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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
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Good News Lacking for Bonds, Giants
2005-04-20 12:29
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Barry Bonds is behind schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A return sometime in May remains a possibility, but a return by the end of this month seems out.

With J.T. Snow injuring himself this week and Moises Alou already with Bonds on the shelf (a shelf made of the finest oak, it should be said), the Giants are temporarily without their 3-4-5 hitters. Edgardo Alfonzo has done his best to carry the team with a 1.184 OPS, but San Francisco's team ERA is also 5.59. (Yes, the Giants have played Colorado six times - but the team ERA is actually lower against the Rockies, at 5.09). Starting pitchers Noah Lowry, Kirk Rueter and Brett Tomko all have ERAs over 6.00.

San Francisco, now 6-7, needs some balm to keep from sliding further under .500. Perhaps playing Arizona, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee in 11 of the Giants' next 14 games will help provide it. For their part, the Dodgers play Arizona and Colorado in nine of their next 11 games.

* * *

Former Dodger farmhand Augustin Montero, now with the Texas Rangers' AA team, has been suspended for 10 days because of a failed drug test from Spring Training.

Previous comments about Montero on Dodger Thoughts (from 2004):

Walks almost a batter per inning, hits a batter and allows a homer every five innings. In March, I wrote, "Pattern in recent seasons has been decent numbers at one level, followed by a midseason promotion and ensuing decline in stats."
The most recent player suspended before Montero also had a Dodger connection. Jorge Piedra played in the Dodger system from 1997-2000.

Comments
2005-04-20 12:46:09
1.   brendan glynn
The perfect Dodger scenario is burying the Giants by double digits before Bonds comes back. Make their margin of error very slim.
2005-04-20 13:30:04
2.   Icaros
Word.
2005-04-20 13:31:02
3.   the OZ
Here's an interesting hypothetical:

IF the Giants continue to struggle with teams whose names don't end with "ockies," and IF they fall 10+ from contention by the Bonds Resurrection, it will be very interesting to see what happens not just to their team, but their franchise. I understand they've got $20M per year just in debt service on the ballpark, and a non-contending, non-Barry team might have trouble attracting fans. Would they have to slash payroll in a hurry?

Another gleefully interesting dilemma they might face is whether to start rebuilding or not at midseason. If postseason hopes are slim this June or July, how do they reload for a run next year with aging players with multi-year deals that will be difficult to move at the deadline? Do they deal Schmidt? Will Barry come play next year for a team that was gutted of veterans at the deadline for promising young players still far from their primes?

If they rebuild, they risk losing Barry if he doesn't want to play on a mediocre team. If they don't, they might have a bad team for several years while living out the Vizquel, Alou, Benitez, Matheny deals before beginning a real rebuilding cycle. With little in the minor leagues, it will be a very difficult (albeit stilll hypothetical) situation for Sabean to navigate, with no easy choices.

I'm most interested in seeing how fans would react to a losing team with no Barry.

2005-04-20 13:41:46
4.   Landonkk
In other words : We don't feel that the negative steroid buzz has died down enough to constitute us taking our inflate-a-head roid show on the road yet.

A very interesting hypothetical, Oz. Wouldn't it be fun to watch? Although it wouldn't necessarily be good for the "rivalry", I can't think of anything better than a sustained domination of the boys up north.

2005-04-20 13:43:38
5.   fernandomania
"I'm most interested in seeing how fans would react to a losing team with no Barry."

I think it would be comparable to the situation in Chicago when Michael Jordan retired.

2005-04-20 13:48:57
6.   Mark
"San Francisco, now 6-7, needs some balm [...]"

Er, isn't that what started this whole debacle? I think the last thing they need is some "cream" to help "heal" things...

2005-04-20 13:49:47
7.   Icaros
Well, they at least play at a really nice stadium now. People wouldn't go to Candlestick even when the Giants had good teams.

I'd be surprised if attendance fell off too much at SBC.

2005-04-20 13:52:29
8.   Vishal
lol mark.
2005-04-20 13:53:10
9.   Spageticus
Nice headline. It's a very tactful way of reveling in the giants misfortune. Bravo. But maybe I'm just reading into things. Gosh, how I hate them.
2005-04-20 13:54:14
10.   Fearing Blue
Hey Jon,

I bit the bullet and made my first contribution. I was thinking more people might give you donations to support DT if your PayPal ID didn't contain the word "Shifty" in it =).

Thanks for the great work!

2005-04-20 14:05:44
11.   frankenspock
Reading this thread interested me in Giants attendance over the years, so I went and looked it up:

http://tinyurl.com/cgqxa

Not much fall off since Pac Bell/SBC/Insert Takeover Sweepstakes Winner Here Park opened. I figure losing Barry will cost them at least a couple thousand fans a game, and becoming a perennial loser will cost them a few thousand more (a process which begins in 2006, btw.)

