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.