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Mike Ricigliano : Letters

Thanks to Dodgers for more memories

October 18, 2008

As we Dodgers fans yearn for the glory days of yesteryear, there were a few precious moments in the playoffs that mirrored past Dodgers greats:

Jonathan Broxton channeling Tom Niedenfuer.

Rafael Furcal emulating the throwing prowess of Steve Sax.

Chad Billingsley's attempt to start Joe Torre smoking cigarettes while doing his best imitation of Don "Full Pack" Stanhouse.

Blake DeWitt's penchant for hitting into double plays like, well, you pick someone from the archives.

John R. Grush

Mission Viejo

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Hey Dodgers fans, cheer up. You now have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a celebrity manager, a future Dodgers museum to visit and spend money at before games. You saw a great preseason game at the Coliseum celebrating the past, and you got to see one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time for a few months.

And in another 20 years you will probably see another playoff game or two won by the Dodgers.

Hey it could be worse. You could be Cubs fans.

Dennis Flatley

Santa Barbara

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Joe Torre should not be let off the hook or given a pass for his complete managerial meltdown in the NLCS. His refusal to change the lineup cost the Dodgers any chance of beating the Phillies. Yes, the Phillies have a better team, but Torre didn't give the Dodgers a chance.

How do you keep Russell Martin at cleanup batting .118? How do you keep Blake DeWitt in the lineup batting .077? How could you not shake up the lineup to put players in a position to win? The Dodgers were the best team in baseball in September with Angel Berroa at shortstop, Martin or Matt Kemp leading off and James Loney batting cleanup. Joe Torre was asleep at the wheel and to all of you praising what he did for the Yankees, you forget that he didn't win a World Series in the last seven seasons with the best talent in baseball and he is the only manager in baseball history to lose a 3-0 series lead. He blew this one and disappointed us all.

Geno Apicella

Burbank

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Dear Joe Torre,

Thanks for being so steady all year. Unfortunately, it just led to the worst-managed playoff game since Lasorda pitched to Clark with Jerry Reuss warming in the bullpen for Andy Van Slyke.

Bruce A McClanahan

Shell Beach, Calif.

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Thank you, Ross Newhan, for adding some realism to the hyperventilating over three Dodgers playoff losses. The regular Times writers acted as if the Dodgers were a 95-win team with one or two minor flaws. The reality is that they finished six games over .500.

They were in this situation only because they played in a historically bad division, they had a Hall of Famer drop into their laps, and they spent the last five weeks playing teams that were either bad (Giants, Pirates, Rockies, Padres) or in full capitulation mode (D-backs, Cubs).

Really now, how good can you be if you're tearing your hair out because Joe Beimel was not available?

Craig L. Dunkin

Los Angeles

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The capacity of the L.A. sportswriters to deify the slightly-better-than-good local teams and athletes (Kobe as the Greatest, USC as invincible; tell that to Boston and Texas, or even Oregon State/Stanford) never ceases to amaze.

Oh well, this is the Show Biz capital, where the harvest of hype is ever so rich.

Michael Jenning

Van Nuys

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It was bound to happen to the Dodgers too. In the Game 4 loss, Joe Torre obviously caught a bad case of Scioscia's disease -- the chronic disease that causes managers to over-manage pitching. There appears to be no known cure.

Joseph Bonino

Glendale

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Wow, Bill Plaschke is at it again! He is convinced the root of the Dodgers' problems is their lack of pitching depth and that money spent this off-season should go to shoring up the staff rather than re-signing Manny.

Did I get that right?? Did it occur to Plaschke that the only reason the Dodgers were in the playoffs is because of Manny? Given what he has done, if Manny isn't here next year, there won't be another postseason appearance regardless of what is spent to help the pitching.

Jim Miller

San Gabriel

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Congratulations, Manny! Your mind-blowing clinic on hitting the last few months most likely means you have earned yourself a big fat New York contract. Wish you could've stayed, but we all know how this will end. Thanks for stopping by L.A. We'll be cheering for you in next year's playoffs because L.A. fans will be needing a team to cheer for by then.

John Kim Po

Glendale

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I don't know what's more comical: the 180-degree turn Manny has made from August ("I like living here") to October ("I want to see who is the highest bidder") . . . or that Dodgers fans really believe that he likes living here.

Jeff Friedman

Santa Clarita

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When did Dodger Stadium turn into the Coliseum? I attended the game Monday night and was subjected to an extraordinary amount of verbal abuse and threats simply because I was wearing a Phillies shirt. The few ushers who are left on the payroll don't seem to have any purpose as they don't check tickets and certainly don't try to maintain any semblance of order. I miss the straw-hat ushers and the friendly fans of the O'Malley days.

Ken McIntyre

Torrance

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Sixty-four misdemeanor arrests at Dodger Stadium for scalping [Oct. 13]? That's it? What a monumental waste of police resources. If the police want to arrest someone, then arrest Frank McCourt for grand theft. He charges $15 a car for parking. Now that's a crime.

Bob Ostrove

Oxnard

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Two words for you, T.J:

No, not those.

"We win."

Steve Dripps

Happyville

--

Congratulations, Dodgers and Dodgers fans. I hope you enjoyed your one week as the premier baseball team in the L.A. market. See you again in 10 years.

Jayson Romero

Highland

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