in

Dodgers Blues: Fans on the Edge, But Not For Long



Note: This piece was written early Monday prior to the news of Corey Seager’s impending surgery and his loss for the remainder of the season which, obviously, changes the perspective a little.

 

There are dark clouds hovering over Dodgertown. The air is dank and the animals are still and quiet, the anxious calm before a brewing storm. This foreboding shadow was cast over the once joyous and bright populace of Chavez Ravine on the First Day of November last year. It fell upon Dodgers fans at the very moment our gallant knight, Corey Seager, grounded out to short thus relinquishing the 2017 season to the Houston Astros. The gloom hit us and it hit us hard. Everyone, fans, players, front office execs and even Dodger Dog vendors felt the disappointment of losing Game 7 in the pit of our stomachs. All of us know the only way to alleviate the suffering was to await the arrival of the 2018 season. A fresh start. Another chance to get back to the World Series and set The Universe right.

So, we waited. April finally came. Now, as the month expires, the relief we’ve been yearning for and fully expected to receive has failed to materialize. Not only have we yet to see the brand of Dodger Baseball that had us giddy and gloating last Summer, we are being humiliated by our arch rivals. Heck, we even made the pathetic Miami Marlins, surely on their way to 100+ losses, look like the ’27 Yanks. It’s no wonder the Dodger Twitterverse, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts are being deluged with fans howling for the heads of everyone from Andrew Friedman to Pedro Baez. Not even Magic Johnson has escaped criticism, and Magic is about as close to a saint in L.A. as you can get. The natives are, obviously, restless.

 

Fear not, fellow Dodger fans, I am here to address those fears and will attempt to soothe that inner angst and talk you off that ledge you’re hanging ten on right now. My qualifications for such a job? Well, I’m a cartoonist! It’s what we do.

Let’s start with the complaint I hear most often from my fellow fans: “We didn’t make any moves over the offseason to make us better! We subtracted rather than added! We didn’t get a solid No. 2 to back up Kershaw! We didn’t get the reigning NL MVP who wanted to be a Dodger! It was all about saving money!”

I’m going to alienate half of you right now by confessing I am the Number One Apologist for this Front Office. Why? Because they’ve had a plan, they’ve told us what the plan was going to be and they’ve stuck to it. They’ve gotten us to the postseason every year they’ve been here and gotten us as far as Game 7 of the World Series. A Series where some very good player underachieved. The WS loss is on the players, not the Front Office. Sorry. Kenley closes out Game 2 like he had ALL season, who knows? Kersh holds leads of four and three runs, who knows? Now, the Yu Darvish move? Yeah, in hindsight I believe we all would have tried to get Verlander instead, but, hindsight is 20/20.

Reflecting Back

Still, why didn’t we do more over the offseason? We have the money! I’ll tell you why. Let’s not forget, the core of this team won 104 games last year. It took a lot of money to bring back Kenley, JT and Rich Hill. Money well spent, if you ask me, I think you’d agree. Ownership agreed to pay, what was it? $30M in luxury tax last year? Don’t tell me they’re “cheap.” But, this year, had they gone over the $197M threshold the penalty would have been even greater. In order to sign a player like Giancarlo Stanton would have meant tying up nearly a half a billion dollars OR gutting the organization of its most valued commodity; depth. It doesn’t make sense, how don’t care how rich you are. To the FO’s credit, the tried to get creative. The Matt Kemp trade was a move in that direction. Wierdly, it looks as though that might actually work out to our advantage after all. Matty has been a pleasant surprise! Chalk one up for the Geek Squad!

I won’t draw any parallels between our sluggish start this year and the short offseason. I won’t point out we had a nearly identical record at this point last season and yet somehow managed to get to our first World Series in nearly thirty years. Far be it from me to feed you some line that having our team MVP third baseman back in a couple of weeks will make a difference. I would never, ever point to the silver lining that’s breaking through with the performances of guys like Matt Kemp or Walker Buehler. I would be foolish to mention that Seager, Joc and Cody, and their bats, are heating up a bit. I mean, that would be silly, wouldn’t it? You don’t honestly believe Clayton Kershaw is washed up, do you? Kenley too? Really? Come on, folks.

