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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Won't You Go Home, Bill Bergen? Won't You Go Home?
2008-08-04 07:48
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

On the weekend that Manny Ramirez matched Andruw Jones' single-season home run total, Angel Berroa became the dean of 2008 Los Angeles Dodger shortstops. Berroa logged his 283rd inning at short Sunday since the Dodgers acquired him, passing Rafael Furcal.

Berroa has an OPS+ of 38 and an EQA of .170. Jones, who leads the Dodgers' with 477 innings in center, is at 32 and .178. There's still talk outside the Dodger clubhouse of Jones accepting a minor-league assignment; I'll believe it when I see it.

Still, both Berroa and Jones are going to have to work a lot harder (or a lot less hard, I suppose) to become the worst hitter in franchise and major league history. Here are MLB's lowest OPS+ totals since 1901 (miniumum 225 plate appearances).

1) Bill Bergen (1911): -4
2) Bill Bergen (1909): 1
3) Bill Bergen (1910): 6

Brooklyn catcher Bergen played in 947 career games with a career .170 batting average, .194 on-base percentage and .201 slugging percentage. In the deadball era, he was the No. 1 corpse.

Jones does have the lowest OPS+ of the 21st century over a minimum 225 plate appearances, so there's that.

As for Juan Pierre, who told Dylan Hernandez of the Times, "All I've ever done was be Juan Pierre. I don't know why, for some reason, they're just sticking it to me this year," even if we were to evaluate him only against the world of Juan Pierres (as he seems to prefer), he has disappointed. His current OPS+ (68), on-base percentage (.324) and slugging percentage (.316) are all career lows. In his defense, his EQA (.254) has been unexceeded a few times in his career.

But this was Ramirez's weekend. He won't slug 1.154 forever, but I enjoyed it. (And what a weekend it was for the trade: Ramirez, Jason Bay and Andy LaRoche all homered since I was last at the office.)

Update: I was wondering how far down the Worst OPS+ list I'd have to go before I found someone who had a comeback season. Clyde Barnhart (No. 26), who had a 29 OPS+ at age 30 in 1926, zoomed all the way to 112 the following season.

Comments (102)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-04 08:17:47
1.   Jeromy
If you are Either right now, how much patience can you have? He is the best 5th OF in the majors playing behind Jones and Pierre. I'm guessing Torre is earning his salary right now keeping frustrations at a minimum.
2008-08-04 08:22:24
2.   Eric Stephen
Ned Colletti will be on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio) around 8:40am. It shouldn't be a hard-hitting interview.

Last week, Cowherd reacted to the Tex/Kotchman deal saying he was tired of teams coveting prospects. He ranted for the few minutes I listened, ignoring the 1,265 PA Kotchman had as an Angel -- a Major League Angel, by the way -- by calling him a prospect.

2008-08-04 08:22:43
3.   Sharkie
Could this be JP asking for a trade? Or is he just unable to fully articulate his frustration about his decline and seeing the writing on the wall? Or is he just being a "professional"?
2008-08-04 08:26:04
4.   Bumsrap
Berroa, Jones, Pierre, Kent

They belong in the same sentence.

2008-08-04 08:27:36
5.   Sharkie
4 Word!

Is Hu ready?

2008-08-04 08:27:46
6.   D4P
Berroa, Jones, Pierre, Kent

They deserve the same sentence.

2008-08-04 08:31:34
7.   Sushirabbit
Players in decline: Kent, Jones, Ramirez, (Furcal?), Pierre. One of these players is not like the others... (and I'm thinking contracts as opposed to all the other legit differences).

The thing is that management doesn't seem to realize the mistake, and so they just keep getting PVL guys clearly on the decline if not on the risky cusp. Then they don't perform and they are desperate again. I'm OK with Manny, and if he wasn't going to cost so much could see signing him next year and playing Either, Kemp and Abreu/Hu (assuming Furcal's back). But he IS going to cost that much. So I fully expect more desperation this off-season.

2008-08-04 08:32:40
8.   Disabled List
Joe Torre is a worse manager than Grady Little.

