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It’s Time For The Dodgers To Remove The Kid Gloves From Their Young Pitchers

Urias and Maeda

As we trudge along towards opening day I’ve noticed that the regulars aren’t getting much playing time. It seems every time I look up at a cactus league game Cameron Perkins or Daniel Castro are hitting. On the mound it’s much of the same with a lot of the regular Dodger pitchers that are slated to make the opening day squad sitting around and not getting enough playing time.

Of course I understand that the Dodgers want to use a cautionary approach with certain young pitchers who have had histories of major surgeries. Namely I am talking about Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Buehler pitched more innings than ever in 2018 and Urias is still recovering from major shoulder surgery. As I write this today, Urias is pitching against the Rockies in the Dodger’s exhibition match at Salt River Fields and he looks good.

It’s great to see Urias pitching but Buehler has yet to appear in a cactus league game. Urias has pitched only three innings the entire exhibition season and like I mentioned above Buehler hasn’t even faced a single batter in a real game situation. That’s a problem for me.

Here’s the thing guys, opening day is less than three weeks away. On March 28 the Dodgers open the regular season against the Dbacks at Dodger Stadium and you want your entire club to be game ready. I fear that won’t happen and two of the Dodger’s best young starters will not have enough arm strength built when the season starts.

It’s an annoying potential problem. Clayton Kershaw has a shoulder issue and probably won’t be ready to make his usual opening day nod. The rest of the potential rotation of Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and Hyun-jin Ryu are good but not great pitchers. The Dodgers need Walker Buehler and Julio Urias to be ready for April baseball if they are going to get off to a good start.

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Look I get it. Urias is young and coming off major shoulder surgery. Buehler coming off of Tommy John tossed 137.2 innings in 2018 plus all of the postseason innings that the Dodger’s World Series run put on his arm. The Dodgers relied heavily on Buehler as the defacto ace in 2018 when Kershaw’s fastball and performance declined due to age and injury. Buehler performed spectacularly and was one of the best pitchers in baseball.

They’ll need him again if they are going to make another run at the World Series in 2019. Baseball Reference projections show Buehler pitching 122 innings in 2019 while ZIPS has him at 141 frames. The Dodgers are going to need a little bit more from him than that. That doesn’t mean that Buehler has to pitch 200 innings (if you think that’s what I am referring too) and Urias doesn’t have to make 35 starts either. They just need to be game ready with built arm strength and be able to pitch every fifth day. Because if you can’t toss 150 innings and make 25-30 starts per year (if you’re a starting pitcher) than you’re not much use in the rotation and better off being moved to the bullpen.

Baseball has changed and continues to evolve, however some old traditional approaches to game management and pitcher usage still applies. There’s a reason why teams who have no starting pitching and use “openers” like the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays never make the World Series. The Dodgers may be a team with a reliever centric philosophy but even they still allow their starters to pitch 5 innings (most of the time) at least every outing. Starting pitching will never go the way of the dodo bird. Innings count folks. That will never change.

There’s a reason why Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were so successful under pitching coach Leo Mazzone. They had a super simplistic system. Every fifth day they let those guys pitch and they were among the game’s greatest starting pitchers, rarely ever getting hurt. I would love to see the Dodgers do the same with their young hurlers. It’s time to let Urias, Buehler and some of the other young pitchers pitch. It’s time to take the kid gloves off.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

41 thoughts on “It’s Time For The Dodgers To Remove The Kid Gloves From Their Young Pitchers

  1. If you recall ST last year, Roberts did the same thing with most of his regulars and pitchers, they didn’t play much in ST and thus went into the regular season in perfect pre-season form. MOst glaring was that of Janly Kensan, he absolutely stunk it up for the first 6 weeks.

    Has anyone noticed that there is absolutely no buzz around the Dodgers this pre-season? For me, I just don’t see much to be excited about, hopefully that can change but I think Roberts and teams last two WS performances has knocked the wind out of most fans’ sails.

    1. True Blue, I fully concur and could not have posted that any better. I am not too excited so far with this team as it now stands. i cannot get excited that a team, Pollock or no Pollock, is still way too LH heavy in the offense and a team that if I were to guess will once again struggle against LHP.

