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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Burning and Building Bridges
2005-11-28 11:01
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

A fringe benefit of the firing of Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta has been that my father and I are more able to agree on the Dodgers again. While Dad didn't have the relentless hatred for DePodesta that some possessed, he didn't like DePodesta's moves in the aggregate. But we agreed that the timing of his firing was nonsensical. Now, we're both sitting back on the same side of the table, watching and wondering what will happen.

Comments (225)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-28 11:16:26
1.   dzzrtRatt
It sounds like you had a peaceful Thanksgiving. One might say the Lord works in mysterious ways.

I spent my Thanksgiving surrounded by Giants' fans, including two teenage nieces and a nephew whose entire wardrobes apparently consist of Giants' gear. Usually we have the white-persons' equivalent of the dozens about our teams (there are a couple other Dodger fans in the family besides me), but this year, I felt so disarmed, I barely said anything other than wearing an old Dodger cap.

Between that and almost completely avoiding political topics, everyone managed to get along. I was secretly hoping I'd come home and find out Colletti had made a bang-up choice for manager, someone who'd restore a little pride. The name Grady Little then appeared on my screen. Not quite what I had in mind.

2005-11-28 11:19:27
2.   scanderbeg
Yeah, one thing I share with my family is our love of the Dodgers. Everyone is confused over the firing of DePodesta. At least the Dodgers didn't go after Thome!
2005-11-28 11:21:52
3.   Jacob L
Same for me and my brother. We're now equally disgusted by the "direction" of the Dodgers. He did, however, at the time of the firing think that that might fix things. Funny thing is, my brother's quite a bit younger than me so his version of the good old days is basically the Karros era.
2005-11-28 11:25:26
4.   Bob Timmermann
On Thanksiving, I got a new newphew, a 6-year old from Guatemala, who likely doesn't know what baseball is. I'm sure his older brother will fill him in. He probably doesn't know what American football is either.

However, he has been sledding already in the U.S. (They live in Michigan.)

Meanwhile, I made a CD of baseball related songs and stuff for the son of a friend (actually my girlfriend's friend). He's a high school senior and a big baseball fan (albeit of the Cubs). His favorite part of the CD was a recording of Abbott and Costello doing "Who's on First?"

He had never heard it before and he loved it.

Sometimes in this world, if you realize you can reach just one kid and make a difference, there is a great sense of satisfaction.

2005-11-28 11:30:14
5.   Eric Enders
Jon, I was in the same situation with my dad until we sat down one time and went over all of DePodesta's moves one by one, and he realized there was scarcely a transaction he could say turned out badly. (Dave Roberts and that's about it.) Of course, DePo got fired a month or so later, so...
2005-11-28 11:40:17
6.   Marty
Besides me, my brother and mother were the only baseball fans in my family. They are both gone, and I suspect that neither would have been Depo fans. My two remaining sisters don't follow the Dodgers much even though they both love going to games. Both of them have mentioned though that since the team was so bad this year, it must be the GM's fault and they are glad Depo is gone.
2005-11-28 11:41:26
7.   jasonungar05
I feel I did a great job of re-directing my Mom's anger from DePo to the McCourts. As G-Dub said, Mission Accomplished.

My mom is a die hard fan. Always has been. She never lets me forget that she was at Sandy's perfect game and that she had a huge crush on him.

So the rumor mill makes it sound like Ned is looking for a leadoff hitter..

2005-11-28 11:45:06
8.   Bob Timmermann
I assume this would be a "leadoff hitter" of the 1960s or 1970s model. Or in modern day terms, Jose Reyes.

Not a leadoff hitter who does stuff like get on base a lot like Brian Downing or Derek Jeter.

2005-11-28 11:48:06
9.   GoBears
4 Bob Timmermann said: Sometimes in this world, if you realize you can reach just one kid and make a difference, there is a great sense of satisfaction.

As a professor, I can aver that truer words were never spoken (typed). And I'd agree that baseball is at least as worthy a subject of such enlightenment as whatever one is supposed to be teaching, and "Who's on First" a terrific entering wedge. Bravo, Bob T!

2005-11-28 12:04:08
10.   Linkmeister
On baseball caps:

My brother-in-law, in all other ways a great guy, changed planes in San Francisco once on his way back from Vegas. He realized he needed a souvenir for me, so he stopped in an airport shop and bought me a Giants cap.

2005-11-28 12:09:09
11.   Bob Timmermann
My CD also included DeWolfe Hopper's classic rendering of "Casey at the Bat" full of Edwardian era histrionics (or were they Victorian era) and Garrison Keillor's version of the poem, told from the perspective of the opponents, the Dustburg Nine.
2005-11-28 12:35:34
12.   Uncle Miltie
Guys the Dodgers are interested in (according to various rumors)
Matt Morris- would be ok because he has an awesome beard.
Jeff Weaver- no thanks, he's average at best and Boras is his agent (he's going to be overpaid)
Kevin Millwood- no, Boras factor
Shawn Estes- NO! We don't need the left handed Russ Ortiz
Giovanni Carrara- no, and he probably won't come back now that Tracy's gone
Toby Hall- hopefully not
Paul Bako- would be a fine backup for Navarro
Paul Konerko- no is going to be overpaid
Rafael Furcal- ok, but not for more than 4 years, probably won't come here
Nomar Garciaparra- yes, probably won't command more than a 2 year contract
Royce Clayton- YES! Steve's favorite player.
Bill Mueller- would be ok, but I'd rather go with Aybar
Joe Randa- no
Brian Giles- YES! Would be the best pickup for the Dodgers on the FA market.
Jacque Jones- I'd rather see him go to the Giants
Reggie Sanders- too old for a 2 year deal
Joey Gathright- fine if we don't have to give up a top prospect
Juan Pierre- absolutely not
2005-11-28 12:39:10
13.   D4P
9
GoBears - Where and what do you teach?
2005-11-28 12:48:49
14.   Bob Timmermann
Where would Jacque Jones play on the Giants? They have an outfield of Bonds-Winn-Alou. And you can write those three names in the lineup EVERY DAY.
2005-11-28 12:50:15
15.   popup
Bob, what a great CD. The Garrison Keillor clip is great, as are the other two. I would highly recommend a commercial CD if you can find it, Play Ball by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. Great music from baseball movies along with Abbott and Costello and a great rendition of Casey at the Bat by James Earl Jones plus the long version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. It was released on CD quite a few years ago by Telarc, not sure if it is still available.

By the way, all my best to the new member of your family.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-11-28 12:51:08
16.   natepurcell
As sign loiaza
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/28/SPG00FV99A3.DTL

zito possibly will be traded...

2005-11-28 12:53:50
17.   natepurcell
Matt Morris- would be ok because he has an awesome beard.

damn right. beards are awesome. everyone needs one.

2005-11-28 12:57:43
18.   FirstMohican
We could trade Billingsly for Zito, then in 6 years, trade _____ for Billingsly just before his contract year. Yes!
2005-11-28 13:02:38
19.   Bob Timmermann
Raul Mondesi says he wants to make a comeback. I think he could replace Bradley.
2005-11-28 13:04:26
20.   natepurcell
id probably give a good amount for zito if we could get a 72 hour window to negotiate an extension.
2005-11-28 13:04:44
21.   natepurcell
oh, and trade odalis to the highest bidder.
2005-11-28 13:05:45
22.   FirstMohican
Since when did Mondesi become so hard working? Gaining political power in his hometown (no doubt to attempt to decriminalize driving under the influence) while writing the final chapters of his baseball career.
2005-11-28 13:07:14
23.   FirstMohican
20 - Agreed. A rental doesn't make sense, but if you could lock up an injury free pitcher like that for 4 years, that would be solid. Wonder if it could be done w/o giving up Billingsly or Guzman.
2005-11-28 13:07:23
24.   molokai
5
That sure is an optimistic recount of the Depo Dodger era.

My dad is an anomaly to me. He's a graduate of West Point and MIT and could do cartwheels with a slide ruler but he's never embraced sabermetrics no matter how many books I've pushed his way.

2005-11-28 13:13:32
25.   MikeB
Just passing this along . . .

Will Carroll has posted a new article today on Baseball Prospectus regarding hot stove rumors ...
- Mike Piazza has very few choices on where to play in 2006, with Oakland as a possibility to catch & DH. Carroll says there is a chance Piazza will wind up with -- the Dodgers!
- Carroll expects the Orioles to extend an offer to Garciaparra.
- And, finally, Brian Giles has turned down St. Louis' initial offer, with the Blue Jays going after him, but he may eventually wind up back in Cleveland.

