Take Your Grit and Chemistry and Shove It

The Dodgers are once again tearing at the very fabric of the establishment of baseball. They're doing things that fly in the face of reason and sanity by winning ballgames with not a hint of grit, nor a whisper of chemistry.

Bubbles of mistrust and hate spew out of the Dodgers dugout on a daily basis.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo
Whenever a manager or general manager stresses grit, it's because his team has no talent or money, so they stress other superlatives and say those are more important in order to rationalize lousy lineups. Ask Kirk Gibson about that if you can interrupt his self-righteous tough guy routine.

Whenever a writer or broadcaster talks about chemistry, it's because there's no way to argue against it. It's subjective, so the loudest, most clever argument about something which cannot be quantified nor even identified accurately, wins. Plus, it's just easier to follow the storylines provided to you by opposing teams and their whiny players.

Indeed, this gritless bunch of mercenaries -- under constant fire for being part of a team whose broadcast deals, ticket sales, parking revenue and Dodger dog sales allow them to put forth a budget higher than anyone else and still be profitable -- have done it again.

To make things worse, Adrian Gonzalez prefers the company of his family after home games.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo

So now the pundits, the half-assed writers in Phoenix, the broadcasters on other teams, you know, the same people who probably walk around with umbrage because Yasiel Puig flips a bat on a fly out, will tell you this June's turnaround was because of ol' Donnie Mattingly.

Nope, still wrong. Just because Mattingly threw his team under the bus earlier this month as part of an inexplicable benching and later absurd banishment from center field of Matt Kemp, it doesn't mean that was responsible for making up nine games in the standings in only a few weeks.

The fact that Mattingly went off the reservation with the groundbreaking observation that his players have lives, families and things to do after games is only a coincidence. The Dodgers are winning despite his shenanigans, in spite of his tomfoolery.

The Dee Gordon-Hanley Ramirez feud is tearing this team apart.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo

The answer has nothing to do with bullshit catch phrases like "team chemistry." It has nothing to do with the budget and it absolutely has nothing to do with Mattingly's strategic middle inning double switches.

The Dodgers are a streaky team.

Yes, folks. It's that simple. The core of the lineup is a bunch of streaky power hitters, and sometimes they're hot and sometimes they're cold. Sometimes the bullpen sucks, sometimes they come through.

So cook your grits, store your Bunsen burners and put away your calculators, the Los Angeles Dodgers are eternally streaky, and they just got hot again leading up to the All-Star break.

Does this sound familiar?

Next time, Bob, just ask your editor to draw up one of them shiny USA Today infographics for your column space.


By the way, it's the 24th anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela's no-hitter. I remember Gary Thorne's call on ESPN like it was yesterday.

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