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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Tangibles
2005-11-07 08:58
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If it were purely in the numbers, Scott Posednik and Geoff Blum wouldn't have hit game-winning home runs that brought the White Sox a World Championship.

Not to take Dodger Blues too seriously, but this is completely untrue. Please - I can't emphasize this point enough. The point has never been that Scott Podsednik or Geoff Blum or Jason Repko or Mickey Hatcher could never have a magic moment. Roll the dice enough, and any major league hitter batting or fielding at least .001 can have a magic moment. The point is, who is most likely to have a magic moment?

Some intangibles are truly unaccounted for, and we should be aware of our blind spots, but we should also be aware of how tangible some intangibles are. Every time Podsednik hits a key homer - guess what? That shows up in his stats. And appreciating that is where the real balance is, not the phony kind.

There is magic in baseball and I adore every bit of it. But a good use of stats can bring your team more magic, not less.

(Rob McMillin's entry at 6-4-2 got me started on this.)

Comments (198)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-07 09:20:03
1.   Bob Timmermann
At least it's not the argument:

"No computer would have had Kirk Gibson hit a home run off of Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series."

I think about that one a lot and it still doesn't make any sense to me.

Baseball games are played. One team wins or one team loses (or else they have to play the whole game over). If Geoff Blum had some magical ability to win baseball games, then I think Ozzie Guillen would have played him at second base more. But he was playing because the game had gone to extra innings and Guillen wanted to double switch so he wouldn't have to go to his bullpen again. So Geoff Blum got the chance to hit a game-winning home run.

Mickey Hatcher started in the 1988 World Series because Kirk Gibson was hurt and Mike Davis stunk and Danny Heep was Danny Heep.

Ozzie Guillen and Tommy Lasorda both hit inside straights on the flop. Jim Tracy spent most of 2005 try to bluff with a deuce of hearts and four of clubs.

2005-11-07 09:23:54
2.   Robert Fiore
Perhaps we should call this the "Roster Full of Pixies" theory. You sign a bunch of banjo hitters with a lot of heart on the assumption that they're going to be sprinkled with fairy dust in the clutch.

Anyway, imagine you're Frank McCourt (which is to say, imagine you're an idiot) and you're thinking to yourself, "Well, at least I got the L.A. Times off my back." Then you read Tim Brown's column today.

If the Dodgers have a terrible season next year I can tell you with absolute certainty who Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers are not going to blame: Themselves.

2005-11-07 09:43:06
3.   Fallout
1. Bob Timmermann
>... and four of clubs.<

Not to be confused with four bats. (hitters)

2005-11-07 09:57:00
4.   Jacob L
2 Roster full of Pixies sounds good to me, especially if we can move Kim Deal for bass to 3rd base.

I actually think the Dodger Blues guys are on to something here. In turning away from the objective analysis mode we should, rightly, go all the way into alchemy and witchcraft. Question is, is it a seance (sp?) a ouija board, or a spell that helps us to find that speedy center fielder that can steal us 35 or so bags?

2005-11-07 10:10:13
5.   blue22
More comments on Depo being an introvert as reasons he's no longer with us, from the Toronto Sun.

http://tinyurl.com/dwe86

2005-11-07 10:13:37
6.   Fallout
>Some intangibles are truly unaccounted for<

I guess that is why most would prefer to watch a game than to play a computer simulation.

In the first game of the WS you could tell by Podsednik's first AB that he was going to be a tough out.

In the second inning you could see that someting wasn't right with Clemens. When he needed a SO his fastball couldn't get above 91 mph and was mostly 90. (He was throwing 93 earlier.)

It is these type of things that are shortcomings in statistical analysis...someone getting hot or someone performing at less than 100% because of injury...etc.

2005-11-07 10:15:40
7.   JMK
I think the debate between the "moneyballers" and "traditionalists" is overblown. Most if not all teams have people on their staffs who do statistical anayses. Some teams definitely respect performance analysis more than others but I'm sure most teams already blend statistics and scouting when doing evaluations. The contrast between "moneyball" teams and "smallball" teams is not an accurate depiction. But is anyone else struggling as a Dodger fan with what it will be like if someone like Bowden gets hired? The thought of the Dodgers hiring Bowden and then justifying the likes of Plaschke, McCourt, and Lasorda by winning makes me ill. But, I've always been a big Dodger fan. I can't imagine rooting against them. But rooting for a Bowden created team would seem to me like rooting for the flat earth society.
2005-11-07 10:16:42
8.   Jon Weisman
6 - I agree with your post, although unless I'm mistaken, you seem to be positing it as some sort of counterpoint.
2005-11-07 10:34:47
9.   Formerly R
The problem, of course, is that Dodger Blues says "intangibles," but means "luck."

'Intangibles' is a crutch term. Writers and so-called experts use it when they want to sound like they know what they're talking about and don't have the guts to say, "I have no explanation for what just happened."

2005-11-07 10:35:16
10.   sanchez101
now, Im now expert, but anything close to a scouting report Ive ever heard, from when MLB.com used to provide scouting reports prior to the draft, to books like moneyball where there are scouts talking about players, or even when Baseball America is doing their write-ups on prospects, I've never heard any of these reports talk about a guy's "clutchability" or any other nonesense of that sort. They talk about a guys body, or makeup, or his skills. This isnt a debate between scouts and sabermetrics. This is just a crutch for sportswriters who believe a little too much into their own storylines and dont bother to understand the sport they are covering.
2005-11-07 10:35:45
11.   Fallout
8. Jon Weisman

It was a counterpoint to those who have tunnel vision with statistcal analysis.

But Jon, we can agree. Maybe just saying what you are saying in a different way.

2005-11-07 10:38:33
12.   Steve
First of all, Jon is wrong. All intangibles are truly unaccounted for. That is why they are intangible. And that is why people who say they can recognize intangibles are full of it. Even if you once recognize it, it becomes tangible, and therefore, by definition, not intangible.

Second of all,

"I guess that is why most would prefer to watch a game than to play a computer simulation."

Yawn. Wake me when you garner even a shred of originality in your thought processes.

2005-11-07 10:40:55
13.   bigcpa
11 Baseball Prospectus made the same points when dissecting the Astros WS meltdown. You can spend a year constructing a roster with every statistical method known to man and then Roy Oswalt blows a 4-0 lead at home to a weak hitting team and your offense goes 1-33 with RISP. But their conclusion was not "why do we bother with stats?" It was that a single game or full series (AROD) is no means to second-guess what a mountain of evidence tells you.
2005-11-07 10:41:09
14.   sanchez101
6."I guess that is why most would prefer to watch a game than to play a computer simulation" - Ive never understood this. Baseball computer and video games are very popular and all they really are are numbers.
2005-11-07 10:43:02
15.   bigcpa
12 Hey Steve I was going through the old LA Times stack and found the post-LoDuca trade Saturday edition. You and I had letters right next to each other. You said Dodger fans need group therapy as I recall.
2005-11-07 10:46:25
16.   Steve
Apparently, they still do.
2005-11-07 10:47:20
17.   Bob Timmermann
8/7/2004

"This last week has only cemented Dodger fans' reputation as the worst-informed in baseball. The Dodgers were never going to go anywhere with Kaz Ishii pitching Game 4 of the Division Series. The same fans bemoaning our lack of offense the last three years suddenly decided that they wanted to keep the lineup that led to the lack of offense. A vicious third-place cycle. Time for group therapy.

"Of course, the proof is in the pudding. As of this writing, the Dodgers have won three of four since the trade and increased their lead to 5 1/2 games over all those teams worried about our "lack of chemistry." So stop littering the sports pages with your lunatic rants, and go back where you belong, Ignorant Dodger Fan: Postgame Dodgertalk. That goes for you too, Plaschke." --- Steve

"Unlike most Dodger fans, I'm in favor of the trades made by Paul DePodesta, who possesses the nerve and audacity of a riverboat gambler. He is willing to take risks that could improve the team in the long run.

