The MLB season is 162 games. The Los Angeles Dodgers have played 34. Granted, 21 of those games have seen the blue crew come out on the bottom, but do they deserve the harsh criticism they have been getting?
The Dodgers lost their eighth straight game on Friday night. To make matters worse, that loss was at home and to the Miami Marlins who many consider the worst team in baseball.
L.A. has not won a series since beating the Milwaukee Brewers back in the fourth week in April. Forget winning a series for now though, they can’t even avoid getting swept.
What is manager Don Mattingly saying to his club right now? They are not a group of kids. They have a few veterans who’ve been there and done that, but not enough to take control of the locker room and scare the daylights out of a bunch of wide-eyed rookies. It’s not like that in L.A.
Two key pieces are on the DL and two key pieces just aren’t performing as expected.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez worked so hard to return from a wrist injury that he forgot to stretch his hamstrings. Pitcher Zack Greinke, in a momentary lapse of reason, traded his career on the mound for a career in the boxing ring. Both of those boo-boos have the Dodgers smarting no doubt.
Everyone in Chavez Ravine is whispering what’s wrong with Matt Kemp and Josh Beckett has not won a game off the mound while losing four. Toss in Andre Ethier’s everyday regular right fielder numbers and the sub-par performances from a trio of third baseman, and that’s the blue crew in a nutshell.
But do they deserve to be crucified just yet? They are in last place. The defending world champs are in their division along with two—maybe three, upstarts. And those three upstarts have the payroll of an American Legion team.
It seems unfair to point the finger at Mattingly. We love Donny Baseball! Remember when he ate popcorn out of that kid’s bag while chasing a foul ball when he was the New York Yankees’ first baseman? That was so cute.
Unfortunately, for Mattingly, he’s in charge of this gang. There are some big checkbooks behind the whole blue show that want to see some wins. And more so want to see fannies in the seats. And Dodger fans only show up when they’re winning.
Maybe they just need a little more time. Maybe we should put somebody else under the magnifying glass and let the Dodgers work things out for themselves. They have 128 games left to do so.