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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
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5) discussing politics
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Duncan Go Nuts
2006-01-10 22:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Mariano Duncan may be many things to many people, and he is now one more thing (new Dodger first-base coach) to all people, but to the Weisman people, he'll always be this:

Mr. Bunt Double.

Comments (107)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-10 22:24:40
1.   D4P
Duncan's bunt double was followed by an inside-the-park HR by Kenny Landreaux.

OMG: Dave Anderson was the leadoff hitter. Wow.

2006-01-10 22:33:22
2.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Not only those oddities, but:
The Dodgers' first at-bats end when Brock is thrown out at the plate on a Scioscia double, 9-6-2. (What's Ozzie doing as cutoff man on a ball hit to right?)
The next inning ends when Welch tries to score on a ball to the screen. (Scoring not given - 2-1?)
St. Louis' fifth-inning rally goes limp when McGee, trying to take third on a fly to left, is called out on appeal for leaving second too soon. The routine 7-5-4 double play.
2006-01-10 23:00:21
3.   Bob Timmermann
1985: The summer of Pedro Guerrero.
2006-01-10 23:23:16
4.   Jon Weisman
3 It was all I could do not to say it.
2006-01-10 23:38:24
5.   JayCo
The Dodgers of my youth! How I hated Greg Brock (3rd rate Garvey substitute)! How I idolized Pedro. The error infield of Anderson, Duncan, and Sax. Pitching to Jack Clark...
2006-01-10 23:52:26
6.   Bob Timmermann
Mad Dog would add his own unique brand of defense to the hot corner later in the year.
2006-01-11 00:26:40
7.   molokai
Still don't understand how Greg Brock ended his career with a sub 400 slug%. It took Piazza for me to trust prospects again because I really thought he was going to be a stud. I can still remember him hitting two home runs against Montreal in his rookie season and Vinnie declaring that Brock had arrived. Turns out that was his greatest moment and it was all downhill from there.

Pedro at 3b was as special as Bobby Bonilla years later trying to do the same. Pedro still ranks in my top 10 Dodgers all time that I've seen hit.

2006-01-11 06:56:29
8.   Jon Weisman
7 - I don't know how old you are, Molokai, but as a hitter, the lowest I could rank Guerrero among Dodgers that I've seen hit is 2nd.
2006-01-11 06:57:52
9.   brandesh
2- Ozzie likely took the throw at second in attempt to get Scioscia lumbering in for the double then threw home to get Brock trying to score from first on said double.
2006-01-11 07:03:20
10.   molokai
Off the top of my head of players I've seen
Piazza
Sheffield-how I hate to even put him on the list
Wynn (74) as special to me as 85 pedro is to you
Pedro
S Green
Reggie Smith
Cey
Baker
Garvey
Richie Allen
2006-01-11 07:13:17
11.   oldschool62
10 - I'm showing my age but Tommy Davis needs to be on that list.
2006-01-11 07:19:26
12.   Jon Weisman
10 - That's fair. I turned 7 late in '74, so I can't Wynn. I see the case for Sheffield, but I'm keeping Pedro at No. 2.
2006-01-11 07:31:38
13.   Daniel Zappala
For some reason that being only 10 years old at the time can explain, Reggie Smith was always my favorite. Pedro Guerrero would probably be second to him.
2006-01-11 07:42:33
14.   molokai
11
Can't be on my list since I never saw him hit as a LA Dodger. I started going to games in 69. Would be very interested in seeing DRBURNS list as he actually saw Jackie Robinson play. I would think he may be the only poster who can brag about that.

I need to amend my list
Piazza
Beltre 2004 - how could i forget so soon
Sheffield-how I hate to even put him on the list
Wynn (74) as special to me as 85 pedro is to you
Pedro
S Green
Reggie Smith
Cey
Baker
Garvey
Richie Allen

2006-01-11 08:03:08
15.   Marty
Wow, a Ken Landreaux Inside the park homerun. I hated Landreaux. My group of friends referred to any misjudged fly ball as "he really Landreauxed that one".

My top Dodger hitters I've seen:
Piazza
Pedro
Baker
Smith
Tommy D.
Green
Wynn
Garvey
Willie D.
Cey

I've erased Sheffield from my memory.

2006-01-11 08:03:34
16.   Jon Weisman
14 - " Would be very interested in seeing DRBURNS list as he actually saw Jackie Robinson play."

Nuts - I thought Shav Glick posted here.

Molokai, I guess you are picking single seasons; I'm thinking more of Dodger careers.

2006-01-11 08:15:14
17.   molokai
Not really picking single seasons just players that stood out in my mind and I enjoyed watching hit. I guess I should remove Sheffield because while he was a great hitter I have to admit I was always rooting against him and never for him. Those were my DDD(Dark Dodger Days).

My favorite ex-dodger that I never saw as a Dodger was Frank Howard. If you think RFK is a pitchers park now you should have seen what he did to it when pitching dominated baseball.

