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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Could the 2008 Dodgers Beat the 2005 Dodgers?
2008-08-27 00:45
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Arizona refuses to let the Dodgers off the hook. The Diamondbacks have lost four out of five - most recently, Brandon Webb dropping one to the Padres on Tuesday to illustrate how misfortune isn't confined to the Dodger clubhouse. (The Mets' coughing up a 7-0 lead in Philadelphia provides more evidence.)

It's for those reasons that I can't allow myself to surrender on the Dodgers, even though they're mired in their worst week of the season.

But just to show I won't completely ignore the ugly side of things, here's something for you to chew on: a quick-and-dirty comparison (it is after midnight, after all) between the 2008 Dodgers and the 2005 team that lost 91 games, its manager and general manager.

First base: The platoon of Hee Seop Choi and Olmedo Saenz has been a match for James Loney. We'll give Loney the edge thanks to his defense and the 156 innings three years ago that Jason Phillips played first.

Second base: The 37-year-old Jeff Kent in a walkover over the 40-year-old urchin.

Shortstop: With Rafael Furcal's hot start an increasingly distant and marginal memory, Cesar Izturis and Oscar Robles appear to be on par with the uneasy melange of Furcal, Chin-Lung Hu, Luis Maza, Angel Berroa and Nomar Garciaparra.

Third base: The revenge of Mike Edwards? He led the 2005 Dodgers with 294 innings at third base despite a 69 OPS+. Yet, he, Willy Aybar (140), Antonio Perez (101) and Robles (86) can walk proudly alongside Blake DeWitt, Andy LaRoche and Casey Blake.

Left field: We'll give this one to the current Dodgers over Ricky Ledee, Jayson Werth, Edwards, Jose Valentin, Jason Repko and Jason Grabowski - though it took the benching of Juan Pierre (.246 EQA) for the '08 troupe to triumph.

Center field: The collapse of Andruw Jones might be too much for Matt Kemp to overcome. Milton Bradley, Repko, Werth and J.D Drew could get the win here, but this will go down to the wire.

Right field: Drew had a 145 OPS+ in 72 games, and Jose Cruz, Jr. added a 142 in 47. Werth and Repko brought down the average just enough to make the Kemp/Andre Ethier combo competitive.

Catcher: Russell Martin gives the 2008 team its first clearcut, start-to-finish victory, over Phillips, a 21-year-old Dioner Navarro, Mike Rose and Paul Bako.

Overall, the maligned 2005 offense had a higher OPS+ than the 2008 team.

Starting pitching: We'll give this one to the '08ers. Derek Lowe was the team's best starting pitcher three years ago, having a season not too different from the one that now makes him a middle-of-the-rotation starter with Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw, behind Chad Billingsley. The 2005 season was also the year of Scott Erickson, Rule 5er D.J. Houlton and a struggling Edwin Jackson, a year that the Dodgers had more trouble filling the No. 5 slot than they have had in 2008.

Bullpen: With Eric Gagne missing all but 14 games, Yhency Brazoban imploding in midseason and reinforcements hard to find, the 2005 bullpen is no match for the current relief crew, even with Takashi Saito limited to 39 games.

The 2008 Dodgers easily defeat the 2005 Dodgers in adjusted ERA, and in so doing, give themselves the edge in this internecine showdown for the ages. But it's a lot closer than you'd have imagined, isn't it - especially considering the current team has the advantage of a higher payroll and the further flowering of the Dodger farm system.

Since 1992, the worst Dodger team aside from 2005 was the 77-85 bunch in 1999. (Hellooo, Carlos Perez.) Though they are only three games out of first place with 30 to play, if the 2008 Dodgers finish the season 11-19, they will become the second-worst Dodger team since 1988. If they finish the season 19-11, they'll probably be playing ball in October.

Comments (214)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-27 00:49:24
1.   trainwreck
Ehh, that's depressing, but just reinforces that DePo also ran into a lot of bad luck and did not have the luxury of the kids being ready.

Is this the latest NPUT?

2008-08-27 00:51:29
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - I don't understand the question.
2008-08-27 00:54:44
3.   dzzrtRatt
Ach, you never think you can get LAT'd after midnight, but...

645. dzzrtRatt
Seems to me that right about now is when the PVL should kick in. Guys like Kent, Manny, Lowe, Nomar and Blake -- not to overlook Torre, Mattingly and Honeycutt -- are supposed to be have an aura that will help right the ship. Seriously. They should be able to get the young guys to calm down, take it easy, stop stressing out and focus on what they can control. If the PVL theory has any merit, this team should be able to turn things around. We have more PVLs than 'Zona, so that means we should be able to pass them.

Alternate theory: We have the exact wrong mix of players for a pennant race. Our players are either too young or too old to avoid fatigue in September. The young guys are used to shorter seasons and haven't yet learned to pace themselves (Kemp excluded). The old guys are just worn-down (Manny excluded). Hence, the bats aren't getting around on balls as fast as they were before, and the pitches don't have the same snap.

2008-08-27 00:56:32
4.   trainwreck
2
Latest time at night that there has been a NPUT.
2008-08-27 00:56:36
5.   dzzrtRatt
0 By the way, this is another stellar post, Jon. You make the creative leaps in figuring out how to view the team that few sportwriters think of. And you do it in such a friendly, casual way. You'll never be an aggressive blowhard sportstalk guy in New York, I suppose, but your perspective on sports is always stimulating and enlightening.
2008-08-27 00:59:53
6.   Neal Pollack
My word. There are so many ways a baseball season can go wrong...thanks for the perspective, Jon.
2008-08-27 01:00:01
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - Oh. No, it's not. Don't forget, I've had three babies - four if you count this book.

5 - Thanks. I did feel like I owed the doomsayer crowd something after being so tough on them in the comments.

2008-08-27 01:00:53
8.   superbas
jon, re: players with 2 strikes...if u make a mistake 2-2 or 3-2 good players will still crush it. maybe that's what separate the average players from the elite, pitch recognition etc. hopefully kemp will be there in a couple years. i am nervously optimistic.

thanks for a great site. i've been a long time lurker, right before depo was hired. i will pledge either $5 per billz win here on out (including playoffs!!!) or kemp's home run...whichever is greater. i had a friendly bet with a friend when billz was 0-4 that he'd have at least 15 wins this year.

2008-08-27 01:04:14
9.   Eric Enders
It's just as well that you didn't do the manager and GM comparision. Those could get pretty ugly.
2008-08-27 01:04:48
10.   dzzrtRatt
7 I couldn't handle the comments tonight much. Nor the game for that matter. I had the TV on, but kept flipping to the convention, and also to TNT's showing of "Touch of Evil," one of my favorites. I knew they'd lose. I knew they wouldn't score. I knew the Nats wouldn't score again either, making this game tantalizing, but I wasn't falling for it. They need to win a laugher to get out of this, and it will happen. Eventually. But in the meantime, the shared misery makes my brain hurt too much. There's nothing you can say.
2008-08-27 01:08:16
11.   trainwreck
8
Welcome. Is your handle pronounced super bas?
2008-08-27 01:08:48
12.   Jon Weisman
8 - Thanks for the nice words.