There's an additional benefit to the trades: The acquisition of Hee-Seop Choi will appeal to the Southland's huge Korean population. After all, they haven't had one of their own to root for on the club since the departure of Chan Ho Park." -- bigcpa (I believe)

Most of the letters that day were positive.

2005-11-07 10:49:02
18.   underdog
4. Don't you mean 3rd bass? Hah hah ha... ahhh, I need coffee.

Speaking of 'here comes your (wo)man' (and other favorite pixies songs), when are the dodgers going to just do the right thing and hire Kim Ng already?

2005-11-07 10:50:15
19.   bigcpa
17 No Bob I think mine ended with "Change hurts, but not changing can hurt more."
2005-11-07 10:50:41
20.   Fallout
14. sanchez101
>Ive never understood this.<

It's not to say that an arcade sports game and a simulation sports game are the same.

2005-11-07 10:51:07
21.   Bob Timmermann
Then you two weren't next to each other then were you? :-)

"Dodger fans have suffered through seven seasons when acquisitions at the trade deadline meant Tom Goodwin or Tyler Houston. Each of those seasons ended by missing the playoffs. A month ago, this team was 40-37, in third place and headed for another 85 victories. Now, after a great July, we've got 25 untouchable players? Change hurts, but recent Dodger history proves that not changing hurts more."

2005-11-07 10:51:20
22.   SiGeg
It was a counterpoint to those who have tunnel vision with statistcal analysis.

I've heard mention of such bogeymen, but I have yet to actually run into one -- at least, not one that resembles the picture you are painting. What stat-crazy baseball fan or analyst (or GM) would discount a several MPH decrease in a pitcher's fastball? (This is a statistic, by the way) Who would ignore the importance of an injury? I don't think these people really exist.

2005-11-07 10:51:43
23.   Steve
Now the proof is in the Marlins' pudding too.
2005-11-07 10:54:04
24.   Bob Timmermann
Is this the same pudding that is inside Phil Garner's head?
2005-11-07 10:57:19
25.   Steve
Indeed - Plaschke : Pudding - Steve
2005-11-07 11:02:16
26.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
"when are the dodgers going to just do the right thing and hire Kim Ng already?"

When Theo drops out for good. That's my (WA) guess.

Did anyone else see this in the Times this morning? "Several of Epstein's friends suggested he would prefer a position with the Washington Nationals, should the organization's new owners make changes in the front office." That could explain why Theo is stalling.

Also, an interesting quote in the Tim Brown column: Maybe [McCourt] can talk Theo Epstein into taking over Paul DePodesta's new mortgage in Santa Monica, but as a friend of both young, unemployed general managers observed, "They're the same guy, cut from the same cloth. The only difference is, one went to the division series and the other went to the World Series. Maybe Theo's got more of an edge to him, but he's not as clever as Paul."

2005-11-07 11:09:51
27.   blue22
26 - I thought LA just might back themselves into hiring Ng as candidates continued to drop out (hey, whatever it takes to get her hired is fine by me).

Now though, Hart looks like he's getting an interview, contradicting reports out of TX that he wasn't interested in the job. And Epstein is not waiting for the LA job; it appears he's waiting for the DC job. Which of course, frees up Jim Bowden to come to LA.

Ng is looking more and more like a long shot again, as the "experience" of Hart or Bowden might push her to Boston.

2005-11-07 11:11:31
28.   fanerman
This news is not encouraging.
2005-11-07 11:12:21
29.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think a new ownership group will be put in place in DC anytime soon. If MLB has waited this long to find an owner for that franchise, why wouldn't it put it off for as long as it can. It's a lot easier to have a vassal franchise than to have a real competitor in the world of MLB's cartel.
2005-11-07 11:17:12
30.   Fallout
22. SiGeg
>What stat-crazy baseball fan or analyst (or GM) would discount a several MPH decrease in a pitcher's fastball?<

A lot of them (fans) wouldn't recognize the intricacies.

I keep on reading here about LoDuca and his second half failings. While the statistics are true, he played the last 2 months (this year)with a hamstring injury where he could hardly get around the bases. It had to affect his hitting numbers (it also affected his throwing). But, it was better to play him hurt than to play the guy behind him.

(Now that I've said that, you know who will make his usual comment about LoDuca)

2005-11-07 11:17:30
31.   Vishal
[22] i believe that's called a "straw man" argument.
2005-11-07 11:21:07
32.   Fallout
29. Bob Timmermann

Kinda the same reason the owners allowed the McCourts to buy the Dodgers. No money. No competition.

2005-11-07 11:22:08
33.   Bob Timmermann
Lo Duca's principal backup in Florida was Matt Treanor, who batted .201 in 58 games with 0 home runs. He had an OPS+ of 54.

Lo Duca had an OPS+ of 92.

2005-11-07 11:25:05
34.   blue22
29 - Theo can wait for that job to come open. But will LA wait for Bowden? If Tommy has as much pull as once thought, Bowden would be the guy McCourt is after. Hart and Ng are backup choices, but may have to choose between the two if Bowden is not available.

Hart may not be the ideal choice, but it would allow Orel to come in as an understudy, which would force Ng to Boston, most likely.

Ng would be a great choice, but only if Jamie McCourt gets involved. It does not seem likely that she would be the choice if Frank/Tommy are pulling the strings.

2005-11-07 11:26:39
35.   blue22
33 - But whose wife is hotter?

Treanor's claim to fame is being married to Misty May, the volleyball player.

IIRC, Lo Duca's wife wasn't bad either.

2005-11-07 11:29:45
36.   Bob Timmermann
I've said before that Matt Treanor and Misty May likely have one of the greatest disparities between a husband and wife in the amount of equipment they have to use in participating in their respective sports.
2005-11-07 11:36:22
37.   Telemachos
Misty May = Best Athlete Name.

FYI, and jumping off-topic to college football, here's a funny little tidbit from ESPN about a fan-driven poll of who should be the #1 team in the country:

http://tinyurl.com/a4w4n

2005-11-07 11:40:18
38.   Steve
Getting injured is a moral failing. Paul LoDuca sucks. Everybody should know that 32 year old catchers are going to break down. Etc. If I understand the argument correctly.
2005-11-07 11:45:06
39.   Bob Timmermann
Paul Lo Duca gets hurt because he tries too hard.

J.D. Drew gets hurt because he is a bad man with no personality.

There's a WSJ article about the young GMs in baseball and the writer Stefan Fatsis keeps pointing to the Joe Amalfitano departure as a big deal. Did that story resonate in L.A. longer than a week?

2005-11-07 11:46:12
40.   blue22
30 - LoDuca has had a significant 2nd half decline in every one of his seasons as a big-leaguer, including this one. This year, however, we're supposed to believe that it's because he was hurt, and that somehow excludes him from criticism?

And, supporting Steve's comment, you should expect 32-year old catchers to get hurt.

So what's the argument again?

2005-11-07 11:48:38
41.   SiGeg
30 I'm not quite sure I know what you are saying. LoDuca's performance suffered because he was hurt. OK, I get that. So, are you saying his stats, while accurate, don't tell the whole story, and therefore if you only look at stats you'd somehow undervalue (or is it overvalue?) his abilities? (But isn't it "stats people" that are accused of overvaluing JD Drew because they look at his numbers without paying enough attention to his injuries. Is this not a comparable situation because Drew is "injury-prone" while LoDuca was just plain "injured"? In any case, I still don't think statistics fans are particularly prone to ignore the role of injuries.)

And a stats-crazy fan might not have bothered to pay attention to the fact of the injury and therefore have thought that LoDuca should be benched, which he shouldn't have been because his backup had even worse...stats? (??)

I think I'm making a mess of what you're saying, but that's because I don't understand it, not because I'm intentionally trying to distort it.

2005-11-07 11:53:25
42.   Bob Timmermann
The Marlins didn't want around or didn't want to keep Ramon Castro as Lo Duca's backup. (Castro was a free agent).

And in 99 games, Castro sported a higher OPS+ (97) than Lo Duca.

But Castro was terrible in 2004. David Ross terrible.

2005-11-07 11:53:46
43.   Fallout
40. blue22
So what's the argument again?

Some people will play hurt and their numbers will go down. Some players will not play hurt and to protect their numbers.

2005-11-07 11:59:24
44.   Telemachos
43 Yet, it can easily be argued that, macho attitude aside, it's better for the team for a star player to get healthy rather than make their injury far worse.

Eric Gagne is merely one of the more obvious examples.

2005-11-07 11:59:40
45.   Bob Timmermann
Some people will play hurt and their numbers will go down. Some players will not play hurt and to protect their numbers.

Ahh, we haven't had that debate since BEFORE J.D. Drew broke his wrist. Those were good times.

Catchers, by the nature of their position, almost always play hurt. But is it wise to try to play at a suboptimal level? I would say yes to the point that you aren't doing further damage to yourself and your replacement is far worse.

2005-11-07 12:05:32
46.   Steve
That's not an argument. That's a conclusion unsupported by an argument.
2005-11-07 12:15:33
47.   Jon Weisman
45 - Good, stick-a-needle-in-my-eye times.

"Some people will play hurt and their numbers will go down. Some players will not play hurt and to protect their numbers."

It is good to play hurt only if

a) you won't make your injury worse
b) your numbers while playing hurt won't go down to the level of your replacement
c) your playing hurt inspires with its heroism rather than annoys with its incompetence.

When Drew's knee caused him to sit out a couple of days in June or so, despite the fact he had been playing every day up to that point, many people assumed a), b) and c) were all against him. It was not fair.

2005-11-07 12:18:25
48.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
If it were purely in the numbers, Scott Posednik and Geoff Blum wouldn't have hit game-winning home runs that brought the White Sox a World Championship.
Depends on which numbers you're looking at. Posednik crushed a homer in the ALDS, so what's to say he was unlikely to do it again?
2005-11-07 12:19:41
49.   blue22
Chalk up a win for the "Character" side
(aka Thank heavens for non-guaranteed contracts):

TO has been suspended by the Eagles for the rest of the year.

http://www.cbs.sportsline.com/

2005-11-07 12:27:28
50.   natepurcell
i think character and chemistry are a year to year thing with players.

i mean, last yr, Pierzinski, everett and jenks didnt have character or chemistry with their teammates, but somehow they did this year?

oh right i get it now!!

wait, no i dont.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-07 12:29:00
51.   natepurcell
TO is an absolute moron who loves being the center of attention. If he kept his mouth shut, played the season like he normall plays, eagles would have picked up his 5 yr 33 mil option in march.

but no, its not his character to shut up. whatever, this is why moss and TO are totally different types of people/player.

2005-11-07 12:29:19
52.   Steve
Of course you don't, you are not blessed with the sixth sense.
2005-11-07 12:35:23
53.   Sam DC
Hi All. I've been offline for about the past 10 days. Was actually out in LA -- I'm afraid my ill father has now passed -- and I had the odd-for-me experience of learning about all the drama exclusively from the paper LA Times. I wasn't following Dodger things (or anything, really) too closely, but I sure did miss this place.

In one of life's surreal moments, I learned about the firing of DePodesta when I picked up the paper in the Cedars Sinai ICU waiting area during a particularly dark stretch. And I just started to weep. Obviously, the emotions were coming from somewhere else, but still, the thing just seemed so wrong, so totally at odds with what baseball is to me. There I was at a time in life when sports -- and especially the Dodgers -- could have been a good refuge for me, and instead it was just a gutshot out of the blue.

Life goes on, and I'll still root for the team and all. And to be clear, it's not that I think DePodesta was perfect or untouchable. It's just that, at that point, having just let go of Jim Tracy and having so recently made statements in support of DePodesta, the firing made no sense. It just seemed very small and meanspirited, and I want more than that from my team.

I haven't had the heart to go back and read through the comments that have collected here. Jon, your stuff as usual has been spot on, though if I'm not mistaken has a bit more edge than we've seen in some time. That Jackie Robinson piece was simply withering.

2005-11-07 12:41:20
54.   Telemachos
Sam, sorry to hear about your father's passing. My best wishes to you and your family.
2005-11-07 12:46:59
55.   Bob Timmermann
Sam,
I can empathize with you. It's quite traumatic. And I've often had events other than what I was really sad about set me off.

A few months after my mother passed away, I was playing golf. And I was having a terrible day. And I got more and more upset. And I played worse and worse. I was swinging and missing at the ball like Steve Garvey chasing a curve in the dirt. Then I just stormed off the course, went to my car and started weeping.

I really wasn't all that upset about my golf game.

My condolences to you Sam and the rest of your family.

2005-11-07 12:48:32
56.   natepurcell
rumors has it yanks are mulling over trading for bradley.

they dont have anyone particularly interesting to trade. If they offer up pavano along with cash, i might take it actually. But pavano does have a NTC so he would have to okay a trade to sunny LA.

this is what his contract looks like:

Carl Pavano p
4 years/$39.95M (2005-08)

signed as a free agent 12/04
05:$9M, 06:$8M, 07:$10M, 08:$11M, 09:$13M club option ($1.95M buyout)
NTC
Pavano may void option by reaching appearance levels (200 IP in 2008 or 400 IP 2007-08), but no buyout is paid

2005-11-07 13:00:47
57.   blue22
56 - Looks like a decent trade. The Yankees get out from one of their SP commitments (currently have Unit, Moose, Wright, Pavano under long-term deals, not to mention Small/Wang/Chacon from last year) to make a run at Burnett.

So Pavano has 3yrs/$29M left. Could the Yanks send out $5-10M in exchange for Bradley?

2005-11-07 13:02:39
58.   FirstMohican
Baseball reference says 29 year old Pavano is most similar to Dustin Hermanson. Funny...

I don't see why the Yankees would trade Pavano unless they don't expect him to be relatively injury free in the future. (They couldn't be trimming payroll!)

2005-11-07 13:03:38
59.   oldbear
56. I was thinking that players on the DL couldnt get traded?

Carl Pavano and Milton Bradly both had serious season ending injuries.

It'd be really risky to trade either considering its doubtful they could pass a physical.

If I was another team, I wouldnt trade for Bradley until I knew his knee was sound.

I'm not sure the extent of Pavano's injuries, but at his cost I'd want to be sure he was healthy.

2005-11-07 13:03:55
60.   natepurcell
the 06 8mil salary isnt too over paid, but if they could add 8 mil over the 08-09 seasons then i would do the deal.
2005-11-07 13:05:48
61.   oldbear
If I've read the LA Times correctly and they are correct (big assumption)...

Kim Ng interviewed on Saturday for the GM spot.

John Hart is supposed to interview Monday for the GM spot.

Theo Epstein is still talking to the Dodgers?

3 candidates?

2005-11-07 13:07:37
62.   blue22
58 - The Yanks biggest hole is the rotation, which is bloated with bad contracts. Trading Pavano would ease some of that burden, and open up a slot for either Wang or Small, or (more likely) they could upgrade to Burnett by throwing insane cash at him.
2005-11-07 13:10:11
63.   FirstMohican
62 - Then trade Burnett (and cash) to the Dodgers next offseason after he has a season ending injury.
2005-11-07 13:11:12
64.   Fallout
47. Jon Weisman
>When Drew's knee caused him to sit out a couple of days in June or so, despite the fact he had been playing every day up to that point, many people assumed a), b) and c) were all against him.<

My impression was that his knee was not as sound as we were led to believe. That it would probably be an on going condition. And, choice "B" wasn't happening. Choice "C", he wasn't inspiring anyone.
"D" it may not be fair.

2005-11-07 13:17:14
65.   blue22
63 - And round and round they go.
2005-11-07 13:21:10
66.   blue22
59 - Pavano was out with shoulder tendinitis. While it may be cause for concern, I wouldn't call it "serious".
2005-11-07 13:21:28
67.   Jeff Baehr
I'd like to address several things…

In response to dodgerblues, I'd refer the writers to various articles penned on the ability of athletes to choose when they perform, that is, the existence "clutch" (http://www.hs.ttu.edu/hdfs3390/hothand.htm) . Thomas Gilovich has done extensive research on the topic and has written a very interesting book entitled "How We Know What Isn't So" which extensively details faults in human reasoning and why people believe in things that are contrary/aren't supported by empirical evidence(chemistry, heart, clutch, ect.).In summary, research indicates that athletes do not have the ability to choose when they perform and thus dramatically timed performances such as Blum's and Posednik's, although magical and inspiring, are the result of luck.