2006-01-11 08:18:23
18.   molokai
15
Never liked Johnny B, probably because we traded my man Wynn for him and he stunk it up so much his 1st year. Of course it turned out to be a brilliant trade for the Dodgers as Wynn was done and Johnny B was just getting started.
2006-01-11 08:23:13
19.   Marty
I saw Frank Howard, but couldn't add him to the list. His best years were in D.C. He lived in Monrovia close to me for awhile when he was on the Dodgers.
2006-01-11 08:29:44
20.   Woody
#7-I was at that game in Montreal where Brock hit the 2 homers. One was a grand slam and the Dodgers won 13-3. I had a glimmer of hope that Brock might be the player that his AAA hype indicated. NOT!

By the way, during the 80s and early 90s I attended at least a dozen Dodger games at Olympic Stadium (the Starship Enterprise which sometimes had a roof and other times not) with my buddy Elden, who was probably the only other Dodger fan living in Vermont. I only remember LA winning two or three times, and usually getting whacked.

2006-01-11 08:39:12
21.   LAT
Woody, I guess that makes it you, Elden and me. I am a Dodger fan who was living in Vermont in the '80s. Grew up in LA as a kid, moved to Prov, RI and went to UVM '81-'84.
2006-01-11 08:41:57
22.   jasonungar05
me..age 34 so I can only go by who I saw.

Piazza
Pedro
Sheffield
Garvey
Cey

2006-01-11 08:48:26
23.   Nigel
What is amazing about that game is that it featured 11 runs, 22 hits, 13 runners left on base, 5 pitchers (by the Cards), but was played in 2 hours 41 minutes. That game would last 4 hours today.
2006-01-11 08:54:50
24.   s choir
Doesn't Kirk Gibson belong on some of these lists? I know he faltered after '88, but come on. He gets on the list simply because of That Home Run.
2006-01-11 09:07:05
25.   jasonungar05
speaking of Greg Brock. I have a question for you guys who know a heck of alot more than me...

what dodger cant miss prospects, (or guys who put up huge numbers in the minors) missed in the last 20 years or so?

2006-01-11 09:07:29
26.   Jon Weisman
24 - Molokai's making the rules, but I don't think he's picking greatest moments. Which is not to put down Gibson as a hitter, but I think it's about more than one at-bat.
2006-01-11 09:18:04
27.   bhsportsguy
8-10-12, et. al
Being a little older than Jon, my first memories are from 1974 on but as far as the the best hitters I have seen wear Dodger Blue, Piazza and Guerrero rank one and two simply because nobody I have seen hit the ball harder and farther than those two. Sure they would hit the occasional high drive that carried and carried and went out but they would also hit liners that would explode off their bats.

In fact, I might have to rank Pedro Guerrero as the best hitter I have seen, I recall Bill James often placing him among the best players in his early abstracts, he was a World Series co-MVP and played on 2 other Division champions. In many ways, he was the best player on the Dodgers between the Garvey, Cey, Baker, R. Smith era and the Piazza, Mondesi, Karros, Sheff, Shawn Green and Beltre teams.

2006-01-11 09:19:35
28.   gvette
Interesting that Mr. All Time LA Dodger HR leader/clubhouse spokesman Eric Karros doesn't make anyone's top ten list.

Guess hitting a lot of meaningless homers just doesn't cut it with this group of commentators. I'd be hard pressed to put him in my top 20.

Sure the 80's group of prospects didn't match their hype, but in retrospect Marshall, Brock, Candy Maldonaldo and Duncan did become serviceable major leaguers. And some like Dave Stewart and Wetteland became stars elsewhere.

That's more than you can say for the equally hyped Jose Gonzalez, Billy Ashley,Karim Garcia, Wilton Guerrero and lately, Joe Thurston.

I still strongly dislike Franklin Stubbs, though.

2006-01-11 09:21:22
29.   KCDodger
I was at the "bunt-double" game as a 15-year old. My family (all Dodger fans and from Iowa) all went to St. Louis every year when the Dodgers was in town.

If memory serves, it was an afternoon game and extremely hot. For those of you not from the Midwest, St. Louis in July is not pleasant, especially in those days when the artificial turf only increased the heat. I could be wrong on the day/night thing of this game, I'm sure someone will correct me if I am.

When he bunted, at first we were elated because it was obvious Pendleton would have no play, then it turned to concern because it looked like the ball HAD to go foul. It didn't, and just kept trickling down the line. Duncan was taking a few steps toward second until he was about a third of the way toward second before taking off. Probably the most incredible play I've seen at a baseball game.

2006-01-11 09:21:22
30.   D4P
28
Guess hitting a lot of meaningless homers just doesn't cut it with this group of commentators.

A lot of meaningful strikeouts doesn't help much either...

2006-01-11 09:28:02
31.   KCDodger
9

Throw didn't come to second. On balls hit all the way to the wall with no chance to get the hitter at second, often the defense will send out a double-cutoff (or back-up cutoff). Purpose is that if the outfielder overthrows the cutoff man (in this case the second basemen) the shortstop is positioned 10-15 feet behind the second baseman and can take the throw and complete the relay either to home to get the runner, or to third to get the batter going for a triple.

