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Things that went right for the Dodgers in 2010

Now, before we delve into an entire offseason of negativity, I am going to present you with a list of things to be pleased with about the Dodgers’ 2010 season.

We will now pause for the laughing to subside.

There were some highlights. The Dodgers won 80 games, though incredibly went only 31-43 in the second half.

But here is an offering of bright spots to otherwise disappointing season:

+ Vin Scully announced he would return for another season. Scully remains the best part of the Dodgers.

+ Hong-Chih Kuo. Applause, applause. What a terrific season for a guy whose left arm was thought to be hanging by a thread, or a last ligament.

Kuo became the closer and nailed down 12 of 13 save opportunities, set a club record with a 1.20 ERA and brought nothing but smiles every time he took the mound.

+ Jamey Carroll, the little infielder who could, was supposed to be a little-used utility player but ended up with the seventh-most at-bats on the club (351), hit .291 and showed hustle on every play.

+ Matt Kemp started the season with seven home runs in 10 games and ended it with five home runs in five days. In the 143 games in between, he hit 16.

+ Clayton Kershaw, the developing ace. He’s still not all the way there, but the 22-year-old continued to make impressive strides (2.91 ERA, 204 1/3 innings, 212 strikeouts).

+ John Lindsey made his major-league debut after 16 years in the minors.

+ Andre Ethier was on a triple-crown pace before fracturing his pinkie May 15. Alas, he returned too quickly and was never the same.

+ Chad Billingsley overcame a frightening start (4.61 ERA in 17 starts) to finish strong and again look like a front-line starter (2.45 ERA in 14 starts).

+ Kenley Jansen had absolutely no right to do what he did, but one year after being converted from a catcher to a reliever, went 1-0 with four saves and a stunning 0.67 ERA in 25 appearances.

+ Also: Brad Ausmus’ class, Jay Gibbons’ return, saving $3.8 million when the White Sox claimed Manny Ramirez, losing Manny’s dreadlocks and the late additions of California boys Ted Lilly (7-4, 3.52) and Rod Barajas (five home runs, .297 in 64 at-bats), who actually want to be Dodgers.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (18)

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Exatly how is Kershaw "not all the way there yet"?

I would love an explanation for that one. And when I say "explanation" I mean retraction.

how about carlos monasterios? he stuck with the big club all year and had some very good outings. looks like he could be a reliever now and gradually work up to being a starter. or, just keep him in relief. and i would have to agree with kenny. kershaw has arrived. only 6 of 32 starts were "bad." the rest all gave his team a chance to win. i think he could have had 16-17 wins this year with a better bullpen or decent offense. i think x.paul showed he could play in the ML. he slumped the last time he was called up but did well in his other trials.

Regarding Vin Scully, I agree with all of the laudatory things that have been said and written about him. But there's another side too. He's boring and annoying. A lot of this stems from his being a great radio play-by-play man rather than being part of a two-man TV team. He gives you the count between every pitch, sometimes twice. "A swing and a miss. Two and two the count." Every time. Pretty soon my eyes begin to glaze over. Then he'll tell you stuff like, "pitching from the the third base side of the rubber, he hides the ball behind his right hip, comes set at the chest, now ready..." Do TV viewers care about any of that? If they did, they can see it for themselves on the TV screen.

Then he has to tell you about the pitch. He'll call a 93 mph fast ball a breaking ball. He'll tell you the pitch was very low when it's thigh high but outside. It's because, as a radio announcer, he is doing his best looking down at the batter rather than looking at the monitor that is right in front of him.

"Carroll 'promptly' strokes the ball up the middle." It might have been on a two and two count but he still says "promptly" just because he's used to saying it. Then, about five times a game, he will come up with his signature, "Now coming up in the third inning, Furcal, Theriot and Either in that order." What? Did we expect a reverse order?

I know it's heresy but I would much prefer to listen to Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons. You get just as good play-by-play plus lots of knowledgeable baseball information such as where the ball should be bunted on a sacrifice, etc.

