Off Base
Pin This Loss on the Skipper

September 9, 2007

Gee, ya think?

First of all, let me just say this: there isn't enough aspirin in the world to get me through this season.

But it's my job to keep the eyes open for three more weeks, and I'm going to do accomplish that much, even if it kills me.

Next, with apologies to David Letterman, there's never been a better time to dust off that great old line, "fat tub of goo," then right now.

The only thing to be determined is, who's the bigger fat tub of goo, Jonathan Broxton or Terry Forster? Or better still, who's the way bigger fat tub of goo, Grady Little or Tommy Lasorda?

When the Dodgers lose in gut-wrenching, mind-boggling, absolutely crushing fashion, as they did Sunday, and before that, Friday, and before that, Wednesday, my custom is to crawl into bed within minutes of the final out, down three mega-sized pain relievers, and draw the shades as far as they go, farther if at all possible, and groan myself to sleep. Day or night.

Invariably, the Main Squeeze will make her way to my bedside, and whisper gently, "what's the matter, honey, did Brett Tomko lose another heartbreaker for the Dodgers?" Ah, out of the mouth of babes. But alas, we can't pin this last series of devastating defeats on poor Brett Tomko. He's San Diego's problem now.

We can, however, pin this last series of devastating defeats on the Dodgers skipper, Grady Little (like, duh), and as God is my witness, I've held my tongue long enough. It's time to vent! It is time to vent!!

But first, a quick online poll. Raise your hand if you saw that eighth inning unraveling a mile away. Raise your hand if you hearkened back to that awful day in Candlestick, 25 years ago, when Joe Morgan homered off Terry Forster. Raise your hand if you sunk into your chair exactly the same way you did then, as it was occurring in front of you.

Raise your hand if you think Bruce Bochy, like many a 2007 National League manager before him, played Grady Little like a fiddle, orchestrating the comeback inning as if he were composing it himself, right there in the Giants dugout.

To his almost-sadistic overuse of Russell Martin to his close-your-eyes-and-hold-your breath approach to the broken wings of Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf, Hong-Chih Kuo and Chin-hui Tsao, to his three-strikes-you're-not-out shuffling of Brett Tomko and Mark Hendrickson into and out of the rotation, to his failing to notice the talent in front of him that was Chad Billingsley until way too many a ball game had been lost, Grady Little's imprint is all over this season.

The Bosox Nation and in particular, the guys who created, knew it all along. They saw it coming while we remained hopeful.

The knock against Grady about his questionable in-game maneuvering, and his cluelessness about pitchers especially, was right on the mark. I mean, right on the mark. If you can't see it, you're just plain not paying attention.

And in defense of Broxton, is it really the young reliever's fault for being human, and having a rough stretch of games, and especially after being trotted out as much as he has? No. It's on the boss.

And is it just me, or does it truly seem like when it comes to leaving in or yanking a pitcher, any pitcher, it's as if Little is just guessing on what the best move might be, and guessing wrong? Or is it perhaps, that he's flipping a coin ever so deliberately in his head between batters, and it's coming out tails you lose, over and over and over.

Little's decisions, if you can call them that, with Derek Lowe and Billingsley and Brad Penny, and each time with Broxton giving up a game-breaking home run, were almost identical. In a span of four days.

Incredibly, the Dodgers can still make the playoffs. Even 5 ½ behind Arizona for the division, it's possible, with six games remaining between the two clubs. Surely, the Dbacks will choke at some point, right? C'mon.

And does anyone really think the bleeping Padres are a good team? C'mon.

OK look, obviously I'm really, really pissed right now, and I'll calm down if the Dodgers knock the Pads all over the Ravine this week. And probably even if they don't. And yes, obviously, I'm second guessing to a degree.

And yes, the club is resilient. But. But, but, but, but; but; a very big butt. We're talking Bill Madlock here. The Dodgers have wasted a ton of season, and given away a ton of games, games handed to the opposition on a silver platter, games they can never get back again.

It makes you wonder what they'll have to do to get past the manager's mistakes, to win in spite of them. It makes you wonder in advance when that next big decision comes, if the manager will get it right this time, for once, and give his club its best chance to win. That, after all, is his primary purpose; to give his club its best chance to win…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

The Steroid Zone: The Zone just keeps getting bigger and bigger. So, we made room. Please scroll down and check out the new additions. Oh, and by the way, let's chalk up another player who doped up, right under the nose of one Tony La Russa. Talk about a zone that keeps getting bigger…

Media Savvy: From "Even though manager Bruce Bochy said he'd likely play [September 3], Barry Bonds is out of the starting lineup for a second straight game. He's started just one of the last four games. It's reasonable for the Giants to sit Bonds once per series this month, but this is kind of ridiculous. It looks like the Giants will start him as often as possible at home -- to maximize revenue that can later be blown on more overpriced veterans -- and sit him frequently on the road. Considering that Bonds is leading the NL in OPS and the Giants play primarily contenders this month, it's just not the proper way to go about it."

And finally, in case you missed it,'s Jayson Stark, in his infinite wisdom, put together an NL MVP top ten list, and left Russell Martin off it completely. Wow. If I had his email address, or better yet, his phone number, I'd give it to you in a heartbeat. But stay tuned. I'll check.

Look-Alikes: Pavarotti and Wolfman Jack...

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….







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