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Ned Colletti says a new question awaits Dodgers this spring: How do they respond to failure?

A new challenge awaits the Dodgers this spring. One they knew nothing about the past two Februarys. One that began testing them from the moment last season ended.

How they bounce back from disappointment.

They will not arrive in Arizona having just played for the National League championship. Will not be the hot, young, rising team from the N.L. West. They will be a group emerging from failure.

"The question I have this year, that I didn’t have last year ago, is really rebounding from last season -- '08 and '09 were two really good years," said General Manager Ned Colletti. "We gained a lot, players matured a lot, got more understanding of the dynamics of competing at this level and playing in October.

"Then last year we obviously took a step back. We need to see a passion and an edge right from the outset. I believe it will happen, but I'll feel better about it once it's here."

Adversity was not a poor road trip last year, it was a frustrating season. Rebounding from that disappointment is a new world for this group of Dodgers.

"Especially the younger core hadn't been through a lot of losing at that point," Colletti said. "Sometimes if you go through that stretch to see what the other side looks like, to see what it feels like to be playing games the last two weeks of the season that don't mean anything unless you're the spoiler for somebody else, it's a different dynamic, it's a different feeling. It's one I haven't been accustomed to for a long time, and hopefully they understand it better now and continue to make sure we don't repeat it."

Will the Dodgers come back more determined, more focused, more driven? Stung by last season's breakdown, will they be in better condition, work harder, be more receptive to coaching?

Last year's Dodgers could never find their spark, could never quite come together. Were they too comfortable after their previous success? Was a hunger missing?

"I don't know if it was exactly the hunger, but something was amiss," Colletti said. "Injuries always play a role, but every team goes through that.

"I think when they reached back to get what they had in '08 and '09, to get through a tough series or make something really happen, they couldn't figure out where it went."

Like every parent tells their children, the one good aspect of making a mistake is to learn from it. Last season's failure was well beyond any one or two individuals. It was nearly team-wide, a collective disappointment.

Much of the responsibility for regaining that edge is on each player, though the Dodgers will do what they can to impart a fresh focus.

"You can a little bit," Colletti said. "Some of it is up to the individual, and some of it you can put things in place, people in place to require it. I think this is going to be a strength of Donnie [Mattingly].

"You don’t come from being a 19th-round pick from Evansville, Ind., and having your number in Monument Park without a true passion and focus to achieve. And I think that will carry over."

-- Steve Dilbeck

 
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Colletti does what his assembled banjo players can't, which is cover the bases. These guys had a lot of success till last year, he says, when they didn't know how to handle failure; but rather than pretend the earlier incarnation of winners will be reborn this season, he warns this collection had better learn how to react from failure.

Translation, this bunch will be a lot like last year. A lot of failure. Tho this year the failures need to figure out how to stop doing what they do best, according to last year: Fail. 4th place.

Which is of course revealing of his own failure to spend $90 million + for players on the field (not the $110 mill media pretends is their field player payroll) and come up with such relative dreck he forecasts a seasonful of the most recent past. But worse, he expects the failure to come to correct themselves. So the .242 lifetime hitters, who are made superior by the .210 lifetime hitters they're surrounded by, are supposed to stop being themselves and become magically instead the kind of hitter McCourt couldn't afford without impacting his drunken sailor lifestyle, the kind of player who has proven he can come back from a 4-strikeout game to hit the game-winning homer the next night. As opposed to what we saw last year, and what the GM himself predicts we'll see this.

DON'T go to the games of promised failure, and the sooner you'll see a sale and the failed lackeys of Frank McCourt, the man who bankrupted the Dodgers, in our rear-view mirror.

Unless a few players have career years, I can't see this team finishing any better than 3rd or 4th depending on how the Rox do. Can't wait though to see who Neddy calls out this year ala Kemp, or what prospect he tells to go back down and learn how to be a major leaguer ala Paul.

Time to rename the franchise. We need a new name and logo. The once proud Dodger moniker is dead.

1. The Los Angeles Neds

2. The Los Angeles Carpetbaggers

3. The Los Angeles Franks (as in Weiner)

4. The Los Angeles Weiners (as in Frank)

5. The Los Angeles McLosers

6. The Los Angeles Wannabees

7. The Los Angeles .210's

8. The Los Angeles Fakers

9. The Los Angeles Fourth Place

10. The Los Angeles Codgers

Boycott Frank McCrook!!! Stop attending games until he is forced to sell!

Yo ho!
.
Yo ho!
.
A Los Angeles Pirates' life for me!

"I don't know if it was exactly the hunger, but something was amiss," Colletti said."


- Ned, what was amiss nee missing was Juan Pierre: MLB leader in stolen bases, all-star caliber defense in the outfield, and per the usual the run scoring catalyst for his team. Despite being on a new team and in a new league JP came on as the season progressed.


Now approaching year two sans Juan-derful Pierre & lighter by half the seven pretenders 2010 could not replaced him, the dudgers cavity in LF remains, as vindication same JP's ear to ear smile.

