It was a tough 2010 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team dealt with discouraging injuries, distractions within the ownership and solid play from National League West division opponents. The Dodgers fought hard to try to overcome these obstacles, but it proved to be too much for the team to handle.
Injuries plague every team in every sport. It’s part of the game. But the injuries the Dodgers faced this season were very difficult to play through. Back-up catcher Brad Ausmus was out most of the season with a pinched nerve in his back giving starter Russell Martin little rest. Starting pitcher Vicente Padilla, who proved to be strong when healthy and had 6-5 record in 16 starts, but only pitched 95 innings.
The Dodgers also missed pitcher Jeff Weaver. He was an important part of the Dodgers bullpen and a spot starter, but suffered too many injuries to make an impact in the rotation. Martin also missed the last two months of the season because of a hip injury. Lastly, Manny Ramirez played in only 66 games before he was finally sent to the Chicago White Sox.
Ramirez was released from the team in August and was picked up by the White Sox. He had problems on and off the field in his time with the Dodgers, including a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance. In his final season with the Dodgers, Ramirez his only eight home runs and drove in 40 runs in 196 at-bats. He hit .311, but he did not play often enough to make an impact.
The McCourt divorce also was a huge distraction for the Dodgers this season. The divorce is making headlines in newspapers, websites and throughout the media worldwide. The team had dealt with the divorce all year long and it could affect the team’s ability to sign free agents next season. Some players are on the trade block and could be dealt in the off-season. In the latest management shake-up, Frank McCourt and the Dodgers severed ties with president Dennis Manion.
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To top it off, manager Joe Torre decided to retire and take a different role in the organization. Torre’s team did not make the playoffs for the first time in his three years as Dodgers manager.
There were two highlights for the Dodgers in the 2010 season. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return to call games for his 62nd season for the Dodgers in 2011. The Dodgers also unexpectedly signed pitcher Zach Lee, the team’s No. 1 draft pick. Lee, a high school pitcher out of Texas, was supposed to go to Louisiana State University to play football and baseball. But he reconsidered and signed with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers do have a lot to look forward to next season. After the All-Star game, the Dodgers acquired left Fielder Scott Podsednik, second baseman Ryan Theriot and pitchers Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel. The players were acquired at the trade deadline in August to help the Dodgers make a playoff push. Podsednik will be in an outfield with all-star Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Theriot and James Loney will be on the right side of the infield. Lilly joins Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley in the rotation.