Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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What Tommy Lasorda’s Words to Dave Roberts Really Meant

Maybe you heard the story: Shortly after the Dodgers won Game 6 of the World Series, forcing a Game 7, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda had a moment with Dave Roberts, the current skipper, and he gave Roberts something to chew on – Lasorda style.

“You haven’t done sh*t until you win tomorrow.” – Tommy Lasorda

I get it. There is a solid percentage of folks out there who believe the season is somehow a failure because another team walked off with the big trophy. It’s a sentiment that runs deep in our culture, from youth baseball leagues at the neighborhood park to the biggest baseball stage in the world.

While many think Tommy was referring to the club and the season, I think he was talking to Roberts on a manager to manager level. He wasn’t saying if the team should fall in Game 7 they were failures, he was letting Roberts in on something that only leaders feel.

I can’t begin to fathom the pressures and emotional roller coasters that big league managers have to ride out through a season – and if fate smiles upon them, a championship run. However, in a very small way, I know what it’s like to lead a team from tryouts, through a season, and into the playoffs. I’ve tasted both victory and defeat in championship games.

When the team wins, the manager naturally bestows all credit to the players. As Tommy was fond of saying, the manager inserts the player into a position to succeed. Sometimes they do. That’s what happened when Lasorda’s  teams won two World Series’ (1981, ’88). They once did it with a crew of stuntmen that most outside of the Dodgers’ blue bubble thought would be crushed by their much more powerful opponents.

The catchphrase of Lasorda’s 1988 Worlds Champions was “What a team!” Their victory underscored their skipper’s preaching that 25 men pulling together on a rope cannot be beaten. Tommy slept well knowing his team won it all.

Before drinking that sweet champagne, Tommy first tasted ashes as a losing World Series manager. In his first year at the helm, Lasorda’s Dodgers lost to Billy Martin‘s Yankees in 1977. I’m confident Tommy went to bed that night feeling as I did when my team lost the championship.  Thoughts of guilt and regret swirled in my head. “I blew it. It’s my fault. What could I have done differently to get the team across the finish line?” I wasn’t thinking of how the team messed up. We lost because of my failure as a leader.

That’s what Tommy was talking about when he spoke to Roberts on the eve of Game 7. That’s what leaders feel when the quest comes up short. I’m betting that’s exactly what Roberts felt after the roar from the series was gone, and he was alone with his thoughts.

Roberts, like Tommy, felt the pain. Tommy rose to fight again and eventually brought the World Series Championship to Los Angeles. Dave Roberts has a young, talented team that will return to the Fall Classic. When they do, and when they eventually win, the Dodgers’ skipper will sleep well, wrapped in the satisfaction of a job well done.

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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Oscar Martinez
I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

79 thoughts on “What Tommy Lasorda’s Words to Dave Roberts Really Meant

  1. Here is where I get into trouble. I do not like Roberts. Roberts is a Rah Rah guy but I do not think he is very smart as he makes too many mistakes and then gets all stubborn about it. I would rather have a Lasorda any day than Roberts. Alston was my man. A confident smart leader.

    1. You’re old school pack- man. (see what I did there) Old school is then. Roberts is very now. FAZ wants now because then wouldn’t listen as intently as now does. Roberts is UCLA. State school. Those guys know how to follow instructions.

  2. I think Roberts is a decent manager. I also think he is, like Tommy was, a great communicator. Mattingly had none of those attributes and it showed. To a man, this team likes Doc. The reason? Easy, he explained to them what he was doing and usually when he was doing it. When he pulled Puig out of a game early in the season, he pulled Puig to the side right after he did that and was seen talking to him. Yeah, he embraces FAZ’s philosophy. He is very much a now manager. Less and less of the old school guys are getting the open jobs. Look at Phillie, they hired Kapler who is definitely and analytical kind of guy. Not sure how Cora thinks and why Boston likes him so much, but Calloway in NY and Martinez in DC are the new wave. Ron Gardenhire is the only old school guy who has gotten a job so far. Right now the Yankee job is the only one open, with maybe a change in Miami depending on what Jeter decides to do with DM. The Yanks are going to need someone who is good with Kids since so much of their talent is young. Roberts has the job in LA partly because he relates to the kids, and is not afraid to drop them into the action. You really think that Mattingly would have played those kids when he had veterans who he felt were better? DM never trusted them when he was here. Roberts is learning on the job, so yeah, he is going to make mistakes that a rookie manager will make. But for a guy with zero managerial experience before he took over the Dodgers, he has been excellent.

    1. Dave Roberts is accountable for his own actions whether he has been there 1 day or 100 years. He does not get a pass for making mistakes just because he is inexperienced. As we are told day after day, this is a business. No time for on the job training. I think others could relate to kids just as good as Roberts and still make good decisions. I think his handling of pitchers is awful. Name another manager who pulls pitchers out pitching a no hitter?? He will force his will on the best pitcher in the MLB just because he can.
      This is not the type manager the Dodgers deserve. He is the reason the Dodgers are not World Series Champions.

      1. I think a strong argument could be made that it was Kershaw, Jansen, and the middle of the order that cost the Dodgers the championship. I’m not gonna make that argument now, I’m watching my alma mater Chico State take it to Arizona. They are losing of course, but they’re takin it to ’em. Also I think a FAZophant could give a stronger argument on Roberts behalf. I think he’s a’ight, but I’m more of a it’s the players guys. Also, I read an article recently, I think it was one Jonah sent to me, that was about managers just being tools of the ‘now’ more powerful GM’s of the successful franchises around the league. I think that’s likely true. Also my debate strategy would include a couple what if scenarios and that might be considered counterfactual.

