Who Remembers the Underachieving 2010 Dodgers?


Without question, one could write a full-length, comprehensive novel about the trials and tribulations of the 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years already.

For the record, 2010 was the last year the Dodgers registered a losing season. Finishing with a 80-82 record, the Dodgers ended their campaign in fourth place in the National League West behind the Giants, Padres and Rockies.

Entering the season, Los Angeles was coming off back-to-back appearances in the National League Championship Series, and the club appeared to have enough talent to make another strong playoff run.

However, the central theme of the season would surround owner Frank McCourt and the divorce proceedings with his wife, Jamie. The players and the coaches constantly deflected questions with regards to how much of a toll team ownership took on the club over the course of the year. The whole saga about the divorce could be a book in itself.

On Opening Day, the team payroll was just over $94 million, good enough for the 12th highest in baseball and down almost $10 million from the previous season.

During the winter prior to the 2010 regular season, McCourt extended General Manager Ned Colletti to a long-term deal, seemingly rewarding Ned for his ability to scrape the bottom of the bargain bin for some very economical deals. The idea at the time was that McCourt was hoarding as much money as possible before the courts ruled what was to be split with Jamie in the divorce.

Colletti was often credited for his creative abilities to assemble an experienced squad with very little resources.

Among Ned’s prized free agent signings that winter and throughout the regular season were infielder Jamey Carroll, pitcher Vicente Padilla, catcher Brad Ausmus, infielder Ronnie Belliard and outfielder Reed Johnson.

Colletti’s biggest trades of the season occurred in a flurry just before the July 31 deadline when the team received pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Cubs, alongside outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Royals and aging reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pirates.

Coincidentally, the Dodgers led the entire MLB in attendance in 2009, but by the time the smoke settled on the 2010 season, the team dropped to third place behind the Phillies and the Yankees, undoubtedly affected by the uncertainty of ownership.

Speaking of the Yankees, the 2010 campaign was also the swan song in the managerial career of Joe Torre, opening the door for 49-year-old Don Mattingly to take the helm.

Here’s how the Opening Day lineup card was written out:

  • Rafael Furcal SS
  • Russell Martin C
  • Andre Ethier RF
  • Manny Ramirez LF
  • Matt Kemp CF
  • James Loney 1B
  • Casey Blake 3B
  • Blake DeWitt 2B
  • Vicente Padilla P

The starting rotation wasn’t really that bad, although there was not an overwhelming amount of depth. 22-year-old staff ace Clayton Kershaw led the team with 32 starts, followed by 31 each from righties Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda. Righty John Ely made 18 starts, Padilla made 16 and Lilly notched 12.

Big Jon Broxton led the team with 22 saves. Lefty Hung-Chih Kuo logged 12.

Kershaw finished the year with a team-leading 13 victories. His 2.91 ERA that season was the second-worst of his career, aside from the 4.26 mark during his rookie year in 2008.

Offensively, shortstop Rafael Furcal was the only regular to finish the season hitting over .300. 25-year-old outfielder Matt Kemp led the team with 28 homers and 89 RBI while outfielder Andre Ethier slugged 25 long balls. First baseman James Loney finished just behind Kemp with 88 RBI.

Personally, I was in the front row right beside the Dodger dugout for the Opening Day festivities at PNC Park. When Torre opted to give the ball to Padilla instead of Kershaw at the beginning of the year, I had a feeling that the season was going to be a long one. The Dodgers lost, 11-5. Padilla ended up surrendering seven earned over just 4-1/3 innings of work.

Secondary to the McCourt divorce was the never-ending injury saga of Manny Ramirez. It seemed as if he was suffering from a hamstring injury every other week. To account for his absence in left field, the Dodgers turned to Johnson, Podsednik, Garret Anderson, Jay Gibbons and Xavier Paul, but their respective production was mediocre at best.

Things got so bad that the club released Manny in late August.

The scars of the 2010 campaign would last almost three full years, as it took the club until the 2013 season to finally return to the playoffs.


17 thoughts on “Who Remembers the Underachieving 2010 Dodgers?

  1. Kuo could have really been something if it wasn’t for all the injuries. I always enjoyed watching him pitch.

    Another guy I enjoyed watching during his brief stay here was Padilla. He had a changeup that I think he threw in the mid 50’s. That coupled with his fastball was quite the combo. Some days he was absolutely unhittable. Other days he couldn’t get a little leaguer out. I always thought that his powers of concentration were lacking but I really don’t know. In any case I always found it interesting to watch him on the mound.


  2. I spent most of the 2010 season on the road. It was my last year driving a truck and I was doing long haul that year. I did have Sirrius radio in the rig, so I got to listen to the games. I went to a spring game at Camelback that year. I remember it because I got a ball autographed that day by Rick Monday, Lucas May, and Mike Restovich who was in camp on a minor league deal. I had gotten there early and watched some of the action on the back fields before the game. I was really sick of MCCrappie by then, but I like many thought the team was a lot better than they ended up being. I retired that November, and moved here to Canon City. Hey Dennis, I got some of the 2020 cards the other day in one of those tins they sell. Got 3 Dodgers out of 75 cards. 2 Kershaw’s, one is a Red Turkey card, and a Tyler White, which I immediately sent to AAA.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They should never have traded for him in the first place, simply because a month later they went out and got basically the same guy in Jeff Gyorko. Neither one contributed squat.


      2. How was the fishing Bear?
        I don’t fish, but am I correct that sometimes what you catch isn’t worth keeping and you throw it back? Just consider AF the fisherman and White and Gyorko the fish.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good analogy there Jefe…..he was looking for a lunker and and landed two clunkers. There is a worm shortage believe it or not. Not one store in town has any night crawlers, the primary food source of my main target, the Rainbow Trout. Also, a friend of mine is moving into my apt building, and since I have a pickup, I was elected to help her move. I am thinking of buying a bicycle for my transportation!


  3. Unfortunately he still has one of those stinkers in the organization. A white fish that can’t field, hit or throw.


  4. Former A’s pitcher Matt Keough passed away at 64 yrs old. I saw him pitch against the Angels a couple of times. Orel went a little ballistic on the fact that some of the Astros were not suspended and the title was not vacated. One of the few things I have ever agreed with him on.


  5. Bear, no worms no problem, try some PowerBait, you will have no problem catching trout. Get an assortment of colors, Rainbow is a very good overall color choice. Make sure you get the PowerBait that has glitter in it. Oh yeah, use a swivel, 4 lb leader and a treble hook.


    1. Power bait works at 11 mile, not so much at Isabel. White is the color of choice up there. I have tried it at Isabel numerous times, but they seem to prefer the night crawlers.


  6. My grandparents owned a ranch in Wyoming, when I was a kid. It had a creek that ran through it maybe 200 feet from the house, we used to go out to my grandmas garden, and dig worms right out of the ground.
    The creek had rainbows, browns, and brook trout in it, I have caught all three species on the same day, you don’t see that to often.

    The moral of this story is, go find someone’s garden to raid for worms bear.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They shoot you for that in these here hills pardner! I actually found some at the Conoco mini mart. So all is well except, I am helping a friend move into my building, and so far it has been a chore. But as soon as this is over, I am definitely heading to the lake. Korean baseball league starts today on ESPN. No fans in attendance.


  7. My first car was a 66’ Lincoln continental, but after that, I always had some sort of pick up, Everybody seemed to ask me to help them move because of it, sometimes I felt like a professional mover.
    I feel your pain, bear.


    1. Hey Keith, you busy this afternoon? I need some help moving something. Don’t know what I’m moving yet or where I’m moving it to, but you seem like such a nice guy, I just knew you’d want to help. And while you’re at it, do me a favor and bring some worms with you. 🙂


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