Seek and Ye Shall Find

Sometimes you learn more about what's happening by listening to the other team's announcers. Friday night, the Braves announcers told us more about what's happening with the Dodgers than you get from the home team crew.

We learned bluntly that the Dodgers are looking for a third baseman. Not exactly a secret since Wilson Betemit is making Mario Mendoza of the famed Mendoza "Line" (.200) look like a Hall of Famer.

Note to Grady Little: you have a good third sacker already. He's across the infield at first. His name is Nomar. He played the right side of the infield for you at Boston. He has volunteered to play third. What is holding you up? You have a first baseman in waiting named James Loney.

The game wasn't an inning old before we were told anybody and everybody would run at any opportunity on Luis Gonzalez (as two runs crossed the plate). And in the fatal sixth, we were told by the Atlanta broadcasters that their centerfielder Jones would have had a ball skip off Juan Pierre's glove (for another two runs) "in his pocket."

With Brett Tomko (who has deserved better) and Jason Schmidt now into May with O-fers (no wins this season) and Derek Lowe and Randy Wolf pitching win one lose one records, the Braves announcers eyes popped when long man Chad Billingsley snapped off a 91 mph slider, joining us in wondering why the kid wasn't starting.

Our boss has tagged this writer as the in-house critic, and then repeated a long quote from a Fox columnist that essentially says what we've been saying all along.

The thing is: can Ned Colletti find and afford any hitting strength available that would be any better than calling up James Loney and Matt Kemp and maybe even Tony Abreu, putting them in the everyday lineup and keeping them there?

Look around. Even Tampa Bay, long cellar dwellers, is in second place and with plenty of pop. They have done it with youth, not end of the road retreads with big names and big salaries. The Florida Marlins' play shows the 2006 finish was no fluke. Ponce de Leon maybe didn't find the fountain of youth in Florida, but youth has been the key to progress in both Florida's baseball teams.

The post game comments attributed to manager Grady Little after the 4-0 whitewashing by the Braves, i.e., he is growing frustrated, could at best be tagged as too little too late (pun intended).

We can be forgiven is we say: what took you so long, Grady?

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