Steve Dilbeck of The LA Times interviewed Ned Colletti yesterday, and Ned hit the nail on the head when he said:
“The question I have this year, that I didn’t have last year ago, is really rebounding from last season — ’08 and ’09 were two really good years,” said General Manager Ned Colletti. “We gained a lot, players matured a lot, got more understanding of the dynamics of competing at this level and playing in October.
“Then last year we obviously took a step back. We need to see a passion and an edge right from the outset. I believe it will happen, but I’ll feel better about it once it’s here.”
It wasn’t that long ago that people on this board were pining for a Jason Bay to play LF. Many of these same fans blasted Matt Kemp for his play in 2011. After 3 good years (30+ HR’s) at ages 25-27, Jason Bay tanked at age 28, dropping to 21 HR and a .247 BA. Then he put a string of 3 more years with 30+ HR and tanked (really tanked) last year to 6 HR.
From a baseball standpoint, Matt Kemp is still learning how to play the game, and while I do consider that he regressed in 2010, he has improved his HR totals EVERY year from 7 to 10 to 18 to 26 to 28 in his 5 years in the majors. Not many players can say that! A 6th year in a row with improved HR totals would be extra-ordinary! I think that as Dodger fans we expected much more from him, but he hasn’t been a chump – even in a down year! If Matt Kemp played 81 more games in a hitter neutral park, you might see 40 HR. Shoot, you still might see 40 HR! The Sporting News picks Kemp to be in the Top 10 in N.L. MVP voting this year. At least someone has some confidence in him.
The naysayers were right last year, and they are sure gloating, but if you go back and look at their posts they were naysayers EVERY year and when the Dodgers did bad in 2010, they said “I was right” and when they did good in 2008 and 2009, it was “Yeah, but…” They naysayers are NEVER wrong.
As usual, I will hope for the best and realize that 2010 was just a bad year, not a trend!
According to The LA Times, the Dodgers signed Ron Mahay, who is a true situational lefty. It’s not a bad deal. He may or may not make the team.