In the NL this season, batters have a .490 OPS with a 2-2 count and an .829 OPS with a 3-2 count. So it looks like there's a further distinction to be made between the two situations.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?lg=NL&team=TOT&year=2008

Anyway, this season Kemp is at .497 OPS at 2-2 and .836 OPS at 3-2.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=kempma01&year=2008

2008-08-27 01:10:31
13.   Jon Weisman
Pujols is at 1.000 on 2-2 and 1.043 on 3-2.
2008-08-27 01:11:56
14.   Jon Weisman
Andruw Jones is OPSing .149 on 2-2 and .763 on 3-2 (4 for 28 with 15 walks).
2008-08-27 01:13:42
15.   Jon Weisman
Okay, that should do it for me. Going for my second cycle of the evening. Good night everyone.
2008-08-27 01:16:43
16.   trainwreck
Pujols should win MVP in a season where he probably should have had TJ surgery.

I think he is a cyborg.

2008-08-27 01:26:19
17.   CanuckDodger
No matter how bad things get for the team, one need only take a look at the posts on the Dodgers.com message board to be assured that the 2008 Dodgers are much better than a large number of profoundly stupid Dodger fans deserve. Really, any force or circumstance that can bring those miserable people yet more misery -- even a Dodger losing streak -- has to have some redeeming value.
2008-08-27 01:28:22
18.   Andrew Shimmin
Kemp has an 80 OPS point split between his CF and RF production. 2008 sOPS+ for CF is 74, for RF, it's 117. In 2005, the split was, CF: 123, RF: 104.
2008-08-27 01:29:28
19.   superbas
trainwreck--yes just the way it's spelled i think. the brooklyn superbas became the dodgers in the early 1910s.
2008-08-27 01:31:31
20.   Andrew Shimmin
Ethier has a 190 OPS point RF/LF split difference. RF is enchanted. The all you can eat pavilion is clearly creating a positive energy zone. Time to open the floodgates and make every seat come with a bottomless supply of hot dogs and pretzels. Unless Moneybags is too cheap to do what needs to be done to get the team back on track.
2008-08-27 01:33:49
21.   trainwreck
19
Shows how much I know, had no idea about that.
2008-08-27 01:34:47
22.   CanuckDodger
19 -- When I first glanced your on-screen name (a quick glance) I thought your name was "superbras" -- like some exotic species of ladies' foundation garment.
2008-08-27 01:35:10
23.   Andrew Shimmin
Maybe the parking situation could be improved by handing out hotdogs in the parking lot. Then when that works, Caltrans could adopt it as a traffic abatement strategy, state-wide. I've always thought the 405 could be fixed with a few metric tons of pork offal.
2008-08-27 03:42:57
24.   Felton
Who can forget Choi's 3 HRs vs the Twins? A strange year - almost 50 baserunners the last 3 games and 3 runs. In the same year, the Dodgers get no-hit and win, 1-0. When I was in SF on July 5, I went to the bathroom late in the game and heard a commotion behind me. There was Lasorda, in panic mode, racing to one of the stalls. While Tommy was in there, a group gathered outside, armed with cell phone cameras, to await his exit. A very strange year indeed.
2008-08-27 03:58:03
25.   Bob Timmermann
The fact that I'm up now is only a factor of having to catch an obscenely early flight at LAX.

Airplanes shouldn't depart at 6:15 am. Tony Jackson wouldn't like it.

2008-08-27 06:30:51
26.   Ken Noe
I'd love to see a miracle, but after five in a row I find myself increasingly taking solace in the notion of a Ned-less 2009. Now if we collapse but Ned survives, I'll need a good shrink.
2008-08-27 06:57:38
27.   Charenton
19 ,21

Actually considering the discussion of French pronunciation we had a couple days ago, I thought that the handle was

"super bas"

in French >super low or about as low as you can go (a reference to last night's game ?)

2008-08-27 06:58:51
28.   Gen3Blue
After much reflection, I think Superbas should be pronounced as a derivative of superb and not of super. Of, course much reflection doesn't always make it right.
And it's safer making this kind of comment assuming Bob is in transit somewhere.
2008-08-27 06:59:55
29.   Gen3Blue
27 Interesting we both blurted at once.
2008-08-27 07:04:45
30.   JoeyP
I have a question about how major league teams travel (or any pro team for that matter?

I know most have their own private planes.

But do all of the passengers have to go through the same check points that common travelers go through?

Its strange, but you'd think an airport is where you could see famous people everyday, but that doesnt seem to be the case.

Do the Dodgers (or lakers, etc) just exit their private planes directly to a bus thats waiting for them on the runway?

2008-08-27 07:25:15
31.   Marty
I believe the pronunciation is su-PURR-buhs
2008-08-27 07:46:56
32.   Disabled List
30 I've seen tons of celebrities at airports. Most recently was the guy who plays Lloyd on Entourage. My favorite was seeing Billy Corgan grabbing his bags at LAX looking like he just got off stage: bald head, floor-length black overcoat, painted fingernails. He lives in character, like Kirk Lazarus.

I don't know if this counts as a celebrity sighting, but I said hello to Will Leitch outside of my local watering hole last night. We chatted for a bit about the miserable seasons of the Dodgers and Cardinals. He informed me of the Dodgers score, and I was so depressed I didn't even bother going in for a beer.

2008-08-27 07:50:44
33.   SortaLaSorda
3. Perhaps the PVL thing is working the other way--the inexperienced players have an aura that keeps the ship unsettled. I tend to go with your alternate theory though.

What's up with Andrew Jones getting work at 1B in Vegas? Is there any plan behind this, considering we have a first baseman that lacks power?

2008-08-27 08:08:29
34.   D4P
What's up with Andrew Jones getting work at 1B in Vegas? Is there any plan behind this, considering we have a first baseman that lacks power?

Yeah. The last thing we need is another first baseman who lacks power.

2008-08-27 08:19:23
35.   scareduck
0 - Though they are only three games out of first place with 30 to play, if the 2008 Dodgers finish the season 11-19, they will become the second-worst Dodger team since 1988. If they finish the season 19-11, they'll probably be playing ball in October.

If the Dodgers finish 16-14, they'll be watching the TV, too. I think that's generous considering this team's basic ineptitude, or to be kind, its inconsistency.

2008-08-27 08:22:51
36.   Neal Pollack
There were several callers on Dodger Talk last night who suggested that Juan Pierre starting over Ethier would be the "spark" that the Blue needed to shake them out of the doldrums. I shouldn't listen to Dodger Talk.
2008-08-27 08:25:07
37.   scareduck
22 - "superbra" is an actual product name of a brassiere made by Panache:

http://tinyurl.com/5m7jbe

"The Superbras" would be a great name for a lesbian softball team, especially if they were in on the joke.

2008-08-27 08:25:25
38.   Jon Weisman
35 - No matter how negative I go, it's like there's no pleasing you, Rob.
2008-08-27 08:25:47
39.   scareduck
36 - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
2008-08-27 08:27:35
40.   scareduck
38 - I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come across as critical. It's just that I think Ned overestimated this team's postseason chances at the trade deadline, and he badly overpaid for it.
2008-08-27 08:36:29
41.   D4P
I think Ned overestimated this team's postseason chances at the trade deadline

I think it's more likely that he wanted to maximized the team's postseason chances in order to maximize his own chances of keeping his job.

