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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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April 21 Open Chat: Fielding Jones
2005-04-21 17:19
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Tonight's Game

Hee Seop Choi back at first base, batting second. Jason Grabowski in left field, batting eighth.

Dave Roberts makes his first 2005 appearance against the Dodgers. He is 2 for 7 with two walks this season.

* * *

I surveyed several NL scouts on the Dodgers this week, and they're all skeptical. The worries would go something like this: It will be weeks before Eric Gagne comes back. The back of the rotation (Erickson, Dessens) is scary, although Brad Penny gets Dessens out of there this weekend. They don't catch the ball in the infield...

- Jayson Stark, ESPN.com (emphasis mine)

Well, Cesar Izturis catches the ball. Jeff Kent catches the ball. (Show us the ones he has missed.)

Jose Valentin is a bit off, especially if you incorporate his throwing into the mix. The octopus at first base could be a bit better.

But it's all relative, isn't it? How many infields have Gold Glove-caliber players at all four positions?

One of the problems some prognosticators ran into in March is that they focused on the Dodger negatives, some of which were legitimate, while writing off the weaknesses of other teams. The Dodgers faced a problem with Jeff Kent batting cleanup - but the Padres lineup, anchored at the No. 4 spot by Phil Nevin, was supposedly wonderful. Jeff Kent, we were told, has no range at second base and Jose Valentin can't play third - but Ray Durham and Edgardo Alfonzo of the Giants were somehow the fielder's pajamas?

Most everyone graded the Dodgers' competition on a curve, while stabbling the Dodgers with a straight line.

The woebegone Dodger defense ranks second in the National League in defensive efficiency, according to Baseball Prospectus. The middle infield and the outfield are truly above average. And unlike pitching and batting, defense rarely slumps. What you see is what you get. The Dodger defense is not perfect, but show me a perfect defense. The Dodger defense is plenty good.

* * *

As for Scott Erickson, I don't know if he's still scary, but he remains at least, say, unnerving. We'll see how he goes tonight...

Comments (229)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-21 17:29:15
1.   Eric Enders
I suspect one problem was that all the MM (mainstream media) prognosticators reached their conclusions first, then went looking for reasons to support those conclusions. Always an ill-advised way to go about things.

I also found the "don't catch the ball" comment amusing. If you count Choi as the 1B, then IMO all four Dodger infielders catch the ball very well. Valentin just can't throw it.

Stark also conveniently ignores the fact that the Dodgers have arguably the best defensive outfield in baseball -- three guys who can legitimately play center field, four when Werth comes back.

2005-04-21 17:31:53
2.   Jon Weisman
Five, counting Ledee, no?
2005-04-21 17:32:20
3.   Eric Enders
IT'S A SCHMOLL WORLD, April 21:

A Googlism on "Schmoll" reveals the following:
[ for more information on Googlisms, visit: www.googlism.com/about.htm ]

Schmoll is a charming and delightful work, largely unknown.
Schmoll is great to travel with.
Schmoll is defensive about the attention and praise given sculptor Camille Claudel in recent years.
Schmoll is currently dean of graduate studies at the University of Michigan.
Schmoll is on vacation.
Schmoll is an MFA candidate in directing at Columbia, where he most recently created "The Green Ears."
Schmoll is airborne in more ways than one.
Schmoll is the religion editor for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and has advanced degrees from German universities.
Schmoll is an enthusiastic expert on Russia, and has specialized in conducting educational tours for young people to Russia.
Schmoll is the adopted name of my mother.
Schmoll is looking for Regina Rosenberg.
Schmoll is set to leave the Chief Financial Officer post at some time during the year.
Schmoll is a captain flying 757s and 767s for Britanna Airways in Germany.
Schmoll is targeting North America as an area for future growth.
Schmoll is a surprisingly good hitting pitcher.

2005-04-21 17:34:27
4.   Eric Enders
Yeah, I was kind of dismissing Ledee although I don't know much about his defense. But upon checking, BB-Ref shows him as playing 124 career games in CF, including 16 last year.

So, five.

2005-04-21 17:36:20
5.   Dr Love
Five, counting Ledee, no?

Yup. He's no great shakes but he's played it.

2005-04-21 17:38:08
6.   DougS
Yeah, it seems like Choi actually plays a nimble first base, especially given that he's big and a bit on the ungainly side. And it's not even that Valentin can't throw. Kevin Kennedy pointed out that it's a mechanical thing; he seems to have a habit of getting under his throws and floating them. Kennedy said it's something that shortstops do and can get away with it, but it's a nasty habit for a third baseman. Which suggests that it's just muscle memory, force of habit, what have you. I suspect that the Dodger coaches have spotted it/will spot it and act accordingly.
2005-04-21 17:42:46
7.   the OZ
So, several NL scouts are skeptical about the Dodgers. What does that mean, anyway? Is it safe to sayt that scouts are paid to evaluate players, and not teams? I'd be more interested to hear what these 'several scouts' had to say about, say, Repko's likelyhood of continuing to be productive, the movement on Lowe's sinker, or Brazoban's velocity and mechanics. These are things that scouts can teach me more about.

But to say that "scouts are skeptical that the Dodgers will continue to be good" is one of the most useless and irrelevant things I've ever read.

Besides, ask scouts about any team within WiFi distance of Paul DePodesta, and I think I can guess their answer no matter what playters are on the field.

2005-04-21 17:48:55
8.   dan reines
here's my question: at what point does stark consider himself "right"? in other words, the dodgers are on pace to win 139 games. if, by some odd chance, they fall short of that, are stark and his scouts entitled to say "i told you so!"?

is stark saying, flat-out, that the dodgers won't win their division? (of course he isn't. there's a limb out there that i suspect he's not willing to venture out onto. still, this is what irritates me about him.)

2005-04-21 17:54:17
9.   Berkeley Doug
I've tried to ignore what the "experts" think and just focus on the results. Although it is nice when your team gets the recognition you think it deserves, all that really counts is the wins and losses. Right now with all the "expert" skepticism with the Dodgers it seems like we are in on an inside joke that nobody else gets.

