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How Can You Spot a Really Good Team?

How Can You Spot a Really Good Team?

I want you to think about this for a minute.

What constitutes a good team?

I mean, a really, really good team?

I think there are two (2) major things that you can point to in an attempt to identify what makes a really good team:

  1. They respond to adversity; and
  2. They refuse to lose many games in a row.

If you are worried that we don’t have enough pitching or feel that the first half was an aberration, then consider this:

  1. The Dodgers lost their Opening Day Starter and Hall-of-Fame Bound Superstar LF for 50 games and still ran away with their division; and
  2. The Dodgers are the only team in MLB who have not lost 3 games in a row all year!Unique


Well, it’s not that simple, but a team who has lost 100 games from two major stars and has not lost 3 games in a row is pretty special, in my opinion.  This team is resilient and never says “die.”  Last night, they faced a LH who I knew would be tough for us.  That’s why I wanted more RH hitters.  We needed more RH hitters against a lefty like that.

Andre Ethier:

In 165 at bats with the bases empty: .285/.352/.576
In 159 at bats with runners on base: .214/.325/.371

Why Joe plays him against LH pitching should be reason for an investigation!

Randy Wolf gets no love…

We need a gem from C-Bill tonight!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

22 Responses to “How Can You Spot a Really Good Team?”

  1. Blue Haze says:

    Ethier is officially killing us. Time for him to sit and let Pierre play. Ethier is in such a bad funk, it may not go away easily. At this point in time you can’t even call him soft, he is sucking so badly he can’t even get that rank.

  2. Michael says:

    You sure called it on Wandy, Mark.Now that everyone is talking about Sherrill, it makes we wonder if you put the idea in Ned’s head? It’s only one game but if Joe should put Matt back where he hits best, in the 8th spot.

  3. Badger says:

    Yeah, Kemp didn’t get a hit so hit him 8th, Hudson got 3 hits so bat him clean-up, Furcal was 0fer so he should hit 7th, Manny sucked so drop him down too, Ethier only had one hit so bench him, Blake only had one hit, can’t have a clean-up hitter who can clean-up…..

    relax people. We are going to have games like this. The fact is so far we haven’t had long stretches like this, and you know what? I really doubt we will finish the year without losing streak of over 3 games. That seldom happens. This team really hasn’t been tested yet, so stand by – they will be.

  4. Roger says:

    Vargas did not look comfortable last night.

    This half of the season does not look promising. The Dodgers biggest hope is that the Giants and Rockies fail as well. If either one of those teams roll off some winning streaks, it will be tough.

    Everyone here is right — Dodger pitching arms are falling off like, like, like — there is no tomorrow.

    Some of the Dodger players are going to have to start hitting. Last night that game could have gone another 9 innings, and the Dodgers probably would not have scored.

    It is not just Mark’s bashing boy who did not come throught . . . lots of other hitters did not as well. Oswalt will n ot be asy tonight. Face it, the Astros are hitting the ball, and playing like THEY want to win.

    This is going to be a long-hard-tough second half.

  5. Blue Haze says:

    I’m with Badger, relax, it is the first game since coming off 3 days off. The Dodgers will take it to Oswalt tonight, he has had to sit a few days as well. The boys will score early and often, Oswalt won’t make it thru 5.

    One correction for Badger: Manny did get one base hit so technically he should be batting second behind Hudson. I know that you would want me to make that marvelous correction to your otherwise marvelous post.

    BTW, not a coincidence that the Dodger that batted in the All-Star game looked sharper at the plate than those that hung out in LA the last three days.

    “Whiney People Rule” —

  6. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with Badger. Everyone must calm down and take a chill pill. We aren’t going to win every game. Wandy – now what mother is going to name their son that? I bet he got beat several times in school growing up however he dished out a good beating of his own last night. If we continue to lose and it becomes a trend then lets talk about it. We had our chances last night but we didn’t capitalize. How can Wolf pitch a better game? Wolf kept us in the game but you can’t win if you don’t score runs. He had better change his number to 54 or his record will be 4-5 next outing. Which pitcher or pitchers is Ned going get from the bargin heap?
    Bounce back win tonight……. Manny hits a bomb. Ethier gets two hits…..OUT

  7. Blue Haze says:

    Uh no, I was not implying that any of the posters about last nights game were whining, bitching probably, but whining NO.

