A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how it was bittersweet to witness all this Dodger glory without hearing Vin Scully’s voice. If only he called one more season, it’d be the perfect storybook ending to his legendary career. Nowadays, I’m almost glad the voice of my summers passed isn’t around to watch this bipolar mess to end his career.
Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman was recently asked what the team should have done differently the last few weeks. Friedman replied, “Win more games.”
Before the series with the lowly Giants, I’m sure you know, it got ugly. Real ugly. Through these past couple weeks, we’ve gone from wondering if they’ll break the all-time wins record, to wondering if they’ll even notch 100? The offense can seem nonexistent, and the same could be said for the pitching. After leading baseball in ERA for a considerable time, the team has a combined staff ERA of 5.40 in September.
They’d recently lost eleven in a row even after becoming relatively healthy. The newly called upon prospects aren’t opening any eyes and the young stars seemed sore and tired. The old, expensive, broken down guys have been old, expensive, and broken down.
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For some reason, the struggling Curtis Granderson keeps getting regularly inserted into vital parts of the daily Dodger lineup. Dave Roberts recently announced that wouldn’t change. The Dodgers seem intent on getting Granderson right for the playoffs as his power could still become an asset in the postseason. Granderson is a man of great character and has had some fantastic seasons. I’m not quite sure what the reason for his struggles with the Dodgers is.
However, it leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth to see a New York guy come in, struggle mightily, and continue to take away precious few ABs away from top prospect Alex Verdugo and fan favorite Andre Ethier. It’s especially surprising to see Granderson play so much more than Ethier, has actually gotten a hit here and there since returning and has had a penchant for being clutch. Dre will seemingly have to settle for a bench role for the remaining weeks of his Dodger career.
There were murmurs of clubhouse upheaval ignited by walloping after walloping at the hands of division rivals. The manager called out the fans for booing the players. In fairness to the fans, Pedro Baez has been blowing up in the biggest of moments long before Roberts arrived.
The traditional numbers have liked him, but advanced metrics (4.58 FIP this year) isn’t a fan. Within weeks, Dave Roberts went from unanimous coach of the year to possibly being canned at season’s end. Heck, he still could if the Dodgers get bounced in the first round.
That’s the thing though. Here we are in the middle of September, and I have absolutely no idea what to make of this team. If anybody tells you differently, they’re either on the payroll or a complete liar. If you told me the Dodgers would go on to win the World Series, I’d believe you. If you told me they would lose every series from here on out and get swept in the first round, I’d believe that too.
The players have been beating their heads against the wall through much of the past three weeks. It’s been said that athletes don’t care about winning, but rather just hate losing. In fact, perhaps the only thing athletes hate worse than losing, is reading sports writers saying they have no chance. There’s been a plethora of both, so the Dodgers sure seem to have plenty to be angry about these days. Let’s see what they do with that anger down the final stretch.