Categorized | Mark Timmons

These Dodgers Have Unfinished Business

These Dodgers Have Unfinished Business

VicPadillaIn the celebration last night, I sensed that the boys still know this is only one step to get where they want to be.  They have traveled this path before only to have their dreams shattered by a team they might have to play again.  I sensed that, while happy, they will really celebrate when they get past the NLCS.  If I would picking a MVP of the NLDS, I would split it between two guys I have ragged on quite frequently, because they deserve it – Big Jon Broxton and Big Game Andre  Ethier!  What a change and a difference they have made.  I also think both players have much more to show us.  They will both get even better!

Ethier and Furcal both hit .500 in the NLDS, but this was also a team win, with the pitching leading the way, and let’s not forget Russ Martin who only hit .111, but had a .385 OB% and played flawlessly at C, saving several wild pitches.   While I would single out Andre and Jon, this was truly a team victory if there ever was one.  The Big Dodger in the Sky may be finished punishing Manny and it looks like he’s heating up! 

Vicente Padilla went from the outhouse to the penthouse when he can to the Dodgers and he looks like the biggest bargain ever.  Let’s see, the Phils gave up 4 or 5 prospects and have millions in salary obligations to Lee and the Dodgers got Padilla for… FREE!  What a game he pitched!  Good for him!

Now we have to wait and see who we play the next round, but the odds are pretty good that Clayton Kershaw will start that series.  There are reasons (not the least of which is his age) to delay that, but this kid is a man.  Soon, he will be THE MAN!  Garland was not used in this series and if we play Philly, I would put Elbert in his place due to the LH pitching matchups.  If Chad Bilingsley could get the mindset, he could be very powerful out of the pen.  There is a lot to be decided. 

TJ SLIMERS of The LA Times, praised JOe Torre in a piece today and also wrote this:

IT BECAME apparent recently the Dentist was missing, the Dodgers’ image maker hired to replace the Tipper Gore Lady, who had been hired to replace Derrick Hall in an effort to make the McCourts look good. And you think your job is tough.

Dr. Charles Steinberg was not at the two playoff games in L.A., and for those holding hands over ears, it was pretty apparent someone else was calling the shots in regard to the music being played in Dodger Stadium.

Insiders say Steinberg lost ground when the McCourts fell for Dennis Mannion, hired as COO.

An anonymous e-mailer said that Steinberg irritated one of Mannion’s hires, CFO Michael Young, when he invited the USC marching band to Dodger Stadium to perform and then billed the team for lunches given to the band members.

The Dodgers refused to make Young available even though some folks might be left with the suggestion the Dodgers are cheap.

The Dodgers would only say, “Dr. Charles Steinberg is not available. However, the Dodgers have granted Charles permission to entertain offers from other Major League Baseball clubs and he is currently doing so.”

Looks like they’re going to need a new image maker.

 

Very interesting!

About Mark Timmons

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

48 Responses to “These Dodgers Have Unfinished Business”

  1. Harold says:

    The MVP is difficult because it was a team effort. Your two former whipping boys are deserving Mark. Can’t you whip on Russell a bit more to jump start him?

    My choice for MVP would be Raffy as he has returned, at least for this series, as the Raffy we were missing. Hitting like that at the top of the lineup is huge. I think he jump started us.

    The defining moment, which some folks were discussing elsewhere, for me at least, was not Matt Holliday’s error. That defined the Cardinals as losers. For us that moment, I thought, came in the bottom of the first inning in the first game. We were down 1-0 already and Matt Kemp hit a two run bomb off Carpenter. That just set the stage for what evolved in all three games. That is, whatever you do, we can do better, and we did.

    I was glad the celebration was a bit subdued on the field, although you have to do some to annoy the Card fans, because this is exactly where we were last year after the NLDS. Also I noticed guys in interviews were not making any big noises. This is a first step, a good one, but two more have to be taken.

    GO DODGERS!!

  2. SpokaneBob says:

    Two steps indeed. But here is a question for each of you…

    WHO WOULD YOU RATHER PLAY IN THE NLCS?????

    I think if we could win the NLCS it would be much more satisfying if we beat the Phillies, but perhaps more difficult to accomplish.

    I think we can beat either team!

  3. lawdog says:

    Dang! It shore do get mighty creepy quiet around here when we’all win ballgames, don’t it?

