A.J. Ellis returns to the dugout after striking out against Ryan Vogelsong. (Jason O. Watson / Getty Images )
Watching the Dodgers' collapse on their latest trip left me searching for a one-word acronym that best describes their current state of affairs:
B: Below Mendoza Line team batting average.
S: Suffering fan base.
T: Third place finish in NL West at best.
After witnessing the Dodgers' historically dismal visit to the Bay Area, two runs in 54 innings, I am left wondering if I missed the news that the Transportation Security Administration has prohibited major league bats from being carried on intrastate flights.
The Dodgers have finally settled into the team that they really are after playing two months far above what the team has in talent. They have absolutely no offense; Uribe is an embarrassment; Kershaw obviously isn't what he was last year; Ethier has tailed off; and their star attraction, who seems to be getting all the ink, Dee Gordon, is hitting 214, hardly an offensive positive for the team. They'll need more than Matt Kemp to keep them from ending up in last place by the end of the season.
Santa Maria, Calif.
Now that the euphoria of an ownership change and an incredible start out of the gate has faded, the cold, hard reality of the middle of a grueling 162-game season is in full view. Not so pretty, is it? Without significant personnel changes, the rest of the way could be ugly.
Will someone please wake up Ned Colletti and tell him that if he waits till the trading deadline to make a deal, there's a good chance the Dodgers will already have been mathematically eliminated.
The Dodgers' slide toward mediocrity was predictable and there is probably no quick fix. It will be interesting to see what ownership will do about it.
My Dodger Blue blood has turned my face beet red, as going scoreless in San Francisco this week has to be one of if not the most embarrassing on-field events in Dodgers history.
The four biggest problems the Dodgers have are:
1. An inexperienced manager who pulls the lineup out of a hat, then bunts with two strikes and swings 3-0.
2. A lineup of retreads and benchwarmers.
3. An overrated ownership group no better than their predecessors.
4. Nobody knows what to get Jimmy and Millie for a wedding gift.
Watching the Dodgers blow a five-run lead to the Angels was no surprise at all. Just look at some of their infielders:
James Loney is better performing the hit-and-run from behind the wheel of his car than from the batter's box.
Dee Gordon is a weak leadoff man who can't bunt to save his life.
Juan Uribe is more valuable to the team on the disabled list than at the plate.
Adam Kennedy — Really?
Don't sneeze, because Mattingly's house of cards is on the verge of collapse.
What has T.J. been smoking? First he gets all lovey-dovey over the Dodgers shortstop who's hitting .228, because the guy lost his mother at age 6. Next, he is buddying up to Matt Kemp, whose narcissistic ramblings seem incoherent. What's next, candles and wine?
I'd hate to see the only Times columnist who isn't afraid to say the Dodgers are mediocre losers suddenly get star-struck like a kid.
Every so often, "Mr. Negativity" drops the sarcasm and comes through with a real gem.T.J. Simers' heartfelt interview with Dee Gordon was not only informative and eye-opening, but truly touching.
Perhaps the Dodgers ought to spend more energy shopping for a hitter, rather than the marketing scam that gouges the fans by requiring ticket purchases to 10 games, just to be able to obtain a Koufax or Scully bobblehead.
The Lakers' problem
It's nice to see that T.J. Simers has it all figured out. It's not Jim Buss' fault. It's not Mike Brown's fault. It's not the fault of one of the worst benches in the league. No, it's all Kobe's fault [June 24]. And it's not because Simers can't stand Kobe, it's just that Kobe can't win. Of course he has five rings and is by far the best player on the team.
Simers concludes he will stay a Clippers fan. Promise?
Ralph S. Brax
Good for T.J. Finally someone in the L.A. media is willing to risk the wrath of Lakers fans and Kobe lovers by accepting reality.
The gist of T.J.'s column was correct: It is still all about Kobe. Jim Buss gives us the impression he runs the Lakers. It is clear he does not. Kobe runs the team and has done so since Shaq left. Buss should be honest with the fans and take the following action. He should fire Mike Brown and make Kobe the coach. This would end the charade of "Your Los Angeles Lakers." Kobe would have no one to blame but himself. It would truly be Kobe's team.