Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
The Dodgers Win the Western Division
Congratulations are in order for The Western Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers! It sounds so good to say CHAMPIONS! It feels so much better as a player having accomplished the task. When the Dodgers caught the Diamondback at home by beat Philadelphia Phillies and winning three out of four games against the Milwaukee Brewers. You knew it was on then. What a run the Dodgers put on in September to get the lead in the western Division. When they left on the road trip to Philadelphia and Washington DC and lost eight straight games, I wondered if they had any heart left to fight with in their face off with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Manny Ramirez caught fire! And as Manny went, so went the Dodgers. It was fun to watch as he man handled the Diamondback Pitching staff. Every once in a while a player gets so hot that he tells the team to "saddle me up!" I'll carry you for a while. The Dodgers did just that and Manny delivered, big hit after big hit. This sparked the men in Blue to where others joined in on the fun and The Western Division Title was won. Well the story isn't finished; we are playoff bound which is awesome! The reason why you want to go to the playoffs is to see if you can finish the course, Can you finish the race to be the last man standing? Can you get the Holy Grail and be the lone team standing on the mountain top; Champions of the World? This accomplishment is worth its weight in gold. Go for it! and do your thang Big Blue, Do Your Thang!!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Dodgers Day to Reflect
Monday day off, I know; let's watch the Diamondbacks! This is the time of the year where everyone who is tied to the organization watches the score board. The Dodgers magic number is 5, what that means is a combination of wins and losses between them and the team behind them.
If the Diamondbacks win tonight they will be 2 games back with 6 games to play I think that keep the number the same for a Dodgers to win the division. Each day that passes from here out, the number shrinks because the days are running out. This puts all the pressure on the Diamondbacks to win every day hoping the Dodgers just lay down the last week of the season. If the Dodgers win one more series it's all over and we win the title. I hope that helps.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Winnning Isn't Easy
As the Dodgers wind down the final week of the season it's not going to be easy. It is great being the team on top, but the flip side of the coin is everyone is gunning for you. Who can change who goes to the playoffs down the stretch? That is the only reason the teams out of the pennant race have to play for. The Dodgers have handled themselves well with a hard fought series against the Giants and we come out with a 2 ½ game lead. With the San Diego Padres coming into Dodger stadium to try spoil the Dodgers victory party, if you had to pick a team to play in the last week of the regular season, the Padres would be my pick.
The season has been over for the Padres for a long time and they are waiting for next year. The story about all the Padres rookies dressing up in Hooters gear, let's you know that they've been finished a long time and just playing out the schedule and having fun. This is the kind of teams that can mess up what we are trying to accomplish because they are done, the only motivation for them is to play spoiler. Tough it out Dodgers and finish the race.
Friday, September 19, 2008
You Have to Believe
I was listening to the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Minnesota Twins, as Orel Hershiser called the game; he mentioned a baseball quote that all winning teams chant.
"You Have To Believe!" That was our number one saying for the 1988 Dodgers. "You have to believe"! When I look back on some of the games that we won in 1988, the energy that you receive from being in one accord is so contagious. During the 1988 season someone new would be the hero each week. Tommy Lasorda coined it as: 'if you can get 25 guys pulling on the same side of the rope you can make great things happen. "You have to believe"! It's an intangible energy, as a team you can feel it and you know something special is happening. When a team becomes as one, its super special, I truly don't think people realize how deep that is. "As one" that is what happens when you get married, you become as one with your spouse. With the different ways that people are raised it's proven to be a difficult task and the reason why the divorce rate sores at 58%.
Twenty years ago the Dodgers became as one and did something super special, we didn't know it at the time but as the years pile up you realize it was a special time in history. For the Dodgers, it was special for each individual player, coach, staff member and fan. Since that time we have been bound together in history and we feel a kinship with one another that can brighten up any room. As the Dodgers season comes to a close, I hope they get to experience the oneness that winning gives you for your team the organization and the city. Keep moving forward big blue.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Dodger Baseball at Its Best
As we get to the final two weeks of the season with a 3 ½ game lead, everything you do on the baseball field has greater meaning. The media examines every word that is spoken by a player or management to create news. Every move the manager makes has to be justified under a fine tooth comb. Every mistake a players makes are examined closely to determined is this the one play or error that cost us from going to the playoff? Or that launched us into playing in October. Everything has meaning to it, what did you have for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and how many hits did it yield? How do you prepare for the game and is it beneficial to the team's success? The lineup that Joes Torre puts on the field each day has to be justified how come Ethier and not Kemp Why is Loney hitting behind Ramirez, EVERYTHING!!! .
