Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

My Initial Thoughts on the Season

Disappointed but not overwrought.  The team was not supposed to be as good as it was.  Certainly nobody anticipated a 100 win season.  They lost their SS at the beginning of ST.  All 5-6 pitchers originally in the Starting Rotation went onto the IL:

  • Clayton Kershaw – Shoulder
  • Julio Urías – Hamstring
  • Noah Syndergaard – Blisters (Head)
  • Tony Gonsolin – Ankle sprain, then TJ surgery (ST)
  • Ryan Pepiot – Oblique (ST)

The 6th?  His moron self took over his ability to keep his hands to himself…a second time.

“It’s Friedman’s moronic decree that all starting pitchers go 5 and 80 and immediately hooked. We need management that values great starting pitching and that is not Friedman clearly.”

As I am prone to do, I decided to look up the information (all readily available) and either confirm or disagree with such comments.

Bobby Miller – 22 starts – 9 Quality Starts (must be at least 6.0 IP)

  • 12 of 22 starts – greater than or equal to 6.0
  • 3 of 22 starts – greater than or equal to 7.0
  • 20 of 22 starts – greater than or equal to 80 pitches
  • 13 of 22 starts – greater than or equal to 90 pitches
  • 3 of 22 starts – greater than or equal to 100 pitches

Clayton Kershaw (pre shoulder injury) – 16 starts – 11 Quality Starts

  • 12 of 16 starts – greater than or equal to 6.0
  • 6 of 16 starts – greater than or equal to 7.0
  • 14 of 16 starts – greater than or equal to 80 pitches
  • 12 of 16 starts – greater than or equal to 90 pitches
  • 3 of 16 starts – greater than or equal to 100 pitches

Julio Urías – 21 starts – 11 Quality Starts

  • 12 of 21 starts – greater than or equal to 6.0
  • 4 of 21 starts – greater than or equal to 7.0
  • 17 of 21 starts – greater than or equal to 80 pitches
  • 10 of 21 starts – greater than or equal to 90 pitches
  • 3 of 21 starts – greater than or equal to 100 pitches

Dustin May – 8 starts (not counting his last start of 1 inning before injury) – 4 QS

  • 4 of 8 starts – greater than or equal to 6.0
  • 1 of 8 starts – greater than or equal to 7.0
  • 7 of 8 starts – greater than or equal to 80 pitches
  • 4 of 8 starts – greater than or equal to 90 pitches
  • 1 of 8 starts – greater than or equal to 100 pitches

Bluto started the work.  I just broke it down to SP since that was the comment made.

Team SP ERA rankings since 2015, with AF

  • 2015: 3.24 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2016: 3.95 #6 in all of MLB
  • 2017: 3.39 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2018: 3.16 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2019: 3.11 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2020: 3.29 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2021: 2.93 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2022: 2.75 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2023 4.57 #11 in all of MLB

Team SP WHIP rankings since 2015 with AF

  • 2015: 1.14 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2016: 1.21 #4 in all of MLB
  • 2017: 1.15 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2018: 1.11 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2019: 1.07 #2 in all of MLB
  • 2020: 1.07 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2021: 1.03 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2022: 1.04 #1 in all of MLB
  • 2023: 1.22 #7 in all of MLB

7 of the 9 seasons the Dodgers were either #1 or #2 in both ERA and WHIP.

I know Scott immediately pointed to the 2023 stats (abysmal to be sure) and drew the conclusion: We need management that values great starting pitching and that is not Friedman clearly.”

We will have to agree to disagree as to whether AF values SP.  I guess he should have been 9 of 9 at #1.  That should have been easy, right?  I concluded that there was not a difference making pitcher available in FA at the beginning of the season and at the deadline.  I think Scott believes in the Samantha Stevens nose wiggle solution.

I have read that many believe that the richest and most powerful team should have used that largesse to build a better team.

Per Cots, below are the 7 teams that are projected to surpass the CBT threshold:

  • NYM – $376,420,466 – Did not make playoffs
  • NYY – $298,518,065 – Did not make playoffs
  • San Diego – $296,082,092 – Did not make playoffs
  • LAD – $267,240,162 – Lost NLDS
  • Philadelphia – $263,744,976 – Won NLDS
  • Toronto – $258,071,541 – Lost Wild Card
  • Atlanta – $250,526,828 – Lost NLDS

Of the top 7 payrolls, only 1 is in the Championship Series (Philadelphia), and the top three did not even make the playoffs.  Obviously there is not a cause and effect with high payrolls, but it also is clear that it promises nothing.

 

 

Over the last couple of days I have been reading multiple analysis on the plight of the 2023 season.  I have also been giving some thought to Scott’s Star Trek Analogy.  IMO, AF is more like Starfleet Command while Dave Roberts is more the Kirk character.  Roster construction strategy seems to be coming from the owners boxes, directed to AF.  Read Stan Kasten’s comments after the 2018 season (indicated in Houston Mitchell’s comments below) and his 2023 pre-season comments on moving towards the youth movement.

Houston Mitchell:

After Game 3, Mitchell wrote:  “Seems unlikely anyone above Andrew Friedman‘s level will be getting mad. After all, a couple of years ago, when asked about offseason inactivity, team president Stan Kasten said, “You’re inventing a narrative that I don’t agree with because, like I said, I can almost tell you for sure, we’re going to lead the National League in attendance again.”

After the 2018 WS loss, and going into the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, Dylan Hernández wrote, “After watching the Dodgers reach the World Series in each of the last two seasons, fans aren’t about to abandon their team over an uninspiring offseason. But they do want the team to do more and some of them made their voices heard Saturday.”

Such concerns are likely to be downplayed by team President Stan Kasten, who dismissed concerns over the team as “anecdotal,” even fictional.

“You keep making this stuff up,” Kasten said.

