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@Purple Drank @Shmolnick Plus it's very difficult to get past all the BS posts to the actual discussion.
1 year, 2 months ago on If There’s One Good Reason to Fire Don Mattingly…
@Purple Drank @Shmolnick It takes forever to scroll through the comments on here, so I just scan them quickly. And I don't completely agree with the consensus. A change at the top CAN make a difference. Plus, I'm way past being patient enough with this team to advocate the prudent approach.
Mike, I totally understand why you seem to be willing to give Mattingly a pass (for now) for the Dodgers' awful season so far - injuries are not his fault, Kemp still rehabbing the shoulder, Ned's typically poor roster construction, etc. I get that. And it's 1000% clear that Ned Colletti needs to NOT be the GM of this team for a million reasons given here and elsewhere over the past few months and years.
As we all know, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Having Mattingly manage the team, I would argue, IS doing the same thing over and over again. Therefore - insane. Will another manager do significantly better? Maybe, maybe not. But it is quite clear to me that a malaise has settled over this team. Like it or not, the manager sets the tone and it's his job to motivate his players. Sure, Donnie Baseball can't hit for them, he can't field for them, he can't pitch out of the bullpen. But he is clearly NOT motivating the team to play better. Poor fielding, mental lapses, the bunting, the maddening tendency to manage defensively, and his almost now legendary misuse of the bullpen (thanks, Joe Torre School of Bullpen Management!), can all be traced, again one could argue, to the failure of the manager to address those issues. Since in all practicality, Ned is NOT going to be relieved of his GM duties at least until after the season ends (and then only if the Dodgers don't make the playoffs), some kind of change has to be made. Sometimes you HAVE to shake things up to change the general emotional and intellectual preparedness of the players on the field. Will shaking it up help? It surely won't hurt.
I like Mattingly. He's a good guy, the players like him. But he is on the hot seat, and replacing him is the single most significant change the team can make short of firing Colletti and getting all new players, both of which will not happen. Sometimes a change in leadership CAN make a difference. Not even trying would be, well, it would be insane.
(What I really want to know is this: what does MSTI the Dodger fan think? We already know what MSTI the blogger thinks.)
@LurkingAtWork @Shmolnick I'd give Tim Wallach or Davey Lopes the job for the remainder of the season.
1 year, 2 months ago on So You Want to Fire Your Manager
Mike, I understand that you've been riding the Prudence Train for a while, but there is a legitimate opposing view. And that is, that while it is true that the players have to perform and do their jobs on the field, and it is equally true that the Dodgers have been overburdened by injuries, at some point, a big market team with this payroll has make some kind of move to get the team out of their malaise. Yeah, Ned's responsible for this mess and is and has been way over his head since he got the GM job, but it's the manager and his coaching staff who are responsible for training and motivating their players to do well. If we let the players be responsible for "doing their jobs" then why in hell have a manager in the first place? The manager is ultimately responsible for the game-to-game performance of his players. Something must be done to shake this team up. Status quo is not getting the job done. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We're there now.
If it were up to me, Ned would be gone in a heartbeat, then Donny Baseball would be let go at the All-Star Break if the team doesn't markedly improve. But it's not up to me. Kasten won't make a move until the off-season, not wanting to be seen as panicking or whatever ego-driven reason he has. But these repeated mistakes with in-game strategy that Mattingly makes IS losing games. He manages by the book and then by "feel." I like Mattingly. The players seem to like him, but they are not RESPONDING to him on the field. The bullpen mismanagement, the bunting, the adherence to this silly right-left baloney, the sitting of the hot hand - I'm sorry, but the buck stops at his desk. How much time WOULD you give Mattingly before you advocate a change? Again, he does not seem to learn from his mistakes; instead, he repeats them. Being nice to these highly-paid athletes may play well in the locker room, but it's not yielding results on the field, injuries or no injuries. Maybe a manager who's more of a hardass would get better results. Hey, at least it's something that hasn't been tried.
Anyway, I'm not one of those fly-by-night fans who panic at one loss. This has been going on for a while with Mattingly. My gut tells me that he just not smart enough to manage this team. It's time to make a change, in my humble opinion. Or mark my words, his in-game bumbling will give away more games.
Flame away, folks. :-)
@Mike Petriello @pablogoldstein But diving in a completely meaningless game is a completely different matter altogether. I think you're too forgiving, Mike. To quote Don Corleone... "Then I do not forgive."
