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Dodger Baseball

Forgotten Faces

I was thinking about how many players have played for the Dodgers over the years who are now forgotten. The stars you always remember, but the fringe guys, the players who come up for a short time and are gone or the player who spends a few years with the team, but never has a starting role.

Sometimes you will think back and say, wow, I forgot that guy ever played for the Dodgers.  Some of us do not remember the Brooklyn teams that well. But since I read a lot of the team’s history, I will look a guy up just to see what kind of impact he might have made.

One name that popped up to me the other day because I was thinking about the 1959 team, was Chuck Churn. Churn was signed by the Pirates in 1949. By most standards, he was a baseball nomad. But he made it to the majors in 1957 with the Pirates and got into 5 games. He had no record and a 4.32 ERA. Must have felt really good to finally get there after 8 seasons in the minors.

The Red Sox took him in the Rule 5 draft and then sent him to the Indians. He got into 6 games for the Tribe, again having no decisions and his ERA was 6.23.

He was on the move again in the spring of 1958 when the Reds bought him from Cleveland. He did not appear in a game for the Reds. Then in May of 1959, the Reds traded him to the Dodgers for pitcher Dick Hanlon.

Churn was assigned to the Dodgers AAA team at Spokane. He got into 29 games, all as a reliever and he was called up to LA in August. He pitched in 5 games in August and did fairly well.

Then in September, on the 2nd, he got his first big league win with 4 2/3 innings of relief as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals. On the 11th of the month, he won his second as he came in to relieve Sandy Koufax with the Dodgers down 4-2 to the Pirates. LA scored their third run in the 8th, and then scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th to win, 5-4. The loss was the only one of the season for Pirates ace Roy Face who went 18-1.

He would win one more and lose two the rest of the way, he also had his only major league save. His wins were crucial as the Dodgers were locked in a tight pennant race with the Braves and Giants.

He pitched in the second playoff game, coming in to relieve Johnny Podres with the Dodgers down 4-2. He would give up a run, and the Braves led 5-2. But the Dodgers scored 3 in the 9th, and won the game on a Furillo single in the bottom of the 12th.

Churn pitched in game one of the 59 series and gave up 6 runs, 2 were earned. It was his last game ever in the majors. He pitched at Spokane for the Dodgers in 1960 with a 13-7 record. He would pitch until 1967. Churn died in 2017.

Cal Abrams was signed by the Dodgers out of high school in 1942. He went to the minors where he spent several seasons before he made his big league debut in April of 1949.

He played in 8 games that year and got 2 hits in 24 at bats. He broke in wearing #32. The next season he switched to #18. 18 means a lot, he said. The number 18 stands for the Hebrew word for life. He wore 18 a majority of his career.

Abrams was strictly a substitute, he often pinch ran for the slower guys. On October 1st, 1950, the Dodgers, trailing by one game for the NL lead with the Phillies, were at Ebbets Field, playing the last game of the year. If they won, there would be a playoff.

The game was tied, 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning. Both team’s aces were locked in this duel. Roberts for the Phillies and Don Newcombe for the Dodgers.

Newcombe, hitting for himself, made an out. Abrams walked and went to second on an infield out by Pee Wee Reese, who had 3 hits off of Roberts including a homer for the only run.

Duke Snider came to the plate and laced a single to center field. Third base coach Milt Stock waved him home and he was gunned down at the plate on a perfect throw by CF Richie Ashburn who caught the ball on one hop. Inning over. Jackie Robinson was on deck. It was probably Abrams defining moment as a Dodger.

In the bottom of the inning, Dick Sisler, yep, George’s boy, hit a three-run homer to win the pennant for the Phillies. They weren’t called the Whiz kids for nothing.

Abrams had a .419 OBP in 1951. He hit .280 for the year in 67 games. Charlie Dressen, the Dodger manager at the time, who was known to be cruel sometimes, did not play him when the fans had a Cal Abrams Day at Ebbets Field. The next season he was traded in June to the Reds for Rudy Rufer. After the season, he was part of the package the Red Sent to Pittsburgh for Gus Bell.

Cal would be in the majors until 1956. He played for Baltimore and the White Sox too. He passed away in 1997 at 72 years old.