  2. As long as AF is running things they will stay pretty much as they are. And trust me True, this is not all on Roberts. He is doing as directed by the front office. He has some leeway, but not much

    1. Ahhhh, don’t think for a second that I think this is all Roberts, in fact, I think if Roberts had his way he would be doing all things more old school. His leash is so short his feet barely touch the ground. I think this whole thing is all Friedman, and although many of you don’t see it, this thing has a lot to do with the ego of Friedman. His ego drives him to stay on the Small Market Method and prides himself of turning shyte into gold. He wants a bargain and he searches for bargains, he is a owner of a reclamation squad.

    2. Michael, and to add here, it’s a shame because I was around during the Alston/ Lasorda days and IMHO NO WAY ON EARTH would Freidman get by with being a total dictator with those 2 managers, the ONLY managers in Dodger history to ever bring home WS rings!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. You are right Michael,

      This idea to hold back key players save them for the season is definitely a FO decision. Roberts is just playing the cards as they have been dealt. I think he would be a better Manager if the FO would stay out of his lane. Just like last year, I anticipate another slow start out of the gate.

      Holding back the young kids is also a FO decision. We will have to see if the Dodgers will finally let the kids run free this year. It would be nice. Seems they probably will stick to their guns and keep the kids on a short leash. Kershaw giving mixed signals on his progress, and makes it difficult to set the rotation. Even if Clayton makes his opening day start, I do not see him being very effective. He will never be the dominating “ACE” he once was. If they do not cut the strings on the young pitchers, they better get serious and search for a front line starter.

      OR, they can use Stetson “Wild Thing” Allie! 100 MPH but cannot throw strikes. Maybe he needs some eyeglasses. What a joke. He should not even be allowed to wear the Dodger Blue.

  3. True
    Yes, I have noticed the lack of excitement during the spring. I think there are a number of reasons for this. For one, they gave away Kemp, Puig, Farmer and Wood for nothing. Say what you will but those guys were a whole lot more exciting than the likes of Pederson, Taylor, Verdugo and others. Vanilla. The continued use of a platoon system and the fans knowing it will continue into the regular season. Continued concern of the bullpen and yes that means Kenley Jansen. Also, one of the games most exciting players in Kershaw who we don’t know whether he will regain more velocity and effectiveness? Of course the FO continued lying and secret keeping does not make for an exciting spring. Not obtaining much in the way of Free Agents is not helping. Put it all together and the excitment is minimal and unexciting in my opinion.

  4. What are attendance numbers this Spring? I did notice 13K the last two games at Camelback. That’s not bad. And you know people will show up at Dodger Stadium. You guys may be bored with the team but the FCI will go up and it matters not because the fans will show. When it comes to money…. advantage LA.

    Note to Cabrera – you’ve got 100 mph cheese, if you’re going to throw something 84 mph don’t hang it thigh high on the inside half of the plate. Major League hitters can adjust to that pitch.

    I see Urias ready by the end of the month but I don’t see Kershaw ready. Not sure about Buehler either. Maybe. He’s young. But he needs to be stretched out starting a few days ago. 17 days isn’t that long, but it’s enough for a 24 year old. RotoChamp has him at 178 innings. I’ll take the under. In fact, I’ll take the under on anyone on this staff throwing more than 165 innings.

    94 wins. In this Division that sounds about right. The Rockies should be above .500, but not by much. The other 3 teams won’t be. I still think we win the Division with over a week to spare.

    1. Attendance is down all across Az over the last 2 years, and the Dodgers are averaging a little over 10,000 a game. According to the Dodgers, both Kershaw and Buehler will be ready for the season. As to when they might pitch, that part has not been answered yet, but even on the teams web site they continue to say that both will be ready. Urias is their insurance policy, but no way he breaks camp on the 25 man in the pen. Not happening. He won’t be on the roster unless one of the starters is unavailable.

      1. To quote the genius above:

        “I see Urias ready by the end of the month but I don’t see Kershaw ready. Not sure about Buehler either. Maybe. He’s young. But he needs to be stretched out starting a few days ago. 17 days isn’t that long, but it’s enough for a 24 year old.”

        You keep saying “no way”. Then you contradict yourself with the “unless”.

        I’m just looking at it through a different lense than you are. Yeah, Kershaw and Buehler will be ready for the season. The season starts in late March, but continues for a few weeks after that. It’s possible both could be rushed to front of the line. But I wouldn’t do that. We’ve got several other pitchers, including Urias, that can beat the lowly Dbacks. Then we play the even more lowly giants. We start off with 7 games at home against sub .500 clubs. 8 if you count the final game of the Freeway Series. That’s a pretty soft beginning schedule. After that we go to Colorado where it might be snowing. Hard to know exactly where everyone will be for those first 10 games but after Colosucko we go to St Louis. April 8th. That’s far enough out that Kershaw could be ready for that one.

