Categorized | Mark Timmons

Dangling Chad

Dangling Chad

yodaLook, Chad Billingsley pitched well enough to win yesterday.  The offense let him down, but much like Jon Broxton, I expect much more from Chad Billingsley.  For the past few days I have been castigated all over the blogosphere because of my criticism of Jon Broxton.  I can take it – it’s no big deal – I just happen to think you need to bloom where you are planted – no excuses!  So, Broxton blew saves when he was a setup man.  They shouldn’t count (sniff).  You should only count blown saves in the ninth inning (sniff, sniff).    These are the same guys who tell their kids soccer team who just got beat 21-0, “You are winners.  You did great!”  A Blown Save is a Blown Save and to call it otherwise is also BS!  No excuses!  Take no hostages!   As usual the stat nerds get hung up on the stat, and not the deed behind it.   Broxton Has Blown Lots of Saves, but they don’t count when there’s not as much pressure as in the 9th inning?  BS!  Use your eyes!   Adversity doesn’t make character, so much as it reveals it!

You must unlearn what you have learned.  Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.

Infidels, will you try and refute the great Yoda?   JB needs to get tougher and so does Chad Billingsley, however their problems may emanate from the same source.  I did  a little research on C-Bill and here’s what I found (2009 stats):

  • 1st Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .283
  • 2nd Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .205
  • 3rd Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .205
  • 4th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .181
  • 5th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .111
  • 6th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .310
  • 7th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .324
  • 8th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .364
  • 9th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – 1.000

It’s not unusual for a starter to begin slowly, and  Billingsley is no different, as the league is hitting .283 against him  in the first inning.   However, their batting average drops to .205 in the 2nd and 3rd innings and drops even more to .181 in the 4th inning.   Then, in the fifth inning, it becomes a microscopic .111.   It’s not always pitch count, because he has frequently been in the 70′s at the start of the 6th, and he’s been over a 100 in the 5th.  It more than that!

It’s not a pattern.  In 2008, the league hit .200 against him in the 6th inning, and in 2007, the league hit .177 in the 7th inning against Billingsley.  After that, the league hits over .300, which is not unusual for starters, but the pattern this year has been that in the 6th inning, Chad Billingsley gets lit up!   He’s done after 5.

I think there are multiple issues at work here:  #1 – Endurance and/or training is an issue and I think that the Dodgers need to focus more on lower body strengthening issues (more running); #2 – I think it takes two seasons to really come back from a broken bone or surgery and I believe fatigue from that is a factor; and finally, #3 – I think it’s a mental thing (not easy to fix-same as Brox, but fixable).  This is something that starts in the off-season, but in the meantime, Joe Torre has to pull Bills after 5.  End of story, because when you watch him in the 5th, you think he’s Cy Young (.111 BA), but them in the 6th, he pitches like Chris Young (the outfielder, not the pitcher).  Joe just needs to plan to have McDonald or Weaver finish Billingsley’s games.  This is fixable folks, and I am not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  When I suggested that Brox serve as setup man (WHICH DID HAPPEN BY THE WAY), I didn’t mean that he should be DFA’ed.  Geeezzzzz!

RANTS & RAVES

  • Don’t lament the Dodgers not signing Smoltz (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K’s) – no way Honeycutt could pull of what Dave Duncan did with Smoltz!  Duncan is a genius.
  • These are the “dog days” and nobody is “dogging it” more than Manny.  He truly needs to sit.  His head is not in the game and he is not hustling. 
  • Matt Kemp should have been backing Manny up – that’s a blemish on him!  WAKE UP MATT!  These may be dog days, but you can’t dog it!
  • Colorado activated Matt Herges (in Aaron Cook’s place) and Jason Giambi.  OK – I’m scared now!
  • Say what you will, but after 125 games, the Dodgers still sit atop ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL with a 3.53 ERA!  Our hitting is what is hurting us, not our pitching! (We are first in Fielding and 3rd in Hitting, trailing inly the Yankees and Angels in BA).
  • It’s a good time for an off day tomorrow and then it’s off to Colorado as our Ace tries to shut-down the Rockies.
  • Robert Timm of Dodger Dugout says that our ace is Chad Kershawolf.
  • Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts  has a great breakdown of the Rockie/Dodger series (he’s a stat “geek”, not a “nerd”).
  • Mike Schmidt weighs in on Pete Rose and writes the best argument for his re-instatement as anyone ever has:

It’s been 20 years since Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball by then-commissioner Bart Giamatti. Recently the subject came back to life, recycling the same old issues, without attention to some interesting elements that should be mentioned on the 20th anniversary.

An interesting question was posed to me in a recent interview: Do you think things would have been different if Mr. Giamatti was still alive?

Bart Giamatti, the commissioner on duty in 1989, was in possession of strong evidence that Pete had indeed placed bets on his team. Pete insisted he was being set up and that it could not be factually proven. Armed with secret information from an in-depth investigation, Giamatti diplomatically offered Pete a deal — if Pete would agree to a lifetime ban, baseball would not expose its evidence and Pete could go away quietly.

First, from Pete’s perspective as one of baseball’s superstars, almost to the point of believing he could beat anything from a traffic ticket to armed robbery, he saw that the agreement offered him an out, the right to apply for reinstatement every year. Why else would he have signed it, why else would he agree to a lifetime ban under any circumstances?

Yes, you, I, and he know he was living a lie at the time. But assuming that burden would eventually get too heavy for him, and then he could appeal to Giamatti. From my perspective looking back, Giamatti was a compassionate man who would have eventually met with him, laid out a lifestyle plan that Pete would follow, and today he’d be a forgiven member of baseball’s family. Sounds simple, and it could have been with the right people driving it, led by Giamatti.

From baseball’s perspective, putting this to bed was paramount. No telling what would ensue if it was to dig deeper. Arguably its biggest star compromised the integrity of the game. The guy that made the sprint to first on a walk, the headfirst slide, the leader of the Big Red Machine, the ’80 Phillies, he played in more winning games than any player in history, he was the all-time hits leader, one of the biggest faces in baseball, and he was now considered a baseball outcast. How dare anyone test the poster hanging on the clubhouse wall, the one warning against gambling? This needed to go away, and it seemed like Mr. Giamatti had a good plan.

No one, however, anticipated the untimely passing of commissioner Giamatti, especially Pete. Before Pete could ever meet with him, appeal to him, come clean and apply for reinstatement, Mr. Giamatti passed away from a heart attack. Baseball lost a great ambassador for sure, and as unimportant as it was at the time, Pete’s fate now was in the hands of his successor, Fay Vincent.

Vincent was close to Giamatti and felt Pete’s case helped apply immense stress and was a factor in his friend’s death. Vincent subsequently upheld the ban with even more fervor. Enter Bud Selig, another passionate baseball man, who inherited the Rose case, and for years refused to take calls on the subject. It was always “under advisement.”

OK, we all know the story from here on. Pete admitted to Selig he lied and asked for forgiveness, baseball was slow to act, Pete’s book came out early and stepped on the Hall of Fame unveiling of Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley in early 2004, and the private admission to Selig went public via the book, not from the commissioner’s office. To Bud Selig, it reeked of sleaze and money, and that image has never left his brain.

Pete’s attempt to appeal and apply after 14 years initially seemed to be a success. However, as time went on, it was bungled from all sides. Pete remains in baseball purgatory.

Now you’re current, so here’s my first question: Did Pete Rose, in fact, knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball? And second, did/do the players who used steroids knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball?

Pete bet on the Reds to win, never to lose. He never managed with the intention of not winning. Do you believe for one second the gambling underworld was tuned into Pete’s betting habits? Pete never bet big or long enough to sway the gambling line. This has all been dressing to make it clear where gambling can lead. I’m not trying to say it’s not serious — it is — but I’m asking you to compare its impact on the game to steroid use.

Steroid players knowingly ingested chemicals that gave them an unfair advantage over clean players. Not only were they compromising the game’s integrity, they were jeopardizing the long term for short-term financial gain, confusing baseball history. And, oh yes, some might’ve broken the law.