I'd also like to add my two cents on the moneyball v. traditionalists approach to understanding baseball.

Essentially, players are endowed with a particular skill set that enable them to achieve results over time. The statistics generated by a player are an estimation of player's skills. Any estimation has a degree of error associated with it.

The two veins of trying to estimate the skill of a player is through quantitative analysis or what is commonly referred to the "moneyball approach"(which is incorrect) and fundamental analysis(employed by scouts and baseball America). The end or telos of both approaches is not to catalogue what had happened in the past, but rather, predict the future. Both methods succeed to some degree. The goal is to predict performance and volatility of performance in the future and put a price on it. Quantitative analysis accomplishes this by examining the ends achieved by a player. This is accomplished in a variety of ways which vary in sophistication and predictability. A player that has a high OPS one year is likely to have a high OPS the following year has some predictability, but a large degree of error. The science of baseball has become much more developed, typically involving complex stochastic(incorporates randomness) multi-variant(multi-factor ,not just obp) factor neutral analysis(tweak for ballparks, pitchers faced, ect) in trying to estimate the skill of a player.

Fundamental analysis attempts to identify positive and negative attributes possessed by an athlete and make future predictions based on those. A scout might see a player that possesses many of the same tools as Barry Bonds and as a result, the scout is able to predict the player will likely be successful in baseball. Of course, fundamental analysis is also a much more complex process, typically involving comparisons to other players and ranking various skills possessed by an athlete.

Let me reiterate, both methods can be successful in predicting the success of a baseball player. In a perfect evaluation or what I believe to be the moneyball, both would be utilized. The moneyball approach is simply being open minded to all veins of information and incorporating them all in making the best decisions possible.

2005-11-07 13:29:09
68.   Jon Weisman
Sam - so sorry to hear the sad news. That's awful, and I send you my best thoughts.
2005-11-07 13:34:17
69.   Penarol1916
67. You can cram your stochastic analysis up your mouse-padded google-port, Nerdlinger.
Does that qualify me to work for a major metropolitan newspaper now?
2005-11-07 13:47:15
70.   Jeff Baehr
is that you Bill, Tommy ?
2005-11-07 13:47:58
71.   Linkmeister
Sam, the death of my father may be the hardest thing I've ever had to cope with. I still have trouble walking into the hospital where he died, and it was 12 years ago. (I have to pick up prescriptions there or I'd avoid it altogether.)

My condolences to you and your family.

2005-11-07 13:48:43
72.   FirstMohican
65 - I remember the day when NYY would take OUR injury prone, overpaid pitchers. =)
2005-11-07 14:04:29
73.   Kevin Maxwell
Sorry to hear your news Sam.

My Mom passed in August I was in Montana for 2 weeks and I too, found myself looking for some Dodger news to pick me up or distract me. I do this anyway, not just when life is difficult.

This site is so valuable to me, although I don't post too often. During the time after my Mom's passing, I thought about my Dad quite a bit. I can still see him leaning over the Herald Examiner spread across our breakfast table. He was so patient listening to me try to convince him with every argument I could muster, exactly how the Dodgers could still make the playoffs if only x,y,z, could happen.

I think if he was watching the 2003 & 2004 seasons, he would have really enjoyed watching those teams. I know I did.

I can't imagine what he would say about the current mess we are in. I don't even know what to say, or what to think. The only thing I think I can say with a reasonable certainty about the Dodgers under the McCourt ownership is that new seats will be installed during the off-season and redecorating will most likely happen.

There are a few other trends regarding personnel changes, and communication issues, which are seemingly drastic and nonsensical. I would love to understand further, but I can't even identify the responsible parties involved. "Fog and Mirrors", or better put "Decor and Dysfunction". Every decision is so detached from logical association to decisions or statements previously made.

I can understand Arte's resoning to increase market share. The controversy only helped matters. The McCourts don't even seem like they understand the baseball business. If the only thing they know is real estate, then cutting costs, firing contractors,hiring new ones on the fly, and remodeling the product before the impending sale makes sense. I hope they start getting some good advice soon if they plan on being in the baseball business. Assuming they do want to be in the baseball business, and based strictly on their performance as leaders of an organization, where the buck has to stop somewhere, "underacheiving" doesn't even come close.

2005-11-07 14:07:45
74.   das411
51 - Ahh, well, this is it for our playoff hopes this year. So glad that new GM Hugh Douglas was able to lock up an injured David Akers today though, that will bring our points per game up to 10 or so.

Do you guys think you could get Wang from the Yanks if Navarro or Martin are part of the deal?

2005-11-07 14:12:20
75.   blue22
74 - So you think Bradley + Navarro/Martin should get us Wang?

I didn't think Wang was much of a prospect, just a lighting-in-a-bottle success story, like Small or Chacon. Is Wang legit?

2005-11-07 14:18:17
76.   King of the Hobos
75 Not really. He's fairly old for a prospect (26), and doesn't strike out many guys. His upside is probably Lowe/Weaver. The Yanks just see a successful rookie and think he's the best in the league, as does the media. Same with Cano
2005-11-07 14:21:04
77.   blue22
76 - I'd take Pavano for Bradley, if the Yanks take Pavano's salary down to the $8M per year range.

I wonder if Jaret Wright would be a good pickup if the Yanks subsidized his salary into the sub-$5M range. He has only 2 years left on his contract.

2005-11-07 14:24:01
78.   das411
Cashman made it sound like he thought Wang was the real deal, and the one game I watched him pitch (Game 2 vs LAAoA, I think) he looked like he had decent stuff but was just rusty.

Maybe along the lines of:

To NYY = Bradley, Navarro, trade bait arm (EJax, or some such)
To LAD = Wang, Pavano or Wright, $$

Haha, that deal would become hilarious if Kent and Cano get thrown in also, wouldn't it?

But Navarro may be high value right now because he still has room to project up, plus he is one of those ex-Yankee prospects they always make noise about bringing back (Soriano, Nick Johnson) and that trade would fill two rather large and overpaid holes for NYY.

2005-11-07 14:26:28
79.   blue22
78 - I'd guess that Posada would have to be part of that conversation then.

Navarro/Bradley/Edwin for Posada/Pavano/Wang+$$$.

But then this is what I'm hoping that the new front office doesn't do - make a bunch of trades to get some name (read: expensive) players in.

2005-11-07 14:32:06
80.   Eric L
Pavano and Wang are essentially league average pitchers.

The Dodgers would be giving up way too much talent for what they would get back.

2005-11-07 14:35:06
81.   blue22
80 - If the Yanks do indeed want Bradley, I'd want Pavano and cash back.

That's probably the extent of any trades I'd do with the Yankees unless they wanted to offer up Sheff or ARod in some capacity.

2005-11-07 14:36:20
82.   King of the Hobos
Because Jon told me to update on this...

Loney started in RF again. No errors (although Abreu did have one), and he even managed an OF assist! Although that may have been because the runner was taking advantage of a perceived 1B, or Loney messed up and corrected himself to get the advancing runner. Whatever it was, the runner was out at 3rd, so it was a long throw

2005-11-07 14:37:50
83.   Uncle Miltie
Pavano is a decent pitcher, but I'd rather just keep Bradley. Give the Yankees Repko instead!
2005-11-07 14:41:22
84.   blue22
83 - That may not be an option.

My scenario is "get what you can for him before 12/7".