A little off topic, but I haven't read a good baseball book in a long time. Does anyone in the DT community have any recommendations? I could list all the baseball books I have read, but that would take too long. What is everyone's favorite baseball book? One that has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, but I haven't read yet is "Voices of the Game".

2005-04-21 17:57:47
10.   DepoBall
well one baseball book i intend to buy this weekend is the infamous 'Moneyball' - I'd like to find a definitive Jackie Robinson book too....
2005-04-21 17:59:26
11.   Dodgerkid
Average sports pundit before season started: DePodesta ruined the chemistry of a championship team, and they will come in third place if lucky.

Average sports pundit after 12-2 record: Dodgers have been playing way over their heads, this comes as a complete surprise to everyone in the sporting world that they're doing this well. Collapse coming soon.

Average sports writer after Dodgers win NL West in 2005: Dodgers are the comeback team of the year. In spite of terrible front office, Jim Tracy's solid moves, and the team's great chemistry saved the day. Tracy for manager of the year.

2005-04-21 18:01:29
12.   Berkeley Doug
I thought "Moneyball" was quite good. I aven't come across a good Jackie Robinson book other than the parts about him in "Boys of Summer", which is a classic.
2005-04-21 18:05:07
13.   scareduck
The Jayson Starks of the world aren't really worth responding to. Opinions are like noses.
2005-04-21 18:05:17
14.   Sam NYC
I've long thought Stark was an idiot but I think the best from him today was reminding people that the last teams to start 11-2 didn't make the playoffs -- because it's BAD to start 11-2, VERY VERY BAD.
2005-04-21 18:07:33
15.   frankenspock
"is stark saying, flat-out, that the dodgers won't win their division? (of course he isn't. there's a limb out there that i suspect he's not willing to venture out onto."

That's the great hedge emerging among the media's finest. "Well, of course they can win their division, because their division is the worst in baseball." Was anyone calling the NL West the worst division before the season started?

Of course not. It's the "worst division" now, though, because the Dodgers keep beating the other teams in it. If the Dodgers were, say, 2-10 vs. the West instead of 10-2, that division would then look pretty good, with a bunch of teams sporting shiny records.

But as it, obviously, it's no good, because the Dodgers have beat up on it and made everybody look bad.

Just can't win with some people.

2005-04-21 18:10:23
16.   Eric L
If you want a Jackie Robinson book straight from the horse's mouth, get his autobio "I Never Had it Easy". I haven't read any other books with Jackie as the centerpiece, so I can't really say if it is profound or not.

Back to the subject at hand, while I still think the Padres are a threat, did they really get better in the offseason? The key moves they made were acquiring David Roberts, Boomer leaving, and signing Woody. For a third place team, I hardly call those the kind of moves that would put them over the top.

2005-04-21 18:10:24
17.   Dr Love
Average sports writer after Dodgers win NL West in 2005: Dodgers are the comeback team of the year. In spite of terrible front office, Jim Tracy's solid moves, and the team's great chemistry saved the day. Tracy for manager of the year.

And to that I said good. Writers are going to think what they want to think, the occasional one will change his mind, but for the most part these guys are cement-head egotistical jerks. If it means Jim Tracy for Manager of the Year, I'm all for it.

2005-04-21 18:12:12
18.   Eric L
re: my last post..

The Jackie Robinson autobio is "I never had it Made"

2005-04-21 18:13:20
19.   frankenspock
"because it's BAD to start 11-2, VERY VERY BAD."

Sure. Because you don't want to use up all your Magical Chemistry Points too early. There is a finite amount to go around, and it's very bad form to spend them all the first two weeks.

Also, when you start off too hot, you can't be a Gutsy Little Team. And everybody loves a Gutsy Little Team.

I'm rubbing my Alex Cora Lucky Medallion real hard right now, if you know what I mean. Jayson Stark, this one's for you.

2005-04-21 18:18:30
20.   Sam NYC
I know a lot of people on this site don't like Tracy (which one of you runs "firejimtracy.com") but I actually like the guy. Despite the brain-freezes, think about some of the major positive things he's done. He stuck with Izturis when everybody wanted to bench him. He made Gagne a closer. He's coached the Dodgers to playoff contention every year he's been there despite average to poor rosters. And I believe he's instilled the never say die attitude they have now. Afterall, he's one of the few constants over the last three years and gradually they have become a team that never quits. That's a big change for a franchise that would pack it in everytime they fell behind between 1992 and 2000.
2005-04-21 18:18:53
21.   LetsGoDodgers
Erickson has yet to strike anybody out in this young season; not a pitcher, not a guy in a slump, nobody. He's giving up roughly 3 baserunners every 2 innings, and roughly 2 dingers every 5 innings. He is done.

IMO, the only reason he made the 25-man squad was because Edwin Jackson couldn't get it together. Hopefully a little more time in Las Vegas will motivate Jackson to become the pitcher scouts feel he's capable of becoming.

2005-04-21 18:20:01
22.   the OZ
RE #15 -

Actually, quite a few writers pegged the West as the worst division in the NL this preseason; it might have been a calculated hedge due to the fact that none of them had any clue who was going to eventualy stand out.

I think there is very little differentiation between the NL divisions this year. The central and east have teams that are good, but overrated (Mets, Marlins, Cardinals, Cubs).

2005-04-21 18:21:03
23.   Dr Love
Larry Bowa summed it up perfectly at the BTF Dugout today. Normally I wouldn't refer to a post made someplace else but it was just so perfect I had to bring it up. Check it out.
2005-04-21 18:23:38
24.   LetsGoDodgers
As for Choi, he is a better fielder than you think. Not a Gold Glover, but much better than average.
2005-04-21 18:27:44
25.   wkk
The bashing of Kent's defense seems to be a constant among the experts as well. How did he get that bad rep? I'm curious, because even when he was a Giant I recall him diving for grounders and making great plays.

I'd recommend "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy. It is the last baseball book I read (not counting this year's Baseball Prospectus).

