The dictionary defines a Platitude as a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease. What does this have to do with the 2014 Dodgers?
Well because every day the Dodgers suck even more than the previous day, and yet I see more and more Dodger platitudes via twitter and facebook than ever before. Apparently some Dodger fans feel they need to make excuses for the club’s mediocre play this year.
The Dodgers, are a club that made a historic 42-8 run last year, preceding their division title and NLCS appearance, were once again a heavy favorite to win the NL West and win the World Series in 2014. So far though, this season has turned out to be one huge dud.
Dodger fans, and apparently even Mattingly shouldn’t be making excuses for the mediocre play this year. The Dodgers are 31-30 through 61 games, and sit in second pace in the NL West eight games behind the first place Giants. The club also has a losing record at home.
The Dodgers just can’t find a way to consistently win games this year. They’ve yet to win more than three in row, or lose more than three in a row. Although they rarely win series at home.
So I figured now would be a great time to go over and debunk all of the typical 2014 Dodger platitudes that I see all over the internet.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting that your club sucks. I love the Dodgers, but I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke up anyone’s rear. I tell it how it is over here. Any other way would be a disservice to you all. No, the Dodgers suck this year. Just because you’re in tune with reality, doesn’t mean you love or support your team any less. Yes we all love the Dodgers, but I’m not going to lie to everyone and say they’re playing great. No, I will never stop speaking the truth over here, and if that means every so often having to ream the club a new one for their mediocre play than that’s the way it goes.
So let’s start with the top ten Dodger platitudes for 2014.
10. They’re playing great! Or the alternate version…”They’re doing ok”
This Dodger platitude is more common than you might think. There are Dodger fans out there that really believe the club is doing well. Hey whatever floats their bloat I guess. I mean if they want to live in a fantasy world, then who am I to stop them.
I mean, in my fantasy world, I’m married to Britney Spears, and we have two children, and live in a large mansion. When in reality I’m actually in my dumpy apartment eating bologna out of a can. Platitudes are fun aren’t they?
But no, the Dodgers are not doing well, or playing great. Need I remind everyone of their 31-30 record, and that they are eight games out of first place. Not to mention they’re losing record at home (13-19). Nope the Dodgers are not doing well at all. Platitude debunked.
9. They need time to gel!
I hear this a lot too. As if the first nine weeks of the regular season plus spring training isn’t enough, but apparently the Dodgers need even more time to gel. Because they can’t start winning games until they coalesce from a gelatinous matter, into a solid.
The club has had plenty of time to Gel, or get into sync or whatever. It’s already June. By the time they “gel” it’ll be labor day, and you can kiss the playoffs goodbye.
8. Blame it on the Australia trip!
Ahhhh, this is a good one. This platitude blames the Australia trip, and shortened spring training on the club’s disappointing season. There is actually some truth to this. The shortened spring schedule and excessive travel certainly didn’t help things. However we’re way far too past that point to keep harping on this. In April and May, maybe, but not in June.
7. They’re all underperforming
Well duh! This one is like number 10. I think some fans say this to try and convince themselves otherwise. For example, if they say it over and over then the Dodgers may magically start winning games. Nope it’s not like calling beetlejuice. You can’t say it three times and then it comes true.
6. They just need to start winning series!
Again your powers of observation are astounding. I joke, I joke, but seriously, No Duh! Of course they need to start winning series, but they’ve shown that they can’t evidenced by the fact they’ve won just two series at Dodger Stadium this year.
5. Blame the injuries!
Oh this one may have some merit, but not as much as last year. The Dodgers simply don’t have the volume of injuries they had last year. Yes they’ve had some injuries to important players this season. Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, and Hyun-jin Ryu have all missed time. Juan Uribe, A.J. Ellis, and Carl Crawford are hurt again. But otherwise, the Dodgers have been somewhat healthy. Not like the hordes of injures they had in 2013. Last year 80% of the roster was on the disabled list at one point. This year it’s only like four or five players.
4. Blame the high priced contracts!
Ok, I’m guilty of this one myself. However you can’t deny that high priced contracts to veterans rarely equate to championships. Signing expensive free agent veterans just doesn’t work. It may have worked for the Yankees, but they’re the exception not the norm. I would love to see the Dodgers return their focus to scouting and player development.
3. The Dodgers are still in the Wild Card race!
This one is perhaps my favorite platitude. Some of the fans are so desperately clinging to any kind of hope, that they actually believe the Dodgers are in the race. Uh, no they’re not. Eight games out of first place is not in the race. The only reason the Dodgers are even still hanging around the wild card, is because the rest of the National league is just as mediocre as the Dodgers are.
But I mean do you really want a wild card? Do you want to see the Dodgers have to waste Kershaw in that one-game playoff, and then start every series on the road? Meanwhile the Giants coast into the playoffs as division champs. That kind of tastes like a sandwich that fell in the sand to me.
2. Anything can happen in a long season
This one seriously annoys me. Yes I know anything can happen in a season. Obviously, but will this “anything” be the Dodgers actually winning more than three games in a row? The way things are going lately, that would be a resounding no. I don’t want to say nothing will happen, but anything happening is usually the norm in this. Yes anything can and will happen. But rest assured the Dodgers playing good Baseball, probably won’t.
1. It’s Early! (said in annoying nasally voice)
This one is the worst. Every time I hear this platitude I want to gouge my eyes out with a fork. Let’s get one thing straight here. It is not early. The Dodgers have already played 60 games. The halfway mark of the season is 81 games. That means the Dodgers are just three short weeks away from hitting the halfway mark in the season. We’re already in June, and approaching the special date (June 22) from last year that started the historic run. No, it’s not early. It was early in April, and it was early in May. But it is not early in June. It’s midseason now. I don’t want to ever hear this platitude again.
Also Blame Mattingly should be an honorable mention on this countdown. Everyone loves to blame everything on the manager. I’ve been guilty of this on more than a few occasions.
I think we should all come to terms with the stark possibility that the Dodgers may not recover this season. This may turn out to be a lost year, or just a down year for the club in general. It happens, and it’s not the end of the world. But it is horribly disappointing and aggravating. These are the repercussions from having a roster made up of mostly overpaid over age 30 veterans that aren’t good anymore. The Dodgers need some youth on the roster, besides Yasiel Puig.
We need to stop kidding ourselves about the 2014 Dodgers.