Was This The Worst Road Trip Ever?

Dodgers fans have been flocking to the record books to search for a time when their team has ever - EVER - had a worse road trip. They've dropped 9 of 10 and for all practical purposes have dropped out of a first place tie into an also-ran tea

m. John McCain, tied with Barak Obama 10 days ago, at least did something. The Dodgers, on the other hand, went same old, same old.

Joe Torre must have owed locker room gin rummy money to have kept and relied upon non hitting pinch hitter Mark Sweeney and back of the pitching staff Jason Johnson. If American voters are tired of eight years of the Bush administration, the Dodgers surely have tired of relying on dead wood. They now have more "lame ducks" than Vice President Cheney.

The Dodgers, for whatever spin anybody would like to put on it, have all the signs of a team that has "quit" written all over them, from the front office to the team on the field.

A team that can lose 9 of 10 can, if all the stars are in the proper alignment, just as easily win 9 of 10. Does anybody think this Dodgers team can? Or has enough time left to do so? If you do, we have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn or a very nice spring training camp to in Vero Beach, Florida.

The Dodgers, who have dumped the season, can keep their dumptrucks around as there will be plenty of need for same in very short order.

What does owner Frank McCourt, who promised all Dodgers fans a fully competitive team on the field have to say about all this?

This Dodgers team has more than just need for cosmetic surgery, collagen injections and plastic surgery. It needs to retire its team of heavy legged Clydesdales, both in the front office who clearly are operating on severely clogged arteries, as well as in the dugout and on the field (not forgetting the disabled list).

For starters, the 2009 team will need to improve its 'up the middle' everyday defense. It needs a major league quality and healthy shortstop, a fielding second sacker to complete the double play combination, and an everyday centerfielder who can cover ground, throw the ball, and hit enough to stay in the lineup. It currently lacks all of these things.

The 2009 team can not enter the season with the current pitching staff and hope to have a chance to win. It can not depend on the health and age of the guys they have now.

It has to have leadership that depends on young people and a whole lot less on experience. It needs baseball Palins, not Bidens.

Like in politics, the Dodgers are full of oratory but very, very short on exactly what they intend to do to make sure more of the same is not in order. The price at the ticket booth is like gas at the pump and the Dodgers need a program to be energy efficient, to get more miles per gallon.

We have thought for a long time that a healthy Rafy Furcal could have meant a difference in this season. The Dodgers look like a team of SUVs, wonderful in a different age and time - no longer.

The Dodgers top home run hitter, Andre Ethier, has been Joe Torre's fifth choice to put in the lineup all season and one has to ask the question why.

But it is only one of several dozen questions that could or should be asked. The restoration to health alone will not make this team a contender. The Dodgers squad looks like George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield in their present -- not past iterations.

Sad to say, one only has to look just south of town to the California Angels to find what the Dodgers are not.

The Dodgers do not need an organization meeting after the season to ponder the next moves. The owner needs to sit down by himself and manage his own investments. If he does this by himself, there might be some hope. If he turns to his top guys and advisors, the fear is they will act in a manner to save themselves rather than the team.

The Dodgers pulled up lame down the home stretch. When racehorses do that, they more likely face retirement (or even worse). That might be a good prescription here.

VP Logan White is a keeper. To find any others, well, it kinda is like when Ike was asked to note what good VP Richard Nixon had done and Ike replied, gimme a couple of weeks and I'll try to think of something.

The 2008 presidential race has revolutionized political races. Ads are now made for the internet and blog sites, not the three networks.

Hillary and Bill Clinton played by 1990s rules when the rules had already changed. With this analogy in mind, one might say the Dodgers were playing by old rules when the rules of the game had already changed.

The Dodgers have too many executives, decision makers and gurus who are expert at how the old way things were done but evidently don't have a clue on baseball in the 21st century.

Florida has a team with more wins and a $30 million payroll. Tampa has 80 wins already with a month to go with a whole lot less money. The point is other baseball entities have done more with less.


What is to be learned? Can the current Dodgers brass learn? An automatic passing grade might be good in inner city schools, if anyplace, but is it worthy here?

Frank McCourt must feel like he just put in a brand new parking garage at the site of the Hindenburg landing spot in New Jersey or brand new deck chairs on the Titanic.

Right now with their current team, current attitude and current complexion, the Dodgers have about as much chance of winning this year as Dennis Kucinich.

One would think the Dodgers names are Edsel and Corvair and Studebaker and LaSalle. Great in museums but not on today's racetracks.

Before we find out if the 2009 Dodgers will be competitive, we will first have to find out what stuff Mr. McCourt is made of. It may be unfair, but as the sign on Harry Truman's desk said, "The buck stops here."