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It’s Time To Stop The Insanity

It’s Time To Stop The Insanity

raffy12Will Joe change or not?  That’s the question.  Insanity is doing the same thing and thinking you will get different results.   Here’s the Dodger’s insanity:  for whatever reason, Rafael Furcal is not the same offensive player he used to be.  He is 6 for 11 in stolen bases and he rarely attempts a steal anymore (two since the All-Star Break).  Additionally, he hit .256 before the All-Star break and has hit .254 subsequent to that (consistent, at least).  His OB% is a paltry .303 since the All-Star Break and that has to be viewed as one of the reasons the Dodgers have floundered since then.  He does still get some key hits and while he is not as good defensively as he once was, he is still playing Championship Caliber Defense. 

HE’S JUST NOT A LEADOFF HITTER ANYMORE.  It’s past time that he realizes that and ASKS to be moved to the #8 spot.  If he doesn’t do that, Joe Torre needs to articulated his reasons and move him there.  That’s his spot until next year, when he he can again “compete” for that role.  Maybe he can regain his “stroke” next year.  Explain that to him, but for this team to succeed, it needs a serviceable lead-off hitter.  Matt Kemp could fill that role, but I think he is more comfortable and it is better for the team with him in the #2 spot for this season.

Raffy needs to hit #8, that’s a given.   Even Ray Charles can see that.  Additionally,  Andre Ethier seems to have found a home hitting #3 ahead of Manny Ramirez  at #4 which leaves James Loney at #5 (L, R, L), followed by Casey Blake at #6 and Russ Martin at #7, which leaves the lead-off spot to none other than Orlando Hudson. 

Some people seem to think that O-Dog has tapered off the second half which is simply untrue.  He has a .297 BA since the break (.283 before) and a .362 OB% since the All-Star game.   He has 7 Stolen Bases in 8 attempts.   The only rational thing to do is have O-Dog hit in the lead-off spot.  HE has a good OB%, he’s fast and CAN steal a base.  Do it, Joe!  What are you waiting for?  Here’s the lineup:

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

Raffy is a pro – he will accept the change.  He wants to win.  It may hurt his pride, but it may be just what he needs to re-gain his stroke.  Actually, we will see Belliard at 3B for a while as Casey Blake’s hammy is not responding very well.  His injury and Clayton Kershaw’s hurt right shoulder could both be blessings in disguise as Kuroda’s season of injuries may be.  They all could be fresher in the playoffs.

RANTS & RAVES

  • Jamie Hoffman re-signed with the Dodgers after his release last week.
  • I have to admit that Ned made a good move in getting Ronnie Belliard.  Who knew?
  • Chad Billingsley starts his BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON today. 

Minor League Recap – 9/07/09 from Jared of http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque won 7-2

Tony Abreu – 2 for 5, 2B, R, 2 K’s (.353 BA)
Xavier Paul – 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, E (.328 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 2 for 4, 3B, RBI, 2 R, BB (.256 BA)
Scott Van Slyke – 0 for 2, R, BB (.167 BA)

http://tinyurl.com/np45th
Chattanooga lost 6-5

Trayvon Robinson – 2 for 3, 2 HR (2), 2 RBI, 2 R (.246 BA)
Andrew Lambo – 2 for 4, RBI (.256 BA)

Javy Guerra – 1.1 IP, 4 Hits, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (4.13 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/kmsc2j
Inland Empire lost 11-5

Steven Caseres – 0 for 3, RBI, 2 K’s (.260 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 1 for 4, RBI, R, K, SB (.238 BA)

Justin Miller – 4 IP, 7 Hits, 6 ER, 2 BB, K (8.13 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/ntkqzj
Great Lakes lost 4-3

Alfredo Silverio – 3 for 4, 2B (.284 BA)
Jerry Sands – 1 for 3, R, BB, K (.260 BA)

Roberto Feliciano – 1 IP, 3 Hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K’s (2.70 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/molvu7
Ogden lost 15-9

Brian Ruggiano – 3 for 4, HR (8), 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 E’s (.377 BA)
BCG – 3 for 4, 2B, HR (18), 2 RBI, 2 R, OF Assist (.325 BA)
Angelo Songco – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 BB (.308 BA)
Nick Akins – 1 for 5, 2B, R, 3 K’s (.256 BA)
Tae-Hyeok Nam – 2 for 5, R, 2 K’s (.333 BA)

