Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Season Starts Now

The Dodgers have played 106 games and have won exactly 56 of those games.  That means there are exactly 56 more games in the season.  If the Dodgers go .500 the rest of the way, they will win 84 games.  That’s not enough.  They need to win at least 5 or 6 more than that to win the West.  The Dodgers are a half game behind the Giants and 2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks.  The season starts now.

I am a fan like most of you and wear my feelings on my sleeve.  I want to kill the GM or crucify the manager or DFA the players or fire the hitting coach on any given day.  However, nn my over 50 years as a Dodger fan, I have learned this:

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.  JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT… YOU DON’T!

That’s the beauty of baseball.  No one knows what to expect.  We analyze until we are paralyzed, but we don’t know crap.  The stat geeks know what happened in the past, but they have no clue what will happen in the future and neither do I.  We make predictions. but I would be surprised if anyone is right 40% of the time.  I know some of you think I am never right.  I’m right about that!

Here are a few things that I know and I want you to think about them as the Dodgers make this stretch run:

  • James Loney can play a lot better than he has this year (so far);
  • Chad Billingsley has Ace Stuff;
  • Kemp, Ethier and Ramirez can be one of the most potent #3,4,5 hitters in baseball;
  • Juan Uribe has played at a much higher level in prior years;
  • Dee Gordon is an exceptional talent;
  • Shane Victorino can play a lot better than he has this year;
  • The Dodger Outfield is one of the best defensive outfields in MLB;
  • The Dodger bullpen can be the best one in baseball; and
  • Cliff Lee could make a huge difference.

I still believe in this team.  The Dodgers can win it all.  If I am a Dodger, I don’t look at the Giants or D-Backs, I look at THIS game and try an win THIS game.  Forget about the other teams… the fate of the Dodgers rests in their hands.   I will be watching and rooting.  Hang on – it’s going to be fun.  This team has the talent to win (especially if they get Cliff Lee).

BELIEVE IN BLUE!

The Last Big Thing

 

About Mark Timmons

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

76 Responses to “The Season Starts Now”

  1. the truth hurts says:

    amen brother!

  2. Badger says:

    All of that is true. The Dodgers could win it all.

    Do you realize how many teams are saying the same thing right now?

    There are, after the deadline deals, 13 teams that are ahead of the Dodgers in the power rankings. That needs to change and you are right, it must start changing soon. It’s a new season, and we are starting from behind.

    If nothing changes, and I think something will, we need improved play from Ramirez, Victorino and Ethier, and Loney better keep it going. We need Capuano to regain his 20 win form and we need the good Bills 90% of his last 12 starts. In short, we need everything to go our way. Can it? Sure. Will it?

    stay tuned………….

  3. ken says:

    Victorino S
    Ellis/Gordon R/L
    Ethier/Hairston L/R
    Kemp R
    Rameriz R
    Loney/Rivera L/R
    Cruz/Kennedy R/L
    Ellis R

    It is the Dog Days of Summer and too many Doggers have become platoon players. So treat them like platoon players until they prove that they are all “switch hitters”. By that I mean have one approach against LHP and a differrent approach against RHP even if they do not move to the other side of the plate.

  4. gionfriddo says:

    Yasiel Puig tonite– 2-3 with a triple, 1 run, 1 rbi…

  5. JOsh says:

    1988 the year I became a Dodger fan.. not because they won the world series but because my uncle (through marriage) was a crappy relief pitcher for the first half of the season that year (got traded at deadline). (Havens). Anyway, been a fan of the Blue ever since.

  6. Rob says:

    Just think how the cardinals fans felt last year at this point, ANYTHING can happen!!

  7. Badger says:

    ken has a good point.

    Anything can happen. There are a lot of teams in this thing, some better than the Dodgers. But as the Cards proved last year, it’s the team that finishes well that will win this thing. The Dodgers, even as they are currently constructed, have the players that certainly can finish well. They sure started pretty good.

    Positive thinking is a good thing. I recommend it to all in their personal lives. But don’t go betting real money on the Dodgers because you think that will help them win it. Believing the stock market will go up isn’t positive thinking. I learned that one the hard way.

