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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Staring at Rock Bottom in '86
2005-11-06 14:10
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In 1986, the Dodgers finished 73-89. Following the season, Bill James wrote about the team in his 1987 Baseball Abstract:

First, James put the disappointing Dodger season in historical perspective.

How serious was it? 1986 was the worst season for the Dodgers in almost 20 years. With a team that was supposed to be in the prime of its life, the Dodgers have had losing records in two of the last three seasons. Only one other time since 1938 have the Dodgers had a losing record twice in three years, and then they knew they were rebuilding. Is the Dodger dynasty moribund? Will they be back in the race in 1987? If not, when will they return?

Like the 2005 team, the 1986 team was one season removed from a division title. But the '86ers were bad in different ways than the 2005 Dodgers.

... To put the Dodgers of 1986 in two sentences: The starting staff was very good, the catching was adequate, and Steve Sax was brilliant. The rest of the team was awful.

The team was less than the sum of its parts, James notes in a fashion that also recalls 2005.

I should say right off that the Dodger team is not really as bad as it looked in 1986. It couldn't possibly be. To watch the Dodgers play last August and September, you would have thought that this team would never post a winning record again. The Dodgers combined a poor offense and a horrendous bullpen with the worst team defense that I have ever seen in the major leagues. The resulting combination would likely have reached last place if the season had gone on long enough ...

At times the Dodgers had Franklin Stubbs, who is not spectacularly mobile for a first baseman, in center field.

Contrary to popular belief, the lowpoint for Los Angeles Dodger defense was by no means last year's team - but this Tommy Lasorda-managed team from 1986.

... The Dodger team defensive statistics were so bad that I thought there had to be some sort of park illusion, something having to do with the surface or officious scoring. I asked Susie to go through the box scores and count home and road errors and DPs. The park has nothing to do with it; the Dodgers committed 95 errors in road games, 86 at home: they turned only 60 double plays in road games, and only 58 at home. Their defensive stats would be as bad in any other park.

Turning to the offensive woes ...

The Dodgers had only 376 extra base hits, the fewest of any team in the division.

The Dodgers had only 1,883 men on base, again the fewest of any team in the division.

And now, we start to get into the injuries. Eric Gagne, meet Pete Guerrero ...

The season went off course in the last days of spring training, when Pedro Guerrero changed his mind about sliding into third base and decided to destroy his knee instead. The injury to Guerrero, absent complications, should not have been devastating to this team.

True enough - but it was just the beginning of dashed expectations.

I do not recall this with pleasure, but I believed a year ago that the Dodgers were about equal to the Mets, with strong pitching and an exceptional power center. In 1985, the Dodgers scored 103 runs more than they allowed. With Madlock on hand for the full season, with the shortstop problem apparently solved by Mariano Duncan, it appeared they might be stronger in 1986. Guerrero's injury could have been expected to cost them maybe 40, 45 runs, less than half of their margin over their opponents. There was every reason to think the Dodgers could stay in contention until Guerrero returned in August.

In the early part of the season, with the fine performance of Franklin Stubbs, it appeared the direct cost of Guerrero's loss would be much less than estimated. Stubbs at mid-season seemed likely to hit 25-30 homers, possibly more. But everything in the world was going wrong, nothing directly as a result of Guerrero's injury, but everything compounding everything else from that point. The Dodger hitters, perhaps putting pressure on themselves, hit .204 as a team over the first three weeks of the season. The bullpen was awful. Niedenfuer, his confidence perhaps shaken by his historic fastball to Jack Clark, was ineffective. The Dodgers lost the first eight games in which the bullpen was used. They were losing two-thirds of their one-run games in the early part of the season.

And then the injuries started. ... Summarize it this way: With the exception of Steve Sax, every Dodger regular was lost for a significant portion of the schedule with injuries. All seven of them, and most of the top reserves. At least six Dodger pitchers had serious arm injuries during the season.

Yes, injuries matter. And I don't recall the general manager being blamed for every one of them.

However, what follows is perhaps the principal contrast between 1986 and 2005. The earlier team had good starting pitching.

