The other day I was listening to a local sports talk show here in Indy.  About half the fans here are Cubs fans and the other half are Reds fans.  I guess that’s a natural choice because Indy is halfway between Chicago and Cincinnati, and even though Indianapolis more than twice the size of Cincinnati, it is unlikely we will get a major league team anytime soon because of the close proximity to Chi-Town and the Queen City.  But, I digress…

The sports talk show host I was listening to is an admitted Red’s Homer and that’s OK!  He was watching the Reds game when the Cardinals loaded the bases with two out.  At that juncture, he said “You can be pretty sure that the Cardinals will probably hit a Grand Slam right here…”  and went on to lament how the Cards just always seem to seize the moment and the Reds don’t.  Well, Kolten Wong then triples off the wall and three runs score.  Right about now, you are probably thinking “what’s his point?”  I’ll get to that.

The point is, some teams just know how to capitalize on opportunities when they are presented and the Dodgers still don’t.  You have to seize the day and the Dodgers fail to do that a lot.  Of course, there was that magical 50 game stretch last year where they seized two months, not just the day, but the Dodgers #3, #4 and #5 hitters fail too many times.  No excuses.  You do or you don’t do!  Hit the other way to avoid the double play.  Hit behind the runner.  Hit a fly to the outfield to score a runner from 3B.  Of course, that assumes you have a manager who can actually make tactical game decisions… which opens another can of worms.

Seize the day!

Rants and Raves:

  • Joc Pederson is killing it at Albaquacky, but then again, so is Miguel Olivo.
  • Remember this name – Kyle Farmer – catcher at Great Lakes – he could be AJ’s heir-apparent!
  • FedEx will surprise with his hitting…
  • Watch for Seager to move to AA soon.
  • Spring training demon Miguel Rojas is hitting .063 at AAA.  Yikes!
  • Alex Guerrero hasn’t met a training room he didn’t like as he continues to be a professional re-habber!
  • Kenley Jansen should be fine, I’m just not sure he should have been in there again last night.  Maybe later in the year.
  • Could Brandon League be fixed?
  • Dee Gordon is making a strong case in a small sampling.

Earth-Covered-70

  1. Rob says:

    I am sure the short spring training has affected most of our player and some are still a bit rusty. Jansen should not of been in last night especially against a player that burned him the night before. Donnie has the weird ability to cause destruction late in a ball game by his bonehead decisions. Hanley, agon, Ethier, and kemp all look lost at times when at the plate which shouldn’t happen with your star players. Luckily Puig was hurt because I don’t think Donnie has the balls to bench kemp. Kemps late breaks and route to the balls in center field have cost the dodgers many hits/runs so far. We are lucky to be 6-4 so far and are still waiting for our pitching Calvery to help us out next month.

  2. Rob says:

    After my Donnie bashing I felt I needed to give him an atta boy for calling that squeeze play with Beckett and Uribe. Vin actually mentioned it before the play but I didn’t think Donnie had it in him to call it.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    It’s early, and the samples are small, but the encouraging thing about Seager is that he’s hitting at Rancho, where he struggled in his small sample at the end of last year. I suspect he could move up to AA by mid-season (maybe sooner) if he continues his hitting at Rancho.

    I definitely would like to see Dodgers hitters treating RISP situations no differently than they do at bats with no runners on. Use the whole field and everything should fall into place. And power will come naturally. Most extra base hits come with good contact, not swinging hard. Right now the Dodgers are playing .600 ball in the early going. Plenty of time for things to fall into place.

  4. BOB says:

    10 games, no big deal. On pace for 97 wins. Who has come to play this early in the year?

    My opinion regarding which hitter I feel confident about when watching (Sorry – listening to the radio) so far is as follows:

    1. Gordon 2. Uribe 3. Crawford 4. Rameriz 5. Puig 6. Gonzales 7. Ellis 8. Ethier/Kemp

    No desire to listen to games where Maholm or Beckett pitch nor presently do I care to listen when Wilson or Dominquez relieve themselves.

  5. Watford Dodger says:

    Interesting points. Have to agree with Roger about Uribe – he always goes down swinging. Our line up looks so powerful on paper and yet when push comes to shove they don’t deliver. I wouldnt say any of them are clutch. Perhaps it’s the thought that the next big name will get the job done so there’s not so much pressure to execute. Kemp looked terrible on Wed and that is a good question raised by Rob – has Donnie got the balls to bench the sulking Kemp because he should? One thing that I can’t agree on is the “fixing” of Branden League. I was watching him pitch through my fingers on Wed. The first innings he pitched was terrible. When he doesn’t have movement he is SO hittable. Admittedly the second was an improvement but believe me he is not fixed. He is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Watford,

      Give up. No way! Also, I don’t see it happening in Indy. I have made the point however, that since the Dodgers have two farm teams in the Midwest, and their AAA affiliate is a killer of pitchers and hitters (due to skewed results), Indy would make a perfect AAA club for the Dodgers. They would still have Rancho for a rehab assignment but all three of their main minor league teams would be within a 5 hour drive of each other.

      Yes, it would be good for me, but it also makes sense.

  6. artieboy says:

    Remember some of our boys are still working on their fundamentals. And according to some of your readers that’s a good thing! DiMaggio once said “this is the majors you have to be perfect.” Has that changed?

  7. Badger says:

    The Dodgers are good and in all likelihood will get better. But without their ace they are not championship caliber. Remember what happened last year when Kershaw did not perform? Same thing will happen this year without him. There is a reason he was given that enormous contract. That reason is to win the big games.

    If Beckett can continue to hit 94 he will win his share of games. A 94 mph fastball makes his out pitch that much better. Let Kemp snivel. There will be days he should sit (not yet) and yes he should not be in center field. I’ve been saying that for years.

    6-4 is obviously a good start. But how the team is playing is more important. From what I’ve seen, and read, they aren’t playing that well. Cut down on unearned runs and hit .300 as a team WRISP and we will roll to the playoffs.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    This outfield thing is now becoming something.

    Two guys are right handed, two are left handed.

    Two (Puig and Ethier) are solid outfielders in the field, two are average to below (Crawford and Kemp).

    They all make a lot of money . . . Crawford is really big bucks, Kemp is big contract, Ethier is manageable, Puig is the signing to get him in $$.

    All want to play. But can Donnie figure out how to make them work — together.

    Ehier is the most tradable. Puig has the most future possible upside. Kemp could (c-o-u-l-d) return to his key form. Crawford just seems to get the job done in the early part of this season, and in the last post season.

    So it is beyond me as to what to do with this 4.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Artieboy, if you want to accentuate the negative, that’s your prerogative. So I’ll take the opposite tack, and say that I’ll be satisfied with a .394 average at the end of the season with those 32 errors. And 16 HR. Of course, I’m not one to take small samples seriously, so I’ll bet that we get none of those outcomes come season’s end. And actually, I think Gordon’s played pretty good defense overall.

    Not that it means anything, but 3B Gold Glove winner from 2013, Nolan Arenado, also has 2 errors. Some people around here wanted Daniel Murphy from the Mets. He has 3 errors. But he isn’t noted for his defense. Mark Texeira, known for his defense has 2 errors at 1B. Jedd Gyorko who only made 4 errors at 2B last year, has already made 2 this year. Jhonny Peralta of the Cardinals has 2 errors at short. What do the Cards have to say about that? Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre both have 3 errors with Texas. They need to be released.

    Kemp is likely going to need days off during the season. Tonight might be just one of those nights when Mattingly wants to use yesterday’s day off as an opportunity to give Kemp consecutive days off. If Kemp grows stronger during the year, I’m guessing that Mattingly might be inclined to play him more regularly. Early on, however, given how much time Kemp has missed over the past two seasons, I’m guessing Kemp will be given extra days in order to ease him gradually back to something resembling regular work. And I am not overly concerned about Kemp’s struggles at the plate so far. It’s been a long time away from regular action for him. It’s likely going to take some time. If he plays OK for the next couple of months, and begins to pick it strongly in June, that would satisfy me.

    Give it time. In the long run, assuming the Dodgers have health, I believe we’re going to see a lot more offense. Meanwhile, for the moment, the 6-4 Dodgers have a better record than the 5-4 Cardinals.

  10. Badger says:

    I don’t see any of the outfielders as everyday players. Divide the time up. Mix and match. Let the computer figure it out on some nights. I’m sure some of the smart dudes out there (maybe the wise guys at Dodger Indigest) could work up an algorithm that gives all four outfielders a 4 WAR at the end of the year.

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Listening to the D-Backs broadcast.

    Wow, are they trying to build this game and the D-Backs vs. Dodgers as something big. It is BIG for them.

    For me, it is just another series or team to play long the way.

    The announcer suggested that their pitcher send a message to Hanley during his first AB tonight to shake him up and send him a message. Not hit him but do come in close and tight.

    They wanted out of the first inning to quiet the Dodger fans along first base so they would have to sit on their hands.

    I guess they have to get their fans excited about something.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    True Mark. But keep in mind that good teams beat the opponents that they’re supposed to beat. So maybe the Dodgers are a good team. But you did say, not to get “too excited”. Is it OK to just get “excited”?

  13. Badger says:

    Good team effort against a tired, and incomplete team. Stats mean little until late May. I read years ago to not pay much attention until the 100 at bat point. We have more talent than any team in the West. I believe everybody agrees on that point. As long as they stay on the field we will be at or near the top all year.

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, I agree with what you said, except this.

    You said “As long as they stay on the field we will be at or near the top all year.”

    I would say “As long as they stay on the field we will be AT the top all year.”

    I firmly believe the Dodgers’ talent far outclasses the rest of the division, and that it won’t even be close. However, that comes with the proviso that the Dodgers remain healthy and on the field all year. If significant players are unable to stay on the field, then the Dodgers could struggle.

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