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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Dodgers Add Dead Weight
2005-12-10 14:38
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The question of why a young catcher must be mentored by a worn-out veteran catcher on the roster instead of a vibrant catching coach off the roster lingers unresolved.

For $650,000, Sandy Alomar, Jr. ...

Alomar hit .273 without a home run in 46 games this year, and he did not throw out any of 17 opposing base stealers.

... is now a Dodger.

Comments (165)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-10 14:46:02
1.   Slikk
Oh come on Jon, he's not that bad.
2005-12-10 14:46:56
2.   Uncle Miltie
Another question is why not give Bako another $50,000 when he is clearly a better, younger, and healthier than Alomar. Is it because Alomar is a 6 time all star, gold glover, and Latin catcher? I have a feeling that Alomar isn't going to last very far into the season and we are going to see Russell Martin up in the big leagues by May or June.
2005-12-10 14:48:17
3.   King of the Hobos
He didn't throw out any runners? This is going to help? At least at his age, there's a good chance he'll be injured right around the time Martin is ready. And look at the bright side, no more Jason Phillips at 1B
2005-12-10 14:50:16
4.   Jon Weisman
1 - What am I missing?

No, I get it, he's got worlds of experience. But what else?

2005-12-10 14:50:43
5.   Jon Weisman
2 - I think you're right.
2005-12-10 14:53:25
6.   alex 7
Zero for seventeen? Maybe Navarro will be giving Alomar some pointers.

This makes Jon's point even stronger. If a guy is in the prime of his career, then it makes sense to pay him to produce and teach. If Alomar can no longer produce, pay him to coach. He's a .310 obp hole in the lineup and a defensive liability.

As for pitch calling, if AJ can lead the White Sox to a top-notch pitching performance after being trashed by the Giants pitchers one year prior, maybe pitch-calling and "game management" is more of a pitcher attribute and not a catcher's.

2005-12-10 14:55:40
7.   King of the Hobos
Rotoworld has a theory:

"The key is to start him on Opening Day and then release him. Two of Alomar's three three-hit games the last two years have come in his season debuts."

2005-12-10 14:56:03
8.   alex 7
As for Bako's $50,000 difference claim, I think that's an agent tale. I wish I remember the specifics, but another article stated the difference was more significant than 50 grand. Perhaps Bako wanted an extra year.
2005-12-10 14:59:47
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Wait, Sandy Alomar was active last year?
2005-12-10 15:00:42
10.   underdog
I agree, it would've been better to sign Alomar as a catcher coach than as a playing catcher. But perhaps he wasn't willing to do so. The Dodgers wanted Bako back(o) but he obviously wanted much more, or as alex says, wanted an extra year and could see the writing on the wall in LA with Martin in the wings and Navarro already there. I dunno... but I do think he'll be okay for a little while and then Martin will arrive. If Alomar is particularly bad or dead weight the Dodgers can get rid of him.

Still, coach would've been best.

2005-12-10 15:03:35
11.   Uncle Miltie
Alomar is 2 years older than I thought he was. That makes the signing look even worse!
2005-12-10 15:03:41
12.   Slikk
Wait a minute -- are we discussing whether Alomar or Bako would be a better choice? Come on guys -- let Navarro have his idol as his teacher and let it go.
2005-12-10 15:04:12
13.   Slikk
Milton -- it's 650k for 1 year. Again, let's move on.
2005-12-10 15:04:29
14.   underdog
Btw, is this worse than the Mets giving Julio Franco, age 47, a two year deal? His longevity's been amazing, but two years? Maybe he should be a coach, too.
2005-12-10 15:05:33
15.   underdog
The Mets just signed Ted Williams' frozen head to a three year deal, too. Amazing!
2005-12-10 15:10:26
16.   rageon
I was surprised to hear the Alomar rumors originally, as I had just assumed he had retired a while ago.

It's a dumb signing that lacks progressive thinking of any kind. He's no better than the 3rd best catcher in the system, and I'd bet he's not even that good. Seriously, a .630 OPS in TEXAS!! What's that translate to in L.A.?

2005-12-10 15:12:14
17.   natepurcell
alomar would be pretty good with our young pitchers too im assuming. In 2006, we will probably see: billingsley, jackson, orenduff, broxton and maybe greg miller. All those guys are 22 or younger.
2005-12-10 15:14:07
18.   King of the Hobos
Our catching depth below Navarro, Martin, and Phillips is almost nonexistant. Phillips is clearly going to be nontendered, or traded if Colletti really is superman, either way he won't be a Dodger. That leaves us with Edwin Bellorin, Eric Langill, and Ryan Kellner; a roster filler and 2 minor league backups (Kellner could be gone, but Langill and Bellorin re-signed).

Maybe Alomar was signed to serve as backup until Martin was known to be ready (April? May? June?), at which point he'd retire and become a catching coach. I don't know, I just sense that this signing was to give us some depth until Martin is ready. Although a non-guarunteed contract to a AAA catcher could have worked, so maybe Colletti sees more to Alomar than we do

2005-12-10 15:24:44
19.   King of the Hobos
In other news, Choi will be the starting 1B for a team this year. He'll be the 1B for the Korean team in the WBC (so real surprise). Let's just hope when he's done, he still plays for the Dodgers
2005-12-10 15:32:57
20.   Marty
Are you sure we didn't sign Sandy Alomar SR.?
2005-12-10 15:57:41
21.   dzzrtRatt
Was the purpose of this signing to have just some old raggedy catcher on the roster who was going to get paid ~$700k? If that was a mandate, then I guess I'd rather have Alomar Jr. over Bako, just because of the superior offense and the Dominican Idol factor.

But 18 indicates the Dodgers might want to pick up a AAAA catcher in one of these next few deals.

2005-12-10 15:58:37
22.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Ugh. At least he's cheap and won't be here for long.
Actually, I can see him not playing a single game this season. Think "spring training injury." He's as good a candidate as any.
2005-12-10 15:58:55
23.   Brendan
The question of why a young catcher must be mentored by a worn-out veteran catcher on the roster instead of a vibrant catching coach off the roster lingers unresolved.

Because that's they way they did it in Bull Durham, Jon. Crash Davis. That's how you do it.

2005-12-10 15:59:50
24.   Brendan
*Yeah I know Crash was teaching a pitcher not a catcher
2005-12-10 16:02:43
25.   Uncle Miltie
Actually, I can see him not playing a single game this season. Think "spring training injury." He's as good a candidate as any.
Why not just hire his dad as a coach? I'm sure he'd come cheaper than $650,000.

And of course Alomar wasn't going to come here as a coach, he'd get a lot less money.

