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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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A Day With Milton Bradley
2005-06-06 08:20
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

When Milton Bradley spoke at Lindbergh Middle School in Long Beach the other day - and then invited students to Dodger Stadium to celebrate the opening of the Milton Bradley Baseball Academy (which has a dual focus on athletics and academics) - Hank Waddles, who writes The Broken Cowboy column for Only Baseball Matters, was there for it all.

Among the many thoughts Bradley shared was this:

Right around this age, you start meeting people that are getting into the wrong thing, and maybe that Friday night, there's a party going on, and "Hey, wanna come to this party?" And you gotta tell 'em, "No, I got some work I gotta get done." You might tell 'em something else, but you know what the truth is. There were times, and I wasn't the most popular guy when I was in school, because I just had my backpack on with my books and I went to my next class, I was kind of that guy they called a nerd, but I don't think they look at me that way anymore.

Comments
2005-06-06 08:48:56
1.   Bob Timmermann
That's nice to hear from Milton.

I was a nerd in school AND didn't get invited to parties either. I was a double threat.

2005-06-06 08:58:37
2.   FirstMohican
No SABR parties back then Bob?
2005-06-06 09:13:22
3.   Fearing Blue
Seeing as I'll be going to my first SABR convention in August, I'm expect it to be a big party for all of us who never got invited to parties :).
2005-06-06 09:49:47
4.   jasonungar05
Damnit it. I was cool. I didnt own a backpack. I did go to parties. Now, instead of being Milton, I go online to discuss Milton's VORP with other nerds just like me.
2005-06-06 09:58:34
5.   JeffinTokyo
Thanks for the link Jon. I forwarded it to my mom who lives in Long Beach. She is the biggest female Dodger fan I know, she is looking for volunteer opportunities, and she loves teaching kids. So, something tells me she will be one of the first to raise her hand for the Long Beach branch of the MBBA.
2005-06-06 10:06:09
6.   Bob Timmermann
I was an early Bill James guy and shocked a friend of mine in high school by trading Ozzie Smith in a Strat-0-Matic league for Luis Salazar.

My team was weak against lefty pitching, so I wanted some help there. I hoped to outslug my opponents to make up for the decreased defense.

2005-06-06 10:16:59
7.   Bob Timmermann
With the bases loaded and a run already in the first inning for Arizona, Shawn Green tripled in three.

I have visions of Vinnie going "In comes Cintron! In comes Gonzalez! In comes Clark!"

It's 5-0 DBacks in the first, so the Philadelphia ascendancy has been delayed.

2005-06-06 10:22:12
8.   Dodgerkid
My Milton Bradley jersey order is in the mail.
2005-06-06 10:52:30
9.   jasonungar05
Gosh, going into the day:

Green OPS .700
Beltre OPS .622
Finley OPS .713

Dave Roberts: .809

Drew .894
Kent .888
Perez 1.052
Choi .760/Sáenz 1.053

.622 on the dodgers is between Weaver and Bako.

.700 on the dodgers is Repko.
.708 on the dodgers is Jason Phillips.

2005-06-06 11:00:39
10.   db1022
#9 - Add in Loduca's .726 OPS, and you have the gist of my rebuttal when people question Depo's recent moves. Looking at all of the player's that have come and gone from the Dodgers in Depo's controversial signings/non-signings/trades in the last year or so, I tell them JD Drew is having the best season of them all (even before this little 7 day tear he's been on).

I guess its sort of a toss up between Kent and Drew, but that doesn't exactly hurt my argument.

2005-06-06 11:01:33
11.   Bob Timmermann
Green has a bases loaded triple and a sac fly today and Arizona is ahead 7-1 against Cory Lidle, who was mercifully pinch hit for in the third.
2005-06-06 11:04:58
12.   jasonungar05
I was never a La Douca fan. Other than being a dodger fan. I'd root for him of course...

So I totally forgot about him. It looks like his second half slide has started even earlier this year. When that trade happened I was scared about loosing Mota more than anything. You can add him to the list as well.

2005-06-06 11:06:31
13.   jasonungar05
see, I can't even spell Paulie's name correctly!
2005-06-06 11:09:30
14.   DougS
Add my thanks for the link to the article about Bradley. I think it's becoming more apparent that he's a guy who hasn't always controlled public perceptions of him very well, rather than an actual dislikable person. It seems like he's turning the corner in that regard, and good for him and good for the Dodgers. Now let's get him off the DL and back in the game!

And I, too, was a nerdy kid who buried himself in books and never got invited to parties. A toast to us!

jasonungar, when you add the fact that Penny and Lowe have been the only consistent starters so far, your case becomes even stronger.

2005-06-06 11:10:00
15.   db1022
Mota just is returning from the DL, but Florida fans are clamoring for Todd Jones to stay as the closer. We were worried about losing Mota, when he can't even beat out a 57-year old closer who's been known more for his journalistic contributions recently than his pitching.

Jones has been doing so much work for SportingNews in the last couple of years, that I was shocked to see him still pitching.

2005-06-06 11:12:14
16.   the OZ
I'm not sure if I'm repeating somthing from here or somewhere else, but Mota's in Jack McKeon's doghouse for not pitching that well and having a poor attitude and lackadaisical workout regimen. Another strike against the ex-Dodgers.
2005-06-06 11:13:24
17.   jasonungar05
''I know you want to start being a closer, but you've got to start closing out the innings we bring you in and show us you're worthy of being in line of doing the same job that [Todd] Jones is doing right now,'' McKeon said he told Mota during a clubhouse rant in which he singled out the reliever.

Jun. 6 -
Miami Herald

2005-06-06 11:16:37
18.   db1022
Add Mota - He'll be 32 this year, and is making $2.6M. Just in case people pay attention to things like that.

