Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jon Weisman, Feeling You!

The Dodgers' recent media coverage has gotten so absurd over the last week, pointing fingers and fanning flames of discontent, that it's made me loopy enough to channel Vic the frickin' Brick in my headline. Sorry, Jon. But I did appreciate Dodger Thoughts' morning post echoing SoSG's sentiments this week (sorry for the long post, but it's good--the headline is even in RED for a change--and there's more on the orginal DT link):

Today, I read yet another column scapegoating one of the team's most valuable position players, Matt Kemp, for the Dodgers' fall into fourth place - and going on to suggest that he could be traded, maybe should be traded.

The player is being criticized for a bad attitude, even though he is surrounded by veterans with bad attitudes. Different kinds of bad attitudes, perhaps, but bad attitudes nevertheless.

The player is being critcized for speaking out in the press, even though he did so in response to veterans speaking out in the press.

The player is being criticized for on-field mistakes, even though veterans have repeatedly made the same on-field mistakes.

The player is being criticized for perhaps not being willing to learn, even though the veteran that started this whole thing has been one of the most irascible, stubborn people in baseball, whose baserunning in the past two seasons indicates that he hasn't learned nearly as much as he wants us to think.

Headline from inside today's Daily Irony: Sweeney hopes to stay on as a voice of experience

Yes, Mark Sweeney. The veteran who made the single dumbest baserunning mistake of the year.

I have had it with the utter stupidity that has come out of the Dodger clubhouse and local papers this past week.

Bill Plaschke writes that Kemp's "power and speed have been negated by silly at-bats and baserunning mistakes."

Negated?? Are you serious??

The silly at-bats have already been factored into his on-base percentage and slugging percentage, which currently stand at .364 and .509. Yes, those are the numbers of the irresponsible Kemp.

The baserunning mistakes? What have there been, five? Ten? Let's say the latter. Instead of 198 outs in 294 plate appearances, give Kemp 208 outs in 294 plate appearances. Wow, what a change.


Is third-base coach Rich Donnelly going to be traded in response to the baserunning mistakes on his watch?...

Here's an idea that apparently isn't good enough for the papers: Why not have the manager and coaches do the damn mentoring? Seriously, what else are they there for? If Grady Little and the coaching staff are too weak to do it, then bring in a drill seargent. Hell, bring in Lou Gossett, Jr. and have him go all Sgt. Foley on Kemp.

Couldn't have said it better.

  • Kemp has made foolish baserunning mistakes, true. But he hasn't been the only one by far. Mark Sweeney and Jeff Kent are up there as well. And, unlike Sweeney, Kemp's bat has more than made up for any mistakes on the basepaths.
  • Rich Donnelly needs to be held accountable for these baserunning mistakes in the first place. That's his job. And though I didn't mention it on last night's post, I don't know who was to blame for Kent getting nailed last night at the plate--Ethier for his weak fly ball, Kent for his slowness and lack of impact at the plate, or Donnelly for his sending of Kent (or non-sending of Kent that was effectively ignored). My guess is, it's at least 75% Donnelly if not more. We've been on this issue since the NLCS debacle last year, and it hasn't gotten any better all year long.
  • Which gets to the "what the hell are the Dodgers coaches doing anyway" point. Yeah, there's been a closed door meeting or two. Big whoop. The fact that this has leaked all over the press and Grady and crew haven't put a stop to this circus demonstrates how they aren't the proper ringmasters.
  • And LA Times, get a life. There are countless angles to this story that you haven't considered, and yet you're inundating us with the same crappy lead. Heck, if Plaschke's taken up the cause, you know it's old news. What's next? A story about how one of the Dodger rookies gets fed boxed meals of chicken by his mom? Aspire to be better journalists than at the Oklahoman. And don't make me go Mike Gundy on you.

And Jon, don't worry. I'm not feeling you, literally or otherwise. But, nice piece.


Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

Hah - sorry guys, definitely posted about Weisman and his red text as soon as I saw it, before I came here. Looks like you beat me to it! Great minds think alike?

Steve Sax said...

MSTI, we are feeling you too. No apology necessary--we need all hands fighting the good fight against Plaschke and his Kemp-trading lunacy.