In the Spring of 2011, I predicted that the Dodgers would win the NL West – that didn’t happen and since then many fans have really been down on the Dodgers, some even predicting last place finishes in 2011 and 2012. I have no doubt that some of your judgement was clouded by your immense hatred of Frank McCourt (“If McCourt owns it, it must be crap!”), but the Dodgers woes were very evident the first half of 2011. Now, we find out that some players wondered if they would even get a paycheck after the Dodgers entered bankruptcy. We all know that MLB would have never let that happen, but for some of the young players, it evidently was an issue. There is a certain stigma or shame to some people when they are in bankruptcy, and maybe that Dodger pride was tarnished in the players minds. Sometime around the All-Star Break, they evidently decided to just play and were one of the best teams in baseball the second half of 2011.
Some of you chose to ignore that and again predicted gloom and doom for the Dodgers in 2012. Then when they won early, you said they didn’t play anyone. That was puzzling to me, because the core of the team was essentially the same as last year, and the changes should have been for the better. But most of you didn’t see it this way. Most baseball writers didn’t see it this way. Most bloggers didn’t see it this way. Shoot, hardly anyone saw it this way. Why am I telling you this? Because the Negative Nellies let me have it. They have blasted me – I was called a homer, an idiot, delusional and silly. How do you like me now? I knew this team was capable of winning. The pitching and defense have been outstanding and team chemistry is at an all-time high. Of course, now there’s real money available if the Dodgers can made a deal that benefits the team. However, know this – a deal must make sense and Stan Kasten won’t let them sell the farm.
At any rate, despite a plethora of injuries, the Dodgers are in First Place with the best record in baseball. We played a very good team this weekend and swept them, with a bunch of Junkyard dogs. Yesterday, only three of Opening Day’s starters were in the lineup. That’s the stamp of a good team. This team is far from perfect – but it was better than most of you thought. Enjoy the ride – quit waiting for the flame-out. It ain’t happening.
Dodger News & Notes:
- Chad Billingsley is maddening… What else can you say?
- Kenley Jansen is looking like a closer. I predicted he would be the closer this year (over Javy), but then I doubted my assessment. I should have went with my first impression.
- Van Slykes’ HR was nice, but I have to see more – he knew what was coming on 3-0.
- Juan Uribes wrist is better and he’s been cleared for baseball activity – is that good news or bad news?
- Wow! A few hours more and Mark Ellis could have lost his leg? I’ll bet he would not be nearly as adept at turning the DP without it.
- Forgotten man of the Dodger pen: Scott Elbert!
- According to Bill Shaikin of The LA Times changes are coming in the Dodger Fan Experience. Good!
- Shawn Tolleson is having problems at AAA – his ERA is now 10.38.
- Nate Eovaldi pitched 5 strong innings last night allowing 0 runs and 3 hits. His ERA is 3.18. He’s ready, even though he walks too many.