    Makes me wonder if maybe most of the folks around these parts would rather hoot, holler and moan about the stinker play of our boys in blue when they play muy malo than actually root for the team and acknowledge greatness when they see it!

    Hat’s off to Padilla, Ethier, Furcal and the Mannyman. Let’s win 8 more before the season ends!

  4. Bill Russell says:

    I think when we do everything right, there’s little to talk about other then saying great win.
    Hu’s pickin the splinters out of Castro’s behind? I still think he’s a waste of roster space.
    Does anyone know if Kuroda is ready for round 2?
    I think I’d rather face the Rockies but the cold weather could be an issue. Man Ram don’t like the cold. Why don’t they require a domed stadium for the Rockie Mountains?
    Who will get removed from the roster if Kuroda is ready to go? Weaver looked like he belongs. I hope it’s not going to be a week before the boys get back on the field. GO BLUE

  5. DRomo says:

    The series starts Thursday no matter what right? I would send Kuroda, Bills, & Thome to Glendale to get some work in!!!

    It was good to see #99 back

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    Here’s the ONLY reason that Castro is on the roster:

    If Furcal were to get injured in Game 1, we would rave to pay the rest of the series without a true SS, and that could be disasterous!

    Joe could roll the dice and add another pitcher and delete Castro, but if he keeps Thome, he also needs a pinch runner (it could be a pitcher, but still…).

  7. Kay in L.A. says:

    Padilla was fierce; he and the coaches figured out how to channel his intensity. He has a home here if he wants it.

    Mark, I read every word you write and make note but anyone with L.A. Slimes attached to their name, I skip. ‘Nuf said.

    Kemp will be hungry in the next series and I still predict Russell will be key.

    Kuroda will be pitching an AZ simulated game in the coming days, so stay tuned.

  8. Ken says:

    Dang! It shore do get mighty creepy quiet around here when a person goes out of town and comes back during a winning streak and sees very little posting, don’t it?

    I’m dreaming of a white World Series
    every game I watch…..

    This politically correct garbage that requires starting spring training late, starting the season late, no double headers, and playing in the World Series in November is Felony Stupid.

  9. SpokaneBob says:

    From the Cards website:

    “They had the best record in the National League and you can’t wonder why,” said infielder Julio Lugo. “It shows. The numbers are there. They have a great team.”

    “They beat us, and we’re a good team,” said reliever Trever Miller. “And they beat us pretty soundly. They swept us, and I wasn’t expecting that at all. They have no weaknesses that I see. They have a quality lineup. There’s not one guy in there that you can pitch around because they can all do damage.

    “Now they get to go home and rest up for a few days and see who they are going to play and kind of set their roster and be ready to go. Whoever they play in the next series, it’s going to be a tough one for their opponent.”

    “You’re frustrated because it was so close and because it means so much,” said pitcher John Smoltz. “But when you look back, yeah they did win the most games in the National League and they had their share of injuries, too, but they just found a way to win three games before we did.

    “I think they are going to be awfully tough to beat.”

  10. lawdog says:

    I’ve been checking out the St. Looie websites as well Bob. Talk about depression! There is serious talk from Bernie Miklatze that the Cards should see what they can get for Poohjools and begin the rebuilding process in earnest.

    Would you trade Loony and Martin and a half dozen scrubs for Poohjools?

  11. Mr.Mike says:

    Not for my main man Loney, no way. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Juan is cement as Mark noted, Sweet Loretta has punched his ticket and if Thome made the first series {although the WS is why he is here}he will certainly maintain his spot, that just leaves a minor tweak in the pitching staff. Maybe Elbert gets “Oh No” Troncosos spot but I hope Garland lets Hiroki continue his recovery. A Rusty Kuroda is not a good thing. Bill, you are going want a Juan Castro jersey before this is over. PS They should make Buff Selig sit shirt sleeve to enjoy the old ball game in Denver tonight, Doh!

  12. lawdog says:

    I’m not sure most fans of MLB realize just what the Bums did in the remake of Padilla. He was cast off as a loser–in fact most Ranger players were giving the owner high fives ands “congrats” in getting rid of this loser.

    The Dogs sign him and he feels like he’s “family”. His mother came all the way iup from Nicaruaga to see him pitch the other night and he was lights out. The Dodger players feel like he’s a great addition to the team.

