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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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A Short but Sweet Testimonial for Dodger Catchers
2006-01-31 11:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The car accident that robbed Roy Campanella of the ability to walk also prevented, on a less significant note, the brand new fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers from being able to see a future Hall of Famer play catcher right in front of their eyes.

Campanella was 36 when the accident occured, and his bat was starting to slow down, so who knows how long he would have worn a Los Angeles uniform. Nevertheless, in the 48 years since Campanella's tragedy, the legacy of Dodger catchers has been a proud one. For 36 of those 48 years, the Dodgers relied upon the toolsmanship of only five men: John Roseboro, Steve Yeager, Mike Scioscia, Mike Piazza and Paul LoDuca. Los Angeles also received nice cameos from Tom Haller, Duke Sims (121 OPS+ in 1971), Joe Ferguson and even at certain moments Todd Hundley, who hit 24 home runs in 299 at-bats in 2000.

From August 2004 to August 2005, the catching position in Los Angeles lost its mojo. But with Dioner Navarro and Russell Martin rising fast, Dodger catching should soon be returning to a position of pride - as has been customary, despite the horrific preamble, for the team in Los Angeles.

Comments
2006-01-31 11:38:59
1.   Sam DC
Aaahhh, Joe Ferguson.

Someone should cut this out and send it to Navarro; what a nice vote of confidence.

*

I know this is sort of a hobbyhorse of mine, but it seems that now that Brad Wilkerson's neck is out from under Frank Robinson's boot, he is a little less sanguine on the requirement that real men play through pain: "[Last season], injuries were the new problem for the guy who was arguably the best player ever to play baseball at UF. A sore forearm turned into a sore hand and eventually a chipped bone in his hand, which led to a sore shoulder. Instead of resting his original injury, Wilkerson kept playing through the pain and made things worse. 'The biggest thing I learned from last year,' he said, 'was that sometimes you just have to sit down.'"

It's an interesting article from The Gainesville Sun. Wilkerson also not-too-subtly rips Nationals management.

http://tinyurl.com/c2b6s (or find at www.gainesville.com).

(thanks to dcbb.blogspot.com for the link)

2006-01-31 11:40:11
2.   scareduck
Ferguson was my second-favorite Dodger catcher among the late 70's teams. When I was a kid, I remember seeing Steve Yeager come out and give a talk about something or other -- what I don't recall, but he was wearing these gradient orange-brown shades that were just so hopelessly barfly you could see at the time they were out of style the minute anyone bought a pair.
2006-01-31 11:40:25
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - Of course, I should point out that Ferguson's most memorable moment came in right-center field.
2006-01-31 11:57:21
4.   jasonungar05
I mentioned this before, but I met Yeager at Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks. He was converting. He had on the shades you mention duck. Although I think he had his indoor shades on, cause the lenses were yellow.
2006-01-31 12:20:13
5.   bigcpa
What, no Jack Fimple mention?? I'll remember Ferguson mostly for his HR at my first Dodger game May 29, 1980.
2006-01-31 12:26:02
6.   Sam DC
3 I'm man enough to ask -- what are you thinking of? I recall that he hit a big World Series home run against the As, but you seem to be describing a fielding moment. Or did he help Rick Monday tackle the flag guy?

I'm surprised that Oscar Thoughts hasn't taken hold. For me, this is sort of a watershed year in the decline of my moviegoing -- I haven't seen a single movie or performance nominated in the top 5 awards.

2006-01-31 12:26:06
7.   Bob Timmermann
As far as I can tell from reading DT over the years is that everybody has meet Steve Yeager.
That guy must have done a lot of public appearances in his life.

And yes, I've met Steve Yeager twice at SABR events. Once when he was the hitting coach for San Bernardino (he told us Chin-Feng Chen was going to be a star) and another time when he managed the independent league team in Long Beach.

2006-01-31 12:26:17
8.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, Fimple. Well, Fimple probably deserves a special category of his own.
2006-01-31 12:37:09
9.   overkill94
Anybody else see that the Dodgers are about to sign Ramon Martinez?

No, not that one, the utility infielder. Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, and Rotoworld is hypothesizing that it would bump Choi to either being released or to the minors.

From the Denver Post:
"The Rockies, meanwhile, lost out on signing utilityman Ramon Martinez, who chose the Los Angeles Dodgers."