2005-04-21 18:29:01
26.   molokai
I agree with everything you said Jon. If you go outside of our division and look at the Central everyone has warts. The Cardinals now have a middle infield of Eckstien and Grundy. Houston has an infield of Bagwell(just about done), Biggio(just about done), Everett(good field no hit), and Ensberg who's had 1 good half in his major league career. Cubs had a great starting infield and a terrible outfield and now they have as bad a 2nd/SS combo as you can get and these are the top contenders in the Central. Sure we have warts but it is amazing how everyone else got a pass and the Dodgers got singled out.

So far this season is playing out about as perfect as any DT poster could hope for. We came in as huge underdogs even though most of us felt we had a competitive team. Our GM has been the most vilified GM in recent history. It is always much more satisfying to be an underdog and kick butt then do it the Yankee way.

Beltre/Finley/Lima are all scuffling though I only wish Beltre the best but after watching him I'm a bit worried. I've seen him hit some balls right on the screws and they died on the warning track and that wasn't even in Seattle. He's still getting his hits but where is the power?

2005-04-21 18:32:31
27.   frankenspock
"Actually, quite a few writers pegged the West as the worst division in the NL this preseason"

Sure, but it wasn't bandied about as common knowledge the way it's being done now.

In fact, The Plaschke himself downgraded the NLW from 2nd worst (after the ALC) to the worst in a 24-hour period, based on two separate ESPN appearances. It's quickly becoming a cheap meme for bad journalists.

The more the Dodgers win against their own division, the worse that division will become in the eyes of these people.

2005-04-21 18:33:54
28.   Bob Timmermann
I'm reading "Baseball Before We Knew It" by David Block. Interesting reading about really, really, really, really early forms of baseball and an examination of baseball's creation myths.

Somebody dropped a copy of "National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer" by Stefan Syzmanski and Andrew Zimbalist.

I actually like both sports, which is a minority opinion as fans of each sports love to mock the other.

2005-04-21 18:36:16
29.   Loogy
As a Padres fan, I am starting to already think "wildcard" for S.D. since L.A. is up 4 1/2 over 2nd place and they've only played 15 games. Big Blue could be up 15 games by end of May the way things are rolling.

I look at the L.A. line up and no name says "star" but they are over all above average and
that is easily enough to beat a team starting Geoff Blum or Mike Matheny

2005-04-21 18:36:35
30.   Linkmeister
Re: books

I'll second the Koufax book. Angell's "Game Time" is now out in paperback (I read it in the library edition). The one I noticed at Borders yesterday but didn't buy is "The Last Great Season," about the 1956 Dodgers. I need digital photo equipment more than I need a baseball book right now, or I'd have bought it.

2005-04-21 18:39:09
31.   Art H Tracy
Berkeley Doug,

I'd recommend Rampersand's book about Robinson. It's not a hero worshipping account of his life, but a good account of a great but flawed man who did something incredible.

2005-04-21 18:40:35
32.   Robert Fiore
Anybody notice Baseball Prospectus is still calling the Angels Anaheim? (ANA)
2005-04-21 18:41:44
33.   GoBears
RE 26: "Beltre...I'm a bit worried. I've seen him hit some balls right on the screws and they died on the warning track and that wasn't even in Seattle. He's still getting his hits but where is the power? "

Might Safeco (a great pitcher's park) vs. Dodger Stadium (pitcher's park overall, but above average HR hitter's park) have something to do with it? Or is it that AL pitchers are getting him out with low-and-away junk, until he proves again that he'll lay off it?

2005-04-21 18:42:33
34.   Sam DC
I hope I don't start World War III, but I really liked Marvin Miller's (self-serving, blowhardish) autobiography, A Whole Different Ball Game. It's just a narrow slice of the business of the sport, but it's a fun and crisp read, and a great reminder of how recently the business of baseball was very different than what it is now.

I have sitting in a box that I can't quite find a book that was very highly recommended -- Stolen Season, about minor league ball. Anyone have a view how hard I should hunt for that box?

2005-04-21 18:42:54
35.   Linkmeister
Hey, Bob, if you're reading that you'll probably appreciate this.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/Apr/18/sp/sp05p.html

There was a plaque unveiled at Alexander Cartwright's burial plot here three days ago. He was an early fire chief in Honolulu, as well as the first president of the Honolulu Library.

He was headed to China but became ill, got off the ship here and never left.

2005-04-21 18:44:27
36.   Eric L
We've discussed "The Last Good Season" on here before. It's one of the few books that doesn't paint O'Malley as a complete villain when he moved out of Brooklyn. You can get it used from Amazon for a pretty low price.
2005-04-21 18:45:57
37.   GoBears
Regarding Kent's defense, I too have been very impressed - statistics aside, he LOOKS better than I remember. But last night, late in the game, Sean Burroughs hit a slow one up the middle that I fully expected Kent to flag down behind 2nd base, but he just kind of jogged toward it. THIS was the Kent I remembered, and the one everyone seems to think has limited range. Now, I don't know if Kent was playing Burroughs to pull, and it was just too far to go (in which case you'd think Izzy would've been closer), but at the time, I turned to my wife and asked, "don't you think he should have gotten to that?" All of which shows the danger of impressionsistic evidence, but at least he didn't dive meaninglessly at a ball 15 feet away, just to show his grit.
2005-04-21 18:45:57
38.   GoBears
Regarding Kent's defense, I too have been very impressed - statistics aside, he LOOKS better than I remember. But last night, late in the game, Sean Burroughs hit a slow one up the middle that I fully expected Kent to flag down behind 2nd base, but he just kind of jogged toward it. THIS was the Kent I remembered, and the one everyone seems to think has limited range. Now, I don't know if Kent was playing Burroughs to pull, and it was just too far to go (in which case you'd think Izzy would've been closer), but at the time, I turned to my wife and asked, "don't you think he should have gotten to that?" All of which shows the danger of impressionsistic evidence, but at least he didn't dive meaninglessly at a ball 15 feet away, just to show his grit.
2005-04-21 18:47:28
39.   GoBears
Sorry about the double post. I swear I only hit "submit" once.
2005-04-21 18:48:49
40.   molokai
I'd recommend "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy

Agreed, every Dodger fan who likes to read should make it part of their collection.

