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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
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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April 30 Open Chat: Choi on Everyone's Brain
2005-04-30 17:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Tonight's Game

* * *

For your pregame entertainment: "Why I Missed Hee Seop Choi's Granny," by Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. An excerpt:

"He says that if you're a true Dodger fan and you're home on Friday night, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be watching the game. I think he said something about demanding satisfaction, like you burning your 2004 division championship T-shirt in the parking lot of the Big A, or something like that. I stopped listening after a while."

I glanced over at the girls amusing themselves on the living room floor. "Look, Nonie!" cried Emma, "it's Cinderella!"

* * *

With regards to whether Choi or Olmedo Saenz should start against left-handed pitchers, let me just add this to the discussion. It's a Dodger Thoughts post from February 7, 2004: "Only If He Hits Righties Does He Hit Lefties."

So, here's the revolution.

The best way to look at how a right-handed major league batter will perform against left-handed pitchers ... is to make sure you give heavy emphasis to his stats against right-handed pitchers. ...

Studies performed by Bill James and other sabermaticians - MGL on Baseball Primer is another notable source - indicate that over time, the ratio between a right-handed batter's OPS against righty and lefty pitchers is consistently 1.09 to 1.

In a given season, or even in given seasons, there will be aberrations. Because most pitchers are right-handed, players get relatively few at-bats against southpaws, thus skewing the sample sizes.

But the stats guys are trying to assure us that overtime, right-handed batters will regress to this Platoon Golden Mean.

The Oakland A's learned this the hard way, for example, when they signed Eric Karros in 2004 to be a specialist against left-handed pitching. He did do better against lefties, but his overall performance slid so much as to make him untenable.

What it means is that just because Saenz appears to hammer lefties way better than righties doesn't imply that he will continue to do so. On the other hand, it doesn't mean that limiting Choi to right-handed pitching for now is a bad tactic for the team overall. It's all stuff to consider...

Comments (171)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-30 17:58:30
1.   Dennis Cozzalio
Jon: Thanks very much for the link to my article. It's really nice to be associated in any way with this terrific site. I promise to watch the game tonight, as I now have reason to suspect I'm being monitored...
2005-04-30 18:04:35
2.   tjshere
With apologies to SB, I have not been a huge fan of Choi ever since the trade, when Ross Porter reported that the knock on Choi was that he tends to get his hits when they don't mean much. That he has the rep of a rally killer. That being said, if Choi is going to be our first baseman he has to be given a legitimate shot to perform. All this platooning and pinch-hitting can't be helping his confidence and he's bound to struggle when he's pressing. I'd like to see him start pretty much every day right up to the All-Star break and see what he can do.

I'd also like to see Penny throw 7 or 8 innings worth of BBs tonight. Go Blue!

2005-04-30 18:16:01
3.   deburns
Is it supposed to be obvious that a study of how RHB's perform against LHP's and RHP's will also apply to LHB's performance. Does Karros' performance (as an example, not specifically Karros) presage what Choi's performance would be if he played full-time? I don't know,just asking.
2005-04-30 18:19:53
4.   GoBears
re 2:
Ross Porter either was wrong (or the people he was citing were wrong) or else he (or they) relied on small samples. This is essentially calling Choi "anti-clutch." But studies show that clutch hitting is not a skill. .300 hitters get hits on 30% of their ABs, period. Some will be clutch, others not. Players do not show a consistent ability (or inability) to improve in "clutch" situations. One well-known recent example is Derek Jeter, who was famous for picking it up come playoff time. Well, at this point, Jeter has had enough playoff plate appearances that - guess what? - his playoff numbers are indistinguishable from his regular season numbers (and I think that controls for the fact that he's facing better pitching in the playoffs). Now, someone showed on this blog that most of Choi's HRs have been against inferior pitchers, but we don't know if that's true of most players. Has to be, I guess, if "inferior" means "gives up lots of HRs."
2005-04-30 18:20:27
5.   LAT
I am no Choi fan either but I agree with you tjshere. He shoudl be gived a fair and stable chance. As for tonight, just go with the hot hand--and that's Choi. When your'e at a hot table in Vegas you don't get up and go look for another one--you ride it out. You play the stats and the odds most of the time but when the streak comes you increase your bet and go with it.

My God this is already a messed up season: I'm arguing for Choi to play every day. How did I get here?

