Monday, July 28, 2008

The West Ain't the Best

Echoing my comments from the Rockies-Reds recap below, the NYT's Billy Witz takes a look at just how bad the NL West is this morning. My favorite quote is less about the division, however, and more about Jeff Kent playing to form in finding something to blame for the futility out there:
“We’re a young division,” said Jeff Kent, the Dodgers’ veteran second baseman. “Most of the players on this team, the Giants, Colorado, Arizona — we’re all very inexperienced teams. There’s a lot of young talent, guys in their mid-20s who have a short time playing together. I think that’s why we’re all trying to hang on to .500.”
For those unfamiliar with his work, Jeff Kent really likes to run down young players. In doing so, he tends to ignore little facts such as the fact that the Dodgers' best offensive players are 23, 24, 25, and 26 years-old, and their best pitcher this year is 23. A couple of big reasons why they're struggling? Their 31 year-old centerfielder, their 30 year-old left fielder, one of their 30 year-old starting pitchers and, oh, their 40 year-old second baseman, all of whom are having below average years.

I'm not saying that the Dodgers' young players are carrying them -- none of them except maybe Russell Martin are playing good enough for that, and one of them has been absolutely killing them -- but to suggest that the kids are the reason why L.A. is under .500 is silly.

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