Three Things

With Opening Day exactly 90 days away, there are three things that I see as paramount for the Dodgers to make it into and winning the 2013 World Series. Ironically, none of the them have anything to do with the nearly half billion dollars that new Dodgers ownership has spent since acquiring the team last May (although that certainly will have a lot to do with the end results too).

First – A healthy Matt Kemp. I’m not necessarily talking a 40-40 Matt Kemp, but I am definitely talking something close to that. And like all Dodger fans, the first six to eight weeks of the season will be a very anxious and nervous time for me and should give us all an indication as to whether or not he is actually 100% healthy. But the cold, hard, bottom line fact is – So goes Kemp, so go the Dodgers.

So goes Kemp, so go the Dodgers – it’s as simple as that.
(Photo credit – Garrett Nichols)

Second – A healthy Clayton Kershaw. In my opinion, Clayton was two strikeouts away from winning his second consecutive Cy Young Award in 2012. Granted, he did not have the wins that R.A. Dickey or Gio Gonzalez had, but he led in nearly every other important pitching category, especially ERA and WHIP. I would be lying if I said that I will not be worried about Kershaw’s hip issue every time he takes the mound in 2013. Simply put – without a healthy Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers aren’t going to the Fall Classic.

Let's hope that the words Clayton Kershaw and torn xxx labrum are never used in the same sentence ever again. (Photo credit - Stephen Dunn)

Let’s hope that the words Clayton Kershaw and torn hip labrum are never again used in the same sentence… ever. (Photo credit – Stephen Dunn)

Third – A healthy Chad Billingsley. I sure wish that I had the same confidence and optimism that he, Ned Colletti and others seem to have that he is actually 100% healthy heading into spring training, but I simply do not believe this. I am certainly no doctor, but much like Kershaw’s torn hip labrum, I simply do not believe that a torn elbow labrum will heal all by itself. That said, if Chad is as healthy as he is trying to convince everyone that he is (even himself), I would love nothing more than to see him finally become a solid number two – something that I have been waiting for for seven years.

Let's also hope that Chad Billingsley and Tommy John never have anything in common - except, of course, 20+ wins in a season. (Photo credit - Jeff Gross)

Let’s also hope that Chad Billingsley and Tommy John never have anything in common except 20+ wins in a season. (Photo credit – Jeff Gross)

Of course there are other facts that will determine the Dodgers success in 2013, such as Greinke’s and Ryu’s success on the mound, Carl Crawford finally being 100% healthy, Hanley Ramirez returning (at least somewhat) to the Hanley of old, Luis Cruz continuing his offensive and defensive effectiveness at third base, and Adrian Gonzalez finally getting it together; but I sincerely believe that those top three things will be the difference between a ring and an also ran.

What are your thoughts?

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9 Responses to “Three Things”

  1. ebbetsfld says:

    I would add “Production from 2B and C” to your list and also feel that Carl Crawford is a very big question mark.

    • Bluenose Dodger says:

      Crawford for me is the key to that trade. If he returns to a reasonable facsimile of his former self, it was indeed a good trade. Plus we need a lead off hitter.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Whenever I hear concerns about Carl Crawford, I always hear Kevin Kennedy’s voice in the back of my mind – “Carl Crawford isn’t a good signing, Carl Crawford is a great signing.” And I trust “the Skipper” implicitly.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    It doesn’t seem very encouraging headed into the 2013 season with health issues a major concern but those issues are very real. I expect Matt will be the one that has the best chance of being completely healed.

    Chad is the biggest concern. He is absolutely a key player for the Dodgers. He might report in a condition that seems to mean he is healed. The labrum under normal conditions may well heal itself but throwing a baseball for a living is not a normal condition. How often have we heard, “…it isn’t too serious ..” ,”…it’s day to day …”, “…we’re working through it …”, only to see the player belatedly has to be shut down? My concern is that Chad’s labrum was damaged and will succumb to the same stresses that caused the tear in the first place.

    • Truebluewill says:

      My main concern is Billsingley. He might be alright when he reports to ST and pitch well in the beginning of the season, but I’m afraid that with all the stress that pitching puts on the elbow, eventually he’s going to blow it out and need the surgery. That’s way, I feel, management is stockpiling so much starting pitching.

      Kershaw, somehow I feel will be ok. I don’t know maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I just feel he will be healthy for the whole season.

      I know that everyone is excited about the Dodgers chances of going to and winning the WS this year and I include myself in that. Certainly on paper they have the players to take them there, but a lot is going to have to go right for the Dodgers to get there.

  3. OldBrooklynFan says:

    It feels good to read all the optimism along with the health issues, I certainly hope this will be a big year for the Dodgers. It looks like they have a very good team and it will certainly be interesting to see how it all works out.

  4. echavez2 says:

    I am not worried about Crawford, it’s like K.K. said “it’s a great signing!” The Kershaw hip thing I do have concern, but I am going to think positive. Kemp I feel he will have a good season. Billingsley I don’t understand. I am not a doctor but if he has a tear I believe he should have got it fixed.

  5. Ron Cervenka says:

    I neglected to mention – GREAT Matt Kemp photo Garrett!

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