2005-04-30 18:23:27
6.   LAT
By the way Bears, I know there is no such thing as a hot hand in the long term. But the short term is another matter. . .
2005-04-30 18:24:44
7.   Marty
I'm looking forward to seeing how Penny does tonight too. I was very impressed with the last outing in bad whether and that nightmare park. Two games without pain in a row would be the most we've seen since the trade. That would make me worry a lot less about him.
Even if they lose tonight that would leave them at .609 which would put them on a 98 win pace if my math is right. I'll take that any time.
2005-04-30 18:43:21
8.   Bob Timmermann
Tonight, by the demand of no one, I'm starting a feature called Random Dodger Game Callback. I created a list of random years for the Dodgers entire history (1884 to 2004) and I will detail the highlights of the Dodger game (or games) that day. I'll just post them on days when the Dodgers play and if my random year is an offday, I'll just pick the next one in line until I find a day that works. The random order will be a closely guarded secret to prevent wagering or tampering.

So here goes:

Random Dodger game callback

April 30, 1970

Before a crowd of 10,396 at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers beat the Expos 2-1 as Dodger rookie Sandy Vance earned his first major league win. The Dodgers scored two runs in the first off of Expo starter Bill Stoneman on two singles, two walks and a force out. The only run Vance allowed came on an inside-the-park homer by Bobby Wine. Wine hit a fly ball down the right field line that Andy Kosco appeared to catch, but then dropped after colliding with the foul pole. Kosco was stunned after the collision and Wine easily circled the bases. Bill Buckner finished up for Kosco, although Buckner was in left and Willie Crawford played right.

The win evened the Dodgers record in 1970 at 10-10, but they still trailed the first place Reds by 5 games. The Dodgers would finish 1970 with an 87-74 record, 14 ½ games behind the Reds in the NL West.

Guys who played for the Dodgers in 1970 whom you might not have remembered being on the team: Camilo Pascual and Fred Norman.

(Most information will come from Retrosheet supplemented by newspaper accounts that I can scrounge up, but primarily Retrosheet)

2005-04-30 18:44:24
9.   Marty
Jon, you got a nice mention of your anniversary post on LA Observed today...
2005-04-30 18:47:05
10.   tjshere
IIRC, Ross got the "Rally Killer" tag from some of the Marlins players he talked to right after the trade. I seem to remember I got the impression Choi's former teammates were NOT sad to see him go.

Still, he's a heck of a bargain if he can put up even adequate numbers. I say let him play. And I think in a few months we'll be more concerned with a new 3rd baseman.

I don't get a chance to post much, but I lurk a lot. I'd like to thank all you guys and gals for all the great reading. And a happy belated anniversary to Jon.

2005-04-30 18:54:02
11.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
I seem to remember I got the impression Choi's former teammates were NOT sad to see him go.
Yet they were thrilled by the return of Juan Encarnacion, right?
(Actually, I know that's not true. Last year, when the Dodgers played the Marlins in the early part of the year, I listened to the game via the Marlins radio network. The announcers said Juan was the type who showed up, played hard then went home. Not a real sociable type, I gathered.)
2005-04-30 19:11:44
12.   Bob Timmermann
"Old friend" Raul Mondesi hit a walkoff homer in Atlanta and the Braves beat the Cards 3-2.

The Giants lead the Pirates 7-5 going to the bottom of the 9th. Jim Brower is the 8th pitcher of the night for the Giants.

2005-04-30 19:13:10
13.   Aug C
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/24/sports/baseball/24score.html?
For those interested, this NY Times brief article reports that Bill James has decided that there might be such a thing as clutch hittings after all.

Brad Penny looks like a middle linebacker. Let's go Dodgers.

2005-04-30 19:13:21
14.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Jim Brower is the 8th pitcher of the night for the Giants.
It's reassuring to see the Dodgers aren't the only team with a 12-man pitching staff.
2005-04-30 19:15:55
15.   Steve
#5 -- and there I am defending Tracy's decision to play Saenz. We're all through the looking glass this year.
2005-04-30 19:16:15
16.   Jim Hitchcock
Well.
2005-04-30 19:16:42
17.   Marty
Penny looks good so far. 95 mph
2005-04-30 19:17:21
18.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
That was an auspicious opening.
2005-04-30 19:18:03
19.   Marty
Kerry Wood left after 3 innings tonight with more tendonitis
2005-04-30 19:18:47
20.   Bob Timmermann
7-6 Giants now with 2 outs in the 9th with Bobby Hill the last chance for the Bucs against Brower.
2005-04-30 19:19:28
21.   Bob Timmermann
Giants win 7-6 and go over .500 at 12-11.
2005-04-30 19:23:49
22.   Bob Timmermann
Marlins closer Guillermo Mota is going on the DL with a sore elbow.

I hear it's because he's been affected by not being able to pitch in front of Eric Gagne.

2005-04-30 19:26:22
23.   Marty
For awhile now Vinnie has been giving us a running count of consecutive chances Kent has fielded cleanly. It's nice to hear Vin tell any doubters "forget about Cora"
2005-04-30 19:27:03
24.   Steve
McKeon overused him. Three innings a week was way too many.
2005-04-30 19:29:22
25.   GoBears
6.By the way Bears, I know there is no such thing as a hot hand in the long term. But the short term is another matter...

Actually, no it isn't. Now, I'm as superstitious as the next fan, so I have no inherent problem with riding a hunch. And if the REASON that one guy is hot and another cold is known to the manager (say, one guy is hurt, or distracted by family problems, or has just lost his confidence or somesuch), then it's not really a matter of riding the hot hand so much as choosing the guy with the better chance to succeed. But the "hot hand" studies were all about the short run. Does the fact that a guy has hit 6 jump shots in a row mean he's more likely than his normal FG% to make the next one, or perhaps less likely, because he's due to miss? No. His expected probability of success on the next shot (or AB)is precisely his long-term average. If Tracy believes that the reason that Choi is "hot" is because he has only faced RHP, then he's right to play Saenz instead tonight.

Sorry to be annoying probabilitytheorygeekguy. Especially since I agree with both LAT and tjshere that it'd be nice to see Choi play every day. Or at least is a predictable platoon. I'll cut it out now and let everyone enjoy the game.

2005-04-30 19:30:45
26.   Bob Timmermann
Kent has a long way to go to break the record for consecutive errorless games by a second baseman in a seaon.

Ryne Sandberg went 90 games without an error.
Manny Trillo had 479 consecutive errorless chances.

2005-04-30 19:31:43
27.   Marty
Is Penny on a pitch count tonight? I missed it if anyone said he was.
2005-04-30 19:32:58
28.   patsweetpat
Cora would've turned that double play after first gift-wrapping the ball and including a card.
2005-04-30 19:33:30
29.   bigcpa
Jon-
Your righthanded hitter platoon phenomenon applies perfectly to tonight's lineup. That is what makes Tracy think Nakamura will perform better vs Kennedy than Choi? That's the disappointment to me, not having Saenz in the lineup.
2005-04-30 19:34:26
30.   GoBears
I'd have given Kent an error on that pop-up he dropped out in right field a few games ago. It would have been a nice play, but he got to it, and it just bounced right out of his glove. He also tried to catch it over the shoulder, when I thought he got there in plenty of time to turn around and make a routine catch. Could I have made that play? Probably not. But he should have.
2005-04-30 19:35:34
31.   GoBears
Good point, bigcpa (#29).
2005-04-30 19:35:45
32.   Bob Timmermann
The guy sitting behind me on Wednesday night said Kent dropped the ball because he didn't try hard enough.

That was his explanation for everything. I really disliked that man.

2005-04-30 19:36:59
33.   Odysseus
Well then why doesn't Kent just try to hit a home run every at bat.

I think Choi should try this out too.

2005-04-30 19:37:32
34.   Marty
Big, am I not understanding. Isn't Saenz playing first?
2005-04-30 19:37:37
35.   Jim Hitchcock
No set pitch count, Marty.

GoBears, it was Counsell that dropped the pop-up. In the bottom half of the inning, Kent never touched the ball on his chance.

2005-04-30 19:37:53
36.   GoBears
These "Cora would have..." jokes are still funny to me. They might get old eventually, but not yet. They remind me of what Chick Hearn used to say when a guy was having a great all-around game - pts, rbs, ast, stls, blks, etc. He's say "he's done everything tonight but sell the popcorn" or some variation on same.

Now, if someone could argue that Cora would also pop the beachballs and shame the rowdy "fans" into politeness, well, then I miss Cora too!

2005-04-30 19:39:24
37.   GoBears
re 35: Oh, OK - I got the two confused. But I remember on Kent's thinking "he should have had that," because he did get there. Thanks for the correction, tho.
2005-04-30 19:39:42
38.   Odysseus
Popping beach balls is beneath Cora. In the time it takes an usher to pop a beach ball, Cora could circumnavigate the globe three times and donate his bone barrow to 18 needy kids.
2005-04-30 19:41:05
39.   GoBears
Vinnie's a crack-up.
2005-04-30 19:41:06
40.   Steve
Bigcpa, are you suggesting Saenz should play third against LHP? I don't know how I feel about that. I'm not even sure if it's possible. I think of Saenz at 3rd like I think of Grabowski at catcher; possible, but I hope to heaven I never have to see it.
2005-04-30 19:41:20
41.   Borchard504
Is Choi not playing tonight after being so hot?

Penny is looking real smooth. Hope it can last.

2005-04-30 19:43:38
42.   Jim Hitchcock
The sun is not rising on Nori.
2005-04-30 19:43:50
43.   Bob Timmermann
I hope Nori enjoys Las Vegas.
2005-04-30 19:43:50
44.   Steve
We should have more respect for Alex Cora. At the rate they're going, he's going to out OPS Finley and Beltre combined.
2005-04-30 19:43:51
45.   Borchard504
nakamura looked clueless just now...
2005-04-30 19:44:09
46.   GoBears
I think Nori might be back in Japan before the end of the season. He'll get sent down and might decide that he's rather not stay in AAA.
2005-04-30 19:44:31
47.   Steve
It's more of a Valentin/Nakamura problem, isn't it?
2005-04-30 19:46:21
48.   popup
Bob T, thanks for the look back through Dodger history. I would not mind it if Jon gave you front page space for your series. I remember Sandy Vance, though I never saw him pitch. What a great name for a Dodger pitcher. Too bad he did not have Sandy's ability and Dazzy's durability.

I look forward your future posts.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-04-30 19:47:44
49.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, whadda you know, Rick Monday does know something. It's in rule 8.01
"Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while standing on the rubber."
2005-04-30 19:48:28
50.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks, Stan. And thanks for the tape, which I neglected to thank you for properly
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-30 19:48:47
51.   Jim Hitchcock
Well, well.
2005-04-30 19:49:56
52.   Marty
Steve, I agree. 3B is the biggest problem (LF is next I think, but Werth will fix that). I think we have to live with that problem as we wait for Guzman. I don't think that spot will cost us too much this year.
2005-04-30 19:56:14
53.   popup
Bob T, you are welcome. Too bad the tape could not be included for circulation in the LA public library system. I figure that there are plenty of Dodger fans who would enjoy hearing it. Hope you liked it.

Stan in Tacoma

2005-04-30 19:58:35
54.   Borchard504
Helton got a few favors from the ump last AB
2005-04-30 19:59:16
55.   Bob Timmermann
From what I can tell the penalty for Kennedy not standing on the rubber when taking signs if there is no one on base is that the umpire will tell him "go stand on the rubber when you do that".

I suppose an umpire could decide to not count any pitch. But if there's no runner on, there's not much you can penalize.

2005-04-30 20:02:26
56.   Borchard504
Nice inning by Penny - does he normally give up a lot of fly ball outs? Good thing is those last two going to right field, the batters are late.
2005-04-30 20:04:31
57.   GoBears
Bob - another possibility is that he could add a "ball" to the count for each violation.
2005-04-30 20:04:31
58.   Bob Timmermann
Pads-DBacks are 0-0 after 4 at PETCO.
2005-04-30 20:05:03
59.   GoBears
Well, that was pretty close to a PSA by Vinnie, at least for those of us at home. "I wish there was a rule you couldn't have a beachball..."
2005-04-30 20:05:42
60.   Bob Timmermann
The rulebook doesn't seem to allow the umpire to add an automatic ball for what Kennedy was doing. All he can do is what he did, which was, "Don't do that anymore kid."

I think the recourse would be either do it right or get kicked out.