        1. Unless is not a contradiction, it is just saying that is about the only circumstance that can change. In my gut, there is no way they take him with them as a reliever. That would be counter productive. If he is being groomed as a starter, pitch him there.

      1. Not my dreams. That’s what is projected for them. RotoChamp. What’s your projection?

        Michael… “no way” means exactly that – no way. But obviously that is wrong. There is a way, and that way is if one or more of our starting 5 is not ready to go. If Urias is ready to go at the end of the month…. and Kershaw isn’t?

        1. Badger
          What’s up with Rotochamp? I assume it was directed at me, anyway. 87 wins on top and 84 on bottom.

    2. Badger, nothing of course is a guarantee for various reasons. The other NL West teams will be gunning basically for us. But in addition to the fact that you are correct about no pitcher reaching as much as 165 innings, but no position player will probably have as many as 500+ plate appearances either. Only Bellinger and Taylor last year had as many as 520 PA’s , and I read somewhere that was by far the fewest of any team in baseball.

  5. The Dodgers have not been an exciting team in quite a few years. Their most exciting and exasperating player was traded this winter, Puig. They are a workman like team. Very patient at the plate. They do not have what most people would call a true super star on the team. Kershaw was that until about 3 years ago when all the injuries started reducing that status. I always thought all the best pitcher of our generation stuff was a little over the top. Now, Urias and Buehler are fun to watch. Both have excellent stuff. In a couple of years those two could become the Koufax, Drysdale type tandem of this generation. They won’t match Sandy or Don’s win totals, or complete games, but they will be good. If the other top kids in the system come close to matching their potential, May, White, and now Tony Gonsolin, who pitches today, and Santana, who has shown flashes, the Dodgers would have a dominant rotation. But that is down the road. Although I love watching Bellinger hit, and run, the rest of the team to me is very ho-hum. Oh once in a while something happens to generate an ooh or an aah. But not very much. Joc hit a homer the other night that was just crushed. That was an ooh moment. Only problem was it is spring and it does not count. Makes you long for the days of Maury Wills don’t it? Or Manny Ramirez. Now there was excitement personified. Every time he came to bat, Dodger Stadium came to life. Mannywood out there in left field. That’s excitement, not watching a team flail away in a World Series and made to look like they were a AAA team. I cannot stand the shift mainly because today’s players rarely try to beat it by hitting the other way or bunting. It will be good to see Seager back in play, but that works only if he is totally healthy. Pack, I would not worry too much about Jansen. He has slimmed down a bunch, and although he is not throwing in the mid 90’s, his control has been excellent as has his pitch location, and remember, he started almost 2 weeks later than everyone else last year. This year he is on track. The rest of the pen has looked pretty good. Cingrani, Alexander, Garcia, Jansen have yet to give up a run, Schultz, who is not even on any list as making the team has also been perfect over 5 games. As I see it now they will carry 8 relievers and 5 starters. Kershaw, Ryu, Hill, Maeda, and Buehler….Jansen, Kelly, Floro, Baez, Garcia, Stripling, Cingrani and Alexander look to be those guys. I do not think Urias will make the team out of camp because they want him to be a starter and unless there is an injury, there are just no openings. The position players will probably be Turner, Seager, Hernandez, Muncy, Pederson, Pollock, Bellinger, Freese, Verdugo, Taylor, Martin and Barnes. I do not see Miller making it unless they were to send someone down. He is also a non roster player and they would have to clear a spot on the roster, which they could do by putting Toles on the restricted list. For Urias, it is all a matter of the numbers being against him. I doubt they make a trade to open a spot before spring training. He is their insurance policy against an injury to one of the big 5. Stewart has no shot of breaking camp with the team. He could at some point be traded. They sent Hart, Beatty, Lux, Perkins Sborz to the minor league camp yesterday.

  6. Michael, the Dodgers have provided some excitement the last two seasons. Did you forget their spectacular run chasing the wins record in 2017? Sure, they also deflated at season’s end.

    In 2018, it was bombs away. HR production was the rage, but there was no sustained domination and some heavy slumping. But, overall, I’ll agree with you that the Dodgers are not a very exciting team because of their lack of a sustained hitting attack with RISP. The HR is a cool thing, but moving men around the bases keeps the blood boiling and is demoralizing for the opposition. Granted, the FO are dull, the mgr is dull, and most of the players are quite dull. Not much electricity but they keep on keepin’ on.

