Culver City Observer -

So Many New Dodgers: Where's The Chemistry?


August 6, 2015

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

As a baseball season goes along players often grow together as a unit.

A team can flourish as individuals learn each other’s skills and weaknesses.

I’m reminded of the Dodgers’ infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey which was together for a decade.

My, how things have changed.

The Dodgers completed a complicated three-team trade the other day and as I tried to figure it out I got a headache.

The Dodgers have four new pitchers and some other guys. Some players who’d been on the roster for most of the season have been released.

Before going any further let me say I don’t know if this is good or bad. If the Dodgers win the World Series it will be good. Talent would have been added just in time. But if the Dodgers don’t fare well in the playoffs the club’s management will be criticized for so significantly altering the roster.

There’s also the matter of the Dodgers failing to acquire any of the three pitchers most likely to have been on their radar. They didn’t get Cole Hamels, David Price or Johnny Cueto even though all of them went to new teams.

“We have one goal, and that’s to win the World Series,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ President Of Baseball Operations.

”We were as aggressive as we could be.”

All season it’s been obvious the Dodgers needed a third quality starting pitcher, and with their financial position being strong they seemed to be the leader to take over Hamels’ expensive contract from the Phillies which has three years to run.

But they settled for the far less attractive Mat Latos and Alex Wood, both Ok major leaguers but neither on the level of Hamels, Price or Cueto.

The Dodgers decided not to part with infielder Corey Seager, their best minor league prospect. The Phillies were demanding him in exchange for Hamels.

I applaud the Dodgers for taking a strong stand if they expect Seager to become a star as we’ve been told.

But it sure would have been interesting to see Hamels following Clinton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the first three games of a playoff series. Or Price or Cueto doing that.

The Dodgers were part of an epidemic that it major league baseball as the trading deadline arrived. I can’t remember when so many teams participated in the quest to get their rosters better for the stretch run.

It happened because there are now two wild card teams becoming eligible for the playoffs and there’s parity in both the National American Leagues.

Teams who are in contention for a wild card berth that could lead to a long playoff run such as Kansas City made last season loaded up. Toronto was able to acquire two all-stars, Troy Tulowitski and David Price. The Mets got Yolanis Cespedes, a power-hitting outfielder with a strong arm. Curto went to Kansas City, giving the Royals a No. 1 starting pitcher.

It’s going to be an exciting scene until the playoffs begin. Really, the best part of the baseball season.


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