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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
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The Men
2009-01-23 08:03
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

This year, the kids are gonna play.

They might not still be kids, depending on your point of view. But they're still the kids, know what I'm saying? And they're gonna play.

Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp won't fight each other or Juan Pierre for playing time. Either and Kemp established themselves as regulars, and Pierre is either looking at Dodger fans wishing he was Manny Ramirez or a new home because he isn't.

James Loney played in 161 games last season. Russell Martin played twice that. They're fixtures.

Blake DeWitt, who still should only be heading into AAA ball this season, is slated to play the majority of games at second base. His precocious, up, down and up 2008 season and well-regarded attitude will give him a long look before the Dodgers panic.

Chad Billingsley is the staff ace. Clayton Kershaw, turning 21 in March, is already indispensable. James McDonald, with six career regular-season innings and 5 1/3 career postseason innings, is going to have every chance to help the team. Hong-Chih Kuo, Cory Wade, Jonathan Broxton, Ramon Troncoso, Scott Elbert - come and get it.

Chin-Lung Hu, Delwyn Young, Jason Repko and Eric Stults are blocked, but only Hu is a potential A-lister, and he's blocked by an All-Star (a fragile one), no crime considering Hu's turgid 2008. That still leaves five kids in the starting lineup and as many as eight on the pitching staff.

We're back at 1974. The kids have proven they belong. They are launched.

Now, we're just waiting to see if they can take us from cloud eight to cloud nine. Does doubles power turn into home run power? Do the pitchers challenge the hitters more effectively? It won't happen for everyone, but we might be surprised by how many kids it does happen for.

Free agents have been the fixation of this Dodger offseason, and not without good reason. But underneath it all, there's maybe even a bigger story.

This might be the year the kids stop being called the kids, and we start calling them the men.

Comments (372)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2009-01-23 08:45:39
1.   Jacob Burch
And fittingly enough, this may be the one time signing a near-40 Outfielder won't break the trending of "playing the kids (at heart)"
2009-01-23 09:00:24
2.   kinbote
In the voice of the boss from Office Space, I'm going to have to go ahead and approve the signing of Randy Wolf right now, um-kay?

I was just watching some video from last year and here's what his stuff amounts to:

Fastball--Consistently 90-92 when he goes for the punchout. He's probably one of these guys (like Kuroda) who dials it up a notch when he's trying for a K.

Curveball--20 mph slower than his fastball. It's such a change of pace I think it fools the ump sometimes.

Changeup--10 mph off his fastball. At first it's a little hard to tell the difference between his changeup and slider, but his slider has more movement. I've heard his changeup is supposed to be his best pitch, but I think he's learning to use his other pitchers more.

Slider--Lots of movement. Coming in at 78mph or so, it looks like a fastball then falls off the table. He can break off a good one.

Overall--While watching highlights can clearly distort a pitcher's stuff (I wasn't seeing the hanging curveballs, flat sliders, missed locations), I am impressed with his arsenal. Health is going to be a major concern, but if the money is not Schmidtian, I think Wolf could be a solid addition.

I predict we'll sign him to a one-year deal for $8 mil or so, adding on two vesting options years that could be easily reached if he stays healthy. Maybe a $8m/$10m/$12m type deal if incentives are reached, with a $2m buyout after one year if they aren't. This would guarantee him $10m at least and $30m at most.

2009-01-23 09:02:38
3.   Jacob Burch
2 If we're ok with signing Brett Tomko for two years, I have to imagine Wolf gets two locked in--even in this market.
2009-01-23 09:10:47
4.   Im So Blue
It's not too late to see the real Jeff Kent, by Jill Painter: http://www.dailybreeze.com/dodgers/ci_11533860

The stoic man who had run-ins with Barry Bonds, Milton Bradley and reporters finally let it all out. As Kent tearfully said goodbye to baseball, we said hello to a different man.

2009-01-23 09:17:05
5.   oshea2002
Cowherd has spent his entire show talking about the Dodgers today, odd. He's somehow arrived at the conclusion that b/c Manny hasn't been re-signed by LA yet, then LA is cheap.
2009-01-23 09:17:11
6.   underdog
The accompanying video/song to go with Jon's post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnFUtTWqSnE&feature=related

2009-01-23 09:18:37
7.   Ken Noe
0 We're back at 1974. The kids have proven they belong. They are launched.

As someone who's always loved that '74 team best, you just sent chills up my spine.

2 I frankly thought letting Wolf go was an mistake, so I can live with this.

2009-01-23 09:19:37
8.   cargill06
Wolf has more upside than Garland, I'd rather take the risk of Wolf rather than the 210 innings of garunteed crap from Garland.
2009-01-23 09:23:27
9.   Jacob Burch
UCLA could gain the Senate eat they lost! Huzzah!
2009-01-23 09:28:23
10.   old dodger fan
Wolf-Last 5 years

2004--137 IP; ERA+ 105
2005--80 IP; ERA+ 100
2006--56 IP; ERA+ 84
2007--103 IP; ERA+ 97
2008--190 IP; ERA+ 93

He's just about the deffinition of average when he plays.

2009-01-23 09:32:48
11.   Xeifrank
5. Tell Cowherd, that one mans cheap is another mans business savy.

8. Wolf also has more downside, and 210 innings of league average starting pitching is nothing to scoff at. He may not be a sexy pitcher, but Garland has been consistently league average. I think the Dodgers have had too much "downside" in the recent future (Schmidt, Jones, Pierre et al). I don't mind Wolf, and I don't mind Garland. If we signed either, I would have to evaluate the signing based on the contract length and dollars. I just think that Garland gets unfairly maligned because he doesn't pitch sexy.
vr, Xei

2009-01-23 09:34:21
12.   John Hale
9
Did UCLA name anything after Ted Stevens? Scholarships, bridges between buildings?
Who is the replacement?
2009-01-23 09:35:34
13.   Bob Timmermann
9
But the woman was a Dartmouth undergrad.

Kirsten Gillibrand is 364 days younger than me.

2009-01-23 09:42:08
14.   Bob Timmermann
12
Ted Stevens did win UCLA's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award at least twice.
2009-01-23 09:46:25
15.   Jacob Burch
13 I'll count it! Unless Dartmouth is on an unknown part of the Obelisk somewhere.
2009-01-23 09:50:26
16.   rubdawg
7 Took the words right out of my mouth. 1974 was awesome. Seems like yesterday when Fergueson was hosing Bando!
2009-01-23 09:53:35
17.   underdog
School seeks to forfeit 100-0 win

http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=903780

I think the mistake they made was shooting 3 pointers in the 4th quarter.

It also seems as if Dallas Academy should rethink the idea of fielding a team, in a school with 20 girls total and comprised of students with "learning differences."

Sigh.

2009-01-23 10:00:28
18.   Disabled List
I think it's pretty obvious that what's going re: Manny right now is a game of chicken between Ned and all the other teams in baseball. The Dodgers don't want to make another offer to Manny, because they know that Boras will immediately take that offer to other teams and start the bidding war. The other teams don't want to make an offer for the same reason, as it gives the Dodgers a target number to beat.

I don't think it's true at all that no other team besides the Dodgers is interested in Manny. I could still see the Giants, Angels, Mets, and of course, Yankees all getting involved if the circumstances break right. And I think Boras will let Manny sign a one-year deal somewhere else and try agiin next offseason, rather than eat his hat and take a sub-par multiyear deal from LA.

For all these reasons, I don't expect this situation to be resolved until after spring training starts, maybe even exhibition season. By then, Dunn et al will no doubt be gone, so for the Dodgers, it'll be Ramirez or bust (or Pierre, same thing).

2009-01-23 10:06:31
19.   old dodger fan
18 So when do they file the lawsuit for collusion?
2009-01-23 10:11:05
20.   Gilberto Reyes
Jeff Kent was on the Dan Patrick radio show this morning and spoke very candidly about several issues. When asked about Manny, Kent agreed that the Dodgers would be the best place for him to play. When asked if the team's opinion of Manny was affected by how he behaved in Boston, Kent said yes, but that they were "selfish as Dodgers" and wanted him to play for their team. He also said that Manny was a great teammate this year. Kent said he would not vote for the Hall of Fame for any player who he know used steroids, cheated, or didn't compete on a level playing field.
2009-01-23 10:19:36
21.   das411
Um....you guys do realize the Dodgers made it all the way to the NLCS last season, and were only eliminated by the (eventual) World Series champions, right?

...what if, like those early '90s Pirates teams, that turns out to be as far as they ever get?

2009-01-23 10:20:25
22.   rubdawg
Coincidence? Ivan De Jesus was one of the kids in '74. Now Junior is on his way up.
2009-01-23 10:21:12
23.   Disabled List
18 What collusion? This is the free market at work.
2009-01-23 10:23:40
24.   Humma Kavula
21 If that's as far as they get, that's as far as they get.

I had as much fun in the last two-plus months of last year watching the Dodgers as I have had in my life. It was a great time to be a Dodger fan.

Nobody is saying the Dodgers are a perfect team, even if Manny is on board. We are all hoping for the postseason, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Regardless -- and this is the point -- there is a lot, a lot, a lot to love about this team. It will be very easy to root for the Dodgers in 2009.

2009-01-23 10:24:42
25.   Howard Fox
5 I used to listen to Cowherd daily, but he is way too full of himself. Now I listen to Dan Patrick.

He interviewed Jeff Kent this morning, great interview.

2009-01-23 10:28:10
26.   Howard Fox
my final straw with him was when his wife got sick of his greatness and booted him, he spent a whole show dispensing marital advice to his listeners
2009-01-23 10:29:23
27.   Gen3Blue
I was startled and pleased with the comparison to 1974. To grind my old ax, its much easier for me to root for a team with lots of home grown players, even if they don't go quite as far.
2009-01-23 10:32:59
28.   cargill06
25 Likewise, it'll be interesting to see how long he sticks around for with DP as competition.
2009-01-23 10:38:49
29.   Gilberto Reyes
1974
Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, Buckner, Wynn, Crawford, Yeager, Fergie, Sutton, Messersmith, Marshall.

Those are the guys I remember leading that team and only Marshall(31) and Wynn(32) were in their 30's.

It was the first year that I really followed the team and they never appeared to be "the kids" back then. But this was probably because I was only 9 years old.

2009-01-23 10:40:02
30.   Jason in Canada
26 I agree. I was very glad when our affiliate (if you can call Bellingham Wa. an affiliate) switched to Dan Patrick.

During commercial breaks I can switch over to Vancouver talk and listen to 2,000,000 angry people talk 24-7-365 about the slumping Canucks.

2009-01-23 10:40:40
31.   Icaros
21

Um...what's your point, exactly?

2009-01-23 10:42:25
32.   Kevin Lewis
10

Sheets- Last 5 years

2004--237 IP; ERA+ 162
2005--156 IP; ERA+ 128
2006--106 IP; ERA+ 119
2007--141 IP; ERA+ 117
2008--198 IP; ERA+ 139

I'm just saying...if you are going to take a risk on a pitcher, why not Ben?

2009-01-23 10:42:41
33.   Jacob Burch
31 Stop caring about baseball, entirely.

Or become a Phillies fan.

2009-01-23 10:43:38
34.   Icaros
33

Well, those are two awful options, aren't they?

2009-01-23 10:43:49
35.   underdog
31 - Yeah, I'm confused, too, Das. What are we supposed to realize? Is it something good or something bad? Or is there a pamphlet I should read?
2009-01-23 10:43:52
36.   LogikReader
25

I think both guys are pretty full of themselves, to be honest with you. How often do we hear DP talk about himself during the course of the show?

Part of that is the charm, but with either show, it can get out of hand. Patrick is a great interviewer though.

2009-01-23 10:52:01
37.   mwhite06
30 I went on a weekend trip to Vancouver once and I was floored with the nonstop Canucks talk. Everywhere I went, be it a bar, restaurant, department store, someone would start discussing the Canucks with me.
2009-01-23 10:52:01
38.   cargill06
36 Yesterday, McLovin DP and Seton were debating who was better Ryan Howard or Tex. DP said, "I don't want to hear about SLG or OBP or OPP ya you know me."
2009-01-23 10:52:49
39.   herchyzer
18 . I don't think it's true at all that no other team besides the Dodgers is interested in Manny. I could still see the Giants, Angels, Mets, and of course, Yankees all getting involved if the circumstances break right. And I think Boras will let Manny sign a one-year deal somewhere else and try agiin next offseason, rather than eat his hat and take a sub-par multiyear deal from LA.

