Categorized | Mark Timmons

More Rants Than Raves

More Rants Than Raves
  1. We have all watched the hitters on this bipolar team for 3 years, and it seems that they are all smoking hot or all ice cold. Some of it was predictable.  When Andre Ethier was hitting .393 we all knew he couldn’t keep that up.  That his batting average has dropped a .100 points is no shock.  What will be a shock is if he doesn’t go on a tear and get it back up to the .310+ range.  I think his time off with family will help him re-focus and heal.  I will be shocked if he doesn’t start his late-inning heroics again.
  2. Why this team runs hot and cold has to have some root in the coaching.  The Dodgers have 2 batting coaches and I see Torre talking to guys about hitting as well.  Could it be that they are irrelevant… or worse?  That has to be considered.  In my opinion, everything is on the table, up to and including the firing of Mattingly and Pentland!   Bring in a fresh face.  I know it’s late in the season, but in what way could it hurt?  Could they hit any worse?  It might serve as a “wake-up call.”
  3. It’s probably too late in the year for Matt Kemp to recover his focus and screw his head on straight.  Matt Kemp should be carrying this team, but he is dragging it down.  The whispers around the ballpark are that he has a crappy attitude, and it is obvious to everyone that he has lost focus on the field.  He could regain it with a big SLAP IN THE FACE (like sit him for the next series and announce why), but it will probably take the whole off-season to do it, IF he can do it.    Matt Kemp is a classic case that proves the difference between a superstar and a journeyman lies almost solely between the ears!  Matt is at a crossroads in his career.  Robinson Cano was at a similar crossroads in 2008, when he hit .246 the first half of the season with 6 HR – he has rebounded nicely!  Is Kemp closer to being Robinson Cano or Raul Mondesi? That is the question.
  4. Russ Martin and Casey Blake both hitting 20 to 30 points below their career averages does nothing but garner support that Pentland and Mattingly must go! I already have serious questions about Mattingly’s mangerial ability anyway!
  5. I am certain that Ned had to take Theriot and give up DeWitt in order to get Lilly, and that may or may not have been a good move – time will tell.  This I do know – Blake DeWitt doesn’t have the arm and the power for 3B, so forget that nonsense.  He was never going to be the Dodgers (or for that matter, anyone’s) third baseman.  I think Blake DeWitt will be a fine 2B and I still believe he will hit 15-20 HR, especially at Wrigley.
  6. Now, that I have pretty much trashed the team, I will say that we all know they are capable of getting “white hot.”   I can see a big run left in this team, say where they win 22 out of 25 games!  They have done it before.  Belisario will be back soon.  Reed Johnson will be back and Manny will return in a couple of weeks, and hopefully Garrett Anderson will retire.  I still think that they have one last BIG RUN left in them.  With Lilly filling the #5 spot, and the rotation very solid, the bullpen better with Dotel and the return of Belisario, I do not think the Dodgers are dead.  The next series will determine their fate.  They just need to bring their brooms!
  7. Kershaw and Billingsley and Kuroda and Padilla are among the best quartets of starters in baseball right now.  Kershaw and Billingsley have certainly been stellar lately.  The Matt Kemp of 2009 may have caught the double in the gap last night…
  8. I have also resolved to only say good things about Jon Broxton:  So here goes:  When he is gone – GOOD!

BTW – Lilly is an A Free Agent – The rest of the new trades are all B’s.

About Mark Timmons

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

20 Responses to “More Rants Than Raves”

  1. DRomo says:

    Mark, I hope you are right. I just have my doubts. If we sweep the Padres we have life. Anything less will be bad. The trouble is now we are back to nedding to leap frog 3 teams which is nearly impossible. But heck I am willing to witness a miracle.

    Our schedule next week is tough. that might be our death nail. Yikes Philly and the ATL on the road. I am hoping for the best.

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    It would be nice to see a Dodger even standing on third base for a change.

    I believe that Ned will finally break up “the core” over the winter. One or two of them in a trade.

  3. Badger says:

    Good post.

    1. Ethier help carry this team early. No way he hits close to .350 let alone .390. If the Dodgers are lucky, he comes back to his old self – .295 the rest of the way. That would help. So would getting Manny back healthy.

