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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Opening Day! Open Chat
2005-04-05 12:03
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Matchups for today's game:

Cesar Izturis vs. Ray Durham - Durham
Hee Seop Choi vs. Omar Vizquel - Choi
J.D. Drew vs. J.T. Snow - Drew
Jeff Kent vs. Moises Alou - Even
Milton Bradley vs. Pedro Feliz - Bradley
Jose Valentin vs. Edgardo Alfonzo - Alfonzo
Ricky Ledee vs. Marquis Grissom - Even (thanks to platoon splits)
Jason Phillips vs. Mike Matheny - Phillips
Derek Lowe vs. Jason Schmidt - Schmidt

The Giants might have the edge in this game thanks to Schmidt - and in general, their pitching should be better than it was last year - but for the season, they really, really need Barry Bonds. Outsiders complain about the Dodger lineup, but J.T. Snow as your No. 3 hitter?

Comments (222)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-05 12:22:37
1.   KAYVMON
oh no, it says Choi is hitting second. DePo must be writting the lineup card.
2005-04-05 12:26:11
2.   Bob Timmermann
I think Choi is hitting second until Werth's return.
2005-04-05 12:36:03
3.   FirstMohican
Does anyone have any ideas as to why Repko isn't starting?

Unless you plan on trading Repko, which they possibly are, it seems to me that the Dodgers should be putting him in the starting spot, as they have all spring. You have a relatively clear idea about what Ledee is going to give you as a starter, so why not see how Repko performs? You can't really drop the "more seasoning required" argument because he's, what, 25?

Is this a sign that they're planning on trading Repko?

2005-04-05 12:37:46
4.   bigcpa
With Feliz/Alou/Matheny in for Bonds/Tucker/Pierzynski they've got 5 righthanded batters stacked 4-8.
2005-04-05 12:38:33
5.   Jon Weisman
He's not starting because they don't want him to debut against perhaps the best righty in the NL (apologies to Peavy, Martinez, etc.)

That's all.

2005-04-05 12:40:05
6.   bigcpa
Steiner said they didn't want Repko to see Schmidt in his debut and blow his confidence. Facing Reuter tomorrow will be a nice transition from AAA.

Tomorrow's groan will be Choi sitting against Reuter.

2005-04-05 12:40:49
7.   Screwgie
Tracy said he just doesn't want Repko in his first major league game to face Schmidt.

And Choi has been batting second alot this spring. How can this be any surprise? And the fact that Izzy is batting leadoff proves without a doubt that Tracy is indeed making out the line-up card.

2005-04-05 12:48:03
8.   Suffering Bruin
#3, not to sound to sound smartass but I think Ledee getting the start is only an indication of him being left-handed. Remember, that's Jason Schmidt on the mound. Now, if Repko sits against the southpaws, then I'll join you in your concerns. I think Repko will get plenty of looks in April.

--------------------------------------------

Today's fact of Choi, SB's favorite player, 2005:

Last night I posted the ten most comparable players to our hero, taking into account his career has been short. But what about the most comparable players up to the age of 25? At least with that category, we get some familiar names and the most similar player to Choi is someone we all know...

Brian Hunter (984)
Wayne Belardi (974)
Sid Bream (962)
Don Mincher (961)
Gail Harris (960)
Steve Bilko (957)
Randy Bush (954)
Dick Gernert (952)
Mike Epstein (950)
Carlos Pena (949)

Hunter and Bream are the familiar names on the list for most of you, I imagine. Neither was known as an OBP machine. In fact, the average OBP of the above players is .320 while Choi, of course, has a career OBP of .356. Again, go figure...

2005-04-05 12:53:53
9.   Dodger fan in AZ
I'm somewhat new to the site, sorry if this has been covered before - what was the logic of signing Valentin instead of resigning Hernandez? I thought JH had a nice year, required a smaller salary and could play several positions. It looks like he followed up last year's success w/ a great spring, e.g. .400 BA & 4 HR.
2005-04-05 13:02:52
10.   Sam DC
All -- in the thread below ("Opening Morning Fungos"), I suggested that DT lovers with a little cash to spare might celebrate Opening Day by making a small donation to support the site . . . Paypal link at right, if you're so inclined.

Fifteen minutes to post. Go Blue.

2005-04-05 13:03:03
11.   corey
I'm guessing they signed Valentin over Hernandez because Depo wanted more power in the lineup?

I missed the Dodger introductions. How was Kent greeted? They must hate him now, with a passion. Giants fans hate the Dodgers 1000 times more than we dislike the Giants. It's a way of life for them up there. But that's probably not news to anyone here.

Go Dodgers!

2005-04-05 13:04:49
12.   Berkeley Doug
Well my co-worker just left the office to go to the game all decked out in her Giants gear (my office is about a 10 minute walk to SBC Park) and here is hoping that is in for a long afternoon.

I can understand the logic of starting Ledee over Repko, but if Repko plays his heart out all Spring to win a spot on the team then he should get the Opening Day start. Schmidt my be a great pitcher, but clearly Repko has demonstrated he deserves to be in the majors and let's see what he can do. It's not as if there is this great expectation that Ledee is going to pull a Dmitri Young.

2005-04-05 13:09:33
13.   Berkeley Doug
Re: #11,

It is a way for life for some Giants fans up here to dislike the Dodgers with the fiercest intensity. I can't recall how many times I've been at a game when the chant of "Beat LA" was deafening, especially in the 9th inning when the Giants are rallying. On the flip side, it just makes it more satisfying when the Dodger's win. I've never seen a Dodger-Giant game at Dodger Stadium, but on TV is seems like much more mild. Is it really that way in the Stadium or does it just seem that way?

2005-04-05 13:11:10
14.   Marty
Sam, consider it done
2005-04-05 13:19:43
15.   mcrawford
Where are people following the game online? MLB.com's GameCast, ESPN, maybe Yahoo? I'm not up for paying to listen to the games, I don't think. My experience with it last year during the playoffs was that it was spotty on my Internet connection at work.
2005-04-05 13:23:16
16.   scareduck
Hail Cesar!
2005-04-05 13:23:40
17.   Dr Love
Well, that's a hell of a way to start the season.
2005-04-05 13:23:54
18.   Sam DC
Who would've thunk it?
2005-04-05 13:24:10
19.   joeynelson
does KFWB not air the games on their internet broadcast? they're just doing stupid news & traffic right now?
2005-04-05 13:24:48
20.   mcrawford
The Los Angeles Dodgers have completely dominated this entire season so far.
2005-04-05 13:24:57
21.   Berkeley Doug
Can Ceasar match Dmitri?????
2005-04-05 13:25:00
22.   Robert Fiore
Regarding intensity:

To San Francisco, Los Angeles is a hated rival that usurped its proper place of primacy among California cities.

To Los Angeles, San Francisco is a nice place to spend a weekend.

