Vincent Bonsignore of the Daily News put together a great Dodgers game wrap on an otherwise horrible contest last night versus Jim Tracy’s Colorado Rockies. Most telling was Bonsignore’s lead quote from Joe Torre vis-a-vis Manny Ramirez’s return not being the panacea for an ailing ballclub:
“He can’t pitch,” Torre said wistfully, reminding everyone the Dodgers’ problem isn’t scoring runs, it’s preventing them.
YKI NOTE: Yes, folks – that is probably the last time you see Charlie Haeger in a Dodger uniform. YKI is a fan of the knuckleballer but realizes that Hoyt Wilhelm, the Niekros, Tom Candiotti and Tim Wakefield come around about once per generation, and though Haeger is capable of bewildering foes (12 k’s vs. Marlins earlier this year), he is not the lockdown, consistent starter necessary for the Dodgers rotation.
Anybody else think Randy Wolf & Jon Garland would look real nice back in Dodger jerseys? Both local boys were spurned by the organization this offseason in the unofficial spending freeze.
Back to Bonsignore, though – who seemed to relish this opportunity to overshadow his L.A. Times counterparts while filling in for the vastly-talented Dylan Hernandez while he is on paternity leave (congratulations, Dylan). YKI particularly enjoyed VB’s seamless interlacing of the miraculous 1988 season with this drab, uninspiring summer:
How bad was it? The last time a Dodger pitcher got lifted so early was Aug. 8, 1988, when Tommy Lasorda pulled Shawn Hillegas after facing just four Houston Astros.
The good news is the Dodgers went on to win the World Series later that season, stunning the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series before upsetting the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the World Series.
The bad news is Orel Hershiser is now an analyst for ESPN, no longer able to pitch for the Dodgers, and even Kirk Gibson will tell you his heroic home run to beat the A’s in Game 1 of the World Series never happens without Hershiser’s ace-pitching performance that season
A Shawn Hillegas reference? Esoteric and well-played; now if the Dodgers can only live up to VB’s writing as they play out the season. . .