    1. I get all that Jeff. And I agree. But, the run towards the wins record was marred by a massive losing streak. The most exciting player on that team at the time was on the DL for 10 days because they were dumb enough to put him in the outfield and he sprained his ankle. I am referring of course to Bellinger. They traded for a player they had absolutely no need of, Curtis Granderson, who also wilted like a wet noodle in crunch time. Exciting was not exactly the word I would use to describe last years gut wrenching team either. Most of the time my stomach was upset because of all the all or nothing at bats, and not driving in runners. It was more exasperating than exciting. Now, the series with the Brewers, that was edge of your seat stuff. It looked like they were going to lose that, then they came back and won. Game 7 was pretty good stuff. They made all of that worthless by being out pitched, out hit and out played in the World Series with their so called get us over the hump guy, Manny Machado flamming out like a dying flamingo…..

      1. More exasperating than exciting, is a very good way of describing the experience over the last two seasons. You nailed it Michael with that one. And very true, Machado was a total disappointment for much of his time here and especially in the WS, Many became the invisible man.

        BTW, we are going to have some real problems with the two catchers we are going to throw out there, talk about exasperating. On the bright side, those two guys can actually play a game of catch.

        1. I do understand the the HR’s totals are up everywhere and if it were not for the Dodgers hitting them like they did, I don’t believe we even get to these last 2 WS. But here is a real mind blower.. although DS is considered or at least is supposed to be more on the pitcher friendly side the opponents have totaled 363 HR’s against the Dodgers in the past 2 regular seasons. And go figure… last year the opponents hit more HR’s at Dodger Stadium against us than they did on the road! 95 of them at DS and 84 on the road. and let’s not even mention the combined WS total of 23 HR’s given up in the 12 games combined.

          1. Live by the launch die by the launch.

            Good stats Paul.

            We led the league in runs scored. That’s a good thing. As long as the pitching holds up we should be fine in the NL West. Is this squad a World Series winner? Not according to odds makers. Boston, Houston, Yankees are all co-favorites. We are again expected to win the NL pennant. Not exciting to some maybe but I’ll take it. Who knows, maybe the AL winner will catch the flu the week of the World Series.

        1. All in the eyes of the beholder. Pretty anticlimactic stuff considering the Dodgers were up 5-0 going into the 9th. Buehler was in complete control, Belli and Muncy each hit 2 run dingers. Arenado and Story hit solo shots in the 9th, but after the Dodgers went up the outcome was pretty well in hand. What they had to do to get there was more hand wringing. Had this team played the way everyone thought they would, they would have never had to have a playoff. 7 losses to the Reds. That was pitiful.

          1. That’s exactly why they weren’t a WS winner, Michael. No argument from me on this one. Hasn’t this been the case for the last several years? They haven’t played consistent, dominating, baseball. Slumps, high SO rate, poor scoring with RISP, are all factors in keeping a team back from a championship.

  7. I have a hard time getting worked up over the early season. Last year the team was dreadful early, and still did quite well.

    The team is well-run, it’s ludicrously deep at pitcher, and they want Buehler and Urias (and May, and Gonsolin, and company) to be good for many, many years.

    1. Bluto
      Saying the team did quite well early. Does that mean the playoffs are good enough for you? Saying the team is well run is certainly debatable.

      1. Four games from back to back World Serieses is certainly good enough for me and an indication of a well run team.

        Obviously, any fan would like to have won those four, but c’mon…

        Is this even debatable? Seriously.

  8. Package,

    I agree with you totally.

    I am not comfortable with these slow starts or these one run losses and late inning melt downs.

    The best way to be strong in October is the come out of the starting gate early, put the West to bed by building an insurmountable lead, and then cruising to the end of the season. It in then, they can rest their stars and rotation, for the October run to the WS pennant.

    1. No one is comfortable with this kind of performance, Bluefan. The players themselves need to step up and execute. Don’t blame it on the FO or the mgr. They are not on the field!!!!

      1. I think that is the point Jeff, “they are not on the field”. The slow start to the season last year was precisely because they weren’t on the field in ST. The players don’t make the lineup cards in ST, the manager does and with the Dodgers there is a strong “front” with the FO in how they are going to manage the team. The strategy to rest players or save players in ST , doesn’t get results in the beginning of the season, instead the players enter the season in pre-season form, not good.