Personally I have very low expectations. I've been a Dodger fan since 1958 and 2011 is the first season ever that I'm not particularly excited about. McScum is driving this franchise into the ground and I'm going to stay away from Dodger Stadium until he sells it. Only a new owner -- somebody with strong LA ties and someone for whom winning is the only thing that matters -- can restore the team to its former glory.

neddy has big ones just like franky. How does a guy like either of these two ask that question of the players, look at the track record of these two bums. If either of them can ask that question while shaving, the razor would slip and you can guess what would happen or they would have (shrapnel) chards of mirror glass form the explosion that would be sticking out of both sides of their mouths. WOW! I guess franky and neddy are rip roaring successes. Well they are at ripping the fans off.

Personally I think they should have an attitude that last year never happened that it was a fluke. Just get in their and play like 2009 just happened and they're going right back to the postseason. This time to improve on '08 & '09.

Once again, the team may appear mediocre on paper, but the game is played on the field. I can hear Vinny in the recesses of my mind getting ready to say it loud and clear.....ITS TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL! Get with the program its just a game! Root root root for the home team. If they don't win it's a shame.... Lighten up and enjoy! It's going to be a grand season!

It's not about whether they will respond to failure. It's about not having a good left-fielder, a motivated center fielder who can hit right handed pitching, a right fielder who can hit lefties, a third baseman past his prime, an injury prone shortstop, a second baseman who can turn the double play, a first baseman who can hit with power, and a catcher who can hit and field well enough to win.

Vegas odds of Dodgers winning 2011 WS... 35 to 1 ... sounds about right, not the worse team, not the best, middle of the road club. Need a lot of career years from this current bunch to move up in the pecking order. Probably pitching ranks high and hitting ranks low, hence middle of the pack type of club. Manny was central to having the 2008 and 2009 postseasons.

MLB
2011 World Series
Updated Jan. 3, 2011
Team Open Current
Philadelphia 3/1 3/1
Boston 9/2 9/2
N.Y. Yankees 5/1 5/1
San Francisco 15/1 15/1
St. Louis 20/1 20/1
Texas 20/1 20/1
Minnesota 20/1 20/1
Colorado 25/1 25/1
Atlanta 25/1 25/1
Cincinnati 25/1 25/1
Tampa Bay 25/1 25/1
Detroit 30/1 30/1
L.A. Angels 30/1 30/1
L.A. Dodgers 35/1 35/1
Chi. White Sox 35/1 35/1
Chi. Cubs 50/1 50/1
N.Y. Mets 50/1 50/1
Florida 50/1 50/1
Oakland 50/1 50/1
Toronto 50/1 50/1
San Diego 75/1 75/1
Houston 75/1 75/1
Milwaukee 100/1 100/1
Baltimore 100/1 100/1
Arizona 100/1 100/1
Washington 125/1 125/1
Seattle 125/1 125/1
Cleveland 200/1 200/1
Kansas City 200/1 200/1
Pittsburgh 500/1 500/1

I'm all for seeing the positives daily and in what ever time measure you want.

That said, let's be real and properly understand. The Dodgers' mission is to win World championships. Not NL West flags, not wild card berths.

We have been trying to bounce back from "failure" every year for more than 20 now.

That's the reality.

Failure to understand and embrace this reality will begat more failure.

I like how you num nuts blame Ned Colletti.

See how easy it is to build a house without a hammer and nails. Don't say use brick becuse we live in earthquake country.

McCourt does not give the man anything to work with.

We've been burned on every major free agent signing the last 5 years. Jason Schmidt, Pierre, Manny Andruw Jones.

We compete every year.

You guys are Dodger fans??????? The team is about 10 - 15 games better than they were last year. At no point last year did they have the type of rotation that they project this year. The bullpen was shaky last year after 2 very solid years and Ned brought in 3 guys that will really help and look for bounce back years from Belesario and Broxton and continued dominance from Kuo. The offense is in way better shape as well.Kemp is a career .300 hitter and you can bet he will be closer to that guy than the guy who hit .249 a year ago. We now have power at 2B and a healthy shortstop (for now), but if Furcal goes down they have a to 50 SS prospect waiting in the wings. This team has the pitching to compete with the Giants and can definetly out hit them.
If you look at our starting lineup vs. anyone in the west besides the Rockies we are better. The Rockies however do not have the pitching to match the 2011 Dodgers. I am not saying the Dodgers win 100 games, but a fourth place finish will NOT happen! I predict a dog fight that comes down to the Dodgers and Rockies right until the last week of the season.

Go Blue

Hey Steve, I am not sure if you skipped my first post or rejected it. All I had inferred was that I do not share with (at the time of my post, late last night) the almost unanimous negative and openly hostile feelings expressed at the the Dodgers organization on this blog. To summarize, I suggested that an improvement of only 6 to 7 percent will allow them to be competitive for a title in the West. The upside of their roster situation is they have experience that will be able to give way to not so young talent that deserves a chance in spring training or shortly thereafter.

