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Wasted Movement

April 18, 2017

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Happy post Easter hangover to you. I thought I’d write a short article since the whole 140 character thing doesn’t really work all the time. In general I seem to get a lot of followers who follow anything with the word “Dodger” in the name (“Tax Dodger”? Reserved for the Commander in Chief, I guess). Once I tweet a few cynical (honest) comments, they quickly unfollow. Such is life.

Anyway, I thought I’d comment on the topic everyone is talking about – Rich Hill’s 2nd DL stint in as many starts. How is this a surprise to anyone? Andrew Friedman, trying to save face, is making the rounds, saying he’s not worried. No, front offices love when their expensive new toys end up chronically injured. Who are you trying to fool, Andy? Sure, you might feel you have “depth” (I call ’em semi warm bodies), but it couldn’t have been in the plans to have your #2 behind Clayton Kershaw saying it would take a “medical miracle” to get him on the mound again. And now talk of his going to the pen to save the boo boo finger? Really, you signed a 37 year old pitcher to a $48M deal with the intention of him being just another bullpen guy, next to your AAAA retreads? Sorry, not buying that.

I know the beat writers and local radio guys won’t question the genius of the front office as they don’t dare lose access to the clubhouse – and the free meals. I on the other hand have nothing to lose. I write what is very apparent – hardly genius at all. It just so happens in today’s world, if you exhibit a decent amount of common sense, you look intelligent. Who woulda thunk?

As I have tweeted many times, all you have to do is go to this blog and comb through the old articles and see my take on everything Dodgers. All the injuries discussed in advance, all the bad deals commented on as they were made, the mediocre or worse players the Moneyball minded acquire, debunked early on. Again, it’s not being super smart, it’s using basic intelligence. And yes, just having seen a lot of baseball in my life. It’s the same thing Saber guys (I don’t think women are stupid enough to be Saber) dislike traditional minded scouting and managing for. It’s too simple. You watch, you gauge it on lots and lots of similar circumstances (100+ years of MLB, pretty much) and you can therefore make semi logical assumptions. One might call it “data”, but I hear that term has been trademarked.

Here we are 13 games into the 2017 season and the Dodgers are in third place, 1 game over .500. The fans, as always, are up and down like the temperature. If they beat the Padres, whose entire payroll is less than what Kershaw makes alone, they talk shit and boast, gearing up for the World Series appearance. If they lose to a better Western foe, they panic.

The season is long and I will go on a limb and say the type of front office work the Friedman/Zaidi and assorted Dream Team collection of overpaid executives are doing could work as well in 2017 as it did in 2016. I think I figured it out, though, like a bad detective show, my answer was right in front of me the whole time.

While I think the West should certainly be better than it was last year (Giants will wake up, Rox seem improved and only getting better, Arizona perhaps better under their new Moneyball-type front office), I can see the Dodgers making the playoffs. Before you get too excited, I can also see them missing the playoffs. Somewhere between winning the West, getting the wild card and losing out in the playoff round robin, is where they will be. I am not one to predict outcomes of divisions so much as a lot of things happen.

I will say that unless changes are made (and why would they be?), it’s unlikely the Dodgers, as constructed now, will advance to the World Series, should they get anywhere near. My reason is I look at tonight’s tragic lineup and I just don’t see where $230M was spent. Any given night the lineup, starter and/or bullpen participants might be aged journeymen or AAAA castoffs. Friedman calls it “depth” – Paul DePodesta didn’t even call it that, but maybe he should have. His roster was the same littering of nobodies and never weres.

