Daniel Does In Dozing Dodgers
October 19, 2015

He hit three home runs in five games. Two of them were off of three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and the other was off of this year's ERA champ. He also stole third base when no one was looking, after what appeared to be an innocent walk to Lucas Duda. Dodger fans (and now Cubs fans, too) might be assigning the same middle name that the Red Sox gave the Yankees' Bucky Dent in 1978 (If you are old enough to remember that one-game playoff, you know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, Google it. I'll give you a hint , though. The middle name starts with F, and stuck with Dent in Boston for about 25 years).

The free agent-to-be. Murphy has gone on to homer against Cubs studs Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, but for the Dodgers, he may end up being best remembered for catching the Dodgers napping. With Murphy at first base in the fourth inning of game five with one out and Greinke on the mound and the shift on, Duda draws the walk. Murphy strolls down to second, but with all the infielders on the right side, and no one near third base, Murphy jets the extra 90 feet. He would score a batter later on a Travis d'Arnaud fly ball to tie the deciding game 2-2. The Mets won the game and the series 3-2, after Murphy homered in the sixth.

It wasn't mighty Casey striking out, but there was no joy in Mudville, or at least Lalaland after that game. The Dodgers did do something they've never done beforeógo to the playoffs for three straight years, but also did something it seems now like they always doóget bounced from the playoffs far too early. If you like bright sides, they did win one more playoff game than they woin last year, and they had the same fate as the team that beat them in the playoffs the past two seasons. The St. Louis Cardinals are home watching, too, after being eliminated by the Chicago Cubs.

While the Cubbies, Royals, Blue Jays, and Mets play on, the Dodgers get an early start on next year. Will manager Don Mattingly be around? Should he be around? You figure Jimmy Rollins and Brett Anderson will be gone, but how about Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig? Rollins, Anderson, and Kendrick are free agents, Puig is not but could be traded. Greinke would be an idiot not to opt out of his contract, which he has a right to do. If he doesn't, he gets 71 million dollars over three years. After the season he's had, he'll likely get three times that on the open market. Will the Dodgers pay it, or go get someone like David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, or Scott Kazmir? Or maybe any combination thereof? They are the Dodgers. They have the money to do whatever they want.

George Steinbrenner and Ted Turner taught us, though, that money doesn't buy championships. They also taught us, and the Dodgers have affirmed, that it does seem to buy playoffs. Three straight post-seasons, but no World Series in Los Angeles. No World Series in Los Angeles since 1988 (no sympathy from the Cubs of course). So while the Dodgers executives count their cash and figure out to spend it for next year, a couple of suggestions. I know you're trying, but keep working on that bullpen, and oh, I hear Daniel Effing Murphy will be a free agent. Maybe look into that?

They didn't say it: During the TBS telecast of Mets-Dodgers game five, there was a shot of the Dodger dugout showing Mattingly and outfielder Andre Ethier in a heated exchange. Shortly after that, reporter Sam Ryan interviewed Mattingly between innings, but she never asked him about the incident. Those short conversations are mostly window dressing anyway, but a good reporter would have asked. It turns out, Ethier was upset by an umpire's call, and Mattingly was trying to calm him down (or so was said after the game), but we had to wait several hours to find that out.

Studio crews: I haven't been watching most of the pregame/postgame shows, but it's an interesting contrast of characters in studio. TBS is going with analysts Dusty Baker, Pedro Martinez, and Gary Sheffield (all former Dodgers by the way), while Fox has all-time hits leader (and gambler, banished from the game for betting on baseball) Pete Rose, and current Yankee multi-billionaire (and steroid poster boy) Alex Rodriguez, among others.

More Fox vs. TBS: For whatever reason, Fox/FS1 has been airing the singing of God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch, and TBS has not. FS1 didn't do it tonight, but that's probably because the game was in Canada... Both networks go 'inside the booth' coming out of that commercial break in the middle of the seventh, but I think the only thing we've learned by that is that TBS' Ernie Johnson doesn't wear a headset. He speaks into a large table mic and has to lean forward, while analysts Cal Ripken and Ron Darling can at least turn their heads.

Root root root: A lot was made of road teams winning early. The hosts (Yankees and Pittsburgh) lost both wild card games, and the away teams went 5-0, 7-2, and 10-4 to start the playoffs. The home teams have bounced back now, and are 14-12 overall this postseason, including all five games in the LCS with Toronto winning tonight (Monday).

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