I'd put the same question to Mr. Colletti. How does HE respond to failure? He claims his efforts to improve the team have not been inhibited by budget contraints (which I don't believe by the way). If that indeed is the case, then in my opinion his off-season moves (or lack thereof) have been a complete, abject failure. How will he handle that?

Colletti's right, i wasnt hunger missing, it was Manny. Manny was the one and only reason for 08 success, 09 too but his presence in the lineup help the other hitters. Now that he was gone we saw our hitters for what they really are. Not saying we need him back but we need a big bat caliber type of player. I wont be disappointed this season because disappoint comes from high expectations, and looking at this team i dont think there will be alot of disappoint people anyways, we'll end up like pirates fans know the outcome of the season before it starts.

SF Giants own the Dodgers and the NL West...repeat.

16blows...get real. Juan Pierre all-star calliber defense? You know that joke about Mike Scioscia in a race to first base with a pregnant lady and coming in third? All three could score from second on a base hit to left with Juan out there. Juan Pierre has a salami arm and you are so blinded in your hatred for Ethier, you make outrageous statements like Juan Pierre is a defensive whiz. Do us all a favor and create a blog and write all your crap there. Its obvious you love reading your own stuff, but stopping objecting us to your b.s.

By the way...Andre Ethier will hit for higher average, more hr's and guaranteed will have more outfield assists than Pierre this or any year...the guy with the golden arm.

How to deal with failure? We've been doing it for the last 23 years.

Winning the NL west when it has been pretty poor throughout the last decade should be nothing to celebrate over.

It's a tragedy that our once proud orginaztion has the same goal as the Orioles and Royals. Be competitive and maybe we'll luck out and win the division.

Juan Pierre's all star defense? I need to know where you get your medical marijuana reccomendation filled because that stuff must be amazing. Pierre is an atrocious fielder with one of the worst arms in baseball. He never gets the read correct on fly balls. His speed helps him recover from the bad reads he makes. His OBP is horrible. He doesn't really hit, he slaps at the ball. There is a reason that we paid Chicago to take him away. He was one of Colletti's three biggest mistakes (along with Jones and Schmidt) and any sober Dodger fan was glad to see him go elsewhere. The Dodgers certainly have problems. But Juan Pierre's absence is not one of them. Paying players with deferred money -- that's a problem. Not having a decent starting rotation last year -- huge problem (and one they've tried to correct this year). Not having a major league caliber left fielder who can hit and field -- biggest problem right now (Gibbons and Thames cannot field; Gwynn cannot hit; Paul is on his way out the door). "Juan derful Pierre" being gone is a blessing. I don't have to see him get the ball to second base on three bounces again.

McCourt does not give the man anything to work with yet we've been burned on every major free agent signing the last 5 years. Jason Schmidt, Pierre, Manny Andruw Jones.

--

which is it..
thats like200 million bucks for 4 players.

Ned, spending like 70 million this offseason and did a good job on pitching but made our offense, which was our problem last year, even worse than what it was heading into last season!! When Manny played last year in LF he put up
.311 .405 .510 .915 I could only dream our LF come close to that this year line

Hey Ned, quit trying to deflect blame from yourself.
- You traded a good 1B prospect and a potential #3 starter for a middle reliever that didn't even last 2 months with your team.
- You non-tendered your catcher, to sign a worse catcher, after the stud catcher you had in your system went .260/.401/.467 for a team that wasn't yours.
- In a desperate attempt to compete, you sold off your 24 year old 2B, and now you likely had to overpay for a 31 y/o one.
- You mysteriously think Loney is an elite option at 1B.

How about placing some failure on yourself, Ned? You signed and traded for vets at the expense of your future, and now your future is here. You have a mediocre team consisting of a good offense/bad defense OF, and okay-but-aging left side of the infield, a mediocre right side, and a catcher who will be lucky to reach base 29% of the time.

As far as as throwing stats around makes an argument, I guess Dodger fans can just make stuff up now, right? According to "Championships: LA5-SF-1", the Dodgers have a superior rotation to the Giants? HA HA HA! He throws out stats like "According to statistics, our rotation had a better ERA than the Giants last year". Really? According to Baseball Reference, the Giants had a 3.36 team ERA while the Dodgers' was 4.01. And as far as the # of playoff appearances? All I see are posts about how the Giants have gone 7 years without a plyayoff appearance. Nothing about the fact that the Dodgers went nearly 20 years managing only 2 post season victories! Here are the facts: Over the last 23 years:
Giants: 6 western titles, 8 playoff appearances, 3 NL pennants, 1 World Series title & 29 post season wins
Dodgers: 5 West titles, 7 playoff appearances, 1 NL pennant, 1 WS title & 17 post season wins.
The numbers speak for themselves. Over the last generation plus, the Giants have been a much more consistently competitive team, with Dodgers going a full GENERATION managing only 2 post season wins. At least when the Giants get to the post season, they tend to play!


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