Categorized | Mark Timmons

Play Ball!

Play Ball!

Ready For The Next Level?

At the start of the college basketball season, I said the following about my beloved Duke Blue Devils (who are playing my hometown Butler Bulldogs in what is truly a David vs. Goliath game – I hate to admit it, but part of me wants to see Butler win.  Either way, I can’t lose tonight.) :  

“They are Top 10 material.  They aren’t going to win the national championship, but then again, you never know.” 

As Duke is poised to play for the National Championship tonight, I am going to say the same thing about my first love – the Dodgers:

They are one of the top teams.  I am not saying they will win the World Series… but you never know!”

Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times reports that Rafael Furcal had this to say on the subject of whether the Dodgers have the tools to win it all:

The Dodgers’ longest-tenured player, the 32-year-old shortstop and leadoff hitter has seen a group of cocksure rookies morph into a nucleus that he believes could lead the franchise to its first World Series in 22 years.

“You reporters said they were can’t-miss prospects and that’s the attitude that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp had when they came here,” Furcal said.
Initially, he said he didn’t know what to make of the pack, which also included Russell Martin, James Loney, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton.
Furcal had been around to know that many can’t-miss prospects missed. Then he saw how they approached their jobs.
“What made them successful is that they’re workers,” Furcal said. “They don’t get tired of working. When you’re young, you have to have the desire to get better. You can’t take anything for granted, you can’t think that you’re already good.”
After consecutive trips to the National League Championship Series, Furcal said he thinks these Dodgers are ready to advance to a World Series.
“They know how to win,” Furcal said. “They’re young men with a lot of talent who already have three, four years of experience. I think we’re ready to go to the next level.”
Because their drive is still there. 

Ken Gurnick of had this to report:

People can say, ‘We need this pitcher’ or ‘We need that bat.’ But to say we didn’t have enough talent to win the last two years is making excuses,” right fielder Andre Ethier said.

“We’ve got the talent to win with what we had. To be that close, one out or one game away — we just can’t lose the feeling and the emotion like we did. When things go wrong, you have to rebound and come back and play through the series instead of letting down.”

The bell has rung.  There are no excuses. It’s time to play ball!


  • Old friend Adrian Beltre looked very good last night for the Red Sox, both offensively and defensively.  I predict a monster year for him in Boston.
  • The Mets are a “train wreck” and their pitching led Johann Santana is a shambles.
  • I will be getting a root canal when the game starts today, but my IT guy is trying to figure out how to record MLB as we speak.  I will see the end of the game.

About Mark Timmons

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

41 Responses to “Play Ball!”

  1. Ken says:

    Global warming finally does a good thing! – A Warm Opening Day in Pittsburgh! A warm day in the north versus a cold rainy earthquaky day in LA. Who knew?

    Let the battle begin for the first Sabeanite relief pitcher to be released in order to make room for Belisario.

    I love this batting order. Hope springs eternal that Martin has turned the page to a correct batting approach.

    I am so happy that Russ Ortiz did not fall out of the top bunk last night and that he was able to sign his contract this morning.

    I am so happy that Garrett Anderson did not pull a hamstring, unless it was off of the Easter Ham, running in the warm weather in Pittsburgh yesterday. You know how sensitive those hammies are in warm weather.

    I am so happy that Jensen was sent all the way down to High A so that he could work with Charlie Hough. He will be ready to join the Dodgers in 2 years.

    I love web sites with EDIT buttons!

    Today is an official Holiday at my firm!

  2. Scoop says:

    Ok, in the DL pool:

    I got Anderson, followed by Russ Ortiz and Johnson. Win place show.

    Losing Escobar could be huge, but, I don’t see the Mets as a mess. But then, what do I know? I also think the NL West is going to be competitive.

    Yanks and Red Sox look pretty good. I think Beltre, in that matchbox ball park, could have a huge year. That wall is like 250′ away and there is virtually no fould ground. Perfect for a pop fly hitter like Adrian.

    • Ken says:

      This is the same team as last year except for Haeger replacing Wolf. Therefore, all we need to do is sit back and watch because all of the pressure is on LawDog!

  3. Scoop says:

    Same team? Except Hudson is gone and our back-up outfielder won’t hit .300 and steal bases.

    Yeah, Haeger replacing Wolf. That’s a even swap don’t you think?

    Come on Charlie Knuckles.

    Padilla struggling early, but, he is a battler.

    • Ken says:

      Yea same team

      RISP 1-7

      Mental mistakes

      SS in the minors as good as Furcal?

      Pitcher not using his best delivery motion and the pitching coach and catcher doing nothing about it.

  4. lawdog says:

    I predict: Chuck Haeger will win more games than Wolfy! We might contend for the wild card but it will be a short post season for us and we’ll be done. Expect worse things next year when we’re another year older, have no real prospects waiting in the wings and have Cheapskate McCourt at the helm. :shock:

  5. Roger Dodger says:

    Lawdog, Joe should have pitches Haeger today, with the wind and all.

    Did we not experience this trashing of the Pirates late last year in Pittsburgh.

