Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Return of Fernandomania

The Return of Fernandomania

Actually, it’s “Charliemania” but WOW!  It felt like that same feeling I had when Fernando made his debut!   It’s too bad it didn’t have a better ending, but Charlie Haeger is on his way to becoming a cult hero in LA.


Lawdog is a genius!   He’s been begging for Charlie half the season.  Well, one start and we can’t pronounce him Cy Young, but it was fun to watch, wasn’t it? 

A few weeks ago (while I was in the hospital the day after hip-replacement) a  good friend brought me this cup and said it suited me perfectly!   What does he mean by that?   Anyway, watching Charlie Haeger felt like something between “Raising Hell” and “Amazing Grace.”  It was really cool, while it lasted.  The knuckle ball is susceptible to the occasional Home-Run.  It’s just blind luck or a good guess, but Pujols and Ankiel’s blasts delivered 3 runs and that was enough for Chris Carpenter.   You can’t win may games with 5 hits, and we didn’t, but the Cards had only 6. 

It was another loss in our losing streak, but I do think we just may have found our 5th starter!

Rants & Raves

  • It seems to me that Kuroda might only miss one start as his injury is not serious and was deemed a mild concussion.  The usual concussion symptoms are absent.  Of course, he needs to be 100%, so time will tell…
  • The buzz on the street is that without the ‘roids, Manny isn’t Manny anymore.
  • Jason Schmidt has started throwing again at Camelback – ENOUGH ALREADY!  No more writing about that…
  • Tony Abreu has elevated his BA to .351.
  • Does anyone like the Minor League Reports I’ve been posting from Jared everyday?   I haven’t heard, so I won’t print them unless you want them.

Finally, I have to get this off my chest – I think we are a better team without Manny than we are with him.  Say what you want, but we officially now have a worse record with him than we did without him.  Yeah, Yeah – there’s lots of factors involved, but with Juan Pierre leading off we are a more dynamic team than with Rafael Furcal leading off.  Say I’m crazy, but I told you last winter we didn’t need Manny to win.  I am beginning to think his signing was a blunder…

About Mark Timmons

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

53 Responses to “The Return of Fernandomania”

  1. DRomo says:

    Another game against an ace, ANOTHER LOSS!The ship is gaining water.

    Haeger looked really good last night. We went up against a slugging team and he had 2 bad pitches and he paid for it. BUT he looked as good as anyone has this year.

    Mark I agree that Manny isn’t helping right now. He may need to sit down, but come playoff time I wouldn’t be suprised to see him come back strong…..well stronger than his is now. (Isert steroid joke here). The signing wasn’t a blunder but you have to think the Dodgers as a business move have to explore the legal options of voiding his 2010 option. This is not the player we thought we signed! Although they sure market him like he is? I still don’t get that.

    Lastly, does anyone else get sick of Albert Pujols being referred to as the greatest guy ever? I am sick of it. I think he is a phony. It has been reported that he has “used” in the past however nothing has been been proven yet. The guy just doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  2. Blue Haze says:

    Manny missed ST, then took 2 months off of work. He will be hitting his stride sometime in September. Right now, I agree, Juan is a much better bat in our lineup. What I notice about Manny is, he is uppercutting every swing and swinging from his heels, I guess he is trying to prove that he is just as strong without the juice. He is a bonehead and it may take him a while to realize he has totally changed his approach at the plate. I have also noticed that instead of staying back on pitches, he is starting his swing very early and thus swinging at some real crapola.

    Haeger was fun, not sure how many games he can really help us with however. I guess he has as good a shot at winning as anyone else we will throw out there in the 5th spot. It was fun while it lasted, but I think he may have drank his “cup of coffee”.

    • Southpaw says:

      Hey, the kid performed extremely well under the conditions and obstacles he faced…Pujols, Cardinal lineup in general, opposing picture, Monday Night Baseball game of the week…etc. He was composed and threw strikes (80 pitches, 61 strikes) outstanding ratio, no walks, 4 hits. He retired 8 consecutive and 11 consecutive hitters during his outing.
      “drank his cup of coffee” Are you kidding me? This kid is the perfect #5 starter. He can easily get deep into a game, rest the pen, and keep his team in the game. He didn’t even have his best stiff last night indicated by 0 walks or passed balls. When he has the knuckler really working well, he usually walks 2-3 a game and his catcher is typically chasing a couple back to the screen.
      Torre was excited with his performance and indicated he deserves another start. I agree completely!

