A Winning Attitude

With so much talk about the chemistry of the Dodgers, I want to take a moment to talk about team chemistry.  Having chemistry begins with having the right attitude, a winning attitude.

In order to taste the fruits of victory, all 25 players, the manager, coaching staff and front office have to get on one end of the rope and pull together.  If half of the players get on one end of the rope, and the other half gets on the other end of the rope, they can pull all day and all they?ll do is pull against themselves.  However, if they all pull together, they will pull the rest of the teams with them.

To have chemistry, every player in the clubhouse has to play in an unselfish fashion.  They have to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not for the name on the back.  For example, if the club is down by a run with a runner on second an no outs, the batter has to hit the ball on the ground to the right side of the diamond, advancing the runner to third where he can score 11 different ways that he can?t score from second.

Another example of putting the team first comes when you have runners on second and third with no outs.  The batter must hit the ball, on the ground, to the right side.  If he does, one run scores and the baserunner advances to third.  The next batter must hit the ball, on the ground, to the right side as well because another run will score.  You have two outs, but you have scored two runs.  That is playing for the team.

A winning attitude is grounded in self-confidence.  You?ve got to believe; you have to believe you can win any game you play.  You have to believe you are a championship team.  If you do, you will practice like a championship team, and if you practice like a championship team you will play like a championship team.  If you play like a championship team, that?s where you will finish.

This team believes.  They worked tremendously hard in spring training under the Florida sun.  They worked on the fundamentals of the game.  Jim Tracy had them believing in, and working on, the fundamentals.  They worked hard, and they worked as a team.  The winning attitude of this team started there, with the desire to be the best.

This team has desire.  They want to win the division, the pennant and the World Series.

We have a very talented group of players.  We have an outstanding coaching staff and a great front office.  Everyone in the Dodger organization, from Mr. McCourt down, wants to taste the fruits of victory and be the best organization in Major League Baseball.

This is LA baseball.

Dodgers

23 Comments

Tommy, I would love to hear some stories involving our rivals, the Giants.

You are my all-time favorite Tommy. I bleed Dodger Blue. Keep up the good work.

Dana,
Thank you for the nice compliment. Keep pulling for the Dodgers!

Tommy

Jimmie,
Don’t worry, I’ll be talking about the Giants a lot this season. Thanks for postnig a comment though, and keep pulling for the Dodgers.

Tommy

Tommy, it’s time to sit down and have a cup of tea. This rah-rah stuff doesn’t really impress anybody anymore…it’s 2005. This is blogoland, not ESPN. If you’re going to survive here, cut the BS and start talking like a real person instead of a cartoon.

Have a nice night.

Forget this Tom guy. Anyway, Dodgers are cool, but the Yankees will always be the best. Although you’re a really cool skipper, keep up the good work. Ever tried of signing up Coco Crisp and Kenny Rogers?

Mr. Lasorda you’re the BEST.I think you are one of the true ambassadors of the game of baseball.I’ll never forget your emotion when Gibson hit the walkoff WS HR in’88 and when the USA Baseball team took the gold.You Rock!!!
ps I love Your Blog and miss seeing you in the dugout.

I like what you’ve done with the Dodgers over the year, but that time in Florida still has my sister ticked off that you wouldn’t sign her bat. Oh well, maybe next year. Hey, it gives me an excuse to go to Florida.

Andrew

Tommy: You mention “playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.” Conspicuously, the Dodgers seem to have removed player names from both their home and away jerseys. Why? The way players change teams these days, the fans need all the help they can get. I don’t have Norihiro Nakamura’s number memorized!

Tommy, as a Dodger fan for over 40 years, I’d like to thank you for your contributions to Dodgers history. I like what DePo is trying to do with this team –what does Choi need to do to be successfull?

Dennis

Dennis,
Thank you for your comments. In order ofr Choi to be successful, he needs to continue to swing at good pitches, and maintain a good down-swing. When the batter swings down on the pitch, like he’s chopping a tree, he creates the backspin that carries the ball a long way.

Tommy

Tommy
Thanks for the great years of leading the Dodgers. I grew up with the Dodgers since they came to LA in 1958. I now live in ‘enemy’ territory (SF area) and proudly wear my Dodger jacket, hat, etc. You have been a great ambassador for both the Dodgers and baseball as a whole. We need the rah-rah put back in the game as a whole. Playing for the team and not just individual stats. Keep up the great work for Dodger Blue!

Jim

Tommy, I’ve been true blue since I was born. I coach a 12 and under travel team called the Fresno Blue Devils (Cooperstown team). Thank you for being such a great inspiration to me and giving so many great words of wisdom. I pass it on to my players as much as I can. Could you list the 11 ways to score from third for me. I’ve got 9.