That was how Kasten started deflecting questions about the team’s alarming lack of spending this offseason.

“I’m dealing with facts,” Kasten said.

Dylan Hernández’s conclusion:  The facts, Kasten said, are that season-ticket sales point to the Dodgers leading baseball in attendance again. And if season tickets are selling, everything must be A-OK.  At best, Kasten and Dodgers ownership are mistaking loyalty for satisfaction. At worst, they are taking advantage of their customers’ intense devotion.

After this NLDS debacle, Houston Mitchell penned:  Message received: As long as we get more than 3 million in attendance, I don’t care what happens. But that kind of attitude can infect a team. And believe me, for the last three postseasons the Dodgers have played like a team that doesn’t care if it wins. Do the players care? Of course. But other teams find that extra level of emotion in the postseason, emotion that can galvanize a team and make players focus a little better. The Dodgers come across like they are playing at a team picnic, and, gosh darn, we didn’t beat our business rivals, but the food was good and didn’t we all laugh and have fun?

I don’t think Badger would disagree that this is the driving issue behind Stan Kasten.

 

Thomas Carannante – FanSided and Dodgers Way wrote:

It takes an entire organization — top to bottom — making the right decisions and coming through in the biggest moments to capture a World Series. 

There’s no excuse for how Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller, Lance Lynn, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman performed.

 Any contending rosters needs to be near-ironclad with adequate depth and enough veterans/clutch performers to even entertain going on a deep run

 We must ask … what did the Dodgers see in Kolten Wong to give him a spot on the NLDS roster? It’s no offense to the veteran, but did 20 part-time games of solid play really change the conversation after he was downright terrible with the Mariners from April-August?

 Ditching Michael Busch in favor of Wong led to the Game 2 moment when Roberts called on the lefty to deliver in a huge spot with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wong grounded out and then ended the game by lining out to center in the Dodgers’ loss.

 

My comment:  Of course, Ronald Acuña Jr. was presented with the same opportunity in the 8th inning of their fateful Game 4.  But I do agree that it takes an entire organization from top to bottom.

 

Carannante  followed with:

Please tell me whyyyyyyyyyyy!! Pepiot was arguably the Dodgers’ hottest pitcher heading into October. Sounds crazy, but it’s kind of true. From Aug. 19 until the end of the year, Pepiot logged 42 innings and posted a 2.14 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 38 strikeouts”.

 

My comment:  Everyone should have known that Lynn was going to get the ball for Game 3.  Right or wrong, the team is a veteran laden team that leans to the veterans to get the job done.  Same comment for Kolten Wong over Michael Busch.  This is one facet I do believe has to change.  And that lesson does fall on AF.

Secondly, the comment made by Roberts after the game was that he was not in a position to use Pepiot with Games 4 and 5 still on the horizon.  WHY???  You have to win Game 3.  Worry about Games 4 and 5 after you win Game 3.

 

Ken Rosenthal wrote – Their (Dodgers) biggest need is starting pitching.

My comment:  Not an incorrect evaluation of the Dodgers current 40 man roster needs.

His solution?

No matter. The Dodgers essentially took last offseason off while waiting for Ohtani to hit the open market. Now, after another crushing October disappointment, they need to change the narrative.

For all their regular-season success, if ever a franchise needs to give their fans a reason to stay engaged, it’s this one.

 

My comment: Does he really believe that it is going to take Shohei Ohtani to get fans to show up at Dodger Stadium?  Stan Kasten certainly does not believe it.  Also, how many playoff games has Ohtani been in?  Does anyone really know what kind of player Ohtani is in October.

Barry Bonds was in 7 post seasons.  He had exactly one Barry Bonds type playoff season.

1990 – .167 BA, .542 OPS

1991 – .148 BA, .392 OPS

1992 – .261 BA, .868 OPS

1997 – .250 BA, .647 OPS

2000 – .176 BA, .653 OPS

2002 – .356 BA, 1.559 OPS

2003 – .222 BA, .889 OPS

How many here would not have welcomed Barry Bonds baseball skills on the Dodgers?

Rosenthal continued:

The free agent who makes the most sense for the Dodgers, and every other club, is Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who will hit the market at 25. But Blake Snell, a pitcher the Rays drafted under Friedman, also will be available. Ditto for Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray, among others.

 

My comment:  That does not take a rocket scientist or a computer algorithm expert to make that assessment.  All 30 teams will have all 4 on their shopping list this winter.

I am all in on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and have been for a while.  He is 25 and has been dominating the JPPL for 7 seasons.  Risks?  He is 5’10”.

I agree with the pursuit of Snell.  However for many of those that believe that the Dodgers do not let their pitchers go long enough, they will have a rather rude awakening reviewing Snell’s IP stats:

2019 – 89.0 IP – 19 games started

2017 – 129.1 IP – 24 games started

2018 – 180.2 IP – 31 games started

2019 – 107.0 IP – 23 games started

2020 – 50.0 IP – 11 games started

2021 – 128.2 IP – 27 games started

2022 – 128.0 IP – 24 games started

2023 – 180.0 IP – 32 games started

Of the 8 seasons, only two was he considered a qualified starting pitcher for awards, and exceed 130 IP.  His MLB leading 2.25 ERA came with the most walks in MLB (99).  That ERA may have benefited with a .256 BAbip.  Average MLB BAbip is right at .300, which coincidentally is where he was at prior to 2023.

Snell is also represented by Scott Boras who will just blow off the lack of IP and the low BAbip benefitting his ERA with the MLB leading BB.  Snell will be 31 next season.  Boras got 30 year old Carlos Rodón 6 years and $162MM.  For those who want Blake Snell, are you comfortable with 6 years at $162MM, for a pitcher who exceeded 130 IP two out of eight years.