  3. Blue Haze says:

    We shall see, Southpaw, we shall see.

    • Southpaw says:

      I agree BlueHaze, but I really don’t think haeger had a good moving knuckler last night. He usually walks a few and strikes out a few more than 2-3. The telling sign for me is that there weren’t any wild pitches or passed balls. Ausmus never really “boxed” any of his pitches. So, considering that he may have not had his better knuckleball, he performed very well…don’t you agree?
      If he was a traditional fastball, curve type pitcher, would you have the same comments? I think since he throws a novelty pitch, people try to discount him too quickly. Wakefield has been in the show for close to 15 years throwing the same pitch. He has been very consistent and a real asset to the pitching staff in Boston. I think Haeger has an opportunity to be a very serviceable #4 or #5 for a long time.

  4. SpokaneBob says:

    JP played above his head this spring just like Manny did last fall. We will need Manny if we play in the post season.

    As far as I am concerned, Haeger is our 5th starter until he can’t throw strikes. A good nuckleball will confound most hitters and will often put them in a slump.

  5. Badger says:

    Hershiser made a point last night that I thought was excellent. He said pitchers who can’t hit should just try to play pepper (remember that?) and get the ball in play. Choke up, shorten the swing and get the fat part of the bat on the ball. Makes perfect sense to me. Why in the world do pitchers hold the bat on the knob and take full swings when they know darn well their chance of contact doing that is about 20% at best?

    Furcal and Hudson had two of the worst at bats I have ever seen in the 8th with the tying run on second. One of them swung at strike 3 on a pitch a foot out of the strike zone (unhittable high and away) and the other looked at strike 3 thigh high on the inside corner.

    Mattingly – do your thing.

    • Southpaw says:

      How about Ethier and Manny first pitch swinging in the 9th instead of running up the count and trying just to get on base???? Manny was swinging from his heels the previous AB. He’s such a team player!

  6. Badger says:

    Haeger did fine, but his loacation scared the crap out of me. Too many pitches in the hitting zone. But, like was mentioned, his strike ratio was off the charts.

    Manny is making a serious mechanical error that Steve Phillips pointed out. Plus, I still say teams have found a way to pitch to him – down, down and more down. He is swinging at pitches below his knees and trying to hit them out of the stadium. Can he be coached? I don’t know, but if I can see it I am sure Mattingly can see it.

    Pujols hits mistakes very hard and often very far. Roids? Maybe.

    It was our offense that lost this one. Like Mark said, 5 hits won’t win anything. You go 5 for 29 you don’t deserve to win.

  7. Ken says:

    Please let Haeger start through 8/31. I am concercernd that his pitches breaking the same way a little too much. More stikes but maybe more hitable?? Still better that Stults, Schmidt, Smoltz, Padilla, etc., saves Weaver for the long relief, and most importantly maybe will save the rest of the bullpen from ……

    Law “The Scout” Dog!!!!!!

    Please DL Kuroda

    Please bat Manny 5th and rest him more often. Free Pierre.

    Mark – I can find my way over to the Minor League page just like I did when LawDog was writting. Please post Jared daily over there.

    Pujols – He was interviewed once about 3 years ago sans shirt and Bacne should have become his new nickname after that – a sign of Roids??

    Pierre is the best pinch hitter that the Dodgers have had in a long time. Amazing how he stays prepared as if he thinks that Judy will let him actually kick the ball, err start a game.

  8. Ken says:

    TNQ Manager

    Pierre – L
    Hudson – S
    Kemp – R
    Either – L
    Blake – R
    Loney – L
    Martin – R
    Furcal – S
    Bills – R

    Bring up Abreu & DL Kuroda (The Player’s Union should be calling)

    Relievers available today – All except Broxton & Kuo

    Closer today – Sherrill.

    If Bills is bombed:
    Reliever to put out fire – Mota
    Long reliever – Weaver

  9. Illini Dodger says:

    I agree that Haeger is now our 5th starter. He pitched very well against arguably the best hitters in the NL at the moment. Our lack of offense doomed his start. If we score 6-7 runs, he has a CG and is the toast of LA.

    I think Manny is strong enough to hit .300 + with power w/out the ‘roids. He’s lost confidence and is slumping. How about protecting him with someone other than Blake? I love Casey, but he’s not a clean-up hitter. Paging Mr. Kemp?

  10. T says:

    Bring the minor league reports back! I frequent that site for his Minor League info and I also frequent this site. You’d save me some time if you just posted it here. It’s good quality info. The guy knows his minor league stuff.

  11. A Shot of Haeger says:

    51′s changed his name to his new hero…

    That was a tough loss last night!! We have to start hitting! I still think we’re okay. We have a really favorable schedule in September. As long as we hang in there. We’ll be okay.

    I do agree that Manny needs a couple days off and I like putting Kemp as the cleanup hitter while he is… but I’ll let Joe Torre figure that out.


    We have a favorable matchup on paper. Hopefully we can take advantage of it!

    Go Dodgers!!!

  12. DRomo says:

    the problem with our “favorable” schedule in Sept. is everone will think we are ok. The holes will still be there. Of course our two series against the Giants should keep reminding us of our failings.

    I swear, unless something changes this team is on vacation quick in October!

  13. LADODGERDAVE says:

    2 more against the cards….thank goodness

    i want them to feel very confident against us because come playoff time, i have a gut feeling we will break out of our shell against them….i do not see these two final games going in our favor, i think its going to take a playoff series for our boys to break out against the cards….

    QUESTION, i know there is a long way to go but ASSUMING the rockies win the wild card…..WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY IN THE FIRST PLAYOFF SERIES….


  14. Badger says:

    Blake is hitting .264 post All Star, which is about what his career avg. is. He is hitting .235 in August. Why is he behind Manny? No clue.

    Loney. I’on’tknow. But he is better than he is showing.

    The 9th inning at bats last night. Who is coaching these guys? Does anyone listen?

    2 k’s without contact with the tying run in scoring position in the 8th.

    September should be a better month for us. Take a look at the schedule, we should play close to .600 ball that month, making it difficult for any Western Division team. We could make it easy on them by folding, but I don’t see that happening.

    From the lead-off spot Furcal is getting on at .343, but only .319 this month. Hudson is getting on at .358 in August. Flip ‘em? As for Kemp leading off, not on my lineup card. He is one of the few guys we have that can actually hit a ball 350+ ft. Somebody has to drive them in.

    I still have Furcal/Hudson Hudson/Furcal, Ethier, Manny, Kemp, Loney, Martin, Blake, P – or something similar to that. Hudson and Furcal just have to get on the get Ethier and Manny up in the first with runners on. Blake is the perfect 8 hitter if you ask me. But, it all starts at the top.

    Manny will come around. He is too good not to. He is just getting under it, and somebody will point out his mechanical errors.

  15. Kay in L.A. says:

    Mark, I read the minors report and I say keep it. Sparked my interest in Cavazos-Galvez who I say would have a better chance had the Dodgers not signed Manny.

    I agree with you to the T on Manny. The Dodgers have not done as well since he returned from suspension, like he put a bad mojo on the team. They are uneven and prior were unstoppable.

  16. Kay in L.A. says:

    MNQ, Tomko is still going and pitched 5 scoreless last night. I wonder if Manny and Loney do not have good chemistry in the clubhouse, just a thought.

    Badger, we agree philosophically re mgmt m.o., taking the Top Sarge approach.

  17. Kay in L.A. says:

    Where is Lawdog? Well, congratulations, lawdog your guy looked good last night. It’s sad his future with the team is so uncertain though.

    • Southpaw says:

      Kay in L.A.,

      Why do you see Haeger’s future as uncertain? He had a terrific outing for a debut against a tough club. If a traditional pitcher had the same stats would you feel the same way? 7IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 ER’s. That qualifies as a Quality Start. He’s put up excellent numbers this year in AAA, leading the league in wins, IP, CG’s, so he’s showing signs of consistency. I just don’t understand the comment. Just look at the results and stats, not the non-traditional approach!

