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Torre for Manager of the Year?

Joe Torre should be named Mgr of the Year with how he handled the Kemp benching if the team continues playing as well as they did in the SF series. We faced three good pitchers but hit them well. We pitched well. But most importantly, we played some great defense.

I’ve read so much recently from fans posting about the Kemp benching and saying things like, “Torre’s been sitting him! What an Idiot!” or “hey, Torre, Kemp isn’t going to break out of his slump if you keep benching him.” Do we all really think it’s that easy to win four World Series rings?

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Do we really want our skipper to simply start the players who earned it during Spring Training, or do we want the 9 players on the field to be the 9 who will do what they can to win games? I know what the players want.

Joe’s job is to get the most out of each player, and what makes coaching so challenging is that each player requires a different approach. I know it’s too early to determine, but Joe benching Kemp…giving him some days to stew in it…and waiting until Kemp came to his office to discuss…well, it seems like the right way to resolve it and get the whole team playing hard.

Keep it up Matty! And keep it up Skipper. You’ve got my vote of confidence…except when it comes to GA.


Kemp Finds His Hustle

A baseball player strives to earn the starting position on their team. After much hard work and the hustle required to impress coaches, they earn that position. What happens next will define this player, and the earlier that they learn in their baseball careers not to get too comfortable, the longer they will remain a starter. This applies from Little League and beyond.

Jason O. Watson / U.S. Presswire

I realize that it’s just a quote, but Kemp said something that I found interesting. “I did everything I needed to do to have as good a season as I did last year.” For all of you who, at any point, ever dreamed of making it to the Bigs, wouldn’t you work harder and practice more to improve on a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger season?

It’s easy to answer this question when you know the right answer. As for me, I’m sure I would’ve celebrated by dating as many Hollywood starlets, partied with Paris Hilton, made it on the cover of the tabloids, and done whatever most 25-yr old millionaire professional athletes would do.

Joe Torre handled the benching of Kemp perfectly, and Kemp responded beautifully last night.  I hope this was a defining moment in Kemp’s career, and I hope he earns the trust and love back from the Dodger faithful.

Reed Over Kemp

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

I’m a believer that baseball players should always run hard 90’s. Their uniforms should be filthy at the end of the game. Didn’t you love watching Charlie Hustle play ball? Watching Upton this past weekend jogging in CF and Hanley earlier this season pissed me off. And watching Kemp lackadaisical play this season has definitely been a disappointment.

Torre gets shit from fans because that’s what happens to the manager of any team when they lose…especially in a major market like LA. But Joe often doesn’t get credit for what he does in the clubhouse…or doesn’t say about his players. The way Joe has handled playing Reed over Kemp has been masterful. He didn’t embarrass him but sent a clear message by giving Matt two consecutive days off, the second against a pitcher that he has hit very well.

Will Kemp respond and win fans over. Hopefully he does by All Star break. You know it’s bad when his lack of effort prompts Perez Hilton to blog about it.

In any case, I think it sends the right message to the team and fans. Will this be the defining moment of our season?

Please Sell The Dodgers Frank McCourt!

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading fan comments on all that is wrong with the Dodgers. A lot of finger pointing. Kemp’s lack of hustle. Manny being Manny. Casey’s beard…or lack thereof. Garret Anderson’s BA < his weight. Belisario, Troncoso, and Sherrill blowing holds. Haeger pitching hangers. Furcal’s injuries. Loney’s lack of power. Torre abusing the bullpen. And on and on…

Some are valid points.  Some are ridiculous.  I think the only Dodger who has avoided any blame is Ethier. Dre practices hard, plays hard, and has truly earned his Captain Clutch nickname.  It doesn’t hurt that the ladies find him dreamy.

But let’s all please go to the root of the Dodger woes.  It starts at the top.  Frank McCourt.

A parking lot developer from Boston who first tried to buy his beloved Red Sox…followed by the Angels and the Tampa Bay Bucs.  Finally he settled on the Dodgers and since MLB was anxious to replace the evil Murdoch, Bud Selig overlooked McCourt’s questionable liquidity and character.

What a goldmine this turned out to be for the real estate developer who immediately realized the untapped retail possibilities in Chavez Ravine.  Who cares about a World Series title when McCourt stands to make hundreds of millions after he develops Chavez Ravine into a restaurant and retail strip mall?  And who cares about the pristine character and history of Chavez Ravine?  Obviously not Frank McCourt.

McCourt has since dragged the good Dodger name through the mud and tabloids with his high-profile divorce.  This divorce has revealed a slush fund created by McCourt to extract more money from the Dodgers than allowed by the Board of Directors and an exorbitant salary paid to his two sons for doing nothing.  And let’s not forget the recent discovery of a Russian wizard, Vladimir Schpunt, who McCourt paid a six-figure salary to channel positive energy to the team.

What is most disturbing to me is the promise McCourt once made to Dodger fans to keep the Dodgers in the top 25% of payroll in the league.  In 2010, this should have left us at approximately $115 million…roughly $20 million more than current.  For $20 million, we could have offered arbitration to both Wolf and Garland….and acquired Cliff Lee this past winter.

Where would we be right now with these three on our roster?