Dodger Fans Tell Colletti, "Stay the Course"

The voice of the fans has been heard and the responses to our article, "Should We Call in the Dogs?", asking if for perspectives on whether the team should attempt to trade for veterans, at the cost of younger players. The replies have been running at about 93% in favor of using the rest of the 2006 season to see which of our minor leaguers can help us and which can't.

With Los Angeles trailing San Diego by 7 1/2 games, and the Dodgers needing to compile a 38-22 record over the final 60 games to reach 85 wins, fans think it is not the time to trade young prospects for hired guns over the final two months.

We have used some of the responses we've received and among them they pretty well cover the feelings of most hard-core Dodger fans who took the time to reply

Here are their thoughts:

Dave Szatmary, Fl-- I feel this team is not good enough to win in the playoffs. No one or two players will make a difference. Signing old, washed up vets and giving Jeff Kent another $11 million will turn out to be short term blunders. Even Garciaparra has started to slip and another injury could put him out. I would like to see Loney brought up to play first base sometime in August so it could be determined if he has a future. Same for LaRoche at third. Repko should be allowed to prove himself in center or show he isn't part of the future. The big need is pitching so if a quality starter other than Maddux could be reasonably obtained and signed beyond this year, that trade would make sense. If Carlos Lee becomes available, they should only trade if he will sign an extension for 2-3 years. The problem here becomes where does Lee play without taking time away from a develop Ethier. This guy looks to have a great future in LA. Short term fixes are foolish this year. The Dodgers are not a good team and giving away the future at this point is senseless.

Noel Klebaum-- SELL, for as much young starting pitching as we can get! I like the deal proposed by one talk show guy who is otherwise an idiot: send Nomar to the Angels for pitchers, e.g., Joe Saunders and their best guy at AA. And will anyone take J.D. Drew for a decent pitching prospect?

Neil Sexton, SC-- The last several years have been painful to watch the Dodgers except for the '04 season. The Dodger organization that I grew up was built from within, guys like Garvey, Cey, Lopes, Welsh, Fernando and many others. Except for '79, those teams were competitive every year and great fun to watch. I was proud to be a Dodger fan during those years. In recent times they have gotten away from there tradition instead looking for a quick fix and it has not worked. Its been a long time since we've been to a World Series and its time to get back to the basics. It appears that we have a great farm system and now is the time to find out.

With the way the team is playing lately, we could not do any worse by bringing up the rest of the kids up (Kemp, Loney, LaRoche and Miller). Its time to get rid of some veterans like Lofton, Baez, Lowe, Drew and Hall if he does not want to be a Dodger.

Ethier and Martin have done a terrific job and I want to see what the rest can do. These guys have the potential to grow together and become a great team for years to come. Its time to get back to the great Dodger tradition and stop looking for the quick fix. Then and only then will we finally return to the world series. --Gus Schmidt, NY

Responding to your question on Dodger possible moves, I think that the following should be untouchables: Billingsley, Martin, Ethier, Kemp, Loney, and Elbert. I wouldn't give up Guzman except for a good young ballplayer, emphasis on young, same for Aybar or Izturis.

I wouldn't want to give any of the top dozen prospects for an older temporary player, i.e. Maddux.

I think that the Perez deal was good just to get rid of him. I sometimes think that dealing Drew mightn't be too bad for the right deal.

It's time for us to move on with the original plan. We brought in the veterans to cover for the kids and it's now time to unveil them. We have over 1/3 of the season left to play and most of the kids are ready to see what they can do at the major league level.

Let's move the veteran rentals out of the way and see what 2007 will really look like over the next couple of months. The list of veterans that probably won't help us in 2007 that may be able to help other contenders includes Aaron Sele, Mark Hendrickson, Danys Baez, Toby Hall, Kenny Lofton, and Jose Cruz.

Cesar Izturis could help us next year, but if he can help bring a solid young pitcher then he can be included as well. I would hold on to Ricky Ledee, Olmedo Saenz, and Ramon Martinez as veteran bench players to help the rookies. The only bullpen untouchable would be Jonathan Broxton. I would hold onto J.D. Drew, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal, Brad Penny, and Derek Lowe as foundation pieces for the rest of the year.

Don't sell any of the rookies. The rest of the roster could be included in any deal that may bring us a solid #3 starter and closer candidate for next year. We also need to add some depth at catcher and 1st base in the upper minors.

Let's move the guys that won't be around in 2007 out of the way and see what the kids can do. They may be able to put it together for long enough to get us back in the race. Obviously, the veterans aren't getting that done. Let's see what next year will truly look like over an extended period and figure out what we will still need to add. It's not necessarily a fire sale since we will retain most of our big names, but we've got kids ready to see what they can do and we need to find out what that is. --Christopher D. Kangas

Ernie Monaco, NJ-- It would be lunacy to trade off our young kids for what amounts to a two month rental. Colletti should remain disciplined and patient … the future is imminent and bright … ."Stay the Course Ned".

Jim Notte, NJ-- In response to the above subject matter, I do not think we should deal our kids (certainly not the top ones listed in your article. There are some that are tradeable but that is not going to get us the players that we need to win the division.

The Dodgers are short on power hitters at the present time and also on top flight pitching. I'm afraid that it will mean dipping into the free agent pool over the winter months and THAT is not one of my favorite things to do for obvious reasons (loss of draft picks).

The Dodgers with Billingsley, Ethier, Kemp, Martin and Repko along with the other kids that they like will be able to develop into a contender and bring a championship to Dodger Stadium in a few years. I would not trade Scott Elbert either.

Dodger Blue Notes-- FOX Sports reports Brett Tomko was expected to come off the disabled list before Wednesday's game, but the Dodgers are delaying a roster decision until Friday. Tomko will remain on the DL through Thursday's off day.

The Dodgers must decide whether to send down a pitcher to make room for Tomko or move to a 12-man pitching staff by releasing/trading a position player. They have been carrying six outfielders since the return of Jason Repko from the DL this week. The others are J.D. Drew, Kenny Lofton, Andre Ethier, Ricky Ledee and Jose Cruz Jr.

In order to make room for Repko earlier this week, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti traded third catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. to the White Sox for AA minor-leaguer pitcher B.J. LaMura. A similar deal could used to make room for Tomko, with Cruz and Ledee the most vulnerable in that group.

With Tomko returning to a relief role, the Dodgers will head into the final 60 games of the season with only two men from their season-opening rotation still serving as starters (Brad Penny and Derek Lowe). The disappointing performances behind Penny and Lowe have been a big factor in the Dodgers' slide out of contention.

Since May 26, the starters behind Penny and Lowe have gone a miserable 5-19 with a 6.18 ERA and an average of barely five innings per start. They include Brett Tomko (15 starts), Aaron Sele (13), Jae Seo (10), Chad Billingsley (8), Odalis Perez (8) and Mark Hendrickson.