Scully is much beloved but I find him boring and annoying. Sorry.

great list above, but believe we also need to include the stunner-signing of top draft pick, high school pitcher Lee, as virtually no one gave the Dodgers much of a chance to get this done!

How about Donnie Dumb Ball Mattingly? He only made two major mistakes when he actually managed the team the two times he did:

Spring training: Dodgers batting out of order because Donnie Dumb Ball submitted the wrong line-up card.

The 2 visits to the mound debacle when Donnie Dumb Ball managed the team when Torre was on suspension.

Donnie batted 1.000! 2 for 2 for dumb managing: a lot to look forward to in 2011; more McCrap sleaze, more No head Ned idiotic moves & lying, and more Donnie Dumb Ball!

Actually, you left off the high point of the Dodger season: Placing four players in the game-winning and loss-streak-ending 2010 NL All-Star Team: The aforementioned Ethier, Kuo, Rafael Furcal and J*n*th*n Br*xt*n.

(Sorry, the offensive material had to be censored there...)

I suspect with Frank broke of dollar and morality, and Ned lacking the baseball acumen God gave a can of lima beans, here's how the off season is going to go down:
LF: What Ned says - we need a power bat in LF to support Kemp, Ethier and Loney. What Ned does - panics when no one is available in his price range and resigns Scott Pathednik. He'll be backed up by Gibbons and other assorted drifters, hangers-on and neverweres invited to spring training. Yes people, we'll get a full year of Juan Pierre Lite, and because Mattingly "learned" from Torre, Pathednik will lead off. (Knowing we won't get anyone of consequence, I say this team has no chance anyway, let's see what Paul's got for a full season.)
C - well, we already know what's going to happen here... Barajas and Ellis.
2B - What we need - more production, you know, an average major league second baseman. What Ned will do - offer Theriot arbitration. We have no 2Bmen in the minors. Of course Ned will give any stiff an invite to ST that even remotely heard of second base (Berroa, Castro, insert other no talent name here.)
SP - What Ned says - we'd like to resign Lilly, Kuroda and Padilla. What Ned does - signs Padilla, signs Looper, and (you'll like this one) signs the D-Train because he "intrigues" him (though I wouldn't put it past him to sign Jamie Moyer, because dammit, the Dodgers just need another Jamie.)
RP - What Ned says - we need to bolster the bullpen. What Ned does - first, invite anyone to ST that's thrown a pitch in the major leagues 4-7 years ago. Probably sign Affeldt because anyone that's pitched for the Giants is a shoe-in. Dotel's another possibility because next to an ex-Gnat, Ned loves people he's familiar with.
There you have it.

OK Ned and Frank - prove me wrong.

@ Bill Graham

What is the purpose of criticizing Vin Scully?

You're talking about the one of the few remaining Dodgers (Lasorda and Newcombe) who are the common thread to Dodger's storied past and who has been the voice of the organization since before most of us were born. From Robinson, the Duke, and Campy, to Moon, Wills, Drysdale, and Koufax, to Cey, Garvey, Lopes, and Russell, he's painted memories for us Dodger fans who grew up with our transistor radios permanently locked on the Dodger station.

When Chick Hearn was absent from the Lakers due to his cardiac bypass surgery, there were tens of thousands Laker fans anxiously awaiting his return. Sure, we knew he was approaching the end of his career and that he didn't have the same razor sharp delivery that was his trademark, but he was still the voice of the Lakers.

I suppose you never heard Ernie Harwell of the Tigers, Myron Cope of the Steelers, or Johnny Most of the Celtics, announcers who probably couldn't hold a candle to Chick or Vinny, yet they were as beloved in their cities as our announcers because they called the games for generations of fans.

Instead of picking Vin Scully apart, appreciate the man for what's he done and what he's meant to the City of Los Angeles and to Dodger fans around the world. We're all going to be shedding a few tears when he hangs it up after next season.

RE: Bill Graham's detailed assessment of Vin Scully's work---and his favoring the work of Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons instead---that you can find written above.
Tommy Lasorda often preaches everybody has an opinion and an a*****e.

Sleepy Joe Torre's retirement was a highlight.