2005-04-05 13:25:10
23.   Im So Blue
Vinny says that's the first HR ever by a Dodger against Schmidt.
2005-04-05 13:25:12
24.   scareduck
Can somebody explain to me why clicking on the "Listen" link from the Dodgers' home page gets me to the friggin' Giants feed?
2005-04-05 13:25:29
25.   mcrawford
Dang, never mind, now Choi struck out. Our dominance was fun while it lasted.
2005-04-05 13:25:43
26.   Suffering Bruin
Aw yeah! Welcome back, baseball! All hail... dang you, scareduck, you beat me to it!
2005-04-05 13:26:24
27.   scareduck
Joey -- no, KFWB does not run the games on their website. You have to pay for them through Gameday Audio. Less than $20 for the whole season -- a great deal.
2005-04-05 13:26:58
28.   Suffering Bruin
mcrawford has the line of the year so far...
2005-04-05 13:27:53
29.   Jim Hitchcock
Shades of Stever Sax!
2005-04-05 13:29:33
30.   Cones88
I guess Meagher was right. Izzy should be batting cleanup!
2005-04-05 13:34:42
31.   mcrawford
Thanks, SB. Ironically (for a fellow Bruin fan), I stole that line from a guy standing near me at a UCLA-USC football game, when UCLA's opening kickoff was downed for a touchback.

It's still funny to me.

2005-04-05 13:36:34
32.   corey
It's never too early to break this out:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/bacono/giants_trophy.jpg

2005-04-05 13:38:57
33.   Marty
Corey, I just sent that to every Giant fan I know. Thanks
2005-04-05 13:39:09
34.   DXMachina
Scareduck, the MLB sites seem to default to the home team's audio feed. You need to go the the main Gameday Audio page to get the right feed.
2005-04-05 13:39:23
35.   Brent T
Hitchcock, I'm right with you.

I think that's the first time a Dodger homered in the very first AB of the season since Steve Sax in.......

1988.

Also v. the Giants, I think. The Dodgers did lose the game, however.

Can anyone confirm this?

2005-04-05 13:39:29
36.   scareduck
Yes it is. Tempting the baseball gods...
2005-04-05 13:40:57
37.   joeynelson
ugh, i signed up for mlb gameday audio and i can only get the giants feed. where's vin?!
2005-04-05 13:43:48
38.   Dr Love
Hooray for techinical difficulties.
2005-04-05 13:44:25
39.   scareduck
Go to the link marked "multimedia" at dodgers.com, and you can select the home feed there. Really stupid.
2005-04-05 13:47:58
40.   alnyden
Looks good so far! Still, a bottom three of Valentin, Ledee & Phillips is not going to scare anyone. I guess when Werth comes back, the lineup will look a little better.
2005-04-05 13:48:11
41.   Daniel
Or use this link...

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/audio/gda/index.jsp?c_id=la

2005-04-05 13:48:45
42.   FirstMohican
Repko's debut against Reuter instead of Schmidt makes sense, thanks =)

2-0 after 1.5, Go Dodgers!

2005-04-05 13:48:46
43.   Borchard504
These guys on SF bay area fox are horrible...Help me... Thx for the dodgers.com link
2005-04-05 13:52:33
44.   Mark
Did Izturis fail the steroid test?
2005-04-05 13:57:41
45.   Jacob L
Re: several earlier posts.

Yeah, the rivalry has always been more of a big deal for SF fans, but I think the short term trend is in the other direction for several reasons.

The new park up there has made the SF fan base a little more sedate in general.

Frankly, with the Giants in the race every year for the last decade, they've had bigger fish to fry than "beating LA."

With the growing frustration of rooting for the Dodgers, the rivalry games in LA have been bigger, and, in fact, meaner.

Kinda the exact opposite of the 70s and 80s.

2005-04-05 13:58:59
46.   Jon Weisman
Of all things in Florida - a Juan Encarnacion grand slam off John Smoltz in the first inning.

Lowe has nice command through two IP - 27 pitches, 20 strikes. He's keeping the ball on the ground; Schmidt has allowed five fly outs (plus the HR) in three innings.

2005-04-05 14:00:29
47.   Jon Weisman
"has nice command" - until that Durham HBP.
2005-04-05 14:01:42
48.   scareduck
Did I mention that I'm starting to warm up to this Phillips kid?
2005-04-05 14:03:17
49.   Jon Weisman
Description of play, please.
2005-04-05 14:06:47
50.   Jim Hitchcock
That would be the perfect throw to erase Durham.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-05 14:07:58
51.   scareduck
CS on Ray Durham, 1-6. Beautiful throw apparently, a bullet low.
2005-04-05 14:08:29
52.   Ben P
Too bad Phillips doesn't have LoDuca's "intangibles"

I would describe what that means but I can't, because it's intangible.

2005-04-05 14:08:44
53.   scareduck
... er, CS 2-6.
2005-04-05 14:08:56
54.   Im So Blue
Re #35 - Vinny confirmed that Steve Sax was the last Dodger to lead off with a homer on Opening Day (1988). Dave Roberts homered to lead off a game in 2003.
2005-04-05 14:09:03
55.   FirstMohican
Baserunners ruined Lowe (or Varitek?) last year, so far so good.

What's up with that Vizquel Double and Snow walk? I'm sweating this thing out on gamecast...

2005-04-05 14:10:27
56.   FirstMohican
Since when can't you describe something you can't touch?
2005-04-05 14:10:44
57.   scareduck
Okay, here comes the rabble part of the Dodgers broadcast crew. For the first time in my life, the Angels have better broadcasters in the booth than the Dodgers. Pathetic.
2005-04-05 14:16:30
58.   KAYVMON
Do you guys think that Kent decides to steal on his own or only steals when hes told to?
2005-04-05 14:18:28
59.   Borchard504
:( I still have the Giants announcers off that link...
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/audio/gda/index.jsp?c_id=la
2005-04-05 14:18:33
60.   Bob Timmermann
You can describe Lo Duca's intangibles, but they would be hard to measure.

Mostly because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

2005-04-05 14:21:50
61.   db1022
If Kent does decide to steal, he better hope Depodesta's in the john.

And which Dodger announcer crew is being outpaced by which Angel crew? I hope you're not talking about Phys and Hud. I'd even take Rick Monday over that pair.

2005-04-05 14:23:17
62.   Albert in Hong Kong
oh man... did it have to be alfonzo to tie the game?

hey guys, it doesnt look like kfwb.com plays the game live =p

2005-04-05 14:23:22
63.   Jim Hitchcock
See (hear?) they went back to a female stadium announcer at SBC.
2005-04-05 14:25:53
64.   Daniel
Borchard504, are you choosing the away (KFWB)feed? If you are, then they may have too much traffic on that feed and are redirecting to the Giants feed.
2005-04-05 14:29:43
65.   Albert in Hong Kong
does anyone use MLBtv? can we get the away feed there?
2005-04-05 14:31:14
66.   corey
It sounds to me like the stadium announcer is a 13 yr old boy. Don't tell McCourt about this revenue-enhancing ploy!
2005-04-05 14:31:30
67.   Daniel
You can get the feed with MLB gameday audio. Only $15 for the entire season.
2005-04-05 14:33:50
68.   Brent T
"No more walk. Now I swing" and miss....
2005-04-05 14:34:05
69.   Borchard504
I am doing the MLB TV feed, so thats whats goin on. They must just stream one TV broadcast. Kuiper and Krukow, just dont add up to half of Vin.
2005-04-05 14:37:49
70.   Albert in Hong Kong
wow. lowe must be feeling it... thats the worst 'beat LA' chant i've ever heard on opening day. is it just me or are the giant fans just really tired today?
2005-04-05 14:39:02
71.   Jim Hitchcock
Yes!!!
2005-04-05 14:39:26
72.   scareduck
Talk about taking the Lowe road...
2005-04-05 14:39:50
73.   Bob Timmermann
Lowe was quoted before the season that you shouldn't count on getting foul outs to be a good pitcher.