2008-08-27 08:37:00
42.   SortaLaSorda
34. Well, I asked that with a degree of seriousness--I mean, what if any, is the plan there--is it to simply get him playing time, is there the hope that he regains his stroke in time to split time with Loney (I know, I know)? Blue needs some power, and options appear to be limited...
2008-08-27 08:44:21
43.   GiantturnedDodger
Long time lurker and infrequent poster. Jon and the regulars make this a great site. It's been a great companion as I've traveled a ton this season. I've been so frustrated the last few days that I've boycoted the last couple of games and threatened my wife and friends that I was going to StubHub my remaining season tickets. I will however be representing (silently) Friday night in AZ. Second row behind the home dugout with a die hard DBack fan who is also an important customer. The things we do for money.
2008-08-27 08:46:35
44.   regfairfield
Good post Jon. The one change I would make is that center field should be a walk for 2005. Werth was terrible that year but still managed above an .850 OPS as a center fielder, and Drew and Bradley were beasts when they played the position.
2008-08-27 08:47:33
45.   D4P
For True Blue Andrew:

http://tinyurl.com/fortrueblueandrew

2008-08-27 08:48:54
46.   D4P
Dodger Centerfielders:

2005: .278/.364/.481/.845
2008: .230/.298/.350/.648

2008-08-27 08:49:13
47.   ToyCannon
0
Now that is depressing. Makes all my optimism about the team seem very misplaced. I blame it all on the Diamondbacks. If they played like a division winner should play then I could call it quits on this team, but when Cy Young gets jumped by the lowly Padre offense the candle is not ready to be snuffed no matter how weak the flame.

Funny stuff going on over at Bronx Banter under the Ugliosity thread.

2008-08-27 08:51:38
48.   regfairfield
45 Hey, the attractive person at the office said it looked good. Mock me all you want.
2008-08-27 08:51:47
49.   ToyCannon
45
That is so cold. I really wish Andrew had not shared his coloring escapades. The man is so private and yet felt the need to tell us he is now sporting "caramel kiss".
2008-08-27 08:52:21
50.   D4P
Hey, the attractive person at the office said it looked good

What's his name...?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-27 08:52:44
51.   ToyCannon
48
That is because she now feels you are safe.
2008-08-27 08:56:38
52.   regfairfield
49 I'm really okay with it.

51 Would I go to some dude on the street and ask them to perform an emergency appendectomy? No, I'd go to a doctor. So why should I care if D4P mocks my hair.

2008-08-27 08:57:03
53.   LogikReader
.500 teams in a pennant race, from my 15 or so years of watching baseball, can be very dangerous.

I wonder what would have happened if the '05 Dodgers, bad as they were, were still in contention mid-July.

2008-08-27 08:58:00
54.   LogikReader
48

I plead the fifth. :)

2008-08-27 09:01:31
55.   bagg4
It's too early to think about football in my world view, but last night's loss has me close to packing it in for the '08 Dodgers. I don't see an '07 Rockies-type run from this group...bullpen is too shaky and they're making no luck at the plate. I'm not ready to say 'Wait til next year,' but I'm close.

If I was McCourt, I'd be ready to fire Ned Coletti after the last out. I'm sure he's a nice guy...I've just felt he was in over his head since day one...There's got to be a better manager than Joe Torre too. His train sailed in 2000....

2008-08-27 09:03:02
56.   D4P
Joe Torre too. His train sailed in 2000....

Torre's train sailed so long ago that they didn't even have trains back then.

2008-08-27 09:06:19
57.   Jon Weisman
44 - I had it your way originally, then I hedged my bets and changed it. But you're probably right.
2008-08-27 09:10:49
58.   D4P
sOPS+ for Dodger Centerfielders:

2005: 123
2008: 73

2008-08-27 09:12:36
59.   LogikReader
How does a train sail?
2008-08-27 09:13:19
60.   cargill06
Andrew=Reg?

What is the story behind this whole hair thing?

2008-08-27 09:18:01
61.   scareduck
41 - I think it's more likely that he wanted to maximized the team's postseason chances in order to maximize his own chances of keeping his job.

But shouldn't the team's chances of actual success be the biggest factor when considering which actions to take? It's one thing if you're the '87 Tigers and you realize you're nearing the end of a player development upsurge and you need a Doyle Alexander; giving up someone like John Smoltz is reasonable if you're thatclose to winning it all, a point Dave Studeman made a couple years ago in reviewing that trade:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/smoltz-for-alexander/

But you make those kinds of moves when you're at the top or very near it AND you have a good shot at doing something in the postseason. The '87 Tigers were a game and a half back of Toronto in the AL East when they made their August 12 trade and their final push.

56 - har. I bet it was oxen with stone-wheeled wagons.

2008-08-27 09:18:48
62.   Jonny6
Wow, that was a frustrating week of baseball. It really is a strange game, and rationally I understand that the Dodgers aren't as horrible as they looked this week but emotionally I can't help but look at my TV in disgust and mutter to myself "this team sucks."

I'm nearly as frustrated with the Diamondbacks for being as inconsistent as we are and keeping my hopes alive for a post-season berth that will almost certainly be dashed on the altar of utter mediocrity. Worse, I'm starting to worry a bit about our future, and wondering if the collective group of Kemp, Martin, Loney, Ethier, Hu are really the answer. When our former cast-offs of Jayson Werth and Cody Ross have more home runs than any Dodger, something seems amiss.

2008-08-27 09:18:52
63.   berkowit28
19 Actually, the Superbas became the Brooklyn "Robins" (after their new manager Wilbert Robinson) in the 00's, and didn't become known (again) as the Dodgers until he retired in 1931.
2008-08-27 09:22:22
64.   D4P
But shouldn't the team's chances of actual success be the biggest factor when considering which actions to take?

Maybe, but I doubt GM's always act with the team's best (especially, long-term) interest in mind, especially when they're worried about losing their job.

2008-08-27 09:26:18
65.   scareduck
45 - I think the real moral of that link is that any woman can look better if her portrait is taken by a photographer who knows how to arrange lighting and camera angles. The "before" picture is almost a mugshot, with harsh, direct frontal lighting from a 3/4 position with the camera staring head-on at her, and no efforts to "clean up" the freckles in her neckline. The second photo looks like they've either applied makeup to her decolletage or Photoshopped it out. She's also smiling in the second photo, which is an automatic plus, and has on a more glamorous top with matching earrings. The camera has also moved: it's now just under her chin and looking slightly up at her. The lighting also appears to be a bit higher and more directly behind the camera. These are the kinds of tricks you often seen in makeup ads where they do "before" and "after" shots.
2008-08-27 09:31:09
66.   underdog
Really good perspective, Jon, interesting to look at them both side by side. I do think it's a little unfair if people here remark on how much bad luck DePodesta had that year trying to manage a team through so much tumult and injury and not having the farm system quite ready to supply -- all of which is true -- but to not give the same credit (or debit) to this year's model, which has ALSO had a lot of bad luck, on top of some Colletti-designed stupidity, to be sure. But as much as most of us don't like NedCo it would seem a tad unfair to say 05 was full of bad luck and this year hasn't been.

There's plenty of bad mojo to go around for both seasons, not even counting this bizarro past week. And while 05 felt hopeless for most of the season, with many of us following Jacksonville with much more interest, this year at least has a little bit of hope for the now and more hope for the future, at least as far as I can see, NedCo Damage or no.

--

Btw, first time I saw/heard of that old Brooklyn nickname, I stupidly thought it was Super-bas, as in, like an amazingly powerful sheep's cry. "Baaaaa!" instead of, duh, superb(a). I kind of like the idea of a team with a sheep logo on their jerseys for some reason.

Cool handle, anyway.

2008-08-27 09:31:17
67.   JoeyP
Has anyone figured out how the Tigers so bad & the White Sox are so good this year?

While the Dodgers probably get the most disappointing team award in the NL, the Tigers probably get it for all of baseball.

2008-08-27 09:31:32
68.   regfairfield
60 Apparently the man says I can't use women's hair dye.
2008-08-27 09:32:23
69.   regfairfield
67 The pitching imploded. Verlander and Bonderman were seen as sure things and got hurt, while Robertson, Rogers, and Willis had some pretty big red flags.
2008-08-27 09:32:24
70.   underdog
And superbra is an even better nickname with an even better team logo, to be sure.
2008-08-27 09:32:51
71.   JoeyP
But as much as most of us don't like NedCo it would seem a tad unfair to say 05 was full of bad luck and this year hasn't been.

Besides Furcal's injury, what other bad luck has happened to the Dodgers?

2008-08-27 09:35:07
72.   regfairfield
71 The massive amounts of injuries to all of our infielders? Jones regressing even harder than the biggest critics could have expected? Saito?
2008-08-27 09:35:55
73.   JoeyP
Actually, I think I figured out why the White Sox are so good.

Two players: Gavin Floyd & Carlos Quentin

Both have given them way way way way way more than anyone thought coming into the season.

2008-08-27 09:37:25
74.   D4P
72
Furcal missed most of last season with injuries. Doesn't seem like "bad luck" for him to miss more time this year, especially since his back problems seem chronic now.

Kent is old. No bad luck there.

Jones is fat. What's unlucky about that?

Saito is old too. No big surprise there.

2008-08-27 09:38:49
75.   Kevin Lewis
I just keep reminding myself to take this one day at a time. We are still in this thing, so I will still have some hope.

It's funny because at the beginning of the season, I didn't expect us to be close to making it to the playoffs, and I was happy with just letting the team grow and develop. I can't believe AZ didn't run away with this thing a month ago. I would not be surprised to see Colorado make a run for it.

2008-08-27 09:38:59
76.   JoeyP
72- I dont think Jones sucking is "bad luck". He wasnt good in 2007.

Saito's injury hurt, but isnt that made up for by the better than average performance the Dodgers have found out of Wade/Beimel/Park ?

LaRoche was hurt early in the season, but then he wasnt given a chance to play. So that wasnt bad luck, but just dumb Dodger mgmt.

Nomar, hurt or not hurt, is probably done as an effective player anyways.

I'm not sure if the "luck" part has played a big role this year. Most had the Dodgers around 80-84 wins, & thats what they'll likely end up with.

2008-08-27 09:40:53
77.   regfairfield
74 Werth, Drew, and Bradley were known injury risks, Valentin is old, Odalis is fat.
2008-08-27 09:41:34
78.   fanerman
Are there pics of regfairfield floating around on the internets?
2008-08-27 09:42:38
79.   D4P
74
I'm not talking about 2005 and whether it was bad lucky or not: I'm just talking about 2008.
2008-08-27 09:43:42
80.   regfairfield
78 You can find them if you try. You know my name and the general area where I live.
2008-08-27 09:44:14
81.   Tripon
76 So is Pirates playing LaRoche everyday 'dumb management' then? Because he's not making that team better with his poor play at the moment.
2008-08-27 09:45:57
82.   regfairfield
81 No, because they aren't trying to win right now.
2008-08-27 09:50:57
83.   Harold M Johnson
I don't have the time to do it, but how about a comparison between the 2005 Dodgers at this time in the season vs. 2008. Offhand, I would take 2008 in a heartbeat, regardless of the current state of things.
2008-08-27 09:51:06
84.   JoeyP
Another reason that the Tigers have been bad is Edgar Renteria. Maybe the Braves knew something when they dealt him? To get Jair Jurrjens for him is turning out to be a steal.

Renteria:
.266/.315/.369 in 436 ABs this year.

He's going to be 34 next year (he could be older, who knows), so maybe he's done.

But that is looking like a dynamite trade for the Braves.

Maybe Renteria can only function in the NL?

2008-08-27 09:54:52
85.   underdog
Furcal's injury was devastating to this team and bad luck. Whether he had been injured once before doesn't seem to change the fact that he was by all appearances both healthy and hot when the year started.

Absolutely, a lot of the injuries and struggles that happened probably could have been predicted or at least expected to a certain degree, but to have ALL of them occur together still seems a bit unlucky. Jones had regressed last year but I would've happily taken his stats from last year this season. Did anyone expect him to be THIS bad? Like, historically bad? I sure didn't. Saito's older so we could've expected something to happen to him this season, but he was healthy until the pennant drive.

The Dodgers have also literally had some bad luck streaks where they've hit the ball well but at people and nothing to show for it. That happens to every team but a couple of their streaks seem to have some BABIP + black cat curse about them.

Penny wasn't as effective in the second half last year but I didn't expect us to spend most of the season without the guy most experts said was our "ace" entering the season. (I could've predicted Bills would really become our ace, but didn't expect Penny to be worthless all year.) Oh, and that Cory Wade you mentioned who was a surprise, in a pleasant way, this season, and became a critical set-up man for the 'pen, he's been injured during this losing streak, too. His presence may have meant at least one win. Delwyn Young, arguably our one decent pinch hitter of the bench? Injured for more than a month. Third base? Nomar and Andy LaRoche, one of whom, very possibly the latter, would have started the season as our starter, both get injured in the same exhibition game and are out for a long while, forcing the Dodgers to look to a AA rook who ended up being surprisingly decent for awhile until he wasn't. That's just the typical injury bad luck but it's bad luck nonetheless.

I said, clearly, above, that a LOT of this is NedCo-created stupidity. I just said to say there's been no bad luck for the Dodgers this season, or that 2005 was all about bad luck, seems a little one-sided is all. Yes, a lot of this we could've seen coming and Ned didn't. That doesn't erase everything else.

Also, as much as I dislike NedCo, I'm STILL rooting for this team and still trying to be optimistic about them this season and beyond. Sometimes it's really hard to be here and continue to feel that way. Makes me want to take a break from here and from the Dodgers in general this week. (Maybe that will bring them better luck!) ;-)

2008-08-27 09:59:50
86.   Dane Bramage
In the "It just had to be done" department:

Steve Hymon in the Times' Bottleneck Blog joked that LA County Fair vendors needed to find a way to deep-fry Diet Coke. Well, someone is doing that with Pepsi!

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/

2008-08-27 10:02:13
87.   underdog
Btw, just to remain positive:

Andrew Lambo has me excited for the future!

Soon we'll see some Hu, Delwyn, the exciting debut of AJ Ellis and possibly James MacDonald! (And the return of Cory Wade)

The new Firefox for the Mac (v 3.0) rocks!

2008-08-27 10:02:57
88.   D4P
86
The North Carolina state fair had deep-fried coke a few years ago. I wasn't there, but I heard about it. I guess their "thing" is to deep-fry something new and unusual every year.
2008-08-27 10:04:40
89.   Disabled List
At some point, you can break everything down to such an extent that "bad luck" can be disproved. We lost our best hitter one month into the season to an injury. That's bad luck. You don't necessarily need to break it down any further than that.

