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The Biggest Loser, Cheryl and Belisorryo

The Biggest Loser, Cheryl and Belisorryo

Looking back on the debacle of 2010, there are several things that went wrong and I will list them in reverse order of impact upon the team:

10. Russell Martin continued to be “below average” with the bat;

9.    Blake DeWitt failed to show any power at 2B;

8.   Ronald Belisario arrived late and then when he started to round into form went to some type of rehab, was lost for an extended period of time, and never regained his 2009 form;

7.  Vicente Padilla went to the DL twice to derail what seemed to be a “breakout” season;

6.  Manny Ramirez spent 3 stints on the DL and really wasn’t much of a factor for the Dodgers before being traded;

5.  Andre Either hurt his finger and never regained the “triple-crown-threat” magic he was showing before the injury;

4.  Matt Kemp underachieved all season – on the base paths, in the field and at bat (I see this as a blip, not as problem – I think he will right the ship next year);

3.  Raffy went to the DL too much (which is what I feared when Ned signed him) in what appeared to be a magical season for him again;

2.  George Sherrill’s inability to pitch cost the Dodgers at least 6 Games; and

The Number One Reason is that Jon Broxton’s inability to pitch in the clutch cost the Dodgers 8 games, and what made it worse, is that nearly every game he blew or lost was of the “tear-your-heart-out” variety.

Until June 27th, Jon Broxton was pitching exceptionally well with an ERA in the 1.00′s, but I always knew that he was not a guy you wanted to “go to war with.”  I have advocated trading him for over two years.  This year the Dodgers were challenged offensively, but if Jon Broxton was who you thought he was, the Dodgers would have at least 8 more wins.  However, he was who I thought he was, and as it has now been pointed out (by Harold), he is damaged goods and HAS to be traded, but he won’t bring much in return.

I don’t want to hear the “I told you so’s”. Most of the “I told you so’s”  were based upon the false premise that the Dodgers lack of starting pitching would do them in, and that has not been the issue.  In a season where runs were scarce, it was important to have a good bullpen, and led by The Biggest Loser, Cheryl and Belisorryo, the bullpen flat out betrayed the Dodgers.

Take The Biggest Loser’s 8 losses away and the Dodgers would be 77-59 and in a virtual tie with the Padres for First Place.  Add back Cheryl’s 6 debacles and the Dodgers would have a 83-53 record and the best record in the NL.

Yes, I know that you can’t say “what if” and have to face “what is,” but if Jon Broxton was what most baseball people and Dodger Fans thought he was, the Dodgers would be in the thick of this race.  HE WAS WHO I THOUGHT HE WAS! One man can make a huge difference and if The Biggest Loser was who you thought, few people would be ragging on McCourt right now as the Dodgers would have been fighting for the pennant!  What a difference the Loser made!

This team is not bad!  The sky is not falling, the Dodgers will be back next year, but I just have to ask “What role did Joe Torre, Don Mattingly and Rick Honeycutt play in the Top 10 Reasons the Dodgers Failed?

P.S. To all the Dodger Bloggers who criticized my critique of The Biggest Loser:  HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?

About Mark Timmons

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

33 Responses to “The Biggest Loser, Cheryl and Belisorryo”

  1. bluetrain says:

    you just named the BIG THREE reasons for our underacheiving season, a mgr that isnt, a hitting and pitching coach who for whatever reasons cant cummuicate. add those negs up, you got a loser.
    train

  2. SpokaneBob says:

    If Kemp has had an off year well sometimes that happens to players. But in this case I think it has to do with how he spends his off time. Send him to KC and he probably starts playing to his potenial.

    Cafardo spoke to Dodgers officials who said they’d be very surprised if the club moved Matt Kemp this winter. One team official told Cafardo, “You never know in trades, but I’d guess we’d have to be pretty overwhelmed to give up on him.”

