Where Were You Five Years Ago?

Five years ago tonight, nearing the end of a 71-91 disaster which cost Jim Tracy and Paul DePodesta their jobs, the Dodgers trotted out this legendary lineup, losing 7-4 to Arizona in 12 innings.

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA
Willy Aybar 3B 6 1 2 0 0 1 .389
Oscar Robles SS 6 1 2 0 0 0 .271
Jeff Kent 2B 5 2 2 3 1 0 .296
Olmedo Saenz 1B 4 0 1 0 1 0 .274
Yhency Brazoban P 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Antonio Perez PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 .312
Duaner Sanchez P 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Jose Cruz RF 6 0 2 0 0 0 .248
Mike Edwards LF 4 0 0 0 1 1 .256
Jason Phillips C 3 0 1 0 0 0 .235
Hong-Chih Kuo P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ricky Ledee PH 0 0 0 1 0 0 .283
Jason Grabowski PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 .159
Steve Schmoll P 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Hee-Seop Choi 1B 1 0 0 0 0 1 .252
Jason Repko CF 5 0 2 0 0 1 .217
Jeff Weaver P 1 0 0 0 1 0 .235
Brian Myrow PH 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333
Mike Rose C 2 0 0 0 0 0 .200
Team Totals 44 4 12 4 5 5 .273
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/23/2010.

It’s a pretty horrifying list, especially if you remember following that season closely. That collection (Kent aside) of has-beens, never-was’s, and holy-crap-its-Jason-Grabowskis played 27 games in September of 2005.¬† They went 9-18, averaging 3.93 runs per game.

After yet another dreadful (and let’s be honest, boring) performance from this year’s club tonight, managing just three hits, they’ve played 19 games in September. They’re 5-14, and averaging 2.47 runs per game.

This year’s club won’t lose 91 games; at worst they can lose 89, and even that’s unlikely. But this really illustrates my primary concern with naming Don Mattingly manager before the season was over, perhaps even moreso than his lack of managerial experience. This team totally rolled over and died weeks ago, and it seems that Joe Torre and Mattingly are completely powerless to do anything about it. After everything that’s happened this year, and with the way the season is ending with a whimper, this team needed a new presence – even if it wasn’t Tim Wallach.

The 2005 had far less talent than this year’s club, I think we can all agree. That debacle is probably only going to end up being just slightly worse than this year’s, and that caused multiple heads to roll. Yet, we want to keep the same culture headed into next year because… well, why, again?

******

I had an interesting and somewhat unexpected realization on Twitter tonight, after I posted a random fact about Russell Martin‘s line over the last two-plus years.

Me:

Random stat: since July 1, 2008, Russell Martin is at .248/.352/.330 (.681), with 16 HR in 1291 PA.

I_Alivandi:

@MikeSciosciasTI and what day did don mattingley take over as hitting coach?

Me:

Ha. July 18, 2008. RT @I_Alivandi: @MikeSciosciasTI and what day did don mattingley take over as hitting coach?

For the record, I don’t believe there’s a 1:1 correlation there. If there’s anything responsible for Martin’s decline, it’s that Grady Little and Joe Torre played him until he was about to drop. Still, I posted those stats to show that his subpar performance has been going on for quite some time, and it’s striking to see how closely the dates do align.

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  1. [...] actually been a pretty mediocre bat for over two years, since mid-2008. As I mentioned earlier this week, Martin has hit just .248/.352/.330 (.681), with 16 HR in 1291 PA, since July 1, [...]