.

      2. I think some of our players were tired, in these last few games.

        That grinding all year, probably caught up with them.

        I thought Corey was really tired.

        What do you think of Toles?

        I am not upset with his error, but I don’t know if that is because I like him, or that I think he is a better player then that.

        I want to see him play everyday, and see what he does.

        I just think it is better to let the young players play everyday.

        And I think Toles has proved he is a hitter.

        He hit better then everyone else, in this last series.

  47. Toles

    Sign Cespedes. Trade Puig, Barnes, Calhoun, Oaks for Dozier and a bullpen arm. If they don’t want Puig give them Verdugo. Trade McCarthy for bullpen help. Someone will take him for 2yrs/$20m. The Dodgers have already ate $28m of his contract.

    The moves may not be exact but if they Dodgers are willing to take on a potential head case in Cespedes they have enough resources to go after a Dozier without giving up Bellinger, Buehler, Deleon, Alvarez, or Stewart. I can live with Agone for one more year if he isn’t hitting cleanup and there is more RH help in the lineup. 2018 I’m hoping Bellinger is ready and Agone can be moved.

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