Only thing, this Ground Hog will hunt. Hunt you down and kill you! Just ask Matt Harvey!
In spring training (April 1, 2013) I predicted this:
I will say this: The most important player for the Dodgers in 2013 is someone not in the lineup, that being Hanley Ramirez. If Hanley can return to his MVP form, he’s a game-changer. As good a s Matt Kemp is, Hanley Ramirez can be even better. That would be staggering!
Prediction for 2013: 93 wins based upon what I see. 98 wins based upon possible trades!
But, then the bottom dropped out and the Dodgers became a real-life train wreck. It took them 72 games to get 30 wins. It looked like a fractured clubhouse with a bunch of overpaid prima donnas and a lame-duck manager. Then, something magical happened. Yasiel Puig was called up and brought a renewed vigor, an electrically-charged excitement and made everyone forget about their own pain or agendas. Then, Hanley Ramirez get healthy and showed why I said he can be better than Matt Kemp. The Magical Mystery Tour started the first week of June and it’s been Ground Hog Day ever since.
This team bonded during that time and the whole is now greater than the sum of the parts… and the sum of the parts is pretty good. The only thing that can stop the Dodgers from winning their first World Series since 1988 is catastrophic injury.
Due to being on Eastern Time, I sometimes go to bed and watch the condensed game on MLB the next morning. It was 1-0 Mets when I went to bed last night, and even though Matt Harvey was pitching, I fully expected the Dodgers to win and the Junkyard Dogs stepped up. AJ Ellis and Nick Punto are Certified Card-Carrying Members of the Junkyard Dog Society of America (JDSA).
- Hyun-jin Ryu has convinced me that he is a solid #3. I worried about him being effective after the league caught up with him, but he’s shown himself to be a VERY CAPABLE #3. In a playoff when only three starters are needed, Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu are about as good as it gets. My apologies to Mr. Ryu for doubting you. Your are awesome.
- If Hanley is truly ready, it makes sense to have him play today and rest tomorrow to see how he responds. I have to assume that the medical staff would not rush this by a day or two unless he was really ready.
- On Miguel Sulbaran: He’s 19 and doesn’t have great stuff, but he is a lefthander. So the Dodgers send him to the Twins for Drew Butera who is the worst hitter in the history of baseball. He couldn’t jump out of a boat and hit water. Why would the Dodgers make such a silly move? It may not be silly. The Dodgers do not have a good defensive catchers at AAA… or even AA, and that really hurts young pitchers. We have no clue if Silbaran will amount to anything, but a good catcher can make many young pitchers better. That’s part of the Cardinal pitching mojo – good catchers breed good pitchers. Don’t be too hasty in judging the deal yet. The odds are Silbaran will never sniff the show, but Butera may help many…