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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
These Dodgers really better keep delivering

By Art Garfamudis
Special to ESPN.com

Matt Kemp
We're scared to commit to Matt Kemp and the Dodgers even at this torrid pace.
You know what really hackles my barneys? Getting promised something that doesn’t come to fruition.

You ever heard of the 1966 Cleveland Indians? Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard of the year 1966 and the Cleveland Indians baseball team, but you ever heard of them in the same way you’ve heard of the 1927 Yankees or even the 1954 Indians? Well you should have if they’d delivered on the promise of their 10-0 start (which got up to 14-1 before they started reneging). They lost 11 of 12 in July and 11 of 13 later on and had to struggle just to finish at .500. Talk about a tease! It was like my junior prom all over again except my pants weren’t rented.

How about the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers? Twenty-five years ago this very minute they were the talk of baseball, winning their first 13 games and getting to 17-1. Then they dropped 12 straight in May and a week or so after that were just one game over .500. They still managed to win 91 games, but they finished seven games out of first place.

Now, how should a team behave? The role model would be the 1984 Detroit Tigers. They started out 35-5 and didn’t stop winning until their fans were rioting in the streets after Game 5 of the World Series. When you’re buying something, you want the product to look like the picture on the brochure, right? That was those Tigers.

So now I’m looking at you, Los Angeles Dodgers, with your 9-1 start, like who do you think you are? Is this a come-on, like a carny’s pitch outside the tent? Then you get inside only to discover that the second head on the baby in the jar of formaldehyde is actually sewn on? Or are you going to keep delivering on the setup? I’d really like to know right now if you’re the ’84 Tigers or the ’87 Brewers before I mentally commit to your greatness, because all I want is some damn consistency out of life.

Is that so much to ask?