2005-04-30 20:08:08
61.   Borchard504
A big fat goose egg for hits, thru four. Hmmm.
2005-04-30 20:12:12
62.   bokonon42
I've come up with a solution for the beachballs. Each usher gets stickers that say "Beachball Patrol", or something. Each beachball is worth one sticker. At the end of the game, the kid with the most stickers gets an autographed ball. Hardly costs anything; and the game within the game is changed from being fans against ushers to over-aged adolescents against actual kids. Beachball poppers are just doing a favor for the kid in their section. Any takers?
2005-04-30 20:17:22
63.   Bob Timmermann
HR for Burroughs puts the Pads up 1-0 after 5.
2005-04-30 20:18:18
64.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Remember, back in '85, when tortilla tossing gripped the Big A?
2005-04-30 20:18:52
65.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Vin is getting ticked. As ticked as Vin gets, anyway.
2005-04-30 20:22:06
66.   patsweetpat
Kennedy is throwing a no-hitter, but I would hate to jinx that by mentioning it or something.
2005-04-30 20:22:32
67.   bigcpa
I'm on a tivo lag but yes- I meant Saenz at 3rd would have saved us from watching Nakamura swat flies up there.
2005-04-30 20:25:49
68.   GoBears
Wow. That was one of the weirder errors I've seen. The 3bman - Atkins - seemed lost.
2005-04-30 20:26:45
69.   GoBears
Nice slide, Olmedo. You and 3rd base need some "alone time?"
2005-04-30 20:27:10
70.   Jim Hitchcock
No pressure, Nori...you the voodoo chile.
2005-04-30 20:27:17
71.   Steve
Jinx! Darn you, Pat! :)

Bob, your moment has arrived. Tim Brown endorsed your slogan (see Bits and Pieces).

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-bbcol1may01,0,63082.story?coll=la-home-sports

2005-04-30 20:27:37
72.   Odysseus
LoDuca would have hit that into the parking lot and devised a way to create cold fusion on his way around the bases.
2005-04-30 20:27:49
73.   Jim Hitchcock
Awwww...
2005-04-30 20:27:50
74.   GoBears
Faster than a strikeout. Naka-groundout.
2005-04-30 20:27:59
75.   Steve
Nakamura...all over the first pitch.
2005-04-30 20:28:28
76.   Vishal
saenz' bellyflop landing into third was a thing of beauty.
2005-04-30 20:28:53
77.   jtshoe
With Nori in the line-up, how come Tracy didn't bat Penny in the number 8 slot tonight? At least we could have got a run there with a squeeze.
2005-04-30 20:29:00
78.   Bob Timmermann
Even better, I'm called a boy! Makes this 39-year old feel quite young!
2005-04-30 20:30:15
79.   Steve
Why is Penny so angry? He got hit in the foot by a breaking ball on a two strike count. That was the dumbest pitch of the year.
2005-04-30 20:30:52
80.   Vishal
btw, tim brown giving us a shout-out is pretty sweet. i wonder if he reads what the fire jim tracy guys have to say about his work :)
2005-04-30 20:31:55
81.   Vishal
NICE at-bat.
2005-04-30 20:32:20
82.   Odysseus
apparently, this IS Cesar's team
2005-04-30 20:32:47
83.   Steve
I wonder if I write something here like "The Angels are the bestest darn baseball organization in these here parts" whether he'll quote me too.

And we get the answer to the question that I always wanted to know, which was how many hanging breaking balls on an 0-2 count can you throw to Cesar Izturis before he whacks one into left field and drives in two runs.

2005-04-30 20:32:54
84.   joekings
meanwhile in SD Green grouns into a DP with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out.
2005-04-30 20:33:31
85.   Steve
Repko sure does like that pitch! Thanks, Joe!
2005-04-30 20:34:14
86.   GoBears
Repko! Sure he sucks, but he's CLUTCH! Oh wait - I don't believe in that...
2005-04-30 20:34:18
87.   Odysseus
I think the Dodgers from about seven days ago are back. Great to see Penny looking solid
2005-04-30 20:34:32
88.   DL04
RRRRRRRRREPKO!!!
2005-04-30 20:34:40
89.   Bob Timmermann
I think Penny was angry because it probably hurt a lot. He's not used to getting hit by pitches!

He's probably feeling better now with a 5-run lead.

2005-04-30 20:35:59
90.   Steve
Shawn Green is hitting .253, which would make him about .180 against pitchers not named Erickson. That should be a regular split measurement.
2005-04-30 20:37:42
91.   GoBears
Doh! Kent giveth, Kent taketh away. Doofus.
2005-04-30 20:38:23
92.   Steve
I've been watching the Colorado feed, but on mute (of course). I wonder if the Colorado dweebs were carrying on and on again about how LA doesn't rely on the long ball, etc.
2005-04-30 20:39:52
93.   Aug C
I'm not sure why, but it's hilarious to hear Vinny call Kent "sadder and wiser" after his baserunning gaffe.
2005-04-30 20:40:45
94.   GoBears
Looking again at Repko's swing - he totally sells out on that swing - diving forward and throwing his whole body into it. So when he hits it flush, it has just enough giddy-up to get out. But a lot of the time, that lunge will cost him solid contact, and lead to a suhwingandamiss or a mishit and easy out. He'll probably be better if he forgets about hitting HRs.
2005-04-30 20:40:59
95.   Steve
And let us not forget that the five run rally started with Olmedo Saenz! That Jim Tracy is a genius! :)
2005-04-30 20:46:44
96.   tomA
wow!
2005-04-30 20:46:52
97.   GoBears
Wow, nice play by Izzy. I had no confidence that that throw would be on-line, but it was perfect.
2005-04-30 20:46:58
98.   Jim Hitchcock
That was pretty.
2005-04-30 20:47:18
99.   Fearing Blue
Yeah.. and got him by a full step. Awesome.
2005-04-30 20:50:57
100.   Vishal
izturis = starting shortstop, 2005 national league all-star team?

in the NL, who else is there? him, rollins, furcal... barmes? nomar too i guess, but he may not even be back in time.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-04-30 20:52:19
101.   GoBears
See, this is just good luck (or a suddenly tiring pitcher). No hits for 4 innings, then 4 hits and 5 runs all at once. In the losses in Denver and against Zona, we got plenty of hits, but didn't cluster enough together to score runs. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't. Keep getting lots of hits and walks and you'll probably score a lot of runs overall, and win a lot of games.
2005-04-30 20:53:39
102.   Vishal
i want to see choi take byung-hyun kim deep.
2005-04-30 20:54:27
103.   GoBears
I hope Tracy gets a chance (and takes said chance) to pinch hit Hee Seop against Byung-Hyun. Well, maybe next inning....
2005-04-30 20:54:46
104.   GoBears
Hey Vishal - GO BEARS!
2005-04-30 20:54:47
105.   Steve
Something tells me that Nomar's injury isn't going to mean much to many fans.

Which means...Tony LaRussa!

2005-04-30 20:54:56
106.   Vic
Nice knowing ya, Nori...
2005-04-30 20:55:08
107.   Ryan Jerz
Bears,

That sounds an awful lot like what I read in this book called "Moneyball". I wonder if the Dodger organization has read that or something.

2005-04-30 20:56:43
108.   Daniel Zappala
Hey Rob, look, a 6-4-2 ... oops ... I mean 6-4-3 double play. :-)
2005-04-30 20:56:52
109.   Vishal
hahah, great minds think alike.

and yes, go bears!! :D

2005-04-30 21:00:27
110.   Aug C
I think I might doing this in every game thread...

GO TO MLB.COM AND VOTE OUR DODGERS INTO THE 2005 ALL-STAR GAME! You're allowed to vote up to 20 times. We probably can't get Choi the starting nod at first (since Tracy will protest if LHP Randy Johnson starts for the AL) but let's get him a decent showing.

2005-04-30 21:00:34
111.   bigcpa
Hey someone has to tell Tim Brown about TEAM DEPO!

And I think you boys let Nakamura off way too easy for that inexcusable first pitch groundout. Kennedy would have been laying off him with Penny on deck. Choi would have been sweet in that spot with 1b open.

2005-04-30 21:00:50
112.   GoBears
Sheesh, that HR was off the end of the bat, off -balance, lunging. That's either a strong kid, or the ball caught the jet stream.
2005-04-30 21:01:08
113.   Aug C
I knew I shouldn't have unchecked the Preview comment before saving box.
2005-04-30 21:01:37
114.   Bob Timmermann
If Nomar Garciaparra wins the NL All-Star vote at SS, then this will be proof that indeed the people who cast votes for the All-Star game should be rounded up and forced to examine Nomar's groin every day.

Izturis is 4th in the NL in VORP among shortstops behind Barmes, Neifi Perez, and Vizquel.

