Injuries Hit Angels Even Harder Than Dodgers

Sure, the Dodgers have had injuries, principally to their starting staff, though to the middle and bottom of the group, not to the top, and in left field, where the team has unusual depth. But imagine if the team had lost, for an extended period like up to a full year or more, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager. Well, that’s the spot the Angels are in, with their number one starter, Garrett Richards, out for one to one-and-one-half seasons, with their next best starter, Andrew Heanery, out for

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maybe the season or longer, with their star closer, Huston Street, out indefinitely, and with their shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, out a couple of months. Throw in veteran starter C.J. Wilson, out likely for the season, and their own injuries in left field, first to Daniel Nava, now back on the field, but now to Craig Gentry, plus to the guy who would have replaced Simmons, Cliff Pennington.

As the Angels’ injuries mounted, they began losing. On April 27, they were at .500 (which the Dodgers matched only two days later), Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Center Field Debate is OVER

So many pundits, and a lot of fans, looked at how bad Joc Pederson hit the last two months of last season, and totally discounted the great hitting he did in the first half of the season, his tremendous defense that never wavered despite his offensive problems, his

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great team spirit and dedication, and the fact that a year ago he was universally considered one of the top three or four prospects in all of baseball.

Compounding the problem was the Dodgers’ three way trade of the off season, bringing to the team second tier prospect Trayce Thompson, the son of local radio broadcaster and former LA Laker, Mychal Thompson, whose legion of friends in the broadcasting
world led a winter and spring campaign to dump Pederson and install Thompson junior as the team’s center fielder. Their constant and deceitful rhetoric ignored the facts Continue reading

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Dodgers .500 Record Still Good Enough in NL West

I’ve written repeatedly that the National League West is the worst division in baseball, and nothing that has happened within the division so far this young season has worked to dispel that truism. As the Dodgers, in first place in the division at 12-12, prepare for the second game of their three game series with San Diego, no team in the West is over .500, and the division, yet to play an interleague game, boasts a record of 5-11 against NL East teams and sits at 12-17 versus National League Central teams, for an overall record outside of its moribund domain of 17-28, a won-lost record befitting the 2015-2016 Los Angeles Lakers. It won’t get better anytime soon for the Dodgers, as once they finish the current

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series with the Padres, they meet their first taste of American League East teams, first with two in Tampa Bay to then be followed with a three game set in Toronto. And then, despite coming home, it gets really tough, with a four game set against the Mets followed by three with the Cardinals.

Unlike the high-flying Mets, neither the Rays nor
the Blue Jays nor the Cards have gotten off to stellar starts either, but they play in significantly tougher divisions than the Dodgers, Continue reading

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Dodgers Will Never Live it Down

I wrote how embarrassed the Dodgers were after losing the first two games of their early season series against the lowly Miami Marlins, now under the stewardship of their former empty uniform non-manager don mattingly, and since then, the world that use to be occupied by the Dodgers and their fans has exploded into a mass of unrecognizable rubble, never to be the same again, as the team and its legion of unbelieving followers wakes up

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this fine Friday morn to realize it was not a nightmare, but realty, that in fact, they had lost four straight games to Miami and mattingly, and were now the laughingstock of the baseball world.

The Marlins came from behind to beat the Dodgers and rookie starter Ross Stripling, and then they beat Clayton Kershaw, a once-in-a-millennium occurrence, and they beat Scott Kazmir as expected, though
Marlins’ starter Justin Nicolino and a group of nondescript relievers Continue reading

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Jared Goff to the Rams – Will it Work?

A few days ago, I wrote about how neither of the top two quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft, Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, were franchise-caliber players, capable of transforming a franchise and leading it to multiple Super Bowls. In fact, most of the top scouting and ranking authorities ranked neither player among the top ten available in the draft that began this evening, eastern time. Well, public relations, team needs, and marketing led the new Los Angeles Rams and the moribund Philadelphia Eagles to make one-sided, misguided trades, to move up to the number one and number two draft positions in the first round, and lo and behold, the Rams selected Goff number one, followed by the Eagles selection of Wentz at number two.

This is a major gamble for both teams, especially for the Rams, who as I wrote, have given away the franchise in order to move up, and if Goff does not become a miracle worker, Continue reading

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Dodgers Should be Embarrassed

At the so-far lowest point of the managerial career of new Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts, and as the vivid bright green hues of total embarrassment should be coloring every inch of Dodger Stadium, players’ faces included, we can rely on the talent and competitiveness of tonight’s starting pitcher to bring the team back and produce a victory in the third game of the current four-game series against Miami and former Dodger’s pretender-in-chief, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly. Oh, wait – tonight’s starter is Scott Kazmir.

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Scratch that thought. Even mattingly, especially as he is now being helped out by the suddenly red hot Giancarlo Stanton, should ease his team into a fourth straight win tonight. Recovering from his horrendous injury of mid-season 2015, Stanton had a slow start this season, but has now homered in three straight games, going six for twelve and raising his batting average 53 points. The Marlins are now 5-1 in games in which he has homered, 3-10 when he has not.