The best part of that page is the quote at the top of it:

"Giant fans are famous front-runners." - Roger Angell in The Summer Game (1972)

2005-04-20 14:08:02
12.   Jon Weisman
Thanks, Fearing. And yeah, I keep meaning to switch that to something more professional.
2005-04-20 14:25:32
13.   Jonathan
August 2nd, 2005
Dodgers @ Nationals
Dodgers' Starting Lineup

Izturis
Choi
Drew
Bonds
Kent
Bradley
Valentin
Phillips

2005-04-20 14:31:19
14.   Fearing Blue
Don't go there... almost made me hurl. =P
2005-04-20 14:31:45
15.   dzzrtRatt
Bonds' situation reminds me of the legend, possibly true, that in the 1970s, Keith Richards was afraid he wouldn't be able to enter the US because of the quantities of heroin in his blood, so he allegedly got a 100 percent blood transfusion.

With a deflated head and a new respect for the solid single, Bonds will probably return in 2006. Ruth and Aaron are safe for another generation. I don't see them trading Schmidt; they will contend in the NL West based on a solid rotation, and will hope that Pedro Feliz and Whatshisname Niekro will fulfill their early promise. Fans will keep coming to SBC for the fine vegan cuisine, and the opportunity to network with other high-tech strivers.

2005-04-20 14:48:24
16.   Berkeley Doug
#13 - The Giants will NEVER trade Barry Bonds, especially to the Dodgers. That said, as much as don't like his public personality, he is an amazing hitter and would look good in the Dodger Blue (I can't believe I'm saying this).

For now, I just hope the Dodgers can put as much distance as possible between themselves and the Giants because the Giants always find a way to contend. Even without Bonds, I'm still convinced the Giants will find a way to be competitive. It's quite maddening actually.

But the bottom line, though, is the Dodgers only have to worry about themselves. If they play up to their capabilities they won't have to worry about SF/SD/AZ.

2005-04-20 14:53:33
17.   Nolan
1) I hopw Bonds never returns. Honestly. I think he's a blight on baseball and the sports world. In my most objective and dispassionate moments, I still cannot understand how the fans of San Francisco continue to support this man.

2) If Bonds became a Dodger, the fabric of the universe might be irreparably torn.

3) Did anyone hear Gammons say that we might trade for Sean Casey. Intriguing. I'd like to have him but have no clue what we'd have to give up (I'd be ok with Jackson) or what his contract situation looks like.

2005-04-20 15:00:50
18.   Eric Enders
I find it hard to believe that DePo would even trade a bag of balls for Casey, much less Edwin Jackson. Let's hope that was like most of Gammons' trade rumors: false.
2005-04-20 15:07:05
19.   aloofman
I agree that it's way too early to start writing the Giants' season epitaph. It's not like we ran away with the division last year and in recent years the Giants have had good second-half teams. It's almost impossible to imagine that the Giants could play better as a team without Bonds, but that doesn't mean they couldn't overachieve without him. There's still plenty of time for the Dodgers to underachieve as well.

I suppose if the Dodgers had 60 wins at the break, I might relax a little. But that's just crazy talk.

2005-04-20 15:23:50
20.   brendan glynn
"Another gleefully interesting dilemma..."

Great line OZ. Exactly how I feel about any misfortune that comes Frisco's way.

2005-04-20 15:28:44
21.   Jon Weisman
I'm planning on writing about this later in the week, but the Dodgers had an eight-game lead over the Giants last year and lost it all. Of course, that's what a cushion is for, but still ... It's fine to believe but don't count (rubber) chickens.
2005-04-20 15:30:13
22.   FirstMohican
# 13. - ::uncomfortably clears throat, turns, walks away::
2005-04-20 15:45:55
23.   DepoBall
I'd rather go thru the delino for pedro trade again than have that big headed, shrunken-nutted jerk Bonds anywhere near the dodgers' roster.

we've already had to endure sheffield in dodger-blue.

its not enough for the dodgers to win; they need to do it without players i don't actively hate. i'll warm up to new players but not to proven prix

2005-04-20 15:49:05
24.   LetsGoDodgers
RE: # 17

I'd like to see more plate appearances for Choi before we declare him DOA and trade for another first baseman.

Sean Casey has been "on the trading block" for a the better part of a year and I don't see him coming to the Dodgers, if at all, before mid-July at the earliest.

In a perfect world, Choi is a Top 5 NL 1B this season and next, then Loney gets eased into the everyday lineup and Choi is traded while his value is high.

2005-04-20 15:53:43
25.   tomA
off topic, somewhat, but a decent article on depo here:
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/sports/11440203.htm

also, fwiw, i actively hated kent as a giant. different when the 'stache is your own, i guess.

2005-04-20 15:55:07
26.   Eric Enders
Casey's stats look to me like someone whose major league career won't last too much longer. Had a career year last year, but the two years before that he was replacement level at best. Unless he's one of those very few hitters (e.g. Bonds) who's better in his 30s than his 20s, he'd be a lousy investment.

Anyone know what his contract status is? If it's only a half-year rental I guess I wouldn't object too much, as long as we didn't give up anything good in return.

