Home > Uncategorized > Just a Super Bowl Away…

Just a Super Bowl Away…

February 5, 2016

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Super Bowl is almost here and that’s great because it puts to bed the NFL and opens the door on MLB spring training.

The Dodgers fans are hopeful because Andrew Friedman keeps adding to his All-Star executive staff. The fans who root for this are the same folks who believe in trickle-down economics and tax breaks for the uber rich. I don’t get this line of thinking at all, but if I say anything, I’m called out as an idiot and someone who just doesn’t grasp the genius of fat cats getting fatter at thin cats expense.

The additions of Greg Maddux and Raul Ibanez are nice, but it would be better if they were as pitching coach and hitting coach. I love both of the former players so have no problem with their being added – just wondering how many geniuses it takes to consider things like leadoff hitter, bullpen and healthy starting pitchers. I also wonder if you have Maddux and Ibanez, two smart former players and stars, why you need Gabe Kapler? Perhaps his job is to flex his rock hard body to keep Friedman and Farhan Zaidi happy, and hey, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Don’t forget Ned the often maligned and bald eagle Stan Kasten are still on the payroll. And Alex A, the genius of last year’s Toronto Blue Jays. What a staff! In all honesty, the executive suite is deeper and better than the starting rotation, bullpen and everyday lineup. However did Fred Claire win a title in 1988 by himself, with input from scouts about Eck’s backdoor slider? Or how did “stupid Ned” get the team to back to back championship series? Boggles the mind.

The re-signing of Howie Kendrick was a welcome one and transformed a mediocre lineup into something halfway respectable. His reappearance solidified an infield that was going to be a black hole at second, a rookie at short and a utility man with bum knees at third. Now realistically all the lineup needs is a leadoff man – calling Dexter Fowler, please report to the Dodgers leadoff spot immediately. Don’t like that? A brilliant (I thought) observation by the Dodger Oracle (@TheDodgerOracle) was that perhaps the gang of suits in the front office ship “born again” Yasiel Puig to the Yankees for Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller. Of course it might take a good prospect to do so, but it would be worthwhile. A leadoff man the Moneyballers could embrace (Gardner hits homers, arguably more than Puig could anyway) and they add a bullpen stud to set up Kenley Jansen, replace him if he’s hurt, or when he walks as a free-agent this winter. The point is, if they added a lead-off presence, the lineup would be pretty set.

The improvement of the lineup has gotten all the talk recently and taken away focus from the so-so rotation and pen. I think it’s optimistic to think the Dodgers can do well in the National League with what they have now. The only chance they will win the West is if the improved Giants and Diamondbacks hand it to them, or if rookies like Julio Urias and Corey Seager step up in ways one shouldn’t count on from baby players. i.e. it’s possible, but unlikely the Dodgers will repeat as Western Division champs or even make the playoffs.

Two weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting, and a bloated Super Bowl spectacle standing in the way. Enjoy your pre-spring training and think happy thoughts. Don’t be mad if fans have other ideas than you; it’s healthy. And rooting on the top isn’t good unless you actually benefit from doing so. I have not seen anything from the Dodgers front office to believe they are capable of turning a 30-year drought into a Kansas City type situation. Maybe a few more big names to the think tank will change all that.

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  1. snider fan
    February 6, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I thought the same thing about giving Greg and Raul coaching positions but possibly they don’t want to travel with the team all year. And maybe they will be able to spend more time with the minor leaguers who can still benefit from quality instruction. At any rate, I’ll take smart baseball guys in the FO when I can get ’em.

    • Freudy
      February 6, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      Yep, me too. Good hires. Just funny Friedman keeps hiring help but refuses to solidify the bullpen.

  2. badger3
    February 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I’m thinking maybe he believes the bullpen arms are already there. I said it last year as I watched Beaz throw fortyleven straight belt high 97 mph four seamers – this kid finds an off speed pitch that sinks and he could throw it right down the middle and hitters would screw themselves into the ground trying to hit. Same is true for Hatcher and Garcia. Maddux was a master at that pitch. A few weeks work in Spring Training and all those guys could learn something that they could use.

    • Freudy
      February 17, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Possibly. I don’t love the bullpen arms and don’t see them as a dominant bunch. They all remind me of Antonio Osuna, who also threw hard, but straight. Big league hitters all can hit straight fastballs.

  3. badger3
    February 21, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Osuna actually had a nasty split finger. Might have been a left/right sinking two seamer. Check his splits. Neither side hit him well.

    Still like your writing and agree with most of what you say here. If you are of a mind, ladodgerreport is new and getting busy. Take a look.

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