2005-12-10 16:11:03
26.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Maybe Sandy's career will end as his brother's did: playing so poorly in March that immediate retirement ensues.
2005-12-10 16:27:30
27.   Vishal
wasn't grady little himself a catching coach for the cubs up until he became our manager?? why do we need an extra person at all?
2005-12-10 16:36:45
28.   MartinBillingsley31
Off topic but, i have a feeling that ned is going to realize there are no power bats on the free agent market that are worth it, and that he is not going to get anything worth it for bradley, and that he is going to have to give up billingsley and other prospects in a trade for a power bat, therefore he will keep bradley and keep the prospects.
2005-12-10 16:49:12
29.   RELX
On the bright side, it probably means that Navarro is going to play everyday, and i mean everyday.
2005-12-10 16:59:13
30.   Dark Horse
Honestly, I don't mind this signing if it means we're not going to have to look at ol' Goggles anymore.

The sight of him grimacing on the bench after a costly strikeout or mistake is THE defining picture of '05's futility and horror for me.

2005-12-10 17:04:44
31.   natepurcell
well its nice that we dont have to watch goggles play anymore. but if mr ned replaces goggles with JT snow and david bell then we are doomeed.
2005-12-10 17:41:30
32.   rageon
Is Mike Rose still in the system in some capacity or another? If so, he's a much better player than Alomar. And guys like Rose aren't exactly too difficult to find for the minimum.
2005-12-10 17:42:39
33.   King of the Hobos
32 He was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay, so he's not in the system any longer
2005-12-10 17:46:02
34.   molokai
All this angst over a backup catcher? Sure Alomar sucks, who cares, if someone was any good they wouldn't be satisfied playing once a week. Martin played at AA last year and has only been catching since he joined the Dodger organization. You really want him to jump right into the Majors and sit on his ass 1/2 the season instead of playing every day?. You guys know how many top prospect catchers don't pan out? If he was being given the starter job I could understand the clamor, otherwise it sounds like pointless noise to me. You get a backup catcher and a coach for the price of one. What are we going to complain about next, his choice of bullpen coach?
2005-12-10 17:54:02
35.   Jon Weisman
No, it's not a major issue, but I find it worth questioning.
And it's not about the cost, it's the wasted roster spot.

And if the theory is that Alomar is so bad that he won't play, should there be no concern that Navarro will burn out?

Martin played 129 games last year. Given pinch-hitting and substitutions, if they were both on the Dodgers, Navarro and Martin would each play 100 games this year for the Dodgers, starting 81, give or take. For their first year in the majors, that's a plently full season. Navarro and Martin would get all the work they needed.

I do tend to agree that if Martin proves himself ready in AAA and Alomar proves himself firmly over the hill, Alomar will not be with the team the whole season. And, of course, catchers get hurt.

2005-12-10 17:58:58
36.   Suffering Bruin
34 It's not that big of a deal if it's an aberration but if it's a symptom of things to come, yeah, I'm worried.

Alomar is the absolute definition of a chemistry signing that will have the Plaschkers singing Hossana on the highest. Yeah, he had a bad year but he used to be good! He's gotta be better than Bako because Bako's never been good and Alomar used to be really good! And you want to talk chemistry? This guy didn't throw out a runner all year! He'll fit right in! (ba-da-bing!)

But seriously, the signing of Sandy only makes sense if you think he's going to give something to this team that goes beyond the stats. That's thrilling to the Plaschkers (and I'm not lumping you in there, Molo, just making a point) but a little disconcerting for the rest of us.

Now, if Colletti starts signing starters with the same logic that appears to be behind the Alomar signing, I won't be concerned. I'll be downright scared.

2005-12-10 18:00:57
37.   Suffering Bruin
Boy, you don't post for a couple of weeks, you think you got a pretty good point and you find out the host beats you to it with a post you wish you would've written... I give.

And it's dinner. Seriously, it's a good conversation that I plan on attending to after dinner. Because I'm a little more concerned than most with the direction of this team as symbolized by the Alomar signing. Being an English major and all, we're all about symbolism...

2005-12-10 18:01:05
38.   regfairfield
Maybe this is like the action taken in Major League 2 with Jake Taylor.
"It's a good idea to take three catchers out of camp, skip"
"We're not carrying three catchers, Jake."

Little will have a heart attack, and Alamor will lead us to the World Series.

2005-12-10 18:25:26
39.   bigcpa
Honestly how can David Bell appeal to Mr. Ned in any way?

458 pa vs RHP in 2005: .199/.260/.287

He makes $4,500,000 in 2006. I thought he was the gag-gift attached in any deal for Abreu.

2005-12-10 18:31:40
40.   Izzy
K so Alomar was 0 for 17 on throwdowns, which puts him at a steal given up every three games. I am guessing the league average for attempted steals per game is about 1. So, they were running on Alomar 1/3 the amount of other catchers like say Kendall or Posada. So, if you look at it on a per game basis, he's just as effective as they are, if not better. But, still the better way to look at it would be innings caught and the relative number of steals/or steals per inning played. Anyhow, the reason he needs to "take up a roster spot" is because they need a backup catcher if Martin is not ready or up yet. But, maybe I am missing something. I think he's a fine get for the money, and if Martin is ready late we can deal with it then.
2005-12-10 18:35:13
41.   Suffering Bruin
I don't mean to go OT and I'll apologize if this was covered already but I just found that Richard Pryor died today.

I e-mailed him a few months back. I had heard he had a site and that he occasionally responded. I wrote how when my son grows up I'm going to share with him the extraordinary gift I received everytime I saw Richard Pryor perform--lots of laughter.

The reply I got back: "Beautiful!"

I thought about whether that was him that responded; his daughter helped him with the site. I pictured him either trying to type or struggling to get a word to describe his feelings. I want to believe the word "Beautiful" came out because I want to believe I gave something to the man who gave so much to us.

I cried then. I'm crying now. He suffered. He made huge mistakes. And he was the best comedian this country ever produced.

2005-12-10 18:35:15
42.   dzzrtRatt
I thought he was the gag-gift attached in any deal for Abreu.

Why do you assume he's not?

It would make no sense to sign Mueller or anyone else if you knew Bell was coming your way. Maybe Mr. Ned's got an Abreu angle he's still working, and that's why Mueller hasn't been done. (Or Nomar, or Randa).

2005-12-10 18:39:42
43.   Steve
I thought he was the gag-gift attached in any deal for Abreu.

Let's just take the IPod.

2005-12-10 18:44:39
44.   Uncle Miltie
or a William Hung CD
2005-12-10 18:46:33
45.   Steve
Or Jacque Jones
2005-12-10 18:46:56
46.   regfairfield
40 Alomar only started 34 games, putting him at a one steal every two games ratio.
2005-12-10 18:53:22
47.   Steve
Did Sandy Alomar really need 650,000? I mean, really? Couldn't he just have been hired as a coach? I'm not as concerned about his production (what exactly does a backup catcher do?) as much as the likelihood that we are paying for his "chemistry." I mean, if we wanted a backup catcher who sucked, we could just re-sign Phillips.
2005-12-10 19:27:30
48.   Jon Weisman
Let me try it this way: If I want to learn to write, should I study the worst works of a great writer, or do I study the writer's greatest works, even if all the writer can do is reflect upon them himself?
2005-12-10 19:30:09
49.   sanchez101
i kinda' like the idea of bringing in crappy veterans like alomar and bell. if the dodgers started the season with aybar starting at third, or two young catchers, the media would assume the team is "rebuilding" and not interested in winning, but when they see guys like alomar on the roster, or bell at third, it makes it look like we're competing, while giving the young guys an easy hurdle overcome. start the season with bell at third and alomar behind navarro, and by May Aybar and Martin will have taken their jobs.
2005-12-10 19:36:57
50.   regfairfield
49 All for the cost of flushing five million dollars that could have gone to a good player down the toilet.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-10 19:41:34
51.   FirstMohican
This signing isn't that bad. I don't know Alomar's reputation for calling games, but a 60-year-old who used to call a great game when he was 25 could probably still do it.

