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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Gibson Had It, Kent Has It
2005-04-18 09:10
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

So without getting too carried away by a 9-2 start - you might have been optimistic about 2005, but probably not this optimistic - there's one feeling that's becoming hard to suppress.

Anyone else getting a Kirk Gibson vibe off of Jeff Kent?

Guy comes in, he's a little ornery, but he's a ballplayer through and through. And when you need him to produce, he produces.

Gibson's 1988 season is often misremembered. While his counting stats of 25 home runs and 76 RBI look like a good couple of months for an Albert Pujols in today's age and day - leading many to reflect that his MVP award was a product of major-market, Tommy Lasorda-infused hype - Gibson had a 1988 adjusted OPS of 149 (with 100 being average). Not that anyone was looking at that stat back then, but Gibson was more than just an inspiration on the '88 team - he got things done.

As it happens, though, Gibson didn't really get going that season until May, when he hit seven home runs and eight doubles while OPSing 1.018. So Kent is ahead of Gibson at this point. We'll see what happens as Kent tails from his outstanding start, but much like Gibson did in 1988, Kent brings both sizzle and steak.

* * *

Newly posted equivalent averages by Baseball Prospectus for 2005 confirm Kent's hot start. Taking into account hitting and baserunning and adjusting for park effects and league difficulty, Kent is first in the National League with a .424 EQA. His career high is .335 in 2000.

Jose Valentin, at .408, misses being among the leaders because he is one plate appearance shy of qualifying.

Continuing to audition for the role of Sundance to Kent's Butch Cassidy, however, is Milton Bradley, who noticeably got the biggest applause during pre-game introductions, then joined Kent in hitting back-to-back home runs for the second time in three games.

In contrast to the home opener Tuesday, Jeff Weaver survived his wobbly start and ended up pitching a complete game in nothing flat, "nothing" being two hours and 21 minutes. Staying the whole game was as breezy as the weather as we walked to the parking lot afterward, and happily, the gateway between the inner and outer rings of Dodger Stadium from Lot 6 had been re-opened. Makes a huge difference. We were out in nothing flat, "nothing" being a couple of minutes.

Things were so chipper that my father and I risked listening to the Dodger postgame call-in show - and we were rewarded with some unintentional comedy genius.

There was the caller who lamented the low production at first base by Hee Seop Choi - but then signed off with the parting remark that the Dodgers should have kept ... wait for it ... Larry Barnes.

And there was another caller, the self-described "new Dodger fan," who was beside herself that Paul Lo Duca, Jose Lima and Steve Finley were gone - but thrilled that Shawn Green wasn't around anymore to dissapoint her at every turn.

So, host Bret Lewis asked, who was her new favorite Dodger? "J.D. Drew."

Of course.

* * *

Score by innings after the first inning of the homestand by Dodger opponents:

00 300 000 000 000 100 000 000 000 000 002 010 000 000 000 - 7

Dodger pitchers have allowed seven runs in their past 44 innings.

* * *

Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts gets in the spirit, offering, in honor of the Dodgers' hot start, this piece, in which he does a This Day in Dodger History from 1958-68 using the archives of his father, former Dodger beat writer George Lederer.

Quick sample: Forty years ago, just like today, the Dodgers were off to a good start while waiting for their best starting pitcher to make his first appearance:

"Two weeks ago, Sandy Koufax was worried about his arm and didn't know how frequently he would be able to pitch. Today, Koufax is still worried about his arm, but only because he hasn't had the opportunity to pitch.

'The only thing I'm worried about is that I haven't thrown enough,' Koufax said on the eve of his first regular-season appearance since Aug. 16. 'I've pitched exactly three innings since March 30 and I've thrown twice on the side in between. Everything else is fine. There's been no swelling in the elbow since I started to work again and I haven't had a bit of pain.'"

Meanwhile, let's congratulate Tom Meagher on burning brightly at The Fourth Outfielder, and wish him the best as he moves on.

Comments (66)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-18 10:29:52
1.   DougS
Glad to hear that you were there in person, Jon. It was a gorgeous day, and it looked like a game to cheer the heart. I'm even more pleased that they did something about the post-game traffic siutation. Maybe I'll be able to get out of the lot in less than an hour when I go out this season.

About Kent, he doesn't strike me as ornery at all from what I've seen of him. Gibson, yes--he just oozed channeled aggression, even off the field, and you could tell without being told that he was a football player. Kent seems more upbeat--plays hard, yes, but smiles where Gibson used to glower. But yeah, I can see where he's going to be the go-to guy this year.

2005-04-18 10:44:09
2.   Daniel Zappala
Of course, using those same numbers, David Ross is third among catchers and even Paul LoDuca is ahead of Phillips. We'll wait to see how things play out ...
2005-04-18 10:57:44
3.   Smirk
I listened to the Dodger postgame show. There was a girl who called in and talked about fans who were protesting outside of Dodger Stadium. I guess they were mad about Depo and McCourt? Bret Lewis knew what she was referring to, but I didn't. Anyone got anymore information about this?
2005-04-18 11:03:49
4.   Eric L
re #3:

I saw them protesting on opening day, right outside the parking lot off of Stadium Way.

There were only about 4 or 5 of them with protest signs.

2005-04-18 11:14:37
5.   Linkmeister
My local paper has a little feature called "End Quote" on the sports page. Today it was Tracy speaking to a luncheon last week:

"Looking back a few years when I was walking Barry Bonds to get to Jeff Kent, I can't believe I was doing that."

2005-04-18 11:19:23
6.   Matt Conroy
Jon, that opponents' score line is mighty impressive. You should send it to Steve Phillips. I asked him a question about the Dodgers in his ESPN online chat today, and he seems to think that our fast start is all down to our offense outperforming.

So glad to see us off to a fast start, if for no other reason than the pundits have to eat a little crow. Naturally, they'll be all over us when we drop a few.

2005-04-18 11:37:09
7.   LetsGoDodgers
A little factoid on Kent's young season when he bats with runners on base: all of his hits have been extra base hits and he has yet to strike out. The sample size is obviously small, but I find it interesting all the same.
2005-04-18 11:39:32
8.   FirstMohican
On the Friday night drive home after Lowe's gem I turned on 980. Before they got to the calls me and my friend decided to get the percentage of noticably drunk callers. The first 4 or 5 were, then we turned it off.

-

Protesters outside of Dodger Stadium? Wow. Howabout demonstrating for an issue that's socially relevant instead of something that's not entertaining you correctly.

Anyone ever see the LA Times letters about the Dodgers? Absurd that that many people care so deeply that they formulate these well written Dodger-bashing paragraphs.

After seeing a few knock the Dodgers while praising the Angels, I get the feeling Moreno's assembled a team of witty writers to spark Dodger hatred.

2005-04-18 11:46:14
9.   Bob Timmermann
Somebody really wanted Larry Barnes on a major league roster?

Was it Larry Barnes' family?

2005-04-18 11:47:50
10.   Dr Love
Hard-nosed mustached free agent with an attitude sparks team. I don't really see a comparison beyond that.

Gibson came to a 4th place team with the intent to be the guy to light a fire under the team (along with producing of course). Kent has come to a reigning division champ and is expected to produce, not light a fire. Kent wasn't eye blacked by Jesse Orosco(!, who was 31!), and hopefully he won't get face to face with a teammate like Gibson did with Guerrero, I guess that's a good thing. Both did call a team meeting in Spring Training though.

But the big thing is, to me, that Gibson came to the team with a WS ring on his resume, Kent doesn't have that.

I don't think a direct comparision is fair--not that anyone has done so yet, and I'm not sure I'd completely agree with a "Gibson-like vibe." I'd agree that if there were to be a Kirk Gibson of this team that it would be Kent, but I'm not big on holding a current team up to a team of the past and matching them up man to man. There's no Orel Hershiser on this team, so there doesn't need to be a Gibson.

I might have just said nothing in a lot of words.

2005-04-18 11:55:16
11.   bigcpa
An ESPN graphic you won't see anytime soon...

