This Dodger club is a whole team of “Stunt Men”
Matt Treanor is the new Rick Dempsey, Scott Van Slyke-Mickey Hatcher. Justin Sellers- Dave Anderson. Bobby Abreu-Danny Heep, Adam Kennedy-Tracy Woodson. I honestly believe that it may be more appropriate to label this group of guys as the “Stunt Men,” even more so than the original group. Why? Heck, the whole team is made up them that does nothing but win. It’s a rag tag team of AAA and AAAA veterans that are playing out of their minds.
|A Jon Soo Hoo photo following the Dodgers Game 5 win over the Mets in the NLCS. Such "Stunt Men" as Mickey Hatcher, Tracy Woodson, Franklin Stubbs are seen.|
These are guys that are willing to dive through rings of fire while doused in lighter fluid and jump into the stands after foul balls like Justin Sellers did the other night. Players that sacrifice their bodies diving after grounders and crashing into walls for the meandering fly ball. Men that will break up a double play, block a plate and hustle their way to extra bases at the blink of an eye. And it isn’t just the substitutes either.
|Justin Sellers dives into the stands for that catch as Adam Carolla looks on in the background.|
Think about it. Does a srappy catcher like AJ Ellis look anything other than a stunt double for Corbin Bernsen? AJ wouldn’t get the leading role in his own biopic. He’s a gritty, tough guy. An after thought to most. Definitely a “stunt man” that happened to be thrown into the limelight of a starting role. Something that he has thrived at, just as Mickey Hatcher did while filling in for Kirk Gibson or Rick Dempsey did covering for an injured Scioscia. AJ is the kind of guy that makes his opponent work to get him out. The pesky hitter that fouls off 5 pitches during an at bat waiting for that perfect one to slap into right field.
|AJ Ellis could easily play the Roger Dorn stunt double, except he's a better player.|
Tony Gwynn Jr. ? A defensive guru and extra base machine. A hustling defender that refuses to let the ball touch the ground in his territory. He’s the kind of guy that brings his lunch pail to work and is the ultimate go-fer on the construction site. You need a bucket of nails pronto. “Tell Tony to run and get it, and quick!” Vroom, he’s back saying, “Anything else you need!”
Scott Van Slyke? A big kid, afraid of nothing. Need a pinch hitter in a clutch situation? Send that fearless kid out there. Never mind that the game is on the line and that there are 45,000 screaming fans. Nothing fazes this guy. Let’s see. We have this scene where we need a driver to time jumping the Ford Torino off the ramp just as the freight train’s flatbed cars arrive so he won’t get splattered by the box cars. Who can we use? Oh, I forgot. He’s gonna land in a bog of alligators, so he’ll have to get out of the car, wade through and fight off the gators and then jump off the cliff to the waiting foam mattress below. Wait, let's make that a lake full of pirahna that he jumps into. Who? Yeah the big kid, Van Slyke can do it. If anything happens to him, we got a backup...that Sands dude. Yeah him.
|Scott Van Slyke jumping a freight train.|
We need a couple of fast runners. They have to run 200 yards through the airport, hurdle three sets of luggage carts, catch the .45 and nunchucks tossed to them and apprehend a couple of bad guys with blindside tackles, and then use martial arts to apprehend and cuff the 7 terrorists that are about to hijack the jumbo jet. All in 14.9 seconds. No problem. Dee Gordon and Elian Herrera are your men.
Matt Treanor, why he’s the guy that carries the 2x4 in Walking Tall. No need for firearms of knives for him. Just a hunk of wood to take care of business. Sometimes, like last night, he uses that piece of lumber to smoke a pitch about 400 feet. Other times, he’s blocking the plate. All the time, he’s calling a masterpiece of a game as he’s got his buddy, Chris Capuano’s back. Treanor is the patient stunt man. A guy that waits his turn, something that he knows he’ll get, usually about once a week.
|Matt Treanor breaks up the double play in last night's action (photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP)|
These stunt men have come through. Now 5-2 since the leading man has been out. They’ve held the club together with spit, grit, spunk, guts and gusto. Sure many of their batting averages aren’t pretty. Certainly their uniforms need extra cleaning after each day on the set. What these guys are doing is succeeding as a group. They pick each other up and sacrifice for one another. They’re consummate team players. They are the 2012 Stunt Men. The National League West Leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
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