Granted, he can't throw a runner out, probably can't hit very well, and would need Repko to pinch run in the unlikely event that he reaches base, but he has some use. I highly doubt that he takes significant time away from Dioner or Martin.

2005-12-10 19:48:58
52.   rageon
Most of what I'm thinking has already been said. The difference between Martin and Alomar over this season isn't big enough to get worked up about. But what is frustrating is what the signing represents. Does the fact that it's a small signing make it OK? I see the opposite; if you can't get the small stuff right, how are we supposed to trust Colletti's ability to make big decisions?
2005-12-10 19:50:33
53.   sanchez101
50. oh, its not worth spending a lot of money on a mediocre player when it could be spent on a better one. But if Bell has to come in any Abreu deal, its worth it. Id rather take Bell than have to give the phillies an extra prospect. it only makes sense if you see bell as a sunk cost of getting Abreu.
2005-12-10 19:54:03
54.   FirstMohican
48 - Why can't you do both? Watch whatever aspects of Alomar's game that remains to be worth watching, and talk to him after you study his greatest work.

Or in your analogy... You could have Philip K. Dick read you VALIS, but you can keep interrupting with questions about
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

2005-12-10 19:55:19
55.   sanchez101
52. well, in Colletti's defense, he's done a pretty good job making the big decisions so far, in my opinion: getting Furcal and keeping the contract to 3 years, passing on Soriano, passing on Pierre, drumming up value for Bradley, avoiding dumb contracts to mediocre pitchers.
2005-12-10 19:58:16
56.   Steve
But if Bell has to come in any Abreu deal, its worth it.

I will not say that I could never believe this, but I think it is hard to believe. You would, not to put too fine a point on it, be paying Abreu 20 million dollars, wouldn't you? Because everyone agrees (I assume) that David Bell is a sunk cost.

2005-12-10 20:00:34
57.   Steve
I take that back. Charlie Manuel doesn't believe it.
2005-12-10 20:06:48
58.   FirstMohican
Richard Pryor dies and CNN.com finds quite possibly the most hilarious picture of him.
2005-12-10 20:10:57
59.   slackfarmer
Plenty of extra millions to overspend on IFs that we don't need, but Mr. Ned can't spring $50k more for Bako? Or just sign Phillips or some other nobody for minimum. I don't understand this signing, but then again, I don't really care much about the first-half back up catcher. Navarro and Martin will take over soon enough. On the other hand, it Neddy trades one of them and the other get injured . . .
2005-12-10 20:14:28
60.   FirstMohican
From MLB.com: BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez for Miguel Tejada? That's a deal that would hardly do justice to the adjective "blockbuster."

That can't be what Ian Browne of MLB.com meant.

2005-12-10 20:17:31
61.   Jon Weisman
On Alomar vs. Bako I have no opinion. On Alomar's salary I have no opinion.

As I said earlier this week, I'm open-minded on the issue of signing a veteran backup backstop, but I've yet to see an argument that explains to me why Navarro can't be tutored by a coach instead of a player.

Six out of every seven games, Alomar won't even play. Is the impact of that seventh game on Navarro worth wasting a roster spot for every game? Especially since the Dodgers might well have a 12-man pitching staff and a five-man bench?

2005-12-10 20:26:10
62.   FirstMohican
Dioner played his max games in a season at 125 last year. If he plays 6 out of 7 games he'll play almost 140 games.

Does having a crappy batter and giving up 3 SBs every game for 22 games in the season do more damage than the possibility of Navarro being a little bit better off in his career does good?

Who knows, but there's no way it's the terrible deal that I feel some are making it out to be. I see Alomar coming in late in games that have already been decided.

2005-12-10 20:35:52
63.   Jon Weisman
"I see Alomar coming in late in games that have already been decided."

I don't foresee a lot of Dodger routs, so that would bode ill.

Anyway, the issue of limiting Navarro's playing time is another argument for using Navarro. Each of them starts 81 games and plays a total of 100, roughly.

2005-12-10 20:41:16
64.   slackfarmer
Beside Navarro and Martin the orginization is thin at catcher. Alomar is good (if you can call it that) for a half a season . . . one at most. He'd certainly refuse assignment to AAA.

Wouldn't we be better off keeping Phillips as a back up? I think he could still be sent down to catch at Vegas, would cost less and hit better than Sandy. All Ned needs to do is tell Grady never to play him at 1B.

2005-12-10 21:01:26
65.   Uncle Miltie
I loved Richard Pryor. The guy was a comedic genius. His standup was incredible and See No Evil, Hear No Evil is a very underrated movie (and one of my favorites).
2005-12-10 22:24:22
66.   King of the Hobos
Some news of interest: Mueller's deal with the Pirates is 3 years at over $4 mil per year, but he is reportedly leaning towards a west coast team

Matt Morris has narrowed his search to two teams: the Giants and the Reds. I guess if we're interested in FA pitching, we won't sign Morris

2005-12-10 22:35:09
67.   Uncle Miltie
66- Dodgers should offer Mueller 2 years $10 million. He'd probably take it.

I've thought all along that Morris would go to the Giants. The only way he goes to the Reds is if they offer him $30 million over 3 years or $36 over 4.

2005-12-10 23:18:30
68.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Re: Mueller. Isn't that the new trend in contracts? If you don't want to go longer (in years), go higher (in pay).
2005-12-10 23:31:46
69.   Smitty
Man oh man. Now we're pining for Phillips and Bako. If Depo had made this deal, it would be the second coming...
2005-12-10 23:35:49
70.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"Now we're pining for Phillips and Bako."
NEVER.
2005-12-11 00:11:34
71.   FirstMohican
69 - Who runs faster?
2005-12-11 00:18:55
72.   Uncle Miltie
71- Bako actually runs well for a catcher. He has pretty decent speed.

From the LA Times:
Jason Phillips, who for the Dodgers last season appeared in 121 games, 93 at catcher, will be traded or non-tendered. Paul Bako was not offered arbitration.

General Manager Ned Colletti met Thursday with Scott Boras, who represents free-agent center fielder Johnny Damon.

The 32-year-old Damon, through Boras, turned down a four-year, $40-million offer from the Boston Red Sox. The New York Yankees also are considered suitors for Damon, who earned $8.3 million last season with the Red Sox."

From the Daily News:
Meanwhile, the Dodgers might be on the verge of dropping out of the hunt for free-agent third baseman Bill Mueller.