For those who don't mind reading about some Giants the book "Willie's Time" by Charles Einstein is excellent. Who knew that salad used to be served after dinner?

2005-04-21 18:51:28
41.   Dr Love
Might Safeco (a great pitcher's park) vs. Dodger Stadium (pitcher's park overall, but above average HR hitter's park) have something to do with it?

HR indexes:

2004: Safeco 113 Dodger Stadium 101
2002-04: Safeco 97 Dodger Stadium 105

I don't think the park is holding him back.

2005-04-21 18:57:08
42.   Eric L
I enjoyed "Willie's Time" quite a bit. I'm speculating that the social and historical commentary was pretty unique for a baseball books when it was written.

Of course, if you want something a little more Dodger related (not much though), "Nice Guys Finish Last" (Leo Durocher) is a fun read.

"Bums" is another good Brooklyn Dodgers related book, though Golenbock is a little heavy handed with his "O'Malley is evil" rhetoric. Most of it is because of the primary sources (interviews?) I would guess.

2005-04-21 18:58:25
43.   DodgerfaninNY
Daniel Okrent's 'Nine Innings' is great reading as well as 'The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract'.
2005-04-21 18:59:44
44.   Sam DC
Is this the first time the Dodgers are seeing Dave Roberts in centerfield this year?
2005-04-21 19:03:05
45.   Marty
If you want to read a good baseball novel, try "the Great American Novel" by Philip Roth. About the Rupert Mundy's of a mythical third league that has to play all of its games on the road. There's some really hilarious stuff in it.

Also "The Natural" by Bernard Malamud is really good, but one of the worst movies ever IMO.

2005-04-21 19:04:23
46.   Eric L
I heard one of the knuckleheads on the Padres' radio station today say that what Valentin did after getting his triple was "bush" (paraphrase) and that one of the Padres pitchers should hit Valentin tonight.

I'm all for playing baseball the right way and not showing up the other guys, but when a guys hits a two-run triple to essentially win the game, he can celebrate a little bit.

Were the guys in the dugout "showing up" Linebrink as well?

2005-04-21 19:08:34
47.   Marty
By the way, whose back of the rotation isn't scary? Its almost impossible to have five solid starters nowadays.
2005-04-21 19:08:55
48.   Dr Love
The only Dodgers book I own is "True Blue" by Steve Delsohn, a year by year story of the Dodgers told by the players. I got it for $5, it's a pretty good resource for a Dodger fan. Some favorite lines:

Mike Scioscia on Steve Sax's throwing problems: "Of course, I remember it. I lost about 15 pounds running from behind the plate to backup first base."

Mike Marshall the pitcher on being traded from Montreal: "But I had, a long time ago, stopped trying to figure out the geniuses who ran baseball."

Tim Belcher on the Dodgers razzing David Cone in the 88 LCS after Cone called Howell a "high school pitcher" because he threw too many curves: "Everytime Dave threw a curve, Dempsey said "Aw, that's high school."

Bob Costas on the #$%@ Costas chant the Dodgers did before Game 4 of the 88 WS: "It was either "Kill Costas" or "%&#! Costas." I'm honored in either case.

Lots of other good ones. I recommend it.

2005-04-21 19:09:44
49.   Marty
Attabot Choi!
2005-04-21 19:10:03
50.   Marty
make that AttaboY
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-21 19:10:40
51.   Dr Love
Attabot works for Choi. He's rather robotic.
2005-04-21 19:10:47
52.   tomA
nice ab from hee seop!
2005-04-21 19:11:21
53.   Dr Love
PRODUCTIVE OUT!
2005-04-21 19:11:46
54.   Eric L
Look how unselfish Drew was..
2005-04-21 19:12:28
55.   Marty
Yes, it was positively Erstadian
2005-04-21 19:13:08
56.   tomA
beltre would have swung at that
2005-04-21 19:18:11
57.   Marty
Who would be our long guy if Erickson stinks it up and has to leave early?
2005-04-21 19:18:57
58.   Bob Timmermann
Buddy Carlyle and D.J. Houlton are pleased to introduce themselves.
2005-04-21 19:19:28
59.   brendan glynn
I'm wondering what scott erickson thought about today's line up. If I was him I might wonder about Choi(yes, I know he just doubled) and grabowski.

I wonder if the pitcher gets upset with whom the manager decides to start on any given day. I think I would.

I dislike it when people say "they haven't played anyone yet" or "they missed their best pitcher" Dodgers can't control that. they go out there and play who is put in front of them. Every game counts the same.There is an amount of luck that goes into any championship season and to discount a team for something that they can't control seems like a waste of time. (As I step off my soap box)

If the Dodgers somehow win this one I'll be beside myself(applauding). What great two weeks I'm having. Life is sweet. WHAT A TEAM

2005-04-21 19:22:13
60.   Dr Love
I wonder if the pitcher gets upset with whom the manager decides to start on any given day. I think I would.

There is no doubt that happens. Not with everyone of course, but heck, when Brett Tomko and Matt Herges were pitching to AJ Pierzynski you think they were happy?

2005-04-21 19:22:18
61.   Bob Timmermann
Ultimately, I think a pitcher only worries about who the catcher is. The other guys he doesn't have much control over.
2005-04-21 19:26:46
62.   brendan glynn
I realize the catcher would be a concern but if you see Bonds sitting down are you saying 'What the heck?!". I've heard stories that pitchers would get upset if they found out the players were going to play without taking any uppers or greenies. Maybe that was in Ball Four(another good baseball book)

They called it "Playing Naked" without taking the amphetmines

2005-04-21 19:28:54
63.   Dr Love
I realize the catcher would be a concern but if you see Bonds sitting down are you saying 'What the heck?!".

With Bonds, probably not, because you know he needs days off so you're probably alright with it, but someone else, absolutely. Lots of teammates don't get along for whatever reasons.