2006-01-11 09:33:33
32.   regfairfield
What do you think Karros' legacy would have been had he not gotten hurt in 2000? Was it just natural decline, and he would have gone down anyway?

As it stands, Karros did only have two really good seasons. '95 (.298/.369/.535 145 OPS+), and '99 (.304/.362/.550 131 OPS+). After '99, he never OPSed over .800 again. Could a player who was only 32 take that sudden of a drop off naturally?

2006-01-11 09:36:11
33.   GoBears
I seem to remember seeing Vic Davalillo get an infield double. If I remember correctly, he slapped (duh, it was Vic Davalillo) a ball off the plate, and it caromed high up into a brilliant sunlight sky. By the time the defense (don't remember who) located the ball (which had hit the ground and rolled a bit) Vic was at 2nd.

I'm not sure I agree with gvette that Marshall or Brock were serviceable major leaguers. They were marginal. Ashley was awful. Maldonado was a decent bench guy for a while. And I also don't think the hype for Thurston, or Wilton G, or the others in the later cohort was anywhere near what it was for Marshall and Brock, especially controlling for media era.

Dodger pitching prospects, of course, have more often than not out-performed the hype. I've always attributed this to park effects. Albuquerque and the PCL in general made pedestrian hitters look awesome and terrific pitchers look pedestrian. Dodger Stadium doesn the opposite. Idiotic to keep the AAA affiliate there for so long. And now Vegas doesn't seem much of an improvement.

2006-01-11 09:42:39
34.   Bob Timmermann
If Davalillo got an infield double with the Dodgers, the Retrosheet logs don't indicate it. He hit only four with the Dodgers and the play-by-plays say they all went to the outfield.

It could have been that he hit a high chopper and it once it rolled into the outfield, the person keeping the scoresheet wrote something like "D9" since the rightfielder picked it up.

2006-01-11 09:43:11
35.   Jon Weisman
29 - Memorable stuff, huh? Thanks for sharing your memories. I definitely remember it being a day game on TV in Los Angeles.
2006-01-11 09:44:50
36.   GoBears
32 My memory of Karros's decline was that it was his back. He was an upper-body swinger, not using his legs much, and when his back started to ache, he couldn't get much torque on his swing. Started hitting a lot more lazy fly balls. Add to that his penchant for pulling outside sliders into 6-4-3 DPs and for striking out, and he moved quickly from OK hitter to lousy. Unfortunately, his own appraisal of his worth was inversely related to his actual worth.
2006-01-11 09:46:53
37.   Jon Weisman
34 - Personally, part of me feels that Duncan had more than one bunt double. I say that because my mind seems to recall a moment where I thought he might get a bunt triple, but held at second. But honestly, that could have been a daydream I had back then that somehow stuck with me. (Weird, I know.) The St. Louis bunt double is the only one that I can remember specifically - time and location.
2006-01-11 09:47:35
38.   D4P
Much of the Karros era remains a blur to me, but I seem to remember holding him highly responsible for getting swept in the playoffs a few times. I particularly remember him striking out in "clutch" situations against the Reds one year.
2006-01-11 09:55:26
39.   GoBears
34 Could be. Could also be that it was scored a single/error or something, if the scorer thought that an IFer should have had a play.

I've had the Danny Kaye D-O-D-G-E-R-S song stuck in my head for about a week now. Thankfully, I love the song. But I'm starting to wonder if the lyric of that song is responsible for the "Dodger Way" obsession with small ball. As you'll recall, the upshot is that the Dodgers beat the Jints 5-4, with Cepeda's grand slam overcome by bunts and singles. Big Frank Howard gets a bunt-HR! Or technically, I guess there are 2 errors on the play (the "Miller-Hiller-Haller Hallelujah Twist" on the bunt itself and the ball hitting him in the "seat of his pants" to ruin a sure out at the plate). Whereas Danny Kaye was engaged in the theater of the absurd, it seems that Dodgerland might have missed the irony.

My favorite thing about the song is the Vin Scully reference. After Wills is mistakenly called out on a steal attempt:

"Down in the dugout, Alston glowers
Up in the both, Vin Scully frowns
Out in the stands, O'Malley grins
Atten-dance fifty thousand.
And what does O'Malley do?
CHARGE!"

Brilliant.

