And that issue is team unity. You can’t have a bunch of stud hitters all trying to out-duel each other and knock the hide off the ball. We’ve seen many high powered line-ups fail, and many say this Dodgers team and lineup is setup to do just that. All the fanfare and dollars spent will be all for naught, people exclaim! And I can’t say that I’m not worried as hell about this either. Last year’s results were a decent enough sample size and look at what happened. It was miserable. Everyone was saying, “we would have never imagined this.” Even rival GMs and coaches were stating that they never thought the Dodgers offense would have done so terribly over the course of the rest of the season. Guess what, it happened.
So What To Do?
Well today I received a warm reassuring glow, like a nice hot cup of coffee in the early morning, like the first spring dew glistening on a rose petal. etc etc. Turns out Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire feel the same way according to this story from ESPN. And their approach will be to get the guys to buy into the idea of TEAM HITTING. Wow, what a novel idea! You mean to tell me that I shouldn’t just worry about my own personal stats and should be more concerned with winning!?! I can just imagine Hanely Ramirez thinking that right now. Well yes Hanley, do you like to win?
Its great to see the manager and hitting coach, both legendary hitters in their time, on the same page and developing a solid strategy for the upcoming season. Part of me worries that Mattingly will not be able to rally all of the star studded veterans on this team. He’s just not a RA-RA sort of guy, never was. He was a blue collar, lead by example type guy. That worries me on a team like this, but hey, it worked OK for Torre, maybe it will work well for Mattingly.
Either way, I am in love with McGwire already, especially after hearing about how he changed the St. Louis hitters. Hearing about his conversation with AJ Ellis this off season gave me the warm and fuzzies. AJ Ellis noticed a significant improvement from many of the young Cardinal players whom he had played against for years in the minors. And that’s a real testament to McGwire because…… well…. AJ Ellis is a man-child, a baseball god of OBP. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff can get the Dodgers lineup to all pull in the same direction this season. If they do, the Dodgers will have one of the most dangerous lineups potentially of all time.