Monday, January 06, 2014

Setting 2014 Expectations High

Hey SoSGers. Things have been a little hectic here this holiday season, but I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things, starting with a little housecleaning.

Here's ESPN's Buster Olney from 12/31/2013, with his pronouncement that the Dodgers are the second best team in MLB, behind only the Tigers (link insider only):

They haven't really made a big move yet this winter, re-signing Juan Uribe, Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, and pinning down Dan Haren on a one-year deal. But even if they don't land another pitcher -- Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza or David Price -- they'll have an excellent pitching staff, and of course, the money and the motivation to get better and address holes during the regular season. One GM said that when you consider building a championship team, you have to factor in an additional 5 to 10 percent: The amount of money you can take on to fill needs that develop through injury and unexpected performance lapses. The Dodgers certainly have that.

If the Dodgers play the Tigers in the World Series, it'll be a match of the two teams currently placing the highest value on winning a championship.

They have Yasiel Puig, too, whose talent is as scary as his driving – which is why the Dodgers talked to him after his latest incident. The Dodgers are holding their breath over Puig, writes Bill Plaschke.

Olney had the Cardinals third and the Red Sox fourth. No other NL West team made the top ten.

Speaking of that Plaschke article (from 12/29/2013), it includes this ending quip:

Colletti said he wasn't inclined to give Puig another babysitter, saying, "At some point, everyone is responsible for their own actions. He's not some 16-year-old kid, we can't have someone on his arm all the time. It's up to him to figure it out like we all have to figure it out."

So breaths will remain held, the Dodgers silently rooting that in the 110-mph race of his life, Yasiel Puig will grow up before he blows up.

Too bad Puig probably doesn't read Plaschke.