  8. Bball says:

    In the last post dempster was brought up. So I’m gonna say this. He gave up 8 runs. Pretty crappy. But they won. How many times can u say that about a dodgers pitcher. I think u can count that on an amputated hand. He must feel good with a lineup like that. I believe in this team. Go blue

  9. Mike Dixon says:

    I guess we’ll find out if the Dodgers put in a claim for Lee by this afternoon….I personally hope so as the only other alternative this off season is Greinke and trading the farm for King Felix….I also think there is no way the Angels let Greinke waltz over to the Dodgers, they will throw a boat load of money at him….2014 doesn’t get any better also as far as ace pitchers on the free agent market…..

  10. Bill Russell says:

    Good stuff in here today and Mark is finally right. ;-)

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Will the Cubs try to talk the Dodgers into something ????

  12. Bill Russell says:

    If Cliff Lee is claimed by L. A., Does he have to go or can he choose to stay in Philly? Who knows the answer

    • Dodgerdog says:

      If Lee is claimed he can traded only to the team that wins the claim, or he can be pulled back from waivers. I think it’s called revocable waivers as opposed to irevocable waivers that Abreu was put on. I hope they do so we can see what the Phillies will do.

  13. Badger says:

    Somehow I doubt Lee wants to pitch in Los Angeles. Reading up on him the only team he has ever played for in the West was the Mariners, and that didn’t work out. His preference appears to be on the East Coast as the Braves, Marlins and Yankees (and Rangers) show up on his ok trade list. Never heard where the Dodgers stand. Anyone else know?

    This guy is risky. He has been clobbered his last two trips to the post season and I think it’s not difficult to believe his best years are behind him. Yes, he is a decent pitcher, and could no doubt help, but is he worth it? Ain’t my money, but most GM’s will say no.

    If we can maybe just put on the brakes for a second and think about the future, how far would that $95 million go to get a first baseman and another starter or two?

  14. DRomo says:

    Badger

    Look at the free agent class for this offseason. What 3B and 1B are out there? Its nice to say we can go get a free agent but you have to have a target, right? The Vottos of the world are locked up. David Wright has a team option that you know NY will pick up. The Hamels are getting locked up too. That is why when a Cliff Lee is available we have to look at it.

    This offseason there will be decent outfield bats on the free agency market but when it comes to 1B 3B it is slim pickins! Nick Swisher interest you? Not me.

  15. DRomo says:

    That wasn’t meant to be derogatory at you Badger. I’m just thinking out loud. I hope it didn’t come of badly

    • Badger says:

      No problem Romey. I get the point.

      I don’t know what first baseman, or converted third baseman might be available for next year. Maybe we don’t improve first base that much, but find sticks at 2b. Or maybe Mike Morse can be had. Maybe Chase Utley would want to finish his career playing first base for the Dodgers. Maybe we move some of our pitching for a Goldschmidt that is now in AA. Lots of scenarios can present themselves when a team with money and a creative GM are on the prowl.

      I am not saying I don’t want Lee, because actually I do. It’s just a concern for me that he may not want us, or we may end up with another Janson Schmidt or Kevin Brown.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    Well again I ask, If the Dodgers claim Cliff Lee, does he have to come to L.A. or not? I think the answer is not but I’m not sure. Is waviers and trades considered the same thing with a no trade list? I would rather have a power pitcher for that kind of money but like Romo said, this opportunity doesn’t come up too often. It’s not my money either as Badger points out but 3 years is a long time if he’s beginning to decline already. Stay tuned

  17. Bill Russell says:

    I just read three articles about waviers and none of them explained the players rights to void the claim.

  18. Bill Russell says:

    Teams have two business days to claim players off of waivers, which suggests Lee hit the waiver wire yesterday, when the August waiver period opened. If Lee clears waivers, the Phillies might be able to trade him. Lee can block trades to 21 teams, including the Diamondbacks. The Yankees, Braves and Marlins are not on his no-trade list, however.

