R.I.P. 2007 Dodgers

As I write this, the Dodgers are not yet officially eliminated from the Wild Card race, but they've lost 7 straight and have clearly given up, so I will do the same. The 2007 season is over. How long until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training?

Where did it all go wrong?

Injuries

Jason Schmidt missed most of the year and was only running on fumes when he did pitch. Things would have turned out very differently with a 1-2 punch of Penny and Schmidt at the top of the rotation. The surprisingly solid acquisition of Randy Wolf also fell apart along with his shoulder.

The loss of those two led to starts from the motley crew of Hendrickson, Tomko, Stults, Loaiza, and Wells. Ugh.

It turns out Rafael Furcal has been playing hurt all year too. Good thing they put him on the shelf to heal instead of letting him go out there and sandbag the offense. Oh wait...they didn't do that. They went ahead and let him play hurt and underperform.

Personnel

GM Ned Colletti made some dumb moves.

Roberto Hernandez was signed and Nomar was re-signed. Brett Tomko was allowed to go 2-11 with an ERA closing in on 6 before being released. James Loney and Matt Kemp were left to rot in AAA for months.

I seem to be alone in LA in liking the Pierre signing and dumping Betemit for Proctor was a good move, but too little too late.

Grady Little

I really liked the way Little managed the club in 2006. I cannot say the same this year. He has had a collossal six month long tantric brainfart that has crippled the team. I don't like a revolving door mangerial policy, but Grady should probably go.

Nomar was the 1st baseman for half the year, producing only one home run before being replaced by James Loney.

Russell Martin never got any rest.

Furcal was allowed to play injured.

Luis Gonzalez, who I think all Dodger fans expected to be an insurance policy, has been allowed to start over Kemp and Ethier all year. He's the fourth best outfielder on the team, but has gotten the bulk of the starts.

Grady's lineups seem to have been randomly generated. Ethier, a career .298 hitter, usually bats 8th. Russell Martin, the best player on the team, rarely hit higher than 6th. Nomar continued to bat 3rd until the all-star break.

As the Dodgers tank the last couple weeks, it seems like Grady has lost control of the team. They go down a couple runs early and give up. Jeff Kent publicly calls out "the kids" for not understanding the rigors of a pennant race. When asked how he felt about being called out by one of the team leaders, James Loney responds with the classic, "who says he's a leader?" Great line, but if Grady had any control over these guys at all we wouldn't be hearing these things.

Hope for 2008

Schmidt will be back, Gonzo will be gone, and Loney, Kemp, Ethier, Billingsley, and Broxton will all have another year under their belt.

Hopefully LaRoche will step up and take the 3rd base job from Nomar and maybe, just maybe, young SS Chin-lung Hu will make Furcal expendable.

If Ned Colletti so much as picks up the phone to talk to a FA other than a pitcher, he should be fired on the spot. The core position players of the future are all in place, so there is no need to bring in anymore veterans on their last leg.

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