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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Charting Gagne (June 6)
2005-06-06 21:13
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Eric Gagne, ninth inning vs. Detroit, Dodgers leading 5-3
(June 4)
(June 2)

vs. Ivan Rodriguez
0-0 81 change, called strike
0-1 83 comebacker, 1-3 putout

vs. Craig Monroe
0-0 82 outside
1-0 82 change, called strike
1-1 84 change, swung on and missed
1-2 83 change, short fly out to center field

vs. Omar Infante
0-0 81 low
1-0 83 change, called strike
1-1 84 pulled on the ground foul
1-2 92 fastball outside
2-2 93 fastball, fouled back
2-2 68 balloon curve, swung on and missed

12 pitches, 3 balls, 9 strikes

Halfway into Infante's at-bat, was wondering if Gagne would throw any fastballs at all. The two he did throw had life, though fractionally less than he had Saturday. But once more, the lollipop curve does its job.

Game over at 9:21 p.m., thanks to Derek Lowe and Jeff Kent - early bedtimes for all ...

Update: Except for me - I just keep finding new things. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com notes that with the callup of Franquelis Osoria (great 2.52 ERA as a reliever in AAA Las Vegas) to replace the disabled Wilson Alvarez, nearly a third of the current Dodger roster is made up of rookies: Osoria, Yhency Brazoban, D.J. Houlton, Derek Thompson, Mike Rose, Mike Edwards, Oscar Robles and Jason Repko. Thompson makes his third start Tuesday.

Milton Bradley, Elmer Dessens and Odalis Perez are making progress toward their returns, Gurnick notes.

Meanwhile, Bill Shaikin reports in the Times that Brad Penny is close to signing a rather massive contract extension, pending a new physical - potentially $32 million over four years, including an option year. As much as general manager Paul DePodesta gambled with similar dollars that the durable Derek Lowe would be an able pitcher, DePodesta will be gambling that the able Penny will be durable.

Update 2: "Meanwhile," writes Bill Plunkett of the Register, "neither side has initiated any discussions of a contract extension for (Jeff) Weaver, who is represented by Scott Boras. Weaver (5-5 with a 5.65 ERA this season) is making $9.35 million in the final year of a four-year contract signed with the Detroit Tigers."

Comments
2005-06-06 21:37:07
1.   Mush
Love that early bedtime - have to do a bar review class in the morning!
2005-06-06 22:32:39
2.   natepurcell
actually. he only threw one curveball the whole inning. and it was to strike out the last batter.

so those curves you have listed, are change ups.

2005-06-06 22:38:27
3.   the OZ
Off-topic, but good news:

LA Times reports that Penny and the Dodgers have a 'working agreement' for a 3-year extension with a 4th-year option that could total $32M.

So, it looks like Penny's extension might be 4-$32M.

2005-06-06 23:06:53
4.   Jon Weisman
Thanks, Nate. I had another brain cramp. I made the fixes.
2005-06-06 23:07:07
5.   jasonungar05
Great news on Penny!! Nice contract. He wants to be here. Makes me happy for one.

Now, lock up Milton Bradley.

2005-06-06 23:23:35
6.   DougS
Jon, your chart pretty much accords with how I saw it. It really looked like the fastball has been an effect pitch rather than an out pitch for him over the last several outings. Or perhaps he's playing with the hitters' heads and their expectation that they will see the heater from him. I don't know whether that means he's being clever, or if it means that he knows he doesn't have the same kind of velocity as last year, or both.
2005-06-06 23:39:31
7.   Jim Tracy
First off, I agree with giving Penny the extension. He is a potential ace, young, and less of a gamble than someone like Perez. However, reading DePo's quote... just makes me think if after this offseason, he's just scared of dealing with free agents, their agents and the media scrutiny. If that is the case, which it probably is not, it does not bode well for future Dodger free agent acquisitions.
2005-06-07 00:10:35
8.   natepurcell
re:7

i dont think he is scared at all. I mean, his 3 big free agent signings, lowe, kent and drew have all worked out wonderfully so far.

i just think he knew that his best chance in keeping penny was a extension now, instead of bidding for his services against teams that are nonchalant in free agent contracts.

