As the post season starts, I dread the fallout. I know that Mattingly’s job is in jeopardy. Whenever a season doesn’t go as well as everyone wants, it is the manager who is blamed. The team in general seems to be supporting him, especially Yaz and Adrian who have actually voiced an opinion.
The first fallout is Stan Conte the head athletic trainer. With the Dodgers having the 3rd most injuries this past season, it’s small wonder that he has resigned.
This season on Opening Day, only 15 players returned. I remember looking on the field and not recognizing anyone. Although the Dodgers led the Major Leagues in payroll at $300 million, the season once again ended abruptly to the dismay of Dodger fans who expected to go all the way this year. Much of this money is being paid to some who are no longer with the team.
I am hoping that Zack Greinke returns. He is expected to opt out of the remaining 3 year $71 million on his current contract. He had said after game 5 that he hopes to return. I imagine that every other team who can afford to offer him more will. If the Dodger owners are smart, they will offer him the world. The only chance the Dodgers have to win the pennant next year will be to keep two aces. Without them it will be a worse season. Jimmy Rollins will most likely not return since Corey Seager has shortstop locked up. His first season with the Dodgers has been outstanding. As a rookie he showed poise and maturity although being only 21 years old.
Brett Anderson who only had a one year contract will probably end up somewhere else although he had a solid season. Amazingly he lasted longer without injury than expected, longer than Brandon McCarthy who ended up with surgery early on. Anderson may return if Greinke gets a higher offer somewhere else, heaven forbid. Without the Kershaw-Greinke one -two punch the Dodgers will be lost next season. However, Hyun-Jin Ryu will be returning as well as Brandon McCarthy. With Kershaw and Greinke (fingers crossed), Ryu who was good even with a bad shoulder (yes, he’s always had the shoulder problem even when signed initially by the Dodgers) and McCarthy, it may be an exciting season.
The bullpen definitely needs restructuring. JP Howell will probably return. The others need to work on a lot of pitching issues in the offseason. The constant is our closer Kenley Jansen who was again phenomenal.
Kike most certainly will have an even better season. He was a spark to the offense and was a fan favorite because of his banana antics although Kershaw and Ethier hated the whole banana thing. Justin Ruggiano added a nice touch to the end of the season. Speaking of Ethier, he and Crawford still hold large contracts with the Dodgers and probably will remain with the team, hopefully, since I love both of them. This is said both objectively and subjectively.
Last year in the off season, to my surprise, Dee Gordon was traded to the Marlins. He has been super player for them this year. He could have filled 2nd base very well for the Dodgers. Another controversial trade was Matt Kemp. I was so upset over the trade, I almost wanted to forfeit my season tickets and never go to another baseball game again. I cried for two weeks and no one could bring his name up to me without hearing a tirade of unhappiness. One of my license plates still says Matt 27 in his honor. The Kemp trade was a surprise for him as well but not to many who knew that the crowded outfield was at least one too many.
The acquisition of Yasmani Grandal was a plus although AJ Ellis was a powerhouse at the end of the season when Yaz was hurt. AJ always is good in the post season and is Kershaw’s favorite backstop.
Yasiel Puig, once everyones darling, had hamstring issues and ever since Molly Knight’s book, became less everyones favorite. I still adore him.
Chase Utley became public enemy #1 with that fateful slide. Everyone seems to forget that that is Utley’s trademark, sliding and playing hard. Dodgers still hold an option on him. Expect him to return although he will still be everyones whipping boy next year.
There is a question of whether it was the right thing to do to use three rookies in game 5, the most important game of the season, when with a $300 million team, there were experienced Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley sitting. That will probably always be that question.
Everyone seems to be offering me condolences about the end of the season, from co-workers to friends. They are afraid to talk to me because they know about my love for the Dodgers. I am only proud of my guys. It was a long season. They won the West as they have for 3 straight seasons, the most in the frranchises history. They are like family to me. I cannot criticize and hope that my family changes because they didn’t win it all. My sadness comes because I already miss them. I got to know Andre who will always be one of my favorites. His sense of humor and kindness are good for the soul. He is always a constant in his love for his fans. I will always remember moments with Mike Bolsinger who most certainly will return next season even better. Puig and his antics just made him more endearing to me. Corey became everyone’s darling not just because of his play on the field but because he cares about the fans. Joc Pederson is an amazing young man, a role model for other young people because of his love for his family, especially his brother Champ who is lucky to have such a loving brother. Adrian and his family are solid in their love of community with their outpouring of good will. No one can say enough about Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen who go above and beyond to make life better for others. When he smiles at me and asks “How’s it going?”, it fills my heart. Yes….they are my family.
The owners are more into the analytics of the game so there will definitely be changes. I’m on pins and needles waiting to see what the team will look like next season. I’m patiently waiting for Spring Training already. I hope to be able to be there with my friends Norma, Donna and Cece. It can’t come soon enough.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll try to post as often as I can. At this point in time, I have hopes that the Chicago Cubs win the series, mainly to fulfill that prediction of a series win in Back to the Future II in 2015 and because they haven’t won in 107 years. It will be good for Jake Arrieta who will lose the Cy Young to Zack Greinke. At least he will have a World Series ring which will take the sting away not winning the Cy Young. If life is fair, Zack will win the Cy Young.
Keep checking my blog….see everyone soon.