Jon - I look forward to you updating your "The Netherworld (Nate Silver)" analysis at the end of this off-season.
It should be interesting to see which direction the Dodgers have taken for 2006 based on Colletti's moves (or non-moves).

2005-11-28 13:20:22
26.   natepurcell
now the A's need a big bat, my 3 way trade for zito and huff going to the A's should be in the works!
2005-11-28 13:20:47
27.   Eric Enders
Piazza as backup C/platoon 1B wouldn't be such a bad thing, I suppose, as long as he is willing to be paid like a backup C/platoon 1B. Which he probably isn't.

On the baseball songs front, I'd recommend seeking out a copy of Tom Russell's "The Kid From Spavinaw," on the album Modern Art. Possibly the best baseball song ever, IMO.

2005-11-28 13:21:32
28.   Uncle Miltie
Gaining political power in his hometown (no doubt to attempt to decriminalize driving under the influence)
LOL! Expect Guillermo Mota to be very supportive of Mondi.

nate- I don't even have a beard, but Morris' is awesome. Roy Halladay has a cool one too.

2005-11-28 13:22:47
29.   molokai
Since Billy Beane saw fit to give Loaiza 21/3 what would the board consensus have been if Colletti had done the same? I'm asking this because when Colletti signs Morris and everyone cries about it I just want to make sure he gets the same treatment as Beane gets for the Loaiza signing.
2005-11-28 13:25:43
30.   Uncle Miltie
I'm an A's fan too and I don't like the Loaiza signing. He's 34 years old and has only had 2 above average seasons. He is durable, but he's not with $7 million per year. Morris on the other hand, has a cool beard, so I'd applaud Ned if he landed Morris.
2005-11-28 13:27:17
31.   natepurcell
i dont like the loaiza deal. Hes been terribly inconsistent from year to year and will be 37 by the end of the deal.

But, oakland stadium is a pitchers park and going from RFK to oakland isnt going to be that big of a difference.

i would rather give morris 3yrs 21 mil than loaiza 3yrs 21 mil.

id rather trade for zito than pay morris though.

2005-11-28 13:28:09
32.   natepurcell
but if loaiza shows up to ST with a beast of a beard, i might have to change my stance.
2005-11-28 13:28:59
33.   Uncle Miltie
agree, but he's still not worth $7 million per year
2005-11-28 13:30:39
34.   natepurcell
mors signings to report!

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5117698

The Mets have landed coveted closer Billy Wagner in a four-year deal worth $43 million.

The deal could be worth as much as $50 million as it includes a fifth-year option for the Mets worth $10 million. But if the team declines the option, Wagner gets a $3 million buyout which is considered part of the original $43 million deal.

2005-11-28 13:30:58
35.   blue22
30 - If Colletti had made this deal, I would commend the decision to address the major weakness of the ballclub with a decent option at a decent contract. I wouldn't be crazy about it, but $7M/year buys you league average innings these days.
2005-11-28 13:31:14
36.   D4P
32
Nate - Are you old enough to remember Jeff Beardon, er, Reardon?
2005-11-28 13:31:19
37.   natepurcell
question... isnt wagner like 35?
2005-11-28 13:31:45
38.   blue22
34 - There goes our LOOGY option.
2005-11-28 13:33:46
39.   Uncle Miltie
Can we trade owners with the Mets? It must be awfully hard for Minaya to operate under such strenuous working conditions.

Nate- I found the perfect FA for the Dodgers
http://tinyurl.com/782tn

2005-11-28 13:37:55
40.   natepurcell
elarton deserves a one yr deal just for his facial hair.
2005-11-28 13:38:29
41.   natepurcell
when wagner blows his arm out in the middle of the season, we will be able to trade gagne to the mets for milledge and heilman.
2005-11-28 13:43:58
42.   Uncle Miltie
I changed my mind. Elarton gave up 32 home runs in about 180 innings. I guess we can hire him as the pitching coach.
2005-11-28 13:59:07
43.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Interesting topic: family and opinions about your team...

Initially, my brother threw stones at McCourt for him being 'cheap', while I was reserved in judgment since I felt that hiring DePodesta was a terrific move and that money saved (or earned) here and there could assure the payroll that DePodesta would need to create a winner, perpetually.

I haven't discussed the DePodesta firing with him.

My father, on the other hand, heard my opinion right away and seemed willing to listen to my viewpoint. I don't think he ever held high opinions of McCourt.

7- My dad was at Koufax's perfect game, too... on his birthday, no less. He gets to celebrate his birthday and Sandy's milestone the same day every year. What a great memory that must be: 'one year, my birthday was spent at the ballpark, and I saw Sandy Koufax pitch his fourth and final no hitter, a perfect game.'

2005-11-28 13:59:22
44.   dsfan
Buyer beware on Matt Morris.

Surgeries on his elbow and shoulder turned him into a 70-pitch guy whose talents were embellished by the great supporting cast in STL.

Buyer beware on Furcal. He has OBP problems. He has drinking problems. The market will grossly inflate his value.

The better route is to shop Gagne and Brazo on the hyper-inflated closer market. Try to get bona fide young starting pitchers, even if they're in Double-A or Triple-A (here's where scouting/evaluating is so crucial and difficult). Milledge is worth a gander, too. Properly leveraged in this market, a Gagne or a Brazo could give big returns, even if means packaging a prospect with them.

2005-11-28 14:04:35
45.   Eric L
35 On the surface the contract does seem pretty pricey, but I think the market for pitching is going to be even crazier this year.

Aside from his age, Loaiza doesn't look much different than the other guys on the market. Morris hasn't been a front line type of starter in a few years. Weaver never really has been, etc.

2005-11-28 14:09:31
46.   King of the Hobos
Loaiza's deal will likely become the minimum signing salary for recognizable starting pitchers, much like Benson last year.

At this point I'd rather sign 2 swingman type players (Kim, Johnson, Moyer, Astacio, Moehler, Ponson? Brown?). Maybe Byrd or Tomko, but they might want a little more money (especially with the market being what it is). Sign them, but warn them they must compete with the young guys if they want a rotation spot.

For whatever reason, I'd also be interested in giving Brian Anderson a minor league contract (he doesn't walk many, has a great pickoff move, and would likely be better in Dodger Stadium than Kauffman, health issues though)

2005-11-28 14:10:29
47.   popup
#27, Thanks for the tip Eric. The song is available as well on a Diamond Cuts CD, Top of the Sixth, available through Hungry for Music. Hungry for Music is a non profit that distributes musical instruments to disadvantaged kids. Money raised throught the sale of CDs goes to the charity.

#43, your Dad is a lucky man to have that memory. I have seen one no hit game in person and it was not by Sandy. I still regret not attending the no hitter he threw in Philadelphia in 1964. I lived about 25 or so miles from Connie Mack Stadium at the time. So what if it was a school night. I didn't miss too many games he pitched in Philadelphia from 62-66, but I did miss that one.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-11-28 14:21:46
48.   Kevin Maxwell
I think that we will be paying a premium either in $$/Closers/minor leagers, to get any talented players. Right now, we are baseball's version of 52-pickup. There was a time, not too long ago when getting a GM or Manager would have been a cinch.

Seriously, if you were a player right now, would you rather be a Dodger or Angel?

2005-11-28 14:42:51
49.   regfairfield
There has to be more to the Loaiza deal. I really can't see why Beane would bring in Loaiza, who is at best a fifth starter on Oakland, when he already has eight starters.
2005-11-28 14:45:08
50.   dsfan
With Wagner going to the Mets, I'd shop Gagne or Brazo to the Phillies, Indians and Braves.

Either is better as a closer than Tom Gordon.

That said, I'd rather barter with Omar than any of those GMs.

I doubt Gagne will have this trade value in July, but wish him well.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-28 14:45:23
51.   norcalblue
McLaren...Little...could the leaking of these names be about conditioning us to accept a higher profile version of the same....Fregosi?
2005-11-28 14:46:50
52.   dsfan
With Wagner going to the Mets, I'd shop Gagne or Brazo to the Phillies, Indians and Braves, Orioles.

Either is better as a closer than Tom Gordon.

That said, I'd rather barter with Omar than most of those GMs.

I doubt Gagne will have this trade value in July.

Brazo's track record as a closer is pretty good, too.

2005-11-28 14:47:34
53.   D4P
What about Choi?

From Ken Gurnick's mailbag:

The most glaring Dodger need is a first baseman who can hit for average or power. Why haven't the Dodgers obtained one?
-- James B., San Bernardino, Calif.

