Categorized | Mark Timmons

It’s pure junkyard dogism!

Euphoria is something Dodger fans haven’t felt lately.  My house was dark at a little after midnight.  There was just one room lit and that was my office (I watched every last pitch of the game, so never call me a fair-weather fan).  The family was in bed when they heard me clap and yell from the mancave in the basement.  I woke them up on the second floor when the Dodgers won the game in the bottom of the 9th.  We certainly have not had that kind of action in a while.  It feels good!  They weren’t quite as happy…

It wasn’t a  blast from Matt, HanRam or A-Gon, but rather it was the way the Dodgers won early in the year:

  • Matt Kemp running into the CF wall, falling down and never giving up while throwing a laser to 3B.  He threw so hard he ended up on his face on the ground.  That’s pure junkyard dogism!
  • Andre Either just trying for a hit with two out… and getting it.  A junkyard dog takes what he can get.
  • Don Mattingly, a junkyard dog himself, puts in another junkyard dog, Dee Gordon who hasn’t played much since the beginning of August.  He tries to steal 2B, but the throw beats him.  In pure junkyard dog style, he avoided the tag and was safe at 2B with what would prove to be the tying run.
  • Luis Cruz, the biggest junkyard dog of them all, who won the last game with a 3-run homer, laces a double that plates Gordon with the tying run.  A career minor-leaguer, Luis Cruz wasn’t even a thought before the season started.  He has been the Dodger’s best player over the past two months.  What a junkyard dog!
  • At that juncture, Mattingly opted to put in another junkyard dog to run for Cruz – Elian Herrera.  A fast junkyard dog, who ended up scoring the winning win (a run Cruz would not have scored).
  • Next, that old junkyard dog, Juan Rivera, hit a single just out of the reach of the 2B to score junkyard dog Herrera from 2B.
  • It was then, that Matt Kemp acting like a junkyard dog (even though he has a real pedigree)  mauled his teammates in pure joy.  If someone thinks he has a head issue, they are sadly mistaken.

It wasn’t the dogs with the pedigree that won the game for the Dodgers, although each played their role.  Ramirez, Gonzalez and Victorino (Shane might be classified as a JYD in time) were 2-11.  Make no mistake about it – Junkyard Dogism is alive an well in Chavez Ravine.  The junkyard dogs were howling last night!

There’s a lesson here that should not be lost on us or the players:  The sluggers can win a game for you, but it’s also the junkyard dogs who rise up when you least expect it.   Don’t wait for that big fly – play like junkyard dogs and good things will happen.   I seem to remember a bunch of junkyard dogs in 1988 led by dogs like Orel, Gibby, Davis, Griffin and Hatch – junkyard dogs all.  Well, one was actually a bulldog… but sometimes bulldogs are junkyard dogs too.

Footnotes:

  • The news on Clayton Kershaw is not good.  It turns out he had a cortisone shot in his right hip before his last start,  The fact that the pain is back and he can’t raise his leg already tells me he has an issue.  He will obviously go under the knife.  Look for him to be out the rest of the season, but his return for 2013 should be 100% fine.
  • Ned Colletti is going to be with us for a while.  Get over it.

About Mark Timmons

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

19 Responses to “It’s pure junkyard dogism!”

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I wrote this in the previous thread just after the end of last night’s game.

    “Nice win tonight. So for the time being we are tied for the second wildcard spot. Still a couple of weeks left in the season, so anything can happen. A few points:

    1. Didn’t someone criticize Kemp the other day for a lack of leadership because he wasn’t showing enough enthusiasm, and for not putting out enough effort? What was that I saw in the 8th inning tonight? Not only did Kemp hustle after the ball came off the wall, and make a great throw, but he also hit the wall with his left shoulder (the injured one) in his effort to catch the ball. We need to get that malcontent off the team.

    2. Dee Gordon steals second and maybe, just maybe played a role in Cruz’s hit by occupying just a bit more of the pitcher’s attention than an ordinary runner would.

    3. Probably were a few people who weren’t happy with Mattingly’s decision to pinch run Herrera for Cruz. I thought it was good move at the time, and it turns out, that decision may have won the game for the Dodgers. Cruz doesn’t score on Rivera’s hit. Just another example of the value of speed.

    Well, at least one person isn’t happy. The Dodger win makes it that much less likely that the Cardinals will beat the Giants in the postseason. And by the way, if the Cardinals do win the wild card, how do we know they end up playing the Giants? Really, I don’t care, since like most of people on this site, I’m a real Dodger fan.”