Pete bet on his team to win and has been banished from baseball for life. Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguezet al, bet that they would get bigger, stronger and have a distinct advantage over everyone and that they wouldn’t get caught. Which is worse? Does the penalty fit the crime?

Pete’s banned for life, he sells his autograph to pay bills. Ramirez and his cronies apologize, are forgiven and get $20 million a year. They giggle all the way to the bank and could end up in the Hall of Fame. Is this the way Bart Giamatti would have wanted it 20 years later?

Recently, Pete’s case was given a new life by the great Hank Aaron, who said Pete had served a sufficient penalty time, deserved to be reinstated and considered for the Hall. All of us thought this was a new life for Pete, as Aaron is close to commissioner Selig and could sway fellow members.

Not so, as Mr. Selig went back to his favorite “under advisement” stance. He has his reasons, which I may disagree with but respect.

Even if Pete were to get by the commissioner, I feel it would take serious massaging of the members by Aaron, Joe Morgan and myself to get him the needed 75 percent quorum on a vote of Hall of Famers for election, and that may not be enough.

Pete is Pete and always will be. To know him is to love him. He has a wonderful heart, but has never adjusted his lifestyle to the degree needed to impress the current administration. No one would disagree with that, but everyone must consider baseball’s inconsistency in dealing with those players who have compromised the game.

Twenty years have passed, isn’t that enough?

I am of the opinion (as is Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt, among others) that Pete Rose should be re-instated.   I am NOT a fan of Pete, but it’s time!    I listened to John Dowd (The Dowd Report) on Mike & Mike this AM, and while he wasn’t asked directly, he acts like he believes Pete should be re-instated.  In fact, he said that MLB had a deal for Rose, which would have also saved him jail as well, but his attorney, Ruben Katz, rejected it.  Dowd said that Bart Giammati was a very kind-hearted man and would haveprobably  let Pete back in after a period of time (in fact, that seems to have been implicit in their unwritten agreement).  Dowd said that he likeed Pete and Pete liked him, and feels that it’s a trajedy!  As he described it, the entire deal was botched by Rose’s legal team. 

Minor League Recap – 8/23/09 by Jared of http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque lost 6-5

Chin Lung Hu – 1 for 3, RBI, R (.288 BA)
Jamie Hoffman – 0 for 4, E (.291 BA)

Scott Elbert – 4 IP, 5 Hits, 2 R (1 ER), BB, 6 K’s (4.40 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/kwzdck
Chattanooga won 2-1

Trayvon Robinson – 2 for 4, R, SB (.227 BA)
Andrew Lambo – 1 for 3, 2B, R, OF Assist, HBP (.256 BA)
Lucas May – 0 for 2, RBI, BB, 2 K’s (.287 BA)

http://tinyurl.com/mt5j9v
Inland Empire lost 5-0

Scott Van Slyke – 1 for 3, BB, K (.288 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 0 for 3, BB, 2 K’s, SB (.235 BA)

http://tinyurl.com/npf3mr
Great Lakes won 3-2

Dee Gordon – 1 for 2, R, BB, K, SB, CS, E (.303 BA)
Jaime Pedroza – 2 for 4, HR (12), RBI, 2 R, K (.259 BA)
Kyle Russell – 1 for 4, 2 RBI, K, SB (.275 BA)
Jerry Sands – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.242 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 0 for 4, K (.275 BA)

Cole St Clair – 1 IP, Hit, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s (2.87 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/lom862
Ogden won 3-2

BCG – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI (.335 BA)
JT Wise – 0 for 3, E (.296 BA)

Javier Solano – 2 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, 0 BB, K (4.44 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/l42yym
AZL did not play
Player of the day – Brian Cavazos-Galvez, OF

Galvez’ league leading 27th double resulting in the game-tying and game-winning runs scoring in the 8th inning, giving the Raptors their 11th win of the second half. BCG is tied for 7th in BA, 3rd in SLG and 6th in OPS. The only downside is his lack of walks; he’s drawn just 7 in 56 games. If Brian can learn to show a little patience, he’ll establish himself as more than a Pioneer league star.