        1. I have always believed that it is on the players. Managers put them in a position to succeed. Whether they do or not is on them. If you are referring to his pulling Stripling last year, the only time I can remember he pulled a pitcher throwing a no no, he was right. Stripling was well over 100 pitches and he was coming off TJ surgery. He let Hill pitch into the 10th when he had a no no and Hill lost the game on a 10th inning HR. As for no excuses, sorry, he is learning on the job. I can name several managers who pull there pitchers. He pulled Kershaw because he was getting hammered. He pulled Hill because he was trying to win the game. LaRussa and Sparky Anderson, HOF caliber managers both, regularly pulled their pitchers, and Anderson was known as Captain Hook. Do you think he cost the Dodgers the series? Did he take one at bat or throw one single pitch? It is on the players man. Always has been. Roberts was hired by the Dodgers because he fit the profile of the kind of manager that they wanted to lead this team. The other finalist was Gabe Kapler, who will now pilot the Phillies…so who would you have picked? They both had no experience, but Roberts has been a bench coach for years and he was and is well respected by the players. The Padres raved about the guy. You are pissed they lost and want to place blame. OK, how about this, Kershaw in game 5, without any help from Roberts was staked to a 4 run lead. He blew that…..the Dodgers came right back and gave him a 3 run lead and he got 2 outs and walked 2 guys. So Roberts pulled him, because his pitch count was high and excuse me, he was not pitching like the best pitcher on the planet…could he have gotten out of the jam? Who knows. He was at that point in the game not in the zone. You have one of the best hitters in the AL coming up, your starting pitcher has lost the strike zone and you are trying to win a world series game. Do you stick with him? Roberts did not. He called in Maeda who up until that point had DOMINATED Houston’s RH hitters. It was the right call. That Maeda hung a pitch that was hit for the game tying HR is not on Roberts. It is on Maeda. The one game I really questioned his decisions was game 2. I did not agree with Kenley going for a 6 out save, and I thought he pulled Hill an inning too soon. I also believe he over worked the pen in the first 5 games. But that flat game 7 performance was all on the players. There was not a thing he could do to change that. Look man, I respect your opinion, but I think you are placing blame where there is none and way off base in your evaluation of the manager’s power and how much say he has on the roster and who plays how much. This organization is knee deep in analytics now and that’s how they roll. Coulda shoulda woulda does not work. We can all look after the fact and find fault where we may, but the top 4 in the order totally tanked in the series. Turner had no RBI’s after game 1. Bellinger outside of game 5 was really bad and struck out 17 times…….17 in 7 games, that’s terrible. Look at Grandal…the guy barely played. And he is supposed to be one of the better catchers in the game. If I have a real gripe with Roberts it was that I thought he should have put Ethier in LF against every RH pitcher the Astros had.

          1. Mr. Norris
            You say “I did not agree with Kenley going for a 6 out save and I thought he pulled Hill an inning too soon. I also believe he overworked the bullpen in the first 5 games. But that flat game 7 performance was all on the players.” I also respect your opinion but you can’t have it both ways. If Roberts overworked the bullpen then it is on him, not the players. I know about all the analytics but no one called FAZ and asked when to pull pitchers or how long they should stay with one. Yes, the players did not perform when they had to on occasion but Roberts gets plenty of blame. He made mistakes that a Manager of the year would not make.

          2. Package, both the moves I mentioned happened in game 2. A game they obviously should have won. Most of the series Roberts did pretty much the same thing he did during the playoffs. It worked in those series. They were 7-1 going into the World Series, they had home field advantage. They were winning game 2 in the 9th and Jansen blew the save. They win that game, they go to Houston up 2-0. Pivotal spot in the series. But it still is a team effort that they lost. The offense basically fell flat on its face, and the top hitters on the team were shut down. On the other hand, Dodger pitching failed to control the top of the Astros order, and they hammered them for 11 home runs. Now you tell me how DR is responsible for that. They hit 2 game tying 3 run homers in game 5 alone. That’s on the pitching, not the manager.

      2. Package

        Roberts had very good reasons to pull both of those pitchers, that were throwing a no hitter.

        And in fact, Stripling’s father thanked Roberts after he pulled Stripling out to that game!

        That is because Stripling had just came back, from a TJ surgery not to long before that season.

        And Roberts was thinking about what is best for the team!
        And when Roberts pulled Hill, he couldn’t risk Hill getting a blister, right before the play offs.

        A team win in the post season is more important then a pitchers no hitter, or a pitcher’s individual goal or record!

        Especially if pitching throughout that game, would have caused Hill, not to be able to make his starts, in the post season!

        Baseball is a team sport!

      3. Package

        Kershaw is the highest paid pitcher in all of baseball, but he couldn’t hold a 6 run lead!

        And unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time Kershaw wasn’t able to hold a six run lead in the post season!

        And Darvish wasn’t able to throw his off speed pitches for some reason, but because of that, he wasn’t able to pitch farther beyond the second inning, in two of his starts?

        This is the main reason the Dodgers didn’t win the World Series!

        Both pitchers are considered ace pitchers, and they are getting paid accordingly, so they are expected to be able to make two good starts in the World Series.

        But Kershaw didn’t hold a 6 run lead, in one of the starts he made.

        And Darvish couldn’t give the team even one good start!

        It is hard to win a World Series, when your top ace pitchers, don’t do there jobs.

        If Kershaw would have held that big lead, for at least 6 innings, and if Darvish would have gave the team, at least one good start, the Dodgers would have easily won the World Series!

    2. Michael

      I agree about Roberts, he has changed the culture of the team, and that is a lot harder to do, then make the moves in the bullpen and do the other stuff that comes with managing the team.

