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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Addresses LA’s Lackluster October Offense



The Dodgers final game of the season epitomized the team’s greatest weakness – the inability to consistently score runs. In his end-of-year press conference on Wednesday, Dodgers President Andrew Friedman addressed a myriad of topics. The unreliable offense being one of them.

Friedman stated that the Dodgers lineup, after acquiring Trea Turner from the Nationals, was the best he’s ever built. He also noted that the offense didn’t perform to its true potential.

Dodgers fans can certainly vouch for that. 

After we made the Trea Turner deal, in my opinion, 1 through 8, it was the deepest, best lineup I’ve been around. But it didn’t quite play like that over those two months. It was just a little lumpier than I would have expected…we hit some real stretches where five or six guys were struggling in the lineup at the same time.

Friedman also didn’t shy away from the lackluster run production being a major challenge for the Dodgers in October.

To me, that’s a big part of this postseason was just our struggle to consistently score runs and feeling like we had the lineup depth to do that. It just didn’t play out that way and figuring out the why is important. As we all know, a lot of things in baseball are hard to tease out get to the why.

A Trio of Struggling Infielders

Notably, two mainstays of the Friedman-Dodgers era were not quite themselves in October: Corey Seager and Justin Turner. A year after winning the NLCS and World Series MVP awards, Seager slashed .188/.264/.375 in the playoffs. He also led the team with 14 strikeouts.

Justin Turner, a Dodgers postseason hero, stumbled to a .416 OPS. He battled a neck injury before pulling his hamstring in Game 4 of the NLCS. He was eventually removed from the roster for the final two games of the series. After that, Friedman and manager Dave Roberts struggled to construct effective lineups without primetime Turner.

Friedman surely expected more out of Trea Turner during the playoff push as well. The other Turner had just two extra-base hits, twelve strikeouts, and a single stolen base en route to a .245 OBP.

A Pivotal Offseason for Friedman

The Dodgers team president and the rest of the front office have a big winter ahead of them. Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Max Scherzer are all free agents.

Dodgers: Insider Labels Chris Taylor LA’s ‘Most Important’ Free Agent

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. There’s an article at the Athletic where Friedman unequivocally states that in game pitching decisions are made autonomously in the dugout by Roberts, Prior, Geren, and Danny Lehmann. Lehmann is the game planning coach. Again it should end the notion that Friedman calls from on high during games to tell Roberts what to do.
    Perhaps what’s most interesting were his comments about exceeding the cap this year in an attempt to win back-to-back for the fans and core players. It seems to suggest a modest reset is in the offing this off-season. I don’t think it bodes well for resigning Corey, Kersh, or Kenley.

    • Bum4, I concur. I garnered similar takeaways from AF’s media day interview. I wrote elsewhere that I’m most definitely not opposed to “holding Doc’s feet to the fire” in light of his dismal NLCS performance. I like the man but his decision making there left much to be desired as far as I’m concerned. I say no to an extension for 2022. For 2022 it’s sink or swim! As long as he’s given a decent enough roster to contend, the ball will be in his court and we can re-evaluate at season’s end. No problem.

      • The Dodgers can’t win enough games to satisfy you Roberts-haters. They won it all in 2020 and your kind never let up all season. For the Dodgers to win 112 games this season with so many decimating injuries shows how good he is, and deserves a multi-year contract.

        • Steven, you apparently don’t read many of my comments. I’m usually one of the few Doc supporters here. I will not, however, give him a pass on certain in-game decision making during the NLCS. I’m not an all or nothing guy. I can praise and criticize at the same time. Everyone makes mistakes. Certain players given their respective track records deserve a pass sometimes and other times not. Everything is situationally dependent. Do I make any sense? If not, you may choose to disagree or ignore me. I try to have fact-based evidence to support any claim I make. Rather than just spit forth vial diatribe. What’s the point of that other than to just vent frustrations? Hope this clarifies things for anyone who cares.

      • Finally seeing Drrrrrr for what he is huh D4? Also you’ve just been reminded once again that it’s Drrrrrrr that makes the decisions. So either let me hear it!!!! They’re full of sheet, or your boy Drrrrrrrrr IS not this Grand strategist baseball guru that the apologists speculate he is…. P.S., the Padres have been reading my posts, they hired BoB Melvin…..Now drrrrrrrr has yeat another manager besides Kapler in the division to school him….

        • Well I’ve already gone on record, Kirk in saying NO to any contract extension. And if Alston was successful and survived all those 1 year deals hegot over those years, DRRRR can’t act like he’s a lame duck manager. But it’s obvious that if there is a 2022 season he will be manager and whether he picks up where he left off as far as in game management goes, stay tuned, IDK….

        • Kirk, you well know, unless you can’t read which I’m sure is not the case, that the decision to bring in Max to close game 5 of the DS was a collaborative one as was the decision to bring in Julio in game 2. Neither pitcher threw their normal side session BY DESIGN. This was “pre-meditated.” This was not some whimsical decision on Doc’s part.

          Now where I will skewer him is on his decision to bring up stiff Souza in the 7th! That was absolutely a taylor-made spot for Barnesy to come up and squeeze home Belli from 3rd with one out following AP’s K.

          I will also call him to task for throwing poor Luxy to the wolves out there in CF on a day game at the Ravine! Would have so much more logical to have Belli out there and Beaty “the dog murderer” lol at 1B.

