Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jon Weisman's take on Dodger mess.

Things That Went Wrong for the Dodgers That Have Nothing To Do with Listening Skills

by Jon Weisman

In no particular order:

1) Rafael Furcal was injured.
2) Andruw Jones was out of shape, incompetent and injured.
3) Brad Penny lost effectiveness and was injured.
4) Tony Abreu was injured.
5) Chin-Lung Hu had vision problems.
6) Takashi Saito and Jonathan Broxton blew a few saves in otherwise effective seasons.
7) Chad Billingsley's first start of the season was derailed by a Los Angeles rainstorm.
8) Hong-Chih Kuo was underused in critical situations.
9) Hiroki Kuroda was injured.
10) Gary Bennett was signed.
11) Nomar Garciaparra was injured while Furcal was injured.
12) Jeff Kent is 40.
13) Andy LaRoche can't get more than two starts in a row to prove himself, which would be okay if Blake DeWitt had a batting average of more than .217, an on-base percentage of more than .277 and a slugging percentage of more than .263 over his past 46 games.
14) Juan Pierre was overused at the expense of Andre Ethier.
15) Mark Sweeney could not buy a hit even on layaway.
16) Brian Falkenborg gave Hanley Ramirez an easy pitch to hit.
17) The Dodger front office made some sloppy decisions.

But by all means, let's blame those insufferable kids who can't listen for everything – the kids who represent a great deal of everything that's good about the 2008 Dodgers. Players are getting hurt left and right, players are old, players are ill-chosen – but who cares? The kids aren't perfect, so they must be the problem.

You know, in my own life, I'm not accomplishing everything I wanted to. I think I'll blame my kids. Because I've seen other 3- and 5-year-olds who are perfect. So it must be my kids' fault.

Look, you can trade Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Carney's for all I care if you can get a proper return. But good luck trying. In the meantime, if you're going to scapegoat, get a clue. This isn't my approach, but if you want to advocate a culture that espouses professionalism, responsibility and effectiveness, then demand the release of Andruw Jones. If it's those values that matter, if you want that kind of shape-up-or-ship-out integrity, blame Jones for reporting to the team without any of them.

Otherwise, just shut up.


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