The last guy I would like to profile is Dick Gray. Gray. When he was 18, Gray attended a tryout camp for the Dodgers at Vero Beach. He was signed and played two years in the system before his career was interrupted by military service for the Korean War.

He did not go to Korea. He contracted Pneumonia and spent his entire time at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He played on the ball team there. One of his teammates was Whitey Herzog.

Upon his discharge, Gray joined Fort Worth of the Texas League for two years. In 1957 he went to St Paul of the American Association and posted career bests with a .297 average, 16 homers and 111 RBIs.

The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to LA over the winter. Gray went to spring training with the team and made the roster out of spring training.

The now Los Angeles Dodgers opened the season in San Francisco at Seals Stadium against the newly transplanted Giants.

Batting 6th, and playing third was Dick Gray, a rookie nestled among the famous Boys of Summer. Snider, Reese, Hodges, and Furillo were in the lineup along with Campy’s back up, Rube Walker.

The Giants pounded the Dodgers 8-0 behind Ruben Gomez. But Gray had 2 hits in 4 at bats. A nice start to his career.

The next day, the Dodgers would return the favor. In the second inning, Gray hit the first home run in Los Angeles Dodgers history off of Ramon Monzant. And the rout was on. LA won 13-1. Gray had three hits and drove in 3. Duke Snider hit the second Dodger homer later in the game, and Podres cruised to the win.

The Dodgers lost the third game of the series, and the teams headed south to the Coliseum to play the Dodgers first home game on the 18th of April.

Brooklyn legend, Carl Erskine was the Dodger starter against Al Worthington of the Giants. 78,682 fans were in attendance to watch their new baseball team play its first game.

The Giants scored single runs in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th innings. The Dodgers scored 2 in the 3rd and 3 in the 5th. They were up 5-3 when Gray came to bat in the 7th.

There was one out and a 3-0 count on Gray when Johnny Antonelli missed with a pitch and Gray drove it over the fence to left-center field for the first LA Dodger homer at the coliseum. It did not go over the screen in left, but the chain link fence just to the left of the screen. LA won the game, 6-5. Clem Labine got the save, and Erskine the win.

Erskine would win only 3 more the rest of the year. His arm was in bad shape, and he would retire after the 59 season. For the Dodgers, 58 was not a very good year.

For Gray, he would end up playing only 58 games. He finished with a .249 average and 9 homers. The next season, he played 21 games and then was sent to the Cardinals for Lloyd Merritt and outfielder Chuck Essegian. The trade would make an impact on the Dodgers championship run as Essegian would be Alston’s go to pinch-hitter. And he would hit two pinch-hit homers in the World Series.

As for Gray, he played parts of two seasons with the Cardinals. He then played two years with the Pirates organization at AAA Columbus, then retired.

After his retirement, Gray lived in Anaheim with his wife and three daughters. He worked for the Buena Park School District maintenance department for many years retiring in 1993. He would attend card shows signing autographs. He passed away in 2013 3 days before his 82nd birthday.

Three players, all who had a hand in some historical moments in Dodger history, and mostly forgotten by the fans of the team.

 

I included a photo of the model I built of my dad’s ship, the USS Nevada. He was on her when the attack on Pearl Harbor took place.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeff Dominique

Who knows who the player pictured in the lead is?

Sam Oyed

Sandy Amoros

Badger

Good call Sam.

The Nevada took a lot of hits. Was your dad injured Bear?

Oldbear48

He caught a piece of shrapnel when the Arizona blew up in his gluteus maximus. After his hospital stay, about 4 weeks, he was assigned to a destroyer, the USS Dewey. The Nevada was towed to California and underwent extensive repairs. That rear mast was removed. She later took part in the D-Day landings and then was sent back to the Pacific. She was in Tokyo Bay at the surrender.

Singing the Blue

How long did it take you to build the model?

Oldbear48

About 3 weeks total Painting is the hardest part. You have to make sure it is all dry before assembling.

Badger

The Athletic ranks the Phillies defeat 5th on the franchise most devastating defeat list. I wonder where the Dodgers defeat lands on their most devastating defeat list. They’ve had two in a row on that list.