Still, the Dodger starting rotation remained strong. Fernando Valenzuela had his best year. Bob Welch and Rick Honeycutt pitched extremely well, although their won-lost records do not reflect this. Orel Hershiser didn't have as good a season as in 1986, but he was OK. Dodger pitchers walked only 499 men (second best in the league), struck out 1,051 (tied for third) and allowed only 115 home runs (second best in the league).

The defense against the running game was good, allowing only 123 stolen bases in 197 attempts. The 123 OSB was the lowest in the league except for the Cardinals, and the opposition stolen base percentage was low.

Obviously, this is also a contrast to the Jason Phillips Dodgers, although Dioner Navarro showed signs in September of making thinks better.

The Dodgers completed 35 games, 8 more than any other NL team; this, however, is as much a reflection of Lasorda's terror of his bullpen as it is a tribute to the starting corps.

Yeah, well ...

The Dodgers declined in 1986 by 144 runs, from +103 to -41.

What was not visible in watching them play, what you had to keep in mind when studying the box scores, was that the Dodgers had a lot of resources that were not on the field. Obviously, Los Angeles is very likely to have a better year next year; there shouldn't be any question about that.

Still, one can't avoid the feeling that something may be seriously wrong with the organization.

Hello!

One of the historic strengths of the Dodgers has been their organizational decision-making. We were always given the impression that the Dodgers talked things over before they did them, thrashing through decisions that ordinarily would be made by a manager on the seat of his pants. In 1966 when the Dodgers picked up iron-glove slugger Dick Stuart and had him playing first in place of the light-hitting defensive wizard Wes Parker. Parker sounded off about it, saying that if the Dodgers were going to win he would have to play. The Dodgers held a meeting, talked it out, and decided that Parker was right: Back into the lineup he went, and the Dodgers did win. The Dodgers took input not only from the manager but from the scouts, the coaches, and the front office, and were stronger because of it.

I don't know how universally popular this kind of decision would be today, but the idea, if true, that everyone could talk things out and reach a solution without someone quitting or being fired certainly is appealing.

What seems to have happened since the death of Walter O'Malley in 1979 is that organizational decision-making has decayed into bureaucratic indecisiveness.

That certainly sounds familiar.

Confronted with a gap in the lineup, the Dodgers go into a delay game, trying to stall until a solution materializes from the farm system.

Some of the defensive problems are the result of injuries and bad luck. But I can't avoid the feeling that most of the Dodgers' defensive problems are the result of institutional arrogance. Arrogance is thinking that you can do things that you can't really do, combined with an insufficient respect for the complexity of the world. When the Dodgers were rebuilding following the end of the Koufax/Drysdale years, they made a number of late-in-life position switches, moving Bill Russell to shortstop after he went through the minors as an outfielder and converting Dave Lopes from a AAA outfielder to a second baseman at the age of 26. Russell and Lopes were not good infielders, but they were good offensive players and the Dodgers were able to win.

So the organization got the idea that they could look at a player's skills, put them on a chart, and decide what slot the player should fill. That approach makes insufficient allowances for the difficult adaptation of player to position, a process that usually takes years, requires the development of position-specific skills, and tests tiny but crucial attributes of the player which may turn out, after two or three years, to be missing. A byproduct of the belief that the organization can switch the player to wherever they have a need is that some Dodgers move into major-league jobs with little experience at the positions they are expected to man. The major leagues become a training ground where the players are expected to refine their defensive skills. The end result is the defensive nightmare that has plagued the Dodgers in three of the last four seasons.

Funny, this is the kind of problem you'd expect Paul DePodesta to be in trouble for - but actually, there wasn't much of this going on in 2005.

It is curious, and troubling, that the most conspicuous failures of the Dodger organization are at the two positions where good organizations most often produce surpluses: shortstop and center field. Most major-league players, when they enter professional baseball, are either shortstops or center fielders. The organizations draft athletes, and start the best athletes out at these two positions. If a young player can hit but has trouble defensively, he can be shifted to a less demanding spot. But if the organization is productive, as the Mets have been in recent years, they will usually have some surplus at one position or the other.

