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Dodgers at awkward age

September 29, 2007

This just in from Chavez Ravine: Dodgers fans aren't booing the team, they're yelling, "yoooouth."

Paul M. Thiele

Los Angeles

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I found a minor typo in the headline for Bill Plaschke's Sept. 26 article titled, "Don't write Kemp's name in ink in lineup."

Should read: "Don't write Kent's name in ink in lineup."

Much better.

Christopher Nieman

Reseda

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A diabolically brilliant piece of writing, Mr. Simers [Sept. 24]. You convince Ned Colletti that Derek Lowe and his elderly friends would have performed better down the stretch if they had seen and received more high-fives from the rooks. The Dodgers respond by trading the .300-hitting, run-producing youngsters who hit down the stretch for some old guys who are more encouraging (like your new favorite, Jeff Kent?). You then have material for an entire season, as you rip Colletti for not making the trades you wanted -- which, of course, you are wise enough to never reveal.

Priscilla Monserrate

Long Beach

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So Bill Plaschke thinks the Dodgers should dump Matt Kemp. Sure, why not? Kemp's only batting .330, has power, runs like the wind, has a strong arm, is young, and has a glorious future ahead of him.

Why am I not surprised? After all, several years ago, Plaschke and his poison-pen friend, T.J. Simers, recommended the same thing for a fellow named Mike Piazza, and they welcomed troublemaker Gary Sheffield with open arms.

Skip Usen

Santa Monica

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So this is what it feels like when hell has frozen over. I finally agree with Simers and Plaschke. Matt Kemp has to go. His talent will never equal his demeanor, attitude and overall lack of brain matter. It's not like he's out there hitting 30-plus home runs with 100-plus RBIs. You can just see it in his face that he is bad news in waiting.

In addition, when are the Dodgers going to realize that Andy LaRoche just can't hit? Of all the rookies called up in the last two years, he is by far the worst. A veteran left fielder and third baseman is just what the doctor ordered. Throw in a starter or two and this team will soar. I'll work for free, Frank. The job isn't that tough. Just open your eyes.

Geno Apicella

Burbank

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The Dodgers' solution is not to trade Kemp for a superstar in his prime as Plaschke suggests. In '08 at least five regulars will be first- or second-year players making under $1 million and be very affordable for the next three to five years. With stockpiled, affordable farm help behind the current group, McCourt needs to get A-Rod. He is the big bat that makes everyone better, that the youngsters respect, that the Dodgers need more than anything else.

By the time the bill comes due for Martin, Loney, Kemp, et al, A-Rod will be on the verge of breaking Bonds' home run record, ensuring even more increased attendance revenue that he would bring as a true superstar that would help the Dodgers contend every year.

Maddox Rees

Santa Barbara

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After a disappointing Dodgers season, Jeff Kent sparks a clubhouse rift. The papers run with the story that bad chemistry, not bad baseball, is the reason they missed the playoffs.

That was 2005. I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now. In this age of information, can't anyone write about what actually happened on the field? The young players carried this team, and the veterans mostly stunk. Meanwhile armchair GM Bill Plaschke proposes his solution: more veterans!

Brian Greene

Rolling Hills Estates

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So the Dodgers are concerned because Matt Kemp with his potentially superstar batting skills is making rookie baserunning and fielding blunders. Vladimir Guerrero has been making the same mistakes for years, and the Angels seem quite satisfied.

Jim Woodard

Woodland Hills

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A group of young, competent and extremely talented baseball players who need an experienced, guiding hand to help them mature and fulfill their potential by carefully mentoring them and imbuing them with a respect for the game and the way it should be approached.

I'll be 70 next month, but I vaguely remember a Tommy somebody who was instrumental in leading a group of young, unheralded and unproven players to Olympic gold a few years ago. Ah, forget it. I must be hallucinating.

Herbert M. Schoenberg

Tarzana

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Now Dodgers fans will be subjected to an off-season marketing blitz telling us to believe in the kids and shaming us into coming to the park to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the L.A. Dodgers. What there will be no mention of is that it will be the 20th anniversary since the last time we won anything that really mattered.

Matt Taylor

Westlake Village

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It has been apparent all year long that the Dodgers were short on offense and defense. If McCourt is serious about providing a consistent winner in Los Angeles then he needs to make a bold statement -- sign A-Rod to a ridiculous salary and it will get him the 4 million in ticket sales he wants annually and end the 20-year World Series absence. I just don't think he's serious.

Richard Kane

Reseda

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