Somber thoughts for the best home grown positional Dodger since the turn of the century. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
was my thought of the day this past labor day weekend. It took back to back years of putridity, combined with the ex Yankee Legend having James Loney bunting over the weekend to blow my mind from Dodger Blue to RED. A season worth of questionable moves and non moves, this latest was the tipping point. The majority of fans will correctly say no big deal, no need to get your undies in a bunch. Who really cares if the strategist asked the hottest hitter on the team to bunt? Who cares that if the strategy worked to perfection the MVP of baseball would have gotten walked, leaving it up Juan Rivera to cash in the chips against a RHP with two outs and bases loaded instead of facing a one out 1st/2nd situation and swinging away. The same Juan Rivera who has a career .647 OPS against RHP. Let's not even mention the fact that Loney is not very adept at bunting. What could go wrong with that?
Shockingly only to the ex-Yankee Legend and his bench coach the strategy failed, Loney did not get the bunt down, and with two strikes down was easy prey for the second out.
In a season in which we have been closer to last place then first place this should hardly register. In a world getting pummeled with destruction this should be the farthest thing from my mind, yet my mind couldn't deal with it, the rational part gave way to spasms of anger that so far this year I've managed to keep in check. The team was hot, everything was going right, for two weeks it was fun to be a Dodger fan again, and yet the moment James Loney was asked to bunt and failed I knew this was the end of the briefest of those good times. Like a cat trying to rid itself of the insidious hair that tormented it's bowels, I hacked up a hairball whose name was Systemic Incompetence and it had all of the Dodger Organization written on it whose sir name did not start with a K or whose legendary voice is the only reason many fans are still fans.
I'd had it from top to bottom
With the Carpet bagging owners who brought shame and ridicule to this great franchise, who instead of going gracefully in to the good night will drag this out so that the 2012 season will be in doubt ,and the jewel of the franchise will take his talents elsewhere where owners work in the background, and the team is not a permanent member of the Comedy Channel hit list.
With the Ex-Giant bureaucrat masquerading as the Dodger GM who wouldn't know proper PR spin if it smacked him in the face, who has done wonders squandering the few resources the Carpet Baggers had given him. Building an infrastructure immune from the world of sabremetric analysis that only a fool who coined the name "Google Boy" for Depodesta could be proud of.
With the Ex-Yankee Legends parading around the Los Angeles Dodger dugout as managers while our Dodger legend coach's 1st base. One who believes that Runs Scored is the best stat to use when analyzing the productiveness of a major league hitter. Really!!!! Runs Scored.
With the exalted Scouting Director who seems to still be living off his brilliant draft eight years ago as the fans patiently wait for the next positional prospect to show up since that 2003 draft. One who isn't found so full of holes they are traded away for others teams prospects. Anyone can build a AA roster full of 24 / 25 year old outfielders who swat their way to the leaderboards, but it is another to actually find a player good enough to start and produce in the major leagues on a consistent level. The Dodgers have done a fine job of finding relief pitchers, fourth outfielders, spare infielders, and backup catchers since the 2003 draft but that is hardly how you build a winning team. Just like Ned who had Manny fall in his lap so did Kershaw fall into Logan's lap. I'm much more interested in what he does when he does not have a top 10 pick.
With the scouts who signed off on the Adkins, Mattingly's, while ignoring the Stantons in their own backyard.
With the marketing department who have managed to ignore the two greatest players the Dodgers have had on their team in a decade while promoting "Hope is in the Air" when the only fragrance found at Chavez Ravine is the rotting stench of a once proud franchise struggling to perform while the owner does everything possible to keep the franchise from getting back on track after he derailed her.
With the Chavez Ravine operations manager who failed at crowd security not because of Mr. Stow but because of the degradation of the Chavez Ravine fan experience until the Mr. Stow incident put the fan experience on the hot seat.
With the all-star Dodgers who seem to use the All-Star game as the trigger for disappointment from Martin to Andre to Broxton to Kuo to Penny to Chad. Thank God for the K squad whose talents supersede the negative pull of being an All-Star Dodger.
With the training staff who can't diagnose a sports hernia? You'd kind of think that would be something they would be experts in. Wouldn't you?
With a radio team of Stiener / Monday and a TV team of clueless and Lyons. I'm probably in the minority in that I like to enjoy broadcasts, not wince and turn into Charles LaRousse Dreyfus every time I watch or listen to a Vinnie less game
Granted systemic incompetence is hyperbolic overkill hardly worthy of anyone's time and those who have read this far are contemplating counterpoints with everyone of my irritations. If someone else had written this tirade I certainly would be in full defense mode. I suspect Craig and Craig have probably already started.
Yet I think my irritations are shared by some as I feel we are going to squander the unique greatness of Kemp and Kershaw just as the Giants squandered the Bonds years because they never built a proper team around him.
I know everyone in the organization is working hard under incredibly tough circumstances but lets not equate trying with competence.. The money was there, it was spent poorly and if you try to build a functional team in 2012 / 2013 you would realize how much the money spent in 2011 is going to hamstring the team in 2012 / 2013.
What are you going to do, you can't stop being a fan? though it appears thousands have
Not me, but I also don't want to become that "guy" that kicks a franchise when they are on the ropes. This will be a single shot that may or may not have hit the mark, the six gun will be holstered with five shots still left because I can't be a fan and handle the truth. I'd rather believe that Dee Gordon is more then just flash, that Sands will make the Keith Laws wince with pain with every hit, that the fans don't desert the franchise in such record numbers this fall that the embattled owner will be forced to cut payroll, that our GM really does know how to build a team, that our version of Willie Mays will indeed decide to spend his whole career with one team, that our newest Koufax will never see Dr. Andrews, that Andre is simply in a 1, 000 at bat funk, that Loney is out of his three year funk, that our owner realizes that owning the Los Angeles Dodgers is not just a business proposition but a responsibility , and most of all that Vinny gets to hear sold out crowds once again.
Hope will have to trump rationality, or maybe in my case, irrationality.