I'm never happy when a Major League Baseball player jeopardizes the game I love by cheating via performance enhancing drugs. In fact, I hate it no matter who it is. I guess I'm naive to think that everyone wants to play on a level playing field and let the great ones rise to the top - naturally.
At any rate, just as I don't cheer when an opposing player gets injured, I'm not throwing a party at the Melky Cabrera incident. In essence, it means next to nothing as far as the Dodgers are concerned. Sure, the Giants will suffer without Cabrera's bat. And there's no question that the Dodgers need to take advantage of the situation. A sweep of the Giants next week would be such a statement.
But the Dodgers aren't going to last deep into October if they don't find a groove. Thankfully, it's beginning to look like they have. L.A. finally has a 3-4-5 lineup that pitchers actually have to navigate. They have a legitimate lead-off hitter. They're scoring some runs (it's about time). And the pitching is doing its' job. Heck, they're even surviving at first and third base.
But why? (And yes, here comes the dead horse routine). With the Dodgers making a serious charge to the post season with eyes on the Big Prize, why just "survive" at third base when you have potentially better options? Let me put it another way. What do you notice about the following list?
To me, these guys are essentially the same player. They all play the left side of the infield. They all have made contributions with the bat one time (Uribe) or another. None of them display much power. And, in essence, they all give you the exact same role on the squad. They're interchangeable. You could give them all the same jersey number and name and no one would notice. And basically, their bats are gravy at this point, right? So why keep four of the exact same player on the team?
So Luis Cruz is hitting well the last bunch of games. Elian did the same for a while at the beginning of the year, if you remember. You really think either of those guys is your starting third baseman on a World Series team??
Look, you've got someone at Triple-A who deserves a shot at third base. You already know what you've got with these other guys, why not make room for Josh Fields?
And speaking of making room, isn't Jerry Sands having the kind of success you've always dreamed he would have? Isn't he having that kind of "notice me" season? OK, so maybe he's shown this kind of power in the minors before and failed to duplicate it in The Show. But now Jerry Sands is thundering away like crazy, and you're keep him down? Isn't this the time that you make room for him on the 25-man roster? Why the heck not?
Perhaps you're thinking I'm being overly negative. Heck, the team is in first place. Here's the deal: I think the Dodgers are good enough to make the playoffs as is. And perhaps go far. I'm just not sure that you go to battle with four guys out of the list above. And you'd think that management would want as many weapons as possible to bring with them into October.
Jerry Sands and Josh Fields may just be two such weapons. Or maybe not. But one thing is for certain: we'll never know if they don't get the chances to play extensively.
...but that's just my two cents.