FIRE JOE MORGAN: So I Have to Root Against the Dodgers Now?


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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


So I Have to Root Against the Dodgers Now?

Because if they get eliminated, maybe, just maybe, Bill Plaschke will stop gushing purple prose?

I mean, seriously, does anyone like this nonsense?

SAN FRANCISCO — And so the gift has finally been unwrapped, torn open by a steely eyed team that could wait no longer, the wrappings of six months ripped apart to reveal something Los Angeles never expected.

Something in the most perfect shade of blue.

Dear L.A. Times sports section editor,

One of your opinion columns in the October 1st issue was mistakenly replaced by an embarrassing eighth grade short story.

Give me my dollar back,

Something that beats, and beats, and beats.

Goddammit. You are not a good writer. Listen, all you aspiring sportswriters out there: you can't just write a sentence fragment for every paragraph and expect that to create drama and impact for you. It's the oldest trick in the book. Bill Plashcke does it in every column, so you know it's bad.

Less than a year after collapsing under the weight of their own incompetence, the Dodgers are whole again.

A team that 11 months ago had no general manager, no manager and the third-worst record in its league has made the playoffs.

Kudos, BP. Those are complete sentences.

From national jokers to wild-card qualifier. From a winter of chaos to a summer of character.


Something tells me no one would be writing about what great guys the Dodgers are if they weren't also very good at playing baseball.

A collection of quiet veterans, anonymous role players and unknown rookies gathered as a single faceless force to shower their city with something cool and bubbly and totally unexpected.

Quiet veterans like notorious mustachioed asshole Jeff Kent. Anonymous role players like Gatorade pitchman and Hamm-boner Nomar Garciaparra. Unknown rookies like Andre Ethier, whom a long-dead Dodgers scout discovered while driving his phantom pickup truck in the afterworld.

"This hasn't just taken 25 guys, it has taken more than 25 guys, and we've known it, and we've won because of it," said pitcher Derek Lowe. "The best thing about this team is, it's a team."

Trust me, Derek: it was the guys playing. Maybe a few more than 25 because of AAA callups and such. But the reason you're in the playoffs is because the pitchers and hitters wearing your uniform performed well.

I like to take things literally.

Also, I'm nominating "The best thing about this team is, it's a team" for the Meaningless Tautological Cliche Hall of Fame.

That was the plan back when McCourt cleaned house last fall, firing former general manager Paul DePodesta just weeks after DePodesta fired former manager Jim Tracy.

In only his second full season as owner, McCourt realized he had blown it in some of his original hires DEPODESTA, and he wasn't afraid to DEPODESTA become nationally scorned by admitting it DEPODESTA.

I added the DEPODESTAs so you would get what Plaschke is talking about.

"I am not afraid to fail DEPODESTA in order to succeed," McCourt said Saturday.

That one was in the original article, I swear.

Standing a few feet away was another unmistakable presence, wearing a wet Dodger T-shirt and a starry stare.

And a galactic grin and a supernova-y stance and these awesome snakeskin boots that I might have written about before and did I mention how wet and sexy his T-shirt was? His name is Ned and I think we're friends. I hope (fingers crossed)!

The actual construction began with him, the man McCourt hired to fix things, the rookie general manager who was given a losing team and unwieldy contracts and little chance.

As a lifetime baseball man, he understood only one thing: that you win not with numbers but with humans.

Let's get serious here for a second. Of course you win with humans. You win with humans with numbers. Those numbers are nothing but a written record of what humans have done while playing baseball. Why is this so hard to understand? What's really up for debate here is how much character and intangibles matter when evaluating players. If Plaschke had a gun put to his head and had to put a percentage on it, what do you think he would say? 10%? 50%? 100%? The correct answer: he would weasel out and say "you can't put a number on things like heart and hustle" except he would phrase it in a sentence fragment paragraph.

And although the Dodgers may not have the best statistics among this year's playoff teams, they certainly lead the league in relentless humans.

The Dodgers are fourth in the NL in runs scored and fourth in ERA. That's why they're in the playoffs. The only team ranked above them in both categories are the Mets, who are third in each. In sum: the Dodgers are very close to having the "best statistics" in the National League because they are very close to being the best team. Statistics measure baseball performance. This is an irritating, repetitive recording that will not stop.

The Dodgers are not going to the playoffs because Brett Tomko is a more relentless human being than Jamie Moyer.

"You have to believe in the heart of the individual, you have to listen to that heart, that's all I've done here," he said. "I knew I had my hands full. But I also knew it was possible to find that heart."

Does Ned Colletti really believe this shit?

What a dumb question. Of course he does.

But Maddux' best number is this: The Dodgers are 37-19 since he joined them.

"The minute he walked into my office after I traded for him, I had this sense of calmness that I haven't lost since," Colletti said.

To me, that's Maddux' real best number. Number of minutes Ned Colletti hasn't been calm since Maddux walked into his office: zero.

It is a calmness that, finally, was cemented in the stone sculpture that is Grady Little's glare.

What? WHAT?! Is anyone else reading this? What?

It is a calmness that, finally, was cemented in the stone sculpture that is Grady Little's glare.

I had to see it again to make sure it was real.

I am so sick of Bill Plaschke's faux-etry. Bill Plaschke is Tim McCarver with a keyboard. Bill Plaschke is that annoying girl at the party who's somehow both dumb and pretentious and keeps complaining that "the mainstream media is too surface-y." Bill Plaschke sucks at metaphors. Otherwise, I think he's okay.

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posted by Junior  # 9:40 PM
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