2006-01-31 12:41:52
10.   Bob Timmermann
Colletti apparently wants even more former Giants on the roster.

Brett Tomko didn't stink enough, so Colletti wants someone even stinkier.

OPS+ in the last three seasons for Ramon Martinez: 86, 67, 68

2006-01-31 12:54:56
11.   Colorado Blue
3 - World Series, Dodger Stadium, October 13, 1974?
2006-01-31 13:12:58
12.   Jon Weisman
Ferguson shocked the A's, who thought they had an easy sac fly, by stealing a fly ball from the center fielder (Wynn?) and throwing the runner out at home.
2006-01-31 13:17:08
13.   Sam DC
12 Maybe we should have tried Phillips in right?
2006-01-31 13:17:24
14.   Colorado Blue
12 - Yup, I thought that was play you were thinking of... I was at the game. Although my childhood memory machine isn't the greatest, I still remember that play to this day. And yes, Wynn was the CF. Ferguson also hit a 2-run homer in the 6th.
2006-01-31 13:22:43
15.   King of the Hobos
Assuming Guzman doesn't play SS, then Vegas' SS is Jose Flores. After Flores is...Guzman. I seem to remember Sergio Garcia being a FA, and he was Guzman's backup last year. Flores was backed up by Schrager and Nakamura. We have Truby, but I'm not sure how well he plays SS, if he does at all.

Thus, I think Martinez will be around should either Robles of Furcal gets hurt. I really doubt he could beat out Choi in ST

2006-01-31 13:26:56
16.   King of the Hobos
15 It seems I forgot Nomar. Maybe management doesn't want him at SS...
2006-01-31 13:34:46
17.   Moon Shot
Roy Campanella Night at the L.A. Coliseum was the first Dodger game I attended with my dad. After watching that game (far down the right field line near the peristyle end) I was hooked on the Dodgers and Sandy Koufax.
2006-01-31 13:35:53
18.   BruceR
12: The runner was Joe Rudi. And as I remember hearing after the game, the plan was that in that situation Toy Cannon would duck out of the way -- due to a throwing arm that was about to fall off -- and let the strong armed "catcher" try to nab the runner. The throw was a pea that reached Yeager on the fly and easily got Rudi. I also remember everyone was so blown away that no one realized the innning was over -- even Vinny. In spite of that play, Blue lost the WS. Had they won, I'm thinking the play would be a WS classic.

-- BR

2006-01-31 13:37:55
19.   Marty
I saw Yeager get into a fight with Tom Paciorek's brother at the Dodger hotel in San Diego in 1974. I don't know what it was over.
2006-01-31 13:40:49
20.   bhsportsguy
1, 3, 6 - Come on, Fergie's greatest Dodger moment was in 1980, behind by three games against the Astros, tie the opening game 2–2 in the 9th, and win it in the 10th on a Joe Ferguson solo home run.

On another note, John Sickels Prospect book and Baseball America's prosepct book both arrived in mail box in the last few days. For you Hochevar fans, John grades Luke just behind Billingsley (A) at a B+ with Elbert and Broxton, ahead of Orenduff and Greg Miller.

He also hopes that Chad can handle the Las Vegas affect on pitchers but predicts Loney will hit a lot of home runs there.

2006-01-31 13:47:39
21.   D4P
9
"The Rockies, meanwhile, lost out on signing utilityman Ramon Martinez, who chose the Los Angeles Dodgers."

Should read:

""The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost out in signing utilityman Ramon Martinez, who chose the Los Angeles Dodgers."

2006-01-31 13:48:22
22.   Bob Timmermann
Ferguson's famous throw was in Game 1 of the 1974 World Series (October 12, 1974). It came in the 8th when Ferguson cut in front of Wynn to take a Reggie Jackson fly ball. Ferguson then threw out Sal Bando for an inning-ending DP to keep the score 3-1 Oakland.

After making the great play, Ferguson led off the bottom of the 8th. He flied out to center. The Dodgers got two on with two outs in the inning, but pinch hitter Von Joshua grounded out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 9th, Wynn homered to make it 3-2 and Garvey singled with two outs (and Tom Paciorek pinch ran for him!) and Oakland manager Alvin Dark brought in Catfish Hunter to relieve Rollie Fingers and Hunter struck out Ferguson to end the game.

Ferguson did hit a home run in Game 2. Yeager started at catcher in Games 1, 2, 4, and 5.

2006-01-31 13:48:38
23.   jasonungar05
LOL on 21.

on 20, where do Tiffany and EJ rank, I am just curious?

2006-01-31 13:54:35
24.   Bob Timmermann
Joe Rudi Sal Bando
2006-01-31 13:56:51
25.   Bob Timmermann
I need a better "Not equals" sign to use.
2006-01-31 13:59:28
26.   D4P
25
Here ya go:


2006-01-31 14:01:40
27.   Sam DC
By the way, my reading here has been sporadic so I don't know if the Jim Calls Qq & a up at baseballamerica.com (1/26/06) has been commented on. Much discussion of the Dodgers - Hochevar not likely to sign (not really news), Dodgers have the best farm system in the game, pitching prospects we got for Sean Green are middle relievers at heart, and, apropros of this post, Navarro is a below average catcher who is not likely to play every day.

[ducks]

2006-01-31 14:04:47
28.   LAT
Ahh Jim Ferguson. I can see myself sitting there with my older brother and Grandfather wearing my Dodger cap, drinking my Tikki punch and eating my double bagger peanuts while rooting on my favorite catcher. Those were the days. When to pitchers and cathers report?

6. Sam, I have seen only one BP contender, Crash. It was ok. Matt Dillon was good. He kept you guessing. Just when you hated him, he became sympathetic and just when he became sympathetic you hated him. Really want to see Capote. Don't care so much about the others.

2006-01-31 14:10:57
29.   Sam DC
27 Callis, and drop a q.

Also, an earlier Callis column that is still up on the page has Ethier projecting as a fourth outfielder. Sheesh.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/columnists/askba.html

2006-01-31 14:14:37
30.   bhsportsguy
23:
Jackson does not qualify due to his MLB stats but since he is 22, there is some optimism but he is not the top prospect he was, at least in their opinion, even going into 2005.

Tiffany ranked somewhere between 12-15 (I think 14 but I am going off my memory) in Baseball America, their concerns is his conditioning, he was behind Chad, Elbert, Broxton, and maybe Orenduff (and Hochevar if he signs). Sickels grades at a C or C+, I think, same concerns, weight being the main one. I think both of these sources would say that the Dodgers have a pretty good idea of what they got in the trade and that both Jackson and Tiffany have some questions and Tiffany is certainly going to be in AA this year and Edwin could be there too(I think this is his last option year though).

2006-01-31 14:18:03
31.   Colorado Blue
22 - You're right, Bob. I knew my childhood memories were less-than-perfect. I was at Game 1 then because I remember Ferguson's play. It was the only WS game I've ever been to, so you'd think I would remember it a little better.
2006-01-31 14:24:21
32.   bhsportsguy
29-
Ethier was graded a B prospect, (Sickels states that he is tough grader, I will say that there are very few A grades, his B+ grades include Dodger prospects such as Russ Martin and Broxton, Orenduff is a B.)

BA had Ethier as the A's 4th best prospect going into 2006. You have to note that most of the A's top prospects are already up except for Daric Barton. Realistically given his ceiling, in this year's Dodger top 30, he would probably been where he was last year for the A's, somewhere between 13-16. Only the lack of true OF prospects (Guzman, D. Young, notwithstanding) keeps him as high as that. But that is also a result of the number of top prospects the Dodgers have.

2006-01-31 14:37:31
33.   Sam DC
32 Point well taken, although I was reacting more to his statement that Ethier would be a fourth outfielder, not his prospect ranking.
2006-01-31 14:40:31
34.   Bob Timmermann
My in person Dodger Stadium postseason experience consists of:

1977 World Series Game 3 - Yankees 5, Dodgers 3 (Mike Torrez goes on my list forever)
1978 World Series Game 6 - Yankees 7, Dodgers 2
(the less said about that the better)
1981 Division Series Game 4 - Dodgers 2, Astros 1 (Yea!)
1981 NL Championship Series Game 2 - Expos 3, Dodgers 0 (with the most obnoxious human being sitting near me, that man is likely cavorting with Judas and Brutus in the last circle of hell)
1981 World Series Game 4 - Dodgers 8, Yankees 7 (messiest World Series game ever!)
1995 Division Series Game 1 - Reds 7, Dodgers 2 (OJ verdict came out that day and the crowd was very weird and extremely drunk)
1996 Division Series Game 2 - Braves 3, Dodgers 2 (Oh, Ismael, why did you have to give up three home runs in one inning?)

2006-01-31 14:47:17
35.   DodgerJoe
My in-person Dodger postseason experience:
1995 Division Series Game 2 - Reds 3, Dodgers 2
2004 Division Series Game 3 - Dodgers 4, Cards 0 (Lima time)
2006-01-31 14:51:45
36.   thinkblue0
someone on the official dodger board said that we're closing to nabbing Molina. Anyone else hear this? I'm not sure whether it's legit or not...
2006-01-31 14:53:21
37.   Jacob L
My post season experience consists of exactly one game, and it coincides with one of Bob's - Game 4, 1981 WS. Sloppy yes, but even if I'd been to 50 WS games, I think that one would be memorable. Reggie Jackson's drop in RF. Bob Welch failing to record an out. Tommy John in relief. A piece of WS heroism for Jay Johnstone.

Also, as I recall it, there was a shooting in the parking lot. My dad and I were about 20 feet away from having parked inside the police line.

2006-01-31 14:58:41
38.   bhsportsguy
36-Nothing from what I see, last thing I saw was 4M for one year from Toronto, Benjie still wants 2 years for 12M.

But based on Ned's clandestine ways, you never know what he is doing until the deal is closed.

2006-01-31 15:11:22
39.   jasonungar05
so not just Ramon, but Kurt Ainsworth too..

Ainsworth's most similar pitcher according to BR is DJ Houlton!

2006-01-31 15:12:26
40.   Bob Timmermann
37
There was some sort of incident in the parking lot for that game. My oldest brother was an usher then and he had to spend the whole game out in the parking lot helping to shoo people away from the scene. So he didn't get to see the game.
2006-01-31 15:59:36
41.   gvette
Joe Ferguson was yet another link in the chain of Italian American Dodger catchers (his mom was Italian). Unfortunately, Sutton and the other starters were quite vocal in preferring Yeager at catcher.

Besides his '74 WS throw (he was originally an outfielder) , and '80 homer against the Astros, Fergy as a rookie callup in '71 hit a late inning HR to break up a perfect game against the Dodgers (by the Pirates Luke Walker).

Best of all, Campanis convinced the Cardinals to trade Reggie Smith for Fergy in mid '76.

2006-01-31 17:23:16
42.   Marty
My only post season game: Game 3 of the 1965 series. Claude Osteen won 4-0. I sat in the very top row behind home plate my back against the big concrete whatever-it-is.
2006-01-31 17:39:36
43.   Bob Timmermann
I remember seeing Ferguson's homer against Walker at a motel in Flagstaff. I'm not quite sure why the game was on TV there. I know my family listened to the game in the car on the way there since the Dodgers were on KFI then and you could hear them a long way away.
2006-01-31 20:02:30
44.   TheDictator
It is certainly true the the Dodgers have a long history of good catchers.

I wonder how long it will be before the Dodgers trade Navarro to the Marlins who will later ship him to the Mets.

2006-01-31 23:09:30
45.   BruceR
22, 24 -- My bad; it was indeed Sal Bando thrown out by Fergie and, thus, I humbly "bow to the Bob" in deference. And while I certainly agree that Joe Rudi != Sal Bando, the differences certainly seem a lot less 30+ years later. ;-)

25 -- In addition to !=, ~= also works for "not equal to" (at least for a few programmer types out there). But D4P's "not equal to" in post #26 easily tops either of those...but how did you do that, D4P ???

-- BR

2006-02-01 00:15:58
46.   JayCo
For the record, my only Dodger post-season experience was game 1, 1988 nlcs. Tight game all the way to the end. Shout outs to Franklin Stubbs and Jeff Hamilton.
2007-10-17 20:24:40
47.   GooooDoyyyers
The amazing thing was that Joe Ferguson was ON THE WARNING TRACK when he threw out Sal Bando at the plate. It's the greatest throw I've ever seen.

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