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Dusting off the crystal ball and gazing into the Dodgers' second half

July 15, 2010 | 11:24 am
Here are 10 things absolutely, positively guaranteed to happen with the Dodgers over the second half:

1) The team will continue to announce paid attendance figures a good 30% higher than Dodger Stadium’s actual attendance.

Some nights the paid attendance figure is so laughable I actually feel sorry for the PR guy making the announcement in the press box. Lots of people must be staying home. No wonder Frank McCourt is having trouble making those alimony payments.

2) Manny Ramirez will go on the disabled list again.

I’d say he’s suddenly an old 38, but 38 already is old for a ballplayer.

3) Andre Ethier will continue to be the Dodgers’ best and worst interview.

He’s like Pinto in "Animal House," a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. You never know which one you’re going to get.

Ethier can be insightful, funny and intelligent. Or he can be terse, confrontational and belligerent. You roll the dice, you take your chances.

4) George Sherrill will return from his new pod as an effective late-inning reliever.

I have absolutely no logical reason to believe this, I just do.

5) Joe Torre will announce in September this is his last season managing.

George Steinbrenner might have been difficult to work for, but everybody in the Yankees' organization understood the mandate -- to win. Why would Torre come back to manage under a dysfunctional, uncertain ownership situation?

6) General Manager Ned Colletti will add a pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

I didn’t say a significant pitcher, I said a pitcher.

7) Vladimir Shpunt will take pity on a struggling Dodgers team in mid-August and send them some free positive energy.

And people say Russian seers have no heart. Anyway, for what he got paid, he owes them.

8) Vicente Padilla will go on the disabled list with bruised ribs.

This after temporarily forgetting he’s in the National League, plunking one guy too many and getting it back in his next at-bat.

9) Matt Kemp will continue to spend an enormous amount of energy trying to be cool.

On the fence, however, on which Kemp the Dodgers get on the field -- the productive five-tool budding star or the disinterested, underachieving disappointment.

10) The Dodgers will make a September pennant run in the National League West, only to be outlasted this time by the Rockies.

There are plenty of "maybes’’ and "unknowns" that make this the shakiest of the 10 picks, but right now, that’s what the gut is saying. With an admittedly small contribution from brain.

-- Steve Dilbeck