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Kemp, Donnie meant you but singled out Ethier

May 23, 2013


Another case where 140 characters on twitter isn’t enough…

Today was an interesting day. The Dodgers played the always exciting daytime getaway game in Milwaukee and beat up on a guy named Wily Peralta who has an ERA over 6.

More interesting was Donnie, perhaps getting wind he’d be fired tomorrow, lashing out at his Frankenteam of comfortable millionaires, noting it takes “grit”, not just All-Stars, to win baseball games.

In his attack, Donnie singled out apathetic right fielder Andre Ethier, whose only emotion the past few years is when he argues incessantly with home plate umpires over balls and strikes.

Ethier was once one of my favorite Dodgers, but now he’s a non-factor. He seems genuinely bored, or unhappy, to be playing baseball for millions of dollars and his modus operandi is a hot month here or there sandwiched by months of sleepwalking. This season it’s been mostly sleepwalking thus far.

In fairness to Ethier, as inconsequential as he’s been, he’s not THAT far off his usual performance to date. Donnie clearly made him a scapegoat because he was an easier target than the guy he probably wanted to call out, pretty boy movie star good looking Matt Kemp.

Girls all over the twitterverse swoon over Matt’s dreamy eyes, well planned stubble and captivating eyes, but if Ethier is being paid $85M to hit home runs and drive people in, Kemp is paid close to double that. Ethier is also having the better season – albeit slightly.

Imagine the backlash if Donnie took on the team’s most popular player? Even with one foot out the door, Donnie didn’t want to go that far. So he took on the sweaty looking guy who most people don’t have strong feelings for anyway, except for whatever remaining groupies he still has left.

I’ve previously blamed the troubles of the Dodgers on management and the construction of the team, and noted the bullpen as the number one shortcoming. Think about all the blown saves; how many has there been? Eight? Nine? With the team 6 games out of first, in spite of their performance, do the math and figure out what a better bullpen would mean.

As braindead as Donnie has been at times, making questionable choices and mostly refusing to be creative with his lineup, it’s not entirely his fault. His points make sense. The team does lack fire, urgency, leadership, guts, whatever you want to call it.

I think it’s bad when a manager goes to the press and says that, it sounds like he’s giving up and wants to fire one off before he’s kicked to the curb. That could be Donnie’s motive, or it could be he wants to publicly embarrass his team and inspire them to set aside their Patek Philippe watches and find some fire deep inside long since buried by rich food and disinterest.

Since fans need some optimism, I will say that as hard it is to admit, I think the soon return of Hanley Ramirez will inspire the team and right the ship to some degree. Hanley is a chaaracter and his still potent bat will push sluggish Kemp and Ethier down in the order, thus giving the team an actual chance to drive in some of the guys who routinely get on in front of the meat spots of the order.

Hanley with his childish “I See You” antics, until his next injury, can infuse some life into this slumbering Frankenteam. So, while we wait for that, hopefully Donnie (or whoever replaces him) understands the offensive woes stem from those critical heart of the lineup spots not being able to do the job. Playing Scott Van Slyke today and allowing the revamped slugger to bat in an important position worked. What do you know?

Hopefully his presence becomes more routine as he gets to do what I earlier in the year had hoped would be the fate of Yasiel Puig, cobbling together regular playing time as the three outfielders are rested. Is Van Slyke can get in there while he’s hot, it would be much more beneficial to the team’s chances of winning than going with the very definition of insanity and putting Kemp and Ethier back to back every game and expecting different results than what we’ve seen.

I will end this with what Donnie couldn’t say today – Matt Kemp is a mess right now and if not hurt, or off “vitamins” of some sort, he’s just lost his ability to hit the baseball – and is somehow slower of foot too.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, but I predict some point this season, or when it’s over, we’ll hear how he didn’t want to say anything, and bravely soldiered on the best he could in spite of agonizing pain from his off-season surgery. That’s all well and good, but playing through that won’t land him on any hero list of mine. These games, that spot in the order, could have been given to Van Slyke, Puig, or Joc Pederson.

Donnie, I read between the lines, so here, for your benefit, because you were such an amazing first baseman in your playing days and surely a Hall of Famer before a bad back sidetracked that, I am listing every major league player that currently has more home runs than $160M “slugger” Matt Kemp. They’re in order, and you will see names you’ve never heard of, players who have been released by their clubs, bench players, nobodies – and James Loney!

Enjoy the show. Oh, and in case you are wondering, the list is 203 major leaguers long.