There were indications Saturday the Pittsburgh Pirates have increased their offer to the former American League batting champion to three years, which one source familiar with the negotiations said is one year longer than the Dodgers are willing to offer. Dodgers third-base prospect Andy LaRoche is expected to be ready to play every day at the big-league level by 2007 if not sooner.

"Sandy has been a solid catcher in this league for almost two decades, and his accomplishments speak for themselves," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement issued by the club.
Fred McGriff, Denny Neagle, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa are still available...

2005-12-11 00:54:23
73.   molokai
Catching Prospects who have failed who were in the top 100 BA lists per year starting in 2002 and going back to 2000:

2002
Mauer / 9 - Jackpot
Josh Phelps/36 now a DH in AAA
Jr House / 41
John Buck /43
Jason Werth / 71
Victor Martinez/ 91 - Jackpot

2001
JR House/21
Brandon Inge / 67 now a 3b
Dane Sardina / 71
Joe Lawrence /99

2000 6/6 See any major league catchers in that group.
Eric Munson / 21
Ben Petrick / 34
LeCroy / 44
Werth / 46
Steve Lomansey / 50
Ryan Christianson / 85

Only 2 of 14 catchers who were in the top 100 prospects from 2000-2002 have been able to hold a job in the major leagues as a catcher.

Martin needs at bats. Sure he could be promoted and it might work out but why would you take a chance on scewing up a solid prospect when we don't need to. Solid minor league catchers have a tendency to hit a wall after rapid progress. Until Martin can prove he can break through that wall considering him for a major league job at the start of the season seems foolhardy. Send him to AAA and give him the same at bats that Navarro got. That should be the gameplan. JMO

2005-12-11 00:58:05
74.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"There were indications Saturday the Pittsburgh Pirates have increased their offer to the former American League batting champion to three years, which one source familiar with the negotiations said is one year longer than the Dodgers are willing to offer."
Smart decision.
2005-12-11 06:36:00
75.   Felton
This signing is silly. If Navarro gets hurt, Alomar cannot carry the position and Martin gets rushed needlessly. There are plenty of decent catchers that are better alternatives. Jason Phillips would be better. Bako would be bettero. "Veteran presence/leadership" is a euphemism and not a factual assessment. I now fear the Dodgers will look for a veteran presence in other positions - Ty Cobb in cf, Honus Wagner at 3b and Walter Johnson as the staff anchor.
2005-12-11 08:56:17
76.   dzzrtRatt
Molokai's chart nails the issue. Martin will get his chance, but we really have no idea if he's going to cut it, and it would be irresponsible to rush him. Navarro is the guy we have to nurture in 2006 because while we've seen him succeed for 1/3 of a season, he's no sure thing. Alomar is a worthy backup for Navarro, assuming Navarro stays healthy and doesn't prove to be a flash in the pan. If Navarro isn't the starting catcher in June of 06, he won't be replaced by Alomar and it probably shouldn't be Martin.

What's not answered by this move is: Who? Maybe Mr. Ned thinks he'd be able to trade for a David Ross type, which would allow him to bring Martin into the picture slowly and deliberately.

Molokai's chart makes you appreciate the accomplishment of Dioner Navarro last season, as well as the talent assessment capabilities of DePodesta and White. It also makes you appreciate this rare bit of good luck the Dodgers got in '05 in being able to call up a young, rookie catcher who succeeded right away. We should not take for granted that the Dodgers can get hit by lightening twice in the same spot.

2005-12-11 10:21:31
77.   kinbote
good god, people. he's replacing bako and phillips, two of the worst dodgers in recent memory. i'd rather have grabowski as back-up catcher than those two . . .
2005-12-11 10:51:12
78.   rageon
77 Philips is a better player than Alomar. I have no question of that. He's more expensive, but I think he's that much better, too. The problem with Philips is that he was playing too much 1B.
2005-12-11 11:01:20
79.   dzzrtRatt
For Phillips, the dreaded word "chemistry" applies. The guy thinks he's a starting major league player. He doesn't want to be Dioner's caddy. And I'm sure he will clubhouse-lawyer his way into some starts at first base, if he's around. Even if Choi's traded I don't want to see Phillips in the lineup or on the bench. Let Tracy have at him.

Mock him we must, but Colletti's faith in ancient players has paid off in the past: Grissom, Galaragga, Livan Hernandez, Benito Santiago, Vizquel, Bonds until last season.

Besides, David Wells will probably need someone to pal around with who gets baby-boomer culture.

2005-12-11 11:11:13
80.   Shmueli4
Any thoughts on Matt Morris?

It seems we are one of the 2 teams still in the hunt (the other being the Giants)

http://tinyurl.com/9ycpu

2005-12-11 11:29:59
81.   molokai
Why is experience/leadership discounted so easily around here? Just because it can't be quantified does not mean it doesn't exist and can't be usefull on a major league roster.

Philips if he was still around would be rooting for Navarro to have an injury so he can play while Alomar will do what he was signed on to do, mentor the young catcher and teach him everything he has learned. The man was a good catcher in his prime while Philips is not and never will be a good catcher. The little offense that Philips would provide over Alomar one game a week is negligible. You rarely pitch hit back up catchers. Todd Pratt would have been my choice but I think he wanted to play more then once a week. Ned is going to make a lot of choices I expect to disagree with, but a backup catcher named Sandy Alomar is not one of them, nor do I consider him dead weight anymore then Bako was starting 2005.

2005-12-11 11:33:27
82.   bearlurker
I can't believe all this hoopla over the decision to make Alomar our backup over Bako.

Alomar's numbers are bad but Bako stinks too--he had a 571 OPS in Chicago in 2004.

Shouldn't we be applauding Ned for giving Dioner the everyday job and bringing in a mentor to help him out?

I'd be upset over Ned if Phillips or some retread was going to be our catcher. Instead he's sending the message to Dioner that the job is his.

People can poo-poo chemistry all they want but it doesn't change the fact that our chemistry was bad last year. Harmless changes--and I would argue that Alomar over Bako is a harmless change--to correct that seem like good moves to me.

Now if Snow is brought in over Choi, that's something with which we ought to take issue.

2005-12-11 11:35:13
83.   bearlurker
80

I don't understand why we're that interested in Morris. He was awful the second half of the season and can't strike anyone out to save himself. His numbers look inferior to those of Weaver.

2005-12-11 11:38:57
84.   Shmueli4
I agree 100% - I think spending on MM is a total waste of assets. I would prefer one of the other Boras clients (J. Washburn and even Weaver) although none of them get me excited.
Other than through trade, I would just sit on what we have, perhaps pick up a 1 or 2 year 4th or 5th starter and concentrate on offense and the young studs that could make an impact.
2005-12-11 11:44:10
85.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"Why is experience/leadership discounted so easily around here?"

Because experience/leadership cannot be quantified, old-school types believe it means everything.
Because experience/leadership cannot be quantified, new-school types believe it means nothing.

(A generalization, sure, but one I've found fairly accurate.)

