Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Keep your hat on

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

So, I realize there are many Dodger fans who aren’t freaking out, who understand the 99.9 percent inevitability of the Dodgers’ winning the National League West and their fair shot at the World Series. This piece is for the other group.

Sixteen teams could still make the playoffs as of this writing. Ten teams will make the playoffs. All but one will go home empty-handed.

The easiest thing in the world is to give up on your own team and wait for the opportunity say, “I told you so.”

It’s a no-lose situation. If you’re right, you get to cackle. If you’re wrong — who cares? Your team won. Celebrate!

A healthy skepticism is appropriate for any team entering the blender that is the MLB postseason. But looking only at a division leader’s negatives, ignoring its positives and saying it has no chance to win isn’t correct, and it’s certainly not courageous.

The past week hasn’t been the Dodgers’ shining moment, but I assure you, it means nothing about what will happen in October. On Monday morning, I’m going to give you a sneak peek of Mike Petriello’s October Dodger Insider magazine story on playoff myth and reality, but if you can’t wait, do your own research. Take the initiative.

You will not find a link between end-of-season performance and winning the World Series.

Being swept in Colorado is a real drag. Today’s 12-5 loss was the worst of all. Still, to insist that this disqualifies the Dodgers from winning the World Series takes a willful ignorance of baseball history. So does giving up on a team that, whatever its weaknesses, has the strengths of the 2015 Dodgers.

Worried about how they’re blowing their NL West cushion? They wouldn’t have the cushion to begin with, if they hadn’t led the division for nearly the entire season, capped by a did-you-notice 18-5 run from August 25 to September 18, to earn it.

When the Dodgers take the field in San Francisco on Monday, they’ll be the ones with the six-game lead. That’s the team to be proud of.

Of course, Los Angeles could be on a huge winning streak right now, and it wouldn’t guarantee anything for October either. It’s because the differences between all the playoff teams are so small that so many playoff series can take unexpected turns. Baseball is about as unpredictable a sport as there is, and postseason baseball blows that up exponentially.

Maybe the Dodgers will win the World Series. Maybe they won’t. I don’t know what will happen. Neither does anyone else. Keep an open mind — dare I say, a positive one.


Dodgers-Giants at Rockies-A’s, 1 p.m.


Myth and Reality: The Playoffs


  1. The Rockie didn’t beat the Dodgers they beat themselves. They played like they wanted to lose. I love the Dodgers but was embarrassed they lost. They should be playing like the playoffs were starting tomorrow. They don’t play Ethier against left handed pitching because they say he can’t hit against them, well apparently neither can the other players

  2. I knew you would make up an excuse as usual. No one is giving up on this team. We are concerned though. We know they will win their Division. THAT IS NOT OUR CONCERN. We are losing the home field advantage and that will make advancing harder.

    Today was a totally embarrassing team effort. Makes one wonder if they even care? Highest paid team in baseball should be able to win 1 game from the last place team in their Division. Mattingly and rest of staff needs to wake up. Weis totally out coached him.
    Donnie baseball…..there are other ways to score runs besides swinging for the fence!!!

    Front office tried to get by cheap with pitching and it is hurting the team.

    • Jon Weisman

      First of all, what excuse am I making up? I acknowledge that the team is losing.

      Second of all, I see people every day on Twitter giving up on the team, so you can’t tell me that’s not happening.

      Third, show me the evidence that home-field advantage is critical to advancing in the playoffs.

      Fourth, yes, they care. If caring = winning, every team would be 162-0.

  3. None of the starting pitchers in this series came even close to pitching well. That’s a concern heading into the playoffs. In the days of four-man rotations Spahn and Sain and pray for rain might have worked. Greinke and Kershaw and pray for rain plus two travel days is probably a poor bet.

    • Jon Weisman

      Well, it’s actually a much better bet in the playoffs. And I wouldn’t use Coors Field pitching performance as a barometer for what Anderson and Wood can do.

      • No, Coors is not a fair test. But neither of those guys reminds me of Claude Osteen or Johnny Podres backing up Koufax and Drysdale.

  4. paulgarzajr

    I have been though a lot worse than this with the Dodgers . . . 1962 was a lot worse and I have lived through the other collapses, as well. They will always be my team and I will not ‘give up’ on them. But I hope I join a growing majority of Dodger fans in calling out the incompetence of the ‘geniuses’ Friedman and Farhan who have crippled the Dodgers with dumb pitching acquisitions. I am so tired of all the press on how smart they are. One decent pitcher and we wouldn’t be facing this mess. The Dodgers have the means to have acquired something real. Maybe down the line the acquisition of Peraza will look great . . . but the goal was to get pitching and they FAILED!