2005-11-07 14:42:22
85.   King of the Hobos
We still haven't got that PTBNL from the Yankees. Completely unrelated, just thought I'd bring it up. It wasnn't announced when I was sleeping was it?
2005-11-07 14:50:09
86.   Voxter
I wouldn't take Wang if it required giving up any more than you had to give for Pavano or Wright. I wouldn't be shocked to see him back in the minors for good by the end of next year. He's a chump.
2005-11-07 14:52:46
87.   Uncle Miltie
86- but he would sell jerseys!
2005-11-07 14:59:51
88.   overkill94
Forget Wang, he only got as much publicity as he did because he plays for the Yankees. Pavano I'd be interested, especially since we could probably trade him after the year if he stays healthy and performs. Then again, if he gets hurt again then we're saddled with his contract.

Rotoworld has offered up their latest FA signing predictions: http://www.rotoworld.com/content/story.asp?sport=MLB&storyid=17453

Has us getting Randa for 1 year at 3 mil and Loaiza for 3 years 18 mil. Not exactly a blockbuster offseason, I'm still hoping we can land one of the big outfielders (Giles anyone?).

2005-11-07 15:00:18
89.   overkill94
To make it easier

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/story.asp?sport=MLB&storyid=17453

2005-11-07 15:11:29
90.   Jacob L
The trade speculation strikes me as an early off-season redux of "denial." We don't have a GM. Does anyone really think that Kim Ng, in an acting capacity, is going to pull the trigger on anything other than the most mundane transactions, the bar for "mundane" being set at re-signing Cruz for a year?
2005-11-07 15:12:28
91.   Jose Habib
Does anyone know if Kim Ng has been interviewing for jobs (GM or Asst GM) with any other teams? Seems like this would be a good time for her to test the waters given the uncertainty of the whole situation.
2005-11-07 15:13:37
92.   Bob Timmermann
Ng's name has been mentioned in conjunction with the Boston vacancy, but I don't believe that the Red Sox have had formal interviews with any candidates yet.
2005-11-07 15:16:47
93.   Sam DC
I know this is the oldest of old news, and surely has been commented on here already, but I am just flummoxed by the persistence of reports that Theo Epstein is a live candidate for the LA job. Would he really come work for the McCourts after the way DePodesta was let go? Does he personally know them other than in the general now-that-they-own-the-Dodgers-he-knows-them sort of way?
2005-11-07 15:23:23
94.   gvette
53-- Sam, my condolences to you and your family. Having gone through a similar experience a couple of months ago, you have my deepest sympathy.

35--Misty May IS a great name, although unfortunately it sounds like something that a "producer" in the San Fernando Valley would come up with for his latest epic, currently for rent behind the curtain at a video store.

Getting back to Jon's original topic, how can you explain guys like Brian Doyle, Mickey Hatcher,etc getting hot when they did? It's just human nature, you simply can't. Heck, in '68 a journeyman catcher named Howie Bedell drove in one (1) run all year. But that one run ended Drysdale's record hitless streak!

Anyone else see yesterday's LA Time "Outside the Tent" feature where Matt Welch absolutely destroyed Plaschke?

2005-11-07 15:23:57
95.   Sam DC
By the way, that Satellite frappr thing is pretty fun. It put me halfway between my house and the site of the proposed new Nationals stadium.
2005-11-07 15:26:01
96.   gvette
94--duh, I meant Drysdale's record SCORELESS streak. Think I was still thinking about Misty May, and movies behind the video store curtain.
2005-11-07 15:26:48
97.   blue22
88 - Not thrilled with Randa, though he's better than a trade for [shudder] Mike Lowell.

If Giles signs for 3yr/$27M, and it isn't with LA or StL, I'd be surprised.

2005-11-07 15:30:32
98.   Bob Timmermann
The McCourts must know Epstein because EVERYBODY in New England knows everybody else. It's a small place and the people who live there are all known for being outgoing, friendly, warm and accepting of strangers.
2005-11-07 15:31:12
99.   fanerman
If there's one guy I'd overpay to get, it'd be Giles.
2005-11-07 15:33:08
100.   underdog
Sam, my condolences to you and your family, as well. Been through it, nothing to say except I hope you can find comfort in small good things...

=-=-=-

Speaking of comparatively meaningless topics... I've said this before, but I'll say it again: Why on earth would the sensitive and tempermental Milton Bradley (whom I'm rooting for, too) want to go someplace even worse than LA? Worse as in more pressure, more cynical and challenging media coverage, even less privacy, etc... Why would the Yankees want to tempt fate like that, why would Bradley, why would anyone?

And indeed, what would LA get in return? Especially if we are throwing in a blue chip prospect, too. Pavano is okay but erratic and overpaid, not the ace the Dodgers need, Wang is likely to fall to earth, and Wright is also erratic. Their farm system is weak and I see nothing of value in this trade at all for the Dodgers. IF they are going to trade MB I hope it's to some place we can get a fair return, even if he too is admittedly a risk, yes.

Again, I hope whoever our new GM is, they won't make a trade simply to make a trade, to placate the more rabid fans and media types.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-11-07 15:37:18
101.   Bob Timmermann
Switching from Bernie Williams to Milton Bradley in center field would be quite a shift in personality for the Yankees.

I would think the back pages of the New York tabloids would destroy Bradley. Mike Lupica would write a withering column about him once the Yankees even contemplated acquiring Bradley.

2005-11-07 15:40:37
102.   bigcpa
This is infuriating (NY Post):
"...if the Yankees are interested, it would be easier to acquire Bradley via trade, since the Dodgers aren't looking for much."
2005-11-07 15:43:26
103.   regfairfield
I can't see us taking anything the Yankees might offer. Anyone that's worthwhile is overpaid.

Everyone but the Yankees could tell that Jared Wright was another Mazzone reclimation project, and he'd stink once he left the Braves. Carl Pavano is 30 years old and has pitched less above average seasons than Brian Lawrence. Wang doesn't strike anyone out (3.63 K/9) has and as a mere 1.46 K/BB. The only thing he does decently well is avoid the long ball (17th in HR/9 ratio amongst pitchers who threw more than 100 innings). Unless the Yankees want to pay almost all of someones salary, none of their pitchers are worth it.

2005-11-07 15:44:51
104.   Marty
Pirate fans are in for a treat with Tracy quotes:

"I really feel that, in terms of game areas, you have to like the core of our starting pitchers,"

"You'd like to think that they have the capabilities and want to take on those responsibilities from a leadership standpoint," Tracy said of Redman and Wells.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/pirateslive/s_390519.html

2005-11-07 15:46:08
105.   Marty
Sam, Sorry to hear about your father. I've been through the loss of three immediate family members and it never is easy. My thoughts are with you.
2005-11-07 15:48:46
106.   blue22
100 - The Yankees can afford to take on someone like Bradley - low risk, high reward. Besides he's something the Yankees have very little of - cheap, young, talented players.

If Pavano comes back in the trade, the Yanks would have to send cash too.

they won't make a trade simply to make a trade, to placate the more rabid fans and media types.

What about to placate the owner? He'd be the one making the call on Milton, and has likely already made that choice.

2005-11-07 15:49:08
107.   Eric L
How about having this guy as your owner.. granted it is basketball and Mark Cuban, but he slags on Barkley and Kenny from TNT with this little gem:

"Kenny, if you want to bust on us for switching on the pick and roll, get some stats to back it up. We track conversion rates on everything we do"

Rest of the blog entry is here...

http://tinyurl.com/dbgfz

It's kind of cool to see an owner acknowledge that there are things called stats. I guess John Henry in Boston does too, but he isn't quite as outgoing as Cuban.

2005-11-07 15:52:43
108.   underdog
Cuban also started a film company that's actually pretty cool.

106. Which owner, the one with a lot of money and no patience, or the one with no money and no patience? ;-) Yeah, maybe... I guess we'll see. I just hate the idea of the Yankees ripping off yet another team...

2005-11-07 15:58:09
109.   Bob Timmermann
I find this passage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch odd for the order in which the players are named:

"The Cardinals are among those teams interested in the availability of Los Angeles Angels outfielders Steve Finley and Darin Erstad in addition to the Cincinnati Reds' Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn. GM Walt Jocketty also confirmed the club's interest in free agents Brian Giles and Jacque Jones."

