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HomeBlogsz_olstyle_Jim Carlisle: Slightly Askew

October 2009 Archives

The NBA season starts tonight and in Los Angeles there couldn't be a bigger contrast. The Lakers host the Clippers at Staples Center.

The Clippers would never host the Lakers in the opener. That would never happen. As it is, the Lakers are receiving their 2008-09 NBA championship rings before the game and another championship banner will be unveiled.

Meanwhile, the Clippers will be sitting on the visitors' bench politely watching, or perhaps in their dressing room (at least they have one of their own at Staples), biding their time until their presence is requested.

Make no mistake: The role of the Clippers tonight is that of patsy, tomato can, stooge. The Clippers tonight are to the Lakers as the Washington Generals are to the Harlem Globetrotters (I knew that SAT stuff would eventually come in handy).

And then, at about 10:20 Monday night, this little bit of news came across the wire: Blake Griffin, the NBA's No. 1 draft choice will miss the first six weeks of the season because of a broken kneecap.

Is anyone surprised about this? The Clippers are where good players go to become obscure and where bad players vanish altogether. Danny Manning, Elton Brand, Sam Cassell are just part of the long list.

Just when you thought the Clippers might be somewhat worth watching this season, at least to see if Griffin could be the league's Rookie of the Year, he gets swallowed up in the Bermuda Triangle that is the Los Angeles Clippers.

Welcome to the Clippers, Blake. And let the rehab begin.

Wait'll next year?

That's been the Dodgers' rallying cry since before they moved to Los Angeles, and after losing Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, 10-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies, that's what they'll be doing again.

Wait'll next year.

But what will next year be like for the Dodgers? It's truly difficult to tell. The Dodgers have many personnel changes to make during the offseason. General manager Ned Colletti got signed this week to a multiyear extension, so at least we know who will be doing the signing or trading.

But next season will be Joe Torre's last, or at least that's what he said at the start of the playoffs. Don Mattingly is the heir apparent, or was until all these teams needing managers came calling.

Owner Frank and his wife, team CEO Jamie McCourt, have separated and appear to be headed for a messy divorce. Who knows how that'll affect the ownership of the team and its ability to sign players?

Next season is even pointing toward being Vin Scully's last season as the voice of the Dodgers.

What we do know, almost certainly, is that Manny Ramirez will be back with the Dodgers in 2010. He has a player option and, since there isn't a lot more money out there to be had in the open market. Not for him anyway.

While the Dodgers' core players are under control, many of them will be eligible for arbitration: Matt Kemp, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley. Others, such as Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, Vicente Padilla and Ronnie Belliard will be free agents.

Many decisions will have to be made by McCourt as to just how much money he'll be willing -- and able -- to spend in 2010.

It will be an offseason of the unknown after an extremely disappointing offseason. And there's only one thing Dodgers fans can do:

Wait'll next year.

About this blog...

Jim Carlisle writes Tuesday sports columns and Friday TV-Radio columns for The Star. He has been on the sports staff of the Star (and its Thousand Oaks predecessor, the News Chronicle) since 1983. Jim pledges in his blog not to take sports — or himself — too seriously.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2010 is the next archive.

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