    The 33-year-old Lee earns $21.5MM this year and $25MM per season from 2013-15. His contract includes a $27.5MM vesting option ($12.5MM buyout) for 2016. If one or more teams claim Lee despite his contract, the Phillies could attempt to work out a trade with the team that wins the claim, assuming Lee doesn’t veto the move.

    I guess he can block the move

  19. Gionfriddo says:

    I believe under the CBA, If Lee is run through waivers & claimed by LA, the no trade clause he has is still in effect under his current contract… Lee is an Arkansas boy, the Seattle stop did not go well for him but who knows how he currently feels about the shedding of contracts in Philly.. Remember, this is the 1st time the Phils have put him on waivers (it will happen again this month and next if he goes unclaimed) we claim him and they can 1. Pull him back or 2. They can try to work out a deal w/LA or 3. They can allow LA to take him and absorb the remaining 87.5 mill on his deal (just like Chicago did with Alex Rios’ remaining 63 mill deal in ’10).. Baseball sources said prior to the July 31 deadline, the Phils were NOT willing to help a trade partner with Lee’s contract in the event of a deal, opting for good prospects in return.. Bottom line, there’s alot of moving parts here…

  20. Bobbie17 says:

    If Loney plays every day and gets 2 hits a game, the Dodgers will win the division. He is THAT important to the team. Everything else will fall into place. He can do it, but will he? Let’s play it out and see.

  21. Dave says:

    Regarding Cliff Lee. . .

    Claim him off waivers. If we win the claim AND he doesn’t assert his right not to go to the Dodgers AND Philly doesn’t pull him back, we use our money resource to land him. (UNLESS ownership doesn’t have enough $ after all measured by negatively impacting future operations/acquisitions/future contracts for the likes of Kershaw). If money is our real resource and not an issue, we would avoid having to trade prospects in such scenario. IF Philly does pull him back, negotiate shrewdly and don’t give up the farm to get him. In that scenario, be willing to let him get away. IF Lee blocks going to the Dodgers, forget about him. We don’t want players that don’t want to play for the Dodgers.

    • Badger says:

      I am in full agreement with most of that Dave.

      Not sure about what to give up prospect wise. They will of course ask for our Lee. I say no. What I think would be fair is just to take the contract. Seriously, who else is going to do that?

      To be safe, and in an effort to meet half way, I would offer an A prospect or two. That’s it. If that’s not good enough, then they can swallow the contract or send him off to the American League where most of the incredibly rich teams reside. Maybe we’ll meet him in the World Series and kick his ass.

      The Braves were on his list. Does anyone know if they are trying to dump any salaries? I’ll bet Uggla is on that waiver wire. Anybody want him? I’ll bet the Braves would trade Uggla and his contract for Lee and his.

      • Dave says:

        I’m OK with taking the contract and giving them “Barney” Fife so they have someone to replace Lee in their rotation (no top prospects).

  22. DRomo says:

    Forget the money. All signs indicate the orginization has the money. Even with him we will not be hamstrung in the offseason to spend. In fact I have read that adding Cliff Lee’s salary would still leave the Dodgers under the top spenders in MLB. So I would expect there to be room to add pieces. Quality pieces not bargain bin pieces.

    I hear that Cliff Lee is in decline. Really? The guy is still top 5 in baseball in my book. Sure you can pull out numbers if you want but if you have to pick Ryan Dempster or Cliff Lee to start game 2 in a short series who are you picking?

    Lee and Dempster are available this offseason. Who are you picking?

    Lee could always block it. It’s his right. But it is time to take a big swing here. Dare the Phillies to dump Lee for nothing or Lee stays and the Phillies are financially screwed for the foreseeable future. Win/win.

  23. Bobby says:

    Joe Blanton??

    WTF for???

    • Badger says:

      Just checked his splits Bobby…

      he has a + tOPS in every park in the West except…… wait for it…

      Dodger Stadium.

      Maybe he’s the road chucker for this team the rest of the way.

  24. Badger says:

    Actually that makes perfect sense to me Romey.

