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Sadly, it's time for the Dodgers to end the Garret Anderson experiment

June 7, 2010 |  8:11 am
Let’s understand something right off the top: I’m a Garret Anderson fan.

Admire his terrific career. Like the way he’s conducted himself in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Appreciate his swing when it’s on. Think it’s great the Dodgers decided to gamble on his experience being an asset off the bench.

But I also know this: It hasn’t worked.

It’s time to face the facts. Like his .149 batting average.

The season is over a third old, and Anderson just isn’t getting it done.

It’s getting harder and harder to justify his place on the team, based largely on past accomplishments. Sadly, it’s time for the Dodgers to move on.

Anderson’s main role is as the left-handed pinch hitter, with the occasional outfield start.

With injuries this season giving both Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier stints on the disabled list, Anderson has actually played more than anticipated. He’s had 13 hits in 89 at-bats.

In his 16 years in the major leagues, he has never been primarily a pinch hitter. Patience seemed the proper order. Yet as a pinch hitter, he’s batting just .156 (five for 32).

He’s not hitting as a starter or a pinch-hitter. He’s no bargain as a fielder. He’s nothing exciting on the bases. Truth is, he’s not adding anything to team production.

Anderson will be 38 on June 30. He went 0 for 3 Sunday. Wouldn't Xavier Paul be an upgrade? Wouldn't almost anyone?

Oddly, he appears almost happier in the Dodgers' clubhouse than during his 14 years with the Angels. He certainly seems to smile a lot more.

Yet the numbers provide a telling story, and it’s not a happy ending. Numbers that are not improving.

How long can the Dodgers wait?

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
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