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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

A Yankee Story You Can Only Adore
2008-12-24 13:34
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Alex Belth's tour de force: his magnificent true-life fable of the final night at Yankee Stadium.

Comments (72)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-12-24 14:10:38
1.   D4P
From the two most recent articles on Fangraphs:

In 2008, Jayson Werth became a +4.9 win player. 4.9 wins! Mark Teixeira's projection for next season calls for something like +5.1 wins...It is easy to lampoon GMs for dishing out ridiculous deals to players like Adam Eaton, but they deserve equal praise for acquiring players as productive as Werth. Players who, despite being under control, are able to be had for about nine times less than their fair market value.

and

If I asked you to name one guy who doesn't currently have a starting job in major league baseball (or will get one after he signs his new contract) but deserved one, who would you say?

I'd say there's one guy who stands out from the pack, and that guy is Willy Aybar.

2008-12-24 14:27:08
2.   JoeyP
Aybar would be fine starting at 2nd base for most teams, but thats about it. I dont think he has enough power to start at 3b.
2008-12-24 14:31:06
3.   Zak
Just a couple of notes, posted withut comment:

Jayson Werth, in his age 26 season with LA posted an OPS+ of 89 and did not play at all in his age 27 season.
Until 2009, when he will be entering his age 30 season, he will have had one season with over 400 at bats in his career - last year.

According to FanGraphs, Blake Dewitt was a better value than Willy Aybar in 2008.. and it's only close because of Aybar's defense.

2008-12-24 14:39:48
4.   JoeyP
3- His wrist cut into his production both his age 26/27 seasons.

Age 25 year he OPS+ 115
Age 26 year he OPS+ 89 (hurt)
Age 27 - 0 ABs
Age 28 year he OPS+ 119
Age 29 year he OPS+ 121

Thats strange Fangraphs believes DeWitt was a better value....since they project Aybar's batting line as .289/.363/.460 when adjusted for BABIP.

2008-12-24 14:51:16
5.   Zak
Both Marcel and Bill James have his 2009 projection much lower than that.
2008-12-24 14:51:52
6.   CanuckDodger
From the time DeWitt took over 2B from Jeff Kent in August, over 27 games and 109 plate appearances, DeWitt hit .282/.404/.447. I will be really interested to see if DeWitt can play a whole season showing consistency, and I want to see that from Loney as well. Loney was surprisingly streaky for a player whose skill set would suggest he would be anything but a feast or famine kind of hitter.
2008-12-24 14:52:13
7.   Andrew Shimmin
The ghost of Christmas Past isn't supposed to materialize before the clock strikes eleven.
2008-12-24 14:52:28
8.   silverwidow
DeWitt's Isolated Discipline is a solid .080

I'd like to see that over .100 this year.

2008-12-24 14:57:50
9.   68elcamino427
#33 - Blake DeWitt - I predict 15 home runs from #33 in 2009.
2008-12-24 15:03:42
10.   trainwreck
Yeah, Loney is the one I am just totally unsure about. I was disappointed with his patience.
2008-12-24 15:10:06
11.   KG16
sometimes to move forward you must take a step back. that's the whole principle behind the "sophomore slump", right?
2008-12-24 15:11:36
12.   silverwidow
Kemp & Loney need to get their OBP into the .360+ range; .330-.340 is unacceptable for middle order guys.
2008-12-24 15:14:31
13.   trainwreck
Kemp's numbers are good for a CF. Sure, I hope he raises OBP, but I have a lot more confidence in him now.
2008-12-24 15:36:43
14.   68elcamino427
Blake - 15+ homers this year

Bison - 20+ homers this year

Loney - 20+ homers this year

Ethier - 25+ homers this year

Manny - 40+ homers this year

*No Manny - subtract 5 homers from Loney and Bison

2008-12-24 15:36:43
15.   Bob Timmermann
11
Or that could be from Confucius. Or a zen koan.
2008-12-24 15:42:10
16.   trainwreck
I hope Bob and humanity get a good Christmas gift tonight and Notre Dame gets destroyed by Hawaii.
2008-12-24 15:50:28
17.   Bob Timmermann
I think Notre Dame will win. Because tonight the Irish really will have a decided schematic advantage.

