Posted by: dodgrblu | June 26, 2010

I have a bad feeling about this…

Still shot from Star Wars.

After the three-game series last weekend in Boston, I was frustrated with the Dodgers. I was ready to take a baseball bat to an unsuspecting cooler of Gatorade. Fortunately, we don’t keep coolers of Gatorade around the house, so no sports drinks came to any harm. But if an innocent bystander, 1,153 miles away from Dodger Stadium, was that frustrated, I can’t imagine the level of frustration in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

I keep reminding myself: it’s just interleague. The Dodgers are notoriously unsuccessful against the American League, and especially against the Angels of Anaheim (, Azusa, and Cucamonga). But I’ve seen some disturbing things this week. Ominous things. Things that make me worry that the Dodgers’ problems are deeper than a June Swoon or the Interleague Blues or a Lakers Inferiority Complex, or whatever you want to call it.

Back on June 10, as the boys set out on the long road east out of Blue Heaven, things seemed to be looking up. They had just swept a three-game series with the Cardinals, and they were leading the NL West by a game. Okay, the space aliens that had abducted Matt Kemp in April brought back the real one, Russell Martin continued to struggle under the weight of the extra “J.” on his back, Manny is being “Manny Lite,” and Andre Ethier was struggling after his stint on the DL (darn pinky finger). All that and they were still on top.

Other than losing Billingsley, the series in Cincinnati went okay. But then Boston happened. (I’d rather not talk about it.) And then it was time for another rocky road trip down the freeway to Anaheim.

Wednesday, under the full moon, the Dodgers felt the need to INVENT new ways to lose. (Maybe the usual ways had been used so much in the past week, they were tired.) In a truly bizarre series of events in the 9th inning, Kemp got picked off second base, Martin inexplicably took a wide turn at second and got thrown out, and Reed Johnson was distracted (perhaps by a shiny object) and didn’t run hard from third to home, so his would-be tying run didn’t score before Martin got tagged for the third out.


Any one of those mental mistakes doesn’t happen, and the Dodgers tie the game. If NONE of those things happens, the Dodgers take the lead. I don’t know where their heads are at, but they certainly aren’t in the game.

Wednesday’s game felt like one of those games that can make or break a team. At the lowest point in the season, they climb out of the cesspool they’re in, clean themselves off, and resolve never to speak of it again.  Either that or they start circling the drain.

On Thursday, the Boys in Blue managed to pull their heads out of their collective backside long enough not to lose. But it was an ugly win. Two more Dodgers (I’m looking at you, Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake) picked off at second base. Carroll’s pickoff was especially egregious:  he was safe at second, but jumped up and headed for the dugout, apparently thinking he was out. And, while they managed to score 10 runs, they left another 10 on base.

Friday was the pinnacle of ominousness. (Yes, yes, it is a real word.) I didn’t expect them to beat the Yankees on Friday. And they didn’t. But it was how they went down in the 9th that is deeply concerning to me. The last four batters struck out (still naming names: Ethier, Manny, Kemp, and Loney). They looked lost up there. And they looked angry. Check that, they WERE angry. After striking out, Loney tossed his helmet and barked at home plate umpire, Phil Cuzzi. Cuzzi tossed him (feh, the game was over: so what?). Suddenly Kemp and Blake were also screaming from the dugout. And, lo, the Dodgers’ frustration was laid bare for all to see.

(Okay, to be fair:  from what I could tell, Kemp and Loney had a right to be angry. Phil Cuzzi’s strike zone for Mariano Rivera appeared larger than Jonathan Broxton’s ass. A lot of balls that sure looked low and outside on TV were called strikes.)

Clearly, all is not well in Dodgertown.

Yes, it’s only June.

Yes, the Dodgers are only 4 games out.

No, we’re not even to the halfway point in the season.

I shouldn’t press the panic button quite yet. (Is it just me, or does this sound like a Jedi mind trick?)

But I’m worried. These guys need to figure out who they are and what they’re doing before the season gets away from them.

And so, I send my plea into the void of the Internet:


And if this really is your town, START PLAYING LIKE IT. Please.


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