With Hill having recurring blister problems, it makes me wonder why Friedman would take a chance on him again. Last July, Friedman waited till the 11th hour before the trade deadline to move three prospects for Hill and Josh Reddick, who apparently Friedman didn’t realize hadn’t done anything since May. Ok, I’ll make excuses and say Friedman thought he could wait everyone out and find lightning in a bottle – after all, Moneyball centerfold Billy Beane snatched Hill up during the off-season after seeing him throw a few good games in unimportant late season starts for Boston. If Hill was good enough for Beane…

Hill, of course, came over hurt, spent a long time on the DL and then made some useful starts in September and October for the Dodgers. But facts are facts and Hill was an aging player, not long out of independent league ball (like Scott Kazmir, who Friedman admitted was a poor signing just a year before as he shopped him this winter, with no takers). But with the free-agent and trade markets thin (the time to shop was the winter before when names like Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, J.A. Happ, etc. were available), Friedman doubled down on Hill. After all, he just dealt three prospects to get him, so to walk away empty handed, and still have a gaping hole in the rotation, seemed unacceptable, even to him. So as is his custom, an identical $48M deal went to Hill – like it had to Brandon McCarthy and then Kazmir. I guess that’s the cap where a Moneyballer feels comfortable “wasting” on starting pitching.

I would say $48M is an ok figure, if you got something out of it. So far, the amount is cursed for Friedman and his little troll Zaidi – all three of the guys acquired have trouble staying healthy. In case you wondered, 3 x 48M = $144M, which is a lot of money and should mean something more capable for your rotation than what Friedman’s guys have shown – at least so far (this being written on April 17, 2017, for historical purposes).

My biggest problem with Friedman and his building of a roster isn’t necessarily the players he selects – ok, it’s a large part about that – but what the ultimate toll it takes on the team in general. As I’ve said before, a rotation is not just the quality of your 5 starters (not 16 starters, as Friedman would have you believe), though that should be top of mind, but it’s the innings. I understand the game is changing and either change with it or die but I can’t believe it’s optimal to have 16 guys tossing 3-5 innings commonly, as opposed to 5-6 guys capable of going 6-8 more frequently.

I know it’s ancient history, but I vividly remember Dodger teams with an ace, 2 or 3 very good pitchers and then 1-2 either called “innings eaters” or perhaps 1 of those and a kid, hoping to stick in the rotation. It wasn’t long ago that Friedman so hated this that he chased Dan Haren out of town, paying his salary to go to Miami. Really, how is Haren at any point much different than Hill, McCarthy or Kazmir? I guess you could argue, he was healthier.

Innings are important because it’s something you can hang your hat on. You can assume your starting pitcher is not only capable of going deeper into games, but taking the ball every 5th day without drama. You don’t need to call a collection of junk, and terrible contracts, “depth”. Your depth is your minor league system, as it always has been and is for every team in the major leagues. If you have 4-5 credible starters who are likely to stay healthy, you can make a phone call should someone get hurt. That “data” is based on 100+ years of the game’s history. Trite, boring, but honest and true.

I think like DePodesta, the Moneyball way Friedman and Zaidi play is merely about looking more clever and smarter than your average baseball guy – folks like myself included. Naive? Giggle inducing ideas such as going with known commodities, staying away from continually injured players – absurd! It’s far more fun to tinker like a very bored fantasy baseball general manager and make things happen. Oh, in the end it could work but all the “wasted movement” isn’t beneficial to anyone. When your new $48M contract is already looking vomit-inducing and you are talking about putting this #2 starter into your bullpen, it’s not good. Not on this Earth, not on any world.

Like I said, it’s possible the Dodgers can win the West – who knows if the Giants, Rox and Diamondbacks might stumble? Plus, the Dodgers have spent a lot more than anyone else, not only in the West, or the National League, or MLB, but in professional sports. That “depth” allows you at least a chance to win, even if your front office is run by overzealous micro-managers with too much time on their hands.

On the other hand, this Moneyball style always proves to address the regular season. Remember, before these guys arrived, the Dodgers were doing well in that respect. More often than not the Dodgers are near the top of the division, even when mere mortals are calling the shots. Moneyball is usually employed when a team does not have the financial wherewithal to compete any other way. It’s odd when it’s employed with deep pockets and a monster payroll.

The team tinkers and scratches to get to the post-season, celebrates this accomplishment but doesn’t win. Don’t feel too bad for Friedman, no Moneyball team ever wins. Or hasn’t yet. It’s because, in the paraphrased words of Billy Beane, the post-season is too unpredictable, the “data” doesn’t work there. Luck is involved, he says. No, I don’t think that’s quite true.