And Hawai'i isn't very good.

2008-12-24 15:58:12
18.   Bumsrap
If anybody were betting on who might win a golf tournament they would probably pick Tiger Woods historically, and if anybody were to say who had the best odds to win the World Series in 2009 most might pick the Yankees.

But, if we could bet that Woods would lose or that the Yankees would not win the World Series, the odds would be in our favor.

Tiger vs. the field or the Yankees vs. the field, I will take the field any day. Likewise, how many teams won a World Series in the last 10 years without Manny in their lineup? For that matter, how many teams won a World Series in the last 10 years without Ted Williams in the lineup.

The odds favor a team winning the WS without Manny. So, why pay Manny all that money and risk Manny being the bad Manny?

2008-12-24 16:04:27
19.   trainwreck
18
The idea is to field the best possible team. Who does not want the best players on their team?

We want Manny's offense in the lineup, because it gives us a better chance to win the World Series.

2008-12-24 16:04:29
20.   68elcamino427
18
Manny being Manny as he is apt to be ... This is the question I pose:

How far do the Dodgers advance into the post-season last year without Manny?

Or do they advance into the post season at all?

2008-12-24 16:05:15
21.   trainwreck
Heck, even make the playoffs. It is possible Arizona's young guys break out before our young guys do.
2008-12-24 16:08:17
22.   Bumsrap
If Manny is going to make $25MM he should be on the Yankees with the other $20MM+ players and not bat and field with a team mostly making under $500,000. Manny's salary is a square peg on a team of round holes.
2008-12-24 16:10:31
23.   trainwreck
22
I am guessing you are taking that approach from Moneyball, but look at the A's salary structure now. A bunch of cheap guys with guys making big money in Chavez and Holliday with Ellis and Crosby making decent money.
2008-12-24 16:12:51
24.   D4P
There's no reason an NL team should be willing to pay as much for Manny as an AL team.

He's worth more as a DH than a LF.

2008-12-24 16:16:12
25.   Bumsrap
No, I haven't read Moneyball. And, now that you mention Holliday, lets bid on him for 2010 if the Kemps, Loney's, Martin's, Ethier's, DeWitt's take another advance in performance next year, Furcal looks healthy, Abreu, Hu, and DeJesus look like contributors, and the pitching proves themselves.
2008-12-24 16:19:51
26.   trainwreck
They both stink at fielding and Manny is a better hitter. I would rather have him.

Plus, Holliday is going to want a much longer deal.

2008-12-24 16:20:49
27.   trainwreck
24
He is, but our defense is good enough in other spots for it to not be a major concern to me.
2008-12-24 16:22:52
28.   trainwreck
If we just went with all the young guys than I would say we do not have to get Manny as badly, because we are building more towards future.

Bringing back Furcal and Blake means we want win now, in addition to future, so might as well go for it if you are trying to win now.

2008-12-24 16:22:58
29.   Bumsrap
I thought Holiday had made himself a decent fielder and as for the other guy, who are you talking about. I would rather have Holiday than Manny but to be consistent about salary, my choice would be for Lambo to play left in 2010.
2008-12-24 16:24:02
30.   regfairfield
Why not just run some concession staff out there and hope every other team gets some form of voodoo hex put on them?
2008-12-24 16:27:15
31.   Bumsrap
28 - I think Blake and Furcal elilminated the need to sign Manny more than they are going for a title. It would be hard to explain if the Dodgers gambled and lost with Martin, Loney, Abreu/DeJesus, DeWitt, Hu, Pierre, Kemp, Ethier. Blake and Furcal add experience and a decent knowledge of what to expect.
2008-12-24 16:28:37
32.   Bumsrap
30 - Are you saying that is what the Dodgers would symbolically be doing if they don't sign Manny?
2008-12-24 16:30:46
33.   trainwreck
31
They are not good enough to make us into winners. Production trumps experience.

We had a similar team at the beginning of last year and we stunk.

2008-12-24 16:34:24
34.   regfairfield
I'm just saying that we're a better team with Manny than with Juan Pierre.
2008-12-24 16:44:16
35.   blued22
got lated, apparently so I'll repost because I'd both like some feedback and this is the third time I've posted across the years and been too late. It's said perserverance furthers ...i hope that's true.

111. blued22
Merry Christmas to all.

First poster, long time lurker. I read and don't post most of the time because of the hyperbole rule.

Hyperbolic description is recreation for me--I'm left handed and a dominant right brain thinker; Nonetheless I read DT every day and find the majority of y'all great reads.

I've got a notion that I'd like to share and perhaps gain some support for:

How about taking a full page ad(say the back page of the sports section) in that Spanish language paper reporting Manny going to the Yanks, directed as a personal fan appeal to Manny, perhaps written by Jon and including a translation into espanol.

The gist of it could be the simple fact that Manny has become the face of the team and LA is truly where a star of his magnitude belongs.

Ideas and arguments of persuasion could be generated on this board and supplied to Jon by all of the posters who take an interest.

I haven't a clue what it would cost, but I'm in for a proportionate share, if the cost can be divided by enough of us to make it reasonable.

Might be fun; might make news in LA and might make Manny smile:

Who knows, might even penetrate the thick skulls of the McCourts and throw some light on just what it may cost the Dodgers in attendance if they don't sign ManRam.

Certainly it would communicate just how serious some very knowledgeable baseball fans are about that truly inspirationally gregarious man.

Blued22

2008-12-24 17:00:00
36.   Zak
35 I very much want Manny too be signed by the Dodgers, but the way I see it is if 3 years $60 million is not enough and the adulation he received from fans in his two months here don't tell him and McCourt that most Dodger fans want him here, then a full page ad probably won't do the trick.

Also, I am not sure that Manny has become the face of our team, especially considering that, for me (one of his fans), he was still my Option B going into the offseason.

Thirdly, I'm not sure if Jon has gone on record saying that he really wants the Dodgers to resign Manny, to the point where he is willing to sign off on a public petition. But I could be wrong about that.

Finally, are you actually Vic the Brick? "Truly inspirationally gregarious man"? Isn't that a little over the top, even for a self-described hyperbolic?

2008-12-24 17:00:15
37.   Tom Meagher
re: previous thread

I'm not making the argument that the Yankees are making bad moves and hurting themselves. I am saying that their strategy has chronic/persistent flaws. They will compete for the division title 8 or 9 times out of the next ten, but some of the doomsayin' is more or less implying that they'll be competing for the WS 10/10. My point is that their strategy creates its own problems, like all other problems, and most of the HolySmokes! analysis (as well as Attanasio's comments) are willfully ignorant of this.

Teixeira might be the #3 1B as of now, yknow, the year that he finished up the typical prime years of 25-28. How much longer will he be better than Cabrera, Gonzalez, Davis, and Fielder? How much better is he than Derrek Lee was at the same age, and would the Yankees be happy getting what Lee's done the last three years from Teixeira? I don't think he really has a better than even chance of being a top ten 1B five years from now. This isn't an argument about Teixeira - it's an argument about aging curves and distribution of talent.

That's not to say that he isn't the best player available at his position over the next 2-3 years of free agents. But Evan Longoria will probably be a more valuable player over 6-7 of the next eight years, and his highest salary will be $11.5mm in his THIRD club option year. If the Yankees had signed Longoria to that deal, they most certainly would be the evil empire; but suddenly the team that has had nothing but over-the-hill free agents at 1B during its post-strike period of dominance gets a 1B who's still at the summit facing downward and it's fait accompli?

The Yankees will be fine, and so will the other teams with reasonable plans to compete.

2008-12-24 17:06:15
38.   Alex41592
At this point we're talking about the difference between a 75 OPS+ and 145 OPS+ in left field. Pierre or Manny. Defense isn't really an issue in that comparison because they both have weaknesses. But, we're talking at least 70 OPS+ points difference with the bat.

We still need to find Derek Lowe's innings from somewhere.

2008-12-24 17:08:47
39.   Vaudeville Villain
Have people seen this? A plot of which teams essentially were spending badly and which teams were spending intelligently last year.

http://benfry.com/salaryper/

I actually don't think the Yankee spending spree is bad for competitive reasons, I just feel it's bad for growing the sport. What reason does any casual fan have to get excited about their team unless they live in a large market? Only hard-core fans really follow the minor leagues or can successfully project when a team is underrated going into a season.

2008-12-24 17:12:38
40.   Zak
With the NL West pitching as loaded as it is, I really think the Dodgers cannot win the NL West without a bat like Manny's. The team as it is right now will not win the West, in my opinion. But, with Manny, a healthy Furcal and a decent SP, we will definitely be in cotention in September.
2008-12-24 17:36:06
41.   trainwreck
35
There is also this option.

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?19882008

2008-12-24 17:50:33
42.   trainwreck
Weis is not even on the field.

Come on recruits, you do not want to go to a place like that.

2008-12-24 18:09:06
43.   oshea2002
Clausen looks half way decent tonight. Of course, it is Hawaii, and he's basically cheating do the unfair advantage he has over opposing defenses with the genius up in the booth. The Yankees have their $$$, ND has their decided schematic advantage.
2008-12-24 18:38:28
44.   trainwreck
43
This game is like Al Davis's dream scenario. Just chuck the ball deep every time.
2008-12-24 18:38:46
45.   blued22
36 "Finally, are you actually Vic the Brick? "Truly inspirationally gregarious man"? Isn't that a little over the top, even for a self-described hyperbolic?"

Well, zak-

Precisely the kind of left brain response I anticipated when choosing not to post here-- Makes me sad, actually.

Passive aggressive scorn/contempt is no less loathsome than direct confrontation, no matter how subtle the sarcasm. Yours wasn't even close to subtle, however.

I am a trained, degreed rhetorical analyst and can instruct you with the authority of an expert that your seemingly polite sneer is both rude and obnoxious.

Had you put such a sneer in an analytical paper I assigned when teaching rhetoric, you would have received an F. A second such offense, especially were you a graduate student, would have caused you to fail the course. Do you find disparagement funny? Or were your remarks intended to amuse the guys?

Since the very first response fulfilled my worst expectations with a wholly unnecessary summation paragraph and because I have no respect for the kind of audience you represent, I won't post here again, but I will reiterate that such a thoughtlessly smug, trite gibe reveals with very little analytical effort, a very shallow mind. Good luck with romance.

BTW, in 40, spellcheck would have revealed there's an n in cotention ...so, also, would reading your prose aloud.

Blued22

2008-12-24 18:50:21
46.   oshea2002
44 - unfortunately Hawaii is not on our schedule.

For the 6th year in a row, the only thing I want for Christmas is no more Al.

2008-12-24 19:35:07
47.   scareduck
37 - CC, Teixeira, and Burnett can't play shortstop, second base, center field, or catch.

That is the fundamental problem with what they have done this offseason. There simply isn't enough talent available in any one offseason to field a quality team, and while you can get players that way, you often end up overspending on the wrong guys.

2008-12-24 19:39:55
48.   Marty
45 I really think Zak was trying to make a joke there. Please don't take it as an insult and please keep commenting. We need all we can get.
2008-12-24 19:43:49
49.   bhsportsguy
48 How were the tamales and are they open over the weekend?
2008-12-24 20:11:37
50.   Marty
49 They are for tomorrow. I had to buy un-steamed ones and will steam them tomorrow morning. There was a 2 hour wait for pre-cooked ones at 9 a.m.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-12-24 20:12:13
51.   Marty
Oh, and I think they are open this weekend, but I'm not sure.
2008-12-24 20:12:50
52.   Andrew Shimmin
I took a test once to see whether I was left-brained or right-brained, but it said that most of what thinking I do, I did with the stem. Which was disappointing to be sure, but not exactly unexpected.
2008-12-24 20:14:10
53.   bhsportsguy
2001 - 8th/1st
2002 - 15th/10th
2003 - 25th/1st
2004 - 2nd/9th
2005 - 13th/12th
2006 - 11th/14th
2007 - 2nd/25th
2008 - 12th/29th
2008-12-24 20:15:02
54.   KG16
15 - I was going for something kind of zen

anyway, a merry christmas to all, and to all a good night.

2008-12-24 20:16:11
55.   Andrew Shimmin
I thought I understood that, but it seems unbelievable that my D'backs had the eighth highest payroll in 2001.
2008-12-24 20:18:51
56.   Andrew Shimmin
But I guess they did. How about that.

http://tinyurl.com/7mqd8k

2008-12-24 22:02:04
57.   whodat807
45 Boy, that diatribe seems like a overreaction to a harmless joke.

I'm watching "It's a Wonderful Life," and even though I've seen it about a million times, I still get steamed about how incompetent Uncle Billy is. Lousy drunk!

Anyways, Merry Christmas all!

2008-12-24 22:34:50
58.   Reddog
I go back and forth on whether or not I want the dodgers to sign Manny for the next 2 or 3 years. I have a feeling that Manny is not going to be all that happy about signing with us for 2 years and $40 mil, or 3 years and $60 mil. He obviously wanted a lot more.

So what could happen is that we won't see the Manny we had the last 2 months. He won't try as hard, or be as happy. Manny is very emotional. Plus you have to factor in that he'll be 37 next year.

Maybe we're better off playing Repko or Delwyn Young, either of whom could become another Jason Werth, to go with Kemp and Ethier.

Plus, Lambo might be ready to play for us in 2010, and could become a star. We might want to have a spot for him in the outfield.

2008-12-24 22:51:13
59.   Humma Kavula
58 Lambo just completed Class A ball (plus 36 AB of a mind-boggling 1.171 OPS at Jacksonville). I know less about prospects than I do about just about anything, but it seems to me that anything short of a Babe Ruth season from him would have him in the minors in 2010. Expecting him to be a starter in L.A. by then -- and at star quality -- is probably wishful thinking.

I would think that if you're on the Lambo train, you'd be on the Manny train as well. There are at least 2 full seasons to bridge to Lambo -- and that's if everything goes well.

Where it gets sticky is that third season for Manny. It's not inconceivable that Lambo will be ready in 2011 -- or, at least, ready to provide a significant percentage of Manny's production, which will probably be falling off by then. Not to give the front office too much credit, but perhaps this is the reason we haven't seen a deal yet.

In my personal opinion, 3 years for Manny is the price of doing business. The team is not good enough to compete for the title right now, but with Manny, it could be. Yes, it makes for a problem in 2011. Deal with it then. I'd sign Manny to 3/$70-75 if he'd take that deal.

But I also think that the team that should offer that is the Rays.

2008-12-24 23:15:39
60.   trainwreck
59
Yeah, problems of luxury are not really problems. Can't complain about having too many good players.
2008-12-25 01:36:48
61.   fanerman
Merry Christmas Dodger Thoughts!
2008-12-25 07:37:12
62.   Hollywood Joe
My problem with the Yankees is not how they upset the competitive balance of baseball. No matter how many high-priced ballplayers they sign they are not the Harlem Globetrotters and even more importantly, their signing high priced talent does not make the rest of MLB the Washington Generals. Major League Talent (yes I capitalized it on purpose) is not a zero sum game.

Besides, I don't think they can buy anything more than the chance to be very good. Greatness comes from somewhere else and is much about time and chance and random events of fortune as it is about talent and heroism and performance. The thing is, in order to be great, you have to be good first. So on second thought, while the Yankees are not able to buy greatness, I do think they buy themselves an increased chance that greatness will occur. Bully for them.

My problem with the Yankees is not that in the worse economic crisis in any of our lives (apologies if we have any of the truly and historically old here - I find the internet to be a mostly young-ish medium) they are dumping nearly a half of billion dollars on ballplayers, while building a palace demanding public funds. While I think it is beyond despicable behavior, that is not really my problem with them (today).

My problem with the Yankees isn't their fans; though if I had my choice I would never want to talk baseball with fans of either the Red Sox or the Yankees. Far too much of a sense of self and even worse self-worth tied up in who they root for. I hate to break it to those AL East loyalists but rooting for a winning team does not make one superior in any way to a fan that roots for a team who wins less or even not at all.

My problem with the Yankees (and maybe even big market baseball today) is that they steal too much of the conversation and prevent (nearly) all of the other MLB cities the chance to have a dreamy hot stove season. Here it is Christmas morning and I am sitting in my favorite chair writing about what my problems are with the Yankees, if that doesn't tell you that they steal the conversation then I don't know what will. I think that this constant accumulation is boring and boorish and as I said, it deprives all the other burgs out there of the wonder of wondering about what comes next.

All right, enough of that. I love the Dodgers and like Manny. I hope they sign Manny to a big deal for him that doesn't go longer than 3. I would prefer no Manny to Manny money being tied up for 4, 5, or god forbid 6.

I love the optimism of this board. Every prospect is a talent here. Every Dodger minor leaguer is just waiting to develop and have their chance and then stardom! We never forgive the Dodgers for the ones that are traded away and then hit their stride, but we always (thankfully) seem to forget the ones that we trade away and they never are heard from again. I always try to remember that Minor league promise, no matter how good, doesn't have a one to one correlation with Major League success. That we forget it, that we love every young guy who shows an ounce of promise, is the optimism I love about this board.

I also like the cynicism too. The bit about how the McCourts being out of money stays fresh most of the time, as long as it isn't laid on too thick, but I think most of us realize deep in our hearts, that ol' Frank and Jamie have plenty o' scratch. Scratch to burn (See: Schimdt, Pierre, Jones). I love the hatred of Mr. Jones, he seems a simple sort and while I think he deserves all the vitriol we have thrown his way, I hope for his sake and ours he gets the chance at redemption and succeeds beyond everyone's expectations. That would be fun. I love the jokes about Ned's incompetence and the simplicity to which we ascribe his views - Ned loves X and hates Y. I fear he might be a bit more complex and intelligent than that, but it is much more fun to look at his record of free agent signings and draw the conclusion that you or I could have done better swilling beer and tossing darts. Blindfolded.

Oh, my sleeping beauty stirs. That means Christmas is nearly truly here. I better wrap this up...Merry Merry!!! May we all get a bit better than we deserve but no less than what we need

HJ

2008-12-25 08:06:31
63.   Gen3Blue
I know I am following quite a piece of writing, but all I have at the moment is---Happy Holidays to every one at DT.

And its interesting that I really think of all of you as being "at a place".

2008-12-25 09:29:51
64.   JJ42
Merry Christmas everyone!

Now on to the gifts downstairs!

ps. Hey Eric Stephen - thought you'd like to know that I just got off the phone with my girlfriend. She's at LAX about to fly to Chicago. She's currently sitting across from Mark Paul Gosselaar. No word if he has that huge cell phone with him though.

2008-12-25 09:34:26
65.   Bob Timmermann
Quick informal survey:

A) Open gifts on Christmas Eve
B) Open gifts on Christmas Day
C) Both

2008-12-25 09:38:06
66.   Gen3Blue
A
2008-12-25 09:38:37
67.   Gen3Blue
Whoops! I meant B.
2008-12-25 09:41:22
68.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps you meant C?
2008-12-25 09:43:30
69.   KG16
65 - most years C, dad's family on Christmas Eve, mom's family on Christmas Day. but this year no Christmas Eve get together.
2008-12-25 09:45:26
70.   Kevin Lewis
B

Have a wonderful day everyone!

2008-12-25 09:51:11
71.   Bob Timmermann
I'm C. Since I have no parents around, I tend to be a nomad around this time of year.
2008-12-25 10:00:57
72.   Jon Weisman
NPUT

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