2005-04-21 19:29:22
64.   brendan glynn
Bonds is an extreme example but if erickson has a prickly personality who is in or not in the lineup might be something he has issues with. (god, bad sentence, sorry)
2005-04-21 19:29:43
65.   Blue in SF
How did Loretta "single on a line drive to third baseman Jose Valentin' as gamecast claims?
2005-04-21 19:31:11
66.   Stephen Bright
I don't recommend Leavy's book on Koufax, nor Fred Claire's book, (unless you want to learn how little he knows about evaluating players). Moneyball is an absolute must, and the sequel should be out shortly. The Glory of Their Times is a classic must-read.
2005-04-21 19:31:19
67.   Dr Love
How did Loretta "single on a line drive to third baseman Jose Valentin' as gamecast claims?

Comebacker ricoched off Erickson, died between the mound and 3B, with Roberts moving to 3B Valentin had to cover and Erickson couldn't get the ball to him in time so safe all around.

2005-04-21 19:31:43
68.   tomA
it went off erickson, who picked it up and tried to get roberts going to third
2005-04-21 19:31:46
69.   Bob Timmermann
If a pitcher is thinking that his offense that day isn't going to score enough runs for him to win, then he's not going in with the right attitude. His job is to get the other team out. It's not to worry about his own offense.

That's not to say some don't.

2005-04-21 19:34:47
70.   brendan glynn
makes sense, Bob. thanks
2005-04-21 19:39:00
71.   Ben P
That Vanentin flyout looked a lot like his triple last night. He sure is hitting the ball hard. What a pleasant surprise he's been offensively, especially the walks.
2005-04-21 19:39:06
72.   GoBears
Boy, Erickson got a little unlucky there. Should have gotten out of it only giving up one run. Not counting Loretta's fluke IF single, he gave up 2 singles, a fly ball out, and a SB.
Maybe no runs, because Klesko might never have come up.
2005-04-21 19:39:36
73.   Ben P
Valentin, obviously.
2005-04-21 19:46:31
74.   Berkeley Doug
What happened? I walk away from my computer for a few minutes and we are down 2-0.

BTW thanks for all the book suggestions so far. I forgot all about the Koufax book and I remember it received some good reviews.

re: #34 - Sam DC, I don't remember much about Stolen Summer except that I enjoyed reading it. There was also another book I read at that time about the daily life of an old-time scout that I though was interesting. Can't remember the title, though.

2005-04-21 19:53:01
75.   tomA
is it my imagination, or does erickson seem to be throwing harder this inning?
2005-04-21 19:55:13
76.   Blue in SF
You say Erickson is unlucky; I saw no-stuffy.
2005-04-21 19:59:21
77.   GoBears
Am I losing my mind or did Izturis just lick his bat after that foul ball?
2005-04-21 19:59:58
78.   DodgerfaninNY
#74- I believe the book you might be thinking of is 'Prophet of the Sandlots' by Mark Winegardner, which tells the compelling story of Tony Lucadello, Phillie's superscout. Another great baseball book.
2005-04-21 20:00:50
79.   Sam DC
Eaton has thrown 57 pitches.

No word from gameday whether he's licked any of them.

2005-04-21 20:00:56
80.   Ben P
Choi!! I don't want to jinx him.
2005-04-21 20:01:04
81.   Bob Timmermann
It's a veritable Choi hitting bonanza. He just needs a triple and homer now for the cycle!
2005-04-21 20:01:22
82.   Berkeley Doug
#78 - I think you are right because I now remember many reference to the Phillies. On a sad note, if I remember correctly, didn't he commit suicide recently?
2005-04-21 20:01:55
83.   Dr Love
The engineer in the truck is en fuego tonight. Wrong way on the CCU there bub.
2005-04-21 20:02:13
84.   Berkeley Doug
Come on JD.
2005-04-21 20:02:16
85.   Jim Hitchcock
Hee-Seop's tired pof eating veggies.
2005-04-21 20:04:00
86.   LAT
What a nasty pitch to get Drew
2005-04-21 20:04:53
87.   DodgerfaninNY
#82- Actually you just gave away the suprise ending of the book, which comes out of nowhere. Very sad story.
2005-04-21 20:05:44
88.   GoBears
Alex Cora woulda.....
......fouled off 12 more pitches before popping up like that.
2005-04-21 20:05:56
89.   Berkeley Doug
#87 - My bad. I forgot that happened in the book. I thought I read it somewhere else and they mentioned he was the scout profiled in that book.
2005-04-21 20:07:37
90.   GoBears
This 2-0 deficit is Choi's fault. IF he had homered twice instead of selfishly building his batting average with a double and a single, it'd be 3-2 Blue!
2005-04-21 20:08:39
91.   Dr Love
I blame it on Erickson, it's his fault the team isn't giving him run support.
2005-04-21 20:09:53
92.   GoBears
"Adventures in Fielding" by Jose Valentin.

Sheesh! He's gonna have Blass/Sax/Knoblauch disease if he's not careful. The one thing I've noticed is that all of his bad throws have been when he's moving forward. You don't do that as often at SS - I wonder if it's just something he needs to learn?

2005-04-21 20:10:58
93.   Bob Timmermann
I just checked in online on the Angels-Indians game and it says that the Angels sacrificed a runner over from second to third.

Despite being down 5-0 at the time.

Now if Mike Scioscia really called for a bunt there and DaVanon just wasn't bunting for a hit, I would wonder.

2005-04-21 20:14:52
94.   Steve
Brian Giles now comes with extra crouch.
2005-04-21 20:16:09
95.   LAT
Is it me or is Vinny umpiring every throw Valitine makes highlighting the obvious issue at 3rd
2005-04-21 20:16:44
96.   dan reines
not watching the game, but i see that eaton has 68 pitches through three innings. seems like a lot, no? especially with the dodgers only having had three hits and no walks?

are they just doing a nice job of working the count?