    My comments were not quite as suffused with the symbolism of Mark’s junkyard dogs, but similar in the sense that it’s sometimes the little things that win games. Having sluggers (really, just a bunch of good hitters following one after the other) does really help. But winning also depends on doing the little things that often go unnoticed. It was a little thing when Mattingly pinch ran for Cruz, but in the end it turned out that it may well have been the difference between winning and losing. And although I didn’t mention it last night, Mr. Softee’s hit was huge, if only because it kept hope alive, and because Ethier never gave up, and concentrated on getting a hit, even as gloom was settling in on Dodger Stadium. And Gordon’s speed just being on base had to take at least a little concentration of the pitcher away from the hitter. And finally, Mark was absolutely correct when in reference to Matt Kemp he stated that “If someone thinks he has a head issue, they are sadly mistaken.” If anything, Kemp has been an inspiration given that he’s playing everyday despite obvious physical issues. I don’t know if he’ll get his swing back this year. But I’m satisfied that he’s giving us everything he can, and that that attitude will be a huge plus for this team going forward (and is evidence of his being a leader on this team, by example and otherwise). Despite what I keep hearing from the negative nellies, this team has heart. At some point, be it this year or next, everything is going to fall into place, and the Dodgers will return to the top of the heap.

    And in reference to this remark I copied from my comments in the previous thread: “Well, at least one person isn’t happy. The Dodger win makes it that much less likely that the Cardinals will beat the Giants in the postseason” It’s my reply to the following remark made by a so-called Dodger fan in the previous thread in which he stated: “I’m now pulling for anyone who has a chance to beat the Giants. St. Louis can, so go Cardinals!” Anyone can go back and see who made that comment. And for me, it disqualifies that person as being a true Dodger fan. You root for the Dodgers because you love the Dodgers, and not because you hate the Giants. And no matter how much you hate the Giants, you never let that get in the way of wanting the Dodgers to win, because you want to see another World Championship flag flying over Dodger Stadium.

    • Miguel says:

      Regarding Kemp, you can tell that his catch and throw really rallied the rest of the team. You can tell that they all know something about his physical condition right now that nobody else outside of that clubhouse does. Because at the end of that inning every single Dodger crowded him at the dugout steps to high five and pat him on the back, as if he just hit a go ahead HR! THAT was very telling for me. You rarely see that at the end of a defensive inning. You could see that the team knew he was banged up and that he’s been fighting through stuff. It inspired.

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    So some of the little guys showed the bigger guy on this team — how to steal a win.

    I think that ownership will really do some deep thinking over the early part of the winter on the pitching staff. Kershaw might be an if, a big if, on his walk to the Hall of Fame that most of us have for him. 36 starts in a season is a lot when one is talking elbows, shoulders, and or hips.

    Billingsley is an if, Capuano (boy this is a long season) is an if, Harang is an if, Lilly is a big if, Blanton will be gone (I think), and Rubby is traded is he not . . .

    That is a lot of IFs for next Spring. I think they will trade some, let some walk, and bring in some new blood. Or this will happen all over again.

  3. Miguel says:

    I got home around the middle of the 6th inning and immediately punched the game on after putting the kids to sleep, to the dismay of the wife who upon noticing the game on our bedroom TV exclaimed, “why are you watching that game?! they always lose when you watch.”

    Unfortunately, I kind of had to give that to her because its been true alot lately. And I ALMOST turned it off after the 8th because of that. But something kept me glued to the game. Maybe it was hearing Vin’s sweet voice and stories that he weaves so well? Maybe it was the fact that the Dodgers are rarely on national TV? Maybe it was the fact that every time my wife “hates” on me for watching the game and proclaims the Dodgers dead ducks, they seem to get inspired and pull off the most unlikely of victories! Remember the back to back to back to back + one homerun game against the Padres a few years ago? http://youtu.be/6lm9_67ZJGo (anniversary of that is Tuesday BTW) Yep, that was my wife, hatin on the Dodgers; that the Padres would beat them. With each homerun her comments would grow just as with each out her comments would grow last night!

    Now if I can only get my wife to catch a part of every game that we are down and out of and to hate on them.

    • Max says:

      You mean the greatest regular season game in recent dodger history? Yeah, I remember that one, it’s gone down in the annals of history as the 4 + 1 game.

  4. Corey says:

    Has anyone had the chance to see Kemp take any batting practice recently. I’ve thought the same thing mentioned above here that there has to be something still wrong with his shoulder. Maybe if he’s still crushing in BP it’s that he’s not seeing the ball well and pressing at the plate. If he’s not hitting it well in BP either and there’s something still physically wrong,it’s time to move him way down in the order. He’s not helping the offense by struggling mightily in the 3 hole.

  5. Note says:

    You gotta believe!!

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Well, the seats are not even warm and the Cards are all over the bases and having fun.

    Wild pitches, hit batters, line shots . . . this IS and important game. And the Dodgers are throwing a AAA pitcher to boot.

    Can he get out of the first inning?

  7. ken says:

    Ned’s options were changed to a solid 2-3 year contract. No big deal.

    Kershaw MUST be shut down. I hurt my hip 15 years ago and it always felt like a knife stuck into my hip after playing for a half hour. Got a cortisone shot and it did not hurt for a month, does now. And there are no tears in my joint. Kershaw’s symptoms are not good.

    Just shut Kershaw down, have the surgery, and make him follow through toward home next year and no more falling off to 3rd base.

    3 position players batting above .200 during the last week. Gordon can hit better than Hanley. Yes I said that!

