Two hits and just one offensive rally later, I left like most Dodger fans have this season — disappointed.
For a team with so much talent, so many expectations and so many storylines, the overwhelming sense this season has been disappointment. Sure, the team is in second place in the NL West and would be just a half-game out of the wild card if the playoffs started today, but even that is disappointing for a team like the Dodgers.
After seeing this team in person, however, I’ve begun to understand that it’s not losses or struggles that have generated disappointment, it’s the effort. Or better yet, the lack thereof.
At the game last night, my dad — who has been a Dodger fan for decades — commented that he’s never seen a team that seems to care less than this one. Outside of Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig, there was no spark, no effort, no excitement.
Does Matt Kemp know that these games count? Does Hanley Ramirez need to be reminded that anything short of the playoffs would be a disaster? Has Adrian Gonzalez woken up from his month-long slumber?
The Dodgers are proof that it’s one thing to lose, but its an entirely different (and worse) thing to lose without caring.
As I write all of this, however, everything inside of me is screaming for patience. The last thing I want is to be an over-reactionary fan screaming for blood in a situation that is screaming for patience.
At the moment, the Dodgers have exactly one starter hitting over .300 (Puig). In fact, let me correct that — the Dodgers have one starter hitting over .280. Want one better? The Dodgers have two starters hitting over .260.
Temporary shout-out to Adrian Gonzalez (.259), Hanley Ramirez (.253), Andre Ethier (.248), and Matt Kemp (.238).
Now, as you glance at that list there are two potential reactions: anger and optimism. Anger at the disgraceful performance of these highly paid stars — and to a certain extent, it’s justified.
For me, however, I’m going to chose optimism. There’s no way all of those guys finish the season below .280, right? Right?
I’d like to think these guys have their best days of 2014 ahead of them, and if that’s the case, the Dodgers will be just fine with 101 games remaining this season. Then again, that’s where the urgency comes in — trailing the division by eight games will become less and less acceptable as the season goes on.