2005-04-21 20:16:49
97.   GoBears
3-run HR for Chad Tracy against Jason Schmidt. 3-0 D-Bax, Top-4th.
2005-04-21 20:16:50
98.   Berkeley Doug
(In the voice of Vin Scully)

"And up north in San Francisco, Chad Tracy hits a 3 run HR off of Jason Schmidt to give AZ a 3-0 lead of the Giants. My have the Giants struggled this year and tonight they are down again early."

2005-04-21 20:17:21
99.   Bob Timmermann
Since Valentin is starting to make a case for himself as the Butch Hobson of 2005, I think it's justified.
2005-04-21 20:17:26
100.   Berkeley Doug
(In the voice of Vin Scully)

"And up north in San Francisco, Chad Tracy hits a 3 run HR off of Jason Schmidt to give AZ a 3-0 lead of the Giants. My have the Giants struggled this year and tonight they are down again early."

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-04-21 20:19:54
101.   tomA
eaton's now up over 80 pitches w/ 1 out in the fourth
2005-04-21 20:20:52
102.   tomA
gidp... ouch!
2005-04-21 20:23:58
103.   GoBears
OK, on Klesko's hit, Kent DID dive at a ball already past him. Looked gritty, tho.
2005-04-21 20:25:58
104.   tomA
very unlucky again this inning
2005-04-21 20:26:03
105.   LAT
Kent just proved white men really can't jump
2005-04-21 20:26:43
106.   Bob Timmermann
That DP was Cora-esque!
2005-04-21 20:26:58
107.   GoBears
Niccccccccccceeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Kent!
2005-04-21 20:27:09
108.   LAT
He may not be able to jump or dive but he sure can spin!!!
2005-04-21 20:27:55
109.   DepoBall
just tuning in to the thread and the game(day). lot of strike from mr Erickson, but a lot of pitches for the 4th inning ....
2005-04-21 20:29:46
110.   DepoBall
ur me and my big mouth
2005-04-21 20:35:22
111.   DepoBall
bunt scott bunt
2005-04-21 20:43:15
112.   LAT
Always an adventure at 3rd
2005-04-21 20:45:55
113.   tomA
need another dp...
2005-04-21 20:52:02
114.   adg
The wheels just came off the cart, as Vin used to say.
2005-04-21 20:54:16
115.   Daniel B
Why was Erickson out there that long. He was shaky all night, yet Tracy waits until he gives up 5 runs to pull the plug? I understand that hindsight is 20-20, but Erickson just wasnt making good pitches tonight.
2005-04-21 20:57:05
116.   Sam NYC
Daniel B,

Honestly, I thought they should have pinch hit for Erickson to leadoff the fifth. Four innings out of Erickson is plenty considering the strong outing Lowe had last night. Where's Edwin Jackson?

2005-04-21 20:57:07
117.   DepoBall
outs recorded for buddy, within standard comeback reach, still
2005-04-21 20:58:16
118.   DepoBall
Tracy won't take out a starter throwing 65% strikes after only 4 innings when he's down only 2 runs.

but i wish he had

2005-04-21 20:59:09
119.   Bob Timmermann
Tracy probably didn't want to use a lot of relievers before heading to Denver. Especially with Dessens not available.
2005-04-21 20:59:15
120.   DepoBall
quiet on the thread tonight ('only' 100 posts). are we complacent so soon?
2005-04-21 20:59:39
121.   LAT
Am I supposed to root against the D'Backs becasue they are in second place or for them because they are beating the Giants?
2005-04-21 21:00:39
122.   DepoBall
have a tough time believing the d-backs will matter past the all-star break
2005-04-21 21:00:39
123.   Jon Weisman
Jackson has allowed 11 hits, seven walks and 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings over two games with Las Vegas this season. Journeyman Pat Mahomes has been the 51s' best starter.
2005-04-21 21:01:25
124.   GoBears
Erickson wasn't great, but he was unlucky. Those first 2 runs, where a comebacker off his body was the key "hit" and the last two, when a shattered-bat bloop single drove them in. Dodgers have been scoring runs that way, so they were bound to give some up.
2005-04-21 21:01:44
125.   Jon Weisman
That fan who grabbed the ball in play needs to be removed from the stadium.
2005-04-21 21:01:57
126.   GoBears
Toss that fan!
2005-04-21 21:02:10
127.   DepoBall
kent = "no out recorded"
is that sabremetrics? there's an math-symbol...
2005-04-21 21:02:35
128.   Sam NYC
Bob,

Good point. Though I'm watching the game on ESPN Gamecast and I got the feeling that Erickson's wheels were about to fall off. Don't know why.

How does Erickson look anyway? Was he hanging on by fingernails or just getting unlucky?

2005-04-21 21:02:44
129.   LAT
Depo I probably agree but that's waht everyone said about the Dodgers at the start. I hope they throw that fan out.
2005-04-21 21:04:08
130.   tomA
except for klesko's double, i don't think they were hitting him that hard - groundballs and bloopers, mostly

i think he was pretty unlucky

2005-04-21 21:05:22
131.   LAT
Damn it, you think I would learn by now. . .everytime I mention how much I enjoy the Giants sucking they come up with runs. Who knew I had such power.
2005-04-21 21:05:24
132.   LAT
Damn it, you think I would learn by now. . .everytime I mention how much I enjoy the Giants sucking they come up with runs. Who knew I had such power.
2005-04-21 21:05:37
133.   GoBears
3-2 DBax over SF. 2-run HR by Lance Niekro.
2005-04-21 21:05:37
134.   LAT
Damn it, you think I would learn by now. . .everytime I mention how much I enjoy the Giants sucking they come up with runs. Who knew I had such power.
2005-04-21 21:06:29
135.   Sam NYC
Jon,

So I guess that's a no-go on Jackson. ;) What's going on with him?

"only 100 posts?"
I think everyone's exhausted from all the delirium over the last few days.

