Off Base
Dodgers Spot On, Critics Not so Much

August 15, 2008, 2:03 p.m. First of all, apologies for the use of the "spot on" phrase there. It's the more annoying and least "on" term in the language today, so please count on me when I tell you, it'll never grace this space again, from here until eternity.

I guess what I'm laboring to say is that I have absolutely no idea how the Dodgers just swept four from Philly. They lose two awful games in Frisco, and follow up with this? Makes zero sense to me. I have absolutely no idea what's going on here. I like it, but I'm baffled. Not a clue about what's to occur next either, and any pundit who says otherwise is a fraud.

I guess what I'm laboring to say is, man was I wrong! Not just me, of course. Every last baseball writer on the planet had all but ripped the Dodgers a new one; just don't count on any mea culpas from that crowd. I'm man enough, however, so here goes.

Joe Torre knows what he's doing. Jeff Kent batting third ahead of Manny was a great idea. I thought it was folly, so I blew that one completely.

More importantly, I thought the club was poised for a crumbling after those two heart breakers in China Basin, and look what happened. What a difference four days make, and what a boob I am.

I'm not alone in my bewilderment, which is some consolation. Vinny was a bit at a loss last night too, so I'm in good company. He talked about the "charm of baseball" and all, but even the great Vin Scully knew there was no explaining what had just occurred.

If you were lucky to experience much of Don Drysdale at the mike, you know what he'd say. "Well I tell ya, if you could put this game in capsule form, you'd never be able to spend all the money."

Before you get carried away with my humility here, let's also recall how right I've been about a few things. Several, actually, and key stuff. Bringing Brad Penny back when he very clearly wasn't ready was a lame idea. A really lame idea, bordering on the negligent. The Dodgers were extremely lucky to have won both games Penny started, but they couldn't have handled him any worse than they did. Just bad thinking, all the way around.

Andruw Jones to the DL slash minors was long a suggestion of mine, so I'll pat myself on the back for that one too. And a rousing chorus of "Hallelujah" wouldn't be a waste of our time right about now, don't you think?

Juan Pierre out and Andre Ethier in? The entire Dodger Contingent was calling for that one, so let's just be grateful Torre saw the light, and forgo the self-congratulations.

Nomar Garciaparra, on the other hand, brother Nomar is the man. The man, our man, our Dodger. We've always defended him as a special player, a Kirk Gibson-like special player, and we'll celebrate him for as long as we possibly can. And tell me it's not exciting having Nomar at short again. Just bleeping great. You go, Nomar. We've got your back.

Oh, and Russell Martin is still being driven into the ground. Been right on that along. We'll keep harping, but minus an early clinching, there's no rest for the weary there, unfortunately.

But look, the Dodgers are playing good baseball. I just used the word "clinching," for crying out loud. They might have Greg Maddux here to replace Penny with within minutes. And they should, by the way. They might sweep Milwaukee too, for all we know. Or, they might get swept and fall three back by Monday. Like I said, I have no idea.

I suggest we enjoy this while we can. One day at a time. Meanwhile, I'll start working on that capsule form idea of Big D's. You know I'll be sending the dough Think Cure's way. You gotta know that…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Brett Myers, Wife Beater: It's not that we encourage kicking a man when he's down, but as we do with Bobby Cox, we'll make an exception with Brett Myers every chance we get. It was good to see him optioned out in tatters a few weeks ago, and it was good to see him lose last night. Damn good.

Last year, when the rest of the baseball world was laughing it up big-time as Cox became the game's most ejected man, we thought it was appropriate to recall his criminal activity, while drawing comparisons between his on-field behavior with his off. Same thing with Myers. He can argue with his manager in full view of a national audience to his heart's content, insane as that is, and we'll go right ahead and draw comparisons.

So here they are: Brett Myers, losing pitcher, loser just plain period, wife beater. Bobby Cox, current losing manager, loser period, wife beater…

Media Savvy: Nice piece on the potential Chicago Series, by John Donovan, of…

Countdown to Nuptials: There's no turning back. We're talking 16 days to the altar (uh, chupah). Dodgers'll be in Arizona for a day game, and the wedding's at night, so I'm covered. I'm still not sure if Prime reaches to the Central Coast for the honeymoon, but I’m hopeful.

Anyway, it's August 31, if you're keeping score. Be there or be square…if you were invited, anyway. Otherwise, don't be there…

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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