Spencer's Views

In my column in the March issue of <b>Dodger Dugout</b>, I wrote, "I have not changed my mind about this Dodger team. Unless the Giants and Diamondbacks have regressed a great deal from last year, the Dodgers might not be in the hunt and had better keep their eyes on San Diego. A 3rd or 4th place finish would not surprise me."

That said, both the Giants and D'backs started off slowly while the Dodgers went on a tear winning 22 of their first 32 games and I was totally amazed and very pleasantly surprised. It looked like my prognostication was greatly off the mark, but then, the Dodgers lost 12 of 14 games falling into second place and are now 1 1/2 games behind San Diego with the Giants breathing down their necks.

From 12 games over .500, they now are slipping close to that .500 mark. I have written that I didn't expect this team to win more than the 85 victories they turned in last season. But anything can happen as we have seen but right now, it doesn't look good.

Hideo Nomo is on the DL, Adrian Beltré and Wilson Alvarez are hurting and are adversely affected by their injuries.
Dave Roberts is returning but how long with that hamstring hold up?
Kaz Ishii's control problems continue will likely walk over 100 batters again this season.
Odalis Perez frustrated last year over the lack of run support is a victim once again and might pop off again.
Shawn Green is the prime whipping boy for many fans and it is understandable. He's been a rally killer, striking out and hitting into double plays and batting just over the Mendoza Line.

To turn things around, bold action may be needed.

The kinds of action I would like to see include: 1. Sending Brian Falkenborg back to Las Vegas.
2. Bring up Luis Garcia who has already hit 16 home runs.
3. Replace Nomo, with a AA pitcher, maybe Ryan Ketchner, T.J. Nall or even Derek Thompson, each of whom is doing well, since no one at Las Vegas is doing much.
4. Sit Shawn Green down for at least a week and play Jose Hernandez at first base every day as long as he keeps hitting.
5. Put Paul LoDuca in left field and give Dave Ross, a week of steady play and if he fails, bring up either Koyie Hill or even Edwin Bellorin from AA Jacksonville where he's hitting up a storm, plus he's an excellent receiver.

Some will think this is sheer panic on my part ... maybe ... but this team needs a real jolt.