To the best of my recollection, the only Scott Boras client that AF has ever signed was JDM.  But that was more Mookie and RVS than AF convincing Boras.  Maybe this is an area where AF has to reconsider.  How good would Bryce Harper and Corey Seager look in a Dodger uni.  But one still has to learn and understand what parameters the owners put on AF.  Until that information is brought forward (and it will never be), we will never have a full picture as to what rules and regulations were placed before AF.  If another PBO/GM has the same perceived (by me) restrictions, why will they have better success.

The Dodgers had 4 players compile 100+ RBIs, including the leadoff and #2 hitter in the lineup.  That would also indicate that the bottom of the order got on base enough for 100 RBIs for Mookie and Freddie.  They were #2 in MLB in OBP, SLG, and OPS.  It is not the players.  IT IS THE PLAYERS IN OCTOBER.

How do you change that?  Where is the LAD comp for Carlos Correa, Austin Riley, Travis d’Arnaud, Corey Seager, Yordan Álvarez, José Altuve, Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner…4 have previous LAD ties (d’Arnaud, Seager, Álvarez, Turner).  The Dodgers lack a good clutch hitter.  While the team was disciplined during the season with routinely not swinging at pitches out of the zone, they chose to chase in the playoffs.  Why?  Where was RVS on this issue?  As I said on an earlier post, the Dodgers looked to lift the ball (an RVS trait), and the DBacks looked to drive the ball.

Yes AF does need to get answers for this, he was not the one flailing away at pitches out of the zone.  While the starting pitching was putrid in all three NLDS games, with any semblance of an offense they could have pulled those games out.  4 runs should not have been a concern for the LAD offense, especially against pitchers they dominated during the season.

The team obviously could use a player with an edge.  Someone to challenge the other players.  Maybe Tommy Pham should have been considered.  He probably would have been a better RHH choice over Amed Rosario, but NYM was not going to take back Noah Syndergaard like Cleveland did.  How do you identify a player with an edge?  A Kirk Gibson if you will.   Even though we are a long way from 1988, and the game has changed, I feel comfortable in my belief that Gibson would frown on this:

I love Freddie Freeman, but I cringe when Freddie stops and hugs opposing players when they reached 1B.  Luis Arraez was a big time recipient of this treatment.  Mookie and Freddie are not going to change.  That is who they are.  Now the team needs to find a counterbalance to that.

I have many more thoughts on this subject.  I am not absolving AF.  He has plenty to answer for.  He needs to make changes to his roster construction.  But I disagree that he should be fired.  The teams he put together should have been enough to win the WS on multiple occasions.  They didn’t.  He is not Captain Kirk.  Dave Roberts makes the decisions that happen on the field (as Kirk would on his ship).

BTW, the statement was made that there will be significant changes in the 2024 roster, and some questioned that statement.  I agree with the statement.  It will be the subject of a future post, but for now, from the 40 man roster there could be as many as 18 not back with LAD in 2024.

  • Free Agents – 12
  • Club Options – 6

 

Dave Roberts on Game 3

 

There is a lot he had no answers to.  I guess just after Game 3, it just might not be enough time to find answers.  But he is going to need to find them.  While I do not think he truly is, Doc should be under significant scrutiny for potentially being replaced.

While I do think AF should have to hear criticism, he does not deserve to lose his job.  I do not believe Roberts will either, but I would be far less critical if the Dodgers made a change.  BTW, IMO, I love Theo Epstein (some of it very personal), but he will never be a candidate to run LAD baseball operations.  He is happy doing what he is doing now.

With respect to Roberts who has maintained control and camaraderie in the clubhouse, you better be sure that his successor will bring more positive results.  I prefer someone who does not rely on algorithms as much, but can make a decision based on what he sees on the field.  Example, Bruce Bochy.  Bochy does not PH Austin Barnes for David Peralta just because it was a RH batter against LHP.  Peralta hit LHP better than Barnes.

I do not think it is a coincidence that the two last standing teams in the AL are guided by the two least likely managers to make decisions on computer printouts.

Now if you want to ask Stan Kasten to step down, I am all on board.

 

 

 

44 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
44 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeff

Jeff, I like reading your takes and know you put a lot of thought into your takes. As you know, stats are not what is giving us any answers as to why the team chokes and can’t reach that other level of emotional commitment. My response to this is that the Dodgers have a corporate mentality to the game that begins with ownership, filters down to AF and onto Doc. It’s a narrative of sorts that becomes impersonal because it is the system that is most important, not the players. The players are forced into a system that doesn’t take into account a lot of basic emotions that players use to motivate themselves. This manifests in allowing players to be habitual and never pushing them to greater achievements. Some players can’t motivate themselves and do the bare minimum. In basketball, we often see excellent players that cannot shoot free throws. This goes on for most of their careers. It takes a backseat because the player excels in other areas. But shooting free throws is one of the skills that can make a player great and help win games. Steph Curry, a great example.

Max Muncy hits HRs. His fielding is subpar, his conditioning, and lack of bat to ball skills go untended to. The corporation loves him for his HRs and no change to the rest of his game. Players like Heyward who came cheap and needed repairs don’t really impact the game. Rosario and Rojas are the same way. Include Barnes in this group. That’s 5 players and one can argue that Peralta now falls into it, too. Their time is done. No ceiling to their game and the floor is also giving out. Why can’t the Dodgers change this?. Should we also sit quietly by and say nothing about Mookie who could have stayed home and watched the games on TV. He added nothing, really. He often disappears during a season. Superstar? Then there is Outman, our strike out king who can’t manage to hit over .250 and fans talk about ROY? Vargas, nowhere near ready. How many oversights is it going to take to get this team ready to rumble? My advice is to tear a lot of it down but the Dodgers don’t do this. They like to repair things, like to be clever. Give me a break. I want to see players who excel at their game not come from being down and out and trying to reach some kind of ‘normalcy’. They give away 3 players who excelled in their game this year. Bellinger rocketed out of his torpor. Seager, a top 10 player, and Trea Turner who was magic in our rotation with Mookie and Freddie and is now inching closer to the WS. We made do with Outman, Rojas, and a tag team at 2B. This is what the great corporate gods could pull together. When they let T Turner walk as well as the other great Turner we had, I knew they were not WS bound. Dodger have no balls, just statheads in the office. Might as well use AI to create the team. Maybe they already are using it.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeff
Bluto

I would hope the Dodgers are using AI. I hope they use every available tool.