2005-04-30 21:05:30
115.   Vishal
yeah, but neifi perez has sold his soul to the devil, so that doesn't count.
2005-04-30 21:05:38
116.   GoBears
Yeah, Neifi is Exhibit A for the danger of extrapolating from small samples. Blind squirrel...nut....
2005-04-30 21:06:15
117.   joekings
AZ just went down, we could go back up by 1.5
2005-04-30 21:06:25
118.   Steve
Other than buying Nakamura and Grabowski a 2 for 1 deal on Southwest myself, what more can I say?
2005-04-30 21:09:13
119.   Ben P
They may be a bad team right now, but I like what Colorado is doing with the roster. Hawpe, Holliday, Atkins, Barmes and Francis are all young, promising and cheap. Mohr and Miles are solid too. They'll struggle this year but they could get interesting around 2007, especially when Helton's contract is gone and they have a bit more money to play with.
2005-04-30 21:09:39
120.   Fearing Blue
While it will be nice to build our lead over the D-Backs, I'm still more worried about the Padres over the long haul.
2005-04-30 21:10:38
121.   GoBears
It's funny - if the injured players had come back sooner, there might be some controversy over who should get sent down to make room. But with a whole month to watch the candidates, the choice has become pretty obvious.
2005-04-30 21:10:42
122.   Vic
Vin at his most prescient: "No one seems to know just what happened to Byung-Hyun Kim..."
2005-04-30 21:11:19
123.   bokonon42
Link directly to the All-Star Online ballot: http://tinyurl.com/9n8x8
2005-04-30 21:11:29
124.   Fearing Blue
Re #119: The problem with bringing up all the kids early (and at the same time) is that they're going to all end up arbitration eligible right about the time they get really good. Maybe they'll be good in 2007, but around 2008 they're going to start getting way too expensive.
2005-04-30 21:14:26
125.   Vishal
no one knows indeed. when exactly did he turn into byung-hyun gascan? was there a certain moment?
2005-04-30 21:15:38
126.   joekings
What I want to know is how he is still pitching in the bigs.
2005-04-30 21:18:27
127.   bigcpa
Arizona had the worst road offense in the NL before they came into LA. They're well on their way to reclaiming that slot. I think it's time to switch back to rooting against SD. I'm heading down there tomorrow to do just that. Plus it's "kids run around the bases day." Drew McCourt would never have come up with that.
2005-04-30 21:20:43
128.   Vishal
well, the fact that he's only 26 and physically healthy makes it unsurprising that some desperate team would be willing to take a flier on him, considering he had 39 saves and an ERA around 2.00 just a couple years ago. the problem must be in his head.
2005-04-30 21:21:23
129.   bigcpa
Tracy's gotta send Choi up there in the bottom half for a stress-free AB. They'll have a right-hander in there.
2005-04-30 21:21:29
130.   Fearing Blue
The Rockies announcers just mentioned that the Dodgers have scored 12 runs on 10 hits... and wait for it.. 16 walks! Rockies pitchers are pretty poor.
2005-04-30 21:23:56
131.   Midwest Blue
I say leave Sanchez in for the 9th.
2005-04-30 21:26:52
132.   Ben P
Go Nori.
2005-04-30 21:27:32
133.   Midwest Blue
He swings that thing like a Samurai sword.
2005-04-30 21:30:12
134.   Vic
I demand to see a replay.
2005-04-30 21:30:22
135.   Fearing Blue
Nice acting by Choi at least :).
2005-04-30 21:30:38
136.   Jim Hitchcock
Boy, I've heard of swing with your wrists, but...
2005-04-30 21:30:46
137.   bigcpa
AZ now last in the NL in runs/game on the road. 3.1/gm with a .612 OPS.
2005-04-30 21:32:01
138.   Midwest Blue
He swung that thing like a limp eel.

I love the replay where Choi swung, looked down and dropped the bat on his way to first. "Swing? Not me, that wasn't me. Maybe Nori, but definitely not me."

2005-04-30 21:33:10
139.   Ben P
124, I see what you're saying, but having all of those players getting expensive at the same time would, in a way, be the best-case scenario for the Rockies. That would mean they're all good. P. Wilson's money and Helton's money will be available to pay them, and some of them could make valuable trade bait as well. I also think they have the makings of a pretty good defensive team, especially in the outfield positions that are so crucial at Coors.
2005-04-30 21:33:23
140.   Fearing Blue
When a Rule 5 draft pick gets offered back to their original team, do the team have to put him on the 40-man roster to take him back?
2005-04-30 21:36:31
141.   JeffinTokyo
Charlie Steiner: "When Wilson Alvarez comes off the DL most likely Buddy Carlyle and His Large Band will hit the road to Las Vegas." He's good. Now if we could only return to one man broadcasting booths.
2005-04-30 21:36:33
142.   Fearing Blue
I guess I should provide some context for my question. I was reading scouting reports on Carvajal and Merricks and wondering if / when they might be offered back. They're both Rule 5 picks from the Dodgers who ended up on the Rockies roster. Neither one sounds like they're very close to major-league-ready.
2005-04-30 21:38:09
143.   dzzrtRatt
Rob Neyer told Chris Ello on Mighty 1090 today that the Padres probably will not be as good this year as they were last year.

