Categorized | Mark Timmons

Will 2013 Be a Hit?

Dave Hansen was the fall guy for the Dodgers hitting woes, but there is a whole lot more to this story.  The story isn’t that Hansen was fired (but offered another job in the organization), but rather that the Dodgers will somewhat move away from the hitting philosophy propounded by Don Mattingley.  The Dodgers are happy with Donnies’ managerial and communication skills, but they need a new hitting culture on the team and must try and get a strong-minded, self-confident hitting coach.  The system doesn’t need overhauled – just tweaked.  There isn’t one big thing that results in a culture of winning – a culture of clutch.  It’s lots of little things.  The devil is in the details.

By the way, I would not characterize what happened the Nationals and A’s as choking.  They are young teams – they have lots of room to grow.  Choking is when they do the same thing over and over.  Failing in  the clutch is something that everyone does.   Repeated failures in the clutch are what I call a choke.  With some players, it becomes part of their persona.  Some end up trying so hard that almost always fail (A-Rod in the playoffs).  I would call what Alex Rodriguez has done in the playoffs a “choke.”  I wouldn’t necessarily call James Loney “choke” as he is always bad!

Choke is what someone who should do better, does over and over again in pressure situations.  It’s going to take a new approach for the Dodgers to introduce a culture of winning- a culture of clutch, and I think they are serious about it.  The coach is not currently in the organization.  Could it be Rudy Jaramillo?  Maybe….  That’s a strong maybe!

I think Dave Hansen would be wise to stay with the Dodgers – they like him.  This was just a move that had to be made.  Do any of you have a suggestion as to who might be a good hitting coach?

Mark Saxon of ESPN/LA wrote and excellent summary of the state of the Dodgers’ pitching.  Check it out.  BTW, the staff got an  “A.”  It was the hitting that failed them in 2012.  Pure and simple.  With better support, Kershaw might have won 20 and Capuano and Harang might have won 32 games instead of 22 games (which wasn’t bad anyway).  Hitting (especially in the clutch) was the culprit.  That needs to be changed in 2013.  I think it will.

By the way, Brooklyn Dodger said he wanted to hug a Badger.  Here’s what you do with a Badger:

Here’s What Happened Last Time I Saw Badger!

About Mark Timmons

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

29 Responses to “Will 2013 Be a Hit?”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Thanks Badger, good to be home. On a personal note: I starting having a lower back pain prior to leaving on that short vacation (pain started 13 days ago). Dr. gave me two different pills to take each day — the pain has changed each day and still is bad.

    I am sure some of you have had lower back pains. Can really hold one down. But will try and get some help at the VA Hospital tomorrow.

    As Jeter laid on the ground at SS last night when he broke his ankle, I was really feeling for him. Too bad, and it happened so fast. Oh, great game last night. Yankees came back and then the Tigers came back.

    Badger, I did get in on some of the early talk two weeks ago here on choking. Personally, I do not like the term. Mark does. Mark love to use “Choke” and “Soft” for players that do not produce every time they hit or pitch.

    Face it, does going 3 for 10 good or bad? That is a .300 batting average, and most major league hitters do not average that high. So does that mean that 3 for 10 is choking!!!! But they pay some hitters $20,000,000 a year to go 3 for 10 that could also be looked upon as going 0 for 7 in part of the 10 ABs.

    As I say a couple of weeks ago, my father use to use the term Money Player for guys like Hank Bauer of the Yankees. Life time BA of .277, but he seemed to get hits at important times in some key games.

    Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times and walked 2,062 times. That is like 3,400 times up and not getting a hit. That is like he played 6 seasons and did not get a hit (if having 500 ABs per season).

    Have to run . . .

  2. Badger says:

    “Choking is when they do the same thing over and over.”

    I guess part of my problem with this whole choke thing is I don’t believe this is the definition of choke. To choke is for someone who had the ability to come through, does not. If someone does the same thing over and over, then, how can you expect them to do something any different? We are not talking clutch there, we are talking insanity.

    I do agree with Saxon. I think the hitting did fail them. And, as I have said repeatedly, it’s the lack of good hitters through that lineup that was responsible. If you read my WRSIP stats post the other day, you will see that, in the last 4 years, the middle of our order has actually come through with runners in scoring position. They will all be there Opening Day so, I am anxious to see what they can do with a full year. We still need an adequate Major League lead-off hitter. Who is that going to be? I fear they will stick Crawford there, and I want him in the 2 hole where his career numbers are outstanding. Gordon. He’s the guy. If he can finally learn how to get on at near .350, we have an outstanding lineup.

    What that picture doesn’t show is, if he wanted, the Badger could have had Timmon’s testicles in a vice grip. Lesson there….. be careful when hugging badgers. badgers eat balls for breakfast………http://theshroom.wordpress.com/tag/honey-badger/

    Actually we had a great day together. The Dodgers had Manny and had hope. They were actually pretty good then.

