Thanks to BlueTurf for making the posts while I was in the wilderness of Idaho. Sadly, I emerged to find the team humbled by the Cardinals, who are clearly a class above the Dodgers. While I would love to see Colletti make a move to strengthen the team and give them a decent shot at winning the division, what I really want is for the Dodgers to be contenders again. Real contenders, and for the whole thing. No trade is likely to make that happen. A strong farm system (check) and some good free agent signings and trades will make that happen. The acquisition and retention of good players will require a big budget (check), but it still yakes time. Anyone who thinks that the team was poised for dominance in 2004 (Plaschke) didn't understand how many free agents and overachievers were on that team. The Dodgers are one of the great franchises, but they haven't been on top for a while. I think they'll get back.
Meanwhile, the season rolls on. And the Dodgers are...at .500 once again. They spent the first quarter season hovering around this mark and broke out for a while, only to get smoked by the quality teams when the schedule turned against them. They hitting will probably cool a bit in the second half, so pitching help had better be on the way. Tomko as a reliever just might work, and if we could score a quality innings eater like Greg Maddux, the two might combine to eliminate a lot of crappy bullpen appearances. Sadly, it doesn't look like Perez is going to take the work-your-way-out-of-it approach to his problems. Since Colletti is on record as saying that he values how people deal with adversity (character), I think he's gone one way or another.
So what happens next? The Dodgers face some good old divisional competition, that's what. Tonight it's the Diamondbacks and Enrique Gonzalez. The Dodgers will throw Sele out there, hoping he can stop the skid. As always, divisional games are critical, but it is especially true when all five teams are still in the race. Time to put some distance on Arizona.
The Pitching Match-up:
Aaron Sele (RHP. Dodgers) vs. Enrique Gonzalez (RHP, Diamondbacks)
For your (46-46) Los Angeles Dodgers:
For the (45-46) Arizona Diamondbacks:
Luis Gonzalez, LF
Shawn Green, 1B
Enrique Gonzalez, P