The series that might have actually meant something

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.

  • Tony Gwynn Jr., LF

  • Casey Blake, 3B

  • Andre Ethier, RF

  • Matt Kemp, CF

  • Aaron Miles, 2B

  • James Loney, 1B

  • Rod Barajas, C

  • Jamey Carroll, SS

  • Hiroki Kuroda, P

I have a little confession to make. Sunday afternoon, I was plotting the idea of making the Dodgers' three-game series with Philadelphia that starts tonight into a mini-National League Championship Series showdown — in my mind.

Though I basically gave up hope for the Dodgers' reaching the playoffs weeks and weeks ago, I was thinking that I might give the series with the Phillies some actual meaning. The rationale?

  • Los Angeles had won 10 of 15 games to eliminate exactly one-third of its 13 1/2-game deficit in the NL West.

  • With Clayton Kershaw on the mound against Arizona and San Francisco playing the Phillies, there was a decent chance that the Dodgers would close the divisional gap to eight games with eight weeks to go.

  • If the Dodgers won the series from the Phillies, that would most properly considered a fluke, but it would also, however temporarily and minimally, mark the Dodgers as a team looking for a glass slipper.

Sunday's turnaround loss sapped much of my drive for my mini-NLCS frame of mind. I don't think I'm going to be much more invested in this series than I was going to be before this flight of rather delusional fancy.

Knowing that the Dodgers actually could have stayed in the race does haunt me a little bit. One more week of winning combined with a week of losing by the division leaders, and the entire division would be thrown into doubt. It really hammers home just how absolutely awful the Dodgers had to be this year to be considered out of the running for a division title with so many games to play.

* * *

ESPNLosAngeles.com has launched the ESPN Los Angeles Hall of Fame, with 20 initial nominees for five spots. Nominees could not be active, which explains why Vin Scully isn't present.

I'd have been happy to vote for all 20, but forced to pick five, I went with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chick Hearn, Magic Johnson, Sandy Koufax and John Wooden. Yes, I'm aware I did baseball a disservice in the process.

* * *

Yes, a $27 million loss does seem like a lot. My recollection is that losses were routine when Fox owned the team, but the company was large enough to withstand them to some extent (Piazza trade notwithstanding).