While maybe “data” can predict X number of runs an ever-changing lineup should produce, and how many runs an ever-changing rotation should allow, it doesn’t account for quality. Quantity, oh sure, plenty of that. Proudly Friedman sycophants will point to how quantity is as important as quality. This is said to praise the “depth” – which is actually just less talented players than what otherwise could be assembled. More means more, to them. But in the post-season, Billy Beane might say it’s harder to predict and luck, whereas I would say it’s quality. Here the quantity means less, and that’s why Freidman’s subpar independent league and career minor league players have problems.

It’s not genius to discover independent league and career minor leaguers – why, they’re right there in independent leagues and minor leagues all across the country. It’s not genius to pluck them from obscurity and then sign them to contracts of their dreams. It’s curious, weird even and clogs your roster full of guys that more than likely are not going to hold up and win in October.

It’s early – just the middle of April – but we are seeing the “depth” put to use as the players were never capable in the first place. While anyone can get hurt at any time and certainly bad breaks happen, it is not dumb luck when it happens to players who have a track record (data!) of this happening to them. Only Friedman and his people didn’t understand Hill would be hurt. As his players fall like dominoes, Friedman and his followers say, “Who could have known?” Well, we all knew and continue to scratch our heads in astonishment.

I think the appeal here is painting themselves into a corner and trying to get out. Houdini did it to show his superiority and fantasy baseball managers do it when they are bored out of their minds. Make dumb moves, drop better players, constantly swap our anyone with a pulse and hope it works. If it does, you can puff out your chest and claim superiority. Again, it’s “wasted movement” and unnecessary.

It’s an outdated way of thinking, sure, but would it be so terrible to have a rotation with at least 3-4 very solid guys you had a pretty safe expectation for making it through the season unscathed? Would it be ludicrous to assume your bullpen could be 3-4 men deep? Even 2 deep? Would it be insane to think if you had a payroll larger than anyone else’s your roster would likely have more great players than other teams?

All out of touch, old school ways of thinking, I realize. What do I know? I’m just a guy who has watched a lot of baseball for a lot of years. I sometimes write baseball articles, all archived here, with dates, and I seem to somehow do a remarkable job calling a lot of the “unforeseen events” that befall Friedman and his think tank, before they happen. I don’t call it “data” – just common sense and reasonable intelligence. Enjoy the ride and remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Have the Pepto-Bismol and Prilosec at your side; nothing is easy in a Friedman universe.

Wasted movement.

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  1. Steamed Gravy
    April 22, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    This. Thanks for highlighting again what needed to be said about the Dodgers brain-trust; and quite tactfully too, although I wouldn’t have been as kind to (pardon my French) fuckin’ Friedman and fuckin’ Farhan.

    It’s mainly these two Moneyballess a-holes (don’t know how Alex Anthopoulos, Josh Byrnes and whichever other countless cooks in the kitchen figures into the decision-making) that are 100% accountable for the Dodgers’ current craptastic situation. Jaysis, even though it’s not their intention, Friedman and Farhan are just as bad as their FO counterparts from earlier years, Kevin Malone and Paul Depodesta.

    Despite the FO screwups, sure, the Dodgers can still contend in the NL West, but they won’t be as fortunate as they were last year, with the second-half collapse of the Giants. Then again, who knows, with Bumgarner going down…

    • Freudy
      April 23, 2017 at 2:24 am

      They definitely caught a break with SF, but… Arizona, under new management, and Colorado, a team definitely on the rise, are not going to sleepwalk like they did last year – at least they aren’t early on. With Giants reeling, that bodes well for the Dodgers, but as we’ve seen – the rotation, outside of Kersh, is a hot mess, with Urias being rushed up next week. The pen is very average, except for Kenley and while everyone was slapping themselves on the back last week, we saw what could happen last night. I think the pitching overall is a problem, they still can’t hit lefthanders for shit and they have no speed. I know Moneyball loathes stealing bases, but station to station and wait for homers is no offensive strategy. The Moneyball FO sucks and I’m not even sure what some of the execs do – I suspect many are just collecting fat checks. At least with the attendance dropping, maybe something will happen if the team fails to advance this year. We can hope.