  3. Badger says:

    Bummer about Jeter. Not that I am rooting for Detroit… I couldn’t care less about either of those teams. It’s just a drag when you aren’t at full strength.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    Go back and read my post, and you’ll see that I was referring to a “badger” with a small “b”.

    If the hitting philosophy propounded by Mattingly is to be aggressive with pitches in your hitting zone, but to take pitches that aren’t strikes, then I’m all for it. Make the pitcher work, and make him pay when he gives you something good to hit. If a hitter wants to see more strikes, then he needs to lay off the garbage, and force the pitcher into the strike zone. Juan Uribe is a perfect example. Any pitcher that throws him a strike needs to have his head examined. Uribe gets himself out by swinging too hard, pulling off the ball, and by having an approach that ignores selectivity. When Matt Kemp goes into a slump, it’s partially because he’s going fishing for breaking balls away and out of the strike zone.

    I don’t know why Hansen was relieved of his duties as hitting coach, but being the “fall guy” is as good an answer as any. However, I don’t think the change is a signal that Mattingly’s approach is being abandoned, if, in fact, it’s Mattingly’s approach that’s being followed. What I do know, is that the Yankees have always been described as a team that makes pitchers work, and hammers their mistakes. Besides, approach is only part of it. Execution is really the key. Specifically, I remember James Loney passively taking pitches down the middle, and swinging at garbage out of the strike zone. That’s just the opposite, apparently, of what’s being espoused.

    Perhaps the Dodgers just want a new voice to deliver hitting instruction, one that will be focused on execution of the approach, and not just approach by itself.

    “Choke is what someone who should do better, does over and over again in pressure situations.”

    By that definition, I’m not sure you can apply choking to the Dodgers. Matt Kemp didn’t choke, he was hurt. Adrian Gonzalez, as far as I know without looking up the stats, has a history of hitting in the clutch. In fact, he drove in 108 runs in 2012. In his case, I think we have to consider that there were special circumstances, and that he needed time to get relaxed and better integrated into his new environment. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t done all that well in the last couple of years, but seems to be happy in LA, and like Gonzalez, probably needs to get fully comfortable. Now that these guys have gotten acquainted with their new teammates and the new environment, I’d like to see what they do after they have a chance to get started from the beginning, starting this winter and through spring training.

    Too many changes are possible between now and the start of next season to start talking about lineups. But as things stand right now, I’d like to see Gordon at the top of the lineup and Crawford hitting second. I prefer to see Crawford hitting with someone on base, if only because of his extra base power. I don’t want my #2 hitter bunting over my #1, or just trying to advance him to 3B if the runner is on 2B (although I have no problem with the hitter trying to hit the ball to the right side, and maybe getting a hit). I prefer he be more aggressive, and drive that runner in, or at the very least, get on base and allow the middle of the order to drive in both he and Gordon. And when Crawford doesn’t get a hit, I am confident that our #3, 4, etc. can do the job behind him. As I look at our lineup, I will not be satisfied, most of the time, playing for just one run. I will be looking for crooked numbers.

    By the way, the Saxon link also includes an article on grading the outfield as well as the pitching. You just have to scroll down a bit.

    As for the pitching. I think Kershaw and Beckett is a good start. I don’t expect Billingsley back, and if he does come back, I’m not sure he will last the season. But we’ll find out more about that next month, when a decision about surgery will likely be made. Nor do I expect anything out of Lilly. Capuano and Harang are OK, but only in the back end of the rotation. I think the Dodgers will sign at least one pitcher, but maybe more. And trades are also possible. I could even see Capuano and/or Harang becoming part of our trade bait (unless they have no trade clauses). One or both could even play a role in the bullpen.

    Lots of stuff is possible between now and opening day. As I’ve said before, I’d prefer to sit back and see what develops. Something might even come out of the Dodger organization. The article I read the other day about Onelki Garcia makes me think that he could conceivably play a role in the Dodgers bullpen in 2013. With an ownership that’s not locked into a restrictive budget, I believe that all things may be possible. At least I hope so.

  5. Badger says:

    Mark… did you just edit your definition of choke? I actually copied from the text above what your definition was, and it looks a lot different now. In fact, it looks remarkably like MY definition!

    I think it’s good when you recognize a mistake and take steps to remedy it.

    If the current Dodger pitching staff can do exactly what they did, I think this team has a great shot. Our offense WILL be better? Why? Not because we fired Hansen. That was bullsh*t PR move. We will be better because start to finish we will have more better hitters in our lineup. Matt Kemp needs to stay healthy, and Gonzalez, Ethier, Crawford and Ramirez need to do what they usually do.

    “I’d like to see Gordon at the top of the lineup and Crawford hitting second. I prefer to see Crawford hitting with someone on base” – Brooklyn.