    Just a random thought that had struck me the other day, thank God for that website.

  8. Ken says:

    Last night was the perfect time for Pierre to play instead of Ethier.

    Mota is now Torre’s new whipping boy.

    Kemp should bat 6th and Ethier 7th, Martin 8th, With his rest time behind him Hudson is now able to move back to 2nd.

    Wolf is either lucky or bad the third time through the lineup depending upon the night.

    Vargas can never be allowed to go through the line up a 2nd time.

    Elbert is learning how to pitch and if he continues to improve may replace Leach as the Loggy when the old guys arrive from the DL.

    Hopefully Mr. Softie ice cream was served in the dugout after the game to all.

    The Dodgers just do not match up well against the Astros. I bet that a lot of scouts from playoff teams are in the stands this series.

    Blue Hawk – Keep it clean

  9. Badger says:

    As most of you know, I am not much for a different lineup every other night. Maybe it’s the Marine in me, but every man has a job to do, just be prepared to do it. Also, every man knows he can count on the man next to him to do his job.

    I prefer these guys know what their role is going to be and prepare for it. My lineup has Furcal leading off, Hudson/Ethier/Pierre at 2, Manny, Loney, Kemp, Hudson/Ethier/Pierre, Martin, Blake – or something similar to that from 6 on down. I don’t drop Kemp but I do drop Blake. I want Kemp to know that he is going to be a player we will be counting on to do what he can do and do it in the middle of the lineup. Blake knows what his role is and hit over .300 in the 8 hole. How good is that? My feeling has always been that there are top of the lineup guys (1&2), middle of the lineup guys (3-5) and then 6,7 and 8. Maybe it’s old school, or considered antiquated outdated thinking, but I would want to know what my job is and know that when I come to the ballpark I know where I will play and where I will be hitting in the lineup. There is mental preparation that goes on each night for every spot in that lineup and as you know, it’s a different approach at each spot.

    And it’s the same with pitching. Every pitcher on this team should know exactly what his role is and come to the park ready each night to do what it is that is expected of him. Every starter should be prepared to throw 100+ pitches and get the team to the 8th. Every middle reliever should know that if that starter gets in trouble early, his job is to get the team to the 8th. We have set up guys, we have situational guys and we have a closer. This is your job, I promise you I will not ask you to do another mans job. Do yours, and he will do his.

    It’s a long year. All 25 guys will be needed to get us to the call-up date, and that time every guy on the 40 man had better be ready to ride that horse to the finish line.

    This is a good team. Don’t mess with too much and trust that these guys will get it done.

    In the mean time, I am looking for another arm for the dog days.

  10. Blue Haze says:

    Shat 4 Brains, you don’t want to go there with me. Pull your head out and shake yourself. What the hell has gotten in to you?

  11. DRomo says:

    If C Bills lays another egg tonight can we officially call him soft? The kid is killing me with his mental weakness. He looks great against bottom dwellers and average against a good lineup. His performance in the All Star game was reminiscent colossal wuss-out last year in October.

    When will he step up with a clutch performance? I still think he has a lot to prove. Striking out 10+ Giants in April only last so long. Looking good against the horrible Padres doesn’t impress me. Step up tonight and dominate. Hell I’ll settle for an 8 inning game with less than 4 walks.

    If not start packing for Toronto Chad. I hear it is nice this time of year.

  12. Bill Russell says:

    Blake 8th?
    C Bills soft?
    For those of you calling for Pierre to play in place of Ethier last night just remember a couple of things. Pierre would not have tracked down that ball hit into right center that Ethier caught, and it would have caused most runs to score. Also the runners would not have gone station to station with Pierres arm in the outfield. Lastly, Pierre had one chance to hit last night and struck out. So more offensive production may or may not be the case.

    Just when I thought I was starting to agree with CB, out come’s the Blake 8th thing again. OH Well, I must go to work now……. Don’t bump your heads any more until I get back…..