Like Carlos Delgado (or Jim Thome), for example? The answer is at the crux of the Dodgers' current dilemma. They have immediate needs and a farm system close to satisfying those needs, but probably not by April of 2006. So, with James Loney finally showing power and possibly less than a year away as the answer at first base, and Joel Guzman playing first base in the Dominican Winter League, do you trade for Delgado, pick up the $41 million the Mets were willing to absorb, deal away two of the best prospects in the system and block Loney's or Guzman's path for the three years remaining on Delgado's contract? Or do you find a cheaper short-term band-aid solution, reallocate that $41 million to fill a handful of other holes and keep the prospects? Since Delgado and Thome were just traded -- and not to the Dodgers -- it's pretty apparent which way the Dodgers are leaning. Nonetheless, free agent Paul Konerko is still available.

2005-11-28 14:51:12
54.   dsfan
Sounds like it's Fregosi's job but they want to be thorough. It pays to interview several candidates. One, you can glean valuable information on the marketplace. Two, maybe you squeeze Fregosi, get him a bit cheaper.
2005-11-28 14:58:03
55.   dsfan
Gurnick's analysis is as astute as Plaschke's is not. Rather than invest heavily at 1B, the LAD could better allocate resources toward starting pitching, a durable OF bat and SS.

Guzman's best spot will be 1B or RF. You kill Loney's value if you get a Delgado/Thome/Konero.

Loney has a great glove and his bat is improving, but his trade value is slight.

Better to put Loney in Vegas with the perception that he's in your long-term plans. His trade value could go up quite a bit if he hits well at Vegas, where his suspect power should increase. And there's the outside chance that he becomes the LAD starter in 2007.

2005-11-28 14:59:17
56.   D4P
55
Again I say: what about Choi?
2005-11-28 15:06:17
57.   dzzrtRatt
50, 52:

So what happened between 2:45 and 2:46 that caused you, on second thought, to withdraw your well-wishes for Eric Gagne? A sudden spasm of fervent anti-Canada feelings?

2005-11-28 15:09:01
58.   dzzrtRatt
56 It does seem as if Choi's become a non-person.

Maybe this is Gurnick trying to do Choi a favor. Talk down the idea of trying to trade for a high-priced first baseman, without actually talking up Choi. That way, those who are out to get Choi don't have anything to latch onto. The decision is seen as helping Loney, who the baseballklatura likes, rather than Choi, who is seen as DePodesta's evil spawn.

2005-11-28 15:18:30
59.   D4P
58
I like that strategy. Maybe Hee can sneak his way into the lineup this year and prove his doubters wrong.
2005-11-28 15:24:14
60.   DaveP
55 - have you seen Guzman playing 1B this winter? I watched the last game on ESPN Deportes and was surprised how horrible he looked trying to dig throws out of the dirt. Maybe he'll learn the position, but he sure looks awkward right now.
2005-11-28 15:34:00
61.   dsfan
Gurnick's telling like it is.

Choi's ragged times are tough to endure. For long stretches, he shows zero ability to make adjustments at the plate.

Defensively, he's a liability.

Has Choi been given a meaningful opportunity to endure growing pains, mature and acclimate at the major league level?

Very debatable. Ideally, he'd get 500 abs with a last-place club.

Still, he showed little improvement in 2006. If anything, he's regressed since his Marlin days.

That Depo got him is irrelevant. Of some relevance is how he performed in 2005.

His poor footwork at 1B was surprise. No one expected Wes Parker, but he was brutal.

He'll be 27 in March. He still has a chance to pan out, but the odds appear slim. James Loney, who is 20, has the brighter future, although he's far from a hot prospect.

2005-11-28 15:36:39
62.   regfairfield
61 When was the last time you saw Choi get a long stretch of playing time?

Choi has a career 99 rate2.

Choi does well when he gets playing time, when he gets thrown on the bench for long periods of time, his power disappears.

Choi is a player who will make under a million dollars and can hit 30 home runs. That player is very valuable.

2005-11-28 15:44:22
63.   blue22
It'd be a pleasant surprise if Choi entered ST as the incumbent, but I just don't see that happening.

How about JT Snow? The Giant connection is there with Colletti, and he's shown solid plate discipline and is obviously terrific with the glove.

2005-11-28 15:46:40
64.   the OZ
Off-topic, but I just discoved MLB.com's free-agent tracker. I remember people asking about a page where they could track FA movement, so I'm pasting the link here.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/hot_stove/y2005/free_agent_tracker.jsp

2005-11-28 15:48:58
65.   Robert Fiore
The thing you have to remember from a public relations standpoint is that if Choi is the presumed first baseman at the start of the season the press, talk radio and a large chunk of the fan base will simply consider it a failure. The story will be that the team didn't fulfill its need at first base. It will top the litany of things that are wrong with the Dodgers that the L.A. Times will be printing at least once a week throughout the season. If Choi doesn't succeed -- by which I mean, put up good scoreboard statistics -- absolutely no one will call it a risk worth taking. If you start talking about 99 rate2s or VORPs or anything like that people are just going to roll their eyes. If you are the GM and you're sensitive to public opinion -- and sensitive to public opinion is the direction they're going in now -- your job would be far safer if you overpaid for a mediocre power hitter who was good five years ago than if you went with Choi.
2005-11-28 15:50:31
66.   sanchez101
snow hasnt played anything close to a full season since 2002. Snow had a 708 OPS last season, Choi had a 789 OPS. If LA wants an all-glove no-slug% 1b, they can just promote Loney.
2005-11-28 15:54:47
67.   sanchez101
65. this is why i really hope the sox or anaheim signs Konerko. After him, who's left for the dodgers to get? I would like little more than to see the Angels spend $65 million on Konerko, then watch Choi post a better OPS.
2005-11-28 15:57:45
68.   fanerman
67 - Same here.

If Choi just had a chance to play he'd put up good numbers. Any kind of numbers.

2005-11-28 15:58:11
69.   D4P
67
And put up better "scoreboard" statistics as well.
2005-11-28 16:04:25
70.   the OZ
So, the White Sox have traded the starting center fielder from their championship team, are poised to let their 1B walk away in free agency, declined an option on their DH, and let clutch hitter Geoff Blum sign with the Padres.

Is Plaschke's Chicago equivalent biterly whining about how the Sox are tearing apart a World Series Champion?

2005-11-28 16:06:11
71.   dzzrtRatt
61 seems to have become the settled wisdom about Choi, and no one who holds this position cares to be confused with the facts. Choi's become the eternal symbol of the stupidity of sabremetrics--the big dumb guy who draws a lot of walks, hits the occasional dinger, can't field his position and is mostly valued because he came cheap. For that reason, 65 is not just settled wisdom, it is the sad truth, and points to the main difference between DePodesta and most other GMs. Maybe because he was such an introvert, he didn't much care that a lot of people didn't see in Choi what he did. Colletti doesn't even need to go through even a rudimentary evaluation process for Choi. Ned knows that if Choi is not replaced as the presumed starter at 1B, he will get Plaschke'd all year, and will be fired. It's not even debatable. Even if Choi ended up having a good season, Ned's offseason would be seen as a failure.
2005-11-28 16:08:04
72.   fanerman
65 and 71 - Yeah you're right. Man, I hate Bill Plaschke.
2005-11-28 16:08:20
73.   regfairfield
70 Jay Mariotti seems happy

http://tinyurl.com/75czr

Of course, all of baseball thinks Kenny Williams stole Thome.

2005-11-28 16:09:29
74.   King of the Hobos
Guys, there's trouble lurking. The Dodgers are poised to lose yet another 2004 player

http://www.nikkansports.com/ns/baseball/p-bb-tp0-051128-0007.html

For those of you who don't understand Japanese (like me) that supposedly says the Orix Buffaloes are close to signing Jason Grabowski. Best to give yourselves a moment for that to sink in, I know how devestating it is

2005-11-28 16:12:35
75.   D4P
Maybe because he was such an introvert, he didn't much care that a lot of people didn't see in Choi what he did.

Depo's (ostensible) inability to communicate his thought processes to his doubters was a large part of his downfall. An old econ professor of mine used to refer to the "fallacy of the mute genius," and how it makes no difference if you're the smartest person in the world if you can't communicate your ideas to other people.

Depo faced a greater burden in this respect than most GMs because of his relatively unorthodox approach.

2005-11-28 16:13:58
76.   mob
I am not a Hee Sop fan & still do not see any upside to Choi. he is a defensive liability and he is a streak hitter, regular playing time or not. There is a place for him and it's called the American league, home of the DH.