    2. I think this coaching staff is used to having $20 million ballplayers at every position. This team ain’t that and needs to be led. I don’t know if Joe is the guy, not unless we get a new owner who can put a group of All Stars on the field at the same time. That happens, Joe & Co. are the right group.

    3. Matt Kemp has become a spoiled child and part of the celebrity set L.A. night rappers. He is still a player, but on a different team. Trade him to Pittsburgh or Minnesota. That ought to cure him of the Rihanna problem.

    4. Blake never was more than a .265 hitter. Check his career numbers. Now he is an aging .265 hitter. What did anyone expect? Martin? I think the guy wears himself out working too hard behind the plate. And, obviously Mattingly and Pentland can’t get through to him. I say send him to Toronto pronto, while he still has any legs left.

    5. you can’t say for certain that DeWitt will be anybody’s anything. He is 24, and after only 677 at bats, he has a career .264 BA .342 OBP (.277 .357 this year). So already he is matching the “Foundation”. I don’t know what he will do, but he works very hard and I figure they will love him in Chicago.

    6. in case you haven’t read it, I think this sums up where this team is, and where it is likely headed

    http://www.dodgerdivorce.com/2010/07/what-does-lilly-talk-mean.html

    7. Agree about the starters. Can they keep up the pace? And even if Matt Kemp of 2009 does catch the ball, the Dodgers don’t win anything unless they can score more than 0.

    8. It would serve the Dodgers right if Broxton went to the Phillies to take Lidge’s place, and they teach him a change up and how to pitch inside.

    And finally, in case you missed it, this sums up how I feel about the owners:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0725-plaschke-20100725,0,6900592.column?page=2

  4. Jaydavis says:

    If the Pads sweep us, we’ll still make the playoffs. Don’t stop believing! Think positive! Think blue. Wakey Wakey bats

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    I just became a Plaschke fan.

    I think Kemp has to devote the winter to not only getting his body in the best shape it’s ever been, but doing likewise about acquiring mental toughness and discipline. He’s an immense talent. Question is, does he have it in him to do everything possible to bring that talent to the fore. We can only wait and hope.

    And I don’t trade him or Broxton unless I get back a king’s ransom in return. I’m willing to gamble that they will turn the corner. And especially if this team finds new leadership.

  6. Badger says:

    Brooklyn, I agree.

    It is true that some players just need a change of scenary, or a new voice in which to listen. But I don’t want to give up on Kemp and Broxton either. Like you said, there is an enormous amount of talent represented there. The coaching staff need to get through to these guys. I can’t help but believe with Kemp it’s discipline and work habits. Yeah, you are gifted dude, but so is everyone here. The difference between the Jeters, Pujols, Hamiltons etc. is work ethic. The guys that do it, and do it well year after year take their jobs seriously. With Broxton it’s a just a question of firing him up and developing a pitch and an nasty attitude. You are a closer, pitch like one!

    Jay I appreciate your positive thinking, but I agree with Plashcke’s other column:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0801-plaschke-20100801,0,346982.column

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    The team with the best record in baseball has a payroll of $213,000,000. The team with the second best record (just one game behind them) has a payroll of $72,000,000! I also guarantee you that the Rays don’t spend as much on player development than the Dodgers.

    The difference? They are evidently smarter!

    It’s not the money!

    It’s how you spend the money.

    Plaschke is a moron! Always has been. Always will be.

    He is a good writer, however imperceptive he is.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    In our little way, like a glacier moving forward in thoughts day by day, we are discovering and uncovering SOME of the concerns and problems on the Dodgers this season.

    Not in any order,

    Ownership tie-up problems, who is the owner (he / she – they), funds not there to improve the team as needed . . .

    Joe & Donnie (maybe some other coaches) really need a team of more mature players and they work mainly with making out the lineup and dealing with the media and press.

    Ned making some really bad trades and FA signings over his time with the Dodgers. Yes, a few mistakes will happen, but he may be in over his head because of lack of $$$ . . .

    Too young and too old of players on the team. “The core” really does not have the experience: Ethier, Kemp, Loney, Martin, Broxton, Billingsley, Kershaw, etc.
    The veterans picked up via trades and signings: Blake, Weaver, Sherrill, Ausmus, Belliard, Anderson, Manny, etc.