I look over the top Dodger drafts in the years 1980 through 1984, and I see a lot of catchers, a lot of first and third basemen, oodles of pitchers, but comparatively few players at these positions that are normally priorities in the draft. Why? Why aren't the Dodgers drafting to fill these positions? Jose Gonzalez is their hot prospect in center. He may develop but right now he's been in organized baseball for six years and can't hit his weight.

I know they like to grow their own, but if the Dodgers are still the Dodgers, why can't they figure out a trade to fill a couple of holes? When the Dodgers started having bullpen troubles last year, I figured, "Well, you know the Dodgers will be able to come up with a young pitcher." The situation just got worse and worse; they couldn't come up with anything. Why not, with all those pitchers who have been top draft picks in recent years?

Al Campanis says that "we try to operate in eight year cycles, because we feel that is how many good years we can expect from a player who comes out of our system." Well, fine, but where are we in the cycle? I mean, are we starting a building cycle here, or what? I figure that with Fernando (1981), Sax (1982), Howe (1980), Marshall (1982), Guerrero (1980) and Brock (1983) if you're looking for eight years a player 1986 should be about the middle of an upswing. Why isn't it? Why is the bench so weak?

Maybe he just doesn't understand.

Maybe I just don't understand.

See?

Anyway, if the Dodgers can stay healthy, this is bound to be a better year. They could win the division. They've got the rotation; if Marshall and Guerrero are healthy they'll score enough runs. The Dodgers are still a young team, although the average age of the 1986 starters is misleading because it doesn't include Guerrero.

But the downside is this. If they don't get it together, the 1987 season could mark the formal burial of nearly five decades of Dodgers excellence.

There you have it. Dire fears from two decades past about the Dodger organization, top to bottom.

In 1987, the Dodgers finished with the same record: 73-89. And a year later, they won the World Series.

Comments (90)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-06 14:27:38
1.   trainwreck
Dodger brass arrogance and refusing to change with the times seems to be a problem with this organization that I thought we fixed when we brought DePo in charge but now he is gone and who knows what is going on. Bringing back old Dodgers seems to suggest we are doomed to repeat the past.
2005-11-06 14:33:53
2.   sanchez101
great post, id love to see more of these dodger retrospectives.
2005-11-06 14:42:43
3.   King of the Hobos
If '05 truly was '86 all over again, the farm's emergence in '07 will give us the WS. That's fine by me
2005-11-06 14:51:44
4.   natepurcell
what kind of offensive projections do you guys have for nomar for next year?
2005-11-06 14:53:09
5.   D4P
4
Depends on who he plays for, right?
2005-11-06 14:54:57
6.   Bob Timmermann
1986 was one of my favorite RDGCs. I'll repost an edited version of it (since we already have the season wrapup). I beg Jon's indulgence. But this game was very evocative of the Dodgers of the time.

Random Dodger game callback

June 21, 1986

Coming off a traumatic end to the 1985 season in the NLCS, the Dodgers 1986 season was not one for the history books. With Pedro Guerrero missing most of the season after injuring his knee in spring training, the Dodgers played a game on a Saturday night in June at Dodger Stadium that mirrored their season. The Dodgers built up a 5-0 lead against San Diego, but committed six errors and eventually lost in 14 innings, 8-7. The loss dropped the Dodgers to 33-35, four games out of first and in fifth place in the NL West.

The Dodgers started Jerry Ruess, who by this time was the Dodgers #5 starter, and spotted him a quick 1-0 lead in the first. Second baseman Steve Sax had a one-out double and would score on a double by third baseman Bill Madlock.

Los Angeles increased its lead in the sixth. Sax reached on an error by San Diego shortstop Garry Templeton. With one out, Sax stole second and then went to third on a wild pitch by Padres starter Andy Hawkins. Madlock hit his second double to plate Sax. After Mike Marshall struck out, Padres manager Steve Boros ordered Hawkins to intentionally walk first baseman Len Matuszek to face backup catcher Alex Trevino. But Trevino foiled the strategy with a double to center to score Madlock and drive Hawkins from the mound.

Tim Stoddard relieved and gave up a single to center fielder Reggie Williams to score two more runs. The Dodgers were up 5-0 and the crowd of over 46,000 was ecstatic.

