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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Spit Take: James Loney, 2004 NL Rookie of the Year
2004-03-23 21:19
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Predictions aren't worth spit, and I like to get more out of life than a loogie.

But I just have this hunch ...

... that the Dodgers won't cobble together a major-league first baseman
... that Frank McCourt won't allow a trade for a productive slugger
... that James Loney is going to open up 2004 in Jacksonville on a tear
... that people will agonize over bringing him up at too young an age
... that Edwin Jackson's maturity will allow the Dodgers to turn to Loney in the absence of any other options
... that Loney will be called up in mid-June
... that Loney will be the second-best hitter on the Dodgers by the end of July
... that he will enter the NL Rookie of the Year race in the stretch run
... that he will shine for August and September, while Jackson tires from a long season
... and that James Loney will win the NL Rookie of the Year award by a nose over Kazuo Matsui.

We haven't been expecting Loney until 2005, or late 2004. The odds are against anything more than a cup of coffee in September.

FYI:

Miguel Cabrera, age 19: 124 games, .754 OPS at Class A
Adrian Beltre, age 18 (thought to be 19): 123 games, .969 OPS at Class A
James Loney, age 19: 125 games, .737 OPS at Class A

Miguel Cabrera, age 20: 69 games, 1.038 OPS at Class AA before callup; 87 games, .793 OPS after callup
Adrian Beltre, age 19 (thought to be 20): 64 games, .995 OPS at Class AA before callup; 77 games, .647 OPS after callup
James Loney, age 20: needs to do better than Beltre and Cabrera to win.

But I'm gonna hock this one up.

P.S. Just for fun, here are some quotes from Jason Reid in Times from Beltre's 1998 rookie season:

June 25:
On [Tom] Lasorda's recommendation, the Dodgers on Tuesday purchased the contract of double-A third baseman Adrian Beltre, whom scouts consider among the top prospects in the minor leagues.

June 30:
Lasorda has spoken with General Manager Jim Bowden of the Cincinnati Reds about acquiring Jeff Shaw, the 1997 National League "fireman of the year." Bowden is interested in rookie infielder-outfielder Paul Konerko, but would prefer rookie third baseman Adrian Beltre, who sources say is untouchable.

July 1:
The third baseman has often appeared confused at the plate during his brief tenure with the Dodgers. But Beltre is stirring excitement among club officials, who need something to feel good about.

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