About Mark Timmons

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

30 Responses to “Dangling Chad”

  1. Illini Dodger says:

    I’m pretty optimistic about the team today. Yes, we haven’t been hitting. I know…but can’t the rare air of Denver cure that? The Rockies need a sweep to tie us (if they win tonight). I don’t see that happening. Even if we escape with 1 win, they only gain a game. I think the Dodgers will win 2 in Colorado. Maybe the Giants can win tonight to give us a 4 game lead. After the Rocks, the schedule gets much easier and we get to play the creampuffs are division opponents have been feasting on for the last month.

  2. Badger says:

    I too am optimistic about the team today.

    Tomorrow? Not so sure.

    Could it be that Manny isn’t the man he usta was?

    And what about the rest of this offense?

    Looks like I was wrong about the pitching. This is the month I thought they would fade, and so far, it is the pitching that has kept us in every game.

    As for Chad, methinks as he approaches his prime, which isn’t for another couple of years, he will gain endurance and know how to finish his 7 innings. Complete game? It’s a thing of the past.

  3. Illini Dodger says:

    Our overall pitching staff is superb this season. I tend to look down on them [wrongly] when comparing them to other individual pichers [Lincecum, Carpenter, Wainwright, et al.], and not staffs as a whole. Even though we have the 3rd best batting average, the guys (for the most part) don’t seem to be able to get it done with RISP. Oh great stat-producing wizard of the blogosphere, how do we compare with other clubs with RISP? Just curious…….

  4. Badger says:

    I can tell you this much, in the last 30 days we are 23rd in runs scored.

    That won’t get it done. Colorado is 7th.

    The next 30 days had better be better, or we are going to get caught.

  5. Illini Dodger says:

    We seem to get plenty of hits to get the job done, but they never seem to cross the plate. Maybe a little “small ball” would solve the problem? I noticed that if we have a runner on second and nobody out, we are trying to hit a home run. Whatever happened to hitting to the right side to advance the runner?

  6. Ken says:

    I am very optimistic that the Dodgers will not lose today.

    Mark you have seen the light regarding Bills!!! “The force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”

    Regarding Bills’ first inning, and all of the other Dodger pitchers, who is the idiot Dodger coach that tells the Dodger pitchers to only throw 4 seam fastballs until there is a man on 3rd base? Are all of the Dodger pitchers as out of shape as Honey? Do they severely limit their pregame warm up in order to last until the 5th inning and therefore the first inning is really part of their warm up and since they did not warm up properly before the game and did not throw enough breaking balls during warm up they have no confidence in anything but their straight fastball in the first inning. Thank …. that Haeger does not throw fastballs in the first inning.

    I agree re Smolts, I agree about Manny

    I hope that the Former Dodger Ace can regain his form on Tuesday but we all know that he needs to rest one or two games and that it is probably in the Dodger’s post season best interest that he only pitch 3-4 innings a game until 9/15 Padilla can pitch for him and later pitch the 2nd half of his games when Kuroda comes back.

    The Ace that will pilot this team and shoot down the opposition is Chuck Haeger!!!! Along with his chase pilot Law “The Scout” Dog!!!

    Suggested Tuesday lineup:

    Pierre – L
    Hudson – S
    Kemp – R
    Either – L
    Blake – R (Minor Slump)
    Loney – L (Major Slump)
    Martin – R (Major Slump)
    Furcal – S (Horrendous Slump)
    Kershaw – L

    When are the Dodger hitters going to understand that they are playing baseball not Skeet Shooting (PULL)?

  7. T says:

    So if a reliever comes into the game in the 6th inning and gives up the lead then he just blew the save? It might be a BS on paper but we all know that closing out a game in the 9th is a lot different than coughging up the lead in the 6th. I’m not a big Brox fan either but let’s not count those “blown saves” that he had as a set up man against him. I’m sure Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman had a good amount of “blown saves” as set up guys.

  8. T says:

    Duncan is the BEST pitching coach inthe majors but I highly doubt he turned Smoltz around after a few days. Smoltz still has decent stuff. His breaking stuff still has bite. Let’s give some credit to Smoltz himself (and the bad Padres lineup) before giving so much credit to what Duncan did for Smoltz the past few days.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    The only change from Ken’s starting lineup is Manny must play at Coors field. His warning track pop flys will leave the yard in Colorado. Wait for a better oppurtunity to play Pierre.