As for first base, I have to think Gurnick's point is well made. Don't mortgage and/or block the future with a Delgado or Konerko. The answer is Jeff Kent. He said he would play there if asked, "for the good of the team". This opens up 2nd for any of the young Dodgers (Perez, Aybar, Guzman??) to win in the spring. It also buys another year for Loney to mature at 1B.

2005-11-28 16:16:25
77.   regfairfield
76 Jeff Kent goes from a phenomonal asset to slightly above average if you move him to first. Moving him there is a very good way to waste eight million dollars.
2005-11-28 16:18:50
78.   FirstMohican
71 - Good points...

A good starting point to finding what the "holes" of the team are by considering how they ranked by OPS. 1B was their third best position last year ranked 10th in the league. Here're the positions w/ ranks: 2b(2), cf(4), 1b(10), rf(12), c(20), 3b(20), ss(27), lf(30)

I'm sure most people that bother with "stats" (eww) would argue that the Dodgers could've done better at 1B with wiser usage of the platoon with Saenz. The only way I would call 1B a "hole" is if Saenz left. Even then I'd be inclined to give an almost full-time job to Choi.

Too bad Colletti would be crucified if he denied that 1B was a problem location. I think DePodesta's biggest mistake was saying "regression to the mean" to a sports columnist. The poor columnist might've thought that the Dodgers weren't going to be nice anymore.

2005-11-28 16:21:22
79.   Steve
[Choi] is a defensive liability

As for first base...The answer is Jeff Kent

This must be irony, for I have no other way to explain it.

2005-11-28 16:25:26
80.   dzzrtRatt
77 So if you assume a) Choi cannot start, due to baseball politics (or because he sucks, depending on your POV); b) Gurnick's right, and a long contract to a high priced FA is a bad idea because it would block Loney or Guzman's arrival; and c) Kent's value is diminished by moving him to first base; Where does that leave the Dodgers?

Probably Snow is the best bet, with Choi as his "back-up." Snow is not in a position to ask for a lot of money, although he'll still be overpaid. When he plays, he's far from an embarassment. But he'll have to sit a lot, so Choi will have at least some chance to prove the doubters wrong.

Given the soundness of Gurnick's argument, I think Snow provides Colletti a way to please some of the people some of the time, and let him focus his dollars and attention on other positions. Better Snow than Konerko.

2005-11-28 16:25:26
81.   fanerman
Choi's best friend may be a limited budget.

Best case scenario... at spring training, Colletti after being asked why he didn't upgrade 1B, "We felt our biggest holes were in left field, 3rd base, and the starting rotation. So we signed Brian Giles, Nomar Garciaparra, and [insert random starting pitcher here, I really don't care]. At the end of the day, we just didn't have enough money to sign a Paul Konerko or want to give up big prospects for a Carlos Delgado. We're going with Hee Seop Choi, and if he isn't up to the task, we'll move Jeff Kent there as a last resort."

Then Choi gets a chance to play because Kent doesn't want to play 1st, so Choi gets off to a hot start and never looks back, hitting .270/.390/.500 with 30-35 home runs and 80+ RBI's as the Dodgers win the West. The media praises Colletti for keeping Choi, ignoring the fact that he was a DePo pick-up. And everybody lives happily ever after. Or as close to it as a world with Bill Plaschke will allow.

2005-11-28 16:27:29
82.   FirstMohican
Why is Choi's defense such a huge issue and not Olmedo's? I wonder how many consecutive saves Gagne would've had had Choi started that game.
2005-11-28 16:28:06
83.   regfairfield
80 If starting Choi really is not an option (grumble) I'd go get Travis Lee or Eduardo Perez for a year for about 1.5 million.
2005-11-28 16:28:11
84.   King of the Hobos
Loaiza's deal is $5 mil, $6 mil, and $7 mil, with a $7.5 mil option. He has a signing bonus of $3 mil to be paid throughout the contract. The buyout for the option is $375K

The Pirates have released Restovich. He could be worth a minor league contract. He's doing great in Venezuela

2005-11-28 16:28:21
85.   blue22
So Choi is about to get the Depo treatment right out of town, and Konerko is (hopefully) out of our price range. Kent is best served at 2B. Loney is probably not ready. Saenz shuffles off to the AL to DH somewhere.

Someone has to play first. Sign a veteran glove guy like Snow or Mientkiewicz? Trade an arm for Overbay?

2005-11-28 16:28:24
86.   fanerman
82 - Even less! Because Choi would have cost Gagne a save in some previous game with his horrid defense. Duh.
2005-11-28 16:29:54
87.   Steve
82 -- I'll give you a hint. It starts with K.
2005-11-28 16:30:18
88.   mob
reg, how is that a waste? Will he stop hitting because he moves to first? His value is as a hitter. The fact he played very good defensively was a plus, actually better than anyone expected. Yes, it is wonderful to have a power hitting 2nd baseman and yes they are few & far between BUT the Dodgers have a REAL need for a solid fielding power hitting corner infielder and Kent's 3B days are long gone. Choi is not an answer and the fact he is cheap does not make him valuable. Quit thinking like the McCourts'. An $9 mil 1B is not a bad price if he produces!

Putting him at first allows us to address other needs like starting pitching and the OF. And it gives us the ability to see if one of the kids can produce at a position that was filled 2 years ago (without complaints) by the light hitting Cora.

2005-11-28 16:32:35
89.   FirstMohican
86 - Choi's defense is so bad that, had he played that game, his poor fielding would've altered the outcomes of past games?

Maybe the Choi detractors are right.

2005-11-28 16:33:53
90.   fanerman
89 - I was assuming he was playing regularly, hence he would have played in other games. But I've heard crazier things out of from talking heads.
2005-11-28 16:37:07
91.   regfairfield
Kent was below average at second this year, with a 95 rate2. He is a horrible first baseman in his career, wit a career 87 rate 2.

His value diminishes because a good hitter who plays first is much harder to find than a good hitter who plays second.

This was Jeff Kent, who for 8 million dollars produced:
.289/.377/.512

This was Dodger first baseman, who made about a million dollars combined
.264/.342/.483

Is 50 points of OPS worth 7 million? No, it isn't. Your assumption is that first base is a need when all stats show Choi will be an average first baseman for about 800 thousand dollars.

If you think Cora had no complaints, you weren't listening to me.

2005-11-28 16:37:20
92.   FirstMohican
87 - .....?
2005-11-28 16:38:23
93.   FirstMohican
91 - Yeah but do you know how many balls he fouled off before he... nevermind.
2005-11-28 16:38:41
94.   regfairfield
92 It probably ends in an "orean" but I could be wrong.
2005-11-28 16:39:49
95.   Steve
The same nonsense that leads one to believe that Choi is a "defensive liability" at first would, if one was being honest with oneself, lead one to believe that Kent is a "defensive liability" at first. Or has having a first baseman who can catch throws to first become passe in the neverending quest to finally achieve the goal of having a non-Korean first baseman?
2005-11-28 16:40:34
96.   FirstMohican
94 - Saying Choi's defense is an issue because he's Korean is like saying Chan Ho Park scissor kicks people who charge the mound.
2005-11-28 16:41:42
97.   regfairfield
Keep in mind those first basemen numbers I posted includes the Myrow/Nori/Phillips/Grabowski combo. Choi and Saenz were slightly better than what I listed. (Not much though, since Kent was huge when he started at first.)
2005-11-28 16:43:26
98.   regfairfield
96 He only does that to people who tag him too hard when he's running to first.
2005-11-28 16:44:41
99.   FirstMohican
95 - I'm sure that for some people Choi's Koreanness is an issue either conciously or subconciously, but I would assume that more often than not the Choi hating stems from MSM's Choi hating and the tired lines they put out about his lack of defense. I'm assuming that because people seem to follow the same junk that sports media spew even if it's to the absurd extreme like, had he stayed with the Dodgers, Beltre would've hit 48 again.
2005-11-28 16:47:53
100.   Steve
I do not believe that anybody except for possibly Simers conciously believes that it is an issue. Subconciously, it is the only issue.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-11-28 16:50:06
101.   D4P
100
Consciously, the issues are "Depo liked Choi" and "Choi came to the Dodgers in the Lo Duca trade."
2005-11-28 16:51:42
102.   Steve
That's right.
2005-11-28 16:51:45
103.   fanerman
94 - I think it's an "all of the above" for Choi. He looks clumsy in the field because he's big and tall. There were those "highlight" plays his detractors always point out. He was part of "The Trade." He's the biggest DePo player on the Dodgers. Maybe being Korean has something to do with it, at least subconsciously. I don't know.

