September 17, 2007
Traditionally, when Bill Plaschke wanders into territory he shouldn't, which is to say, baseball, we either ignore him completely or insult him with a line about how, since general sports columnists are required to have some knowledge about all sports, they're usually lacking in expertise of any one sport.
When Plaschke pats himself on the back for suggesting a Dodger monument to Sandy Koufax, as if it's his idea, we rip him a new one because we had him beat by years. Or we let a more expert member of the media, like Tom Hoffarth, handle it for us.
We rarely link to Plaschke's column because we don't want to encourage him, but this time we have to. In today's L.A.T., Plaschke goes off on Dodgers management, and P.R. guy Josh Rawitch in particular, for complaining to KFWB's Bob Harvey that his Dodger Talk show is, among other things, "an embarrassment."
Look, rather than rehash Plaschke's whole column, folly to be sure, let's get a few things straight here. First of all, nobody needs to "take the fall," and Frank McCourt doesn’t need to get involved. Not in the least.
More importantly, Dodger Talk is an embarrassment. It's a bad show. It's been a bad show for years. The callers and the questions they ask are generally lame. Bob Harvey isn't informed. He, like Plaschke, are a little short in something we like to call baseball savvy, as it were. They just don't get it.
Plaschke says he's been listening since Ross Porter hosted in the 1990s. Well bully for you, Bill Plaschke. Some of us have been listening to the various incarnations of Dodger Talk since the 70s, back at KABC, when actual baseball men like Bud Furillo had the mike.
At both 790 and 1150, we listened to Eric Tracy and Wes Parker and Al Downing and A. Martinez and that Superfan guy and Stu Nahan, and the man most generally associated with the term "Dodger apologist," Geoff Witcher, and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out.
KFWB, with Bob Harvey and Ted Sobel, has been the weakest of the bunch.
The last thing I had in mind today was defending the Dodgers, but thanks to Bill Plaschke, here I am doing it.
Plaschke says that Dodger Talk "is where fans come to cheer, to cry, to vent." Uh, hello? No they don’t. Dodger Talk on KFWB is supported primarily by fans driving home from the stadium, and those who missed both the game on television and the excellent Dodgers Live on Prime, which follows. Fans also go to the Internet to cheer, to cry, and to vent. Or to their local watering hole. In other words, KFWB gets the leftovers.
There's nothing wrong with dissent. Dissent is fine. Well, smart dissent is fine. The Dodgers are cool with dissent. Jeez, where would BaseballSavvy.com be without Dodger dissent right about now?
The difference is this: I love the Dodgers. I come right out and say it. First and foremost, I love the Dodgers. My dissent comes out of that love, that frustration, which has just reached 19 years. I lay into the Dodgers when they disappoint me and my brothers; my legions of suffering brothers across this and other continents.
The last thing I wanted to do this morning was defend the Dodgers. Today, of all days. Plaschke made me do it. Blame it on Plaschke…
Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…
OK, now that that's out of the way, and we've concluded that Dodger Talk is a bad show and that Plaschke is completely devoid of baseball savvy, I've run out of both time and space to devote to burying the 2007 Dodgers.
I'll save the season's post mortem until the club is mathematically eliminated. I've done enough of these to know that getting a head start is a good idea, and half the column is in the can already. Been there for weeks, actually.
After yesterday's double-header loss to Colorado, all I could bring myself to do before downing three Tylenols and curling up in the fetal position, was post that stick-a-fork-in-em headline and photo. Sorry about that. It's funny, though, what you can come up with on Google images. I was going to use the photo below instead, but I didn't want to imply that anything the Dodgers had done recently was, uh, well done.
Anyway, the Dodgers are toast, and there's a ton of venting and finger-pointing to come, trust me. I won't disappoint on that score. But if you really can't wait, here are some keywords: Tomko and Hendrickson, Hendrickson and Tomko, Billingsley's half season in waiting, ruining Jonathan Broxton, taxing Russell Martin, using Olmedo Seanz for no apparent reason, coaching third base, pulling Brad Penny, next year's manager, unsung hero - no one, unsung goat - Jason Repko. Check back after elimination for details…
GM Jobs: I don't know if there's going to be an opening in Los Angeles, but if there is, here's my suggestion: no assistant general managers need apply. You got that? No assistant GMs here. L.A. is not a place for learning on the job. We've been down that road before way, way, way too many times. Enough with the assistant GMs already.
On another front completely, Bob Watson should get the Houston gig. Baseball's least appreciated executive in decades, it was Watson who built the mid-90s repeat Series-winning New York Yankees, and got very little credit for it. The Astros would be a perfect fit for him now…
Media Savvy: With my subscription to MLB Extra Innings, I've listened to announcers in three cities rave about Juan Pierre. To a man, the guys in Florida, Colorado and Chicago all swear by him. Don't look for a sarcastic comment here. I'm just pointing out what people think about the little guy.
Another great piece by Jeff Passan, of Yahoo Sports, about the St. Louis fans blind faith in one of their own, Rick Ankiel.
Pats Punishment: Here's my blog on the New England Patriots, from the day job…
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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