  2. Fredo
    June 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    What has happened to the postings here?

    • Freudy
      June 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Hi – should write something. I haven’t felt inspired as nothing much has changed. With a very high payroll and Kershaw, the team is competitive. We all knew that would be the case. Many of the concerns the past few years still exist. The division, as I said all off-season and spring, is improved. The Giants took a crap but the Rox and Snakes are both awake, good and not going to take the year off like 2016. Giants likely should wake up at some point too, or could. So, addressing things like a rotation that goes 4 innings many nights and settling on more set lineups would seem smart moves. Since the team is run the way it is, with Tampa and Oakland mindset, I don’t imagine anything different will occur.

      I read one article how the Dodgers may address starting pitching since their starters are either hurt or could be. That has been the case since these arms were signed, so not sure why it’s a new revelation to anyone. Kershaw is a horse but one who has had back issues. If he goes down, it’s bad news. Wood has been amazing but he’s Wood. I’d sell high on him or at least know at some point reality will set in. Hill is as brittle as we imagined. Ryu a warrior but not what he was. Maeda must be hurt as he hasn’t been the same guy since last August and McCarthy is finally earning some of that $48M but he’s also still McCarthy. A reliable starter would be a good thing but Friedman doesn’t seem to think pitching is all that important.

      Anyway, same old, same old. Hopefully fans are happy and recall 30 years is a long time to wait. Winning the West with a high payroll should not be good enough.

  3. Jungeey
    June 11, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Is there nothing newer than this?

  4. Fredo
    June 15, 2017 at 4:42 am

    You don’t like any of the moves the team has made? The Taylor acqisition? Barnes and Hernandez for Dee Gordon? Grant Dayton? Toles? Developing Bellinger/Seager/Verdugo/Peters?

    • Freudy
      June 16, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      You can read what I wrote to dd. Maybe you are dd – wouldn’t be the first time someone created many usernames online. 🙂

      Most of the prospects fans love came from Ned Colletti and Logan White, not this front office. That includes Seager, Bellinger, Urias, etc. Check my twitter – several posts down there is an article I posted last Oct about how this team is still Ned Colletti’s team. The Friedman parts are mostly $48M bombs and minor league journeymen he adds – some, as you note, work, some do not. If you want to judge a front office by AAAA players they find and not trades and bad free agent signings they make, you have your own measure of success than I do. Life is beautiful, we can agree to disagree and still think what we want. No need to keep coming back, I don’t write columns very frequently and you clearly disagree. Follow someone you are more in line with – your doctor will applaud you for your wonderful blood pressure. Have a great summer, dd, I mean, Fredo.

  5. dd
    June 15, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I think you’re only seeing the rotten fruit on the healthy tree. Every team only has their starters go 6. You mention McCarthy and Hill, but don’t mention the acquisitions of Taylor, Hernandez, Barnes, Dayton, and Utley.

    Even the prospects and players given up have been seemingly well thought out. Dee Gordon? Frankie Montas? Holmes?

    • Freudy
      June 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      I think you’re forgetting my last article was around Easter. Taylor wasn’t on the team then. I don’t hold the same reverence to role players in general as you do. If you want to make a list of all the moves Friedman has made and decide if they were good or bad, the bad far outweighs the good. Since you like the moves, you must be a Sabermetrics fan so there’s no reason to read my articles as you will only be frustrated. My goal is not to frustrate those who are blissful. If you look at the point of my articles, dating back to about 2009 or so, I believe – is to give long-suffering Dodgers fans a place to talk it out. That was the point of twitter as well, but as you probably are aware, the internet is full of bad hombres and bullying, so not a fun avenue to discuss baseball. Trolls everywhere, maybe you are one or know one. So feel free not to agree and not read further. I don’t want to upset you. I’m a longtime fan (about as many decades as you can count on your hand) and since the team has been mostly floating along or worse since after the 1981 championship (1988 was an anomaly), I don’t see reason to jump up and down when a $230M team wins the division but fails to bring home a championship. No need to reply, have an amazing summer and enjoy.

