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Things that went right for the Dodgers in 2010

October 4, 2010 |  2:51 pm

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