I was hopeful that, if the Cardinals moved on to the NLCS, I’d be able to find the time to record a podcast with the opposition. That didn’t happen, but now we have the next best thing.
Scott Andes and his sister, Stacie Wheeler, run the Fansided blog Lasorda’s Lair that focuses on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both of them are very good people to follow on Twitter and read on their site if you want good Dodger information.
Scott and Stacie posed some questions to me, which you’ll likely find on their site later today. I sent some back and Scott was gracious enough to hit me with some knowledge. I think he probably made some Mickey Mouse ears after he sent them, but hey, what can you do.
C70: Don Mattingly really is safe, right? I mean, he’s not getting fired over missing the Series if he doesn’t win here?
LL: lolz, no no, Mattingly’s job is safe. As a matter of fact, the club is going to announce they are picking up his option year for 2014, although they havent made an official announcement since they are waiting until after the Dodger’s playoff run is over or after they win the World Series whichever comes first. Hopefully it’s the latter. But despite Mattingly not being a great in game tactician, he brings a lot to the table in other areas. He’s been providing great coaching/mentoring to the younger players like Puig. He’s given great hitting advice to the players from his vast experience as a player. He runs a good clubhouse, and has done a great job of keeping all of the egos in check, and controlling the club behind closed doors But mostly he’s impressed me with his fortitude. He never gives up and remained very calm even when the club was buried in last place in June. he’s grown into the job, and you don’t fire the manager when he takes the team from last pace on June 22, to the NLCS and the doorstep of the World Series.
C70: Has it been as nerve-wracking for y’all watching this series as it has been for Cardinal fans?
LL: Oh man, yes. 100% yes. This series has been very nerve-wracking, and We’re assuming that Game 6 will be just as nerve wracking as the other games were. I was very, very nervous after the club lost Game 4. I wasn’t confident they would win Game 5, but thankfully they pulled it out. I don’t think we have any fingernails left. The club hasn’t been to the World Series in 25 years, and we want this more than anything. We’ve been doing a lot of praying to the baseball gods.
LL: Yes. we’re very concerned. Obviously Adam Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in baseball and one of the best big game pitchers on the planet. He lives for this stuff and I’m more worried about Game 7 than anything. This Wacha kid is tough too. We think Kershaw should be able to match him, but having to beat Wainwright on the road is the biggest concern in my mind. Although we beat him in Game 3, and hopefully the boys in can find a way to beat him again. First things first though, they have to get to Game 7 first.
C70: There’s been way too much talk about showboating and everything that surrounds that. What are your thoughts about both teams in this regard?
LL: I think the whole thing is just stupid. Baseball is a game, and it’s competitive. These are major league players playing on the grandest stage, the playoffs. These are high stakes games with a lot on the line. These are humans, and baseball is an emotional game, especially in the playoffs. So it’s natural for players to show some emotion, bat flip, fist pump, shout, etc. It doesn’t bother me at all. For example, when Yadier Molina sat at home plate for two whole minutes fist pumping after tagging out Mark Ellis in Game 2, it offended some Dodger fans. I wasn’t offended at all. I never said anything about it after it happened. I wasn’t offended when Wacha fist pumped, or Wainwright, or whatever. That’s baseball. Puig bat flips. He does it against everyone. It’s nothing to do with the Cardinals or showing anyone up. It’s just something he’s been doing since he was a kid in Cuba. According to him, all the players in Cuba bat flip and show strong emotions on the field. I like it when players show that passion and emotion, because it makes the game more enjoyable to watch. Puig’s bat flips, and Gonzo’s arm bombs, are just meant to fire up their teammates and fans and not directed in any way towards the Cardinals. At times I feel like some of the Cardinal fans, and Dodger fans too act too high and mighty. Nobody needs to be the police of celebrations. The Dodgers shouldn’t be telling the Cardinals how to celebrate, and the Cardinals shouldn’t tell the Dodgers how to celebrate. It’s been blown way out of proportion by the media. Let’s just play baseball and expect to see some celebrations when one of these two clubs wins the pennant.
C70: What’s your best guess for these next two games? I know you probably believe the Dodgers win both, but how?
LL: I don’t know, it’s going to be close, but I feel that the Dodgers should win Game 6 if Kershaw is on his game. I feel that Gonzalez has made an adjustment after hitting his two home runs in Game 5 and I don’t think the Cardinals have readjusted. They don’t know how to pitch to him now and that may be an advantage for the Dodgers in Games 6 and 7. Of course with Wainwright on the mound, the Cardinals would have the advantage in Game 7. But the Cards would have to hit two left handers, and they have had trouble with the lefties for most of the season. I’ll take the Dodgers to win Game 6, but I think Game 7 will be all hands on deck, anything goes. I still like the Dodgers to pull of the miracle comeback. They’ve done it all season long.
My thanks to Scott for his comments and best of luck to the Dodgers….in 2014!