Off Base
I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!

June 11, 2007

What an awful week of baseball. And I’m not just talking about Juan Pierre.

Sure, Pierre had an awful week, but we’re into week 12 of the season, and Pierre’s had eight or nine just like this last one. What’s new about that?

The Dodgers, the whole lot of them, had an awful week. Just atrocious; worse than can be gleaned from the 2-5 record. You had to be there. Or watch the majority on the tube, painful as it might’ve been.

The series against Toronto and future-Dodger Troy Glaus had it all. Everything the 2007 Dodgers do badly was on display in this one weekend.

Sunday, it was Jason Schmidt looking like Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko, Brett Tomko looking like Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko, and most frighteningly, Mark Hendrickson looking like Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko.

Plus, you had Juan Pierre, as he often does, looking like Willie Davis in that one inning of the 1966 World Series. Clueless. And of course, no day off for Russell Martin.

On Friday and Saturday, the Dodgers, uninspired by inspiring starting pitching, left runners all over the lot, blew a save, and were lucky to come away with a single win. And no day off for Russell Martin.

Meanwhile, Grady Little says the promoting of Matt Kemp and James Loney means rest for Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez and Jeff Kent, adding incorrectly that it wasn’t possible before. And of course, no mention of a day off for Russell Martin.

Look, generally I’m down with Little as the skipper. I like the guy. I’m baffled when he slips into a bizarre impersonation of Jim Tracy, but I like the guy. I don’t understand the constant use of the sacrifice, especially with batters who haven’t accomplished the task since high school, if then, but I like the guy.

But Thursday night in San Diego was something else indeed. I was there, and I’m telling you – actually, I can’t tell you – you had to be there; but for your sake, I truly hope you weren’t.

Little’s Tracy impression was almost lost in the nightmare that was the Padres five-run ninth, but not quite. With the game in hand, 5-1, the Dodgers having driven Jake Peavy from the box, Chad Billingsley was cruising to a three-inning save in the eighth.

Over-managing a la Tracy, Little went to Joe Beimel for an out. OK, fine; it wasn’t necessary, but he got the out. Greedy with a four-run lead, Little opted for a hitter, didn’t get the extra tally, and handed the ball to Jonathan Broxton.

Three ugly plays by non-rested infielders Garciaparra and Kent, a couple of hits and a walk later, the Dodgers had handed the Pads a monumental victory, and experienced what we can only hope was the worst lost of the season. And just think: Lance Carter and Danys Baez were not involved in the decision.

The “Beat L.A.” chant that ensued, and the war-like drumbeat that accompanied, was absolutely deafening. Aerosmith deafening. And talk about your baseball climax. Petco Park was in collective orgasm. Worst baseball experience of my life, bar none. Put Jack Clark to shame.

And dig this. I’d gotten off the phone with my man Casey at the Dodgers season ticket office five minutes before heading to the yard. No joke, I’m in for the final 45 home games. And my loss is your gain. Here’s the deal:

DODGERS SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW. Get em while they’re not hot. Yes, you too can be a part of the family. Starting July 1, thirty-four of the final 45 home games are on sale, and not just at face price; but season ticket face price. And one of the best deals in the stadium. No exaggeration.

The seats are on the infield, just a tad beyond third base; the perfect angle to watch the revolving door of third baseman that are sure to play there the rest of the way.

“Lower Reserve” section 23, row E, as in “E-5,” as in available 3B Eduardo Perez. That's on the infield, in the fifth row of the blue section, right on top of the press box.

I've got two seats, at $14 bucks per ticket, which is $6 below the day of game price, and 1/2 the day of game price for a seat one section over. Don't ask, don't tell, but you can hold hands with a guy paying 28 bucks for the privilege. Please email for a list of available games, and feel free to take just one game, two or whatever you like.

If you buy 10 games, you're assured a chance to buy an NLDS game at face price. Buy 15, and you can have an NLCS game. Order 20 and guarantee yourself an NLDS and an NLCS game. And I’ll put it in writing…

BTW: You were thinking it couldn't get any worse for the Dodgers? Well, there's no rest for the weary, pal. Dodger-killer Shawn Green comes off the disabled list today, just in time for the New York Mets arrival in Los Angeles. Enjoy...

Home Run Challenge: Thanks for listening, Major League Baseball. I’ve been harping on this for three years. Finally, baseball’s worthy prostate cancer awareness slash fundraising effort is being waged with Michael Milken’s name off the marquee. It shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but better late than never.

Baseball has enough criminals, near-criminals and former criminals in the midst. His friendship with Tommy Lasorda notwithstanding, Michael Milken didn’t belong.

And props to the Prostate Cancer Foundation for almost completely excising Milken’s name from the website. It’s not in your face on the home page, nor on the about page. I’m not going to tell you where to look, but if you do stumble onto the man’s name, you’ll find the subtle changing of “Michael” to “Mike.” As if we wouldn’t notice.

Anyway guys; get checked. And if you’re able, give generously…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Media Savvy: "The Sopranos" is over, OK. What do you say we partake in a little moratorium of the word “whacked.”

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….







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