I am a lifelong Dodger fan. I know every last inch of Dodger Stadium. Thank God the place is exciting again, thanks to the gambling instincts of the Dodger General Manager, Ned Coletti.
Ned was taking a lot of potshots around here when he made two last minute deals. He traded Cesar Izturis to Chicago for Greg Maddux. He traded permanent problem child Joel Guzman to Tampa Bay for Julio Lugo. In both incidents, the immediate reaction around Los Angeles was hostile. They remember too many deals of the sort that brought Delino DeShields from Montreal in exchange for Pedro Martinez.
Cynics like to point out that even if Greg Maddux helps the Dodgers to the post season, he has a mediocre lifetime record of just 10-10 in post season play. The problem is, without a guy like Maddux to shore up the sagging Dodger starting rotation, there is no conceivable talk of ANY post season.
It is hard to give up a guy like Cesar Izturis but let’s be honest, the guy had a bad habit of tailing off at the plate at the end of every season. Izturis is not a franchise player. Coletti took the risk he had to take, and I congratulate him for it.
The most important acquisition in the swirl of trading is Wilson Betermit from Atlanta. The guy belted a home run in his first game in a Dodger uniform, so already Ned Coletti is looking like a genius. More importantly, his presence has revived the entire lineup. The Dodgers have taken two games already in Cincinnati, something they have not been capable of doing for several years. Give the team credit.
I am thinking now the Dodgers just might climb back into the race and if all works well, they might even upset the Mets in the National League playoffs. Let us only hople that this road does not lead through St. Louis. The Dodgers have not had an answer for St. Louis all year. But then, in 1988, when they last won it all, the Mets owned the Dodgers during the regular season, and folded in the playoffs. It just might happen again this year.