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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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High Horses Wouldn't Drag Me Away
2008-08-14 10:49
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

From the Apocalypse Now Dept.: I do not accept Jayson Stark's premise on ESPN.com that Manny Ramirez is going to create a new class of baseball malingerers. (Commenter BHSportsguy provided the link.)

If Manny Ramirez wanders into the free-agent market this winter and gets anything close to the four years and $100 million he believes he'll get, think about the message that would send, the precedent that would set.

It would, in effect, be an open invitation to every selfish superstar in baseball to pull a Manny. Act up. Stop hustling. Stop trying. Refuse to play. Make up an injury. Whatever you have to do to get back out there on the free-agent market. It's all worth it.

Why not? If bad behavior winds up delivering a $100 million reward for Manny Ramirez, why wouldn't two or three, or 50 or 100, other great players think, "Heck, it worked for him. Why not me?"

Fifty or 100? Could this be more alarmist?

Ramirez is an individual who takes existing modes to extremes. He is not inventing the wheel of misfortune or misdeeds. After the season, the Dodgers and other teams will weigh the pros and cons of signing him to an expensive contract, just as they did with Andruw Jones, Kevin Brown, Darryl Strawberry and countless other players whose personalities affect their performance, simultaneously for better and for worse.

Boston had ample time to take a stand with Ramirez, to look at the big picture, and chose not to. I'm not judging them for it. And the thing is, Stark doesn't appear to be judging them for it. Rather, he appears to be judging Dodger fans for taking advantage of a situation they had nothing to do with making.

Life sure is beautiful these days on Planet Manny. Uhhh, a little too beautiful.

Hey, we couldn't be happier for those Los Angeles Dodgers, who are selling about 30,000 tickets a day now that they've moved their home games to Planet Manny. But we'd like to ask one little question of all those people in L.A. who are showering their man Manny Ramirez with so much love:

For a man who decided his personal net worth was more important than an entire franchise and all the people who played with him, covered for him, depended on him?

Sheez. How sad is that?

"It really bothers me," one GM said this week of the Manny-mania lovefest that has unfolded in L.A. "What he did in Boston was criminal. Now he goes there, and everything's OK? No, sir. It doesn't change the fact that how he got there was criminal."

If Ramirez goes south on the Dodgers this season or in any potential future seasons, believe me, we'll suffer the consequences. But for Stark or these anonymous GMs to suggest that Dodger fans should turn their nose at a player whose misbehavior went 99 percent unpunished by his previous franchise, a player whose behavior was hardly less contemptible than the sad sack of preparation that Andruw Jones was this season, that's a bit rich. If the Dodgers cut Jones tonight and he hit 10 home runs for the Red Sox in September (yes, it's just a hypothetical), would Fenway's fans stay silent?

Someday, Ramirez might be the Dodgers' problem. Right now, though, he's their solution - thank you very much. I'll be on my feet with every hit.

Comments (169)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-14 11:21:44
1.   D4P
This is kinda what I was getting at yesterday. Manny appears to be a player who allocates virtually all of whatever level of effort he puts forth into offense, and virtually none into defense.

And since he's so good on offense, he has been rewarded with huge contracts, despite his unwillingness/inability to play defense.

As I alluded to yesterday, it makes me wonder if it's in the financial interest of at least some other players to consider the same approach.

2008-08-14 11:22:00
2.   Tripon
Only one thing to say. J.D. Drew.
2008-08-14 11:22:32
3.   bhsportsguy
Nicely done Jon.

Actually, Gammons on Steiner's show was summed up the whole Manny experience by saying that he was exactly what the Dodgers needed. He also gave a lot praise to Kemp and Loney. Gammons said that what happened in Boston is past history and the Red Sox have moved on.

2008-08-14 11:23:33
4.   MC Safety
Anyone called the Wahmbulance yet?
2008-08-14 11:23:46
5.   Jon Weisman
154 and 165 in the last thread were deleted per rule 1.
2008-08-14 11:24:17
6.   UVaDodger
0 Nice post. That's how I felt reading that article. Is there anything crazier than asking fans to not root for the stars on their favorite team, just because his former team's fans don't like him?
2008-08-14 11:25:31
7.   JJ42
87 from the last thread re: Ethier and Mattingly. Ethier seems to actively seek and take hitting advice from the coaches. In Spring Training, he was working with Mattingly, Mota, and Easler after every game. On the games he hasn't started this year, you'll often see him standing next to Mattingly in the dugout. I think he's the type of player who really benefits from mentorship and is able to reflect it in his game.
2008-08-14 11:26:54
9.   dianagramr
Does Gary Sheffield's current tiff with his employers fall under the same "Manny-esque" filter?

Sheff is whining about playing time and platoons, but his performance doesn't merit additional playing time. Is he now a malingerer, or just a distraction?

2008-08-14 11:27:01
10.   FirstMohican
From the article: "He wouldn't play for me," the exec said. "I'll tell you that. I might cost my team a chance to go to the World Series. But we work too hard to put a team together to take on a guy like that.

Whaaa?? Seriously? Glad he's not a Dodgers exec.

2008-08-14 11:27:08
11.   Tripon
6 Its not even their former teams fans. Its that the former team's front office who has to do damage control. Why the heck should I care if the Red Sox front office decided to trade away Manny. Its not like he's Zach Randolph or Stephon Marbury, Manny can actually play the game and was fairly happy in Boston for most of the time. Why should we dwell on the times where he wasn't unhappy?
2008-08-14 11:30:26
12.   Zak
10 "we work too hard to put a team together to take on a guy like that"

Luckily, the team we put together also does not mind not going to the World Series. This reeks of Ed Wade.

2008-08-14 11:30:48
13.   Daniel Zappala
This strikes me very much as a case of loving him when he's yours, hating him when he's not.
2008-08-14 11:31:49
14.   UVaDodger
13 Manny being Kobe
2008-08-14 11:31:58
15.   El Lay Dave
10 Isn't managing the personalities part of the GM's job? Sure, everything else being equal, take the lesser headache, but few hitters are Manny's equal.
2008-08-14 11:32:21
16.   Jon Weisman
8 - edited

8. Zak
Darn Jon! That was what I was trying to say. :) I wasn't going to, but since this thread is about it, I'll repost from last thread here.

Jayson Stark is a moron. I knew that and this article proves it. First, it is disingenuous of him to write this article without mentioning that the Red Sox were participants in the whole JD Drew opting out of his contract with LA fiasco, one day after saying he would not be opting out. I had no problem with Drew opting out, just like I have no problem with Manny leaving Boston. The Red Sox have run their own stars out of town and now that the tables have turned, they are crying foul.

But that's not the point. The article starts off by chastizing Dodgers fans for rooting for Manny. Are you kidding? Dodgers fans are not supposed to root for a guy who is OPSing 1.350? We should show restaint because you and five dentists think that Manny was bad and should be only given year-to-year deals? Seriously?!

And enough with the using unnamed GMs. How do I know you are not just talking to wooden soldiers from your toy box? I can understand using one unnamed source to enhance a point you have coherently made. But an entire article resting on what these five GMs think but are too afraid to attach their name to it? Come on! Who are these GMs? Boston? Arizona? Pittsburgh? That's a lot of grumbling, man.

Anyway, that's enough of my rant. Maybe.

2008-08-14 11:32:23
17.   Bob Timmermann
Darryl Strawberry as a Met - YEA! We won the World Series!

Darryl Strawberry as a Dodger - BOO! He's a drug addict. Just like he was with the Mets, but our team stinks. BOO!

Darryl Strawberry as a Yankee (skipping one team) - He's made a heroic comeback and we won the World Series! YEA! What? You mean he's still an addict? But we still won the World Series right? OK, YEA!

2008-08-14 11:33:21
18.   Zak
Oops. Sorry Jon.
2008-08-14 11:34:29
19.   Zak
16 You may actually find it hard to believe, but I was actively trying to restrain myself while letting off steam. That article really bothered me.
2008-08-14 11:35:23
20.   ImprobableImpossible
Stark, Gammons and hundreds of other local and national baseball writers stood silently through decades in which performance enhancing drugs permanently altered the game's history.

Now Stark wants to lecture us about what damage we're doing to the game by cheering for Manny Ramirez.

Please ESPN. Get a grip. Get a mirror. Get a clue.

Go Manny! Go Dodgers!

2008-08-14 11:35:37
21.   Daniel Zappala
14 Manny being Kobe is exactly right. Does LA ever get to have a superstar who is loved universally like Jordan?
2008-08-14 11:36:13
22.   Bob Timmermann
As I have said many times, trying to use professional sports to find some sort of moral high ground is a fruitless endeavor.

You can't do it with college sports.

You can't do it with high school sports.

Maybe you can for the really young AYSO matches where they officially don't keep score.

2008-08-14 11:36:31
23.   McNulty
What was the reason for the rift between Manny and the Red Sox? Is it because Manny wanted to get his player options dropped because he didn't feel appreciated anymore? I don't see how this will affect which ever team that signs him, he's not going to sign any contract with options anymore, so he's just gonna play through the contract.
2008-08-14 11:36:42
24.   Daniel Zappala
I wonder how big the ESPN backlash is these days, country-wide. It seems pretty strong here on DT. I want a state-by-state poll!
2008-08-14 11:37:41
25.   Jon Weisman
19 - I understand.
2008-08-14 11:38:02
26.   bhsportsguy
21 Magic and Gretzky were as close as you get.

And Kings fans loved to boo Gretzky before he was dealt to the Kings.

2008-08-14 11:38:30
27.   Daniel Zappala
22 My fifth-grader got pushed down by a bully, but he scored a goal on him the next day. Moral high ground in your face!
2008-08-14 11:38:57
28.   UVaDodger
21 If the rest of the country loved us we wouldn't be LA any more.
2008-08-14 11:39:44
29.   Daniel Zappala
26 Magic had that whole AIDS thing that made him less-than-loved. Gretzky is probably the most revered I can remember -- I didn't know he was booed prior to coming to LA!
2008-08-14 11:40:54
30.   whodat807
1 If that approach leads to developing into one of the best right handed hitters of all time, then yes, I'd agree, it'd be smart for many players to adopt that approach. But I don't think many players could hit on the level that Manny's hit in his career, no matter how much they dog it on defense.
2008-08-14 11:40:58
31.   bhsportsguy
22 Once I saw coaches wanting to review tapes of 10 year olds' basketball games to prepare for the next game in a tournament, I felt all was lost.
2008-08-14 11:42:42
32.   D4P
I don't think many players could hit on the level that Manny's hit in his career, no matter how much they dog it on defense

I agree, but it makes you wonder: how much better offensively could a player be on average if he approached defense the way Manny does?