  6. Badger the Olde
    June 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    YES. Let us vent here. There are plenty of places to enjoy the Friedman fans celebrate one another

    • Freudy
      June 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Well, it’s not an accident my stuff tends to be complaining. The site and twitter were designed for long suffering fans to vent. LA Times, local radio, the announcers, the Saber dorks all cheer and blow smoke up the Dodgers and their owners collective asses. As you say, not a lot of voices on the other side. Some who were, quickly switched to bandwagoning – then when the season ends and another opportunity is blown, they write their “I knew it all along” posts.

      I don’t mince words. If I see something I like, I say it. If I see incompetence, I say it. As I was saying the other day, while I’m not sure of the kids drafted this week, many seem to be K machines or have other issues, I am definitely similar to Moneyballers in that I’ve always been a supporter of drafting college talent. imo, you get guys more fully developed, closer to being ready to contribute and the big school experience is akin to minor league seasoning. No brainer for me. Especially if you need a reliever right away, draft a big college slugger, etc. So I agree on that. My critique is they need to stop looking at Vanderbilt so heavily – SoCal is a baseball hot bed and they should be all over UCLA, USC, Fullerton, CSUN, etc. Lots of great kids right here and would love to play in their own home town.

      Anyway, thanks for the kind words. I think the stupid internet is big enough for different opinions. Anyone who doesn’t like mine has a right to their opinion, just avoid my part of the web. I won’t miss them, they shouldn’t miss me.

  7. Badger the Olde
    June 18, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Is Fredo dd or is dd Fredo?

    Doesn’t matter, they (he? she?) shouldn’t be back.

    Write something though, we need it.

    • badger3
      June 20, 2017 at 3:44 am

      I ask again – who are you Badger?

      And, why did my last inquiry disappear?

      • Freudy
        June 20, 2017 at 7:50 pm

        Not sure what you’re talking about. Feel free not to stop by anymore if you have problems with content that isn’t being updated anyway. Life is too short, brother.

  8. Badger the Olde
    June 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Who are you Badger3?

    How long can the team rely on Maeda, Ryu, Wood, Hill and McCarthy is going to define this season. I think.

    At least they only need 3 of those 5 if they are going to have Stewart and Kershaw as reliable arms.

    • Freudy
      June 24, 2017 at 12:09 am

      How would I know who Badger3 is?

      Anyway…

      I think it’s premature to get excited – haven’t we seen this before? The difference is now the division isn’t a cakewalk. Rox, as I said before the season started, are much improved and look very much the real deal. AZ was a crapshoot but looks like their new front office is getting the most out of them – I like the combo of Greinke/Ray more than Kershaw/Hill – even though Wood, now, is the #2 (oof).

      Nice to see McCarthy contribute finally. Not a believer in Maeda at this point, Ryu or the cast of thousands coming and going. Now it appears Urias might be hurt (wonder who warned about that?).

      Nice to be playing well, and the Dodgers are, but a few years ago they won something like 50 out of 60 and didn’t bring home a title, so I wouldn’t start doing a dance just yet. Quite possible they don’t even win the West.

      imo the best teams are Houston, Rox and Yankees, but I guess that’s why they play 162. If Houston adds Quintana, or some other big starter, as they’ve been talking about for 6 months, they look like the favorite to me. Deep team and farm – and to think, stupid Bud Selig pushed them into the AL purgatory not many years ago.

  9. Jungeey
    June 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Would love to get a comment putting these “advanced” thinkers in their place. All this platooning and limited innings will go nowhere in the post-season.

  10. Badger the Olde
    July 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Hey Freudy,

    What do you think of the beat reporters for the OC Register and LA Times?

    • Freudy
      July 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I don’t really read the OC Register much. I always liked Shaikin but generally the entire media has been on the yes-man train for a few years. I guess they have to so they keep access to the clubhouse and free food. Seems any criticism is absent – in print, on radio, etc. One big love fest. Even Kevin Kennedy, who used to keep it real, is a positive thinker now. Oh well, they need to eat. Good for them.

  11. Badger the Olde
    July 6, 2017 at 5:31 am

    I agree, I just can’t handle the echo-chamber.

    There are always these snarky “fraudman” twitter comments about how smart the team is, and how clever the “assembly” of depth is.