LoDuca - age 33, $4,600,000
.325/ .372/ .425
28% CS 2004

Jason Phillips - age 28, $350,000
.333/ .343/ .455
31% CS 2004

2005-04-18 11:57:14
12.   Smirk
"There were only about 4 or 5 of them with protest signs."

That's a funny sight.

2005-04-18 12:15:42
13.   Berkeley Doug
re: #5 Based on Kent's production with SF, I'm sure many managers would echo Tracy's thoughts.

I like this quote from Kent in the LA Times this morning:

"There is a long way to go. We're only two weeks into this. But playing this well allows us to know what we are capable of. It will be valuable to us later on."

I think many people didn't know what to expect from the Dodgers this year and granted it is still early in the season, but the Dodgers have shown their fans that the team does have the talent and potential to be good (and possibly quite good). They have shown that they will be competitive and that they can proiduction from everyone in the lineup.

I think Gammons made a great point last night when he said 1)Penny, Alvarez, Gagne, and Werth are still out and will be back at some point, 2) they are younger than before, 3) they are cheaper than before, and 4) they have $10 million left to pursue a player if they need some help. If Choi is ever given a real chance to show what he can do and he doesn't work out, perhaps we can dream of seeing Helton in a Dodger uniform in the second half of the season.

2005-04-18 12:19:07
14.   FirstMohican
I was thinking the same thing, Doug. Although I don't think Helton would be likely, that would be beautiful. The Dodgers could send them pitching talent, and we'd never have to see them dominate the Dodgers because Coors would ruin their careers! haha
2005-04-18 12:21:40
15.   Jeromy
Kent plays with such confidence, and he is such a dangerous hitter. You can see that his approach during each AB is very calculated. He seems to me to be a student of the game where he applies his preparation and it pays off. I think he will emerge to be the leader in the clubhouse and the new face of the relentless 2005 Dodgers.
2005-04-18 12:57:37
16.   gswitter
Re: Jim Tracy's quote...
"Looking back a few years when I was walking Barry Bonds to get to Jeff Kent, I can't believe I was doing that."

It's a nice compliment for his new 2B, but it's worth pointing out...

Kent rarely batted behind Bonds. The Gnats always wanted to bat Bonds 3rd with Kent in the clean-up spot, but they couldn't because Kent was so easy to pitch around with no one protecting him. They experimented with it a few times, but Kent's performance always dropped too much.

2005-04-18 13:02:03
17.   stevo
Sorry for being a little off topic, but I havent heard a lick about Darren Dreifort in a long time. Anyone know his situation?
2005-04-18 13:11:18
18.   Bob Timmermann
I forget which paper I read it in, but the Dodgers don't even have a locker for Dreifort at Dodger Stadium.
The Angels do have one for Salmon and he isn't going to play this year either.
2005-04-18 13:12:38
19.   Dr Love
Sorry for being a little off topic, but I havent heard a lick about Darren Dreifort in a long time. Anyone know his situation?

Done for the year, if not for good.

2005-04-18 13:13:12
20.   dzzrtRatt
Jim Tracy's not the only guy who got a distorted view of Jeff Kent from his SF career. I remember when he fought Bonds, the fans & media took Bonds' side, treating Kent as the kind of expendable guy who had no business having an attitude about the Greatest Player in Baseball History. I can't say I paid close attention to the Astros last year--who were so crummy during the first few months of 2004 that they fired their manager at the All-Star break--but it seemed like Kent was at least as much of a factor in their rapid ascent in September as Carlos Beltran. He also seemed like the team's emotional leader in their playoff run. Hey, I never for one second criticized the Kent signing. It seemed like a cost-effective way to get a player who could really do offensive damage.

It really is uncanny how much the baseball media and many LA fans got into such a negative schneid about the LA offseason. Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Anaheim, San Diego, Oakland, Arizona and Florida all lost top-tier players last winter due to salary considerations, but somehow only the Dodgers were going to feel it. I hope nobody bet money they needed for something else based on what the Times, ESPN or LA's moronic sports talk hosts had to say about the NL West.