I’ve read this twice. what exactly is wrong with a corporate mentality? Do you think any team is run with anything but a corporate mentality?

Bumsrap

I agree. I can’t connect the Dodger corporate mentality to what happens on the field. Ownership wants to win and have the payroll to prove it. If the Mets are the example based on their stupid spending spree in the 2023 off-season then how does their results support their corporate mentality?

If anybody is saying nice guys finish last and because Betts and Freeman are nice guys therefore the Dodgers can’t win when it counts the most, I disagree. Neither give up any at bats and both are focused defensively all the time.

I like the offensive core of Smith, Betts, and Freeman. I think Lux will join that core if not traded. I like Outman and hope he will be more of an offensive plus. I don’t think any of them need someone to push them.

I really like the prospects of Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, and Sheehan as the core of the rotation and hope Grove and Stone can join them either in the rotation or in key relief roles. I don’t think any of them need someone to push them as they will push each other.

tedraymond

A lot of good points here Jeff. I think you’re spot on with the corporate feel that the team reflects. Get all the algorithms cranking out the answers and determining how a game “most likely” will be played. Twice through the order… no way in hell can a pitcher ever face a hitter three times. Thrown 70-80 pitches….remove pitcher to keep him fresh for the playoffs (in May). Get through six innings…time to go to the BP before the poor guy’s arm falls off. Check all the boxes. What’s actually happening on the field? Many times ignored or not relevant.

I agree that AF does try to be clever and strives to outsmart other teams. Sometimes it works. Most of the time it doesn’t. For example, this season he pissed away close to $20M on pitchers who were injured and rehabbing with the hope that they would be able to help in the playoffs. He’s done this the past 2-3 years with none of those pitchers rarely throwing a pitch for the Dodgers.

Per the Turner(s). JT’s bat speed had slowed down in the past couple of years and I understand the Dodgers not wanting to give him a multiyear or even a one year contract. He did have an exceptional year for Boston. But, with JDM’s outstanding offensive year I’d consider it a wash. JDM had a decent NLDS. With TT, there was no way at any price that he was going to play for the Dodgers or any other team west of the Mississippi. He was going to play for a East coast team. End of story.

With Seager his injury history was a huge issue to signing him long term and especially for the amount he signed for. With the CA state income tax the Dodgers would have had to pay approximately $360M to match the tax free Texas offer of $325M. I hated to lose Corey.

Considering the above, it wasn’t the offensive that failed during the regular season. The offensive was outstanding until it wasn’t in a three game elimination series. It the pitching depth. It was a combination of a thin FA market, misplaced optimism, denial, injuries and bad luck. On top of that there weren’t many solutions available at the trade deadline. The highly touted prospects were a year or so away from being helpful.

In the NLDS, other than the BP (who would have guessed), the offense and the starting pitching failed miserably. Watching the Roberts interview above he is without answers and was completely defeated. Despite his all time winning % it might be time for a new voice. A nice guy with improving in game decision making, but is unable to light a spark when it’s playoff time. It’s like his encounters with umpires during a game. He is so passive and it looks like he knows he needs to go argue with the ump, but his heart really isn’t in it. It’s all for show.

Anyway, I would be shocked if Roberts is replaced. Like Kasten stated, “we’re #1 in attendance” so what can be wrong? Rinse and repeat.

Last edited 7 months ago by tedraymond
Badger

Maybe Friedman called for 5 and 80 because he knew his starting staff better than anyone. I have no problem with that decision.

What do most the teams that have a lot of stars, and a high payroll, have in common? Attendance. And the only team in the playoffs that didn’t draw was Arizona. But, they don’t. Never have really.

Kasten isn’t interested in Ohtani for attendance reasons. He’s interested in Ohtani for his oWAR. Even while pitching every 5th day, which has to be exhausting, he put up 6 oWAR this year. Imagine what he might do not having to pitch next year. And he will be pitching again the following year.

I said it the past thread but I’ll say it again here with a little more color. The veterans on this team weren’t going to listen to a
rah rah get in your face player. Mookie, Freddie and Smith would have ignored him and Heyward might have put a bat up his ass.

I had some other things to say on the last thread but held up. Since you brought it all up, I’ll express some of what I was going to say here.

I don’t believe there was anything wrong with the construction of this team early on. They played very well all year, they just peaked too early. Losing so many starters to injuries wasn’t Friedman’s doing, but it did become his problem. He tried to address, had it done, then Rodriguez backed out. Admittedly I never felt all that comfortable with the starting staff, but I had no idea it would come apart like it did. Even so, the last two games lost were lost by lack of offense, not pitching.

Something else occurred to me watching this team. Some of them looked out of shape and I wonder if that had something to do with the October lethargy. I’m hesitant to say what I’m about to say but this feels like the time to say it. During the champagne celebration Kershaw was shirtless and he looked incredibly soft. I was really taken by surprise. How many others on the team might look like him? The only guys that looked fit to me were Heyward and Outman. Mookie and Freddie are both over 30 and that’s why I was calling for some load management. They looked out of gas the last few weeks of the season. Again, this team peaked in August. How do they prevent that?

The Dodgers will be back. I believe they will make offers on Ohtani and Snell, but won’t be surprised if they don’t get them. No matter though, they’ll make changes and will be successful.

