Now There is Work to Be Done

For the runnerup Dodgers, there is work to be done. Lots of it. And so many - not Manny - places to start. Luckily, the Dodgers have so many expiring contracts, the job will be easier. They wont have to find takers for many players that frankly don't have that much value anymore.

We've said it before and will say it again - the Dodgers have too many problems for any single player - even Manny Ramirez - to solve.

And as baseball sages have said since Noah was putting young healthy players in the boat - or was it Branch Rickey? -  the games starts, and mostly ends, with pitching and defense.

The Dodgers need both.

Joe Torre managed the club like he managed the Yankees last year. Both lost. Torre found a way to jerk James Loney in and out of the lineup. He couldn't find a second baseman who could field, young or old.

The Dodgers kind of backed into the playoffs after Arizona outdid them at the el foldo game,  and after a day in the sunshine against the Cubs, eased out of the playoffs just as nicely against the Phillies.

It doesn't take a specialist to see the Dodgers needs, any garden variety general practitioner can do so. The problems started with Ned Colletti's roster decision choices of last year and this year and they were simply too chancy and too formidable for the team to rise above them.

You can't really credit Colletti for Manny Ramirez, that was the owners call. For all the hype about Casey Blake, he was merely ordinary, and not enough to bring back.

There weren't enough fumes left in Greg Maddux tank or 39-year-old relievers, particularly those who've pitched in Japan, where guys throw more than a human being should, were an injury crying to happen.

With pitching short all around, the Dodgers just have to do with young Mr. McDonald what they didn't do with Mr. Kershaw this year, that is start both right away.

Frankly, if the Dodgers are going to spend mega bucks on a single player, either Jake Peavy who wants to stay in the area, or the Milwaukee-Cleveland rentaplayer Sabathia might be better investments.

There are a bunch of guys the Dodgers would be smart to issue retirement  letters for valiant efforts in the past. You can name the guys, it ain't that hard.

Now finally, Joe Torre and Ned Colletti can stop using Mark Sweeney.

Part of the reason for the Dodgers fizzle at the end was the way the team used Russell Martin. He was clearly a burned out case. Torre not only burned pitcher Scott Proctor out, he hurt the guy in the process.

If other teams are looking for a team with fix or six young players to be had in deals like for Peavy, the Dodgers just might not have that number of valuable up and coming guys ready to include in such a deal.

The Dodgers flexibility is handicapped because they already are saddled with the contracts of Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre. And that may tip the scales on just how much they can be willing to take a chance on Rafy Furcal.

As usual, we would like to start in the Florida Marlins annual "get-rid-of anybody-about-to-make-money" fire sale, and begin to work from the bargain basement sales on up. That's what the Dodgers may need more than anything else.

Some years ago, the non-O'Malley Dodgers began jettisoning veteran baseball men, scouts, facilities. The basic infrastructure the franchise was build upon. They cut corners every place they could to subsidize flashy and risky investments. Along the way, the team got over-leveraged in subprime mortgages. It has been and is showing.

As the Willard Mullin great sports page cartoon on the back of  the New York Daily News said so well, Wait Until Next Year.

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