First, Tony's side. Yes, this team sucks right now. The rotation is in tatters; we're lucky Penny and Lowe are healthy enough to start. Billingsley seems determined to apply Bret Saberhagen's even-odd approach to individual starts. Unfortunately, help is not on the way: Schmidt is toast, Wolf might be toast. And while Hendrickson and Tomko kept their pride intact by holding Bonds homerless, they're simply unreliable.
It gets worse: The Dodgers' biggest weakness has been their bats. Going 1-for-25 with RISP has been as much demoralizing as ineffective. Both the kids and veterans can share the blame on this one, but there is a tiny glimmer of hope as Tony reports that Kent should return for the Cincinnati series starting Tuesday.
Now, Jon's side. Don't forget the NL West has a tradition of mediocrity. Injuries have also hampered the Diamondbacks, Padres and Rockies. While the Padres seem to be recovering from their own slump, the Diamondbacks are playing out of their minds—about 10 games luckier than their Pythagorean record would suggest.
And while anecdotal evidence suggests that Dodger fans want to keep the kids, doing so may mean sacrificing 2007. The Betemit trade was frustrating—couldn't Ned have gotten at least a back-end starter in return?—but the foundation for future success is still intact.