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
Scott Andes

Now that I look back at it, maybe more of my frustrations and Accountability should have been directed towards Kasten than Friedman.

But the facts are the facts. The pitching was really bad this year, in previous years the pitching was good with exception to two critical areas. Length and health. Innings and health are important.

Fact no Dodger starting pitcher made more than 24 starts.

Fact no Dodger starting pitcher pitched more than 130 innings.

We saw how bad the bullpen was in the first half of the season. But clearly starting pitching was not prioritized, just like winning in October doesn’t seem to be prioritized. The two go hand in hand. In order to win a championship you have to have very good starting pitching.

Of course you have to hit and score runs too, and that goes without saying. Doesn’t it seem strange that the Dodgers a team founded on exceptional starting pitching (Newcomb, Koufax, Drysdale, Fernando, Orel etc) will not let their starting pitchers go more than 5 innings or 80 pitches in the majority of their games?

The Dodgers are way too reliant on analytics and percentages. They believe that the numbers bear out over the course of the regular season, and they are right in the regular season. That data doesn’t work in the postseason because of the short number of games.

As Jeff pointed out clutch players and emotion is what’s needed in October and the Dodgers have none of this. Passion. The Dodgers believe that all players are equal due to those percentages. That’s the reason Kolten Wong was allowed to bat with the bases loaded in game 2 and why Austin Barnes (he of the .180 BA) was pinch-hitting with the season on the line. The Dodgers believe that right-left match-ups take precedent over the actual situation or the overall skill level of the player. Its almost robotic, its Righties hit lefties. Lefties hit righties no matter who the player is at the plate. The Dodgers are predictable. Its horribly incompetent.

As usual after the series was over, there was no solutions offered, and a ton of excuses are being made. I’m sorry Jeff but the whole “nobody was available” is an excuse.

Maybe Kasten is putting too much restrictions on Friedman and involved more than we think in roster construction and player acquisitions.

But when I talk about Accountability, here some of it is about these guys going out and getting what’s needed. For example Fred Claire went out and got Kirk Gibson, Colletti went out and got Manny and Puig. Nobody was available is just another excuse and alot of us are sick of hearing excuses.

The entire organization is devoid of leadership, and passion. What do you think Tommy would have thought about the 2022-2023 Dodgers. His head would have exploded.

Another thought here is how well prepared Arizona looked. It seems like to me they had 2 important strategies.

1. Keep the Dodger hitters in the park. When the Dodgers don’t hit home runs they don’t score.

2. Neutralize Mookie and Freddie.

And they executed those to perfection. As usual the Dodgers had no answers or adjustments.

The fans will only put up with the annual October embarrassments for so long before they stop coming to the ball park as much. Especially with how expensive tickets, food and parking is

If some adjustments aren’t made then the same thing will happen next year. How mad will you guys be if it happens again next year?

#FireKasten

Friedmans off the hook for now.

Last edited 7 months ago by Scott Andes
Jeff

Scott,

The fans will always be coming to the ballpark no matter if we don’t go to the WS. It’s an addiction that knows no cure. When the Warriors were in their drought after. the Chris Mullen era, packed house all the time. It’s the hope and escape that drives them. It’s like religion. Faith based hobbies and the American narrative have won. No room for anything else, I’m afraid. Is it any wonder the world is in the shape that it is in?

Dionysus

“The entire organization is devoid of leadership, and passion.”

How can you expect to be taken seriously when you say this?

All due respect.

Scott Andes

Are you really going to challenge me on that?

They’re pathetic playoff losing every year is pretty clear. You watched the NLDS right?

No judgements from me though. If you love the losing, then these Dodgers are for you.

Enjoy the losing every October!

Last edited 7 months ago by Scott Andes
NortheastDodgerFan

Greetings fellow frustrated Dodger fans and I apologize for this long post. But I am also a frustrated Dodger fan. I read a fair amount of commentary online about the Dodgers, in mainstream sports media and on blogs like this one written by knowledgeable people. I don’t usually post at these sites because quite frankly, some regular posters tend to act like assholes toward new commenters on more than one Dodger blog. I don’t need that nonsense. I’m posting here because this is one of my favorite Dodger sites and I read it every day.

Now, I can’t cite advanced statistics or create detailed numerical analyses of baseball player performance, nor would I ever want to. Others can do that at a much higher level than I ever could, and I appreciate their efforts and strong abilities in that area. But I love the Dodgers and I dutifully follow them year in and year out and have since the days of Sandy Koufax. I believe that my opinion matters just as much as the next fan.

In my long experience working, I knew one thing to be constant, regardless of the type of job or industry or corporate structure – if you were in charge of a major project and failed, you might be given a second chance. If you failed again, you would be relieved of your duties. You would be fired or demoted. Failure was never allowed. Humans love to create hierarchical structures. These structures are based on the idea that the people at the top receive the biggest rewards but also have the biggest responsibility. If people at the bottom fail, they are invariably held to some accountability, but it’s the people at the top of hierarchy who are most responsible. This is the way it has been throughout human existence. If a chief or king or president fails, he or she is eventually removed from power.

Somehow, this concept has been forgotten when it comes to Dodger baseball. More to the point, why does it seem like most sportswriters, blog authors and blog commenters are all too willing to let the people at the top of the Dodger hierarchy escape blame and consequence for their failure? I believe in “The Buck Stops Here.” In my humble opinion, most of the posters here accept on faith that the team’s fearless leaders are blameless and should always get another chance. Except Scott Andes, and even he has recently tempered his criticism of the people at the top of the Dodger food chain.

Sure, the Dodgers got wiped out by the Padres last year. One year of that I can accept and agree to call it a one-year aberration. But two years in a row of the exact failure? On top of multiple years of postseason failure? Come on, that’s a trend. That’s a problem. What is the source of the problem? Is it in the Dodger culture? Is it the heavy emphasis on analytics? Is it that Kasten has his marching orders from ownership to limit expenditures on individual contracts? Is it Andrew Friedman’s hitting and pitching philosophy? Is it, as some here and elsewhere have posited, that the Dodgers are too friendly, too soft? Is it some combination of all the above?