  3. Michael says:

    I understand your frustration and disappointment but to infer it is one persons fault that we are not tied for first is “out at the plate”. That is like saying if Kemp hit 8 nore homeruns we would be tied for first.
    For everything that occurs in life we don’t need an explanation and point fingers and lay blame, sometimes shit just happens.
    The last time I looked baseball is supposedly still a team game and you win as a team and you lose as a team.

  4. Badger says:

    There he is. I knew he would make an appearance.

    Every closer in the majores blows a few Mark, so, Broxton cost us 8 wins? The San Diego Padres closers have 13 blown saves, including 3 by Bell, so if those guys do their job, we aren’t any closer to the Padres. Shall we go through each team in front of us?

    But, your point is well taken.

    I would like to address Dodger starting pitching. Can you tell me how many quality starts the Dodgers have compared to the teams in front of us? I don’t know, but I do know we are 10th in NL in complete games. And, I seem to remember early in the year discussing how few of our pitchers actually got through the 7th inning, putting an enormous early load on the bullpen. It looks like we might have only 1 pitcher reach 200 innings this year and only 3 of our starters have taken the ball with any regularity. I wouldn’t exactly say starting pitching has not been a problem this year.

    As for the rest of your post, most of it is true. I wouldn’t say the part about McCourt is, but then, you know where I stand on that.

    I was in Costco in Prescott a couple days ago, saw a guy with a Dodger shirt on and asked him what he thought of the McCourt trial, and without hesitation he said “I won’t be happy until he is gone”. I think that very much sums up “the guy on the street” opinion of Frank McCourt.

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    Good question on quality starts:

    #1 is St. Louis with 81

    #2 is Philly and SF with 79

    #3 is Cubs and Houston with 78

    #4 is ATL and the Dodgers 77

    #5 is Colo with 75

    Next is SD with 74

  6. Badger says:

    Interesting…. I would have guessed less considering how many guys had to step in to the 4 and 5 holes. Lilly has a few, and Ely had 8 before his wheels came off, so, I suppose that figure makes some sense. I know only Kershaw and Kuroda are in the top 25 in the National League.

  7. Bobby says:

    its funny mark. i’ve never met you.

    but when brox came in last night, i said oh no. and when brox gave up that 600 foot hr, i right away thought of you!!! hahaahaah

  8. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, go ahead and say it: “The sky IS falling.” Say it. Get it out of the gut, to the throat, past the teeth — get it out.

    When you line up you #10 to #1 — and some of us add a #11 the McCourt’s drama on page 1 and in the law courts and lack of funds to make the team work…

    All 11 points — make for a train wreck. A real train wreck. “The sky IS falling.”

    Saw some of my baseball friends this morning — Reds fan, Yankee fan, Giants fan, and a Cub fan — the first 3 think the Dodgers are a joke this season. The Cub fan said “Now you know what it is to be a Cub fan.”

  9. Chad says:

    All I can say is that we admit what we see. Jonathan Broxton is ineffective now, so it’s okay to call him out.

    Calling him out when he has an ERA of 1 or 2 is ridiculous though, which is what you did before. Basically, you would hate him regardless of how he performed, so this is not shocking that you blame him now.

    When he had an ERA of 1 or 2, he was elite, regardless of what you kept repeating. Now that he has lost it this year, he is not. It’s that simple. Facts change, and facts dictate how most solid opinions are formed. I don’t have a personal attachment to Broxton, you seem to though, at least in a negative sense.

  10. Ely's Coming, Better Hide Your Haeger says:

    The real #1 reason why we underachieved this year is quite simple. When we were hitting the ball, the pitching was awful. When the pitching was great, we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    You can point fingers at individual players or owners or anyone, but the truth is…if you don’t pitch and hit well at the same time… every team struggles.

    And Mark you never answered Badgers statements about the 13 saves the Padres bullpen blew. If they would’ve saved those games, the Dodgers would’ve been 13 games behind the Padres even if Broxton would’ve been perfect.

    I don’t think the people who defend Broxton, like me, doubt his struggles and the fact that he’s been awful this second half.

    My main issue is that you make it seem like he’s never been effective. Like he’s sucked under pressure every time, like he hasn’t ever saved a game in the clutch. I was there two years ago at Dodger Stadium when he saved Game Three in the first round against the Cubs and sent the Dodgers to the LCS… Why doesn’t that count as saving a game in the clutch? You say you can look into his eyes and tell what kind of man he is. Did you look into his eyes that game.. How about the games he pitched against the Cardinals last year.

    We didn’t lose the series against the Phillies the last two years because Broxton blew a save… We lost because the Phillies were better than we were.

    Broxton is not as bad as you make him out to be. People can learn and change and adjust…. after how good he’s been before these past three months… I think he deserves a chance to turn it around

  11. Badger says:

    “We didn’t lose the series against the Phillies the last two years because Broxton blew a save… We lost because the Phillies were better than we were.”

    Amen to that brother Ely.

    I see at least 5 NL teams that are better than the Dodgers – the Braves, the Phillies, the Cards, the Reds and the Rockies. Obviously cases could be made for the Gints, the Fish and the Padres too. And there are more than that in the A.L.. Our current power ranking of 15th is accurate.

    If they ranked owners we would be #1. Nobody is more rank than Frankie the Fish McCarp.

  12. Mark Timmons says:

    Let me address a couple of things.

    I have nothing personal against Jon Broxton, but people who read this blog know that I have consistently said (for 3 years) that he is not a good closer – I don’t desire to be negative, so I don’t say it unless I can’t ignore it.

    I know I am in the minority on this and I am cool with that. Chad is a stat genius (and a good writer, I might add), but there are some things that you just can’t quantify. Let me give you an example:

    I have walked among the “baddest of the bad” in one of the most vile prisons you could ever know… and I never had a minutes trouble. It’s not because I am that big and bad. There were guys who were bigger and badder who wore dresses and were someone’s bitch, and there were little guys who also had no issues. Why is that? What is the difference?

    There are just some people who have that “thing” – that confidence, that “wherewithall” that “don’t mess with me or I’ll kill you” attitude. I can look at a gang and spot the leader in a heartbeat, and that’s the guy you take out in a fight. The rest will flee.

    Most of you will think I am crazy, but I can look at the body language and know what most guys are all about. JB does not inspire confidence and JB may be that guy in a dress.

    Before you say that I am crazy, remember this: I CALLED IT!

    Broxton is not as bad as I make him out? Probably not. But, I have said over and over that I don’t want him on my team.

    Ever watch Band of Brothers? There are some guys you will go to war with and Brox ain’t that guy.

    What I am talking about is not stats!

    It’s that “thing” that some people have when they walk into a room and you just know “Don’t mess with this guy.”

    Making a hitter fear you, is as much about your demeanor as it is about you pitch selection.

    … that and pitching inside.

    P.S. Ron Jaworski said that Matt Leinart would no be successful until he had better “body languange,” and he was right!

    • Scott from Marina Del Rey says:

      Great post, Mark. With the rise of the Internet, particularly in Dot.com 2.0 (or whatever it’s called) Revolution, people who get a “gut feeling” about someone are called out routinely, bomarded with statistics that are supposed to show what fools they are. And statistics are great, but it bothers me when people who have spent their entire lives in baseball are ridiculed because they don’t know what OPS is, or they make a comment like, “{so-and-so} plays with a lot of heart.”

      Personally, I had mostly defended Broxton until game 4 of the NLCS last year. Even though I saw the same thing you saw, I chose to ignore it, because let’s face it- the guy is a very talented pitcher with some incredible bottom-line numbers. When he started out great this year and the crow-servers prepared their meals, I wasn’t biting. I had hoped he’d prove my (and your) doubts wrong, but as you had suggested on many occasions, he wouldn’t. Great ability, but I know exactly what you mean by his body language. Belisario, for all his problems this year, has the makeup of a closer. All that “other stuff” may get in his way, but something tells me that if Broxton had Belisario’s attitude (I’m talking on the mound ONLY, just so we’re clear), MAYBE we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But that’s not who Broxton is, and he never will be. Time for both parties to move on. Sorry, it’s just my gut feeling.

