There’s been a lot going on with the boys in blue headed into the final month..."/> There’s been a lot going on with the boys in blue headed into the final month..."/>

Dodgers Have Diamonds in the Rough


There’s been a lot going on with the boys in blue headed into the final month of regular season play. Many of the Dodger faithful want to see a run. They want to see a miraculous playoff push that would make the 2011 memorable as it has failed to be so far. Although the season has left somewhat of a bitter taste, there is always a diamond in the rough. The arrival of Javy Guerra, Matt Kemp reaching plateaus few Dodgers have, and Vin Scully breathing life into the clubhouse by announcing he will be returning for his 63rd season as the voice of the Dodgers. Let’s look into 3 different aspects that can give us an idea of the state of the Dodgers within the clubhouse.

On Opening Day, Jonathan Broxton picked up the save when the Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1. A season has come and almost gone and the memory of Broxton has gone as well. He’s currently on the disabled list. Although his injury created a problem for the bullpen, he wasn’t contributing much to the cause. His 5.68 ERA in only 14 games wasn’t what the Dodgers wanted. Enter Javy Guerra into the closer role and the Dodgers are looking at a solid ninth inning with the rookie. He earned the closers role and has converted 13 of 14 saves, while his 2.08 ERA stands tall in the Dodger bullpen. While he has yet to give up a homerun, he’s had a couple of outings that seemed to be too much for him. His earlier outings as a closer included a lot of bases loaded jams that made the front office wince. Yet he got out of them with the Dodger lead unscathed. The Dodgers have a history of good closers. Eric Gagne made a stadium get on its feet with just entering the game. Jonathan Broxton had a respectable 2009 and 2010. Javy Guerra hasn’t had a full season as a closer, but he and the rest of the Dodgers hope he will add his name alongside Gagne’s as great Dodger closers.

It was September 26, 1997 when Raul Mondesi hit two homeruns and became the first ever Dodger to reach the 30 HR and 30 stolen bases (30-30) club. Two years later, he repeated that feat yet he stood alone until August 26th when Matt Kemp hit his 30th homerun of the season to join the 30-30 club. For a season that seems to be full of downs for the Dodgers, the fact that Kemp reached this platoon gives the Dodgers hope that their core is good enough to contend. If Matt Kemp can hit four more homeruns this month, he can reach the 35/35 club. Kemp has carried this team at many points this season and that’s why even though he’s not on a winning team, he is still on the list of MVP contenders. He’ll be returning next year as will be another famous person affiliated with the Dodgers.

Vin Scully announced he’d be returning for his 63rd season with the Dodgers the same day that Kemp joined the 30-30 club. Vin Scully has been a part of the Dodgers for longer than many of the franchises have been around. His memorable calls still ring in the ears of those who were lucky enough to hear it. He called Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He also called Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax, then Cincinnati Red pitcher Tom Browning, and then Expo Dennis Martinez’s perfect games, all during the regular season. He added to his memorable calls repertoire with Fernando Valenzuela’s no-no. He’s had a couple homerun calls he’s proud of to. For example, he called Hank Aaron’s 715th HR way back on April 8th, 1974. He called Kirk Gibson’s HR in game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Who could forget the Dodgers back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns in 2006 against the Padres? Scully called it. He was the announcer for Kemp’s 30/30 season. The Dodger faithful have grown to love Vin Scully. The proper thing to do would be to sign him to a lifetime contract. Regardless of what the future holds for Vin Scully beyond the 2012 season, fans will enjoy him in the box announcing the games. Maybe he might be poised to call a playoff run this season.

Many things have dictated what was happening with the Dodgers even before the season started. The lack of payroll funds dictated the Dodgers weren’t making any major offseason acquisitions. The divorce made it almost necessary to look away at the game and look more at the franchise. Who knows when the troubles will be over for the Dodgers but for now, the blue crew can enjoy the successes that the season has brought about.

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