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Are the Dodgers the New Punching Bag of the NL West?

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Luckily for the Padres playoff chances, whenever the postseason candle appears ready to succumb to lack of oxygen the Dodgers show up to blow new life into their flickering postseason flame.  The Padres inflicted their sixth straight victory over the Dodgers, and this coming from a team who cannot beat anyone else.

Are the Dodgers the new punching bag of the NL West? It would appear so, even the Diamondbacks were able to deal the Rockies a defeat. Since Sept started the Dodgers are 3 - 11 against the Rockies, Giants and Padres.  As Eric noted the other day what is the point in playing your regulars against the postseason competitors if your regulars reek? James Loney, Casey Blake, and Matt Kemp are having horrific Septembers, and when you have possible replacements in Lindsey and Mitchell for the two most egregious  hitters (I used hitters loosely), you might as well give them at bats. As Eric also noted, the replacements are not sure things to hit either, but they might not be as sure a thing as to not hit as Loney/Casey are right now.

It has been a wrong kind of blue for the Dodgers this month. Not only do they resemble one of the worst teams to ever play September baseball at the Ravine but the owner is also weakly popping up to the infield. Frank McCourt is having a bad week, his chances of winning his case are falling as fast as James Loney's batting average. His attendance is going down faster then Paris Hilton on whomever she ends up the night with. With an average attendance of 44,320, the Dodgers drew only 33,728 last night.  I don't know the exact number of walk ups but I'd wager it was near zero when you take into account the season tickets holders, plus advance game sales that took place this spring in hopes these games would mean something.

So when Frank/Ned are mocked for trying to keep the team competitive in Aug/Sept, just remember that is money coming right out of Frank's pocket when they are unable to attract a crowd smelling a post season future. With a drop of 11,000 in attendance, on the low side they are probably losing half a million dollars per game. Hard for me to imagine that kind of financial loss will not have an effect on the future season. Frank was already frugal with a team who had huge attendance runs in Sept, while playing Oct baseball. Without either, how will this winter play out? Just another huge question mark for this franchise, as if we don't have enough.

1. How much will the payroll budget be in 2011?

2. Who will own the team?

3. Did Matt Kemp simply have a bad year or did he already peak ala Russell Martin?

4. Who the hell is going to start games after Kershaw / Billingsley?

5. What the hell is wrong with Jonathan Broxton?

6. Will they try again with Loney? If so will they try again with the solo act? If so are they fucking crazy?

7. They can't go with Casey Blake again can they?

8. Is Russell Martin's Dodger career over?

9. Will Rafy Furcal ever play a full non - injured season during a year he is under contract to the Dodgers?

10. How many season ticket holders will refuse to ante up this winter? It is one thing to pay the large sums the McCourts have drummed up the prices to when you are going to the NLCS, it is another when you have a Clipper season with the taste of this Sept in your mouth.