Why would the Cardinals want Finley or Erstad? Why would the Reds deal two of their best players to a division rival? In what world are Brian Giles and Jacque Jones comparable?

2005-11-07 15:58:10
110.   Eric L
106 It would be nice to have a GM that would say:

"We have no intentions of trading Milton Bradley right now, but if something comes along, we'll have to take a look at it."

Oh wait, we already had a GM like that. Then again, it may not net much more in a trade. It seems better than just saying "we are going to trade him and everyone knows it".

2005-11-07 16:00:14
111.   overkill94
102 How is that infuriating considering there's been a lot of speculation that Bradley will be non-tendered? I don't think you have a lot of bargaining power when it's probable that the player could be had for free soon.
2005-11-07 16:07:12
112.   blue22
111 - The club hasn't said one way or the other, have they?
2005-11-07 16:12:02
113.   Fallout
109. Bob Timmermann
>In what world are Brian Giles and Jacque Jones comparable? <

They both play the OF and are approx 5'10", 205lbs.

2005-11-07 16:15:52
114.   Jon Weisman
Actually, in the past two days the speculation that the Dodgers might keep Bradley is the highest it has been since he had the fight with Kent. According to Steve Henson's article over the weekend, some within the Dodger organization are trying to get Bradley another chance.

Perhaps that was calculated to boost his trade value; perhaps it was sincere. Either way, whether you are for or against keeping Bradley, whether you think the Dodgers will keep him or not, it's been a long time since the Dodgers' poker face regarding Bradley was this hard to read.

2005-11-07 16:20:21
115.   the OZ
Great News: No Bowden.

http://tinyurl.com/79uha

2005-11-07 16:24:13
116.   Bob Timmermann
115
Great, now I can go back to my usual list of worries:

1) Did that mole get bigger?
2) Why does my iPod batter indicator work so funny?
3) Do these pants make me look fat?

2005-11-07 16:32:05
117.   Fallout
I'm surprised by the few comments made concerning the TorontoSun.com article mentioned here a while ago. I find a few things in it quite interesting, like:

"DePodesta didn't really interact well with others, even his own staff. Office workers were told rather than bothering him on the phone they were to e-mail him with such news that "Billy Beane is on Line 2," or "Kenny Williams ... Line 1."

That is very strange behavior.

http://torontosun.com/Sports/Baseball/2005/11/06/1294802-sun.html

2005-11-07 16:40:49
118.   blue22
117 - Email seems an odd way to communicate that type of information. I'm not sure how much anyone here uses IM for inter-office communication, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what was meant here. If it was IM rather than email, I use it like that all the time.
2005-11-07 16:43:48
119.   Jon Weisman
118 - I think you must be right. Many companies are set up that way. When you're on the phone a lot, IMs are much less disruptive than intercom usage.
2005-11-07 16:44:47
120.   blue22
116 - As a proud, very recent first-time iPod owner, what does your battery indicator do that is so "funny"?
2005-11-07 16:45:17
121.   Uncle Miltie
Maybe they were using ipods. Stupid google boy!
2005-11-07 16:46:03
122.   Uncle Miltie
I hadn't even noticed the previous posts about ipods...
2005-11-07 16:46:44
123.   Jon Weisman
I will say this. I like seeing my bosses around. I like it when they're not hiding away. Whether or not this has any benefit for where I work, I don't know. It depends on how productive they are when they're not in my sight.
2005-11-07 16:48:17
124.   Marty
The author says hiring Gilbert would be an "excellent choice". I wonder what he bases that on?

And this sentence is poorly constructed and bizarre:
"Neither Brad Penny, acquired the year before from the Florida Marlins -- when former Marlins manager John Bowles filed a report telling DePodesta not to deal for the pitcher due to injuries -- and Lowe underachieved."

I'd not heard about any report before, and where would a former manager "file" it?

2005-11-07 16:52:14
125.   Fallout
118,119

You are probably right.

2005-11-07 16:53:17
126.   Bob Timmermann
I have an older model iPod (which has already been replaced by warranty). It just went from full to zero in about 30 minutes.

The older generation had bad batteries. And they replaced my bad battery iPod with another iPod that has a bad battery.

2005-11-07 16:53:41
127.   FirstMohican
120 - If it's anything like mine, it says there's very little battery life regarless of the actual life left. Then, when your Rush Limbaugh podcast that you downloaded as a joke comes on, your battery finally has had enough and quits.
2005-11-07 16:53:53
128.   natepurcell
i wonder what depos AIM screen name would be...
2005-11-07 16:54:56
129.   blue22
124 - According to Joe McDonnell, there was a report that "Stu-podesta" (his cute little nickname for Depo) had access to a report that said Penny was having arm-trouble. He obviously ignored this report, and traded for him anyway.
2005-11-07 16:56:08
130.   FirstMohican
Reading "Bowden won't seek Boston, LA jobs" has just made my day.
2005-11-07 16:56:40
131.   Bob Timmermann
I think the Dodgers did not know about arm trouble that Penny was having, but it was supposed to be an elbow problem. The injury that he did have was an unusual one that took Dr. Jobe a while to figure out.
2005-11-07 16:58:56
132.   FirstMohican
129 - Keep in mind that it was rumored to be the case that Arizona would trade The Unit to a team who had Penny. So, despite his claim that it was a "stand alone deal," maybe he was really trying to go full force and get Randy.
2005-11-07 17:03:50
133.   FirstMohican
124 - With regards to the claim that Penny and Lowe underachieved, let me try this argument out for size: it wasn't that those two put up good numbers as a Dodger, what's important is the damage they would've done against the Dodgers, had they put up inevitably steller numbers against the Dodgers.

Beating them at their own game is hard.

2005-11-07 17:03:58
134.   blue22
130 - It's the little things, isn't it?

132 - Would that little detail (Penny's arm trouble) be what derailed the Unit trade?

2005-11-07 17:06:23
135.   natepurcell
bradley for matsui?

scout.com seems to think it could happen...

http://dodgers.scout.com/2/463471.html

2005-11-07 17:06:53
136.   FirstMohican
134 - I was under the impression that the DBacks' desire for EJack was the dealbreaker. Who knows, maybe that was DePo's way of saying "Randy didn't want to come to Los Angeles."
2005-11-07 17:08:42
137.   blue22
135 - Would that be like a sign and trade? I don't understand how that would work.
2005-11-07 17:10:32
138.   natepurcell
i would think the yanks would give the dodgers 48 hours to get a contract extension with matsui and then the trade goes through. or something i dunno.
2005-11-07 17:12:02
139.   FirstMohican
135 - I thought that scout.com was insinuating that a Bradley/Matsui trade could happen, but it later says the Dodgers aren't "looking for much."
2005-11-07 17:14:40
140.   Bob Timmermann
MLB doesn't have "sign and trade" deals. That's an NBA thing.

MLB is not the NBA.

Something I am quite grateful for.

2005-11-07 17:15:58
141.   Bob Timmermann
How could the Yankees trade Hideki Matsui? Did Matsui file for free agency yet? If he did, then the Yankees can no more trade him than I can trade someone the Vincent Thomas Bridge for a crate of rutabagas.
2005-11-07 17:17:10
142.   FirstMohican
I'm really doubtful over a Matsui/Bradley trade. If you're the Yanks, why cost cut from known production. Matsui might be the closest thing in the league to a guarantee.

I would assume that Bradley would cost around 6M next year, so the Yanks would essentially save around 5M and get a guy with "Matsui Potential" who's injury prone (I guess that eliminates his Matsui Potential) and throws bottles?

