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Dodgers' outfield in the second half: The worst in all of baseball

September 8, 2010 | 11:05 am
And now we hearken back to those golden Dodger days of yesterday, to those cool spring mornings when many wondered if the Dodgers did not have the best outfield in baseball.

As opposed to what it has been in the second half, the worst in baseball.

That’s right, worst in the game. You want stats, dive in wherever you want. Numbers can make cases for all kinds of things, particularly in baseball.

But this is certainly the most disappointing outfield performance in baseball, specifically in the second half, when it has all but vanished from sight.

Before the year began, an outfield of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez was so formidable, it not only was argued to be the best in baseball, but that superstar Manny might be only its third-best outfielder.

Kemp and Ethier were coming off breakout seasons. They adorned the cover of the team’s 2010 media guide holding their Silver Slugger bats. They were young and despite their success, still reeking of further potential.

Then after sizzling starts, they faded away.

Ethier was off to a triple-crown start before fracturing his pinkie. Since his return, he has not been the same player. Kemp looked like the budding superstar he was supposed to be early on, at least at the plate, but has struggled with consistency since.

Manny was highly effective early, then injured, returned, was injured, returned, popped up briefly, was injured, returned and waived. And wasn’t that fun?

Meanwhile, Ethier and Kemp have been going through some kind of personal strikeout contest since the All-Star break. And as much as Kemp waves and misses, as TrueBlueLA.com’s Eric Stephen points out, Ethier actually has the edge (55-49).

Since the break, Stephen notes both are hitting .233. Pretty impressive, eh? Ethier has an on-base percentage of only .305 and slugging of .389, while Kemp is even worse at .299 and .364, respectively.

And that little Energizer bunny that manager Joe Torre feigns at being so impressed with? Scott Podsednik’s on-base is at .316 and slugging at .338.

Just kinda gets you all tingling thinking about it.

Presumably, better days await, but at this point that’s no lock. Ethier will be 29 in April. Kemp turns 26 in less than three weeks. They are kids no more.

And for all the excuses Torre constantly makes for Kemp’s mental blunders because he hasn’t focused on baseball that long, this is his seventh professional season. I think that qualifies as plenty of time to get it.

The Dodgers’ offense has been an embarrassment in the second half. Starting with that one place that was supposed to be its strength.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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