2006-01-11 09:56:51
40.   GoBears
Uh, "up in the booth." Nice job, doofus.
2006-01-11 09:58:41
41.   D4P
40
Have you ever accidentally omitted the "l" when writing "public" on the board when teaching a class? I did, in the first class I ever taught.
2006-01-11 10:00:35
42.   the count
32 - Karros was a prototypical "old player skills" guy. He was due for an early decline. The injuries certainly did not help though.
2006-01-11 10:05:36
43.   regfairfield
38 Karros is .324/.375/.676 in the post season. But, he did go 0 for 9 in '95
2006-01-11 10:07:49
44.   regfairfield
42 What do you mean by "old player skills"?
2006-01-11 10:10:14
45.   Jon Weisman
41 - I did it on my Baseball Prospectus article. It was caught early after it was published.
2006-01-11 10:10:50
46.   Jeromy
28: I simply don't share the disdain for Karros that everyone else does around here. What's wrong with a guy who hits 30 HRs and 100 RBIs? who is a quote machine for the local media? who is good in the community and stays clean of trouble? who comes up from the farm system, wins ROY and works hard every day, considering he wasn't one of those players with the most raw talent.

And the argument that all of his HRs were meaningless is silly.

Here are a few big HRs just off the top of my head.

1. 1st round playoff game vs. Reds, Karros hit 2 HRs, in a loss, one was in the 9th off Brantley to pull the Dodgers within a run. Yeah, that was meaningless.

2. vs. Mets at Shea off Franco and Benitez in the same game, one in the 9th and the other in extras.

3. vs. Giants in the home 8th off Burba, Game winner, 2nd of the game

4. And with the Cubs vs. Yankees off Acevado. That HR was so devastating that it pretty much led to the Yankees cutting Acevado from the roster.

32: Karros legacy may have improved without the back injury. It killed his bat speed. He certainly wouldn't have been salary dumped by Dan Evans.

2006-01-11 10:15:58
47.   popup
I recall a Willie Davis bunt double. Popped it over the first baseman's head. That man was fast.

The three Dodgers I have seen who hit the ball the hardest are Frank Howard, Mike Piazza and Pedro Guerrero. Dick Allen played one year for LA. When I saw him at the beginning of his career in Philadelphia, he belonged in that group.

I did not see this, but heard about it. When Frank Howard playd in Spokane he hit a line drive off the left field wall. The wall itself was made of concrete. The ball hit the concrete wall and rolled all the way back to the shortstop.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-01-11 10:17:57
48.   Blaine
Karros went 6 for 12 versus Cincy in '95 with those two homers. In '96 versus the Braves he was 0fer with a few strikeouts.

During those years I was banished in Portland without cable so the local news ideas of sports highlights was the Trailblazers summer rookie camps. There was a local sports radio guy who was a Dodger fan, so my only news on the Dodgers was him and the boxscores. Karros and Piazza were the only guys putting up any numbers in the box scores, so that what my only connection.

For the most part my memories of Karros are fond because he and Piazza were the only faces for the Dodgers that I saw.

2006-01-11 10:20:58
49.   Jeromy
38: '95 vs. Reds, Karros didn't strike out once.
2006-01-11 10:25:13
50.   Jon Weisman
46 - We should be careful to maintain a big picture. I really liked Karros in his initial years as a Dodger, then came to dislike him as he became more ornery and less productive.

I like Steve Garvey, even though I don't have as high an opinion of him now as I did when I was 11.

I like Cesar Izturis, even though I don't think he's a leadoff hitter.

Ultimately, I think the reactions you're seeing are counterpoints to the mainstream opinions. Around Los Angeles, people tend to think of Karros as a great player, Garvey as a Hall of Famer and Izturis as an All-Star. I don't agree with those assessments. But when things go too far in the other direction, that bums me out as well. Karros was hardly worthless, and absolutely, he did have some big moments.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-11 10:25:14
51.   regfairfield
48 Oops. For some reason I was thinking the Dodger playoff years were '94 and '95.42 What do you mean by "old player skills"?
Post a comment

The worst playoff strikeout I remember is Billy Ashley in game 1 in '96. Also known as the worst game I have ever attended. After getting stuck in traffic and arriving two innings late, Maddux proceeds to absolutely decimatate the Dodgers for seven innings allowing two unearned runs. (Hollandsworth singled, advanced on an error, followed by Olneys by Wayne Kirby and Piazza. Piazza singled, advanced on an error, then Mondesi doubled him in.)

Hope arrived when Maddux came out in the 8th. With the bases empty and two out, Billy Ashley pinch hit for Astacio. Dodger Stadium, without any form of make some noise prompt, got louder than I ever heard it. Ashley then struck out, on three pitches if I recall correctly.

Soon there after, the game was over. Time of the game, 2:08.

2006-01-11 10:25:57
52.   Jon Weisman
I have a couple of new posts ready, but this chat has been one of the better ones in recent days/weeks, so I hate to disrupt it.
2006-01-11 10:26:11
53.   Marty
Though I'm no Karros fan, I certainly don't have the disdain for him that I do for Mike Marshall (80's version). Mr. "general soreness" is way up there in my least favorite Dodger list.
2006-01-11 10:27:33
54.   bigcpa
Another gem in that LA/StL box score... Bob Welch's screwy line:
9ip, 6h, 3r, 0er, 1bb, 0k
2006-01-11 10:32:26
55.   GoBears
46. What's wrong with a guy who hits 30 HRs and 100 RBIs?