There have been plenty of bad free-agent signings in baseball in the past 30 years. The 2008 Dodgers get the prize for having the all-time worst, in terms of dollars given out and production recieved. Unless you don't believe in the existence of luck at all, then that's got to be an indication of bad mojo on some level.

2008-08-27 10:04:46
90.   Tripon
Second baseman Jeff Kent talked his way into the lineup after Torre did not include him originally. Kent, 40, has had one game off this month after no fewer than four games off in each of the first four months of the season.

Jeff Kent, making this team weaker one game at a time.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-dodfyi27-2008aug27,0,6378982.story

2008-08-27 10:08:11
91.   Tripon
Pitcher Scott Elbert and shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. will play in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Rafters after fine seasons at Class AA Jacksonville. Via Diamond Leung.

Guess they're not getting called up this Sept.

2008-08-27 10:19:52
92.   Kevin Lewis
87

It has run pretty slow on my laptop, but that could be my Jeff Kent aging laptop and not the problem. It is a 4 year old powerbook that could be slowly coming to an end. I am debating an upgrade in ram vs. just letting it die out and getting a macbook.

2008-08-27 10:23:23
93.   D4P
92
Ahhh, planned obsolescence.
2008-08-27 10:23:24
94.   fracule
0 "When life gets you down Mrs. Brown, just remember that your standing on a planet that's evolving and revolving at 900 miles an hour..."
Seriously, I'm not getting depressed about those numbers. Dodgers Ops+ for 1988 was 97, 1 point higher than 2005. "Well, they had absolutely incredible pitching", you say (in the daftest english accent you can muster), and they did have great pitching, 113 era+, compared to this years team that has a 118 era+. We won't even go into the pitching numbers for 2005. I realize the league was a different place back then, but come on, "Always look on the bright side of life..."
2008-08-27 10:24:06
95.   Jon Weisman
94 - That reference is always welcome.
2008-08-27 10:27:14
96.   underdog
94 Awesome.
...So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure / how amazingly unlikely is your birth / and pray that there intelligent life somewhere up in space / cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
2008-08-27 10:29:42
97.   berkowit28
91 Why do you guess that? Arizona Fall League doesn't begin until Oct. 7. There's plenty of time for a September call-up before then, I'd have thought.
2008-08-27 10:30:55
98.   underdog
Okay, I've decided that I am indeed a jinx for the Dodgers so I'm going to mentally head back to the mountains as it were, even if I physically can't. And this weekend will be up in Sonoma. So if I'm not here quite as much (we'll just see about that) it's because I'm trying to help the team and you can thank me if they start winning again.
2008-08-27 10:35:11
99.   ToyCannon
90
A tired old Jeff Kent versus Pablo Osuna. Couldn't have been to hard to talk himself into the lineup given the alternative.
2008-08-27 10:36:44
100.   regfairfield
Miguel Cabrera's sponsor on Baseball Reference:

leanbodyfitness.com - Need Fat Loss? What About Sports Training? Check Out the Lean Body Fitness Plans and Start NOW on your Health and Fitness Goals.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-27 10:37:39
101.   MollyKnight
Shannen Doherty! Jennie Garth! Together on the cover of the new Entertainment Weekly!!

http://perezhilton.com/

2008-08-27 10:40:07
102.   Tripon
99 An tired old Jeff Kent in the 3 spot vs. Ozuna in the 8th spot.
2008-08-27 10:42:57
103.   kinbote
67 Most disappointing teams in baseball this year:

5. Mariners--The extent of their fall is surprising.
4. Dodgers--It's been discussed.
3. Rockies--Jon saw it coming.
2. Indians--Is Victor Martinez the real MVP?
1. Tigers--From juggernaunt to bust.

Just missed: Braves

2008-08-27 10:44:14
104.   LogikReader
How about the Padres? Going from a WC Playoff to dead last is a colossal fall from grace, isn't it?
2008-08-27 10:50:05
105.   dzzrtRatt
The D-Backs' misfortune is one reason why the Dodgers still have a chance. Orlando Hudson, probably their best player, was .305/.367/.450 when his season ended. His replacement, Augie Ojeda is .253/.363/.318. We also won't see Upton or Byrnes who loom in my imagination as players who thwart Dodger hopes and dreams.

But I would agree, Furcal's injury, Jones' stepping off a cliff and Penny's deterioration all strike me as "bad luck" not bad GM work. Jones should've been good for 24 home runs and a .220 average. We'd have complained about that, too, but he should've been able to help the team more than he did. I put Schmidt in the bad luck category, too. To be less than he was, that's to be expected. But for Schmidt to disappear completely can't be put on Colletti any more than Drew's fractured wrist in 2005 could be put on DePo.

2008-08-27 10:50:47
106.   delias man
103 That list will have the Mets on it Sep 28, around 430p.
2008-08-27 11:04:13
107.   kinbote
104 106 Agreed.
2008-08-27 11:04:25
108.   Tripon
Thus the man for whom blocking the Adam Dunn trade was out of the question because the team might actually have to pay his remaining salary. Ditto for forcing the Red Sox to take on all of Manny Ramirez' remaining salary. A month ago, Eric Enders wondered whether McCourt has the pelf to swing such a deal; now you have to ask whether he simply doesn't trust Ned to go shopping on his own. -via 6-4-2

Should we really blame NedCo for not paying Manny? The original deal had Florida asking for all of this, including Boston paying Manny's salary. This isn't a case where the Indians paid Casey Blake's salary to pick up better prospects. Its not as if we weren't going to give up Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris if we picked up Manny's Salary. Both of the players the Dodgers gave up went to Pittsburgh, not Boston and Pittsburgh required two prospects from the Dodgers to make it worthwhile for them.

2008-08-27 11:04:30
109.   Kevin Lewis
Just finished the Bronx Banter thread on "Ugliosity"

I wish we had ARod on our team to complain about

2008-08-27 11:04:36
110.   ToyCannon
103
The Indians have won 9 in a row but not having CC going forward does not bode well for their immediate future.

I'm not sure we belong on the list. I don't think anyone expected anything more then 90 wins at most and quite a few people thought we had an ordinary team.

Other then Bavasi did anyone expect the Mariners to have a good season?

I would put the Yankee's on the list before the Dodgers. Given the payroll and expectations not even being in the playoff hunt in August has to be a huge surprise.

2008-08-27 11:09:31
111.   Terry A
91 - A city with a great name like Surprise should be ashamed for naming its team the Rafters. This is an AFL team; they should've been more creative.

The Surprise Parties. The Surprise Pregnancies. The Elements of Surprise.

Surprise Rafters. Sheesh.

2008-08-27 11:11:47
112.   Underbruin
This day in history, from thebaseballpage.com:

On August 27, 1988, manager Tommy Lasorda records his 1,000th victory, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2. Lasorda will win a total of 1,613 games, before gaining election to the Hall of Fame in 1997.

