The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Dodgers’

We turn the page

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2017

Another baseball season has come and gone and even an old curmudgeon like me has to admit that this was a good one.  The Astros won their first ever championship and they did it in dramatic fashion, beating the high-profile Dodgers in a riveting seven game series.  The Dodgers dominated the regular season, as well as the first two thirds of the post season.  When it came time for the World Series, however, the middle of their lineup went into a collective slump, and their metrics-loving manager, Dave Roberts, spit the bit.

The Series was probably lost in game 2 when Roberts pulled his effective starter, Rich Hill after 4 plus innings and began using his bullpen (many of whom will almost certainly face rotator cuff surgery in their near future) with impunity.  Then in game 7, when Roberts should have taken a piss-poor Yu Darvish out of the game before facing George Springer, the hottest hitter in the universe, he left him in to deliver a cantaloupe.  The resulting three run bomb effectively put a fork in the Dodger’s season.

A word about the announcers:  Joe Buck and John Smoltz are a terrible listen.  It’s not that they don’t know baseball, but that they are dull as dishwater and humorless to boot.  Throw in the timber of Buck’s voice, which is akin to an amplified washing machine, and you can go crazy.  It’s as if someone was using a jackhammer outside of your apartment — for 5 straight hours!  I’m convinced that the best way to watch these games is at a bar with a TV and a jukebox.

Onwards.

 

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Pitching Madness in the World Series

Posted by keithosaunders on October 28, 2017

The way managers have been handling pitchers in the post season is beyond insane. It’s a mixture of by the book, automaton managing, and desperate gambles of 6 out saves from pitchers who have never done it before.

So far A.J. Hinch is thoroughly out managing Dave Roberts. Yesterday he played it old school allowing pitcher, Brad Peacock, to gut out a 3 & 2/3 inning save. Why not stay with the hot pitcher? The rest of his bullpen has been shaky at best. Go for the jugular while you can.

How much does Dave Roberts wish he had stayed with Rich Hill for a couple of extra innings on Wednesday night? True, his bullpen had been great, but even the best have bad outings as witnessed by Kenley Jansen’s last performance. You’re doing the other team a favor when you take out a pitcher that the opposing team is not hitting. The Astros should send Roberts a Christmas present.

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Bring on the playoffs

Posted by keithosaunders on September 30, 2017

This was a terrible year to be a Mets fan.  The team suffered a barrage of injuries early on, unloading much of the 2015 World Series lineup by the trading deadline.  It appears that Matt Harvey, thanks to overuse during the 2015 post season, is all but washed up. Mea culpa:  I was one of those who supported pitching him during that post season, and I still believe it was the right thing to do.  You don’t get many shots at a World Series ring, especially if you’re a Met.

This was also a terrible year for pennant races.  The National League seemed all but decided by the All Star break, although the Brewers made a run for the Central, and at this writing are still alive for a wild card slot. (although the Rockie’s magic number is 1.) I really can’t get too excited about wild card races, however, especially when the Mets are not in it.

Much to my chagrin the Yankees are good again.  I’m hoping that the upstart Twins can take them out in the gimmicky one-game play-in, but who am I kidding – the Twins are the Yankee’s bitch.

In the junior circuit I’ll be pulling for either the Astros or Indians.  Houston has never won a World Series and has only played in one of them.  It would be nice to see them get through.

In the NL I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers.  I can’t stand the Cubs fans, who I find insufferable, so I’ll be content with their team bowing out.  The Cubs seem to be peaking at the right time, however, and I would be surprised if they do not make it back to the Series. The good thing about the Dodgers going deep into the post season would be to watch these idiot Giants fans up here suffer. (I live in the Bay Area)  Talk about front runners!

Well that’s it.  I don’t have a dog in this race so I’m hoping for some good games and a minimum of exposure to Joe Buck.

Let’s go!

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Baseball’s one percent

Posted by keithosaunders on August 19, 2017

Anyone who doubted that baseball, in its current form, is a soulless affair I offer you exhibit A:  The Los Angeles Dodgers.  Here is a team, arguably having their greatest regular season in their 134 year history, that felt the need, with 6 weeks remaining in the season, to add Curtis Granderson to their already stacked roster.

Exhibit B is the New York Mets, a team not two years removed from a World Series appearance, who are now in fire-sale mode.

Baseball as it exists today is a microcosm of our capitalist society. The best talent congeals to form super-teams such as the Dodgers, Redsox, Yankees, and Golden State Warriors.  Money begets money.  The rest of the league – the have-nots – can be content with playoff appearances and the occasional Cinderella season, to be followed by the inevitable selloff once their young talent reaches free-agent eligibility.

Enjoy.