Garrett Gould – 0.2 IP, 4 Hits, 5 R (3 ER), BB, K (16.20 ERA)
Allen Webster – 2.1 IP, 9 Hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K’s (3.00 ERA)
Ji-Mo Lee – 1 IP, 4 Hits, 2 ER, BB, K (9.00 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/ln4swr
Player of the day – Trayvon Robinson, OF

Tray has been a very pleasant surprise this season. After learning how to bat left-handed a few years ago, Robinson actually had more success from the left side this year. He ends the season with 17 HR, 5 more than he’d hit in the past 4 seasons combined. He also drew 60 walks after drawing 89 in that same time span. It appears that Tray has made some strides in his development and, having just turned 22, can be considered a legitimate prospect.

About Mark Timmons

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

45 Responses to “It’s Time To Stop The Insanity”

  1. LADODGERDAVE says:

    amen brother!

    mark, how do you feel about giving belliard a shot at leadoff if blake sits for awhile????

  2. Bill Russell says:

    As I agree with your thoughts on Raffy, I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would want Kemp hitting #2. Everytime Joe puts him there it drives me crazy. I would never ask him to bunt or move a runner over with the type of power he has. Why not move Raffy into the #2 hole? The one thing he does well is bunt.

    It appears we are stuck between a power team and a small ball team with no identity on which way to go. We don’t have a typical leadoff hitter on this team besides Pierre which isn’t a starter. So if not Raffy leading off, there’s only a few other players that’s a logical choice and that’s Kemp, Martin or Hudson.

    Joe if your reading this Blog today, try this

    Kemp
    Furcal
    Ethier
    Ramirez
    Loney
    Blake/Belliard
    Hudson
    Martin

    Conclusion
    I would rather see Kemp hit a solo HR then bunt or hit into a DP.

    When will the offense reappear?
    Do we have to put all the Dodger faces on a Milk carton in order to find them?

    • Ken says:

      Switch Raffy and Hudson and you have my vote. Hudson will earn his full AB bonus so move him out of the 8th spot.

      Milk Cartons, Newspaper inserts, Flickr, Tree Posters, etc.

      Too many Dodgers think that they are 4 or 5 tool players when in reality they are 2 – 3 tool players. That does make it hard for anyone to write a consistently good lineup card.

      Mark – Brilliant, I have been thinking the same thing. Maybe I should stop blgging because it is insanity to think that the Dodger players or coaches will ever change. In fact all of us are insane to make any comments about those who can not or will not change. We are fighting an intellectual Battle of the Bulge and the only approprite response to the Soup Nazis’ is “Nuts”.

  3. Ken says:

    Reserves with OBA higher than Raffy

    Pierre – .377
    Mientkawietz – .375
    Belliard – .375
    Castro – .337
    Thime – .333
    Ausmus – .330

    Wow, even Castro is better!!

  4. Badger says:

    I have been waiting for the old Raffy to show up and it ain’t happenin’ so I am with you guys on this one.

    Joe has tried different lead-off guys over the year. Who has done the best? It’s Juan Pierre at .380 but that isn’t gonna happen as he was castrated when we brought in Manny. Our best lead-off hitter is a bench player. Weird. The others we have tried don’t have a real sampling large enough to count for much.

    Furcal is hitting .265 with a .324 OBP leading off. In July he was great – .343 and .395. Since then – right off the cliff.

    It’s a problem and I am sure Joe knows it. How do you change horses in September? By this time everyone on your team should know exactly what their roles are. Leading off is so much different than hitting 8th. The pitchers approach the at bat so much differently for obvious reasons. Leading off, you have the best hitters following you. Batting 8th, you have the worst hitter in the linuep following you. Joe could flip Hudson to 1 and Raffy to 8 but what if after a few games nothing positive has happened? At the 11th hour you are asking these guys to change their approach. Maybe it would work, but if it doesn’t, with the pennant on the line a message of panic is sent through the team.

    I just don’t know. Tough situation. Maybe a sit down with Raffy and O alone and tell them this is what is going to happen – Raffy, you have the rest of this series to figure out a way to get on base at .400. O – get your lead-off mentality warmed up.

