Thursday, September 29, 2011
The "once proud" franchise heads into the offseason
Well, it's the offseason finally. The "once-proud" franchise won its final game of the year. The National League Cy Young Award winner will likely be a player from the "once-proud" franchise, and the N.L. MVP -- if people are thinking clearly -- will also go to a player from the "once-proud" franchise.
The "once-proud" team seems to have found a legitimate closer, a reliable starting staff, a shortstop for the future, and some decent role players (and, no, I'm not talking about Eugenio Velez).
"Once-proud," my team managed to finish above .500 and in third place -- nothing more, but nothing less than what I expected at the start of the season.
For all of the June doom-and-gloom, I think the "once-proud" team produced some truly exciting moments, and two of the best individual performances that I have seen from my "once-proud" favorite club since I started following baseball 35 years ago.
I'm pretty damn proud of some of the stuff I saw from the "once-proud" franchise.
Which is why the Associated Press needs to stuff its "once-proud" bullshit and figure out a more accurate way to describe the Dodgers when writing its stories.
Matt Kemp won the home run and RBI titles, something that hasn't happened for the Dodgers in 70 years. Clayton Kershaw won the pitching triple crown, something that hasn't happened for the Dodgers since Sandy Koufax was on the mound.
To illustrate the two players' dominance, here is the final list of Player of the Day selections for 2011:
1. Clayton Kershaw -20
2. Matt Kemp - 13
3. Hiroki Kuroda - 7
4. Chad Billingsley - 5
5. Andre Ethier - 5
6. Rod Barajas - 4
7. Ted Lilly - 4
8. James Loney - 3
9. Dana Eveland - 2
9. Rafael Furcal -2
10. Dee Gordon - 2
11. Tony Gwynn Jr. - 2
9. Aaron Miles - 2
10. Dioner Navarro - 2
11. Jerry Sands - 2
12. Nathan Eovaldi - 1
13. Jon Garland - 1
14. Russell Mitchell - 1
15. Trent Oeltjen - 1
15. Juan Uribe - 1
I think Kemp and Kershaw need a better support staff. But the free agent season is coming and with MLB hovering around the Dodger ownership situation, I think L.A. will be spending relatively freely.
There is nothing that I saw with the team this year that prevents me from thinking they could win a title next year. And I can't say that about a number of other teams in the majors. Nor could I say that about my team at this time last year.
So, the once-proud franchise leaves this season pretty proud of how they finished.
And I was proud of them all along.
By the way, the Kemp card at the top of the post came from Greg L. I'll show some of the other cards he sent later.
It's not your average 2009 SP Authentic card.
Here's your average '09 SP Authentic Matt Kemp card:
And here's the one Greg L. sent again:
This is known as the "copper" parallel because the background is more brownish than the base card. Upper Deck numbered it to /99 just in case you didn't catch on to the background thing right away (which I didn't).
There are also titanium parallels and other similar wackiness that makes me glad all over again that Upper Deck isn't manufacturing real baseball cards.
Now there's a spot where you can hang the "once proud" tag.
"Once proud" Upper Deck.