      Even with Roberts learning on the job, he is still better at making the moves for the bullpen, then Mattingly ever was.

      And in baseball today, you are not going to have the same managers like we had in the past.

      I don’t always agree with everything Robert dyes, but I am happy with the day to day operations he does, to make these 25 players, into a team.

      1. I had forgotten he pulled Hill last year when he was throwing a no no. But I agree, the guy did a great job and he was not named manager of the year because he did not earn it. He did a better job than most could their first year on the job.

      2. Sorry about the spell check, and my carelessness!

        I agree with you about Mattingly never giving our young players the chance, like Roberts.

        Mattingly was not a good communicator like Roberts.

        Mattingly actually stopped talking to Puig at some point too, and that is something a manager can’t do!

  3. Like MJ, I think Roberts was given a wildcard team in 2016 and he took them to the NLCS. This year I thought we should have won, and I think Roberts made a lot of mistakes. I don’t think Roberts is much worse than his counterparts at the various contenders. Roberts vs. AJ Hinch, I watched the Astros – NY series, as well as the WS of course, and not really impressed either, but Hinch made less mistakes in the WS.

    Unlike many managers, and I can only really speak to other Dodgers managers as I don’t want other teams much, Roberts has shown me he can improve. For example in 2016 his handling of bullpen matchups and game-planning was not as good as 2017. This year, he erred in setting up too many of the same matchups – and this year he also did not seem to know what to do with the 23rd-25th players on the playoff roster – you cannot get away with this stuff with 3 games in a row and also when the series goes to Games 6 and 7. You also have to walk the hot hitters if you have to.

    I think I am hopeful that we will see Roberts admit his mistakes and make some changes on these issues in 2018. I am not sure he is one to get set in his ways (yet).

    1. YF

      When Hatcher and Baez kept on blowing games early in the 2016 season, Roberts adjusted and started using Blanton as the set up guy, even though he was suppose to be for long relief, and after Roberts did that, I knew he was already better then the manager we had previously, Mattingly.

      Because Mattingly would have used those two pitchers, over and over and wouldn’t have done anything for quite a while.

      1. Of course I don’t think Roberts didn’t make any mistakes.

        I would have liked if he kept Hill in the game longer in that second game, because he was pitching really well, and he had not given up an earn run, that one run was on Chase, because Chase made an error, on a ball hit right to him!

        But Kenley has made four out saves in the regular season, to be ready for the post season.

        And since Roberts did take Hill out when he did, Roberts was right to use Kenley in a six out save!

        Kenley is making a heck of lot more money then Roberts is, and Kenley had his hitter down with two strikes, there is no excuse to throw a ball, right down the middle of the plate, or on to much of the plate, when you have a hitter down, with two strikes, so that loss is mainly on Kenley.

        And for anyone to blame this World Series loss on Roberts, before Kershaw and Darvish, who are getting paid a heck of a lot more money, I just don’t see it!

        Kershaw is suppose to give us two good starts, and for him to first give up a four run lead, and then give up a three run lead, by walking two hitters in a row, after he had two outs, that is on Kershaw!

        Maeda should have never been put in that situation, and that part is on Roberts.

        I would have took Kershaw out, after he walked the first hitter, because Kershaw had just given up a four run lead, and Kershaw has let us down in the post season, to many times now!

        I am wondering which starting pitchers will be traded at the trade deadline this coming year, because I don’t want to go into the post season if we make it, having to depend on Kershaw.

        That is why I am not blaming a second year player that was hurt, and rookie in his first year, for losing this World Series, our starting pitchers, were given quite a bit of offense, and Kershaw was given six runs.

        And think about it, Kershaw was given that big lead in the National League pennant deciding game, after Kike hit that grand slam, so Kershaw was given a lot of offense to work with in most of his Starts

        1. MJ, I notice you don’t mention anything good about Kershaw. For a guy who has won a MVP trophy, 3 cy young awards and a potential 4th and pitched countless wins when the Dodgers needed him and also pitched brilliantly in game 1 you act like he is a real loser like a Jason Schmidt or some of the many bad pitchers the Dodgers have had. Do you think the Dodgers would have won their 5 divisional titles without him. What do you mean you do not want to depend on Kershaw? You do until he has a bad game. Shame on you!! Now you want to be critical of me because I blame Roberts. PLEASE!!!!!!!

          1. Pacakage

            First, we were talking about this World Series, and the post season!

            And Kershaw didn’t get any of those awards, from what he has done, in the post season!

            Kershaw pitched really well in his first start, in this World Series, but that is what is expected, from Kershaw.

            And I am sure when Kershaw opted out, and wanted to be paid more money, I bet his agent made the case, that Kershaw is the best pitcher, in all of baseball.

            But guess what, to really be the best pitcher, in all of baseball, Kershaw has to pitch well, in the post season, too!

            And I don’t think it is asking to much from Kershaw, to be able to pitch well enough, to protect two very good leads, that he was given, in the other start, he made, in this World Series!

            After all, he asked to be paid more, and made the case, that he was the best!

            But since you brought up the regular season, in the last two regular seasons, we have won the West, even after Kershaw has went out on the DL, for quite awhile!

            And last year, during the regular season, we came back and won the west, after being down by 7 games, to the Giants, right after the Allstar break.

            And Kershaw wasn’t part of the equation, for much of the second half of the season, that year!

            But Roberts has been instrumental, in helping this team win the west, in both of these last two seasons, after Kershaw has went out!

            Package, if you are going to quote me, get it right!

            I said, I didn’t want to depend on Kershaw in the post season, anymore.