      • Badger says:

        What does your “gut” tell you about Matt Kemp Scott? He strikes me as a guy who would wear his flat bill hat sideways and go to the plate with his iPod in his back pocket playing a Rihanna tune if they would let him. He looks distracted. Last night he looked lost.

        Broxton… indulge me while I throw a few numbers at you, I know you don’t like stats much so I’ll try to be quick, the other night he came in and threw 12 straight fastballs, from 94-97 mph, then threw an 88 mph slider that was hit out. All of his fastballs had little break (4″) and many were right down the pipe. 94-97 would be enough if he hit his spots, mixed in a two seamer and pitched inside. But it is my opinion that, along with the afore mentioned two seamer, he needs another pitch – and that pitch is a straight change or a split finger. The book on him appears to be – wait either for a tubed fastball or that flat slider.

        As for the rest of this team, they are playing like they are running in sand. I think most of them have already booked their post season vacations. They know the odds are against them.

      • Chad says:

        This is what I mean though, you are basically inferring that everybody who follows sabermetric thoughts is something that only nerds do who have never played the game.

        Well, I have played baseball all my life and I come from a baseball family. One of my relatives has accomplished more in professional baseball and professional football than most anybody on the planet would. So there, experience. Whoopdie do. Nobody will care that i’ve “played the game” if my opinions are dumb and factually incorrect. Nor should they, hence I don’t play that card unless it’s to refute arguments exactly like this.

        So what would you say to that now though? Zack Greinke and Brian Bannister believe in statistics, one of them won a Cy Young. Morgan Ensberg is fine with sabermetrics, he’s an All-Star. What do you say to them? They are just nerds? Accomplished more than you, right?

        See, that’s why you don’t go down that road, because then anybody who was better at the game will appeal to their own authority and the entire basis of your argument will be rendered moot.

        It’s the reason that if Joe Morgan says something on an ESPN broadcast, you are allowed to say it’s dumb. It’s not gospel simply because Joe Morgan is arguably the greatest 2B of all-time. So when he says “James Loney has great wheels”, you can laugh at him.

        • Badger says:

          huh?

          sorry man, you lost me at “this is what I mean though”.

          But, I would laugh if anyone said James Loney has great wheels.

  13. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Broxton came to the league as a great set-up man. He was a great 8th inning hound. Then, because of personnel changes on the Dodgers, he was thrown into the closer role.

    That was probably two or three or four or even five years before he needed to be placed in that position. I would like the Dodgers to move him to the set-up guy and bring in a closer over the winter. Kuo is fine, but that arm is not strong enough for an entire season as a closer.

    This team needs a lot of changes to move into the future. Manager, coaches, owner, hitters, pitchers, bench (to some degree) as starters.

    Mark, on body language and carrying one’s self or confidence — Russ Martin has a lot of that in a “I have come to beat you” attitude — but he could not pull it off this season.

  14. Ely's Coming, Better Hide Your Haeger says:

    Mark,

    I truly believe you think you know what you’re talking about when it comes to Broxton. I just don’t think you’re right… you may be right about Broxton now as far as being a closer…. but I’m just saying people can change… he can develop that killer instinct you supposedly think he lacks. I don’t believe he lacks it…. but if he does, he can learn it

  15. Badger says:

    Broxton’s body language would be de-meaner if he still had his 99 mph fastball. What happintuit? Who knows.

    Baddest of the bad? If not the 26th Marines, it was definitely the Korean Marines. Those guys would slice you up and have you for dinner. I don’t know about the men in dresses you hung with though. They sound sweet but saucy.

    Another ugly game in the books. Think I’ll go watch Mad Men with the Mrs.. You guys can figure this out.

  16. Ely's coming is an idiot w/ badger says:

    ARE YOU TWO BLIND??????????