2008-08-14 11:44:02
33.   bhsportsguy
29 Although, its fair to say that post-NBA, Magic Johnson has done more for inner city economic development than any prominent athlete I can think of.

Also, AIDs is not the first thing I ever think of when I see Magic anymore.

2008-08-14 11:44:12
34.   MC Safety
Oh, yeah. I went to Philippe's yesterday before the game! I had the beef, girlfriend had the turkey, and we shared some macaroni salad and cheesecake. Wasn't too keen on the relish thing going on in the macaroni salad, but everything else was top notch. Perfect portions as well. And you can't beat a 60 cent iced tea! That could easily become a ritual.
2008-08-14 11:44:44
35.   Bob Timmermann
A kid I estimated to be about 5 or 6 was sitting behind me and he was talking to his mom about the game.

At one point, the mom was telling her son that there were two countries that had big professional leagues and liked baseball: the US and Japan.

The kid asked, "You left out New York, Mom!"
Mom, "But New York is part of the United States."
Kid, "No, it's not!"

He could be a future DT commenter because when he read on the scoreboard that Jayson Werth used to be on the Dodgers, he said, almost to the point of tears, "Why is he a Phillie? Why is he a Phillie? Why is he a Phillie?"

I didn't think he was old enough to learn about being a nontendered free agent.

2008-08-14 11:46:13
36.   bhsportsguy
32 So Vlad Guerrero would fit in this category too, how about Adam Dunn?

I think outside of Yaz and probably Greenwell, the string of Boston leftfielders from Williams to Ramirez, were not known for how they played the ball off the Green Monster but how many times they hit the ball over that wall.

2008-08-14 11:46:21
37.   Schteeve
Jayson Stark is a nitwit of the highest order.
2008-08-14 11:46:50
38.   Daniel Zappala
33 Oh, I absolutely agree, and I hold Magic in high regard -- I was thinking more of how the world outside of LA perceived him at the time.
2008-08-14 11:47:18
39.   D4P
36
I had thought of Dunn, but I don't know (maybe someone else does) whether he dogs it on defense or whether he just sucks.
2008-08-14 11:47:20
40.   natepurcell
Gammons is throwing love at Kemp right now

What did he say about Kemp?

2008-08-14 11:47:41
41.   dzzrtRatt
Since the Pedro Martinez/Grady Little fiasco, the baseball media core belief seems to be, what's good for the Red Sox is good for baseball, and what's bad for the Red Sox is bad for baseball.

Red Sox Nation combines the worst of both worlds: The Yankees' sense of entitlement with the Cubs' sense of endless grievance. Curt Schilling is the exemplar of the current Red Sox' attitude, and he is even playing. But according to Stark, Dodger fans should follow Curt's lead and be annoyed with Manny on principle.

Has anyone compiled a list of the awful things he did, and whether they outweigh his contributions to two championships and countless playoff appearances? Every article I read about his last half-year with the Sox conveys a lot through innuendo and little in the way of facts except for a couple of odd incidents involving a bathroom, the scoreboard and a cell phone. His numbers don't suggest he was giving the Sox less than their money's worth, do they? Apparently his pissed off his teammates (although leaked stories out of Boston tend to be exaggerated.) Is this so extraordinary?

If Stark manages to lower the price for Manny, however, then he can keep writing. I'd love it if we had the opportunity to sign Manny for two years/$20 mil.

2008-08-14 11:48:10
42.   Ken Noe
ESPN: Boston's other in-house Red Sox network.
2008-08-14 11:48:43
43.   Disabled List
Red Sox fans loved Manny Ramirez when he was helping Boston win games. Then he quit on the team, and now they hate him.

Dodger fans loved J.D. Drew when he was helping L.A. win games. Then he quit on the team, and now they hate him.

This is news because.... ?

2008-08-14 11:49:06
44.   Bob Timmermann
29
Gretzky was definitely booed when he was an Oiler. The Kings upset of the Oilers in 1982 was pretty raucous.

I think the fact that a 24-41-13 team beat a 48-17-15 team in the playoffs would rankle some people here.

2008-08-14 11:49:38
45.   dzzrtRatt
41 Curt Schilling isn't even playing, is what I meant.
2008-08-14 11:50:11
46.   bhsportsguy
Kobe Bryant is the only player in LA sports history that I can think of where there has ever been such a difference in how fans in LA regard him (and even those in LA are split) and those outside LA regard him.

And yet he is among the leaders in jerseys sold every year.

2008-08-14 11:50:12
47.   whodat807
29 Did Magic having AIDS really make him less than loved? I was under the impression that it shocked and saddened by his announcement, and that it didn't engender any ill will towards him.

