Monday, April 7, 2008

How about those Dodgers?

To quote Mr. Ed, the famous television talking horse of the 1960s: “How about those Dodgers?”

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have been dead for years, look like they could be very alive in 2008.

Certainly, one week does not a six-month season make, but this team has improved itself immensely and should be gaining on the NL West.

Two additions in particular make the Dodgers a better team this season:

Andruw Jones may still not be hitting, but he’s already winning games with his spectacular defense in center field.

Hiroki Kuroda, the Japanese import pitcher, can throw strikes. He started off 10 straight Padres batters with strikes at one point Friday night; a statistic virtually unheard of in today’s world of pitchers falling behind hitters.

The Dodgers already had fine young players in the likes of catcher Russell Martin, first baseman James Loney and outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

Rafael Furcal is solid at shortstop. Jeff Kent is getting older at second base, but Chin Iung-Hu is already proving to be a man who can spell Kent late in games (and occasionally the starting lineup) to keep Kent fresh. The black hole is still third base; we’ll see what happens when Nomar Garciaparra returns from the disabled list.

The Dodgers have a solid top-four pitching rotation with Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Kuroda. And it certainly appears Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito have surpassed San Diego’s Heath Bell and Trevor Hoffman as a late-inning relief combination.

Add Manager Joe Torre to the mix and we have a clue for you: Watch out for the Dodgers in 2008!


sam said...

I don't think your Dodgers are that good. They always stink in the end.

kareem said...

How about those Dodgers? They have improved themselves from last year and if Jones does return to his former hitting self, the Dodgers are going to be dangerous. With Torre's immense baseball knowledge they could be awesome. Watch out Padres' fans, the Dodgers have reloaded.