But the game turned sour in the seventh. Templeton led off with an infield single to third that Madlock compounded with a throwing error. Then Padres catcher Bruce Bochy reached on an error by Matuszek. Second baseman Bip Roberts then singled to load the bases and send Ruess to the showers and bring on Ed Vande Berg. The lefty specialist came in to pitch to Tony Gwynn, but Gwynn singled to score a run. Out came Vande Berg and in came Tom Niedenfuer, the goat of 1985. The crowd was now angry, as Niedenfuer's presence on the team was a constant reminder of Jack Clark. Niedenfuer got Kevin McReynolds to pop up for the second out, but then gave up a 2-run single to Steve Garvey to make the score 5-3.

In the 8th, the Padres tied it up. With one out, Templeton singled and pinch hitter Terry Kennedy homered off of Niedenfuer to make it 5-5. But the Dodgers went back ahead 6-5 in the bottom of the 8th when Trevino homered off of reliever Gene Walter.

Manager Tommy Lasorda brought in Ken Howell to try to close out the game in the 9th. But Gwynn singled to lead off. Gwynn then stole second and went to third on an errant throw from Trevino. McReynolds hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 6-6.

The game continued into the 11th and Carlos Diaz took over on the mound for the Dodgers. Diaz gave up a leadoff single to Gwynn. And again Gwynn stole second and went to third on a bad throw from Trevino. McReynolds doubled home Gwynn to give San Diego its first lead of the game, 7-6. Diaz threw a wild pitch to move McReynolds to third, but the Padres stranded him.

But the Dodgers weren't done in the bottom of the 11th. Facing Goose Gossage, Trevino singled to lead off the inning. Williams singled to move Trevino to second. Enos Cabell sacrificed the runners over. Bill Russell then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 6-6.

So they kept playing. And in the top of the 14th, Tim Flannery singled to lead off against Alejandro Pena. Gwynn then got an infield hit. McReynolds struck out as did Padres pitcher Lance McCullers, who had to bat as the Padres were out of bench players. But with two outs, rookie John Kruk (who was the goat on Opening Day for the Padres in L.A. when he was caught stealing as a pinch runner in the 9th inning) singled to left to score Flannery to put San Diego ahead 7-6. McCullers set the Dodgers down in order in the 14th to give San Diego the win.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Times, BaseballReference.com and Retrosheet

1986 was a really, really, really, really long season.

2005-11-06 14:58:55
7.   trainwreck
I will be optomistic for Nomar because I think there is a good chance he may come here so...
BA/OBP/SLUG/HR/K/BB
.290/360/525/20/60/40
2005-11-06 15:01:01
8.   D4P
7
How many games are you predicting that he would play in?
2005-11-06 15:01:04
9.   overkill94
4 If healthy, something like an .830 OPS
2005-11-06 15:01:27
10.   sanchez101
nomar would probably outhit Aybar next season, my guess would be 290/345/460. He cant play shortstop anymore though.

i wouldnt mind seeing julio lugo, if TB would trade him. What about edwin jackson to TB for lugo and chad orvella. BP's defensive metrics show lugo to be as good or better than izturis and he is a much better hitter. TB may be interested in trading him becuase of his salary, $5million, and because he's a free agent after 2006. Orvella allows us to trade sanchez or brazoban, and possibly keep broxton as a starter. By one year from now one of orvella, broxton, or kuo would be able to take over for Gagne. Just a thought

2005-11-06 15:03:25
11.   trainwreck
8-
140
2005-11-06 15:03:53
12.   sanchez101
ironic how in both 1986 and 2005 the only bright spot in the linup was the secondbaseman.
2005-11-06 15:04:04
13.   overkill94
7 That truly is optimistic, though not impossible. I just think his slugging numbers in the past were inflated by all the doubles he hit off the monster. Otherwise I think your prediction is pretty close.
2005-11-06 15:04:46
14.   natepurcell
why dont you giver some predictions d4p.
2005-11-06 15:07:32
15.   trainwreck
13-
Yeah totally is optomistic because I expect him to go to some good team with a good lineup around him and he bounces back. Plus if he comes here might as well try to have a positive outlook.
2005-11-06 15:07:54
16.   trainwreck
*optimisitc
2005-11-06 15:08:37
17.   D4P
7
What is the general consensus regarding "what doubles off the Green Monster would have been if there was a normal wall there instead?" Is it generally assumed that they would have been outs, or that they would have been homeruns?