    Forget the money. I wonder if that is what the Dodger braintrust is thinking. Most of what I read on this subject says nobody is going to claim him, but if anyone does it will be the Dodgers – for all the obvious reasons.

    I would be willing to bet another 500 push-ups that Lee will not earn the last two years of that $95 million, but if that really doesn’t matter – then who the ef cares?

    Just read we acquired Blanton. Does this make our conversation regarding Lee a mute point?

  25. Gionfriddo says:

    We got a Philly SP !!! Fat Joe Blanton!! Really ?? Come on Ned…

  26. DodgerDude says:

    Joe Blanton is insurance in case the Dodgers don’t get Lee. In fact, he might fare well in Dodger Stadium.

  27. Rob says:

    Blanton is definitely insurance in case we don’t land lee. He will save our bullpen and he throws strikes.

  28. Bill Russell says:

    Just getting back in from a long day and hearing we got Joe Blanton? WTF, I left thinking Cliff Lee and now hearing Blanton. When I guess I should have been more specific when I prayed for a Phillys pitcher this morning.

  29. DRomo says:

    So I’m assuming Lilly isn’t coming back this season.

    I gotta know who claimed Lee. If its us and we get him Philly has to take a player back. Otherwise we have a tin of starting pitching to DFA or do something with. Plus Rubby is coming back…. I am confused.

    I don’t hate Fatty McFatterson Blanton

  30. Roger Dodger says:

    So Blanton now, maybe Lee . . . say, my Swedish grandmother is buried there in L.A. in some cemetery, and the Dodgers just might dig her up and make her long relief.

  31. Michael says:

    Just like Mark said,”Youe never know what will happen next …”
    The Mayan calendar says …

  32. Bill Russell says:

    Maybe we can trade Blanton back in the Lee deal. Just a thought

  33. Anonymous says:

    Great move by Ned.

    DFA Angle
    DL Belisario
    Make Fife the long reliever until he is named as the PTBNL

    Blanton is a second half pitcher. Hopefully he will perform as a #4 for the rest of the year for $2.9 million. So add Blanton to the cost of acquiring Hanley Rameriz.

    Blanton 2.74 ERA post All-Star Game
    Averaged 7+ innings in July

    Too many HRS – maybe that will be cured pitching in LA.

    Last pithed on 7/28 so should be ready to go as soon as he arrives!

    Forget about being the Yankees – West, LAD is the Phillies West!

  34. Win for Vin says:

    Blanton is a FA at the end of the season…then what? Hope we only gave up cash.

  35. Win for Vin says:

    mlbtraderumors.com just said it was the Dodgers who claimed Cliff Lee…fyi.

  36. Dave says:

    The Dodgers made the waiver claim as we suspected. I read that the Phillies will now pull him back and see if they can work a trade. Be careful Ned.

  37. Bobbie17 says:

    Blanton can’t hurt. We have about 5 #4′s already. Now we have another one. He is a great competitor–something I can’t say about a lot of our players. I don’t think he gets hurt and probably could pitch out of the bullpen, if necessary. Another piece. Now, let’s start winning. How about 8-10 the next week and a half?

  38. Mike Dixon says:

    This Sh*t just got real……

  39. DRomo says:

    NEd gave an interview this week and said that him and the Phillies GM were on the phone late working on a trade that involved up to eight people. He said that the deal didn’t work out and they settled on the Victorino trade.

    You have to think that the groundwork was laid for these deals in that late night conversation. I think giving up on Lee or Webster in this deal will be worth it. What is poetic justice is if this deal happens while the Cubs are in town. We get Blanton and Lee for Webster and change? Suck on that Theo. LOL

  40. Mark_Timmons says:

    1. Lilly pitches tonight – we should know more about him in a couple of days. The fact that he is pitching in 5 days is positive, at least.

    2. Blanton is insurance in case the Dodgers don\’t get Lee or if there are other injuries. He is a solid pitcher. I still say Harang can pitch out of the pen and be very effective.

    3. Now, the Phillies will pull Lee back – they aren\’t going to just let the Dodgers take him for his salary. Are you crazy? I heard that and rolled my eyes. Zach Lee and more!