But Choi just was never given a fair chance to succeed. His manager didn't like him. MSM didn't like him. He would have had to play exceedingly well in increasingly rare spurts in order to show what he can do, and he didn't.

Choi more and more looks like one of those forgotten cases who'll get on a new team and suddenly start to do well. Then the media talking heads who hated on him before will suddenly start rushing out human interest stories about how he overcame obstacles in his career, even when they (the media) are the reasons the obstacles were there in the first place.

2005-11-28 16:52:01
104.   FirstMohican
100 - So everyone loves Phillips at C because he's white. Wait, nobody loves Phillips. Maybe he wasn't as white as Lo Duca.

There's no way everyone who criticises Choi's defense is subconciously racist.

2005-11-28 16:52:34
105.   blue22
99 - Choi is productive at the plate, the best defensive 1B on the ML roster, and one of the most popular Dodgers of last year. Given all of that, it's amazing to see the negativity around his abilities.

And playing the part of Olmedo Saenz in 2006 - Eduardo Perez has OPS'd .950 against lefties the last 3 years.

2005-11-28 16:55:13
106.   FirstMohican
105 - Totally with your first paragraph. But how can you say with any confidence and with no substance that it's because Choi's Korean.
2005-11-28 16:56:03
107.   FirstMohican
"Agree" + 106 = what I intended
2005-11-28 16:57:41
108.   blue22
106 - I've never (today) mentioned the fact that he is Korean.

I also forgot to mention he makes near the league minimum too.

2005-11-28 16:58:12
109.   fanerman
Everybody knows DePo was a big Choi supporter. What about Ng, Smith, and White? If they were also behind Choi, perhaps they can convince Ned that Choi should stay. Ned doesn't seem like he's afraid of the McCourts or the media.
2005-11-28 17:00:44
110.   mob
I think people don't like Choi bcause he's not good. I wouldn't care if he were a Martian (although I understand very few Martians can hit the curveball and none have ever hit with power) as long as he were a decent fielder and CONSISTENT hitter. Look .270 with 25 HR & 80+ RBI would be acceptable but Choi never would've gotten there. So move on. As for Olmedo, I was never happy when he was at first, he too was a defensive liability.

Subconciously, people may dislike Choi because he was part of the LoDuca trade & a Depo favorite. But consciously his performance makes him easy to dislike.

2005-11-28 17:01:08
111.   FirstMohican
Sorry, blue22, didn't mean to say you did. Please take my "you" as "anyone."
2005-11-28 17:03:01
112.   Steve
But how can you say with any confidence and with no substance that it's because Choi's Korean.

I don't understand how others can say with any confidence and no substance that Choi is slow or a defensive liability. In this case, I choose not to hold myself to a standard others refuse to follow.

2005-11-28 17:03:11
113.   blue22
111 - gotcha ;-)
2005-11-28 17:03:43
114.   fanerman
110 - "Look .270 with 25 HR & 80+ RBI would be acceptable but Choi never would've gotten there. So move on."

And you're so sure because...?

In 281 Florida at-bats in 2004--At-bats with regular playing time--Choi hit .270/.388/.470 with 15 home runs and 40 RBI.

2005-11-28 17:04:44
115.   D4P
110
Choi's numbers last year when playing 1B:
278ABs, 14HRs, 39RBI, .263/.346/.475/.821
2005-11-28 17:05:13
116.   jasonungar05
How soon everyone forgets about Jason Phillips. He can play 1b. Problem solved. let's move on. lol
2005-11-28 17:06:57
117.   D4P
116
Isn't Phillips already penciled in as the starting catcher?
2005-11-28 17:07:37
118.   FirstMohican
110 - You're wrong. Or at least, you were projected to be wrong.

If you gave Choi the same # of ABs vs. LFPs and RHPs last year, considering his HR/AB rates for each of those, Choi would be projected to hit 20.7 off of RHPs and 4.2 vs LHPs. So that's what, almost exactly 25 HRs? Consider the bonus Choi would get by hitting consistently. You could argue that pitchers would've adjusted, but I'd counter with "they already had adjusted" as noted by everyone and their mother knowing that you had to simply pitch Choi up and in.

2005-11-28 17:09:23
119.   FirstMohican
by consistently I mean regularly
2005-11-28 17:10:32
120.   Steve
So there you have it. Choi is slow because he's slow because he's slow. And you ask me why I think it's because he's Korean?
2005-11-28 17:10:53
121.   FirstMohican
and my first sentence should read "If you gave Choi the same # of ABs vs. LFPs and RHPs last year as Jeff Kent,"
2005-11-28 17:11:39
122.   FirstMohican
120 - What is that in reference to???
2005-11-28 17:15:44
123.   dsfan
Choi backers:

Please try to set aside any doubting of Choi as evidence of an anti-Depo bias or an assault on sabermetrics or a failure to perceive that young players need playing time and support.

When you build agendas into evaluations by others, you are doing yourself and them a dis-service.

Some of simply find Choi lacking on his own merits.

At age 26, Hee Seop Choi entered the 2005 season with some 600 major league ABs, not an insignificant sum.

He got another 195-200 ABs in the first three months and gave back subpar returns.
His OPS wasn't awful, as I'm sure some will point out. But his streakiness was awful. Home run bings are thrilling, but Choi's down times were a major drag. The Marlins grew tired of Choi's brutal cold snaps and inability to adjust at the plate. Those flaws were in evidence last season. If anything, Choi regressed. It's possible that major league pitchers were more attuned to his flaws and exploited them.

Defensively he was a liability. He doesn't merely appear clumsy. He is clumsy. His lack of instincts and poor footwork were at times shockingly bad. At crucial times, he blundered. He has fall-down range.

Choi will be 27 next year. Granted full duty, he'd probably improve some while drawing a small salary. You could do worse, and the raw power is seductive. But I see defensively inferior Lee Stevens, a decent 1B who will hit bad piching and put up 30 HRs for a second-division team.

2005-11-28 17:19:41
124.   sanchez101
110. i admire your ability to keep the facts from informing your decision.

This is the same crap we've already heard, and debunked, dozens of times. If you really think that Choi isnt deserving of at least 500 PA, your either blind, misinformed, or racist. I cant think of any simpler way to put it.

Anyway, Choi should play because he's a great clubhouse guy. He's one of the most acclaimed athlete aver to come from Korea, and he sat quietly on the bench while Jason Phillips played his position. Think about that, imagine Barry Bonds going to Japan, and being a fourth outfielder, or Jeff Kent going overseas to be a pinch hitter, how would you think they, or anyone would respond. But Choi has been nothing but happy to help the team the way his manager saw fit. A number or his teamate (bradley and penny in particular) love playing with him and consider him a friend. Who gets a better reception by the fans at Dodger Stadium than Hee Seop Choi? Gagne, and that it. Choi is a good clubhouse guy, an emerging talent, and a fan favorite. Too bad he's getting run out of town by bill plascke

2005-11-28 17:21:25
125.   FirstMohican
He doesn't merely appear clumsy. He is clumsy.

Either you're contradicting yourself, or you believe there's a difference between what one percieves, and what you have gained knowledge of through something other than perception.

Everyone agree's Choi's imperfect. We had the 10th best 1B production last year with our platoon. When we have 5 other positions that are ranked worse than 1B, why give those less priority?

2005-11-28 17:21:33
126.   D4P
124
Choi is a good clubhouse guy, an emerging talent, and a fan favorite. Too bad he's getting run out of town by bill plascke

It's kind of odd that Choi's fan favorite status doesn't appeal to BP the way it should.

2005-11-28 17:22:38
127.   sanchez101
123. Choi has a career .275 eqa in those, and is entering what should be his prime seasons, is that not deserving of a starting job?
2005-11-28 17:22:48
128.   regfairfield
You're presenting a bunch of anecdotal evidence with no facts. "He is clumsy" is not an argument.

Choi clearly adjusted at the plate last year, seeing as, at the very least, people went from trying to get him out with up and in fastballs to low and away breaking stuff.

Presenting blanket statements and representing them as truth does not make you right.

2005-11-28 17:24:39
129.   sanchez101
127. also, konerko has a career .276 eqa
2005-11-28 17:24:49
130.   FirstMohican
Except after "C!" DAMNIT!
2005-11-28 17:26:19
131.   Steve
Defensively he was a liability. He doesn't merely appear clumsy. He is clumsy. His lack of instincts and poor footwork were at times shockingly bad. At crucial times, he blundered. He has fall-down range.

Shockingly bad! Shockingly! Well, I strenuously object! Back to you!