Now the Magic Hour, that's a different matter.

2008-08-14 11:51:12
48.   Disabled List
41 Red Sox Nation combines the worst of both worlds: The Yankees' sense of entitlement with the Cubs' sense of endless grievance.

Well said. And absolutely true.

2008-08-14 11:51:14
49.   Marty
Magic wasn't too loved when he got rid of Westhead.
2008-08-14 11:51:58
50.   BlueMamma
Criminal? Puh-leeease. Wow. Are there 50 or 100 players who are good enough that dogging it won't hurt their chances more than it will help?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-14 11:53:01
51.   MC Safety
43 This is news because...ESPN says it's news.
2008-08-14 11:53:06
52.   El Lay Dave
Another beaut in this article:
"It makes me less interested," one NL executive said. "Not that I'd have been interested in the first place. He's going to turn it on to get a contract. But once you give him that contract, he's going to turn it off. And then all you've got is a headache every other week."
Seriously, Manny Ramirez's track record before this season is irrelevant? Didn't he get to Boston by signing a huge contract of a minimum of 8yrs/$160M? Did he dog it then?

Further down, on a different topic:
But officials of two other teams say there's "no way" [the Reds] would've offered Dunn arbitration. "There's a guy who, if you offer him arbitration, there's too good a chance he's going to take you up on it," one said.
Gee, then your stuck for one year of a league-leading HR hitter. And wouldn't Dunn take arbitration only if he didn't think there was a good deal out there for him?

2008-08-14 11:54:38
53.   KG16
14 - or Manny being Shaq.

28 - agreed.

32 - I don't think Manny is actually all that bad defensively. Granted this comes from Kevin Kennedy, who once apparently managed the Red Sox while Manny was there (I mean, who knew?), Manny apparently spent a lot of time learning how to play balls off the green monster. The guy doesn't make a ton of diving catches, but that doesn't mean he's not great on defense; it just means he knows his limitations and makes the decision to let a ball drop for a base hit rather than risk diving and have a runner on second or third.

2008-08-14 11:55:27
54.   bhsportsguy
40 Nate drops in on day 9 of his corporate working life.

Gammons said that he believed that Kemp and Loney are now able to relax with all the attention on Manny.

He said that people don't realize how little baseball Kemp played until being drafted by the Dodgers. He was on a AAU team with Sheldon Williams and yet decided at age 17 that he had a better future in baseball.

Gammons says that he never bought the whole notion that Kemp and the other young players caused a clubhouse division, sure Kemp might be a little arrogant but he doesn't see that as a big deal.

2008-08-14 11:56:24
55.   bhsportsguy
49 6 months later he won title no. 2 and no one would remember Westhead until he coached at LMU.
2008-08-14 11:56:37
56.   whodat807
43 Dodger fans loved J.D. Drew? Was that "Nancy Drew" chant coming from the right field bleachers affectionate?
2008-08-14 11:56:52
57.   MC Safety
52 Hahahaha. That last bit makes me want to move to Switzerland.
2008-08-14 11:57:09
58.   Bob Timmermann
Kevin Kennedy did not manage Manny Ramirez when he was in Boston.
2008-08-14 11:57:11
59.   Travis08
Was Koufax universally loved? Bo Jackson? Merlin Olsen?

In other news, Carlos Quentin was just hit by a pitch for the 6th straight game, which is a post-1920 record.

2008-08-14 11:57:50
60.   D4P
it just means he knows his limitations and makes the decision to let a ball drop for a base hit rather than risk diving and have a runner on second or third

...and thus reduces the chances of getting hurt and jeopardizing future big contracts for offensive production.

Seems to me that players are more likely to get hurt from trying hard on defense than from trying hard on offense, and if a player's goal is to maximize his salary, then he's probably best off loafing on defense, which helps him stay healthy so he can produce on offense.

2008-08-14 11:57:56
61.   El Lay Dave
54 Gammons might think differently if he'd seen the trash can moved.
2008-08-14 11:57:58
62.   okdodge
Using D4P's theory, if Eric Byrnes spent half the time working on offense that he does on defense or crazy baserunning, then look out Barry Bond's HR record.
2008-08-14 11:58:14
63.   Terry A
10 - Anybody else suspect that the interview that led to that quote took place when Stark found Steve Phillips in the ESPN break room?

Funny, it's also the kind of stuff one might expect to hear from Colletti.

2008-08-14 11:59:08
64.   KG16
58 - ah, well either he is misremembering his managerial career, or I am misremembering what he said on TV.
2008-08-14 11:59:25
65.   UVaDodger
52 I don't get the Dunn hatred. I mean, doesn't any 7 year old kid know that a player who is at the very top of the league in home runs every year is a good player?
2008-08-14 11:59:33
66.   bhsportsguy
52 I raised that when the trade was made.

In my humble opinion, teams are not as enamored with picks as much as getting players that one, have already showed that they are on the track to be a MLB player, and two, they don't have to pay a six-figure signing bonus and still have to wait and see if it works out.