    But I think it’s all a jenga game towards the 10th round. It’s all going to come crashing down amongst dead arms and stranded runners against lefties.

    But the stepford thinking is hurtful.

    I do think the LA Times guy is funny. He supposedly made his name covering the Royals.

    • Freudy
      July 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      I wish the fans a happy 2nd half. Maybe this year is different. Right now everything is working. But then a few years ago they won something like 50 out of 60 and didn’t win a title, so you never know. One of these days it will all work out.

  12. Chili con carne y queso
    July 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    No posts because there’s nothing to complain about.

    Maybe a post celebrating the team?

    • Freudy
      July 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      I haven’t been following much baseball so have little to write about. Feel free to write an article or tweet your excitement. I’d say be careful, the problem with the Dodgers is not winning the West, they do it routinely. It’s Oct baseball. I recall a team a few years back that won something like 50 of 60, so I wouldn’t start celebrating until Oct changes. You are certainly welcome to love the current hot streak, but no need to come around here and try to act snarky. Next comment will be trashed. 🙂

  13. Chili con carne y queso
    July 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    If you have been following baseball that long you will know playoff baseball is random and driven by luck and hot streaks. Too often the best prepared, most-talented won’t win.

    It a dubious indicator.

    Let’s celebrate when there is reason. Let’s critique when there’s reason.

    • Freudy
      July 13, 2017 at 3:30 am

      Thanks for the lesson. You should lecture in colleges around the country.

  14. Chili con carne y queso
    July 13, 2017 at 5:21 am

    I’d rather read what you write

    • Freudy
      July 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Very kind. Thanks.

  15. Badger the Olde
    July 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    imo the best teams are Houston, Rox and Yankees, but I guess that’s why they play 162. If Houston adds Quintana, or some other big starter, as they’ve been talking about for 6 months, they look like the favorite to me. Deep team and farm – and to think, stupid Bud Selig pushed them into the AL purgatory not many years ago.

    • Freudy
      July 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Quintana a Cub and has been dealing lately. Nats get two bullpen arms (could still use another). The teams all-in tend to not wait for July 31st and make the moves necessary on their own timeline. Plus, you make the move early, you get the player/s for a few extra weeks. Seems logical to me.

      The Dodgers don’t need much and can address needs in-house, if they want to. That said, with MLB parity, they have the “easiest” path to the pennant in – forever? It would be stupid not to be all-in and make the moves necessary to go deep into Oct without question.

      We’ll see what happens. I hear rumors of Robertson, JD Martinez and a few others. I’d like to see Friedman/Zaidi rectify the Greinke mistake and go after deGrom. It would take a lot, but they have the prospects to make it happen and it would give the lefty/righty mix at the top they need to face any team. It also provides insurance if Wood and/or Hill regress or get hurt. Oh, to dream.

  16. Chili con carne y queso
    July 19, 2017 at 4:46 am

    DeGrom and his arm history probably reduces his cost, no? I don’t think, with Buehler, Stripling and Stewart cued up for rotation spots, that DeGrom is in the Cards. What do you think about Britton?

    • Freudy
      July 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      I’d prefer deGrom. They need that come Oct – Kershaw alone won’t get it done. Of course if Wood and Hill keep it up, probably enough. I just think, crazy me!, after three decades you’d want to bury any chance of failure you had. Notice the other top teams all gathering the pieces they need – small town boys sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Britton? Ok, but he’s been hurt most of the year so considering the cost, I don’t know if I’d do it. Not to mention he wouldn’t want to be a caddy to Kenley beyond this 2nd half. Not the worst problem, but he’d have to go over the winter. The lockdown bullpen approach is a good one – but not sure these jokers in the FO think that way. They still keep Hatcher on the roster and believe Avilan is gold. Basically anyone they acquire is special and has to stay on the big league roster to prove their intelligence. A very vain approach to running a team.

  17. Alfredo Garcia's Cranium
    July 26, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Still nary a new post

    • Freudy
      July 26, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Read the LA Times.

  18. Chili con carne y queso
    July 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    We don’t want to read the LA Times. We want to read your thoughts.