    Yeah, me too. Especially when you consider that Crawford got that enormous contract with the career numbers he put up hitting out of the 2 hole – .302 .345 .460 – scoring 424 runs and stealing 211 in 626 GS. That’s .677 RPG – or, about 110 runs over a full 162 game season. Heck, even if only plays 140 it’s still 94 runs. He should be hitting in our two hole.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Badger,

      I just got back from my son\’s football game so NO I did not edit it. I wrote it and left this morning.

      Brooklyn,

      I prefer the capital B! ;)

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    Oh – in the Dodgers\’ case, the choke was \”collective\” because when Kemp didn\’t do it no one else did. The team choked, which puts the onus on everyone.

  7. Badger says:

    Ok…. I read it again. You just decided to give two different definitions of the word choke. I guess I agree with the second one …. Mitt.

    I guess you didn’t read the WRISP stats I posted yesterday. It’s ok, I understand you are busy so I’ll just catch you up quickly…. all 4 of our middle lineup guys have hit well in that situation, and they have done so pretty much all of the last four years. Your idea of choke is not supported by the facts…..or maybe that really isn’t important to your position?

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Do you prefer the capital B because I referred to the badger as an “innocent, dumb animal”? (SMILE).

  9. Badger says:

    Wait a minute……..

    All this badger talk isn’t about me is it? ken, small k I think, made some dumb comment about badgers being sociopaths, and the badger that Mark prefers is the big b former Marine but now just a puppy dog. Who or what is the dumb animal? Is it ken? I think I am confused.

  10. Michael says:

    I swear I had this nightmare a couple of weeks ago but there are whispers [MLBTR}that A F{rod}s next disappearing act will be in Dodger Blue. OMG!
    Did any of you catch the graphic on last nights game that misspelled Mays as Mayes. DOH
    I also wanted to vent on Ernie Johnson, that dork announcer on TBSs’ games but decided at least he isn’t Tim McCarver who must talk in his sleep because he doesn’t shut up for 5 seconds when he’s awake.

    • Badger says:

      I read that over on MLB Trade Rumors Michael. I hope they are wrong. It would be nice to have the old ARod in Blue, but not the current version. We need to follow the developing model – get guys in the middle of their career’s, or, on their way UP.

      McCarver is the worst. I can’t handle the guy, never could. Buck’s ok.

      Pederson in a deal for Shields?

  11. Ken says:

    Meles meles – Surely you know that the favorite thing that a badger will put in their mouth is cow-pats as they attempt to eat their favorite insect a cow dung bettle. No wonder a badger nose is brown.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I all for the Dodgers acquiring A-Rod. That is, of course, if the Yankees throw in Robinson Cano.

  13. SpokaneBob says:

    Bobby Abrau practices the type of selective hitting that Brooklyn was talking about. Maybe he should consider becoming the

    coach.

  14. Jas says:

    After further review, the Dodgers’ choked. Quit making excuses.

    They choked.

    Hanson was the fall guy.

    There HAS to be be one.

    Get over it and move on.

    • Badger says:

      We are ready to move on Jas. it’s those with the choker mantra that are living in the past. Guess that includes you so get over it and we move on.

  15. Jas says:

    I have. Have you? Have they?

  16. KEN says:

    Currently 46 players on the 40 man roster.

    The Dodgers are probably looking to release all free agents (13) in order to protect as many players subject to the Rule 5 draft as possible and then resigning a few free agents, if possible.

    Minus Blanton, Ely, Choate, Coffey, League, Wright, Treanor, Herrera, Kennedy, Sellers, Abreu, Victorino, and Rivera.

    Sign Leaque and one #2 starting pitcher.

    Protect 4-5 players from the Rule 5 Draft
    Magill, Erickson?, Ynoa, Aaron Miller, and Blake Smith.

    That is 39-40 players already. Maybe there will be a big trade before Opening Day. :)

    Last day of Spring Training put Bills :( and Silverio on the 60 Day DL.

    Then add 2 players. A backup catcher?, Tony Gwynn?, another starting pitcher?

    In other words it appears that Ned’s off season may be very difficult and we may see more releases than expected especially if the Guggenhiems significantly expand the payroll budget.

    Dodger Divorce finally has a new article.

  17. jerry says:

    only a few hitter s can be that selective ..like you are talking about..but like cruz ..went back to his own stile and because a good hitter..mark ..i no all about back problem..had back surgery and never been the same..but had no choice..could not walk.. so hope you feel much better..

  18. jerry says:

    type o ..became a good hitter.

  19. 010011 says:

    If Mickey Hatcher is still around for 2013, no. There was an article in the LA Times at the end of September talking about the Dodgers’ hitting woes and it says that says Mickey Hatcher had been working alongside Dave Hansen. Ex-Dodger or not he is awful and they need to cut ties with him and get him as far away from hitters as possible.

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  1. [...] Arizona Fall League recap for October 13tth for the Dodger minor league players more… Will 2013 Be a Hit? – ladodgertalk.com 10/14/2012 Dave Hansen was the fall guy for the Dodgers hitting woes, but [...]


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