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Friday, September 07, 2012

Ken Rosenthal: Dodgers’ stars may need time to jell

WARNING: The theory that I am about to advance cannot be quantified. But in the spirit of baseball bi-partisanship, I urge the statistically inclined to read to the end, then pause 10 seconds for reflection before bombarding me with any dismissive tweets.

THIS WEEK’S BOW TIE (is obviously too tight)

The theory is this: The Los Angeles Dodgers have not yet jelled, and might not jell until next season, after their players have experienced a pennant race together and bonded over a full spring.

Yes, I’m talking about chemistry. Cohesiveness. Intangibles. All of those funky things that a computer cannot measure. All of those funky things that make the sport an enduring mystery, yet drive the statistically inclined to distraction.

I can’t fall too in love with my theory, not when the Dodgers can disprove it at any moment, starting this weekend when they visit the San Francisco Giants in a pivotal NL West showdown (Saturday, MLB on FOX, 4:10 p.m. ET).

But seriously, what other explanation is there for the Greatest Lineup Ever Slapped Together producing only 20 runs in the Dodgers’ seven-game homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres?

... That’s my theory, and I can’t quantify it, can’t prove it. All I know is, the games aren’t played on paper or on a computer. They’re played by individuals, and the relationships between those individuals can influence the team’s overall dynamic and quite possibly its performance.

OK, time for your 10-second pause. Think about what I’m saying. And tell me, with the absolute certainty that the statistically inclined crave, that I am wrong.

Repoz Posted: September 07, 2012 at 05:02 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: September 07, 2012 at 05:35 AM (#4229020)
What the Dodgers need is an inspirational training montage.
   2. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: September 07, 2012 at 06:11 AM (#4229024)
GET US MICHAEL YOUNG STAT
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 07, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4229026)
8....9....10

You're wrong....and I'm not even "statistically inclined".
   4. SteveF Posted: September 07, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4229037)
You can quick set Jell-O by adding ice cubes. Maybe they should turn up the AC in the clubhouse or shove ice cubes up all their asses.
   5. depletion Posted: September 07, 2012 at 07:49 AM (#4229040)
SteveF, my first thought was to douse them in cold water. If that doesn't work having them sit in a mild alkali solution may help.
   6. I Am Not a Number Posted: September 07, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4229043)
If Rosenthal isn't breaking trade news then he's really got nothing of value to say.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: September 07, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4229055)
I know I'm old and not down with all the latest hip lingo but my generation spelled it gel and gelled.

No I never wore an onion on my belt.

Now I see that since the BIG TRADE, the Dodgers are 5-7. This is not good but I wasn't aware that we were expecting them to go 10-2 because they added two players. Mr. Gonzalez has been rather mediocre, Mr. Beckett seems to have been pretty good and Mr. Crawford hasn't played at all.

I see that since the trade, Mr. Kemp has done quite poorly. However I am not clear why Mr. Kemp's gelatinous state should be affected by the arrival of newbies. A cynic might point out that Mr. Kemp has been performing at a fairly human level since returning from his injury.

Ethier has hit a bit better since the trade; Hanley has hit in line with his seaon average; Kershaw is just 1-2 but with 21 IP and only 5 runs I'm thinking that's not his fault although having a pool of ungelled gelatin providing the run support is surely a challenge.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 07, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4229081)
The Dodgers are evil and deserve to pay huge amounts of money and lose. I do like the suggestion in 4 though. That is probably the SF Giants fan in me talking though, so never mind.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: September 07, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4229119)
The Dodgers lost their number 2 starter at almost exactly the same time. So Beckett is more of a replacement than an addition.
   10. TerpNats Posted: September 07, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4229131)
In the long run ("long" here referring to 2013), Gonzalez and Beckett will benefit the Dodgers. Anyone who thought they would turn things around by themselves in a mere two weeks was guilty of simplistic thinking.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 07, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4229157)
Someone needs to put eyeblack on Kirk Gibson's hat. Right now.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: September 07, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4229424)
Dodgers have holes, and I agree with the spirit of the article. Get a bunch of stars together, and sometimes they think they're just going to automaticlly win. Not to mention everyone they play turns it up to beat the superstar team. Keep the team from Roscoes and they should be fine next year.
   13. Tippecanoe Posted: September 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4229641)
my generation spelled it gel and gelled

Or perhaps they used synonyms. The Dodgers have not yet congealed. They have not coagulated, or curdled.
   14. Al Kaline Trio Posted: September 07, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4229673)
   15. Srul Itza Posted: September 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4229767)
The Dodgers are evil and deserve to pay huge amounts of money and lose.


That was generally my perspective, but then they hired Torre, and worse yet, Mattingly, as managers.

I found it hard to root against Torre, and I simply cannot root against Mattingly.

I am just waiting for them to fire Mattingly so I can go back to full-throated hatred of the Dodgers
   16. tshipman Posted: September 07, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4229830)
I think it's a lot easier to explain the Dodgers' offensive performance over the last week when you see that they have huge holes in their lineup (Shane Victorino, Luis Cruz). This forces them to start Hanley at SS, where he probably doesn't belong anymore. AJ Ellis has started to remember who he is.

The real shocker is the good starts from some of their shitty pitchers.

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