The Los Angeles Dodgers have the second highest payroll in baseball at 216 million dollars. So far this season, that money has earned the team 17 wins and last place in the National League West.
Obviously, talent is not the issue with the Dodgers lackluster start to the 2013 season. There are All Star players on this squad, both on the mound and in the lineup. I wouldn’t place blame on manager Don Mattingly either. His daily lineup card is not flawed on a daily basis. There is more than a sufficient amount of game changers and strong arms to have Los Angeles at the top of the division.
Sure, there have been injuries and errors, bad bounces and a brawl. It does not excuse what seems to be a complete lack of leadership in the clubhouse. Matt Kemp is the elder statesman of sorts. This is his team, even if other “stars” have been added to the Dodger equation in the last year. Those “stars” include former Red Sox divas Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez. While they might put up good numbers when they step foot on the field, those numbers do not necessarily translate into a strong group of leaders.
Kemp needs to be the strong voice in the dugout and locker room. He needs to call guys out for not hustling, for the bullpen blowing leads. Kemp needs to form a “Band of Brothers” soon, or we may witness a Marlin like dumpster fire sale in October.
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