  13. Badger says:

    I don’t expect you to agree with me Bill. I just stated my opinion. The team did extremely well with Blake hitting in the 8 hole and batting .317, with a .397 OBP, .584 slg. % and a .981 OPS. Those numbers from that position are his best. This has nothing to do with ego and that bet, it has to do with what is best for the team. I like Kemp in the middle and our .36 year old .265 career hitting 3rd baseman hitting where he hits over .300. and gets on base about 40% of the time. That doesn’t make sense to you, but it sure does to me. Again, I look at things differently than you do.

    Bills is on his way to 18 wins and has a .690 winning percentage. He is allowed an egg now and then. What he, and every other pitcher on this squad needs to do is just work the strike zone. I don’t know why this team has trouble with that, but they do. Who knows, maybe these starters are second half horses.

  14. chucky says:

    An idea….with all the talk about Ethier being “soft”, not hitting with runners on base he still has still has 55 rbi’s and 18 hr’s. How about using him as the “major league roster” part of a trade for Halladay. I know they say Pierre’s arm is not good enough to play right but I would rather have Pierre in right that center (I like the way Kemp gets to so many balls).

    What about Ethier, McD and two more minor league prospects?

    Works for me. Maybe add their reliever and we got some good ideas.

  15. we scored all those big games with speed in the top of the line up.. in the first three slots…and now we dont have that..

  16. Badger says:

    Interesting trade idea Chucky. I would have to give that one serious consideration. As you know, I like Ethier and believe he is good enough to compete for a batting title some day. I like his d too.

    The problems I have with it are: 1. it messes with chemistry and b. it puts Pierre in right field. But, since I have no idea what kind of clubhouse presence Ethier is, my guess is very little actually, and if we could somehow compensate for the fact that even flat footed catchers will be going first to third on singles to right, (Kemp in right?) we may be able to win more with Halladay going every 5th day.

    Let’s hear what mover has to say about it. He’s the GM around here.

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    Pierre can’t play RF.

    He can play CF, but not as good as Kemp. Kemp would move to RF and Pierre would play CF. He did play CF on a World Series Champion.

    If Ethier gets traded, we lose some Defense, but become better at the top.


    1. Pierre CF
    2. Raffy SS
    3. Manny LF
    4. Loney 1B
    5. Kemp RF
    6. Martin C
    7. Blake 3B
    8. Hudson 2B

    We lose a LH power bat though and Lambo is a year away.

    If we packaged Ethier, Pierre (I have long felt the ChiSox would want Pierre), DeWitt, Lambo, Elbert & McDonald we should be able to get Halladay and Matt Holliday. Billy Beane might want Andre back. He has prospects to trade too.

    How’s this?

    1. Furcal SS
    2. Hudson 2B
    3. Manny LF
    4. Halliday RF
    5. Loney 1B
    6. Kemp CF
    7. Blake 3B
    8. Martin C

  18. Badger says:

    Who goes to Oakland?

    And why not keep Ethier over Holliday? I am assuming the White Sox prospects for Pierre would be used to get Holliday? Please, splain this to me.

    It is going to take 3 top prospects to get Toronto to even listen. These mid year deals usually don’t involve everyday players being used as the bait. The Cards have already said “choose” any 5 prospects. We won’t be doing that, but they may listen to Ethier plus 2 top prospects.

  19. Michael says:

    I do not want Halliday, would cost too much, hasn’t won a game in a month and NL bats teed off on him the other night. I’ve always been surprised when we do make trades both in who we get and who we give up. Relief/closer is in high order. Putz, Valverde, Frankie[hates NY]. How about Joe Nathan, the Twins need to generate some dough to keep Joe. From my vantage point, this is a really good team. Like to see Manny or Matt put one out where Piazza used to hit em. :] Dodger Blue

  20. JanetOmally says:

    Ano ang gusto kong malaman ay kung talagang beer ay lumamang H2O (water)

  21. Ken says:

    Hopefully Torre read The Tortoise and the Hare – One of Aesop’s Fables, over the break and will finnally understand how to pace the team so that they will not be burned out like the last 6 Yankee teams that he had, and no more pitchers will be placed on the DL this year.


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