  41. Mark_Timmons says:

    This might take a day or two to play out!

  42. Mark_Timmons says:

    Will Lee agree to come to LA? That\’s the other question. No one knows which teams are on his NO TRADE list.

  43. Mark_Timmons says:

    Update: Lilly has been scratched from tonights start.

    Stick a fork in him. That\’s why they got Blanton.

  44. Badger says:

    I got a weird feeling about this. Can’t really explain it, but I just sense Philadelphia is going to come out ahead when all the dust settles. If Mark is right, and the Dodgers cough up “Lee and more” – they just shed over $100 million and can go get whoever they want to add to Hamels, Halladay and Worley and have a few more chips in their system. Watch ‘em get Greinke too. Lee wins maybe 20 games for us in the next $95 million and we are still sniffing up Philly’s skirt. Heck, they might get Blanton back next year.

    Come on Jed. You’re at the final table in this tournament. Tell us you have the hole cards.

  45. Gionfriddo says:

    Ruben Amaro Jr. on Cliff Lee being claimed on waivers by the Dodgers, “It’s irrelevent, he is not going anywhere”…. translation= the waivers are getting revoked and Lee is staying in Philly…

    • Jae says:

      What do you expect him to say unless a deal is done. If he wasn’t going anywhere, why put him on waivers in the first place.

      Don’t listen to the rhetoric!

  46. Bobby says:

    Well:

    1) big big big props for the ownership for claiming him. Means they were willing to spend $100 mil on bringing him here

    2) time for Ned to show how good a negotiator he is by trading for Lee

    3) if not Lee, on to the next one!! Somebody else will be on waivers, and no doubt we’ll go claim him too!!

  47. Mark_Timmons says:

    So, I put my 1965 AC Cobra on Ebay for sale and you call me and say “Hey I want to buy it.” I might say “We I decided not to sell it” trying to drive up the price. That is what Amaro is doing. No more, no less.

    By the way, I don’t have a 1965 AC Cobra, but I’d like one…

  48. Badger says:

    Amaro is bluffing.

    Hell, Jed might be too.

  49. Ken says:

    Bills – we see you! Hopefully the Bearded Bills will received a Do-Bee tonight.

    Lee’s contract is tooooo long.

    Let’s see a new approch to hitting tonight.

  50. Mike Dixon says:

    No kidding what is Amaro supposed to say…”hey we signed Cliff Lee a year and a half ago but now want to dump him”….Lee is definitely for sale but Amaro will have to save face and get a least 3 quality prospects for him….Let’s see if Ned can get him for less….

    • Dave says:

      Exactly…the posturing has begun and negotiations are under way. We’ll see who blinks; we’ll see if a deal gets done. As I posted earlier, “Be careful Ned.”

  51. Corey says:

    What a surprise, Loney grounds into a DP!

    Anyone know how many that is per AB….he has to lead MLB in GIDP per AB

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Loney has 296 AB\’s and has grounded into 3,789 DP\’s!

      … or so it seems.

      • Badger says:

        2 for 13 so far. Anytime boys.

        5 of our starting 8 position players have averages at .257 or lower. That would be fine if they were all power hitters. They obviously are not. We are amongst the league leaders in lack of power.

  52. Bball says:

    Offense waking up and bills looking pretty dang good. Love it. Keep it goin

  53. Mark_Timmons says:

    Bills is looking like a #2 again. He drives me crazy!

  54. Ken says:

    Victorino is a flop :)

  55. Bobby says:

    Vinny giving us all lessons on Twitter!!!

  56. Badger says:

    Must have been my pep talk.

    Ellis with 5 times as many home runs as Loney. That just doesn’t make any sense. But…. Loney with a double! He’s en fuego!!

    ok.. maybe not.

    No ground gonna be gained tonight.

    Victorino got a hit. He’s 1 for L.A..

    I’ll read about the rest of the game tomorrow. I’m done.

  57. Ken says:

    5 runs = Easy Button.

    Now go 9-1 just like in April!

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