  5. 1) Your excuse is there is nothing wrong with the Dodgers. According to you the only thing wrong are fans like me.
    2) I am not people on Twitter who are giving up, so don’t compare them to me.
    3) OK Show me the evidence that home field advantage is not an advantage. What is the Dodgers home record vs. their road record? We are 52-26 at home and 35-42 away!!!
    4) I have coached baseball for 30 years, so I beg to differ on this. Caring does not equal winning as you stated, but it sure plays a big part!

    Bottom line IMHO is coaching and front office pitching acquisitions have hurt this team.

    • Jon Weisman

      1) I have never said, and would never say, there is nothing wrong with the Dodgers.
      2) I wasn’t comparing them to you, but that’s the audience I’m writing to, and it exists.
      3) I am referring to how, in MLB postseason history, home-field advantage has had a negligible effect on outcomes. Look back no further than 2014 for an example.
      4) I never said caring doesn’t matter. I said that they do care.
      If I’m not mistaken, you seem really angry with me personally, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’m wrong about that.

      • 1) I was referring to this article only – not what you have written in the past.
        2) maybe you weren’t, but your reply was directed to me only
        3) I think it is more relevant to refer to the 2015 Dodgers home/away record. Totally different teams and circumstances in 2014 (or previous playoffs)
        4) You seem very touchy about anyone who thinks differently than you do. Keep your cool. Differences in opinion doesn’t mean someone is angry with you personally.

  6. I am sick of the dumb Dodgers bombing at the last minute. So disappointed in them. They do not deserve the pennant.

  7. oldbrooklynfan

    Regardless of what happens, I’m looking forward to the Dodgers making it to the post season for the third consecutive time for the first time in their history, which is hard to believe.

  8. I’m not trying to be a Negative Nancy here, but there’s solid evidence to support the theory that should they be so fortunate to make the postseason (it’s not a given just because they led the division for most of the year), they would be by far the worst team in the playoffs.

    Their outfield is a revolving door, 3B is questionable due to Turner being injury prone and the starting rotation is atrocious. I like Wood, but he’s terribly inconsistent and Anderson isn’t much better.

    So, might you argue that Dodgers fans have a right to be concerned that the Dodgers blew golden opportunity after golden opportunity in Colorado (against the last place team, no less) to not only clinch the west but further their lead on the Mets to have home field advantage? Maybe the sky isn’t falling but their flaws seem to heavily outweigh their positives, especially in light of their record against playoff teams (Cubs, Pirates, Mets, Cards, etc).

    • Jon Weisman

      I’m perfectly willing to concede that the Dodgers could be considered a playoff underdog at this point. I’m absolutely unwilling to concede that they are as doomed as some people say they are. And I think if you looked at the other teams as harshly as you just looked at the Dodgers, you’d find flaws there too. Has anyone even noticed what’s happening in St. Louis, for example?

  9. Of course the Dodgers have a variety of problems going into the post-season. So do the other teams, for heaven’s sake. Nobody out there looks like the 1927 Yankees–or the 1955 Dodgers, and that brings me to a profile years ago of Fresco Thompson, who then ran the minor league system. That year, which began with a 10-0 run and ended with Brooklyn’s only world championship, the pitching staff was running out of gas and, in a meeting, Walter Alston told the executives without help, they could lose the pennant. Roger Craig and Don Bessent came up and gave some relief, literally and figuratively. The point is, even the great teams have issues.

    Now, whether Jon meant this group, I don’t know, but here goes. I find it interesting that when the Dodgers are winning a lot of their games, I see few to no comments along these lines: “The manager is terrible. They win in spite of him, and every move he made hurt the team, but they overcame it.” No, it’s when our side loses that suddenly everybody is awful. They aren’t the 1962 Mets, either. But fans will be fans.

  10. Jon Weisman

    Coach K, I have kept my cool. I welcome opposing viewpoints. Anyone’s entitled to disagree with me — as I am with them.

    • Jon, we agree to disagree then. Don’t ever infer I am angry with you personally when I have a different opinion, because that is the furthest thing from the truth. I realize we don’t know each other personally, but that’s not who I am.

      I am a passionate Dodger fan, who cares and is concerned that’s all.

  11. Thanks for the upbeat article.

  12. Ever miss the Dodgerthoughts days, Jon? Good article.

    I still think this is a top 3 team.

  13. For me, this is the Dodgers being Dodgers. I would like easy sailing but even with smooth waters, the Dodgers will be the Dodgers. At least the Dodgers are not being the Cubs.

    The Dodgers, especially Joc, could benefit from sessions from Brain State Technology.

  14. jpavko

    Everything will be fine. The Dodgers will be playing meaningful baseball in October and the Giants will be going on vacation. AS Orel Hershiser said last night, the 1988 team only clinched its division in game 159 0f 162 many Dodger fans to want to jump off a building, as long as we get there does it matter which route we take? Stay calm, fans of the Blue!

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