1 year, 4 months ago on Hanley Ramirez Needs Surgery, And We Ponder A Reality In Which The Choice Is Between Dee Gordon & Juan Uribe
@WestonTaylor The lack of thought behind your comment is astounding. It was not the same game. It was a "championship" game in a useless tournament. Hanley took it seriously; he wanted his country to win and played harder than he probably would have in a spring training game. The Dodgers aren't paying him to get hurt playing for his home country, they're paying him to play MLB, and that requires spring training. Had he gotten hurt in a spring training game, I would still be pissed off but I would accept it as part of the MLB experience. The WBC is NOT part of the MLB experience. It was a completely meaningless game that resulted in a completely unnecessary injury.
@PWEEEEG @Shmolnick My hatred for the WBC is far stronger than your love for it.
As for me, I DO blame the WBC for this injury, and I blame the Dodgers for not protecting their investment, and I blame MLB for letting this travesty of a marketing campaign for baseball infringe on major league baseball's spring training. Just a stupid decision all around, and there's no avoiding that conclusion. I hope the Dodgers have learned their lesson - no more WBC. It's true that Hanley could have sustained this injury in a spring training game, but he didn't. He got injured playing in a meaningless, useless competition that turned out to be disastrous for some MLB teams. Now as for Hanley, I am now sort of pissed off at him for shirking his Dodger duties. I never liked the WBC but now I LOATHE it. Completely and utterly. I will never support it, never, ever ever ever. And my opinion of Hanley Ramirez has declined as well. Forgive? Never.
As for who should play where, I think Cruz at third and Dee at short is the best combination we could hope for. Which is exactly why I think Mattingly will rotate Uribe, Cruz and Gordon between the three positions until Hanley returns.
<snark>OMG Mike, I think you found the Dodgers' answer to third base! </snark>
1 year, 6 months ago on On the Continued Existence of Juan Uribe
No, there doesn't have to be a limit to how much Guggenheim can spend. We've suffered enough under the cheap McCourt regime. This is payback.
1 year, 6 months ago on Dodgers Depth Chart Analysis: Not Exactly the Keys to the Keystone
Nice suit. Seriously.
1 year, 6 months ago on Hyun-jin Ryu Is Styling
@DavePomerantz @Mike Petriello @Disgruntled Goat @WBBsAs Not saying that I agree with this, but another way to approach the issue is to ask the question "Did the player's action affect his play on the field and/or the outcome of a game?" Assuming this basis, and given that our entire criminal justice system is based on innocence until guilt is proven, then one must ban players whose actions affected their play on the field - to wit, players who have been PROVEN BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT TO HAVE THROWN GAMES OR WHOSE ACTIONS AFFECTED HIS PERFORMANCE OR THE OUTCOME OF GAMES. Gambling on an actual game is not the same thing as throwing a game. Does anybody really think that Pete Rose deliberately threw a game as a player? Reasonable doubt. I agree about Shoeless Joe, he had a great 1919 Series. Again, reasonable doubt. By this way of thinking then, steroid use, when proven, absolutely affects a player's actions on the field - it makes him unnaturally bigger and stronger. Therefore, steroid use should be seen in the same light as throwing a game - it affected the actual play on the field and the outcome of games.
Just another way of looking at it. Personally, I just think Pete Rose should be allowed in the HoF because he was a great goddamned player and whatever legal arguments lead to that result I'm fine with.
1 year, 6 months ago on It’s the Best Day of the Year
@Mike Petriello @Disgruntled Goat @WBBsAs Either way as long as its consistent. Nobody ever said professional ballplayers were angels so I guess I come down on the side of "ban none."
@DBrim @Shmolnick You miss the point. It's about the moral authority that baseball claimed when it banned Rose and Jackson yet did NOT ban Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, etc, all of whom CHEATED in one way or another. All cheaters or no cheaters. Can't have it both ways.
@Mike Petriello @Disgruntled Goat @WBBsAs Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for allegedly gambling. Cobb and Speaker also got caught gambling but weren't banned. Where's the moral authority? Rose gambled on baseball and was banned. There's a dangerous moral inconsistency going on here and in my opinion, that inconsistency negates any and all moral authority that baseball might have had. Either ban ALL cheaters or ban NONE. You can't have it both ways and still claim moral authority. Therefore, if Rose and Jackson were banned then Cobb, Speaker, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa et al should all be banned. The precedent has been set. If you want to see the steroid cheaters get into the HoF, then you absolutely MUST reverse the ban on the others.
Moral authority must be absolute or it has no meaning. There cannot be a middle ground.
Anyway, that's my opinion. And yes, this issue DOES piss me off A LOT.
I have two recurring thoughts about the MLB Hall of Fame:
1. IF-THEN Statement: IF no Pete Rose and no Joe Jackson, then no Barry Bonds and no Roger Clemens. One set of morality, not two. End discussion.
2. The HoF is loaded with second-tier stars. I've felt for a long time that there should be two branches of the HoF: An upper level for the TRUE superstars (Ruth, Cobb, Mays, et al) and a second level for guys who had great careers but can't honestly be mentioned in the same breath as the guys in the other group. Tony Perez in the same group of Ruth and Mays and Cobb? PUH-lease.
