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.
|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|
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.
Random stat: since July 1, 2008, Russell Martin is at .248/.352/.330 (.681), with 16 HR in 1291 PA.
@MikeSciosciasTI and what day did don mattingley take over as hitting coach?
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.