Very interesting article in the Times on Trevor Bauer. He wants to pitch in MLB again, most likely won’t, and has considered suing, but most likely won’t. He was never charged, the woman has basically admitted it was a setup, but, that won’t matter. He could be forgiven out west, but across conservative America the blow back wouldn’t be worth it to MLB. We sure could have used him.

Been thinking about what Jeff said at the end of the previous thread. The dbacks year. In May they were 11 games over .500. Still trailed the Dodgers. They finished 2 games over .500, playing sub .500 all summer, had a pythWL% of less than their record all year, were in a competitive WC race at the end of the year, and came into the playoffs hot. The Dodgers were 24-4 in August and coasted pretty much all of September. They fell asleep in October. Not sure how Texas played late but it might be similar. 

The “best” teams aren’t there. The hottest teams from mid September to late October are. Texas will no doubt open as favorites. And a World Series starting a few days before November? It all seems nuts to me. 

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bluto

If anyone watching these playoffs doesn’t realize it’s a total crapshoot and indicative of almost nothing but luck and opportunity, good luck to you in life

Badger

An interesting point of view being expressed by Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky – it’s hard to believe we have any free will. Mystics talk about this and its connection to karma, (action reaction) and reincarnation over millennia.

How this relates to the playoffs? Not sure, but I agree with Bluto, and believe that over the winter and Spring, there may not be a way to prepare a 40 man roster for October. You build to win your division then roll the dice after that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I think it is clear that the answer to making the postseason less of a crapshoot does not lie in signing old pitchers to huge contracts.

I think the stolen base is back as an offensive weapon. Teams lived and died with the long ball this playoffs season.

I think Miller, Pepiot, and Sheehan could be aces and therefore kept. I hope Stone can be at least a #3 and might be a trade candidate but only if packaged to get a difference maker.

I don’t think Vargas, Busch, Pages, Cartaya will be difference makers and therefore are tradebait.

Singing the Blue

Problem: Playoffs are a crapshoot and often the best team doesn’t win.

Question: In the Olympics, does the winner of the 100m get a gold medal and the winner of a long distance race get only a handshake or fist bump?

Question 2: Why is the post season given so much more importance than the actual season? (I’m guessing Badger will let me know the truth, that being “money is always the answer”)

Statement: The best team in baseball this year may actually be the one with the most wins during the regular season (Atl) rather than the one who got hot for a few games after the season (Az or Tex).

Proposed Solution: Why not give an award (trophy, money) to the team with the best record in the distance race (162 game schedule) as well as the award given to the team who wins a short post season sprint (tournament).

Why must I be told I should have tremendous admiration for the team who got into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and then played very well for a short period of time, while having total disdain for a team who battled through a very long schedule and proved themselves to be the best before having a short term slump?

Oldbear48

Texas had to do the same thing since they ended up tied with the Astros for the division. They lost the division title because the Astros had beaten them in the season series. Whomever wins the World Series will have accomplished the same thing as the Dodgers did in 2020, winning 13 post season games.

Bumsrap

Besides money, the playoffs keep the regular season interesting for a lot more teams which promotes attendance which while generating more money also makes regular season games more fun because more fans are in the stands.

Whether watching on TV or in person, big crowds make the game more fun.

If weak teams are handicapped like the best horses are in races then getting to the playoffs would be the goal for weak teams instead of winning a championship.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bumsrap
Bumsrap

The best teams get extra days to set up their playoff rotation and help players recover from injuries. That’s good especially if a team has fought to the wire to get to the playoffs like the Dodgers did when the Giants won the Division a year ago. If a team coasts to the playoffs they can rest injured players and set up their rotation without the layoff after the season ends.

No one knows how the regular season will play out and therefore can’t plan the playoffs accordingly. To eliminate the layoff why not have the team with the best record play the wild card team with the worst record with all games played at home. Eliminate the wild card vs wild card series.

Badger

Baseball bracketing with 6 teams is just weird. 15 teams in each league is the wrong number. You gotta have brackets in multiples of 4.