    YOU TWO DISGUST ME…..HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED BROXTON PITCH??? YOU APPARENTLY ARE NOT PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS….THIS GUY WILL NEVER BE A BIG LEAGUE CLOSER FOR THE DODGERS…..HE HAS NO CONFIDENCE!!!!!! I AM SICK OF YOU ALL DEFENDING THIS GUY……GET OVER YOUR LOVE FOR LITTLE OLE JOHNNY AND LEARN THAT HE WILL NEVER CLOSE FOR THE DODGERS……..HOW MANY BLOWN SAVES DOES IT TAKE???????

  17. MichaelPG says:

    I gave up on this season more than a month ago, but I’ve looked for glimmers of hope since that time.

    It’s getting dark quickly, folks.

    Apparently the minor league talent sucks. There is no help from the farm teams.
    Also, even the two position players who looked good prior to the All Star break– Loney and even Ethier– look like punks now.
    Broxton looks like he might have troubles beyond this year. The Dodgers might not have an established closer next year.
    Now we know that the franchise is deeply in debt.
    It’s really, really looking bleak.

  18. Badger says:

    “Ely’s coming is an idiot w/ badger”

    and then an all caps tirade that makes no sense………

    methinks OD is in the house………

    and, I believe the Dodgers are on the hook for 7 extra large next year with Broxton.

    “Now we know that the franchise is deeply in debt.
    It’s really, really looking bleak.”

    Uh……. yep.

  19. McCheapne$$$ says:

    Bahahahaha Chad doesn’t know about interaction with people.. He spends all day looking at his computer and thinking he’s smarter than everybody else…

  20. Ely's Coming, Better Hide Your Haeger says:

    Hey… you can’t say he’ll never be a closer for the Dodgers… It’s what he’s been for the past two years.

    No one is denying he’s struggled…. I’m just saying… he can turn it around. They said the same thing about Billingsley when he struggled. All I’m saying is that as long as he’s signed for next year and the value for him is so low…. now is the time to try and fix what’s wrong with him.

    It’s not a confidence issue…. it’s a making crappy pitches issue and that can be fixed.

    How many blown saves will it take? I can take about 5 or 6, maybe more…

    I still believe in him.

    Why the hell shouldn’t I? I’m only a fan. Whether he succeeds or fails has little relevance in my everyday life.

    Thinking positive is hard, but worth it. Timmons taught me that…. kind of ironic, that he always expects the worst when Broxton comes in. He could blow a million saves and I will always think he’ll get the job done whenever he comes in.

    I can live with disappointment in the Dodgers. They aren’t my existence and as long as I’ve got a game to watch, I’m happy

  21. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    I am so confused now . . .

    Mark is a positive guy when it come to life and the Dodgers, but he is negative about Broxton. OK. He was positive about the Dodgers chances for 2010, but now even trashes Russ Martin, his guy.

    Some say throw Broxton under the bus. Others say, get him on a bus out of town. I and one or two others say, find a real pitching coach and fix him, or simply move him back to the 8th inning as a set-up get where maybe he is more comfortable. Good pitchers are hard to find these days and he is still very young.

    NOW HEAR THIS, NOW HEAR THIS (MR. ROBERTS…) — The Dodger ownership drama HAS TAKEN MORE OF A TOLL on the team than we may have thought earlier. It is a cancer on this team. Dumping players for salary cuts, not bring up several interesting prospects for a look see for a month.

    Other than Kershaw, most likely every player on the team right now, knows they might be traded over the winter, or let walk. Why? Because if McCourt stays the owner — this team IS the new K.C. Royals of the N.L. West. If you don’t believe me — just look at the standings. One game over .500 right now.

    The only player in the the stats in the Top Ten is Kershaw.

    When Ethier or Loney or Kemp comes up to bat now — I do not expect even a base hit. They all seem clueless. Yesterday, playing the Giants, the only Dodgers with hits were: Carroll, Theriot, and Barajas. All of the other guys could not even get a bunt single.