2005-06-07 00:26:47
9.   slippy
Gagne can get away with dishing mostly changes because most of these AL hitters haven't seen it. But I have doubts whether his fastball will climb back to the high 90s this season. Assuming he pitches on his off days, it either doesn't have his mechanics fully perfect or his explosive strength to produce that speed. The entire pitching staff seems to have mechanical problems this year. No way else to explain a mostly sinker staff getting pounded like this.

I think Penny is worth it though I don't understand why he or anybody else is struggling so much.

2005-06-07 00:47:07
10.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps the prevalence of changeups mean that Gagne is trying to change himself into Trevor Hoffman.

Which isn't a bad thing.

2005-06-07 04:12:59
11.   Doug N
How far above .500 do you the Dodgers have to get (or how many consecutive wins, etc) before the courtship with Tracy is back on?
2005-06-07 04:13:30
12.   Doug N
i swear i hit "edit again."
2005-06-07 06:18:00
13.   Fearing Blue
#10: Yeah. The interesting thing is that Gagne this year, even without the velocity, seems to be pitching just as well statistically. I think the changeup is a much better pitch than anyone (including Gagne) realized.
2005-06-07 06:22:50
14.   Fearing Blue
#7: I'm absolutely thrilled with the Penny extension. There's no way they would have been able to sign him for that amount in the free agent market, considering he would have been Plan B for every team that missed out on Burnett. Now, we have 3 starters locked in for next year. A perfect plan by DePodesta would be to trade for a starter who is locked up through 2006. Then, we could pull one full-time starter from our system in 2006, another in 2007, and another in 2008 which should be in line with their development. Plus, we would be able to use the farm system for fill-in starts as needed.

While I obviously want the Dodgers to lock up Bradley as well, I would argue that because of the market for pitchers, Penny was more important. Plus, Bradley still has another year of arbitration left.

2005-06-07 06:25:25
15.   Fearing Blue
#11: It's a good question. There are a number of people, including me, who are concerned with Tracy's decisions regardless of his record. But, I'm guessing that there are also a number of people who don't really care what Tracy does as long as we win. I would certainly imagine the Tracy supporters to be more vocal as we approach (and, dare I say overtake?) first place.
2005-06-07 07:16:19
16.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Quit worrying about JT. Yeah, a few of his in game decisions have been just less than mind boggling this year. JT has done above average in his 4 plus years as skipper. No one else out there can do a better job with this club. Quit riding JT, he's doing ok
2005-06-07 08:09:19
17.   Jon Weisman
I think right now I'm most worried about your desired screenname...
2005-06-07 08:28:21
18.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
LOL, thanks Jon.
2005-06-07 08:42:59
19.   Jim Hitchcock
I think what Jon was too polite to say is that your screenname inadvertently brings up visualiztions that detract from your message.
2005-06-07 08:50:29
20.   Colorado Blue
RE: Gagne and the Changeup Fest.

I think Gagne is showing just how good a "pitcher" he is as opposed to being a great "fireballer". My guess is that he has a strategy for the entire series. I wouldn't be surprised to see him throw a predominance of heat next time through the Tigers lineup (or, at least mix it up a bit more). He'll have them looking change and will make them look silly on his fastball even if it is only 92 - 93.

I swear it appeared to me as if was toying with the Tigers; let's see what happens when I throw my change 90% of the time... you know they were looking for the heat. I thought it was just an outstanding piece of pitching.

2005-06-07 08:51:33
21.   Colorado Blue
Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap??? That's just wrong and has to go...
2005-06-07 09:02:21
22.   Eric Enders
Having 3 of your 5 starters (Lowe, Perez, Penny) locked up in long-term deals can turn out to be either pure genius or complete disaster.

However, of the three of them, Penny is the best to give a long-term deal to. This rumored deal is a risk, but a pretty good one to take, especially considering the dearth of free agent pitchers this coming offseason.

2005-06-07 09:08:45
23.   Jim Hitchcock
I think the point CB makes is important; it will be very interesting to see his Gagne's pitch selection next time out. His fastball was what has made his changeup so effective in the past, and vice versa. Relying on the change the next time out would indicate a lack of confidence in his fastball, and that would certainly mean trouble as the hitters latch on to that fact.
2005-06-07 09:22:30
24.   Colorado Blue
Jim: Thanks for putting my point "in-other-words". I actually like the way you put it better.

More accurately: I hope Gagne is showing just how good a "pitcher" he is...

2005-06-07 09:30:40
25.   Colorado Blue
RE 22: I'm not as worried about Lowe and Penny... I think OP is the biggest question mark over all. What I mean is that we know Penny and OP have health issues. But, I think there is good odds Penny's was a quirk. OP on the otherhand seems to have more chronic health issues. Then again, Penny's "quirk" was certainly untimely and severe.
2005-06-07 09:39:29
26.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
The Penny extension looks like a reasonable deal. Like all deals, it has its share of risk--Penny's weird nerve injury still worries me. However, the risk doesn't seem unreasonable. And this is certainly a better deal than the one for Odalis, which DePo I think was essentially forced into by last winter's thin and inflated free agent SP market. I also like Fearing Blue's scenario of being able to stagger our introduction of new starters from the farm over time.

What's interesting about both this extension and DePo's swift avoidance of arbitration hearings with Izzy and Gagne for me is that DePo isn't what some of his critics say he is--a Fantasy Baseball GM who makes way too many deals and is too clever by half. It looks like the radical roster turnover we've seen so far was really just a one-time shot by DePo to fix a team he obviously did not like.

I'm certain we'll get an extension done with Milton--perhaps not this season, but soon. Perhaps the coming winter. I think he's really turned a corner in mastering his anger, and unlike most players, I think he will be willing to give the Dodgers a home-town discount. For obvious reasons, he seems to have a real sense of loyalty for DePo, Tracy, and the McCourts.

Milton and Kent are for me two of the more interesting ballplayers in the game. They actually say interesting things that aren't just cliches, and unlike someone like Jeter, their deviations from the ESPN standard of the perfectly behaved ballplayer, makes them all the more interesting.

WWSH

2005-06-07 09:41:39
27.   mcrawford
Yeah, I especially liked Kent's bashing of interleague play in the paper today. Interleague play is a farce and a scourge.
2005-06-07 09:50:25
28.   Colorado Blue
mcrawford: In which paper was the Kent article? I would like to read that. Thanks.
2005-06-07 09:53:15
29.   Colorado Blue
I would add that the risk of signing of Penny is somewhat offset and justifible given the thin SP market at the end of the season. I think it is a sound move that might not work out, or look fantastic if Penny continues to improve. I see it as win-win. Kudos to McCourt and DePo.
2005-06-07 09:56:45
30.   Improbable88
Steve Sax's Sweaty Jockstrap must stay. It brings back great memories of loge-bound throws to first and the hustle at the top of our championship line-up.
2005-06-07 10:28:01
31.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Thanks for the support 88, remember I was the original "Dodger Kid".

I like the Penny deal. Reflecting on what most others have said, the free agent market for pitching next year will be thin.

Penny is young and I think his best years are ahead of him.

I still can't hit the broad side of the barn from second, but I'm working on it.

2005-06-07 13:34:17
32.   Linkmeister
colorado blue (or bleu), the Kent quote was at the bottom of one of the two game stories in the LA Times (not the feature on the PR difficulties the McCourts and Dodgers found/created).
2005-06-07 14:18:42
33.   Colorado Blue
Thanks Linkmeister (or miester) :)
2005-06-07 14:52:37
34.   mcrawford
The L.A. Daily News had more of Kent's quotes than the LATimes. It was the focus of the beginning of the story in the L.A. Daily News.

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