2008-08-27 11:16:52
113.   Bluebleeder87
good stuff DzzrtRatt
2008-08-27 11:18:55
114.   ToyCannon
This season has seen the largest turnover from good to bad and bad to good that I can ever recall. Maybe someday we will even see the Rays atop the AL Eastern Division in August.
2008-08-27 11:26:38
115.   cargill06
Old friend Andy LaRoche is not making a very good impression in Pittsburgh. He's 0-3 today making his first 75 PA's there look like this, .119/.213/.239 for a OPS+ of 18
2008-08-27 11:30:47
116.   Underbruin
109 - I wish we had 70 wins to complain about. Le sigh.
2008-08-27 11:31:08
117.   ToyCannon
Interesting game in Jacksonville last night.
Lambo hits his 1st home run batting 5th and playing LF. Elbert struck out the side in his only inning of work. Clayton Allison one of the heroes of the 2008 College World Series won the game. DeJesus continued his hitting streak which I think is approaching 20.

Allison who was drafted in the 29th round finds himself pitching for the AA team. I'm not quite sure what to make of a 29th round pick skipping all the way to AA to make their professional debut. I guess they needed pitchers. Anyway in case anyone forgot what he did in the college world series here is a link.
http://tinyurl.com/6r6y6x

2008-08-27 11:33:53
118.   ToyCannon
109
Did you see the graph Alex put together on the lastest thread. The 2008 numbers stand out for how bad they are compared to his historical numbers.
2008-08-27 11:39:58
119.   ToyCannon
109
I didn't know it had fallen into a Arod hate fest but I loved the "The Yankees are the Knights of the Round Table. We have seen their great triumphs; and now we see their morte" comparison by post 14.
2008-08-27 11:42:00
120.   ToyCannon
This would appear to be a mismatch.
COL: L. Hernandez (1-2, 15.32)
SF: T. Lincecum (14-3, 2.48)
2008-08-27 11:53:27
121.   kinbote
110 All good points.
2008-08-27 12:00:39
122.   Bumsrap
Keep your season tickets by buying them now for 2009 at 2008 prices because we have Manny now and we might not have him when you usually buy your tickets for next year. And buy them now because you think there is still a chance that the Dodgers will have a post season and don't wait until you know that they didn't.
2008-08-27 12:04:39
123.   cargill06
The D'Backs did what I expected in post 8 from yesterdays game thread.

Looks like we're facing Davis, Haren, Webb this weekend than Haren, Webb, Johnson next weekend.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/schedule?team=ari

2008-08-27 12:06:08
124.   underdog
117 DeJesus hitting streak is at 19 games. And here's a write-up of that game, lots of good stuff indeed:

http://tinyurl.com/6madl6

now back to lurking ;-)

2008-08-27 12:11:32
125.   JoeyP
Suprised they didnt skip Doug Davis & just pitch Petit the 1st game.

Davis hasnt been very good at all for the Dbax the 2nd half of the season.

2008-08-27 12:15:29
126.   bhsportsguy
122 I'll probably end up making a deposit now since I was going to buy my tix for next year anyway.

Has this been discussed, sounds similar in many ways to the Hochevar situation.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3556133

2008-08-27 12:23:49
127.   cargill06
109 , 116 - They probably wish they had Kuroda to complain about.
2008-08-27 12:25:30
128.   cargill06
127 Their manager said they had to win 2 out of 3 against Boston and they're sending Sidney Ponson to the mound tonight.
2008-08-27 12:28:37
129.   El Lay Dave
111 How about the Surprise Surprise Surprise?
2008-08-27 12:33:08
130.   trainwreck
I hope Merriman gets a sack and then does his lights out dance and in the middle of his dance his knee just explodes.
2008-08-27 12:34:08
131.   Harold M Johnson
128 yeah but ponson if facing paul byrd...
2008-08-27 12:47:50
132.   Dane Bramage
Anagram for Joe Torre:

Jeer Root.

And, yes, I am bored...

2008-08-27 12:49:43
133.   LAT
Wadda you know, I learned a new word today: internecine. Thanks DT.
2008-08-27 12:53:52
134.   scareduck
126 - I was listening to the Pirates feed of the Cubs/Pirates game this morning on my way to work on XM, and they were (s-l-o-w-l-y) discussing this. It all turns on when the contract was in fact signed. But as far as I can tell, Alvarez should go back into the draft next year even if Boras is right. It's a big bluff by Boras, who looks to be overstepping no matter which day the contract was signed on.

An interesting side note here that was not covered in the AP article you linked to that they discussed on the Pirates broadcast is that MLB is apparently tying the Alvarez contract to that of another first-rounder, Eric Hosmer, whose contract was submitted after Alvarez'. Baseball America has the complete text of the team's statement:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/news/2008/266761.html

You can also read it at the Pirates' website:

http://tinyurl.com/59yu7q

2008-08-27 12:56:14
135.   gpellamjr
133 And how fitting that you commemorate it with post 133, the year of the first internecine violence in Roman history!
2008-08-27 12:57:21
136.   bhsportsguy
134 I saw that too. In the end, having both declared free agents is probably not the worse thing that could happen for Boras.
2008-08-27 12:59:06
137.   cargill06
Too much C. Baek

0-0 Bottom 2nd down in San Diego

2008-08-27 12:59:42
138.   Eric Stephen
136
Will this be another technicality loophole found by Boras, similar to the Matt White / Travis Lee year?
2008-08-27 13:02:59
139.   CodyS
With luck, Colletti will replace DePodesta on the Padres. Or maybe become his boss!

This is the part of the season where Joe Torre can prove he is a good manager. The team is playing poorly at a critical time, making mental mistakes and altering their approaches for the worse under pressure. Basically it seems as though the players are letting externalities affect their in-game effort. This is EXACTLY what Joe is supposed to be good at and why he can be paid $4M, so it's put up or shut up time.

2008-08-27 13:03:41
140.   Jim Hitchcock
133 Yes, but as a lawyer, you've probably resorted to internecine warfare plenty of times.
2008-08-27 13:05:14
141.   cargill06
139 If the hitting doesn't improve today or tomorrow, I say Friday you have early BP with the lefties working on only pulling the ball and the righties going the other way. Let's just hit a bunch of balls the RF this weekend and see what happens.
2008-08-27 13:07:46
142.   scareduck
136 - it's hard to see how this could be considered a good thing for Boras. MLB has evidence that Boras negotiates in bad faith, as demonstrated by the Hosmer deal, and his player gets to remain an amateur for another year instead of getting professional experience.

138 - this is not a loophole, though I expect Boras wants it to appear so. Placing Alvarez on the restricted list is an interesting wrinkle; unless there is a time limit on the restricted list, it's effectively a death sentence for his professional career.

2008-08-27 13:11:09
143.   LAT
Ratt, I usally agree with you but not 105 : There were people here who thought Jones was in decline enough not to sign him. While he has perfomed worse than any could have been expected, a steep decline was forseeable. (I didn't see it but others did.) With regard to Schmidt, the Giants didn't even offer him a contract. I believe, he and the Giants knew he was injured. (Of course, this is speculation but people who follow the Giants were not even clamoring for him to re-sign.) If this were the case, is it Ned's fault for not detecting an exisitng injury? No, that falls to the medical staff but there were signs that Schmidt had been spending more time on the DL and had lost a lot of his stuff. For me, I can't chalk Jones and Schmidt up to just "bad luck." Some bad decision making went into the mix too.
2008-08-27 13:11:16
144.   Howard Fox
122 actually the way I look at it: the Dodgers would raise the prices Manny or no Manny, so why not lock in the renewal at 2008 prices...and...this way I can split my payment, part now and the balance in January...
2008-08-27 13:16:34
145.   LAT
135. I knew that. I had been stalking the entire thread waiting for my moment. Ok, maybe not.
2008-08-27 13:17:01
146.   Underbruin
127 - Good point.

