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Friday, July 04, 2008

About Today's Plaschke Column

This:
The Angels are all about winning in October.
Which is why they've only won one postseason series since 2002. They've assembled some good teams, but certainly not world-beaters.
McCourt finally has the right manager,
Who kept running an apparently injured Scott Proctor out there in game-critical situations until his ERA inflated to 6.82, despite never having an in-season ERA under 4.00 as a straight reliever.
Blake DeWitt, he's a ballplayer.
Sure. And one that owns a .260/.323/.380 line, a good kid who was hitting way over his head back in the first couple months of his callup. Is he for real? He could be, and only continued playing time — maybe not at the major league level — will be able to tell. But trust me, you put a lineup like that together at a couple more positions and we'll start to hear from Ned how it's time to unload the kids.
Yet the Angels had won 11 more games.

Why?

The Angels have a culture that believes in winning over statistics, winning over awards, winning over everything.

The Angels also have more home runs (71 as of this morning, vs 58) and a higher slugging average (.382 vs. .377).
Some nights, many nights, the Dodgers are the worst possible embodiment in a town that understands baseball.

They are the anti-Angels.

Part of the reason that Paul DePodesta was fired from his job as the previous Dodgers general manager was because, during his final aborted managerial search, he did not even inquire about the availability of Scioscia.

Because, right, like Scioscia's gonna work for the team that kicked him out unceremoniously. Like working for Frank McCourt's dysfunctional front office was tops on his list of life's unfilled checkmarks. Remember when the Dodgers spoke with Bud Black and he told them he'd "sleep on it"? Just how many milliseconds did he have to wait before picking up the phone next morning to tell them "no"?

What really occurs to me with this piece is it amount to a kind of smokescreen. Having chased off the one good GM the Dodgers just happened to stumble upon, Plaschke's now stuck — if he has even the littlest of self-realization available to him, and I find it hard to imagine he doesn't — trying to rationalize his role in that. The result is gagging columns like this one, lashing out at no one and everyone in the Dodgers organization; he could do us all a favor by taking a cue from Oedipus, but it's harder to fall on your typewriter than it is your sword. Is there some reason Plaschke and Simers aren't part of the 250?

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