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LETTERS

Dodgers Bouncing In and Out and In ...

August 30, 2003

Since 1962, I've attended as many as 25 Dodger games each season. This year, I've been to zero games. Aside from Eric Gagne, the '03 Dodgers are duller than Gray Davis, and the blame should be squarely directed at Rupert Murdoch, his inept Fox management team and General Manager Dan Evans.

Fox obviously isn't going to invest in putting a winning team on the field, otherwise players such as Brian Giles and Aaron Boone wouldn't be slipping away to other teams. As for Evans, he has timidly concocted midseason deals for a who's who of baseball mediocrity: Tyler Houston, Paul Shuey, Terry Mulholland, Mike Trombley, Jeromy Burnitz, Robin Ventura and, of course, Rickey Henderson. To exacerbate an already sad situation, Evans this week said, "We definitely have the talent to get into the postseason." Dan, maybe if it were 1997.

Because Fox doesn't care about winning and Evans doesn't know how to win, I'm not willing to spend money to watch their lifeless, rudderless baseball team.

Jeff Green

Long Beach

*

The Padres' acquisition of Brian Giles confirms the incompetence of the current Dodger management, particularly Dan Evans. The White Sox recognized Evans' incompetence, as did the Pirates, and now San Diego. While Evans could not make a deal involving Odalis Perez (Tuesday's 18-4 loser) the Padres offer a nothing pitcher and a non-prospect. Now in addition to being the laughingstock of the nation and late-night television for our recall election, we have to put up with the Dodger organization.

Should Gray Davis not be recalled, maybe the Dodgers could hire Arnold Schwarzenegger to manage. With this team, we'd probably get Davis.

Jeff Tome

Santa Clarita

*

Bill Plaschke is a truly gifted writer who should stick to what he does best, composing "feel good" human interest pieces. Whenever he ventures into real sports, he seldom gets it right.

Case in point, his ridiculous position that the Dodgers had more to offer the Pirates for Brian Giles than the Padres. If that were the case, the Pirates would have made the deal. Anyone who knows anything about baseball realizes that the long-term potential for Oliver Perez far exceeds that of on-again, off-again Odalis Perez.

Isn't it about time for another Plaschke article about someone who overcame tremendous odds to become a leading skateboarder or goal-scoring water polo player?

Dave Martz

Torrance

*

Odalis Perez and the top two pitching prospects for a 31-year-old Brian Giles? I don't think so. This time, Dan Evans made the right move. The lowly Padres got very lucky. The Dodgers will have the money in the off-season to address their lack of offense. Be patient, stay the course.

Brian Haueter

Ventura

*

It reassured me to read that the Dodger front office had made a concerted effort to avoid getting hit by the luxury tax and be satisfied with having one the highest payrolls in baseball and a team that will, in all likelihood, miss the playoffs or, if they somehow manage to become the wild-card team, probably extend their streak of not winning a playoff game since 1988.

One key trade could have changed all that, but they decided to save on the luxury tax instead, a tax that would have been offset, at the very least, by the revenue generated by being in the playoffs. So, is it fiscal responsibility or just a cover-up for the inability to make the right moves?

Felicia Freidel

Los Angeles

*

No one would suggest that Robin Ventura is the second coming of Kirk Gibson. But what Jim Tracy fails to realize is that when your team is on a 13-5 streak since he had arrived, you don't remove him from the lineup in favor of a guy (Fred McGriff) who hasn't hit game pitching for two months.

With the Dodgers losing four in row since, call it karma, chemistry or fooling with Mother Nature. The move made no more sense than starting Dave Goltz over Fernando Valenzuela in the 1980 one-game playoff.

Alan Amitin

Montrose

*

It seems to me after watching Andy Ashby's most recent performance that if he continues to pitch, the Dodgers only have a chance to win 80% of their remaining games. Factor in the losses that a team would normally be expected to incur during the length of the season, and the Dodgers' chances of making the postseason look dim. Instead of making a trade, perhaps management should considering releasing their biggest liability.

Rami Hernandez

Los Angeles

*

Would all those whining about Jim Tracy using Eric Gagne in tie games please lay off? If a home game is tied any time after the eighth inning, a save situation is impossible. If the closer hasn't worked in a while and/or a day off is involved, why not use him? It's called getting the most out of the bullpen. If Gagne has had trouble focusing in such situations, it's his responsibility to get over it, and Tracy has to give him game situations to do so. Who knows? It might come in handy in the postseason.

Mark Vitali

Simsbury, Conn.

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