2005-04-20 15:57:50
27.   Eric Enders
By the way, Extra Innings has just added tonight's game to their lineup.

[Does Irish jig in living room]

2005-04-20 16:02:20
28.   LetsGoDodgers
I don't think they can outperform us in the next 14 games; the Dodger lead in the NL West will widen.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is of great importance that we beat up on the divisional rivals, especially this early in the season.

With any luck, as Bradley and Kent regress to the mean Drew and Choi will heat up and carry the load (offensively) for a couple of weeks.

Odd how the injury/steroid/etc. bug has bitten every team in the NL West, yet we still have the best record in baseball.

2005-04-20 16:18:20
29.   DepoBall
Kent's no saint but he never pushed my buttons the way Bonds does. I want to get players I can be proud of rooting for; I know there's no stat for it, and I'll overlook some of the millionaire playboy's faults for the sake of OBP, but at some point you have to just say no.
2005-04-20 16:22:56
30.   jasonungar05
were not the yankees. let them have Bonds. He can play center for them next year.
2005-04-20 16:25:15
31.   T Money
My apologies for being off topic, but does anyone know if tonight's game will be broadcast on Adelphia in West Los Angeles?

I have Extra Innings too, but I'm assuming that it'll be blacked out.

2005-04-20 16:33:30
32.   dzzrtRatt
I don't think games ahead/behind matter at this early point of the season. This is the only time during the season when you can just relax and enjoy the games, knowing that they count, but also knowing that whatever happens, the final reckoning is a long way off. To me, the 11-2 start guarantees nothing. They could fall out of first place in a mere matter of days. What's interesting to me about the Dodgers' hot start is whether or not it means DePodesta has, against all conventional wisdom, built a serious contender for 2005. A lot of close observers of baseball said he failed to do this during the '05 off-season. But now, with the National League in a period of transition, maybe the Dodgers will emerge this year as one of the elite teams. If so, it could cause a revolution in the science of being a baseball GM.
2005-04-20 16:34:35
33.   BMny
When Barry comes back, how long before he goes back to the DL again? 3 weeks? 5 weeks? 10 weeks?
2005-04-20 16:35:35
34.   DougS
Re: #13
Bonds and Kent on the same team again? Oh wouldn't that be jolly. Won't happen, boss.

I mean, car wrecks fascinate me as much as anyone, but not when they happen right in front of my house, spilling over onto my front lawn.

Also, I would rigorously ignore any trade rumors involving the Dodgers and Sean Casey... or pretty much anyone else whose arrival would shake up the lineup. With Penny due back soon, Choi and Drew due to snap back to their historical norms, Valentin holding his own and Repko making the most of his chance, the omens are favorable, at least until the break.

2005-04-20 16:41:05
35.   the OZ
RE Choi, sometimes I worry he won't get enough at-bats to get back up to his career norms. Shoot, Grabowski got a start at first this past week ahead of Choi. Tracy does not seem to have any confidence.

Struggle or not, I'd like to see what Hee-Man can do over the course of 200 PAs without sitting three days a week.

2005-04-20 16:45:13
36.   Bob Timmermann
I hope that Woody Williams isn't considered too much of a hard thrower by Tracy so he would bench Choi.

Hee Seop may like that weird angle in RF at PETCO.

2005-04-20 16:54:53
37.   brendan glynn
Tmoney

Adelphia in Anaheim and West LA didn't pick up the Odalis game. Here's hoping that they heard about it and will pick up this one. If they show the game at all it will be on one of these stations. Ch. 10, 3, 12, or 20

don't hold your breath.

2005-04-20 17:10:44
38.   Jonathan
I'm a West LA Adelphia guy and just about had a cow when the Odalis game wasn't anywhere on TV. I don't see how its even possible for an out-of-town game not to be shown in a team's home town... especially in a gigantic city like Los Angeles.

Just to clarify, I was only tossing out something to discuss - not making a prediction - when I suggested the Dodgers might acquire Bonds. Of course he is worth every cent of his contract and it would be interesting to see how his presence would affect a team other than the Giants. Results might be unreal if a team was able to get three guys with high OBP batting in front of him and a couple guys with power behind him. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the team I would build around Bonds wouldn't look anything like the Giants.

2005-04-20 17:25:09
39.   alex 7
DePo > Al Davis. Off-topic, but all these Raider trades are keeping me excited for this weekend. Besides, still 2 hours till first pitch.

Can a year-long combination of Choi (assuming he improves), Saenz, and Kent (if Perez becomes a good hitter this year) at first base work out? Of would a half-year rental make more sense. Just looking for peopele's thoughts.

2005-04-20 17:27:10
40.   Jim Hitchcock
Happened to hear Uecker's call of Bradley's HR yesterday. Hilariously blase. Sounded like he was calling out cheese futures.
2005-04-20 17:32:37
41.   Jon Weisman
Is that right, Jim? Because Uke was completely blase about Shawn Green's fourth home run of the game four years ago.

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