Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, June 17, 2013

Off to the Bronx, Finally...Oh, and Those Padres

For years the only inter-league matchup that I found to be interesting would be the Dodgers returning to old Yankee Stadium.  For some unfathomable reason that only Bud Selig and MLB scheduling committee can understand, that traditional past World Series matchup never happened.  Instead the Dodgers made two trips to Tropicana Field in Tampa and Rogers Centre at Toronto and five visits to such A.L. West opposing teams as Texas, Oakland, and Seattle.  They failed to make one appearance in the Bronx.

I’m a traditionalist that always believed that the mystique of the World Series was that the teams never faced each other after playing a full 162 games in the other league.  There are those that laud Selig for introducing inter-league play to the game in 1997.  I believe it to be one of his biggest mistakes.  The scheduling of baseball set it apart from all the other professional sports leagues and as a result, such things as the World Series and even the All Star game were spectacles of a unique taste as we were witnessing the best from each league that needed to depend on scouting reports and the general unknown.

Anyway, the Dodgers go to the new Yankee Stadium tomorrow for the first time.  It’s a two game set that many anticipated and as the Dodgers head into the Bronx, they’re a full 10 games below .500 and in last place.  The luster of this series has lost it’s sparkle.  The Dodgers go there as an embarrassing cast of under-achievers in last place.

Hyun-Jin Ryu starts the first game in New York which I presume will have a respectable Korean fan presence, as he did when the Dodgers visited the Mets earlier this season.  Hiroki Kuroda starts the second game against his former team.  This isn’t quite the way we envisioned facing Kuroda in pinstripes.  I was hoping it would be in the Fall Classic, just as the Dodgers faced former teammate Tommy John in the ’81 series or Bob Welch and Dave Stewart in the ’88 fall classic.  Unfortunately, this is about as close they’ll get to the big dance.

Hyun-Jin Ryu during his appearance in New York in April.

An interesting tidbit to this series is the return of Don Mattingly to his old roots.  Mattingly, was a finalist to replace Joe Torre during the hiring process in 2007, only to lose out to Joe Girardi for the post.  There are some Dodger fans that are currently fed up with the Dodger manager who could probably pinpoint that day as a dark one for the Dodgers as it resulted in setting the wheels in motion for the Torre/Mattingly era at Dodger Stadium.

It’ll be interesting to see how Don handles the press corps from the big city that is known to be amongst the most brutal in sports.  I’m fairly certain that had Mattingly been the manager of a Yankee team that was 10 games under .500 in mid-June, he’d have been run out of the manager’s chair.


Those Pesky Padres

Who would have guessed that the San Diego Padres will be a formidable contender for the division crown?  After a six game winning streak ( and 9 out of 11) over good opponents (Colorado, Atlanta and Arizona) they have moved a game over .500 and are sitting two games out of first place.  They host the reeling Giants at Petco Park starting tonight, being a half game behind San Francisco and a game and a half behind Colorado.  With a sweep of the Giants, the Pads may find themselves in first place by Thursday.  

Everth Cabrera has been leading the Padres.  Unfortunately for the Friars, he injured his hamstring in yesterday's action and is likely headed for the disabled list.

This is quite a feat for a team of nobodies that sat 10 games under .500 on April 23rd following their worst start in franchise history.  Since the Padres 5-15 start, they are 30-19 all with a ragtag team of young players and a slumping and injured Chase Headley (.221 BA).  Alonso, Gyorko and Everth Cabrera are carrying this team with their bats. (note: Cabrera injured himself in yesterday's action).   Eric Stultz (6-5, 3.25 ERA),  Jason Marquis (9-2, 3.63 ERA), Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.52 ERA) are leading the staff.  Eric Stultz?  Can you believe that?

It's the teams like the over-achieving Padres that can drive a Dodger fan crazy.  I despise that team, but not as much as I'm angry with a Dodger team that can't stay healthy and is unable to hit with men in scoring position.

If you think about it.  This should be a year in which the Dodgers win the division.  Arizona sits on top with a record just a few games over .500.  The remainder of the division is within 2 games of that lead.  A .540 winning percentage would be leading the division right now and the Dodgers are sitting at .426.   Frustrating...but believe it or not, this thing isn't over.  At least statistically that is.

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