    I guess if I am manager that is what I would do, but I sure wouldn’t like doing it.

  5. DRomo says:

    Who here kinda wishes Raffy had just signed with the Braves after all? I am raising my hand. He just isn’t the same guy. Sadly we are stuck with him for the next few years.

    I smell something funny about Kershaw’s “injury”. They are concerned about the amount of pitches he has thrown this year and then he mysteriously injures his non pitching shoulder? Hmmm? I’m not saying it isn’t true but there have been weirder ways of shutting down a guy to save his arm. Especially with a 6 man rotation.

    Does anyone expect a little retaliation for the D-Bags throwing at Martin? I am raising my other hand! I am only surprised Padilla didn’t throw at them. Wait a minute….who do we have on the hill today? Chad Penny…errr ….Bills? Never mind, you have to have guts to have your teammates back. Where is Mota when we need him? Bills will win tonight but I don’t want to hear “He’s back! Look how wonderful he is.” The kid is our # 4-5 starter right now. Behind Wolf, Kershaw, Garland, and maybe Padilla.

  6. lawdog says:

    I stand corrected on O-Rod. (I didn’t look at his stats–I based my opinion that he was toast on the way he’s looked lately swinging the bat. How is it that someone can look like a .250 hitter and actually be hitting .285? That’s O-Rod right now. He looks overmatched and tired and yet Mover tells us he’s actually hitting pretty well. Will ceases never wonder?

    Why doesn’t Bigelow man at least let Haeger throw some relief innings? It’s just like the big ass to keep the man riding pine–punishment for losing his trick pitch in one inning out of 17. Now watch the idiot throw him into a crucial situation while he’s been riding pine for a month.

    Torre is an idiot! How can you keep a knuckleball pitcher sharp if you don’t let him pitch?

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    Billy,

    I like Matt at #2 because if the leadoff guy gets on, then he’s in a position to hit a bomb and if he doesn’t he becomes the leadoff man. That’s just my opinion.

  8. lawdog says:

    Tony LaRussa might have a lifetime .199 average–but he’s a lawyer. That’s why he’s a good manager!

    I still wouldn’t trust him with my grandmother. He’d throw the old gal under his bus.

  9. lawdog says:

    Try this:

    O-rod

    Kemp

    Ethier

    Manny

    Belliard

    Loney

    Martin

    Castro/Furcal

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    Romo,

    In retrospect, I am not sure we had a better option than Furcal. Cabrera? NO! Jack Wilson? NO!

    I am not totally down on him, but he is evidently not playing like we expected. He can be on my team – he just has to hit 8th!

    Who knows, he may come back next year with a vengence.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Yesterday’s game would have been perfect for Haeger to follow Padilla…

    • Kay in L.A. says:

      From your lips to the GM’s and manager’s ears!!

      I was thinking too that Kershaw’s klutziness might make an opening for Haeger.

      Kuroda has been moved up from Sunday to Saturday for his next start, btw.

  12. Badger says:

    Signing Furcal, at the time made sense. If he got a clean bill of health, which he did I assume, then he was the best out there right?

    O-rod? Wouldn’t it be OHud?

    I am fine with Kemp at 2 I suppose. I still like a lefthander with speed there, but, since Ethier is now our best hitter, he hits 3 and Manny hits 4. I see Kemp as a great #3 or #4 guy too, especially against lefthanders. He pounds them. The middle of our order doesn’t concern me as much as the top.

    Belliard has been a pleasant surprise, but I do not expect him to hit .360 the rest of way. I sure hope he can, but I am not counting on it.

    You know what Romey, you ask a good question about Kershaw. As all of you know, I have been saying all year we want him peaking in September with enough left in the tank to carry through most of October. I have been very nervous about the number of pitches he has been throwing and now this? Yeah, give him some rest. In fact, I would fine with a 6 man rotation the rest of the way, including giving Haeger innings. Let the man pitch. I could easily see him as the long man, going 3 or 4 in the middle if necessary.

  13. SpokaneBob says:

    Joes not an idiot. He has been through alot of pennant races and know his players better than anyone here. He supports his players and just last week complimented Raffy’s contributions at the top of the line up. While I would agree with swapping spots with Orlando, it could be that Joe feels it would have a negitive effect on Raffy or the team mentally. He is a veterans manager and barring injury, is going to live or die with Furcal in the leadoff spot. And as Badger pointed out, its tough to make that kind of move at this point in the season.

  14. Ty says:

    Solid lineup you have there Mark. I agree that Furcal shouldn’t be hitting lead off. He isn’t even stealing bases anymore. I don’t get it. He’s still fast on the bases but he just doesn’t even try to steal a bag. It’s very puzzling

  15. Bill Russell says:

    Since we’re not a small ball team I guess it doesn’t matter who hits where. Just stack them up in the order of their currect success. I think thats what Joe does anyway except for poor Raffy. I still like the guy and know he was the best option at the time. If the Dodgers were playing drinking games, I hear he would be in a league of his own along with Martin and Bell a sorry O.

    I agree with Romo that there’s a funny smell about the Kershaw injury. If he didn’t run into a wall, there could of been a hang nail injury or something along that line.

    How can the 2009 Dodgers get their Mojo back before the playoffs begin? Can Tommy Lasorda give Joe some advice on how he managed to get his club of misfits on the same page to win in 1988? It’s beginning to look like another miracle will be needed this year. If anyone out there spots a genie running around with a few extra wishes, I could use the 6 winning Lotto numbers and the Dodgers could use some magic. :smile:

  16. Badger says:

    Is it really necessary to have a base stealer at the top of the lineup? I mean it’s preferable but is it really necessary? I don’t believe it is. What I would look for is a guy that A. gets on base as close to .400 as you can get, B. knows how to run the bases and C. has enough speed to get to third on a single and score on a deep double. Raffy has two out of three of those, B and C, but a good lead-off hitter needs all three.

    I agree with Bob about Joe not being an idiot. He is a HOF manager and he is trying his best to get things done. You are a genius when your moves work, and an idiot when they don’t?

    And I agree with Bill’s comment about our small ball capabilities, and to start thinking in small terms this late in the season isn’t realistic. This lineup isn’t a small ball lineup. It’s a team put together to score runs with solid hitters and a high team OBP. That’s how we jumped out to such a huge lead. Will we get that back before October?

    Stay tuned.

  17. A Shot of Haeger says:

    If Furcal were to be moved out of the leadoff spot….it should have been done a month ago.. now, I think it’s too late to change. It’s been tough month….but as Mark wrote a week ago..

    Negative thinking is easy, positive thinking is hard, but worth it.

    We don’t need a miracle, we just need to think positively. Will it have an affect? Probably not, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

    I’d rather think positively and be wrong, then think negatively and be right.

    Go Dodgers!!! 2009 World Series Champions!!

  18. Bill Russell says:

    I like your spirt Shot of Haeger but the teams will get just a little harder in the playoffs. We are currently playing .500 ball against the Diamondbacks and the Padres. Nothings wrong with a little help from a genie is there? However if we can get a little winning streak going now, and we can find our mojo before the end of this month. Anything can happen…………….. By the looks of things now our first round opponent will be Philly. I just can’t say with a straight face “Bring Em On” right now.
    :smile:

  19. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I understand what you’re saying BR and I completely agree. It’s not going to be easier… the great thing about sports..though…whether or not we win… and I truly believe we will win… we get to do it all over again next April… So thinking positive, costs us nothing. Dwelling on the negative costs us nothing as well, but it makes the experience less enjoyable.

  20. Ken says:

    Compromise – Bat Raffy 9th.

  21. A Shot of Haeger says:

    That’s actually an interesting idea Ken…. if you bat Raffy ninth.. Hudson could lead off… hmm

  22. Ken says:

    Torre: With certain people, it’s easy. You know where the leadoff guy goes. I used to have trouble and Don Zimmer gave me a great hint — start from the bottom. He was right. All of a sudden I realized when you put the names down that way, it makes the rest of it easier. With our current lineup, you know where (Matt) Kemp, (Andre) Ethier, Manny (Ramirez) and (Rafael) Furcal will be. Those guys will be in the top four or five spots. It becomes pretty simple, and occasionally it’s a matter of how to attack a certain pitcher with right-handed hitters or left-handed hitters. But when you have players who play every day regardless, it’s not that tough a call.