    This team needed a better balance there. Fans called out, not to break up the kids for the past three or four seasons, but they have not all turned out as hoped for.

    All of the junk that Ned kept after Spring Training. Like the Ortiz brothers, Haeger, Green, Miller, and now Taschner.

    Many hitters on this team, not being able to complete the fundamentals in front of them: moving runners over, backing up plays, throwing to the wrong base, swinging for the downs and not for just a base hit.

    This team needs a younger manager. Joe is a solid quite guy in public, reflective and full of the right answers when asked questions. This team just needs a different kind of leader. Remember Tommy in his managing days? He was visible, vocal, and all over the place.

    Not being able to help Kemp to get his head together and move forward. The way it is going with him, he will either be traded soon or move as soon as he can walk as a free agent. He must be tired as a Dodger, emotionally.

    So, some real work to do from ownership to the minors.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    I am not an authority on the Rays, nor am I familiar with every player on their roster. But without doing any digging, I suspect that their lower payroll is the result of having younger players making a lot less than their current worth. As they add on the years, and begin to approach free agency, it may become a lot harder for the Rays to hold onto those players. When that happens, money will mean something.

    I have no idea what the Rays spend on player development, but they apparently spend more than the Dodgers when it comes to signing amateur talent. Just about every team does. Also, some of the key players on the Rays were the very high draft choices of a team that finished near the bottom of the standings for years. In fact, one of those players was a former draftee of the Dodgers, David Price, who they were unable to sign out of high school. And we’ll get a better idea of how long the Rays will be able to maintain their winning ways when Carl Crawford likely hits the free agent Market this winter.

    The Yankees on the other hand have a collection of long standing stars with humongous contracts. Jeter, Arod, Texeira, just to name a few. But they have far from a barren farm system, having produced Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes, and even Joba Chamberlain.

    Money isn’t everything in building a winner, but it does come in handy at times. In the case of the Dodgers, it appears that an unwillingness to spend, or spend wisely, has proved an impediment. I’m not looking for the Dodgers to load up on expensive free agents, because I know that doesn’t always work, and sometimes can paralyze a team for years to come. What I would like to see is a team willing to pick up whatever it needs via the free agent route, but also a team willing to invest in its talent pipeline by budgeting more for amateur talent.

    In spite of everything, the Dodger farm system is not devoid of talent. It appears that we have an abundance of good young arms, and a few hitters with real promise.

    Bottom line. I doubt if the Rays are smarter than anyone else. Circumstances simply allowed them to acquire cheaper talent, at least for now. The acid test will be how long they will be able to hold onto them, and whether of not down the line they will need to spend money to fill-in the gaps.

  10. Badger says:

    Plaschke’s a moron. OK, so you are saying both the Angels and the Dodgers WILL make the play-offs.

    Tell you what Mark, double or nothing on the 500 you are going to owe me that you are wrong and Plaschke the Moron is right.

    Tampa is one of those organizations that doesn’t draw well, so they draft and trade well and the develop well. There are a few teams that have done that over the years and we all know who they are. The Dodgers used to have a deep farm system, but, for all the reasons morons like Plaschke and Simers have been writing about, they no longer do. Ned has had his ups and downs, but it would appear that the Dodgers are stuck right now. They aren’t the Yankees for obvious reasons, so they can’t fix what is broken with money, and they don’t know how to do what Tampa does so they can’t fix it with young talent.

    The result is what you see on the field. A team that has lost it’s compass.

    The Yankees are cool because they are run right and are a huge draw everywhere they go. The Dodgers should be just like them but alas, we have an owner that had to borrow to get in the door and sign away a television contract to the evil Murdoch Khan so that Murdoch would finance the part of the loan that ultimately cost Mr. McParkinglot his Boston parking lot. It was repoed by Murdoch. So, no parking lot, no television contract, no wife, no big bat but… an office full of lawyers.

    $19 million for a divorce. That could have got a couple of big bats AND Lilly.

