Dodgers finish 82-80, but Grady didn’t take much consolation from the winning record. “If you’re not going to the playoffs, you lost, and we all realize that,” he said. “People talk about being proud of being over .500 for the year, but we aren’t going to the postseason, so in my heart, we lost.” … I’m going to try to keep this blog going to some degree over the winter, but I won’t be posting every day. I’ll also be posting some during the playoffs, just my thoughts on some of the games, especially in the National League. I look forward to settling into the couch and taking in tomorrow’s tiebreaker between the Padres and the Rockies. Mostly, I just look forward to the coming winter, which will include a Thanksgiving vacation to Maui with my daughter and my mom, a couple of weeks in Arkansas over the Holidays and a few days in Nashville for the winter meetings. Mostly, though, it will include a LOT of down time, when I can hopefully start losing some of the 20 or so pounds I put on during the season. As we come to the end, I want to thank all of you for reading this blog and for some of the great responses I have received from you, both in your comments and in your emails directly to me. … And, even though I’m glad the 2007 season is over, I’m already looking forward to spring training. Have a great winter, everyone.
Those were the main points of Frank McCourt’s mini-press conference this morning. Frank says Ned and Grady are committed to the organization’s goals, and so they will remain in place. As for ticket prices, he says they will increase next year in sections of the ballpark where renovations (or, as Frank called them, investments) are expected to take place, and he said this winter’s phase of renovations will cost $70 million to $80 million. But he also said at least 10,000 seats will remain affordably priced — or, in his words, “accessible to any fan who wants to come to the ballpark and be part of the Dodgers experience.”
What’s the only thing worse than a meaningless game in which both teams are simply playing out the string? When one of those games goes into superfluous cantos (that’s scribe slang for extra innings). Gonzo came up with what would have been a huge hit in Dodgers history if this game had actually had playoff implications, coming off the bench and shooting one up the left-centerfield gap to drive in LaRoche from second base with the winning run. Saito went two innings and got the win, giving him a 2-1 record, an outstanding 1.40 ERA and 39 saves in his second season with the Dodgers (I’m going to guess he won’t be called on tomorrow no matter what the situation). The Dodgers clinched a winning season, going to 82-79, and by winning tomorrow they would have as many wins as St. Louis had on its way to winning the World Series last year. Hey, you look for positives anywhere you can find them, right? … One more day, folks.
If the Dodgers win either tonight or tomorrow, they will have a winning season for the 38th time in 50 seasons since moving to Los Angeles. During that time, only the New York Yankees have had more winning seasons (40). … Chin-lung Hu and James McDonald will be presented with the organization’s Player and Pitcher of the Year awards, respectively, during a ceremony tonight. … Pods lost today, so we won’t know anything about the N.L. playoff picture until tomorrow afternoon. A.L. is all set: Angels go to Boston, Yankees go to Cleveland.
James Loney continues to have a monster September, just as he did last year. He now has a seven-game hitting streak, and he has nine homers and 32 RBI this month. I’m going to predict right now that this guy is going to be the biggest star of all these young players. And if I’m wrong, well, no one will remember, anyway. … Dodgers clinch at least a .500 record, improving to 81-79.