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About Jon
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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
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Furcal Should Not Be Top Dodger Priority
2008-12-15 13:34
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I like Rafael Furcal, quite a bit in fact, but the injury-riddled shortstop's on-field future is at least as uncertain as that of the top free-agent outfielders available to the Dodgers. And if you have to settle for a good-field, no-bat player in the lineup, shortstop is where you want him, where he can make more plays that matter. Better Chin-Lung Hu than Juan Pierre.

The Dodgers should prioritize an outfield signing. Then, if Furcal doesn't agree to terms and they have to settle for Hu batting eighth (with Ivan DeJesus, Jr. rising through the system behind him), no one should mind.

* * *

EQAs for the past three years, 2006-08 (.260 is average):

Bobby Abreu, age 34: .324, .293, .299
Pat Burrell, age 32: .300, .312, .300
Adam Dunn, age 29: .286, .311, .303/.304
Manny Ramirez, age 36: .344, .303, .317/.403
Juan Pierre, age 31: .253, .258, .252
Andruw Jones, age 31: .301, .257, .177

Dodger salary commitments to date for 2009 sit in the $70 million range.

Sign an outfielder. Let Pierre serve as his backup/late-inning defensive caddy. See if Jones appears resurrected in Spring Training, and if he does, make a trade. If he doesn't, prepare to dump him.

* * *

Here are the 11 sub-.800 OPS months of Ramirez's 16-year career, in reverse chronological order:

.741 May 2008
.629 April 2007
.749 August 2007
.796 September 2006
.725 May 2005
.496 June 2002 (21 plate appearances)
.680 June 1995
.647 September 1995
.465 May 1994
.782 July 1994
.502 September 1993 (debut)

Update: Furcal's agent said Furcal will decide which contract offer to accept by Tuesday, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.

I don't know if this renders part or all of my post moot. If so, that would be the second time that's happened to me in the past week. Sigh.

Comments (392)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-12-15 14:00:20
1.   bhsportsguy
I am not sure one signing is wholly dependednt on the other.

From what I can gather, the Dodgers last communications with both Furcal and Ramirez remain at 2 years with the possiblility of 3 years if the players reach certain numbers of game played.

Also, the market for corner outfielders remains in the hands of the buyers right now, no team is currently hot after the other candidates after Manny Ramirez.

Unless you are advocating a 4-5 year contract for Ramirez, I am not sure what else the Dodgers can do to speed things along.

2008-12-15 14:03:22
2.   Jon Weisman
BH, you misunderstand me, which is surprising. :)

I never said that the Dodgers haven't moved fast enough - in fact, I'm one of the ones who has expressed patience with them. I'm not saying that one signing is dependent on the other.

But if you could only go the extra mile on one of them, I would go with an outfielder. The Dodgers have given indications that their priority is Furcal. While those indications could be a smokescreen, I still feel like it's worth saying which is more important.

The other point I'm making is that it doesn't have to be Ramirez or bust in the outfield.

2008-12-15 14:04:10
3.   Tripon
If you sign Furcal for more than 3 years, what do you do with Hu and DeJesus?
2008-12-15 14:04:12
4.   kngoworld
I just don't see the Dodgers signing an outfielder not named Manny. If Manny goes elsewhere I think the organization is fine with Pierre/Jones. Looks to me like adding a pitcher should be the top priority for the team. Lowe was never the best, but he was very consistent his entire time in a Dodger uniform, that is hard to replace.
2008-12-15 14:05:06
5.   Dodger Dawg
For what it's worth, I agree totally. To hold up building the team for the shortstop possession is ridiculous.
2008-12-15 14:05:39
6.   trainwreck
Since Furcal will be an Athletic soon, this can all be moot.

We definitely should be prioritizing an outfielder and pitching, because that is where the talent is.

2008-12-15 14:07:03
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - I'm up for the Dodgers adding a starting pitcher, but since they don't figure to allocate an eight-figure annual salary to a pitcher at this point - no healthy pitcher that I can think of would command such a figure - I don't see that as something that's going to interfere with augmenting the lineup.
2008-12-15 14:07:33
8.   Tripon
4 Dodgers already have Mr. Consistency and his nickname is His Royal Thighness.
2008-12-15 14:07:39
9.   KG16
in re hero logos: missed 5.
2008-12-15 14:08:34
10.   Tripon
http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/mariners/2008/12/15/title_726

Moyer's deal is 2 years, $16 million.

2008-12-15 14:09:15
11.   Disabled List
From 337 in the last thread - Palmeiro also has 500 HRs, PEDs or not, that is a combo that seems very hard to keep out given a 19 year career.

As soon as Palmeiro becomes eligible, we're all going to see how easy it will be to keep him out of the Hall of Fame. Remember, Mark McGwire still hasn't come close to being elected, and unlike Rafael, McGwire was never actually caught using PED's.

2008-12-15 14:09:20
12.   fanerman
I agree. Outfield bat and pitching are higher priorities than SS.
2008-12-15 14:13:16
13.   Ken Noe
When Ned/McCourt made the deal for Manny last summer, it was a final acknowledgment that Pierre in left wasn't cutting it. If LA doesn't sign Manny this winter--and especially if Raffy dons green--I fully expect a deal for one of the others, perhaps Abreu given his Torre connection.
2008-12-15 14:14:24
14.   Eric Enders
I only got 11/24 on the Marvel quiz. Needless to say, I've never been a comic book reader.
2008-12-15 14:15:39
15.   Tripon
On The Sports Lodge, on the Angels' flagship station (AM 830 KLAA), Angels Mike Scioscia discussed a few items of interest. The skipper disputed the idea that he wouldn't want Manny Ramirez on his team, and he said that the Angels have reached out to Red Sox manager Terry Francona to get a feel for what it's like to have Manny on your team.

I always felt this was a bit odd, people say that Manny wouldn't be able to play with Scioscia, with I guess citing the Guillen incident. But Guillen's not in Manny's lead, and Manny's a different kind of a nutcase. If Guillen's a malcontent, Manny's just moody.

http://tinyurl.com/6gb2xs

2008-12-15 14:16:00
16.   Eric Enders
3 Regular readers will already know by heart my answer to that question: Move Furcal to CF eventually.
2008-12-15 14:17:05
17.   underdog
14 Yah, it was surprisingly tough. To be precise, it wasn't a Marvel quiz, just superheroes in general. A few of them not even of the comic book variety (and one of those made me laugh).
2008-12-15 14:18:04
18.   Tripon
Spider-man hasn't used that logo in years!
2008-12-15 14:19:38
19.   fanerman
I got 16. Much disappointment. Greatest American Hero (or whatever he/she's called)? The Incredibles have a logo? I read a few comics in my day (Batman, X-Men), but I didn't read too many of the more obscure ones.
2008-12-15 14:20:43
20.   oshea2002
4 - that may jive with the rumors that the Dodgers have a separate budget for Manny, and that it's him or no one with the money allocated for him. We'll see.
2008-12-15 14:21:00
21.   trainwreck
Looks like I am the super-hero master. Take that, Robin!
2008-12-15 14:22:39
22.   Tripon
21 Robin already took it. DC canceled his monthly months ago.
2008-12-15 14:22:47
23.   Bob Hendley
13 - Strange, I have the opposite view: the Bums would have JP in LF if they don't sign Manny and especially if Rafi dons green. I don't think that Ned can justify more outfield money unless its a significant upgrade on what JP produces. Evenmoreso (is that a word?) if Rafi is not around to lead-off.
2008-12-15 14:24:04
24.   trainwreck
Dodgers will have a PR nightmare if they do not bring back Manny or any decent free agent.
2008-12-15 14:24:10
25.   ToyCannon
Mr Jones has now struck out 5 times in 9 official plate appearances.

I also agree with 4 in that if Manny is not signed I don't see them adding one of the ponderous three.

Rafy is a priority if the alternative is Cabrera/Wilson/Berroa. If the alternative is letting Hu/Abreu/DeJesus fight it out, fine but otherwise I'd rather overpay for Rafy then pay anything for the terrible trio when our low cost in house solutions are just as good if not better.

2008-12-15 14:25:28
26.   Tripon
How much are the Dodgers paying Jones' Dominican team to play him?
2008-12-15 14:26:51
27.   wronghanded
23 2 things to note here:
JP is not a good lead-off hitter
Manny is a significant upgrade over JP in LF

It's Manny or bust, of course I'm not against Lowe if we can land him for 2 or 3 years.

2008-12-15 14:27:43
28.   Jon Weisman
25 - In terms of what I see the Dodgers doing, I agree with you.
2008-12-15 14:28:25
29.   oshea2002
24 - I agree. It depends where they go too. I don't think Manny to NY is a PR disaster; whereas Manny to Anaheim would be.

25 - that's exactly what I said in the last thread. If they want to move on from Furcal (and if it's him or Manny and SP's, then yes, I totally agree) fine, but don't go out and sign Cabrera and fork over picks to CWS in the process.

2008-12-15 14:31:07
30.   mwhite06
Dodgers will have a PR nightmare if they do not bring back Manny or any decent free agent.

I don't know about that. Everyone said the Dodgers would have a PR nightmare and that Ned would be fired for Jones having a horrible year, and then a mid-season acquisition shows up and all is forgotten. I think there is a pretty short attention span when it comes to things like that, especially regarding not making a move in the offseason.

2008-12-15 14:31:20
31.   Bob Hendley
27 - I agree with both those statements.
2008-12-15 14:32:17
32.   Harold M Johnson
30 I don't remember most people saying that, since Jones was only signed for 2 years. Most people I've read haven't bashed Ned for signing Jones (as opposed to Pierre and Schmidt).
2008-12-15 14:32:21
33.   silverwidow
Hu's defense is otherworldly. Off-the-charts incredible, from what I've seen.

Giving him another chance at a full-time gig is absolutely necessary. If he posts a .600 OPS, then move on.

2008-12-15 14:32:56
34.   Dave60
0 I vote for Dunn. Seems like his price is coming down, plus he's the youngest so least likely to slide into a steep decline. Also, my fantasy club outfield is Dunn, Kemp, and Ethier. I'd love for my two ballclubs to overlap nicely.
2008-12-15 14:33:06
35.   Eric Enders
But weren't Jamie McCourt's infamous comments an attempt to preempt the "PR nightmare"? Meaning that the Dodgers are at least bracing for the possibility that they will sign no one.
2008-12-15 14:33:44
36.   oshea2002
30 - I think they are bit different. Jones was a mistake, but I think a bad signing is different from just cutting payroll and letting guys walk. I think the average fan will look at those things differently. I think most of us would prefer letting someone walk over a mistake like Jones or Pierre, but I don't think the majority of fans see it that way.
2008-12-15 14:34:30
37.   Tripon
It sounds like Jack Wilson was a lark pushed by people in Pittsburgh. Why was it that the Pittsburgh press always 'broke' new details about teams interested in Jack Wilson, yet none of the other local papers such as the L.A. Times, Daily News, P-E, or any of the Detroit Papers have any new info concerning Jack Wilson? It got to the point where Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte was calling out Tony Jackson for saying the Dodgers didn't talk to the Pirates since last July, and yet the only 'new' news came out from Kovaevic, and most of it was dead wrong.
2008-12-15 14:34:32
38.   mwhite06
32 That sports guy on the KCAL pre-game show would tee off on Ned for the Jones signing as Jones was getting booed when he left the on-deck cirle. Not saying these guys are right, but that would consitute bad press.
2008-12-15 14:36:16
39.   mwhite06
36 True enough. I suppose its hard for me to consider what the "average fan" thinks since (like most people at DT) I don't consider myself an average fan.
2008-12-15 14:37:02
40.   Bob Hendley
If we don't get Rafi, then Senhor Snipes Senior can have the job until Hu or Ivan displace him, no?
2008-12-15 14:39:00
41.   silverwidow
If you let Hu play second base right now, he's the best in baseball. His range is simply insane.
2008-12-15 14:39:47
42.   wronghanded
31 I'm sorry, I must have misread your post, for a moment I thought that you were advocating Pierre. Needless to say, even if we do sign Manny this offseason, we have more ???? heading into '09 as we did in '08. The rotation scares me, I could see our pitching depth being an achilles heel for next year's squad.
2008-12-15 14:40:09
43.   trainwreck
The average fan is not excited to see James McDonald and Eric Stults in the rotation either.
2008-12-15 14:40:38
44.   trainwreck
Carl Peterson has resigned as head of the Chiefs.
2008-12-15 14:40:56
45.   Jon Weisman
Furcal to decide what offer to accept tomorrow, his agent says.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-furcal121508&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

2008-12-15 14:41:17
46.   silverwidow
43 Stults I can understand, but J-Mac has the moxie and charisma to be a fan favorite.
2008-12-15 14:43:46
47.   Howard Fox
43 the average fan goes to watch baseball and root for their team, and they learn to like the players on their team as they get to know them

the average fan doesn't know OPS from EQA, and really doesn't care

2008-12-15 14:44:05
48.   Gagne55
I would really not want to see the Dodgers give out big money to have Furcal sit on the DL. Give Vizquel an NRI to spring training and let him battle Hu for a roster spot.
2008-12-15 14:44:07
49.   Bob Hendley
45 - Dang, as with most things, its all a matter of timing.
2008-12-15 14:45:00
50.   oshea2002
45 - reading between the lines, it seems like he's giving the Dodgers a deadline to guarantee a third year.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-12-15 14:47:20
51.   Harold M Johnson
It is interesting to me that the A's are (reportedly) willing to give Furcal 4/40.
2008-12-15 14:47:38
52.   ToyCannon
How many of us have to stop ourselves from gagging on a cold Dodger Dog when an ADF is voicing his opinion? I hope that is not to arrogant but the gulf between an ADF and a DT reader is the about as wide as the football programs of USC and UCLA.
2008-12-15 14:47:43
53.   Humma Kavula
1. No doubt about Hu's range. It's incredible.

2. Because of his 2007 stats with the bat, and because of his great glove, Hu deserves more chance(s) to prove that he can be the Dodgers' SS going forward.

3. If the Dodgers do not land Furcal, and put Hu at SS, and if, in this scenario, Hu hits like he did last year, Hu is done as a Dodger.

2008-12-15 14:48:09
54.   Howard Fox
51 and the A's got Matt Holliday...they are trying to compete in 09
2008-12-15 14:48:33
55.   underdog
45 Is the "mystery team" like the mystery meat we used to get in junior high school? Not sure what it is, smells off, and yet they hope someone goes for it.
2008-12-15 14:49:14
56.   trainwreck
McDonald can become a fan favorite, but I do not think people will be eager to buy tickets early on to see him pitch. I remember when a lot of people wanted to get rid of many of the young guys, because they did not know them.

We all know the McCourts are PR driven and I think they would be crushed by the media and a lot of fans if they do not sign any "big" name.

2008-12-15 14:49:33
57.   Jon Weisman
Who do you think will have a better season at the plate in 2009: Hu or Jones?

This is not quite a random question.

2008-12-15 14:50:11
58.   DBrim
Moyer got a 2 year deal. At his age, that's pretty impressive.

Does anybody else think that we are the team that offered Pettite 3/36?

2008-12-15 14:50:20
59.   Eric Enders
I think after the way James McDonald pitched in the playoffs, the average fan is definitely excited to have him on the team next year... perhaps even moreso than the people familiar with his actual track record.
2008-12-15 14:50:32
60.   Howard Fox
Jones will get more of an opportunity from Torre
2008-12-15 14:50:37
61.   wronghanded
51 If the A's sign Furcal, I wouldn't mind sending a mid-level prospect to them for Crosby. I know Crosby's numbers are bad but the guy has had terrible luck with injuries. If his back is healthy, he's capable of hitting 20+ bombs and playing league average defense. He's a local so maybe a change of scenary would do him well.
2008-12-15 14:50:43
62.   underdog
48 Why bring Vizquel in the equation? We already know he can no longer hit. If we want a great fielder might as well bring in a very cheap one, slick glove, with potential for upside as it goes along -- in Hu. If he needs competition, there's DeJesus, bring back Berroa just to remind everyone how much better a fielder Hu is than Angel, and move on. I could see NedCo bringing in Vizquel, though.
2008-12-15 14:51:16
63.   Humma Kavula
47 But, with some exceptions, the average fan does reasonably well at sorting out which of his favorite team's players are good and which are bad.

Then the average fan proposes trading all of his favorite team's bad players for Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

2008-12-15 14:51:37
64.   ToyCannon
47
Which is correct?
1. The ADF goes to Dodger Stadium to get drunk, boo the other team, boo and harass other fans wearing visiting team colors, eat, pee, hit beachballs, do the wave, and watching baseball is secondary to all above.

2. watch baseball and root for their team

2008-12-15 14:51:45
65.   silverwidow
57 Hu, because he probably will be in Albuquerque.
2008-12-15 14:51:59
66.   wronghanded
61 Not to mention he can play all over the diamond, so if Hu beats him out in '09 he can b our utility IF.
2008-12-15 14:52:16
67.   Howard Fox
59 you are absolutely correct
2008-12-15 14:52:56
68.   Gagne55
57 I honestly have no idea what to expect from either.
2008-12-15 14:52:57
69.   Eric Enders
Both Hu and Jones will get shorter leashes this year, I think. At best, each will get 100-150 ABs to prove himself and that's it.

I predict Hu will have the better year although perhaps that's just wishful thinking.

2008-12-15 14:54:02
70.   fanerman
68 Same here.
2008-12-15 14:56:41
71.   Humma Kavula
68 Plus One.

Jones could OPS 1000, or 800, or 600, or 400, and none of those outcomes would surprise me terribly.

Insert different numbers for Hu, but the same idea.

2008-12-15 14:57:09
72.   trainwreck
I would take Angel Berroa and Omar Vizquel over Bobby Crosby.
2008-12-15 14:58:47
73.   Eric Enders
I would be willing to bet my entire savings account that Jones will not OPS 1.000. He never came remotely close to that even when he was good. None of those other figures would shock me, though.
2008-12-15 14:58:48
74.   Humma Kavula
69 I can agree with that. I'm not sure why people think that Torre will give Jones a long leash.

The rap on Torre -- and I don't know how far I sign on to this -- is that he gets an unhealthy attachment to certain players (and runs 'em into the ground) and puts other players in the doghouse (where they rot).

Jones, by anyone's definition, is in the doghouse.

2008-12-15 14:59:26
75.   Harold M Johnson
64 2 is average. 1 are the people you notice more, who may or be not bothering the vast majority of #1s.
2008-12-15 15:00:01
76.   wronghanded
72 Crosby definitely has more upside than either of them, I'm not advocating giving him the starting job but he has been banged up the majority of his time with the A's. Last year he could barely swing the bat because of back stiffness. He is definitely a buy-low candidate if the A's sign Furcal so why not?
2008-12-15 15:00:12
77.   silverwidow
I think Hu has a better chance of putting up A-Rod's 1996 numbers than Jones getting a 1.000 OPS.
2008-12-15 15:01:16
78.   Humma Kavula
So I overstated on the Jones 1000 OPS thing.
2008-12-15 15:02:37
79.   trainwreck
76
He costs over $5 million so he is not cheap. And he is absolutely terrible.

He has a career OBP of .306!! He has had three straight sub .300 OBP seasons.

He is not a good defensive player either. Plus, he may be the most infuriating player to watch.

2008-12-15 15:04:42
80.   underdog
Other than that, you like him though right, train?
2008-12-15 15:04:42
81.   Gagne55
Yeah, Jones in his good years would OPS a bit over .900. His career average even with last year is .828. Prior to the last two years he was very consistent from season to season. Nothing between .500 and .900 would surprise me.
2008-12-15 15:05:39
82.   trainwreck
80
Nope. : )
2008-12-15 15:08:26
83.   Humma Kavula
What I find interesting is everybody commenting on my overstating that I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Jones has an OPS of 1000, but nobody, nobody, nobody has said boo about my equally overstated 400 OPS prediction!
2008-12-15 15:10:54
84.   fanerman
83 We're all natural pessimists.
2008-12-15 15:11:06
85.   Gagne55
I remember back when, I think it was 2005, the guys on ESPN kept talking about Crosby as if he were the A's best player.
2008-12-15 15:11:16
86.   ToyCannon
79
You are missing a golden opportunity for the Dodgers. Last year they acquired the 2003 ROY who just happened to be a shortstop. We can continue this trend by getting Crosby who was the 2004 ROY and also a SS. Maybe by 2012 we can get Pedroia and Longoria in 2013.
2008-12-15 15:13:02
87.   Humma Kavula
85 And I remember reading in Moneyball how when free agency rolled around, the A's were smart to pass on Giambi, pass on Tejada, pass on the pitchers, because it was Chavez that was going to be the star.
2008-12-15 15:13:37
88.   ToyCannon
85
Chronic back problems will sap skills faster then Bob T can smell a catchers interference call.
2008-12-15 15:14:49
89.   trainwreck
85
Gammons and Steve Phillips were picking him for MVP.
2008-12-15 15:15:07
90.   ToyCannon
They were both very good in 2005. I would have traded a lot to get either of them back then.
2008-12-15 15:15:51
91.   underdog
An A's fan friend of mine is peeved that Furcal is saying (if he is saying this) that Oakland is his least favored destination of the finalists. I wonder why that is? And why that would be leaking out now...
2008-12-15 15:16:52
92.   trainwreck
87
Yeah, because of his production at such a young age, especially his 2000 season when he was 22.

Sadly, he never got better and then started to get injured. It also did not help that he refused to have surgery for a long time, so his injury never healed right.

2008-12-15 15:17:29
93.   Gagne55
87 And the Brewers were dumb enough to draft Prince Fielder leaving Scott Kazmir for the Mets to waste their pick on, and the A's got the best player in the draft: Nick Swisher!
2008-12-15 15:17:43
94.   trainwreck
91
The A's made the horrible stake of bringing him to the Oakland Coliseum and the surrounding area.
2008-12-15 15:18:30
95.   regfairfield
I would give a lot of money to a guy who hit .276/.397/.501 at age 25 in a pitchers park while playing elite defense well before I gave that to Miguel Tejada.

Then again, I would be a horrible GM.

2008-12-15 15:18:53
96.   trainwreck
*mistake

"If irony was made out of strawberries, we'd all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

2008-12-15 15:20:14
97.   Gagne55
90 Gammons also said the A's were going to make Rich Harden their closer.
2008-12-15 15:20:39
98.   KG16
11 - yeah, that may well be true, but McGwire really didn't do anything other than hit home runs. 1626 hits, one full season where he hit over .300, struck out more than he walked. Palmeiro even had a season as a 20/20 guy when that had become a rarity.
2008-12-15 15:21:28
99.   underdog
94 With a sidetrip to Vallejo or Fairfield? /nail, in coffin
2008-12-15 15:21:44
100.   Humma Kavula
95 And all I'm saying is: things wouldn't have worked out for you on that one. You would have been better off doing with him what Beane did with all the others: letting 'im walk and taking the draft picks.

My point: none. As ever!

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-12-15 15:21:52
101.   silverwidow
Furcal said he was "fine" with the Oakland area.

Translated: He hates it.

2008-12-15 15:22:51
102.   Humma Kavula
98 McGwire also got on base at a .394 clip over his career.
2008-12-15 15:23:00
103.   ToyCannon
98
Getting on base or hitting home runs are a skill that I'll take any day.
2008-12-15 15:24:07
104.   cargill06
101 Could you please translate this quote than?

"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

2008-12-15 15:25:11
105.   trainwreck
104
We should trade for Ichiro just for the great things he says.
2008-12-15 15:25:16
106.   Gagne55
104 Furcal got his info on Cleveland from Bob.
2008-12-15 15:25:32
107.   Humma Kavula
104

Translation:

"We begin bombing in five minutes."

2008-12-15 15:27:19
108.   fanerman
98 1 out of 3 McGwire hits was a home run. That seems like a really high proportion.
2008-12-15 15:29:50
109.   wronghanded
79 $5 million is not ridiclously high, the A's may even be willing to eat a little bit of that contract to move him. The guy was a highly regarded prospect with "all the tools" and has had terrible luck with injuries. He was able to hit 20+ in Oakland his only healthy year in the league and I really don't think you should judge him by his numbers considering he has had to come off the DL and thrown right back into the line-up (he's capable of improving across the board if he can stay healthy. Last year the A's tried to keep him on quartizone shots to keep him on the field. Most of his injuries that he's experienced would've put Ripken on the DL in his prime.

Broken right-hand (98 MPH HBP)
Broken ankle (collision at home plate)
Broken ribs (95 MPH HBP)
Deep knee lascerations (spiked at second base on a steal)

Of course he's a personal friend of mine so needless to say I'm a bit of a homer for him. Why is he the most infuriating player to watch?

2008-12-15 15:29:51
110.   KG16
95 - who is this mythical 25 year old outfielder of which you speak? And where can we play him?

103 - I'm not saying he's not the kind of player I'd take, I'm just not sure he's the kind of player I think deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

2008-12-15 15:30:15
111.   trainwreck
How much dope was Owen Wilson on when he agreed to do Marley & Me?
2008-12-15 15:31:37
112.   KG16
111 - relative to his normal amount of dope, or just generally speaking?
2008-12-15 15:31:41
113.   Jacob Burch
110 He speaks of Eric Chavez, methinks.
2008-12-15 15:32:25
114.   Eric Enders
Mark McGwire, if we pretend he never used steroids, is one of the 50-75 greatest players of all time and a slam-dunk Hall of Famer.
2008-12-15 15:32:51
115.   Gagne55
110 25 year old outfielder? That post was talking about Eric Chavez.
2008-12-15 15:35:23
116.   Eric Enders
What about a 25-year-old shortstop hitting .276/.346/.456 in a pitcher's park while playing elite defense?
2008-12-15 15:36:21
117.   KG16
even better, than we can play him at short.
2008-12-15 15:36:27
118.   trainwreck
109
Because we all know he has talent, but he does the same things over and over. His approach at the plate is just terrible. As I said, he chases at pitches in the dirt and outside more than Matt Kemp does. And he comes off as a guy that works hard, so it is just mystifying why some of these issues have not improved.

Expectations definitely play a part in in this. Great things were expected from him.

Sorry if I am being harsh to a friend of yours, but I am just being honest. He is probably a great guy, but I can only judge his play on the field.

2008-12-15 15:36:57
119.   KG16
114 - that sounds like a challenge. A challenge for after work.
2008-12-15 15:37:17
120.   Sean P
98

See Buddy Ryan.

2008-12-15 15:42:28
121.   fanerman
114 119 McGwire's career OPS+ is 162, good for 12th all-time. Pujols (170) and Bonds (182) are the only active players with higher OPS+ (if you count Bonds as active).

Albert Pujols is nuts.

2008-12-15 15:44:37
122.   wronghanded
118 No hard feelings, it's his job to get criticized when he doesn't perform but I know a lot more about Crosby and Chavez than the average A's fan. Let's just say that their trainers are some of the worst in baseball and do a terrible job of rehabilatating and prepping players to return to form. Both Eric and Bobby have been shoved back on the field weeks before they should have been and really haven't been able to show the type of players that they are because of this. Numbers of course are ultimately what they will be judged on but he majority of the time Bobby has been on the field, he's told me that he's been "less than 80%". For a team that supposedly covets prospects, they sure don't take very good care of their franchise guys.
2008-12-15 15:44:40
123.   Gagne55
According to Bill James, McGwire was the 31st greatest player of all-time through the 2000 season. Looking at guys slightly below him, it's likely that Biggio, Bagwell, Clemens, and possibly Griffey and Thomas have passed him among other players ranked in the top 100.
2008-12-15 15:47:46
124.   Icaros
My old roommate played Little League in San Diego with Eric Chavez. That is all.
2008-12-15 15:48:27
125.   Jon Weisman
What smells so good? Cleveland!

http://www.hulu.com/watch/856/30-rock-cleveland-get-away

It rocks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vl5FWUMnNM

2008-12-15 15:49:11
126.   trainwreck
122
That was actually a big point of contention for awhile. I believe Crosby eventually even talked about it to the public. Larry Davis was eventually fired over it.
2008-12-15 15:49:27
127.   Tripon
Mike Powers, the agent for right-hander Daniel Cabrera, said he received calls from five clubs on the pitcher between midnight and 12:30 Saturday. Cabrera, 27, became a free agent at midnight after the Orioles declined to offer him a contract.

The former Nevada Prosecutor has sure moved up in the world after his unfortunate habit of being committing multiple murders.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8945572/Scioscia-could-see-Manny-in-Angels-uniform

2008-12-15 15:49:55
128.   wronghanded
124 Your old roommate wasn't Eric Munson was it? I played against Chavez in high school and he was scary good.
2008-12-15 15:50:41
129.   MJW101
The odds are quite good that baseball will never again see the hitter/fielder that Furcal was before his injury. SS is a very difficult acrobatic position for any player, let alone a player with a back injury, to play well.

All this sturm and drang over a player that in all probability will not play up to expectations is kind of sad. It certainly is an indictment of the current talent level in MLB.

2008-12-15 15:50:55
130.   trainwreck
124
Chavez named his son Diego.

He better hope Will Ferrell was not right in Anchorman.

2008-12-15 15:53:25
131.   wronghanded
130 I'm assuming the Diego part of the translation isn't whale.
2008-12-15 15:55:25
132.   Indiana Jon
130 Did he name his daughter Dora?
2008-12-15 15:55:45
133.   ToyCannon
122
Beside those other injuries I thought his back was the main problem and that hasn't been resolved has it? I was under the impression he had a chronic back problem.
2008-12-15 16:00:37
134.   Gagne55
127 Cabrera used to have a very impressive K rate and was one of those young guys who might become something if he'd just throw more strikes. The K rate plummeted mightily last year though. Like almost cut in half.
2008-12-15 16:01:42
135.   oshea2002
Not like it's his place (I wish he would though) - but Goodell reiterated he won't step in to help fix the disaster that is the Raiders.

http://tinyurl.com/5czdpm

2008-12-15 16:02:52
136.   Tripon
Contract the Raiders!
2008-12-15 16:03:35
137.   trainwreck
135
I was hoping that the fans would start setting the Coliseum on fire or storming the field or something.

That is what it would have taken for Goodell to think he needs to step in and do something, even if it was to push Al to get a GM.

2008-12-15 16:04:14
138.   underdog
125 I'd totally forgotten about that 30 Rock episode. "Liz, we're all models west of the Allegheny!"
2008-12-15 16:04:46
139.   wronghanded
133 He's making good progress with his back last I talked to him. He feels he'll be 100% by February and I'm hoping for the best. When you compile the other injuries I listed and consider that he's only been in the league since '04, you can see how it's hard for him to get into any kind of rhythm. Consequently, he blames his back issues on over-compensating for other ailments while on the field.
2008-12-15 16:05:48
140.   oshea2002
137 - see, I do think he should do that. He can't force Al out or anything, but I do think it's his place to recommend they get at least a GM. I've accepted that things will never improve if there aren't major changes to the structure and culture of the organization.
2008-12-15 16:09:12
141.   Humma Kavula
Has this been posted?

Jack Black to Guest-Star on 'The Office'

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008/12/15/arts/AP-People-Jack-Black.html

2008-12-15 16:12:55
142.   Humma Kavula
141 If I were Jack Black, I would insist that when my movies were imported to France, that I be billed as Jacques Noir.

This is why I'm not a movie star.

Well, that and the fact that I'm freakin ugly and I have no charisma or talent of any kind.

2008-12-15 16:15:28
143.   trainwreck
142
You could make movies though. Just look at Brett Ratner.
2008-12-15 16:20:43
144.   ToyCannon
I'm always impressed when guys like Jack Black make it big. The first time I saw him he was playing a music geek in High Fidelity and if you told me that this guy was going to be a star I'd have said "character actor" but no leading man. Who knew?
2008-12-15 16:23:12
145.   trainwreck
I remember Jack Black played a bunch of small roles in various movies when he first started out and I really did not like him. Then he was on Mr. Show and then Tenacious D and I began to love him.

I expected he would become big one day after seeing the Tenacious D show. I was hoping it would be as a member of the D, though.

2008-12-15 16:25:05
146.   Jon Weisman
Press release:

DODGERS NAME DAISUKE YAMASHITA INFIELD COACH AT CAMELBACK RANCH - GLENDALE

Yamashita is the first full-time coach from Japan hired to a Dodgers Player development team

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have hired Daisuke "Duke" Yamashita as infield coach at Camelback Ranch-Glendale for the 2009 season. Yamashita, a native of Shizuoka, Japan, will specialize in infield instruction, specifically fielding, and brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

"We've been searching for an additional infield coach to try different methods to stimulate our system and Yamashita was highly recommended by Acey Kohrogi, Dodger Director of Asian Operations. We are always open to new teaching styles, technology and creative ways of developing players," said Dodger Assistant General Manager, Player Development De Jon Watson. "Yamashita brings his vast coaching and playing experience to the Dodger organization."

2008-12-15 16:26:13
147.   Eric Stephen
There have been 40 shortstops since integration to post a 100 OPS+ or higher in their age 25 season, including Bobby Crosby's 111 OPS+ in 2005.

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

Of the 40 seasons, four were in 2008, and two players had injuries that wiped out just about the entire age 26 season (Dickie Thon and Bill Spiers), so that leaves 34 for comparison.

Of the 34 age-26 seasons, Crosby had the largest percentage drop in OPS+, with an OPS+ (67) only 60.4% of the previous season. Only Jerry Adair's 1963 matched Crosby for lowest OPS+, with 67.

29 of the 34 SS posted at least an 83 OPS+ in their age 26 season. 20 of the 34 posted another 100 OPS+ season.

2008-12-15 16:26:22
148.   Marty
So we have our own Dice K. Take that Boston!
2008-12-15 16:29:18
149.   trainwreck
Awesome. Maybe he will get our guys to constantly stretch.
2008-12-15 16:31:01
150.   Bob Timmermann
146
I would like to be first on the record in saying that just about everyone will mispronounce Mr. Yamashita's name.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-12-15 16:33:17
151.   wronghanded
147 Those are intriguing numbers Eric, thanks for sharing. I was totally unaware that he is only one of 40 SS to OPS+ 100 at age 25. I'll have to share that with him, maybe won't mention the largest drop-off part though :).
2008-12-15 16:33:47
152.   Bob Timmermann
For anyone else who thought they were in the running, Christina Hendricks announced that she was getting married today.

But she hasn't set a date. So if anyone wishes to live out a wacky romantic comedy or, less attractively, a creepy stalker thriller, you still have time.

2008-12-15 16:37:14
153.   Tripon
http://tinyurl.com/CablemadatKiffin

Tom Cable is mad at Kiffin for poaching the Raiders coaches that Kiffin hired in the first place.

2008-12-15 16:37:14
154.   underdog
152 Not to a misogynist doctor, I'm assuming.

Btw, did anyone realize she was in an episode of Firefly? I didn't til re-watching it the other day. As Mal's ex-wife.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0579540/

2008-12-15 16:42:23
155.   trainwreck
153
Mark Jackson is the only guy that I have even heard of before.
2008-12-15 16:43:28
156.   Tripon
155 I don't know why Cable is so mad in the first place. Everyone's getting fired when the season is over.
2008-12-15 16:46:59
157.   trainwreck
156
He is mad because now he has to be o-line coach, offensive coordinator, and head coach at the same time. All this responsibility for a guy Al Davis admitted he knew nothing about when he hired him as interim coach.
2008-12-15 16:48:33
158.   Humma Kavula
154 She's in TWO episodes of Firefly. One where Mal marries her... and one as his ex-wife.
2008-12-15 16:48:53
159.   Tripon
SAN DIEGO -- Padres owner John Moores has hired Goldman Sachs to search for a potential buyer as he goes through a divorce from his wife, Becky.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3771576

It'll be kinda funny if the Padres get sold for less than A-Rod's total contract. Funny, and depressing.

2008-12-15 16:49:06
160.   Eric Stephen
157
That was one of the great live microphone moments in recent memory.
2008-12-15 16:55:38
161.   Dodger Jack
I hope we sign Furcal. Not signing him increases our chances of keeping Pierre, based on the rationale that we need a pure leadoff guy. Two years ago, Furcal was our offensive engine. We need him back.

Secondly, I never understood why anyone would equate Stults with J-Mc. Small sample size, but last year J-Mc was lights out, and that included high-pressure, playoff time. He has a wicked curve and terrific control.

In contrast, Stults seems like a roster-bubble guy, not a great talent, but a gamer, and (interestingly) a good hitter. Perhaps a 4-A player, never quite good enough for the majors.

If we put J-Mc on the trade market, there would likely be lots of takers. I am not sure anyone would want to trade for Stults.

2008-12-15 17:00:35
162.   Dodger Jack
I hate to commit blasphemy or otherwise trample on what's holy, but J-Mc's start was more auspicious than Kershaw's.
2008-12-15 17:03:09
163.   Howard Fox
162 I agree with you, I am totally impressed with him and think he is ready to step in right now.

As far as CK goes, I think its more of a work in process that people want to believe.

2008-12-15 17:04:06
164.   underdog
158 D'oh! I knew that, I knew that!

162 Either way, I'm happy to have them both in our futures.

2008-12-15 17:06:38
165.   underdog
163 McDonald is also about four years older than Kershaw. Which should go into any equation or debate. Both of them clearly have tinkering to do, both of them pretty clearly have bright futures if healthy.
2008-12-15 17:06:40
166.   Jacob Burch
162 163 James McDonald pitched, in both the regular season and post season, about as much as Kershaw's first two games as a reliever

Sample Size and role considerations really need to speak loudly here. I think we all realize that Kershaw is still not legally allowed to imbibe alcohol, and that there will be bumps. But for a 20 year old, nearly completely as a starter, I think our expectations are terribly unfounded.

2008-12-15 17:08:27
167.   Howard Fox
I am just an average fan, but from what I saw, McDonald threw strikes, while Kershaw was more electric but also more erratic
2008-12-15 17:08:56
168.   Jacob Burch
166 Punctuation is bad on that first sentence. Re-do: James McDonald pitched, in both the regular season and post season, about as much as Kershaw's first two games. As a reliever. (and to tack onto underdog's point: four years older than Clayton).
2008-12-15 17:09:20
169.   wronghanded
167 Like an unpolished Billingsley.
2008-12-15 17:10:57
170.   Howard Fox
yes, except for the broken leg
2008-12-15 17:11:24
171.   silverwidow
It needs to be stressed that Kershaw is 20 and put up a league average MLB pitching line with a great K/9.

When McDonald was that age, he was in Rookie ball.

They both have bright futures, but let's not conflate the ace with the #3.

2008-12-15 17:13:14
172.   Howard Fox
which one is the ace?
2008-12-15 17:14:20
173.   Tripon
The one with the infinite ERA+.
2008-12-15 17:14:33
174.   Howard Fox
and when I was that age I had my whole life before me
2008-12-15 17:17:08
175.   Howard Fox
when I was that age, they could have called me an unpolished Billingsley too, except for there being no Chad Billingsley yet....just saying...
2008-12-15 17:21:55
176.   Tripon
Word from WSCR 670 in Chicago is that the Cubs will sign outfielder Joey Gathright. We've heard the same from a source. Gathright, 28 in April, was non-tendered by the Royals on Friday.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

2008-12-15 17:30:15
177.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Joey Gathright is a thread killer.
2008-12-15 17:31:51
178.   silverwidow
McDonald's six scoreless innings of mop-up in September was nice and all, but let's not forget that Kershaw was 3-0, 3.45 ERA in 28.2 IP that same month. That ERA is inflated, too (Troncoso let in two of Kershaw's walks after he exited a 3-hit gem vs SD). He also struck out 29.

The fact that he really improved during this critical stretch leads me to believe a breakout in '09 is very possible.

2008-12-15 17:33:16
179.   Bob Hendley
Wait, didn't he hurdle one of our players in ST going down the line to first?
2008-12-15 17:36:58
180.   regfairfield
Just throwing strikes doesn't excite me nearly as much as throwing mid 90s with a plus plus curve.

Nothing wrong with McDonald, it's just that he's basically going to be Jon Garland for cheap in all likely hood.

2008-12-15 17:38:37
181.   Bob Timmermann
There is no love for Kennedy High graduates at this site.

None!

2008-12-15 17:41:55
182.   CanuckDodger
180 -- McDonald misses bats; Garland doesn't.
2008-12-15 17:42:16
183.   Jon Weisman
181 - Hey, I'm often noting Garret Anderson milestones.
2008-12-15 17:43:42
184.   regfairfield
I didn't realize how low his strike out totals were.

Just think of some other wholly uninspiring but solid three or four starter.

2008-12-15 17:46:19
185.   trainwreck
lol I had to bring this up.

From thesuperficial.com:

-Christina Hendricks, the insanely hot Joan from Mad Men, is engaged. First person to point out she was also on Firefly still lives with their mom - which technically was just me. Dammit.

2008-12-15 17:47:44
186.   Bob Hendley
Mr.Sledge gets a lot of play here, as well.
2008-12-15 17:49:12
187.   fanerman
185 Underdog wins with 154 !
2008-12-15 17:51:21
188.   trainwreck
187
Yeah, that was basically for underdog haha.
2008-12-15 17:53:20
189.   underdog
LOL. My mom would be thrilled if that were true. Fortunately, it isn't. ;-)

Honestly, I didn't even realize it til I caught part of an episode the other night and even then had to doublecheck the imdb, and even then had forgotten about the previous episode. So I'm either even lamer, or slightly less nerdy. And basement-free!

Man, she is hot though.

2008-12-15 17:57:43
190.   underdog
Huh, speaking of nerds on the imdb, and of Mad Men, and of pointless remakes, I didn't realize Jon Hamm was in The Day the Earth Stood Still. But no Gort.

Pass.

2008-12-15 18:16:11
191.   Tripon
Corey Maggette is on the trading block.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/14/SPDL14O2VP.DTL

2008-12-15 18:16:34
192.   Dodger Jack
No one is going to jump in and tell us how great Stultzie is?

If not, then can we please stop speaking of J-Mc and Stults as if they were roughly equivalent in talent?

I hereby prophesy that J-Mc will make the rotation and win at least ten games. I make no guess as to whether he does that as a #4 or #5 because I have no notion of how Ned is going to fill out the rotation.

2008-12-15 18:18:00
193.   Bob Hendley
Speaking of jump, here is Joey jumping over Kuroda.

http://tinyurl.com/6knjp2

2008-12-15 18:20:35
194.   trainwreck
192
No one ever said that.
2008-12-15 18:22:09
195.   Tripon
http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_baseball_marlins/2008/12/nothing-on-sait.html

Marlins trying to sign Saito: Slim.

However, other teams with actual money trying to sign Saito: fair.

Looks like he's not going to be a Dodgers again.

2008-12-15 18:34:40
196.   Gen3Blue
I've been away on a cruise. I don't see how we can go after an outfielder when we have so much money tied up in the outfield. But I like Furcal very much, although I don't trust him. I would love to think guys like Furcal and Manny would like to prove themselves with short contracts but I know times have changed. As someone above suggested, with Furc and Manny we might go all the way. If there was communication, they could easily figure this out and do it.
But no, those times are gone and it is all about money.

On the brighter side, I think Boras' fiascos in the last few years have really hurt the free agent market, and it is obvious most teams aren't going for the marketing bull that still flies.

2008-12-15 18:36:48
197.   Dodger Jack
194. No one ever said what? That J-Mc and Stults were equivalent? I can assure you that somebody did -- maybe you missed it -- or I wouldn't have made the comment.
2008-12-15 18:44:56
198.   ToyCannon
197
Show us, just because we include both of them in a possible rotation does not mean anyone thinks of them as equal talents.
2008-12-15 18:47:07
199.   Eric Enders
197 I don't recall anyone ever saying that explicitly. You may have read it into somebody's comments, though.
2008-12-15 18:47:27
200.   Tripon
I can't see Stults in any Dodgers rotation for any length of time. Torre wouldn't trust him for that long.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-12-15 18:51:49
201.   Tripon
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/15/yawn-brain-head.html

Scientists have solved why a person yawns.

2008-12-15 18:55:35
202.   Bluebleeder87
34 plus he's the youngest so least likely to slide into a steep decline.

That's my biggest concern with Furcal, the guy is gonna turn 31 playing a VERY demanding position & to add to my concern is that he is coming off back surgery... I can see why Oakland said take it or leave it.

I'll be cool with a 2 year deal but I wont be broken hearted if he declines it, to be honest I'd rather go with a young wizard at short, but that's just me.

2008-12-15 18:56:12
203.   Dodger Jack
198. and 199.

Look at 43:

"The average fan is not excited to see James McDonald and Eric Stults in the rotation either."

Did I draw the wrong conclusion? If so, my apologies.

But I think that the average fan will be very excited to see J-Mc in the rotation and downright disappointed to see Stults in it. The statement puts the two into the same category: pretenders to the rotation.

2008-12-15 19:00:44
204.   Xeifrank
Was too busy at work today to chime in on the topic of this post. Without reading what was already written, let me say that...

Furcal - Hu = 2.75 WAR
M.Ramirez - Pierre = 2.60 WAR

Equal value either way, the thing that will tip the scales is the contract that Furcal or Ramirez would get.

Of course you can get by with a weaker bat at SS, but the difference between Furcal and Hu is pretty huge. I would make Furcal a top priority as well as Ramirez. If I could only choose one or the other, I'd rather have Furcal assuming both would get a fair contract. All these slugging no field LFers are probably going to be way overpaid if what Ibanez is a sign of things to come.
vr, Xei

2008-12-15 19:08:04
205.   Jacob Burch
203 The average fan who remembers the 11 Innings J-Mac has thrown will be excited, until (to borrow from Andrew's Cory Wade verbage) his magic pixie dust wears off, he regresses to mean, and has a 4ish ERA with good but not great dominance rates. Much like those who saw Stults' absolute gem against the White Sox would be--which is just about as many innings as you have to go on.

But on that comment, the comment is just what it says: neither is an ace, neither will probably excite fans after they pitch a sizable amount of time. That's not to say they're not useful, or that they are of equal talents, but it's a fair statement.

2008-12-15 19:12:41
206.   Tripon
205 Something tells me that JMac will have a much longer leash to fail, or at least before he ends up in Torre's doghouse. Eric S. will never have that luxury.
2008-12-15 19:15:50
207.   Jacob Burch
206 I agree, and J-Mac is the better talent. But Stults is also four years older with more experience, and in Torre-less vacuum, would probably put up similar numbers. I was just trying to distinguish why the equation was being brought up, which was not on a talent level.
2008-12-15 19:16:56
208.   trainwreck
203
I meant before the season fans are going to look at those as the new additions to the rotation and wonder why we did not get a big name.

McDonald's good performance in the playoffs might not have been even seen by a lot of people since it was in a blowout on the road.

Nothing to do with their performance, just public perception. I do not think most people even realize how good Billingsley is.

2008-12-15 19:17:08
209.   underdog
205 - It's also fair to say that every scout in baseball will speak much more enthusiastically about JMac's upside/potential versus that of Eric Stults. But I don't think there's much argument counter to that here, despite was implied earlier. Stults deserves more of a chance than he's been given, but I don't think anyone would see him as more than a #5 starter anywhere. JMac projects to be a solid #3, from everything I've not only seen of his stuff but written by scouts.

Kershaw, JMac and Stults all have one thing in common, though. I'm rooting for all to succeed.

2008-12-15 19:17:20
210.   Eric Enders
204 The difference there, I think, is that Pierre's 2008 season was exactly indicative of his talents, while Hu's 2008 season was not. The argument that Hu is a viable option rests on the assumption that his offense will approximate his overall minor league track record and not his small sample size 2008.

If Hu repeats his 2008 level of offense, I think we can all agree that he'd be only as useful as Pierre -- which is, strictly a backup.

2008-12-15 19:17:28
211.   Dodger Jack
I hope that both Stults and J-Mc succeed. But I believe that J-Mc will and Stults will not. Look for J-Mc to be in the rotation, at least eventually, while Stults toils in middle relief, or ends up released or traded.
2008-12-15 19:18:11
212.   underdog
207 - Makes sense.
208 - Agreed.
209 - Get back to work!
2008-12-15 19:19:42
213.   trainwreck
My basic points were that I think general LA fans will be angry and calling into radio stations complaining that the Dodgers are not trying to win.

Normally, most teams would not care about that, but McCourt is very PR driven. So who knows the consequences of that.

2008-12-15 19:19:44
214.   Eric Enders
212 In this case, "work" being defined as formulating sporcle quizzes.
2008-12-15 19:26:32
215.   trainwreck
The Dragonball trailer makes me want to smash stuff.
2008-12-15 19:26:36
216.   Xeifrank
210. I see your point, but my numbers are with Hu's projections (Zips, Marcel etc...). I didn't use his 2008 numbers, if I did he should be playing the piano not SS for a major league team. :)
Even giving Hu an OPS in the mid to high .600s, which most projections have him at and a wOBA of just over .300, he is still far inferior to Furcal.
vr, Xei
2008-12-15 19:32:27
217.   Tripon
215 What, you don't like Goku's new alien's form!?!?!

Too bad MST3K isn't running anymore. The Dragonball movie looks like an instant classic.

2008-12-15 19:34:59
218.   Tripon
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/dec/15/padres-s15bbnotes-peavy/?padres

The Peavy trade talks are off!

...Hopefully.

2008-12-15 19:37:41
219.   oshea2002
How did I not know a DBZ movie was coming out? I spent 4 years of my life watching that show every day.
2008-12-15 19:38:39
220.   Tripon
219 You wish you didn't. However, there is a 20th year anniversary special that you can find subbed by Toei on Youtube somewhere.
2008-12-15 19:40:26
221.   oshea2002
220 - I'll only watch it if Vegeta is the main character.
2008-12-15 19:40:26
222.   trainwreck
219
Yeah, it would have been much better if you never knew. It looks so bad in every way.
2008-12-15 19:41:17
223.   trainwreck
221
Vegeta is not even in the movie.
2008-12-15 19:42:11
224.   Tripon
Dragonball is a better series over Dragonball Z, anyway.
2008-12-15 19:43:49
225.   trainwreck
I prefer Dragonball Z even though it is just fighting and barely any story. I just like the villains better.

I am going to cry when Naruto gets the Hollywood treatment.

2008-12-15 19:43:56
226.   oshea2002
223 - then count me out.

224 - Dragonball was ok, but DBZ was awesome. I can't go back to Dragonball once the Super Saiyans came along.

2008-12-15 19:44:32
227.   MollyKnight
I guess I'd rather see Hu and Manny in the line-up Pierre and Furcal. But I still don't understand why it can't be Furcal and Manny.
2008-12-15 19:46:44
228.   Tripon
225 226 The fights in Dragonball were just a lot better paced, and tactically better than the fights in DBZ. Although, I'll give you the Saiyan Saga, which was probably the best arc in the two series.

But the Freiza arc, and Majin Buu arc fall behind the first and 2nd tournament arcs, and the first time young piccolo came.

2008-12-15 19:47:43
229.   Jon Weisman
204 - My post today definitely won't make the best of Dodger Thoughts. But some of the premise of it is that a Furcal signing may well mean Hu plays a lot anyway. In other words, if you chose Furcal over Manny, because of Furcal's body, you might end up with neither.

I realize Manny's knees are an issue, too. But I'm more worried about Furcal.

Xeifrank, what do your projections have Furcal at for '09?

2008-12-15 19:49:40
230.   trainwreck
228
I liked the Cell arc.

Dragonball Z needed to kill characters off.

2008-12-15 19:52:53
231.   Tripon
230 DBZ brought back characters who died off back with nary a care. At least death mattered a bit in Dragonball. (Although, I forget if they actually did bring back anyone from death outside of Piccolo.)
2008-12-15 19:53:50
232.   underdog
217 Rest assured, Rifftrax will pick up on it after it comes out, I'm sure.
2008-12-15 19:54:45
233.   trainwreck
If I watched either show now, I probably would not like them.
2008-12-15 19:55:10
234.   oshea2002
Wow, I'm only down a point now in my semi final. I've got DeSean and the Eagles D. One more pick!!!
2008-12-15 19:56:12
235.   Indiana Jon
204 Using projections for Manny and Pierre may be somewhat accurate, but using projections for Furcal and Hu this year is just not. Predicting what those two may do this year is about as easy as predicting what Bob will say next.
2008-12-15 19:58:10
236.   Xeifrank
229. I am using Furcal's 2009 ZIPS projections, which are .286/.358/.411, which comes out to a park adjusted wOBA of .342 or 2.74 WAR when also taking into account fielding and base running. I have him at 80% playing time, so dock him down if you believe he won't play that much.
vr, Xei
2008-12-15 19:58:14
237.   Jon Weisman
It's Use Bob As Analogy Day!
2008-12-15 20:00:23
238.   Indiana Jon
236 That sounds reasonable for Furcal, but how bad are the projections for Hu? Which one projects as the better fielder?
2008-12-15 20:03:07
239.   ChicagoDodger
234 I clinched yesterday, and the person I thought I'd be playing was up 20 going into tonight with Westbrook, versus Eagle D and Akers. He's now down 8. Is Westbrook done for the night? I am not watching the game.

Furcal to decide tomorrow? Can it possibly be any team but the Dodgers? Reportedly, he likes the A's the least, and I can't see the Royals being all that attractive either.

2008-12-15 20:04:24
240.   Jacob Burch
239 If we don't guarantee the third year, I can't see him not taking the A's offer--unless the Royals are spending more than one would expect.
2008-12-15 20:04:50
241.   oshea2002
239 - yes. Buckhalter got the carries last drive.

You in Chicago? It took me 20 minutes to warm my car up today, so ridiculously cold.

2008-12-15 20:07:48
242.   Jon Weisman
Musings on Derek Lowe

http://tinyurl.com/63dqey

2008-12-15 20:08:47
243.   Xeifrank
236. I have Hu at .256/.290/.370

Fielding I have Hu at +0.4 and Furcal at +0.25
vr, Xei

2008-12-15 20:12:31
244.   ChicagoDodger
241 Tell me about it! Almost 50 yesterday! And now this. With snow on the way the next couple days. Ah, the Midwest, Don't you just love it? Thanks for the update on the game!

240 You might be right, but I still think he might not opt for Oakland. I mean, it's Oakland. Something tells me he's gonna take the Dodger offer, or his back is still a problem. He essentially has the 3rd year if he's healthy, and though I don't know, I'm thinking it might be more per year for 3 then the A's offer per year for 4.

And if he could somehow get healthy and stay healthy for 3 years with LA (admittedly a tall order), he could be eligible for free agency again in 3 years, instead of four.

2008-12-15 20:14:29
245.   Bob Timmermann
I went to the grocery store Sunday night and bought eggs, chocolate chips, milk, and a pair of scissors.
2008-12-15 20:18:04
246.   Marty
Is scissors a different way of spelling flour?
2008-12-15 20:19:06
247.   DBrim
241 244 - I feel for you guys. It's 60 in Boston right now. Will be colder soon, sure, but nothing like what you guys are dealing with right now. Stay warm!
2008-12-15 20:19:41
248.   Indiana Jon
235 245

See what I mean?

2008-12-15 20:22:58
249.   Tripon
We had rain today in the South Bay. I believe it reached 49, and then the Sun came out and it was warmer.
2008-12-15 20:23:15
250.   Jon Weisman
HBO will kick off the second season of "Flight of the Conchords" on FunnyorDie.com

Full-length sneak peek of the comedy series' second-season premiere episode will be available for viewing on the site from Wednesday through Sunday. Select highlight clips from "Conchords' " first season also will be available.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117997443.html

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-12-15 20:24:52
251.   ChicagoDodger
248 Not really. I figured him to mention something about eggs, chocolate chips and milk, but I will admit he caught me off guard with the scissors comment.
2008-12-15 20:28:21
252.   Bob Timmermann
I bought flour tonight.

And macaroni salad.

2008-12-15 20:32:53
253.   trainwreck
250
I noticed that. I think I am going to wait till it is on HBO.
2008-12-15 20:33:56
254.   trainwreck
252
Nona's?
2008-12-15 20:35:29
255.   ChicagoDodger
250 For some reason the "Albie the racist dragon" episode just came to my mind. That episode cracked me up.
2008-12-15 20:43:15
256.   oshea2002
255 - well, I tied it on that last second sack, and I win on either Yahoo's 1st or 2nd playoff Tie Breaker.
2008-12-15 20:45:25
257.   Tripon
http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/massarotti/2008/12/spinning_the_roulette_wheel.html

Tony Massarotti hates you and everything you stand for.

Oh, and also takes a couple shots at J.D. Drew.

2008-12-15 20:48:07
258.   ChicagoDodger
256 Congratulations! I just found out I won the pick em pool this week too winning a tie breaker with 43 points to 45 points for total points in tonights game.

Kinda glad I don't have to face the team with Westbrook & Brees in the final next week.

Good Luck to you next week!

2008-12-15 20:52:50
259.   oshea2002
258 - you as well.
2008-12-15 20:57:31
260.   oshea2002
Per Rosenthal - the mystery team is the Braves, and Furcal is seriously considering their offer.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

2008-12-15 20:58:36
261.   Tripon
10:42pm: The fourth team is the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal. Kinzer told Rosenthal the Braves are "in deep" and Furcal is seriously considering their offer. Rosenthal believes it's a three-year offer with a vesting option. Rosenthal spoke to an exec who felt the same as Joel Sherman, that Furcal does not want to sign with the A's.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8947764/Braves-seeking-to-bring-Furcal-back-to-Atlanta

I know everyone hates Rosenthal, but Furcal's own agent is telling Rosenthal that the Braves are in it, and he's saying it on record. This makes it new news.

2008-12-15 20:59:02
262.   trainwreck
260
Booo!
2008-12-15 20:59:55
263.   trainwreck
I guess that would mean Escobar is headed to SD for Peavy?
2008-12-15 21:00:04
264.   Tripon
260 I lost. :(
2008-12-15 21:03:07
265.   Tripon
263 Furcal could play 2nd.
2008-12-15 21:04:26
266.   ChicagoDodger
261 That would make sense, as I just couldn't see him playing in Oakland.

263 Right after the Padres say Peavy will be on their opening day roster no less. Do the Dodgers have anything to offer (that the Braves would want)for Escobar? Assuming no big-time prospects?

2008-12-15 21:05:09
267.   trainwreck
We don't really have big-time prospects.
2008-12-15 21:06:00
268.   trainwreck
Not counting McDonald. I guess Lambo and maybe DeJesus would qualify.
2008-12-15 21:08:05
269.   ChicagoDodger
267 I guess I was assuming McDonald, Elbert, Lambo and Martin as somewhat big-time.
2008-12-15 21:10:30
270.   trainwreck
269
Yeah, I kinda forgot to think of McDonald as a prospect. I would have no issue trading Elbert.

Yeah, Lambo counts.

Martin still has to pitch for me to count him as big-time. He is more mythical than a minotaur at this point.

2008-12-15 21:11:25
271.   trainwreck
Excluding McDonald and Lambo, I would be willing to trade any of our other prospects for Escobar.
2008-12-15 21:11:56
272.   Tripon
A.J. Ellis, Jason Repko, Eric Stults, and Jason Journeyman Johnson for Yunel Escobar. And that's my final offer.
2008-12-15 21:12:39
273.   El Lay Dave
242 "With me, it's all about winning," Lowe said. "The team with the best chance of winning, year in and year out, is where I want to go. Scott understands that. I've already had clubs contact us that are interested, but they're not ready to win."

I shouldn't try to read too much into the ruminations of Derek Lowe, but the Yankees may have already spent their pitching bankroll and the Red Sox don't seem to be interested. Who else can he mean? The Mets?

2008-12-15 21:14:11
274.   El Lay Dave
The 2008 draftees such as Ethan Martin can't be traded yet.
2008-12-15 21:14:38
275.   trainwreck
274
PTBNL.
2008-12-15 21:15:26
276.   jasonungar07
I think if we loose out on Furcal it will be a win. For a guy with a career OPS under .800, coming off back surgery and in his mid 30's with no gold gloves he sure is loved alot around here.
2008-12-15 21:16:07
277.   jasonungar07
Strike that, early 30s (before I get shelled, again)
2008-12-15 21:20:11
278.   Louis in SF
Wonder how Joe Torre is feeling right now. One of his favorite players will probably end up in Atlanta and the more I think about it this rumor of Manny to the Angels is beginning to make lots of sense. Tex goes to Boston, Lowe goes to New York, and Manny goes to the Halos. Can't prove any of it. But lets face it if you are Manny your chances of winning with the Angels and assuming the money is there is just as good if not better than if he stays with the Dodgers.
2008-12-15 21:21:08
279.   El Lay Dave
Yunel Escobar GIDP rate last year was worse than Loney's!

24 / 587 PA = 1 / 24.5 Escobar
25 / 651 PA = 1 / 26.0 Loney

Maybe one can cut down on that a bit by batting them back-to-back.

2008-12-15 21:22:51
280.   jasonungar07
I think The dodgers will have to to sign Manny for sure if we loose out on Furcal since that's been stated as a huge priority by Ned.
2008-12-15 21:28:53
281.   Tripon
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2008/12/dodgers-jones-a.html

Andruw Jones blamed his 2008 season on bad knees, and is already looking at the 2009 off season so he can be a FA.

2008-12-15 21:29:38
282.   El Lay Dave
276 SS with OPS .800 or better from 2003 - present, min 2000 PA w/ 50% G at SS:

H. Ramirez, C. Guillen, Jeter, Tejada, Young

Furcal's .779 is kind of "next tier", but does include his ridiculously injury influenced 2007.

2008-12-15 21:32:13
283.   oshea2002
278 - I think we'll land Manny if Tex goes to Anaheim, I think he goes to Anaheim if they don't keep Tex.
2008-12-15 21:33:33
284.   trainwreck
281
Nice of him thinking about helping the team win. : P
2008-12-15 21:34:05
285.   underdog
281 - Heh. The news that Jose Offerman is managing (!) Licey made me chuckle for some reason.

Article also notes Garate's fine showing in the Venezuelan league so far, "4-1(?) with a 1.17 ERA in 14 games out of the bullpen for first-place Caracas."

2008-12-15 21:34:33
286.   Tripon
And from the previous post concerning other Dodgers.

And 24-year-old Dodgers prospect Victor Garate (9-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 116 minor league innings, most as a starter, in the summer) is 4- with a 1.17 ERA in 14 games out of the bullpen for first-place Caracas.

The Dodgers' Chin-lung Hu, who struggled offensively all summer, also started slowly in Mexico but has shown signs of coming around, batting .313 in December and .275 in his last 10 games, raising his winter average to .241 in 15 games for Culican.

Also Jose Offerman is the player coach of 3rd place Licey.

2008-12-15 21:35:39
287.   Tripon
DeJesus was missing from the update for some reason. Did he leave his winter league team?
2008-12-15 21:46:29
288.   Tripon
Iván de Jesús Jr. and Armando Ríos led the attack for Gigantes with a home run apiece. They combined to knock in three of the four runs for Gigantes.

Found this on ESPN. Its was written today.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3771521

2008-12-15 21:54:21
289.   Bob Hendley
Ivan hit a dinger Sunday night and is now at .333/.372/.562 in 105 AB with 4 HR
2008-12-15 21:57:02
290.   ToyCannon
288
BHSPORTSGUY provided this link several weeks ago.
http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=la

It is the best way to keep up to date on our players. Just click on any player and you can see what they have done over the last 10 games. The original link is about 2 days behind the actual games.

2008-12-15 21:57:39
291.   Tripon
290 Ah, cool. Thanks!
2008-12-15 21:58:19
292.   Tripon
Is there anything to DeJesus' power numbers, or is it just Winter League silliness?
2008-12-15 22:01:44
293.   Tripon
Don't feel too left out if you missed seeing the animated adventure movie "Delgo" this past weekend. No one did. In fact, the movie broke a record for having the worst opening ever for a film in wide release. "Delgo" earned a measly $511,920 this weekend on 2,160 screens, not even breaking the top ten.

Wow.

http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/delgo-worst-opening-ever.html

2008-12-15 22:02:55
294.   Bob Hendley
That sure beats going to the leagues sites, timewise, and the click on feature is great. Thanks TC. BTW, I love Kasey as well. Took a while to get into her latest, since its a duet, but really fond of it now. Country with some Buddy Miller style songs.
2008-12-15 22:02:59
295.   ToyCannon
281 Him and Dodger fans.
2008-12-15 22:41:52
296.   underdog
Just the coming attraction for "Delgo" (which, given its advertising budget, might have been a rarity) was excruciating enough. I give the guy props for trying, but on the other hand, kind of wish he hadn't. The animation and the script both looked/sounded horrible. There's a reason Pixar and Dreamworks rake it in.
2008-12-15 22:42:54
297.   DBrim
296 - I saw it before Bond. I thought it was going to tell me to turn off my cell phone or something.
2008-12-15 23:19:20
298.   underdog
Quite a Frank McCourt hit piece by TJ Simers in new LA Times piece:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-simers16-2008dec16,0,5507152.column

I don't usually read more than a few words of Simers, but this time I made it through several paragraphs! But, hey, more power to ya if you get through it all and if it ends up being worthwhile.

2008-12-15 23:25:33
299.   Dodgers49
Red Sox extend offer to Teixeira

>> The Boston Herald reported in its Tuesday editions that the Red Sox have extended an offer for Teixeira, believed to be the longest and richest in the seven-year history of the ownership group led by John W. Henry.

Though the newspaper doesn't cite its source, it stated that the offer is "believed to be for at least eight years."

The Red Sox have a club policy of not commenting on their negotiating stance with any free agents. <<

## If the Red Sox are successful in landing Teixeira, it will create a somewhat sticky situation. The Red Sox have Kevin Youkilis at first base and Mike Lowell at third. To open a spot for Teixeira, the Red Sox might have to trade Lowell and move Youkilis across the diamond. ##

http://tinyurl.com/6ebp25

2008-12-15 23:53:45
300.   Dodgers49
Dodgers Mailbag:

1) Do you understand the reasoning behind not offering Joe Beimel arbitration?
2) Do you think this will be the year when Dodger fans turn their backs on the team?
3) Why would the Dodgers sign Mark Loretta when they could have brought back Garciaparra?
4) If Takashi Saito doesn't return, who will be the Dodgers' closer?

http://tinyurl.com/6zb3eb

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-12-16 00:00:37
301.   Louis in SF
298

I made it all the way through and it makes a fair bit of sense. When you then look at the free agents for 2009, our youngsters better be great or we maybe screwed for a long time. The free agent pool is not that great. Best free agent of the bunch will be Adrain Beltre!

2008-12-16 00:08:34
302.   DBrim
301 - Matt Holliday?
2008-12-16 00:23:29
303.   68elcamino427
I will love the Dodgers no matter what.
Unless they trade Matt Kemp - aka the Bison - who is my favorite player.
Loney - Martin - and Ethier are in that same category. Don't forget Billingsley - Broxton - and Wade.

If the Dodgers do nothing regarding the signings for these insane contract amounts -they will be fine until June.
Then they can re-adjust.

2008-12-16 00:32:41
304.   Louis in SF
302

I stand corrected, so if the Dodgers fail to bring Manny back, Boras will be asking for a 10,12 year contract for Holiday with an annual salary of 20 million!....For Beltre it will only be 6-7 years at 18 million!

2008-12-16 01:59:42
305.   Ranma
261 The story and link have been updated where Rosenthal is now stating that Furcal is on the verge of signing with the Braves:

In a stunning turnaround, the free-agent shortstop has chosen the Braves over the A's, according to a major-league source.

A contract agreement is expected to be announced Tuesday, conditional on Furcal passing a physical.

The following excerpt seems to confirm Rafael's reluctance to join Oakland and preferenced to return to L.A. (and Atlanta).

The Braves, however, made a late, rapid push for Furcal, and their offer was believed to be for three years with a vesting option for a fourth season.

Furcal, who owns homes in Atlanta and Los Angeles, preferred to rejoin the Braves or stay with the Dodgers, sources said.

One rival executive said Monday night, "He will do whatever he can not to go to Oakland," citing Furcal's preference to be with one of his prior teams.

2008-12-16 05:55:31
306.   Ken Noe
I don't praise Ned much, but three years plus an option for Furcal's back really was too much, especially with DeJesus waiting in the wings and Hu far from washed up. If it's true, the Braves in their desperation either just forced a trade of Escobar, or made Raffy a very rich second baseman. I just hope we spend the money on left field power rather than Cabrera or Wilson.
2008-12-16 06:16:48
307.   Daniel Zappala
I am liking the idea of playing Hu at shortstop this season more and more, with a Berroa clone at AAA in case he really craters. However, I can't see Torre having Hu hit leadoff -- more like eighth. So who leads off on this team, assuming we're not playing Pierre in LF?
2008-12-16 06:20:31
308.   DBrim
307 - My guess is Bison. He's probably the best we have at that, despite his patience and running issues.
2008-12-16 06:28:28
309.   Ken Noe
Yes, put Bison at lead off and some power in left field, and we essentially have the same offense that won the west. I don't see the division getting any stronger, especially if Peavy now ends up in Atlanta.
2008-12-16 06:36:43
310.   JROBB
306

I hope too that the Dodgers go to Spring Training and let Hu and DeJesus battle it out for the SS position.

The article from Simers about McCourt is right on. I hope he has learned over the five years that how he perceives himself is different then how he is perceived by others.

2008-12-16 06:51:56
311.   68elcamino427
I'm going to assume no Boras clients will be signed by the Dodgers. If this were the case then this lineup will do ok till June.

LF Pierre
RF Ethier
CF Kemp
1B Loney
3B Blake
C Martin
2B DeWitt
SS Hu

Pierre attackers want a corner LF other than Pierre.
If Manny isn't signed then who should be brought in and at what cost? JP is already being paid $9,000,000.00 this year.

No matter how hard I try - just can not see Torre accepting Hu as his SS.

2008-12-16 07:07:57
312.   kene
I am a longtime reader here and feel the Dodgers management is being overly cautious.

When a team can't resign their "top priority"--they have problems. I know everyone is worried about Raffy's back, but if had gone out, Hu or Dejesus would still be there.

Right now we are looking at Casey Blake hitting clean up, Juan Pierre leading off. Unless Colletti can pull off some brilliant trades and Kemp becomes the superstar we have been waiting for I'm thinking 09 will be a long season.

I know I am jumping to conclusions.

2008-12-16 07:11:36
313.   DBrim
312 - Loney makes a better cleanup than Blake does at this point.
2008-12-16 07:14:13
314.   silverwidow
312 I doubt Jones and his $18M will sit to begin the season, at least.

Here is the lineup, at this moment:

CF Kemp
LF Ethier
C Martin
1B Loney
3B Blake
2B DeWitt
CF Jones
SS Hu

2008-12-16 07:15:03
315.   silverwidow
314 Kemp is RF, of course.
2008-12-16 07:25:08
316.   MollyKnight
311, 314

I hate those line-ups. I agree with Jon that we must be patient, but for now it seems like we're acting like we're Milwaukee. That's fine if we plan on, you know, actually signing a power hitter before March. But my faith is sure being tested.

2008-12-16 07:29:53
317.   Disabled List
311 , 314 Those lineups inspire very little confidence in me. I don't think the Dodgers can allow the season to begin with Jones or Pierre in the starting lineup. Which means, if not Manny, then Dunn or Burrell in LF.
2008-12-16 07:40:40
318.   oshea2002
314 - that lineup is not good, unless Loney and Kemp make big leaps in production. Not to mention Derek Lowe is also gone and not being replaced.

If you are Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras, haven't your demands just gone up?

2008-12-16 07:43:11
319.   JoeyP
If Furcal signs with the Braves, the Dodgers should make a push for Yunel Escobar.

Maybe the Braves were waiting on Furcal to sign with them, & then they would use Escobar to get Peavy though....

2008-12-16 07:44:32
320.   MollyKnight
Can't we talk the Braves into taking Andruw Jones back as well?
2008-12-16 07:46:42
321.   Ken Noe
Forget Hu, I can't fathom Torre having much faith in Jones or Pierre. If Raffy goes back to Atlanta, the Dodgers surely will sign a power bat for left field, be it Manny, Abreu, Dunn or Burrell. Remember what Ned said a couple of weeks ago, Hu will be fine at short if there's enough power around him. Left field is the key.
2008-12-16 07:47:33
322.   oshea2002
319 - I totally agree.

Not like payroll is some barometer, but if Manny isn't resigned and we did go with Jones/Pierre, will our payroll even be $80 million?

2008-12-16 07:48:41
323.   Ken Noe
319 Signing Furcal automatically puts the Escobar et al-Peavy talks back on, even if the Braves don't eventually make the swap.
2008-12-16 07:50:46
324.   MollyKnight
How about we offer the Rays $150 million for Evan Longoria?
2008-12-16 07:55:05
325.   JoeyP
I really think the only reason the Braves would sign Furcal is for the sole reason of moving Escobar for Peavy.

Escobar is a better player than Furcal right now, agreed? Why would the Braves try to replace a younger, better player with an older injured veteran?

2008-12-16 07:55:38
326.   JoeyP
And as for moving Furcal to 2b, that could be an option but Kelly Johnson is a much better hitter & cheaper.
2008-12-16 07:56:48
327.   Ken Noe
Crasnick now says it's done: http://tinyurl.com/5tutek
2008-12-16 07:58:29
328.   oshea2002
With Raffy gone, the SS had better be Hu, and not Jack Wilson or Orlando Cabrera. There should be enough money to bring Manny and Lowe back, especially since Lowe's market is apparently drying up.

316 - I agree it's tough to be patient. I've given alot of thought to the Dodgers, and I think it's the strategy of the Dodgers that's hurting. On some level, you have to build through free agency, unless you are terrible for years and can draft like Tampa for 5 years. It's probably safer to develop pitching, and buy bats. Assuming you have a solid base, which the Dodgers have, you need to add the least risky players you can, and difference makers. With their 2/3 year limit on deals, the Dodgers totally foreclose themselves to these players. With the exception of Furcal last time due to weird timing, no really good FA will take only 2 or 3 years, not one. So you dabble in the middle market, where you get your Schmidt's, Jones', Nomar's, etc. I'm not saying we need to go out and offer huge deals to people, and obviously a long deal that doesn't work out will kill you. Of course short deals for free agents is best, buts that's not the market for really good players, and it's not going to be anytime soon.

But I think it's good, for a team in this market, to identify difference makers that we need to be competitive on in Free Agency. Otherwise, I feel like we're in this cycle and its not going to change.

2008-12-16 07:59:40
329.   CajunDodger
322
I think the figure will be closer to $75M because we let Saito, Beimel, and Park go. This really puts McCourt in a bad PR position. He and Colletti have backed themselves into a corner now by letting Lowe, CC, Burnett, and Furcal go. The only free agent of note that will keep the media off their backs is Manny...and Boras knows that.

If this is our team except for Hoffman and a Garland-type, then we are in for a very long summer. It will be like 2003 without the pitching.

2008-12-16 07:59:53
330.   mwhite06
Is that lineup really that bad? Yes, it is without Lowe, but at the beginning of last season Ethier and Kemp split time leaving both Pierre and Jones in the lineup. And to say that it would require a leap in productivity from both Kemp and Loney is not terribly far-fetched considering their ages. For the record, I would like to add Dunn or Burrell (or both really), but I don't think the Dodgers would be uncompetitive in the weak NL West with that lineup.
2008-12-16 08:03:37
331.   Daniel Zappala
I feel like we're in this cycle and its not going to change.

It's like Groundhog Day, where you keep waking up to find out Juan Pierre is your starting left fielder, despite the fact that you took care of that problem yesterday. Aaagh!

2008-12-16 08:05:42
332.   JRSarno
Awesome. We balked at Furcal. Let's now balk at Manny. I am very ready to embrace total mediocrity.
2008-12-16 08:08:43
333.   hernari
Ever wonder what Billy Ashley is up to these days?

http://tinyurl.com/5dnt4l

2008-12-16 08:10:06
334.   Dodger Dawg
The worst thing about losing Raffy, will be now Torre will want Pierre to lead off play left and make his usual weak ground outs.
2008-12-16 08:11:55
335.   ToyCannon
For those of you who played with Eric Chavez were any of you coached by Skip Sharp? I know he coached Eric's brother so just curious.
2008-12-16 08:11:57
336.   Disabled List
If you think Manny's price has gone up now that Furcal is off the market, just wait until Teixeira signs.

Boras's 5-year, $125 million demand may yet come to pass.

2008-12-16 08:17:02
337.   oshea2002
Demarco Murray is out of the National Title game. Ouch.
2008-12-16 08:17:27
338.   mwhite06
Why would Boras's price go up when Tex is signed? Yes, a slugger is off the market, but a buyer is also out of the market.
2008-12-16 08:19:54
339.   oshea2002
338 - not if that buyer is Boston. Then you just have spurned suitors looking for a huge bat.
2008-12-16 08:22:00
340.   oshea2002
Jackson saying the Dodgers will pursue Cabrera or trade for SS.

http://blogs.dailynews.com/dodgers/

2008-12-16 08:24:02
341.   Eric Stephen
I wanted to sign Furcal, but I can certainly understand not wanting to offer a 3/4-year deal. My only worry is that the Orlando Cabrera tracking beam just got an extra boost of power. I'd rather not surrender a draft pick for our SS.
2008-12-16 08:30:50
342.   jasonungar07
Kemp for Wilson seems fair. Then slide Pierre into leadoff and LF and Jones in CF. Perfect.
2008-12-16 08:31:20
343.   Eric Stephen
324
How about we offer the Rays $150 million for Evan Longoria?

That depends. Will [Rays owner] Stuart Sternberg loan Frank McCourt the necessary funds to complete the transaction?

2008-12-16 08:31:35
344.   Johnny Knoxville
What about trading for Miguel Tejada? Definitely not long term solution, but I believe he only has one year left at $12M, and he has a good bad.

And I know our owner makes us mad, but it could be worse - think about the poor Padres fans.

2008-12-16 08:31:49
345.   cargill06
325 ,326 Furcal will play SS, Escobar 2B, and Johnson RF. That's just my guess, the Braves OF is pretty bad right now.

340 OC, and Garland would really make me upset.

2008-12-16 08:33:41
346.   Eric Stephen
342
The only Wilson I would trade Kemp for is Hack.

OK, and maybe Trevor Wilson as well, since he always appeared to have a weird smile on his face no matter the situation. It must have been a medical condition or something.

2008-12-16 08:33:45
347.   JoeyP
I'm surprised the Mets havent gotten involved with Manny. Manny's from NY, the Mets have plenty of cash, moving into a new stadium, a hole in LF...Seems like a logical spot for him.
2008-12-16 08:34:40
348.   cargill06
It's too bad that Bonds would never be able to play in LA, he would be the perfect fit. Have 400 or so PA's for about $3 million.
2008-12-16 08:35:19
350.   Eric Stephen
344
I think this avoids Rule 2 because of the screen name, but I don't thinks that's a wise trade target, Jackass. :)
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-12-16 08:37:27
351.   JoeyP
Would Dodger fans accept Bonds?
Meaning, would they boo him even if he was on the team?

I'm not sure why he hasnt retired unless he just wants to hit 800 homers.

A-Rod will end up home run king as long as he doesnt have any catastrophic injuries.

2008-12-16 08:43:36
352.   underdog
I have to say, not re-signing Furcal to a longer term deal was likely the right move, given many health concerns with him and that he'd be blocking youth down the road, but like others I worry more about what sort of worm-cans it now opens. No Furcal, okay, but then Hudson instead? (I do ask though, would people rather Hudson as leadoff hitter or Pierre? Tough choice I guess.) I'd rather trade for Escobar, or just re-sign Manny and go with a good fielding 3/4 young infield.

As John Belushi would say... But noooooooooooooooo!! We have to go find another crummy veteran for the infield instead.

Well, let's just wait and see first.

2008-12-16 08:44:53
353.   ToyCannon
Tejada no longer has a good bat, the older he got and the further we got in to testing, the less productive he became. To bad because I was a big Miggy fan. However if the option is signing Orlando to a multi year deal and giving up my number one pick or taking Tejada's salary off of the Astro's hands, give me Miggy. It would not turn us into contenders but it would not damage our future while placating the media because they would embrace Miggy as he was, not as he is.
2008-12-16 08:44:53
354.   underdog
351 - I wouldn't boo him but I wouldn't welcome him. I would not embrace that move. Much rather have Manny for longer than Bonds for shorter period.
2008-12-16 08:48:06
355.   Eric Stephen
I think my brothers (both Dodger fans) are still disappointed in me because I was at Petco for Bonds' 755th HR, and a stood and applauded the achievement.

I'm mad because I had a seat in the RF stands and Bonds had the audacity to take Clay Hensley deep to LF. :)

2008-12-16 08:49:28
356.   JoeyP
Isnt Orlando Hudson off the table since the Dodgers appear committed to Blake Dewitt & just signed Casey Blake for 3yrs?
2008-12-16 08:52:16
357.   natepurcell
re-sign manny, sign randy johnson...probably call it an offseason

CF Kemp
RF Ethier
LF ManRam
1b Loney
3b Blake
C Martin
2b Dewitt
SS Hu

Billingsley
Kuroda
Kershaw
Johnson
McDonald/Stults

2008-12-16 08:52:54
358.   Daniel Zappala
Tejada and Cabrera had about the same VORP of 19 last year.
2008-12-16 08:54:15
359.   old dodger fan
Right now we have 6 OFer's that need to be carried on the 25 man roster or released (Ethier, Kemp, Jones, Pierre, Repko and Young). Add 12 pitchers and 2 catchers and that leaves 5 spots for the infield.

If we sign Manny we have 7 outfielders.

I hate to see Repko and Young traded or released but unless the season starts with some outfielders on the DL they look like history.

2008-12-16 08:59:24
360.   underdog
The MLB.com article says Furcal actually might play 2nd base? Huh.

I like Raffy but now I almost feel like I have to root for his back to go out again so I feel better about not signing him.

2008-12-16 09:00:29
361.   Disabled List
338 Why would Boras's price go up when Tex is signed? Yes, a slugger is off the market, but a buyer is also out of the market.

Supply and demand. The supply (sluggers) is more limited than the demand (teams). The one-for-one tradeoff of a Teixiera signing has a more pronounced lessening effect on the supply side than on the demand side. If Tex signs with the Yankees, then I expect the Angels will get involved in the Manny bidding, and vice versa.

I'm not really an economics expert, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

2008-12-16 09:01:32
362.   wronghanded
They are reporting that Furcal will play 2nd base? Doesn't that seem like a waste considering he has a cannon? Kind of an odd move considering the Braves had good, young middle IFs. I think that Peavy ends up a Brave before the season begins.

I am very nervous about the current state of our team. We don't seem to have any real strengths and actually weakened our biggest strength last season (bullpen). Even if we do sign Manny to a reasonable contract does anybody think we'll really be able to contend in the postseason?

2008-12-16 09:04:06
363.   CajunDodger
359
I think that the Dodgers will eventually go with the Pirates demands and give Hu and Young for Jack Wilson. I really would like to see what Young could do with about 450 ABs. I think he could replicate Ethier's numbers.
2008-12-16 09:05:07
364.   CajunDodger
359
I think that the Dodgers will eventually go with the Pirates demands and give Hu and Young for Jack Wilson. I really would like to see what Young could do with about 450 ABs. I think he could replicate Ethier's numbers.
2008-12-16 09:05:09
365.   underdog
Here's what I think the Dodgers should do, since you asked. Well, no one asked, but here it is anyway.

Re-sign Manny.
Sign Randy Wolf.
Bring in a veteran reliever who doesn't suck to round out 'pen.
Stop there.

2008-12-16 09:06:36
366.   CajunDodger
363, 364

Stupid refresh button...

2008-12-16 09:06:57
367.   underdog
364 - More importantly, I think Hu would replicate Jack Wilson's numbers at plate and in field, so that would be especially pointless trade. I'm not above trading Hu for something sensible but not that. But they've constantly said they're no longer interested in Jack Wilson, so we'll see how true to their word they are.
2008-12-16 09:08:41
368.   underdog
362 - It's possible that the Dodger bullpen could actually be better next season, too. Saito was great before 08 but missed half of last season with injuries and Beimel is fully replaceable. I think that's the least of our worries.
2008-12-16 09:09:17
369.   wronghanded
365 Are any relievers of that ilk still available? Fuentes I guess but won't he demand big $$$? I do agree with your assessment though. Wolf could be the best short term signing we can find in the pitching pool.
2008-12-16 09:11:24
370.   cargill06
357 I think that team flirts with 90 wins and wins the divison. I'm on board with you on this one.
2008-12-16 09:11:57
371.   wronghanded
368 I agree that Beimel is replacable but he gave us good numbers last season so he is not per-say easy to replace. Half a season of light's out closing will also be hard to find.
2008-12-16 09:12:09
372.   oshea2002
357 - I think that's the way to go. That team should win the West, and you have Manny for tickets.

I wonder how much influence Torre will now have over SS. As some people have speculated, Torre will want some hack PVL in there over Hu. I almost hope we bring Berroa back now to prevent a Wilson/Cabrera acquisition.

2008-12-16 09:12:54
373.   OhioBlues12
Isn't Wolf looking for a 3 year deal though? I liked Wolf when he was here and wouldn't mind having him back but I think I would like Johnson on a 1 year deal better.
2008-12-16 09:14:44
374.   OhioBlues12
371 - I think we have plenty of live arms to throw at the bullpen, which is why I hate the idea of spending money on a veteran closer.
2008-12-16 09:14:48
375.   oshea2002
370 - it's not a great team, but compared to the other 4 teams, it is. The division is there to be taken, and I don't think you can pass up division titles.
2008-12-16 09:15:07
376.   Ken Noe
I endorse 357 and 365 . If Hu can't cut it, DeJesus is in the wings next year. Sign Manny or another big bat, a pitcher such as Unit or Wolf, and we replicate 2008 without shedding more young talent. I'd add "trade Pierre" but I gather that's all but impossible.
2008-12-16 09:15:54
377.   underdog
Some ideas for trading Juan Pierre, some fairly rational and others completely ludicrous. But it gets ya thinking...

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=283&f=2094&t=3614075

369 - Besides Fuentes (too pricey) and Hoffman (too done), I'm not sure who else... Did anyone sign Russ Springer? I'd sign him, esp since he wouldn't cost a draft choice now.

2008-12-16 09:18:25
378.   Kevin Lewis
357

Let it be as it is written

2008-12-16 09:18:33
379.   old dodger fan
Wouldn't Teixeira look good in Dodger Blue for the next 8 years?
2008-12-16 09:20:14
380.   Ken Noe
377 Surely Dusty Baker would want him if the price is right. I'll take prospects.
2008-12-16 09:24:18
381.   ToyCannon
With Taveras a free agent we are about to find out just how overpaid Pierre is.
2008-12-16 09:26:10
382.   underdog
The Dodgers need to figure out the Manny situation first before they figure out Pierre. If they do bring back Manny I would be stunned if they didn't actively try to trade Pierre. That's why the assumption above as far as how many outfielders the Dodgers will have is premature. Pierre could be traded, Jones can't be counted on, and Repko could still be cut later. They could start season with Manny, Ethier and Kemp again, with Jones on the bench for occasional spot start and Young still around as backup. That's fine by me. Let's take it month to month eh?
2008-12-16 09:27:00
383.   Jon Weisman
I deleted 349. It meant well but was just too tasteless for me.
2008-12-16 09:30:06
384.   silverwidow
Hudson 2B
Ethier RF
Martin C
Loney 1B
Kemp CF
Blake LF
DeWitt 3B
Hu SS

How does that look?

2008-12-16 09:31:38
385.   wronghanded
I don't think we signed Blake to bench him.
2008-12-16 09:32:13
386.   wronghanded
nevermind, didn't notice he was in LF.
2008-12-16 09:32:42
387.   OhioBlues12
382 - See I really don't think that the Manny situation has any bearing on the Pierre situation. Actively shop Pierre now, because if Manny comes back then he doesn't have a spot and if Manny doesn't come back then our lack of power means we can't afford a spot for Pierre. Without Manny it would be Ethier, Jones, and Kemp with Young and Repko or Paul for reserves.
2008-12-16 09:35:01
388.   Tripon
I think its fair to say the Dodgers aren't going to sign any type-A Free Agents that aren't its own. They're not going to give away that pick for anybody, including a divisional rival this year.
2008-12-16 09:35:14
389.   silverwidow
I noticed Casey has never played LF, so that might not work. Unless he and Ethier flip-flop, but that doesn't make much sense.
2008-12-16 09:36:38
390.   silverwidow
BTW, if you type in "Casey Blake" in google, there's this REALLY bloody UFC fight picture that shows up.
2008-12-16 09:36:56
391.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-12-16 09:37:33
392.   DBrim
390 - His beard is deadly.

On that subject, it's Billy Gibbons' birthday today.

2008-12-16 09:39:11
393.   natepurcell
385

he plays left field in that scenario.

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