On an unrelated note, the mention of ARod's stats with RISP got me looking at the Dodgers' splits for the season. One thing I found interesting, is that the team does seem to be more inclined to take a walk as opposed to swinging away, with men in scoring position.

Season stat-line - .259/.324/.386
Season RISP line - .254/.355/.358

BABIP is almost identical between the two (.299 and .302, respectively). Obviously, the BAs are basically the same. But OBP rises significantly, and SLG drops just as significantly.

For comparison, the same stats for the Angels (a team I consider fairly free-swinging):

Season - .264/.326/.404
RISP - .289/.364/.437

For one, the Angels are getting lucky on balls in play with RISP (BABIP jumps from .295 to .313, a pretty sizable leap). For two, though the Angels see a similar rise in OBP, it seems to be driven largely by more hits.

Don't know if I'd want to draw any conclusions just yet, but the comparisons are interesting, I think.

2008-08-27 13:19:20
147.   scareduck
142 - The BTF thread on this is also interesting:

http://tinyurl.com/5vu59u

Reading between the lines, this is about Boras maintaining his reputation as a master negotiator, his client's actual interests be damned. A careful reading of the team's statement suggests the Pirates went around Boras to get the Alvarez deal done, and that Boras therefore has a score to settle.

2008-08-27 13:21:16
148.   scareduck
146 - I've been having this argument with Matt Welch now for years. If you look at the numbers over the last few (IIRC since 2004), the Angels have been outperforming their overall numbers with RISP fairly consistently. It's the one compelling piece of evidence you can bring to bear that the RISP2 nonsense that Mike Scioscia feeds the press might have something behind it.
2008-08-27 13:21:56
149.   ToyCannon
142
This will be interesting to see how it unravels. Just glad Kershaw did not have Boras as his agent.
2008-08-27 13:22:07
150.   Disabled List
Joe Posnanski is writing for SI.com now.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-27 13:26:10
151.   27indigo
Tony Jackson reports Ozuna DFAd, DeWitt recalled.
http://tinyurl.com/6e58ev
2008-08-27 13:27:01
152.   27indigo
Although I suppose that should be DdFA, not DFAd.
2008-08-27 13:28:36
153.   bhsportsguy
146 That has always been the case with the Angels, now I wonder if their base running plays into this too, which is all that stuff about stealing, taking extra bases (putting pressure on the defense comments) does open up more holes and allows them to get more hits on balls put into play.

Who knows?

2008-08-27 13:29:16
154.   bhsportsguy
151 And the Dewitt to 2B experiment begins.
2008-08-27 13:29:28
155.   trainwreck
151
Cool.
2008-08-27 13:30:52
156.   ToyCannon
151
Makes sense, I was wondering if he was on the way when he didn't play for Vegas last night. Now we can sit Kent down when he needs to. It will be funny if DeWitt comes in for "defensive" purposes late in the game.
2008-08-27 13:31:29
157.   bhsportsguy
147 If Boras was is official representative (which is always tricky with baseball draftees due to trying to keep their non-professional status as leverage), then I think the Pirates would probably have violated some type of rules set in place in the CBA. Now, if the client (like A-Rod) renounced his representation, that would be a mitigating factor.
2008-08-27 13:31:37
158.   ToyCannon
So can we assume he did okay at 2nd during his stint in Vegas or they wouldn't be making this move?
2008-08-27 13:32:31
159.   Kevin Lewis
Good for Blake. I am happy to see him back...it's like old times.
2008-08-27 13:34:33
160.   27indigo
I'm perfectly content with letting DeWitt take over for Kent, but will Ned go into 2009 with both DeWitt at 2B and either DeJesus or Hu at SS? Does this mean they'll attempt to re-sign Casey Blake, his desire to return to Cleveland notwithstanding?

DeJesus to DeWitt is a bit of a tongue twister!

2008-08-27 13:37:15
161.   Dane Bramage
151 Now maybe we'll see Dodger Talk callers saying that DeWitt will be the Dodgers' lineup "Spark" like Pierre...
2008-08-27 13:38:02
162.   underdog
Aww, Ozuna, we hardly knew ye! {Just kidding. It's a good move. Better than waiting another week. It's why Kent hasn't had any time off. No one decent to replace him when he sits.}

Also, you'll be excited to know that Burt Reynolds' BL Stryker: The Complete Series is coming to DVD in a month. Sigh, back to work.

2008-08-27 13:40:29
163.   trainwreck
162
I will? I have never heard of that show before.
2008-08-27 13:41:23
164.   Kevin Lewis
I am sad. I just realized "Freaks and Geeks" is only one season.
2008-08-27 13:43:13
165.   trainwreck
164
Yeah, I finished it last night. Sad.

Guess I will have to go through the Mighty Boosh and then find another show to watch.

2008-08-27 13:44:02
166.   ToyCannon
It is shocking that Torre has left Pierre on the bench during this futile period. I bet that changes tonight.
2008-08-27 13:44:04
167.   Disabled List
Now all we need to do is DFA Berroa and call up Hu, and the title is secured.
2008-08-27 13:44:16
168.   scareduck
157 - representation for amateurs -- or doing anything at all for amateur players, really -- has been one thing MLBPA couldn't care less about.
2008-08-27 13:46:52
169.   Doctor
I think its time to stop considering Loney anything but mediocre defensively. Statistically he is actually well below avg. Only Howard has more errors- all the rest of the stat derivatives are not very favorable either. I actually think 1B is the biggest weak spot for the Ds this year. I dread seeing Loney up with men on base, that's not a good place to be.
2008-08-27 13:51:27
170.   cargill06
169 Hard to argue against 2B, but I'm very discouraged about Loney after this year and after 4 of 6 years in the minors with a OPS below .800 I think about a .800 OPS is all we can hope for from him making him well below league AVG for a 1B.

Did I just open an old can of worms?

2008-08-27 13:52:27
171.   regfairfield
And Angel Berroa dodges another bullet...
2008-08-27 13:54:07
172.   ToyCannon
No Dodgers deserves to be up right now with RISP, singling out Loney seems strange. His DP rate has dropped dramatically since the 1st half.
2008-08-27 13:55:46
173.   ToyCannon
170
Is that well below average for a 1st baseman these days? I know everyone seems to think the league is full of slugging corner infielders but I don't see it.
2008-08-27 13:55:47
174.   still bevens
Isn't Loney only 24? Not time to write him off just yet.
2008-08-27 13:56:43
175.   Eric Stephen
Per Diamond, "DeWitt is not in the lineup, with Kent and third baseman Casey Blake starting."
2008-08-27 13:56:54
176.   regfairfield
169 He's mediocre now, he's got the skill set to be better.

2008 James Loney is not a good player, but unless we can get a real upgrade we need to stick with him because of his upside.

2008-08-27 13:57:59
177.   Alex41592
DeWitt is up to give Casey and Kent some days off. Welcome back DeWitt. Casey has played every game since being acquired plus DeWitt gives us a left handed bat which we need.
2008-08-27 13:58:45
178.   cargill06
173 You're right, not as bad as I thought. Loney's OPS+ this year 107, the major league average 1B is 115.
2008-08-27 14:00:08
179.   KG16
153 - that's always been one of the arguments for the hit and run, fielders have to move to cover the base, opening more space for the hitter to put the ball in play. The Angels tend to hit-and-run, run-and-hit. Additionally, by taking extra bases, you make it easier to score. Runner on third with 0 or 1 out requires the hitter to put the ball in play to get the run in. Runner stopping at second requires a hit to fall to get him in.
2008-08-27 14:01:10
180.   ToyCannon
Below is the link for corner infielders sorted by OPS who have played 80 games or more. I think it is quite a stretch to say that Loney is well below average. The league's offensive capabilities have dropped and expectations should not be same as if this was 2001.