I hate to sound like a homer, but two of the most overrated teams in baseball this spring were the Giants and the Pads. Barring a catastrophe, I don't think the Dodgers will be seriously challenged by anyone for first place in the NL West over the long haul. The Giants were the major threat, but they're too crippled now. Arizona will play tough, but not consistently. The Padres are a classic second place team.

2005-04-30 21:38:10
144.   JeffinTokyo
Purpose pitch to Helton?
2005-04-30 21:40:52
145.   patsweetpat
Jeff, I agree with you about Steiner. I know he had some detractors, but I was never sure why.
2005-04-30 21:41:36
146.   patsweetpat
Ghame Over. (Hey, where's my shirt, by the way?)
2005-04-30 21:41:37
147.   Vic
Damn, and I was all ready to shout "GAME HOULVER!" to the heavens...
2005-04-30 21:41:45
148.   Midwest Blue
I think the crowd should stop standing up on a two-strike count. Every time they do it, the Rocks get a hit.
2005-04-30 21:42:00
149.   Im So Blue
Time for GHAME OVER
2005-04-30 21:42:29
150.   bigcpa
WELCOME TO THE JHUNGLE.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-04-30 21:42:37
151.   Jim Hitchcock
For what purpose, Jeff?
2005-04-30 21:43:10
152.   Ben P
This really is following last night's pattern. Two games in a row where we shouldn't have needed Brazoban but had to use him.
2005-04-30 21:43:13
153.   bokonon42
Another Save Opp for Ghame Over(tm). Maybe Tracy is using Carlyle to pad Yhency's stats to make him even better trade bait.
2005-04-30 21:43:17
154.   JeffinTokyo
It's time for a 3-pitch save.
2005-04-30 21:44:07
155.   Bob Timmermann
It's not like Brazoban has been overworked however.
2005-04-30 21:44:34
156.   JeffinTokyo
151. Jim, I'm listening on the radio. Was wondering if Helton was hit inentionally as payback for all the HBPs last weekend in Denver.
2005-04-30 21:44:48
157.   JeffinTokyo
151. Jim, I'm listening on the radio. Was wondering if Helton was hit inentionally as payback for all the HBPs last weekend in Denver.
2005-04-30 21:45:52
158.   bokonon42
Er, Houlton. My bad.
2005-04-30 21:46:33
159.   patsweetpat
Nighty night, everyone.
2005-04-30 21:47:47
160.   patsweetpat
Props to that fan, btw, leaning out of the way, to let Repko make that catch.
2005-04-30 21:48:59
161.   JeffinTokyo
If this were hockey:
Star #1: Repko
Star #2: Penny
Star #3: Cesar
2005-04-30 21:49:04
162.   Bob Timmermann
I'm still waiting for my royalty check.
2005-04-30 21:50:45
163.   JeffinTokyo
Maybe I should reverse Penny and Repko.
2005-04-30 21:50:46
164.   Jim Hitchcock
You're going to have to settle for fame. Maybe you can get an eel endorsement.
2005-04-30 21:51:06
165.   Ben P
Brazoban's last 7 appearances -- 6IP 2H 0R 7K 1BB
2005-04-30 21:53:37
166.   Midwest Blue
Was that a blown hould for Houlton?
2005-04-30 21:56:12
167.   JeffinTokyo
166. No, because it wasn't a hold/save situation when he entered the game. Even if it was (say a 3-run lead), even if he had given up a run, since he did not give up the lead.
2005-04-30 21:58:26
168.   JeffinTokyo
On the Radio, Charlie Steiner announced that the Just Tires fastball of the night was a tie between Penny and Yhency at 95mph.
2005-04-30 22:19:11
169.   Suffering Bruin
Yeah, I just got the computer after the kid hit the sack so apologies if this has already been mentioned but...

We're the lively boys! Check out Tim Brown's column near the bottom.

Take a bow, Bobby T. I believe it was you that came up with Ghame Over.

This site, it be pretty fun.

2005-05-01 10:04:59
170.   jeongers
We are pretty lively, aren't we? Yeah we are . . .
2005-05-01 15:23:45
171.   Benaiah
Jon, You should add a link to the blue think tank under Dodger blogs. The Blue Think Tank could be a nice stop gap (or maybe the new all-star) until the new guys at the 4th OF get their blogging legs.

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