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The [non existent] National League Pennant Races

Posted by keithosaunders on August 4, 2017

Baseball in the modern age is nothing short of depressing.  First of all these games are interminable.  Each steroidally-enhanced pitcher takes a year between pitches before walking the ballpark.  Throw in catcher’s and coaches visits to the mound and you’ve got yourself a snooze fest.  I honestly don’t see how anyone can watch a regular season game in real time.
The National League playoff picture is all but set thanks to a top heavy western division.  The Dodgers are on a hot streak that hasn’t been seen in baseball in decades, and the Diamondbacks and Rockies seemed poised to secure the two wild card slots.  The Nationals have wrapped up the East, leaving us with a tepid Central division race figured to be won in a cakewalk by last year’s champion Cubs.
I find it depressing how at this time of year, teams are either buyers or sellers, thus eliminating the chances of a late season playoff run from an underdog. I hate to say it but I’m for adding more playoff teams.  Who cares at this point?  The integrity of the playoffs is already ruined, can we at least have some decent races?  Let’s throw caution to the wind and go the way of the NHL & NBA.  8 playoff teams in each league, baby!

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Let the intentional walking begin

Posted by keithosaunders on April 2, 2017

Baseball games are really going to fly by now.  Forget the fact that every single close play at first base warrants a three minutes review, intentional walks are now automatic!  Now that’s progress.

This year, rather than a normal baseball prediction post, I’m going to present a baseball soulful (wishful thinking) prediction post.

In the NL East the Mets, flush with pitching, Cespedes, and just enough hitting, will dominate and cruise to their third ever World Series victory.

In the NL Central the Cubs will revert to form and miss the playoffs – the first of 110 more years without a championship. The Pittsburgh Pirates will win the division with the Brewers taking the wild card.

In the NL West, having lost track of whether or not they’re supposed to win in an odd year, the Giants will begin 166 straight years of last place finishes.  The Dodgers will win the west, losing to the Mets in the NLCS.

Moving along to the junior circuit, in the AL West we have my dark horse prediction:  My East Bay homies, the Oakland As will shock the world!  You read it here first.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers will win the division, as well as the pennant before losing to the Mets in a 6 game World Series.

In the Al East the Yankees will go 6-156.  The Bluejays will win the division and Joey Batista will set an MLB record with double digit bat flips.  Baltimore gets the wild card.

There you have it:  Major League Baseball according to Keitho.

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The retirement tour

Posted by keithosaunders on September 29, 2016

These days when superstar athletes retire they have to go on a tour, meaning the road team felates them with video tributes and while showering them with gifts.  Why these millionairs need gifts is beyond me, but that’s the way it goes in the corporate world of MLB.

Yesterday someone on my Facebook feed bragged that he was going to David Ortiz’s final game at Yankee Stadium.  Suffice it to say that I just about threw up in my mouth.  Who cares?!  He’s the enemy!  (…of Crankee fans, that is.  I always loved it when he would destroy them his P.E.D.-enhaced home runs.)

Do you think Harmon Killabrew went on a retirement tour?  Bob Gibson?  Ernie Banks?  No!  They retired like men – they played their final game and got the hell out.

Sandy Koufax pitched the entire 1966 season in pain, along the way compiling a 27-9 record with 1.79 ERA.  He started 41 games and pitched 323 innings.  He started one World Series game which he lost, mostly due to six Dodger errors.  (three by Willie Davis in the same inning!)  Then he retired.  No tour!

Lifelong Giant, Juan Marichal, inexplicably ended his career on the Dodgers.  He started two games, was lit up in both, and retired.  No Tour. Get out.

The Dodgers, when I was growing up in the 70s, had a streak of signing superstars near, or at the end of their run.  They had Dick Allen in 1971, Frank Robinson in 1972, Jim Wynn in 1974 & ’75, and Boog Powell in 1977.  I can remember going to a game and seeing Powell his a 340 foot single off of the right field wall.

So there you have it.  For God’s sake can these players just retire with dignity?  Leave the circus for Ringling brothers.

Image result for boog powell dodgers

 

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100: The magical number

Posted by keithosaunders on April 9, 2016

In baseball there is a number that is so sacred and  profound that no pitcher may exceed it.  Regardless of his size, endurance, and mental makeup a pitcher must exit a game after his hundredth pitch or risk a career ending injury.  Never mind that history is full of pitchers such as Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton who inexplicably managed to have two decade plus careers flaunting the magic number, so it has been said, so it must be done.

Baseball has become a joyless, corporate, soulless, dickless, hell hole of a sport, managed by pussies and run by pencil pushing geeks who wouldn’t know Don Drysdale from Don Knotts.

Last night the Dodger rookie pitcher, Ross Stripling, was removed from a game in the 8th inning in which he was ahead 2-0 and throwing a no hitter.  Had he been allowed to flaunt science and stay in the game he could possibly have been the first pitcher to throw a no hitter since 1892.  Saber metrics won the day, as it does 95% of the time, and out came Chris Hatcher, bringing with him his customary can of lighter fluid.  Bink, blank, blunk, three pitches later the game was tied courtesy of a cantaloupe served to Giants catcher, Trevor Brown.