14
I don't want to tarnish my perfect 2005 predictions record.

2005-11-06 15:12:07
18.   natepurcell
I don't want to tarnish my perfect 2005 predictions record

pulling a plaschke i see. criticize, but dont offer up your own solutions or predictions.

2005-11-06 15:15:01
19.   overkill94
17 From watching a handful of Red Sox games, a lot of doubles off the wall seem like they would be warning track outs as they are more lazy fly balls than screaming line drives.
2005-11-06 15:15:35
20.   D4P
18
Well, as you may have learned by now, my expectations regarding the Dodgers (based on a few decades' worth of experiences) are that

1. When players who used to be good come to the Dodgers, they will either suck or get hurt.
2. When players who suck as Dodgers go somewhere else, they will do better than they did with the Dodgers.

I have learned to expect the worst until shown otherwise. My predictions presumably don't influence the actual outcomes, so I see no compelling reason to expect "good things" from my teams.

With respect to Nomar, I would expect him (as a Dodger) to struggle with lingering injury issues, and to continue his downward slide.

2005-11-06 15:17:18
21.   sanchez101
i think the green monster tends to turn many more outs into singles and doubles than doubles into homeruns. I think nomar began to decline after his wrist injury, not when he left Fenway.

Im guessing Nomar will not be in a dodger uniform next season. I dont see Ng, and certainly not Epstein, signing Nomar and I dont see any of Lasorda's guys bringing in a brittle, poor defensive shortstop with a percieved bad clubhouse reputation.

2005-11-06 15:17:58
22.   Bob Timmermann
20

A lot of that phenomenon can be attributed to:
1) Dodger Stadium being a pitcher's park
2) Guys who used to be good are old, so they shouldn't be expected to get better

2005-11-06 15:19:37
23.   D4P
22
Yes, I am aware of both of those factors.
2005-11-06 15:22:35
24.   sanchez101
20. I think your letting the negative atmosphere get the best of you. Steve Finley, Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora, Jose Hernandez, Jose Lima, and Guillermo Mota all got worse after leaving the dodgers, and that was just 2005. What about Chan Ho Park in 2002, or Kevin Brown in 2004. Dont forget that Shawn Green and Gary Sheffield had some of their best years in Dodger blue after having very good seasons elsewhere. This subject is worth a more formal study, but i would hypothesize that the dodgers arent any better or worse than other teams on the subject.
2005-11-06 15:22:58
25.   Javier Gutierrez
Since Dodger Stadium kills extra base hits besides HRs, shouldnt the Dodgers be trying to acquire hitters that rely on their HR power to boost their SLG?
2005-11-06 15:25:31
26.   Suffering Bruin
I don't think I've ever forgiven Bill James for giving up the Abstracts in 1988 because I would've loved his take on the '88 Dodger season. He did write one time that Lasorda did several things to lead the Dodgers to the promised land in '88 but he never got into the details.
2005-11-06 15:25:31
27.   overkill94
24 I'm assuming the names Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, and Carlos Perez are some of the many names that have haunted Dodger fans over the last 15 years.

Lately it hasn't been as bad.

2005-11-06 15:25:41
28.   natepurcell
personally, i think nomar will be above average offensively for a SS/3b next year. he is only 32 yrs old and i think he still has at least 3 productive season in him.

I think he could be a very good low risk, high reward signing, something like a 1 yr 5.5 mil deal with a 2nd yr option that automatically kicks in with 500+ PAs.

with robles as depth, and aybar at 3b with laroche waiting in AAA, we have ample depth to keep nomar fresh throughout the season with multiple days off.

If he gets around 500+ PAs next year, i think he could go for 280/345/465 as a dodger with around 17-21 homeruns.