  18. matt says:

    i think we just need to get furcal and his OPB of under .330 out of the leadoff spot

  19. matt says:

    woaah i just noticed the minor league update thing is gonee!!!!

    bring them back pleasee,,,i come to this site everyday to read those.. they were great!!

  20. DRomo says:

    The Minor league update is cool. I like love the detail and yet it is always short and sweet. Bring it back.

    Plus, it is always cool to see who will be playing for the Pirates next season :) Has anyone else noticed that? They just picked up Jon Meloan last week. Soory I digress…

  21. Illini Dodger says:


    I like your lineup. I would switch Blake and Martin, though. Joe, are you reading this??? LOL.

    When Manny slumps, the whole team seems to go with him. I hope Haeger’s sart last night will be the rule rather than the exception. I can see him winning a lot of major league games for us!

  22. Mark Timmons says:

    Joe reads this daily.


  23. Mark Timmons says:

    OK, the minor league report is back as a separate post.

    Dig it!

  24. DRomo says:

    I think Haeger will be a hit if he can win here. He will have his cult followers, “Charlie’s Knuckle-heads”

  25. Illini Dodger says:


    Do you think any Dodgers’ official would have the intestinal fortitude to admit that they read this, or any other Dodgers blog? Hmmmm… At least they could blame us when the team doesn’t do well.

  26. Kay in L.A. says:

    Since Joe is reading,,,,, Hi, Joe!! How’s the Bigelow today?

    Southpaw, those are not my feelings. Haeger’s much fun to watch, as I think I said. I was just going by what I read on the Dodgers site and MLB blogs. Not my feelings; Haeger would be welcome in my view.

    One little note. I was surprised that he was still the pitcher in the 7th. Next thing you know, a hit batter and then a 2-run HR.

  27. Badger says:

    Phillips/Hershiser made another point last night that I thought was salient – every reliever in the pen wants to follow Haeger. I believe Charlie will be in our rotation for a while. He will have to play himself off the roster.

    Manny’s option next year is his, not ours. Aren’t there some herbal supplements that act as steroids? Somebody must have something that can help him feel all blown up. In the mean time, note to Manny, swing only at strikes and try to hit line drives, not 7 iron shots.

    Is anyone really surprised Borass client signed at midnight last night?

    Dodgers at .500 for some time now. I think there will be a winning streak forthcoming and I still think we will retain home field advantage.

    I remain confident.

  28. Michael says:

    The brass is waiting to see if Bills can answer the call. If he can put in a quality start tonight they will feel comfortable putting Kuroda on the 15 day DL. They are just crossing their fingers they won’t have to lose both. One way or another though Hiroki needs to. Yeah he’s tough, has a hard head and the reports are good but he has to have scrambled eggs up there.

  29. Michael says:

    Did anyone see the little Matt video? Really good. It’s on youtube or there is a link @ inside the dodgers.

  30. Hank says:

    Haeger was awesome to watch last night. I think we found our 5th starter.

    Joe really needs to realize that Blake and Loney are bottom of the lineup hitters, and that Kemp belongs in the middle of the order. Oh wait, we have all been saying this for a couple of months now…d’oh!

  31. Harold says:

    I read somewhere that Charlie Haeger should call himself Chuck Haeger. The thinking is who wants to bat against Chuck Haeger breaking the speed of sound with his knuchkler.

  32. the steriods have nothing to do with what many is going threw..even with the steriods you have to hit the ball .he is striking out atleast two time a night.. or mybe steriods give s you better eyes site… we won with all the speed at the top of the order..we have not one stealing base except kemp…that is why we out looseing .does any one agree.

  33. Kay in L.A. says:

    Cool idea on many levels.
    Gen. Chuck Yeager is the Boomer’s dad.

  34. Badger says:

    I do agree that we don’t run much anymore. Maybe when Pierre went to the bench, and Manny came back, we lost that running mentality. Furcal can run, he has a career 77% stolen base rate and used to steal 25+ a year. That stopped last year. If it’s his back, why is still leading off?

    Oh yeah.

