Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/23/2012

Tony Gwynn Jr. getting focused, pic via @Dodgers twitter.
  • Billingsley is in the spotlight, but not for the right reasons.   Brian Kamenetsky at ESPN notes that "The Billingsley Questions Won't Go Away."
The Dodgers have their own clockwork ritual. Every fifth day Don Mattingly will sit down with the media before a game, trying to explain exactly what is going on with Chad Billingsley. “Every time he pitches,” Mattingly said ahead of Friday’s 8-5 loss to the Angels, “I asked him the other day, 'Bills, do you ever get tired of answering the questions? Because I’m getting tired of answering about you every time.' He was just kinda like, 'That’s the way it is.' ”
After last nights performance, we shouldn't be surprised at everyone's question.  As Ken Gurnick writes at MLB, "Billingsley Fumbles Five-Run Lead in Anaheim."
Only hours after manager Don Mattingly offered a measured defense of Chad Billingsley, the pitcher coughed up a five-run lead Friday night and the Dodgers' losing streak reached four in an 8-5 Interleague loss to the Angels. 
So, what do you do?  Aaron at Inside Dodger Baseball thinks "It's Time for the Dodgers to move Billingsley."
Once again, Billingsley showed the Dodgers and the rest of the world why he'll never live up to anything close to his potential. 
Mark Timmons at LA DodgerTalk even proposes some future moves, albeit sarcastically, but really suggest we all should just take a break and relax.
Kevin Youkilis for Chad Billingsley, then get Cole Hamels. Simple! Not really…

This is a bad streak that all teams have – it will pass! I promise.
This view is supported by Jon Weisman as he writes for CityThink.
Good teams have bad weeks, and one bad week like the Dodgers are having (with four losses in a row, including Friday's 8-5 come-from-ahead defeat against the Angels) doesn't ruin a season.
Jon even notes some comparables for Billingsley.
Even if Chad Billingsley has slipped to de facto No. 5 starter, he has still performed better than both Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito of San Francisco, as well as the mish-mash that Arizona has used to round out its rotation.
What do I think?  I find it hard to complain about being in first place, less than half way through the season.  Sure, we're going through a rough patch right now, but considering our situation (our recent DL parade of players) I can't be too displeased.  With Kemp missing half the season and the Dodgers still in first place I say "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
"In retrospect, I wish I'd named Mike Scioscia," Malone said. "I'd like the chance to do it again and see if Mike could do for the Dodgers what he did for the Angels. I think he possibly could or would. I'm a fan of his. We've seen each other since. I don't think there are any grudges. It was just a timing thing.

"It wasn't personal, it wasn't about his ability, it was just where the team was and the consensus and where Mike was. Should I have been able to project? Yes. I should have recognized it and I didn't. I guess I'll have to take that responsibility."
Gould’s curveball is his bread and butter pitch, as it’s the best in the system and ranks among the best in the minors. He throws his curve 12-6 and it sat in the 77-78 MPH range, which is on par with scouting reports. It had really good, late breaking action and is definitely advanced for the competition.
  • Upper Deck shows off one the nets used at the Staples Center during the Stanley Cup Finals.  I'm sure they plan to cut it up and insert them into premiums for some upcoming hockey card sets.
  • There is something really great about this video."Where the Hell is Matt?" took a 4 year break from dancing throughout the world, but has come back with a 2012 video that is better than the previous two.  That's saying a lot.  I loved those older videos, and still watch them from time to time.  Below is the 2012 edition of Where the Hell is Matt?

Video Link: