I have only been down on the field once, because it is just too painful to walk. I have appointments with two orthopaedic surgeons next week about my hip. I plan to go down before the game today if the Advil allows me, but I am heading back home after the game and will watch Sunday night’s finale on ESPN. My wife and son drove up last night and will also be at the game today. No trip to Chi-town would be complete without a trip to Ditka’s, which is where we went for dinner last night, and I have to say that it is simply the best steakhouse in the Country. I had the absolute best steak I have ever had at Ditka’s, and I have been to some pretty good Steakhouses – Shulas, Morton’s, St. Elmos, Ruth Chris, etc. My son was impressed when Coach Ditka walked by and spoke. He said “Dad, this is so cool!” We stayed at the Raffaello Hotel which is about a half block away from the Westin (where the Dodgers stay). To put it in perspective, we were right beside the Sears Tower (old name) on Michigan Street and just a block and a half from Ditka’s. Again, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Rafaello if you are staying in Chi-town as it has just undergone a $25 million renovation and is a 4-Star Hotel. Very nice accommodations. Now, let’s talk baseball:
This Dodger team has a quiet confidence. Nobody seems to care that they don’t have many HR. They know they can win without the long-ball. James Loney leads the team with 36 RBI’s and only has 2 HR, but he seems unfazed! Matt Kemp hit a HR yesterday, but who can argue with him hitting the ball on the ground with his speed? He’s still so young and his defense is nearing Gold Glove Caliber.
James Loney struck out 4 times yesterday, and while I am not generally one to second-guess, I would have started Loretta or Martin at 3B and put Blake at 1B. Ethier did have a nice hit in the 9th, but he didn’t get a hit off the LH and neither did Pierre. If it were me, I would have started Hoffman in RF over Ethier, so that we could have had 2 more RH bats in the lineup against the LH Ted Lilly, who pitched an excellent game. Would it have made a difference? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t have hurt. Just my opinion. By the way, I hear that Logan White is very high on Jamie Hoffman, who many experts believe will be a 4th OF at best.
The fact is, that this team has 4 players over 30 who are having career years. Now I can only speak as to what is happening right now and I do not know if they will HAVE career years, but the fact of the matter is that they are HAVING career years. Do I think they all will stay where they are? No, but it would not surprise me if they all have their “career year” this year. If Juan Pierre stays in the lineup, I do think he can hit .350. He puts the ball in play and doesn’t strike out much and his confidence is sky high right now. Here’s another fact: if we play .500 ball the rest of the way, we will win 90 games. We still have the best record in baseball and are 8.5 games ahead of the Giants. Life is good – Enjoy the ride!
Eric Stults goes against Ryan Dempster today.
I have sat beside Josh Suchon of KABC (who is a genuinely nice guy) and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports (ditto on the nice guy thing), and have had some good converastions with Dylan Hernandez who is an interesting guy (Tony, Dylan says “Hi.”).