Colletti and Co. have Chance for Redemption

When the Cardinals topped the Diamondbacks Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers earned a division title that many, including this writer, had given up on long ago - much too early as it turned out. Now the focus turns to how the braintrust puts together the post season roster.

As the racetrack aficionados like to say, let's look at the form, i.e., what these horses did in the past. And that is what worries us.

The fact is Ned Colletti ain't got much going for him based on his past performances. And based on how transplant Joe Torre has handled the Dodgers this year, the form is equally troubling.

Torre had to forced to edge Chad Billingsley into the starting rotation at the beginning of the season. The fact the kid has won 16 games and become the staff ace looks, on record, to be in spite of, not because of manager Torre.

Whether it is Colletti or Torre, some, maybe a lot will be riding on whether or not Automatic Out Sweeney is kept as the number one pinch hitter on the bench. Since we have urged Sweeney be sent out to pasture at least since mid-season (we actually were against using a roster spot to re-sign him before the season), what if anything the Dodgers do in the postseason will probably have to be done, or not done, with Sweeney.

Nomar Garciaparra's two late homers probably cement his place on the squad, but if he is injured, and his history always suggests that possibility, at least the Dodgers will be able to make an injury replacement. (We wish we had Nomar's drug cabinet filled with bandages galore, nostrums of all kinds and such - these are the valuable trinkets old writers only dream of.)

To say that we lack confidence in Colletti's luck if not judgment in player selection is well, if anything, an understatement. But even Colletti and Torre would not be dumb enough to jettison Kid Kershaw now. The kid, who should have been with the big club all season, is just too damned good to leave off the team now.

Jeff Kent came back with a pinch hit single and the Dodgers even took a look at Rafy Furcal. Those two incidents are worrisome as the aging liking and name loving Dodgers execs will have more than just a tendency to add one or both to the post season roster. To accommodate Dodgers players with only one perceived skill left and ready would require an NFL sized roster.

But all this being said, it is a time for the Dodgers to rejoice at least until the post season begins.

On the east coast, the New York writers (and fans) are literally going berserk over the Mets second straight collapse at the end of the season and the Yankees, even with their 200 million payroll, look for all the world like they need a bailout and perhaps are wondering how to get in on the Washington "giveaway."

(You can't blame them, as our politicians have already prepped the suckers by previous socialistic efforts like building sports stadia and such).

Did anybody else notice once Dodgers tyro Edwin Jackson winning a dozen for the Tampa Bay guys. Congratulations kid, we wish you wuz' still in LA.

P.S. A note for Mr. McCourt: two of baseball's most successful franchises, the Yankees and the Braves, will not be in the post season.

The reason why is no secret -- a raging case of "Dodgeritis", er, that is to say throwing money at old players and keeping your fingers crossed they can cheat fate and avoid injuries. Such thinking, as always, didn't work.

No matter how much you pay your braintrust, please keep this in mind for 2009 and beyond.

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