Friday, October 16, 2015

"The Good - The Bad - The Ugly" of the Dodger Season

It is always terrible when you have to end the season on such a sour note.  A year that began with the dawn of Spring - full of hope - has abruptly ended like a car crash before a race is over.  Make no mistake, a season that doesn't result in a championship is a failure.  Still, there is a lot to be hopeful about.  As the days move forward much will be said about what has transpired over the past 12 month, so I figured I'd throw my two cents in.  Below is my brief rundown on what I thought was "The Good - The Bad - The Ugly" of the past year.

The Good
  • Another season with Vin Scully is like a gift from the heavens - A Blue Heaven.
  • Justin Turner - Last season was no fluke!  Turner has made himself into a very effective producer on the field and in the box.  If you were only to look at what he did as a Met you'd think there was no way he could sustain what he had done for the Dodgers, but anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise.  An epiphany while working out with Marlon Byrd a couple of years ago has lead to this.  If you don't know what I mean then check out this story by Eno Sarris at FanGraphs.
  • Corey Seager - He is clearly the future on the left side of the infield for the Dodgers.  I suspect the shortstop job will be his to lose come Spring.
  • Starting pitching duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke - It was a pleasure to watch them feed off each other this season.  Hopefully, this continues for a few more years.
  • Kik√© Hernandez and the #RallyBanana - What a fantastic pickup in the Dee Gordon trade.  Not only has be performed well, but he is proving to be a good clubhouse presence.
  • Andre Ethier - I think he proved to the naysayers that he is still an productive player.  He slashed .294/.366/.486/.852.
  • We won that Matt Kemp for Yasmani Grandal trade (for now).  Unfortunately, an injury late in the season hurt Grandal's bat, but I can assuredly say that I'm happy to have Yas on the team.
  • Justin Ruggiano - Who would have thought he'd be so important in September.  Unfortunately, his magic didn't extend to the postseason.

The Bad
  • Finding out that next season is likely to be Vin Scully's last at Dodger Stadium.
  • Nancy Bea Heafley - Her retirement announcement was a shock to the system.  Her play on the organ will be missed.  Heck, the organ in general will be missed.  No doubt, we are in the midst of an changing of an era.
  • Yasiel Puig - Obviously, injuries had much to do with this, but I also sense that he's lost some fire.  I fear that the complaints about how he should respect the game and his perceived entitled attitude in the clubhouse may be wearing on him.
  • Jim Johnson - His short stint with the Dodgers is best forgotten.
  • Mat Latos - Clearly, he was not a good choice to anchor the starting rotation.  Worse yet, putting Mike Bolsinger in the minors for Latos was an ill-advised move.
  • Alex Guerrero - He is not as good as we had hoped, and was ultimately a waste of a roster spot.

The Ugly
  • I can't help but think that Nancy Bea Hefley was mistreated by someone within the Dodgers front office.  For background on this check out Bill Plachke's article about it.
  • The defensive shift during Game 5 of the NLDS that caught the infielders napping and resulted in the tying run scoring.
  • Injuries Galore! - From the back end of the starting rotation to just about every position player on the team, the Dodgers were constantly hampered at every turn.  In fact, the injury problem was so bad, a front office thought to have created more than enough depth found itself with no depth at all.  Go figure.
  • Joc Pederson - He sure did regress - BIG TIME - during the second half.  Fortunately, there's a lot there to build on.
  • The constant public harping about Don Mattingly's job security was an annoyance and a distraction.  Unfortunately, this is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
  • Zack Greinke opting out of his contract scares the daylights out of me.  Please... Please stay a Dodger!
I'm sure as more time passes I could add to this list.  For now, these are my initial impressions.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers

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