It all boils down to winning. If you win, everything is cool, and if you don't we will find a reason why. After 150 games under your belt it all boils down to the last 10 games, are you ready to meet the challenge, In October it's game on but you have to get to October. Press on Big Blue!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Win the Series and Win the Series Again
This has been a good road trip for the team. The Dodgers objective is to continue to win series; in the process you will drop a game here and there but winning series is how all the great teams find themselves in the playoff year after year. It sounds so easy but winning series requires a lot of thing working in your favor. Most Teams start the season off with a 5 man pitching rotation. In September it drops down to a four man rotation with extra arms in the bullpen to cover for a bad outing.
The Dodgers have won 14 of the last 16 games and are 3 ½ games up with 10 to play. A win tomorrow in Pittsburgh will be the fifth series in a row they have won which has vaulted them on top of the Western Division. At this point the Dodgers are in charge of their own destiny taking each battle one game at a time with the playoff within reach. Keep on truckin' Big Blue.
Monday, September 15, 2008
In Baseball Timing Is Everything
We have seen it so much in basketball and football where a team gels at the right time, the impact players get healthy at the right time and all the cylinders are hitting on point. The timing is right for the Dodgers coming into the last 12 games of the season. All their stars aren't healthy but they've had players step up and contribute to make up the void. Furcal goes down Berroa steps up, Kent goes down Garciapara goes down DeWitt steps up fills the void. The Dodgers make a deal to get Casey Blake at the right time. Blake come up big wearing Dodger blue. Billingsley has stepped up and so many others when their time had come.
We lose Andruw Jones to injury and Andre Ethier mans up and makes a name for himself. Matt Kemp, his star starts to shine; with the addition of Manny Ramirez the Dodgers have perfect timing to win the Western division title. They struck first while the iron was hot and everybody else followed but a little too late. The Houston Astros who are putting together a great end of season run but it may be too late. Timing in Baseball is everything and on September 15th the Dodgers are playing a good hand with 12 to play. Hold your head high big blue we are counting down the days.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Headed to the Rockies Where the Air is Light and the Balls Fly High
The Dodgers are leaving San Diego on a high note. Winning 2 out of 3 and gaining more confidence each day. This is the pace we must stay on to win the Title in the west and the stars are lining up. Takashi Saito is close to returning to the pen, and there was sighting of Rafael Furcal who has been out since May. If you remember the Rockies from last year, what a story. What a run they had to finish the season and make it to the playoffs, you didn't have to be a Rockies fan to appreciate what they did in the month of September to get by the Diamondbacks. This was just great baseball. Having said that, this is not the team that performed so well down the strecth. I expect the Dodgers to dominate these guys. The Dodgers come in Colorado with momentum and Manny. Manny is so hot that I wanted to share a poem about being hot with you:
I'm seeing the ball very well
I dare to say I'm hot
Anything you throw I'll hit
So throw me all you've got
I'll take the first strike, if I choose
Hell, I'll even take strike 2
I know that you can't get me out
I'm overmatching you
I stand there laughing at your stuff
I know that can't be it
Make-up a pitch
Throw something I can't hit……That is just half of the poem, It goes on and it's awesome. I think I will get together with him and do an e-book down the road. But that is how hot Manny Ramirez is right now. His confidence has inspired our team to step it up to the next level and take the West. To do that you have to come through the Rockies. Move on Big Blue and go do your thang!!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
It' feels so much better being 2 1/2 games up and playing well, then back in the pack waiting for the end of the season. Playing against the teams on the bottom of the division gives us a good chance to win the Western Division Title. All we have to do is win each series.
