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Dodgers Not-Daily-Anymore: How Have You Been?

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Andruw Jones doing a belly flop in a game against the Mets 5/6/08. AP/Kevork Djansezian

I really keep hoping the Dodgers would break out and show they are a team that could contend for a World Series, but I have to face the fact they are making me look like an oracle. The Dodgers are a team that will make things interesting for a while but will come up short in the end.

At least if things keep going the way they are.

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In every game there’s something that does the Dodgers in. One day the starting pitching will be a mess. Another day the defense will force the pitchers to get extra outs. Sometimes the bats will go cold. Then every now and again the Dodgers will play a good game and win.

Part of this has to be shouldered by GM Ned Colletti. True we can credit him for keeping the young players here, but some of the acquisitions he has made are truly baffling. His busts include Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt, Esteban Loaiza, Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson and re-signing Nomar Garciaparra. I'm tempted to include Juan Pierre just because of the size of his contract is nowhere near as proportional as to his contribution to the team.

Then there is Joe Torre's insistence on keeping Andre Ethier on the bench lately. While Ethier has been in a little slump lately, who wouldn't be after sitting on the pine for a week? And we have Ethier sitting while praying or conjuring a voodoo god that Jones will start hitting or doing something productive!

What they need to do is bench Andruw Jones. I don't care if he's making $18 million, but if he can't produce then don't play him. Period. Assembling a lineup based on salaries makes about as much sense as sending your child to the Michael Jackson Day Care. At this point I don't care if he hits 20 home runs. I just want a player who can get a hit every now and again rather than being a rally killer.

As for the pitching at some point they need to bring up Clayton Kershaw. With all of these days off it's been nice not having to rely on a fifth starter, but at some point they're going to need one. We all hear bits and pieces about Jason Schmidt throwing off a mound or a bullpen session, but how reliable can he be? I can almost guarantee Schmidt can't do this:

It's still early so this isn't a cry of panic. But if the Dodgers want to make it to play in October they have some issues they need to address.

UPDATE: It looks like Andruw Jones will be sidelined indefinitely with torn cartilage and swelling in his right knee. Now there's no excuse for keeping Ethier on the bench.