Folks, meet T.J. Simers. He is the second half of the Flaming Dipshits at the L.A. Times, along with WPS. Unlike Plaschke, Simers typically has a shtick and tries to be witty and humorous in his articles: he fails miserably at both. Add his smartass tone to his dumbass statements and, well, you get this from a few days ago, in how… well, kids = mean and bad. There’s several of these articles lately and while I’d love to rip every one of them, I’ll try to restrain myself… somewhat. Anyways…
After spending about a fourth of the article rambling on about McCourt, Simers finally decides to start talking about his actual article. Let the surgery begin…
Next year it will be the young leading the younger, unless Colletti really does have what it takes, a shrewd baseball man making the case that youth must be dealt here and there for just the right performer to bring it all together on the big stage in L.A.Easy to say, “just go with the kids,” but check with your friends in Kansas City.
Am I the only one that catches the irony in this statement? That he wants us to check with our friends in Kansas City, while the day he wrote the article, the Dodgers were getting their asses handed them by another youth movement, the first place Diamondbacks?
I really shouldn’t have to explain the difference with all of this, but what the hell…
Kansas City sucks because they have a very worthless and cheap owner who does not put money back in his team, hence their $47 million payroll, which ranked them 26 out of 30 in 2006. They also have had complete idiots running their organization. Combine this with their low payroll and not only is KC forced to play kids, but very likely also some bad ones too. Contrast this to the great scouting department formerly headed by savior Logan White which have enabled the Dodgers to have successful drafts, and you might notice a few differences.
They have been brought along as a pampered group in the minors, which is going to make it quite the challenge for the next veteran acquired to crack the clique.
And just wait until you really get to know your heroes: Matt Kemp, offering as much promise as any prospect in baseball, but also a jerk in the making and one of those gifted athletes who doesn’t necessarily have to work hard to get by.
James Loney, hardworking and solid in performance, is also packing an attitude that suggests he needs no more help to prosper.
You’re just going to love cheering for a group of arrogant pro athletes.
But right before we do that, let’s get to know some of TJ’s heroes…
Wait until you get to know Luis Gonzalez. Sure, ol’ Gonzo might be a saint to the media and the community, but how about we go back to last year where, despite being the biggest face in Arizona’s history, they let him go because even THEY knew he was done? Yes, that leadership of Gonzo’s was really apparent last year when he bitched over playing time, despite hovering around .260 at the time. Yes, his leadership was astounding when he wasn’t interested in playing mentor to those kids who are currently in first place right now… cocky young bastards.
And wait until you get to know the leadership of Nomar Garciaparra, who made himself a complete malcontent to get out of Boston. Yeah, he was one of the best shortstops in history from about 1997-2000, but let’s go back to the leadership he showed during his last two years there. Go talk to Red Sox fans and see how they felt about his constant sulking in the dugout during the 2003 ALCS, as well as how he managed to completely alienate himself with Red Sox fans. Or better yet… is he still nursing that achilles tendon?
As for Jeff Kent… I actually like the guy, but let’s not start.
Hard to argue right now with either Kemp or Loney, both finding this game pretty easy to play, and shoving their batting averages into the faces of anyone who might disagree.
And I hope they continue to shove their batting averages, on base percentages, slugging percentages, and every other damn statistic in yours and the other idiots in the local media, as… oh, I don’t know, their performance is actually what counts. But, no, instead of focusing on them playing a large part of winning ballgames and even making it this far, let’s smear them because… they’re not nice?
As long as they keep hitting the crap out of the ball, give me James Loney’s swagger or Matt Kemp’s cockiness any day over the candy ass “my ballplayers are role models and bring signed bats to the kids at the YMCA” propaganda. I hate to be the one to break this but: most ballplayers have egos. Big ones. If Loney and Kemp do, whatever. Just don’t make an ass out of yourself and imply that some of the veterans, like some on the Dodgers who have proven to be bitchy and malcontents at some point, don’t because they once went and played canasta with Sophia Pertrillo at Shady Pines.
We’ll learn more, of course, when baseball slaps them around a little bit, like it does to just about everyone.
Let’s recall their pampered way to making it to where they are…
James Loney – Pampered into the big leagues after hitting .380 at Triple-A last year, which led EVERY ONE in the minor leagues. Eventually comes up in late September after Nomar gets hurt again and goes bat shit crazy and also sets the L.A. single game RBI record, comes up with a key RBI hit in game three of the NLDS which put us back in the game… at least briefly (incredibly small sample size, but he went 3-4 in that series). Then after rewarding him by re-signing Nomar to a two-year deal, he goes and outhits every one in Spring Training by hitting near .450, only to get sent to Las Vegas until June 10th, with Nomar well into his 1 HR season. And despite this and despite Loney going 22 for his first 50 once being called up, he still couldn’t find consistent playing time and, when he did play, he would hit like 7th. Also, because Mr. Carne Asada Man still needed to be getting at-bats at first base, the organization then thought: “Hey, you know what we should do with his Gold Glove caliber defense at 1B? Let’s put it in the outfield!,” which led to Loney almost blowing out his knee. Quite the charmed life you’ve had, James! Cinderella would be envious.