    Please put Loney back at first. His head is clear now. Loretta can rest now. He’s old like me.

  10. Badger says:

    They aren’t blown saves T, they hare called “holds” and are, in my opinion, just as important as saves. The only difference is how many at bats you have left to score again.

    Manny plays. Period. He is a guy that could come out of it on any pitch. I do understand the sentiment involved in benching him, but it won’t happen – unless he says it happens.

  11. Badger says:

    Oh yeah, put Pete in the Hall.

  12. Ken says:

    Torre should bench Manny for one game on principle just to show the rest of the players that they too might be benched at any time when their head is up their anatomy.

  13. Table says:

    So in your mind if Broxton is not a good closer, who is?

  14. Bill Russell says:

    Prove the point some other time. Let the pop flys carry us to victory. The Rockies are nippen at our heels and we need our best chance to win in the lineup.

    Put Pete in the Hall. Others have done worse and was allowed to play again. How many times was Steve Howe allowed to come back from drugs? 7-8 times? There’s an example of learning your lesson 7-8 times/never. God rest his soul. Gambling is an addiction also, same as drugs and alcolhal. I hear he was a huge A Hole but the man did great things beween the lines. He should be rewarded for being the alltime hits leader. Free Pete and Mario

    By the way , where is Roger?

  15. Bill Russell says:

    Edit

  16. lawdog says:

    What worries me these days is the oer all decline of team energy. We used to be counted on to rally and come back. We still beat up most weak teams, but we don’t look so hot against the real contenders. If we manage to win a series against a contender ti’s because fr one day somebody played over their head.

    Manny’s hurting us by not be Manny–rater merely mortal. He can hit .300 and disappoint because, face it, he hit.350 for us last weeks of last season and we could depend on him not to fail. They need to apply a grandfather clause and let the great geezers like Manny continue to use the’ roids for the same of their teams….:(

    Take a look at the pitching and overall, it is good. But not “win the world series” good. We’ve got a bunch of decent pitchers but how many truly great ones? I think we may have over valued Bills a bit, or else he’s losing command of the 4 seamer and cutter. Way to many 2 strike foul balls. He eventually gets worn down and gives up gopherball or two run double and pitches just well enough to lose a “quality start”.

    Helll, our Ace just might be the guy who’s only had 2 starts, Chuck has command, and has a pitch no one can hit unless they get lucky. If we make it to the playoffs we might want to go to the two man staff: Like Spahn, Sain and two days of rain? We could pitch Haeger, Kurveshaw, and Haeger and a day of rain. And if Kurveshaw gets in a jam, we could bring Haeger in for up to 3 innings of relief. ;)

  17. lawdog says:

    Haeger didn’t start throwing a knuckler. When he was 19 I think he started because it would make a world class change up=–but he had a decent”average” fastball–a litttle on the low side maybe in terms of velocity for the average major league–bujt it was a rolcket for a knuckleballer. He still uses that for a change up and has breaking p;itch he now almost never uses. I think Hough’s comment about Haeger’s dancer was about 2 years ago and it’s gotten better every day since.

    One of his fans emailed me when I was writing t he Minor League Report for Mover and begging Torre to give him a chance over the last two m nonths and he told me Haeger is a real kick in the butt to watch–at least he was at Albertquacky. The opposing hitters literally looked like they n eeded to swings at each dancer and woud miss by 2 feet on both swings. Then he throw that fastball when they just about to bust out of their uniforms anticipating the dancer an d it would be by them before they even started to swing–like a 105 mph heater.

    I hope Torre doesn’t send him down so Weaver and Padilla have spots the rest of the way. If he does, we’ll all have just one man to blame for blowing the pennant. Our bull headed skipper who’d rather cruise and drink Bigelow green Tea mixed with his favorite adult beverage while the team hits or misses driving on 2 cylinders out of 8 rather than actually think.

  18. Kay in L.A. says:

    I have tremendous respect and admiration for Mike Schmidt, but I am surprised he would use the moral relativism argument in behalf of Pete Rose.