            That is very different then the words, you quoted me, of saying, because you purposely left off the word post season, to make your argument look better!

            And all of those awards that you talked about, Kershaw having, won’t mean a thing, if he never helps his team, win a World Series!

            And like I already said, that is because baseball, is a team sport!

            And because Kershaw asked to be paid more money, and he is paid way more money, then any player on that team, more is expected, from Kershaw!

            And if you don’t expect that from Kershaw, how can you expect more, from Roberts, who isn’t paid much more, then most of the players, on this team, let alone, paid the astronomical amount, that Kershaw is paid?

    1. In my opinion this is more complicated than it
      need be.

      I said this ten years ago – Why not just a hard cap? A cap with penalties being a revenue tax that is pooled for low market teams to use ONLY on payroll? Every team spends close to the same amounts. Maybe give extra picks (not first two rounds) to teams with attendance under 2 million or records under .500. Other sports leagues have figured this competitive problem out and it seems to work just fine for them.

      Also, it should be pointed out the Dodgers are a prime example of how being rich doesn’t necessarily translate to winning championships. Lately it appears that being smart is more important than being rich. The FAZ hiring was supposed to make us both. So far? Not so much.

      1. Badger

        Some of that stuff is probably because of the players union too.

        I am curious to see what the front office does, after the 2018 season, when there books will be better.

        I think they do get under the luxury tax, because that will let them use more money on the payroll, and not give to much money away, for the luxury tax.

        I do think they will spend money, but they will just be conscious, or very creative, to not get over the luxury tax again.

  4. This may have been seen already, but I’m feeling redundant this morning


    Jonah sent me that yesterday. Jonah, if you’re listening, jump in……

    65% say he will be moved. I’m one of them. And Yueh, in response to your detailed post on all those dangling participles yesterday…… meaning to sound clever, I will attempt to modify the unintended subjects …….. (any English majors in the audience?) …methinks they may all be gone. Reading what you wrote, I try to keep Morrow, Watson and Darvish, but I’ve been wrong about what FAZ might do since they got here. Rather than overpaying those guys, they will probably wait and scour the wires for broken wings that usta have most excellent spin rates. I think that strategy is more likely than giving all those guys raises.

    Starting pitching. 1st in ERA. 16th in QS, 17th in IP. Though that is better than the year before, I sure would like to see less stress on the bullpen. Our starters were 1st in ERA and 2nd in BAA. Not going deep into games is who we are now. I don’t like it, but that is how the data miners do it so I must get used to the idea. Kershaw averaged over 6 IP, but at 30 will he be asked to do it again? By the way, 149 innings in ’16, 175 innings in ’17. 48 starts. Is this who he is now? Wood with 152 innings, Hill with 135, Maeda 134. I guess we should look for another $16mm a year 135 inning starter to plug in behind those guys. Any ideas?

    1. Yardbarker had the same poll and about the same number said Grandal will be traded. One of the reasons is that he is arbitration eligible and should get somewhere around 7.7 mil. They cited his miss rate is up and the exit velocity was down significantly. And Barnes is under team control until 2021. I definitely think they should keep Morrow, on the fence about Darvish, and think they have enough lefty’s on the roster already who can do the same thing Watson did. Kershaw’s innings are lower in 2016 because he was on the DL for almost 2 months. This year it was about 6 weeks. But I think that is about what they will want to keep him at. This is after all his opt out year if he likes. I also think that Honeycutt leaving is going to have an impact on the pitching. I am really interested to see who the new pitching coach will be. Over his 12 years as pitching coach, the Dodgers staff has always been close or at the top of the league in team ERA. And he has worked some magic with pitchers and mechanical problems, including Darvish. As far as a starter, I like Cobb from the Rays.

    1. Who would you rather have at second base – Dee Gordon or Logan Forsythe?

      Who would you rather have in centerfield – Chris Yelich or Chris Taylor?

        1. Exactly what I was thinking Bear.

          Yelich is from Westlake High. Bet he would love to be here. Would you give them Pederson and a young arm? They would likely want us to take on Prado and I doubt FAZ would do that.

          1. Yes, I would trade Joc for Yelich and throw in a young pitcher. How long is Prado’s contract for? They can always cut the guy loose. Lord knows they have some dead wood that needs disposing of as it is. With new ownership, there is always movement, and Jeter looks like he wants his stamp on the team.

      1. I rather have Forsythe as a lower paid utility player, and I don’t want Gordon on this team!

        And I think we need a rightie starting pitcher, then another outfielder!

        We have to many outfielders, and I want to see what Toles can do, for an entire season.

        Also I love Morrow, but hasn’t he had to much injury history, to sign him to a multi year contract, beyond two years?

        1. No need to panic there MJ, Yelich is a natural CF. Put Toles in LF. Then you have a very good defensive outfield. There are a bunch of RH free agent starters and we all know how the FAZMAN loves low risk high reward signings. If you trade Joc for Yelich, and possibly throw Thompson in the deal also, it thins out the OF over crowding. And it frees up Taylor to play 2nd. Then Forsythe is your Utley clone.

          1. Michael

            That sounds good, and I would rather have Yelich, then take on Stanton’s big contract.

            I am like you, I like a complete player too.

          2. Prado had a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup. He’s owed nearly $30 million over the next two years – 13.5 then 15. That is for age 34-35. You know Miami wants to rid that contract. I’m thinking he can still hit if his knee recovers, but that’s a lot of cheddar to take on. Yelich makes 7 then 9.75. His contract is very team friendly through 2022, never making over 15. If we are to believe the Dodgers aren’t going over 235 this year, taking on dead salary AND adding a FA arm could get tricky. We unload Joc and Grandal on them, that’s about 10, take on Prado and Yelich we could still sign Cobb and be under 235.

