Dodgers 2013 NLDS player panic ratings: Who are Dodger fans most likely to meltdown about?

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The idea for player panic ratings has been stewing in my head since the last playoff appearance for the Dodgers, because while fans go nuts at players during the regular season, they absolutely lose sanity during the postseason. I understand that, because there’s more at stake, but sane people let it go after they calm down, while insane people let it dictate their perception of the player forever.

The creation of the player panic ratings was inspired by those insane people. It was made to speculate on which players Dodger fans will overreact to for the rest of their lives.

Remember, sample size is for nerds, so who lacks the guts, heart, and grit to execute that one pitch or one play?! Who will have their career defined by a three to five game sample?! Let’s be honest, it’s more thrilling than the games at times.

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Yasiel Puig is already under the microscope, so anything he does will be magnified. And if he does something dumb (and he’s likely to), it’ll be portrayed as the worst thing in history. Chances of something he does that costs a run being overblown in lieu of other major problems with the team performance is like 99%. If he contributes to a Game 1 loss, look for some to call for his benching. Not even joking. Idiots will SHINE in the commentary regarding him.

Kenley Jansen is the closer. He’s very good. If he blows one important save in the series, he will be forever vilified. Like for the rest of his career, Dodger fans will call him a choker. Every closer besides Mariano Rivera is at least a 9 on the fan freakout scale, because people cannot accept that closers have ERAs of more than 0.

Zack Greinke has a mental disorder. People around the world are ignorant assholes about the perspectives of people with mental disorders. Thus, if he doesn’t have a great series, it will be because of his mental disorder, guaranteed.

Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, but as my Rangers blogger friends know in regards to their Yu Darvish debates, Kershaw will have to be flawless in the postseason to keep his reputation or people will start down some inane “he can’t win the big ones” argument. This will make me mad on Twitter. Wait for it.

Brian Wilson is likely the setup man going into the NLDS, and he’s under just as much pressure as the closer in many respects. He’s also an attention grabber/seeker, but I think his known persona and veteran status would actually help more than a guy like Jansen, who fans are just itching to call a choker.

Hanley Ramirez is the biggest impact bat in the series, so if he doesn’t perform then he’s ‘A CHOKER’ and ‘NOT READY FOR THE BIG STAGE’. However, I haven’t seen people hand-wringing about him all that much no matter what dumb stuff he does, so he should get a break if he’s not atrocious.

Ricky Nolasco is only here because fans are already on the edge of the cliff with him. One bad outing and the true venting will start.

Juan Uribe is this low because I think his low expectations would actually give him a bit of a pass. Hard to rip a guy for being shitty when 99% of the fans wanted him released two years ago, you know?

Adrian Gonzalez is close to bulletproof, I think. He actually hasn’t been amazing this year, but he’s been healthy and consistent, and he’s a quiet leader and fan favorite. It’s rare that I find anything critical being said about him besides jokes about his speed.

Michael Young. Once again, I bring up the fact that Rick Sutcliffe justified the Dodgers’ pool party solely on the basis that Young was out there with the team. If Young says that Puig is the best teammate ever and gets people to believe that because of his word, this trade will be worth it no matter what he does … and I’m only half-joking. Surprised he could enter the pool considering he walks on water.

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Don Mattingly is not a player but he has to be mentioned, right? Well that’s an obvious 10.

I’d say every manager is a 10 on this scale, but Mattingly will be especially scrutinized because of his inexperience and contract status and what not. Like 90% of the fanbase wanted him fired in May, and if he does something incredibly dumb (which WILL happen) and the Dodgers lose the series, he will be the scapegoat for many.

Let’s be honest, though. If you aren’t expecting confusing double switches, bunting with RISP, and odd pitching changes at this point, you’re just deluded. His value, IMO, is that he keeps the clubhouse for exploding, which is no small feat.

Now go panic your way into an institution.

About Chad Moriyama

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