Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dodgers 2011

With the 2010 season coming to an end, and the Dodgers playing as if the season ended at the All-Star break, here are some notes on this season and the future.

Clayton Kershaw (picture above), has had a great season.  He has developed into the best pitcher on the staff.  He has a 2.70 ERA in the second half, but only has 3 wins to show for it.  He has the potential to win Cy Young Awards.  The kid is 22 years old, so hopefully this is just the beginning of a great career (and hopefully in LA).

Chad Billingsley has rebounded from his debacle at the end of last year.  Over his last 11 starts his ERA is 2.11, but is only has 4 wins to show for his efforts.  He may not be an "Ace", but a nice #2 option.  He's only 26 years old. 

Manny Ramirez is gone.  At least McCourt was able to find a sucker to take Manny and save Frank $4 million (which is spent on legal fees, or whatever shenanigans he's involved in.)

Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Broxton, Martin all have some good stretches, some longer than others, but ultimately they all fail to improve on last year.  This core, along with Billingsley & Kershaw, will need to take another step forward if the Dodgers are going to contend next year because...

Divorce (Mc)Court is going on and the Dodgers are the "children" paying the price on this one.  Joe Torre can read the Bigelow Tea Leaves, and is getting the heck out of Dodge.  Good luck to Donny Baseball, hopefully you can lead these young guys to the promise land.
As far as the future (2011) goes, there are MAJOR issues.  The divorce is one thing, which Frank doesn't see how that's going to play a role in the teams performance.  I would love to believe that, but then I read this...$38 million dollars are being freed up for next year with players contracts running out.  So what are the Dodgers planning on doing with that cash?  Get a leftfielder who can drive the ball?  Get a top of the line starter?  Get an infield with some offensive skills?  Get bullpen help?

Here's the title for an article on what the Dodgers plan to do during the offseason (from the Dodger website), "Colletti plans no radical roster changes", which means don't plan on them signing an major impact player.

And what does Frank have to say about this?

"McCourt said he was committed to spending "whatever it takes" to field a championship contender next season."

So with so much in the air for next year, it looks to be a cold winter ahead for Dodger fans.  Maybe Frank will stick to his word of doing "whatever it takes", maybe the young Dodger players will be ready to make the next step next season, or maybe the Dodgers will stand pat and add cheap veterans and hope for a miracle.

Either way I will cheer for them, put on my rosy colored glasses on next spring, and hope for the best.  

One thing is for sure, NO MORE MANNY.  And here's to hoping no more McCourt.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ode to Brooklyn

You know the old question you get growing up, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Well there were two answers that came to mind right away.  #1, I wanted to be a Dodger.  I love baseball, and when you are growing up you think you have what it takes to make it to the pros.  But at some point, reality sets in and you try to figure out what's next.

The other thing I knew I wanted to be when I grew up was a dad.  I've been blessed with 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl.  This post is about my daughter.

Brooklyn is currently 2 years old, and we have so much fun together.  She is such a sweet girl and sister.  She loves Will and treats him like one of her dolls.  When Will is crying she says, "Don't cry."

One of Brooke's favorite thing to do is to dance and sing, in particular to the Backyardigan's theme song.  One of my favorite things to do is to dance with her, usually in the bathroom, where no one can see me acting like a fool for my daughter.

You see there is nothing that I wouldn't do for her (or for any of my kids).  She is a daddy girl, and I love it.

Over the past few days Jackson has been at my parents house, Will is still in the phase of eat-sleep-poop, so Brooke has been getting a lot of alone time with Daddy.

She's at the phase where she is developing exponentially.  She loves to help and to "do it myself."  She also loves the Dodgers (I have successfully brainwashed her).  Anytime there is sports on TV, she'll say, "Let's go Dodgers!"

Even when she is having a bad day...

I will always be there to hold her and tell her it's okay.

So keep smiling Brooklyn...

And know that whatever I got to be, I'll be for you.  If you ever need my help, just turn around and I'll be there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 Years Ago Today

I will always remember the month of September, 2001.  I had recently graduated college and was on a trip of a lifetime.  Two of my college buddies and I went backpacking through Europe.  We hit 8 countries (England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy and Spain) in 30 days.  

We spent a day or two in a particular city before moving on.  We spent the first week or so in London, Edinburgh and Paris.  After Paris we headed to Berlin on September 11th.  We checked into a hostel, got settled in, and were getting ready to go see the Berlin Wall.  Right before we left we decided to check our email, and as I was sitting there I noticed the "living room" was packed.  Being in Europe I thought they were all watching a soccer game.  I got off the computer, walked in to see what was sooo entertaining and I could not believe what I saw.

The TV had a split screen with New York and Washington on fire.  It took me a second or two to figure out what the heck this meant.  I told my buddies, "You gotta see this."  We couldn't believe it, America had been attacked.  

First thought was fear.  We are in Europe for 19 more days.  Do we finish the trip?  Do we try to get home before World War III breaks out?  Will more attacks happen? 

As we got more and more details we could not believe what had happened.  Story of people jumping out of the windows to their death to avoid being burned alive, the rescue efforts of all the people in the different cities, the heroes on Flight 93, all bringing up such emotion as we continued on our trip.

We saw many people paying their respects to what had happened in America.  The front entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Prague was covered with flowers, candles, poems, and the like.  The silence there was deafening.  

The flight home was half empty (versus a nearly full flight there).  When we landed, we expected to see our families there as we entered the terminal, but no one was there.  (Do you remember being able to go all the way to the gate?)  

It was my first view of what it was like in the States when I was driving home and seeing all the car flags flying, messages on the overpasses on the freeways, messages on windows, etc.  It still felt surreal.  

It still feels surreal when I take the time to think about it again.

So to those who lost love ones that day, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.  For those who are fighting the good fight over seas and at home, a big thank you.  Keep it up, stay strong!

And to those who want to do harm to the U.S. better hope we don't find you first.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Presenting William Denton Street

Today, September 4, 2010, William Denton Street was born at 7:09am.  Momma and Will are doing great.  Jackson & Brooklyn enjoyed meeting him.  Here are some pictures.

What a stud!