19 September 2013

Big Rob's Take: The Fruits of Victory and a Dip in the Pool

Big Rob's take:

My fellow Dodger fans, I am at a loss for words. After years of suffering under the heel of the heel McCourt, we have been delivered from the hands of Pharaoh.

Today, the Dodger went ahead in the third when Hanley Ramirez hit a three run homerun. In the other half of the third, the D’Backs (whose name should be the Apaches) came back with six runs off Nolasco. The beast Goldschmidt drove in two that inning. The Dodgers mounted a comeback lead by Hanley and AJ Ellis. The final was 8-7 and the West was theirs. It was a pleasure to hear the Great Vin Scully commenting on the victory after the last out was recorded.

The Dodgers went into the club house to celebrate and a short time later, they ran out onto the field and jumped into the Diamondback (Apache) pool:

Miguel Montero and Gibby were probably steamed (editor's note: "F*** 'em - serves those headhunters right."). I’m sure this will not be the last time we will hear about this antic. Rabid Dodger fan Tolete commented that the Dodgers had probably urinated in the pool. I’m sure we will get a report tomorrow regarding the pool’s PH level. 

I hope this does not bring on The Curse of the Chase Field Pool.

The Dodgers have been shaky the last ten games. They should use the remaining games to rest some of the gimpy starters. It would be nice to have the best record in the National League but it would be better to go into the playoff with everyone healthy.

(Editor's note: the team with the best record in the NL has not won the WS since the Atlanta Braves pulled it off in 1995 - 18 years ago! Big Rob is right. Rest. Rest. Rest.)

17 September 2013

Big Rob's Take: Ice Cold

Big Rob on the Dodgers' recent struggles:

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a complete game 2 hitter last night. What a pitching performance! Only one problem, one of the two hits was a home run to Goldschmidt after he had given up his only walk of the game. That guy Goldschmidt should be caged.

The Dodgers have now lost four straight and can’t hit in the clutch to save their lives. Last night they couldn’t hit at all. They had four hits. The usually reliable Gonzalez has looked terrible. I hope they clinch the west soon so Gonzalez can have about a week off.

The Dodgers' great play after the All-Star game and the poor teams of the National League West will make them the division champs. After that, things don’t look promising. If they were going into the playoffs tomorrow, I would bet on three and out. The Dodgers have reverted back to the team we saw in May.

It appears that Hanley Ramirez is the key to this team. Hanley is out with a bad back and hamstring. They need to get this guy back healthy before the playoffs. Matt Kemp was activated yesterday. He came in to pinch hit and struck out. I think Kemp is just going to gum up the works. He should have taken the rest of the year off.


You've got a point, Big Rob. The team is playing arctic-level ball at the moment. Now -- is this just the natural regression that undoubtedly comes after a monumental stretch of play like the one earlier or have the wheels really begun to come off?

The benefit of having pretty much wrapped up the division is that we can send out the B-squads and rest the weary. A.J. Ellis looks gassed and I'd like to see Butera and Federowicz get more time behind the plate so that A.J. is fully rested for the postseason.

The optimal playoff lineup will not include Punto, Schumaker, and Chili Buss. If the team limps in these final few weeks -- I'm okay with that, as long as the limp heals before October 1. Kemp has these two weeks to audition for the postseason. He can't be allowed to play hurt and negatively affect the rest of the club. But it's hard to argue that he wouldn't help the team as long as he proves he's healthy enough to contribute.

The silver lining here is that Ryu pitched well and that no one else got hurt. The 9th inning decision to bunt Uribe would have made me furious in June but doesn't bother me so much now that the season is wrapped up. Hopefully Donnie will learn his lesson.

Finally, the most interesting topic that no one seems to be talking about is the finite number of spots on the playoff roster versus the multitude of active ballplayers on the current roster. The Dodgers clubhouse currently hosts 36 players. Who will make the postseason bullpen? Do you let Marmol, Wilson, League, and Volquez on the roster? Do you leave off Chris Withrow? How about the bench situation? Punto, Hairston, Schumaker, Young, and Kemp can't all be on the postseason squad. And Michael Young CANNOT start ahead of Uribe under any circumstance.

The final weeks of the season will be fascinating to watch in some ways and an absolute bore in others. September always has this saddening effect on me with football overtaking everyone's attention and the race for the postseason taking a back seat. Teams like the Mariners, Angels, Padres, Mets, and Twins play out the rest of their purgatorial schedules with no real hope of anything (except a higher draft pick.) Hopefully we get a few nice races for the Wild Cards and some neat moments like the Longoria walk-off two seasons ago or the Pirates clinching the division for the first time since my 20 year-old brother was in diapers. Either way, the Boys of Summer have come and gone and the Ghosts of early Autumn are here to stay until the postseason begins.

10 September 2013

Big Rob's Take: Uribe Smokes the D'Backs

My dad, Big Rob, is on the Uribe beat...


After the 2010 season Juan Uribe signed a three year $21 million dollar contract with the Dodgers. Uribe played like a first class bum for two years. Now, in the final year of his contract Uribe is playing very well, especially in the field, and he is hitting .279.

Last night, Uribe had four hits including three home runs. He drove in four runs. Ramirez, Gonzalez and Ethier also hit home runs. The Dodgers crushed the D’Backs 8-1. Ricky Nolasco pitched 6.1 strong innings and allowed only one unearned run.

Uribe’s 2010 signing was destined to go on the heap of uber bad deals dreamed up by good ole Ned Colletti. (Jason Schmidt three years, $47 million, Juan Pierre five year, $44 million, and Andruw Jones two year, $36 million). How Colletti survived these debacles is beyond me. The worst in my opinion was Schmidt. A blind man could have seen there was something wrong with him.

If the Dodgers win the World Series, the Uribe signing will be forgiven. I just hope Ned does not lose his brain and offer Uribe another three-year contract.

Notes: I really dislike the name Diamondbacks. I think the team ownership realizes that it’s a dumb name for a ball club. Evidence of this is how they have cut the name down to D’Backs. The team should have been named either the Phoenix Firebirds which was the name of the triple A club or Arizona Apaches with the head of a screaming Geronimo as the mascot. I prefer Apaches, political correctness be damned.


Thanks, Big Rob. Note that the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the management... I actually like that they're the D'Backs if only for this low-hanging fruit:

09 September 2013

Big Rob's Take: Red Broom Sweeps Dodgers

Big Rob's here to lament Los Angeles' recent string of losses.

The Dodgers went to Cincy on Friday to play their final three games against foes outside the Western Division. The Dodger bullpen lost all three games, each game by one run.

The wild card teams in the National League will most certainly come out of the Central Division. This means the Dodgers will play one of three teams: St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Cincy. They better hope it’s the Pirates.

The Dodgers are struggling with the bats again. They had one game in Denver that they hit the ball hard but since then they have gone flat. They managed only 7 runs in the three games with the Reds. They are still committing little league running blunders of which none can be blamed on The Cuban Rocket.

Kershaw pitched yesterday and though it is not obvious in the box score, he struggled. He hit three batters and gave up two solo homers. The thing about Kershaw is that when he does not have his best stuff, he is still better than most pitchers. He only gave up two runs and really battled. He gave his team a chance to win.

The bullpen is struggling. All of a sudden, Paco Rodriguez can’t get anyone out and Belisario, who lost two of the games, looks like the Ronald from the first half.

The Dodgers are fortunate to be in the weakest division in baseball. Though they lost four games in a row, they have managed to shave two games off the magic number thanks to the D’Backs’ poor play.

Dodgers Notes: Matt Kemp was sent to Rancho Cucamonga of the California League for a rehab assignment. He went 0-18. He was then sent to the Arizona Instructional League where he reinjured his hamstring. Kemp should be placed in a plastic bubble for the rest of the year.

A few weeks ago we learned that Dodgers fans would be spared from having to listen to Steiner, Monday, Psycho, and Collins full-time in 2014 when the Great Vin Scully announced he would return for the 2014 season. The Great Vin Scully has also been selected to be the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade. I may have to get up early New Year’s Day to hear his opening remarks.


Thanks, Big Rob!