Sizing up the Dodgers

la dodgersSorry to my baseball buddies — I only had two tickets for tonight’s game, and the wife wanted to go.

Lots of talk on the talk radio coming home, both on Padres Talk and something on 690 called the SoCal Baseball Report (but rather than SoCal baseball, it’s more like Dodger Baseball with a passing nod to Anaheim) … the talk is along the lines of the Dodgers suck and needs some trades to fix them. Even the Padres fans are jumping on that bandwagon.

The guys on the SoCal show are pure Dan Evans (Dodger GM) apologists — the line goes, he’s a good GM, he knows how to make good deals, even though he says he’s not making any trades, he’s got something up his sleeve. It’s an undying faith and a mantra to these guys.

But look at the team Evans built, or inherited and allowed to fester — no offense, no bench, few prospects. He brought in Fred McGriff, failed to dump Adrian Beltre, thinks too highly of Brian Jordan and did nothing about the worst hitting middle infield combo in baseball.

Sure, the Dodgers have great pitching. I picked them initially to contend on the strength of their pitching, and currently they are contenders, but pitching can’t carry a team all season. At some point, the starters will slump, and when they do, if the offense can’t pick up the slack, a tailspin will ensue. I predict the Dodgers will suffer through brutal August, and it will include at least one 9- or 10-game losing streak. That is, unless they ad some bats.

And bats could be had. Luis Castillo would help a lot at 2B. Jose Guillen should be the Dodgers LF. Ivan Rodriguez could probably be pried away from Florida, which would allow Paul Lo Duca to move to 1st, thereby improving the team defensively at two positions and upgrading the overall offense five fold.

I’m not sure what the Dodgers would have to pay to make all that happen, and the paper thin minors might make it impossible, but Dodger fans aren’t out of line to wish Evans would do something, anything to improve this offense. It would be a shame to waste the kind of pitching they have.

Of course, I’m a Padres fan, so my real hope is that Evans does absolutely nothing.

You know what’s really going to burn the butts of Dodger fans? If Kevin Towers makes a pre-deadline deal to bring a solid offensive contributor for the Padres, and Evans does nothing. Towers might do it to. He wants to put together a winning second half to build momentum moving into the new stadium. If that happens, Dodger fans will really need to ask — how can a division rival who isn’t even a contender get better and the Dodgers can’t? (That’s assuming the Dodgers don’t make a deal, and I’m betting they won’t).

Speaking of Lo Duca and his defense … he made too bad plays tonight — both times he had the ball well advance of the arriving runner, and both times he failed to block the plate and missed that tag. I don’t see how you go through the minor league system, make it to the majors as a starting catcher and still can’t block the plate.

OK, enough ragging on the Dodgers, I’m off to bed.

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