That is all.
@Mike Petriello Oh yeah. That's why.
1 year, 7 months ago on 2194 Words on Andre Ethier, Michael Bourn, and Trade Value
Why is that I'm always afraid that the guy we trade away is going to have an MVP season as soon as we get rid of him, and the guy we get back will get hurt immediately?
I predict that Kemp will win MVP honors in 2013 to go along with the first of many Dodgers World Series victories. Now excuse me, I need another vodka and cranberry juice.
1 year, 7 months ago on Once Again: Josh Hamilton Or Matt Kemp?
Just an FYI Mike - Google and Firefox have "blacklisted" this site because of "badware." I keep getting a warning everytime I come to this site, since Dec. 12. Anyone else getting this?
1 year, 7 months ago on 2012 Dodgers in Review #36: RP John Ely
I'm in total agreement, Mike. Just sign Greinke already and avoid all that other hassle.
1 year, 7 months ago on Pondering a Potential Post-Greinke Existence
Welcome to America, Mike.
1 year, 8 months ago on Decision 2012: Election Boogaloo
@HeathBar2117 @Mike Petriello
Actually, it's false that Obama has made things worse. He's increased the number of jobs, the unemployment rate has improved, albeit slightly, he restored the US automobile industry thereby saving a whole lot of jobs, he's started to invest in new technologies (the wind energy industry has something like doubled, providing jobs), the housing market is starting to recover, corporate profits are at record highs, taxes have never been lower in the modern age, the stock market has rebounded. Has it been enough? Of course not, but do you really want to go back to republican economic policies that helped get us into this mess in the first place? That sounds kind of silly to me.
@Tony Fernandez @Mike Petriello @Deuce
Regarding 3 - "...never going to collect the social security that you are paying so much for." - Actually, social security benefits will be paid out at 100% through 2032, and at 73% through 2086. That means that small tweaks, such as raising the maximum income level that pays social security taxes or raising the retirement age a couple of years will likely pay the for the difference, and more. Look it up, really.
Just sayin. :-)
Regardless of who you vote(d) for, I have to admit that after I voted, I felt proud of having participated in our democracy. I know it's corny, and I'm the last guy you'd expect to be corny, but it's true. It was great to vote. Hope everyone also voted or plans to vote tonight.
Shane is definitely a goner in the off-season. Hopefully Crawford will be ready in the spring, otherwise we may be seeing Juan Rivera out there. Yikes.
1 year, 10 months ago on Shane Victorino, Eternal Phillie?
@EephusBlue @Mike Petriello Matt Treanor's salary in 2012 is $850,000. By comparison, high school teachers in my state make about $66,000 a year. An Emergency Medical Technician in NY makes about $52,000 on average while a NYC fireman makes an average salary of $75,000. I happen to believe that those professions are more vital to society than a professional athlete, yet Matt Treanor, who is not even that good at his job compared to his peers, makes more than ten times as much as those people. We of your "lowest common denominator" don't like to see those with success squirm - we just like to see people get paid commensurate with their contributions to society. Your generalization lacks any factual data on which it might be based. Hate Simers and Plaschke because they're poor writers, or because they're provocative idiots, but don't think they owe their success to people who want to see those with success squirm.
Now lighten up, Frances.
1 year, 10 months ago on Matt Treanor Is Just the Best
@Dang88 @Mike Petriello That's his shtick, it's what he gets paid for. Everyone knows it - the fans, the LA Times readers and the players. So it's a surprise when Simers shows up smirking and wisecracking in the clubhouse? It shouldn't be. Maybe Treanor didn't get any from his wife the night before and was cranky.
@Mike Petriello And the "real" journalists are afraid to criticize an obviously in-over-his-head manager for fear of losing access. Simers and Plaschke are dicks to be sure, but at least perform an important function in sports media - they write opinion columns. And I admire Simers for not being afraid to stir the pot a little. We need that function in sports media.
I couldn't disagree more. These professional athletes make a crapload of money, and part of their jobs is to deal with the media. Get over it, Treanor. Aww, you're in a bad mood 'cuz you keep losing? Try getting on base once in a while.
I'm not a big Simers fan but these pro athlete babies need to get over themselves. They are supremely lucky to get paid big bucks for playing a child's game. I have ZERO sympathy.
I hate that if the Dodgers make the second Wild Card spot in the playoffs, we'll have Bud Selig to thank for it.
1 year, 10 months ago on What Does it Mean to “Make The Playoffs”?
@Mike Petriello @Shmolnick And I'm still waiting for your "The Case Against Don Mattingly" column.