There's always a silver lining when one is grasping a straws, Steve. Bottom line is this team finished below 500, and it doesn't look any better for next season and the next and the next. True, we have some good players, but no great one. Maybe Kershaw and Billingsley will perform next season, but they don't play in a vacuum.
Anybody remember "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain"?
And to the late Bill Graham, please just concentrate on putting on rock concerts. What do you know about baseball? Seriously, Vin has some faults, due to advancing age, but he's a damn sight better than many of the incompetent idiots I hear on the other broadcasts I get on the Extra Innings package or when I travel, or like our own pathetically untalented Eric Collins, for instance. I'm sure you're looking forward to this bush leaguer replacing Vin. I've been listening to Vin "since '58," and even with all his faults, there's never been anybody better at calling a baseball game. Nobody.

"Kuo . . . a guy whose left arm was thought to be hanging by a thread, or a last ligament."

- it may still be; the way LA babies him (cannot or will not use him more than a couple days in a row) renders him a very expensive if not reliable timepiece nee clock that's 'right' twice every so often - batteries not included. Yet, he is as good as it gets in a Melvin Udall dudger world.

"Ethier . . . returned too quickly and was never the same."

- not quite; actually twas Ramirez who DIDN'T return quickly ENOUGH resulted a journeyman out RF. He was as he has always been sans the former LF'r - pedestrian, which on the dudgers makes him appear Savior material (like placing an Monet next to the advertising stadium walls dudger stadium...the former makes the latter look larger than it really is.)

Hats off to Carroll...such is the dudgers 2010 lot that a former Colorado Rockie utilityman was our most reliable - and arguably - best player.

Billingsley... the roller coaster ride continues. Baseball halves his are fast becoming like Willie Davis alternating seasons: this one up, the other down.

Kershaw... to date he reminds more of a young RH Bill Singer than a LH Sandy K; both former Doodgers won 20 or more games in their third season as starters; et tu Clay?

Scully... not so much a matter that he's stayed too long at the fair as the circus is in town - not Ringling Bros., but rather McCourt's & Co. - and no early exit portends.

'K'emp...the numbers to remember are '170' as in strikeouts -and '28' as in hrs and chest thumps/sky points his - led the team in all three categories. Whoever said he was not mature enough to be a team leader, well... there's the indictment.

Jansen... what to do for an encore? If baseball as love be sweeter second time around, then hyperglycemia or diabetic coma draws nigh. More likely clock strikes 2011, his coach turns back into pumpkin and glass slipper is shattered. If the shoe expectation doesn't fit, don't kill the messenger.

Lindsey... your 15 minutes were up years ago, but the remake of 'Rudy' was a nice short (how long was it, 12 at bats?)

Barajas... Ausmus, Ellis & Martin - Schlemiel Schlamassel x4, LA catchers incorporated. Flip a coin for 2011 and it will probably land on its side, hedging its bets as well.

Gibbons... one of the 7 X 7 lost angeles tried using to replace Juan Pierre in LF 2010 (Ramirez, Anderson, Paul, Podsednik, Johnson, & Carroll the others; they probably snuck another couple guys in there we missed too. 2011? Come one come all, just come cheaply.

Ramirez... have bat, will travel (alas, the ball not so far anymore nor the legs.) Chicago: where former dudgers go for rescue, resurrection & to await Hall of Fame consideration.

Lilly... the prodigal son baseball sense returned home. "He was lost, and is found." - Luke 15:32.

Alas, "he will cost, thus be lost again." - McCourt 20:11


If losing many is a plus, you are the village idiot. Manny equaled SUCCESS. I don't care about his numbers, your spin, or all the other yahoos out there, MANNY MADE IT HAPPEN.

Agree with Lee4prez

Great list and signing top draft pick is a worthy add to the list.

Thanks for listing them bright spots Steve.

Kissing Torre bye-bye was the unquestioned highlight.

There's room for a lot of opinions in the world, and I think that's good to allow them. But, ma, I don't see how one can say negatives about Scully.

Kershaw is good, isn't he. I guess they mean he'll "be there" when he beats someone else's ace in a playoff game. Tough standard.


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