Whatever it is, it’s the fault of the bosses. It’s their show. Their decisions. Their philosophy. They are responsible. Yes, the players have to produce, but they don’t produce in a vacuum. They have a manager and coaches whose jobs are to make sure the players are as prepared as possible, especially for the postseason. Just like in a hospital, the doctors and nurses don’t let patients treat themselves. Inmates do not run institutions. That’s why we have hierarchical structures. Players are responsible for not failing up to a point, but it’s their leaders who make the decisions.

The Dodger bosses are not doing their jobs successfully. Two years in a row now, a potent Dodger offense has been rendered impotent. Whatever they’re doing is not working in the postseason. The postseason and the World Series is why they play the games. Otherwise, it’s just a fun get together. You play to win it all. Nothing else matters, regardless of what you tell yourself. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

Let’s talk about starting pitching. Yes, the pitching staff was decimated by injuries and other things (Urias’ inability to grow up being one of them, the Dodgers eager willingness to jettison Bauer on accusation alone being the other one), but you can’t tell me that the Dodger brass didn’t have any idea that Gonsolin would eventually get hurt enough to require surgery. You can’t tell me that the Dodger medical staff, most likely one of the best in the business I’d wager, didn’t see warning signs that May would get hurt again. The genuflecting before the Altar of Kershaw that allowed him to pitch Game One of the Arizona series when he was clearly hurt and ineffective. The failure to add good pitching to the roster is all on Andrew Friedman, no matter how difficult that might have been. But he loves his prospects and he loves reclamation projects and cheaper free agents. Noah Syndergaard, really? That’s who he signed in the off-season? Are you shitting me? Come on, that’s a fuckup of epic proportions. 

In any other business, Friedman would be given his walking papers. Thanks for the nice run, but we’re going in a different direction. Kasten, now he’s a walking piece of shit in my opinion. He was brought on because he knows how to make money for his masters. I’m sure of that. I’m not even going to go into Dave Roberts because his errors in managing postseason games are legendary. He made more this year (leaving Kershaw and Lynn in too long, pinch-hitting Barnes). I do give him credit for managing the team very well during the regular season, but he is unable to manage effectively in the postseason. He should have been fired years ago, in my opinion. 

So sure, advocate giving Friedman and his crew in the front office another chance. How many chances does he get? Defend Dave Roberts, who is a TERRIBLE postseason manager. Blame the Dodgers’ postseason failures these past two years on a deeply flawed playoff system. Blame the players for succumbing to the pressure. Accept that the authority figures are always in the right and the now routine failure of the team in the postseason is not the responsibility of the people in charge. But remember – just because they are in charge, it doesn’t mean that they should escape criticism or dismissal. In fact, I argue that they should be the primary targets of criticism and dismissal because they are the guys in charge. 
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of heat for this long post (and I’m sorry for the length), or it’ll just be ignored because most people are unable to challenge their own preconceptions about authority. But whatever the Dodger bosses are doing, IS NOT WORKING. IT’S NOT WORKING. The goal should always be to win the World Series. There is nothing else. That is the whole point of the game. I think it’s time to turn the page and try something different. But in the end, the Dodger ownership are making bank and that’s all they seem to care about. We likely won’t see any changes in culture or philosophy or management/coaching personnel. And that pisses me off.

Go ahead, flame away.

Bluto

Yeah, this was pretty bad.

No further flaming from me though! appreciate the time it took, and the passion you undeniably have.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bluto
tedraymond

NDF… I’m, also, in the camp that if you don’t win the WS then the season was NOT a success. Especially, when the team is winning 100+ games during the regular season. Was the regular season entertaining and fun. Yep. But, the bottom line is you win the last game of the year. If you don’t, then you failed!

But, it’s all about making money. Hell, the Dodgers are owned by a company who’s sole mission is to make money for their clients. The players and fans are not their clients. But, wouldn’t the team’s value and cash flow increase with additional playoff and World Series victories? Could you image the value of the team if in the 11 years of Guggenheim ownership the Dodgers had won 3-4 World Series instead of one? They had the opportunity and the talent to do so, but for various reasons failed.

Anyway, I appreciate your reasoning and passion. Keep on contributing!
Carry on.

Scott Andes

This post is hall of fame. Thank you,

I think he’s talking about Accountability.

Badger

Welcome Nor’easter. Interesting take.

Baseball is designed to disappoint. 28 teams will not go to the World Series, 29 won’t win it. That is lot of disappointment to spread around.

Frankly I’m surprised the Dodgers won 100. I had them at 94. Part of the reason for that was I had nobody but the Padres in the West being any good.

One of the facts about life is …. everybody slumps. What are the odds our two best hitters, both of whom will get MVP votes, would slump at the same time? There’s also the possibility of performance anxiety. Any guy who doesn’t know about that is lying.

As I’ve already said, I don’t know what the answers are. But I’m fairly certain neither Friedman or Roberts will be fired. What will likely happen is the team will reload, draw 3.7 million, win the West and give the playoff tournament another go. And if they don’t win the West, they can learn what it means to be in a pennant race, go into the tournament as a Wild Card and be better prepared to advance.

Bumsrap

I was ready to trade May, Urias, Gonsolin, and Muncy last winter but only for players that probably were not available. Maybe that was also true for Friedman.

I am not going to turn the organization upside down over the results of one playoff series.

Singing the Blue

As a regular commenter here, I’d like to encourage you to comment more often NEDF. I don’t agree with everything you’ve said here, but you didn’t write it to have me agree with you.

You do make some very valid points, but it’s all food for thought. Hope you’ll continue to voice your opinion.