    Are you still thinking DeGrom is a smart play? Is he available? If he isn’t is it better to go after Darvish or Gray (the latter being more “expensive”…)

    And, most importantly, how in high hell is this team 71-31!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • Freudy
      July 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      I think Friedman and Zaidi float out rumors they’re in on everyone and at the last minute use their genius to find lesser players. They always “just miss out.” To be honest, there’s not much out there that can help, unless they asked for someone like deGrom or Nola. I am not even sure either is available officially.

      Maybe the best thing at this point is go super pen and add 1-2 quality arms. I’d prefer non-closers, so they can be around next year. While the fans and brainwashed media will point how great the Dodgers pen is, we all know that Oct is a different season and overuse was evident to me all year and became evident to the world in the playoffs. The same thing will happen this Oct. They need to add some beef. Sadly they may add Buehler and overuse him much the same way they overused Urias. Buehler came off an arm injury and is used to a college workload that is Feb-June. Pushing him too much will be a DL visit in 2018.

      I’m tired of hearing how they are building something that will win titles for years to come. Win one. NO Dodgers team should not be all in. Dan Evans and Ned both got this and made crucial trades to help (even under constraints under bad owners). These guys like to be smart – finding ringers is more important to them than adding quality talent. The real contenders understand how you win and loaded up before the deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Cubs win the NL pennant.

      Not writing anymore articles. The point of Dodger Therapy was to give a voice to those being held hostage for decades. The majority have signed onto the “new” way of doing things. I don’t need to argue with people who will never change. How many times can I tell you I told you so? My blog is here with dates, more often that right everything I called in advance came to be. No one cares, so not worth my time or the handful of readers.

  19. Badger the Olde
    July 29, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I think the Cubs, the Nationals, the Astros are all capable of winning not only the pennant, but the WS. Even if they don’t do any more moves, you just need to get on a roll, and all those guys can do it.

    Molly Knight had this great observation tonight. Bumgarner has NEVER started on short rest in the playoffs. Kershaw has started more games on short rest than regular.

    That’s why and why not I think you go “all in.”

    Would love Darvish though, a good righty arm.

    • Freudy
      July 30, 2017 at 3:45 am

      Kershaw has to go on short rest because Friedman/Zaidi don’t have a rotation in Oct. Plus the pen is gassed by then. The problem with resting Kershaw for a month is more mileage on the pen. Oh well, they’re geniuses, they have it all figured out.

  20. Jungeey
    July 30, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I know you don’t want to write long-form, but we’re itching to hear your thoughts.

    The Dodgers record is getting silly. We’d love to know how you think it’s happening.

    Luck? (Chris Taylor’s BABIP is unsustainable)
    Players finally playing to potential (McCarthy, Wood)
    The fact that the whole league seems to be playing with 6IP starters making the Dodgers pitching seem better than it is?
    The constant focus on building the 40 man depth (Taylor, Kike, Barnes, Morrow, Ravin)
    Player development?

    Give us some analysis of what’s going on NOW, not in the past.

    From the couch baby.

    • Freudy
      July 30, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Haha, thanks. I think the league is watered down, parity happening. No real great teams – sort of like the NFL. The Dodgers play well and to Friedman’s credit, he got rid of the egos and toxic environment of the Hanley/Kemp/Puig era. Dave Roberts deserves a lot of credit for that – thank you Mark Walter for choosing Dave over Friedman’s gym buddy Gabe Kapler, which would have been disastrous.

      Credit a good group of players, mostly brought in by Ned and Logan White, parity and some gamers like Turner (Ned). I’m not as impressed as most beach ball whacking, Wi-Fi loving Dodgers fans are. We KNOW they can win the West and make the playoffs, but will it play in Oct? To me the rotation is too thin, especially if Kershaw is actually hurt and can’t be forced on short rest. The pen is being taxed – again – and will it have enough left for Oct? It didn’t last year. So while everyone is circle jerking themselves, I recall the team that won something like 48 out of 62 games a few years back not winning anything, and having the best record didn’t help the 1988 A’s or the Mariners team than won 116. And they had the rotation!