There, I said it.

2008-08-04 08:36:44
9.   ishXdavid
Pierre's line of reasoning absolutely kills me. We know Pierre's only being Pierre, and that's the root of the problem. He should've never been signed, and the team's paying for it every day Torre writes his name on the lineup card.
2008-08-04 08:37:03
10.   Gen3Blue
4 If Kemp perhaps doesn't belong in this group it is because he is a great player going through a very normal decline with age, and still has a good stretch now and then.
2008-08-04 08:38:21
11.   Dodger Dawg
I know that juice was involved, but Bonds got better as he got older, and he was still raking at 39.I think Manny can still be good to great in his later years. He is an elite hitter,and they don't come around that often. The Dodgers really need to keep his bat, at least for another couple of years until Kemp becomes a constant power source. As for Pierre, as long as the Dodgers keep winning ,I can handle him, but that said, he still shouldn't be starting over Dre, and would be of best use to this team as a pinch runner. Maybe they're sticking it to Pierre, to quote him, is because they finally realized what a big mistake his signing was in the first place,it's just someone forgot to tell Joe.
2008-08-04 08:38:23
12.   Gen3Blue
8 Don't you fell better--I know I do.
2008-08-04 08:42:33
13.   Eric Stephen
Colletti is on ESPN Radio right now.
2008-08-04 08:45:22
14.   Greg Brock
Colletti and Cowherd ought to be hilarious.
2008-08-04 08:46:50
15.   Eric Stephen
NC: Everyone [in the OF] will get time. Andre Ethier will not be forgotten.

If the trade had happened a few days earlier, we may have had time to solve [the OF] problem.

2008-08-04 08:47:32
16.   ChemicalMachine
I don't mind Pierre's line of reasoning in regards to himself - I don't expect him to think he's not performing. I don't even mind Pierre vocalizing his frustration, rather than issuing a "whatever is good for the team" line. What I mind is that if Andre or any of the other "kids" said the same thing Pierre said, they would be killed by the media. Whereas Pierre will get a free pass. Pierre DOES deserve to have his feelings, but is it too much to ask that team and local media covers all the players equally?
2008-08-04 08:48:13
17.   regfairfield
2 That's probably one situation where the Braves should have actually coveted a prospect.
2008-08-04 08:52:39
18.   Eric Stephen
This is going to come as a shock, but there was nothing much of substance in the Ned/Herd interview.
2008-08-04 08:54:30
19.   regfairfield
15 At least most of our outfield can clear waivers.
2008-08-04 08:54:48
20.   underdog
8 I'd watched more Dodger games live (so far) when Grady was managing than Joe managing, so maybe I'm skewed, but in each of those games Grady did something almost unforgivably stupid. Joe does stupid things when juggling the line-up, but I'd love to see hard evidence that says Grady was a better manager. And I liked the guy! They're all kind of stupid at times, frankly. I'm going to personally want to strangle Joe if he doesn't start giving Ethier more playing time, but on a day to day in-game basis and with his handling of the clubhouse I still rank him ahead of Grady and Tracy, low bar though it may be.

Btw, I love Chad Bills to pieces but he needs to work with a PR person on cutting down his cliches in interviews:

>>"They've got a good lineup," Billingsley said. "They're a tough lineup, they've got a great team over there, they play well, they play hard. They know how to win games, and they battle you. They're going to be a tough team. They're in a race, too. It's going to be a good series, a fun series and a hot series."<< (from MLB.com)

2008-08-04 08:56:04
21.   regfairfield
11 Just remember Barry did this .328/.515/.863 at age 36.
2008-08-04 08:56:29
22.   GoBears
11 ...would be of best use to this team as a pinch runner...

Certainly, that is true. But not many teams (including this one) can afford to waste a roster-spot on a pinch runner.

In Pierre's case, however, he would be a good defensive replacement in LF as well, so you could imagine a few double-switches. And not the worst pinch-hitter - better than Sweeney anyway.

The problem with designating Pierre the official 4th OF/sub extraordinaire is that Torre won't play it that way. He actually seems to believe that the team will score more runs when Pierre starts. Torre's too old and has too many rings in boxes to learn anything new now, so it's up to Colletti or Colletti's successor to find a way to send Pierre packing.

2008-08-04 08:57:13
23.   underdog
20 And with that low bar, I blame Colletti more for whatever's awkward about the team - as far as its construction this year than Torre. The stupid contracts, the baggage, the crowded outfield are all his fault. The handling of that could be better on Torre's part and he does that thing of sometimes favoring worse players which makes no sense, but the buck stops first at NedCo's desk as far as I'm concerned. And then at JoTo's.
2008-08-04 08:57:25
24.   Suffering Bruin
"All I've ever done was be Juan Pierre. I don't know why, for some reason, they're just sticking it to me this year...

Who are they, Juan? Are they TJ Simers? Welcome to the club. Are they the Times? Don't make me laugh--most of them love you except TJ and he hates everybody unless he likes you and how can you tell from one day to the next?

Who are they, Juan? Not Joe Torre, who has given you ample playing time. Not the fans--they've got bigger fish to fry (Hi, Andruw!) and not your teammates.

Who are they?

There is but one conclusion. Juan Pierre reads blogs. I think Juan Pierre reads this blog. I think he's reading right now.

2008-08-04 08:57:46
25.   underdog
Btw Ng as GM and Mattingly as Manager next year would make me happiest. For the record.
2008-08-04 08:59:10
26.   ChemicalMachine
I'm sorry, but how is it "sticking it to" Pierre when we continue to not only start him, but start him in CF - the position he wanted to play in the first place?
2008-08-04 08:59:17
27.   underdog
24 Hi Juan! {waves}

Nothing personal bud, but you make a lot of money and wouldn't it be cool to be a pinch-runner? Gives you more time to start planning your retirement and stuff. Maybe read a book in the dugout.

No?

Well, you stink.

2008-08-04 08:59:38
28.   Eric Stephen
25
Manny as player/manager. We can start printing playoff tickets.
2008-08-04 09:00:08
29.   Suffering Bruin
16 EXACTLY!
2008-08-04 09:00:39
30.   Terry A
Pierre's comments are clearly directed at management/front office. It will be interesting to see how his comments are spun by Colletti/Torre.
2008-08-04 09:00:52
31.   fernst2937
Comparing the numbers this season how does Berroa look compared to Hu (only Hu's Dodger numbers)?
2008-08-04 09:01:16
32.   PalmdaleSteve1
9

".. He should've never been signed, and the team's paying for it every day Torre writes his name on the lineup card."

And how is that JP's fault?

I can see the negations now"

JP's Agent...I'd like to take your $40 Million, but my client is not sure he's worth it. I feel really bad about taking all this money, not to mention my agent's cut.

Clueless Ned... Please, take the money, it's a Mizvah to spend Parking Attendant Frank's money. I need to play with the big boys and therefore I have to spend and spend big.

Is JP's signing DT problem, or is Clueless Ned lacks the sense of a box of rocks?

So is it time for one of those parody videos, you know "Leave JP Alone"...LOL.

2008-08-04 09:01:42
33.   GoBears
20. That's an awesome Chad quote. Straight out of Bull Durham. Stick to the cliches, and never get in trouble. Only curmudgeonly old men can get away with being honest or thoughtful in interviews. Ethier could learn something from Billingsley.
2008-08-04 09:02:46
34.   underdog
16 That's a really good point. I think it's the double standard from mgmt and the press that drives us bonkers. Is there a magic age threshold a player must cross before getting a free pass from the press? Or do they also need a high SCRAP Factor?
2008-08-04 09:03:53
35.   Terry A
I'll not re-post it here (it's a big long), but in the previous thread I attempted a lame FJM'ing of Pierre's quotes.

The guy is remarkably delusional.