    The revelation of Rose betting on baseball (while he was a manager and responsbile for strategy) was an enormous shock, damaging to the sport and disappointing to the fans. I would not reward his betrayal, even though he was a talented player and I enjoyed his style as much as anyone.

    Wolf is our Ace. With Haeger breathing down his neck:).

    Lawdog, I wonder if the Dodgers have the desire to be champions. They are listless at best.

  19. Badger says:

    Enormous shock? Not to me. Disappointing to fans? Not this one. Couldn’t care less. Through someone else he bet on his own team kto win. That’s against the rules, he knew it and he got punished for it. But as has been mentioned here already, lots of players have broken the rules. This one just happened to be a rule that brought up some old and very bad memories of an event that left a black eye on baseball – though betting on your own team to win is hardly the same thing as throwing a World Series.

    Enough is enough. MLB deliberately turned their back on steroids and they were willing to forgive the drug addictions, they should forgive the gambling addiction as well.

  20. Bill Russell says:

    Everyone deserves a second chance. Even a-holes. Free Pete Rose. Betting on baseball isn’t the end of the world. The guy deserves a place in the hall. Besides, gambling is legal for non professional players. Drug use isn’t. He never bet against his team or hindered his team from winning in anyway. He never throw a game to win a bet.

    If we did a back ground check on some of the other guys in the hall like Ty Cobb just to mention one, I bet we would be taking down alot of plaques.

  21. Bill Russell says:

    Anyone interested in playing in an NFL football pool say I. If not DON’T READ THIS. This pool is in it’s 8th season and is fun to play. You pick all 16 NFL games each week, ranking them 16-1 only using each number once. No point spreads are used. If you win the game you get the points. It’s all on a web site where picks must be in by the kickoff of the first game each week. If you get your picks in late, you will receive the lowest score of the week -5 points and the site won’t allow you to enter your picks. After the first kickoff of the week is made, the site allows you to view everyones picks for the week. Payoffs are given to the person with the highest points each week and for the top 5 finishers for the season. If interested go to http://www.officefootballpool.com. My pool is ID 48026, password is Q5TRZ3. Read the text rules. Mark OK’ed this…..
    Go Dodgers

  22. Bill Russell says:

    I hope Pete gets in.

  23. Ken says:

    Now that Manny is proving that he is less Samson and more Sapson he should be told to Man up and comply with the rules that everyone else is required to follow, ie. cut your hair and war undergarments.

  24. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Tha Manny re-birth and the beginning of the
    end for every other team in the Majors begins
    tonight. Dodgers continue their road to the World
    Series tonight!

  25. Badger says:

    It is possible to gain tremendous strength without the use of steroids. It just takes a lot more work. Maybe most Major Leaguers, including our $25,000,000 man just isn’t willing to eat the right foods and put the extra time in the weight room.

    Tonight is the beginning of the real test for the Dodgers. At least in my mind it is. We begin a long run of playing teams we have to beat to win the West. Let’s just see what this team is made of.

  26. DRomo says:

    After this series the schedule gets easier for a few weeks. Cincy, AZ, San Diego, & AZ again. We have to take 2 of 3 MINIMUM!

    I have this sick feeling, we could see de ja vu all over again. In 2007 we had a must win series against the Rockies and they we rolling. We laid a huge egg. I hope I am wrong. We need our bats to wake up.

    I hope Kershaw can throw his curve for strikes tonight. That will be the key. Sometimes the thin air keeps the ball from haveing the break it usually does. If he doesn’t have that pitch he will probably walk the house again and it will be a long night.

    WAKE UP BLUE!!

  27. Ken says:

    L Hawkins put on waivers by Astros. Desirable??? Yea!!! The Dodgers have 6 relievers with more innings then this guy who has an ERA of 2.08. What does this say about the Dodger starting pitchers and the coaches’ use of the bullpen?

  28. DRomo says:

    I am curious if they give Lindblom a look before he is not eligible for the postseason. A new arm that no other team has seen is always to our advantage.