    He needs to get on base and we need to put him in motion on certain counts. When you look at this lineup and see our best base stealer is also one of our best power hitters, what are you going to do?

    The thing is, when Manny is hitting, this whole team is better. We need to get the mojo back. It would be nice to do it at home against teams like the Cards and the Cubs. Maybe it starts tonight.

  35. Badger says:

    Who the heck is Mitchell Boggs?

    2 for 11 so against this guy so far. Furcal/Pierre 0 for 4.

    Come on Bills. We may need a shut-out.

  36. Mark Timmons says:

    It seems that when we are behind people comment more. The gloom and doomers have nothing to say right now.

  37. Badger says:

    I do.

    All I needed to do was say something about a guy named Boggs and we came up with 5 runs.

    Bills looks good so far. Give us 7 tonight Chad.

    Rocks and Gints both won. We need to keep the pressure on.

  38. Bill Russell says:

    I’ve been working but I’m seeing that we need this win tonight. Hopefully Broxton will have 3 runs to work with in the 9th.

    It gets old in here some days saying things like Blake needs to hit 8th and Loney needs to move down and Manny’s in a slump and Furcal can’t hit anymore. As long as we are firing on all 8 cylinders this time next month it doesn’t matter right now. Our schedule is too weak to lose this thing next month. If we do lose this thing with a weak schedule, why would we want this team in the playoffs?

  39. Bill Russell says:

    It looks like Torre is trying to tuffen up Mr Broxton tonight.

  40. Bill Russell says:

    Baseball needs to change some rules. Why should the weak teams get scaried off by signing or trying to sign the top draft picks every year? There needs to be a set $ amount for rookies coming into the league without Boras pushing it to the limit every year. There’s plenty of money for these players down the road, however the current way the draft works, the rich will get richer and the poor will stay poor. Revenue sharing is completely out of control and so is no salary caps. How can anyone be a Pittsburgh Pirate fan? There needs to be more parity across the league. The Dodgers may benefit from the current state of this league but it’s getting old watching the Yankees sign the top Free agents every year and then the rest of the league fights for the balance of the players available. Just my take.

  41. Badger says:

    “If we do lose this thing with a weak schedule, why would we want this team in the playoffs?”

    Not sure I follow this Bill. If we don’t make the play-offs, why would we want this team in the play-offs?

    This is a place for opinions. Sorry you find some of them getting old, but, if we don’t express our opinions, what are we supposed to do in here? Wait for September?

    Broxton asked to get 4 outs. Throw strikes Jon.

    Dogs with 14 hits and 4 BB. That’s more like it.

  42. Badger says:

    As for the last post, do what all the other sports do – allow teams to trade their draft picks. End of problem.

  43. Bill Russell says:

    It’s an easy thing to follow CB. If we can’t win an easy schedule, Why would we want to watch the Dodgers get the hell kicked out of them in October. That’s got to be Black and white now.

    Don’t take it personal, it just gets old saying that we need to move this guy here and that guy here depending on how they did the lost few games. Not pointed at you. We and certainly talk about many things in here daily.

  44. Bill Russell says:


  45. Bill Russell says:


  46. Badger says:

    Why would I want to watch the Dodgers in October?

    Well, let’s see, I guess because I want them to have a chance to win the World Championship.

    I would be fine with having a horrible September, but watching the Rockies and the Giants do even worse, putting us in the play-offs. Once we get there, anything can happen. If you don’t play in October, I don’t believe you have a chance to win the Championship.

  47. Bill Russell says:

    You’re right, I’m completely wrong.

  48. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Living in Vegas… I can only watch the games on Prime Ticket. If anyone watched, give me some info on how we looked.

    How was Billingsley? Broxton? etc.

  49. Ken says:

    From behind home plate – Nice breeze, Larry King sure looks old, Dodger Dogs are good, Bills died at 100 minutes again (Diabetes?), Manny looks really bad, Ethier looks good, Hudson looks good, Bills hit hard but shots right at fielders, Dodgers had some weak hits that were timely, Hudson looked good, Martin pulled the ball well but better not try that very often, Bowa should not try out for Dancing with the Stars, Broxton looked good, Sherill looked ok, Mac looked rusty.


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