            It sure would be nice to find takers for Kazmir and McBrittle.

          3. And MJ, Forsythe can play every position on the infield and he is younger than Prado. Forsythe will be 31 next year……

        2. MJIn regards to your last response to me, I wonder if you checked Kershaw’s post season stats, they are ERA 3.82, 3 wins, 0 losses, 33 IP, 33Ks, 1.79 AVG, .94 WHIP. I would definitely call those decent numbers. I feel Kershaw did help the team get to he WS as well as pitch in the WS. One bad game does not justify a bunch of unfair comments about his pitching. The Dodgers have not had a pitcher that is as good as Kershaw since Koufax. Every game Sandy pitched was not a good game but he was the best I ever saw pitch. Kershaw may not be Sandy but he is a damn sight better than all the rest since. Saturate yourself in good info before you lower the boom on somebody the caliber of Clayton. Roberts has a long, long way to go to be the manager that Kershaw is a player.

          1. Package

            Those are only Kershaw’s numbers, from this year, in the post season, not his overal numbers, in the post season, like you made it seem!

            And those are not good numbers anyways, especially for the way, that Kershaw is being paid!

            How many starting pitchers, get in the hall of fame, with those kind of numbers, especially with an era, just under four?

            Just ask Jack Morris!

            Kershaw gave up a record number of HRs, in this post season this year, in fact, he gave up more HRs in this post season this year, then any other pitcher has, in the post season, up to now!

            And he has had, far more then just one bad game, in the post season, and especially, in important elimination, games.

            Kershaw’s real post season ERA is over 4, and his real Whip in the post season is 110, not the numbers you posted!

            And Kershaw was only able to get his era under 4, in this post season, because he pitched four innings, in game seven, after we were already five runs down!

            He was also helped out, in the deciding game against the Cubs, because he was given a 6 run lead, by the third inning.

            You better check your post season numbers, because Kershaw does not have close to the numbers, that Drysdale, Koufax, Fernando, and Orel have, in the post season!

            And all this conversation has been about, is how Kershaw has performed in the post season, and even you, can’t rehabilitate
            Kershaw’s bad numbers, in the post season!

  5. I was watching Hot Stove on the MLB Channel this morning, and of course everything is all Astro’s.

    I just don’t think they are the better team!

    Do they win game seven if Darvish isn’t tipping pitches?

    As much as we were upset that our team only scored one run in game seven, the Astros really didn’t do much after Darvish was taken out!

    They were pretty lucky, we didn’t do anything when we had all those runners on base, in the first couple innings of that game.

    Altuve didn’t hit over 200 in the World Series, so maybe our expectations on C&C, were a little to much.

    George Springer is the main reason the Astros won that series!

    I love Honeycutt, but our pitchers never adjusted, on the way they were pitching Springer, in that series!

    Maybe if we get a new young hungry pitching coach, he will be better about getting our pitchers to adjust more quickly, when certain hitters, or teams, are hitting our pitchers to well.

    Michael said we gave up to many HRs in the post season, and he is right!

    And we gave up five HRs to Springer alone, in that last series, and that is ridiculous!

    They could have at least, pitched around this guy!

    And Roberts probably should have put Springer on base in that game seven, but Springer had the luxury of knowing what pitch, Darvish was throwing to him, in both of his at bats, in the first two innings, in game seven!

    And remember Springer was the only Astro that hit the ball hard, in that first inning!

    And Cody’s error, put us behind so fast, in that game.

    And Gurriel a player that has played in plenty of National games, around the World, didn’t even hit 200 in that series, either!

    But he sure tried to show up Darvish after he hit that HR off Darvish, but Gurriel knew exactly what pitch was coming!

    So Gurriel’s big HR, wasn’t only because Gurriel was such a great hitter, because most major league hitters, could have hit that ball out, if they had the luxury of knowing what pitch was coming, that proves that Gurriel is as classless, as Darvish said!

    and he is classess, like Darvish said!

    1. Michael

      Thanks I didn’t know the age of those two players, but isn’t Prada a better offensive player?

      We should try to get rid of McCarthy in the off season, or any other way, if that is possible.

      That was a bad decision from the front office, to put McCarthy on the World Series Roster.

      I could make a case, that roster decision to put McCarthy on that roster, cost us the World Series too.

      Even as much as I was against putting Baez on the post season roster, I think we would have had a better chance to win that second game, if Baez pitched in place of McCarthy in that second game!

      I don’t think that former Padres outfielder, would have hit Baez as well, as he hit McCarthy, and he was the go ahead run in that game!

      1. Prado has better offensive numbers over his career. But with a bum knee at his age? No thanks. McBrittle has never been healthy enough over his Dodger career to come close to justifying that contract. Now it hangs like a Crawford over the Dodgers and hamstrings their movements. Anyone who thinks he and Kazmire, as in quagmire, were good signings is loony tunes. They need to dump both of them and open up some opportunities for other pitchers. Both of those guys are wasted space. Baez is used to coming in with the game on the line. McBrittle is not. Having him on the World Series roster was a total waste of a spot, same can be said for Fields since they both appeared in 1 game, which happened to be game 2. You are of course referring to Cameron Maybin, who now is also a former Astro. Badger…..Cobb was given a QO by the Rays. I doubt if FAZ would sign him and give up a draft choice too. The Dodgers have 7 starting pitchers under contract already. Hill, Kersh, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, Kazmir, McCarthy…….and then you can add Stewart, and Buehler, Urias…..so that makes 10. 6 of them lefty’s …Isn’t Prada women’s purses or shoes or something like that???? LOL

          1. Well the kid has some nasty stuff. His control did not look all that great, and he is a little more than 1 1/2 years removed from TJ surgery. I do not think he is ready yet, but that is me. I think he would definitely benefit by beginning in AAA. He was 1-0 in 8 games in the majors with a 7.71 ERA. He struck out 12 and walked 8, not good at all, his BA against was over .300 and his WHIP was 2.04. All that in a little over 9 innings pitched. According to those stats there is no way he is MLB ready yet.