Nothing wrong with that, but nothing by itself special about it either. Any player who bats cleanup full time and DOESN'T manage 100 RBI is either hitting behind a great hitter who keeps clearing the bases in front of him, or stinks. 100 RBI is evidence only of his ability to stay in the lineup. Not trivial, but not special either. 30 HRs is 30 HRs, and nothing to sneeze at, but also nothing spectacular considering his era.

who is a quote machine for the local media?

Well, since the quotes were invariably self-serving, especially later on his career, I'd hardly count that in his favor.

who is good in the community and stays clean of trouble?

I'll grant you this one.

who comes up from the farm system

Don't care.

wins ROY

Again, don't care. This is like RBIs - it is a function of others' performances. He really wasn't that good as a rookie. Sort of won by default. Moreover, his winning the award (and anyone winning such an award) is a function of others' perceptions of your ability, not an independent indicator of your actual ability.

and works hard every day, considering he wasn't one of those players with the most raw talent.

I have no idea how hard he worked, but I'll grant you that he did pretty well for himself given his below-average (for a major leaguer) athleticism. Can't fault him for being a slacker or anything like that.

But as with Cora, Izturis, Lo Duca, I think the "disdain" you perceive is really directed at those (including Karros himself) who claim that he was better than he actually was. I don't blame Izuturis for having no power or batting eye. But I do disdain those who would claim that he's a good hitter despite the fact that he has no power or strike-zone judgment and despite his actual performance as a pretty bad hitter.

The disdain is for the evaluation, not for the player. Just because we take issue with overrating players doesn't mean we think those players stink (EK, PLD, Derek Freakin' Jeter), and, similarly, just because we take issue with under-rating players doesn't mean we think those players are HOFers or all-stars, or even very good (HSC).

2006-01-11 10:32:38
56.   D4P
53
I have a personal vendetta againt Mike Marshall. The first Dodger game I went to was in 1985. We had seats along the right field line. Marshall was playing catch with the centerfielder (I think it was Landreaux) and for some reason, he was standing up against the short fence along the foul line. I was standing right behind him. Landreaux threw a high ball, and Marshall had to lean back to catch it. He leaned directly in to me, and I touched his back (a thrill at the time). He then turned around and gave the ball to a kid standing next to me (instead of to me), forever earning my scorn.
2006-01-11 10:37:35
57.   GoBears
Mr. "general soreness" is way up there in my least favorite Dodger list.

Hah! Good nickname. Or how about we just commission him with faux-military rank:

General Soreness

Or, since he was a big guy (and a big pain):

Major-General Soreness

2006-01-11 10:37:47
58.   Marty
56
You're lucky you didn't catch it in the teeth. Marshall wasn't much of a glove man. He did date a GoGo though.
2006-01-11 10:39:10
59.   Marty
GoBears. General soreness was actually the excuse used for explaining why Marshall wasn't in the lineup once. I never forgot that.
2006-01-11 10:41:20
60.   D4P
58
He wasn't much of a glove man, but he was tall.
2006-01-11 10:41:53
61.   Steve
1. 1st round playoff game vs. Reds, Karros hit 2 HRs, in a loss, one was in the 9th off Brantley to pull the Dodgers within a run. Yeah, that was meaningless.

Kevin Freakin Tapani

2006-01-11 10:46:49
62.   molokai
I've got no problem with Eric Karros and was glad that he made the team and contributed almost immediately. He just wasn't one of my top 10 but would fit in my top 20. The problem with any player who plays to long for one team is the fans remember the decline years since they were the lastest. We were lucky that Cey & Garvey had their more serious decline phase after they left the Dodgers leaving us only with the warm and fuzzies.

I think the biggest dissapointment in a prospect not making it was Jose Offerman but that was before I had become enlightened by BP. I'm sure that with my current knowledge I never would have put such expectations on him. Was equally bummed when players like Kiki Jones and Dan Opperman blew out their arms before they could show us the Gooden promise of their golden but evidently fragile arms.

2006-01-11 10:47:07
63.   GoBears
59 Yeah, I got it. I vaguely recall it as well, but it didn't stick in my craw like it did yours. Pretty funny to be reminded of it tho. And I was just proposing we elevate it to capital letters, to turn it from an injury report joke to a bona-fide moniker.

I wonder if anyone has ever been listed on the injury report with "malaise" or "lethargy."

2006-01-11 10:48:55
64.   D4P
63
I wonder if anyone has ever been listed on the injury report with "malaise" or "lethargy."

JD Drew...?

2006-01-11 10:51:46
65.   GoBears
Was equally bummed when players like Kiki Jones and Dan Opperman blew out their arms before they could show us the Gooden promise of their golden but evidently fragile arms.

See, this is where enlightenment hurt you. Mine must have come later, and I'm certainly not as knowledgeable about minor leaguers as many people here. (In fact, DT is my major source of prospect info, so there ya go.) But I never even heard of either of these fellows. I guess when it comes to failed prospects, ignorance is bliss.