Worked this inning.

2005-04-05 14:40:00
74.   Jon Weisman
Wow - way to get out of that jam, Lowe.
2005-04-05 14:40:33
75.   Borchard504
Lowe toughened up to get those last three outs didnt he? His ability to hold the runner on first really is disconcerting though. Something for Colborn to work on.
2005-04-05 14:40:35
76.   Albert in Hong Kong
wow. we should all be second-guessing dodger stadium renovations after that inning...
2005-04-05 14:40:39
77.   corey
Wow, runners on 2nd & 3rd with nobody out and Lowe pitched out of it. Was that great pitching, or did he just get lucky? I'm none-too-impressed with Lowe today, although he hasn't been awful. I think his results today are more a product of SF's old lineup rather than Lowe's pitching skill.
2005-04-05 14:43:05
78.   Albert in Hong Kong
if a giant hit that, would it count as a splash hit foul?
2005-04-05 14:45:12
79.   Ben P
Lowe seems to be doing a fair Kaz Ishii impression -- allow as many baserunners as possible without giving up many runs. Though his control does seem to be okay.
2005-04-05 14:45:24
80.   Berkeley Doug
Jim,

The Giants have had a female PA announcer ever since they moved to the new park. She is also the host of a morning show on a local R&B station.

2005-04-05 14:48:41
81.   Albert in Hong Kong
schmidt... striking out the side on the 3-4-5 batters
2005-04-05 14:49:44
82.   Brent T
Yikes. Momentum (if there is such a thing in baseball) has shifted.
2005-04-05 14:50:05
83.   Jim Hitchcock
Thanks, Doug...I had thought they'd dropped her after the first year.
2005-04-05 14:51:16
84.   Neil
"There's no Choi in Mudville. ... Testing your patience a little bit."

Classic Vin

2005-04-05 14:51:21
85.   Jon Weisman
I don't know what the big surprise here is with Lowe. This is what he does - gets a few strikeouts (actually more per inning today than usual), and puts the ball in play on the ground. He depends on his fielders.

Comparing him to Ishii is a little strange when he's walked/hit a total of two batters, allowed about three deeply hit balls and is averaging 15 pitches an inning.

2005-04-05 14:53:03
86.   bokonon42
I haven't heard it today, but I remember her introducing players, last year, as "second base-person", etc.
2005-04-05 14:55:38
87.   Ben P
I was kind of joking about the Ishii thing, Jon. I was just pointing out that Lowe had given up 7 hits, a walk and an HBP in 5 innings but had been able to pitch out of trouble. Maybe I should say he had "scattered" 7 hits over 5 innings.
2005-04-05 14:56:11
88.   Bob Timmermann
Besides if Ishii were pitching, the Dodgers would have scored 9 runs already.

Steve Phillips insists that poor run support for a pitcher is the pitcher's fault.

2005-04-05 15:00:35
89.   Bob Timmermann
According to the MLB.com Gameday chart, the Dodgers haven't had a hit or made an out on the left side of the diamond.

There appears to be one groundout that Vizquel handled near second base.

2005-04-05 15:00:39
90.   scareduck
>>And which Dodger announcer crew is being outpaced by which Angel crew? I hope you're not talking about Phys and Hud. I'd even take Rick Monday over that pair. <<

I'm talking about the radio guys, Markus and Smith.

2005-04-05 15:00:56
91.   Bob Timmermann
He types this as Ledee pops out to third base...
2005-04-05 15:01:11
92.   Marty
I notice the Giants don't put the player's names on their uniforms either. Is that new for them this year too?
2005-04-05 15:03:20
93.   Jon Weisman
Just occuring to me with the thin bench - might we see Jeff Weaver pinch-hit at some point? He's the best active candidate among the pitchers, I think.
2005-04-05 15:04:11
94.   scareduck
So much for that inning. Wake me when the Dodgers come up to bat again.
2005-04-05 15:05:15
95.   scareduck
Marty -- no, they've done that for a couple years now. The majors would seem to be pushing for it, as you're seeing it on a number of clubs. (NL rules require the name on away jerseys.)
2005-04-05 15:05:22
96.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants dropped names from the back of their uniforms when SBC (ne Pac Bell Park) opened.

Just their home uniforms I believe.

And I believe that their home uniforms are cream, not white. I believe that Jeff Kent didn't like the color.

2005-04-05 15:05:43
97.   Eric L
>> I notice the Giants don't put the player's names on their uniforms either. Is that new for them this year too?

Nah, they started doing it a few years back. They saved so much money in doing so that the Giants were able to privately finance SBC Park.

2005-04-05 15:05:59
98.   alnyden
Wow, I REALLY miss Ross Porter. This is going to take a long time to get used to. Players change every season, but the announcers never did.
2005-04-05 15:07:24
99.   Bob Timmermann
Of the Giants 21 putouts, 16 are by RF Alou and C Matheny.

1B Snow has 2.

2005-04-05 15:15:36
100.   joekings
And the defense takes its first hit.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-04-05 15:15:55
101.   Dodgerkid
Beltre would have gotten that.
2005-04-05 15:15:59
102.   scareduck
DePodesta bashers simultaneously start gnashing their teeth about Beltre.
2005-04-05 15:17:05
103.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, but now it's time to face the newly revamped Giants bullpen.

Although I would think with Izturis, Choi, and Drew up, it should be Scott Eyre coming in.

2005-04-05 15:17:12
104.   Jon Weisman
A Valentin error? It's like having tomorrow's newspaper delivered directly to your brain - no need to even read the articles. You already know ...
2005-04-05 15:17:23
105.   Mark
Oops!
2005-04-05 15:17:29
106.   Albert in Hong Kong
Yea, Beltre would have done that so cleanly.
2005-04-05 15:17:30
107.   corey
Join me in boycotting ESPN this season. I don't want to hear their I-told-you-so's after that Valentin boot.
2005-04-05 15:19:10
108.   Mark
Somewhere, Bill Plaschke is openly salivating as he fires up his copy of Microsoft Word...
2005-04-05 15:19:11
109.   Neil
Nakamura would have gotten that.
2005-04-05 15:21:39
110.   Bob Timmermann
Ron Cey would have fielded it except at age 57, his arm isn't all that good.
2005-04-05 15:22:33
111.   Jim Hitchcock
Wanted: Live Chickens.

Contact: Dodger Bats...

2005-04-05 15:22:57
112.   Jon Weisman
Anyway, it was the walk to Vizquel that was the killer, no?
2005-04-05 15:24:12
113.   Bob Timmermann
So in the 8th does Perez play second and Kent move to first?
2005-04-05 15:25:28
114.   Neil
Jim,

It's the breaking balls that are killing 'em. What they need is Jobu.

2005-04-05 15:28:14
115.   Eric L
Of course, the poor hitting (today at least) has nothing to do with Jason Schmidt..
2005-04-05 15:28:38
116.   corey
I challenge Joe Morgan to bash Antonio Perez with that little arm spasm!!
2005-04-05 15:28:50
117.   Jim Hitchcock
Cora would have fouled that off.
2005-04-05 15:29:07
118.   Adam
come on, is eyre that unhittable that all they can do is foul stuff off and then strikeout?
2005-04-05 15:29:14
119.   Dodgerkid
I'm surprised Alou didn't leave Schmidt in for a 700 pitch count.
2005-04-05 15:30:38
120.   Mark
Isn't Drew just about due for a trip to the DL?
2005-04-05 15:33:46
121.   Bob Timmermann
Lo Duca is 2 for 3 today! Encarnacion with a grand slam! Adrian Beltre has solved the problem of world hunger! Frank McCourt lost all his money at Santa Anita betting it on a longshot in the 6th! Paul DePodesta signed Ayn Rand to a minor league contract!
2005-04-05 15:35:17
122.   Dodgerkid
I think I'm going to throw up.
2005-04-05 15:35:52
123.   scareduck
Okay, it's no accident the Dodgers were swept in the Freeway Series. This is uncanny.
2005-04-05 15:37:10
124.   scareduck
Bob -- ROFL! I almost turned off Gameday Audio, but that now I know Ayn Rand will be our new starting third basecorpse, I can see our Moneyball GM has everything under control.
2005-04-05 15:37:37
125.   Jon Weisman
C'mon, Rob - you know better than to put that out there. Look who was on the field in the final innings of the Freeway Series - minor leaguers interspersed throughout the lineups for both teams. There's no relationship.

Unless that's another joke that I've missed.

2005-04-05 15:40:42
126.   scareduck
Not a joke -- just a transient wave of pessimism.
2005-04-05 15:41:53
127.   Bob Timmermann
The photo of Kelly Wunsch on Gameday is not something I would use to get acting roles.
2005-04-05 15:43:41
128.   Adam
This whole thing makes me sick to my stomache...I've spent the whole afternoon doing nothing but watching the MLB gameday...now I have work to do...
2005-04-05 15:43:42
129.   Jim Hitchcock
Is it worse than the Todd Hundley shot was on DiamondVision?
2005-04-05 15:43:58
130.   Sam NYC
I've been pretty critical of DePo's moves but some people need to chill out. Every play brings some grumbling about who used to be around. I don't want to get hysterical about the way that Kent, Drew and Valentin perform today because it is, afterall, just today. But I have this question for the people who seem to back every move DePo makes: At what point do we concede that Choi stinks? I mean, do you guys even watch him at the plate? His bat looks so slow I can actual read the label on it. How many times does he have to strike out swinging before someone puts a stop to this?
2005-04-05 15:45:29
131.   Brent T
Bottom line: Didn't we expect to lose opening day in SF vs. Schmidt? I'm satisfied with the overall performance, especially Lowe's.

I like the pitching matchups the next two days, assuming the alien inhabiting Tomko late last season has left him.

2005-04-05 15:46:33
132.   Eric L
SAM -

When Choi actually shows real evidence that he stinks.. including today, we have seen a total of 64 ABs with him in a Dodger uniform.

2005-04-05 15:48:30
133.   Eric L
Oh, and I'm not gonna cry over Choi striking out against someone who averaged more than a strike out an inning last season.
2005-04-05 15:48:37
134.   scareduck
Alex Cora would have homered.
2005-04-05 15:48:56
135.   Adam
thank you milton bradley...way to go
2005-04-05 15:49:51
136.   Jon Weisman
Sam, the irony in your statement is pretty funny. And I don't say that as a shot - just as an indication of how we can all fall into the trap. Me, I'm much more worried about seeing Valentin out there too often (more for his offense than his defense).

As far as Choi goes, he's gone all the way from 62 at-bats as a Dodger to 65 - after a good track record with other teams. He's 25 years old. I don't think we're at that point yet.

2005-04-05 15:50:01
137.   scareduck
Hey, did you guys check out Gameday Mini? Kinda neat -- you can park it on the side of your desktop.
2005-04-05 15:50:57
138.   scareduck
My new baseball technique is stoppable.
2005-04-05 15:51:06
139.   Borchard504
Defense is the end of this story....
2005-04-05 15:51:45
140.   corey
That was depressing. No offense, shaky defense...2003? ugh.
2005-04-05 15:52:32
141.   Mark
The Good: D. Lowe's opening day line. 7 IP, 2ER, 6K, 103-70.

The Bad: The 2-3-4 opening day line. 1 for 11 with 5K.

The Ugly: "Diamond Hee Seop"? "The Boy From Choi"? "The .210 Parallel"? I can't think of a good one.

2005-04-05 15:56:08
142.   Brent T
Everyone (i.e., the media) loves defense. Everyone criticizes the new Dodger defense. Nobody criticized the horrific Giants defense last year. Praise for the 2004 Dodger defense was subdued. I'm not sure I understand the double standard. Why does everyone (I still mean the media) praise the Giants and pick them to be a World Series contender?
2005-04-05 15:56:19
143.   CollinT
So, can this loss be chalked up to opening day jitters and miscommunication between relatively new teammates? I sure hope so.
2005-04-05 15:56:47
144.   LetsGoDodgers
Kudos to Encarnacion's performance today vs. Smoltz.

If today's hitting woes are indicative of what this lineup does vs. an elite pitcher, then my concerns (albeit farsighted) lie in the ability to go deep into the playoffs where you need to make good pitchers look bad in order to win a series and advance to the next round.

The fielding has been pretty much as expected, unfortunately.

2005-04-05 15:57:43
145.   Eric L
If the Dodgers offense continues to not score runs, be worried..

Repeat to yourself.. they faced one of the better pitchers in the NL today. I would go so far to say that he is the best pitcher in the division (Jack Peavy might disagree).

I don't worry when a guy like Schmidt essentially shuts down the offense.

2005-04-05 15:58:20
146.   Berkeley Doug
Jim - The Giants did have a female announcer who they let go after a year and then they replaced her with another female announcer.

If we can get 2 ER over 7 IN from Lowe every outing then we all should be very pleased.

2005-04-05 15:59:57
147.   Dr Love
It's one game. One game against one of the best pitchers in the league. Tomorrow will be a different story.
2005-04-05 16:00:47
148.   alnyden
I don't think any "I told you so's" are in order for at least 20-30 games. Let's give this team a chance. Even Choi. Personally I'm a bit baffled that some are predicting this team can win more than 90 games. With all the weak spots in the order, I just don't see it. I think most of the moves were made with the future, not the present, in mind. But last season was two seasons worth of fun, so whatever happens this year is just bonus, in my opinion.

Even with the loss -- happy opening day, everyone.

2005-04-05 16:03:09
149.   LetsGoDodgers
In stranding 7 baserunners, Alou kept it from being a rout. Hopefully his lack of success in the 4-hole continues, at least for this series.
2005-04-05 16:03:22
150.   DodgerJoe
Although I am disappointed in today's performance, hitting more than defense, I do take solace in the fact the Dodgers did lose last year's opener 8-2.

I don't like the fact that there were never any scoring chances. I mean, other than the sac fly by Phillips, how many other opportunities were there to score (guys on second or third with less than two outs)?

I was very impressed with Lowe going into SF and throwing very well. Wunsch looked very impressive.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-04-05 16:03:56
151.   gvette
Originally I thought it would take till Mother's Day for Nakamura to come back, but he may be boarding the flight from McCarron around the time the new Pope gets named.

You figure that Drew, Kent and Bradley are going to hit, you hope that Choi will, but Valentin....

2005-04-05 16:07:28
152.   molokai
Alfonzo 1
Valentin 0

Went the way I expected other then the home run by Izzy. Losing to Schimdt is nothing to be ashamed of. At least we didn't have to worry about who would blow the save:)

2005-04-05 16:11:24
153.   JJoeScott
Choi now 10 for 65 as a Dodger. Greg Brock was better.
2005-04-05 16:17:47
154.   Xeifrank
JT Snow has a nice OBP.
2005-04-05 16:21:28
155.   Jim Hitchcock
I'm with gvette...think Nakamura can act as a spark in the lineup...something Valentin will never be.
2005-04-05 16:25:20
156.   Sam NYC
Jon,

Not ironic at all. And that was a shot.

Major league pitchers adjust and when they do, they expose weaknesses of a hitter, i.e. poor bat speed. So numbers can be skewed when there's a small sample and they reflect the relative newness of a player.

By the way, I'm not judging him from his at-bats as a Dodger. I wasn't impressed before he was on the team. Facts about Choi's "strong" numbers:

Nine of his 15 home runs in 2004 came in April.

In his first two seasons (i.e. not with Dodgers), he struck out one-third of the time.

Last year he struck out 96 times in 343 at-bats.

Look, do you think I don't want the guy to succeed? I would love him to hit 30 homers and knock in 80-100 RBI. Based on what I've seen of him, as a Dodger and before, that's not going to happen. He's Kevin Maas.

I will admit this: I didn't watch today's game, nor did I listen to it on the radio. I just watched the Gamecast. But someone answer me this about Choi's strikeouts: were they on fastballs, in on the hands? Was his fly-out was on a pitch up and in, right? If not then I take it back and I'll give him a chance.

2005-04-05 16:26:03
157.   the OZ
Izturis is on pace to hit 162 home runs, though he trails Dunn by 162 in that department.

Nady doesn't project to hit that many because his 2 came at Coors field, and it would be foolish to make a full season's projections based on 1 game at Coors...

Kent is on pace to steal 162 bases! Who said he was too old?

:)

2005-04-05 16:26:19
158.   Rainman
The sky has not quite fallen as of yet, blue faithful. As has been said on this board already, this is only one game, and a tough assignment against probably the National League's toughest starter. (Wouldn't you rather face Pedro? I would.)

Keep in mind that it may take a little adjustment for this bunch to get comfortable with each other, but I'm encouraged by D-Lowe's outing, and know that the hitting will come - potentially sooner rather than later, with Tomko and Reuter on tap. That being said, I'd expect Nakamura to get a look in late April/early May if Valentin struggles.

Stay level - 161 more games to go!

2005-04-05 16:44:17
159.   Jon Weisman
Well, Sam, again, I didn't mean anything personal by what I said - I take it as more symptomatic of reactions we can all have.

But you have to admit something's odd. You said in your earlier statement: "I mean, do you guys even watch him at the plate? His bat looks so slow I can actual read the label on it." And now you say, "I will admit this: I didn't watch today's game."

So again, I think there is irony because you're reaction seems exactly the kind of overreaction you began your comment by advising us against. Choi has less of a track record to be judged with than any of the other players you mentioned.

Pitchers may have adjusted to Choi, but I don't know how you can be sure at this point that Choi can't adjust back.

2005-04-05 16:45:02
160.   Jon Weisman
Sorry - "your reaction"
2005-04-05 16:54:45
161.   everett
re: nakamura getting a look ...

isn't he thinking about voiding his minor league contract?

http://6-4-2.blogspot.com/2005/04/nakamura-may-void-his-contract.html

--ev

2005-04-05 16:55:49
162.   Jon Weisman
That's old news, Ev. He agreed to go to Las Vegas.
2005-04-05 17:02:15
163.   ElysianPark62
I am not even going to look at the papers tomorrow. "I told you so's" will abound.

While I was very disappointed with the "D" today, people have to realize that last year's defensive team, if still intact, likely wouldn't have been able to repeat in 2005 what they did last year! They almost set an all-time record for least errors, for Pete's sake. There's this thing called regression to the mean.

It's too early to go overboard and predict doom and gloom. (However, as I listen to post-game Dodger Talk, 90% of the callers are. How shocking.)

DePodesta has said that he will evaluate the team and make necessary changes. I think he will. If JosE ValEntin is not the answer, Nakamura could be it. I don't think it will take until August for them to make changes.

We don't know what will happen. They looked even worse on OD last year.

2005-04-05 17:07:47
164.   everett
thanks ... that's what I get for relying on 6-4-2 for my daily dodger news instead of mlb.com ...

--ev

2005-04-05 17:15:19
165.   Nolan
The most frustrating thing about today is not that we lost - we'll probably lose another 65 to 75 games this year - but the way in which we lost...The Karl Ravechs of the world are going to use this as proof that DePo bungled the off-season, that Billy Beane is a moron, that Joe Morgan should be President, that the earth really is flat, etc. Thankfully I'm not in LA right now, so I won't have to listen to the talk shows...

BTW - What is all this nonsense about Choi's "bat speed"? What exactly is the speed at which he swings his bat? What is the speed at which others swing their bat? Can someone give me some evidence that Choi has a "slow" bat and that this trait is predictive of Choi's level of success?

Lastly, kudos to Derek Lowe for pitching a nice game - a fact that I have no doubt will go unnoticed by the anti-DePo-cats-and-dogs-living-together-sky-is-falling crowd that, for some reason, is hoping for the Dodgers to fail...

2005-04-05 17:29:29
166.   Improbable88
Opening Day 1988 was very similar to today's game, featuring a early sputtering Dodger offense despite a leadoff homerun, and a frustrating loss. Let's hope the season proceeds accordingly.

I'm ready for Nakamura--Valentin looked like a little leaguer when preparing to field his groundballs today. He should be relegated to a pinch hit role if we cannot get rid fo him somehow. I mean, we can't be worried about too much of an average dropoff, right? I'm ready for The Gold Gloved, high stepping man from Japan

2005-04-05 17:32:52
167.   Linkmeister
The only thing I found disturbing today was what Vinnie touched on: it appears to be a trend. Jump out early with some runs, stop hitting, make a mistake or two, lose.
2005-04-05 17:45:04
168.   Suffering Bruin
Sam, if you need a pitch-by-pitch of Choi's AB's, get thee here: http://choicentral.blogspot.com/

... where apparently, Choi was quite the topic of conversation in the postgame.

2005-04-05 18:03:57
169.   Bob Timmermann
But will Choi start against one of the most fearsome lefties in all the NL in Kirk Rueter?

Rueter makes lefties knees buckle. Usually because they're laughing at his ears.

2005-04-05 18:09:11
170.   Steve
I think I'll stay in Utah, where nobody's heard of baseball, and I'll pretend I haven't either.
2005-04-05 18:11:02
171.   scareduck
Wow, the burdens of being slow.
2005-04-05 19:36:17
172.   Howard Fox
Just weighing in here, and not that my opinion means anything, but I think Nakamura will be the regular 3B, Kent will be the regular 1B, and Perez will be at 2B by June, if not sooner.

