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Starting pitching no longer beats at the heart of Dodgers

Band-Aids, duct tape, chicken wire, Super Glue.

Journeymen, rejects, reclamation free agents, untested rookies.

The common threat to the Dodgers’ rotation.

Once the pride of the organization, at the core of what made the Dodgers great, now a looming black hole on their season.

A piecemeal group of hurlers that goes from pretty good (Hiroki Kuroda), to promising (Clayton Kershaw), to inconsistent (Chad Billingsley), to injured (Vicente Padilla), to reaching (Charlie Haeger), to recycled (Ramon Ortiz), to drafted from another team’s farm system (Carlos Monasterios), to barely out of double-A (John Ely).

The Phillies are not shaking. Neither is the National League West.

The staff earned-run average is 5.11, 26th in the major leagues. Its 98 walks are the second highest in baseball. It dazzles no one.

And the thing is, there is no reason to believe it will change anytime soon. At least not dramatically. General Manager Ned Colletti said Wednesday, before the Dodgers were swept by the Mets, not to expect immediate help via a trade or a signing.

Which leaves Joe Torre with this patchwork concoction. The new favorite for his fifth starter is TBA.

Poor Ely, 24, did what he could Wednesday. Having pitched his first three games above double-A only this month, it wasn’t like the Dodgers could have expected much. He went six semidecent innings, which sounded about right.

It’s what they’ve been reduced to, and none of it should come as a surprise. The team had the quietest of offseasons. Everyone knew a front-line starter was needed, but none was coming. Innings-eating Randy Wolf, however, was going.

The rotation lacked depth from the moment camp opened. The Dodgers went through a collection of cross-your-fingers types just to fill the fifth spot. Behind the starting five, cardboard cutouts.

The way pitchers suffer arm problems, needing more than five starters was inevitable. Three weeks into the season, and they’ve already been exposed.

Middle relief is a real problem, but it begins with starting pitching. Once the team beacon, now a dark void.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
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2010 off-season. Aaron Harang will be discounted to around $4-$5M and Brandon Webb will be $7-8M. For about 12M the Dodgers can have a rotation of

Webb-Kershaw-Harang-Billingsley-McDonald

Have Dee Gordan learn 2B. He becomes your lead-off hitter in 2011. Sign Crawford for LF

AMEN

aaron harang? that will not solve anything!

In the divorce hearings, haven't the McCourts disclosed that they will be raising ticket & parking prices every year while lowering their payroll expense?

It appears they consider the Los Angeles Dodgers no more than a pure revenue generating entity, and they have no incentive to build a championship caliber team.

Dodger fans have already purchased 2million+ tickets for this season alone! So, when you have high demand even for a defective product, why bother spending for any improvements? That is why Ned Colletti did not go after a starting pitcher in the offseason, and that is why we will not see any immediate help.

Once ticket sales drop dramatically, to a point where the owners cannot afford their $1million+ per month extravagant spending, the McCourts may finally decide to improve the team. But, that will take every Dodger fan to boycott attending games, avoid purchasing Dodger merchandise, and to stop watching & listening to games on the tv, internet, & radio.

Not likely. And the McCourts know this. So, we will have to suffer this season, while they will continue to enjoy their luxurious lifestyle.

Look, its just about money. Follow the money. McCourt is trying to reduce his net worth (and his wife raise it) and have no lingering contracts longer than two years. The team is being readied for immediate sale. If the judge rules he is worth 1 billion (not far fetched). He has to come up with 500 million to pay his wife. He will have a ticking clock to do this. 120 days, 6 months, whatever. He probably has 2-3 million dollars in liquid assets. The rest will come from the sale of the team. If he gets 750 million (not far fetched). He gives Jamie 500 and keeps 250 million for himself. Game done.
Any normal team would go out and get Pedro who is sitting by a pool in the Santo Domingo - ah but that would be 5 million. Yikes!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Dodgers will go as far as their pitching takes them, so gear up for a short trip. The Dodgers don't have an ace, or for that matter, a solid No. 2 guy in the rotation. So don't look for them to finish any higher than second in the NL West. Heck, they may not even finish that high.

Frank McCourt has proved to us this past offseason that the fans of Los Angeles mean nothing to him. Yes getting to the NLCS two years in a row is huge but back before Fox cursed the Dodgers, fans of this franchise expected World Series titles. But this offseason The Dodgers could have acquired at least on two seperate occasions, frontline starters. And they didn't. With pitching the obvious weakness in the Playoffs, the Dodgers did nothing to improve. Now you're going to sit there and tell us Frank McCourt that you did everything you could to improve your pitching staff? That your divorce is not putting this team in a financial headlock? That Ned Colleti, a man who doesn't get enough credit for the smart trades he's made to win these last few years has suddenly lost the knack to sign good players or pull of a trade to get a Cliff Lee or a Roy Halliday? No way Frank. I'm not buying it. So go ahead and slap us in the face and treat us like we're all so dumb that we can't see your hand in the lack of moves this past offseason. This team was close and is still close if you could get some help in that rotation. The bullpen will right itself once you have a starter or two or three that can pitch past the 5th inning. It's a darn shame that the Dodgers aren't competing year in and year out for MLB supremecy with the Yankees and Red sox. There is no excuse when you lead MLB in attendance and thrive in the 2nd largest TV market in America. The Angels and Lakers do it, why can't Frank MCCourt? It's a shame and it's a slap in the face to us fans.

Goodbye Dodgers and MLB, until the McCheap spends some money I will no longer subscribe to MLB extra innings or buy one more piece of dodger apparel. McCourt should be ashamed.

Dear Mr. Cuban, If ever a city needed someone like you, it is now. The City of L.A. needs you to buy the Dodgers. We need to get rid of this cancer that owns the Dodgers. Promise him anything a Parking Lot in Boston. And give him lots of money because that is all he thinks about.

baling wire ,,,,,,, the phrase is baling wire.

TDS

I too will boycott the Dodgers this season. I will with the Lakers and after that? I will just catch up on movies and music. Ignore the baseball season and get ready for football.
* unless of course a miracle happens.

One word for Frank McCourt: SELL!!!

This situation is 100% the fault of Frank McCourt. I hope he gets what deserves and goes bankrupt and loses the team. Thanks for ruining a Southern California institution. Jerk.

Boycotting as well. Dumped MLBtv a few days ago.


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