Of course, anything is possible, but being 11 games out of first place on August 17th is not a good position to be in. It’s highly unlikely that the Dodgers can advance to the playoffs for the third straight year. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the not the least of which is the disconnect between the coaches and the players. Joe Torre and Company are not known for being brilliant strategists, and that issue was readily exposed this season. In my opinion, none of the coaching staff should be back. There needs to be a clean sweep. I would give Ned Colletti one more year. I think he has learned a lot, but I still think giving up James McDonald for Dotel was a bonehead move. I believe that James McDonald IS BETTER RIGHT NOW than Octavio Dotel. Giving up Santana was a little more understandable (and the jury is out on that one – I’m not saying it was smart), but McDonald was boneheaded! I liked Blake DeWitt, but that wasn’t a big deal. The Dodgers do have to decide what to do with Theriot and Lilly however.
Now, since the Dodgers are effectively out of the race, what happens over the next two weeks will help define their future. Contrary to the naysayers, who said McCourt wouldn’t spend big on the draft, the Dodgers did just that and broke the bank to sign Zach Lee. As Jared mentioned, those of you who doubted Logan White’s veracity should be ashamed! If the Dodgers had offered arbitration to Wolf or Hudson, and one (or both) had accepted, there would have been no Zach Lee signing, and to those who said that they would not have accepted arbitration, I say: ”You also said McCourt would not pay money for draftees – you have no credibility!”
Now, I freely admit that Frank McCourt has some problems and I think he really has taken too much money from the Dodgers and that his lifestyle is too decadent, but I don’t have all the inside info. That’s not something anyone has. I also see all the things he has accomplished and I believe Dodger Fans have an owner who is in it for the long haul. ”The Divorce” looms large and will go a long in determining the Dodgers future. It will be interesting as to what happens, but I believe Frank is in the “drivers’ seat.” That is speculation on my part and I won’t spend much time saying much more because speculation is not worth ZIP! We just have to wait and see what happens.
- Casey Blake has cleared waivers and it would be nice if someone took him, but I doubt it. He has slipped badly this year and really can’t be counted on to be a starter next year. He’ll be an expensive sub! The Dodgers need a new 3B.
- As bad as Dodger Fans felt Russ Martin was playing, he looks like a Superstar compared to Ellis and Ausmus. Dodger fans do need to realize that Martin may not be back next year. Add a catcher to the shopping list. AJ Ellis probably isn’t even a backup. Add a catcher to the Dodgers’ shopping list.
- We all know that Manny will be gone after the season. Let’s hope that he comes back strong and clears waivers, so that some AL team can absorb a little salary to give the Dodgers some relief next year. Add a left fielder to the shopping list.
- My biggest hope is that Raffy come back and burns up the league and can be traded before August 31st. I was against his signing because of his injury history and “all out style of play.” The Dodgers can’t count on him to help much next year. They should cut bait, if they can! Add a Starting Shortstop to the equation, although I doubt he can be traded without eating half of his salary.
- As much as the relief pitching has sucked this year, the nature of relievers is that they frequently have off years and then bounce back with stellar seasons. I believe that the Dodgers are OK in this area, regardless of what the stats say.
- Kuroda, Padilla and Lilly are all Free Agents. No way the Dodgers offer Kuroda arbitration – maybe Padilla, and if Lilly wants to stay, they might opt to sign him top a 3-year deal.
- Kershaw has shown that he can be the Dodgers ace and Chad Billingsley has been excellent since the end of April with an ERA near 3.00. I think Lilly fits nicely in the Dodgers rotation – it’s just a question of whether he is affordable.
- As crazy as you think it might be, Charlie Haeger may play the role of the 5th starter next year. Think RA Dickey!
- Jon Broxton’s star has waned, but he still has good value and the Dodgers just need to trade him over the winter. He’ll command too much for that position. If I were the Dodgers, I would not pay it. Kuo and Jansen can close. If Belisario gets his head screwed on straight he’ll be an asset too, and Cheryl falls off the books (I hope).
- I have to wonder about the entire coaching staff in the minors and I think that has to be re-evaluated. We have too many youngstersunderachieving (McDonald, Lindblom, Withrow, Martin, et al). It’s time for a fresh look. The Dodgers minor league system is under-preforming with regards to some very good prospects. Nothing is sacred or off-limits. The right people are not in place. Heads must roll.
- I predict Matt Kemp will figure it out and be a Bison again in 2011!
- The Dodgers have a big “re-tooling job” to do in the off-season, which starts now! C, 3B, SS and LF are wide open!