I don't think they will wait very long for Valentin or Choi if they start racking up losses against the division rivals and start to fall behind quickly.

2005-04-05 20:56:06
173.   Bob Timmermann
I feel obliged to say that there are 161 more games to play and the Giants have only one Jason Schmidt on staff.

Yes, things could change later. But I doubt any major changes would happen before Werth, Penny and Gagne are all healthy again. Unless it turns out that one of them won't come back.

2005-04-05 21:23:56
174.   Bob Timmermann
I liked this comment by Huey Lewis, who sang the National Anthem before the game.

He was asked if players should be able to choose their own music before they come up to hit.
He said, "No, I don't get to pick which ball players I want to see come up to bat."

2005-04-05 23:49:00
175.   Strike4
Anyone disagree they're a 80-100 win team (e.g. .494-.617 winning percentage) where 48% of mlb teams finished 2002-2004?
2005-04-06 00:07:29
176.   fanerman91
Haha fair point Strike4. Unfortunately I suppose our uncertainty may in fact be that high.
2005-04-06 00:59:10
177.   Tommy Naccarato
4th Place-Get used to it.
2005-04-06 01:17:25
178.   Jim Hitchcock
Tommy, this one's for you....Pfffft.
2005-04-06 04:07:10
179.   DodgerfaninNY
Wow. People talk about how brutal the New York press is. Let me tell ya, they got nothing on Plaschke and Simers.
2005-04-06 06:47:56
180.   Colorado Blue
Tommy N sounding like your grandpa - Get used to it ;)
2005-04-06 07:55:00
181.   gvette
"The ball and the line are the same color"
Jose Valentin

Wow, when did THAT happen! Other discoveries by Valentin; The earth is round; Porn Star mustaches have been out of fashion for 20 years;

"There was also no question that Izturis and Cora would have made the play"
Bill Plaschke

You mean the same Alex Cora who can't crack the starting lineup of the Cleveland Indians?

"Bradley made a dive for a ball in center field that Steve Finley would have caught..."
T.J. Simers

You mean the same Steve Finley that you ripped all last summer as a creaky old man?

"This is about the best organization in town, name the sport."
Tim Brown's love letter to Arte

Is Anaheim in LA?, Is Jared Weaver in Anaheim?, And what would the press reaction in LA be if the Dodgers got rid of their All Star thirdbaseman, top reliever, a starting infielder and "heart and soul"?

2005-04-06 08:50:57
182.   Sushirabbit
Heh. I get a kick out of reading the comments. Does anyone else feel that Valentin looked nervous? Like a little leaguer? I do think he has some offensive value, it may be pretty limited compared to Beltre of last year, but I'd bet equal potential to Beltre having a collapse this season.

Kent, is a very good 2B, people are nuts to be critizing him this early. The man has a canon of an arm, too.

I liked the aggressive early at-bats, Schmidt adjusted well (like what do you expect) (see also Santana).

Does everyone think Nakamura can hit right away? I didn't get to see him, but our prior experience suggests he will have big period of adjustment.

I'm still pulling for them

2005-04-06 08:55:47
183.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, the Dodgers are in fourth. Tied with the chic pick for the NL West, San Diego.

I expect more changes to the standings in coming days. That's a promise!

2005-04-06 09:01:02
184.   sofa king blue
Anyone know how to translate "slump buster" into Korean?
2005-04-06 09:06:47
185.   NPB
Opening Day is a fine holiday and it's a huge relief for those of us who play fantasy baseball, but it's totally meaningless in the scope of a 162-game season. That said, this is one of my least-favorite editions of the Dodgers ever, and I don't think they're going to be very good this year. Signing Valentin to replace Beltre and dumping LoDuca and Mota for Choi and Penny were the height of GM hubris. DePodesta will pay.

Eh. But those are old observations. That late-inning defense made me sad.

2005-04-06 09:07:25
186.   LowlyDodgerFan
What's disturbing about this isn't that the Dodger's lost but the manner of their lost.

We were told that the defense didn't take that big of a hit from Valentin. The "stats" said that Valentin was one of the best defensive SS in the American league. In fact, the "stats" said he was better than Izzie.

The "stats" also told us that the hitting would be more powerful and we would score more runs.

Yet, the error that allowed the winning run to score was committed by Valentin and our 2-6 batters went 2-18 with 8 strike outs.

Admittedly, this was only the first game and anything could happen in the next 161 games. But, when the defeat was so predictable, it is hard to gain any solace from that thought.

2005-04-06 09:13:40
187.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, but wasn't the defeat predictable because the Dodgers were facing Jason Schmidt rather than some inherent defect in the hitters and fielders?

But is there a good manner to lose in? Should the Dodgers have hit 5 home runs only to be outslugged by the Giants?

It seems that a lot of people have a certain expectation of how well or how poorly the team will do and then fit their interpretation of Game 1 of 162 to adjust to that viewpoint.

2005-04-06 09:14:26
188.   Vishal
i saw a bit of "southern ca sports report" on fox sports, and those people were saying the most asinine things.

i simply don't understand how anyone in their right mind can still be talking and whining about alex-freaking-cora (alexcora!) when his replacement is JEFF KENT. i don't care if jeff kent is the worst defender in the league, as long as he can still hit. and the fact is, kent is NOT the worst defender in the league; he's actually a pretty good second baseman. even alex cora himself, who is a pretty smart guy from what i hear, if HE were in charge of the dodgers, would've picked up jeff kent and let himself go if he had the opportunity, because it is a clear, unequivocal upgrade.

2005-04-06 09:18:00
189.   Bob Timmermann
I was told that in Pope John Paul II's will he asked to be buried with a baseball card of Alex Cora as he believes it has mystical powers and will ensure his swift entrance into heaven.
2005-04-06 09:18:36
190.   Eric L
>>"The ball and the line are the same color"
Jose Valentin

Actually, I was going to make that point. I remember from my days of playing 1st base (not at a high level), the best way to field a ground ball up the line was to back-hand it.

Again, I'm no expert, but if you square up to field the ball up the line, you have the base, the line, and the ball in your field of vision.

2005-04-06 09:18:59
191.   Vishal
oh yeah, and they were also talking about valentin's "weak arm" and the "long throw from third base" that he has to get used to, since he's a natural shortstop. everything i've read and seen tells me that valentin has a very strong arm. and in fact the throw he made yesterday looked hard enough to me, it was just off target because he rushed it. these media people either are totally biased or just plain stupid. meanwhile, of course they couldn't help but gush all over the angels and their offseason moves...
2005-04-06 09:28:28
192.   Bob Timmermann
Aren't throws from the hole at shortstop longer than throws across the diamond from third base according to my rudimentary knowledge of geometry?
2005-04-06 09:28:51
193.   Eric L
>>Yes, but wasn't the defeat predictable >>because the Dodgers were facing Jason >>Schmidt rather than some inherent defect >>in the hitters and fielders?

Yeah, were the fans and talking-heads in Boston getting ready to jump off a bridge on Sunday night because the Sox only managed 1 run against Randy Johnson?

The Sox also made a couple of errors that night...

2005-04-06 09:31:21
194.   Bob Timmermann
The Yankee fans are unhappy even though they won their first two games because Rivera blew another save against the Red Sox.
2005-04-06 09:37:50
195.   Eric L
Buster Olney might be a bigger idiot than the LA Times guys. Did you know that yesterday proved what everyone around baseball has been saying?

According to him, no one was surprised that Valentin made a decisive error that led to the Dodger loss.

If the infield is indeed in shambles in a month or two from now, I will be the first to say it. Anyone who uses one error to base his assesment on the infield defense is an idiot (sorry, didn't want to get all MGL on him).

Apparently, the 3 hitless at-bats by Choi also show that he has a slow bat.

2005-04-06 09:38:35
196.   LowlyDodgerFan
The predictibility wasn't in the loss. Schmidt is one of the best pitchers in the game. It was the manner of the loss.

No hitting and errors.

If the Dodgers got a few hits and committed no errors and still lost, that wouldn't have been disturbing.

The fact that the Dodger heart of the lineup did almost nothing is disturbing.

When I heard on the radio that Valentin committed an error and allowed a run to score, my first thought was "wow, who could have seen that? Oh, yeah. I did."

Utterly predictable and utterly disappointing.

2005-04-06 09:39:22
197.   dan reines
lowlydodgerfan: was that dodger loss really so predictable? because i notice that you didn't actually, um, predict it. not here, anyway. would you please predict the rest of the games before the games start? if, after a week or two, your predictions are all spot-on, i'd love to use your powers of prediction to help me pay off my mortgage.

tommy: i know you're not a fan of the dodgers' offseason moves. we all do. and yes, if all 162 go the way yesterday's did, then you'll certainly have something to crow about. but do us a favor: if you're going to crow after one game that seems to confirm your fears, will you also come in and eat your hat after every game the dodgers win? will you write "derek lowe was an upgrade over jose lima" when derek low pitches a fine game the day after the beloved lima gets rocked? if brad penny comes back and pitches the way many of us hope he will, will you say "gee, paul depodesta has really improved this staff" every time he wins a ballgame? i'll concede that the whole exercise will become tiresome pretty quickly, but really, fair is fair.

jon: i notice that, despite the opening of the season, you're posting less frequently than in the past. i'm surmising that your non-Dodger Thoughts life is busy these days. is it fair to assume that you're running lacma now that rich is stepping aside?

2005-04-06 09:40:17
198.   db1022
It's easy to pick on Valentin, but what about the defensive liability that is Gio Carrara? He made an error too.

Face facts, errors are part of the game. Beltre made errors also, he'll even make them in Seattle.

I think this is called "irony", but I don't think it should be an indication of things to come, merely one of 162.

2005-04-06 09:41:36
199.   Eric L
How does the no-hitting work into both parts of the equation?

I mean, if you wouldn't have beeen bugged if they played flawless defense and still didn't hit, I don't understand why the hitting mattered.

2005-04-06 09:46:14
200.   db1022
If the Dodgers don't muster more than a few hits against Reuter today, and Valentin makes another costly error...

But let's not walk on eggshells. These guys need to get out and play, and not worry about the media or expectations.

Field that ball Valentin! Work that count Choi!

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-04-06 09:54:00
201.   Colorado Blue
If this had been, say, game 54 of the season and the Dodgers lost to SF 4 - 2 on lackluster hitting and late-inning defensive blunders BUT the Dodgers were 32 - 22 with a 3 game lead, would the Pope still wish he had Alex Cora's BB card?

Geez, I think we all need to get a grip here people! Oh, I forgot that the LAT writers and ESPN desk jockeys don't read Jon's site... aawwww, they'd just be remarking how the Dodgers would be 37 - 17 with Cora and Beltre.

2005-04-06 10:00:57
202.   dan reines
as for the lat thing, i have to say i think the myopia is mainly limited to plashke and simers. i even give simers a pass because that's his schtick -- he makes fun of the local boys. the dodgers could be on their way to their first division title in nearly a decade, and he'd still be calling them the choking dogs -- that's just what he does.

plashke, on the other hand, is a broken record. i'm curious -- does anyone know how he received the trade for finley last year? because he (among many others) seems to have gotten awfully attached to the guy in a few months.

2005-04-06 10:03:51
203.   Vishal
hahaha, db1022, you remind me of my t-ball coach almost 20 years ago. he used to yell "hit that ball, vishull!", "catch that ball, vishull!", in the most redneck voice ever. it was awesome.

lowlydodgerfan:

"If the Dodgers got a few hits and committed no errors and still lost, that wouldn't have been disturbing."

they did get a few hits. errors happen any time, so why does an opening day error matter more than a random game in the middle of june? in fact, it should matter less because people are still working out jitters and rust, and valentin for one is still adjusting to third base.

"The fact that the Dodger heart of the lineup did almost nothing is disturbing."

again, one game shouldn't be disturbing to anyone, because one game is NOT a trend, it's an isolated incident. oliver perez got hammered the other day, smoltz got rocked yesterday... johan santana gave up 4 runs in the first inning last night.. is that disturbing? no. is it indicative of any of those guys' abilities? no. it happens. the heart of a lineup can go hitless facing a good pitcher or even a lousy one on any particular day. it happens. it happened to the red sox on their opening day, and nobody is questioning whether they're a good team or not. now if it happens for a whole month straight, then THAT would be disturbing. but try not to draw too many conclusions from one game.

2005-04-06 10:17:22
204.   LowlyDodgerFan
Again, I said the manner of the lost was predictable. Not the loss itself. When the Dodgers decided an old, poor fielding shortstop would be a great thirdbase man, I predicted that Valentin would lose some games for the Dodgers. And, he lost the first game.

I agree that Beltre made errors. Last year, he made 10. Valentin made 20 last year. And for a better comparison, Izturis made 10 last year.

I agree that this is only the first game and the Dodgers lost the opener last year. Right now, though, I'm not comforted by that fact.

2005-04-06 10:22:33
205.   Jon Weisman
See my newest post. Nobody thinks Valentin is better than Beltre. The question is whether the team overall can win.

Last year's team had Hideo Nomo as its Opening Day starter. If you don't look at the overall squad, you're missing the forest for the trees.

2005-04-06 10:29:22
206.   Jon Weisman
By the way, 200+ comments is a record - in under 24 hours no less. Glad people are enjoying coming here.
2005-04-06 10:31:43
207.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
When the Dodgers decided an old, poor fielding shortstop would be a great thirdbase man, I predicted that Valentin would lose some games for the Dodgers. And, he lost the first game.

Does your thinking work the other way? If Kent wins a game with a day at the plate of which Cora can only dream, will you give credit to that upgrade?

