Off Base
Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Los Angeles Dodgers

August 12, 2006

We get letters. Oh man, do we get letters.

In fact, with the possible exception of the time I suggested T.J. Simers was Cooperstown-worthy, this past week has been our loudest, longest stretch of angry letters to the editor.

One guy said, “Are you still being a cynic?! Nine straight games is no fluke!!! Get your head outta the bleeping sand, you blankety-blank, bleep!!!! What the bleep is wrong with you??!!!!!"

Look, all I said was, the Dodgers might be toast. I never said the team was toast; just that they might be toast. So get off my bleeping back, OK.

All they’d won was four straight when I said they might be toast. I left myself plenty of wiggle room. I knew ten straight wins was a distinct possibility. Shoot, anyone with half a brain knew ten straight wins was a distinct possibility.

I mean, the Dodgers turnabout was so thoroughly predictable ten days ago, Tommy Lasorda went on a hunger strike. Yeah, Lasorda. Said he wouldn’t eat till the club won another ball game. And bingo.

Well I’ll do Tommy one better. Starting today, this very minute, August 8, 2006, 2:28 p.m., I will not eat another morsel until the Dodgers break their streak and lose another game. I can stand to lose a few pounds anyway, and Slim Fast sure ain’t helping.

Speaking of fat baseball men, John Kruk is the guy who oughta get letters. All I said was the Dodgers might be toast. Kruk, on, said the following:

“The trading deadline has come and gone, and for some contenders, it went well. They were able to get what they needed to vie for a playoff spot and possibly the World Series. And then there are teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers that went out and made trades that won't help them at all for a potential playoff run.

The Dodgers are in a weak division that probably will be won by whichever team gets hot down the stretch. To get hot like that, the Dodgers are going to need a good bullpen because they are so old offensively and can't count on their offense to consistently put up seven and eight-run games to win. But instead of focusing on bettering their bullpen, the organization decided to trade some of it to acquire parts that won't help them this season.

They also knew they needed to get power for the offense and a strong defensive player. Instead, they went out and got Julio Lugo. I'm sorry, but I can't see how Lugo helps with a power deficit or helps better that defense.

All in all, I have to say the Dodgers didn't do what they needed to take over the weak NL West.”

What the bullpen has to do with anything is beyond me, but since Kruk hasn’t stayed up late to watch a West Coast game since, oh, I don’t know, May, you can see where he might’ve been confused. So please, send that
Bob Uecker-wannabe your angry letters, and leave me out of it…

Talkback: Your comments are always welcomed…

Media Savvy: John Kruk notwithstanding, isn’t all bad. Quite the contrary. In fact, the line of trading-deadline week comes from columnist and Bret Saberhagen look-alike Jerry Crasnick: “ Joe Randa, supplanted at third base by Freddy Sanchez, most likely will play out the string in Pittsburgh with Jeromy Burnitz. Sean Casey, now with Detroit, exhausted the Pirates' quota of get-out-of-jail-free cards.”

Meanwhile, the New York Post saw fit to run this lovely headline the other day: “FOUL BAWL FROM MET LO DUCA'S SEXY WIFE," with the sub-heading, "MODEL RIPS HIS 'ADULTERY' IN DIVORCE SUIT.”

Monday must’ve been a slow news day, because during one particularly compelling sports-talk radio segment, XTRA’s Loose Cannons spent 15 minutes debating the merits of beach volleyball, while over at KSPN, Sasha Cohen was the ground-breaking interview of the day…

BTW: All talk of the lameness of the National League West needs to stop right now. The American League West is nothing to write letters to John Kruk about, and the AL Central and East have a grand total of six good teams combined. The NL really only has the New York Mets, and maybe the Dodgers. Looks like it, but we’ll see. And neither the Mets nor the Dodgers get to play Pittsburgh or the Cubs 18 times. The St. Louis Cardinals are a thoroughly pedestrian bunch, with a pitching staff that’s about as reliable as an old Fiat Spyder.

Plus, I’m starting to believe in the years-old criticism of Jim Edmonds. You know, that when Edmunds makes those incredible plays in the outfield, that he takes his time getting to the ball; hesitating just so, to time the catch precisely for dramatic affect. Although now that Edmunds can’t run anymore, the slow down actually takes place naturally.

Whichever, St. Louis will be brushed aside quickly in October, perhaps even by Los Angeles…

Because a Man Should Smell Like a Man: Did you see this thing about Derek Jeter getting together with Avon to concoct a new fragrance for men? I’ve already reserved a gallon at Costco.

Anyway, if you happened to sneak a peek in the Cole household medicine cabinet, at any time from say 1978 to 1998, you might have been surprised by my aftershave of choice. From a distance, what looked like a traditional bottle of Brut was in actuality a sample of “Odor of Sweaty Baseball Players – Chavez Ravine’s Finest.” I bleep you not. I think I got it at a head shop on Crescent Heights…

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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