2008-08-14 11:59:52
67.   okdodge
62 It felt weird looking at my post which contained the word's "Barry Bond's HR record." Like it was just dirty or wrong.
2008-08-14 12:00:14
68.   dzzrtRatt
What Boston fans took for granted is what Dodger fans were starving for: A lineup that could overcome an early 6-1 deficit. Before Manny got here, that game is over in the third inning and those of us not in a hospital bed would've probably turned it off. Not now. I mean, I'm a little surprised they actually turned it around, but I believed they at least had a chance, unlike before. It would make me very happy if that could continue past this season.
2008-08-14 12:01:20
69.   bhsportsguy
68 I don't think I want to get in the habit of having to score 6 runs to win a game.
2008-08-14 12:02:38
70.   KG16
60 - I think there is a point of diminishing returns on "loafing on defense". It's still half the game, and if a guy goes into an offensive slump and can't provide anything on defense, then things get sticky. Conversely, a guy goes into a slump but still plays good to great defense, taking away a hit, throwing out a runner, etc over the course of a couple of games, the poor offensive production becomes less of an issue.
2008-08-14 12:03:45
71.   Jon Weisman
59 - Pre-1920s baseball: The Pain Ball Era.
2008-08-14 12:04:49
72.   KG16
67 - in about four or five years you'll be able to say "Alex Rodriguez's home run record", depending on how the new stadium plays.

if that makes you feel any better

2008-08-14 12:04:54
73.   ToyCannon
There was this player called Mike Piazza who was kind of universally loved while a Dodger. Orel also rings a bell. At least that is what I remember.
2008-08-14 12:05:07
74.   dzzrtRatt
69 With our rotation, it shouldn't be a normal practice. But every good pitcher throws up a stinker once in awhile. And you've got to account for a situation like Penny's, where he is obviously still recuperating from injuries he might or might not come back from. It's nice to know that when that happens:

1) The bullpen can shut the other team down;
2) This lineup can turn a game around.

2008-08-14 12:05:31
75.   Bob Timmermann
59
I'm guessing that Hughie Jennings or John McGraw had a longer streak, but it's harder to verify.
2008-08-14 12:06:09
76.   ToyCannon
65
Was Dave Kingman a great player?
2008-08-14 12:06:36
77.   sporky
There is a turkey in my driveway.
2008-08-14 12:06:39
78.   D4P
I think there is a point of diminishing returns on "loafing on defense"

Undoubtedly so. But Manny demonstrates that at least one player in the league can essentially not play defense (and not try to play defense) and still make huge dollars, despite the fact that his defense probably makes his total package worth less than his salary. How much less, I can't say.

2008-08-14 12:07:09
79.   dzzrtRatt
Isn't one theory for Andruw Jones' demise that he wrecked his shoulders diving for balls?

Maybe there is a metric that shows some relationship between great defense and shorter careers.

2008-08-14 12:07:29
80.   MC Safety
Liverpool fans ought to be thrilled with the result they achieved yesterday. What an ugly display. They were out everythinged by Standard Liege? Yikes.
2008-08-14 12:10:24
81.   okdodge
78 Does anyone have the time to look up Manny's outfield assists totals while in Boston? Didn't he do pretty well playing balls off the monster? I wouldn't exactly say he loafed it his whole career.
2008-08-14 12:11:14
82.   okdodge
79 I think that metric is referred to as the GriffeyJr.Metric.
2008-08-14 12:12:20
83.   trainwreck
That Jayson Stark article infuriated me so much I gave up a few paragraphs in.

Utter nonsense.

2008-08-14 12:12:30
84.   okdodge
On second thought, Griffey's career wasn't shortened, just sidetracked severly.
2008-08-14 12:12:45
85.   bhsportsguy
No score after the top of the first at Coors.
2008-08-14 12:13:25
86.   Eric Stephen
I can't decide which was worse from Stark. Today's article, or the Shannon Stewart for MVP nonsense in Minnesota. Probably the latter.
2008-08-14 12:14:52
87.   Bob Timmermann
Shannon Stewart is a free agent now. The line forms on the left!
2008-08-14 12:15:13
88.   bhsportsguy
81 http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ramirma02.shtml
2008-08-14 12:15:27
89.   trainwreck
Now Jayson Stark is on TV.

There has never been an athlete who does things for the money or has dogged it before. Nope, never happened in history of sport.

This is only an issue because it happened to ESPN's precious Sox.

2008-08-14 12:16:40
90.   Neal Pollack
Blah, blah, blah...great riposte, Jon. This is a glorious moment in Dodgerland, and we won't let the hacks steal our fun.
2008-08-14 12:17:13
91.   bhsportsguy
Holliday, first pitch swinging, grounds into an inning ending dp. No score after one.
2008-08-14 12:17:14
92.   Travis08
81 Manny became really good at fielding balls of the Monster and making quick throws back to the infield.
2008-08-14 12:17:28
93.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder how Alex Johnson would have fared in the ESPN era.

Or even worse, think of the intersection of Bill Plaschke and Alex Johnson.

Or the intersection of Chico Ruiz and TJ Simers.

2008-08-14 12:18:14
94.   bhsportsguy
89 I guess the Kevin Craft era is about to begin.

When do you think you might be coming down to LA to perhaps go to a game?

