Categorized | Mark Timmons

Our Window Of Opportunity Is Not Closing

Our Window Of Opportunity Is Not Closing
Manny Dancing With Russell

Manny Dancing With Russell

In the ebb and flow of a baseball season, the Dodgers are certainly in the ebb, having lost 14 of our last 22 games.  These things happen and past performance is not indicative of future prospects.  I think this team is still poised to turn it around and win it all.  Even after ragging on Jon Broxton, I still want him on my team.  First and last of all, I want to win.  I want to win THIS year, but contrary to some fans opinion, the Dodgers are not facing a closing window of opportunity. 

Sure, we might lose O-Dog next year and while I like him a lot, he is fragile and you never know when he might fall apart.  I guarantee that he won’t get healthier as he gets older.  His all-out style of play makes him what he is and it also makes him vulnerable to injury.  I say no to signing him long-term.  We’ve got Tony Abreu and Blake DeWitt to take over there anyway.  Tony Abreu might be a monster – I see him as a guy who can hit at the top of the order, steal 15-20 bases, hit .320 and pop 15+ HR.  His defense is actually very good (although not as good as O-Dog).   You might argue that Abreu has also been injured, but in response to that, I would say that his problems were basically one problem that was not properly diagnosed by the Dodgers and hopefully that is behind him.  I do however, think Tony Abreu could benefit with an personal trainer. 

I doubt that we will lose Manny next year, but it could happen (will any AL team pony-up $20 MILLION or more a year to sign him long-term?), but if we did, I could argue that we might be better with a leadoff hitter like Juan Pierre.  Say what you want, but we haven’t been better since Manny returned and in another year, our youngsters will be even better.  I don’t see the window closing, in fact, I see a dynasty in the making.  We are drafting the next generation(s) of players and grooming some excellent young prospects:  Gordon, Lambo, McDonald, Abreu, Russell, Ethan Martin, Lindblom, Elbert, Garate, Withrow, Atkins, Gould, Leach and others.   As much as I like James Loney, he is the most likely to be traded in a deal to get a power-hitting 1B.    James is a good player, great guy and might (I said M-I-G-H-T) hit 20 HR someday, but we need a 30+ HR guy at 1B.  Adrian Gonzalez fills the bill, but can we effectively trade with San Diego?   I think Loney, Russell and Lindblom could be the cornerstones of a deal for Gonzo in the offseason.  Loney would have to go to another team who would provide 2 or 3 more prospects in the deal to make it work for San Diego, who is building for 2012 and beyond.  Could this be our lineup NEXT year:

  1. Pierre  LF
  2. Abreu  2B
  3. Ethier  RF
  4. Kemp  CF
  5. Gonzo  1B
  6. Blake/DeWitt  3B
  7. Martin  C
  8. Furcal  SS

You never know…

BA Best Tools:

In their annual “Best Tools” issue, Baseball America names the following Dodgers (picked by the major league managers):

  • Best Bunter #1 – Juan Pierre
  • Best Baserunner #1 - Juan Pierre(tied with Nyjer Morgan)
  • Best Fastball – #1Jon Broxton
  • Best Reliever – #1 Jon Broxton (what do I know?)
  • Best Defensive Catcher – #1 Yadier Molina, #2 Russell Martin, #3 Bengie Molina
  • Best Infield Arm – #1 Raffy Furcal
  • Best Defensive OF – #1 Shane Victorino, #2 Matt Kemp
  • Best Manager – #1  Tony La Russa, #2 Bobby Cox, #3 Joe Torre

Today’s Lineup:

  1.  Kemp  CF
  2. Hudson  2B
  3. Ethier  RF
  4. Manny LF
  5. Blaker  3B
  6. Loney  1B
  7. Martin  C
  8. Castro  SS
  9. Wolf  P

About Mark Timmons

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

21 Responses to “Our Window Of Opportunity Is Not Closing”

  1. GoNzO says:

    I was at the game today (Bro-Laws company perks) Hiroki was pitching a gem today, but the home plate ump was inconsistent all game. a ball at the knees would be called a ball one inning and a strike the next. The ump was pinching all game.

    The line drive of Hiroki’s head was HEARD in the stadium. The freaking ball bounced of his face all the way to the DBacks on deck circle and took a bounce that reached the first row.

