Oh, Where is DePodesta When You Need Him?

Paul DePodesta, where are you now? The erstwhile young g.m., a disciple of Billy Beane ball, has too soon faded from memory in Dodgers baseball, and who would ever have said he would be missed, or missed so soon.

Now Billy Beane is the champ of dumping chumps and gathering in unheard of kids. He did it with Troy Hudson and Barry Zito and now Steve Swisher and a host of others. He got who? Well, dear friends, it is the bunch of nobodies leading the American League West. DePodesta's successor, the current Dodgers incumbent, is the antithesis of Beane or DePodesta for that matter.

He, not DePodesta, gave us the one armed outfielder, the pitcher unable to pitch and the centerfielder who can't hit, not to mention the poster boy for health care, Nomar Garciaparra, the stationary second baseman, the aging pinch hitter who used to hit (the focus on used to). The incumbent gave us Roberto Hernandez. He gave us Esteban Loaiza.

The Dodgers require, as most baseball teams do, enough players to fill out a team. Instead, we have a squad of paper thin cutouts of players who used to be. We have Chan Ho Park, reincarnated. We have Yhency Brazoban and Mr. Kuo, with more surgeries than wins.

The Dodgers have a starting staff that seriously looks like it has NO closer. The Dodgers have a back up catcher who like the center fielder and the number one pinch hitter, can't hit a lick.

That was not the dePodesta plan, the one not given a chance to work - because the kid didn't know how to interact with the press much less the old geezer in the back corridors.

So the Dodgers are currently led by three aging Italians - Lasorda, Colletti and Torre. That would be fine for the College of Cardinals in Rome or an Italian version of Mount Rushmore - but it is coming up short for giving the fans a winning team on the field NOW or in the short term future.

Look at the Florida Marlins who unloaded their oldest and most expensive talent (a fat third baseman who couldn't play the position adequately and a lefty pitcher who still has yet to learn how to put his hat on straight). The Marlins went for youth and immediately have gone to first place. This is not the Dodgers way.

Look at the Tampa Bay team, which, other than the aging reliever Troy Percival, are doing it the Billy Beane way rather than the Dodgers way - with very nice results the last time we peeked.

There are myriad other examples around the big leagues.

Meanwhile the Dodgers have more spin than a second place presidential candidate, i.e., trying to make losing somehow appear as if it is winning.

There is nothing wrong with the Dodgers, that is the young Dodgers - Ethier and Martin and Loney and Kemp and even DeWitt. The only thing wrong with Clayton Kershaw is where he is, Jacksonville rather than LA.

What is wrong with the Dodgers, and there is plenty of that to, began with a bunch of rolling the dice decisions in the front office, expensive decisions which mostly have come up snake eyes.

Ned Colletti, sad to say, has read the Clinton playbook, that is to say what was wonderful (or passed for wonderful) 15 years ago is just as good today.

Jeff Kent is the new poster-boy for the Dodgers. We absolutely loved him at 27, we liked him a lot at 32, we didn't have anybody better when he was 37, and now he is still there at 40. The trouble is Jeff Kent isn't nearly the same, identical player he was at 27. And the trouble is, the Dodgers, at least the thinkers upstairs still think he is.

Today's Andruw Jones isn't yesterday's Andruw Jones.

It is unkind even to mention Jeff Schmidt.

Nomar is more no-more than no-mar.

Some of Colletti's confections almost never had any ever was, i.e., Esteban Loaiza.

If there were a counterbalancing of wise choices or signings, we'd be glad to offer them, but we have been looking now for some weeks unsuccessfully.

It is reminiscent of President Eisenhower, once asked what contributions VP Nixon had done in eight years in office. The best old Ike could come up with was "gimme a month or so and I'll try to think of something!".

It is too bad the Dodgers can't give GM Ned Colletti a sabbatical so he can to the Billy Beane School for a while.

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