Look, it’s been a rough stretch and there are things to be concerned about. Friedman and Zaidi’s magic touch in building bullpens with spare parts hasn’t panned out so far, although we don’t know yet how Koehler will impact the unit. The on again off again nature of the offense is a bit trying, but having Justin Turner back may not be a cure all, but it can’t hurt. I don’t believe CT3 was a one-shot deal, he shows signs of getting it together. I do think Rich Hill will be effective again, despite his propensity for finger owies. This still a very good team that hasn’t quite found itself yet this season. It’s up to Doc to get them all going in the same direction. I think he can do that. And, one last thing to keep in mind, I think this Front Office is lying in the weeds and still has a deal or two up its sleeve. Currently, they have somewhere between $9M and $11M to play with under the luxury tax threshold. They still have some depth in prospects. The will address any glaring needs we may have (or develop) and we will compete this year! You can trust me, I’m a cartoonist.

Revised cartoon. After learning of Corey Seager’s surgery …

 

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/cody-bellinger-benched-for-lack-of-hustle/2018/04/29/”]Cody Bellinger Benched For a Lack of Hustle[/button]

Written by Staff Writer

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Where you are wrong is we did a bad job on our bull pen. That is the biggest weakness and we should have brought Watson and Marrow back.

  2. Too many old pieces getting too many games. Pederson hitting singles now, Utley can’t turn a DP with that rag of an arm and clearly not the best at 2 in the organization. The Loving of KIKI has to stop he’s not too good and really hasn’t been except for a game here and there. Forsyth was just a mistake. These are so so players at best carried by some awesome years put up by Belle, Taylor, Turner and Seager. Kenley sure will be ok but not the Kenley of past years. Kersh too. Meanwhile hot hitters are platooned Kemp and deserving prospects are in and out of the lineup, Verdugo and Buehler. What happened to best player plays?

    • This team has needed pitching since Grienke walked. Additions in the rotation were mistakes. Here is how it stacks up in my opinion: 1: Kershaw: love him on our side. Not the best pitcher in the game though. He competes, is a leader in the clubhouse and much more, but don’t tell me he’s the best in the game. Still, we’re very fortunate to have Kershaw. 2: Alex Wood? Unproven! Mediocre pitcher at best. Had a great year last year, but tailed off in the end. 3: Kenta Maeda: Mediocre. 4: Rich Hill? Inconsistent 2 pitch pitcher. # 4 guy at best. 5: Hyun Jin Ryu: Having a good start, but nothing more than mediocre and ready to crash and burn is most reliable asset. When we have had chances to bring in bona fide pitchers? We passed. We chose Darvish over Verlander, one of the best pitchers of our time, experienced and with a great girlfriend to boot! Who takes Darvish over Verlander? Houston FO sure didn’t, and added Gerrit Cole in the offseason to boot. How about Roberts? Not only did he blow the WS for us last year, but he can’t write a consistent lineup. Man, my rant is over. Sorry.

  3. I completely disagree with our cartoonist friend. This is a front office that acts as though we’re a small market team. We’re not! When you don’t win the WS you don’t sit still and expect a repeat to the playoffs.
    I root for the Dodgers but I live in the NYC suburbs. The Yankees bring in fire ballers to supplement their young arms in the bullpen. They don’t keep guys like Font, Baez, Alexander, etc. around. They take a lead into the seventh, they usually win. We depend on Kenley Jansen and a bunch of scrubs.
    It’s not fair to Kenley or the fans. You can tell that this front office’s plan, that you call it, stinks when it comes to the bullpen and bench. They didn’t improve a bullpen that needed improvement over the winter. Now, instead of a bullpen they have a pigpen.
    With Turner and now Seager injured and gone for the year, their finished. Bring up the pitching and hitting talent from the minors. Stop babying the young guys. Play them and see what you’ve got for the near future. I could go on but it’s not worth it when they don’t even listen to or give answers to their fans for creating this dumpster fire.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Everything, spot on. Just a little add on here: we are not a juggernaut offensive club. Bats are boom or bust. Sometimes we make mediocre pitching look like Cy Young. Need contact hitters, blue collar hard-nosed hitters mingled in with a few big guns. Of he guys we have now, these are the one that I would keep: JTurn, CS5, CT3 and CBell. Everybody else is an out. Verdugo is a contact guy: his time has come in LA.

  4. They got lucky on a reclamation project with Morrow and then let him leave. Made a move for Watson and let him leave. They hang onto Baez and whatever head case issues he is having. They let Ethier go without any attempt at seeing what he may have left in the tank. Robert’s handles starting pitchers like they are abiding by little league rules. Over 50 years as a fan and this is the first season I think my interest has waned by beginning of May.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0