  23. Mark Timmons says:

    The insanity continues:

    1. Rafael Furcal, SS
    2. Matt Kemp, CF
    3. Andre Ethier, RF
    4. Manny Ramirez, LF
    5. James Loney, 1B
    6. Ronnie Belliard, 3B
    7. Orlando Hudson, 2B
    8. Russell Martin, C
    9. Chad Billingsley, P

    If #8 and #1 or #7 and #1 switched, I would be good…

    So would the Dodgers!

  24. Badger says:

    I still look forward to Raffy getting on base twice a night. That’s a reasonable goal.

    And, it starts tonight.

    I have no problem with that lineup.

  25. Badger says:

    Dbacks third run should not have scored. Buckner was clearly inside the baseline. Dead ball, batter runner out, all baserunners return to base previously occupied. Simple rule really, basic call from Umpiring 101. This group didn’t see it. Replays were definitive.

    Billingsley’s curve is not finding the strike zone and the t.v. broadcast has his fastball topping out at 92. Not exactly ace stuff tonight.

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    The umps will have the last word until Joe goes ballistic on them a couple of times.

    Freak out, Joe!

  27. Mark Timmons says:

    I always have Gameday on and it’s on line with TV as to velocity. 92 is troubling for C-Bill because he usually tips out at 95 or 96.

    That is a problem and I wonder if C-Bill has a problem…

  28. Illini Dodger says:

    3 GIDP in 4 innings! We need to take some more pitches from “Cy Young” Buckner.

  29. Bill Russell says:

    Where’s the fricken Genie?

  30. Illini Dodger says:

    Here we go again. 0 for 4 with RISP. Martin keeps pulling the ball and grounding out.

  31. Bill Russell says:

    As bad as Bills has looked tonight, we still have only scored one run through 5 innings against a 9.00 ERA pitcher. Bills at least has given us a chance to win. Bring down the thunder in the sixth boys.

    I think I would trade Martin straight up for Montero.

  32. Ken says:

    As Charles Barkley would say, “We are just trrbl… Trrbl, trrbl, trrbl…”

    Torre is a just a rubber chicken.

    Time to get ready for next year.

  33. Bill Russell says:

    I thought Charles Barkley would say ” Where’s my box of twinkies” or “It’s time to go fishin”

  34. Badger says:

    Bills is settling down some, but this is no ace outing. He topped out a couple of times at 93 and Monterro just bailed him out, swinging at 3 curves no where near the strike zone with two on.

    It’s the offense again.

    Any time.

  35. Illini Dodger says:

    C’mon!! 4 GIDP??? What the….!

  36. Mark Timmons says:

    They are pitching Martin inside and he is trying to pull but not very good at it. He needs to learn to pull the pitch. He is excellent at going to the opposite field, but horrble on inside pitches. You can’t go to the opposite field with an inside pitch.

  37. Mark Timmons says:

    Billingsley is just snakebit!

  38. Badger says:

    5 double plays in 7 innings? What’s the record?

    Buckner with a 7.47 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP and we are making him look like Hershiser.

    You got to hit with them to play with them. And so far, that ain’t us.

  39. Mr.Mike says:

    In case any of you haven’t come upon this; the story on MLB.com about baseball and the #9 is a can’t miss. Go Dodgers GO!

  40. Illini Dodger says:

    Who are these HITTERS and what did they do with the Dodgers!!!!! Yes!!!

  41. Illini Dodger says:

    WOW!!! Could this be the game that turns it all around? What a comeback!!

  42. Badger says:

    I’ll take it.

    Furcal did his job tonight. Broxton did his. In between those two – just enough in one inning to pull out a W.

    Tomorrow night we get their ace. Maybe we can’t hit the 7.46 guys but can hit the ace.

    These Dodgers are a test for the die hard fan.

  43. A Shot of Haeger says:

    This has the potential to be the biggest win of the season.

    Power of positive thinking. I can honestly tell you, there wasn’t one second I didn’t believe we couldn’t come back and win this.

    I’m really enjoying this whole season. It’s just been exhilarating, exasperating and just good old fashioned fun. I can’t wait until we win the World Series!

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