—Glengarry Glen Ross
Coffee's not for the Dodgers right now. The Dodgers aren't closers—not in a Takashi Saito sort of way, but in a killer instinct sort of way. The Diamondbacks are trying to hand the Dodgers first place on a silver platter, but the Dodgers are having none of it. "First place? Oh, no we couldn't possibly."
Although winning when your rivals are losing may have as little correlation as maintaining a winning streak, the Dodgers inability to close the sale—6-for-51 with runners in scoring position in their past six games—has basically cost them first place. The Diamondbacks have lost six of their past eight (including Brandon Webb's second consecutive loss), Eric Byrnes is on the disabled list...and still the Dodgers are 3.5 games back. It's enough to make a Dodgers fan steal the Glengarry leads.
It gets worse. Rafael Furcal may not be ready for the next homestand (kudos to Ken Gurnick for this lede: "It's understandable why Rafael Furcal would blow out his back. He was carrying the team"). No Dodger starting pitcher has a winning record. Clayton Kershaw can't pitch every game. As we enter Act II of the 2008 season, let's hope the Dodgers can get their act together. Otherwise, it's curtains.
Does Phil Jackson read SoSG? Probably not, but we have the same thing on our minds. From Bill Plaschke:
For the younger Lakers, indeed, it's all about closing, finishing, finding the energy and intensity to drive that last championship stake.
That was the theme Thursday, where, in a building full of bandwagon-jumping celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Sean "Diddy" Combs, no star was bigger than one who wasn't there.
His name is Alec Baldwin, and his intimidating role as a star salesman in the movie "Glengarry Glen Ross" was featured as one of Phil Jackson's pep talks.
Jackson showed the team the video in which Baldwin's character waves around two brass balls before challenging other salesman to close the deal.
"The money's out there, you pick it up, it's yours," shouted Baldwin in the movie. "You don't, I got no sympathy for you!"
He continued, "You want to go out and close...close, it's yours! If not, you'll be shining my shoes."
"Yeah," said Bryant of the Baldwin video. "We got the message."