  9. Jeff,

    Agree, the owness is on the players, as they are the ones on the field. But for the Dodgers, the players on the field are dictated by the FO. Poor Dave Roberts has to manage with one hand tied behind his back. DR has to do the best he can, with the hand he is dealt by the FO. FO demands that Roberts follow the darn spreadsheets, not common sense.

    1. I think every team works similarly with the FO providing the talent and working with the mgr to get them playing time. The FO puts the team together, not the mgr, so I agree with you Bluefan. But Roberts, as well as most mgrs., work within a parameter that is agreed to when he takes the job. This FO has provided enough talent to win the NL for two seasons in a row. That is not a small feat so let’s not diminish this accomplishment. I’d be willing to bet that Doc has more room than you suggest. The one thing that I am fairly sure of is that the FO decides who is going to make the 25 man and 40 man rosters even before the start of ST. The only thing that may change in ST is injury and an unsuspected breakout performance by someone that was marginal. This is why we are going to look similar to last year’s roster. There is no competition in ST to make the roster. It’s smoke and mirrors for the most part. Plus, you don’t want any injuries to your 25 man roster so you don’t push them in ST. Listening to today’s White Sox debacle, the announcers were talking about how long it takes to get game-ready. They agreed on 10 days of preparation. Most of these guys keep themselves fit and the muscle memory is already there for optimum performance at the big league level.

  10. ESPN has put out it’s top 100 players list. 6 Dodgers made the cut. The highest being Kershaw at # 41. Lowest was Bellinger at # 61. Harper was not even in the top 10. He was rated at # 15. Machado made it though coming in at # 8. Trout naturally was # 1 and Betts # 2. Grant Dayton was sent to the minors yesterday by the Braves. I did not know he was still with the team. I had not heard much about him since his arm injury. At one time I thought he was one of Ol Andy’s better pick ups. Other Dodgers in the top 100, Jansen, Turner, Buehler and Seager. Here is my take on the conversation y’all have had going at the bottom of this post. We can all pretty much agree that Friedman inherited a pretty good team. We also can agree that he has managed to add and subtract, tweak and re-tweak and the team has stayed competitive. They are a well run franchise at this point, even though Friedman sometimes makes some really head scratching moves. What I have noticed is that he is very deliberate in his moves. He rarely jumps in with both feet. He is constantly evaluating everything. Now, was the Kemp-Puig trade a salary dump or not? It certainly looked like one on paper. And there was so much chatter that it was because the Dodgers were going to go all in on Harper. Did not happen. We got Pollock instead for 280 million and 8 years less. I am pretty sure that both the coaching staff and management knows exactly where and how much the team was deficient in all area’s last year and the years before. Weakness against LHP. BA with runners in scoring position. The 2 guys who led the team in that stat are both gone, Kemp and Machado. Bullpen issues. No stability in the lineup. All those issues have been around for a while and none have ever really been addressed. It has been more of a lets plug this guy in here and see what he can do for a while situation. Now, in his defense, Ol Andy and his former crony did pluck a few gems. Taylor, Muncy and the last 2 years at least have traded at the deadline for players they felt would get them over the hump. Neither delivered and both flamed out in the Series. Old news. And his foibles have been well documented here and elsewhere. Bottom line is this. You have to get in first. He has done that 4 times. Then you have to win 2 playoff series to get to the big dance. Done over the last 2 years. Then you have to finish the job and claim the crown. Uh, nope. 2017 they had a legitimate shot, and flamed out in game 5 and 2. Both games were winnable. They were leading and their best pitchers were not up to the task. Game 7 they were put in a hole they could not climb out of. Last year, they had no shot. It took 18 innings to win the 1 game they did win, and they blew a 4-0 lead in game 4 taking the wind and the momentum away. Then another 5-1 loss in the clincher. Now, most teams coming off of that kind of year, and as close as they were in 17, would improve the team over the winter by addressing their shortcomings. Not so the Dodgers after 17. Their only free agent, Koehler, never pitched a competitive inning for the Dodgers. This winter, they traded 2 of their best power hitters from the right side and got zip in return except some salary relief we are told and a 25 million dollar pitcher they are paying to play for the Royals. Now they did add a BP arm in Kelly and a player, Pollock, they consider their CF. How it turn’s out? We won’t know until September where they stand. We do know that the NL West as it looks right now is one of the weaker divisions in baseball. The west teams have not really done much except the Padres. If anything the D-Backs seem to be in a rebuild mode. The Giants are a shambles, and the Rockies, well if that young pitching staff can improve on what they did last year, they will make some noise and they still have some serious pop in the order. But their hopes hinge on their bullpen. But the rest of the NL is lying in wait for LA. Any series they play in the playoffs will be against an improved opponent. Getting there might be enough for some fans like Bluto and others I know. But it is time to finish the quest. 30 years is a long time.

