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Andrew Friedman Takes Blame for Dodgers’ Rough Start

Dodgers
Nov 7, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman addresses the media at a press conference at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning National League champions currently sit at 16-24. That is the worst start through 40 games in 60 years. L.A. is eight games out of first place, and one game out of last place in the N.L. West. As if things couldn’t get any worse, the Dodgers are coming off a four-game sweep to the Reds, who had the worst record in the league coming into the weekend.

The Dodgers are currently going through a stretch they haven’t gone through in a long period of time. They’ve won five consecutive division titles, and are coming off their first World Series appearance in nearly three decades. A lot of the blame can be shifted all over the place. For most fans, the blame lied=s heavily on the bullpen, and for good measure. Currently, the bullpen has an ERA of 4.51, which is No. 22 in the MLB. Even more disheartening, the bullpen has 10 losses, which is second worst in baseball.

You can put this on the health of the team as well. Currently, L.A. is missing 3/4 of their infield. Alex Wood is the only starter from the original five-man rotation who hasn’t had injury concerns. Every day it appears the Dodgers are throwing a new team out there. We have yet to see a fully healthy ball club, and looks like we won’t for the remainder of the season.

Someone has got to take the blame, right?

As of late, a lot of fans have been calling for Dave Roberts’ spot. After the rough start, many are saying the Dodgers need to fire Roberts, which is a little extreme. After coming up one game short of winning it all, a lot of pressure is on Roberts. Especially now. Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, recently spoke with the LA Times about the state of the team, including the future of manager Dave Roberts.

There is no doubt in my mind that he is the right guy to lead this team going forward. The way our minds work is not to assign blame to anyone at this point. It’s to hunker down, all together, and try to solve problems.

I’m very comfortable in saying that, if we had to assign blame at this point, it should be me who is taking that, and not Doc.

 

Analysis

It’s saddening that we’ve gotten to the point where Friedman has to publicly take blame for the Dodgers’ struggles. Though the team did lose two of their best bullpen pieces, they are essentially returning every player from last year’s historic team. It’ s great to see him come to the defense of his manager, and Dodgers fans should as well. Baseball is a crazy game, and every team goes through difficult stretches. As fans, we’ve been blessed over the course of the last five years, where we haven’t experienced anything like this. There still are over 120 games left to be played, and the Dodgers have overcome insurmountable deficits before. Frustration is boiling for us fans, but it has to be even worse for the players in that dugout. At this point, we have to continue showing our strong faith for the boys in blue, and continue to ride with them for the remainder of the season!

What do you think? Is Friedman really to blame or does that responsibility fall onto someone else? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Blake Harris

Blake is currently studying sports journalism at Arizona State University. He covers both the basketball and baseball teams, while hosting a weekly baseball show on the school's radio program. In his spare time, he edits highlight videos for collegiate and professional athletes. He currently has over 125,000 subscribers and 70 million views on Youtube. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he passionately roots for the Dodgers, Clippers, and Saints.

17 Comments

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    • the blame goes every where. the game is really very simple its throw hit catch! very simple its the execution that is hard and when one stresses it can become near to impossible, my suggestion is this. we are pretty much dead in the water so go out and have fun again enjoy what you are very fortunate to do play baseball all you guys know how you proved that in the past relax and believe in yourself!!!! lastly remember what ” campy ” said it takes a man to play the game but it takes a man with a kids heart to enjoy it.

    • The Dodgers are cheap.
      If you want to play with the big boys, you have to PAY.
      This nonsense of not signing big time pitchers and players to big, multi-year deals will continue to bring the results we are seeing now.
      The Dodgers make millions while refusing to put quality teams on the field that compete.
      They continue to draw millions in attendance because half the people are there to have some expensive beers, impress their girlfriends and their business contacts.
      Shame on the TV sacrilege! And yet they keep putting seats in the Stadium.
      If even 30% stayed home in protest, lots would change.

      • Fully agree. The TV debacle is a crime against (Dodger) humanity. I have been a diehard fan since 1955 but the Angels have a good product and i can see every game. Not sure if Dodger ownership knows (or cares) how many fans are no longer but in Santa Barbara County, we have no choice if we want to watch baseball. Its like a death in the family.

  1. The front office is reaping what they have sowed. They have been consisently praised by baseball writers for their brilliance and the ‘flexibility’ the team possesses. Some areas they have done well, no doubt. But there is a huge hole at second base and this group sent Dee Gordon to Miam effectivelyk for Kike Hernandez. Does that make sense? Remember, they released Howie Kendrick and got nothing. The Reds series was interesting because Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza were shipped away for Trayce Thompson, Frankie Montas and someone else. Schebler is a better hitter and a better defender – according to the analytics – than Joc Pederson. Why we are still stuck with him, I don’t know. Jose Peraza looks like a lot better option that the current Dodger midde infield. If would have been very costly to keep Murrow but Watson? He wasn’t very expensive. So the good with the bad . . . I just get tired of the ‘genius’ label for Friedman and Zaidi. They have had some successes but they clealry have made some ‘bonehead’ decisions.

    • Paul, The Dodger’s not only got Kike in the trade but also, Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Andrew Heaney(who was flipped for Howie Kendrick to whom you praised. I don’t know of a single Dodger fan that doesn’t think we “won” that trade.