The $48-Million-Dollar-Man Kazmir has been remarkably consistent so far this season, Continue reading

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Phenom’s Misplay Makes Up for Dodgers’ Bullpen Woes

Just as I predicted, on Saturday Kenta Maeda pitched another great game and somehow Dodgers’ relievers snuck in five outs between and after three hits and a run to hand a lead over to Kenley Jansen, and the team won the game I knew they would against the Rockies, 4-1. And my analysis was again spot-on Sunday, when Alex Wood and two others from the

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arson squad, including its newest fire-starter, Luis Avilán, were absolutely horrid, and the Dodgers headed into the ninth inning down three runs, 10-7.

Wood, though in part a victim of bad breaks and bad weather, allowed five runs, all earned, over five innings, raising his season ERA to an even 6.00. He was followed to the mound by Pedro Baez and Adam Liberatore who did well, getting through two scoreless innings, despite
allowing three base runners. But then it was time for the arson squad. Continue reading

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Maeda is Dodgers’ One and Only Shot in Colorado

What I wrote yesterday prior to the Dodgers series opener in Colorado happened pretty much as I wrote it, first with Scott Kazmir again awful on the mound for LA, giving up an early lead after two first inning Dodgers’ home runs, but then still leaving the game with a lead, only to have the bullpen, this time in the personage of Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher, give the game away. While the bullpen will not have improved overnight, the

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Dodgers’ second most reliable starter, Kenta Maeda, starts today, and hopefully he’ll get enough run support and remain in the game long enough to record a win.

Another resurrection project will be the on the mound for the Rockies in Tyler Chatwood, who will be making his fourth start of 2016 after missing very close to two full seasons following Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old came up to the majors in
2011 with the Angels, and after a less than overwhelming rookie season (6-11 in 25 starts, Continue reading

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Dodgers Face Rockies and Season Debut of Jon Gray

Fresh off a more difficult than should have been series in Atlanta where the Dodgers struggled mightily to win two of three against one of baseball’s three worst teams, the Dodgers and their erratic pitching staff now face three games in the hitters’ paradise that is Colorado’s Coors’ Field. With Scott Kazmir set to open the series, followed by Kenta Maeda and then Alex Wood, the recently decent bullpen will be called upon to do triple duty over the weekend, and it will not be pretty. Led by rookie sensation Trevor Storey (8 home runs, 14 RBI), the second place Rockies lead the major leagues with 26 home runs,

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lead the National League in slugging percentage at .500, and are second in the NL in both team batting average and OPS. Conversely, the Dodgers with a team total of only nine home runs through the first 16 games of the season, rank above only those Braves and the Pirates, and they are tenth in the league in OPS and 11th in slugging. Those numbers should take a giant leap upward with the three Coors’ games, but will they get enough pitching to turn scoring into wins?
Continue reading

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LA Rams’ Trade: A Disaster for Years to Come

Slap-happy Los Angeles football fans have been jubilant since the LA Rams pulled off their blockbuster trade last week, securing the NFL Draft’s number one pick in order to be in a position to draft a franchise quarterback that will lead the team to prominence and frequent Super Bowl appearances. The problem is, there is no franchise quarterback available in the 2016 NFL draft, and by trading away a parcel of draft picks, they have lost their ability to take advantage of what is otherwise an excellent group of prospects at other positions. Fans and team officials are blinded by the idea of a quick fix if they think that either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz is a generational quarterback that can be the savior of

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the franchise. There are franchise-caliber future mega-stars in this draft, but they play positions such as linebacker and cornerback, for example. and they would be far better choices for the Rams.

Speculation is rampant as to which of the two quarterbacks the team will choose, Goff, who led the Cal Bears to an extremely disappointing 4-5 Pac-12 conference record that included a four-game conference losing streak and an ugly 35-22
loss to rival Stanford, or Wentz, who led his Division Too-Low-To-Rank North Dakota State Bisons to a title, beating up on such football powers as Weber State, Northern Iowa Continue reading

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Last Night’s Dodgers’ Win Actually a MONUMENTAL Loss

The box score may read LA Dodgers 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1, but the losers of that game were not the now and forever insidious and moribund Diamondbacks, who should have been locking up title to last place in the NL West by now, but rather the Dodgers, whose manager Dave Roberts had to resort to late-September pennant-race tactics to win

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what should have been an all-too-easy laugher against a far inferior team.

And the reason for all this was the same reason the then high-flying Dodgers crashed and burned in San Francisco, and will continue to lose games that should be easy wins.

In today’s interpretation of the game of baseball as it is played in the major leagues, each team has a “Closer”, a pitching specialist whose job it is to
pitch a single, solitary inning, Continue reading

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Free Agent Showdown at A T & T

This afternoon the possessors of the fifth and ninth worst free agent contracts of the 2015-2016 off season square off against each other as the Dodgers and Giants play the final game of their first series of the year. But first, a look at Worst Contract Number 4 and the $206.5 Million dollar man, former Dodgers’ starter Zack Greinke, currently under the

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employ of the now and forever insidious and moribund ownership and management of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A former nice guy and solid starter, Greinke lost his place in the decency standard when he took the bags of money and ran to of all places, Arizona, and his horrendous start this season, at least for now removing him from the upper echelon of active pitchers, could not have happened to a more deserving person. For the record, the $206.5 Million dollar pitcher has started two games this
young season, and he has managed to complete the grand total of 10 innings pitched allowing 11 earned runs on 16 hits and four walks, for an ERA of 9.90 Continue reading

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