    1. That’s a lot of words. I think he said the Farmer trade sucked, Pollock is no Harper, the Dodgers didn’t win a championship because the players folded like Walmart chairs, FAZ was ok, but doesn’t deserve a standing O, and we will do it all over again this year.

      I’d like to add my gratitude for the team not being run by Frankie McButtcrunch anymore. Those were days we fans were justified in being pissed off. We have been the best in the NL for two years now. That’s a good thing. I’m grateful for that. Bummer that 3 teams in the AL can mop the floor with us.

  11. From Gammons:

    The Dodgers can afford to take it slowly with Clayton Kershaw, who still might be ready to open the season. Teammates point out that he worked so intensely this winter than his body was going to hit a temporary wall. The Dodgers are very good in their rehab programs, especially since Andrew Friedman brought Ron Porterfield west from Tampa Bay; two of Porterfield’s former rehab pitchers, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi, called Kershaw to tell him to completely trust Porterfield.

    The Dodgers also have unusual starting pitching depth. Another Porterfield patient, Julio Urías, looks ridiculously good, 94-96 mph, but with a newfound edge to go with his delivery and arsenal. “He looks very different, in a very good way,” says Friedman. This may be a year in which Buehler and Urías are held back to 150-175 innings but are dominant starters.

    And, while we’re on the subject of Dodger rehabs, Corey Seager’s body looks totally different. Gone is the thickness in his core, remaining is the bat speed and power and internal clock on defense. Families that want to develop athletes should get the Seager Brothers dietary and conditioning programs from this past winter.

  12. From Jonathan Mayo of

    “Having a team compete annually in the big leagues or having a continually strong farm system — it’s typically an either/or situation. Just look at teams like the Royals and Cubs as examples of organizations that had top systems then won a World Series. Generally, the expense of going for it all is the drying out of the pipeline.

    One big exception to the rule has been the Dodgers. They’ve made the postseason six years in a row, playing in the World Series in the last two. At the same time, they have the only farm system to be ranked in the top 10 by MLB Pipeline in each of the nine preseason and mid-season rankings since the start of 2015, including coming in at No. 7 this spring.

  13. Bluto, there will always be complainers and whiners in the fan base. The nature of being a viewer is
    to want success and ultimate victory. These standards usually end up causing viewers anguish and negativity because it is rare that you get both. An intelligent player, and fan, should not allow these feelings to be their point of view. It is self-defeating and poison to themselves and their teammates. They infect their surroundings with their own negativity. Even sports critics that regularly spew negative views about teams and players are infecting fans because the fan is vulnerable and looking for some satisfaction from their team. The negative fan is seldom aware of the workings of the FO and management and how much goes into putting together a winner.

    My Warrior team has won the NBA championship 3 out 4 now. Every team in the league is gunning for them, tyring to match up with them, trying to compete with them at every level. This 5th year has become especially difficult for them with some injuries, high costs of retaining their stars, and not much money left to build a decent bench. If they don’t win or get to the Finals this year, we will hear all the reasons for their demise and what they could of/should have done to keep them going. Now, what basketball fan wouldn’t want their team to be like the Warriors? They are not perfect and are always talking about improving themselves (players), team chemistry, and hustle. They’ve got arguably the best and most well adjusted coach imaginable, Steve Kerr, and a committed ownership group. They will still not win the Finals every year even though most critics say they will and still are the best team in basketball.

    The Dodger players must go to the next level just like the Warriors did, just like Cleveland did the one year they won it all. The biggest difference between Baseball and Basketball is the pitching staff. It is a set of players that does not compete every day, they rotate. This in itself, will make winning the WS even harder. You have twice the amount of players to account for. To even get to the WS is a huge step forward. The Dodgers are there and this year will be a very telling one with regards to getting a future WS trophy. It’s a make or break year. Everything they have been building for must come together. Vegas says they are not going to do it. I say it is not up to Vegas. It is up to the players. If they fail, then the criticism of not signing major FA’s may apply to this team, but that has not proven true in getting to the main event. Getting to the main event is what it is all about. The rest is up to the players. Did I say that?

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