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/ya4t

2008-08-27 14:01:35
181.   Eric Stephen
173
2008 MLB 1B: .270/.352/.453

Loney is slightly below average. Here are the top 30 1B this year, by OPS+

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/UqSE

2008-08-27 14:04:23
182.   ToyCannon
And he's only 24.

Lambo barely put up an OPS > 800 this season but many consider him the best hitting prospect in the organization for two reasons. The context of the league he's in, and the age at which he performed in the league. Loney was quite young for all his leagues.

2008-08-27 14:05:05
183.   Doctor
For some reason the NL First basemen are much better than the AL (b/c of the DH??). Loney compares very badly in the NL, only slightly below avg for MLB.
That's odd.
2008-08-27 14:05:10
184.   CodyS
I liked Ozuna better than Berroa, but whatever. DeWitt was putting up an .850 OPS at Vegas. Which based on Maza & Tiffee, means he will put up about a .600 OPS in the bigs. Someone needs to be putting up 1.200 or 1.300 at AAA before I'd believe they would be an immediate contribute to the major league roster. In fact, Andruw Jones is putting up 1.200, so I guess you need to be putting up 1.600 or so. It's fairly pointless to even have a AAA team if you put it in the PCL.

Separately (or not) Casey Blake is listed in ESPN (Crasnick) as one of the worst September performers of recent times. Last 4 Septembers

.202, .196, .219, .302

2008-08-27 14:05:43
185.   regfairfield
180 The double plays are still a factor too. Loney is third in the league in Net DP, or double plays above what's expected. If Loney was better than slightly below average offensively, this wouldn't be as much of a problem but with everything taken into account, it really hurts his value.

The Dodgers have three of the top 18 in baseball in Net DP this year, and Nomar and Berroa made it on to the list with their limited play time. It's a problem with slow contact hitters.

2008-08-27 14:07:22
186.   ToyCannon
Did Berroa become slow also? Wasn't speed his last skill remaining. When did he become a contact hitter?
2008-08-27 14:09:59
187.   JoeyP
It must suck for Ozuna.
The rosters expand Sept 1st, so the Dodgers could have waited 5 games for Dewitt.

I guess they really dont think Ozuna can fill in there for the next game Kent needs a day off.

2008-08-27 14:11:03
188.   ToyCannon
All this reminds me of what everyone was saying about James last August when he struggled. Everyone was strangely silent by the time Sept ended, with most of us wowed by what he did during that month. Was it a career month, or was it simply a harbinger of things to come but caused our expectations to be set to high?
2008-08-27 14:11:24
189.   CodyS
I don't quite understand why Loney was so much better at the plate than expected previously but now is about as good as expected (which is to say, sort of meh.)
Did pitchers "figure him out?"

In the field, he is spectacular but not solid. That's not where you want to be.

2008-08-27 14:12:16
190.   regfairfield
186 At least looking at his stolen base numbers, he hasn't been fast for a while.
2008-08-27 14:12:51
191.   ToyCannon
187
Jackson thinks he will clear waivers and then just get added on Sept 1st, so really he is just getting an early vacation. Pinch runners are used in abundance during the fake Sept month.
2008-08-27 14:15:11
192.   delias man
I hope the Padres run today's line up out there a few games vs. the Dodgers. It may be historically bad.
2008-08-27 14:15:19
193.   regfairfield
191 There are some contenders that could use him. Probably a 50% chance he stays.
2008-08-27 14:16:39
194.   Alex41592
1-0 D'Backs Top 6.
2008-08-27 14:16:46
195.   Eric Stephen
Cha Seung Baek blinked first. A Reynolds sac fly makes it 1-0 AZ.
2008-08-27 14:16:50
196.   scareduck
1-0 Snakes in the top of the sixth. Buddy Black is giving Cha Seung Baek the hook.
2008-08-27 14:18:16
197.   D4P
Funny to get pulled after giving up a sac fly, with a runner at 1st and 2 outs, down 1-0.
2008-08-27 14:18:35
198.   Eric Stephen
180
Of the 61 corner infielders on your list, the Oakland duo of Jack Hannahan (58th) and Daric Barton (60th) are smack at the bottom. Ouch.
2008-08-27 14:18:59
199.   ToyCannon
189
Where do you want him to be at age 24? An all-star already. Take a look at the list of players a head of him. Given his age he's doing just fine. In two more years if he hasn't advanced to an above average 1st baseman then people have a right to complain, but complaining about a 24 year old not being above average just seems like the problems lie in the expectations, not in the player himself.
Cey, Garvey, Lopes, none of them were above average at age 24.
2008-08-27 14:20:07
200.   Alex41592
2-0 D'Backs.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-08-27 14:20:25
201.   JoeyP
I'm under the impression anyone can put up at least an average ERA at PETCO.

The Padres have gotten scraps like Reineke and Baek off the junk pile & they perform just like any other PVL when they are in petco.

The Padres have a few pieces to build from like Headley, Gerut, Kouz, A-Gon. But their 2b/SS combo is dreadful.

2008-08-27 14:20:31
202.   scareduck
Miguel Montero triples and it's 2-0 Snakes.
2008-08-27 14:21:22
203.   scareduck
3-0 Snacks on Chris Young's double.
2008-08-27 14:21:24
204.   Eric Stephen
3-0. Floodgates here. The Unit looks in good shape for 295.
2008-08-27 14:21:48
205.   Dane Bramage
Henlsey must have his best stuff today ;-)
2008-08-27 14:22:43
206.   Eric Stephen
201
Jody Gerut is a piece to build from?
2008-08-27 14:23:45
207.   JoeyP
Randy Johnson has to be having the best pitching season ever for someone 45 years old (which he'll turn on Sept 10th).

It may be the best season of someone older than 40 (unless Clemens had a few good ones then, I cant remember).

2008-08-27 14:24:25
208.   regfairfield
201 Pretty much. Anyone that just throws strikes can be decent somewhere like Petco or Oakland.
2008-08-27 14:24:46
209.   D4P
You can now watch Reynolds's sac fly on Gameday video...!
2008-08-27 14:25:34
210.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-08-27 14:25:47
211.   Alex41592
Well Clay Hensley is just awful.
2008-08-27 14:25:54
212.   JoeyP
206--My bad I keep thinking Gerut is younger that what he really is. No, he's not a piece to build from.

But Gerut/Hairston in CF isnt a bad stopgap for 2009/2010.

Padres really need to decide if Headley has the bat to really play LF. If he doesnt, move him back to 3b (or 2b), and trade Kouz.

2008-08-27 14:25:59
213.   scareduck
4-0 Snacks. There's always room for Jell-O.
2008-08-27 14:27:20
214.   JoeyP
Also, did Chad Reineke & Chad Billingsley pitch on the same high school team?

It says both were born in Defiance, OH.

Defiance isnt a very big town.

I'm sure Canuck would know.

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