    Mets are winning, so are the Phillies (with 11 so far), Cards yes, White Sox and Rockies and Blue Jays all winning.

    Dodgers only have the bouncing ball that Kemp hit that LaRoche could have fielded — drive in two.

    Time to turn this game around.

  6. Erik says:

    time to turn it around or turn it off?

  7. Ken says:

    Maybe the Dodgers should have put a weight limit clause into Sherrill’s contract. Jeeze!

  8. Ken says:

    Stat update – The Dodgers offically have the worst pitching in MLB.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Sorry to be Negative Steevo — but some questions “every” Dodger fan needs to ask in one form or another –

    Are these Dodgers ready for the season?

    Does the pitching staff have enough to be a first place pitching staff?

    Why does this team not have at least 4 good starters for this year? Let alone 5?

    Is this Russ Martin the real Russ Martin?

    Has the present owner (he, she, them, they or whoever) and money problem really hurting the total salary structure of this team?

    Why is Padilla a starter on this team? He was picked up from the scrap heap last August when Texas fired him.

    Is Furcal got anything left in his bat and legs?

    Kemp has a Silver Slugger at home, a gold glove and all — but he still cannot hit the ball when it counts many times. Strikeouts are too high. He does not own the strike zone, he gets lucky from time to time and hits it out.

    Why do the Giants have a higher salary base than the Dodgers?

    Why do the Dodgers not have Beltre at 3rd, one way or another? He is the man!

    OK — time for the hot showers, wash off the dirt, and get ready for Wed. If Clayton had pitched today — he probably would have lost — the Pirates were ready. So Joe is really smart.

  10. Scoop says:

    Same team. I get it. Not that it matters when your starter goes 4.2 and gives up 7 earned, but the Dogs were 2 for 13 WRISP. Yep same team. Hey, LaRoche was 0fer. That should make some people around here happy.

    Thus ends the quest for the perfect season.

    But, I predict we will not lose tomorrow!

    And one more thing…. what Roger said.

  11. lawdog says:


    IMMEDiATE STEPS TO TAKE: Give Sherrill and Russ Ortiz and Weaver their walking papers. Send Martin down to AAA and bring up Ellis. Bring up Paul.

    This looks like a real long season folks.

  12. Erik says:

    It was only one game, but it was a game we waited months to see.

  13. mark says:


    You guys told me so. I was wrong. The Dodgers are done. They will lose 162 games. It is over.

    Now, you can be happy!

  14. chucky says:

    Just one game but it scares me. Our pitching WILL get better but why is Padilla starting the season??? I think it was just to have Kershaw start the home opener. I worry about our relief pitching, we were spoiled last year but the Ortiz Bros??? How is Kuo and BellOsorry any way? I read Belly will be rushed back, didn’t the Dodgers learn anything from last year’s experience with that receiver we signed in late spring that blew his arm out rushing to get ready-I forget his name). It will be a long season, everyone relax and if worst comes to worst we start bringing the young pitching in.

  15. Scoop says:

    It was one game and it isn’t that big a deal. Yeah, Padilla sucked. Is anyone REALLY surprised by that? The worst starter in our rotation is now behind us. We should win the next two in Pittsburgh, and take 1 out of 3 in Florida and come home from our first East Coast road trip at .500.

    Notta to worry, Sherrill will come around.

    We are hitting .324 as a team. That’s pretty good.

    2 for 13 WRISP is something that concerns me.

    It will be a long season Ldog, but, we won’t finish 0-162.

  16. Harold says:

    I don’t quite understand why the call for Martin’s head already. It seems he had a decent day 1-3, HBP, BB, scored twice. I didn’t see the game so maybe his catching was disastrous or something. Two stolen bases against – fault of pitcher, catcher, both?

    The point Bill made the other day did get us today – 2/13 RISP, 10 LOB. We did have enough hits to win on most days but not when you give up 11 runs.

    I for one was calling to trade Sherrill as soon as the season ended last year. From his time in Baltimore it seemed he overachieved with the Dodgers, as did Padilla. I thought at that time with teams looking for closers Sherrill was tradeable and would have freed up $4.5M. Is George suffering from the Will Ohman syndrome? I felt Scott Elbert could have filled his role, at least as well as he did today.


  17. lawdog says:

    How about 62-100? :roll:

  18. lawdog says:

    I was embarrassed by what I saw today!

  19. Roger Dodger says:

    Harold, no one is calling for Martin’s head. We just want to give him a wake-up call. He is a good player . . . really he has been trying to be another player he is not. He is not a power hitter, he is not a .333 hitter. He should be a situational hitter. Down the lines, up the middle, in the gap, move a runner over, SF when needed, a bunt once an a while, that kind of hitter. Let us see if he can do it.

    Mark, don’t give up on the Dodgers because they played like Albq today. Ethier just missed that ball down the line by a foot or so.

    Sometimes an up and coming team needs a beating to get them ready to play like they should. And these Dodgers should play better.

    Mr. Padilla will fix himself or Ned needs to send him packing by mid-May.

  20. Scoop says:

    “I was embarrassed by what I saw today!”