2008-08-14 12:18:50
95.   okdodge
88 Thanks
2008-08-14 12:19:50
96.   trainwreck
94
No idea, but I will make sure to let you know.

When I watched the video of the QBs, I had no idea which one was which. After I checked their jersey numbers, Craft was the guy that looked best on that tape.

2008-08-14 12:19:56
97.   bhsportsguy
I take it the Dodgers are unique to baseball broadcasts on TV because of one, the sole announcer when Vin is doing the game and two, the absence of the sideline reporter.
2008-08-14 12:21:36
98.   Terry A
92 - And the pain-stricken Monster was unavailable for comment.
2008-08-14 12:21:50
99.   Jon Weisman
Hey! Doesn't this show I was right, over-the-wall naysayers?

http://www.sonsofstevegarvey.com/2008/08/orange-ya-glad-i-started.html

2008-08-14 12:24:21
100.   El Lay Dave
66 Perhaps it is better to trade Dunn, but if you are unable to, how is it a bad idea to offer him arbitration, unless your team simply cannot afford the additional signing bonuses?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-14 12:26:23
101.   Alex41592
Dunn plays a single into a double.
2008-08-14 12:28:33
102.   cargill06
99 I think he was a few feet in front of the wall when he made the catch.
2008-08-14 12:28:52
103.   Alex41592
And that run is cashed in on a double to right.

1-0 Rockies Bot 2.

2008-08-14 12:28:53
104.   D4P
Dunn and Manny should both be DHs at this point.
2008-08-14 12:29:40
105.   El Lay Dave
One more non-Manny item of interest in the Stark column:

Nevertheless, when asked to name the best player of the eight [Pittsburgh] received in those trades [for Nady, Marte, Bay], the baseball men we spoke with had a tough time finding a clear-cut Pirates acquisition they'd buy stock in. The name we heard most: 21-year-old right-hander Bryan Morris (3.15 ERA in low Class A). "If he stays healthy, he's definitely the best talent in that group," one GM said.

The reviews on LaRoche are apparently still mixed, at least in the Stark crowd.

2008-08-14 12:30:35
106.   cargill06
Melvin IBBing Baker in the 2nd???
2008-08-14 12:32:36
107.   KG16
77 - sorry, I got lost. won't happen again.
2008-08-14 12:32:55
108.   Greg Brock
I have a new favorite Olympian, and his name is Stany Kompompo Nganagola.
2008-08-14 12:32:57
109.   D4P
Regarding the playoffs, does the team with the best record play the wildcard team in the first round, or does the team with the best record play the team with the worst record?
2008-08-14 12:34:59
110.   Alex41592
104 - Dunn's defense is atrocious. Manny's defense actually is not bad. He cut down Utley's opposite field hit quite well last night. He's in left field for a reason but he's not that bad.
2008-08-14 12:36:38
111.   trainwreck
109
I believe they play the wild card, unless wild card comes from their division. Then they play team with lowest or next lowest record.
2008-08-14 12:37:25
112.   KG16
why would bad defensive players get put in left field? most hitters are right handed and most tend to be pull hitters, so it would go that most outfield hits would go to left, or am incorrect on this point?

I understand having the guy with the better arm in right and/or center as they would have further to throw the ball on a runner going from second to third. but "stashing" a guy in the place where it would, logically, be that most balls are hit just doesn't make a lot of sense.

2008-08-14 12:37:50
113.   cargill06
110 LF +/- from '05-'07

Manny -109
Dunn -63

2008-08-14 12:38:00
114.   Jon Weisman
102 - He went over the wall to make the catch. That's sufficient.
2008-08-14 12:38:33
115.   KG16
108 - neither google nor wikipedia acknowledges the existence of such a person, therefore, I must conclude that you have made that name up.
2008-08-14 12:39:53
116.   KG16
113 - isn't +/- rather subjective? and also have the problem of not taking into account stadiums? i mean, everyone tries to hit the ball to left in Fenway.
2008-08-14 12:40:07
117.   LoneStar7
wow what an incredible series thus far, i was fortunate to go to the first two games and got to see last nights game with my dad.

sorry i haven't really expressed yet how exciting these past few days have been.

Also, I should of know that the exact reason I came over to DT (reaction on the Stark article) would already have its own post, well said Mr. Weisman.

anyway, lets go rocks! Boom outta here

2008-08-14 12:40:28
118.   Greg Brock
115 I misspelled "Kempompo." You can also look for "Stany the Stingray."
2008-08-14 12:40:59
119.   D4P
109
So, assuming the Cubs and Brewers have the best record and wildcard, the Central Division winner would play the division winner with the worst record...

In other words, the most likely scenario would appear to be the Cubs hosting the Dodgers in the first round, right...?

2008-08-14 12:41:23
120.   cargill06
114 Agreed, just if you're trying to imply he was robbing a HR I just don't think that's the case... not like it really matters either way.
2008-08-14 12:42:03
121.   gibsonhobbs88
50- Magic by the end of that 81-82 season was proven right and was cheered and loved from then on! November 7, 1991 was a sad day but for all he does now for inner city development and they way he looks, I don't think of him and AIDS that much either. I just remember his love for the game and his smile and the championships and the great Showtime style of ball he played.