If they don’t expand to 32 teams, then the answer is expand the playoffs to 16 teams. 8 teams in each league, 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, 4 plays 5. All first round games played on field of higher seed. No rest for anyone. MLB LOVES it because it’s more money for everyone, fans love it because more teams will be in the chase. Works for the NBA. Would work for baseball.

And frankly, Eastern and Western Conferences in MLB might make some sense too. That too works well in the NBA. Looking at the map the West would sure have more travel time. But, it could be worked out.

Oldbear48

I love that idea.

Jeff Dominique

I am not in favor of 8 teams per league making the playoffs. Doing that just makes the regular season irrelevant instead of just somewhat irrelevant as it is now. When was the last time a #6 and #4 seed make the NBA finals (much less #8)? MLB is not the NBA, nor the NHL, nor March Madness. While there are some early upsets, the best generally rise. I do not follow March Madness much, but when was the last time a non-Conference champion did not win it all? I am not asking a rhetorical question, I genuinely do not know. 

I do not watch the NBA and haven’t paid that much attention since the Magic/Kareem/Worthy/Cooper/Scott/Rambis years. Would those teams have lost to a #8 seed? Or a #6 seed? 

I prefer the 4 team playoffs. Best division winning team playing the WC team. And the 2nd and 3rd best winning divisional teams facing each other. You want to add a 2nd Wild Card for a 1 game win or go home game, I would be okay with that if the game was played on the Monday following the season, and the Divisional Series starting on Tuesday.

I also recognize that this will never happen as there is way too much $$$$ in playoffs. The owners could care less who wins, as long as there is TV $$$$.  Stan Kasten said as much. Just fill the seats during the 162 game season, baby. Cynical? No doubt. 

Badger

You said it yourself. No matter the question, the answer is money. Now how do the Dodgers make that work for them? They get the #1 seed, play the #8 seed at home, let the others slug it out, and, hope for the best.

The way it’s playing out now isn’t working for them. And MLB doesn’t care. So, on we go as is I guess

Jeff

No way this happens.

Oldbear48

One analyst on yard barker thinks the Dodgers are leaning towards bringing back Lance Lynn. Only if he drops 50 pounds.

Bumsrap

If losing is the criteria then I’m not worried about Lynn coming back.

Badger

Lynn had a .542 winning percentage and pitched 183 innings. Nobody on the Dodgers came close to that this year and I’m betting nobody on the Dodgers will come close to it next year.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I think the Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth and don’t need Lynn. I like what Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, Sheehan bring to the rotation and adding Montgomery makes a lot more sense than keeping Lynn. Of course adding Yamamoto could make the rotation elite.

3b/2b Betts
1b…….Freeman
SS……Witt
DH……Ohtani
C……..Smith
CF……Outman
LF…….DeLuca
3b/2b..Lux
RF……Taylor

Gone: Kershaw, Muncy, Lynn, Bauer,

Jeff

Poor logic, Badger. The guy is an accident waiting to happen. No pitcher giving up the amount of HR’s that Lynn has should be on this team, EVER. He was a desperate move brought about by a desperate situation.

Jeff Dominique

Found this gem from Jack Harris. Add David Peralta to the long list of LAD players/pitchers playing through injuries.

Then I found this response. 

This information does NOT lend itself that it is all a crapshoot. Peralta should not have been on the postseason roster, and Ryan Pepiot should have started one of the games. Instead, it was their best and HOTTEST pitcher who did not throw one pitch. That is not on the stars not being aligned, but due to negligence of Dave Roberts. Waiting for Game 4???? If getting hot at the time of the playoffs is a criteria for winning, then why did Ryan Pepiot not only not start Game 3, but did not throw one pitch. Why have an injured David Peralta when there was a healthy Amed Rosario and healthy Michael Busch sitting home? And for those that say it was AF who left them off, why didn’t Roberts speak up and demand Rosario instead of an injured Peralta? Or maybe they like a manager who will not speak up. Just speculating, not accusing.

I am not blaming Peralta, just like I did not blame Gonsolin or Kershaw. Injured players at the MLB level are not going to come out unless they come out screaming and kicking.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeff Dominique
Bumsrap

Good questions> Organizational failure?

Jeff Dominique

Yes!!