As Bluto says, you have a lot of passion. Can you play the outfield? Or pitch? If so, please contact Andrew.

Last edited 7 months ago by Singing the Blue
Dave

I agree that there needs to be a player or players like Gibson. I think Gibson would have a fit watching these guys hit a single and then stand on the base wiggling their butts!
And while I like Roberts I think a new personality is needed to change things up. I wouldn’t fire Roberts, I would move him into the front office, I just think a chsnge is needed. Buck Showalter comes to mind.

Dionysus

2 out of 3 ain’t bad! (No to Showalter)

Oldbear48

Showalter wants to come to California, but he wants the Angels job. Can’t stand him anyway. Look how bad he was with all that talent in New York.

Bumsrap

They only wag for doubles.

Oldbear48

Exactly, extra base hits actually. They would do it in the dugout after homers.

Dionysus

Maybe Urias needs to be blamed.

Oldbear48

A lot to digest here Jeff, but well written and thought out. I read on a post here something about the Dodgers not having a starter have more than 24 starts. Well, the reason for that is obvious, none of them was healthy for the entire season except Lance Lynn who between LA and Chicago, made 32. Which is only 3 shy of the MLB leader, Mikolas. Only 28 starters in all of baseball made 32 or more.
The injuries contributed to that stat more than anything else. Urias would have passed 24 easily had he been smart enough to just put his hands in his pockets. They were forced to rely on the kids, retreads and whomever else they could find.
I have also read where the Dodgers need some sort of player who has an edge to himself and plays that way. Last guy they had like that was shipped out of town after the 2018 season. Yasiel Puig.
Another blog has the headline, Nice Guys Finish Last. A reference to the fiery Leo Durocher who is reputed to have said that. Durocher was the product of a very different age. He played during the depression where everyday people fought to just find enough to eat.
Leo should have kept his mouth shut. In his illustrious 24 year managing career, he won 3 pennants. One World Series. Meanwhile, Walter Alston, a much nicer person than Leo, won 7 pennants and 4 World Series in 23 years. So, nice guys win too.
People have changed. Attitudes have changed. It is great to have passion and play the game hard. Guys like Pham, Harper, and several others play that way. They glare at you and try to intimidate. They succeed sometimes and not so much other times.
The best way to answer is by your play on the field. Harper did that to Arcia when he gave him the evil eye after his two homers. He was saying, take that. The best way for the Dodgers to answer all the critics, is to win, win and win some more.
You do not win 10 division championships and go to 11 straight postseasons by accident. You have to have talented players. You also have to have players who buy into what you are peddling. But one poster was totally right, the buck stops at the top. They are the ones who make all the final decisions.
If all they want is high attendance, then the fans are being shortchanged and they are playing on the loyalty of one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in all of sports.
But there are guys with that competitive fire on the Dodgers. Kershaw is one. When he is on the mound, he wants to beat you anyway he can. Unfortunately, his body is beginning to betray him. He is no longer the horse. I see a lot of that in Bobby Miller. But he is a rookie. Look for a different mound presence from that kid next year. Buehler is one of those guys. too.
But guys like Freddie, and Mookie, that is just not part of their DNA. But they are not the only players in the league who are like that. Many players exchange greetings and hellos when the opponents get on base.
What is the solution? Well, we all know there will be many roster changes this winter. We just have to wait and see if they go after the big money boys, and by the way, AF is not giving any pitcher more than three years, bank on it, so forget Snell. Or will they continue to load up on reclamation projects. Only time will tell.

Bumsrap

Puig and Gibson were opposites.

Oldbear48

Yes they were, but Puig still played baseball with an attitude.

Bumsrap

…”This is not the 60’s and 70’s anymore when teams were owned by families, and winning was the only thing that mattered.”

You surprised me with that one.

AZ might have been prepared to attack Kershaw early because everyone knows he likes to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. That’s basically how everyone plans for him. AZ was good not because they had a unique gameplan.. they were good because Kershaw was bad.

Singing the Blue

Great post, Jeff. If there was more you didn’t include please let us have it tomorrow. It’s created some excellent comments from the rest of the group here.

I know I’m in the minority, but I’d still rather have a team that wins 90-100 every year and screws up the playoffs most of the time, than be a fan of a team that finishes with 60-70 wins and is perpetually rebuilding. After all, we’re baseball fans because we want to be entertained. I’m entertained every year for 6 months and then devasted in October. It’s a trade I’m willing to make, even though I know that most of the rest of you aren’t.

Kasten – businessman first last and in between, but you need a good businessman or suddenly the team has no money for payroll. It’s not like he’s refused to let AF spend money on players. We’re always in the top echelon of payroll spenders. I know some of you think we should always be the top spender, but I agree that first and foremost they’re running this as a business so that just isn’t going to happen.

Front office – I’m not ready to get rid of Andrew. Show me a front office that has won more than one world championship in the past ten years without cheating.

Manager – I like Doc as a person, but I’d have no problem if they decided to try someone else. I’ve seen some people pine for Mike Scioscia. Where’s that love coming from? Roberts has had as many 90-win seasons in 7 (non-pandemic) years as Scioscia had in 19. I have one candidate and one candidate only. Chase Utley. He’s proven to be great on fundamentals, great on preparation and players look up to him (in other words, they wouldn’t want to let him down and that might lead to better post season results).

To those of you who are sick of excuses, you are most certainly entitled to your opinion and your anger. We each respond to disappointment in different ways and no one way is more correct or better than another. I just remember telling myself going into October that it was a very entertaining season and I wasn’t going to let a poor outcome in the post season change my mind about that.

Jeff Dominique

I am with you in the minority. Make the playoffs every year and hope you get hot in Oct. No Scott, I do not like losing, I just don’t dwell on it anymore.

