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Nightmare at Dodger Stadium

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Every fear I had going into Friday night’s Dodger game against the Washington Nationals came true.

As I was making the trek down the parking lot, Dodger PA announcer Eric Smith was announcing the starting line ups. And that vomit stain in Lot 3 was my reaction to the words, “Batting leadoff for the Dodgers, Juan Pierre!”

It’s tiring hearing people’s justification of Juan Pierre as a leadoff hitter. Let me reiterate: the job of the leadoff hitter is to get on base.

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Juan Pierre has an on-base percentage of .326. Matt Kemp has an on-base percentage of .345.

While that doesn’t seem like a huge improvement, it has to be noted the Kemp is only 24. And with the way he’s been hitting as of late, those numbers should only go up.

With Pierre, what you see is what you get. When he’s on base, he will terrify the opposition with his speed. But more often than not, he will weakly slap at a ball directly to a fielder or pop it up. He’s not known as Slappy McPopup without reason.

So I get in the stadium armed with my Brad Penny bobblehead which, to my astonishment, has a right arm intact. Aside: not once during the game was Brad Penny mentioned. I’m getting over the whole Juan Pierre thing because the Dodgers have bigger issues to deal with.

Now call me slow, but I'm sitting there enjoying the game when in the bottom of the fifth inning Andruw Jones comes up for his second at-bat. Everyone is booing, and I just have my arms crossed. Then a light bulb went off in my head. Joe Torre benched Andre Ethier in favor of Andruw Jones. JOE TORRE BENCHED ANDRE ETHIER!

Right as I started going off on a diatribe, Jones promptly hit a ball out to left center field for a double. With the sarcastic cheers raining down onto the field, I was still flabbergasted.

In what world does playing Jones over Ethier give the Dodgers a better chance to win? Perhaps in some quantum parallel universe Jones would be on pace to hit 50+ homers and 110+ RBIs, but in this particular time and space he is on pace to have the worst offensive statistics in the history of baseball.

This is just too infuriating. Bad signing after bad signing by general manager Ned Colletti has driven all Dodger fans on the brink of turning. On a bobblehead night only 47,000 fans bought tickets and far less dared to show up. How many Andruw Joneses, Juan Pierres, Mark Hendricksons, Jason Schmidts and Brett Tomkos must we endure?

And Joe Torre shouldn't be left off the hook either. The fact that as a manager he can't see the Andruw Jones would be more productive to the Dodgers on the bench or far far away in AA Jacksonville shows that he is and always has been a mediocre manager who just happened to have some great players for a decade. Either that or he has no spine to tell Colletti that he won't play Colletti's bad signing just to save some face.

Either way, both of these clowns should be fired.

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I know the Dodgers still have a chance of winning the NL West, but what consolation is that really? The front office can say as much as they want that in the playoffs anything can happen, but we've all been down that road before. One playoff win in 20 years. And with the group currently assembled does anyone in their right mind think the Dodgers can make that two much less make some noise in the postseason?

I want the Dodgers to be a winning organization. I want to hear people across the country shout epithets when the Dodgers come up in conversation.

But let's face it, there's no way the Dodgers are going to get there with Colletti and Torre leading the pack. And no amount of band-aids (re: acquiring Casey Blake) can cover that up.

AP Photo by Mark J. Terrill