Hi, Tommy – I have had a soft spot for Jeff Kent (except when he played for the hated vertically advantaged [ptui, ptui, ptui]) because we’re both Cal grads. (I was there just a few years before he was ;-) ) I’ve heard that his intensity is very similar to Kirk Gibson’s in ’88.

One of the many things I like about this team is the attitude of the guys who would be riding the pine but for injuries. It reminds me of the Stuntmen on that ’88 club.

Did Nori Nakamura play third in Japan?

GO DODGERS!

Hi Tommy – As a resident of Arizona, naturally I am a Diamondbacks fan but your love of baseball and the Dodgers is infectious! Your stories are great. If I were ever to move to LA, it wouldn’t take me long to root for the Dodgers.

Everytime I hear NFL fans talk about how football is America’s sport, I have have to laugh – even my wife, who is not a sports nut, knows the strengths and weaknesses of many the players in our division. That’s because baseball is a great sport, very complex but also easy to understand and very exciting.

I have one question: I have always wondered why the Dodgers don’t have their spring training in Arizona? Can you imagine the excitement that would build up every spring with Ariona just a short trip away from the LA area and Florida is way too far here? I know the Dodgers have a great facility in Flordia but it is we would love to have you guys play here in the Cactus League. Any thoughts on this?

Charlie

Tommy, in your response to Dennis..”In order ofr Choi to be successful, he needs to continue to swing at good pitches, and maintain a good down-swing. When the batter swings down on the pitch, like he’s chopping a tree, he creates the backspin that carries the ball a long way.”

Downswing? You lost me. Basic physics says one must hit a ball at 45 degrees (for a given intial velocity)in order to acheive maximum distance. However, if you hit a ball with say 30 to 40 degree upswing you’ll acheive a greater distance if you hit the ball slighly below the equator which will give the ball it’s backspin(lift) and thuslonger distance.

Depending on hard a guy chops down on the ball and where the bat meets the ball will determine how far the ball will travel in flight.

Just a wild guess. If a guy strikes just 10 degrees downward on a ball and meets the ball somewhere below the equator to give it an upward angle of 30 to 45 degrees (with backspin of course), I’d say his batspeed would have to be far beyond that of mortal man for that ball to leave the park.

I could be wrong though. Then again…

Tommy

Great Blog! As your groundskeeper during the olympics in Sydney I was fortunate to witness your “winning attitude” tranform a bunch of minor/major league players into a Gold Medal winner for the Unitied states of America! A cherished memory

Lets get ready for Beijing 2008!

Murray

Hello Mr.Lasorda from Hot Atlanta. I have always been a avid fan of the Dodgers going back to the 70′s. I really enjoyed watching Garvey,Lopes,Yeager,Cey,Russell play the game. I enjoyed back in those days watching the Dodgers 707 jet take off from the Atlanta Airport. A question for you. What do you think about Steve Garvey being Manager for the Dodgers? Just a thought…Go Dodger Blue…….Send me any referrals that are moving to the Atlanta area….

Tommy,
As usual you are so right about the winning attitude. I have been a Dodger fan since birth and watched you guide my beloved team to the mountain top, while I was annoyed that the names were taken off the back of the jerseys I see now that it doesnt matter. The most important one is on the front in blue. I love your blog, and we miss you in the dugout

Tommy,
I am still unclear on the reasoning of paying most of Shawn Greens salary for Arizona, and let him play against us in our own division. We pay, and they get his services. I realize we received young talent etc. etc. But were we really that desperate to move him it had to be in our own division?

Arizona looks to have upgraded overall much more than the Dodgers. Your thoughts?

Steve Riffle

Tommy,
I personally got the exact same quote “they have to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not for the name on the back” from Frank McCort himself at a game. Honestly, I can’t disagree more. By the time a man has reached the status of big league, he outta know the definition of “team work”. This isn’t little league! Those men have worked long and hard at their individual dream of being part of a winnning team. A baseball player KNOWS he is PART of a TEAM, that is the beauty of baseball. Baseball has always been my all time favorite sport and always will be. But I miss seeing the names of my individual heros on their backs….I really do.

Beverly

Upmost Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers on their 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Philles, wishing them the best in their future endeavours.Odalis Perez,you were magnificent!Something very good is happening to this team!You are only 6.5 games out,only 6 in the lost column.Keep believing in yourselves,together as a team,and play like you can,and the true Los Angeles
Dodgers will shine forth!Fantastic throw by Jason Repko to get the runner at

third!All peace and joy to everyone!

Tommy is the best! I too bleed Dodger Blue! Go Tommy! http://iqconstruction.biz

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