Badger

And no question having David Peralta on the bench would have insured the Dodgers of scoring more than 6 runs in three games.

Roberts haters are looking in the wrong direction. It wasn’t Peralta and with the exception of our first ballot Hall of Famer screwing the pooch it wasn’t the pitching. The 906 horsepower offense couldn’t hit a lick. They fell asleep in their 5 day layoff and didn’t wake up.

Jeff Dominique

It has more to do with how they look at the roster. It is better to have a player on the roster with an elbow that needs flexor tendon surgery, the same surgery that Dustin May had, than a healthy player? I think not. It makes sense to start HR prone Lance Lynn in Game 3 over Ryan Pepiot, arguably the best and hottest pitcher on the roster, needing to win Game 3 for their to be a Game 4? Again I think not.

No, neither Amed Rosario nor Michael Busch would have guaranteed the Dodgers more than 6 runs. But they certainly would have increased their odds with CT3 and/or Kiké Hernández in the lineup. Maybe with CT3 and or Kiké Hernández in the lineup instead of Peralta and J-Hey they can get 5 runs in Game 2 or Game 3. We will never know. We do know the lineup Roberts did put out on the field did not score runs. Roberts solution? Bench Outman and not the injured Peralta. Corbin Carroll was having a miserable NLCS and Lovullo stuck with him. I am guessing he is glad he did, as Carroll went off in Game 7. You are convinced that Outman does not go off in Game 3?

Lovullo chose rookie Brandon Pfaadt to be in the rotation rather than the more experienced Ryne Nelson. Roberts chose Lance Lynn over Ryan Pepiot. Do you really think that Lance Lynn was a better choice to start Game 3 than Ryan Pepiot?

Lovullo took a team that lost 102 games 2 years ago and is in the WS. Roberts took a team that has won 211 games in the last two years and gets beat by a team that won 86 games, in three straight NLDS games. After getting beat by another WC team the year before in the NLDS (1-3).

If the manager is meaningless, why have one? Just have the computer geeks fill out the roster, lineup, and make decisions in the game. If the manager is meaningless, why fire one. Is Bob Melvin a better manager than Gabe Kapler? I am one who believes that Roberts does in fact make decisions. Those decisions just fail in the playoffs.

It has noting to do with being a Roberts hater, which I am not. He is an excellent regular season manager, that gets out prepared and out managed in the playoffs. You cannot fire all of the players, so make a change with the manager. After 2 straight NLDS departures in embarrassing fashion…it is time to turn the page.

Badger

Once again you make a compelling argument.

I was surprised to hear of Peralta’s injury and assumed Roberts wasn’t aware of it. If he was, then shame on him. If he wasn’t the blame goes to Peralta.

For whatever reason Rosario wasn’t even on the roster. Whose call was that? And as for Lynn, I was ok with his start, veteran, innings eater and all that but after the third home run he’s gone and Pepiot comes in. Didn’t work out that way, but it didn’t matter because you only score 2 in a playoff game you aren’t going to win.

Im sure Roberts is trying hard to figure out what he can do better but if your best players don’t perform there’s nothing you can do. You score 6 runs in a playoff series you don’t deserve to win.

Bumsrap

That is exactly how I feel Jeff about decisions made by Roberts and Friedman in the playoffs. I said a few times in the last couple of days that starting Lynn was gutless.

Roberts always puts Kershaw on too high of a pedestal. If Kershaw didn’t have his A game going, how long does it take to realize that other than what the hitters are saying with their bats?

Badger

So I guess you guys are saying Pepiot would have kept the dbacks under 4 runs.

ok. Maybe you’re right.

Jeff Dominique

We will never know will we? I dare say he had a much better chance at keeping the ball in the yard. He would never have allowed 4 HRs in a single inning. For that I am sure. Pepiot pitched 8 games once back: 42.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.762 WHIP, .584 OPS

5.0 IP – 1 run
4.0 IP – 1 run
5.0 IP – 0 run
7.0 IP – 0 run
6.0 IP – 4 run
6.0 IP – 1 run
6.0 IP – 1 run
3.0 IP – 2 run

Lance Lynn’s last 8 games: 46.0 IP, 5.28 ERA, .799 OPS, 1.39 WHIP
7.0 IP – 0 run
6.0 IP – 4 run
4.1 IP – 7 run
4.2 IP – 8 run
7.0 IP – 2 run
5.0 IP – 3 run
6.0 IP – 2 run
6.0 IP – 2 run

What about these numbers say that Lynn was a better choice?

IMO, Pepiot should have been the Game 3 starter.

Badger

How many of Pepiot’s outings were against playoff teams? How many against teams with a winning record?

Doc went with the veteran. It would have worked if the team had scored what they averaged all year.

Jeff

Whatever logic one uses to come to the conclusion that Dave Roberts should not manage the Dodgers, I support. But the real problem is AF and the corporate mentality. I’m very surprised that most of you support both of them. This is not to say things can change because they won’t. I’m too old to expect WS wins from the Dodgers. In many ways, they are one of the most disappointing franchises in history considering their lack of post season success.

Jeff Dominique

Dusty Baker is retiring. There will be a press conference on Thursday to announce his retirement.

He is the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins and the first Black man to do it. Ten of the 11 other managers who have accumulated at least 2,000 wins are in the Hall of Fame — Rangers manager Bruce Bochy (2,093 wins), who isn’t yet eligible, is the only exception. He is now #7 on the all-time win list.

Baker’s 57 postseason wins — over 13 postseason appearances — rank fourth all-time, just ahead of Bochy (53).

Baker still wants to be involved in baseball. I love this quote from him:

“I’ve still got a lot to offer; baseball has been my life,” Baker said. I have a lifetime of knowledge, much more than those who have never played the game.”

Jeff Dominique

Craig Counsell will be interviewing with NYM. Is there any doubt as to who the NYM manager will be next season? David Stearns loves Counsell. The only question is does he want to leave his hometown to go to NY. He went to high school in Milwaukee. Born in South Bend and went to college in South Bend. He has never played or managed in a big city, save a half year with LAD in 1999.

Signed 4 free agent contracts with Milwaukee to finish his career (2007-2011).

I am sure Steve Cohen will entice him with a healthy contract. NYM will be better with Craig Counsell than they were with Buck Showalter, who is a candidate for the LAA job.

Singing the Blue

Interesting that the Mets asked and received permission from the Brewers when they could have just interviewed him a week from today, the day after his contract expired.

I guess they’re anxious to make the announcement before the World Series starts.

Or maybe he really hasn’t made up his mind and wants to decide quickly so that both the Mets and Brewers know where he stands and can act accordingly. Either way, the team who doesn’t get him will probably want to have a manager in place by the time free agency starts, so the extra week will be helpful.

OhioDodger

Awesome model Jeff.

comment image?crop=1

Here is a photo of the Nevada after repairs. She was the only battleship to actually get underway during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Oldbear48

I built it not Jeff. It was my dad’s ship. Yes, she was the only battleship to get underway during the attack. And when she started down the channel, cheers could be heard. She came under heavy attack and her captain decided to beach her at Hospital point. She was later towed to the states and repaired to look like she does in this photo. My dad was wounded and after his hospital stay, he was reassigned to the USS Dewey, a destroyer. The Nevada now sits at the bottom of the ocean off of the Bikini Islands. She was one of the target ships for the A-bomb test. She was scuttled because she did not sustain enough damage to sink. They found her not too long ago. Easy to identify because she was painted orange like all the target ships were.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldbear48
OhioDodger

Sorry Bear. The model is awesome. Makes me want to get back into building models.

Oldbear48

I find it totally relaxing. Of course, models cost a lot more than they did when I was a kid. I could get a Lindberg airplane model for 79 cents back then. Monogram planes were about 89 cents. Revell a dollar. The first Arizona model I built cost 2.50. Now they are closer to 20 dollars. I paid 39 for the Indianapolis I am building. The hardest was a Sherman tank model. Pieces were so small.

Badger

Dylan Hernandez with an interesting look at the “out of touch” owner Mark Walter this morning. “The Dodgers won’t do anything significant unless a bargain is involved” says Hernandez.

ok, here comes the off season excitement. Hope there’s a bargain available.

Singing the Blue

Has he ever written a positive article about the Dodgers?

