Lasorda’s Lair has teamed up with our Phillies blog That Balls Outta Here to give you a preview of the Dodgers Phillies 3 game series. The Dodgers will face Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the first two games so don’t expect much offense from the Dodgers tonight or tomorrow. It’s remarkable and quite sad to think that just two short years ago these same franchises met in the NLCS.
Since then they have gone in complete opposite directions. The Phillies have become consummate winners dealing their prospects for top stars as well as spending wisely on quality free-agents. The Dodgers on the other hand have traded their top prospects for “organizational depth” ie. .250 hitting AA catchers and signed the likes of Ted Lilly and Juan Uribe to big money deals with little to no return on either.
While the Dodgers are mired in bankruptcy, dwindling attendance and what seems like a complete lack of direction from the front office, the Phillies have turned into the top franchise in the National League, built to contend year in and year out. They have locked up their young stars, like Ryan Howard, while the Dodgers have done just the opposite with the likes of Matt Kemp.
In other-words it’s good to be a Phillies fan these days and aside from Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp it really sucks to be a Dodgers fan. Did I mention that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti panicked at the trade deadline and dealt the Dodgers top all around offensive prospect? A kid from Crenshaw High in LA, who came up through the RBI program, who dreamed of wearing Dodger blue since he was 17 and was on the verge of making the Dodgers big league team. Oh and his last name was Robinson, just imagine how many jerseys the Dodgers could have sold!
Only Eugenio Velez who still hasn’t had a hit this entire year and the light hitting Tony Gwynn Jr stood in his way. Well them and the teams GM who viewed him as suddenly expendable because apparently the organization had a gaping lack of depth at catcher. Ned had never mentioned this issue before, one he helped create by trading away the Dodgers top catching prospect Carlos Santana. He then let a very good defensive catcher in Russell Martin just leave, without getting any type of compensation in return, not even draft picks. Martin has outperformed the light hitting duo of Dodgers catchers and even made the AL all-star team this year.
Remember when Ned Colletti went behind Matt Kemp’s back last year and criticized him to the media rather than to his face about his poor play? Well who is going to go to the media to criticize Colletti about his inept free-agent signings and awful trades? Doesn’t seem quite fair does it?
So on that note here are a 6-pack of questions from yours truly answered by Phillies blogger Justin Klugh. Part 2 tomorrow will consist of my 6 questions about the Phillies answered by Justin.
1. What do you think are the Phillies main weaknesses as they head into the stretch drive and playoff run?
Jim Salisbury referred to Dom Brown as our “one big flaw” before the trade deadline, and we got Hunter Pence. That said, people like Jim Salisbury were completely overzealous in their analysis. The trade winds start swirling, and the next thing you know there’s a maelstrom of emotions and numbers and tweets about who sucks and who doesn’t and who is declining and it really feels like people are just saying things to see who can seem the most heartless. I think it’s from an instinctive desire to, like… prove that they could be GMs or something.
Anyways, point is, Dom is developing, not a weakness, but at the moment perhaps a developing player isn’t who should be filling that role. And when you go 9-1 with in Hunter Pence’s first 10 games as a Phillie, I’d say that’s probably right. But Dom isn’t a flaw. He’s just flawed, at the moment.
2. The Phillies and Giants seem to be establishing a very hateful rivalry. Is it possible someone hates the Giants worse than Dodgers fans?
God, it’s just the constant reminders that they’re the scrappy underdogs or the overexposure of Brian Wilson or the insecurities of the fanbase when told Scott Cousins is anything but a homicidal maniac or the panda hats or the sensitivity about people making sweeping generalizations about west coast baseball while they sit there and make their own sweeping generalizations about east coast baseball and it’s all just a bunch of high-pitched self-entitled hypocritic squealing it’s just like shut the hell up and go buy some locally sourced produce to feed your three-legged cat.
Somebody mentioned not too long ago when the Phillies, a well-oiled machine with a dominant pitching staff, was knocked out by the crazy-haired, fat chance Giants last year that “…this must be what the ’93 Braves felt like when they got shoved out of the way by Macho Row. ’Seriously? We lost to these guys?!’” It gave me some perspective, but still–they’re the Red Sox fans of a new generation.
3. Who is left in the Phillies farm system after all of the trades that you are excited about? It seems like Dominic Brown was a disappointment this season, and is Trevor May one of those prospects to be excited about.
I’ll just do this off the top of my head. Trevor May, Austin Hyatt, Jesse Biddle… mostly pitchers. I can’t believe Matt Rizzotti hasn’t been traded, even as the garnish of a bigger deal. The guy’s a slugger and will never see a Phillies uniform, as he is cursed as a first baseman. And as the rule states, “Ryan Howard will play first base for the Phillies forever.”
4. Who has the best Cheese Steaks Pat’s or Geno’s or Jim’s?
Jim’s. Though I stumbled into Ishkabibble on South Street the other night and that was pretty good. Course I was a pretty easy audience at that point.
5. Who has been the most pleasant surprise player for you as a Phillies blogger this year?
Vance Worley. (Game 3 starter) He throws and acts like he’s been pitching for 3-4 years. His stuff, while still unfamiliar to most of the league, works well. He’s afraid of nothing. He pulls pranks in the dugout. The guy’s ceiling was as a 4-5 starter and he’s already spawned the #fiveaces hashtag. Will there be regression? Of course not. That never happens to guys playing above their skill level.
6. What player has been the biggest disappointment.
I guess Roy Oswalt, but that’s not his fault. Dude is old. His back’s bad and baseball’s not at the top of his priorities. I’m not going to sit here and complain about our starting pitching but he’s no ace anymore.
Thanks Justin, be sure to check in tomorrow for part 2 of our Dodgers/Phillies preview which will surely be full of kind words about Ned Colletti and Frank McCourt for all of the wonderful things they have done for the Dodgers organization.
Topics: Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Dominic Brown, Frank McCourt, Hunter Pence, Juan Uribe, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Ned Colletti, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, Trayvon Robinson, Vance Worley, Vin Scully