Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Thanks to the Dodgers for an entertaining 2011 season. When they were 14 games under the break even mark on July 5th, things looked pretty bleak. The fact that they picked up 17 games in the last two and a half months was very impressive.
At this moment in time, aside from the Phils and Brewers, I see no better team in the N.L. Yes, many could argue the Diamondbacks, but the Dodgers can hold their own with them, as proven in the final three games of the season.
Thank you to Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, for turning out the best two performances in the league this year. I am convinced that they both should take home the trophies. Their numbers prove it, no doubt about it. We’ll see if the East Coast bias costs them those deserving prestigious awards.
Thank you to Dee Gordon, for showing us that the Dodgers have an exciting shortstop to watch for years to come. A stat line of .304 BA, .325 OBP, 24 SB in only 56 games in promising to say the least. I was a doubter before this season and now I’m a Gordon believer. Acrobatic defensive plays, the fastest player in the game...Dee Gordon is a threat that will be able to set the table at the top of the Dodger lineup for years to come.
Thank you Ted Lilly. The final month was a resurgence of the player many of us thought Colletti signed last year. A quality end of August and September lowered his ERA to 3.97 for the season. And no homers surrendered for the last month. That was quite an astounding turn around.
Thank you Kenley Jansen. A lights out reliever with a cutter that is darting all over the place and confusing hitters. Jansen has closer stuff and will be on the back end of the Dodger bullpen for years to come. The nastiest stuff in the National League and after only 2 years as a full-time pitcher. Amazing.
Thank you Tony Gwynn Jr. for those game saving catches. Sparkling defense. A decent bat, blazing speed and a fantastic positive attitude. I hope he returns.
Thank you Jerry Sands for a great September run and a taste of things to come. Another year of experience and you’ll be shining as a Dodger and be a legitimate threat in the Dodger outfield.
Thank you James Loney for your comeback. Though I believe you have spent your last days in a Dodger uniform, I must admit that your performance late in the year was respectable and a pleasant surprise.
Thank you Javy Guerra. Overwork cost you yesterday, but I’ll say this much. You’re a closer that isn’t afraid to challenge hitters with your best stuff when everything is on the line. A gutsy player that has a great future. The back end of Guerra and Jansen is very promising indeed.
Thank you Jamey Carroll. For two consecutive years he has left it all on the field. An all out effort on every play. If you’ve played your last game as a Dodger, you’ll always be remembered as a player that hustled and gave 100%.
Thank you Casey Blake. It was a disappointing year, I know. But you were a solid Dodger. A great team player and responsible for much of the teams success in ’08 and ’09. Best of luck in your recovery and future health.
Thank you Hiroki Kuroda, for your best season ever. Sorry for the lack of run support. You’re welcome to come back next year. We’d be thrilled to have you and you’ll get more wins definitely with the kids playing from the outset.
Thank you Don Mattingly and the coaching staff. This was a unified crew that kept this young team together under the most difficult of circumstances with the ownership problems. Finishing 82-79 was very respectable with all of the distractions this year. Davey Lopes and Tim Wallach contributed significantly. No ego-maniacs like Torre and Bowa with this staff. Trey Hillman is a positive bench coach that didn’t alienate the rising stars like Schaeffer did. They deserve to all return next year. Good decision Ned.
As difficult as the McCourt situation has been, these kids played their tails off and made many of us forget the woes that the ownership situation has brought. The distractions were almost forgotten. We'd watch Kemp and Kershaw dominate the league. We saw the kids step up and show that they belong in the show. 2012 is now something I look forward to. We all should. I'm just hoping that Ned doesn't make a ridiculous trade or signing that distracts from the amazing chemistry this group of guys have.
One last "thank you" to all the readers of this blog. It has been an enjoyable ride. On to the off-season and hot stove. It'll be a 188-day break away from the greatest game on earth. Let the countdown begin.