Say you’re Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier – You had to sit on the bench throughout the first half because somehow Juan Pierre justified starting, even though he couldn’t get on base and do… well, anything productive. But due to his high salary and consecutive games streak, he got to start, while Kemp and Ethier had to needlessly platoon, despite having, unlike Pierre, the power the Dodgers sorely needed. Then once Gonzo started tanking in the second half, which just happens to be when Ethier went on a tear, Andre STILL has to fight for playing time and when he sometimes got it, our moronic manager thinks it’s a great idea to put him in the 8 spot. Then there are the times Matt Kemp would get benched a few games at a time, the list goes on. However could there be division in the clubhouse?!
That’s some of the growing pains that Dodgers fans will still have to endure too, Jonathan Broxton going through it right now, and folks, how does that feel?
Well, let’s see:
Jonathan Broxton 2007:
2.96 ERA, 137 ERA+ and a 1.17 WHIP.
That feels pretty fucking good, TJ! In fact, it feels a lot better than enduring the geriatric pains of some of the elderly we’ve had to watch this season.
By the way: no doubt Broxton blew some big games for us this September, but it’s pretty convenient to forget his recent admission of arm problems, isn’t it? Or the fact that he’s worked a career high in innings? Not to mention how convenient it is to forget that, even despite his blowup in September, he still has those numbers. Oh, the horror of having to endure that!
There are questions about Andy LaRoche’s makeup and ability to make it, and who knows if a moody Andre Ethier can take it to another level.
Not if they have a manager who has preferred to play a washed up Nomar and a bitchy Gonzo.
It’s Colletti’s job to figure that out before anyone else, make his own moves and mark as a GM, and stop a disgraceful Dodgers slide now two decades in the making.
But right now there’s no reason to believe that’ll happen.
No, because Ned Colletti’s philosophy thus far has been to sign old, washed up veterans who are in rapid decline, only because they’re “veterans”. Somehow this “veteraness” becomes, in Colletti’s eyes, more important than actual production. Sure, there are things that can be learned from veterans, Greg Maddux last year case in point. There’s just one tiny problem to that: if you’re now in a big decline and these same kids are now threatening your job security, securing a contract and getting playing time will likely take precedence over playing mentor. Again, Gonzo has made numerous comments to the press this year about playing time. Easy to blame that on the kids, but, uh, again, go back last year when he did the same thing in Arizona, despite not really bringing it. That’s not selfish? Having people now go to the press saying that they’re against a youth movement because of either their advanced age or other reasons pertinent to them isn’t being selfish? Sure it is. The attitude itself is contradicting: “Uh… say, kids, I don’t really want a youth movement and I want to play more over you guys and I let Grady know that and now the press… but… uh, dammit, why aren’t you letting me teach you and letting me show you guys leadership and professionalism?!”
You see, I don’t really care one way or the other, as long as the players actually perform, but just don’t come and sell it as them being “character guys”; that’s just stupid.
Which brings me to the irony of this entire article. Simers – and, for that matter, most of the damn local media – constantly bitches about how pathetic the organization has been run for the past 20 years and he’s actually right on that. So what’s he suggesting to fix this? To finally stop handing lots of money to old veterans near the end of their careers and go back to bringing kids up from the system, like how most successful Dodger teams did it?
No! Let’s change the way the organization has been run the past 20 years and do… more of the same.
Let’s trade the best crop of kids the Dodgers have had in over 30 years and trade them for some gritty veteraness. Guys who will walk out there and say: “My name is Ron Coomer and I am going to stuff myself with 44 Krispy Kreme donuts to turn on my experience and flash my winning smile and steal home because I am a motherfucking gritty veteran who also helps old ladies cross the street and that means something!” Who needs James Loney, when we could ship him off and go back to the veterany days of Todd Hundley and Marquis Grissom? Sure, they weren’t really that good, but, man, were they funny in the clubhouse! Let’s replace Matt Kemp with the winning attitude of Devon White. I miss seeing “DE-VO!” flashing on the scoreboard. Let’s lure Jeremy Burnitz out of retirement… he might be old and not that good, but look at how much he would care when he screwed up… you just can’t learn that yourself! It just really means something. We can even dig up the corpse of Otis Nixon (yes, I know he’s still alive). In fact, I have a better idea: as a gift for his 80th birthday, let’s install Lasorda as GM again. It’s about damn time we make another Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw trade.
Until then… I’ll just endure watching James Loney go 3-5 with yet another HR and 3 RBI’s as he now has a league leading 28 RBI’s this month, or check out Chin-Lung Hu the fuck are you (what, you thought I’d let the Hu jokes go?!) and Delwyn Young hit HR’s, or Andy LaRoche’s two hits, Matt Kemp with another hit, etc., etc.
Hey, it wasn’t all bad. At least we got to see the experience of Roberto Hernandez.