The funny thing about baseball, you can lead the division all year long like the Diamondbacks and if you run out of gas in September it was all for not. The Dodgers are coming on at the right time, it's not explosive but we are trucking along, like the Little Engine That Could. Inch by inch we are making head way with the finish line insight. From here on it has to be tunnel vision, keeping your eye on the prize, one game at a time with the title in full view. This is where you say as a team and player if it's going to be it's up to me; it's time to finish what we started. Move over the Dodgers are making their move.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Schedule down the stretch Will Count
As we finish up the first week of September, I think the schedule will favor the Dodgers down the stretch. The Diamondbacks finish out there schedule having to fight against the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers will battle against San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants. Not one of those teams is close to winning anything. The danger is they all are playing spoiler. Between the two schedules I would rather have the Dodgers schedule. In the game of baseball when in a pennant race you still have to go out and play hard. For the teams that don't have anything to play for. This is a time of the year for the organization to look at other players for next season. Decisions have to be made on player and it's a great time to see who you have in the organization. With that being said, to get to the playoff you have to finish. One of the toughest things in sports is finishing. So far it's looking pretty good. Go Big Blue
Monday, September 8, 2008
The Dodgers Were Backing UP To Get Their Missiles in Range
When the Dodgers lost eight straight games to start their last road trip, I thought it was all over for the Dodgers. It didn't look like they had any life left in them after a good home stand to take a lead of the Western Division. To take a lead and then hand it over as we approach the last month of the season left a bad taste in my month. But what a turn around, as fast as we took ourselves out of the race by losing eight straight, we put ourselves back on top by winning eight straight. What a rollercoaster ride. The emotions you go through the ups and downs are taxing on the heart. Win all ready!! I can't take all of this. Is this the push for the title we've been waiting for? Do we finally see the light as a team? Do we have everybody pulling on the same side of the rope with all ego set aside? If so this can be fun to watch.
The Dodgers have beaten the diamondbacks 6 out of the last 7 games to take a 1 ½ lead in the Western Division. Way to go Dodgers, it looks like it will be a bumpy ride all the way to the finish line. We have come so far, let's finish with a bang.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Fruits of Victory
As the Dodgers continue there up and down season I'm reminded that winning is always better than losing. When you win five straight you look forward to coming to the stadium, The fans are friendly, the guard's wave and smile, the air is cleaner and the food tastes better. You truly have forgotten everything that happened before we won five straight. That's the great part about playing 162 games, there's always tomorrow and you began the day with a clean slate. Everything changes in September because the end of the season is insight. By this time you've worked out all the kinks, your team has had a bunch of injuries or guys made it through the season in one piece and it's time to play your best hand. In September there is no bluffing, everybody in the league has something to play for. Either you are out of the pennant race and you are playing spoiler, or you are in a pennant race and you want to run the table. The teams that are out of the race they play with no pressure and step to the plate swinging free. The teams that are in a pennant race try to focus and execute inning by inning. These are the things that make this game special.
The Dodgers have so many things going on at the same time with their roster that it requires great management skills. You have young players starting to step up and make their mark on the game and you have veterans that have paved the way but are fading in skills. The day is long but the time is short, this part of the year it's all about winning. This is the very reason Joe Torre is in Los Angeles. Dodger fans watch him do his September magic and lead the Dodgers to a Western Division title. Keep on truckin' Big Blue.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
There Is No Place like Home
Being back in the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium is good medicine for the Dodgers. Winning four straight games is good for the personality. Being 1 ½ game back, makes coming to the ball park a lot more fun. Just when you think we've reached our peak and there isn't anything left in the tank, the boys in blue reel you back in by winning four straight games. There is a saying in baseball when your back is against the wall come out fighting. Fight on Big Blue!!. We have a good team; we are talented at every position. I don't want to be the first to say it, but the Dodgers are playing better without Nomar and Kent in the Lineup. Maybe I haven't seen enough games but when Kent and Nomar are on the bench the team seems to click better. You want to have that experience on the field if you can, but like the old Ragtime songs said: "you've got to get the getting while the getting is good" that is exactly what Andre Ethier and the others are doing. One day soon it will be a consistence contribution you can depend on. Until then play your hearts out boys in Blue.
Monday, September 1, 2008