The Dodgers season goes up in flames, but we knew this

The Dodgers, as I type, are about to set a dubious mark. Should the current score stand, Los Angeles will be eliminated in the 2016 NLCS in Chicago. In the process, they will have set a record for most consecutive seasons of qualifying for the playoffs without reaching the World Series.

In other words, they’re going nowhere. Even worse, they will continue to go nowhere. Here’s why:

1) The most bloated front office in the history of baseball will continue to purge salary. Closer Kenley Jansen? He’s gone. Analytics experts such as the Dodgers “smart guys” don’t value closers. Jansen, meanwhile, is apparently looking forward to getting paid.

Third baseman Justin Turner is due for a raise. Buh-bye. The “smart guys” resist position players older than 30.

It should be the same for Rich Hill. The feeling here is the smart guys are betting Clayton Kershaw will be backed up by much of what you saw before trading for Hill — Scott Kazmir, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda and whatever noodle-armed injury-prone dreck with a low WHIP they can cull.

You see, analytics drones only think in terms of buying low/selling high. Hill was bought low. He’s in line to get paid. The smart guys will pass.

Matter of fact, the Dodgers have 14 free agents this offseason and the only one that I am confident they will retain is situational relief pitcher Joe Blanton. Maybe they make a run at keeping Josh Reddick, but that’s only if they luck out and find a suitor for Andre Ethier and/or Yasiel Puig.

Hmm… Jansen’s in the game, auditioning for a job next year.

2) Take a peek at the list of MLB free agents next year. The top guys are in their early 30s. The Dodgers will pass.

In their defense, the list is not particularly inviting, either. 

3) Let’s assume something possible: That Urias blossoms quickly into a No.2 behind Kershaw. It might happen. Kid has major capability. And perhaps that stabilizes an utterly chaotic rotation.

Fine… But who hits other than Corey Seager?

The Dodgers reliance on home runs made them one-dimensional. Keep the ball in the yard, and they lose. It’s that simple, because they just can’t hit. Puig was supposed to be a cornerstone with Seager, only the Cuban was sent to the minors this year. Joc Pedersen might follow him with that abyss in his swing.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers ballyhooed farm system is loaded — with pitchers. There are no offensive threats due to arrive next year.

It also is worth noting that the great Adrian Gonzalez — who just filed out in the eighth inning — might be slowing down.

4) The Dodgers are incapable of making impactful moves because, as previously mentioned, they have the most bloated front office in baseball. They have six general managers on the payroll — Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes, Ned Colletti, Alex Anthopoulous and Tommy Lasorda.

How in the hell do you get anything accomplished with such micromanagement?

Earlier, I had mentioned that people obsessed with analytics are into buying low and selling high. It would make sense to have that mentality when you are forced to squeeze what you can out of limited resources.

Only the fatal flaw is this: The Dodgers don’t have limited resources. Because they’re the freaking Dodgers.

That is why the Chicago Cubs, who rebuilt themselves from scratch, have a future and the Dodgers do not. The Cubs did, in fact, take risks this offseason. The Cubs were the ones to sign Jon Lester, whereas the Dodgers let Zack Greinke go. The Cubs remembered offense by signing second baseman Ben Zobrist and outfielder Dexter Fowler. 

The Dodgers? Last offseason with numerous possibilities to improve, they added Trayce Thompson.

Analytics is “a tool” used by the Cubs. Analytics is “the only tool” the Dodgers recognized.

Which means the Cubs played to win. You can’t be mad at them for that.

While the Dodgers merely play to qualify. You should be mad as hell about that.

We’ve seen this act from the Dodgers before

Earlier in the season, when the Dodgers were under threat of getting buried by the San Francisco Giants — L.A. was behind by 7 1/2 games at one point — some dude kept trying to troll. According to him, I should be satisfied that the Dodgers have won the National West Division three years in a row. According to his words, I’m spoiled by success.

At risk of sounding like a brat — I’m not, I’m not, I’m not.

But seriously folks. Sports fans need a quick reminder of what the point is for all those tickets, caps, parking, hot dogs, beer, kids toys, nights in front of the flatscreen while your wife fumes over putting her shows on DVR. You want your team to win the championship, to hoist the trophy, to have that silly parade through your town.

There is no such thing as a division champion, no matter what that T-shirt says. That’s MLBshop.com trying to pull another $25 out of your credit card. Winning the division three consecutive years doesn’t constitute a dynasty.

There is no such thing as a league champ. You win a pennant for winning the league. Your team is not a champion for reaching the World Series.

The only championship comes from winning the World Series. The Dodgers haven’t won it, or for that matter been in one, since 1988.

The Giants have won three championships since the Dodgers last went to the Series. Arizona won one. The Padres and Rockies have been to one since. Only six teams have not reached the World Series since L.A. last went.

The Dodgers get ready for six uncomfortable hours flying across the continent — through that hurricane-generator known as the Gulf of Mexico — for a series in Miami this weekend. They’re in a good place, otherwise. They’re five games up on San Francisco, with a magic number of 19 to qualify for the playoffs. Number crunchers a fivethirtyeight.com estimate the Dodgers have a better than 99 percent chance to reach the playoffs. (Although they are the same guys who give Donald Trump a 20 percent chance to win the presidential election and current polls don’t seem to indicate that to me.)

As to the Dodgers reaching the playoffs, so what? We’ve seen this before.

Can anyone give me a rationale that the Dodgers will win the World Series that doesn’t involve blind hope? From where I see it, the current roster is the weakest of the last four Dodgers seasons. The last three included Zack Grienke, who they let go in a cost-cutting move. This is the year L.A. finally put its foot down on an immature Yasiel Puig, because his production slipped drastically. We still have no idea if Clayton Kershaw can pitch again.

The only position where anyone can argue the Dodgers have upgraded significantly is at shortstop. Corey Seager is that good.

But the way I see the NL West, the Dodgers good fortune stems primarily from a fantastic Giants collapse. San Francisco had the best record in baseball going into the All-Star break. For reasons I do not know, since then the Giants are the worst team in baseball at 16-33.

So you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a tad skeptical about L.A. Oh, I’m watching. I’m even going to Miami to watch the Dodgers play.

But my skepticism will end when the Dodgers finally stop settling for mediocrity and win the World Series.

Then I’ll consider myself spoiled.

Too smart for the room; the fundamental flaw with the Dodgers

Typically on Thursdays, I like to give a roundup of all the Los Angeles pro sports teams to spark chit-chat with my pals back home. After yesterday, though, I can’t contain my disgust with the Dodgers to a tweet.

Yesterday, we learned that starting pitcher Alex Wood needed surgery and was likely done for the season. About an hour later, even worse news: three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw might also need back surgery and if so, is likely done for the year.

If that comes to pass, it is likely the Dodgers themselves are done for the year.

Because don’t let the hype surrounding the alleged “smartest front office in the history of sports” fool you. The rest of the Dodgers are a hapless team. Since much of this team was assembled by a group I have little appreciation for, it is my hope that the owners of the team — who shelled out $2 billion for the franchise in the first place — realize their mistake and cut bait with almost all of the six general managers currently on the payroll.

Let that sink in: the Dodgers have six current and former general managers on the payroll. Your team should only have one with an assistant. Consider your own job. How would you function with six managers and their spreadsheets standing over you with their suggestions on how to increase output?

Is this not a recipe for micromanagement?

As such, it’s become apparent to me that the Dodgers front office, for all of their alleged brain power, are simply too smart for their own good. It’s all theory, no action. It’s trying to talk quantum physics in a game played by cavemen.

It’s all in the abstract, when the reality is the franchise the team hasn’t been to the World Series in 28 years.

This is not an argument in favor of “old school baseball.” There are benefits to what people call analytics. I read “Moneyball” and appreciated it. It can help a cash-strapped team become competitive. Only problem is, the Dodgers are not cash-strapped. When you have money — and with a multi-billion dollar television deal and almost 4 million fans filling the stands every year, they have money — you don’t need to make deals on the cheap.

And yet, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, general manager Farhan Zaidi and Vice President of baseball operations Josh Byrnes did. Because Friedman comes from Tampa Bay, Zaidi from Oakland and Byrnes from San Diego, all franchises with histories of miserly transactions. And I might add, lengthier histories of losing.

To save money, the smart guys let two-time Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke leave the team with the idea of patching together a rotation from cheaper alternatives. They are the ones who chose to pass on other elite free agent starting pitchers such as David Price and Johnny Cueto, the latter signing with the rival Giants, who currently lead the division. Instead, the Dodgers signed starting pitchers Brandon Beachy, Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy. The catch of investing in these cheaper alternatives is they had a lengthy history of injuries.

Surprise, they all spent a lot of time on the disabled list.

They also traded for Wood, who has a painful-to-watch windup that looks like he’s trying to amputate his own throwing arm. He finally succeeded.

The Dodgers are 14-2 in games that Kershaw starts and below .500 in games where he does not. 

Only now Kershaw is gone. Perhaps for the year.

Friedman, by the way, is getting paid. He signed a record $35 million contract and has a potential below .500 record to show for this pointless meddling. 

It’s becoming painfully obvious you can’t teach a cheapskate GM how to act when he finally has a payroll to use. These three pauper GMs, it seems to me, are so bogged down with impressing each other over the most cost-efficient deal that they simply won’t make a championship-winning deal. 

It’s a lesson the franchise should have already learned. The Dodgers tried the “smart guy/value over talent” approach before, heavy on the analytics and not on star power. Paul DePodesta’s creation led to the Dodgers losing 91 games in 2005.

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is Aug. 1. Rumors are swirling of big deals for the Dodgers. I’ll believe it when I see it. The gut feeling is the only way the Dodgers act like the big market team they are is if Magic Johnson storms into Friedman’s office and slaps him silly.

Because the team can’t hit or pitch.

The team doesn’t need any more mental masturbation. The Dodgers need men of action.

Because sports are games of action. And champions are the ones who act.