2008-08-04 09:03:57
36.   underdog
33 He forgot to end with "Think about that for awhile."
2008-08-04 09:04:20
37.   Terry A
It's a bit long, that is.
2008-08-04 09:07:31
38.   GoBears
35 It was well done. I wasn't sure from the way you introduced it whether those were your own snarks or attributable to that Jill Painter person. If the latter, I was doubly impressed that someone in the MSM would be willing to go so far. Still, it was funny.
2008-08-04 09:08:32
39.   Deuce
In a perfect world...

-The everyday OF would be Manny/Kemp/Ethier
-Pierre would be our LH pinch hitter, with Sweeney being released.
-Hu would replace Berroa until Nomar returns
-Repko would replace Jones on roster as Manny's caddy, with Jones accepting demotion to Vegas until 9/1.
-Ozuna would start at 2B when Lowe pitches

2008-08-04 09:12:29
40.   ToyCannon
24
Juan Pierre wouldn't have time for all his training if he read DT.

Good thing I'm to lazy to write anything because after that crazy weekend I'm not sure where I'd start. Manny going off, Pierre playing the victim, Broxton's sore arm, Manny's hair, Kent/Manny chemistry, Martin/Manny chemistry, A Jones misery, Berroa/Bergen.

I have a feeling the Dodger road rating will rise a bit this week.

2008-08-04 09:14:09
41.   ToyCannon
39
In a perfect world A Jones would become the A Jones of 2006 and we would have the best outfield in baseball.
2008-08-04 09:15:51
42.   Eric Stephen
By the way, the Minnesota Twins are in first place now. Amazing. It would have been interesting if they had kept Johan for one final run at a winnable division, and take the draft picks which are looking better than the package from the Mets.
2008-08-04 09:16:43
43.   The Trolley Dodger
Of interest to DTers, Danica McKellar is guest blogging at Penguin Books this week:

"Danica is taking you back to school on the Penguin blog! Check out Danica's back to school posts, leave a comment for her, and read the 'How to Use This Book' FAQs excerpt from her new book."

http://tinyurl.com/kiss-my-math-danica-mckellar

2008-08-04 09:17:40
44.   D4P
41
In a perfect world, all opposing hitters would strikeout and we wouldn't need an outfield (or an infield). Just a pitcher and catcher, unless we insisted on throwing the ball around the horn after each strikeout.
2008-08-04 09:18:10
45.   regfairfield
Twins overall: .276 average
With RISP: .315

That's playing the game the right way if I've ever seen it.

2008-08-04 09:19:05
46.   Telemachos
44 All Logan White needs to do is draft Sidd Finch then. Easy.
2008-08-04 09:19:59
47.   Gen3Blue
Sorry, way back in 10 meant Kent instead of Kemp. Should be obvious.
2008-08-04 09:20:32
48.   D4P
Should be obvious

Was.

2008-08-04 09:21:36
49.   JoeyP
42--Yep.

Liriano/Santana in the playoffs would be deadly.

I'm not really sure how the Twins have won, but they've got some out of the ordinary pitching performances from some journeymen guys.

Dealing Santana/Garza for mostly non-consequential players and still in 1st place is quite a feat.

2008-08-04 09:23:19
50.   D4P
It would be great if the White Sox didn't make the playoffs.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-04 09:24:05
51.   underdog
46 Or Bugs Bunny.
2008-08-04 09:26:38
52.   Deuces are Wild
Is it too late to add an "opt-out" clause in Pierre's 5 year contract after year 2?
Can we recommend Pierre to Scott Boras? Come to think of it, not even Boras would pick Pierre up, he doesn't want to upset the Teams and prevent future business...
2008-08-04 09:35:56
53.   Eric Stephen
Chris Carpenter makes his 2nd start back from the dead tomorrow against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers.

Carpenter went 4 innings (giving up 1 run in 67 pitches) on Wednesday in Atlanta.

2008-08-04 09:37:35
54.   larry slimfast
Juan Pierre - Clubhouse Cancer.
2008-08-04 09:39:26
55.   cargill06
Since May 25th

Chipper Jones .310/.441/.493
Casey Blake .350/.412/.558

2008-08-04 09:41:30
56.   Terry A
54 - Eh, he's not a cancer. More like a wart. More of an unsightly nuisance than anything. If you can't get rid of it, then just hide it as best you can.
2008-08-04 09:41:52
57.   LAT
32. Halarious. The one word I'm pretty sure has never been used by Torre, Coletti, McCourt or Pierre is "Mizvah."
2008-08-04 09:47:48
58.   underdog
53 Yah, the Dodgers are going to need to work the count as best they can against him since he's still on a strict pitch count. Even rusty, he's still very tough, so the sooner he gets out of the game the better.
2008-08-04 09:49:43
59.   cargill06
55 Since May 25h, A-Rod is the only offensive 3B I found that's been better than Casey.
2008-08-04 09:51:16
60.   JoeyP
Thats somewhat troubling since the inevitable regression to the mean will be sharp.
2008-08-04 09:51:36
61.   Deuce
56 Like in the leadoff spot
2008-08-04 09:51:58
62.   therickdaddy
I'm so sick of reading DT regulars make witty and smart remarks about Juan Pierre. You guys are talented writers. Quit wasting your time on Pierre and move on to something worth reading. Maybe? It's been almost two seasons ...
2008-08-04 09:52:15
63.   Neal Pollack
This weekend was legendary.
Pierre is pathetic.
That is all.
2008-08-04 09:52:25
64.   larry slimfast
56 I will accept nothing less than cancer... stage IV, 2 months to live, scary as heck, runaway train, write your will as fast as you can, no biopsy necessary, cancer. He needs to be removed before he does any more damage than he already has to the payroll, line-up and Andre Ethier's self esteem.

Release his whiny butt right now if you know what's good for you, Mr. McCourt.

2008-08-04 09:52:49
65.   regfairfield
60 Just because a coin comes up heads 10 times in a row doesn't mean it's going to come up tails next.
2008-08-04 09:53:09
66.   KG16
20 - sounds like Chad has been watching Bull Durham.
2008-08-04 09:53:45
67.   gibsonhobbs88
Really enjoyed the weekend! Attended the 80's luncheon, the food and Q&A session with the players was special. I brought up the first question to Fernando as to what he was thinking or going through in Game 3 of the 81 World Series? I was at that WS game as well. I was near the podium when Gibson made his surprise appearance at the luncheon. The first half of the 80's luncheon was very well run.

The only disappointment is that the autograph portion wasn't handled as well. They should have informed the people that Fernando wasn't signing. I'm not sure why as he works right down the hall as a broadcaster and I'm sure most of the people there wanted to get his autograph. I already had most of the other players signatures from the 70's luncheon, and was looking mainly to acquire Welch's, Sax & Fernando's as the crown jewels from the 80's. Since we paid $75 apiece, I would think that Sax and Fernando could stay and sign for awhile. Also one big line to wait in was highly inefficient. The 70's luncheon where you can choose the table that had 2-3 players per table was to me much more organized and efficent. Gibson at least left the fans at the luncheon signed postcard size photos, that was nice. Why couldn't Fernando and Sax have done the same if they couldn't stay to sign? Just asking?

Welch was pleasant and personable though I didn't realize how old looking. If that is the effect years of alcoholism have, that is a lesson learned right there. Welch remembered speaking at CSUN in the 80's when I was in college on the dangers of alcoholism and his story.

To BHsportsguy, I read in a previous thread, you were there also, I will need to introduce myself at the DT picnic on the 16th.

Enjoyed being at the game for Manny's first HR in LA Blue. What a moon shot. Sure Manny, you just hit line drives, some of them just happen to land in the bleachers is all. LOL!!

2008-08-04 09:55:27
68.   KG16
62 - on behalf of the other regulars, thank you. but Juan Pierre is our white whale.
2008-08-04 09:56:55
69.   dianagramr
64

Could we not make light of cancer to that extent?

"Clubhouse cancer" was sufficient enough.

2008-08-04 09:57:43
70.   Louis in SF
Watched the game late last night and Manny is definitely something. I believe Vin was right when he sad there hasn't been an import bat like this for the Dodgers ever. Shefield as great a hitter as he was never bonded with LA fans and hit like Manny has. Hopefully it all continues.

The next two weeks are going to be real interesting and I probably like many on this site fear some serious mistakes coming. As great as it would be to send Jones to the minors for the month, Torre's comments yesterday seem to indicate that Jones is here to stay. There is too much invested in Donnie Baseball and the second hitting coach all are at the major league level. But in addition to that everyone's favorite Scott Proctor is about ready to come off the DL, Penny and Nomar as well and DY should. That is four players, and I don't see them DFAing Sweeney, who has a left hander with less power and pop than Ethier now definitely has no place on the squad. Ethier can do many more things than Sweeney, and Young is the right handed bat off the bench.

The best solution is to trade JP and or Jones for some decent prospects and the Dodgers eating part of the contracts. I doubt this will happen, but I can only hope.

2008-08-04 09:59:04
71.   Jon Weisman
It all comes back to the fact that if someone else has made the point you were going to make, then you don't need to make it.
2008-08-04 10:00:00
72.   regfairfield
Sheffield's first 13 PA as a Dodger: .500/.615/.500. Not quite Manny, but he got himself off to a pretty since start too.
2008-08-04 10:00:27
73.   JoeyP
65--> But Casey Blake's OPS chances are much more than 50/50.

If his current OPS+ is 121, and his career OPS+ is that of 106, there's likely going to be a rather large regression to Blake's mean.

2008-08-04 10:01:12
74.   dianagramr
Speaking of Donnie Baseball, I was at Yankees Old Timers Day on Saturday, and was disappointed Mattingly couldn't make it.

I could understand Torre not being invited / not wanting to / not being able to attend, but I had hoped to see Donnie.

2008-08-04 10:01:20
75.   GoBears
47. It's OK. I made the opposite brain-fart yesterday, so the universe is back in balance.
2008-08-04 10:02:09
76.   Eric Stephen
62
I agree with the spirit of your comment, but at the very least Pierre is a newsworthy topic today because of his comments in the coverage of them in the LA Times.

Speaking only for myself, what I find frustrating about the Pierre situation is that Pierre is held to a different standard by management and media alike, than say Andre Ethier. The comments by Pierre ("they're just sticking it to me") were troubling, but on their face the comments aren't that bad. What's troubling to me is the tone of Dylan Hernandez's story.

The Dodgers' trade for Manny Ramirez last week forced Pierre to change positions. Again.

And the fleet-footed leadoff hitter is facing the threat of being sent to the bench. Again.

Hernandez frames the story as these things happening to poor Pierre, but doesn't give the same coverage to the benching of Andre Ethier.

2008-08-04 10:03:08
77.   larry slimfast
69 i apologize if i took it too far for some. i was making light of "clubhouse cancer" if it's any consolation. i do understand when to take it seriously. my brother survived non-hodgkins lymphoma.
2008-08-04 10:04:21
78.   Sushirabbit
Maybe Pierre heard from his agent that Pierre was on the block for a signed picture of Theo and a couple of PTBNL.
2008-08-04 10:05:02
79.   schoffle
65

Reg, do you not give much credence to the concept of regression to the mean? Do you believe the Casey is likely to continue hitting as well as he been since 5/25? What does his BAPIP suggest?

Sorry about all the questions I just don't know what to make of the guy as I do not follow any AL teams or players.

2008-08-04 10:05:04
80.   Terry A
Portraits to be named later?
2008-08-04 10:07:31
81.   Eric Stephen
79
If I may speak for reg (and horribly misconstrue his point), what he is saying is essentially this:

Player A is a .800 OPS hitter normally

If he is currently at .900, he will not hit .700 going forward (to get his seasonal OPS down to .800), but rather will likely hit .800 going forward because that is his true ability.

2008-08-04 10:10:43
82.   therickdaddy
76 - I totally support your kind of post. And I echo the frustration, believe me. What I can't understand is how so many of the guys that are writing in publications seem to be the 20% of people that think Pierre is a better option than Ethier. You'd think someone, somewhere, would use their pulpit to preach on the benefits of Ethier. I thank Jon for his fight but I'm afraid more Dodger fans read the LAT than DT.

Thanks to those regulars out there that are still able to take the high road and continue making this place a great place to visit.

2008-08-04 10:12:50
83.   Bob Timmermann
82
I think the vast majority of fans don't read anybody's opinions.

They just make up opinions based on what others tell them. There isn't a critical mass of people to tell people to think differently.

2008-08-04 10:14:03
84.   Tripon
Heyman says that McCourt was the driving force behind the Manny trade. So that's Tim Brown, Heyman, and Bob Nightengale doing an interview on KLAC.

Only three teams wanted [Manny], and as it turns out only one of those three was willing to return enough to Boston to make it work. It didn't hurt that the one team happy to do the deal was run by a Bostonian, Frank McCourt, who makes it a hobby to collect ex-Red Sox players for his Dodgers. Sources say McCourt was extremely involved in this trade, and that he in fact was the driving force behind it, no surprise since he previously added ex-Red Sox Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, Bill Mueller and Grady Little.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/08/04/heyman.mannytrade/

2008-08-04 10:15:16
85.   schoffle
81

Eric I understand the odds involved in flipping a coin. I just don't apply the same reasoning to baseball players as most .800 hitters get there by alternating streaks of .900 and .700

2008-08-04 10:16:03
86.   GoBears
Regression to the mean should really be called Regression Toward the mean. Yes, in a decent sample of PAs, we should expect Blake's performance to be closer to his mean, established level of performance than to his anomalously high season performance to date.

But there's no guarantee that he won't keep it up, or that even if he does slow down, his season numbers will end up right at his career numbers. He could just have an anomalously good season (just like Jones is having an anomalously horrid one).

All reg was saying is that 10 heads in a row (if we stipulate a fair coin) doesn't mean the coin is "due" for a tails. Over 1000 flips, our best expectation is 500-500, but 10 heads in a row doesn't raise the probability of a tails on the 11th flip. It could take a while for the H and T to even out, and 1000 flips might not even do it. Indeed, with 10 Heads and 990 flips to go, our best guess should now be 10H +495/495, so a total of 505H and 495T. The early anomaly was unlikely, but it DID happen, and those flips (or PAs), while not predictive, do count in the final averages.

2008-08-04 10:16:26
87.   Bob Timmermann
I think we should all remember the greatest leftfielder in Dodgers history:
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics33/00051309.jpg
2008-08-04 10:17:15
88.   larry slimfast
better to add former red-sox than former royals is what i always say.
2008-08-04 10:17:50
89.   Eric Stephen
87
The oringinal O-Dog!
2008-08-04 10:19:28
90.   Disabled List
82 Lots of writers, mostly online, have taken the Dodgers to task first for signing Pierre, and then playing him regularly instead of Kemp and Ethier. Many of these writers noted that the Manny trade could be optimized for the Dodgers only if he replaced Pierre in the OF, and not Ethier. The more that people in the new media shout about it, the more likely it is to break the "conventional wisdom" held by the traditional media, and will trickle down to the regular fans.

Whether it ever trickles down into the Dodger FO or dugout, however, is another matter.

2008-08-04 10:20:50
91.   GoBears
Heyman says that McCourt was the driving force behind the Manny trade. So that's Tim Brown, Heyman, and Bob Nightengale doing an interview on KLAC.

But we have no idea if these 3 have sources that are independent of one another. Heyman's sources could be Brown and Nightengale, or the same guys who informed B and N.

This happens a lot. One guy reports (or invents) something. Others repeat it, and magically become "confirmations" of the original report/invention. Then ESPN starts talking about how the media is covering the event, as if that's not navel-gazing.

I love it when ESPN starts getting on the high horse about how the sports media is overdoing something (like the Favre thing). And they repeat that meta-coverage about the reportage 24 times per day.

This is what you can get away with if you wear a suit while discussing sports.