2005-12-11 11:45:54
86.   Steve
You're all missing the point. The point is not whether Alomar is better than Bako. They're clearly both cut from the same crappy backup catcher cloth. The point is whether you waste an entire roster spot on a guy who has no discernable skill, and it doesn't really matter how much he plays (if he plays too much, he's useless. if he plays too little, he's uselss. if he plays just enough, he's still useless. And Grady Little is the manager, so caveat emptor). What Jon is arguing is that there are more useful ways of eating a roster spot than giving it up to the Gods of Chemistry. Saying that backup catchers don't usually pinch-hit is like saying that closers usually don't pitch in the eighth -- true, but likely dumb as custom. Phillips, I agree, is probably too toxic to stay on the roster at this point, but that doesn't relieve Mr. Ned of finding more creative ways to fill the backup catcher's spot.
2005-12-11 11:47:18
87.   Steve
"Why is experience/leadership discounted so easily around here?"

Because we do not suffer from the hubris of claiming to be able to recognize the unrecognizable.

2005-12-11 11:49:54
88.   bearlurker
Yes, at these prices, I'd bail out of the FA market for starting pitching and go with what we have and try out a couple non-roster invitees.

What's the latest on Jackson? Alvarez? (Did he retire?).

2005-12-11 11:50:09
89.   Uncle Miltie
Any thoughts on Matt Morris?
He has an awesome beard
I don't understand why we're that interested in Morris.
It's all about the beard...
2005-12-11 11:51:52
90.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
As I wrote over at BTF:
"Is there a better way to maximize this roster spot? You know how most teams have an "emergency catcher?" (Jayson Werth is the Dodgers'.) Perhaps just skip the second-stringer and when your regular needs a blow, spot the EC against slow teams where he's catching an easy pitcher."

To expand upon the thought, all you need from the EC is the ability to catch one game every week or so. If the roster is composed in a traditional manner, with a Bako or Alomar, does the defense gained in that one game make up for: 1. the backup catcher's lousy bat; 2. the waste of a roster spot the rest of the time? I think not.

2005-12-11 11:59:16
91.   Colorado Blue
90 - Unless your #1 gets injured. I think it would be ill-advised to rely on Jayson Werth as your backup day-to-day. So if Navarro gets hurt what do you do? You have to scramble to sign someone. Bring Martin up? Yeah, that would be good for his confidence; the ultimate sink-or-swim. "Hey Russ... get out there... and you'd better not get hurt; we're countin' on ya, by goly!"
2005-12-11 11:59:51
92.   rageon
Now I'm confused, is the reason we signed Alomar because of Good Chemistry, or Teaching The Kids?

And I don't dismiss chemistry altogether, I just don't believe that an over-the-hill backup catcher has the ability to improve the clubhouse atmoshpere enough to justify the roster spot. I'd like to think that playing guys who are, you know, GOOD, would probalby do more for chemistry because of the whole increased number victories thing.

Ask the White Sox if they'd trade their bad-chemistry catcher for a good-chemistry Sandy Alomar.

2005-12-11 12:03:23
93.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"So if Navarro gets hurt what do you do? "
I should've mentioned this earlier...
If your starting C goes down for any length of time, call up someone from the farm, or make a trade, or in-season FA signing and go with a traditional roster for a while. No need to rely on Werth as a starter - remember, he's the emergency catcher.
2005-12-11 12:03:34
94.   regfairfield
At the very least, Bako plays pretty good defense and can take a walk. Alomar is just as bad as Phillips defensively, and all of his offensive value is tied up in average.

Paying an extra 50,000 dollars for a catcher with a noticable skill is a worthwhile investment.

2005-12-11 12:09:39
95.   rageon
Oh, and I think Matt Morris is a decent risk, because the reward could be potentially very high. At his best, Morris has the potential to be a top-10 in the NL caliber starter, at his worst, maybe he's average. For a 2 year deal at 7M or so, I think it's a risk worth taking.
2005-12-11 12:13:17
96.   bearlurker
Well, at least Ned didn't do something really stupid, like have two holes on the roster at catcher, as Depo did for some time.

Alomar's OPS the last three seasons: 688, 603, 634. Bako's: 641, 571, 662. Bako would have been just as big a hole as Alomar.

Was Depo roundly criticized for having Bako as the backup catcher by those who now criticize Ned for having Alomar?

2005-12-11 12:16:21
97.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Bako's signing wasn't praised but he only played 13 games before an injury, so getting mad at DePo was rendered pointless.
2005-12-11 12:17:03
98.   bearlurker
95

I don't think Morris has a prayer of being a top 10 pitcher in the NL. Check out his numbers of late. Plus I don't think Morris can be had for 2 years at 14M. I think he's already been offered 3 yrs/25M--he's just not worth it.

Morris appears better than he is because of his win total, a direct result of Al Reyes/Tavarez in middle relief and an awesome offense.

2005-12-11 12:17:05
99.   rageon
96 No, I don't remember him getting criticized this much for signing Bako. Although I hated the move nearly as much. I think one difference is that people weren't as confident in Navarro and Martin a year ago. Right now, I'd like to think that they could handle splitting the job. Last year, I wouldn't have said that.
2005-12-11 12:17:38
100.   Colorado Blue
92 - Now I'm confused, is the reason we signed Alomar because of Good Chemistry, or Teaching The Kids?

I believe it is your latter suggestion. I really don't think Ned & Co. are stupid enough to think they can buy "chemistry".

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-12-11 12:23:08
101.   Colorado Blue
99 - I think having Alomar for 1 year is in both kids' best interest. They're both very young and inexperienced. I wouldn't be as passionate about any other position, but I think raw talent is not quite enough for a rube catcher... he needs to be able to command the interaction between himself and the pitcher. And by that I mean vary his interaction: more kid gloves with some; more "it's your game" with others; and the brass to take a stand. I just think that requires a bit more experience than Navarro has got.

Then again, I could be totally full of it... JMO.

2005-12-11 12:27:52
102.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Who are the candidates for catcher on the 2006 Ken Phelps All-Star Team?
2005-12-11 12:44:43
103.   King of the Hobos
Does Doug Miller of MLB.com hate us? In his "Look ahead: Still plenty for teams to do" article:

"Only nine more days until the next important date for all you blog-typin', OPS-computin', shrine of Paul DePodesta-worshippin' ball geeks -- the wonderful scrap heap of MLB known as non-tender day"

2005-12-11 12:45:06
104.   regfairfield
96 How did the Dodgers get Navarro again? With Russel Martin and Navarro, would a "good" catcher be worth it.

Again, Bako could at least play defense.

2005-12-11 12:47:38
105.   blue22
90 - I'd prefer someone like Craig Wilson if you're going with the "Emergency Catcher" only. Werth shouldn't be catching even once a week.
2005-12-11 12:53:21
106.   bearlurker
104

Depo should be commended for picking up Navarro; it was a nice move. He also should be commended for keeping our top prospects. And I don't think Depo should be criticized for making Bako a backup catcher. Nor do I think that Ned should be criticized for making Alomar the backup catcher.

Maybe Bako plays better D than Alomar. But Phillips' D was awful. It seems to me that overall we will got into Opening Day with better D at catcher this year than we had going into last year.

I think that some folks are going out of their way to be critical of Ned without a good reason for doing so.

2005-12-11 12:59:12
107.   regfairfield
106 The point is that Phillips and Bako at least brought something tangible to the table. Alomar no longer has any skills that directly effect the outcome of the game. I'm upset because he was willing to spend 13 million dollars on Furcal, yet wasn't willing to pony up an extra 50,000 to get a catcher who can bring something other the leadership to the table.
2005-12-11 13:07:22
108.   bearlurker
First, we don't know that Bako and LA split ways over 50k. For all we know, Bako wanted a two-year deal or a guarantee of a certain number of games played or at bats.

Second, I don't think we're any worse off for having Alomar over Bako. Navarro's going to play all the time anyway.

2005-12-11 13:22:13
109.   dzzrtRatt
Alomar no longer has any skills that directly effect the outcome of the game.

This is a leap, isn't it? He got 35 hits in 46 games, including 7 doubles. His slugging has declined, but his BA and OBP for last season was nearly identical to his career average. His OPS last year was higher than Phillips'.

Is the focus on his failure to throw out runners? Fine, that's a concern, as it was with Jason Phillips, who experienced nearly the same level of futility.

But preventing steals is not Alomar's responsibility alone. In those few games he will play, it's up to the pitchers to hold the runners or keep them off base. It's up to Grady Little to avoid using him in situations where a single run will matter, and a basestealer is on base. Maybe Little will not be smart enough to do that--but you can only go so far in idiot-proofing the Dodgers.

2005-12-11 13:23:25
110.   sactofan
Both Bako and Alomar meet the low expectations of a back up catcher role. If Ned wants to place a value on veteran leadership and experience, the back-up catcher spot is by far the safest place to stash character on the roster.

This is also a nice vote of confidence for Navarro - and well deserved.

Jon talks about a 50/50 timeshare with Martin; however, easier said then done. Ned isn't filling out the line-up in advance (or at all). One cold streak and Martin could be relegated to the bench or back to AAA. Neither of which would be good for his development.

2005-12-11 13:39:37
111.   MikeLumHarris
Was Johnny Blanchard not available?
2005-12-11 13:47:21
112.   slackfarmer
With a little more time to reflect on (and grow indifferent to) Alomar's signing, the less I really care. I don't see him as an improvement over Bako, but not that much of a step down either. Basically it doesn't matter. Which is why the article about the $50K tiff pissed me off. But we all should know better than believe articles like that.

Depo had perfectly serviceable backup catchers (Rose & Wilson), but he wanted his own mentor-type guy so he got Bako. Now Mr. Ned wants his guy. Good for him. Maybe there were other ways he could have gone with the role -- someone who actually could have pinch hit or played 1B occasionally (a LeCroy-type) or even Werth. But both Depo and Neddy think this mentor backup catcher is a benefit, so at least it shows a commitment to Navarro and Martin.

2005-12-11 14:38:38
113.   Jon Weisman
By the way, I criticized the Bako signing last year too. So, it's certainly not a DePo/Colletti thing for me.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/17055.html

2005-12-11 14:55:48
114.   Shmueli4
Everyone see this?

http://tinyurl.com/c6hy9

We are almost free of Mr. Morris

2005-12-11 14:57:27
115.   King of the Hobos
For those of you that dislike signing Alomar, can I assume you wanted Phillips as the 3rd cacther (after Navarro and Martin)? We needed a 3rd catcher if Phillips is considered too expensive. There's no one that will provide a worthwhile reason to be on the roster, outside of Robert Fick. Is Navarro/Alomar/Martin considerably worse than Navarro/Martin/AAAA catcher? I realize we're paying Alomar a lot to be nothing more than a coach. This debate is nothing more than we're wasting money and a roster spot on a worthless player, correct? I guess I just don't see the big problem. I'm not sure why, but I trust Alomar a lot more than I do Edwin Bellorin should one of young catchers get hurt. I suppose we could have just signed Tom Wilson or something, which I don't see as any less a waste than signing Alomar.

And how many pitchers like knowing that both their catchers are rookies? I'm not sure if this means anything ultimately, just putting it out there. I also just realized how poorly written this is, sorry about that...

2005-12-11 15:01:30
116.   molokai
Nice article at
http://ussmariner.com/?p=3180
on the value of Tejada. Makes me even happier that the Furcal deal was for 3 years.
2005-12-11 15:03:40
117.   King of the Hobos
115 After looking over Fick, he really isn't much better than Phillips, and comes at a similar price. So disregard that
2005-12-11 15:04:39
118.   molokai
Can't wait to see the onslaught of angst if D Bell or JT actually make their way to DS:)
2005-12-11 15:29:03
119.   Jon Weisman
115 - I can accept an argument for signing Alomar that says there was no one better available for the money, and that we're so thin at catcher that if Navarro or Martin got hurt in March, our organizational catching depth is too shallow to handle it. In a sense, we just need another catcher in the organization.

Alomar's salary vs. the league minimum for an AAAA catcher is irrelevant to me.

2005-12-11 15:33:45
120.   Uncle Miltie
116- I think the guy is overrating Yuniesky Betancourt. Yea he might be a special defender, but offensively, I doubt he'll be any better than Deivi Cruz. Miguel Tejada is a different class, even with his average defense.
2005-12-11 15:43:19
121.   King of the Hobos
Looks like the Giants are cose to signing the bearded one. Rosenthal says 3 years, $25 mil, Crasnick says $27 mil
2005-12-11 15:46:20
122.   King of the Hobos
120 I was thinking the same thing. While Tejada is overrated, I'm not sure you could compare Betancourt to him. Betancourt's ceiling is somewhere around Izzy, possibly with some more power
2005-12-11 15:47:44
123.   popup
Count me among those who aren't that critical of this signing. If the three options were Bako, Phillips or Alomar, I would chose Alomar. I have never seen Martin, but I can understand why the Dodgers might want to keep Martin in the minors another year while Navarro is the starting catcher. By keeping them a year apart as far as major league service time, the Dodgers don't run the risk of having both arb eligible in the same year or losing two catchers to free agency in the same year.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-11 15:51:40
124.   dzzrtRatt
There's no one that will provide a worthwhile reason to be on the roster, outside of Robert Fick.

In the future sabre-heaven, I would think there will be a lot more players like Robert Fick: Somewhere in between an "emergency catcher" and a second-string catcher in terms of catching skills, but who are versatile enough to perform other roles acceptably off the bench. A utility player in the non-traditional sense, whose arena is catcher/first base/LF/DH/pinch-hitter.

Werth might want to consider sharpening his catching skills, because he could end up making a living as a Fick-like player. Unless he's too fragile.