Badger

He’s not wrong.

Jeff Dominique

I agree with you. Can someone tell me where he is wrong?

Bluto

I found this line by Hernandez curious:

Why can’t they build a roster that has both the necessary depth to win in the regular season and the premium talent to triumph in October?

Haven’t the playoffs shown that premium talent isn’t what’s needed in October?

Jeff Dominique

Then what is it? I do not buy it is a crapshoot. There may be some luck involved, but neither Arizona nor Texas lucked into the WS. Why is it that Bochy’s teams continue to excel in the playoffs. It wasn’t luck that Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager went off in the NLCS. It wasn’t luck that Texas was able to trade for Jordan Montgomery but LAD had Lance Lynn. Why is it that Lovullo’s team beat two “better” teams with “better premium talent”? It isn’t luck that Ketel Marte continues to hit in EVERY playoff game he has played. It isn’t luck that Gabriel Moreno continues to get big hits. It isn’t luck that Alek Thomas gets off the bench and slugs a 3-run HR. It isn’t luck that the D-backs run and put themselves in scoring position. It isn’t luck that Lovullo did not bench Corbin Carroll in Game 7 while Dave Roberts benched James Outman in Game 3, but injured Dave Peralta started. It isn’t luck that Arizona was able to trade for closer Paul Sewald at the deadline, and the Dodgers traded for oft injured Joe Kelly and Ryan Yarbrough (who did not even make the playoff roster). It isn’t luck that Brandon Pfaadt pitched very well in all three of his starts, and exceptionally well in two. It isn’t luck that Arizona could throw out a rookie in a Game 7, and one LAD rookie cannot get out of the 2nd inning, and another doesn’t throw a pitch.

Dave Roberts says he does not have an answer. AF says the team has lost the last two years due to organizational failure, and yet he sees no changes???? I suggest that somebody in the organization come up with a plausible explanation and make those changes this Winter.

Bluto

I have no clue why the Diamondbacks beat the Phillies. I daresay they don’t either. I’m sure every reporter who covers baseball don’t know either, as they all picked the Phills.

This is the point! And it makes “make those changes” impossible. It’s nothing specific. Casty cooling off? Corbin Carroll having a good game? That may be all it took for Game 7. Who really knows.

That said, I think we agree that premium players, of which the Phillies have more, are not that reason. I’m pretty sure it’s not premium managers either (NOT, in any way, that you are implying that.)

If I missed your point, I apologize.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Badger

Very few expected the dbacks to win against the more talented teams. I know I didn’t. And every now and then someone wins at the craps table. I know I didn’t. I read somewhere the odds of winning at the craps table are around 16.67%, or about 1 in 6.

I have no problem calling MLB playoffs a crapshoot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Jeff Dominique

You did not miss my point. You and I just disagree. I do not believe that premium players guarantee a Divisional or League series. But maybe not all premium players are built the same. Maybe not all premium players are put in in their best position to win. Maybe even with premium players, decisions are botched up, especially with the pitching, and playing the righty/lefty platoons. Maybe even putting an OF who will need elbow surgery after the playoffs on the roster is a bad decision, not a result of a crapshoot. I do not think the Dodgers starting pitchers were premium pitchers.

But where we really do disagree is that I think the manager has more to do with an outcome in a critical series than you do. Alston took the Dodgers to 5 WS and won 4 of them. Lasorda took them to 4 and won 2. Three out of the last 5 playoffs, LAD went out in the NLDS. even the one WS they did win, it was in a 60 game schedule. We do know that the Dodgers seem to choke in the playoffs with a full season. Maybe that happens in 2020. I am not saying yea or nay. And I do believe they should get full credit for winning. They were under the same rules as every other team in the playoffs.

IMO, saying the Dodgers lost because the playoffs is a crapshoot (luck), is a copout. It is what is said, when they have no answers, like Doc and AF.

That being said, I have no idea who would be a better manager, and certainly not better for the front office. So it will continue to be Dave Roberts at the helm for 2024. It they go out again in the NLDS, is it going to be a crapshoot again? If 3 out of 5 losses in the NLDS is not a trend, will 4 out of 6 be? How about 5 out of 7? Or 6 out of 8?Sometimes a NLDS loss just isn’t due to a crapshoot.