Justin Upton
Chris Davis
Robinson Cano
Miguel Cabrera
Edwin Encarnacion
Mark Reynolds
Bryce Harper
Paul Goldschmidt
Adam Dunn
Jose Bautista
Nelson Cruz
Carlos Gonzalez
Adrian Beltre
Carlos Beltran
Vernon Wells
John Buck
Alex Rios
Michael Morse
Mark Trumbo
J.P. Arnecibia
Mitch Moreland
Anthony Rizzo
Evan Gattis
Prince Fielder
Shin-Soo Choo
Troy Tulowitzki
Evan Longoria
Ryan Braun
Chris Carter
Wilin Rosario
Mike Trout
Yoenis Cespedes
Raul Ibanez
Travis Hafner
J.J. Hardy
Yuniesky Betancourt
Kelly Johnson
Dan Uggla
Matt Joyce
Pablo Sandoval
Dexter Fowler
Domonic Brown
Pedro Alvarez
Carlos Santana
Lucas Duda
Will Middlebrooks
David Ortiz
Rick Ankiel
Albert Pujols
Lyle Overbay
Michael Cuddyer
Brandon Phillips
Chase Utley
Adam LaRoche
Ian Kinsler
Howie Kendrick
Mike Napoli
Joey Votto
Hunter Pence
Alejandro De Aza
Justin Ruggiano
Colby Rasmus
Will Venable
Matt Wieters
Jason Kipnis
Jean Segura
Josh Hamilton
Nick Swisher
Matt Holliday
Josh Willingham
David Wright
Ryan Howard
Russell Martin
Adam Jones
David Murphy
Alex Gordon
Andrew McCutchen
Carlos Gomez
Brandon Moss
Jay Bruce
Josh Donaldson
Ian Desmond
Todd Frazier
Yonder Alonso
Buster Posey
Kyle Seager
Brandon Belt
Daniel Nava
Eric Chavez
*Carl Crawford
Coco Crisp
David DeJesus
Ryan Raburn
Kendrys Morales
Billy Butler
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Garrett Jones
Nate Schierholtz
Luis Valbuena
Juan Francisco
Zack Cosart
Brandon Crawford
Desmond Jennings
Starling Marte
Andy Dirks
Manny Machado
Andrelton Simmons
Josh Rutledge
Paul Konerko
A.J. Pierzynski
Alfonso Soriano
Jayson Werth
Marlon Byrd
David Ross
Jeff Baker
*Adrian Gonzalez
Jason Bay
Jhonny Peralta
B.J. Upton
Carlos Quentin
Nate McLouth
Brian McCann
Franklin Gutierrez
Nick Markakis
*Andre Ethier
Martin Prado
Chris Young
Yune Escobar
Asdrubal Cabrera
Chase Headley
Seth Smith
Nolan Reimold
Daniel Murphy
Gaby Sanchez
Trevor Plouffe
Michael Saunders
Jon Jay
Gerardo Parra
Matt Dominguez
Mike Moustakas
Dayan Viciedo
Alex Avila
Tyler Flowers
Jason Castro
Ike Davis
Brett Lawrie
A.J. Pollock
J.D. Martinez
Aaron Hicks
Nolan Arenado
Oswaldo Arcia
Jedd Gyorko
Norichika Aoki
Yan Gomes
Todd Helton
Aramis Ramirez
Mark DeRosa
Lance Berkman
Jimmy Rollins
Carlos Pena
Cody Ransom
Omar Infante
Miguel Olivo
Scott Hairston
Rickie Weeks
Dioner Navarro
Brendan Harris
Maicer Izturis
Jason Kubel
Delmon Young
Luke Scott
Stephen Drew
Ryan Doumit
Ryan Zimmerman
James Loney!
Ryan Roberts
Ben Zobrist
Alberto Callaspo
Chris Iannetta
Chris Stewart
Adam Lind
Miguel Montero
Erik Kratz
Drew Stubbs
Chris Johnson
Freddy Galvis
Kyle Blanks
Justin Smoak
Chris Parmelee
Marwin Gonzalez
Starlin Castro
Jonathan Lucroy
Lonnie Chisenhall
Michael McKenry
Alexi Amarista
Giancarlo Stanton
Danny Espinosa
Jordy Mercer
*Scott Van Slyke
Jordany Valdespin
Matt Carpenter
Matt Adams
Didi Gregorius

Categories: Uncategorized
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