2005-11-06 15:26:23
29.   sanchez101
25. ya, but if you can show me a free agent with that profile that can play 3B or SS.
2005-11-06 15:26:28
30.   D4P
24
It is true that many of the recent departures did worse for their new teams than they had done for the Dodgers. Much of my impression on this issue was developed in the decade of the 90s. It's not so much that I believe that the Dodgers are cursed, but I just choose to maintain low expectations until the team proves me wrong.
2005-11-06 15:27:45
31.   King of the Hobos
I like Nomar simply because he has the ability to play SS, 3B, 2B, 1B, and LF (not well, but he can play them). If he's healthy, he's not a bad hitter either. I'd predict an OPS somewhere from .800-.850
2005-11-06 15:28:03
32.   D4P
27
Yes, Strawberry and Davis are on my list. You can add Daniels, Hundley, Worrell, and others (who I have managed to erase from my memory).
2005-11-06 15:28:17
33.   natepurcell
or if the new GM wants to bring back "the dodger way" he'll go out and sign furcal, who will play great defense and steal 45+ bases.
2005-11-06 15:29:26
34.   Bob Timmermann
Hundley managed to pull off the feat TWICE!
2005-11-06 15:36:59
35.   Izzy
The Dodger homepage is saying McCourt will interview Epstein. I was starting to wonder if we would even get that.
2005-11-06 15:38:23
36.   natepurcell
if epstein comes to the dodgers, its going to be under the title "president" of baseball operations or something higher than GM.

which i dont have a problem with...

2005-11-06 15:39:58
37.   sanchez101
33. so will julio lugo, at less cost and time commitment.
2005-11-06 15:41:09
38.   natepurcell
so will julio lugo, at less cost and time commitment.

but lugo doesnt pass the character test...

althought furcal isnt a saint himself....

2005-11-06 15:45:22
39.   D4P
38
It will be interesting to see if there actually is a "character test", as McCourt kind of implied that there would be after the Bradley-Kent flap.
2005-11-06 15:46:52
40.   King of the Hobos
36 Unless Jamie McCourt is really nice, he'd be a vice president at best. I'm not really sure what more he wants than GM
2005-11-06 15:50:52
41.   natepurcell
jamie mccourt is president of the dodgers, epstein would probably want to be president of baseball operations of the dodgers. theres a difference. the difference is, he probably doesnt want to run everything by mccourt or lasorda and have full control.
2005-11-06 15:57:29
42.   kngoworld
Dreamers!
2005-11-06 15:57:44
43.   D4P
Dodgerblues has a new update that will have Sabres reaching for their torches and pitchforks.
2005-11-06 16:00:08
44.   King of the Hobos
Why would you have 2 presidents? That would be chaotic. That's just not how the system works
2005-11-06 16:02:20
45.   natepurcell
Why would you have 2 presidents? That would be chaotic. That's just not how the system works

this is the mccourt dodgers, they dont believe in stability. chaos= mccourts.

2005-11-06 16:03:57
46.   D4P
45
Nate - You're starting to say things that you used to criticize me for saying.
2005-11-06 16:05:02
47.   trainwreck
I think a good place for Nomar would be Milwaukee. Brewers get a cheap player that could turn out really good and adds playoff experience to a young team. They have a nice lineup and it is a hitter's park.
2005-11-06 16:07:31
48.   Bob Timmermann
I have no reason to believe that the NHL team in Buffalo would object to Dodger Blues.
2005-11-06 16:09:40
49.   D4P
48
Then you'll have to accept it on faith.
2005-11-06 16:23:30
50.   Vishal
[35] i don't see where it says they will "interview" epstein. it says the dodgers will "speak with" him. and they'll speak with hart as well, even though he has said he's staying in texas. it sounds more like they're making phone calls to gauge interest than that they will be doing an actual interview.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-06 16:27:52
51.   D4P
50
Vishal - Are you doing your graduate work in econ?
2005-11-06 16:31:43
52.   Vishal
[51] nah, i'm doing international relations/public administration.
2005-11-06 17:13:05
53.   Vishal
and with that, i've killed dodger thoughts...

it's probably for the best; i've got a massive paper to work on.

2005-11-06 17:14:59
54.   Bob Timmermann
Graduate work in international relations AND public administration would cause most people to die of boredom. ;-)
2005-11-06 17:21:02
55.   D4P
53
Sorry. I went to watch the Simpsons, but remembered that I don't like the Halloween episodes.
2005-11-06 17:29:34
56.   Vishal
[54] you mean, as opposed to the thrilling opportunities for graduate study provided by say, electrical engineering or british literature? for schoolwork, i'd say the topics i get to deal with are relatively exciting. wars, nukes, terrorism, people dying, that sort of thing.

if i got bored easily i probably wouldn't be in school at all. on the other hand, if i'm not at least a little bored, why am i trolling baseball blogs instead of writing my paper :)

2005-11-06 17:30:54
57.   trainwreck
56-
I am taking a war films class next year I will get to see all that good stuff and learn about it.
2005-11-06 17:38:34
58.   Borchard504
(39) If that is true, and it is definitely a non-linear idea, then I feel good for Milton Bradley if the McCourt's do not re-sign him. Anyone choosing Kent is a mercenary at best.
MB should be back I feel.
2005-11-06 17:49:22
59.   Sushirabbit
10 I wouldn't bet against Aybar. I'll predict that Aybar does better than Nomar if he gets a full season in and Nomar doesn't go to Milwaukee (which really is a good idea!).

24 And what about Kent this year. He was a phenomenal pick-up. If only the rest of the team...

2005-11-06 17:59:01
60.   Sushirabbit
58 As a former endorse of Milton, I really disagree. Kent may be a mercenary but look at his VORP see:
http://tinyurl.com/94t6p (partial credits)

Yep, that's right twice as much from a guy that doesn't get into legal troubles or mouth off to the media (just to team mates that deserve it.)

I say good bye to Milton and Good Luck!

2005-11-06 18:10:42
61.   Vishal
[60] did milton bradley "deserve" a dressing down from kent? considering the injury that bradley was playing with, if kent was complaining on top of that, i can understand why bradley might be upset.

also, i remember kent upbraiding choi in the dugout after that play where choi supposedly got in the way (except he didn't, and the umpire blew the call, so kent was essentially yelling at him for not looking pretty). i'm no fervent advocate of chemistry or anything, but kent is no saintly figure.

2005-11-06 18:15:14
62.   D4P
61
I used to think that Kent was generally among Dodger fans' most disliked players, but there has been a surprising outpouring of support for him since he joined the team.
2005-11-06 18:18:09
63.   Vishal
that's because he's good. fans will cheer for anyone in the uniform who produces, unless they really egregiously cross the line somehow. dodger fans cheered gary sheffield, didn't we? we didn't boo kevin brown when he pitched, did we?
2005-11-06 18:18:57
64.   Vishal
not that i'm saying jeff kent is nearly as bad as those guys.
2005-11-06 18:21:21
65.   D4P
63,64
I kinda feel like a sell-out when I root for a guy just because he's good and on "my" team, especially if I disliked him when he played elsewhere.

PS: I didn't cheer Sheffield or Brown either.

2005-11-06 18:22:03
66.   trainwreck
I still love Gary Sheffield and wished we kept him. He is a great player haha and we should have worked to make the team better. I know he wanted out, but I am unsure of the other circumstances because in the bay area I got no Dodger news at all.
2005-11-06 18:25:19
67.   natepurcell
sheffield is the of the best hitters to ever play for the dodgers.
2005-11-06 18:27:04
68.   D4P
67
Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are great wide receivers.
2005-11-06 18:27:14
69.   Bob Timmermann
We even cheered Darryl Strawberry for a year!

That didn't end well.

2005-11-06 18:28:13
70.   natepurcell
they are great WRs, but i wouldnt compare TO to moss.
2005-11-06 18:30:04
71.   trainwreck
Moss is my favorite player on my favorite team and he has not been a problem at all.
2005-11-06 18:31:43
72.   D4P
71
I think Nate would echo those sentiments.
2005-11-06 18:34:42
73.   natepurcell
ha, i am wearing my 84 moss jersey right now. yes, i still wear it to the sports bar, memories man! memories..
2005-11-06 18:36:11
74.   trainwreck
You are a viking fan? How did that come about?
2005-11-06 19:11:17
75.   natepurcell
You are a viking fan? How did that come about?

born in minny, dad and his side of the family from minny. hes a vikings fan so i grew up watching them.