    2. MJ, Get in the game! We were talking about this years world series. As you know the team hasn’t been the WS for 29 years. You are cherry picking just post season games. Also for your information, with or without the post season Kershaw will be in the HOF. Bet on it. Jack Morris, Fernando, Orel and Drysdale cannot carry Clayton’s lunch bucket. You need to check the Dodger all time stats on pitching overall and not just the post season. I think you are smart enough to get the picture. Why don’t you outline all the bad games Kershaw has had. Ya know, its ok for you to bad mouth Kershaw as long as you hold others to the same standard and not qualify things by salary and such. He would not get the kind of money he gets if he were not that good.

      1. Package

        This discussion has only been about the post season, so I don’t understand why you keep on bringing up his regular season numbers!

        Because I have never contested Kershaw’s regular season numbers.

        And really, Kershaw numbers in the post season are not close to his numbers in the regular season, and that is the problem!

        And that is just a fact, and because of that, he is not close to the same pitcher, that Orel, Koufax, and Fernando were, in the post season.

        And that is even though he has had more chances, then any the above pitchers, to change that!

        And if he had only had one bad game in the post season, I wouldn’t feel this way!

        This has happenen year after year, in the post season, and especially in deciding games.

        Don’t you remember what happened in our last game in the post season, last year?

        Once he gave back that four run lead, and couldn’t hold another three run lead, that was enough for me!

        I don’t dislike Kershaw, I just don’t trust him, to perform in the post season, like he does in the regular season, anymore.

        Wood pitched the gutsiest of all our starting pitchers, in the World Series?

        And Wood isn’t blessed with the tools that Kershaw is blessed, with!

        I want us to win a World Series, and I wish Kershaw could pitch like Bumgarner has in the post season, but I just don’t think that will ever happen.

        That is why I hope Buehler or we get a starter, that will perform well in the post season!

  6. In regards to Robert’s experience. At the start of this thread package said he ‘would rather have a Lasorda any day than Roberts’. As I was 5 at the time I have the following question – How was Tommy thought of after the 78 season? His team had won 2 pennants but lost in the world series both years. IMO, if we are going to compare Roberts to Tommy it should be to 1979 Tommy and not to the HOF manager he grew into.

    1. Well the 78 team that lost to the Yankees was loaded with talent. They won the first two games at Dodger Stadium then the Yanks won the next 4. Davey Lopes hit 3 home runs and Bill Russell hit over .400 for the series. But their big guns did not fare so well. The Yankees got huge contributions from Bucky Dent and Brian Doyle. Don Sutton lost 2 of the games. The series was most known for the confrontation between rookie Bob Welch and Reggie Jackson where Welch struck him out in the 9th to save the game. They lost the 77 world series 4 games to 2 also. That was the series that Jackson went off for 3 homers in game 6. Tommy was not blasted as I remember. It was pretty much considered that they lost to a better team. Pitching wise the Yanks were loaded with Catfish Hunter, and Jim Beattie, Guidry and Ed Figueroa won 20 apiece that year. Hooton and T. John were the Dodgers wins leaders. Dent was the series MVP. Tommy was in his 4th year as manager then. When they finally won in 1981, the meat of that team was still there.

    2. Jimbo

      I think the only reason that Michael compared Lasorda to Roberts, was because Roberts communications with his players, much like Lasorda did, and Roberts and Lasorda, are both people, persons.

      1. Tommy was a bit more blunt with his players than Dave I think. I remember him taking Doug Rau out of a game after he gave up a HR. The conversation was entirely one sided and consisted of a long string of expletives.

        1. Michael

          In this age, Roberts wouldn’t get away, with talking to his players that way!

          But the real point is non of those type of managers, would manage in the game today, so why malign Roberts.

          1. Probably not. The only older manager chosen this year is Ron Gardenhire with the Tigers. All the other guys so far are the younger generation.

        1. Nobody has ever claimed he was and no one ever said Lasorda was Alston. But Roberts is a lot smarter than you give him credit for. He was a smart ball player. His people skills and communication skills are why FAZ picked him, plus his acceptance of their use of analytics. You may not like the guy and you may think he is not a very good manager. But Lasorda did not win the World title until he was in his 6th season as manager. He got there in 77 and 78 and lost.

          1. His use of analytics is why FAZ picked him period. I am not seeing the people skills you give him credit for. I have seen players not happy with some decisions. Lasorda did not have the use of money like Roberts does either. All this is subjective. You like him, I don’t. You think he is smart, I don’t. I think he knows what to say to Friedman and the boys. We do know he does not know when to and who to put in to pitch when it counts.

          2. Well package thank god you are not responsible for his hiring. I would guarantee he has a lot more baseball smarts than you do. The man led his team to 104 wins. You do not do that in the majors leagues being a dummy. And as for his people skills, well yeah, some of the players are going to be upset when they are taken out of a game. Big whoopee. Puig praised the guy, so did Kershaw and others for the fact he let them know exactly what was going on. You on the other hand must have had your head buried deep in the sand all season and not read any of the positive story’s Your loss….And the proof is that you state some decisions, not all, who would you have chosen??? Mr. GM???? You have no clue who you would have picked. Why? Because you are nothing but a fan and have no voice in the matter….the people with the money invested do.