2005-04-21 21:06:29
136.   Langhorne
That fan just cost us a run. Looks like he didn't realise the ball was fair. But he should be shown the door.
2005-04-21 21:06:52
137.   Bob Timmermann
I just watch Erickson and think to myself, "this is like watching a right-handed, better-looking Kirk Rueter."
2005-04-21 21:06:59
138.   LAT
sorry for the multiples
2005-04-21 21:07:24
139.   Ben P
How does Valentin decide whether he's going to bat L or R against a LHP? Is it the kind of stuff they have or what?
2005-04-21 21:07:26
140.   A E LUTHER
Doesn't everyone just love these two game series? Two of these in one week.
2005-04-21 21:09:26
141.   Sam NYC
Midnight here. Am I a bad Dodger fan if I give up on this game and go to bed? Soooooooo Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy
2005-04-21 21:09:53
142.   tomA
You nailed it, Bob!

Reuter=Alfred E. Newman

2005-04-21 21:10:19
143.   Langhorne
Well, assuming Kent could have gotten a triple out of that ball hit down the line it should be 5-2. I blame the media.
2005-04-21 21:12:01
144.   tomA
I like our chances if we can get to 200 posts before the 8th.
2005-04-21 21:12:27
145.   A E LUTHER
Sam-if your not sleeping yet, who's got more buzz back there, the Yanks or the Mets?
2005-04-21 21:12:44
146.   DepoBall
man on 2nd and 3rd, nobody out and only 1 run the crest of the wave of timely hits?

let me write potzie's column; depodesta's laptop didn't figure this

o and cora would have punched that fan's beer, teaching him manly restraint in the process

2005-04-21 21:13:08
147.   kegtron
Re: Beltre

Isn't he a notoriously slow starter?

2005-04-21 21:13:54
148.   DepoBall
jeez, guess i have to preview posts still

period after run.

2005-04-21 21:14:06
149.   A E LUTHER
Reuter and Erickson have nothing on Don Mossi.
2005-04-21 21:15:45
150.   Midwest Blue
Hey, that wasn't nice for an ex-Dodger to do to us.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-04-21 21:15:47
151.   Sam NYC
AE Luther,

Neither. This is the deadest NYC baseball season yet. People are waiting for the Yanks to wake up and Mets fans are waiting for the wheels to completely fall off. Mets fans are worse than us that way, like hypnotized chickens, if you know that farm trick.

2005-04-21 21:16:04
152.   gregsmokler
this ump is all over the place
2005-04-21 21:16:24
153.   LAT
Think Roberts enjoyed that much
2005-04-21 21:16:59
154.   A E LUTHER
#147:
"
Re: Beltre

Isn't he a notoriously slow starter?

Ans:
Yes it took him about seven years in L.A. before he got it going.

2005-04-21 21:17:32
155.   DepoBall
aaargh,

can we put buddy out of my misery yet?

2005-04-21 21:18:08
156.   Midwest Blue
And a couple of months to come back to Earth...
2005-04-21 21:18:33
157.   Sam NYC
Beltre was a slow starter in every year except last year ... and obviously last year was different.
2005-04-21 21:19:30
158.   kegtron
After game one Mets fans were lining up at the ledge of 59th Street Bridge.
2005-04-21 21:19:43
159.   Midwest Blue
If this goes as it has, the work begins now.
2005-04-21 21:20:13
160.   DL04
Re: #145

I'm in NYC also, and I think it's pretty equal. The Mets have that "new" thing going for them, while everyone just expects the Yankees to be all-world, all the time.

The Mets 6-game winning streak knocked the Yankees off the back page, but then the Boss had his meltdown and that was the story for a while... same stuff, different season.

2005-04-21 21:20:51
161.   Midwest Blue
..I mean right after we get Jason out of the way.
2005-04-21 21:22:12
162.   tomA
awful call
2005-04-21 21:22:23
163.   joekings
that was low, very low.
2005-04-21 21:22:55
164.   Midwest Blue
I think the road trip is finally starting to catch up to the boys.
2005-04-21 21:23:05
165.   A E LUTHER
Thanks Sam NYC for your unbiased, fresh comment. Man I'm so tired of the Yanks/Bosox thing too. How many books were wriiten about all that curse stuff anyway.

6-1 top seven, and someone we'll probably get tossed before this one's over due to the "strike zone" tonight.

2005-04-21 21:23:36
166.   tomA
be a hero, hee seop...
2005-04-21 21:24:59
167.   joekings
so now in addition to extra outfielders in the stands it appears the umpires have decided to join the padres.
2005-04-21 21:25:22
168.   Midwest Blue
Gagne
2005-04-21 21:25:38
169.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers can't seem to hit old soft-tossing lefties. They didn't hit Fassero either.

Other teams need to stock up on them.

2005-04-21 21:27:09
170.   kegtron
I thought Vinnie was gonna say "He who hesitates, Hee Seops"
2005-04-21 21:28:22
171.   Midwest Blue
Jumping on those first pitches.
2005-04-21 21:29:46
172.   tomA
ack! dink and dunk! this is torturous!
2005-04-21 21:30:28
173.   Midwest Blue
I'm only Gamedaying, but it seems like their seeing Houlton pretty well.
2005-04-21 21:30:47
174.   GoBears
They always talk about how LH hitters love the ball low. I've never understood why that should be true. But Ramon Hernandez, a RH hitter, now has 2 singles in this game off his shoelaces. Sheesh! Throw them up instead!
2005-04-21 21:31:07
175.   tomA
i believe jd was called out on a pitch exactly like ball one to sweeney
2005-04-21 21:31:26
176.   DepoBall
K for DJ
2005-04-21 21:33:03
177.   Smirk
Let the comeback begin
2005-04-21 21:33:11
178.   joekings
i thought milton was just going to throw it in.
2005-04-21 21:33:37
179.   GoBears
Boy, that was one of the most unimpressive scoreless innings I've seen in a while.
2005-04-21 21:34:13
180.   tomA
hernandez's singles were like cricket strokes
2005-04-21 21:34:43
181.   Midwest Blue
144. tomA
I like our chances if we can get to 200 posts before the 8th.

Unfortunately, we only made 177.