  29. lawdog says:

    To answer Kay’s question, think the Dogs peaked too early. They were on a roll when the season began and then Manny got suspended, Pierre, Castro and O-Rod stepped way up and kept the machine rolling until Manny returned. Manny returned after loafing most of the 60 days he was off by only showing up for the first inning of the few rehab assignments he deigned to appear in at all, rolled back into right and started looking more like Raul Mondesi than Joltin’ Joe. Now he’s pressing and his lack of conditioning, wether from the absence of the roids or just plane old age is turning him into a .300 hitter who’ll probably hit 20 hrs over a full season next year. Not bad. But hardly a $20 million dollar man.

    As far as the pitching staff is concerned, we’re in a world of hurt if Joe doesn’t stop “assuming” that an old broken down geezer is better in the clutch than a fresh young arm that no one can hit. We should go with a staff of Wolf, Kershaw, Haeger and Billingsly. We don’t need a 5th starter because Haeger can pitch on 2 or 3 days rest just as well as 4. Ride that horse until someone proves they can actually hit his dancer! With a rotation of those 4 the rest of the way, we/re set. Torre has a chance to present our new trick pitcher ala Valenzuela. Circumstances feel the same. And the kid is electric when he pitches. He knows no one can hit the dancer unless they get lucky. Kuroda, MacDonald and Padilla can be used in long relief. Troncosco, Leach, Broxton, Belsario and Sherill make a solid relief core. If you want an extra wild card, put Elbert in as the 13th man Shut Wade down so he doesn’t do permanent damage to his arm and give him the rest of the season and the off season to rebuild his arm, regain movement on fastball and snap on his breaking stuff.

    Stop screwing around with the lineup: Furcal should lead off, Eithier hit second, Manny third, Kemp fourth, Martin fifth, Loney 6th, Blake 7th, Abreu 8th (O-Rod is out of gas and needs at least two weeks to heal.)

    That lineup and pitching will let us coast into the playoffs and go along way in the playoffs.

    How far we go will depend more on how Haeger does and how often he is given a chance–as much as anythihg else. If he keeps getting outs and we go to a 4 man rotation, we win at least every 4th game. Kershaw, Wolf and Bills should be a lock to win 60% of their games (If Bills stops thinking the aim of the game is to see how many 2 strike fastballs he throws can be fouled off before he finally serves up a cookie that gets driven for a game winning extra base hit.)

    Padilla will get Ethier, Manny and Kemp beaned and probably end up with fractured skulls–and lose when he pitches. Weaver is, well, Weaver. He might give you 4 good innings one start out of 10.

    But I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that our fearless leader doesn’t let Haeger start again until the games won’t matter anymore. If we go with Bills, Kurveshaw, Kuroda, Weaver and Padilla we’ll lose two thirds of the rest of the games and end up competing with either the Giants or Rockies for the wild card..

    If Torre rides Haeger until he shows signs of not being the second coming of Fernando, he has the opportunity to go down in history as the Phil Jackson of baseball managers. But if he play’s Padilla and Weaver and sits our young star with the unhittable pitch he can throw at will into the proverbial dixie cup at 60″ 6″, even though most knuckleballers have no clue where their pitch will end up (and are happy if it’s a strike, even a pitch right down broadway that my 4 year old granddaughter could hit into the seats), well we’ll see what the old man decides to do. But if Torre chooses to ignore talent like that because it hasn’t been major league tested, well, then we’ll lose and he should be fired. Providence has dropped the Championship right in his lap. Now we’ll see if the old Bigelow man has the eyes and common sense to use what he’s been given.

    Or if he’ll do it “the old fashioned way” and look like the biggest chump the game’s ever seen when Haeger wins 20 games for us next year after riding pine and we lose this year.

  30. lawdog says:

    I’m not saying Manny dogged it all 60 days he was off. I just don’t believe his work out regime was all that and he definitely dogged it when he was supposed to be lighting up the pitching at AAA and A Advanced during his “rehab” stint.. Instead, he’d only hit in the first inning if he played at all and didn’t stay in the dugout with the other players. Alberquacky got over 12,000 to turn out to see him not play, or take one swing and go back to the hotel. He had to know he wouldn’t be in ‘roid shape and would need to work that much harder, instead of loafing, coming back into rehab.

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