Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers' season is over, we can look at their starting lineup for next year.
That's right, folks, perhaps the wackiest, up-and-down, guess-who-we-got-on-our-side-now, who's-gonna-be-on-the-DL-next, look-what-all-the-money-can-buy team's time is up. There are six games left and the Dodgers are within three games of St. Louis which owns the wildcard second spot right now. But, do you really think they can catch them?
If you remember, the Dodgers led the Majors with a record of 32-18 on May 30th and entered the second half of the season in first place in their division. Things have gone down hill since then and, in many ways, it is amazing they are still in the hunt for a wildcard berth.
This was the season that saw new management lay down the cash in order to secure some really big names. They are now a marquee team with marquee names.
Yet, before this weekend, the lineup that features Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier was batting less than .225 and they just could not seem to buy a hit with men in scoring position.
We will not go into the whys and wherefores of their feeble offense, but at least we can look forward.
There are some big questions regarding this unit: Will Hanley play SS or Third Base? Will Dee Gordon make it back into the starting lineup? Will Ethier, who cannot hit lefties, be platooned? Will Kemp get over his injuries and regain his MVP-like form? Can Adrian Gonzalez hit homers in Dodger Stadium? Will it be Shane Victorino or Carl Crawford in left field...or neither?
It would be great if the Dodgers made the postseason, but let's not get all dreamy just because they are scoring runs and winning a few games right now. They still have to play the Giants in the last three games and it is doubtful their archrivals, who have already secured the top spot in the West, are going to lay down.
It just ain't gonna happen this year, so let's look to next.