      Let’s see. The lack of urgency and insistence on holding marginal prospects over going all-in smacks of small market thinking. No real contender would get this close and not cement their chances with the necessary pieces to go all the way. Alex Wood, a ghost of a #2, already coming back down to Earth. Without a legit 2 and help in the pen I could easily see the Cubs winning the pennant. No reason sharing that in a blog or on twitter – I have enough enemies and the brainwashed masses do not care what I say.

  21. Steamed Gravy
    July 31, 2017 at 4:26 am

    74-31!

    Good to see Freudy active here, I thought I saw you return to Twitter.

    As the author here notes, the best team doesn’t always or often win. They should just go with what they have.

    It’s working!

    I may just yet become a believer.

    • Freudy
      July 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Yep, enjoy the ride. My point isn’t the record, it’s that they win every year – then lose in Oct. Celebrate when Oct is different, no? Anyway, have a good time and Happy Monday. Not active here – responding to people who write. I don’t write articles anymore and rarely tweet. My job is done. Go follow one of the yes-men writers who will be more in alignment with mainstream excitement.

  22. Steamed Gravy
    July 31, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    My bad, I thought I saw you tweeting.

    Must have been an imposter.

    I agree 100%! Look at the Phillies when they had Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt and Lee. They lost to a much less talented Cards team.

    Or when Hanley was nailed in the ribs.

    October brings voodoo and randomness.

    Have a good week yourself.

    • Freudy
      July 31, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Well, it’s not bad to have a good team, or a great record. The Dodgers are doing very well but in a short series with a rickety rotation and spent pen, could be different. It usually is. I don’t see what they have stacking up well in Oct but perhaps this year’s magic will carry over. I personally would prefer a good rotation and setup men before Kenley. I’m old, I know the “data” says otherwise nowadays. Haha

  23. Steamed Gravy
    July 31, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Looks like they listened to Freudy!!!!

    Darvish and two bullpen arms.

    The old man is right again.

    • Freudy
      July 31, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      The bullpen guys both are mediocre at best so not thrilled, but sure, they needed something and got something. Don’t expect much. Darvish is a nice addition though Quintana would have been better. Nonetheless, they needed a 2, so good work. On local radio fans panicked they dealt Calhoun. Fans need a lobotomy. Calhoun is an AL player so no loss.

  24. Jungeey
    July 31, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Come on Freudy.

    Write something for real!

    • Freudy
      July 31, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      The idea of Dodger Therapy was a place for long-suffering Dodger fans to talk it out. Have a voice against terrible owners. Since most fans love the team and the front office, my job is done. I wish everyone a happy time celebrating July wins and hope Oct is different. God knows several generations have waited long enough. I wish everyone a Moneyball filled ride to Oct glory, or wherever the train stops. Peace.

  25. Jungeey
    August 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    In a matchup made for Freudy:
    Darvish vs. DeGrom tonight!

    Freudy, whaddaya think about Chris Taylor? Remind you of anyone? How about Puig? Is this the player he’s going to be?

    • Freudy
      August 4, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      I was thinking about the matchup – funny. I’d still prefer deGrom – not a walk FA. Once Darvish leaves, they’ll need a 2 for 2018. Sigh.

      Taylor has exceeded expectations. He’s a Moneyball fantasy. Plays all over – versatility!!! Could be a one hit wonder, but if it helps win a World Series, who cares?

      Where’s Adrian? I know Friedman hates and banished both he and Ethier, but their professional bats would be very useful in Oct. Not as many mistakes for overzealous kids to hit. Lots of K’s. Get Adrian back on the field.

      • Badger The Olde
        August 6, 2017 at 12:51 am

        Wait. Why does the Front Office hate Gonzalez.

        Is that documented?

        If they do not like him or Ethiet why in the world did they let both become 5&10 players!

  26. El Cheapo
    August 7, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Your final line:
    Nothing is easy in the Friedman universe?

    This is starting to look easy.

    Ryu is our 6th starter!

    Granted someone will get hot, or someone will break a rib or someone will misplay a grounder and the Dodgers won’t win the series.

    But this is fun and this is good

    • Freudy
      August 7, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Enjoy. I’m happy you’re happy. Have a great post-season. Hopefully the games are televised.

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