2005-04-21 21:35:51
182.   Sam NYC
I can the headline in the LA Times already:

DODGERS EQUAL LONGEST LOSING STREAK OF SEASON

When I lived in L.A., the Times was all rght. Seriously, when did the Times exactly determine that the Dodgers were evil.

2005-04-21 21:36:26
183.   Midwest Blue
No, JD, no.
2005-04-21 21:36:47
184.   tomA
perhaps the road trip has been taxing on us all
2005-04-21 21:37:22
185.   dan reines
it ain't the times, it's plaschke. and it ain't the dodgers, it's computers.

simers mocks the dodgers because simers mocks everyone. plaschke thinks paul depodesta is evil. he just happens to be the very big face of the times' sports coverage.

2005-04-21 21:38:06
186.   Midwest Blue
Gee, Kent wasn't pressing, was he?
At least he tried.
Dodgers are about to mail this one in.
2005-04-21 21:38:22
187.   DepoBall
I think the LATimes road was paved with good intentions.

many years of crap mgt post-O'Malleys got them in the habit of complaining after every trade. now they don't know a good deal when they get one.

2005-04-21 21:38:49
188.   Sam NYC
The very big fat pink face of the LA Times, I think you mean. Everytime I see him on Around the Horn, he looks more and more like a lisping pig.
2005-04-21 21:38:57
189.   GoBears
Ugh. 1-2-3 thru the middle of the order.

We are not amused.

2005-04-21 21:39:10
190.   Midwest Blue
Is it Wunch-time?
2005-04-21 21:41:01
191.   dan reines
sam nyc: yes: fat, pink face. exactamundo.
2005-04-21 21:41:34
192.   Midwest Blue
I'd rather see Roberts in our RF than their CF.
2005-04-21 21:42:07
193.   Midwest Blue
Sorry, meant LF.
2005-04-21 21:42:11
194.   DepoBall
boy gameday thinks houlton's getting Roberts to work his golf swing
2005-04-21 21:42:14
195.   GoBears
3-3 up in SF.
2005-04-21 21:43:06
196.   DepoBall
as much as i like roberts, i don't see how you improve our outfield with him
2005-04-21 21:45:02
197.   GoBears
I agree, DepoBall. In fact, the Dodgers basically agreed last year, trading Roberts instead of Werth (who was more highly coveted) at the deadline.
2005-04-21 21:45:20
198.   Bob Timmermann
I doubt Roberts would have thrown two runners out on the bases.
2005-04-21 21:45:20
199.   A E LUTHER
Would you trade Werth/Grobowski/Repko for Roberts???

Bradley is the Dodger's MVP not Kent.

2005-04-21 21:45:22
200.   joekings
at least our outfielders have good arms tonight.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-04-21 21:45:41
201.   tomA
milton's still in the game...
2005-04-21 21:45:44
202.   DepoBall
Am i wrong or is houlton doing alright tonight?
2005-04-21 21:45:55
203.   GoBears
Wow. MB hasn't hit a lick today, but he's serving notice that he is not to be trifled with on the basepaths.
2005-04-21 21:46:39
204.   Midwest Blue
Gameday said that (prior to Loretta) Houlton had thrown 14 of 17 pitches for strikes and is now 17 out of 24.
2005-04-21 21:47:42
205.   DepoBall
yes way, jose!

(i like to alternate analysis with rooting like i'm twelve)

2005-04-21 21:48:04
206.   A E LUTHER
McCourt knows a good defensive play when he sees one...
2005-04-21 21:48:57
207.   joekings
this umpire must have a hot date tonight.
2005-04-21 21:49:02
208.   tomA
that was on the shoetops
2005-04-21 21:49:03
209.   A E LUTHER
Shoelaces strike, Tracy gonna get tossed.
2005-04-21 21:49:53
210.   A E LUTHER
Valentin, then Tracy
2005-04-21 21:50:11
211.   Midwest Blue
Right now I'm rooting for Penny to be what he was and and Wilson to come back soon.
2005-04-21 21:50:28
212.   LAT
time to go get a sandwich
2005-04-21 21:50:40
213.   LAT
time to go get a sandwich
2005-04-21 21:51:07
214.   GoBears
That's OK. They need to hurry up the line in the showers anyway, to get to the airport more quickly.
2005-04-21 21:51:24
215.   Midwest Blue
Eject Jim Tracy.
2005-04-21 21:52:11
216.   DepoBall
If that ball hit philips on the ankle, it would have been a strike
2005-04-21 21:52:13
217.   tomA
grabowski has not looked good at all tonight
2005-04-21 21:53:50
218.   DepoBall
grabowski's picture on gameday is reuter-esque. so he won't look good, ever
2005-04-21 21:54:19
219.   Midwest Blue
I can't see what you guys are seeing, but I will say Andy Fletcher, you suck.
2005-04-21 21:54:26
220.   GoBears
159-3?!
2005-04-21 21:55:24
221.   Midwest Blue
What's Vin saying now?
2005-04-21 21:56:07
222.   GoBears
SF and Zona tied 3-3. SF has a runner on 2nd with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th. JT Snow is up. 2-2 count
2005-04-21 21:57:11
223.   DepoBall
here's hoping JT pulls on his groin some more
2005-04-21 21:57:12
224.   GoBears
Extra innings. Snow popped out.
2005-04-21 21:58:46
225.   Midwest Blue
The next streak starts tomorrow.
Outta here (it's late).
2005-04-21 22:01:37
226.   Bob Timmermann
It is a trip to Colorado. That should make any hitter who had a bad night tonight feel much better.
2005-04-21 22:04:36
227.   DepoBall
yep, but i worry about penny starting there - guess elmer's shoulder isn't happy yet

actually this staff will probably continue to be fragile all season; that's what will make this an interesting year

2005-04-21 22:26:37
228.   fanerman91
On the bright side, Choi had 2 hits, one of them a double. Hopefully that buys him another game or 2.
2005-04-22 06:06:55
229.   Albert in Hong Kong
After their first loss after the home opener, Simers and Plaschke start writing about the Dodgers again. Phhtt.

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