A Look Back at the 2002 Dodgers

If you’re a fan who follows the history of the Dodgers closely (or if you’re a fan who personally witnessed the misery of not making the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season), you’ll remember that 2002 was pretty much the year of just two players—outfielder Shawn Green and reliever Eric Gagne.

Green’s name was celebrated in baseball news recently, as Saturday was the 18th anniversary of the memorable game when he went 6-for-6 with four long balls and seven RBI in a 13-run pummeling of the Brewers.

By the time the smoke cleared on the season, Green had tallied 42 homers, becoming the first player to hit more than 40 jacks in back-to-back years since the franchise moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season.

In his age 26 season, Gagne made 77 appearances in route to his first MLB All-Star selection. He tallied 52 saves—the second-most of his career—and racked up an impressive 114 strikeouts over 82-1/3 innings of work.

Green hit .286/.385/.558 in 2002 and was one of the few Los Angeles players who dominated offensively. He led the entire team in average, OBP, slugging percentage, homers, OPS and RBI.

Catcher Paul Lo Duca was the only other leader in a major offensive category with 38 doubles.

Surprisingly, not a single regular player on the roster hit above .300 for the year.

Outfielder Brian Jordan was just a tick behind Green in the average department, batting .285/.338/.469 with 27 doubles, 18 bombs and 80 RBI.

Veteran outfielders Marquis Grissom and current team skipper Dave Roberts weren’t far behind with .277 averages.

23-year-old Adrian Beltre, in his fifth full big league season, finished second on the club with 23 long balls.

In terms of starting pitching, the rotation was led by 33-year-old Hideo Nomo, who finished the year with a 16-6 record and a 3.39 ERA over 34 starts. The remainder of the regular rotation was filled out by Odalis Perez (32 starts),  Andy Ashby (30 starts), Omar Daal (23 starts) and Kazuhisa Ishii (28 starts).

The season was yet another disappointment for $100 million man Kevin Brown. Marred by injuries, the 37-year-old righty made just 10 starts and at one point was even hospitalized for a back ailment.

Here’s how second year manager Jim Tracy wrote out the Opening Day lineup card against the club’s divisional rivals, the San Francisco Giants:

D. Roberts CF
C. Izturis SS
P. Lo Duca C
S. Green RF
B. Jordan LF
A. Beltre 3B
E. Karros 1B
M. Grudzielanek 2B
K. Brown P

Brown was lit up that day, surrendering seven earned runs on nine hits over just four even innings of work. Slugger Barry Bonds did the brunt of the damage against Brown with two long balls and five RBI on the way to his squad’s 9-2 victory.

Offensively for the Dodgers, Roberts went 2-for-4 with a double, scoring both of the teams runs.

Dan Evans was in his first season as general manager and actually had a half decent draft. Among the memorable players selected that summer were Russell Martin, James Loney, Jonathan BroxtonEric Stults and James McDonald.

At the end of the season, the Dodgers posted a respectable 92-70 record, but still finished in third place behind the 95 wins of the Giants and the 98 wins of the Diamondbacks.

Taking over as GM for the team in 2004 was Paul DePodesta, finally bringing the club back to the playoffs.

Tracy was eventually replaced by Grady Little in 2006.

 

Who Remembers the Underachieving 2010 Dodgers?

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

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Today in 1976, Rick Monday Saves American Flag at Dodger Stadium

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For those of you old enough to remember, April 25, 1976 was the day that Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs saved an American Flag from being burned on the outfield at Dodger Stadium.

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On This Day in 1950, Vin Scully Calls First Game for Dodgers

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While there’s certainly not much happening on the actual diamond these days, many fans of the Dodgers opt to get their daily dose of baseball by taking a journey through the history books.

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Recalling the Dodgers’ 4 Most Productive Trades Under Andrew Friedman

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(Mandatory Credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Undeniably, many media outlets covering the Dodgers have been required to be a bit creative with their material during this time of uncertainty, as most have opted to put numerous types of spins on the very rich, historical heritage the franchise has provided.

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Musician Bob Hillman Revisits Opening Day 1981, ‘Fernandomania’

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While some fans of baseball were in low spirits with the arrival of the would-be Opening Day of the 2020 season, others were using alternate forms of entertainment to experience the joy of the game they love most.

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Remembering the 2014 Opening Day Roster

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With the existing viral pandemic not appearing to be improving, coupled with the fact that most players have left their respective spring camp locations completely, Opening Day 2020 isn’t even on the radar for pretty much anyone associated with the game of baseball.

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Remembering Jackie Robinson & The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers

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While I was never exceptionally familiar with the history of the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, I couldn’t help but start digging into the history books a little during the past few seasons, when the modern-day Boys in Blue were sometimes compared to the exalted squad from more than 65 years ago.

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Remembering Jackie Robinson & the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers

brooklyn

(Editor’s note: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the legendary Jackie Robinson’s birth, we decided to put this story together about all the greatness surrounding the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. There was some previous TBPC content used in this story.)

While I was never exceptiponally familiar with the history of the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, I couldn’t help but start digging into the history books a little during the team’s 2017 season, when the modern-day Boys in Blue were constantly being compared to the exalted squad from more than 65 years ago.

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Recalling 5 of the Worst Trades in Recent Dodgers History

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(Editor’s Note: Some previous content was used when compiling this post.)

Since officially moving to Los Angeles in 1958, many player trades occurred that were instrumental in winning 11 National League pennants and five World Series championships. However, along with the deals that were beneficial came the deals that were dreadful. Consequently, people often wonder what may have transpired if a number of these trades could have been undone.

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