2005-04-18 13:26:26
21.   FirstMohican
"Kent rarely batted behind Bonds... because Kent was so easy to pitch around with no one protecting him."

If that were true, wouldn't it suggest that Kent has gotten better since his days with the Giants? Not to say that he has "nobody" protecting him in LA, but Milton Bradley is not intimidating - at least not yet.

2005-04-18 13:34:47
22.   Jesse
good comedy...

www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com

this is the site of the people who were outside the stadium opening day. i like the listing of koyie hill among the "dearly departed" section of the site.

funny stuff.

2005-04-18 13:45:11
23.   Dr Love
That site is trash.

You can be sure McCourt has his sights on moving the stadium to downtown and developing Chavez Ravine. After all, he wanted to move the Red Sox out of Fenway to a waterfront parcel of land that he owns.

Wow, he wanted a new stadium? So did the current owners!

I hope it's a joke site, because the third paragraph is just too perfect.

2005-04-18 13:52:55
24.   Icaros
www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com

Holy Jesus, is that site a joke. I like how they misspell Guillermo Mota's name twice (Guerrmo) and bemoan the loss of David Ross for "third-rate" catcher, Jason Phillips.

Now the team is off to a 9-2 start, and they can't even enjoy it. Must be fun standing in a parking lot and choking on exhaust while the Dodgers keep proving them wrong. Poor saps...

2005-04-18 14:04:58
25.   Dr Love
It's gotta be a joke. That third section is something to behold:

Sure Jeff Kent may smack the ball but at 37 years of age who knows? What we do know is that his limited range will not allow him to make the exciting plays of Alex Cora. That kind of defense saves runs and games. The infield chemistry is gone forever. The clubhouse chemistry is sadly gone as well.

It's too perfect. His numbers on Drew are just plain wrong:

J.D. Drew, who has played only one complete season in his career and that was a grand total of 135 games last year.

He's played 135 twice and 145 last year.

He's also ignorant here:

And, if they get exciting, you can count on them to dismantle the team. For Oakland, that meant getting rid of Giambi, Tejada, Mulder and Hudson.

It's either a bad joke site or this guy really needs to... uhh... engage in some extracurricular activity.

2005-04-18 14:06:52
26.   Eric L
Must be fun standing in a parking lot and choking on exhaust while the Dodgers keep proving them wrong. Poor saps...

They didn't get the pleasure of standing inside of the parking lot. They were outside the gates.

On sort of similar topic, everyone brings up "Moneyball" when it comes to the moves the Dodgers have made since DePo took over.

What moves did DePo make that were really Moneyball-esque?

2005-04-18 14:07:14
27.   Bob Timmermann
The website owner has gone through a couple of channels to make its ownership unclear.
2005-04-18 14:09:12
28.   the OZ
They (gender-neutral pronoun) didn't even mention how the Dodgers lost their heart and soul, which would make their argument much much stronger.

This is amazing. I love this site.

2005-04-18 14:10:43
29.   Dr Love
What moves did DePo make that were really Moneyball-esque?

Define Moneyball-esque. Do you mean playing the market, as the book was intended? I would say Valentin, the LoDuca deal, Jose Hernandez, Werth, Grabowksi, guys like Wunsch and Schmoll... if someone else was running the team, those guys aren't here.

2005-04-18 14:12:45
30.   FirstMohican
I'm calling it: www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com is was created and funded by Arte Moreno
2005-04-18 14:13:38
31.   Dr Love
I'm calling it: www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com is was created and funded by Arte Moreno

I'll go with Steve Phillips as the mastermind.

2005-04-18 14:15:07
32.   Adam M
Based on that stat, can we have Gagne pitch just the 1st inning from now on? Every game would be a shutout!
2005-04-18 14:17:09
33.   FirstMohican
I think if the author of that site lived in Arizona, he would've long since abandoned the DBacks and joined the minuteman project.
2005-04-18 14:19:34
34.   FirstMohican
By the way...

"My apologies to the Dodgers, a team that I predicted "could stumble early." Get me a rewrite!"

I'd love to see a collection of quotes from journalists/analysts who have eaten their words =)

2005-04-18 14:21:03
35.   Icaros
I just sent them a "friendly" email. A pointless exercise, to be sure, but too fun to resist.
2005-04-18 14:21:51
36.   Icaros
www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com, that is.
2005-04-18 14:36:15
37.   Steve
I think they're having a lark. See the "Contact Us page." Next it's www.boycottdodgerbaseball.net.

Plus nobody can think that way about Alex Cora. I've just decided that the last four months were an elaborate practical joke against me.

2005-04-18 14:36:32
38.   Eric L
re #29:

I don't necessarily know that Wunsch and Schmoll wouldn't be around if someone else was running the team. Evans picked up guys like Duaner Sanchez, Tom Martin, Mota, etc.

I guess what I was trying to get at with my post is that DePo made a lot of convential moves during the off-season that every one wanted to paint as "Moneyball", without really knowing what they were talking about.

2005-04-18 14:37:38
39.   DepoBall
re: www.boycottdodgerbaseball.com

How hypocritical/nonsensical is it to 'boycott' the dodgers' sponsors but have the site tell you what channels to watch/listen to their games (the Dodger broadcasting network part of the site). So deprive them of revenue, but still 'root' for the team? Make it impossible for them to afford any players, but continue to watch the team - masochists are dodger fans too? Conversely, how effective is a boycott that permits revenues from broadcast to remain intact? this is a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

2005-04-18 14:39:40
40.   Marty
I sent them an email too. But, unless they are trying to sell me a refinance loan, I haven't heard back from them
2005-04-18 14:39:44
41.   Dr Love
I don't necessarily know that Wunsch and Schmoll wouldn't be around if someone else was running the team. Evans picked up guys like Duaner Sanchez, Tom Martin, Mota, etc.

True. But Drew and Kent wouldn't be here, and Beltre and Cora would.

I guess what I was trying to get at with my post is that DePo made a lot of convential moves during the off-season that every one wanted to paint as "Moneyball", without really knowing what they were talking about.

No disagreement here.

2005-04-18 14:39:51
42.   bigcpa
Re: #34
Rosenthal was very harsh on the Dodgers in the Sporting News preview issue- had them 19th overall.

Here's a crow-eater from Olney...

"Without a doubt, the Dodgers are the biggest stunner for me. They've been playing within the division so far, and I'm curious to see how they do outside of the division. But if the Dodgers make the playoffs, DePodesta deserves all the credit in the world because he is just about the only person in the game who saw the wisdom in his moves. He thought outside the box and so far, it's paid off in a big way. Hats off to him."

Another point of interest... Dodgers were +350 to win the West 2 weeks ago or a 22% shot. Today they're +160 or a 61% shot. Diamond Mind had them at a 57% chance to win the west on opening day so they're looking wise.

2005-04-18 14:43:49
43.   DodgerfaninNY
You never hear anyone using the words 'Jeff Kent' and 'future Hall-of-Famer' in the same sentence, but if he ends up having an MVP-type season, well, I'd say he deserves to be in. He already has the career numbers to receive serious consideration. Then again, I never felt that way until he donned the Dodger Blue.
2005-04-18 14:50:47
44.   Eric L
True. But Drew and Kent wouldn't be here, and Beltre and Cora would.

In regards to Dan Evans, you are correct. To expand on what I was saying, I think DePo made moves that any good GM would have made, Moneyball or not. He tried to upgrade the team according to his own plan.

2005-04-18 14:55:22
45.   Dr Love
In regards to Dan Evans, you are correct. To expand on what I was saying, I think DePo made moves that any good GM would have made, Moneyball or not. He tried to upgrade the team according to his own plan.

I disagree. I don't think any non-sabre GM would have jettisoned Beltre, Cora, and Green for Drew, Kent, and Valentin. Maybe one of those, but not the complete overhaul that he did.

2005-04-18 14:56:19
46.   Berkeley Doug
FYI - There was an interesting article in the NY Times today about basbeball blogs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/18/technology/18kos.html

2005-04-18 15:03:58
47.   Jon Weisman
Re: #45 ...

