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Dodgers hope there's no place like home

April 29, 2010 |  6:39 am
Ned Colletti is upset, Matt Kemp is miffed, Dave Stewart is angry, Joe Torre is walking a tightrope and the Dodgers are dead last in the National League.

Welcome home, boys.

They play 162 games a year, but these first 20 have to feel a lot longer than just the initial eighth of the season. Try 40 years in the wilderness. It really is only April, it just seems like a lost season in August.

Emotions have already flared, fingers have pointed, players have been injured, and losses have mounted.

If ever a team needed to come home, it’s the Dodgers.

No team in baseball has lost as many road games (11). The Phillies are the only other N.L. team to have played as few games at home (six).

Twenty games or not, the Dodgers need to right themselves before things get seriously out of hand. A 10-game homestand couldn’t sound any sweeter.

Here’s some good news: The Dodgers are five games back with 142 to play! And people call me a cynic.

The warning signs seem to be everywhere, which explains why Colletti went off on the team Tuesday, and when asked specifically about Kemp, him in particular.

No one claimed that everything Colletti said wasn’t true, but an uproar was in full swing anyway. People can get so sensitive when management calls out its players, not that it’s some new phenomenon.

Kemp was agitated, but at least refrained from lashing back. His agent, Stewart, was more pointed, accusing Colletti of trying to shift the blame from his own failures to assemble a strong team. Torre carefully avoided taking sides.

Maybe this early turmoil can help unify the team and bring it together, in which case four months from now everyone will be looking back at this week and saying what a wily guy that Colletti was.

The Dodgers start their homestand against the Pirates by sending Clayton Kershaw on Thursday and Chad Billingsley, coming off his best start, on Friday. Pittsburgh counters with Brian Burres (0-1, 9.31 ERA) and Charlie Morton (0-4, 16.20), so there are hopes for two potential victories to turn things around.

A little winning streak and maybe the Dodgers find themselves. Maybe not, but we’re being positive here.

If they do, then they can look back on this last stretch as just one of the funky periods in a long season. One that came undesirably early.

Home may have never appeared so appealing. At least not in April.

--Steve Dilbeck
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