Tomko and Pavarotti

If you haven't noticed, Brett Tomko (2-11) was signed by the Padres, one of the teams the Dodgers have to catch to seize the wild card berth and make post season play. Tomko was designated for assignment the Dodgers picked up David Wells from, yup, the very same Padres. So in the end, it was a swap, Wells for Tomko.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the pair start against each other in the big three game set between the clubs in very short order at home in Dodgers Stadium?

And, finally, Tomko might have a chance to do something good FOR the Dodgers - this time wearing an opposing uniform.

The Dodgers have two years of steady experience in watching Tomko give up runs. They know his stuff, or lack thereof. While Tomko admittedly had big league stuff, that is not the same as having the stuff inside one's chest or between his ears, which is where ole' lefty David "Boomer" Wells' best assets are.

Come on Brett, just perform as well as you have while wearing Dodgers Blue - and the Dodgers will be happy.

One of the great 'pitchers' every to appear in Dodgers Stadium passed away this week at age 71 - Luciano Pavarotti, the master of the High C's, the Italian tenor who reminded the world that Frank Sinatra and Tommy Lasorda were not the greatest of all Italians in the world.

Pavarotti brought the Three Tenors concept to the world, popularizing opera for one and all. He chose Dodgers Stadium for a famous concert. Pavarotti's pitches were high and tight, had perfect location, many unhittable by others. 

One of Pavarotti's signature arias was "Nessun Dorma" - the short but powerful song that ends dramatically with the words vincero, vincero, vincero. Those words in our poor English mean and meant "we will WIN, WE will win, we WILL win."

Of course, that remains the eternal hope of the Dodgers, who have been hoping since 1988.

The Dodgers have become used to their own Tommy Lasorda praying to the heavens above for our boys, but when Tenor Pavarotti sang to the heavens from the outfield grass in Chavez Ravine, one has to figure his voice sounded truer and more heavenly than anything before or since.

To borrow from racetrack parlance, we have rounded into the home stretch, reached the 16th pole and are headed for the finish line. We are near the front, our jockey has the whip out, our fans screaming for a final burst.

In a storybook finish, our horse would find fresh and new energy in its legs and respond.

In recent Dodgers' play, the fresh legs have been provided by the youngsters. The legs are named Kemp and Loney and Abreu and Billingsley and Ethier and Martin and Laroche. And they have been performing. Only Martin started the season long race.

The others worked and in some cases forced their way up from the farm and then into the starting lineup. The question after the race is over will be did they come too late in the race.

If you compare them, little used Andre Ethier has produced as much if not more that the departed J.D. Drew has for the Red Sox, and at a whole lot less. ...There was a time less than 18 months ago that the Florida Marlins really, really wanted Matt Kemp and the Dodgers coveted lefty Dontrelle Wills. There is a deal that was never made and now won't be. The Dodgers are no longer willing to make that trade straight up as Kemp is coming on and on while Wills slides and slides. ...Paul Lo Duca, loved in LA, is helping the Mets to post season play, but put Lo Duca's stats next to Russell Martin's and it clearly shows the Dodgers have the better, the younger catcher. ...Who'd have figured Martin would have more stolen bases than teammate Rafy Furcal? Or three times as may homers as Nomar Garciaparra? Or twice as many  RBI as the Cubs slugger Soriano?. ...One wonders how many gams Chad Billingsley would have won if he had been in the starting rotation all year? So far he has won more starts than three of the original starters - Tomko, Schmidt and Hendrickson - combined. Randy Wolf won 9 before breaking down, Billingsley has won 10 after FINALLY being plugged into the rotation at the half. ...Some plugged the Dodgers youth as the way to go before the season began (and even before). Others plugged age, experience, veteran play, having done it before (the Lasorda dictum). Now as the season winds down, people legitimately have the record  to show who had the better insight.  

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