Why do baseball teams have such a hold on their fans?
All the Dodgers have to do is make a couple relatively insignificant moves, and I go running back into their arms. As if the ugly 2010 season never happened.
Bad metaphors aside, the moves were actually significant. Retaining pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, signing pitcher Jon Garland and hiring Davey Lopes and Tim Wallach as base coaches were smart decisions by GM Ned Colletti.
It’s not even December yet, and the Dodgers have their starting rotation set with five successful veterans. Few teams will be able to march out five starters better than the Dodgers’ group.
Garland will join Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Kuroda and Ted Lilly in the Dodgers’ 2011 starting rotation that will boast five pitchers who each won 10 or more games last season.
According to Dodgers.com: Those five pitchers’ cumulative 2010 ERA of 3.39 (371 ER/986.0 IP) and .234 opponents’ batting average (857-for-3663) would have led all Major League starting rotations and their combined 844 strikeouts would have ranked third.
Getting Lopes back into the loop is a no-brainer. Having him around has the potential to make Matt Kemp better, and the Dodgers will no doubt become a better base running team with Lopes calling the shots.
Wallach had a successful run as the Dodgers’ triple-A manager in Albuquerque. He was an all-star third baseman for Montreal and the Dodgers back in the day, and a respected baseball man. Many Dodger fans would have preferred to have Wallach take over as manager instead of Don Mattingly, but that’s water under the bridge and we’re glad that Wallach agreed to stick with the organization.