2005-11-28 17:26:25
132.   fanerman
The reason Choi is exactly where he was now as when he was 25 is because he hasn't had an opportunity to do anything for 1 1/2 seasons. Using his age against him is a flawed argument.

There are many hitters who hit mistake pitches and do pretty well, i.e. Jim Thome.

If Choi is streaky, who isn't?
Choi by month in 2005 with his inconsistent playing time:
.818/.774/.773/.808/.972/.661

One good month, one bad month, and 4 months hovering around .800.

Jeff Kent's OPS in May was .571.

2005-11-28 17:26:44
133.   sanchez101
spelling errors are nothing to be upset about, :)
2005-11-28 17:27:25
134.   FirstMohican
"Presenting blanket statements and representing them as truth does not make you right."

Also, everything is relative.

2005-11-28 17:27:39
135.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I dunno if there's any point in rehashing the whole Choi issue, but I think he may be our 1B simply by default. I think Colletti will have a handful trying to get a corner OF (hopefully Giles) and filling Weaver (and perhaps Houlton's) slot in the rotation. We also need at least some kind of insurance for the left side of the IF--A. Perez doesn't have enough power I think to be a full-time 3B, and Aybar's too unproven. I think Colletti may go with Choi penciled in as 1B against righties with A. Perez waiting in the wings at 2B, and Kent as the 1B if Choi doesn't have a good ST.

WWSH

2005-11-28 17:28:08
136.   D4P
133
Just errors made by Korean first baseman.
2005-11-28 17:29:11
137.   fanerman
135 - I said that in 81, but unfortunately, that looks like the best case scenario.

(The 2 greatest words in the English language: De. Fault.)

2005-11-28 17:30:06
138.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
RE: Choi's defense. Wasn't Choi's BP Rate2 last season a fair bit below his career average? He did seem out of it at times defensively , and although a career Rate2 of 99 doesn't make him by any means a butcher, we're still talking about strictly league-average fielding.

WWSH

2005-11-28 17:32:10
139.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 137

That's a nice scenario to think about it--this is the problem with picking up a thread so late.

WWSH

2005-11-28 17:36:20
140.   Uncle Miltie
Sort of off topic, but has anyone seen the movie Zathura. I had no idea what it was about, but saw it with some friends last weekend. In the beginning of the movie, a kid is playing catch with his dad. His brother dives in front of his and says something like "Milton Bradley with a diving catch and the Dodgers win!"
Kind of ironic considering that Bradley will no longer be a Dodger next year.
2005-11-28 17:47:54
141.   Vishal
here is my litmus test/counter-argument about hee seop choi:

how do you anti-choi people feel about pittsburgh's brad eldred, who is basically the exact same type of player?

do you think people in pittsburgh are having this same discussion about brad eldred's defense and the "hole" the pirates have at first?

2005-11-28 17:59:16
142.   molokai
Hee Sop is to nice a guy. He should have been breaking water coolers and busting into the managers office after he was benched following the Twin series. Yes, he is a streaky hitter but how many major league hitters are not streaky hitters. Check out the monthly splits and you'll see streaks abound.

From Baseball HQ the best site around related to performance.
"6/15/2005 -- Choi's aggressiveness translating into power... Earlier this season, Hee Seop Choi (1B, LA) made a conscious decision to become more aggressive at the plate. Over the weekend, his aggressiveness paid off in a big way, as Choi blasted six home runs in three games (12 AB) against MIN, to double his season's total. How is Choi's aggressiveness affecting his game overall, and will it continue to pay dividends? A look at Choi's BPI by month, compared with 2004, shows that he has certainly become more of a free swinger.

Year AB bb% ct% eye BA OB
==== === === === ==== ==== ====
2004 343 16 72 0.66 .251 .367
April, '05 54 10 72 0.47 .259 .355
May, '05 71 8 76 0.35 .254 .337
June, '05 31 0 77 0.00 .290 .290

The trends here are concerning. To his credit, Choi has improved his contact rate as he has started swinging more freely, but the falling walk rate, especially in June with no walks for the month, could indicate some rough times ahead. Even while Choi was blasting home runs against MIN, he struck out four times in 12 AB. And as Choi returns to hitting against pitchers more familiar with his weaknesses, he is likely to find those weaknesses more easily exploited if he abandons his patience altogether. At this point in his development, Choi is working to find an appropriate balance between plate patience and aggression. If he can keep his walk rate in the 8-10% range, he could be extremely successful. On the other hand, if his contact rate drops as it did against MIN, his BA is likely to follow. The remainder of this season will be an extremely important time in Choi's development. Given his prodigious power potential, he bears watching. "

He ended the season with an eye of only .43 a drop from 2004 where it was .66. His contact rate was only 29% which is why his BA was so low. With his historical contact rate of 33% his expected BA would have been around 281. I was not much of a believer in Hee Sop when we traded for him but after watching him play all year I don't think any Dodger hit the ball harder for outs then he did. I still think he has untapped talent and my biggest regret of the lost 2004 season was not seeing him get 500 at bats so all of us could more accurately guage what we have.

2005-11-28 18:00:10
143.   mob
141.

yes they are, but with a dime store payroll and a team this hasn't finished or been expected to finish above third in their division for the last 12 years, it is far less relevant.

2005-11-28 18:00:49
144.   molokai
141
Yes, most scouts feel that Eldred will be a bust. Steve Balboni ring a bell.
2005-11-28 18:03:07
145.   mob
Steve "bye-bye" Balboni!!! is he available???
2005-11-28 18:06:45
146.   natepurcell
dodgers to interview another person
http://tinyurl.com/8xapq

mets bench coach!

2005-11-28 18:09:48
147.   D4P
146
Is he younger than Kent?
2005-11-28 18:10:37
148.   natepurcell
it says he is 36 yrs old. so yes, he is.
2005-11-28 18:11:08
149.   mob
ned is beginning to try Bill P's patience. He will need to make some moves here in the next week, including hiring a manager or Mr. Plaschke will allover him.

I hope Ned taking all this time will indeed produce the right manager. Most likely someone we will not all agree on but only time will tell if his decision will be correct.

2005-11-28 18:12:10
150.   natepurcell
haha i just read through the comments, another choi debate!?!? ha, i just find it funny.

anyways, giles, nomar and a trade for zito is the way to go!

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-11-28 18:22:43
151.   D4P
149
Traschke is a harsh mistress.
2005-11-28 18:23:05
152.   overkill94
Anybody think it would help if we showed up at Colletti's office chanting "HEE SEOP CHOI!" ?

Honestly, after Konerko there's nothing out there except for a trade for Overbay but he seems to be rumored everywhere except to us.

I think I like the Choi/token lefty-masher platoon so much because it's the same strategy I employ in fantasy baseball. Instead of sticking some guy with a .770 OPS in my utility slot every day, I like to play home/road or lefty/righty splits with a bunch of mediocre hitters to combine for the production of a top-30 talent.

Unfortunately, the casual observer / idiot sportswriter only cares about having one big name to shoulder the load instead of seeing the effectiveness of combining the strengths of two men at a low cost.

2005-11-28 18:25:38
153.   molokai
The more Ned can get on Plashke's bad side the more I like him.

If this is the price of free agency for pitching this year then just stay away.

The A's need a big bat and the only one we have is Kent and Ellis was very good last year so they don't need him. So unless Beane wants to take JD Drew I don't see anyone we have that is major league ready to help the A's win next year. Zito may get traded but the Dodgers won't be in on it.

2005-11-28 18:29:28
154.   Vishal
[143] so should we be expecting jim tracy to sit mr. eldred in favor of starting humberto cota at first base next season?
2005-11-28 18:32:32
155.   Vishal
[153] milton bradley and a good prospect for barry zito?
2005-11-28 18:34:37
156.   D4P
155
I'm guessing Bradley's status remains unresolved until and unless Flanders signs a starting outfielder.
2005-11-28 18:44:58
157.   dsfan
Choi got a pretty good opportunity in the first half last year at age 26 after previously amassing 600 ABs. Within that framework I'd give his returns a C-minus, maybe a D-plus (I'm including his subpar defense in the equation).
I hope he's able to adjust and reduce the number of pitches that can retire him, and that he becomes less clumsy at first base.
Again the LAD could do worse than Choi at that salary. He's not a bust. But I saw little improvement in 2005 during significant playing time. I saw regression, if anything, and more defensive flaws than expected.
Agree that moving Kent to 1B decreases his value.
2005-11-28 18:56:48
158.   Vishal
[157] i still haven't seen much proof that choi's overall defense is subpar, other than you say it is.

also, how much playing time constitutes "significance"? on may 21st, he was hitting .310/.410/.538 (.948 OPS), before having a 5-game slump. he never got consistent starts (and finishes) for more than a few games at a time after that.