        • Kirk, I didn’t even know the Pad’s were interviewing Melvin. Only heard about Scioscia and Guillen. I thought Ozzie was their man for sure. He would have been a perfect babysitter for Fernando and Manny lol. Certainly not a job I’d want for sure.

          Ok so now who is the skipper for the A’s?? Oh well. Not my ball of wax to deal with. Over and out.

  2. Unless he’s lying to take heat off him? Roberts said they are collaborative decisions from the tippy top of organization.

    • I don’t know why he would lie. he’s not a politician currying votes from the public. All sports executives take heat at some point from their fan base. Roberts and Friedman have said many times they discuss game strategies regularly but these occur before the games are played. Once the game begins Roberts is in charge though I’d like to understand what Lehmann’s job description means and what weight he carries.

      • Bum4, I’m with you there. For me there is no other way to color it that there are questions we don’t have answers for. I don’t care how much Baseball knowledge anyone has. Some things just happen because they happen. Who is directly responsible for a given outcome is not always clear. Sometimes it’s the manager, sometimes it’s the player and yes sometimes it’s the FO too.

  3. It makes total sense that the in-game, of the moment decisions, are made only by Roberts. You can discuss an ‘overview’ before a game, etc…. But when in the moment, a decision has to be made. That is where many of us feel Roberts fails.

    Go Dodgers 2022!!!!

    D2

    • Dougie, is it fair to say the same could be said of any of the other 29 in MLB? Just spitballin’ lol

      • I think it is fair to say that many of the 29 made great in-game, spur of the moment decisions, others not so much…. Roberts would be in the later category.

        One word Roberts needs to learn: Adjustment/s

        Too many Dodgers would try and do as Vinny would say, “It’s a high drive too deep right field…..back goes……” And that little voice from the past, ‘check that!’

        D2

        • Dougie, I will also say it’s fair to say that only 1 of the 29 had a better record in 2021. And none of them can say I have more WS appearances over the last 5 years 😉

          Ouch

          • Oh boy, ugh…..

            You keep giving credit to a manager when it’s the players who make things happen on the field. The Dodger roster won despite Roberts.

            The Dodgers lost a number of games when Dave had to make in-game decisions, and there were many. Or, when he brought the lineup card out each night, always having at least one player on a spa day.

            A good manager, gets his team into a strong position before giving days off.

            Throughout the season, Roberts was always playing from behind. A cockiness, thinking we can coast because ‘I’, Dave Roberts, knows the Giants will fold. ‘I’ll just wait them out’.

            Sadly, he lost.

            BTW – update on Joc last night…. 3K’s .125 Series BA – That’s the strap we know and……. all or nothing. In the upcoming FA market, he will be an after thought…..

            D2

          • Seems as if every comment I make on here is ‘up for moderation’.

            Thanks for the fun….

            I’m out. Bye.

            D2

  4. You don’t know why he would lie? Really? I’ve been practicing law for almost 50 years and the one constant I’ve found is that EVERYONE lies, at least to some degree and for a variety of different reasons. The most common reason is to deflect criticism or guilt. He’s not a politician but he has bosses with whom he wants to look good. If they had won the championship, I suspect that it might have been a different interview and response, e.g., taking more credit for the decisions rather than trying to absolve himself from any negative responsibility.

    • GregB, that’s an excellent point. I certainly won’t argue with an attorney lol. It just so happens I agree with you too 😉

  5. For once, I’m not going to fault the front office for how things turned out with the offense. Friedman put the best team on the field and – all year long – it was literally hit or miss. Other teams would probably ditch the “hitting” coaches, but I’m not sure that helps at this point. We saw in 2020 that having the DH really helps and that is something to look forward to next year. You really need a professional hitter in the middle of things to turn in consistently good at bats. That could be JTurn next year which would clear up the infield clog, although I really don’t think Seager is coming back.

    • Not fault the FO for having a bunch of sub Mendoza line bench players….lol

      I guess it was the ball girl’s fault lol

  6. My God, the team won 106 games in the regular season. He must have made a lot more good decisions than bad. ALL MANAGERS who don’t win it all get criticized for their decisions but anyone who knows baseball knows there are more options than one and sometimes your decision just doesn’t work out.

  7. What will forever puzzle me here is this constant looking at only one half of the equation…the offense.

    Anyone who really pays attention to sports in general, not just baseball, can’t tell me that defense doesn’t matter! Yet nobody here ever discusses it. Maybe because it’s more difficult to evaluate for some? IDK.

    It is my contention that defense wins championships because of its nature to be more consistent than offensive production. Look after-all a HOF batter fails 70% of the time!! Folks use your noodle a bit. I know it hurts lol.

    • Defense is huge. Another area in a season long of mishaps from the players side of things.

      Speaking of players, Kyle Beach of the Chicago Blackhawks was the ‘John Doe’ in the sexual assault situation the team had about 10 years ago. He needs everyone’s thoughts and prayers. It literally has ruined his life……

      D2

      • Dougie, apologies go out to him. I know every little if anything about the game. Never played it, don’t follow it. Do know that Wayne Gretzky was decent at it lol. I probably couldn’t tell you a single team name of the newer franchises beyond maybe the Colorado Avalanche. I’m a baseball nut. Know a fair amount about Hoops too. Any Bruin who doesn’t would be sacrilegious lol

  8. How about their approach at the plate. It rarely seemed as if anyone was simply trying to get a hit, nothing but homerun swings. We left numerous men on base, seems like in almost every game, where just a base hit could have brought in a run or two and potentially changed the game… I miss baseball.

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