The Governor's 2008 Dodgers Preview

10:25 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I know what you're thinking: "Oh, thats right, that Governor asshole is a Dodgers fan. I forgot." Yeah, thats right. I assume most of our readers (all five of them) are baseball fans in general and not just Cubs fans though, so I don't think these Dodgers posts are scrolled over quite as quickly as my Utah Jazz reports. Hey, a little inside info can't hurt for those six games a year the Dodgers and Cubs play each other.

Frankly, I'm not too excited about the 2008 Dodgers. They didn't really fix any of their problems from last year aside from upgrading to Joe Torre from Grady Gump. As I wrote at the time, they couldn't even do that right though. They offered Torre the job before having the common decency to fire Grady. I'm more and more pessimistic as it has become apparent that the Dodgers are subject to Frank McCourt's menstrual cycle. To keep it in perspective though, I still rate his ownership above The Evil Empire or the last few years of the O'Malley family after it was clear they lost interest.

My position by position (mostly) 2008 Dodgers preview:

Catcher - Russell Martin - Martin, 25 this year, was one of the few consistent Dodgers on offense last year hitting nearly .300 and driving in a team best 87 runs. His development into the best catcher in baseball will surely continue this year, although with the terrifying promise of more days off for him (Gary Bennett is the backup), those offensive numbers might stay static or drop a bit.

First Base - James Loney - The Black Mark Grace is now firmly entrenched at first and the team is better for it. Loney earned major respect not only for his performance on the field but for his willingness to stand up to the team's official bitter old fart Jeff Kent. Speaking of which...

Second Base - Jeff Kent - Closing in on 40, Kent's power is pretty much gone, but his shitty attitude remains. Unfortunately, he does as well. If the Dodgers don't do much early, I would not be surprised to see Kent shipped out of town midseason.

Short Stop - Rafael Furcal - I'll just be blunt, I don't like Furcal. Aside from his weak batting from the left side of the plate (where he took 72% of his swings in 2007), he's OK enough, but not good enough to earn the salary he commands. I would rather the team see what our 70 pound Asian wunderkind Chin-Lung Hu can do. At least this is Furcal's last year under that insane contract.

Third Base - Nomar Garciaparra/Andy LaRoche - The Dodgers have been looking for a third baseman since Ron Cey left town in 1982. Maybe they have one in LaRoche, maybe they don't. Its going to be hard to find out since they aren't likely to pay Nomar that huge salary to pinch hit.

Outfield - Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Delwyn Young, and AndrEw Jones - I didn't list these specifically since aside from my arch enemy Jones, I don't know where the hell any of them are going to play. If Kemp rots on the bench, I'm going to riot in the streets, so lets hope that doesn't happen. That leaves Ethier, Pierre, and Young fighting over the final outfield spot. Since Pierre makes as much as the entire Florida Marlins team, I don't see him spending too much time on the bench. Ethier and Young, who would be starting outfielders on many teams without any debate, look like the odd men out. Hey, look at the bright side, at least AndrEw Jones showed up to camp 15 pounds over weight... On second thought, I may riot in the streets because of this sorry outfield situation anyway.

Starting Pitching - Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Jason Schmidt, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda/Esteban Loaiza - Finally, back to a position that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out and scream like Fred Schneider in a titty bar. Penny and Billingsley are both legitimate Cy Young contenders and Lowe, Schmidt, and Kuroda should be solid. Loaiza has a neckbeard, so I can't trust him, but he's a capable fill in if Schmidt's arm falls off again (another brilliant acquisition by Ned Colletti)

Bullpen - Joe Beimel, Scott Proctor, Jonathan Broxton, Yhency Brazoban, and Hong Chih Kuo (and a bunch of other guys who could step in if they have to) - The Dodgers have enough middle relievers to field a second team, which is handy since a few of them usually drop like flies, or in Beimel's case, get injured in surly bar fights. Broxton is a 700 pound gastropod who leaves a trail of slime when he goes to the mound, but he's turned into one of the most reliable set-up men in the game.

Closer - Takashi "The Mole" Saito - The Mole saved 39 games and had an ERA of 1.40 last season. Eric who?

All in all, they may very well make the playoffs but for the moment I refuse to get my hopes up. The division took a step back. If you think Colorado is going to repeat their success, you're probably smoking the same tainted weed you were when you said they had a prayer against the Red Sox last October. The Padres didn't improve where they needed to and the Giants will be lucky if they keep it to 100 losses this year. Bengie Molina is going to be their cleanup hitter...good luck with that. The Diamondbacks are the only worrisome team. They, like the Dodgers, are loaded with young talent, but unlike the Dodgers they didn't throw away valuable money on aging vets who will do nothing but suck up the kids' playing time.

Prediction: 2nd place, 85-77....prove me wrong boys, prove me wrong.

0 comments: