Quantcast 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers: New Guy Fits In, Trade Deadline and D-Backs Await
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New Guy Fits In, Trade Deadline and D-Backs Await

Last time they faced each other was in the desert, and the highest margin of victory for either team in three games was one run. So, who can blame me for making such a big fuss about the Diamondbacks visiting the Dodgers this weekend? The Dodgers are one game behind the D-Backs; and with a new third-baseman in Casey Blake, two ejections, and a trade deadline that lurks as we speak, the Dodgers can take over the NL West.

LA Dodgers hatsLast week, Los Angeles acquired Blake from the Cleveland Indians for a couple of minor-leaguers. Since then they have swept the Nationals and split the first two games with San Francisco. Blake is hitting .357 with three doubles in those games, and has already gotten tossed from one of them for mimicking an umpire’s call. Now c’mon, he’s in Hollywood, isn’t he? So what if Blake was auditioning for Joe Torre’s new movie “Umps Along the Way”? Torre also got heaved after he ran out to defend Blake on the call, so the chemistry is quickly developing between Torre and his new weapon at third.

I’m taking submissions for best dialogue between Blake and Torre as they walked to the clubhouse after the ejections.

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Speaking of weapons: Noma’! Where are you? Turns out Nomar Garciaparra has tweaked the one remaining healthy limb in his body while covering third on a double play earlier this week. I feel for the guy even though he used to be Boston’s shortstop. His career has had more bad luck than Friday the 13 th, but he always seems to trudge back into competition. The sad part is the club is really trying to keep their solution to the situation covert, but common sense just seems to take over. First of all, general manager Ned Colletti is working the phones a lot more than in past years *hint-hint*. They don’t just call relatives on those things, people. Secondly, Torre really looks like he’s swallowing a thirty year-old pickle when he says, “I’m sure he can come off the bench (for pinch-hitting)…” Talk about trying to be optimistic for your players. I’m sorry, Mr. Torre, but if you’re considering pinch-hitting Nomar Garciaparra for the rest of the season without his glove being like it used to, odds are he’ll enter cold in game 7 of the NLDS and Bucky Dent one right into left field to smooch the Dodgers' chances good-bye. Thirdly, if this was happening in the Bronx five years ago, Steinbrenner would have a triple coronary, a few caniptions, and have Nomar headed out on the Subway quicker than sound. The trade deadline is today (Thursday), so don’t be surprised if the Dodgers make a deal for another middle-infielder.

One game away from first place is right where the Dodgers need to be at this point. Pitching has been and will continue to be key. Rookie Clayton Kershaw needs to continue his dominance from his first major league win to lead the charge. The new digs at third shouldn’t hinder them either; and if they can swipe a shortstop by the trade deadline, things are lookin’ good in Hollywood.



By Tim Gaffney
Los Angeles Dodgers Correspondent

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