2005-11-28 18:58:57
159.   Vishal
(besides the week in june he hit 7 homers. he played 9 whole games in a row during that stretch)
2005-11-28 18:59:16
160.   regfairfield
Choi's numbers as a starter this year: .263/.349/.475

The average first baseman
.276/.352/.470

2005-11-28 19:04:40
161.   Steve
Everytime the same person says Choi is clumsy over and over again, an angel gets its wings. Zazu's petals were in Jason Phillips' back pocket all along.
2005-11-28 19:29:13
162.   Uncle Miltie
Manny Acta is the minority candidate. I liked Depodesta's list of potential managers much better.
2005-11-28 19:30:46
163.   molokai
For those of you who want a career in baseball management I've got the course for you.
Check it out.
http://tinyurl.com/cdtrk
2005-11-28 19:34:15
164.   Uncle Miltie
I've seen it, did you see this part:

Cost: $995. Payment plans available.
College Credits: Available for 3 upper division college credits

Ouch

2005-11-28 19:51:20
165.   Steve
The demon seed of Frank Robinson and Willie Randolph. That should be good for kicks.
2005-11-28 19:57:03
166.   fanerman
161 - "Everytime the same person says Choi is clumsy over and over again, an angel gets its wings."

And everytime somebody new says Choi is clumsy, God kills a kitten. Please, think of the kittens.

2005-11-28 20:00:17
167.   D4P
163,164
My mother attended Western Oregon University. She was on her way to a degree in music until she met my future father and quit school.
2005-11-28 20:09:23
168.   King of the Hobos
So what are the thoughts on Acta? I wonder how people will take the fact that he never played in the majors. And how well will guys like Kent respect a manager younger than them?
2005-11-28 20:18:39
169.   D4P
168
Does anyone know how Acta became a candidate?
2005-11-28 20:23:05
170.   Uncle Miltie
He's Hispanic. Unfortunately he has no chance (he has zero managerial experience at the major league level). Ned will hire Fregosi or Little, with Fregosi probably being the leading candidate right now.
2005-11-28 20:25:19
171.   D4P
170
Ah. So Acta's the Kim Ng of the managerial search?
2005-11-28 20:27:06
172.   Sam DC
On the field manager thing, does one assume that Fregosi is out of it, having not been hired by now and new names regularly slipping into the mix?
2005-11-28 20:41:54
173.   King of the Hobos
172 No

Supposedly McLaren interviewed today. If Colletti interviews Little tomorrow and Acta on Wednesday, then could we have a manager by the end of the week? I honestly believe it to be a problem when picking up FAs. I don't want Giles to go somewhere else and immediately say that he chose to avoid the Dodgers because he didn't know the manager. Or we could just let him decide the manager if he's willing to take a small pay cut

2005-11-28 20:51:12
174.   King of the Hobos
According to the Mets' bio for Acta, he was a coach for the Asheville team of the South Atlantic League at age 12, 4 years before he signed with the Astros

I wish he were an actual candidate. I'd rather a chance at a good manager rather than go after recycled mediocricy (I wouldn't mind McLaren either). He's managed 8 seasons in the minors, and has been a coach for 5 seasons, 4 in the majors. Plus he's managed in the Dominican from 2002-2004 (not sure about this year). So he has some experience despite being 36 (he started managing at the age of 23...).

2005-11-28 21:51:45
175.   dsfan
Choi's numbers as of June 14 were OK, if you overlook the brutal streakiness, his ineptitude against LHP and his defensive shortcomings.

He'd just gone a four-game binge in which he hit 7 HRs.

Before that binge, his slugging percentage was .410.

Even with the binge, his OBP was at .331.

Choi after June 14: .345 OBP /.365 slugging/.705 OPS...41 strikeouts in 159 at-bats; 1 HR per 79.50 at-bats.

The last three years he's gone .159/.317/.280 against LHP.

2005-11-28 22:02:51
176.   GoBears
This rehash of BS "facts" about Choi is killing me. There is NO evidence that Choi is a bad fielder, just that he's made some bad plays. I used to think Kent was a terrible defensive 2bman, in part because he's very big and ungainly for the position, but actual data managed to convince me otherwise. Remember, "anecdote" is merely the singular of "data."

In other news, Wagner is going to the Mets. Philly might want a closer for Abreu...

2005-11-28 22:07:36
177.   Steve
dsfan's arguments as of 175 were OK, if you overlook the lack of evidence, the endless repetition, and the logical shortcomings.
2005-11-28 22:10:36
178.   Steve
Deadspin refers to "famed goofus" Grady Little. Unfortunately, and despite my initial hopes, a little research has confirmed that that's about right.
2005-11-28 22:32:29
179.   regfairfield
177 To be fair, that is easily the best anti-Choi argument ever made.
2005-11-28 22:34:49
180.   Steve
179 -- Bill Plaschke is the best columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
2005-11-28 22:36:56
181.   dsfan
Yep, Choi's .597 OPS against LHP the last three years is a lack of evidence. Just chalk it up to those managers who weren't willing to endure his growing pains. In time, surely he'd become at least mediocre against LHP, right?

Yep, his .365 slugging percentage after the great HR binge of June 9-14 is of no consequence. Blame it all on sporadic playing time.

Tracy's evaluations don't qualify as evidence. He's only the manager. He merely wanted to win games.

As for proof and evidence about Choi's defense in 2005 being subpar, I have no AVM-like reports, and even those don't fully value consquence of miscues.

Defense, as you well know, is harder to quantify with mainstream numbers than offense and pitching.

I have my opinion, which you doubtlessly value. I've seen a lot of baseball and saw a lot of Choi in 2005 and saw him as a subpar defender.

Many scouts and field personnel who saw a lot of him hold said the same view. Again, what do they know?

2005-11-28 22:40:25
182.   regfairfield
180 I never said it had good competiton.
2005-11-28 22:45:47
183.   regfairfield
181 Choi has had 81 career at bats against lefties. That's nothing. Victor Martinez and Eric Chavez were both hitting sub .200 after 81 at bats this year. Not enough sample size.

I don't know where you're getting that slugging percentage number from. Here's his slug by month according to Yahoo.

July: .426
August: .543
September: .351

I don't see how that comes out to .360.

2005-11-28 22:47:48
184.   Steve
I've seen a lot of baseball and saw a lot of Choi in 2005 and saw him as a subpar defender.

Yes, you've established that. Over and over again. It becomes less convincing every time you baldly assert it.

2005-11-28 22:49:54
185.   Steve
And Jim Tracy...good lord.
2005-11-28 22:50:45
186.   King of the Hobos
The Cubs have improved their bench by signing John Mabry. Of course, improving over Jose Macias isn't particularly hard
2005-11-28 22:53:49
187.   regfairfield
186 Since Neifi Perez is worth 2.5 million to them, did they just hand Mabry 12 million?
2005-11-28 22:56:36
188.   King of the Hobos
From the St Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Bick [Gile's agent] said it's been nearly two weeks since he heard from the Cardinals and there have been 'certainly more aggressive teams.' That can always change with a phone call, he cautioned."

From rumors, Toronto, New York, St Louis, and Cleveland are the biggest competition. Giles supposedly is using New York to increase his price, and I don't see him being the biggest fan of Toronto (being the exact opposite of close to home), thus would require an especially large contract. Looks like Cleveland could be the biggest threat, and we have the advantage of location

2005-11-28 22:57:22
189.   Steve
186, 187 -- Obviously, neither of you has watched a lot of baseball. Because if you had watched a lot of baseball, you would know that Neifi is a Gold Glove caliber shortstop. You would know this, because I know this. Because I watch a lot of baseball.
2005-11-28 23:00:56
190.   Sospiro0
Alright, so I haven't read any of the posts, so I'm sure what I've going to say has been said by everybody, so don't tear me to pieces so fast.

But how come every write up about the Dodgers next season identifies First Base as the team's most pressing concern? I mean come on. I just don't get it. You've already got a guy who is able to play everyday and hits for decent power. It's not sabermetrics or money ball. The guy is a quality player and he's cheap! I just don't see how its THE MOST PRESSING need. Ugh. Is it that farfetched to assume that this dislike for Choi within the baseball community is linked to prejudice against Asians or more specifically Koreans. I'm not making accusations yet, I'm just throwing this out there.

