DBacks Aren't Winning; LA Losing pennant

The Arizona Diamondbacks aren't winning the NL West. The Dodgers are losing it. Arizona is only two games over .500 but it's enough. The Dodgers keep flirting with .500 but here it is August 27 - August 27th - and the Boys in Blue are two games under .500, losers of 6 of their last 8, with a patchwork bullpen and a penchant for leaving runners on base in the most timely of situations.

For all of Manny Ramirez' upside, the plain simple fact of the matter he is one lackadaisical fielder. of all things, it makes sense to put Juan Pierre in for him in late innings - as a defensive improvement.

When would one ever he thought he would say that?

Sooner or later the euphoria was bound to wear off and the Dodgers would learn that Manny Ramirez, for all his upside, has a downside too. Until baseball becomes a platoon game - one team to hit and another to field - or until the NL adopts the DH rule, Ramirez can take as much away with his fielding as he adds with his hitting.

Jeff Kent, never a real .300 hitter, at age 40, is hitting his heart out, but the moody and taciturn Texan aside, the offense is offensive.

Still less than 4 games back, it's hard to see this bunch of Dodgers suddenly coming from behind and taking the division. The Dodgers don't field well enough. They don't stay off the DL long enough.

There are two ways of looking at clutch performances: (1) one is those players who perform under pressure and (2) those who freeze. There are few Dodgers in the former and too many in the latter.

This close and no cigar. Surely Rafy Furcal would have made up that difference and more.

There are lots of players the Dodgers had once who would have helped had they not been jettisoned.

Cody Ross down in Florida has more homers than any Dodgers hitter. Shane Victorino in Philly fields better than any Dodgers outfielder. Washington's new closer Joel Hanrahan is a better closer than anybody the Dodgers have now. Hard throwing Tampa righty Edwin Jackson would be an improvement over at least three of the current Dodgers five starters. And on and on and on.

If the Dodgers would double their payroll, Joe Torre would be again the winning manager he was with the free spending Yankees. They ain't and he isn't.

Look at the league leaders in home runs. The first Dodgers player is far, far down the list - farther down than a $120 million annual payroll deserves.

Ditto with RBI.

If there was a list for game winning hits, no Dodgers would be on the first page.

Pitching: after five months, and 22 starts for healthy guys, no Dodgers pitcher has more than a dozen wins.

Add that all up and you get what the Dodgers are: a minus .500 club with a paucity of league leaders anyplace.

If you are looking for a page with Dodgers at the top, look at defense.

They are among the worst, if not, the worst fielding team in baseball. Up the middle, they are awful.

The Dodgers have earned where they are, injuries and all. The fans have deserved better, at least for $120 million of their dollars.

A mediocre team but together in a gambling manner can not perform better than the sum total of the parts.

The blame lays elsewhere. The loyal fans have waited over 20 years now for a winner. Under the current management, ownership and decision making, it will be another two decades.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories