A Little Season Perspective

During each season, all players go through slumps. Unfortunately, all the Dodger hitters have gone into a slump at the same time.

This is not normal.

Usually, one guy will slump and another guy will step up and hit to make up for it. This is given that the team is basically sound, with no major distractions, and has a decent pitching staff. The Dodgers have a decent pitching staff.

The team started out Red-hot. With Kemp starting out .355/ .444/ .719 and on a pace to hit 54 home runs, Ethier leading the league in RBI's and hitting above .330, and everybody else doing their jobs, the team leapt out to a big lead in the N.L. West.

Then came the injuries. Kemp went down once, then twice with a hamstring injury. Mark Ellis, having an almost perfect season as the no. 2 hitter, suffers a freak injury. Hairston goes out for awhile, along with Uribe, Sellers and Rivera.

The team picks up Abreu and he fills in very nicely for awhile, Tony Gwynn does too. Herrera comes up and is suddenly the hottest thing on the planet. Ivan deJesus jr. comes up and gives the team some nice pinch hitting. But these guys are not the front line guys that management had planned to have in the line-up. They are the Stunt Men. (see 1981 Dodgers) They were supposed to give the starters a break, let them avoid a tough lefty, play that day game after a night game. This is why they are here.

When the team had to depend on them to play every day, you could see the cracks in the armor. You could see the flaws more easily. They are left wanting, through no fault of their own.

Fortunately, the team had the cushion of a big lead, due to the hot start. Now that the Dodgers have come back to the pack, according to the TBLA Season Predictions, the team is right on track. (The average prediction by all who submitted predictions was 85-77 for the year.)

All the talk lately has been about how to replace the starters that have slumped in June. Loney, Uribe and Rivera. To be replaced by Carlos Lee, Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin. At what price? Our future pitching staff? Remember the Dodger way of player development? Grow arms, buy bats. If we trade all our tomorrow's arms for today's rental bats, what do we do then? Try to grow bats and buy arms? Talk about screwing the pooch!

My advice? Relax. Take long walks. Spend time with your friends and family. The Dodgers will be OK. This June swoon is an aberration. Things will go back to normal. Trust me. They will.

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