At least according to DePodesta, Beltre wasn't jettisoned - they wanted him but didn't get him. So that could happen to anyone. Signing Drew after that wouldn't take much thought. And, many GMs would have taken Kent over Cora.

So in response to your point, once these two things happened, would another, so-called conventional GM then unloaded Green? I'm not sure, though I have to think that reducing that salary committment to Green would be an incentive for anyone.

Perhaps they would have unloaded Green but then moved Kent to first and gone with Valentin for second base, then maybe picked up a Vinny Castilla to play third.

In short, I think any GM might have lost Beltre, Cora and Green and pickled up Drew, Kent and Valentin but then come up with different alternatives for the rest of the roster.

2005-04-18 15:06:54
48.   Adam M
Can't wait until

BOICOTDODGERBEISBOL.COM

goes up. The English site already reads like a machine translation.

To their credit, I don't think Yankee fans did anything remotely this dorky when during the dark days of Mel Hall and Pascual Perez.

2005-04-18 15:08:07
49.   alex 7
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/john_donovan/04/18/dodgers.surprise/index.html

another pro-DePodesta article. This one at cnnsi.com by John Donovan.

2005-04-18 15:10:34
50.   Mark
Threadjack time: That boycott site mentions McCourt wanting to move the stadium downtown.

To which I ask: why downtown? Where would you have the next home of Dodger Stadium be?

For me, I would stick it at the intersection of the 10 and the 405, and have direct offramp connections.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-18 15:13:26
51.   Mark
"You get it - Pepsi instead of Coke, Nissan instead of Toyota, Chevron instead of Unocal 76. No Farmer Johns hotdogs. Drink Miller not Bud. No Wally Park or Car Barn airport parking, no Jiffy Lube, no Alexander BMW, no Beverly Hills Surgery Center."

Aw crap, now where am I going to get my breast augmentation done?

2005-04-18 15:17:31
52.   Marty
The best part of the site is the headache-inducing red type on blue background banner.
2005-04-18 15:18:52
53.   KAYVMON
Re #43, I always considered Kent to a be a probable Hall of Famer even before this season. My reasoning stems from the idea that any player who is arguably the best of his generation at his position should be in the Hall. There is a strong argument that Kent is the best second baseman of his generation. And, on top of that, like Vin said yesterday, Kent is the greatest HR hitting second baseman of all time. That said, even though Kent has shown the opposite, baseball statistics made me think, when we signed him, that he would regress sharply as a player due to his age. Even though hes looked so good, so far, I still believe his regression is inevitable. For the Dodgers' sake, hopefully that won't happen for two years.
2005-04-18 15:20:22
54.   JJoeScott
If I'm McCourt, I do covert the hill to multi-million dollar home lots and additional housing and look to build the new stadium downtown, right near the Olympic Grand and along the Blue Line. Huge upside all around. The only hitch: I think AEG (Staples) owns most of the buildings around South Park now. But that's where I'd stick the stadium. He'd be a hero, helping revitalize downtown ...
2005-04-18 15:25:50
55.   Jose Habib
Re: #50

The 405 near the 10 has some of the very worst traffic in all of LA, so I wouldn't put it there.

Downtown is good - near the metro rail, lots of freeways, and probably the "fairest" choice, being reasonably close to most parts of the city.

2005-04-18 15:28:04
56.   Monterey Chris
Regarding Kent, I think many people think of him and Hall of Fame in the same sentence. He has had a solid career and is obviously not done yet.

If McCourt plans on moving downtown, why spend a lot of money to remodel the stadium? Dodger Stadium is staying put.

2005-04-18 15:33:15
57.   Jose Habib
Re #56

Maybe McCourt will sell the stadium to Moreno and move the Dodgers downtown, thereby enraging the entire Socal fanbase.

2005-04-18 15:36:10
58.   FirstMohican
I'm sure McCourt would love to turn Chavez Ravine into condos... anyone would. He doesn't necessarily have to do it now. Maybe the consensus among fans will be that they want a new stadium in 50 years. Or maybe the parking will be consolidated, and he can sell off or develop a portion of the land.