2005-11-07 17:18:04
143.   Uncle Miltie
That's just stupid. If the Yankees aren't going to sign him, then just wait for him to become a FA. Do you really think that Matsui is going to give the Dodgers a discount in that time frame? Sounds like BS.
2005-11-07 17:19:07
144.   Marty
rutabagas, mmmm....
2005-11-07 17:20:10
145.   FirstMohican
140 - The MLB could have sign and trade deals, I would think. It's just that there isn't a need for them, what, without a salary cap. In the NBA I think trades can't be completed without similar salaries being transfered.
2005-11-07 17:20:35
146.   Bob Timmermann
Marty, you can have all of my rutabagas.
2005-11-07 17:23:47
147.   Marty
Luckily for me I have a bridge I need to unload.
2005-11-07 17:33:16
148.   Vishal
seeing milton bradley in pinstrips would be really sad and disheartening. why can't he go to say... the twins or something.
2005-11-07 17:37:36
149.   D4P
148
It would not be sad and disheartening if he were to cause trouble there. On the contrary, that would be humorous.
2005-11-07 17:48:53
150.   bigcpa
135 I think this guy Tot Holmes is completely misinterpreting the NY Post column. The Yankees might trade for Bradley to fill the hole left by Matsui. So the story should have been called "Bradley in lieu of Matsui?" in which case no one would link to it. This scout site blows!
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-11-07 17:49:10
151.   D4P
Dan Evans is evidently a big fan of Kim Ng.

http://tinyurl.com/b88yd

2005-11-07 17:53:46
152.   overkill94
The weird thing about Matsui is that technically he's under Yankee control for the same amount of years as any new player in the league (6 years?) except that he had a clause put into his contract that at the end of his deal that he can opt for free agency. This means that he can't file for free agency until Nov. 15th, meaning that the Yankees can still trade him up to that point.

This would necessitate some immediate action, however, something I don't see happening with the Dodgers' current state. Plus, I'm not sure how our negotiating rights would work; would we have to work out a contract before 11/15 as well?

2005-11-07 18:02:03
153.   blue22
Maybe the Dodgers would "sacrifice" Bradley to get Matsui directly from the Yanks, rather than deal with any competition on the waiver wire if Matsui declines an extension with the Yankees.

As I understand, if an extension is not worked out with the Yankess by x date, he is put on waivers. I would assume that the right to negotiate with him would go in the standard waiver priority order.

2005-11-07 18:03:19
154.   trainwreck
As the scout.com article says cutting our Dominican scouting and leasing facilities out is just bad news. Do not like the idea of getting rid of scouting in important areas just to cut costs.
2005-11-07 18:27:14
155.   bigcpa
http://tinyurl.com/bb7pb

This source conflicts with the MLB article... says Bowden will interview for the Boston GM job.

2005-11-07 18:27:56
156.   Fallout
154. trainwreck

At first glance it doesn't sound good. I wonder how long they had the facilities and how much it costs to run them.

2005-11-07 18:42:54
157.   dzzrtRatt
151 Are we really ready for the first female GM to be an employee of Mr. Pee-your-pants and his narcissistic wife? It's not exactly a professional environment up there anymore. I'd advise Kim to wait for a better situation.

I know that probably will hurt the Dodgers, but after a few days out of town, I've come to the belief that the appropriate way to treat the McCourts is the old-fashioned way shunning. It's the only way these two clowns will get the message that they are in over their heads, don't know what they're doing, and need to sell the team pronto. Failing that, let MLB take over for a year or two until a suitable owner can be found. Among baseball professionals, no one should agree to even interview for the GM slot. Ng should withdraw her name.

2005-11-07 18:43:16
158.   dzzrtRatt
P.S. Check out this picture from today's GM meetings. It's Hart, Bowden and Hunsicker after they saw one of the McCourts enter the meeting.

http://tinyurl.com/7td7h

2005-11-07 19:04:16
159.   popup
#157, dzzrt, I agree completely. To some extent, I think that is happening already. Seems like there are a lot of people who are saying not interested when asked if they want to work for the Dodgers.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-11-07 19:08:42
160.   D4P
Great episodes of Arrested Development tonight. Make sure you watch, West Coasters. Non-stop laughter.
2005-11-07 19:27:44
161.   Sam DC
Thanks all for the thoughtful condolences and words of support. The most bizarre condolence I received, by very very far, was that my sixth grade teacher (also taught my sister in fifth) called after seeing the obit we placed in the Times. But my mom's number is unlisted which, as far as we can tell, means she saved her class list for 25 plus years.

And her name is not Timmermann.

2005-11-07 20:00:24
162.   King of the Hobos
152 is correct, Matsui is free to be traded as he's still under the Yankees control until Nov 15th. Trading him would be the equivalent of trading Bradley, he doesn't have a contract but is not a FA, it's just that weird clause

Cutting the Dominican facility is not a huge deal. We're cutting one of two, so we'd have as many as most other teams, it's not like we're cutting it altogether. We'll still sign the Beltres, Aybars, and Guzmans that come our way. The second team wasn't producing many players, so we could cut it to save cost, and put that money elsewhere

2005-11-07 20:06:13
163.   Uncle Miltie
152 is correct, Matsui is free to be traded as he's still under the Yankees control until Nov 15th. Trading him would be the equivalent of trading Bradley, he doesn't have a contract but is not a FA, it's just that weird clause
Not exactly, Bradley is arbitration eligible. I believe that Matsui has a thing in his contract a thing in his contract where he can't be offered arbitration. Bradley is under the Dodgers control for next year. They can choose to offer him arbitration, trade him, or let him become a free agent.
2005-11-07 20:06:44
164.   bill cox
How about Bradley for Eric Duncan?That is the only Yankee prospect of note and fills a need.the Yankee pitchers are gruesome.Why would we want any of them?And why would we want to trade Navarro (who was a pleasant surprise) back to the Yanks or Jackson for a mediocre,overhyped starter like Pavano?
#99 What is the infatuation with Giles,he's 36 with declining power?
Why am I asking all these questions?It must be because its hot stove time and no one is tending our stove.
2005-11-07 20:07:47
165.   scareduck
157 - they will get the message when the stands are empty.

161 - my condolences also. Last weekend I spent some time in the hospital visiting my uncle, whose cancer the doctors thought they had gotten five years or so ago, when all of a sudden it came roaring back. He has three years, maybe...

162 - What of the lower-level turnover, such as former international scouting director Rene Francisco? Post-DePodesta-firing, working for the Dodgers has less prestige these days than in Tampa Bay's front office.

2005-11-07 20:09:33
166.   King of the Hobos
163 I meant if the clause weren't there, I didn't phrase it particularly well. Point was he's not under contract similarly to how Bradley's not under contract. How that ends (arbitration or waiving) is different
2005-11-07 20:11:30
167.   King of the Hobos
164 Duncan is farther from the majors than Laroche is, he hardly fills a need for 2006. He would probably be involved in a 3 way trade (Philly?) if we received him
2005-11-07 20:16:17
168.   overkill94
164 Duncan is a possibility, although his stock has gone back up during his domination of the AFL after a very disappointing AA season. He would be yet another 3B prospect in our system, though you can never have too much depth.

Basically whatever happens to Bradley I won't be too heartbroken. He's never been one of my favorite players (I think it's all the strikeouts with a runner on 3rd and less than two outs), and while his flashes of brilliance are intriguing, the injury problems and other disturbances have me sour on him.

If he's traded, great, we got something instead of non-tendering him.

If he's non-tendered, it'll be a bit of a waste but hopefully it'll mean that a free agent is on the way.

If he's retained, at least we have the hope that he can bring it all together and be a plus for the team.

2005-11-07 20:25:55
169.   Ken Arneson
If anyone has any major objections to me closing off comments at 9pm for a couple hours so I can move the site to our new ISP, please enter your objections over on Fairpole now, or forever hold your peace.

Thanks.

2005-11-07 20:26:27
170.   das411
Has this been discussed yet?

http://tinyurl.com/b89uf

Even the Eagles' CHEERLEADERS are being outdone, sheesh!

Xei, what is the over/under on "Number of weeks until the dvd is out?"

2005-11-07 20:29:40
171.   molokai
Howdy everyone. Just got back from a great 3 days of watching baseball. If your interested on my take and some scouts on the Dodger prospects at the AFL league, check out my report at
http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2005/11/7/172518/170#12
2005-11-07 23:19:03
172.   Thomas Naccarato
Jon, What is his pass"woid" thing?
2005-11-07 23:20:15
173.   Thomas Naccarato
Never mind! Sorry Ken, I didn't see your post!
2005-11-07 23:28:57
174.   Ken Arneson
Yeah, Thomas, you caught it while I temporarily had a "passwoid" (silly me) up while switching servers. I forgot to turn the password off before I flipped the switch.
2005-11-07 23:31:30
175.   dzzrtRatt
174 Reminds of the New Jersey state poem:

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the boidies is?

