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?