Monday, August 30, 2010

Hiroki is Clutch

What a game this was. Hiroki goes a solid 7 and 2/3 innings while falling just 4 outs short of a no-hitter. I was on the edge of my seat and cursed as Victorino came up to break up Hiroki's masterpiece. Kuroda is a great clutch pitcher who brings a little bit of hope to a season that has been nothing but rocky.

I don't care what anybody thinks. The Dodgers should not trade or let this guy go. Even if the season appears to be on a short leash he is the type of hurler we want on the team.

(pic by: Jon Soo Hoo)

Has Torre Quit?

Via Baseball Musings, he leads us to a interesting article from Jay Jaffe of the Futility Infielder Blog. Jaffe wonders aloud then gets angry at the thought that it was Torre who quit on the Dodgers- not Manny.

Manny Ramirez may have spent more than half the season on the disabled list — he’s a 38 year old with a history of leg problems — but I don’t in the least buy the idea that quit on the Dodgers. There’s nothing in the world the man loves to do more than pulverize a baseball, and the bigger the moment for him to do so, the better. He had every incentive to play as much as possible in order to earn a big-money contract for next year; why on earth would he dodge that?

No, it’s Joe Torre who quit on the Dodgers, which is why I’m so angry. Torre’s braindead mishandling of the bullpen in July and earlier this month already appeared to signal that he’d unplugged from the the team, that at 70 years old, he was too old for the bullshit of dealing with the Dodgers. That promising young players such as Matt Kemp, Russell Martin and James Loney have stalled in their progress on his watch doesn’t speak particularly well of him either, suggesting he’s lost the team — not an uncommon theme among managers past the age of 65.

Torre’s playing of Podsednik over Ramirez, whether for no good reason but his own gut instinct or as the henchmen for the higher-ups is both aesthetically distasteful, and antithetical to winning baseball. Podzilla is a slaptastic hitter in the same mold as Juan Pierre. He’s hitting over .300 between KC and LA, but it’s a thin .309/.355/.388, good for a combined .275 TAv. His Marginal Lineup Value Rate (MLVr) — the number of runs per game he adds to an otherwise average lineup is .054. Manny’s is .316, the second-highest among major league left fielders.
Torre did make some unusual decisions, and it certainly made this Dodger fan wonder what he was thinking. Anyway, it's an interesting read and only adds more to the fire as we begin to try to understand what went wrong this year.

Dempsey the Dodger

Here is a 1988 press photo showing Rick Dempsey in a catchers crouch. I remember several years ago at Vero Beach during Spring Training waiting diligently for him to sign a ball for me just before a game. He made a comment to someone that he too was on the 1988 Championship club, and I thought well I know that. Then, it occurred to me that he was probably one of the least recognizable players on the team. After all, Scioscia was the main man then. So, as a reminder here he is- one of the stuntmen of the 1988 team.