    There is something really right about the way the Dodger year has gone. Sign Padilla to a multi-year contract while he’s feeling grateful as hell. Padilla just might be that Ace we’ve been looking for, don’t you think?

  13. Ken says:

    Torre is a Genius, as compared to the More On Commissioner who scheduled a night game in Denver in the middle of October.

    Maybe Torre and Honeycutt will win the Nobel Peace Prize for the work that they have done with Padilla.

  14. Blue Haze says:

    I think the boys are remembering how it felt last year to sweep the Cubbies and then get dismissed rudely by the Phillies. Yeah, they have some unfinished business.

  15. DRomo says:

    Ken ,

    How would the comissioner know that the Rockies would finish with the wild card? How would he know who would have home field advantage? Somethings just happen, it’s OK.

    Is it just me or is Thursday just too long to wait?

    Peace

    • Ken says:

      If the Commissioner did not establish moronic rules he could mandate that the Rockies play a day game, when the temp is 51, and mandate that a game in a warmer climate be played at night. Or, the Greed mongers could actually have more than one game on TV at the same time, God Forbid that anyone would think outside the box.

  16. Ken says:

    For the bloggers that think Kershaw is the second coming here is an ACE Meter analyis of some true Dodger ACEs.

    Koufax 1963 1.43 CY
    Koufax 1964 1.45
    Koufax 1965 1.47 CY
    Koufax 1966 1.41 CY

    Drysdale 1962 2.38 CY
    Drysdale 1964 1.71

    Sutton 1972 1.32 (8.26 innings per game)
    Sutton 1976 2.38

    Fernando 1981 2.24 CY
    Fernando 1981 2.26

    Brown 2000 2.30

  17. jerry says:

    the way padilla is pitching , i think he is hot and i would ratter have him the kuroda. kuroda is a off and on pitcher,if you want kuroda then leave bills off

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    Ken,

    When you ran your Ace Meter Analysis, how did you factor in the fact that Koufax and Drysdale pitched off a 20 inch mound at home and a 15 inch mound on the road, and todays’ Dodgers pitch off a 10 inch mound? That’s part of the reason, their opponents typically hit 30-40 points less against them at home than on the road.

    • Ken says:

      Mark

      Did you notice that Sutton, post lowering of mound, had the best year of any of the Dodger pitchers?

      How does the height of the mound effect the number of games pitched per year and the number of innings pitched per game? Will Kershaw ever have a year as good as Sutton’s 1972 year? Will Kershaw ever be a able to average even 7 innings per game in a year?

      Koufax won 3 MLB Cy Young awards in 4 years plus one MVP. When Kershaw wins one CY Award, strikes out 300 batters in a season, and pitches a no hitter then he can be spoken of in the same breadth as Fernando and Drysdale.

      Over hyping young players is a huge diservice.

  19. DRomo says:

    Ken is an angry man lately. Dude write a song or get back on your meds. It’s gonna be OK.

  20. Mr.Mike says:

    Bring it on. this is going to be great…Jim Thome and Charlie Manuel. If you haven’t already been DVR’ing[for wintertime adrenaline rushes], it might be a good time to start. As I have been saying for at least a couple months now; its going to be Dodgers vs Yankees, Joe with the ULTIMATE victory over the evil empire. Enjoy:}

  21. SpokaneBob says:

    There is something so right about another matchup with the Phillies. We have something to prove and we are a different team than we were last year.

    Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Bill Russell says:

    Bring on the Phillies. 8 wins to go.

  23. Harold says:

    i certainly agree with Ken on the hype. I expect all teams do it but I am just not as aware of it as I follow the Dodgers, not other teams to that degree.

    Remember Edwin Jackson, Joe Thurston, Greg Brock, Mike Marshall, etc. It does do a diservice to young players.,IMO, setting expectations for them that are often unrealistic. Unfortunately we had a lot of years when we had no propsects to hype so it is at least good that we now have some.

    Koufax was a phenom, high mound or low mound. I am not sure why we have to factor it in. How do you factor in Sandy pitching with arthtitis in his arm, every fourth day so less rest, Clemens’ steroids, or improved health care for pitchers or indoor ball, mostly night ball, or the live ball is some eras, or the dead ball?

