Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

WILL DODGERS LEARN FROM THIS WORLD SERIES?

Arch-Rival Giants Win Third In Five Years

 

November 3, 2014

The new owners of the Dodgers arrived with a plan – outspend every opponent and win the World Series pretty often.

They have produced a couple of highly competitive teams, but there's been no World Series appearance yet while the Dodgers' arch-rivals, the San Francisco Giants, just won their third World Series in the last five years.

I think the Dodgers must revamp their plan. They have to continue spending a lot but don't make the mistake again of spending on free agents who have had success in the past but may be past their prime.

For example, the Dodgers signed relief pitchers to honor baseball's new idea of having one for the seventh inning, another for the eighth and another for the ninth.

But the seventh inning guy, Chris Perez, did so poorly he didn't even make the playoff roster. The eighth inning guy, Brandon League, also faltered, as did another man signed to do that job, Brian Wilson. Only the ninth inning closer, Kenley Jansen, had a reasonably good season.

That's just the beginning. Equally important was the lack of chemistry throughout the roster. Four outfielders for three positions, with Andre Ethier becoming the odd man out. Yasiel Puig's erratic ways which went along with his remarkable talent.

Manager Don Mattingly had to answer a lot of questions about the team's poor chemistry. He didn't deny the fact this was not a smooth-functioning squad.

The Dodgers have made their first move by demoting Ned Colletti, their general manager of the last nine years and hiring Andrew Friedman, a much younger man representing the art of choosing players not only with proven big league talent but some virtually unknown who've done well in the minor leagues.

It remains to be seen if Friedman's way of choosing players, which worked so well in small-market Tampa Bay, will translate to success in major market Los Angeles.

The Dodgers have hired a man who gets high marks for what he accomplished in Tampa Bay. But only another playoff appearance with the Dodgers lasting longer than the last two years will satisfy fans here who expect so much.

And it's hard for Dodger fans to accept the fact it's the Giants who are accomplishing what the Dodgers haven't been able to do.

Both World Series teams, the Giants and Kansas City Royals, had players who talked about how well they got along and helped each other.

The Royals, in their first World Series in 29 years, sacrificed for each other and helped make this championship event so memorable.

When they scored a run early in the game it frequently came with a stolen base and then an infield out which moved up a baserunner.

Nobody was trying to be a hero. They were merely trying to give their team an edge.

This World Series reminded me of the opposite scene at Dodger Stadium one Sunday afternoon when the Dodgers hit into a double play with Puig moving from second to third.

Then, an astonishing scene followed. Puig kept running and was out by about 25 feet to make it a triple play.

I watched that game on Direc TV's baseball channel. Two analysts were discussing the game afterward. One spoke and the other didn't respond, leaving about 10 seconds of dead air time.

Finally the first man asked the other what was wrong.

"I'm speechless, the commentator said, "I'm like Vin Scully with Puig rounding third."

Dodger fans hope for a less reckless brand of baseball from their team next season.

 

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