Also, I went home to California this weekend for Thanksgiving and hung out with a bunch of my friends. "No, he's the DePodesta lover," they said to me. They still won't let me off the hook. I called them idiots, asked if they could provide any evidence against DePo besides Choi sucks and "How could he trade Paulie." When they said, "How could he trade LoDuca!" I called them idiots again and walked away.

Ugh, sorry, late night rant.

2005-11-28 23:03:21
191.   Steve
don't tear me to pieces so fast

We just elected you secretary-treasurer. You're going places.

2005-11-28 23:11:04
192.   sanchez101
ive never understood this idea that choi is a poor defender, i've watched literally every game he's played as a dodger and he's made many good picks and saved many errant throws thanks to his 6'5'' frame, he has also exhibited good range and handled line drives well. Other than the infamous st.louis game, he rarely made any glaring mistakes. Here is ESPN's scouting report on Choi's player card:

"Choi moves well for a man his size. That said, he is not going to be stealing many bags over the course of his career. On defense, he has all the tools to be a Gold Glove winner some day. His hands are soft and his footwork around the firstbase bag is excellent. The lefthander makes the lead throw on the double play with strength and accuracy, and he looks like he has been playing first base at the major league level for years."

Also, Choi hit over .300 against lefthanders in the minors. There was a reason he was condsidered an elite prospect.

2005-11-28 23:15:11
193.   Steve
192 -- so you've watched a lot of baseball too? How are we going to break this tie? I haven't watched a baseball game since 1983.
2005-11-28 23:17:20
194.   King of the Hobos
Newsday is reporting Vazquez's list of blocked teams are Seattle, Texas, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Toronto. I don't really see any relation.

A "well-placed major league source" says Konerko is considering deals from the White Sox, Orioles, and Angels. All are believed to be 5 years, with Baltimore offering the most money

Henson confirmed that McLaren interviewed today

2005-11-28 23:18:17
195.   Sospiro0
I haven't watched any baseball and I think Choi is an amazing defender. Every time I don't see him he doesn't not look great.
2005-11-28 23:18:42
196.   sanchez101
193. its fairly apparent that all you care about are "numbers" or "facts" or "informed opinions", you dont have the intestinal fortitude to know what you are talking about. shut up and listen to plascke.
2005-11-28 23:20:07
197.   dsfan
Reg,

I got Choi's .365 slugging percentage, post-June 14 from Baseball Musings. Perhaps I goofed -- but that's what it shows. If you can verify, please do.

As for Choi's ineptitude against LHP, some of this stuff is chicken/egg.

Would he better with more time against LHP? Maybe. Choi batted .301 against LHP in his last full season in the minors (PCL, 2002).

But I think a .597 OPS over a three-year span is significant, even it's just 81 at-bats. He's been so dreadful, it's tough for managers to stomach.

Not sure it's fair to compare Choi's ineptitude against LHP with that of Chavez, who is an elite defender and has mauled RHP.

Again, as I said a few times, you could do worse than Choi at those dollars.

Ideally he'd be on a lousy club that would be more apt to allow him to screw up.

2005-11-28 23:30:24
198.   Steve
Let's compare Choi's ineptitude against LHP to...I don't know...how about...Shawn Green!

.226 .299 .370 .669
.207 .343 .379 .722

If you don't know whose numbers against righties are whose, than you haven't been watching enough baseball!

2005-11-28 23:30:47
199.   Steve
I mean lefties of course.
2005-11-28 23:32:00
200.   Steve
Or I know, let's try, Todd Helton!

.245 .361 .316 .677
.207 .343 .379 .722

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-11-28 23:33:59
201.   Steve
Or next year's Dodger starting first baseman, J.T. Snow!

.243 .282 .270 .552
.207 .343 .379 .722

Well, for crying out loud, Snow outhits Choi by forty points! Outrageous!

2005-11-28 23:35:39
202.   Steve
What about young Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard? Certainly...

.148 .175 .246 .421
.207 .343 .379 .722

And he's a cat around first base. At least so I've been told by people who watch a lot of baseball.

2005-11-28 23:35:52
203.   sanchez101
81 ab's are not a terribly significant sample size, especially since they come over a three year span. But even so, that means he .818 OPS hitter against righthanders, meaning he still worth, at least, 400 PA as part of a platoon. Also, this year he hit for a 772 OPS against lefthanders this year, so as long as we're ignoring sample size, he must be improving against left handers. Ryan Howard "hit" 421 OPS this season, is only one year younger than Choi, and was in a great hitters park. If your point is that choi has a significant platoon split, then OK, but if you're trying to argue that he doesnt deserve the lions share of playing time at first for the Dodgers, it doesnt make much sense.
2005-11-28 23:38:00
204.   Steve
Or how about the manager who had to stomach this dog's breakfast against LHP last year from his first baseman?

.232 .298 .316 .614

2005-11-28 23:41:04
205.   sanchez101
200.201.202. Ya, but helton, snow, and howard arent "clumsy",
2005-11-28 23:41:11
206.   natepurcell
steve is on a roll.
2005-11-28 23:42:53
207.   Steve
Or this impressive line against lefties from the guy who, gratefully, is not related to Jim Tracy

.236 .307 .416 .723
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:44:32
208.   Steve
Here's the line against lefties for the starting first baseman on this year's National League Champions

.179 .217 .339 .556
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:47:33
209.   sanchez101
why is there this feeling that choi underperformed last year? Depodesta himself said that all LA need from him was 15 home runs, and Choi went out there and hit exaclty 15 home runs.

His park-adjusted 2005 line: 260/345/476 275 eqa

ya, hopefully he can "prove" himself on some crappy team, like one that only won 72 games with cheap owner and plenty of managment chaos

2005-11-28 23:49:24
210.   Steve
And how about this line against lefties, which just makes you want to stand up and bark God Bless America. I can't imagine Choi ever hitting .234 against lefties. It's just not possible. I know that. I've watched a lot of baseball.

.234 .308 .461 .769
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:51:27
211.   Steve
Here's one line against lefties that makes you wonder why Ricciardi would want a closer:

.170 .215 .330 .545
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:53:24
212.   Steve
Does Jacobs Field have deep fences in right field?

.225 .250 .413 .663
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:54:15
213.   Sospiro0
Ha, oh man.
2005-11-28 23:54:37
214.   Steve
I think this guy's run out of chances at it's time to play LeCroy at first full time.

.201 .255 .331 .586
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-28 23:55:38
215.   Sospiro0
I think what Steve is trying to say, is that Choi is overpaid and we should give the Mets half of the Suns roster for Delgado.
2005-11-28 23:56:07
216.   Steve
Particularly given his career numbers accumulated in a little over half a season's of at-bats:

.208 .258 .345 .603

End of the road for you, mountie

2005-11-28 23:57:42
217.   Steve
And then there's steroid boy

.221 .257 .326 .583
.207 .343 .379 .722

2005-11-29 00:03:08
218.   Steve
What of 2004 Slayer of Dragons Jim Thome?

.239 .324 .479 .803
.207 .343 .379 .722

Thome, of course, has the advantage of hitting major league lefties for, oh, a decade or so. Of course, in 2001, his line looked like this:

.232 .333 .373 .707

2005-11-29 00:07:07
219.   natepurcell
from the times. one less hurdle for choi:

The Angels remain in the hunt for free-agent slugger Paul Konerko and are believed to have bumped their initial four-year offer to the Chicago White Sox first baseman to five years and about $60 million.

2005-11-29 00:25:43
220.   alex 7
what a funny way to wrap up a night. Thanks all! have a good one.
2005-11-29 01:02:38
221.   Eric Enders
"What about young Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard?... And he's a cat around first base."
--------------

Sure, if the cat is Garfield.

2005-11-29 01:29:07
222.   fanerman
This might be the most Choi-centric thread ever at Dodger Thoughts.
2005-11-29 06:54:11
223.   Vishal
hahah, that was brilliant steve.
2005-11-29 07:24:30
224.   King of the Hobos
Daily News has some interesting quotes from McLaren, he seems impressed with the minor league players

"I came away really impressed with (Colletti). He was real easy to talk to, very honest and straightforward, and I feel like we'd be on the same page as far as the direction of the organization," McLaren said.

"Not only do I think they've got some nice pieces at the big-league level, when you start looking at their farm system, they're 10-deep at a lot of spots, and there aren't many organizations that can say that," McLaren said. "Whoever gets the job will have a lot to work with at all levels. It's an exciting opportunity."

And the article mentions the Dodgers interest in Giles and Gathright

2005-11-29 07:52:15
225.   FirstMohican
Would Gathright be that much of an upgrade over... Repko?

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