Yet Somehow, the Dodgers Are Only 3.5 Out of First

Quick hits to wrap up a holiday weekend:

* Baseball Tonight on Kershaw: 100% positive reviews. I’m not totally sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. 

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* Cubs blog Wrigleyville23 linked here and to the other usual suspects (SOSG, 6-4-2, DodgerThoughts) as part of their series preview, along with the note,

By and large, the Dodgers blogs are of a much higher quality and quantity than others we’ve seen lately (I’m looking at you, Houston).

I couldn’t help but wonder about their distaste for Houston, so I went back to their Astros preview post:

It’s hard to play Around The Blogs when opposing team’s blogs aren’t doing their part – namely not blogging. Such is the case with the Houston Astros. Nobody seems to be following them (cyberly).

There’s an SBN blog, an MVN blog, and a place called Spikes ‘n Stars, which doesn’t seem to like interleague play too much.

Other than that, I found a few blogs that haven’t been updated in months. Am I missing others?

You know what? With all of the quality Dodger blogs out there, maybe I picked the wrong team to follow (20 years ago…) Stay tuned for the relaunch of Jeff Bagwell’s Tragic Illness.

* As excited as I was to watch Kershaw’s debut, I got about 150% more pumped when I realized that a standard 5-day schedule would put him in Shea Stadium against the Mets on Friday night… which, not so coincidentally, is where I will be on Friday night. Score!

* Re: today’s loss to the Cubs. I was keeping an eye on this one while at holiday festivities, and its not hard to say that I had a few “issues” with Torre’s game management today. That said, Rob at 6-4-2 beat me to most of them:

  • Why didn’t Chad Billingsley attempt a suicide squeeze in the fifth with one out and runners on the corners? The Dodgers have been having trouble scoring runs; it seems like smallball is eminently called for in that circumstance.
  • Why was Chin-Lung Hu held at third on Kemp’s double? It would have taken a perfect throw to get him.
  • Why did Mark Sweeney get the start at first? Loney may be scuffling, but … c’mon…
  • To which I would add, why did Loney pinch hit for Luis Maza in the 8th? Maza’s only hitting .438 since his recall. I’m certainly not suggesting that Maza’s a better hitter than Loney, just that Maza’s not a guy who needs to be hit for right now. Had Torre held onto Loney (or had him hit for the next batter, Park, rather than sending up Delwyn Young) then either Loney or Young would have been available to hit for Chin-Lung Hu with 2 outs in the 9th as the tying run at the plate, rather than letting Hu go up looking completely overmatched, and have him predictably strike out to end the game.

    * By the way, Mark Sweeney? Yeah, he’s now hitting a solid .100. Come on; this is getting embarrassing. Why is he still taking a place on this team? He can’t hit; he can’t field. He serves zero purpose whatsoever. I know there’s injury issues right now – I get that. But still. You can’t tell me there’s no one better to take up a roster spot right now. Like, oh, I don’t know: Andy LaRoche?!

    * Which brings us to our newest cause up top, with Andruw Jones out of sight and out of mind. It’s time to get Andy LaRoche up here. (Westsidedodger the first to point this out). Make no mistake, this is not a criticism of Blake DeWitt, who deserves to keep his job. But this team has been struggling on offense for quite a while, and it’s starting to not look like a slump anymore. It’s really time to get the best bats available up in the bigs. And guys who are OPS’ing .932 and getting on base almost half the time (.476 OBP) in AAA count as “best bats available.” In terms of the 25-man roster, it’s simple. Less Sweeney, more LaRoche. As for playing time, it wouldn’t kill DeWitt to only start five days a week, and it’s not like we couldn’t use another third baseman when Russell Martin is still in the conversation for getting time there. Usually I’m staunchly against in support of the  ”don’t bring up a young guy if he may not see a ton of time because it’d hurt his development” theory, but LaRoche really has absolutely nothing to prove in the minors any more. Get him up, let him hit. He can play 3B once or twice a week and get some on-the-job training at 2B. Risky? Hell yeah. But I really believe it’d be worth it.

    - Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

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