Despite the fine writing of Dodgers beat writer Steve Henson, who gives a relatively balanced preview of the 2007 Dodgers in today's special Baseball section, the LA Times' Bill Shaikin predicts the Dodgers to finish third in the NL West this year, behind the Diamondbacks and Padres.
What's shakin', Shaikin? What's with the hometown paper dissing our boys in blue? Writes Shaikin:
Check the radar gun at the home opener: $47-million pitching ace Jason Schmidt struggled to top 85 mph this spring.
If that's the worst you can say about this team, Bill, you really are a sourpuss. There are things about which to be concerned with the lineup--the prevalence of veterans, the lack of a power bat, the injury to Furcal to start the season, the out-making ability of already-maligned Juan Pierre--but to start picking on our newly acquired ace is ridiculous. Schmidt's fastball is no slower than Barry Zito's, and at almost 1/3 the price. You're drinking from the wrong koolaid jar, Bill.
But then, said koolaid jar didn't stop you from showering the Angels with first-place accolades, based on their rotation alone (since they didn't make any moves this off-season you could criticize, I suppose).
Maybe Steve Henson can take Bill Shaikin out back for a little shaikin-down. (Hey, and take Bill Plaschke while you're at it, Steve, to thank him for his UCLA-dooming prediction that UCLA would beat Florida last night.)