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May 18, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog

May 18, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog

dodgers I think you can all relax now. These Dodgers are for real.

Yes, they still have their stiffest challenge so far in the week to come. It starts with a three-game date with the New York Mets, who probably are the best team the Dodgers will have faced to this point, and it continues with a three-game series with the Angels, and I don’t have to remind you how the Dodgers generally fare in interleague play.

Still, there is considerable cachet in taking four of six on this week’s trip, including two of three in each stop, one of which was at the world champion Phillies. To me, the defining moment came in the final game of the Philly series, after Jonathan Broxton blew a two-run lead after retiring the first two batters in the ninth.

In years past, the Dodgers would have crumbled after such a development. Their frustration would have gotten the better of them, and if the Phillies hadn’t won right there and then in the ninth, they inevitably would have won it in some subsequent inning after the Dodgers went quietly in the top half.

Not anymore, apparently.This time, Broxton bore down, and with the winning run on second, he struck out Eric Bruntlett to send it to extra innings. This time, the Dodgers came right back, mounting their own two-out, nobody-on rally against Chad Durbin in the top of the 10th to go back in front 5-3. And this time, Ramon Troncoso came in and closed the door again, pitching around a two-out hit batsmen to deliver a scoreless 10th.

Just like that, the Dodgers had taken two of three from the defending champs, and in a ballpark where they went 0-6 last year. From there, they caught the once-sizzling Marlins at the right time, when the Marlins were ice cold, and took two of three there. And it looks like the schedule is going to do them a favor against the Mets, because they will miss Johan Santana in this three-game series.

It’s a little early to start planning any tickertape parades through downtown L.A. But any lingering suspicion that this fast start by the boys was all just an illusion, puffed up by the fact the played 28 of their first 33 games against the rest of the pathetic N.L. West and the other five against the Astros and Nationals, can now be laid to rest.

These Dodgers are pretty good.

 In the oh-by-the-way department, it seems a little early in the year to be checking to see which players are starting to hit their bonus clauses. Not so in the case of Orlando Hudson, whose creatively constructed contract, which was meant to safeguard the Dodgers in the event that his history of injuries came back to bite him again, contains two bonuses that Hudson has already hit. He has 183 plate appearances. That means his salary for this season has already jumped from $3 million to $3.3 million because he gets $150,000 each for reaching 150 and 175 PAs. When he gets to 200 PAs, he’ll get another $200,000.

Don’t forget, he is also receiving a $380,000 signing bonus in addition to all that. So if he suffered a season-ending injury tomorrow, he is already guaranteed $3.68 million.

By the way, the tandem of Pierre and Castro is now hitting a combined .426 (40 for 94) this season. That’s not a one-two punch. That’s a two-Juan punch.

31 Responses to “May 18, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog”

  1. Hey, Tony — I was pleased to meet you at the Dodger blogger night, and am totally glad you’ve found a new online home. Welcome back!

  2. Penos Cabell says:

    It’s great to read Tony Jackson again.

    Something seems very special about this season, even with everything thats going on with Manny.

  3. Emma says:

    Hey Tony! Pretty good record for this team that is Manny-less and Kuroda-less. BTW, how is Kuroda-san doing?
    Emma

  4. D4L65 says:

    Welcome back Tony :) I look forward to more post. I like this team also, everyone wants to be a contributor, and when given the chance does. This Free’s up Joe to rest the starters, which should be a big asset to the club later on. Excellent team play from all.

  5. FHR says:

    Was definitely missing Tony’s insight. Good to read it again.

  6. Silvia says:

    Tony! So happy you are posting again!

  7. Rob says:

    Welcome back Tony!

  8. Harold says:

    That’s a two-Juan punch. Good Juan Tony. Thanks for your article without mentioning Manny Ramirez. I get so tired oh hearing our record is such and such without Ramirez, or the Mannyless Dodgers win or Ramirez will be back in X number of games.

    These boys can play some ball.

    GO DODGERS!!

  9. TJ2 says:

    Congrats on the new gig, Tony. I hope you’re as happy about working again as we are to have you back. Time to change my bookmarks because I’ll be here for the long haul.

  10. bluetrain says:

    Good to see you writing about the Boys of Summer. Missed your insight and we, all of us Dodger Fans, missed you.
    train

  11. Denton True says:

    Tony,
    Glad to see you back online covering the Dodgers!
    I am officialy checked out concerning that old place.

    - DT

  12. Badger says:

    I agree that this road trip was going to be a read on this team, and, I also agree that they handled it quite well. They are digging in and finding ways to pull out W’s. I am still thinking that .500 until Manny gets back would be a plus, but, they could actually do better.

    But, the two Juan punch (good one by the way) won’t keep that pace up. They will eventually come back to earth, and Juan they do, we will need to find other ways to score. Which Juan comes down first?

    Interesting bit about Hudson’s contract. A bonus for 150 and 175 plate appearances? How did they come up with that number? And, why? Those numbers don’t even represent quarter of a season. How does that help the Dodgers?

    BTW, did anyone see how many pitches Broxton threw in his blown save? 27. Way too many. If he doesn’t have it done in 18 something is wrong. Joe maybe should have removed him sooner.

    Good to see you again TJ.

  13. Jane says:

    Great to see you back!

  14. Badger says:

    Slimers?

    Hey, I like him. Bring him on in.

  15. Tony, great point about Hudson and his contract stuff. Its something that was overlooked by everyone, except for you of course. :-)

    I agree, I like this team with or without “that guy.” And we are supposed to be soft in the pitching department. But even without one of our veteran starters we have been great so far. Can’t wait for Kuroda to get back!

  16. lawdog says:

    The O-Dog will be responsible for bringing a pennant (at least) to our boys in blue. The quality of his play reminds me of Raphy before his back blew out last year.

    If Pierre can stay hot for another 40 games our club will be tough to beat despite our raggedy pitching.

  17. Gil says:

    Tony — WELCOME BACK!!!!! Really missed you! I was a regular reader of your blog from that local paper, man, I’m so glad you got back on your feet! I really valued your opinion as well as you being on top of the latest Dodger info, you were the inside man in my book and its wonderful that you’re back reporting! I’ve deleted that ‘other’ blog and have replaced it with yours. I’ll be checking in regularly! Again – WELCOME BACK!!! yay!!!!

  18. p says:

    Great to have Tony here! But please lose the exclamation marks on the headlines! Okay! Thanks!

  19. Mark Timmons says:

    “An exclamation mark usually shows strong feeling, such as surprise, anger or joy. Using an exclamation mark when writing is rather like shouting or raising your voice when speaking. Exclamation marks are most commonly used in writing quoted speech. You should avoid using exclamation marks in formal writing, unless absolutely necessary.”

    That is “the book” on exclamation marks, but this is a stinkin’ blog and I’m a hack, what do you expect? :smile: !!!

  20. Mark Timmons says:

    …besides Jason Schmidt going 7 innings really has to have an exclamation mark, don’t you think?!

  21. lawdog says:

    I concur. Who are these guys that expect you to tailor the blog for their particular sensibilities.

    Personally, I’m an exclamation mark kind of guy. If it’s worth saying it, go ahead and “Say it!”

  22. wrisp says:

    “2-Juan punch.”

    Prettu good, Tony. Pretty good.

  23. tony jackson says:

    Thanks once again for all the positive comments, and I apologize for my delay in responding to them. Interesting game tonight. The Mets are a really good team, and it wouldn’t shock me a bit if this ends up being the NLCS matchup in the fall. But they didn’t look like a good team at all tonight. Five errors and a missed base pretty much did them in in a one-run game. Well, actually, the fifth error literally did them in, as the winning run scored on it. By the way, this is the first time the boys have been 14 games above .500 since they finished 2006 at 88-74 on their way to being swept by the Mets in the first round of the playoffs.

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Love those exclamation points!!! I believe in emphasizing the emphasis, so I’m a multiple exclamation point person.

    Love having Tony back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Badger says:

    The Mets were horrible and got some really bad news last night. The Dodgers were 5 for 39 and won with an unearned run. We will get those now and then, everybody does, but don’t expect a lot of them.

    You think Ethier misses his Manny?

  26. Erik says:

    I agree this season has a magical start and feeling. Imagine a healthy Kuroda coming back and maybe an exit for Mota. We could be really tough to beat. Does anyone know Kemps stats batting 4th? I’m thinking him behind Ethier might help Dre more than Loney.

  27. Badger says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=28476

    It would seem the lower he bats, the better he hits.

  28. matk says:

    According to the stats, he never fails to get a hit when he is in the #8 hole.

  29. Badger says:

    Yeah, 1.000. That’s pretty good isn’t it.

  30. lawdog says:

    You might see uncle Milton (age 33) back with the big club soon. He was named Pacific Coast Pitcher of the week after throwing back to back 6 inning "shutouts" at the end of April at which time he appeared to have regained his once upon a time All-Star major league form. If you put him in and slide Weaver down to long relief you'd have an all lefty rotation with Bills being the lone exception.

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