2006-01-11 10:57:23
66.   blue22
63 - And I was just proposing we elevate it to capital letters, to turn it from an injury report joke to a bona-fide moniker.

Too late. Big Joe McDonnell claims to have coined "General Soreness" back in the 80s. When it comes to lame, derogatory nicknames for Dodgers, the Big Nasty has the market cornered (Paul Stupidesta, anyone?).

2006-01-11 10:58:36
67.   Sushirabbit
I envy all of you who grew up able to go to Dodger Stadium.

Piazza and Sheffield are the only ones I got to see in person that seemed other-worldly with the bat.

Of players I've never seen in person, I always liked Kirby Puckett, I don't know why even, but I became a part-time twins fan. I also was always interested in Gabby Hartnett for some reason. Catcher thing I guess.

2006-01-11 11:00:52
68.   Jeromy
55: this is a good conversation. We probably agree more than we disagree.

However, since when is 30 HR/100 RBI's nothing special? I would be curious to know what % of MLB players do that and do it consistantly . . . even what % of clean up hitters! The Dodgers couldn't get that kind of production out of anyone last year (Kent had 29 HR). OK I just looked: There were only 20 players in all of MLB that accomplished 30 HR/100 RBI, less than 1 per team.

I guess my perception of Karros comments were not that he was "invariably self-serving." He was a team leader, speaking for the team. I'd be interested to see a direct quote or two (especially between 94-00 when he was most productive) where Karros used the opportunity to self-promote or over-evaluate himself. I know that later he did feel Jim Tracy wasn't giving him enough playing time, but what player steps aside gracefully.

I don't understand why you wouldn't care that Karros came up through the farm. We spend TONS of time caring about the farm system around here and dreaming of the day the Billingsley's and Guzman's and LaRoche's are playing at Chavez Ravine.

Winning the ROY award, even if his numbers may not have warranted it that season, brough pride to the team and the community. Such recognition is valuable for the franchise.

2006-01-11 11:01:14
69.   GoBears
66 Eek! I've been found guilty of mind-melding with Joe McDonnell. Oooh, icky.

I must burn my keyboard and undertake a cleansing ritual. 20 "Hail BillJameses" and 35 "Our Vinnies" as penance. And I'm not even Catholic.

2006-01-11 11:02:14
70.   molokai
63
Mike may not have bought into the idea that "greenies" were okay. This will be an interesting season as I think the ban on "greenies" will have a larger impact then the ban on steriods. August will indeed become the dog days once again.
2006-01-11 11:06:20
71.   blue22
69 - Thou art forgiven. Go in peace.
2006-01-11 11:07:38
72.   blue22
69 - Just to add, that was a pretty funny one though. Even a blind pig finds a few oats.
2006-01-11 11:11:26
73.   GoBears
68 Any player who hits 30 HRs will get 100 RBIs, unless he's Bonds and gets walked with men on base. My point there was to grant you the impressive HR totals, but discount the RBI totals. RBIs are unhelpful as a measure of quality. They are epiphenomenal, dependent upon place in batting order and quality of teammates. Same with runs scored.

As for the farm thing, I agree that it's fun to watch a guy come up through the system and succeed, to build expectations and then have them realized or even surpassed (Piazza). I was just disagreeing that it made Karros somehow better to have been a Dodger prospect. Not that you actually meant to say that. Just that my assessment of a player's quality is unaffected by his upbringing. When Shawn Green came to replace Raul Mondesi, I was sorry that Mondesi had peaked, but was much happier to have Green on the team for those next few years, because he was a much better player during that time.

Actually, my memory of the reaction to Karros's ROY matches my own assessment. Someone had to win it, and he was the least bad choice, but his rookie year did not, in my memory, foreshadow great things to come.
.257/.304/.426 ?? Yuck.

2006-01-11 11:12:27
74.   Rob M
37 I'm almost positive I saw more than one bunt double off the bat of Mariano. I specifically remember him bunting between the pitcher and the first baseman, with the 2B covering 1st, and the ball trickling onto the right field grass for a double. The retrosheet game describes something else, no?

It was funny to see your post. I always think "bunt double" when I see Mariano's name.

2006-01-11 11:13:44
75.   Eric Enders
Karros' biggest moment, for me, will always be the year before he won the ROY, when he got his first major league hit, an extra-inning double to win a game for the Dodgers in the middle of the 1991 pennant race.

I haven't looked up the details on Retrosheet but I'm sure Bob will shortly inform me that they're all wrong. ;)

But generally, even when he was good, he wasn't very good, and when he was bad he was very, very bad. I liked him for a while but that ended when he began to complain about playing time despite his obvious suckitude. Then came some of the comments he's made as an announcer, and I just wrote him off altogether.

In my professional life I was grateful for him, though; he's one of the more thoughtful players I've interviewed. I wish that side came across in his announcing.

2006-01-11 11:16:16
76.   Andrew Shimmin
67- We're in about the same boat, I guess. Best Dodger hitters I've ever seen

Piazza
Shef (teeth gritted; I can't even spell the whole name out)
Green
Karros
Um, Jeff Weaver, maybe. . .

