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Attempting to decipher the mysterious black hole that is the Dodgers and left field

June 10, 2011 | 12:23 pm

It's quantum physics meets Rep. Anthony Weiner meets "Ulysses" meets Charley Steiner.

Are some things really not meant to be understood?

I am referring, naturally, to the Dodgers and left field. Somebody has to play it, it just seems like figuring it out is as challenging as understanding Sarah Palin on the ride of Paul Revere.

The Dodgers have started six different players in left, but be patient, it's still early June.

The Times' Dylan Hernandez asked Manager Don Mattingly about the left-field situation and he said: "It hasn't really panned out."

Sort of like Charlie Haeger and his knuckleball.

Hernandez said the Dodgers entered Thursday's game with their six-headed left-field combo having combined to hit .216 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. And then Tony Gwynn Jr. went zero for four.

This for a position that normally provides power, on a team in dire need of some extra pop.

Gwynn is apparently the starting left fielder against right-handers, though, hold on, because these things tend to change by the day.

The original master plan was for Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames to platoon in left, but Gibbons missed the start of his season with vision problems and then Thames went on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps.

When the left-handed Gibbons returned, he never could get it going and on Monday was designated for assignment to make room for the return of Thames. Which was curious, because on Thursday prospect Jerry Sands was sent back to triple-A Albuquerque and left-handed Trent Oeltjen was called up.

The Dodgers could have demoted Sands on Monday and kept Gibbons. Asked why they didn't do that, Mattingly said, "I don't know, really."

Yeah, it's been that kind of season in left.

So currently the main platoon in left is Gwynn, hitting .217, and Thames, hitting .143.

Which means, really, that nine months since last season ended with the Dodgers knowing they had a major hole in left, they still don't know how to fill it.


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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Left fielder Jerry Sands dives, but can't make a catch on a hit by San Diego's Jason Bartlett during a game on April 30. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times