Dave Roberts certainly seems like a nice guy. The players like him, fellow managers like him and, by all accounts, members of the media like him. But you know what? Sometimes a talented team going through a tough stretch needs less friendliness and more feistiness. Someone who isn’t afraid to demote a veteran closer who has clearly lost his effectiveness, send a struggling player down instead of giving him time to “figure it out,” argue with an umpire after one of numerous questionable strike-three calls, or dare I say, have a pitcher throw inside against an opponent who was clearly stealing signs.
Nice guys won’t finish last in this instance because of the payroll and talent advantages, but it sure seems like this team could benefit by matching the intensity shown by opponents in recent weeks.
I realize that it has been more than three decades since the Dodgers have been in this position, but will someone please explain to Bill Plaschke that world champions don’t whine, they win?
I take exception to Bill Plaschke’s accusation of stealing signs by the Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. causing the Dodgers’ loss of the series. From what I continue to see is that catchers constantly check the batter’s head position just prior to the pitch release. Face it, Bill, Tatis is a great young ballplayer and the Dodgers lost to a very good team.
San Juan Capistrano
As a Padres fan who lives in an L.A. Times area, I understand how much the region loves the Dodgers. However, Dodgers fans should learn how to lose gracefully and not make baseless accusations out of disappointment on their own team’s shortcomings. Trust me, I’m a Padres fan, I know how to lose. Maybe you should too.
This letter is from a longtime Dodgers fan.
Please stop talking about the Dodgers getting cheated. Here are the reasons they lost three out of four to the Padres last weekend.
1. We left way too many men on base.
2. Roberts insisted on pulling starters who are dominating after six innings and turning the game over to the worst bullpen I’ve seen in years.
3. The Padres just outplayed the Dodgers.
And regarding the 2017 World Series: Yes, the Astros stole signs at home. But we lost Game 2 at Dodger Stadium because we blew the save. We lost Game 7 when our offense was shut out by the Astros' third starter. Let’s put the “cheated Dodgers” baloney to bed once and for all. You are starting to embarrass yourself.
If Mr. Plaschke is so eager to find a scapegoat for his team’s disappointing series, he might try looking no further than the bullpen. Otherwise, I think it is fair to say that the only thing Fernando Tatis Jr. stole was a few bases.
Dave Roberts’ decision to “rest” Justin Turner, the team’s only .300 hitter, in Monday’ game, after such an awful defeat on Sunday, was ridiculous. I can’t ever remember Lopes, Russell, Garvey,or Cey ever taking a day’s rest. The bat isn’t that heavy. And to replace him with a hitter batting .095 when the Dodgers’ offense is averaging around two runs per game is just terrible managing.
Hey, I'm having a big bonfire next weekend, and I need kindling, so I was wondering if somebody at The Times will let me have all the March 29 back copies that included Bill Plaschke's column about the 2021 Dodgers being the greatest team in baseball history?
Hey Dave Roberts,
Maybe institute mandatory batting practice with men on base so the appearance of runners will no longer turn the team into fainting goat double-play poster children. Wouldn’t hurt to suggest hitting the other way against the shift either.
Love, everyone in L.A.
There was an article on Monday talking about the Farmer John hot dog being replaced with a new dog for the famous Dodger Dog.
And just below that article was a Plaschke article attacking the Dodgers pitchers as “weenies” for not throwing at Fernando Tatis Jr.
And Plaschke was being “frank” with his assessment of the situation. Apparently, Plaschke was upset by Tatis’s “hot dog” antics after his HR celebrations.
Kind of like a “Dog Day Afternoon” at the old ball yard.
The Dodgers are ditching Farmer John as purveyor of the ubiquitous Dodger Dog. The article by Bill Shaikin tells us that the team promises the new dog will “continue to deliver the same familiar taste.” Somebody should clue the Dodgers' PR department: that’s the problem. What is it, $7 for a shriveled foot long on a mushy bun? Combine that with the indigestible curly fries, and you’ve gone a long way toward explaining the long lines outside the restrooms.
I suggest they ask Costco how they do it.
And I thought it was just the Dodgers who were trying to take every penny from the fans. I was wrong. The Angels just released May single-game seat availability, and their prices would make the Dodgers blush. For instance, the same seat I bought for $28 against the Astros earlier in April is now $85 against the Dodgers in May. I am so over the greed and blatant shakedown of the fans. I really don’t understand why anyone goes with the prices that are being offered today. Instead of making a game affordable to the hundreds of thousands of fans that stuck by them and suffered during the pandemic, these two franchises (probably others) decided that greed and disregard are good business practices. I will have no part of it. I will be happy watching the game on television and not spending a payroll check on seats, parking and concessions. Shame on the Dodgers. Shame on the Angels.
When Vin Scully would tell us who the umpires were for the game, he would say “and calling balls and strikes is ...” Now after watching games this week and listening to announcers’ comments, home plate umpires should be introduced as “calling balls strikes.”
These guys are OK
I couldn’t disagree more with the opinion shared by a reader on April 25 regarding the Angels’ TV commentators. Since Mark Gubicza and Victor Rojas took over in 2010, and now with Gubi, Jose and Matt/Daron, they have made the games interesting for the full nine innings. Collectively they hold immense knowledge of the game and share insights of the inner workings of hitting, fielding and pitching broken down for viewers of all ages. They often add tips for young players as well.
I’m about to blaspheme here, so hold onto your knickers, Dodger fans, but Vin Scully used to have me snoring by the fourth inning, his drone being the perfect cure for insomnia.
Were the Rams trying to impress draft picks 57-88-103-141-209 & 252 by establishing draft headquarters in Malibu? Couldn't they have made the same decisions and choices in a garage (or something similar) like where quarantined Rams GM Les Snead spent his time? Were Rams fans impressed by this decision ... or disgusted with the arrogance of the organization, especially during these stressful and unsettling times? Guess when you charge the ticket prices they do for the new stadium, renting prime beach property is a drop in the bucket. Think what they'd have rented if they had a first-round pick.
Don't pick on them
About the USC Song Girls expose: What’s next? The ASPCA getting after Traveler for horsing around?
Does The Times not fact check the letters they print?
Last week, it was claimed that Ben Howland only had success with players his predecessor recruited. Facts: Only two Lavin recruits had any significant role on a Howland Final Four team (Cedric Bozeman and Ryan Hollins in 2006). The mainstays of those teams were Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo, Luc Mbah a Moute, Josh Shipp, Darren Collison, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, all Howland recruits.
To paraphrase the original writer, if you print letters like that again, I’m gonna puke.
Los Angeles has two basketball teams playing to get into the postseason. Los Angeles has 1½ baseball teams (Angels are half ours) playing great ball. Los Angeles has two soccer teams fighting to get into postseason. Los Angeles has 1½ hockey teams playing still. What is on the front page of last Sunday’s sports page? Chuck Noll and an article about the football draft. What’s up?
After diligently searching, I found coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR and IndyCar races under the Etc. section of The Day In Sports. In the top half of the column, so I guess that’s progress. Nice coverage of Dodger Dogs, though.
Rancho Palos Verdes
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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.