    I second the motion to make Sherril the closer. Brox was throwing gas only it was straight gas. When Reynolds came up to bat I told my bro-in-law, he might hit it out if he sits on the fastball. (Badger says it was a change)Torre should have pulled the plug right their not only for Little John’s sake, but because the second home run came courtesy of the Umps inconsistent zone. Same thing with Troncoso, the kid made pitches that should have gotten outs but was pinched.

    Ultimately, no excuse. Our bats were dormant. The only one that seams to play with hustle tonight was Kemp.

    One more thing. Defensively, Raffy cost us some runs. He doesn’t dive for any balls. In fact, IIRC, the winning run was the first hit of the 10th that Raffy didn’t attempt to dive. What the hell? Is he scared of hurting his back?

  2. JSIMONN says:

    FOR ANYBODY TO EVEN SUGGEST THAT OUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY COULD BE OVER AFTER 2009 IS INDEED NUTS!-THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD NOT CRITICIZE TEAM FOR NOT PLAYING UP TO THEIR POTENTIAL HOWEVER-(BECAUSE THEY ARE CAPABLE OF WINNING IN 2009 AND BEYOND!-SO RIGHT NOW I AM FOCUSED ON WINNING WS IN 2009!-ITS BEEN 21 YEARS AND THATS TOO LONG!-BUT WITH CLAYTON BILLS OX KEMP ANDRE ETC…….THE FUTURE IS SO BRIGHT I GOTTA WEAR SHADES!-GO DODGERS09!

  3. Bill Russell says:

    I know I’m in the minority when I say I would love to resign O-Dog. Abreu has not proven himself at this level even if he played some 3rd base in 2007 before getting injuried and he hasn’t been seen here since. I don’t care if it’s one injury or seven, he’s an unproven liaibility. O-Dog is a proven Allstar with range and a stick. He hasn’t shown that he’s injury prone because he’s been playing almost every game this year. It will be up to Frank and Ned but If I’m them, I resign the Dog. He’s a team leader also. We need that on this team.

  4. SNG says:

    BR

    I believe that O-Dog would have to accept another one year incentive laden contract for Ned to resign him. He would also have to understand that he would be expected to only play 5 games per week. (Abreu may be the super sub playing 2-3 positions next year) He is still wearing that soft cast every game. He has to take it off after he bats in order to put his hand into his glove. Thus a higher probability that he will be injured in the field than at bat, considering his all out approach. I would love to see him (12/12/77) transition into a bench player with the Dodgers by 2011 and stay around for as long as he is productive to mentor the kids.

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    O-Dog broke down the past 2 Septembers. Before you say he’s not injury-prone, let’s see him make it to the finish line.

    LINEUP POSTED ABOVE

  6. DRomo says:

    O dog is a great player but too risky long term. If he wants to stay I say we give him another 1 year deal incentive laden. It can even have a vesting offer if he stays healthy. Otherwise no way!

    Is there anyone like me and can see a real possibility of us missing the playoffs? With 1 month and change to go we are not heading in the right direction and odds are we have just lost one of the pitchers we were relying on. Our record since June 16 (exactly 2 months) is 26-26. We had a 8.5 game lead over SF and a 11.5 game led over Colorado. They have have improved we have not. Something has to change, doesn’t it? What evidence shows you that we will? Loney can’t hit water if he fell out of a boat suddenly. Bills is a huge question mark. Kuroda is lost for a while (if not the rest of the season), Broxton is not the Broxton we thought, & Manny is certainly not the Manny he was a year ago.

    Before anyone says I am panicking, know that I still think we can turn it around. But I am thinking with my heart and not my head. My head says this team is going in the wrong direction. Now we are hoping to salvage one game in the desert, come home to play St. Louis and Chicago. This has a real possibiltiy to get ugly fast!

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    Here’s what you haven’t factored in:

    Who will step up?

    This too shall pass. We are not a 26-26 tear and I would not be surprised to see us go on a tear like last year.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Go back and read the posts at the end of August 2008. Talk about gloom & doom…

  9. Michael says:

    I like this lineup.

  10. Illini Dodger says:

    You’re right about last August. If I remember correctly, we lost eight in a row after Manny joined the team. I think the Blue is gonna score big today. Love Kemp in the leadoff spot!

  11. Kay in L.A. says:

    LADodgerDave, I am also depressed. Last night’s game was a heartbreaker. I honestly thought Kuroda was a dead man. How could he survive, let alone remain conscious? Thank God he’s still with us. He is one tough guy.

    It shows that things/life can change in an instant. We’re scared for him and for ourselves.

    Given the ensuing defeat, the team is bound to be demoralized. However, I had to smile: nothing seems to stop Matt Kemp. God bless him. I also agree Ethier is a keeper.

    Romo, I also tend to see darkly and hope we’re wrong our Dogs could miss out on post-season. In spite of the potential, our talented young guys and farm prospects, this may not be the year to realize it.

    Prayers ongoing for Hiroki and the Kuroda family.

  12. DRomo says:

    Mark, You say we haven’t gone on a tear yet. OK why should we believe we are capable of it? The rash of injuries lately and the recent struggles of our key members leads me to believe there is no reason you can expect one. Show me what I am missing, not what you hope will happen. Heck I HOPE Martin starts hitting HRs again, I HOPE Loney finds his stroke, I hope Bills grows a set (oops, did I say that out loud?)….

    What I am saying is do not be shocked if the hot streak already happened in our 13-0 start at the Ravine!

  13. Badger says:

    We will play better than .500 the rest of the way. At least, that’s the way I see it. Take a close look at our schedule. The entire month of September (with the exception of a series against S.F.) is against losing teams.

    But even if we do go .500, we win 92. Colorado needs to go 28-17 the rest of the way to tie that number.

    We can see they don’t by beating them in our head to head match-ups. The last three games of the year are at home with the Rockies.

    I just don’t see the Giants as having enough offense to stay in the race. I could be wrong about that.

    We just need to beat the teams we are supposed to beat and beat the teams in our division. We got the hammer here.

  14. Illini Dodger says:

    I’m optimistic about tomorrow’s game. I think the knuckler will perplex the CCardinals because they are so locked in on “normal” pitches at this point. Carpenter has been good, but maybe with Mr. Wolf leading our offense today, the position players will finally wake up? Anybody other than LawDog share my optimism abount Haeger?

  15. SNG says:

    Wow. Good lineup, good game against a bad pitcher. Watch out Martin, Wolf’s SLG might catch yours in his next game. Who is a beter PH Wolf or Loretta? The bullpen has been saved for tommorrow!!

  16. Michael says:

    There are a lot of baseball smarts at this site. I more than trust a Lawyer [can't believe I just said that] Lawdog on this one. I am eagerly looking foward to Haeger time, it could eclipse Fernandomania, it could be Haegermeister. I still like todays lineup. Loney man here, but if he doesn’t start hitting .350 or so [thats what I see in him] his power numbers can’t justify my continued ardent support. Sure sleep good after W’s. Tommorow would be a good time to beat an Ace for DRomo.

  17. Bill Russell says:

    If losing O-Dog next year means getting a starting pitcher, I’m on board. It seems like it’s the pot calling the kettle black if we are saying Abreu isn’t injury prone and O-Dog is. Now that’s funny.

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    Abreu has had one injury that was not treated promptly and properly which cost him most of two seasons. Hudson has had 3 stints on the DL, including serious season-ending injuries in 07 and 08. He has only played over 150 games one time due to constantly being “nicked.”

  19. Badger says:

    I don’t believe we know if Abreu is injury prone or not. Like Mark just said, he has had one injury, a serious one, that for some odd reason wasn’t handled properly. (is the Dodger training staff not trained properly?) Abreu is young enough, and hopefully now wise enough, to take care of himself and be ready to be in a lineup nearly everyday. The kid is a stone cold hitter, and we could use him right away.

    As for Hudson, his wrist injury was a freak. I had something similar happen to me in a motorcycle accident, shattered my radius and ulna, and 3 bones in my hand when the bike came straight down on it. I went from a home run hitter to a singles hitter in seconds. Stuff happens. As far as I am concerned, if we can get 130 games a year out of Hudson, I would re-sign him. He is a good guy to have around the other players. He has never played less than 107 games a year and as he gets older (he will be 32 next year) why not have him as one of our starter/utility infielders? That position gets 700 at bats a year, let he and Abreu split them next year, and let Abreu get a few more at third base.

  20. DRomo says:

    Michael, Thanks for seeing my point. We are facing an ace tonight, and we are sending up Hagar the Horrible? Wow!

    I am hoping for the best, but part of me says we will have to outlast them tonight. Carpenter is tough we might be able to beat their bullpen. Hagar the Horrible will have to shut down the Crds to give us a chance.

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