    Clayton is an awesome young talent and I am grateful we have him. I think a steal by Logan. He is good and will get better. He may be an ace, but doesn’t have to be a Koufax or Fernando. I think Clayton has been able to handle the hype around him very well. He seems to be very level headed.

    GO DODGERS!!

    • Kay in L.A. says:

      Harold, great analysis of Kershaw.
      Dodgers website does not name the rotation yet, but everyone is guessing our young phenom.
      For those in L.A. area, KABC will have an hour of Dodger Talk at 7 p.m. tonight.
      ESPN radio is running a lot of baseball analysis and anticipation also.

  24. Mark Timmons says:

    Ken,

    Over the years I have seen all the Dodger young players come up and have a degree of success. Cey, Russell, Lopes, Garvey was the best young crop I have seen until Kemp, Ethier, Martin, Loney, Billingsley, Kershaw, Broxton and Company. The Ashleys, Brocks, Crawfords, Marshalls, Maldonados et al had their moments but don’t have the talent that this group does.

    On the hype:

    I don’t have to hype a 2.79 ERA. I have always idolized Sandy Koufax, but Clayton Kershaw is of the same ilk. Back in the 70′s, I threw 97 MPH off a 15 inch mound, but couldn’t hit 92 on flat ground. I would suspect that a 20 inch mound verses a 10 inch mound costs Kershaw and other pitchers 4-5 MPH on their fastballs and some “bite” on their curves. To try and compare now to then is apples to lemons. I remember Suttons great year – while very good, he never was quite that good again. Not sure what happened there…

    Clayton has had to be rushed and he hasn’t pitched late into games – that is all “fixable” and he will figure it out. Right now he might be counted upon to be our ace and start against the Phils in game 1 – When I sit beside the bullpen and watch his stuff, I have to say that I have never seen the like of it since Koufax. Fernando had awesome stuff but it was the screwball that made him different.

  25. Harold says:

    That’s my point exactly Mark. Why even try to compare then and now? Apples to lemons as you say. You don’t have to hype, but many others do hype Clayton, especially jouralists, and Dodgers.com.

    GO DODGERS!!

  26. Bill Russell says:

    I agree Mark, The mound did make a difference. However I thought it was Apples and Oranges. Why Lemons? I have 40 orange trees in my back yard and don’t want them discriminated against. Go Blue

  27. Mark Timmons says:

    OK, Billy!

    Oranges to Pineapples.

  28. Mark Timmons says:

    I might have hit 100 on a 20″ mound…

    If I could have only thrown a curveball, instead of a “hit me hanger.”

    Of course, IF chickens had lips, they’d be people…

  29. Kay in L.A. says:

    Bill Russell, at times I wonder if you are THE Bill Russell. I mean, you could be, right?

    Mark, why didn’t I figure out before that you’re a pitcher?
    Color me Duh.
    :-)

  30. Bill Russell says:

    If I was the real Bill Russell Kay, would I be excited about getting a ball signed by Tommy Davis? It’s not even my real name. I just liked Bill Russell growing up as a Dodger fan so I decided why not when I signed up to comment in here. My real name is David Lopes. just kidding

  31. Harold says:

    Is that Bill Russell of the Celtics or Bill Russell of the Dodgers?
    If it’s of the Celtics a 20″ mound would really give some leverage.

    GO DODGERS!!

  32. A Shot of Haeger says:

    It looks like Wolf is Starting Game one and Kershaw game two. Analysts are saying because Kershaw would pitch Game two and six…both at home, where he was exponentially better than on the road, where he’d have to pitch Game 5 Here’s hoping Randy continues to stifle the Phillies and we can figure out Cole Hamels.

    Go Dodgers

  33. Mark Timmons says:

    Billy,

    I wanted to be a pitcher. I wasn’t. Therein was the problem. I could throw a ball through a brick wall, but I only had one pitch.

    • Kay in L.A. says:

      One pitch, that’s more than I have.
      ;)

    • Bill Russell says:

      I bet you were bigger then most of the kids in your class, therefore if we would have gone to school together, you would have been a good friend of mine.

  34. Voldomer says:

    Great game Saturday. I took a little abuse for my Dodgers gear, but a few innings in the fans around me were calling friends on their cell phones, consoling each other that there is always next year. Ethier’s homer took most of the air out of the crowd, and everyone knew it was over when the Cardinals couldn’t score after Smoltz’s strong first inning.