Badger

They’ll win 1 in 6. If they’re lucky.

Bluto

I guess. I am a little confused because Dylan’s article wasn’t about managers. It was about “premium players.”

But, yeah…

I don’t really care for Roberts, but at the same time is there a massive difference between the Phillies manager, the Arizona manager, or Bochy? Prolly not. But Lovello does have BoSox ties!

I’d love yo see Venables instead of Roberts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Norcaldodgerfan

Well said and all true. Another Dodger blog owner has touted the crapshoot line for weeks ad nauseam. It’s not a freaking crapshoot when you lose three straight to a very inferior team, it’s a an epic failure. Call it what it is!

Now let’s see if AF comes
ti the winter meetings loaded for bear. If he once again shops or trades in the blue light bargain bin, ill
be so disappointed.

Jeff

The answer lies with the corporate narrative that dictates the parameters to AF and trickles down to Doc. Passionate owners have always been the key to Pro sports success. Who and where are the passionate owners of the Dodgers? Do we ever see them jumping up and down in their seats like Mark Cuban? Why do players like Verdugo,Bellinger and Seager excel with new teams? Dodgers make the same habitual decisions year after year. It’s an algorythm, not a team.

Singing the Blue

I’m a big Mark Cuban fan but he hasn’t exactly had huge success as an owner.

What about Steve Ballmer, another passionate owner who hasn’t had a lot of success.

I really don’t care if the owner never shows his face in the stands. Give me passionate players.

Badger

I don’t know Cuban but everything I’ve read says as down to earth as you will find among elites. He sure is an involved owner. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but in my opinion it plays well.

I don’t need a visible owner. The Dodgers ownership has done well the last decade or so. I’ve got no issues with them.

Jeff Dominique

I have zero issues with the LAD owners. I do not need busy body owners. I do not want an Arte Moreno type owner. All I care about is whether they are willing to pay. I do not know the answer to that. Will they agree to pay Ohtani? I have my doubts, however, the LAD owners are known to love superstar players. They like the marketability of the players and not necessarily the competitiveness. They would obviously prefer both, but IMO they would place marketability ahead of competitiveness. Ohtani provides a world wide market, so I do believe there will be genuine interest. Whether that interest is more than SFG or NYM or NYY, we will have to wait and see. Again, I have my doubts. It will not be SDP.

Outside of Ohtani, I do not believe the Dodgers will seriously entertain anyone for in excess of $100MM or more than 5 years. They will not sign any Scott Boras client (Snell, Montgomery).

I will be glad to be wrong.

Oldbear48

Scott, Montgomery is not a Boras client. He is represented by the Ballengee Group

Jeff Dominique

The MLBTradeRumors Agency database and Baseball Reference both say that Montgomery is representing Scott Boras. According to a Jon Heyman twitter (below), Montgomery switched to Boras in September 21. I know that Spotrac has Ballengee representing Montgomery and Cots says Beverly Hills Sports Council (which was the previous agency). I remember reading earlier in the year that Boras would be representing both Snell and Montgomery this Winter. I do know that both MLBTradeRumors and Baseball Reference are both as current with their information as possible. I do not follow Spotrac as much so I do not know how current their information is.

I am fine with being wrong, but there does seem to be information sources that indicate Montgomery is a client of Boras. I have included the two sources and the Heyman twitter post.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/agencydatabase?agency=5

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/montgjo01.shtml

Jeff

You make my point, Jeff. Everything about this team is dictated by ownership and implemented by AF. If you don’t want to win the WS, the Dodgers are your team. Meanwhile, Arizona beats Texas, 9-1 and heads home for a 3 game series. Guess who has the advantage now..

Jeff

Passion trickles down to the management from ownership. I used Cuban as an example of a passionate owner. Joe Lacob of the Warriors is the most visible, passionate, winning owner in the league. He keeps his hands on the whole organization and no one does it better. Baseball has become a game for old men to watch on TV and analyze from the couch. No relation to what is really going on. This site is an example of it. Memory lane. The elite have taken the Dodgers over.

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