    3. I agree. Good point Jimbo. I think Roberts made a bunch of mistakes and could have been more prepared, but he’s not worse than the best MLB managers of 2017. Had we won Game 2, Hinch would have been questioned about leaving Verlander in too long. Had we won Game 5 Hinch would have been questioned about leaving Keuchel in too long.

      1. Package

        Anyone can watch Roberts, and know he has great people skills.

        And you don’t know any of the players personally, so you don’t know what they think, when it comes to Roberts.

        But the players sure bought in, to Roberts team first, mentality.

        You also thought Roberts ruined the team, because he put Cody on the DL, but he took this team to the World Series

        1. MJ, you have no idea if he has good people skills. Have you ever worked for him? You don’t know if ALL the players bought in or not. You don’t know any more than I know. They certainly did not do as well after Cody was on the DL. Quit trying to make like all your opinions are correct just because they are yours. You like Roberts, I don’t.

          1. Maybe we can all agree on Roberts being better than Mattingot, Torre, Little and Tracy. And I could be persuaded to put FAZ over Colleti too.

  7. Dodgers eligible for arbitration…..there are 9….Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia (remember him>? ), Yasmani Grandal, Kike Hernandez, Joc Pederson and Alex Wood. Also in todays ladodgers.com…..says Dodgers are targeting pitching, no shit Sherlock, and a RH hitting outfielder…..said that Cain is the type they would be looking at, not JD Martinez, which makes sense. FAZ likes guys who can play defense.

  8. Michael (and my) suspicions prove correct, Dodgers pick up Forsythe’s option.

    Great line from Eric Stephen @TrueBlueLA (one of my favorites) in response to who are the untouchables for a Stanton trade:
    “His contract”

    Hee hee.

    1. That was pretty much expected. After all, they gave up Deleon to get him. And that contract of Stanton’s, that has to be the biggest albatross in MLB history…….but they are saying the Giants and the Phillies are both interested….not that either has what Miami would want. I doubt the Dodgers make a QO to any of their free agents. Getting close to the store opening…….

    2. Forsythe could have a breakout year in 2018. I would rather Turner plays less in 2018 regular season. I am hoping one of our young OFs step up as CF, and we can split time at 2B and 3B amongst Taylor, Forsythe and Turner (all righthanders though so the FAZ will probably sign some turn around lefty project just to piss us off).

  9. “Hee hee”

    I don’t know. Let’s think creatively.

    Idea: tie player compensation to ownership.

    Found this in a Forbes article from a few years ago:

    “Fay Vincent’s hypothesis was based on the notion that income tax rates for wealthy baseball players and their exorbitant salaries are far exceeding capital gains tax rates and it will become progressively worse in the future. He firmly believes that managing the tax burden will be the primary concern going forward and it could lead to a significant change in baseball’s economic model. As a result, Mr. Vincent asserts that we could conceivably see a new and unlikely partnership between the owners and the players.

    After taking a moment to digest a concept that some might think is outrageous and absurd, the current collective bargaining agreement actually contains language in it that makes Mr. Vincent’s idea feasible. Currently, players and managers are permitted to own equity shares in their own ball clubs as long as they have received special permission from the Commissioner’s office. However, once that player or manager leaves and moves on to a new ball club, they must divest their equity immediately.”

    Stanton wants to be a Dodger. He would look terrific in a Dodger uniform. Make it so.

      1. Fascinating.

        What about the NL? Oh, I see Stanton’s name there. Along with Goldschmidt and Votto. I think they combine for a few dollars more.

        Any thoughts on the point of my post?

        1. My bad. Did not mean to reply to your post, meant to create my own. That was a weird non-sequitur.

          No comment on it, I can’t really figure out what you are saying. Are you proposing the team trade for Stanton then renegotiate his deal?

          1. I remember the Red Sox trying to do that with A-Rod, and the player’s union stepped in and said “no giving significant money away.”

          2. Even if the compensation is in team equity, it has to have a valuation for the Salary Cap. How would that save the team money? The problem isn’t cash flow with the Dodgers, it’s getting under the repeater tax. I’d theorize they are more likely to compensate Stanton in cash, equity would have more down-side for the team. And which team owners would surrender equity to Stanton?

          I am, as just stated, not sure changing form factor will do anything.

          1. Maybe you weren’t aware of it but Stanton has an opt out after 2020.


            Renogiate from there with a base of $16 million per (FAZ likes that number) with a small percentage ownership in the team that will pay him an annual salary until he is 45.

            I don’t know how to do it. I threw it out there for the creative minds on this site to kick around. So far – not much.

          2. I miss this part of Badger, constantly harping on losing arguments.

            Oh for the days he claimed Brock Stewart was a starting pitcher. At last that argument was based on some semblance of reality. This one is based on whimsy and has degenerated into spaghetti against a wall.

            Who cares about 2020?!?!??!?

            The repeater tax is on the team’s radar for this year and (hopefully not) next. And after that year a plethora of real talent hits the market.

            Further there’s precedent. Will Seager want equity for his next deal? Will Bellinger? Will Kershaw when he opts out.

            I have no clue why YF is bringing up “pseudo-equity” components. It seems he (she?) is trying to confuse an already barely practical topic. Why would the commissioner’s office validate a Chinese-market-esque phantom stock deal?

            Let me get this straight. Stanton’s contract calls for 29 and 32 million dollars a year after his opt-out. He and the players union are going to take that down considerably for deferred payments and a small chuck of pseudo-equity!??!?!!??!?

  10. It is possible. I’ve negotiated deals containing these type of pseudo equity components, albeit in other contexts. “Equity” does not have to be stock or stock options, and there are many many ways to structure equity interests that fits what that Forbes article posted by Badger was getting at. I or any number of guys with similar experience could do it in a Wall Street second. Just pay us.

  11. I guess what I don’t understand is if the team is going to commit to $295m & 10 years, why not wait for Harper/Machafo next year.

    That way you:
    – don’t also give up players
    – have a chance to get under the repeater tax
    – not go through the loooing glass with equity/pseudo equity

    1. Bluto, I don’t recall saying anything about Brock Stewart. He’s no favorite of mine. In fact, I’ve been very consistent with my take on Dodger starter pitching.

      Payroll will not get below luxury tax levels. I think you might want to take a closer look at where they are and what the goals realistically might be. And, you might want to open the mind a little bit. I believe they are at $185mm now. According to BR and other sources the options and arb estimates will take them to $212 mm. And what is the luxury tax level for ’18. (I’ll wait while you look it up.). They are on track to slice their tax bill by about a quarter, to $25.1mm. The new change that might actually rattle FAZ is not money, but the movement of draft pick by 10 slots. That happens if payroll goes over $237mm. I’ve been talking about that, but maybe you missed it. So, we are at approximately $212mm without signing any big names. If, for example we were to send Joc and Grandal to Miami ($9mm) and get Stanton ($25mm) we accomplish the goal staying under the $237mm mark. Frankly it’s my opinion if we get that done maybe we can get an Arrieta too by deferring some payment beyond the $9 million we have before going over the $237mm. Follow me? Also, from my own perspective, I don’t care if a draft pick goes from 30 to 40 if it means we can sign the FA starting pitcher we want.

      Many people care about 2020. And wait? Yeah, ok, sit on the hands while the premier NL power hitter lands on a rival’s roster. He said he wants to play for LA. To make that happen will take some creative thinking. Maybe that is asking too much of you.

      And thank you YF for responding to the idea with some logic and respect. I admitted I wasn’t sure how to get it done but from that Forbes article it sounded possible. This is after all a chat room. Why not talk about possibilities? We know people with billions do some very creative things to get around regulations (Paradise Papers) so why not encourage our creative moneyballers to dance on the heads of the lessers?

      1. If you set your own realities, it’s fun to live life.

        You may not think the payroll will get under the luxury tax, but that is what I have read is the team’s goal. If I’ve been reading the wrong sources, that’s on me.

        But it’s what I’ve read, and how I’m constructing my perspective. You are pivoting on the 237mm number. Good on you. I hope it’s always sunny and the girls (and guys) are always good-looking over there.

        And from my perspective, which should be implied when I post from this account. There’s NO CHANCE of getting Stanton, from a strictly financial standpoint.

        Then let’s discuss that getting Stanton will involve giving up players. That makes it even less likely.

        But, keep posting. Keep making up the perimeters of thought.


  12. Notes:

    Keep an eye on Christian Santana, a 3B prospect. Below is a link to his old swing:

    The team has smoothed out the swing and his “hit tool” is much improved.

    Friedman spoke today:
    – he expects Rick Honeycutt and rest of coaching staff to return.
    – he’s hopeful Corey Seager’s elbow will heal without surgery.
    – he expects Adrian Gonzalez to be healthy and in Spring Training in 2018.
    – he expects Yimi Garcia (Tommy John surgery) to be in the bullpen mix in 2018.
    – Kenta Maeda is viewed primarily as a starting pitcher.
    – he expects Dave Roberts to manage for a long time, but would not discuss if a contract extension is being considered.
    – he left open the possibility of bringing back free agent Yu Darvish.
    – Shohei Otani is “a situation we are monitoring closely,” but “premature to talk about right now” because posting system in flux. ALSO: if the Dodgers were to sign a player talented enough to both pitch & hit, he’d look forward to the challenge of making it work
    – he said it is too early to say what aspects of his roster need offseason improvement.
    – “I hope we have that headache.” — Friedman on having too many starting pitchers in Spring Training.
    – He expects Toles to be ready for Opening Day,(My note: not necessarily Spring Training?)

  13. Interesting video. I wonder what he’s looking at in those trees down the third base line? Also, please quiet those hands down.

    A lot of hope and expects expressed in those statements. Call it Friedman speak. “I expect good results and I hope I’m right about that.”

    So if AGon is 100% does Bellinger go back to the outfield?

    No more talk of trading for Stanton. Ok. How about the other two Miami outfielders? I’d take either of them for left field, unless Bellinger is out there. Do we hope AGon expects to put up 2.5 WAR at first base and earn his money? I’m half way there. I hope he does.

    I live in Sedona. Always sunny and bright here.

    1. One more on Stanton, or any star like him. With the repeater penalty we have to get under the cap once every 3 years. This coming year we need to get under. When Jeter wants to unload salary I assume he means long term commitments like Stanton. So there is in fact a match – we ship short term commitments to him (McCarthy, Kazmir) plus prospects in exchange for Stanton. We can get under the cap in that scenario. As long as the total number is a significant net decrease I think Jeter would be up for it. However the Cardinals can do the same too.

      Unlikely but not far fetched. When Stanton gets moved to whatever team I think you will see at least one bad but short term contract shipped back to the Marlins.

    2. Friedman’s comments have to be taken in context.

      But, the FO has earned the benefit of having hope when it comes to most of the fanbase, no? Best record in the regular season and Game 7 of the big shebang.

      I don’t think Gonzalez is back, can’t see any scenario where it’s good for him or for the team.

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