  35. lawdog says:

    You could have been a curve bal pitcher as well mover–if someone had taught you how. All fastball pitchers have trouble mastering the curve because they want to push off with the lower body and spin the ball with the wrist on release. This results in a hanger every time. If you do not push off as you bring the ball around and grip the ball tightly on one seam with the middle finger and thumb, make sure the elbow stays above your shoulder and then lock the wrist and release the ball like you’re pulling down a lampshade you’ll get a great snap on a 12-6 curve. The pointer finger is just window dressing. Don’t hold the ball with the pointer finger. Some pitchers leave it off entirely. If you grip the ball hard with the pointer as well as the middle finger you’ll throw a hanger for sure–unless you put the pointer and middle finger together and throw the ball like a cutter fastball only with a “flick” of the arm from elbow to wrist at the last minute just like you’d give a to a football if you were a qb and wanted a tight spiral on a long pass.

    Go outside and give it a try. We all have nothing better to do until Thursday.

    The difficulty comes in not teegraphing the curve and fastball since they have different release processes. You must push off with the lower body and whip the arm like a golf club to get a real heater. The curve you don’t uswe the lower body at all and snap it with a locked writs from an arm with elbow at least as high as the shoulder. Try masking the two different deliveries and you’ll see why most fastball pitchers have trouble with the curve and vice versa.

    Kurshaw and Koufax are extraordinary in that each of them had an A+ fastball and curveball. Koufax was in a league by himself. Kurshaw not quite so good, yet anyway, but he’s already among the top 10 pitchers in the game right now, imho. When he starts throwing the change and cutter with confidence we’ll be talking about his being a combination of Gibson and Koufax–if he learns how to headhunt a little from Padilla.. ;)

  36. lawdog says:

    So–do we go Wolf, Kurveshaw, Padilla, C-Bills, Wolf, Kurveshaw, Padilla? Or do we have Garland pitch instead of C-Bills in game 4?

  37. jerry says:

    lets have bills go 4 inning and the garland the other 4 ..then broxten. and we win that game.

  38. Kay in L.A. says:

    Guys, Kuroda is in the 4 man rotation for the series!!! Billingsley is not in it. Wolf, Kershaw, Padilla and Kuroda!!! Dodgers haven’t announced for Game 1 yet.

    Tough schedule too: 2 games here, then 3 there, back here.
    Does anyone know if we have rain forecast for L.A. on Thursday?

  39. Mark Timmons says:

    If Kuroda is on the roster, then Billingsley and Garland BOTH can’t make it. Since C-Bill was Joe Torre’s choice to start Game 4 in the NLDS, it would seem that Garland is the odd-man-out, unless you want to dump Weaver….

  40. Ken says:

    Mark

    My understanding is that the Dodger mound was not 20″ high but 15″ high and steeper than all other mounds, making it look like 20″.

    Nobody knows what effect the lowering of the mound had on pitching post 1968 because after 1968 the strike zone was officially reduced in size.

    When I was 8 I could throw the baseball over the backstop from my outfield position. Unfortunately when I pitched I hit more kids, parents screaming as their children cried, than bats, not even a foul ball.

    LawDog – Nice analysis

  41. Mr.Mike says:

    Don’t believe everything you hear, don’t believe everything you read and only half of what you see. Think Hiroki is a no go. Chad is excellent for 5 and deserves the ball. Tough schedule, not for World Champions. Rain in Socal, ha ha thats a good one Kay! :}

  42. SpokaneBob says:

    Right on Lawdog…the lampshade deal was what taught me how to throw a good hook. Mover and I together would have made quite the pitcher. My arm was strong enough to make good throws from the outfield and when catching I could hit the bases well. But I never had enough velosity on my fastball, I could only use it to set up the curve. I probley threw 90-95% breaking pitches. I must admit that I would still hang one every once in a while. I did find that useing my abdominals to bend my back hard when throwing helped both my fastball and curve. When I was in college I sometimes played infield positions during practice and earned the nickmane “stone hands” from my teammates.

    Makes sense to me to have Clayton start both games at home. Wolf might come up big in Philly. Back in the day of 4 days rest, teams would go with 3 starters. If we have to use 4, I go with Kuroda if he is healthy.

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