2005-04-06 10:39:58
208.   bojangles
Bob T. If makin' fun of someone's appearance is the best y'can do for your funny crack of the half-hour, put a sock in it. (#169) No class.
Jon: "good track record" - if the record was, indeed, good, and I can borrow the other part of your petard ("only 25"), why did these two not-exactly-bottom-of-the-barrel franchises
(especially the Marlins, with their eye for young talent) both in need at the position and from the left side of the plate, let him go?
Apparently, "good" wasn't nearly good enough, and 25 wasn't nearly young and promising enough, which leads me to the disappointed Nolan, and the fact that watchers of baseball (not watchers of two-dimensional, highly suspect abstractions of baseball) have failed to describe the complex process of attacking a blazing and darting round object with a thin wooden stick at the precise milli-second necessary so badly that he is moved to dismiss our decades-honored terminology as "nonsense," thereby either describing our collective and age-old deficiencies or, just possibly, his paper-blind, not very-old-at-all own.
David Ross, likeable as he was for so many of the uninitiates to actual witness of the game, (one of the passionate young wrote here a few weeks weeks ago "I guess we were all delusional about David Ross" -nope, only the Lovers of Two Dimensions were - many of us who pay homage to live ball and what even relative novices can learn by so doing noted time after time he did not have major-league reflexes to propel his bat into optimum hitting position enough to save himself a place at which the young GM had the Flock starving) was bound to be gone. Master Choi seems to suffer (to what extent, I will agree, not as yet definitively determined) the same disease, and has been witnessed by one of the "codgers" at least enough that he could eerily describe his at-bats (Sam in NYC, on the money) without having seen them.
Re; Valentin. A few months ago, in descibing the GM's reactionary move to acquire Valentin, and having seen the player over the years while living in the Midwest, I offered that he was part of some consistently disappointing White Sox teams, and that he never stood out, especially with the money on the table, as a "money" player in the old-fashioned sense, never played against that disappointing grain. I was immediately challenged (and faced the challenge with the yawn it deserved) to provide the stats. In place of stats, I offer you Lovers of the Two-dimensional yesterday's critical three-dimensional boot, with more surely to come. And, as sauce, the after-game comment I saw quoted in the LA News, to the effect that maybe fewer balls will find him in critical situations at third from now on. Wow!!!! (Do typical moneyball guys want the ball hit elsewhere?)
Re: Kent at second on the failed dp - my eyes tell me Izturis more than Kent, if indeed there was fault to be found.
Bradley: Still, from the left side, curiously passive with the bat and still curiously unfinished in the field. Still at the top of my Most Over-rated Dodgers list. I agree he looks like he has the tools. His fairly consistent failure to even begin to optimize them (like Ross, he's not a baseball kid anymore) would have me tearless should he go. And his crack about learning so much while in jail (something to the effect that even more conspirators than he previously understood were responsible for his being there, NOT to include the only conspirator who, in most human dilemmas, counts) almost begs for a return to bad-boy boondogglery.
(Concrete: the missed catch in the eighth(?) and pitchers throwing him batting-practice fastballs on hitter's counts (4th inning, I think, 1-0 count; and, again, at 2-1, though that pitch was only eminently hittable, while the 1-0 was crushable).
This team has serious architectural flaws everywhere you look; the choice to dismantle a dazzling, reliable defense (what a surprise it just happened to appear in a playoff year)
was highly risky - and I don't foresee the rewards in other parts of the design that the young draftsman apparently does. That so many of those flaws revealed themselves in the opener is only ironic. The skepticism, while premature in some ways, will prove to be sound. That's why I ain't givin' much energy to this year's addition the rest of the way. Would be glad, as Sam in NYC would about Choi, to be proven wrong. Hell, I was wrong last year (and Jeremy was right!)
2005-04-06 10:47:27
209.   Sushirabbit
I boldly predict that we will crush the gnats tonight, with an offensive explosion.

And even if it comes true, I guarantee I couldn't make enough money off future predictions to buy lunch for a week, let alone pay off my mortgage! :-)

Still, Perez is probably not overly inspired by the defensive work.

I'm ready to go for 300 posts.

2005-04-06 10:50:32
210.   Sushirabbit
I always hate it when someone uses "we"...
I mean the Dodgers will crush the gnats.

I don't think I could stand in and get plunked in the butt by a Lowe changeup, let alone a good fastball. Was it Boone that got plunked by Santana? Ouch.

2005-04-06 10:50:40
211.   Palatine
This being about post #209, I don't know if this will get answered. Nor do I have the time to read all previous posts, so if it's been answered already. . . .

What's the point of making the batting order the criterion for the matchups? Wouldn't it be better to make the matchups by position and consider the overall performance (read: include defense) of players? Clearly, nine out of ten times Matheny's defense will have a larger impact than Phillip's offense no matter where they bat.

2005-04-06 11:00:01
212.   Jon Weisman
Well, Palatine, the matchup premise to begin with was flawed - obviously so, since I didn't account for bench or bullpen, nor did I account for the degree that one individual matchup was won. (For example, I consider the difference between Drew and Snow larger than the difference between Phillips and Matheny. So I wouldn't read it as seriously as you were. All I was trying to do was compare batting order. Perhaps, though, I shouldn't have used the word "matchups."

As a side point, I'm not clear on why Matheny's defense will be more important than Phillips' offense 90 percent of the time.

2005-04-06 11:18:56
213.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
the choice to dismantle a dazzling, reliable defense (what a surprise it just happened to appear in a playoff year)

I'd argue the defense was even better in '03 - but tell me what that team won, Mr. Bojangles.

2005-04-06 11:59:35
214.   Sushirabbit
Back again. Does anyone remember what Hamilton was like at Third? 1988 and all... Maybe Drew can play Gibson in the WS?
2005-04-06 12:10:33
215.   Jim Hitchcock
Bojangles, hope you aren't suggesting this board should fit your notion of PC...it would take some of the fun out of it.
2005-04-06 12:18:37
216.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Does anyone remember what Hamilton was like at third?
Cannon of an arm, to the point he once pitched. Reliable glove.
2005-04-06 12:35:13
217.   Icaros
"Bojangles, hope you aren't suggesting this board should fit your notion of PC...it would take some of the fun out of it."

I just hope the board doesn't start fitting his notion of acceptable post length.

2005-04-06 12:39:16
218.   Jon Weisman
In response to one of Bojangles many points in #208, about Choi, it sort of smacks of having things both ways. Choi wasn't let go by Chicago or Florida, he was traded. If all it takes to be worthless is be traded twice, well, that's gonna be a long list - with Guillermo Mota coming to mind immediately.
2005-04-06 12:43:40
219.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
If all it takes to be worthless is be traded twice...
I'd hate to see where that leaves Rogers Hornsby.
2005-04-06 12:45:45
220.   Icaros
If all it takes to be worthless is be traded twice, well, that's gonna be a long list - with Guillermo Mota coming to mind immediately.

Sammy "Say It Ain't" Sosa also comes to mind, and that's not even counting his recent trade to Baltimore (#3).

Of course, no one ever accused the Rangers and White Sox of knowing what they were doing.

2005-04-06 13:36:36
221.   DodgerfaninNY
This from Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus, a favorite website of Moneyballers. "Valentin is not the third baseman that Beltre is, and in fact, has precious little experience at the position. On the other hand, he makes eight million less than Beltre does, and that money threw seven good innings at the Giants yesterday."
My own thoughts are that last year's team went as far as their talent could take them. Is there anyone out there who believes Beltre, Finley, Cora, and Lima will have better seasons ahead than they did last year? At least this year's team has the potential to go farther in the play-offs. Just on starting pitching alone. Didn't Elmer freakin' Dessens start a post season game for the Dodgers last year?
2005-04-07 09:47:36
222.   Palatine
Okay, John, I was taking the matchups more seriously than you intended.

As for Matheny and Phillips, I simply mean that Matheny's handling of the staff and ability to throw out runners/control the opponents running game will have a larger impact on the outcome of most games, than will Phillips' offense. Someone posted before that defense was irrelevant. I think that's a ridiculous notion. I think defense is often underrated by the general fan.

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