24 September 2008

Exhale Day

About the only hope Snakes fans have left to hang on to is the final two days of the regular season. That's when the Dodgers face Cain and Lincecum in San Francisco and the Snakes get to play the reeling Rockies at home. It is not unreasonable to think that all four of those games could go the Snakes way, which would knock two games off the standings deficit right there. They'd just have to knock another game off the deficit over the next three days to force a tie at the end of the season.

This is probably a false hope for Snakes fans, though. Neither Cain nor Lincecum are unbeatable, even at home, as last night showed. And the Snakes offense and bullpen are not good enough for any game to be considered an easy win for them. This is a 0.500 team in a mediocre division. I'm done being afraid of them. What I will still fear is the cruelly random nature of baseball: even if the Snakes really aren't good enough to run the table from here on out the baseball gods could still decree that it was so. But no matter what the Snakes luck into the Dodgers are golden if they can win 3 of the last 5. I sure hope they can do that. That's a fairly modest hope, if you think about their competition. It's also a very appropriate goal since the Dodgers will have to win 3 of 5 once in the first round of the playoffs against a much tougher team than either the Giants or the Padres.

If they make it, I guess I should qualify that pronouncement above about the Dodgers in the playoffs. I don't believe in jinxes, though. What I do believe is that a late season collapse will feel even worse if you spent a lot of time before the collapse thinking the playoff spot was in the bag. It's just good sense to limit speculation about the playoffs until doubt is removed. That's one of the reasons I haven't thought about who would be on the Dodger postseason roster. The other reason is I'm sure that in most cases Torre will pick the player who I wouldn't pick. Ozuna, Sweeney, Berroa, Park --- okay, the last two should probably be picked. Park has been mostly good and would seem to be in the top 7 of Dodger relievers, though I can just see the Phillies having a home run derby when he comes in. ( if the Dodgers make it and play the Phillies )

And then there is Berroa. Though I refuse to really admit it I guess a case can be made that he is now the Dodgers everyday shortstop. But I prefer to think of him as an emergency-backup-utility infielder who mysteriously starts every day. I think Berroa is terrible defensively. His throws always make me nervous and his range is nothing special. I think people assume he must be good defensively since he's such a bad hitter. And he is a terrible hitter, though not so awful that he can't have the occasional hot streak and fool announcers into thinking he's not so bad as a hitter. I think Berroa's acquisition is one of the most damning pieces of evidence against Colletti. This is the best the Dodgers could do? Maybe it is, but Colletti needs so many other excuses made for him with all his terrible free-agent signings and trades that I'm unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore.

It would be nice if Furcal could come back for the playoffs. ( if the Dodgers make it ) Actually it would be spectacular. Then Berroa would be on the bench and Ozuna wouldn't even need to be on the postseason ( if they make it ) roster. I guess this is the difference between Dodger fans and Snakes fans right now. Our unreasonable hopes involve the postseason ( if we make it ) roster, while their unreasonable hopes involve 9 different games breaking just right for them. This is a whole lot nicer.

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