Let's Win This Already
It’s come down to this - a heavyweight divisional slugfest to duel for the National League West division title between the defending champions Los Angeles Dodgers and the little engine that could Colorado Rockies.
In the clubhouse prior to batting practice, the players looked like they were ready to go at it. Even with the huge throng of media in there (including visits from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal), they seemed just like they have been all season long.
Tonight’s starter Randy Wolf came in with his faded blue Wolverine shirt and that ginger grin he always wears off the field.
Doug Mientkiewicz was fussing around with his bats as usual.
It was business as usual.
Having said that the Dodgers do want to win this. At least manager Joe Torre wants to.
“I told the guy in the elevator,” Torre said. “He says, ‘Are you going to clinch it tonight?’
“I said, ’Yeah we want to. It may not look like it, but we do want to I promise you.’”
There you have it from the manager’s lips to the elevator dude’s ears to all of your visualization. Pretty ain’t it?
“To me the most important thing to do is to win games,” Torre continued. “And a by-product of that is you win the division.”
The Dodgers come into this series with the upper hand. They have a 12-3 record against the Rockies winning the last two games after the Rockies had cut down the division lead to two games. In addition the Dodgers have a 5-1 record against the Rockies here at the Ravine.
However with all the slumping and injuries and overall instability, there surely is some worry in the heart of the skip.
“Worried doesn’t do me any good,” Torre said. “I have a great deal of confidence in this team. You don’t win 93 games, and we’ve had 93 games for a while, without having a great deal of confidence in the ability of this ballclub. I’m one of those guys that likes to have the glass half full, and I know over the long period of time what I’ve seen guys do.”
Now here’s where Torre does his Jim Tracy impression.
“Are some guys struggling? Sure. When I write their names in the lineup, do I still have confidence that they’re going to produce? Yeah.
“That’s the way I feel. That’s the way I’m made.”
And you know having said all that, I don’t know what the hell any of it means. All I know is I expect a win tonight.
I made sure to wear my glasses, an old beat up pair of checkered Vans and a pair of Diesel jeans that have not seen the light of day in four years just to ensure I wouldn’t have too many complications during the champagne and beer shower that will happen post game. (That should probably read I’m too lazy to do laundry.)
And it would be nice if the Dodgers clinched tonight when Tommy Lasorda is honored for his 60 years with the franchise. In the “My Town” section, the Dodgers will be celebrating Italy where Lasorda has made assurances he will make a cameo.
Another note: Juan Pierre was voted by teammates and coaches for the fourth annual Roy Campanella Award. The award is handed out to the most inspiration Dodger. The role he played during Manny Ramirez’s suspension basically clinched it for him. Prior winners were Rafael Furcal in the inaugural 2006 year, Russell Martin in 2007 and James Loney last year.
Finally, third baseman Casey Blake will be playing tonight. While he’s not 100%, the Dodgers medical staff cleared him to play.
Psych. This is the finally. Starter Hiroki Kuroda has a herniated disk in his neck and will not be on the postseason roster for the first round.
Ok. I’m done. Damn it’s been a long time.
- Carlos Gonzalez, LF
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Todd Helton, 1B
- Troy Tulowitzki, SS
- Garrett Atkins, 3B
- Yorvit Torrealba, C
- Ryan Spilborghs, RF
- Clint Barmes, 2B
- Ubaldo Jimenez, P
- Rafael Furcal, SS
- Andre Ethier, RF
- Manny Ramirez, LF
- Matt Kemp, CF
- James Loney, 1B
- Casey Blake, 3B
- Russell Martin, C
- Orlando Hudson, 2B
- Randy Wolf, P