89- ESPN and the Sox apologist can stick it! I am going to enjoy every HR, every RBI and run he creates directly or indirectly due to his presence in the lineup. I will savor the moments he is here, if for just this season or if decides to stay longer. I just enjoy the opposing pitchers actually "fearing and sweating" facing a Dodger lineup for a change instead of "licking their chops".

2008-08-14 12:42:17
122.   Bob Timmermann
A guy who does this blog called the Griddle puts the current playoff matchups on his sidebar.

The NL West champion would start the playoffs at Chicago if the season ended today.

And there was just one NL West champion.

2008-08-14 12:43:29
123.   D4P
A guy who does this blog called the Griddle puts the current playoff matchups on his sidebar

Can I get fries with that...?

2008-08-14 12:43:40
124.   KG16
119 - the Dodgers and Snakes are only 3 games off the Phils and Mets, it's still possible that the Dodgers would get to host the Brewers.
2008-08-14 12:44:35
125.   bhsportsguy
124 This may go against common sense but I would rather play the Cubs in a 5 game series than the Brewers.
2008-08-14 12:44:55
126.   sporky
SI.com links to the infamous troyfromwv Youtube video in their top rankings of the week.

Troy has Diamond to thank.

2008-08-14 12:45:04
127.   Travis08
118 And "Ngangola." His NBC page is woefully incomplete:

http://tinyurl.com/kenpompo

2008-08-14 12:45:18
128.   Jonny6
Although Ethier's glove was above the wall, from the TV replays it definitely looked like the ball would have hit the top of the wall and not gone out. Sharp downward trajectory and such.

I just picked up tickets for next Thursday's day game. Bringing the family down for the first time this season. The kids will even get to the run the bases. I'm excited for the game and my girls are excited to "see that long haired dude".

2008-08-14 12:45:41
129.   bhsportsguy
125 Also, I would be able to sell any extra playoff tickets a lot easier to Cubs fans and for a higher price.

Just kidding.

2008-08-14 12:46:20
130.   bhsportsguy
126 Shouldn't you be packing?
2008-08-14 12:46:28
131.   KG16
125 - I'd rather play the Phillies or Mets in a 5 game series than either of the teams in the Central, but since that's not going to happen... I think the Cubs would be a better match up for the Dodgers, despite home field advantage issues. Brewers' pitching is going to be scary in the play offs.
2008-08-14 12:47:27
132.   sporky
130 I still have a month!
2008-08-14 12:47:46
133.   cargill06
125 Not I, CC+Sheets+Mil Pen < Zambrano+Haren+Howry+Marmol+Wood
2008-08-14 12:48:50
134.   cargill06
133 and don't forget the all important label of "CC can't get it done in the clutch"
2008-08-14 12:49:16
135.   Jon Weisman
128 - Did I say he prevented a home run? No ... I said "over-the-wall catch."

You guys are a rough bunch, I tells ya.

2008-08-14 12:52:48
136.   Gagne55
112 Though most linedrives, homeruns, and groundballs are pulled, the majority of flyablls are hit to the opposite field. It is players who pull flyballs are very rare (Bonds was one of the few).
2008-08-14 12:53:52
137.   Daniel Zappala
108 I thought your favorite was He Kexin.
2008-08-14 12:54:50
138.   trainwreck
I wish we could play the NL East winner. Too bad that is very unlikely.
2008-08-14 12:56:27
139.   Daniel Zappala
Although a swimmer who is an electrical engineer by day is pretty cool by me.
2008-08-14 13:03:35
140.   ToyCannon
I'll be happy just to make the playoffs and worry about who we are playing on the day of the game.
2008-08-14 13:03:50
141.   D4P
139
I just hope s/he doesn't mix hobbies...
2008-08-14 13:04:54
142.   sporky
Glendon Rusch isn't helping; two consecutive home runs make it 3-1 Diamondbacks.
2008-08-14 13:08:33
143.   Greg Brock
127 NBC completely zooed his name. I paused it and everything!
2008-08-14 13:19:13
144.   regfairfield
116 No, it's not. All it asks is "did some other player catch a ball that this player missed at some point in the season." As far as I know, because +/- has the idea of a catchable ball, a ball the hits 20 feet up the green monster is considered uncatchable and not counted against him. A zone rating system would consider it a missed ball in play in Manny's zone and not count it against him.
2008-08-14 13:20:45
145.   regfairfield
The biggest mid-season acquisition race:
C.C. Sabathia: 27.7 VORP
Manny: 15.8 VORP
2008-08-14 13:21:08
146.   jujibee
133. You meant Harden I believe. But whatever, I get your point. I think the huge difference there is the pen. The top 2 starters on both teams are pretty top notch.
2008-08-14 13:25:01
147.   Tripon
43 J.D. Drew was so not loved in Dodgers blue. The guy was a merc through and through and only signed with the Dodgers due to disinterest from other teams. Frustration would be the best term to describe the J.D. Drew experience.
2008-08-14 13:25:11
148.   cargill06
146 If both healthy, I'd rather have CC and Sheets no question. But if we're down 1 and get to the teams pen I feel a lot better against the Brew-crew
2008-08-14 13:27:24
149.   regfairfield
147 The thing is that there's a not too much that separates the beloved Nomar from hated J.D. Drew, so just being a mercenary certainly isn't enough reason to hate him.
2008-08-14 13:29:39
150.   trainwreck
I liked JD Drew.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-14 13:29:58
151.   Tripon
You didn't ask for it, Dodgers fans. But Jayson Stark feels generous. So here it is: Quit cheering for Manny. There are one hundred million reasons why it sets a bad precedent. Rumblings & Grumblings

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the Jason Stark hatefest on Manny is now ESPN.com front page. A rule one violation might be in order.