I lost a lot of sleep after 2017. I never thought that team could be beat. It was my favorite team since 1977 and 1978. I swore I would never let a loss affect me that way again.

I am all in on Chase Utley. I just am not sure he wants to coach or manage. He is very happy doing what he is doing and being with family.

Fred Vogel

Count me in the minority. I enjoyed the season…just not the last three games.

Badger

I’m on the fence. I enjoyed August. But I’m left with a bad taste that will last longer than August did.

Bumsrap

I enjoyed watching Outman and seeing Miller, Sheehan, Pepiot, Stone, and Grove crawl into their place among the veterans.

Singing the Blue

May was good (18-10). Will the bad taste last longer than May plus August?

Bluto

You wrote:

I know I’m in the minority, but I’d still rather have a team that wins 90-100 every year and screws up the playoffs most of the time, than be a fan of a team that finishes with 60-70 wins and is perpetually rebuilding. After all, we’re baseball fans because we want to be entertained. I’m entertained every year for 6 months and then devasted in October. It’s a trade I’m willing to make, even though I know that most of the rest of you aren’t.

You are NOT in the minority. The best attendance in MLB attests to this. Most fans thrive with a constantly winning team and appreciate it. They show this with the most powerful lever they have, their pocketbook.

It’s the small minority who do this silly #FireFriedman stuff (very small if you go by Twitter.)

Life is great as a Dodger fan, winning 100 games with this lineup and transition was borderline miraculous.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bluto
Scott Andes

I guess winning championships isn’t important to you Bluto, but you do not speak for most fans. I would bet most fans want to see success in October as well, along with championships or another championship. Or at the very least not to see the team get crushed, embarrassed or give up in the postseason. There is a way to have both success in the regular season and success in October. Can’t we have both?

Nobody cares about Twitter. Enjoy the losing Bluto, there will be plenty more if next year.

#FireFriedman
#FireKasten

Bluto

Scott,

Are you on drugs? The point of agreement is about:

rather have a team that wins 90-100 every year and screws up the playoffs most of the time, than be a fan of a team that finishes with 60-70 wins and is perpetually rebuilding.”

How did you go from here to, what you wrote, and I quote:

I guess winning championships isn’t important to you Bluto, but you do not speak for most fans. 

Perhaps Scott, in your reality where Friedman doesn’t value pitching, or where Friedman or Kasten should be fired, or where the MLB playoffs are not luck dependent…. Perhaps in that reality there’s a way to win a Championship without winning the pennant.

I’d like to learn more about that reality, in the mean time I’d stress you start brushing up on your reading skills.

Fred Vogel

Scott has obvious anger management issues.

Last edited 7 months ago by Fred Vogel
Scott Andes

That’s your assessment of my emotional state based on comments via a Dodger blog?

Sorry but you don’t me personally. Just because I prefer there to be accountability for the Dodger’s management and don’t think “this is great” winning 100 games and losing in the playoffs every October doesn’t mean I have “anger management issues”

Try again.

Fred Vogel

Scott, after I wrote my comment I realized it was maybe a little too strong but I could not find a way to delete it. Please accept my apologies.

Last edited 7 months ago by Fred Vogel
Scott Andes

Apology accepted. No worries. We’re on the same team here.

Scott Andes

“rather have a team that wins 90-100 every year and screws up the playoffs most of the time, than be a fan of a team that finishes with 60-70 wins and is perpetually rebuilding.”

Can’t there be a balance? Why does it have to be one or the other? Of course its better to win 90-100 then 60-70, but that’s not the point here.

What other posters are talking about is figuring out the postseason problems and reaching the ultimate goal of winning championships. Other posters are talking about holding the Dodgers management responsible for the postseason failures as well, which they are responsible for. Just because they win 90-100 games in the regular season doesn’t mean they are absolved of all responsibility in the postseason.

I’ve stressed accountability and finding solutions instead of making excuses and accepting the postseason losing because they play well in the regular season. If they can figure out regular season success, and they obviously have, why couldn’t they also figure out success in October?

I know we don’t see eye to eye on these topics, but that doesn’t mean I am “on drugs”. Frankly that’s insulting.

No need to resort to that. A simple “I disagree with your opinion” would suffice.

Bluto

No Scott. That’s not what posters are talking about.

We, starting with STB, are talking about how a group of fans are content with a well-run team that wins 90-111 games every season and stumbles more times than not in the post-season. That post led to a discussion about how it’s probably, in my estimation, a majority of the fans who are happy with them.

I used the Dodgers stadium attendance figures and the lack of any real displeasure on Twitter (I used Twitter because it has a large sample of fans) to prove this.

You keep up this silly “accountability trope” and you even got a single person (that’s a low sample) Honda to agree. But that agreement was yesterday and elsewhere.

If you followed the thread and read the subthread you would know this.

If you are insulted by an insinuation of being on drugs, you maybe are taking things a little too seriously. In can you don’t know, I have no idea who you are, what you do or how you live your life.

Scott Andes

Bluto,

Apparently you don’t go on Twitter much. There are a lot of people, hundreds at least who are super displeased and frustrated with the Dodger’s pathetic play in the postseason posting on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you the exact number but I’ve seen tons of tweets from frustrated Dodger fans. They all want to see the Dodgers win championships and they are no closer today than they were last year.

Not sure what attendance figures have to do with holding management accountable for poor play in the postseason. All those attendance figures mean is that Dodger fans are very loyal and support the club in droves every year.

This is my opinion, but I would prefer to move on from Friedman and Kasten. Not sure about Roberts, but there are a few people on these boards who agree with me about Roberts, Friedman and Kasten. More Roberts than Friedman or Kasten but there are other posters who want to see some kind of change if nothing else.

It seems as if you are content with the status quo because of the successful regular seasons. Fine. But others do not share your opinion.

BTW I have read all of the threads on this article.

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

44
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x