1 year, 10 months ago on Stop Wasting A.J. Ellis, Please
Not using AJ Ellis efficiently = yet another reason to replace Mattingly in 2013.
This article really jelled for me.
1 year, 10 months ago on Hey Man, You Jellin’?
@DBrim @JohnM Wallach. Or steal Scioscia from the Angels.
1 year, 11 months ago on Josh Beckett Went Into Colorado and Wasn't Terrible
@JohnM I didn't say we should fire the coaching staff. I said we should start taking a closer look at how Mattingly and his coaches are handling a talented but mysteriously slumping team.
And it's great that dramatically outperformed expectations over the first four months of the season. It's also great that they won a World Series in 1988. That and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. What have they done for us lately?
Okay, so when will it be time to turn the magnifying glass on Mattingly and his coaching staff? I know, I know - it's ultimately up to the players to play, hitters to hit, and so on. But if you have a team full of guys who can hit, and you're in a pennant race entering the final month of the season, but the team is in an offensive funk, then you have no choice to look at other causes and solutions.
Is it the coaching of the hitters? Are they doing everything they can to get these guys back in the zone? Giving them tips? Modifying their approaches at the plate? Or are they letting all the big egos slide a bit? I don't know - nobody is asking these questions.
Is it Mattingly? Is he the right guy for this crew? I like Donny Baseball, I really do. The players seem to like him, he seems to be good with young players, I really like that he argues with idiotic umpires. But - I don't think he's too smart. Let's face it. He is awful at in-game strategy, he hasn't learned how to manage his bullpen, he loves the bunt too much, and he hasn't been able to motivate the troops. And it's not like he hasn't been around the management of MLB for too long. He sat at Torre's side for years before he became the Dodger manager. If this offensive funk was just a few days old, I'd say fine, give him and the team to work through it. But it's NOT a few days old. This has been going on for some time, this inconsistency - lose a series, win a series, lose a series, win a series. Now it's getting to be crunch time, and these guys have to win, or be motivated to win. I wish Donny had a fraction of Tommy Lasorda's motivational skills. Where's the report of an urgent team meeting in which Mattingly hands his team their collective asses on a platter? Is he too laid back with them?
I just don't get it - why is Don Mattingly hands off? The mainstream media and the Dodger blogosphere together have written not a single word about the possibility of Mattingly being the wrong guy for this team. I think it's time to have that conversation. I think it's time to say "If the Dodgers don't make the playoffs, Mattingly should be replaced, his coaching staff examined and replaced if necessary."
Anyway, those are my thoughts on this wet, gray morning here in the northeast. 10-0 to the Rockies in Colorado? No excuse for that pitiful performance last night.
@JT_Dutch @Mike Petriello Can we start criticizing Mattingly yet?
1 year, 11 months ago on So When Do We Get to Be Worried About Andre Ethier?
I'm interested in WHY Ethier can't hit lefties. And also why the stellar Dodger hitting coaches can't seem to teach Ethier to hit lefties even a LITTLE better. I know, I know - the players have to play. But what do we have coaches for?
Does this mean we CAN'T bash Mattingly?
@Mike Petriello Stan Kasten must have been in the bathroom and left Ned with a working cell phone.
1 year, 12 months ago on 40-Man Roster Questions Looming for Dodgers
Let's hope he is, for at least the next six weeks!
2 years ago on On the Idea of Trading Zach Lee
It's easy to fall into the all-too-common Dodger fan mindset that believes that a handful of prospects is the most valuable commodity of all. I don't believe that it is. We've been waiting forEVER for a winning ballclub, and with Kemp, Kershaw, and Ethier all here together, the time to field a winning team is NOW. That is why I would not mind if Zach Lee got traded for a Chase Headley for all the excellent reasons cited in this article. Sure we can keep all these wonderful prospects and dream about a winning future, but I for one am tired of this damned dreaming. It's time to start winning. If that means trading Zach Lee for a solid third baseman who fills a HUGE hole on the team, then great. I am all for it. The new owners have shown that they will pull out all the stops to restock the farm, so I am not worried about trading youngsters who MIGHT be stars when I'm hooked up to a breathing tube in a wheelchair. No thank you. I'm tired of waiting and I'm tired of seeing all these glorious future hall of famers flame out, one after another (Carlos Santana being the exception of course; thanks Ned). Even with all the injuries and weak lineup currently playing games for the Dodgers, remember that they play in a weak division. We realistically a couple of players away from a guaranteed playoff spot this year. Add Hamels and another hitter via free agency or trade in the offseason (keeping Ned's grubby PR fingers off any deal of course), and the Dodgers are true contenders.
It simply amazes me that this team is in first place.
2 years ago on Dodgers @ Diamondbacks July 5, 2012: Another One Bites the Dust