  2. @ Analysis.. We will always continue to support Our Boys in Blue, but maybe if Friedman and the front office STOPPED telling Roberts what to say and do maybe Roberts could fix the problem knowing the game. Seems like many people have not realized that Friedman is controlling Roberts and coaching from the front office. As for Friedman and the front office are concern… the Dodgers have ALWAYS needed pitchers, specially in the blow-up pen. True we didn’t loose too many players but the ones we did loose, have you seen what they are doing? We lost the relievers who were strong. Anyway you want to look at it, if we had better bullpen we would have a lot more wins!

  3. He definitely deserves upwards of 90% of the blame, mostly for NOT doing anything to keep their bullpen intact, as well as doing absolutely nothing to improve the team. Roberts does make questionable decisions, like starting Darvish in game 7 last season and pulling starting pitchers way too early, so he is at fault, too. Losing JT, Keyshawn and Seagar is just plain old bad luck, unfortunately.

    Damn the luxury tax and go get Machado to man SS or 3B, let Seagar -lay the other and move JT to 2B. A guy can dream, right?

  4. Like it or not, this is a result driven sport; and right now the LA Dodgers suck! they have no bullpen, they are not hitting, and the starting pitching is designed around 5-6 innings and turning it over to the pen to hold on – this is a recipe for disaster. I have been a Dodger fan since the middle fifties, and will always be a Dodger fan, but the reality is if you’re in the best division in baseball, you are supposed to beat the bad teams and split with the goods ones. We need to start with the bullpen and get guys in there that can CONSTANTLY get the job done; if the means dumping Baez, Fields, etc, lets do it. I also recommend changing the starting rotation around, add Strippling – What’s it going to hurt? Maeda goes to the pen and maybe Ryu when he returns as well. Just my thoughts…..

  5. What I find a complete load of BS is the quote “we’ve never seen anything like this”. Really? I seem to remember just late last season the Dodgers almost tanking their season starting in August 2017. Didn’t they break some stupid stat on losing so many games in a row, or something?

    I really like Dave Roberts but after winning the National league championship he, and the team couldn’t handle the pressure of the World Series event. Before they got there, the team was loose and confident, but after that they were no longer smiling, feeling good about themselves. Even Puig stopped licking his bat. The team was as tight as diamonds are hard. Roberts couldn’t shake the team from themselves. We all prayed the Dodgers would pull off winning game 7, but was anyone really that confident they would? I sure wasn’t. Gawd I wanted it, but I was never convinced by their posture.

    I believe there are two reasons no team, not the Dodgers, A’s or the others will ever win the W.S., it’s called Analytics. Analysis type baseball works really well during the regular season but get to the playoffs and we see time and again teams disappearing. And the other reason is bad, bad, bad, bad bad karma from 5 years of TV BLACKOUT. The baseball Gawds will never allow it…never!

  6. Quit pulling good performing pitchers at the 6th inning. or a hundred pitches. Some of these guys at strong enough to go 125-130 and pitch to the 8th. If they are not, then pull them at 6 but don’t treat everyone the same like its some kind of rule. Move Miata to a middle relief role and for god sake, option Baez to the Minors !! He was a problem last year and still is this year Baez is goo for 1 strike out, 1 ground out, and three runs each inning…….

    • I was thinking about this tonight – is it time to let starting pitchers go deeper into games? I sure would have loved to have seen it when Stripling was in command and at 80 pitches this past Saturday evening.

  7. Where do I begin?
    1. “I’m very comfortable in saying that, if we had to assign blame at this point, it should be me who is taking that, and not Doc.” – no kidding, Friedman! You, and Farhar as well, are to blame for more stupid decisions since you got here than anyone in baseball. The list is too long to recount, and lifelong Dodger fans, like me and one guy whose comment is above, know what they are.
    If the guys who pay your salaries spent some of that wasted money on real players, like Verlander instead of Darvish last year, we would have won the World Series. Instead, lifelong Dodger fans like me, and Dodger heroes like Koufax and Newcombe, and La Sorda might not live long enough to experience another championship.
    2. To save this season – empty the bullpen, except for Jansen and Stripling, who should be a starter, as well as the starters who cannot stay healthy, and get a couple real starters, right now.
    3. To keep Dodger fans, pay Kershaw whatever he asks for, or else! No one has give more to this team over the last decade than Clayton.
    4. To ownership, you should have got Theo Epstein when he left Boston.
    5. Blake Harris’ comment is sad. “It’s saddening that we’ve gotten to the point where Friedman has to publicly take blame for the Dodgers’ struggles.” It’s also sad if my comments do not get published. I will try the L.A. Times next.

    • Dodgers fans should boycott dodger games until sorry ass get there shit together. Dodgers always trying save money , by trying sign sorry ass players should be out professional baseball there washed up. Dodgers trying get players from goodwill store instead bring in quilty players , sorry assses asking all this money and fucken win freakin games. If management cares about what fans are saying they would step in and put stop this bull shit.

  8. There is blame to go around but I would say 90 percent of it has to go to management. So you are telling me that all these so called geniuses could not anticipate a down year from some of our players that had break out years in 2017? Not only that but as many of you have pointed out, Andrew and his puppet did nothing to improve our team. The season was lost during the off-season and that lies squarely on our front office. Where is all the dept they talk about? I’ve for once have had it with this penny pinching front office who always settles for broken down pitchers and dumpster dive through the Rays and A’s minor leagues and search of the next bargain. We are not Oakland or Tampa Bay..there baboons have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. Let’s hold them accountable for their arrogance and their sabermetrix simple minded approach to a sport they probably never even played. This is not a video game guys..these are the freaking Dodgers !!!

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