Vin Scully's perfect call of his own future plans:
"I'll be back next year, folks."
(Long pause while the crowd goes wild and Vin does nothing to interrupt like the young yahoos that have to hear themselves speak all the time.)
"Let's go back to this one."
Instead of replacing the "Mannywood" signs at Dodger Stadium, why doesn't the team simply change the first two letters from "M-A" to "V-I?" That way, it would appropriately fete Vin Scully signing on for another year broadcasting Dodgers games while subtly putting to rest the last two underachieving seasons from our former slugger.
My mother, may she rest in peace, couldn't have told you what an RBI was if you spotted her "runs" and "batted." But if you asked her to identify one thing that heralded the onset of springtime, she would have named the warm, comforting, familiar voice of Vin Scully.
Thank you, Vinny. You mean so much to so many of us, fans and non-fans alike.
There is no one else broadcasting today who does what Vin Scully has done over six decades. He taught me as a 9-year-old how to keep score. How many readers participated in the 1965 "Score a Game with Scully" contest? He explained about the Battle of the Bulge, as he gave biographical sketches of players near the end of their careers in the early '60s. He still quotes Shakespeare with ease, and practices meteorology when storm fronts gather over places from Forbes to Wrigley.
Thank you, teacher, for deciding to give us at least one more year!
Thank you, Vin, for making the most disappointing Dodgers seasons seem like championship-worthy ones. Audibly, we in the Dodger Nation win the World Series every year solely on hearing you paint pictures via airwaves. We deeply appreciate you continuing for yet another season. (And another after that in 2012 if you so choose … we won't mind).
Mark J. Featherstone
Dodger fans were panicked that Vin Scully would not return, while UCLA fans are panicked that Chris Roberts will return.
Perhaps Brett Favre could learn something from Vin Scully.
Back on the field
So Joe Torre will announce his future plans Labor Day. The Dodgers manager's three-year contract is up, and he should know he can't win without a $200-million payroll. But he should also take a hint from Lou Piniella and push the ejection button now.
The best thing that will come from this disappointing Dodgers season is that we will finally be rid of the cancer that is Manny. His "Manny Being Manny" card has expired in L.A. after fooling those who so readily embraced him upon arrival. So let's send him on his Manny way with a ceremonial bonfire by using the Mannywood sign for kindling along with those fake (as his potential here was) dreads attached to greasy batting helmets that should keep the flames burning longer than his female- hormone-fueled career. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Arroyo Grande, Calif.
With the Dodgers' farm system deteriorating as evidenced by their inability to make any significant big-name pitcher trades, I would suggest that they sell some of those protected players who never bloomed.
Russell Martin has been a bitter disappointment. Five-tool player Matt Kemp needs to be traded because he lacks the sixth tool, which is a brain with a baseball IQ. Additionally, he needs to be in a town where Hollywood isn't. Unload Ramirez while the unloading is good. Casey Blake's tank seems to be running near empty. Raffy Furcal, a very good shortstop, is undependable. Every time he puts something together he winds up on the DL, reminiscent of another very good shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra.
On the brighter side, Podsednik. Theriot and Lilly were good acquisitions. Along with Carroll, Loney and Either, you have a nucleus of players who love to play the game and have the ability to think. I would much rather have a less talented player who uses his head, than a budding superstar who appears to be playing the game like a chicken with his head cut off.
Colletti, Torre, Bowa and Schaefer have a right to call Matt Kemp (or any other player) out for what they perceive as a lack of preparation, hustle and execution. It would probably be best if they did so in private, especially in the case of Colletti and Schaefer, who never played in the major leagues. I've spent a considerable amount of time around professional athletes over the years and I'm pretty sure that while Kemp doesn't mind the things that Torre and Bowa have said, he probably resents the other two calling him out in such a public manner. After all, he's not the only reason why the Dodgers have played poorly this season.