2005-12-11 15:53:51
125.   rageon
103 Yeah, there's never anyone any good getting non-tendered. Isn't that right Mr. Ortiz?
2005-12-11 15:55:52
126.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"Can't wait to see the onslaught of angst if D Bell or JT actually make their way to DS:)"

If the Dodgers sign Derek Bell, I'm commencing my own Operation Shutdown.
What? It's not Derek, but David?
Ohhhhh.
Never mind!
2005-12-11 15:56:40
127.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"Somewhere in between an "emergency catcher" and a second-string catcher in terms of catching skills, but who are versatile enough to perform other roles acceptably off the bench."

This is what I was talking about.

2005-12-11 15:58:56
128.   Jon Weisman
http://www.baseball-reference.com/t/thomade01.shtml
2005-12-11 15:59:09
129.   rageon
121 I'm a big fan of Morris, but I wouldn't go 3 years at 8 or 9 per year.

But if Loazia is worth 7, is Morris worth 8?

2005-12-11 16:06:33
130.   King of the Hobos
If you're not a big Fick fan, Eli Marrero is also available. the super utility catcher job didn't work so well for our beloved Grabowski, although it did get him a roster spot to begin the year
2005-12-11 16:10:46
131.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
In 1980, Derrel Thomas caught in five games - and was charged with three passed balls.
2005-12-11 16:26:47
132.   dzzrtRatt
116 Yow, that Mariner article hits the wall as far as I'm concerned for sabre-analysis.

What seems missing from this kind of analysis is this: If player X is making $2 million for creating 50 runs a season, it doesn't follow that player Y should make only $4 million for providing 100 runs a season, and that player Y is grossly overpaid if he makes $12 million. The price comes per increment, per player. Two guys who combine for 100 runs at $4 million are actually less valuable, by far, than one guy who provides 100 runs by himself for $12 million because, obviously, he's not taking up two spots in the batting order/roster. Each increment of production is inevitably going to be far more expensive than the previous one. That's how superstars justify their value. The ideal situation--a lower-price player providing superstar production--frankly is kismet; nice to have, but hard to plan for. To the extent you can control it, you want to avoid the opposite, i.e. Darren Dreifort, and maybe the Mariner writer's point is that the final year or two of Tejada's contract carries that risk. But ferpetesake, Tejada is 28!

, unless you can also show there is some other way to get that final increment of runs. . As you get higher up the curve, the costs get much steeper--understandably.

2005-12-11 16:40:28
133.   Jon Weisman
131 - Yeah, but what about the upside? :)
2005-12-11 17:02:42
134.   molokai
132
He's actually 29 going on 30 for this upcoming baseball season.
BD 5/25/76
2005-12-11 17:09:57
135.   molokai
Since we have no new baseball news can I talk up my Clips? Can my Clips beat the Pistons? We've taken LeBron/Wade/Marbury/Nash down in the last week. Going to be hard to do without Corey and a back to back to boot while the Pistons have been resting in LA. Then they get San Antonio on Tuesday on the road. The Kid should be back by next Monday and that is when things just might start getting real interesting.
2005-12-11 17:14:08
136.   TheDictator
Ok, completely off topic but interesting to me.

I have read "Moneyball" but nothing else as far as statistical analysis goes. What are some good books I could/should read about Sabermetrical approaches versus "traditional" approaches? Or maybe a suggestion of a primer for statistical analysis, i.e. what stats to look at, why to look at them, and difference they can make?

Now for a really dumb question: If Billy Beane and Co. used statistical analysis as a means of remaining competitive in a small market, then wouldn't one have to modify the process if it were used by a large market team? Certainly large markets can afford multi-talented players (OBP, fielding, power, etc), wouldn't this necessitate a tweaking of the process a litte? And did Depo tweak the process at all?

2005-12-11 17:21:16
137.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
133 - Maybe Thomas was catching when Charlie Hough was on the mound.
2005-12-11 17:29:29
138.   molokai
136
As a beginning I'd recommend "The Numbers Game" by Alan Swhwarz which gives a history of baseball statistics and the people behind them.

Dominican Winter League update from HQ
Joel Guzman (SS, LA) - .285 with 5 home runs and a 15bb/27k in 123 AB - still too many ks.
Hanley Ramirez (SS, FLA) - .257 with 0 home runs in 113 AB.
Andy Marte (3B, BOS) - .242 with 2 home runs and 16bb/17k in 99 AB.
Curtis Granderson (OF, DET) - .194 with 1 home run in 72 AB.
Willy Aybar (2B, LA) - .143 with 1 home run in 63 AB.
Felix Pie (OF, CHC) - .209 with 1 home runs 4bb/19k in 91 AB - I don't think he's ready yet.
Erick Aybar (SS, ANA) - .296 with 12bb/14k in 135 AB.

2005-12-11 17:29:45
139.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
137 - Hough WAS pitching!
I'll share my research in a few minutes. Now, I must fold laundry...
2005-12-11 17:35:55
140.   Vishal
[138] wow, that's a rough winter down there in the dominican.
2005-12-11 17:41:13
141.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
27k in 123 AB - still too many ks.
Why do you say that? Prorated to 500 ABs, that's only 106 strikeouts - not at all abnormal. It's also 20 home runs and 61 walks. I can live with that.
2005-12-11 17:42:47
142.   molokai
141
That is not my commentary. It is from BaseballHQ.
2005-12-11 17:53:45
143.   King of the Hobos
140 But old friend Angel Pena is hitting .306/.378/.410, so it can't be so rough

And there's always the other side of the story:

Brazoban- 1.96 ERA, 18.1 IP, 12 saves, 18 Ks, 6 BBs
Osoria- 2.65 ERA, .205 BAA, 17.0 IP, 18 Ks, 4 Bbs

Duaner is back from his Gagne stint, but so far it's not working out. He allowed 2 runs in an inning on 4 hits

2005-12-11 17:59:20
144.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
OK, the five games Thomas caught in 1980 came in a row: April 15-19.
On Tuesday the 15th, Thomas entered the game in the sixth inning of what would be a 9-5 loss at San Diego. It's his debut behind the plate and pitching is the knuckleballer Hough. Not surprisingly, Thomas gives up a passed ball as the Padres score twice in the frame.
On the 16th, Thomas starts as catcher. During an uneventful 10-4 Dodgers win, Thomas records his first career assist by gunning down John D'Acquisto on a fifth-inning sacrifice bunt.
April 17 - Here's where Thomas' catching career takes a weird turn. The Astros steal seven bases in eight tries off Thomas, yet LA still wins, 6-4. Joe Morgan had three thefts, and Cesar Cedeno two. Let the record show Enos Cabell was the first man slain by Thomas' cannon arm.
April 18 - During his final start, Thomas allows passed balls in consecutive innings: Steve Howe in the eighth, and Hough in the ninth. Dodgers lose, 7-4.
April 19 - Thomas takes over at catcher for the Astros' last at-bats in their 2-0 victory. Leading off the inning, Craig Reynolds strikes out but takes first when Thomas can't handle Howe's offering.
2005-12-11 18:00:28
145.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
142 - Well, that's dumb of them to say.
2005-12-11 18:46:15
146.   grandcosmo
136.
Read any and all of the Bill James Abstracts that he wrote from 1977-1988. Actually all the Bill James books for that matter.