2006-01-11 11:16:23
77.   Eric Enders
68 "Any player who hits 30 HRs will get 100 RBIs, unless he's Bonds and gets walked with men on base."
------

Or unless he hits first or second in the order, like Nomar 1997 or Bobby Bonds many years.

2006-01-11 11:17:59
78.   GoBears
74

Maury Will at bat
Hit it for me once
Stu Miller throws
Maury BUNTS!

Cepeda runs to field the ball and Hiller covers first
Haller runs to back up Hiller
Hiller crashes into Miller
Miller falls
Drops the ball
Conlan calls "SAFE"
YAY, MAURY!

Conlan was the 2nd base umpire, or so it seems from the bottom of the sixth when he made the aforementioned (39) mistaken call on Maury's SB attempt. So that was either a bunt double or an E-1, depending on the scorer.

2006-01-11 11:23:39
79.   GoBears
Or unless he hits first or second in the order, like Nomar 1997 or Bobby Bonds many years.

Good point. The Dodgers wouldn't dare put a guy with HR power that high, though, would they?

Hey, maybe THAT'S why Tracy soured on Choi. Had Choi hit 2nd all year, he had a fighting chance at a 30 HR/80 RBI season (as it was, he hit 15/42 in 320 ABs). That would have caused the universe to fold in on itself. Tracy was a HERO! How could we have been so wrong to doubt him?!

2006-01-11 11:25:53
80.   Woody
Hey LAT! Glad to hear that another Dodger fan lived in the Green Mountain State. Did you ever get up to Montreal to see any games? We had a great deal of success getting tickets from scalpers where the Metro connected to the stadium. $25.00 Canadian one time got us into a box right next to the Expos dugout. It belonged to either Molson or O'Keefe brewery and were the best seats I ever had at a major league game.

Did you like UVM? Burlington is a really nice little city, though those winds off of Lake Champlain in January were brutal. I always thought it would be a fun place to go to school.

2006-01-11 11:27:11
81.   the count
44 - Generally speaking, "old player skill" guys are players who don't age well due to -among some other things - a lack of natural athleticism. These often big slow first baseman types.
2006-01-11 11:29:38
82.   GoBears
76 inter alia:
Hi. My [screen]name is GoBears, and I am a Gary Sheffield fan. Now what are the other 11 steps?

I don't blame Sheffield for being traded here for Piazza. I don't blame him for being ticked off at the Fox management or the general suckitude of the team. And I still love to watch him hit. Yeah, he's an egomaniac, but as far as I can tell, it's never hurt his teams. And for goodness sake, the guy had "Uncle" Doc Gooden as a role model. It's amazing that he's been as good a citizen as he has!

2006-01-11 11:43:36
83.   Andrew Shimmin
He was part of the string of, um, rhymes with mass tolls, who played RF. It was like ten years in a row where, if somebody had run on to the field and set our RF on fire, I would have been okay with it.
2006-01-11 12:14:02
84.   molokai
Rick Rhoden and Rick Sutcliffe

Was hoping we'd pick up Jason Marquis so I could watch him hit.

2006-01-11 12:14:07
85.   gcrl
tangential to 27

the hardest hit balls i have ever seen were hit by:

willie mccovey
willie stargell
jose canseco
albert belle
carlos delgado

2006-01-11 12:24:51
86.   walbers
Mariano Duncan named as 1B coach and nobody is commenting on the hiring of Eddie Murray as hitting coach?

One of my favorite players of all time, this almost vindicates the Depo firing and has rekindled my interest in the team. Certainly he has to be on someone's top 10 list of best Dodger hitters they've seen. Admittedly he was at the end of his career but.....

My big thrill was being his shoe sponsor back in the 80's and delivering new shoes to him at Memorial Stadium. I was so nervous meeting him! Also had shoes made for a number of other pro players back in the day but Eddie was pretty special.

2006-01-11 12:32:52
87.   Daniel Zappala
Eddie Murray with the bases loaded was pure excitement.
2006-01-11 12:42:55
88.   the count
76 - Does Weaver beat out Driefort? He swung a pretty mean stick.
2006-01-11 12:48:12
89.   GoBears
83 Feh. His main crime was surliness. Just like Bonds. Didn't really get in much trouble off the field (more than zero, and I think mostly related to hanging out with Doc, but not terrible). Dunno why - I've always liked him. Might have been a reaction to the MSM's jihad against him. Could be I'm an apologist because I can't admit that smoke means fire. Beats me.
2006-01-11 12:58:51
90.   thinkblue0
does the way Murray wears his hat bug anyone else? The way he just rests it on the top of his head? It drives me nuts.

Yeah, these are things I'm thinking about....

2006-01-11 13:06:07
91.   GoBears
When others were caving to the Afro-sheen orthodoxy, Eddie was a pioneer. He used Velcro (TR) to keep his hat on and his hair unmussed.