    Fortuantely, I didn’t see it.

    I still think it’s going to be the starting pitching, or the lack of it maybe, that makes us or breaks us. If those guys get the innings, we can win our share. If not? eh, who knows how bad it can get.

    But one game? Come on, give it a week at least.

  21. Harold says:

    Suggesting Martin be sent to AAA seems like a call for his head. Wasn’t his hit today to right field? He has a walk and HBP, scored twice. Not a bad day for a number two hitter. That was the kind of hitter he was when he first came up. Maybe he can go back to the future.

    Tomorrow is another day.


  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Have to agree with Mark. Dodgers will lose 162 games. Worst team in the history of the game. Send the entire team down and bring up the Isotopes.

    Now for the serious part.

    There was talk that Padilla had some forearm stiffness during the spring. Maybe today was just a bad day, but it appeared that he topped out at 94 mph (only once or twice), and was mostly sitting at 90 – 92. This from a pitcher who generally reaches the mid to upper 90′s with great frequency.

    I’ve posted in the past that I don’t like Sherrill, and was hoping that the Dodgers would trade him. So his ineffectiveness was no surprise to me. I haven’t see either Ortiz this spring, but neither impressed me today. Of course, it’s only one game, but something tells me that they will ultimately be replaced by Belisario and someone else (perhaps Lindblom).

    Whatever the case, this was really one game, and it’s far too early to draw any firm conclusions. Lose a game in the middle of the season, and it’s just bad game. Lose on opening day, and it’s curtains.

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    I saw them play for a week in Arizona, and today they played just like they did for that week in Arizona — no passion.

    But for awhile in this century, the Pirates have the Dodger’s number.

    Say, why don’t the Dodgers have Jones?

  24. Scoop says:

    “Say, why don’t the Dodgers have Jones?”

    We did. Ours wasn’t very good.

    And why don’t the Dodgers have Jason Heyward, or Justin Upton or Mark Reynolds, or this San Diego kid I just saw hit one 420′ to dead center in Arizona, Kyle Blanks – 6’6″ 290 pounds – because we don’t draft those guys, we draft pitchers.

  25. steevo17 says:

    Is it 2012 already? Is the world ending? It must be the Dodgers lost a game (one game!)and now have absolutely no chance to be a good team anymore.

    Thats it, I am officially off the bandwagon…after 40+ years I was getting tired anyways. Goodbye CRUEL CRUEL world.

  26. lawdog says:

    What I saw today reminded me of John McKay’s assessment of his Tampa Bay team way back when he couldn’t win for losing with an expansion group:

    “I’m in favor of it.”
    - John McKay, coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, when asked about the execution of his team.

  27. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Why don’t other teams have Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw, etc.?

  28. Roger Dodger says:

    I saw Jason Heyward’s HR in his 1st AB in the majors for the Braves — he was something.

    He is like Junior, King Kong, Ted Williams, Stan the Man, Ted Klu, Jimmy Foxx, and Duke Snider all in one package. We do not have that.

    Dodgers go after pitchers — I see Clayton, where are the others, oh, someone call Darin Drifert, or Kiki Jones.

  29. Richard Lotz says:

    Wow, from what most of you guys write (3 out of the 5 of you) the Dodgers should forfeit the season. You guys enjoy yourselves this season, you deserve each others’ company.

  30. Ken says:

    I am so happy because Torre finally listened to me and has obviously adopted the tortise and not the hare approach this year!

  31. Roger Dodger says:

    Gee, a dose of reality —- how do you think Yankee fans feel today ??

    Go to their sites, they are at the gate of . . .

  32. DRomo says:

    The frustration begins!

    The good news is the bats looked OK. The bad is pitching (as expected). Clayton needs to step up tomorrow.

  33. DRomo says:

    Also, what a great championship game!! Hats off to the Butler gang. Maybe the best championship game I have ever seen. Great all the way to the buzzer!!


  34. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m sure the Dodgers would like to have Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, etc. To get them the Dodgers would have had to finish a lot lower in the standings. Upton was the #1 pick in the nation the year he was drafted. Heyward was #14 in a year the Dodgres had the 22nd pick.

    Upton is clearly on the verge of superstar status. Heyward, maybe, or maybe not. I haven’t seen him, and I never use highlights to form an opinion. Everyone looks like a superstar in highlights. But I also think that Matt Kemp is on the verge of superstardom. Oh well, the grass is always greener on the other side.

    And by the way, why would anyone have a problem with drafting pitchers early? I thought this game was about pitching, pitching, pitching. Personally, I’m satisfied with Kershaw, Billingsley and Broxton. And there appear to be more arms in the pipeline.

    All of the negativity after today’s loss was predictable. Can’t say I’m surprised. Whatever happened to keeping a level head, and not gettng too high with success, nor too low with a little adversity?

    Sorry, but my glass remains half full.

    • steevo17 says:

      From now on I’m only reading your posts BD…you’re the voice of reason here. I can’t take the other crap for another 161 games!!!

  35. lawdog says:

    My glass has been half empty for 60 years–except for 1988.


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