We'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good

The 2008 season may not be lost at all. Look at it this way: we'd rather be lucky than good. The Dodgers are indeed very lucky to be playing in the National League West Division, baseball's worst. Even with a won loss record still on the south side of respectability, they luckily remain in striking distance of the division leaders.

The Dodgers are in the lowest third of all baseball teams, yet even a modest win streak could take them to the division lead.

The Dodgers have an aged cleanup hitter who only occasionally peaks beyond the .250 mark. They have one with more than 35 RBI. They don't have a real legitimate home run threat in the entire lineup. Their #1-#2 pitchers are sorting losing records. Yet they linger around. Is this not lucky? In any other division, they'd be already also-rans. Teams with better records have fired their manager.

The Dodgers have even been lucky with their injuries, most of which have, as one might expect, fallen on older men trying to cheat time and play a kids game. These injuries have forced a manager who's first and maybe only desire is to play veterans to rely on the kids - and guess what, the kids have and are producing.

This is indeed a stroke of luck from the baseball gods.

Instead of playing the players the team has wisely or unwisely lavished the most money on, they are, luckily, now playing the players with the most talent - what an innovation in baseball.

Without injuries, Clayton Kershaw would still be Double-A and Chad Billingsley would be flitting back and forth in some unspecified role - while Jason Schmidt threw his 85 mile per hour fast ball and Esteban Loaiza filled out the starting rotation. Surely the Dodgers are lucky to have Kershaw and Billingsley working in place of the aforementioned suspect stars.

The Dodgers are indeed lucky Raffy Furcal's back acted up now rather than later when he might have been given a multi-year contract at Jason Schmidt dollars - and they'd be indeed luckier if somebody in the front office would heed Dr. Frank Jobe's timeless admonition about trusting too much or too long or too expensively on ANY athlete with a bad back.

Of course, even more luck could befall the lucky Dodgers. That might occur when it dawns on the manager that somebody other than a 40 year old hitting under .250 might help the team someplace other than in the cleanup spot. Or that he might pull a Yankee - as with the shift of Joba Chamberlain from the bullpen to the starting rotation - with Jonathan Broxton.

Even if somebody came to the recognition that a veteran pinch hitter hitting only half of the Mendoza Line (under .200) might be mercifully (at least for us) jettisoned for a better alternative. It sure looks like it will take luck for any of these sensible decisions to befall the Dodgers as they mostly look incapable of doing the obvious.

To be sure, placed side by side with the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers - our very last championship team - the 2008 team really doesn't fare to badly when you match up the two squads.

It took one heckuva' lot of luck for that 1988 team to emerge on top - remember the totally improbable Mike Scioscia homer off Dwight Gooden to get to the Series and the wonderfully lucky scouting report that told limping warrior Kirk Gibson to look for a two-strike backdoor slider from Mr. Eckersley?

As we said, we'd rather be lucky than good.

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