Tampa Bay, the Cubs, Houston, the Mets and the Phillies all have worse records than the Dodgers (just to name a few teams), but the Dodgers are currently the laughingstock of baseball right now. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports penned a column castigating the Dodgers and showing what the perception of the Dodgers really is by outsiders. In part he said this:
The irony in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ daily soap opera is that this $235 million team was built for TV.
Now, not only is the team hard on the eyes, but you can’t find it on the TV network in Los Angeles.
Fitting, isn’t it?
The Dodgers are a dead team walking.
Oh, sure, they still very well could find themselves claiming one of the two wild-card spots.
But win the National League West?
The San Francisco Giants don’t have the talent the Dodgers have, but they have the kind of team the Dodgers crave.
The Giants are the definition of a true team.
The Dodgers are the true definition of a sabermetric nightmare.
The Dodgers may look good on paper, and there are high-paid stars everywhere you look, but when they step on the field together, they are a TV reality show: “Dysfunction Junction.”
They may out-talent everybody in the league, but they will never outhustle anybody.
How can the Dodgers (32-30) see that they actually have a worse record than the Miami Marlins and not be totally disgusted?
There is one guy, of course, who happens to be the only guy worth watching these days: Yasiel Puig. And while Puig has certainly matured this year, the Dodgers have conveniently looked the other way when it comes to discipline.
It was just this past week — the same day that shortstop Hanley Ramirez and closer Kenley Jansen argued on the field before the game and Matt Kemp and Puig argued during the game, and a few days after outfielder Andre Ethier and Mattingly yelled at each other — that Puig stepped onto the field wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, getting ready for a TV interview.
The rest of his teammates were actually on the field getting ready to stretch, and hitting coach Mark McGwire tapped at his wristwatch, reminding Puig that he was late.
Completely unfazed, Puig still stood in front of the cameras, did his interview, headed back to the clubhouse, changed, and missed stretching. He took his batting practice, didn’t bother shagging balls with the rest of the outfielders, and still was in the lineup.
How’s that for discipline?
The Dodgers are a mess, and everyone in the game knows it.
Here they are, with the most expensive team in baseball history, and a starting rotation that’s the finest in the game, and they are squandering their riches.
They are a Maserati with a Ford Pinto engine.
Let’s see, your starting shortstop, Ramirez, is considered the worst defensive shortstop in baseball by any defensive stat you choose.
Ouch! He goes on and on about it and other teams, but right here, right now, the Dodgers are a pathetic joke!