Thinking outside the box - that's the difference for the HoF.

2006-01-11 13:16:32
92.   molokai
Big fan of Eddie and I'm glad he's coming to LA. The only coaches I care about are the pitching and hitting coach and I'm very happy about both Honeycut and Steady Eddie. He didn't make my list because by the time he became a Dodger he was past his prime and I just can't fit him into the top 10. Did anyone else see Dick Allen play for the Dodgers?
2006-01-11 13:22:02
93.   Andrew Shimmin
89- I'm sure I was influenced by the media jihad. And it's hypocritical of me to hate Shef and still, conflictedly, like Bradley. Can't really defend it. Still, I remember my hasty falling in love with Shawn Green (for which I paid at leisure) because he seemed like such a good guy after Darrylberry, Shef, and Mondesi. He wouldn't play on Yom Kipur! Then came the years where I was really looking forward to Yom Kipur.

I forgot to wish everybody a happy Fast of Tevet, yesterday. The Hebrew Callender thunderbird extension is one of my favorites.

2006-01-11 13:23:48
94.   Andrew Shimmin
Yom Kippur. Sorry. I actually checked the spelling, I just got so exited about the Fast of Tevet that I forgot to go back and fix it.
2006-01-11 13:25:10
95.   regfairfield
92 Gary is easily the worst citizen in baseball. A couple highlights:

Letting "a few balls go by him" in Millwaukee so they would trade him. (Easily ehough to earn him the crown.)

Remember what he said about the fans in L.A., or just the team in general? I really wish I had the exact quotes.

2006-01-11 13:26:23
96.   Marty
I saw Dick Allen play for the Dodgers, but I don't remember anything special. He was great for the Phillies though. The most memorable thing about him was he used a 41 or 42 ounce bat. A real war club.
2006-01-11 13:36:10
97.   Eric Enders
"Eddie Murray with the bases loaded was pure excitement."
--------

Well, it was until he grounded into the invitable double play. Of course, that was only during his second stint with the Dodgers.

He's the answer to my favorite baseball trivia question: Who's the only player in history to lead the major leagues in batting but not win a batting title?

2006-01-11 13:41:59
98.   Jon Weisman
86 - How does Eddie Murray's hiring vindicate the DePo firing? Rightly or wrongly, if DePo doesn't get rid of Tracy, Tim Wallach would still be the batting coach.
2006-01-11 13:50:30
99.   jasonungar05
different eras, not making a case for Karros cause I was never a fan of his vs say Mondy or Piazza. I did like how he hit in Coors though! But this is crazy to me...

(for the record, my dislike comes from him always saying, its only June, we have time, no reason to panic yada yada..)

21 seasons for Murray and 4x 30 100
14 seasons for Karros and 5x 30 100

2006-01-11 13:55:04
100.   Moon Shot
I've been enjoying reading Dodger Thoughts for some time now. Reading about all these Dodger names from the past made me stop and think about my first Dodger game. It was in 1959 at the Coliseum in an exhibition game against the Yankees to honor Roy Campanella. I've been a big Sandy Koufax and Dodger fan ever since. Two of my biggest thrills in life were meeting Gil Hodges as a 10 year old and meeting Sandy Koufax as a 30 year old.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-01-11 14:01:45
101.   Eric L
I was always a huge Karros fan until the later years. His career OPS+ of 108 isn't terrible (granted, it isn't great for a 1B) and he had some nice years for the Dodgers.

Given the current roster, I wouldn't mind seeing a 1B put up similar numbers to what Karros did in '95-'99.

2006-01-11 14:30:11
102.   walbers
(98) Jon, perhaps vindicate is the wrong word. I really liked Depo and was bitterly disappointed when McCourt fired him. I really like Eddie Murray and I'm glad that Colletti/McCourt have hired him. That softens the disappointment (for me) in losing DePo. That's all I'm trying to say.

now that i think about it...vindicate is clearly the wrong word, but i'm not the wordsmith others here are. but i think you get my point. Sad about DePo but if Depo had to go, then glad about Murray. rgds, will

2006-01-11 14:44:33
103.   fernandomania
Top 10 Favorite Dodger Hitters to watch in my lifetime (born 1975):

1. Guerrero 1985
2. Gibson 1988
3. Piazza 1997
4. Green 2001
5. Sheffield 2000
6. Valenzuela 1982 [1990 was his best year (102 OPS+) but I remember the early years best].
7. Beltre 2004
8. Strawberry 1991
9. Kent 2005
10. Sax 1983

2006-01-11 15:26:43
104.   molokai
We've had some great hitting pitchers. I think we did this thread last year during the winter doldrums.
2006-01-11 19:35:08
105.   das411
97 - Didn't Polanco just do something like that?
2006-01-11 20:33:40
106.   Eric Enders
105 Polanco batted .331 this year to Derrek Lee's .335.
2006-01-11 23:41:38
107.   Jeromy
97: wasn't it Willie McGee. I think he switched leagues and had a great BA, but didn't qualify for either league's title.

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