Off Base

August 25, 2008, 2:03 p.m. That sound you heard was the Dodgers dropping a humongous load; the echo a collective sinking of hearts across Los Angeles.

Nothing all that new in last night's game, and in fact much of what occurred was painfully predictable, but a blow to the system just the same. Eighth inning or ninth, poor Jonathan Broxton doesn't seem able to pitch in a pennant race at this point in his career. And there's not a whole hell of a lot the Dodgers can do about it.

Join the club, pals. Most of the sport suffers the same broken bullpen problems the Dodgers do, only more so in most cases. One club will survive regardless.

And while it's often silly to criticize a manager for one or two moves out of thousands made in a season, Joe Torre isn't helping his cause right about now. Pitching to Pedro Feliz with first base open and a clueless Jimmy Rollins on deck was, essentially, malpractice. It's not second guessing when you, like thousands of others sitting in their living rooms, call the obvious maneuver in advance, screaming at a defenseless tube. That's first guessing..

The season, such as it, is disintegrating before our eyes, incompetence all around, in eerily similar fashion to so many others over the past twenty years. But what's another decade between friends?

As for Mr. Torre, we've learned a couple of things about the Dodgers leader in 2008. First, as we were warned by our New York brethren, he's not an X's and O's guy. He's just not.

Second, Torre is successful when he has a full complement of championship-caliber talent. It's not every manager who can win with that type of team. Torre can.

But give the man a so-so club, or a bad one, and it's look-out below! Torre simply is not capable of getting those clubs, like his current one, to win in spite of their shortcomings, and in actuality, adds to the challenges they face.

And third, and most importantly, the man is incredibly stubborn. Obvious examples include the against-all-evidence dependence on Andruw Jones, Brad Penny, Mark Sweeney, Juan Pierre, and as harped on here almost weekly, the serial overuse of Russell Martin. But much more on this topic in the upcoming post mortem. I don't think I'm going to get a lot of argument on the stubborn thing.

Anyway. Let's just put the week down as Dodgers being Dodgers. A couple of nice series wins followed by a week's worth of total and complete crap. They get us excited, and then thud. Stink bomb. Just unwatchable. Turd City, USA.

It was a six aspirin weekend for me, but surprisingly just the one fetal position post-game depression session Sunday, so for that I'm grateful. The sun always shines the next morning, however, and it did today. I'm getting married on Sunday, so please forgive me while I try to focus. Wish me luck on that front…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Oh wait, guess what just came in the mail today. Yep, the 2009 season ticket renewal invoice, courtesy of your Los Angeles Dodgers. Earliest date on record. (The O'Malley's forms used to hit the mail in November, with a January due date. Just fyi.)

2008 postseason ticket forms were enclosed as well. Full payments expected by September 5. Thanks so much. And sure, I'll just drop what I'm doing during the honeymoon (sex) to attend to that one…

Media Savvy: From Josh Lewin, not being sarcastic, during the Fox game of the week Saturday: "Mark Sweeney, pinch-hitter extraordinaire."

Always good for a laugh "B.J. Upton was tagged out while jogging on the basepaths again on Monday. Awesome. He's like the Chuck Knoblauch of baserunning: he just can't hustle! Upton hit a ball that he thought was a homer, and trotted out of the box. The ball hit the wall, though, and Upton jogged to second. Mark Teixeira followed him and caught the relay throw, tagging Upton out before he got to the base. Upton was left in the game on Monday, and finished 2-for-5."

Check out this stimulating read from Kurt Streeter, of the LAT.

And speaking of the LAT, it's good to have Gordon Edes on view at Yahoo Sports. A very pleasant surprise, and a nice addition to Yahoo's always-growing list of ex-patriots from Times Mirror Square.

And finally, we don't do politics here, and I defy you to name my party affiliation without guessing, but when I saw this headline, I just couldn't resist: "Dems: Selfish Lieberman the "Barry Bonds" of D.C."

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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