Before this season started and “The Divorce” was in full swing, many readers and fans held Arte Moreno up is as an ideal owner, and held FrankMcCourt up as a “scumbag owner.” Now, on August 24, 2010, both Dodgers and Angels fans find themselves in just about the same predicament: The Dodgers are one game over .500 and out of the pennant race (and wild card race), and the Angels are one game below .500 and out of the pennant race for all practical purposes.
It could happen to anyone.
The Yankees have spent over $2 billion on payroll since 2000 and have only one World Series Championship to show for it.
It could happen top anyone.
The Red Sox, whose GM is touted as among the smartest in baseball and have a payroll of over $160 million are also out of it for all practical purposes.
It could happen to anyone.
That’s what losers say. I prefer to say that while it can happen to anyone, the good teams make sure that it doesn’t happen to them again.
Nothing is so constant as change and unless the Dodgers are insane (insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results), they need to make some big changes. While those changes can’t all me made immediately, the white flag needs to be raised and the purge needs to begin. 12 games have been overcame in less time, but not with this team. This is a team whose biggest question going into the season was lack of starting pitching. Even the naysayers who predicted a .500 record said they didn’t doubt that the team would score runs.
Well, they haven’t scored – at least on the field! Since the All-Star break the Dodgers have averaged about 3 runs a game. That in itself, is horrible, but then the bullpen imploded and blew nearly every winnable game. Surprisingly, the starting pitching has been solid. The lack of hitting and lack of a bullpen has killed the Dodgers. I also think there is one other factor: The Manager and Coaches Have Lost This Team!
When it happened, I don’t know.
How it happened, I don’t know.
Look, Joe Torre is nor a cerebral manager. He is a Hall-Of-Famer, but sometimes being a Hall-of-Famer is just being in the right place at the right time. Maybe Joe Torre was the perfect manager for the Yankees and their big contracts and big egos and the bigger pressures of playing in NY. I am not going to take away his HOF status, but this team has quit on him.
Speaking of being in the right place at the right time, I wonder if we would look at Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks differently if Dan Mario had played for the 49′ers with All-Pros 2 or 3 deep at every position and an offensive genius as a coach, and Joe Montana had played for the Dolphins with no running game and few All-Pros. Time and place are everything.
Ned Colletti is part of the problem. He has done some very good things and also some very bad things in his tenure. I believe he deserves another year, but the last time the Dodgers had such a disappointing year, both the GM (Paul DePodesta) and the Manager (Jim Tracy) were shown the door. That’s possible here as well, but I would give Ned another year, because he seems to learn from his mistakes, James McDoanld and Blake DeWitt notwithstanding. In my opinion, this year is a bigger disappointment, because of the level of talent on this team.
Joe Torre and Company need to be shown the door. We don’t need a manager who is ineffective as a hitting coach, and our pitching needs a fresh approach. The new manager needs to be a younger guy (in my opinion) and needs to be someone who can “work a room.” He needs to be a motivator, a disciplinarian and a tactician. Could that guy be our backup catcher? Maybe. Maybe not!
I just know that change must come. How sweeping it is needs to be determined soon. At this juncture, Ned should make sure that Manny, Blake, Kuroda, Lilly, Theriot, Podsednik and Broxton are all on waivers. The Dodgers could get lucky on one or two of them.
Russ Martin may never return and Loney, Kemp and Ethier have not blossomed as they should have. It could happen to anyone is something that I will not accept as an excuse.
It’s time to turn the page!