2008-08-14 13:30:30
152.   Harold M Johnson
JD Drew is the player I've disliked the most in the past 10 years or more.
2008-08-14 13:30:38
153.   D4P
Most free agents are "mercs".
2008-08-14 13:31:49
154.   cargill06
the white sox have just hit 4 HR in a row can old friend Toby hall make it 5?
2008-08-14 13:32:01
155.   blue22
FWIW, JD Drew was my favorite Dodger in between the Eric Gagne and Russell Martin eras.
2008-08-14 13:32:03
156.   Xeifrank
I would think the difference between playing LF and RF would be more than just the stronger arm needed in RF to throw to 3B, but you would also need more speed in RF to get to and cutoff balls, to keep runners from advancing to 3B. There may be more balls hit to LF (don't have the #s), but if those are because there are more RH hitters, I would think a slicing ball off a right handed hitters bat to RF would be more difficult to judge than a ball hit to LF by a right handed hitter that may have a little hook to it.
vr, Xei
2008-08-14 13:32:17
157.   Alex41592
Um, the White Sox have hit four homeruns in a row!
2008-08-14 13:33:42
158.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-08-14 13:34:18
159.   Xeifrank
Looks likely that the Rockies won't be helping us out today.
vr, Xei
2008-08-14 13:35:17
160.   Daniel Zappala
Aside from his first full year, J.D. Drew has had two years with an OPS+ below 120. Neither was with the Dodgers.
2008-08-14 13:35:50
161.   Disabled List
147 There's some revisionist history going on here. J.D. Drew might not have been "loved", exactly, but he was popular enoguh, and he certainly wasn't hated in any way until he left.

I clearly remember the "J!-D!-DREW!" chants from the fans.

2008-08-14 13:40:03
162.   blue22
161 - A lot of people never liked J.D. Drew, and now a lot of people really hate him. Many are already planning how much they're going to boo him the next time they see him at Dodger Stadium, in a manner that I believe has probably been reserved only for Barry Bonds or, in my youth, Pete Rose.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/553548.html

As any other player, he was popular when he got hits. But all in all, he was not a very beloved Dodger during his tenure.

2008-08-14 13:40:44
163.   Tripon
161 There were also a section of fans who didn't care for J.D. Drew. Its not as if the Dodgers fans are monolithic, heck I bet there's fans right now wondering why Juan Pierre isn't playing every day, and why that punk Ethier keeps on seeing his name in the lineup.
2008-08-14 13:44:00
164.   blue22
Should out-of-town DTers continue to post down here? We don't want to infringe on your little "picnic" you guys are all so excited about. :)
2008-08-14 13:45:04
165.   Tripon
http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2386164

Jayson Stark on Baseball Today.

2008-08-14 13:46:56
166.   Jon Weisman
Dwight Schrute proposes replacing the Olympic decathlon with a centathlon.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/08/exclusive_nbcs_latest_olympian.php

2008-08-14 13:48:02
167.   Jon Weisman
164 - No, infringe away.
2008-08-14 13:53:41
168.   FirstMohican
Olympic Murder Checkers... what would they do with the Silver and Bronze medals???
2008-08-14 13:54:10
169.   gibsonhobbs88
156 - Also in many parks I've attended, RF in the afternoon tends to be the Sunfield - it's at least the case in all three Southern Calif. MLB parks. In my visits to Wrigley and Fenway, I remember the late afternoon, early evening sun shining into the right field area also. So RF have to have good speed, strong arms and be able to fend off the bright afternoon sun in day games. That is why you usually play your weaker defensive outfielders in LF. Howver, when you have a quirky park like Fenway, someone that knows the quirks and caroms of the Green Monster are important in a LF.
2008-08-14 13:54:24
170.   SevenNineSixtyFive
There are probably those here who know Stark's work better than I - so if I'm wrong about this, please correct me - but what really goads me about Stark's Manny comments is their utter hypocrisy when compared to his comments on Clemens - who, if I'm not mistaken, he defended throughout the whole McNamee (sp?) affair, saying silly things like Clemens sounded forthright and strong (again - correct me if I'm misrepresenting Stark - but I think that's accurate) and how you couldn't trust someone like McNamee... and then, when Clemens was revealed to be a liar (and sleaze) in just about every regard, Stark fell silent on the whole subject, never retracting a word of what he said.

I don't know the inside story of what went on with Manny in Boston, but I think it's clear that Manny is not on Stark's "friends to defend" list, while Clemens was. And that's hypocrisy.

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