Jack Harris wrote an excellent analysis of the Dodgers’ failures this year. The Dodgers thought they had pitching under control, but given the reality of postseason pitching requirements, their pitching was only fair, not great. Had they had a healthy Walker Buehler, Blake Treinen, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin they would have been great. On the hitting side, the once-great lineup lost emotion and batting discipline with every milestone on the home field: first they won the division, then the NL, then all of MLB. They were already in “sleep mode” in the final weeks of the season, not to mention the five-day wait for the Padres. Last year it was too much stress that got the Giants. Waiting for the Padres wasn’t stressful enough this year.
While the Dodgers were definitely “doomed by hitting” in the playoffs against the Padres, I think a major underlying factor was their lack of spirit. From the first game they didn’t seem to be having fun or enjoying what they were doing, it was like they were just doing their job and wanting to finish it. In contrast, the Padres were high-spirited and excited. No matter how skillful players are, if they don’t love what they do, they’re “doomed” in the end.
Jack Harris’ excellent article misses the point. Baseball is as tough a game as there is. Dave Roberts is a great manager. I want him back. What a year! But here’s the deal. This season has been marked by two calls that reflect modern baseball, statisticians and front offices, all a little short of raw emotion, with approaches to the game Tommy Lasorda would have given up if his gut had told him: (1 ) They don’t pick up a pitcher who pitches a perfect play in April or any month of the season. (2) They don’t take out a pitcher who pitches a shutout in October.
Oddly overlooked in opinions as to where to blame for the Dodgers’ final debacle in October lay: The Curse of the One Whose Name Is Not Mentioned.
Remember what LA did in 2021 to increase the chances of repeating the 2020 World Series success? The team added 2020 Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to their pitching team. Then came allegations of sexual abuse, citing his two-year suspension, which runs until next July.
What’s the best way for the Dodgers to escape the curse of TB? Start ridding the team roster of its lingering taint.
Please don’t hate me for being a lifelong Giants fan, but has it ever occurred to you Dodger fanatics that your quick exit from the playoffs this year might have been predetermined by the baseball gods because you tried to buy the largest team in the history of? the sport? So, here’s some advice you might want to reconsider any thought of getting Aaron Judge in the off-season. Not only is he destined to break your heart, but mine too if he bats third in your lineup.
Bill Plashchke embodied what was wrong with the Dodgers and their fans long before 2017 in his diatribe about the Astros in 2017: whine, whine, whine. You can’t fail to get where the Astros are, year after year, and claim the supremacy of a silly moral virtue.
Well, this is a pillar that Plaschke hit from inside the stadium. I can’t think of a true baseball fan outside of Houston who could acknowledge that the Astros deservedly won the 2017 World Series, or believe that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s lukewarm discipline gave a handful of Houston staff courage and integrity proved after the investigation was completed in 2020.
The worst part about the Astros cheating the Dodgers out of the 2017 World Series championship is that I actually have to agree with Bill Plaschke.
Axel W Kyster
The NBA season has begun, and those of us who are Lakers fans can find the team in familiar territory: last place. I wanted to search sports news to put a smile on my face and I discovered NBA boxing scores. I was like, how is the former Lakers family doing this NBA season? Here’s what I saw: Brandon Ingram, 28 points; DeAngelo Russell, 23 points; Jordan Clarkson, 29 points; Kyle Kuzma, 26 points; Julius Randle, 15 points. Look Lakers fans, there’s good news for our Lakers family.
In his column “Time for the Lakers to dump Russ,” Bill Plaschke ignores the elephant in the room. Russell Westbrook receives $47,000,000 to play basketball for the Lakers for a season. Then hearing him whine for not starting! That’s what I expect from my 8-year-old son. How different can a person be?
Why are we even remotely surprised by the Lakers’ atrocious start, the laughingstock they’ve become? And don’t tackle LeBron James or Russell Westbrook or Anthony Davis. Since Jeanie Buss became team president in the 2013/14 season, they have amassed an abominable record of 287-427 with their handpicked Executive Brain Trust. This season will only add to the odium.
How many trainers and GMs have been fired for much, much less?
World Series, seriously?
Remember when the World Series was determined by who won the American League and National League pennants? We have the American League playoff winner with the best season record in the World Series, but they’re playing the National League playoff winner with the worst season record. I miss the good old days.
SEC > Pac-12, still
I laugh every time I read in the LA Times that a Pac-12 football team has a shot at making the four-team playoffs, let alone winning the national championship. Here’s what you need to know about the Pac-12. Georgia defeated Oregon (the “class of the Pac-12,” according to The Times) by 46 points. Even considering the Pac-12 has come a long way in 2022, the league is nowhere near the SEC in terms of talent and depth.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Speaking of prejudices…
As a high school football official, I was disappointed to read J. Brady McCollough’s thinly veiled attack on the integrity of college football officials. Using an anecdotal analysis of 14 penalties for a game, the author “simply tries to ask” if there is prejudice, while intentionally nurturing a fan perspective that “there is prejudice against us!” I’m a fan too ( teams I don’t manage) and I know how emotions can cloud perspectives, but at a time when unruly behavior from coaches, players and fans is threatening officials at all levels and in all sports, I think more of a thoughtful and intelligent Analysis of possible prejudices is justified.
Long winter ahead
The Lakers are toast, the Rams are a MASH entity and the Dodgers have a “subtle endemic weakness” (named Dave Roberts). I don’t care about the Chargers or the Clippers and I hate football. It’s going to be a long few years.
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