The Dodgers are a simpering, gutless team that deserves to lose. It’s no coincidence that they haven’t won since Tommy Lasorda years.   Lasorda was a manager who knew how to ride a hot pitcher. In 1988 he pitched Orel Hershiser with abandon, allowing him to pitch complete games and often using him on short rest — hell, he even used him out of the bullpen against the Mets in the playoffs.

In 1981 when Fernando Valenzuela was a rookie, Lasorda pitched him into the ground, letting him work late into games, well over 100 pitches. Some people think that Fernando’s career was shortened by this overuse, but you know what? WHO CARES?! The Dodgers won a World Series. RIDE HIM.

You take your rookie pitcher out of a game in which he is throwing a no hitter? That’s losing baseball. Ask the Nationals and gimp Strasberg.

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Post mortum

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2015

The Mets lost the 2015 World Series and they did it in their inimitable style — in gut wrenching and embarrassing fashion.  After an improbable, some might say, miraculous season and playoffs, they came crashing back to earth in a World Series that saw them blow three late-inning leads,including two saves.

Their offense went awol, reverting back to pre-Cespedes quality, and their defense was putrid. I would go so far as to say that this was the worst World Series lineup I have ever seen.  The only one that comes close is the 1988 Dodgers, but that team won!

Yoenis Cespedes was playing hurt, his bat non-existent, but his defense was piss-poor and half the time it appeared as if his head was not in the game.  His bass-running gaffe which ended game 4 was inexcusable.  I was a huge Cespedes fan and it’s obvious that without him the Mets do not make the playoffs, but after watching his World Series error-riddled performance I question his baseball IQ.

It’s not only Cespedes.  Daniel Murphy, who carried the Mets through the NLDS and NLCS, reverted to being Daniel Murphy, slumping horribly and fielding like a little leaguer.  It will be interesting to see which team overpays for him during the offseason.

Nevertheless, I thought Terry Collins had a good Series.  I appreciate the fact that he sticks with his starters longer than most managers.  Matt Harvey, who I killed before the playoffs, pitched an absolute gem through 8 innings of game 5 and he (rightfully) lobbied to stay in the game for the 9th.  How could you take him out?  He was untouchable.  Jeurys Familia had been anything but lights out this past week and it was far from a given that he would have retired the side.  This idea that there has to be 7th, 8th, and 9th inning specialists is garbage.  GARBAGE.  I have no respect for anyone who would second guess Collins for having left Harvey in.  Zero.  If Lucas Duda makes a decent throw to the plate the Mets win the game.

And so it continues.  Even after a World Series appearance I cannot escape the embarrassment of rooting for this team. They couldn’t just lose normally — they had to do it in Keystone Cops fashion.  It’s as if they’re still paying off a deal with the devil they made in 1986. Written in small print in the contract:  Drink up, do as much coke as you want, stay out all night, get into brawls –  I’ll see that you win.  But be warned! Your team will be doomed to lose in embarrassing fashion for the next hundred years. 

A playoff upset to the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, the Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla era of the early 90s, the subway Series loss to the hated Yankees, Yadier Molina’s game 7 NLCS homerun, the epic division collapses of 2007 and 2008, and the garbage years of 2009-2014.

What to do?  I’ll sleep this one off, lose myself in some football, and by the time February rolls around hope will spring eternal.  Despite the doom and gloom of this post, the future does look bright for this team.  If only they can get out of their own way.

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Match point

Posted by keithosaunders on October 15, 2015

This is the 3rd playoff series between the Mets and the Dodgers.  The first, in 1988, featured Orel Hershiser pitching a complete game gem in the 7th and deciding game.  Who can forget Mike Scioscia’s shocking, game-tying home run off of Dwight Gooden in game 4; a game the Mets lost in 12 innings. (Kirk Gibson’s 12th inning home run was the difference)

In 2006, which was the last time the Mets were in the post season, they swept the Dodgers in the NLDS.  There are two players, one from each roster, that are playing in this current series.  They are Andre Ethier and David Wright.  That 2006 Dodger squad included veterans Kenny Lofton, Greg Maddux, Jeff Kent, and Nomar Garciaparra.  The Mets had a more youthful lineup, featuring Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and the aforementioned Wright.  Their roster also included veterans Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd. That Mets team would go on to lose a heartbreaking NLCS to the St Louis Cardinals and the next two years they would suffer gut wrenching late-season collapses.

This brings us to tonight’s series-deciding epic matchup between another veteran Dodgers team and an upstart young Mets club. Jacob deGrom versus Zack Greinke.  If deGrom falters manager Terry Collins will use Noah Syndergaard and even Matt Harvey. (Scott Boras be damned)  I imagine big Bartolo will be on hand as well –  anything it takes to get to the one pitcher that matters the most: Jeurys Familia. For if he is in the game that’s a good sign that the Mets have a lead and what was once unthinkable — a trip to the NLCS — may yet come to pass.

Let’s go METS!!!

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