Who knows, but they do seem like they want to operate in Dodger Stadium for at least a little while, considering the renovations.

Hey, it's still called "Dodger Stadium," right?

"Office Depo Field..." "Direct TV Park..." Vomit

2005-04-18 15:57:46
59.   KAYVMON
BTW, they just posted the lineup for today's game on mlb.com. Nothing too interesting except that Drew has got a day off and Repko and Grabowski are both starting.
2005-04-18 15:58:06
60.   Bob Timmermann
I think Kent has gone past "probable Hall of Famer" to "definite Hall of Famer". When you compare him to other second basemen offensively, there aren't a lot who compare to him. He's in the same class as Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg among people most of us have seen play. He's not quite Rogers Hornsby or Nap Lajoie level.

Most people consider Roberto Alomar a Hall of Famer. And I think Kent is as good as Alomar.

2005-04-18 15:59:19
61.   Jon Weisman
New game chat thread just opened above.
2005-04-18 16:01:48
62.   Langhorne
Kent fact: He has a sense of humor. In the 2001 exhibition game when Randy Johnson hit a bird with a fastball it was Kent who picked up the ex-dove, looked at it and pointed to Johnson as if to say, "He did it!" Johnson was not amused.
2005-04-18 16:02:15
63.   DougS
re: #42
If bigcpa is talking about the Vegas line, then you can be sure that bias against the Dodgers is/was even stronger than that. The betting lines in LV tend to skew in favor of Los Angeles teams, reflecting the weight of money from LA fans that comes into the sports betting parlors.
2005-04-18 16:05:47
64.   gvette
Sportstalk radio highlight of the day;

Baseball "expert" Vic the Brick Jacobs interviewing fellow baseball scholar Barry LeBrock on the Dodgers' success.

Both seem befuddled, since they relied on their baseball insider friends like Mark Gubicza who told them that DePodesta didn't have a clue, not too mention T.J. Simers who last week said on air that the Dodgers were a "crummy team."

Both conclude that since neither they, nor their friends can possibly be wrong, the Dodgers can only be winning because of Tracy's Stengel like brilliance. Vic adds that Choi is holding the team back (doesn't say from what), and that the Dodgers will still only get 85 wins this year.

Where do TV and radio they find these morons, and how stupid do they think the public is to actually think they are sports experts?

2005-04-18 16:10:57
65.   Aug C
Imagine that we were 4-8 like the Yankees at this point, which is perfectly possible in the great game that is baseball. We would obviously - and rightly - be talking about the dangers of small sample size. In the same vein, the 9-2 start does not "prove" that DePo was right. I think that he will be proven right (in fact I have put money on it), but we definitely need to be waiting before serving so much crow to the Plaschkes and Harold Reynolds of the world.

Our biggest gripe has been that those idiots haven't given DePo's moves a chance. Even though they haven't extended the same favor to us, the reasonable thing to do is for us to give their criticisms a chance. Because we're not idiots.

2005-04-18 17:01:05
66.   Paul B
The Hall of Fame talk re: Kent is interesting, however premature it may be. There are as many different ways to look at a player as there analysts, it seems. Jay Jaffee did a really interesting analysis of the eligible class of 2005 earlier this year (on the free section of Baseball Prospectus). Interstingly, he has Sandberg, for instance, as a well above-average second baseman, and Alomar even farther up the ladder. Bob, at the risk of splitting hairs, I'd say Kent is a "likely Hall of Famer", though he'll be a lock with a couple more productive seasons. Chagrined though I am to say it, I don't think he's yet entered Morgan territory. Though their career OPS's are fairly close, factoring in Joe's 689 steals (at a 81% success rate) and (for what's it worth) five Gold Gloves makes the gap wider. Plus, though it is partially a fact of historic luck, from 1972 to 1976 Morgan was arguably the best player in the National League, a streak that Kent can't lay claim to, even if we discount the freakish career of Barry Bonds. That said, it's great to have him on our side. Just a couple of thoughts...

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