    This organization is a mess, but with 3 million coming to the stadium every year it could be turned around in a hurry if the right people ran it.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    OK, 500 on the Dodgers only, but I get to make it retro-active for the past two years when the moron said the Dodgers wouldn’t make the playoffs. He’s bound to be right 33% of the time (or not).

    So, the Dodgers should be just like the Yankees, even though the Yankees have about 220 mil more revenue and spend a lower percentage of their revenues on payroll. I think some Dodger fans might be very upset if McCourt increases ticket prices by 250% to be like the Yankees!

    You are comparing apples to oranges.

  12. Bill Russell says:

    Wow, going out on a limb with your bets there Badger. I’m still holding on to some hope that we can catch fire and still get the wild card. I recall a team called the Rockies who did it a few years back so it’s possible. All the guys have to do is all pull their heads out at the same time. If anyone has a head puller, please have it sent to Dodger Stadium asap. I’ll be there tomorrow night with my LA Dodger Talk hat on my head. Peace

  13. Badger says:

    Apples and oranges can be compared Mark. They are both fruits.

    Why don’t people understand that?

    I am not saying we should spend 200 million on payroll. I think we should be able to spend the second most, if we CHOSE to.

    What I meant, of course, was that the Los Angeles Dodgers have Los Angeles and a lot of Central California and the Inland Empire behind them. They have the largest stadium in all of baseball and draw 3 million+ every year, competitive with the Yankees. They led the Majors last year drawing 3.7 mil and that was only 83% capacity. If they had a team that was thunder, they could draw 4 million. They also SHOULD own their own cable channel to bring the games into the homes of millions who live too far to get to Chavez. They could get a lot of Hollywood money for seats and luxury boxes right behind home plate, not what New York is charging, but considerble dough. They have 56,000 seats there, which is about 6,000 more than Yankee Stadium, and considerably more than most parks. They could have plenty of cheap seats for the unwashed up with the seagulls and out in the pavillion sections. They should have the money to continue their international scouting and training camps and sign free agents. We now have a smaller payroll than do the Giants and TWINS for crying out loud. That’s nuts. We are currently 12th in total payroll.

    And the reason all of this is true is because of the McCourt’s.

    And you don’t see a problem?

    You can continue to defend these people Mark, but most L.A. fans have now seen the light.

    Plaschke said both the Angels and Dodgers would not make the play-offs. You called him an idiot. Back it up – double or nothing on both the Angels and Dodgers making the play-offs.

    You want in on this Bill?

  14. Michael says:

    I’m sure all of you at some time or the other have managed or been responsible for a group of people. If you learned anything from this you learned that different people need different strokes to get a positive effect motivational wise. Some people you ride hard and this works for them, but other people are the opposite and need praise to get their mo. I am not comparing dogs to people [although I believe that if Dogs aren't the superior race here they are a close second] however a good girl or good boy to mans best friend really encourages more positive behavior. It is obvious that a certain player that has been scolded more than once this season just needs some love. He knows when he FdU and a look is all you need to say.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Kemp does it again. Loafs into home, a step late. No run. He does this on fly balls to the outfield, then realizes it will fall in, and might or might now make it to second.

    If he ever discovered hustle baseball — he would become a better player.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    Ya Badger I like betting on things that are slope sided and the people making the offer to bet don’t want to give odds. I still give Las Vegas money just about every year.
    Badger, I see you point and probably agree with most of what you are saying. I just prefer to try and stay positive until the Fat lady sings. I just wish the Fat Lady could bat for us.

  17. Bill Russell says:

    lopsided not slope sided. It’s been a long day.

  18. Bill Russell says:

    The Fat lady is in concert tonight. I’m about ready to jump on Badgers wagon. SD’s offense doesn’t look too bad with Ludwick and Tejada inserted into the lineup.

  19. Badger says:

    Odds? It’s a straight up bet Bill, there are no ODDS. The Dodgers make the play-offs, I do 500, they don’t, Mark does 1,000. I think Plaschke is right, Mark thinks Plaschke is an idiot for writing that column. You commented on it, so I thought maybe you wanted in on it. I can’t blame you if you don’t. But why get on me for the challenge?

    Lopsided slope sided, the long day continues as the Dodgers are, once again, getting their asses handed to them.

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