2008-08-04 10:21:26
92.   larry slimfast
scoop!
2008-08-04 10:25:49
93.   Eric Stephen
By the way, nice title today, Jon. I would love to read a biography about Bill Bergen.

I wonder if Bergen ever told anyone, "All I ever wanted was to walk down the street, for someone to say 'There goes the worst hitter that ever lived'."

2008-08-04 10:29:17
94.   GoBears
I understand the odds involved in flipping a coin. I just don't apply the same reasoning to baseball players as most .800 hitters get there by alternating streaks of .900 and .700

What constitutes a streak? If you were to break a season into 6 months, I bet you wouldn't find too many players (some, but not too many) who swing wildly b/w .900 and .700. You'd find fluctuation, but it wouldn't be that extreme, or that regular.

OTOH, if you mine the data, and look at 10 games, followed by 30 games, followed by 21 games, followed by 9 games, or somesuch you could probably "find" a streaky pattern. But that would be sophistry.

If you're saying that day-to-day baseball performance, around an baseline level of ability, is not random like a coin flip is, then I'm sure you're right. Matchups, good/bad habits, health, quality of pitcher, goofy coaching mandates, and so on all matter. Using historical performance to predict future performance basically assumes that all of those things average out over large enough sample sizes.

2008-08-04 10:30:22
95.   Eric Stephen
When I was a kid, for some reason I would always get Bill Madlock and Al Oliver confused. I remembered Madlock more clearly once he became a Dodger and the 3-time batting champ hit .360 down the stretch in 1985, and walloped 3 HR in the NLCS.

Madlock's triumphant return to LA in 1987 did not go as well.

2008-08-04 10:33:21
96.   cloakedarbiter
87 This guy was pretty good too. http://tinyurl.com/6gvdcc
2008-08-04 10:40:59
97.   Ian Capilouto
62 I completely agree with you. The Dodgers are headed into the stretch run with a shot at the playoffs and people just can't help but write tiresome comments about JP. I wouldn't want to be in a work environment with anyone who all they do is bad mouth others with snide remarks, JP and DT posters alike.
The Dodgers have some real concerns to be discussed like is their starting pitching up to par with Arizona's? And the fact that they have some tough games ahead while the Diamondbacks have a more forgiving schedule. Should the Dodgers try for Maddux? At least if he gets beat, it's because he got hit rather than a Jason Johnson who is constantly behind in the count. Look, Ethier playing over Pierre is significant too, but I just think this stretch run all starts with starting pitching. Is Kershaw going to struggle at such a young age, or is he going to build on his last outing and really have some inspiring starts? Oy vey.
2008-08-04 10:41:56
98.   underdog
83 I agree with Bob!
2008-08-04 10:42:17
99.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-08-04 10:55:04
100.   schoffle
94

Yes I see where defining what constitutes a streak to be problematic, but I would expect that the .700 and .900 swings to be the norm. Here is Casey's last 6 months:

Aug 07 .637
Sept 07 .821
April 08 .665
May 08 .691
June 08 .955
July 08 .994

Heck the swings are more extreme than .700 and .900 and yes that pattern continued beyond the 6 month period and I believe that it is quite normal. Not to mention that with a better definition of streak (considering that all I used here was a calender month) I this could be much more extreme. Anyway that is why I asked about BAPIP data or something to suggest that Casey may have become a better hitter.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-04 10:57:22
101.   Sharkie
97 People talk about JP because he represents the main hot-button issues regarding this team. It's not just talk about JP the person/player. JP, in all its forms, tells you about how Colletti thinks, Torre thinks, some of the LATimes writers, how people misuse one stat (batting average) as a way to evaluate a player, how these same people complain about the use of stats (while using them in the same breath in a biased fashion).... JP topics are a microcosm of the big baseball topics.

That said, I understand your point about it getting tiresome. While it is understandable, on the brighter side I think more people are being educated via these discussions. So perhaps in the long run, there will be fewer JP debacles made by the F.O. and the media. What worries me is that it is going to take another generation.

2008-08-04 19:37:05
102.   MikeLumHarris
96. Except he never played for the Dodgers. He was a coach.

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