    AJ was tired a week ago and Donnie D’oh is just noticing it? Fed-Ex should have started the game. He does know Fife pretty well from AAA doesn’t he!

  8. Note says:

    Calm down rodger. He’s also struck out six. Overreact much?

  9. Bobby says:

    Excellent effort today by Fife. Excellent job!

    • Dave says:

      Yep – keeps us in games just like I said (weeks ago). Of course I was a moron, etc., according to one guy who “aced it” when I called for bringing Fife back up. DOH

      Mark? Reggie?

  10. Bball says:

    Ya fife was good. How about this paco guy too. He’s been very impressive

  11. Rob says:

    Victorino and kemp lost that game, runner on third with one out and victorino doesn’t get it done. Kemp pops out weakly after they walk eithier. What a shame

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Hanley needs to talk to Gordon about how to play SS. I did not like the way Handley fields balls to his right, o-lay more than anything. And he throws off-balance many times to first base. Ned needs to give him a come-to-Jesus-meeting talk.

    Same with Matt Kemp; a 2012 version of his come-to-jesus-meeting.

    The guys are now ready for 2012 Spring Training. That is, to get their game together.

    Now the roster is saddled with Adrian Gonzalez? He has not shown me much.

    Hey, where is Loney when you need a double . . .

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Now the roster is saddled with Adrian Gonzalez? He has not shown me much.”

    Roger, I hope you’re kidding. I realize A-Gon hasn’t done much since coming to LA, but unless he’s just suddenly lost it, he’s going to be hugely important to this team going forward. Maybe just not this year.

    I don’t know what it is, but this team for whatever reason, just can’t score. I think it’s just a combination of injuries, lots of guys pressing and trying to do too much, and a probably a dash of Murphy. Maybe they’ll get hot, and maybe they won’t. Maybe we’ll get to the postseason, and maybe we won’t. But if this team comes into spring training healthy next year, along with a few reinforcements (especially pitchers), they should settle in together and make us all happy.

    But I admit it’s frustrating watching them right now. When I see Kemp, Ethier, Gonzalez and Hanley come up inning after inning without producing runs, I feel like pulling my hair out. When they got up in the 9th, 10th, and 11th, I just kept on saying, guys just get a run. You’d expect with that bunch that someone would probably hit one out, or they’d string together a bunch of hits, or just a couple of extra base hits. And inning after inning it keeps on not happening. These junkyard dogs are just having a hard time getting out of the junkyard.

    And Mark, I’m getting tired of seeing the same junkyard dog over and over again. A little variety please (SMILE).

  14. ken says:

    Anyone else waiting for Cruz to hit? Anyone else bored when Kemp, Gonzo and Hanley are up?

    Too bad Cruz can’t win every game.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Brooklyn, I agree with your comments on A-Gon . . . but I read a few weeks ago that maybe he is not the cruncher people think he is. He was in San Diego and did not take them to the mountain top. He was in Boston and the same results. And so far, he has not done that here.

    Some guys can put up numbers on some teams, but not help carry that team over the finish line.

    Yes, the middle of this lineup is not in high gear right now.

    And you were right the other day — this whole thing can turn on a dime.

    I put some of the blame on Donnie. There is a time like this when a manager has to get his players UP for playing. Funny, Donnie had the guys ready for the beginning of the season in April and they charged out of the gate for a good while.

    Now — Donnie does not have these guys ready for the last month. They look terrible and even hitting .280 as a team is not even close.

    Yesterday, he used 10 pitchers in the game; with only starters left. Wall was in for the long hall at the end.

    Ely (now 0-2; with an ERA of 20.25) should still be in AAA — which is another problem, weak in pitching in the minors to bring up in the Sept call-up.

    The next 6 games should be interesting against the Nationals and the Red in their parks. This will be the season in full detail.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Roger, take a look a A-Gon’s numbers last year. And as for the Padres, even Babe Ruth couldn’t have turned that team around by himself. And no one player is going to turn the team around. This is a collective breakdown, caused by injuries (Lilly, Kershaw, Billingsley, Jansen and Matt Kemp–did I forget anyone?) and perhaps a bunch of players needing to spend more time together before they gel. And of course, failure can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the snowball has continued down the hill, I’m guessing players are trying too hard, and likely beginning to press. Yes it could turn on a dime, and then again, it may take some time away, a chance for some people to heal, and a better realization of just what happened after everyone gets a chance to reflect. So maybe it won’t happen until next season, when this bunch should return with a determined resolve to make this better, and a better understanding of how to do it. And, between now and next year, there should be some added reinforcements, especially in the pitching area.

    As for Mattingly, I still have confidence in him. I don’t like everything he does (e.g., too much bunting), but then again, I don’t like everything any manager does. Overall, however, I think he has the respect of his players, and for the most part I believe he has been a steady hand at the helm. After all, didn’t the respect Terry Francona go through pretty much the same thing in Boston last year. And whatever change that occurred between last year and this, hasn’t much changed the result. And hopefully, Donnie has learned a few things from what’s happened. Actually, when all is said and done, even us fans might learn something.

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