This just in: Murray Chass endorses Jim Bowden for GM, while raking McCourt over the coals.

http://tinyurl.com/b3htd

2005-11-07 23:32:09
176.   Thomas Naccarato
Ken, While we are at it, is there a possibility you could list an index for how to do the bold and the link back 174 etc. Can the system do italics as well?
2005-11-07 23:37:01
177.   Thomas Naccarato
Call me crazy, but I think there are big things going on over at the LAT.

Today and in the past days, LA Observed has noted that "The Times, they are a changing" over there. The LAT issued a press release claiming the current subscriptions at 869,819 after ABC claimed the figures fell to 843,432.

Could LA be without a major newspaper soon?

2005-11-07 23:41:02
178.   Ken Arneson
I guess I could do a little FAQ, yeah. No italics yet. Working on it.
2005-11-07 23:42:05
179.   Thomas Naccarato
Thanks Ken!
2005-11-07 23:48:14
180.   Eric L
177 Considering that the LA Times reaches into Orange County, the IE, LA county (obviously) the subscription rate seems a little low.

Isn't there a San Diego edition as well?

2005-11-08 00:05:50
181.   dzzrtRatt
The dynamic that seems to be in play here is, the LA Times is regarded by its new owners in Chicago as bloated and pretentious. "What do you mean you can't cut any more?" is the refrain. Old-line LA Times writers and editors are horrified by the gall of these Chicago ruffians, whose paper they don't consider to be a peer. This is a suicide dance.

LA could easily be without a major newspaper. Most people here are more interested in their own local news. If they're interested in national news, there are far better places to get it than the LA Times. Southern California might soon be home to a cacaphony of suburban dailies and weeklies, alternative and lifestyle weeklies, and a multitude of very local and special interest blogs--like this one. At the center, not a pompous, prestige rag, but blogs like laobserved.com, maybe on a more comprehensive scale, which could bind the region's media together by linking each morning to any articles of significance that rise above the din.

2005-11-08 04:43:25
182.   John A
157 Ratt, I agree that McCourts deserve to be shunned (by all civilized humans, IMO). But are you talking about shunning by potential employees or by fans? With their innter circle of lackeys protecting them, the McCourts may not understand why no established GM wants to work for them. But if attendance drops to 2 million next year, that's another story: creditors might start calling in some McCourt loans. It seems to me that would be the most likely scenario to pry the Dodgers loose from the McCourts.
2005-11-08 07:26:07
183.   King of the Hobos
This will be fun if it's true...

"The Los Angeles Dodgers joined the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks in expressing interest in Estes, who won 15 games for Colorado in 2003" -Denver Post

2005-11-08 07:34:21
184.   Thomas Naccarato
The Tribune is a confusing company to me. They seem to be running the paper into the ground and don't care about it. INstead of coming up with a creative way to make the newspaper thrive, they cut costs or cut pages. Those once complete and length sports page have been reduced to just a few pages.
2005-11-08 07:46:25
185.   Vishal
[183] doesn't vinny like estes?
2005-11-08 07:51:22
186.   bokonon42
Doesn't seem fair to blame the Tribune folks for the LAT's woes. The LAT has been pretty crummy for a (relative to my life) long time. The reports about it (and every other paper) lying about its circulation pre-date the ownership change, don't they? I didn't hate Kinsey, but I didn't cry when they chased him off.
2005-11-08 07:52:22
187.   bokonon42
Oops. Kinsley. I actually did hate Kinsey, but better not to antagonize Xeifrank so early in the morning.
2005-11-08 08:18:58
188.   das411
(Norm MacDonald voice): More bad news for Ugueth...

http://tinyurl.com/d8497

2005-11-08 08:52:23
189.   dzzrtRatt
182 I guess the logical conclusion of where my thoughts are taking me is both--potential employees, and ultimately fans.

The problem, or issue, is: Do the fans recognize that the McCourts are the problem, vs. blaming DePodesta, Tracy, Milton Bradley, Rupert Murdoch... The Dodgers have been so lousy, basically, for so long, we've become the Cubs. It's fun to go to Dodger Stadium, there's a professional baseball game being played out there for gosh sakes, the home team has about a 50-50 chance of winning, and/or you can root for the team of your childhood. The fans aren't likely to respond to a call for boycott in 2006. Not to sound like a snob, but of those 3+ million ticketbuyers, how many really get what's going on? Not enough to make a boycott work, I bet.

2005-11-08 09:00:40
190.   Curtis Lowe
"Valentine, who was also honored this season with the Shoriki Award for his contributions to Japanese baseball, on Tuesday took the opportunity to plug his version of a true "World Series" featuring the major-league champion against the Japan Series winner.

Valentine said he'd like to see the series played in Hawaii and that all the profits should go to charities that aid children affected by disasters throughout the world."

Quoted from an ESPN arcticle regarding where Valentine would be managing next year.

I like the Idea and can foresee it branching out to include other countries and maybe an international playoffs of sorts.

2005-11-08 09:12:52
191.   dzzrtRatt
184 To me, the Tribune's strategy seems to be: Get rid of all the overpaid people and replace them with younger, cheaper people--and fewer of them. They don't think the Times' readers will notice, and probably believe a substantial number might find the product improved as a result. The Times' fatal error, going back decades, is to think their most important audiences were outside of LA--Washington decision-makers, journalism professors, prize committees. They were out of touch with the old LA that is now passing. They truly have no clue about the city/region as it has evolved since 1980, and I doubt they have time to catch up.
2005-11-08 09:37:57
192.   Sam DC
Way way off topic. LA observed reports that the Tail of the Pup may be dust (or moved), and notes that it used to be on the site of the Beverly Center. I feel like there used to be a place called Kiddie Land on that site; there's a family picture of me on some unduly urban pony ride that I have always understood to be on the Beverly Center site. Anyone else recall that?
2005-11-08 09:49:08
193.   Dark Horse
192--That's exactly where Kiddie Land was. I used to go there when I was a kid...ponies, carousel, ferris wheel etc.
2005-11-08 09:57:10
194.   Jacob L
I also just saw that Tail o the Pup thing, and have to ask - what the hell is going on in this town? Jay's Jayburger - gone. Thai American burger - gone. Dodgers - well, you know. Now this.

I had my first and only Pup about 6 months ago after my daughter was born across the street at Cedars. It wasn't the best dog in the world, but its now part of my memories of that time. Turns out Cedars is the villain here. They were the landlord that's selling to developers. Sigh.

2005-11-08 10:25:10
195.   trainwreck
Great write up molokai. Nice to hear different people's perspectives on players and actually get to hear some info on the players (like knowing Kemp is a big guy). Just wondering how come you seem to have some ill will to Joe Sheehan hahaha?
2005-11-08 10:37:32
196.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2005-11-08 10:42:16
197.   Strike4
It's been a rough past four weeks. My dad passed away suddenly on the 18th, and I came back to work on the 25th and was told that the Board was terminating me in three weeks. Even with all the Dodger trauma, Dodger Thoughts continues to be a welcome respite.

I hope you don't mind me sharing a few words from my dad's memorial service. "Dad would endure almost anything if his boys wanted it. He wasn't a baseball fan when we were young, but Mom and the three of us were. We'd beg Dad to take us to Dodger games… and he'd do it. But… he'd take a book to read during the games. One year, his biggest endurance test came on Bat Night! Here's 50,000 bats all punishing Dodger Stadium… the place is vibrating like it's going to fall apart… we have to scream at each other to be heard! And here's Dad trying to read his book. I hope he has finally forgiven us for having to go to that game!" I wish for everyone to have had a dad like mine.

2005-11-08 10:48:34
198.   Jon Weisman
Strike, go ahead and repost this in the new thread. And, please take my condolences.

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