    The biggest opportunity of the entire season is this — the Padres have just been zero and 10 in their last 10 games giving any team below them a chance to get back into the race. The Rockies are now the hot team, then the Giants.

    What I cannot believe is the Dodgers are still bringing in large crowds to see terrible baseball.

    This is a lost season.

    So who is going to Spring Training, 2011???

  22. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    NED BLINKED –

    When Ned made the deal that sent Manny away a week ago, he tried to have the White Sox throw in a prospect — NO. Then a lower second prospect — NO. So he blinked and let the slugger go, rather than killing the situation.

    Looking around some of the other Dodger fan boards or blogs — activity has really shrunk. The 2010 season is like over for many Dodger fans. No excitement.

    Maybe Jamie will contact some of us and invite us to lunch sometime this week.

  23. Idaho al says:

    I cannot blame anyone for being upset with Broxton. He certainly has struggled the second half of the season. However, everyone else has struggled.

    I am still putting most of the blame on Honeycutt. When Brad Ausmus catches, he makes Broxton use all of his pitches and he looks pretty good. The other catchers call 99% fastballs. Vin Scully said one of Broxton’s fast balls was clocked at 91 MPH. Another one was clocked at 97 MPH. However, it really does not matter how fast you throw, unless it is about 100 MPH, good hitters are going to time a good fast ball. You can get away with throwing fast balls, if you can locate. However, Broxton does not locate. Most are thrown right down the middle. I believe Broxton has the talent, but mentally I am not sure he is a good closer. I agree with Mark.

    I believe we have to get rid of the manager and coaches. You cannot get rid of all the ballplayers. We need a change. I would like to see a change of ownership, but this may not happen. I still love the Dodgers.

  24. Badger says:

    al is seeing the same thing I am. Broxton throws a 4 seamer with little movement on it. 91 would be ok if it was a two seamer coming right after a 97 mph 4 seamer – but that doesn’t appear to be the pattern.

    Roger is right – good young arms are hard to find. Broxton is an All Star closer – FIX HIM!

    As for the rest of this lineup…. zzzzzzzzzzzz

    Ned sent Manny off to save $4 million to pay the Steve Susman Assault Team. But, the payments to Manny will continue for two more years. Heck, we are still paying Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre, Randy Wolf, Nomar and Orlando Hudson. Good news though, Nomar and Wolf come off the books next year. Andruw Jones doesn’t though. Neither does Pierre. Or Schmidt.

    A mess. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a mess and the owners are an embarrassment.

  25. lawdog says:

    You don’t suppose the fact that Broxton’s fastball has lost at least a yard and now officially looks like a “fatball” half the time, as well as having his slider (which wasn’t much good to begin with except as thrown as a “changeup” flattened out, and started rolling and hanging because it has lost it’s snap might have something to do with the demise of Broxton this year? He started out the spring with lost velocity on his heater, but seemed to get it back once the season was well under way. Personally, I think there’s something wrong with his shoulder.

    What did i predict as the season strted for our boys in blue? 81-81. Looks like they’ll be lucky to get a .500 season out of this one. Thanks a lot Frank McCheapBastard! :mad:

    • Badger says:

      I think he is still hitting as high as 97 ldog, but not with any consistency and not with any command. And you are right about his slider – it’s flat.

      Both you and Roger predicted .500. I had that wrong – I thought they would win 90.

  26. lawdog says:

    Did we get any prospect for Manny? Or did we just let the White Sox take him off the waiver wire to save McCheapBastard a few shekels??? :roll:

  27. lawdog says:

    Broxton throws 91-97 now with most of his fatballs coming in at 94 or lower. This from a guy who was consistently 95-102 mph throughout his short career. That’s at least a yard on a pitch that he has always had problems placing exactly where he wants it.Methinks he has a shoulder injury that he’s not talking about because he doesn’t want to look like a whiner or appear to be making excuses for his miserable performance of late.

  28. Badger says:

    I think something is wrong, and we might not find out until after the season is over.

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