I would also suggest some older titles that might be hard to find now -

The Hidden Game of Baseball by Pete Palmer and John Thorn.

The Diamond Appraised by Craig Wright and Tom House

2005-12-11 19:13:32
147.   dsfan
The Morris signing is a good one for the LAD. Morris, who had surgery on both his elbow and shoulder, is good for about 65 pitches, then serves up slop. He got spoiled in STL. The Giants won't catch the ball as well as the STLC did. The Giants' desperation is evident in this contract.
2005-12-11 19:21:00
148.   Uncle Miltie
147- but how many guys have a cool beard on the Dodgers? Gagne, Bradley....
2005-12-11 19:38:32
149.   Fallout
146 grandcosmo 136 TheDictator

How about:

"Voodoo Baseball"

or would you believe:

"Trickel Down Baseball Economics"

by John Maynard Keynes

2005-12-11 19:42:58
150.   RELX
Derrel Thomas was one of my favorite players as a kid--but my questions is, why was he catching in the first place? 1980 would be the Yeager/Ferguson/Johnny Oates period, correct? Were they all hurt, as well as every catcher we had in the minors?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-12-11 19:45:10
151.   dsfan
Signing Alomar was a decent bit move, although I say it with little enthusiasm.

Alomar's wisdom about calling a game against today's major league personnel cannot be matched by a coach/tutor. He's drawing on not only thousands of games caught at the major league level but the fresh knowledge of still being a player. He likely can size up nearly every hitter in the majors and how best to attack him.
Factoring in the cultural mesh as well, Alomar appears an ideal sounding board for Navarro. His bilingual skills seem a fit with the piching staff.

Alomar's hitting and throwing talent, at this stage, gives critics of this move plenty of ammo. Alomar likely will be a liability in both of those areas, no question. Ideally the manager will find a favorable matchup or two, and Alomar will exploit it.

If the LAD don't believe Martin is ready for the majors why would others presume to know better? The LAD have employed Martin since 2002. They should know his flaws. Martin is a converted infielder who has yet to play Triple-A. It seems entirely prudent to give Martin more seasoning.

There was precious little to chose from, of course. I suspect Alomar will seldom be needed before June. Perhaps by then Martin will be ready.

2005-12-11 20:54:30
152.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
150 - Yeager may have been hurt; he only played nine games in April 1980. In a 12-day span (April 12-24), he saw action only once, on the 19th, and was pulled after eight innings.
Fergson WAS hurt; he started the April 15 game, then didn't see action for another month.
Scioscia wasn't yet with the club, but he made his MLB debut on April 20.
So, that must be the chain of events: Yeager's a little banged up, so Ferguson starts. Then, Ferguson goes down. But Yeager can't answer the bell, so it's up to the emergency catcher. Finally, it appears it's going to take Yeager a little longer to heal, necessitating the call-up of Scioscia.
2005-12-11 22:58:09
153.   King of the Hobos
Astros close to a 2 year deal for Ausmus, we're really missing out. This does leave Bengie in an interesting situation, not a lot of teams left out there willing to give him what he wants.
2005-12-12 00:19:51
154.   Uncle Miltie
Daily News:
Let it Snow? In their search for production at first base, Dodgers officials have turned their attention to free agent J.T. Snow, a Los Angeles-area native who spent the past nine seasons with San Francisco.

Although he will turn 38 in spring training, Snow and his six Gold Gloves still represent a major upgrade both offensively and defensively over Hee-Seop Choi. Snow batted .275 for the Giants last year, with four home runs and 40 RBI, but he also walked 32 times and posted a solid .343 on-base percentage.
Choi's OPS was almost 100 points higher than Snow's. I know consider Tony Jackson to be an idiot.

2005-12-12 00:48:57
155.   GoBears
154. Oh geez. It's one thing to be steadfastly "old school" and refuse to consider statistics. It's quite another to look at the stats and then lie.

Major upgrade defensively? I don't think so, but I'm willing to accept we don't know as much as we should about how to measure defense. I'm damn sure Choi is underrated and Snow is WAY overrated.

But a major upgrade offensively? Give me a freakin' break.

2005-12-12 06:05:42
156.   rageon
151 First, I refuse to believe that only current players have the ability to be effective teachers for catchers. But even assuming it's true, can't we hire someone who just recently retired to be a coach? Or will the insights gained by Alomar during the season be too valuable? That just seems silly to me.
2005-12-12 07:03:11
157.   blue22
155 - The Snow news ("Snow news is good news? Not this time.") is frustrating, but you could kinda see it coming. I'll be more accepting if it's followed up with a Nomar signing for 3rd base, and keeping Milton.
2005-12-12 07:09:03
158.   Vishal
[155]
snow's career rate2: 100
choi's career rate2: 99

snow's career eqA: .275
choi's career eqA: .275

how is snow really an upgrade anywhere, let alone a "major" upgrade?? plus the fact is that he's 38 and clearly declining, while choi is 26 and we don't have to pay him a new contract. oh, and snow has NO POWER. none. zero. zilch.

2005-12-12 07:14:56
159.   Colorado Blue
156, et. al. - If signing Alomar is good enough for the 4 Headed GM then it's good enough for me. In summary, I think we're splitting hairs on the Alomar signing: nobody's too high or low on it. I think it was a safe move. Besides the upside potential is much greater than the downside in my estimation.

In contrast to that, why on earth would we want J.T. Snow??? Snow is to Choi what Alomar is to Navarro? Nope!

2005-12-12 07:39:03
160.   blue22
Very poor "analysis" by Tony Jackson. You can almost forgive the defensive comparison, based on Snow's reputation. Offensively, that's an absolute joke to say that Snow is a major upgrade - a real Snow job by Jackson (oy, enough with the puns now).
2005-12-12 09:16:30
161.   molokai
Yes, it is one thing to say that Snow is a big upgrade at defense but to say he's also a big upgrade on offense in the same sentence is bizarre. To try to support the statement with his OB% was a terrible attempt to justify the previous statement. I went to the Daily news web site so I could ask Mr. Jackson why he felt Mr Snow was an offensive upgrade but the Daily news web site does not have an area that I could find to contact various writers like the LA Times does.
2005-12-12 09:33:25
162.   Vishal
why is it one thing to say he's a "big upgrade" on defense? it's not one thing; it's not anything. both claims are spurious.
2005-12-12 09:35:58
163.   regfairfield
162 At least Snow has a reputation for good defense. I thought everyone knew he was terrible offensively.
2005-12-12 09:45:26
164.   blue22
And the OBP doesn't even support his claim. Snow needed a .275 average to get his OBP to .343, while Choi got a .336 OBP out of his .253 BA.
2005-12-12 10:07:21
165.   Vishal
[163] ozzie smith has a reputation for good defense too, but nobody is talking about giving him a contract. why would jackson expect snow to outperform his career averages at age 38? it's possible but not likely enough to say "big upgrade".

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