Love that LoDuca trade!

2005-06-06 11:17:52
19.   FirstMohican
Funny how two years ago some believed Gagne and Mota were the best two relievers in the league, that Mota would be a closer on any other team.

Oh how times (and General Managers) have changed.

I've been away from this site for a few days - has there already been any Penny-Extension debate?

2005-06-06 11:19:33
20.   db1022
#19 - I think extension is premature. After the sweep by the Cubs, the mood was pretty grim here.

If we stay out of the race, Penny is for sale come July. (And Weaver too, make an offer!)

2005-06-06 11:19:53
21.   Suffering Bruin
My internet is up and running! Finally!!

I can now stop playing with the kid and keeping company with the wife and go back to doing what I truly love to do... find out some factoids about Hee-Seop Choi.

Oh, and Milton Bradley? He is now my co-favorite player. Great article.

2005-06-06 11:22:29
22.   db1022
Re: Milton - those who pine for the good ol' days of the Dodgers and all the character guys we had, I think do an extreme disservice to the guys we have now. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but between Milton, Gagne, Izturis - we've got some guys that the "community" can be proud of.
2005-06-06 11:25:31
23.   Bob Timmermann
After the Cubs sweep, we weren't grim, we were homicidal. We were ready to turn on each other. And we did.

We divided into FJT and DFJTJY (Don't fire ... ... just yet) camps. The former was a much nicer camp with more people and fixed toilets.

The DFJTJY camp had pit toilets and we all had to make wallets.

2005-06-06 11:26:28
24.   jasonungar05
I'd rather have a lock up Milton debate over a lock up Penny debate!!

That said, I feel both should be locked up.

2005-06-06 11:27:38
25.   Xeifrank
Over/Under on Derek Lowe's innings pitched tonight is 6 1/3. Place your virtual bets. Overs have won the last 2 out of 3.
vr, Xei
2005-06-06 11:29:32
26.   jasonungar05
We were ready to turn on each other. And we did.

LOL, thats hilarious.
(So Hunter Thompsonesque)

But still, why not just replace Itz with Robles yesterday. Leave Perez at 3b, Sanez at 1b and kent at 2b.

Does anyone understand the logic of why we didnt do that?

2005-06-06 11:37:10
27.   FirstMohican
24 - Is it bad that when I first read your comment that I immediately thought "what has Penny done to be locked up?"
2005-06-06 11:39:48
28.   FirstMohican
26 - I think even Tracy was as surprised as we were at his own decision. It just took him about 2/3rds of the game to reflect on his defensive arrangement.

Penny has really got to be thinking sometimes, "does Tracy want me to lose?"

2005-06-06 11:44:03
29.   Jon Weisman
I actually by into the idea of giving Kent a defensive day of rest at first base while keeping his bat in the lineup. Actually think that's pretty clever.

But it's still hard to see Robles in the starting lineup when Choi has been playing so little.

2005-06-06 12:03:01
30.   db1022
#29 - I see what you're saying, but Robles and Choi don't relate to each other in terms of playing time in this particular situation, right?

Robles is playing b/c Izturis got the day off. Choi isn't playing b/c Kent is getting the "day off" at first.

2005-06-06 12:05:52
31.   jasonungar05
I actually by into the idea of giving Kent a defensive day of rest at first base while keeping his bat in the lineup. Actually think that's pretty clever.

---

ok, but is it really a difference? I mean he has to be involved in almost every play at 1b? regardless, thats a good theory of why. And if true I buy it.

---

not as bummed about Choi/Robles. Itz needed a rest and who else would play SS? Perez possibly? Although I do wish Choi would get regular playing time.

2005-06-06 12:09:56
32.   Jon Weisman
db, no, you're right - I'm talking about the situations separately. I think what I would have liked to have seen was not do the Kent at first on the same day as Izturis' day off. On Izturis' day off, I would have put Perez at shortstop, Saenz at third, Kent at second and Choi at first.

Overall, I don't think yesterday's lineup was as big a deal as others have said. I just don't like that Tracy does very little to get Choi playing time.

2005-06-06 12:10:50
33.   Fearing Blue
#29: Is there any reason to believe that playing 1B is any less taxing physically than playing 2B? It's certainly an easier defensive positions, but 1B is involved in a lot more plays, including running back to the bag to get the throw, stretching / leaping for errant throws, holding runners on and having to quickly get into position on the pitch. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of fielding injuries by position, though that might not tell the whole story since the people playing 1B are probably more injury-prone.
2005-06-06 12:14:52
34.   Bob Timmermann
1B has to be a lot less taxing than 2B because very runners barrel into you at full speed trying to break up a double play when you're playing first base.
2005-06-06 12:15:44
35.   Jon Weisman
Just an assumption on my part, since less-gifted athletes can play first base when they can't dream of playing second.

Second basemen move on every play too, even ones they're not directly involved in, and generally have to make more difficult fielding plays more frequently.

2005-06-06 12:33:14
36.   Bob Timmermann
When I was researching my old Dodger games, I came across one in 1964 when Giants manager Herman Franks moved Willie Mays from center field to first base because Mays had a sore hamstring.

Franks obviously didn't want to lose Mays' bat. Mays played first base using his regular glove.

Mays played 84 games at first in his career. He also played 2 at shortstop and 1 at third base. I think those were all in emergency situations.

He only played LF or RF 31 times. 2827 appearances in CF.

2005-06-06 13:06:47
37.   db1022
#35 - I would assume its a preference Kent has given one way or the other - does he consider a day at first to be sufficient rest?
2005-06-06 15:10:20
38.   Fearing Blue
#34/35: Probably right. I guess I don't have to question everything that seems intuitively obvious. :)

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