I'd like to repeat that as one of the more cogent statements I've heard regarding the "Manny Situation".

Mentally, emotionally, I'm ready to see the Dodgers make an offer to Dunn. It seems clear to me that Boras plans to pin the Dodgers against the Spring Training, all-the-other-bats-are-gone, wall.

2009-01-23 10:53:13
40.   Jason in Canada
You know, DP really likes his hair.
2009-01-23 10:53:45
41.   fanerman
38 DP isn't down with OPP?
2009-01-23 10:53:51
42.   mwhite06
38 What did he want to hear about then? How they each looked in the their uniform?
2009-01-23 10:55:06
43.   silverwidow
I had to chuckle a bit at BA's future Reds' depth chart - Homer Bailey is now considered a 5th starter (behind Bronson Arroyo).

It's amazing how far he's fallen - he was a surefire, unquestionable ace in the making just two years ago.

2009-01-23 10:57:37
44.   Howard Fox
36 to be on air, you have to be that way, but DP strikes me as the type of guys I used to hang out with when I was single talking about sports over a few....

Cowherd was the know it all that you often inadvertently forgot to invite

and DP does well on interviews, I think the people he interviews generally like him...

I always got the sense with Cowherd that during interviews he really liked himself and didn't let them finish their thoughts much...unless of course they were agreeing with him

2009-01-23 10:57:43
45.   cargill06
41 42 He is old school and said today how QB W-L record should be incorporated into their QB rating.
2009-01-23 10:58:50
46.   oshea2002
30 - I can't imagine 24/7 Canuck talk is very interesting. That's what the Loose Cannons had become, only with the Lakers. Fortunately they got shut down.
2009-01-23 10:59:14
47.   Jason in Canada
37 It is non-stop Canuck talk here. I've become a Canuck fan since I moved here 6 years ago, but I can't stand most of the fan base here.

The MOST fickle fans I have ever been around in my life. But I guess that's what losing does to you for 40+ years...

2009-01-23 11:04:28
48.   Jason in Canada
46 Oh it's dreadful. In the off season, they scrape and get interviews with the equipment guys... old goalies from the 60's...

The worst part is even when they are winning, people still have something to complain about.

The last time I was in L.A. I couldn't believe how the Loose Cannon's literally shouted the entire time the show was on. And yes, all about the Lakers.

2009-01-23 11:05:07
49.   ToyCannon
The 74 team was full of core kids who would become more important in 77/78 but in 74 that team is nothing without real MVP Wynn, Cy Young Marshall, and CyYoung#2 Andy Messersmith.

I don't see those guys on this team and as it stands this is a 500 club. With 30 more million to spend we shall see if they move closer to a 90 win team or not. Ben Sheets could be Andy Messersmith. Randy Wolf cannot. Manny could be Jimmy Wynn, Dunn cannot. No one can be Cy Young Marshall.

Speaking of Marshall and Messersmith when was the last time two pitchers were one and two in Cy Young voting?
http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1974.shtml#NLcya

2009-01-23 11:05:38
50.   LogikReader
47

The Canucks lost 6 games in a row though... that's a tough stretch, for any team, especially with all those expectations.

Robin Scherbatsky is crushed

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2009-01-23 11:06:25
51.   cargill06
They now have "The Fusion" which is The Loose Cannons + Petros. So you could only imagine.
2009-01-23 11:07:08
52.   LogikReader
48

Even if I was a fan, I'd run out of things to say about the Canucks after 5 minutes. Just thinking about non-stop Canucks talk made me laugh.

Granted, they do the same thing with the Mets and Yankees in NY

2009-01-23 11:07:09
53.   Bob Timmermann
47
Can't you mix in some B.C. Lions discussion?
2009-01-23 11:08:45
54.   ToyCannon
21
Being a Phillie fan I thought you'd use your 70 Phillie teams as a team who was never able to meet their potential because they kept running into the juggernaut playoff Dodgers in 77/78.
2009-01-23 11:12:46
55.   Eric Stephen
49
Unit and Schilling were 1-2 with Arizona in both 2001 & 2002.
2009-01-23 11:14:41
56.   DaDoughboy
32.
I would much rather have Sheets than Wolf as well...even if it does mean a 1st round pick.
2009-01-23 11:15:24
57.   Jacob Burch
49 when was the last time two pitchers were one and two in Cy Young voting?

2008

2009-01-23 11:15:53
58.   Jason in Canada
There is some B.C. Lions discussion. You can imagine the excitement of our compelling QB controversy with Jarius Jackson, Buck Pierce, and the emerging fave Zack Champion.

Lately there has been a refreshing topic of the controversy of Victoria born, Ryan Dempster's decision not to play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

"And there ladies and gentlemen is your British Columbia sports report, Now to Canuck Dodger with the weather..."

2009-01-23 11:18:19
59.   Eric Stephen
57
:)
2009-01-23 11:18:52
60.   Jacob Burch
59 In both leagues no less!
2009-01-23 11:19:58
61.   underdog
Aren't there pitchers 1-2 in the Cy Young voting every year?

;-)

2009-01-23 11:20:44
62.   underdog
58 - Hah! So that's where Jarious Jackson ended up. Former Broncos 3rd string backup QB...
2009-01-23 11:22:10
63.   Bob Timmermann
I don't believe that either of the two good Candian Cub pitchers are going to pitch in the WBC. Harden is out also.

Canadian Cub is a protected species in the CFR.

2009-01-23 11:23:43
64.   Jon Weisman
46 - "I can't imagine 24/7 Canuck talk is very interesting."

I completely thought you were talking about CanuckDodger when I first read this, and was thinking about arguing against your point. :)

49 - I agree strongly with most of your comment. I think Dunn could contribute on a level Wynn did, perhaps I'm wrong. But the Dodgers' stubbornness for and against certain pitchers is a bit frustrating.

2009-01-23 11:25:43
65.   KG16
I'm going to enjoy the 2009 season, regardless of what happens from here on out. I've placed the torch and pitchfork back into a glass case and have no intention on breaking the glass, short of Kemp or Ethier being traded to make room for Pierre.
2009-01-23 11:26:02
66.   blueblood
Hey, has anyone noticed that ESPN just rated Carlos Santana as the 13th best prospect in baseball?

http://tinyurl.com/8cfypr

http://tinyurl.com/cbn2eq

If the rumors are true about the $2 million......

2009-01-23 11:26:07
67.   ToyCannon
Okay, that evidently happens more then I thought. When was the last time a starter and a relief pitcher finished one and two on the same team in Cy Young voting?
I'm still betting that what Mike/Andy did was fairly unique.
2009-01-23 11:29:09
68.   ToyCannon
64
Maybe offensively as they are very much the same type of player, but one was a gimpy armed center fielder who mentored the kids while the other would be the worse LF to inhabit Chavez Ravine in many a moon.
Beside I don't believe for one instant that Ned would ever sign Adam Dunn to a Dodger contract.
2009-01-23 11:30:22
69.   Jacob Burch
66 Groan.
2009-01-23 11:32:10
70.   bhsportsguy
To all interested parties

If you want to attend a DT Super Bowl Party, please email me at bhsportsguy@aol.com.

You will be contacted for more information.

Thanks.

2009-01-23 11:33:09
71.   fanerman
66 Sniff. And I thought I was just getting over that. Time to go buy another bucket of ice cream and eat it out of the carton while watching Bridget Jones's Diary.
2009-01-23 11:33:26
72.   underdog
66 Yes, we had a few "na na na I'm not listening la la la" moments here when that was first published this week. Sigh.

I still maintain that a) Santana may very well have not gotten much of a chance in LA behind Russell Martin (though he could've been switched back to a different position) but b) they could've held on to him longer to make him part of a bigger trade (no offense to The Beard of course) if they planned on trading him, trading him when his star hadn't quite risen to its peak seemed dumb and impatient. Sigh, but he's gone now.

I hope the Dodgers have more higher-ranking prospects in a year.

2009-01-23 11:35:16
73.   Tripon
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/01-23-09-pirate-caravan

An Andy LaRoche story.

2009-01-23 11:38:13
74.   blueblood
69

I had the same exact reaction.

Not only did Coletti trade our best prospect for Casey Blake of all people but he gave up a prospect rated significantly higher than the guy the Brewers traded (LaPorta) for Sabathia???

I just don't see how that makes any sense.

2009-01-23 11:39:24
75.   ToyCannon
I'm impressed that the Braves unloaded so much good talent in the Teixeira trade and yet still have a loaded farm system.

The Rangers have done a great job in acquiring talent.

Those 2008 draft Dodgers better be as good as we saw in 2008 because we are getting little help from the 2005/2007 drafts now that Kershaw is up for good.

2009-01-23 11:39:39
76.   Jacob Burch
74 More of a groan for it being brought up again--it was discussed in a few previous threads.

Not the the idea of the trade produces a much more pleasant reaction.

At least the new Animal Collective is good.

2009-01-23 11:40:10
77.   ToyCannon
69
Out of respect to you, I will step away from the fray.
2009-01-23 11:41:29
78.   Jacob Burch
77 One of my finest Super Bowl dishes will be reserved for you accordingly.
2009-01-23 11:41:32
79.   silverwidow
Jason Stark is saying we will sign whomever is cheaper from Wolf/Garland/Looper. Possibly in the next few days.
2009-01-23 11:42:03
80.   Tripon
LaPorta was the better known prospect nationally. And the Dodgers proposed C.C. trade would have wiped out the Dodgers. It included McDonald, Kemp, Santana, Meloan, and Elbert and someone's else I'm forgetting for C.C., Casey Blake, and Jamey Carroll. The problem wasn't that we traded Santana and Meloan for Blake, the problem is that Coletti shouldn't have been traded with the Indians in the first place. The Indians smelt blood and was able to go for the kill.
2009-01-23 11:42:52
81.   blueblood
71.

Me too.....I'll bring the popcorn

72.

I totally agree. The worst part of it all is if they're really is any truth to the idea that we could've gotten Blake for a lesser prospect if the Dodgers were only willing to pick up the tab.

2009-01-23 11:46:21
82.   blueblood
74

Fair enough - I won't pour any more salt on our wounds. It just highlights what's wrong with Dodger's management in my opinion.

2009-01-23 11:50:32
83.   cargill06
79 So Looper it is.
2009-01-23 11:53:28
84.   Deuces are Wild
I think the time is right for a take-it-or-leave-it offer for Manny. Give Boras 72 hours to accept it. If he doesn't, move on to sign Abreu or Dunn, along with a pitcher like Sheets or Pettitte.
This is what Ned should offer: Year 1: $20M, Year 2: $20M, Year 3: $17.5M, Year 4: Option for $15M with a $7.5M Buyout.
That way, Manny can save face saying he signed a 3-year $65M contract. If he produces, the Dodgers can keep him for the length of 4 years - $72.5M (or just over $18M per year). If he doesn't accept, then good luck, Manny.
I also think that Pettitte has some sort of a "gentleman's agreement" with Ned and Torre for about $10M a year (the offer he rejected from the Yankees), but they won't actually announce it until Manny's situation has been resolved.
2009-01-23 11:55:04
85.   Kevin Lewis
79

If that is true, than I will stop bringing up Ben Sheets.

2009-01-23 11:56:13
86.   Jacob Burch
I wonder if I could come up with a random DT-comment section generator, and how accurate I could get it.
2009-01-23 11:56:48
87.   blueblood
Uh....Post 82. was supposed to be directed to 76.
2009-01-23 12:06:09
88.   das411
35 , all I'm saying is that at the end of last year, the Dodgers were one of four teams still playing late into October, along with the Phils, Rays and Red Sox, and despite the massive amounts of PVL that they've lost this season, there are plenty of teams in the league that would gladly take their half-homegrown starting lineup and arms like Bills + Kershaw + McDonald + Broxton. Just ask Sam DC!