2005-11-06 19:26:39
76.   Sushirabbit
Yeah, Kent is no saint, either-- remember the motorcycle wreck thing he lied about. And I would give MB a LOT of slack if what he said hadn't been right into a microphone. But I disagree on the Choi thing. He deserved getting chewed out. Not only because he should have known to get down and out of the way, but because he'd been tentative at first for several games in a row. (Are we all glad Tracy is gone?)

I think Sheffield wanted to be gone, and I'm not sure I blame him. Much like I wouldn't blame Kent for jumping off now, either.

2005-11-06 19:27:17
77.   trainwreck
Sweet. I totally understand how bad some Minnesota fans feel with Moss gone. I am going to feel that way if he leaves the Raiders. I was a fan of his in college and was made when we did not draft him, but he was awesome in Minnesota. I think Williamson will end up being a good player so it is not as bad as it looks, but really sucks to lose your favorite player.
2005-11-06 19:35:25
78.   trainwreck
*mad
2005-11-06 20:30:56
79.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
The Dodger team defensive statistics were so bad...

That said, the Dodgers did NOT have baseball's worst defense in 1986. Not even the worst in the NL.
LA's Defensive Efficiency was .686, 10th in the league and 21st in MLB. (The AL champion Red Sox were 22nd. But John McNamara, Bill Buckner and Dave Stapleton will tell you stats like these are hooey.)

2005-11-06 21:05:44
80.   Goozmani
I think signing Furcal would be a good start. His bat is definetly better than Izturis'. Its the only way I would be content with Willy at third.

Not a big fan of signing Nomah, he is just too much of a risk, especially with the year we had last year with injuries.

2005-11-06 21:34:17
81.   alexx
I dreamt we rehired DePodesta...
2005-11-06 21:36:02
82.   trainwreck
Lol
2005-11-06 22:11:37
83.   Steve
We need to hire a GM, if only to end the daily rhetorical equivalent of babies banging pots together in the newspaper every morning.
2005-11-06 22:22:11
84.   Xeifrank
80. I think signing Furcal would be a bad decision imho. He is going to get too much money, more than he is worth. A healthy Izturis/Robles would match his numbers. Plus I don't even dare want the Dodgers to block any of our young infield prospects (see: Joel Guzman). vr, Xei
2005-11-06 23:30:59
85.   scareduck
Bob Timmermann -- I must say that I adore your RDGC's. I have done a few on the Angels this year and expect to do more next year, as an irregular feature thanks to the relative youth of the franchise. When you only have forty years or so of material to work with, it's hard to get it all in.
2005-11-07 02:20:33
86.   alex 7
saw yard work finally got a Dodger column up. By Lasorda of course. Not sure if it's been mentioned yet.
2005-11-07 07:23:37
87.   King of the Hobos
Hart is interested and has arranged for an interview this week supposedly

NY Post: " While the Yankees are locked on free agent reliever B.J. Ryan and mulling a trade for center fielder Milton Bradley, getting Matsui signed to an extension quickly is a must"

If this has any credibility (and I have no idea if it does), then this means there's already a trade proposal

2005-11-07 07:49:10
88.   Bob Timmermann
Thank you, Rob.
2005-11-07 08:49:33
89.   blue22
87 - Great, so Hart appears to be back in the running. Also, I've seen reports that Epstein is actually holding out for the Washington DC job. Of course, they have a GM already, so I'd assume that person would be looking for a new job [gag].

After it was looking like Ng might win the job by simply winning the battle of attrition, suddenly Hart and Bowden have new life!

2005-11-07 08:51:15
90.   blue22
87 - And I'm really interested to know what Bradley could bring in return from the Yankees? They don't have much, so would it be some middle of the road "prospect" (which is about all the Yankees system has right now), or maybe one of their multitudes of starters (Pavano/Wright? + cash).

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