“How (explicative) good are the Dodgers?” my buddy Nick remarks.
“Real (explicative) good,” I chuckle. “So damn good, I’m going to include that little quote of yours in my next blog.”
They are that good. And to think, I could be sitting here, taking the time to write about the epic contest that was Pacquiao – Hatton. Wait a minute. I really could not.
Did you catch it? The fight? The scrappy Patton versus the skilled and primed, able-to-go southpaw and work the angles Pacquiao?
Probably not. The thing lasted no longer than a trailer for one of those new fighting movies that pop up every two to three months. Pathetic. The movies, not the fight. But I was quite disappointed.
Well, at least the Dodgers provide me with the comfort, the entertainment that is expected from professional sports contests. I don’t know. Maybe the first round of the NBA playoffs has just spoiled me. Two seven game series in the same round; it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
Despite this distraction, I’ve found the Dodgers’ play equally entertaining. Entering Monday’s homestand against Arizona, the Dodgers have the best winning percentage in baseball at 18-8. They have won ten in a row at home, which might not seem that impressive. But they’ve only played ten games at home. That’s the best start at home in franchise history, a long history.
So what is it that makes this team so good? The immediate thought is the Dodgers hitting. Los Angeles has the highest team batting average in the National League at .284 (third-best in the league) and a league-leading on-base percentage of .375. This balanced offense has provided the bullpen with a little breathing room. The team is 6-3 in games with one-run differentials.
Although the squad is only 8-8 on the road, they haven’t lost more than two in a row. It also helps that most of LA’s early play has been against divisional opponents. Save a strong start by the Padres, the division has not shown much in terms of competition. Only one other team is above .500 and barely above .500 at that. San Francisco has a record of 12-11. Still, a team need only win their division to make the playoffs – even if that division ends up being the worst in baseball. Luck of the draw.
All this winning allows the Dodgers organization the opportunity to promote further their boys in blue. Fans are currently being encouraged to purchase Mannywood packages – which gets them two passes into a Field Box and two limited edition Mannywood T-shirts. The cost for the package is $99 in honor of number 99. And why wouldn’t you want to partake? Manny is batting .349 with an impressive .495 on base percentage. Although Manny has only hit five homeruns through Monday, he has been walked 24 times.
I’d be there rocking my Mannywood shirt, except a recent medical bill for costochondritis will likely prevent me from immaturely jesting at the shirt’s content. Mannywood? Too many wordplay jokes. And to answer your question, yes, costochondritis is a real ailment.
Speaking of ailments, the Dodgers have postponed the regular season Mexican League game scheduled for May 16. Due to the effects of the swine flu, the contest between Diablos Rojos of Mexico City and the Sultanes of Monterrey will be pushed back. Looks like we’ll have to stick to watching the boys clean up at home this week. The Dodgers play at home every day through Sunday before they pack their bags and head to Philly and Florida. These next few weeks will be awfully interesting.