54 - Good call, but I don't think there is a Pete Rose out there to help get these Dodgers over that final hurdle...or is there? No, really, is there??

2009-01-23 12:07:52
89.   ToyCannon
88
Barry Bonds:)
2009-01-23 12:19:05
90.   bhsportsguy
I realize there are many here upset with the Carlos Santana deal though as Keith Law pointed out, this is a player that no one saw making this type of move as unranked 21 year old catcher moving from A-Ball to High A ball.

But overall, the Dodgers have not dealt anymore of their prospects than any other team in baseball. However as ToyCannon points out, the lack of prospects drafted or signed from 2005-2008 is why the Santana deal sticks out.

2009-01-23 12:19:07
91.   sporky
13 Go Big Green!
2009-01-23 12:23:22
92.   sporky
My first Clippers game will probably be on Monday. I hope they don't break my win streak.
2009-01-23 12:29:56
93.   cargill06
Keith Law gives an update on which teams players could sneak into his top 100 in 2010.

Los Angeles Dodgers
The season for Josh Bell (A+) ended early due to knee surgery, and he could stand to shed a few pounds, but the third baseman has a good swing, shows some patience, and has always had the promise of plus power as he approaches his best hitting years.

2009-01-23 12:31:36
94.   GoBears
92. I wouldn't hold your breath, sporky. The Clippers, if completely healthy, would be a lousy team. With their 4 best players (BDavis, Kaman, Randolph, Camby) all injured, they're a lousy college team.
2009-01-23 12:33:42
95.   mwhite06
92 I think Baron, Randolph and Camby will all be back this weekend, so you will at least get to see a competitive Clippers team on Monday.
2009-01-23 12:35:24
96.   D4P
From MLB Rumors:

Dodger Thoughts doesn't understand why the Dodgers keep spending money on veteran, offensively-challenged backup catchers that will never play

2009-01-23 12:36:00
97.   trainwreck
96
Well that one is definitely not a rumor.
2009-01-23 12:39:02
98.   fanerman
96 Haha.
2009-01-23 12:39:44
99.   oshea2002
97 - I'm hearing Carroll has dropped USC and Cal and is down to UCLA, ASU, and OU. Obviously this screams UCLA.
2009-01-23 12:41:07
100.   trainwreck
99
Any chance he grows about 6 inches and adds 100 lbs? ; )
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2009-01-23 12:42:14
101.   mwhite06
The Clippers, if completely healthy, would be a lousy team

Ya, I'm going to disagree with that. Before Zach Randolph got hurt, the Clippers had won 5 of 7. Once Randolph and Davis got hurt, the team cratered. I think with all 4 top paid guys playing plus the strong play the Clippers have gotten from Gordon and Thornton, the Clippers are a potential playoff team. I fully expect the Clips in the playoff next year, with Baron more used to system, Gordon and Thorton a year older, and another lottery pick.

2009-01-23 12:44:38
102.   D4P
OU

If that's supposed to mean Oregon, the correct acronym is UofO (or UO, if you must limit yourself to only 2 characters).

2009-01-23 12:44:54
103.   underdog
Yeah, I think it's more fair to say with all the injured dudes back the Clippers are more mediocre than lousy. Competitive even. Without them they are definitely lousy, though with a few players with promise.
2009-01-23 12:46:38
104.   trainwreck
Baron Davis has been absolutely horrible this year. He wishes he could shoot 40% from the field and 30% from 3.

Probably better that he is not playing.

2009-01-23 12:47:24
105.   Disabled List
72 Give Boras 72 hours to accept it. If he doesn't, move on to sign Abreu or Dunn, along with a pitcher like Sheets or Pettitte.

How many more offers can Boras solicit in 72 hours? Do the Dodgers make a counter-offer to Manny if Boras gets a better offer in that 72-hour window? And what happens to Dunn's asking price if his agent knows that we've completely burned our bridges with Manny?

A public deadline is a bad idea. You gotta use some strategery when negotiatizing.

2009-01-23 12:47:30
106.   madmac
102 thanks for getting on that D4P, I don't want us being confused with a bunch of Sooners.
2009-01-23 12:51:00
107.   ToyCannon
94
You know not of what you speak. When Randolf was healthy even without Kaman the team went 6-6. I would even venture to say that a full team with Baron/Gordon/Thornton/Randolf/Camby leaving Kaman on the bench would be a handful for any team.

Of course the will not help Sporky on Monday Night when they will have none of the four mentioned. Maybe Randolf or Camby will be back. Camby by the way has been the 2nd most productive big man in basketball but it has gone unnoticed because of the teams win/loss record.

Sporky you will find the young Clippers fun to watch even as they lose. Many times this season they have taken good team down to wire only to lose because they have no end game. 20 year old Gordon is a joy to watch and DeAndre Jordon just had a dunk a thon against the Lakers with eight thunderous dunks. That is all he has but he does it well.

2009-01-23 12:52:59
108.   Jason in Canada
Sorry, one last Vancouver related comment;

Here is our latest attempt to become Lando Calrissian's new residence.

http://tinyurl.com/aexnnz

2009-01-23 12:53:50
109.   underdog
Speaking of which, when did Miami start referring to itself as "The U"? I see this all the time from former Hurricanes in the NFL, introducing themselves during game lineups. I have a friend who went there who jokes that it is a stretch to call it a "U" at all, yet alone THE U.
2009-01-23 12:54:55
110.   underdog
Okay, I guess it's because their helmets/emblem have a "U" on it. So never mind, but that always seemed pretty lame to me. Shouldn't it be an "M"? Or a picture of a hurricane?

Or a picture of a train.

2009-01-23 12:55:57
111.   D4P
108
Do you get to wear these...?

http://tinyurl.com/ae6sr3

PS: Do you live in Vancouver?

2009-01-23 12:56:35
112.   ToyCannon
104
That is true at this point. We are getting better production from Mardy Collins who is SG playing PG then we got from Davis this year. Maybe the Clippers should stop signing Point Guards who went to High School in LA. At one point with Baron, Mike Taylor, Hart down we signed Fred Jones on 10 day contract to be our PG. He of course got hurt, so with zero point guards on the active roster they turned to thrown in Mardy Collins and he has done the job.

And anyone who saw the Laker/Clipper game can attest, Mr Novak is the best three point shooter the Clips have had since the days of Pike.

2009-01-23 13:01:20
113.   trainwreck
110
They have had the U logo for a long time, but they also have the ibis, but that thing kind of looks cheesy now.
2009-01-23 13:04:33
114.   LogikReader
92

Heheheheh. I should be headed to the same game. If anyone else is interested in going, I have three extra seats for sale on Ebay. I won't get into specifics, of course.

2009-01-23 13:09:16
115.   Jason in Canada
I live about an hour out of the city, but work a little closer.
2009-01-23 13:10:20
116.   underdog
113 - Yeah the bird is more of a cartoony mascot. Though someone online mocked up a possible new design that combines the ibis and a kind of hurricane feel that I thought was pretty cool.

http://www.logoserver.com/college/MiamiHurricanes3.GIF

Why I'm thinking about this of all things when I have work to do is beyond me.

2009-01-23 13:12:00
117.   ToyCannon
Clipper updated injury report.
http://www.rotoworld.com/content/injuries.aspx?sport=NBA
2009-01-23 13:13:49
118.   trainwreck
I remember I was so confused as a child by the Hurricanes having a bird for a logo.
2009-01-23 13:16:22
119.   kinbote
True or False: This is one of the worst sports weekends of the year.
2009-01-23 13:17:55
120.   LogikReader
119

Normally true, but there's the big Margarito Fight tomorrow.

2009-01-23 13:19:30
121.   trainwreck
120
Margarito should handle Mosley without much fuss.
2009-01-23 13:19:34
122.   Tripon
http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/archives/2009/01/what_i_remember.html

All those young pitchers are about to meet their new best friend. As for the rest of the clubhouse--and Joe Torre--they're about to welcome a guy that understands the game better than almost anyone.

2009-01-23 13:20:39
123.   Tripon
Question, when the big PPV matches start for Boxing?
2009-01-23 13:21:23
124.   trainwreck
123
Do you mean time of day?
2009-01-23 13:22:05
125.   Tripon
124 No, I meant generally what year did boxing switch to a PPV format to promote its sport?
2009-01-23 13:23:08
126.   underdog
122 - That article seems like another one of those "intangibles don't show up in stats" pieces that FJM used to have a field day with. BUT I will say that I've read a bunch of other anecdotes about Ausmus from players who talked about how much pitchers love the guy and other catchers on the Astros talked about how much they learned from him. Again, he seems like he'd be better as a coach at this point than, well, at least as a hitter, but I do see why the Dodgers may have wanted him around.

Still, that article's a bit nauseating.

2009-01-23 13:24:19
127.   trainwreck
125
I believe early 80's is when it became big.
2009-01-23 13:24:55
128.   ToyCannon
122
Yup, the Astro's have been about winning since Ausmus joined the team. Does Plaschke have a journalistic school now? I swear that was his twin. We should expect our own Bill to now pen a column about how we will win now that we have a winner as our back up catcher.

Good Grief

2009-01-23 13:25:25
129.   trainwreck
The fact that he thinks the Dodgers are so much smarter than everyone else and are probable to reach the World Series is the part that amused me.
2009-01-23 13:25:37
130.   oshea2002
102 - I was referring to Boomer Sooner, I'm up on the lingo.
2009-01-23 13:25:58
131.   Tripon
126 I just can't get over what that that sentence implies. That the Dodgers signed Ausmus to start most games over Russell Martin. How are the young players supposed to 'be best friends with Ausmus', when he's catching the relievers as the bullpen catcher?
2009-01-23 13:27:01
132.   oshea2002
100 - that may prove rather tough.

I like Margarito big tomorrow night as well. Doubt it's close.

2009-01-23 13:28:24
133.   ToyCannon
On the plus "The Los Angeles Dodgers showed again why they're the National League's smartest franchise." by having signed the lovable Ausmus.

These guys get to vote for the HOF. These guys have an audience that eats that crap up. These guys give me irritable bowel syndrome.

2009-01-23 13:29:50
134.   kngoworld
129 That statement alone leaves me to believe his whole article should not be taken seriously. Any of it!
2009-01-23 13:30:35
135.   silverwidow
That article HAS to be tongue-in-cheek.
2009-01-23 13:31:03
136.   fanerman
133 A fellow IBS sufferer?
2009-01-23 13:32:01
137.   bhsportsguy
126 Richard Justice is one of the best in the business so I respect what he has to say. I do think that he is not suggesting that Martin is not going to be the everyday catcher but that Ausmus is going to be a big help with the pitching staff.

Also, he could help Martin as we all know Russ could use some work on his defense.

2009-01-23 13:33:03
138.   Tripon
Oh, okay. Richard Justice is just trolling people.

Obviously, I don't know anything about baseball. I know Ausmus must be a great baseball mind but the guy didn't play hard. He may be great with pitchers, I know many preferred him, but he didn't PLAY HARD. I remember when he got picked off second base last year, he just stood there, didn't even try to get back, he was probably thinking about the pitches he was going to call next inning. His mind wasn't in the game, at least all of the game.

[Oh poppycock. His father wrote a book called ''A Schopenhauerian Critique of Nietzsche's Thought: Toward a Restoration of Metaphysics.'' Brad Ausmus is really smart and has a really smart father. This isn't something an Aggie would understand. Please take my word for it. He's a winner.--Richard]

2009-01-23 13:33:29
139.   trainwreck
137
What a terrible business then.
2009-01-23 13:33:41
140.   underdog
Was he implying that Ausmus was also going to start over Martin? I missed that part - if so, it's an even stupider article than I gave it discredit for.
2009-01-23 13:34:59
141.   trainwreck
Justice is on PTI a lot and I am not sure I have ever agreed with anything he has said, aside from maybe bashing the Astros and Clemens.
2009-01-23 13:35:48
142.   blueblood
76. Please excuse me - I wasn't around when you went over this and need to vent a bit.

90.

Of course, I can't speak for anyone else but my issue has much more to do with what appears to be, if not dysfunction in some management decisions, than at least some serious inconsistencies

....Now back to work.

I'm not one of those people who's had a lot of issues with McCourt's ownership but lately I've been having my doubts. What bothers me most is what sometimes seems to be a lack of an overall philosophy.

I had as much fun as most other Dodger fans last year after the Manny trade but, at risk of being the party-pooper, still didn't like the overall philosophy last year. Maybe I'm off here, but I honestly thought that most our kids were at least a year or two away for being where you could legitimately say the team was one or two pieces from being serious Championship contenders and could honestly justify future-mortgaging deals. With respect to das411's point about how the season and playoffs turned out, I thought we might have gotten a bit lucky and don't know if the results of being only a couple of games away from going to the World Series justifies Coletti's thought process at the time.

Even if we were to remove the Manny trade out of the argument (since he practically fell in Coletti lap), I suspect his moves had far more to do with him trying to keep his job and get some positive PR by "showing the team and fans that management cares" then what was truly best for the organization long-term.

I'll grant that the Dodger's have kept most of their "kids" the past couple of years, so I'll just leave it at that but I still think moving a prospect like Santana who plays easily the most valuable position on the field for someone like Blake (no offense intended) in the middle of a "youth movement" is pretty near inexcusable.

I don't think us having Martin changes the equation at all. As Tripon point out, there were many other preferable options that could have been explored.

Despite Keith Law's surprise in Santana's season, Coletti traded him after Santana had already established himself last year and had played 70-80% of the season.

And again, if there is any truth to the Dodger's giving him up to save $2 million in Blake's salary, it just further proves the point.

I hate to speculate but just as Colletti seems overly hesitant to take small calculated risks on the likes of Sheets, Smoltz, or even Saito out of his probable fear of being labeled by the media and McCourt as being irresponsible (in terms of taking medical/injury risks) in light of the Jones and Schmidt fiascos, I wouldn't be surprised if Coletti went out of his way to try to save McCourt every possible penny last year to try to make up for a those very same moves.

Caring about your job is understandable, any of us would in the same position, but it's one thing to save money or be economical, and yet another, to make mistakes and then compound them by making more mistakes in an attempt to compensate for the original ones.

Billy Bean is economical the Coletti-McCourt team often come across as being barely competent.

I can't' say I'm a huge fan of Coletti but I don't want to be unfair to him either, for all I know the rumor about the $2 million might not be true or McCourt could have been the one telling Coletti that he wasn't willing to add to last year's payroll regardless but it seems more and more that short of new ownership the Dodger's might need a Pat Gillick, Billy Bean, Theo Epstein to every really get anywhere and win consistently. Maybe this team needs a GM with both the ability to build a winning club and just as importantly the kind of track record that can get the McCourts out of the way and prevent them from sabotaging their own team.

Hope I didn't bore anyone with my long ramble. With my apologies Jacob Burch - I hope my feeling a bit better didn't come at your expense.

2009-01-23 13:38:18
143.   ToyCannon
137
Maybe he could point to some stat's that show how Ausmus has helped the Astro pitching staff. It is so bloody easy to make a statement without having to prove it. In the blogosphere we don't have that luxury, if I made a claim like that I'd be blasted from here to kingdom come and with good reason. For every opinion we have, we have to prove why we came up what that opinion.
A 3rd string catcher can only have some intangibles, a backup catcher needs to have some game because due to the health risks, a backup catcher could easily find himself the main man. Ausmus has no game other then his intangibles. That won't win games unless his intangibles really do result in better pitching and I've seen no study that bares that out.
2009-01-23 13:38:19
144.   underdog
Tony Jackson rebuffs the rumors that the Dodgers are close to a deal with Wolf [or, insert pitcher's name here]:

http://www.insidesocal.com/dodgers/2009/01/dodgers-not-clo.html

>>There are widespread reports out there on the web that seem to indicate the sides are close to an agreement on a one- or two-year contract. While that certainly could happen, and while Wolf is believed to be at the top of the Dodgers' list in their search for a starting pitchers, they apparently are NOT CLOSE to an agreement at this point. A well-placed source just told me that the sides haven't even talked in almost a week. But my guess is they will talk soon.<<

2009-01-23 13:39:50
145.   ToyCannon
138
God, I hate wasting my venting. You linked to it, I blame you for wasting my time.
2009-01-23 13:40:49
146.   trainwreck
Someone needs to get a giant woven basket with a blanket and stick Ben Sheets in it then put the basket on Ned's doorstep, ring the bell and then run away.
2009-01-23 13:41:19
147.   Tripon
145 I didn't know before!!! :(
2009-01-23 13:41:38
148.   blueblood
142

The "......now back to work" was supposed to come at the very end of the comment.

And sorry for the lousy puctuation - I should have done a quick read-through before getting off of my by soap-box and posting:(

2009-01-23 13:41:49
149.   Jacob Burch
143 Deep in the comments there's the proof that it's satire.

[What was her name? Karen Fisher? Holy moly, she was great looking in that movie. As for Nietzche, Ausmus once tells me his dad has written a book on Nietzche and looks at me like I have no idea who he is. I say, ''Out of chaos comes order.'' He looked amazed. I say, ''Calm down, professor, it was in Blazing Saddles. He was sooo relieved. For a second there, he'd mistakened me for someone with a brain.--Richard]

So, yeah.

2009-01-23 13:42:14
150.   ToyCannon
142
Good post. Should have been here in August when it happened.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2009-01-23 13:43:13
151.   Fan since 59
122 Justice's blog before that on Jeff Kent was even better. Apparently the writers like T.J. Simers and Justice who weren't scared away by Kent and got to know him think much more highly of him than the writers who were afraid of him.
2009-01-23 13:43:39
152.   ToyCannon
149
Now he's brilliant.
2009-01-23 13:54:19
153.   bhsportsguy
143 For every opinion we have, we have to prove why we came up what that opinion.

Did Jim Murray or Red Smith have to prove everything they wrote. (And I'm pretty sure they wrote lots of columns on "gamers.")

Why is that? This isn't a court of law. And even there, you can have conflicting but strongly held beliefs that both sides think are the truth.

I always thought that the difference (especially when I wrote a column for a local paper) is that I was pretty much free to write whatever I wanted as long as I didn't slander anyone and had a reasonable belief in what I was saying.

I am going to take a stab that Justice bases his opinion on his observations and conversations with players and other baseball people. He may be influenced by how Ausmus treats him and others in his profession.

I'm not saying he is right but to blast his opinion because he can't quantify it is not fair either. If you don't like it, don't read it.

2009-01-23 14:00:49
154.   trainwreck
Herm Edwards fired.
2009-01-23 14:03:38
155.   D4P
Setting aside the issue of whether any particular catcher has helped his staff, I'd like to have a better understanding of how a catcher can help his staff, beyond throwing out runners and such.

Do helpful catchers call better pitches?

Do helpful catchers setup in better locations?

Are pitches and their locations up to the catcher and the catcher alone to decide?

2009-01-23 14:04:54
156.   fiddlestick
146 But Karen Allen needs to pop out and hit him with her frying pan.
2009-01-23 14:05:08
157.   oshea2002
154 - noooooooooo!!!!!!!!
2009-01-23 14:06:11
158.   Jacob Burch
Colts hired former Broncos DC. I demand an underdog report.
2009-01-23 14:07:01
159.   fiddlestick
155 Based on my own observation, Russell Martin frames pitches out of the strike zone better than most.
2009-01-23 14:09:07
160.   trainwreck
158
Bates did a decent job with Dolphins as interim head coach. Clearly did not do a good job with the Broncos, but personnel was a problem.
2009-01-23 14:10:19
161.   D4P
Russell Martin frames pitches out of the strike zone better than most

Maybe I'm naive, but it's kinda hard for me to understand how there could really be much variation in this "skill". If a catcher starts off by framing the pitch a little too close to the plate, how hard can it really be for him to learn to move a little bit further away from the plate?

2009-01-23 14:10:51
162.   Kevin Lewis
142

Excellent comment on the situation, and I think this is something Jon has pointed to in some posts...it is not clear what the philosophy is in the front office.

I thought last year was a perfect chance for us to let everyone mature without any big signings. Although I thought Jones was a calculated risk, I was still surprised we tried to add someone to the team for such a large sum of money.

2009-01-23 14:15:26
163.   trainwreck
Now Chargers GM, AJ Smith, is making fun of LT one of the greatest players in franchise history.

This guy is straight up buffoon.

2009-01-23 14:16:04
164.   Jacob Burch
160 Wrong DC. Larry Coyer.
2009-01-23 14:16:18
165.   fiddlestick
161 Watch other catchers and the amount of movement in their arm or hand on a pitch outside the zone. You'll see the wrist bend to push the edge of the glove closer to the plate so it appears the ball was closer than it was. Not something I could quantify, again, all based on my observations over the years.
2009-01-23 14:16:36
166.   trainwreck
164
Well then he is even worse.
2009-01-23 14:17:41
167.   Jacob Burch
166 You're not helping my mood.
2009-01-23 14:18:16
168.   trainwreck
Actually, he has been coaching Bucs d-line and they have kind of overachieved in the last couple of years.
2009-01-23 14:19:11
169.   D4P
165
Oops, I wasn't thinking correctly about "framing". But still: I don't see why any given catcher couldn't learn to catch the ball off the plate and then quickly move his mit a little closer to make the ump think the pitch was over the plate.

If a catcher isn't doing this, I have a hard time believing it's because he's physically incapable.

2009-01-23 14:19:42
170.   bhsportsguy
163 I heard that story yesterday.

There is a story where STL Cardinal GM gave a snarky reply in a chat this week. I guess if you are going to dish out anonymous attacks, you are liable to be hit back.

2009-01-23 14:20:50
171.   ToyCannon
While waiting on Manny, in the coming weeks I'd like to invite Dodger Thought readers to help True Blue put together the best Los Angeles Dodger lineup.

http://www.truebluela.com/2009/1/23/734771/the-all-time-la-dodger-lin

Lineup construction may not mean jack but when it comes to building a lineup who would you want to lead off:Furcal/Wills/Lopes/Sax/Pierre/Butler. In the coming weeks we will create that magical lineup. Be a part of it.

2009-01-23 14:23:53
172.   trainwreck
167
The real interesting thing is that he probably won't run the Cover 2 defense. The Colts defense is made up of players that fit that system. So will be interesting to see how that works.
2009-01-23 14:26:43
173.   Jacob Burch
172 The 4-3 showblitz isn't that different from Tampa 2 (which is considerably different than how the media reports Cover 2). Denver's pass rush was considerably worse personnel wise than the Colts is, so there shouldn't be the need to blitz as many line backers, so I imagine it won't be that radical of a shift.
2009-01-23 14:29:19
174.   trainwreck
173
Isn't the difference the use of defensive backs?
2009-01-23 14:32:09
175.   fiddlestick
169 The movement itself is the problem. If the umpire sees the catcher move his glove in a noticeable way, chances are the pitch will be ruled a ball, otherwise there'd be no reason for the catcher to "bring" the ball back into the strike zone. What I believe Russ does is reach slightly [i]forward[/i] and into the zone rather than a straight lateral movement as the ball is received. Being too aggressive in that manner obviously brings the risk of at least CI an possible injury.

To your original question of who's responsible for calling pitches, I've never heard it's definitive one way or the other. Some pitchers, Schilling comes to mind, study in advance and know exactly what they want to do and the catcher needs to be in sync with him so he can execute his game plan. Other pitchers may just want to have the catcher tell him what to throw and he just concentrates on executing pitches. In all honesty, in my opinion, the whole "game calling" thing has to do with whether or not a pitcher "likes" throwing to a certain guy or not, which probably coincides with how often that catcher puts down the same amount of fingers the pitcher had in mind in the first place.

I think there are skills catchers can have, but "game calling" to me has more to do like or comfort than actual X's and O's of memorizing every scouting report, because a pitcher is going to use their own best repetoire of pitches to get someone out. Not throw a 4th best slider because the book says Joe Baseball can't hit a slider.

2009-01-23 14:33:20
176.   Jacob Burch
174 It's the most obvious difference, but that's an indirect result of focusing personnel on a 4 pass rush--meaning less blitzes, more outside line backers covering their gaps, more safeties/MLB covering deep. What Coyer runs is pretty similar to what Frazier (former Colts DC under Dungy) is doing in Minnesota, and again, not all that different.

It is fairly different from a strict Cover 2, but the Colts aren't in Cover 2 as most like to say they are. They play a lot of cover 3 (with the MLB dropping) and some Cover 1 (Usually against a rush first team in which they'll move Bob Sanders all over the place)

2009-01-23 14:40:48
177.   trainwreck
I like the Raiders Cover No One defense.
2009-01-23 14:41:35
178.   underdog
Coyer's okay, of he, Bates and Slowik I thought he did the best job with the Broncos and they should've given him more of a chance. Personnel was lacking at times, but none of those 3 guys really impressed me very much with their creativity as DC's. They had enough good defensive personnel 3 years ago where they should've been better under his watch. But I thought he seemed the most capable of those guys. Bates has a decent rep, too. Slowik is really terrible. Don't know why people keep hiring him.
2009-01-23 14:41:39
179.   Jon Weisman
162 - What I've said before is that I believe the Dodger philosophy is clear, but that the execution of that philosophy is a mixed bag. And I thought the Jones signing made sense. As ToyCannon has pointed out with Jimmy Wynn, the kids don't do it alone.

Toy, the old Jones certainly would have filled the Wynn bill, wouldn't he have?

171 - I'll link to that in my next new post.

2009-01-23 14:42:01
180.   The Trolley Dodger
177 So do the opposing teams, obviously. :)
2009-01-23 14:42:40
181.   underdog
177 - Yeah, the Broncos played the even more complex Blitz No One, Cover Zero defense that worked really well.
2009-01-23 14:43:14
182.   bhsportsguy
177 Dude, the Raiders and UCLA football recruiting is bringing you way too down.
2009-01-23 14:44:03
183.   bhsportsguy
181 I saw a clip of Andy Kaufmann doing his "Mighty Mouse" routine and I thought for a second, is he singing the "Underdog" theme.
2009-01-23 14:44:34
184.   bhsportsguy
183 Andy Kaufman (I have hung around Bob too much).
2009-01-23 14:47:52
185.   underdog
Speaking of Herm Edwards, there was some nonsense on a KC TV station that they reported again on their web site -- that Mike Shanahan "might be the next coach of the Chiefs." (Key word: might.) Then they backtracked, quoted from Adam Schefter of the NFL Network who knows Shanahan well and said that the rumor was total poppycock, basically. Once again, "legit" news sources like newspapers and TV stations get to make up news without factchecking and then its bloggers who are derided. (Take that, Chris Matthews!)

Anyway, I would rather not see Shanny coaching the Chiefs if at all possible.

2009-01-23 14:48:25
186.   underdog
183 I love that clip. He was so wonderfully deranged.
2009-01-23 14:49:05
187.   ToyCannon
179
Yes, I'm sure I wrote about that hope last spring. Every time I start to post an opinion I think about him and it gives me pause. He came damn close to breaking my psyche.
2009-01-23 14:49:53
188.   oshea2002
I can't believe Shanahan may get the Chiefs job. Wow did that news break quickly.
2009-01-23 14:51:22
189.   blueblood
150

Thanks - wish I was.

162

Thanks.....I totally agree. I can see your point about Jones. It's just that overall, it kind of seems like the team should have been doing last year what they seem to be doing this ofseason (holding off on big moves) don't you think?

Now that it makes a bit more sense for them to take some risks and build around their core, they're being really conservative.

Even if they're low on money, I'd have much prefered not trading for Blake (and keeping Santana) and then giving up a draft pick this year to take a chance on Sheets or some of the other free agents for '09.

2009-01-23 14:51:24
190.   bhsportsguy
186 I saw that first show "live" and I laughed but I didn't know why.

Kaufman and Sam Kinison were two guys who could do outrageous things and were hilarious but if you sat down and thought about them later, you would think there were a little off.

2009-01-23 14:51:36
191.   ToyCannon
183
Mighty Mouse was my favorite cartoon as a six year old. Isn't it strange how the mouse is used so often in animated movies/cartoons. Even this December another children fable with a mouse as the star.

Every time I kill a rat upstairs I think about the "Mouse and the motorcyle" and how he won't be coming back home with the medicine.

2009-01-23 14:51:41
192.   trainwreck
182
I actually have some hope for UCLA football.
2009-01-23 14:53:18
193.   ToyCannon
190
Whenever I think of Sam I think of the people in Ethiopia. As you say he made you laugh but it was on the backs of dead people who had little choice in life but to die of starvation.
2009-01-23 14:54:38
194.   silverwidow
Shanny to the Chiefs! WOW.
2009-01-23 14:55:16
195.   trainwreck
If you have seen the live footage of Andy Kaufman's wrestling promos, it shows how crazy yet great he was. Probably the best promos in history of wrestling.

Aside from Big Poppa Pump just saying the most offensive things possible.

2009-01-23 14:56:00
196.   underdog
Wait... you mean that rumor is true??

LOL.

Nice timing Underdog!

I'm gonna cry.

Is it too early to call him a traitor?

2009-01-23 14:56:10
197.   Tripon
http://blogs.pe.com/prosports/mlb/dodgers/

Diamond Lueng's father translated a interview Kuo did in Taiwanese.

2009-01-23 14:56:48
198.   blueblood
179

I think you hit what I was trying to say right on the head. My issue is mostly with their execution and timing.

2009-01-23 14:57:00
199.   fanerman
There is supposed to be a Mighty Mouse CGI movie in 2010, by Nickelodeon.

I used to have a Mighty Mouse towel as a kid. I don't remember any of the cartoons (probably the 80's one), but I remember the towel.

2009-01-23 14:57:24
200.   trainwreck
196
ESPN claims they are near a deal.

They have been wrong before, though.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2009-01-23 14:58:23
201.   trainwreck
I watched Mighty Mouse as a kid, as well as DangerMouse. I preferred DangerMouse.
2009-01-23 14:58:48
202.   trainwreck
They are making a live-action Tom and Jerry movie.
2009-01-23 14:59:44
203.   Tripon
Hollywood needs to burn to the ground.
2009-01-23 15:00:08
204.   underdog
200 - Yah, I just saw it was "Chris Mortensen reports..." so I'll wait 'til it's more confirmed.
2009-01-23 15:00:54
205.   oshea2002
Shanahan has done nothing for a decade, although he did sabotage himself as the league's worst GM. I'm not sure why KC is seemingly tripping over themselves to hire him.

This has to be great news for Sanchez/Stafford. I know Shanahan is always of the opinion you need a franchise QB, and seeing as KC doesn't have one....

2009-01-23 15:01:20
206.   underdog
Live... action??!

{crumple up original screenplay long in the making}

{pound fists against table and cry}

{begin writing live-action Dastardly and Muttley movie}

2009-01-23 15:02:17
207.   Tripon
Just six more years until the Back to the Future remake.
2009-01-23 15:05:08
208.   Tripon
The biggest fight of the year will be taking place in Aston, Pa., on Saturday when former major leaguer Jose Canseco squares off against ex-"Partridge Family" star and morning radio loudmouth Danny Bonaduce.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/

2009-01-23 15:10:55
209.   Eric Stephen
203
Big Darryl Strawberry fan? :)
2009-01-23 15:14:20
210.   KG16
155 - helpful catchers can act as extra pitching coaches. Not so much for the mechanics of pitching, but the whole picture. Catchers see guys every day, instead of every five days, the really good ones (like the really good pitchers) will know hitters' tendencies and preferences and will call pitches to exploit those tendencies and preferences in a particular situation.

Traditionally, it is the catcher that calls the defense - the 7 guys standing behind the pitcher - so location is generally left up to the catcher because he has a better idea of where a ball is likely to go on a particular pitch and what the chances are of an out being recorded.

Much of this is a lost art form. But it's still relevant, especially with a younger pitching staff (and considering that the Dodger starting rotation has less than 8 years total major league experience, it's probably not a bad thing to have a guy who's been around the show for a while and knows the hitters to help out on occasion).

2009-01-23 15:14:26
211.   Tripon
209 Just remembering that somehow, hollywood was able to produce two live action Garfield movies.
2009-01-23 15:16:03
212.   bhsportsguy
206 The world needs ditch diggers too.

I know its OT but I felt it was appropriate.

2009-01-23 15:17:07
213.   cargill06
I did some research, turns out that the Colts defense has been on the field for more plays than the offense only twice since Dungy took over.
2009-01-23 15:19:20
214.   trainwreck
Shane Mosley did not make weight for the fight.

He should easily be able to lose the weight in the next hour though.

2009-01-23 15:21:31
215.   trainwreck
Tax hike would put Chuck over its famed Two Bucks

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-chuck21-2009jan21,0,4418335.story#

2009-01-23 15:22:18
216.   oshea2002
Adam Schefter is essentially calling Mortensen a liar, saying Shanahan will not be coaching the Chiefs.
2009-01-23 15:22:25
217.   Jacob Burch
213 It's still always league-averageish, again, mostly due to the philosophy deployed while playing Peyton.
2009-01-23 15:23:36
218.   cargill06
217 ? I'm saying that I was wrong a couple weeks ago.
2009-01-23 15:23:55
219.   Jon Weisman
215 - I read that article a couple days ago. Would its buyers really turn their backs if it became "Three-Buck Chuck?"
2009-01-23 15:24:26
220.   trainwreck
216
The Rumor Monger vs the Professional Liar.
2009-01-23 15:24:35
221.   Jacob Burch
217 I'm just saying that although the offense is on more often than maybe you thought, you were right last week that it's never been a high number under Dungy.
2009-01-23 15:27:54
222.   cargill06
Ahhh gotcha
2009-01-23 15:28:45
223.   oshea2002
220 - that's "false rumor monger" to you trainwreck. Of course he was right, but that means little to Al.
2009-01-23 15:29:04
224.   underdog
Schefter is capable of being wrong, too, but is so less often than Mortensen and ESPN, and does, as I said, know Shanahan. Still, it could end up being true for all I know.
2009-01-23 15:36:39
225.   cargill06
220 Or to quote T.O. you could say he has, "a lack or unprofessionalism"
2009-01-23 15:40:41
226.   underdog
For what it's worth, the usually reliable Jeff Legwold has this to say about the Shanahan rumor mill:

http://tinyurl.com/c8za9v

>>Amid reports Shanahan will be on the sidelines for the Kansas City Chiefs sooner rather than later, several people close to Shanahan reached over the last 48 hours have repeatedly said there has been no formal contact between Shanahan and the Chiefs.

But Herm Edwards' firing Friday only cranked things up more<<

2009-01-23 16:00:12
227.   Humma Kavula
207 Did I ever tell you my idea?

It is 2015. A young Canadian visiting Hollywood is handed a DVD by a scruffy-looking dude. It is a lost film from the mid-eighties starring Eric Stoltz as a kid who has to go back to 1955 to save his parents' marriage. It's good, but not great, mostly because of the Stoltz's performance.

Kid, convinced he can do better, gets his nutty pal to build a time machine that will send him back to 1985, where he will replace Stoltz. Which he does. To great effect.

Only problem now is that the movie stars somebody nobody has ever heard of. And the time machine is broken. So they have to fix the time machine to send him back a few more years so that he can become a star on television before the release of the movie.

I call it "Back to Back to the Future."

2009-01-23 16:04:41
228.   trainwreck
ESPN's Bill Williamson is reporting that the Raiders are looking to release Javon Walker this off-season.
2009-01-23 16:06:27
229.   Marty
215 It's still swill.
2009-01-23 16:06:48
230.   LU Dodger
LOL Garland picture on the Dodger homepage.
2009-01-23 16:09:31
231.   trainwreck
230
That's the darkest comedy possible.
2009-01-23 16:10:22
232.   LU Dodger
tell me about it...
2009-01-23 16:11:50
233.   LogikReader
230

I forgot what word I used in November, but this is just depressing. Here we are willing to spend about 7-8 million bucks on a junk pitcher and we can't get it together to go after an Adam Dunn or a Manny Ramirez, which in all likelihood is a 13-25 million per year signing.

Will they never learn about the little Corn Flakes Boxes?!

2009-01-23 16:12:15
234.   LU Dodger
upon reading that Garland grew up as a Dodgers fan, I groaned.

It seems like those of us stricken by the dodgers, never fully heal.

Lieberthal, Kent, Garciaparra, possibly Manny, Wolf I believe, were all Dodger fans

2009-01-23 16:15:52
235.   Zak
I found this funny

Landis, while admittedly a Garland fan, thinks the pitcher's numbers distinguish him as a durable, competitive, productive performer.

Shouldn't it be, "Landis, while admittedly Garland's agent and trying to make money off of this deal, thinks..."?

2009-01-23 16:19:03
236.   Zak
Also, Garret Anderson thinks the 3-4-5 pitcher in the rotation has just as much value as your front-line guys, like Sabathia.

In other unrelated news, Garret also thinks that guys who can't hit or field anymore have just as much value as the front-line guys like Mark somebody and Manny somebody.

2009-01-23 16:22:36
237.   LU Dodger
Any chances that Ned buys Garland and Wolf?

Thoughts?

2009-01-23 16:29:58
238.   underdog
The DBacks are also after Jon Garland. Hopefully Ned won't make a signing based on pressure caused by a rival also after same player. We know how that worked out last time.

Is Judy Garland available?

2009-01-23 16:32:52
239.   Xeifrank
237. We need about another 390 IPs after Billingsley, Kuroda and Kershaw, the three starters that are pretty much set in stone. You definitely need one league average innings eater, and then parse out the rest of the innings between Stults, Schmidt, Troncoso and McDonald etc... Of those four we should be Ok, for the rest of the 200 or so IPs after signing your FA starting pitcher. If you don't feel Chad is healing well, then and only then would I sign both.
vr, Xei
2009-01-23 16:33:52
240.   LU Dodger
238

No doubt. I'm rooting for a Dback Garland so Kemp can perfect his home run trot.

But I think we can all agree that the Dodgers have enough money to do it, and can anyone honestly NOT see Ned getting both, and then not signing the hitter?

I think it's far fetched that he does it, but it is Ned Coletti, God love him.

2009-01-23 16:34:44
241.   Bob Timmermann
Jon Garland and Randy Wolf would give the Dodgers a distinct San Fernando Valley flavor.
2009-01-23 16:35:50
242.   trainwreck
241
I guess they are replacing Kent's mustache.
2009-01-23 16:41:51
243.   Zak
241 I thought the Reserved Level and the Pavillion gave the Dodgers a distinct San Fernando Valley flavor.
2009-01-23 16:44:18
244.   Bob Timmermann
Vin loves it when local kids play for the Dodgers.

The only L.A. area natives on the Dodgers 40-man roster now are James McDonald (Long Beach), Mark Loretta (Santa Monica), and Delwyn Young (Littlerock)

2009-01-23 16:47:42
245.   Xeifrank
244. More importantly, what floats Plaschke's boat?
vr, Xei
2009-01-23 16:51:37
246.   Bob Timmermann
245
Blake DeWitt, because he's "a ballplayer."
2009-01-23 16:54:05
247.   fanerman
By the way, I have new glasses (with a new prescription) and my eye strain in the office seems to be gone. I think my astigmatism had changed. Thanks to whoever suggested I get a new prescription (I think it was Xeifrank).
2009-01-23 16:55:54
248.   ToyCannon
DeWitt will DeLiver
2009-01-23 16:55:54
249.   Xeifrank
247. Great! That's the symptoms I had when I originally needed reading glasses, thus the recommendation. Hope it works out for you.
vr, Xei
2009-01-23 16:59:00
250.   LU Dodger
This from DodgerBruin on the Dodgers.com message board:

Larry Bowa during interview on XM this afternoon with Rob Dibble & Kevin Kennedy:

1. When talking about what getting Manny back means to the Dodgers he obviously is anxious for that to happen and spoke to the hitting prowess, the almost unparalleled clutch hitting and his ability to take the burden away from the young players. Bowa said that he has no doubt that Manny will be a great hitter for the next three years, but four years he'd worry about being it's the NL & Manny still has to play LF.

2. Said that Broxton could be a solid closer. He needs to stop throwing so many pitches and trying to throw everything so hard. Instead of throwing everything at 97 with time he can learn to maybe throw 94 but hit the spot to get the out instead of the strikeout. The kid right now is wired to throw hard. Bowa expressed confidence that given time Broxton will be good, but if he falters Bowa remarked that he really likes Kuo.

3. Bowa likes the idea of siging Randy Wolf and feels he will be an asset to the staff....if he can stay healthy. Bowa didn't pull any punches in also saying signing Wolf would be great but they really need to sign TWO starting pitchers. I know some here will drink to that!

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2009-01-23 17:02:01
251.   kinbote
Is the Garland picture/article still up? I can't find it . . .
2009-01-23 17:04:39
252.   LU Dodger
251

wow it's down already.

Weird

2009-01-23 17:09:50
254.   trainwreck
Maybe that is a good sign that he is not coming our way.
2009-01-23 17:12:52
255.   ToyCannon
Pettite doesn't get much traction here but he won our latest vote. Sheets was excluded since Ned has expressed zero interest.
Which pitcher would you most like Ned to sign?
44% Pettitte - no draft pick and might be had for a one year deal 165 votes

14%Wolf - no draft pick, probably have to do 2 or 3 years 55 votes

12% Garland - no draft pick - no upside - lots of innings 46 votes

7% Looper - no draft pick - make your own argument 27 votes

21% Why bother if those are the possibilities 80 votes

373 Total Votes

2009-01-23 17:14:23
256.   trainwreck
Now 253 has disappeared. It is the Jon Garland conspiracy.
2009-01-23 17:14:37
257.   LU Dodger
255

Garland commands a 2nd round pick, if i'm not mistaken

2009-01-23 17:16:14
258.   Jon Weisman
256 - There was not a valid reason for reprinting the entire article.
2009-01-23 17:17:20
259.   Jon Weisman
I would never want someone reprinting one of my articles on another site from start to finish, and especially if I decided I didn't want it public on my site anymore. And it's not like this was a Smoking Gun scenario.
2009-01-23 17:18:04
260.   Jon Weisman
259 - Nothing personal against the person who did it, by the way. Just my philosophy.
2009-01-23 17:24:44
261.   LU Dodger
260

I respect that, and almost didn't post it because I remembered you saying something about it before. But I checked for a warning all around before posting and didn't see one. Maybe it should be noted somewhere. And the reason for posting it was because it was no longer accessible.

My apologies however. Won't do it again.

Also, what did you mean by smoking gun scenario?

2009-01-23 17:27:34
262.   LU Dodger
btw, if anyone wants to read the article, it's on the Dodgers.com message board.

FYI

2009-01-23 17:28:44
263.   Jon Weisman
261 - Well, if it were the 1970s and you had posted the Pentagon Papers, for example, I might have let it slide. Except for the bandwith issue.

I could certainly add this rule to the list below. I believe it would be rule 15.

2009-01-23 17:28:48
264.   Jacob Burch
257 The team is granted a pick for Type Bs--it isn't taken from the other team.
2009-01-23 17:29:23
265.   Jacob Burch
263 Another Rule (14) To figure out? Argle Bargle.
2009-01-23 17:37:10
266.   Jon Weisman
Rule 14 was a ban against beginning a comment "Is it only me who thinks" or "Am I the only one who thinks"

I forgot there was a Rule 15 too - that was a rule that said you had to read all the previous comments before making your own.

Rules 14 and 15 were not popular and, benevolent dictator that I am, I hibernated them.

So this would be rule 16.

2009-01-23 17:50:06
267.   berkowit28
251 But the "Dodgers, Wolf closing in on agreement" article is still up on dodgers.com. That doesn't seem to mean much either - in fact the actual article says no such thing.
2009-01-23 18:02:23
268.   Bob Timmermann
Jon should be allowed as many rules as there are amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

But one of the rules has to repeal an earlier rule.

2009-01-23 18:19:29
269.   Ken Noe
The official site erased its big Hoffmann story after rumors broke that he had signed with Milwaukee. That suggests to me that (a) we're safe from Garland, and (b) Leon Trotsky never existed.
2009-01-23 18:31:07
270.   Dodgers49
Just up at the LA Times:

There's still no sign of Manny Ramirez

>> Dodgers made an offer almost three months ago, the slugger's agent rejected it, and now neither seems about to blink. <<

http://tinyurl.com/d4m773

2009-01-23 18:54:43
271.   Ken Noe
The Dodgers threw up two flares last month, expressing interest in outfielders Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu. No more. "We're concentrating on two things right now--pitching and Manny," Colletti said. So much for that bargaining ploy, Ned.
2009-01-23 18:56:36
272.   D4P
Always a good idea to tell a player and his agent that you're not interested in the competition.
2009-01-23 19:08:22
273.   jasonungar07
It just doesn't seem for the dodgers that signing Manny is about winning baseball games.

--

We either need to upgrade the offense (and LF) or we don't. And apparently Manny is the only man on earth who can help

2009-01-23 19:09:49
274.   trainwreck
mannY: The Last Man
2009-01-23 19:10:02
275.   Bob Timmermann
Point of order:

Brewers pitcher Trevor Hoffman
Dodgers outfielder Jamie Hoffmann

2009-01-23 19:11:09
276.   D4P
Actor Philip Hoffman
2009-01-23 19:15:10
277.   CanuckDodger
272 -- I think it is just acknowledging something Manny and Boras already know: Dunn and Abreu have no intention of signing anywhere until Manny is signed by somebody, anybody, so trying to use Dunn and Abreu to scare Manny into signing would be as hollow an endeavor as Boras planting stories with Heyman about the Giants being poised to swoop in and steal Manny.
2009-01-23 19:16:28
278.   Bob Timmermann
276
This guy?

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0389058/

2009-01-23 19:19:08
279.   D4P
278
No, the other one. If only there were some way to differentiate...
2009-01-23 19:32:15
280.   oshea2002
271, 272 - no way. I'd say I'm shocked, but nothing surprises me.
2009-01-23 19:34:22
281.   berkowit28
279
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Hoffman_(disambiguation)
2009-01-23 19:34:50
282.   das411
Was there ever an official rule about what we're not allowed to call Larry Bowa, or is that more of an adjunct to Rule 1?
2009-01-23 19:41:47
283.   Bob Timmermann
One Philip Hoffman enjoys speed walking.

The other has a pathological fear of toilets.

2009-01-23 19:46:22
284.   Eric Stephen
283
I read that comment about 10 minutes or so after I saw it while catching up on some shows on my DVR. Very timely, sir.
2009-01-23 19:59:06
285.   dzzrtRatt
I did not feel an earthquake.

However, one of my Facebook friends who I believe lives on the westside just posted that she did.

She didn't mention having a boyfriend over, so I assume was speaking of a geological event.

Anyone else feel it?

2009-01-23 20:00:36
286.   LU Dodger
new article up on the Dodgers homepage about Chad Billingsley's recovery among other things
2009-01-23 20:00:36
287.   trainwreck
My friend that lives in West LA felt it.
2009-01-23 20:02:00
288.   Andrew Shimmin
USGS felt it.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/events/ci/10373093/us/index.html

2009-01-23 20:15:28
289.   DBrim
My sister felt it.

I couldn't feel it in Boston, though. Go figure.

2009-01-23 20:32:31
290.   Dodgers49
275 And then there is:

Billingsley working to rejoin staff in flux

>> But after months of work with Dodgers strength coach Brendon Huttmann, the 24-year-old right-hander is showing no evidence of a limp, pain or stiffness in his left landing leg, which he says feels normal. <<

http://tinyurl.com/busbdr

2009-01-23 20:39:49
291.   underdog
Brendon Seymour Huttmann?

Anyway... take THAT, Gurnick!

2009-01-23 20:47:39
292.   Xeifrank
Xin Nian Kuai le. or Happy Chinese New Years (this coming monday). The Ventura County Chinese Association will be having it's annual New Years celebration tomorrow (rain pending) at Constitution Park in Camarillo CA (1pm-3pm). I will be manning one of the arts/crafts booths, even though I know nothing about arts and crafts. Feel free to stop by and chat Dodgers with me, to help pass the time. Checking my calendar, I believe it will be the Year of the Bison!
vr, Xei
2009-01-23 20:51:45
293.   dzzrtRatt
I had an accident similar to Billingsley's last month. I didn't require surgery, but I am in no way ready to pitch. In fact, I'm probably not going to be pitching at all in 2009. So I'm impressed with Chad's recovery.
2009-01-23 20:52:17
294.   underdog
292 - Nice. Say, isn't it actually more likely to be Broxton's year? The Year of the Ox!
2009-01-23 20:57:24
295.   Marty
Anyone else seeing a lot of choppy broadcast of TCM? It's been making people sound like Max Headroom for a couple days. Just wondering if I'm the only one before I take on my cable company.
2009-01-23 21:03:53
296.   Bob Timmermann
295
Looks fine for me right now.
2009-01-23 21:16:00
297.   Ken Noe
Hmmm...now the Garland story is back up on the official site, but the Wolf story is gone.
2009-01-23 21:18:37
298.   Bob Timmermann
This is like seeing who's standing next to Brezhnev on the reviewing stand at the May Day parade.
2009-01-23 21:35:16
299.   underdog
Maybe Dodgers.com has become a newfangled Rorschach test for Dodgers fans. What picture, er, pitcher do you see?
2009-01-23 21:52:22
300.   Bob Timmermann
Lawler's Law in effect for the Clippers. Exciting Clippers-Thunder action tonight!
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2009-01-23 22:12:06
301.   dzzrtRatt
Wow. I've seen many press releases more objective than the Garland "story" on the Dodgers.com site.

I have to assume he's all but signed. Either that, or the reporter has a serious mancrush on Jon Garland.

2009-01-23 22:17:30
302.   Tripon
Ken Gurick may be 'independent' from the Dodgers organization, but not by much.
2009-01-23 22:18:24
303.   JRSarno
I'm sure someone has posted this, but it looks like the FULL version of Kent's retirement speech. As unsympathetic as he has been throughout his career, it somewhat surprised me that he managed to draw the specter of a tear out of me watching him struggle with his words. Then again, I'm generally sensitive about most things. Anyway, it's good to see him go out on a real positive note. I'm hopeful that the kids become "men" this year too, Jon.

http://www.cbs2.com/video/?id=90643@kcbs.dayport.com

2009-01-23 22:19:38
304.   Bob Timmermann
The Garland article was written by Lyle Spencer, not Ken Gurnick.
2009-01-23 23:14:39
305.   berkowit28
301 304

But then the Billingsley story, by someone called Doug Miller (who's that?), says:

"...with the Dodgers reportedly closing in on free-agent left-hander Randy Wolf while still keeping tabs on Jon Garland, Braden Looper and Kris Benson."

Kris Benson? These guys don't seem to know anything and are just puffing hot air. I wonder who at dodgers.com is putting up these stories. It could just be someone subbing for someone else who's on holiday, and could be Gurnick's on holiday too so they are just pulling any old thing in. It's probably all meaningless.

2009-01-23 23:19:30
306.   trainwreck
305
It has been reported by a few sources that Logan White watched Kris Benson pitch for some teams.
2009-01-24 00:16:02
307.   berkowit28
I don't know if others have seen the MLB Network 1947 Dodgers-Yankees World Series Highlights. Well worth watching, if only 30 minutes: Reese and Reiser especially. There are a few more showings of it to come.

The MLB February schedule is now up. All the Dodger world series of the 50s are there, preceded by 1949 on Feb. 10, which also has 1952. '53, '55 (yes!), '56 and also '59 in LA follow, along with the other series of the '50s. Also '77. All in the middle of February.

2009-01-24 00:25:08
308.   berkowit28
And 1963 WS (Koufax) on Feb. 24. Then Spring Training games and shows take over most of MLB - maybe no more historicals until the next off-season. The March schedule is up too and that seems to be the case.
2009-01-24 00:36:59
309.   berkowit28
A couple sneak in in March, both Dodgers: 1965 in the middle of the night Mar. 8/9 (I may have missed an earlier showing) and 1981 on Mar. 27.
2009-01-24 05:20:05
310.   Sam DC
I heard that XM interview referenced above.

Bowa said that both Kemp and Ethier have 35 hr potential. (!!)

He said that Ethier works really hard at the game and his biggest flaw is that he can be too intense and get too down on himself when things aren't working out.

He also said that Kemp is playing purely on natural ability and athleticism. He needs to study the game more, and watch more film. And he should not be so careless on the bases, such a trying to steal when the team is down four or five runs.

It rankled some, for a variety of reasons.

How many times did Matt Kemp attempt to steal when the Dodgers were behind four or more runs?

2009-01-24 05:44:25
311.   D4P
Kemp is playing purely on natural ability and athleticism. He needs to study the game more, and watch more film

I don't understand how studying the game and watching film can't be mandatory. If a coach wants a player to study film, make him sit down and study film.

No film, no paycheck. Simple as that.

2009-01-24 06:38:59
312.   old dodger fan
From Foxsports-something I did not know:

While several Type-A free agents appeared to blunder by rejecting their teams' offers of one-year contracts through salary arbitration, it's worth noting that such deals are not guaranteed. A player who accepts arbitration is owed only one-sixth of his salary if he is released by a mid-March deadline and only one-fourth if he is released between that date and Opening Day.

2009-01-24 07:01:30
313.   Terry A
When Larry Bowa says you're too intense, you should probably look into some counseling.
2009-01-24 08:05:54
314.   Bob Timmermann
310
According to B-R, Kemp was 3 for 3 in steals when the Dodgers were down by four or more runs.
2009-01-24 08:15:07
315.   D4P
314
But only 32 for 43 otherwise.

Maybe he should only steal when the Dodgers are down by four or more runs.

2009-01-24 08:28:38
316.   D4P
Besides: don't teams that are up by four or more runs typically just let opposing players steal, unchallenged?
2009-01-24 08:33:49
317.   D4P
Just ran across the following in one of my readings:

Humans are adroit at recognizing patterns, even where no patterns exist. Often, this is where statistics comes in.

I would suggest that the reverse is also true:

Humans are prone to missing patterns that exist. Often, this is where statistics comes in.

2009-01-24 08:59:36
318.   Terry A
314 - Given that Bowa was obviously tellin' tales out of school there, it makes one wonder about the rest of his comments (via Sam) about Kemp. One could read some Jimmy-the-Greek undertones there.
2009-01-24 09:08:58
319.   DaDoughboy
Buster Olney brings up a few interesting points on past contracts and the 'new' market regarding Ben Sheets.
http://tinyurl.com/bolxyv

"Over the last five seasons, the 30-year-old Sheets has an ERA of 3.24; his ERA has never been higher than 3.82 in any season, and was as low as 2.70 in 2004. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has never been worse than 2.87 to 1. Hitters have never had an OPS against him, in any season, higher than .705."

Sheets is requesting a 2 yr deal for 8-10M per year. I say give it to him Ned..

2009-01-24 09:15:44
320.   underdog
I think perhaps it's time for a poll, here or maybe on TrueBlueLA? How many would gladly give up the Dodgers first round pick to sign Ben Sheets?

I would like to have Ben Sheets. I would also like the Dodgers to have that pick, as they need to be continuing to build back up their farm system. There's no guarantee they'll make a great pick there, of course. So it's a tough choice.

2009-01-24 09:26:41
321.   CanuckDodger
I wouldn't give up the #17 pick. No way. And, frankly, while I can't keep people from talking about whatever they want to talk about, I think the "Let's get Sheets!" stuff really needs to be retired. It is one thing to suggest stuff that looks improbable -- like me saying the Dodgers should have Eric Stults in the rotation -- but it is quite another to keep suggesting stuff that Colletti has EXPLICITLY RULED OUT. Colletti has said in no uncertain terms we will not sign Sheets. That's it. That dead horse really shouldn't continue to be beaten.
2009-01-24 09:30:13
322.   berkowit28
Detroit Tigers now also have a Lyon, of the non-football type.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3857234

Ah well. My vague impression, unchecked against any stats whatsoever (so it's bound to be wrong) from the end of the last season was that every time the D'backs brought Lyon in at the end of games, the Dodgers won.

2009-01-24 09:31:47
323.   Ken Noe
320 I'd keep the pick, dog. His ailments aside, we need the pick to replenish the system, while someone like Wolf can hold the fort until the team is finally ready to hand the keys to Stults or Troncoso.

321 I guess the same can be said now of Dunn. Looks like it will be Manny or JP to start the season in left.

2009-01-24 09:40:11
324.   Gen3Blue
317 I agree these are both important insights
2009-01-24 09:42:26
325.   Bob Timmermann
Brandon Lyon appeared in 8 games against the Dodgers last year and saved 5 of them and lost another.

However, that one loss was a spectacular loss:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ARI/ARI200807200.shtml

2009-01-24 09:47:36
326.   ToyCannon
The Eric Gordon/Kevin Durant shootout last night at Staples was awesome. Eric Gordon set the franchise record for points by a rookie. Forget that, he was the 1st Clipper to score 40 points since Elton Brand did it 3 years ago.

Al Thornton chipped in over 30 himself. Coming into the game the Gordon/Thornton combo and the Durant/Westbrook combo were the highest scoring 1st Year/2nd Year players in the NBA. The Clippers smoked their combo as Westbrook did not hold up his end of the Thunder partnership.

The Clipps played just about the whole 2nd half with a waiver wire pickup at center who looked like he couldn't have weighed 200 lbs even though he's over 7 feet.

2009-01-24 09:58:41
327.   D4P
I can't remember whether Eric Gordon set the franchise record for points by a rookie.
2009-01-24 10:00:05
328.   berkowit28
325 Ah, yes, that's the one I saved on my DVR and watched again over Christmas. It obviously became "selective memory" for me.
2009-01-24 10:03:13
329.   DaDoughboy
326.
The first fun Clippers game to watch in years. I noticed the same thing with the Clippers C Cheikh Samb..
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2996
Listed him as 7'1" 245..I dunno about that.
2009-01-24 10:11:36
330.   Xeifrank
Is there a way to put a dollar value on a draft pick in terms of how much the average player drafted in a certain round of the draft ends up contributing on average to a major league team?
vr, Xei
2009-01-24 10:13:42
331.   underdog
I'm against losing the pick, too. And as Canuck points out, the Dodgers have shown zero interest in Sheets, anyway, so I guess it's mostly wasting our time except as pure conjecture.

If I could trade Sheets for Schmidt, I would be a happy camper, however. While we're dreaming... Sigh.

2009-01-24 10:14:59
332.   Gen3Blue
One Dodger tradition I would like to see nipped in the bud is the one of putting freaky streaks together. I thinks its been going on at least two years. IIRC last year starting in late August we lost 11 of 13 followed immediately by winning 12 of 13. It is bad for "dealing psychologically" with baseball and is like "Bi-polar" disease. While it is a bit much to hope for I'd be glad to risk my stability by just having a winning streak now and then. I think if things go well for this team compared to 1974's we might achieve that some year soon.
2009-01-24 10:16:36
333.   Gen3Blue
330 Xei, saw a study about that somewhere recently. Sorry I can't remember where.
2009-01-24 10:18:17
334.   underdog
So after all that blather from Chris Mortensen and ESPN that Mike Shanahan was "definitely going to be the next Chiefs coach," they then backtracked from to say that the Chiefs were "targeting Shanahan," and now it's clear they never spoke at all. I love it when it becomes clear that an "expert" basically made stuff up. But since he's not a blogger he'll get a free pass.
2009-01-24 10:24:52
335.   Eric Stephen
330
Xeifrank, I ran across an old Baseball Prospectus (2005) study about the draft. I don't have a subscription so I can't access all of the articles, but there is a multiple part series. Here is one of the free versions.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5152

It looks like they attempted to assign value to the picks, perhaps in more detail in other parts of the study.

2009-01-24 10:38:25
336.   Gen3Blue
Xei, try Valueing the Draft(part1) THT Jan, of this year

http://tinyurl.com/b537m8

It points to further studies.

2009-01-24 10:50:53
337.   Brent Knapp
After only two months I had decided to part ways with Time Warner. Is there a consensus that DirectTV is the best cable provider?
2009-01-24 10:52:46
338.   DaDoughboy
337.
I would say DirecTV is the best satellite provider..don't know how their cable is though :)
2009-01-24 11:01:51
339.   Eric Stephen
337
For me, I would have switched a long time ago to DirecTV except I would have to put the dish on my patio and there's not a clear view of the southern sky.

The key for me is the NFL package. If you want the sports packages (MLB, NBA, etc) you pretty much have to go with DirecTV, I believe. MLB Extra Innings isn't on AT&T, is it?

2009-01-24 11:09:41
340.   Bob Timmermann
339
Extra Innings is not on AT&T, nor is Sunday Ticket, although they hope to add it.

I've really liked my AT&T U-Verse. If you don't want DirecTV, you can check to see if you're in a Verizon area or an AT&T area.

I can now watch programs that I recorded on my DVR in a different room, which is pretty handy. And the whole setup is a lot cheaper. I think it's about $30 less per month.

2009-01-24 11:25:27
341.   Pecos Bill
How much work is expected from Ned in the next 2 months? Here is my priority list for discussion:

1. Sign Ethier for 3 mil to 3.25 mil
2. Sign a #3 pitcher for 1-2 years
3. Sign Manny to 4 years with a low guarantee with incentives for years 3 and 4 and an opt out after year 3
4. Obtain one additional reliver in order to put Elbert in the minors so he will be ready for the 2010 starting rotation.
5. Determine who will be the 5th starter (Vargas, McDonald, Stults, Troncoso, Castillo, Estes, Schmidt) and therefor who will be in long relief, and who will go back to the minors to train for the 2010 starting rotation.
6.Hire Maddox as a roving minor league pitching instructor
7.Determine who will be the additional backup infielder (Abreu, Hu, or ??)
8. If Manny is resigned then renegotiate Pierre's contract in June and trade by the deadline.

Not a lot of tasks for Ned so get it done

2009-01-24 11:29:22
342.   Kevin Lewis
I really liked AT&/Dish when we had it. And I think they have an HD only package of about 120 channels for $24.99 a month. That is pretty sweet
2009-01-24 11:29:56
343.   Brent Knapp
337 339 Well I just ordered DirectTV. I just can't stand Time Warner. The DVR interface is awful and slow. And in two months my internet has already been down three times for a significant time. I checked into Verizon and AT&T and neither are "in my area" yet. I'm fully upgrading my entertainment center and just got my 46" Samsung LCD. Unfortuanately, I'm not in love with the picture. Thanks for your help gentlemen.
2009-01-24 11:31:20
344.   Bumsrap
I also heard the Bowa interview on XM175 and my memory was that Bowa said Kemp needed to be less agressive running the bases later in game and 4 or 5 runs down. He was saying Kemp runs bases aggressively all the time.

Can't the Dodgers just play Blake in LF and forget about Manny? I am ready to see what Abreu at second and DeWitt at third can do.

2009-01-24 11:32:25
345.   Xeifrank
336. Thanks, looks like a good read. I will bookmark it. I think you need a good understanding of this before analyzing a possible Sheets signing, or any other signing that you lose a draft pick for.
vr, Xei
2009-01-24 11:33:07
346.   Kevin Lewis
343

Have you tweaked the picture settings. A lot of it can depend on the lighting in your room and such. I googled for the ideal settings for my when I first got them, and there are some good things to try...people have put a lot of time into it already, and the info is out there for you to have.

2009-01-24 11:35:07
347.   Eric Stephen
340
Bob, did you get a bunch of discounts or rebates from AT&T when you signed up? I seem to get offers in the mail from them twice a week. A couple months ago I was close to switching, even to the point where they were offering a free month, plus a check for $200 to sign up. But I decided I couldn't live without Extra Innings.
2009-01-24 11:39:59
348.   Bob Timmermann
347
I lost track of the discounts. I probably could have held out for more.

I got a call from AT&T two days ago.

"Sir, have you heard of AT&T U-Verse?"
"Yes, I am looking at it now. I got it installed a couple days ago."
"Um... Oh.... I guess that's good."

2009-01-24 11:41:30
349.   Brent Knapp
346 I haven't really messed with the settings much. I'm afraid I'll make it worse. I'm know I'm being picky. It's 120hz and perfectly smooth. The Blue-ray player gives me an amazing picture. Some channels are great too. But I was helping my parents remodel there house and spent some time before picking out there 52" Philips. I'm really happy with that picture. Speicifically, I noticed how in a HD basketball game the amazing sharpness between players legs and the wood colored court, even when the camera shot was from far away. My Samsung looks just a little more blurry around those edges. My Time Warner DVR will only put out 1080i so when I get DirectTV which will have 720p I'm curious to see if its any better.
2009-01-24 11:42:09
350.   Eric Stephen
By the way, the Brandon Lyon signing means 10 of the 22 Type A/B free agents have signed.

As of right now, the highest the Braves 2nd round pick (Lowe compensation) could be is #51:

33 1st round picks
10 sandwich picks
7 - Braves pick 7th in each round
1 - The Pirates get pick 49 (or 48a if you will) for failing to sign Tanner Scheppers in 2008

The lowest the 2nd round pick from the Braves could be is #63 (if all remaining Type A/Bs sign with new teams).

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2009-01-24 11:48:37
351.   Brent Knapp
346 The other thing that bothers me is when on certain shots the little white dots show up. It's almost like a color is being stretched and white pixels are inserted. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Am I hallucinating?
2009-01-24 11:53:19
352.   silverwidow
350 Don't forget about the Mariners possibly signing Joshua Fields before the Draft. That would bump everything up one slot.
2009-01-24 11:56:29
353.   Eric Stephen
352
Score! I guess the other two 2008 1st rounders unsigned (Crow and Cole) enrolled in school (making them ineligible)?
2009-01-24 11:58:38
354.   silverwidow
353 I know Cole is at UCLA; Crow is going to play Indy ball, apparently.
2009-01-24 12:00:27
355.   Eric Stephen
For those of us new to the Friday Night Lights bandwagon, full episodes from both previous seasons are available for free on NBC.com, and they will be up until May 6!

Season 1: http://tinyurl.com/argm94
Season 2: http://tinyurl.com/ae4bnq

2009-01-24 12:04:11
356.   Megaballs
{321}

Sorry Canuck. "Let's get Sheets."

Nothings etched in stone. Flanders wants "pitching and Manny." Sheets is a pitcher. If the price is right, this GM that pays Kuroda $39mil for 3 year, Wolf $8mil for one year NEEDS to consider Ben Sheets...a 2 year reasonable deal with Lasorda and beautiful LA to help clinch it.

All I can say about ability, and I'd use Olney's stats to prove it, on pure ability, Wolf, Looper, Garland, even Pettite have no where near the upside a healthy Sheets has.

I'm fed up with sudden payroll discipline after two years of the most bloated, wasted $ contracts imaginable.

Ned, consider Sheets and get it done unless theres a medical exam proving otherwise.

And you'll overpay for Manny? Who we all love but is represented by the most cutthroat, selfish hired gun with a client of dubious character.

I guess we should be happy with the return of the Wolf or local Garland coupled with a handful of nothing when Manny goes anywhere there's a buck to be had.

No confidence in Ned, here. Please prove me wrong.

2009-01-24 12:07:26
357.   D4P
For those of us new to the Friday Night Lights bandwagon

Speaking of which: any fans of "The L Word" out there? We watched the first 5 seasons over the last 1.5 months or so, and are now caught up for the 6th and final season which is not underway.

I'm kind of addicted to "Tibette"...

2009-01-24 12:13:19
358.   regfairfield
321 Ben Sheets is better than Eric Stults.
2009-01-24 12:21:37
359.   LU Dodger
Ben Sheets + Manny = give up the pick

Sheets alone = no way

Seth Curry = Liberty basketball "W" tonight

2009-01-24 12:22:08
360.   Megaballs
Its January 24th. In a bear market for free agents, amidst the worst economy in a generation, Manny hasn't been willing to take $45 mil for 2 years.

Maybe, just maybe we should consider that he hasn't learned anything. Anything good.

He pushed an old man down over tickets last year. He rubbed a winning organization, one that won a World Series with him, to the brink just because of his attitude.

He comes here and dominates. We fawn over him. Now he won't take gargantuan money weeks before training camp.

You have to think he'll jump anywhere for a better offer than LAD's. He'll screw this town if he doesn't sign here and Adam Dunn is gone.

Maybe we'd be better without him. Maybe this behavior is a sign of things to come if we do sign him.

2009-01-24 12:26:14
361.   LU Dodger
He pushed an old man down over tickets last year

I want to see a picture of this "old man"

My dad is in his 60's, and by no stretch is he "old". If the Red Sox exec. is as "old" as my dad, Manny would've had his work cut out for him. I seriously doubt Manny was innocent, but to say that we aren't hearing the full story is an understatement.

2009-01-24 12:31:06
362.   LU Dodger
Fun game challenge for DT:

Try to look at both pictures of Clayton Kershaw in this gallery of players meeting John Wooden and try not to laugh at his goofiness.

http://tinyurl.com/b4e83g

I friggen love Clayton Kershaw!

2009-01-24 12:31:12
363.   Eric Stephen
360
I think the Manny situation boils down to this:

The Dodgers are not in the market for "an outfielder," they are only in the market for Manny. I believe they are content, if they can't sign Manny, to have Pierre as the 3rd OF.

To date, it has not been reported that any other team has offered more than 2/$45m guaranteed. There's no reason so far for the Dodgers to offer more, because they'd be bidding against themselves.

From Manny's perspective, Boras knows the Dodgers will always be there in the end (since they're not signing anyone else) so his camp is trying to get other offers.

2009-01-24 12:31:26
364.   PalmdaleSteve1
360

Comes down to will Manny help the Dodgers make it to the post season. For sure he will help offense which will blow this year after the loss of Kent and Nomar, but pitching is also a very big question mark.

I'm all for the Dodgers offering a good contract, and if it's not good enough for Manny and Scott Boras, time to say, "Thanks for the Fish", have a good time finding better. Baseball is a business, and if Manny does not want to do business, that's just too darn bad.

2009-01-24 12:36:42
365.   Eric Stephen
362
I knew Kershaw was tall, but that last picture made me rethink just how tall. :)
2009-01-24 12:44:31
366.   jasonungar07
I am just curious if anyone has an answer already...What stats wise is the greater differential?

1. Manny production to Pierre production

2. Derek Lowe production to Garland, Wolf or Looper type?

I wonder then what the cumulative impact is on wins for the year...

2009-01-24 12:45:58
367.   Eric Stephen
We might have one less name on the pointless Dodger reliever search: Russ Springer is about to sign with the A's for $3m.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3857521

2009-01-24 12:47:03
368.   D4P
366
As far as I know, there's no stat out there that attempts to estimate a player's value based on offense, defense, and various other factors.

Nope.

2009-01-24 12:49:16
369.   Esquinazo
361
I want to see a picture of this "old man"

Here ya go:
http://tinyurl.com/atab9j

The guy on the right is ex-cop Jack McCormick (who totally has that whole pugnacious, abrasive New Englander look about him).

[The issue wasn't "tickets" anyway. It was McCormick saying rude things about Manny's intelligence and making fun of him in front of his teammates.]

2009-01-24 12:49:26
370.   Howard Fox
363 you are on the mark about Manny and it being him or stick with Pierre

Ned has always wanted the Furcal-Pierre speed atop the lineup and right now he sees that. So short of Manny, he doesn't see a better alternative for left.

2009-01-24 12:50:50
371.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2009-01-24 12:52:05
372.   DaDoughboy
362.
Thanks for that. Hilarious. I love his semi-full chin strap beard-thingy he has going. He's just the kind of 'kid' that makes watching baseball fun..
2009-01-24 12:53:07
373.   LU Dodger
I'll never get tired of this picture of Randy Wolf. LOL

http://www.geocities.com/corey_shambaugh/wolf3.jpg

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