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A duck too far


For some of his past interviews you can check out the Duck Talk Section where we ask the questions we want to ask and try to see through the clichéd responses we normally get. For those of you new to Duck Talk, this is a complete fabrication based on interviews within my troubled mind.

Duck: Long time no talk Ned

Ned: Yes, I thought I was free of you but Jon Chapper said I had to pony up one more time

Duck: I also thought we were done but tough times make for tough questions. So Ned, what is the problem? You have the largest payroll in the history of sports, yet the team is clearly struggling to keep it's head above water. Is it you, is it Donny, is it the players? or could it be Magic?

Ned: Clearly, Magic is the problem

Duck: Can you quantify this assertion?

Ned: Yes, on May 28th the Dodgers that I built, and that Donny managed were 32 - 16, six games in first place. Everything was great, the budget was middle of the road, we weren't targets for the rest of the world, our players had a small clubhouse, road fans felt sorry for us, our superstar was the best player on the planet. On May 29th Magic and his group bought the Dodgers, and it has been a shit storm of disappointment ever since. We have gone 54 - 60 since Magic took over. It has to be him

Duck: Hmmm, I thought you were cool with the ability to increase your payroll by 150 Million, to actually draft, and sign every player you wanted, to go into international markets like no Dodger team has ever gone.

Ned: Oh, I'm cool with the money, the money is great, but the money can't buy a bench?

Duck: It can't?

Ned: Nope, good players want to play so even the most expensive teams still have bench's full of yesterdays production, production yet to happen, or production that will never happen. In short, no matter how much money I have, I will never build a good bench.

Duck: This is not your shortcoming?

Ned: Nope

Duck: Okay, is the bench really the problem? As you said everyone has bench problems, they are bench players because they aren't good enough to start. This team can't score

Ned: Exactly, they stopped scoring on May 29th. In May of last year we scored 130 runs. 130 runs. Right after Magic took over the team, we lost 3 - 1 and 6 -3. We then followed that up by scoring 83 runs in June. 83 runs. Nothing changed other than Magic taking over the team. In Sept last year we scored 91 runs. In April this year 88 runs.

Duck: I'm not that familiar with what a good month would be when it comes to scoring runs. Can you help me out.

Ned: Sure. We can all agree the Padres have a reputation for not being able to score. After Magic took over the team the Padres scored 104, 123, 119, 125 runs. This year the last place Padres outscored the Dodgers in April 101 to 88.

Duck: I'm quack struck. Clearly Magic is the problem. It is like he's sucked the runs right out of the bats. But hey in August the team scored 125 runs, and Magic was in charge. Could there be a different reason? Something we can quantify?

Ned: Well, Matt Kemp was hurt in the second half last year and has hit like Eugenio Velez so far this year. Even though I built this team the bottom of the lineup resembles the Bad News Bears before the drunk guy took them over.

Duck: Do you know that AJ Ellis has almost 100 plate appearances and his scored two runs. One of those runs was his own home run. So AJ Ellis has been on base 32 times and scored ONCE. Is that a reflection of just how hard it is to score AJ Ellis or just how bad the bottom of the lineup has been?

Ned: Yes

Duck: So if you could summarize the Dodgers scoring woes not using Magic as a reason maybe you would say....

Ned: Matt Kemps inability to hit, the bottom of the lineup misfits

Duck: Dee Gordon couldn't help this offense?

Ned: If we thought he could help he would be on the team.

Duck: Scot Van Slyke couldn't help this offense?

Ned: If we thought he could help he would be on the team.

Duck: Puig couldn't help this offense?

Ned: If we thought he could help he would be on the team.

Duck: So as Matt Kemp finds his groove, and Hanley replaces one of the hitting misfits, the runs should perk up?

Ned: Maybe, but it is possible that when Matt heats up, Crawford / Ellis either cool off or continue to have nagging injuries thus offsetting the Kemp gains.

Duck: Geez Ned, that is awful realistic of you. We do these interviews to give fans something to grab onto to keep them a float , not an anchor to drown them with

Ned: I'm not in a good place

Duck: Yes my condolences

Duck to producer, we need to let Ned go, can you get Donnie over here. Show some leg if you have to.

Producer: this is 2013, not Mad Men

Producer: DONNY, Donny, do you have a minute

Producer after repeated attempts to get Donny's attention have failed, sighs (hikes up skirt)

Shockingly within seconds, Donny is available

Donny: Sure, I've got nothing to do

Duck: What did you think about Ned giving you the clearly played out Ramon Hernandez and dropping the minor league player of the week?

Donny: Ramon is a PVL, blah blah blah blah. Man he sucks, I keep telling Ned it is not 2009 but it is like he's in a time warp

Duck: Are you feeling the heat over this start given the expectations of a team with the highest professional sports payroll in the history of the known universe?

Donny: Yes, it was 90 something when we left LA for SF. The heat comes with the territory blah blah blah blah - screw everyone who doesn't think I'm not busting my balls managing this team. Have you seen the lineups I've been using. Cruzzer, Happy Hairston, Juany, Sellers, and Ramon. Matt can't hit. I should get an award for keeping this team .500 with half a lineup full of guys who probably couldn't start for our AAA team.

Duck: Do you laugh when people suggest that AJ Ellis should bat second?

Donny: Yes

Duck: Is anyone slower than AJ Ellis?

Donny: I think Ned's mother could give him a run

Duck: Geezus

Donny: Spare me the fake outrage, this is a TBLA interview is it not?

Duck: Kind of

Donny: Isn't TBLA humor the darkest humor

Duck: Yes, but that wasn't funny

Donny: The hell you say, I know at least 10 people who snorted out of the 22 who got this far

Duck: Ok, settle down, we got off track. Give the folk some reasons for optimism

Donny: It really comes to down to Matt Kemp. With Hanley back we simply need Matt to get back to something close to his normal production, and the team will be alright. This is not a great team, but it is a team who should be able to go toe to toe with the other mediocrities in the division.

Duck: That is your rah rah speech?

Donny: Yeah, I'm tired, what would you say?

Duck: Objectively I'd say your right. The team is almost .500 and the lineups have mostly been a joke. When Ramon is not playing it is hard to imagine the lineups going forward being as bad as most of the April lineups have been. Eventually Matt Kemp will remember who he is and lead this team from average to above mediocrity. Dodger fans should expect the most mediocre team money can buy to at least be an above .500 team. Or this is just more salt being poured into USC/Laker/Dodger fan wounds.

Duck: oh and never forget

Clayton Kershaw