Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Help
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Search
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Dodger Thoughts
Archives

2009
02  01 

2008
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2007
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2006
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2005
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2004
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2003
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2002
09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Manny Mota Mota Mota Mota Mota ...
2006-02-07 10:52
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Steve Treder, Giants fan and baseball analyst extraordinaire, writes about Manny Mota:

Manny Mota was another pinch-hitting legend, deployed by the Dodgers as an extreme pinch-hitting specialist through much of the decade of the 1970s. Unlike the vast majority of these guys, Mota was a right-handed batter, but it didn't make any difference to Mota who was pitching; he was going to hit a line drive anyway. As a Giants fan, I can attest that in the late innings of a tight game against the Dodgers, the presence of Mota looming in the L.A. dugout was frightening indeed. Mota was constitutionally incapable of doing anything other than smacking a solid line drive in any at-bat against any pitcher in any circumstance. Mota turns 68 years old this month, but I suspect if you go to Mota's house tonight at 3 AM, yank him out of bed, jam a bat in his hands and have a fully-warmed up Mariano Rivera in the front yard flinging his nastiest cutter, the groggy, barefoot pajama-clad Mota will stumble out there and drill the first wicked offering for a solid line drive. In the dark. (Smash! There goes the neighbor's living room window.)

I believe it was Jim Murray who wrote that Mota could get a line drive off a bullet - it might have even been at 2 a.m. This captures the same feeling.

Treder also resurfaces other Dodger pinch-hitters of the past in his Hardball Times article, "Pinch-Hitting Specialists: A History." The only gaping omission I spotted was the 2000 season of Dave Hansen, who hit seven home runs, slugged .673, and OPSed 1.058 in 70 pinch-hitting appearances. Correction: As a reader in the comments below points out, because of the number of games he played in the infield, Hansen did not qualify as a pinch-hitting specialist in 2000 by Treder's definition.

* * *

Kevin Modesti of the Daily News compares the broken traditions of the Dodgers to the relative continuity held by the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers today. He's correct that these are not the Dodgers of our youths, but it's a little odd to use the Steelers, who went 25 years without a championship, as a role model. The Dodgers have another eight years before they tie that drought.

Modesti preaches stability in his column, but the argument is really nostalgia for a time of relative simplicity. Back before the O'Malleys sold the Dodgers, they made some changes from year to year, but the philosophy and fundamental building blocks of the franchise were canon. We debated the little things, not the big ones.

Here in 2006, we all still want to win. We all still want to build a tradition we can be proud of, one we can love. And just as it was in the last century, all it takes to achieve that is to hire good people and then let them do their jobs. Theoretically, it's still that simple.

The problem is that we no longer agree about who the good people are. Many of us form conflicting opinions from the start. Some become entrenched. Some, like current Dodger owner Frank McCourt, become riddled with second thoughts.

While McCourt might be among the most impatient, impulsive, panic-addled people to have ever owned a franchise, the patience of many fans and the sport media isn't always much greater. Who wasn't impatient with the 2005 Dodgers, whether they were complaining about the McCourts, Paul DePodesta, Jim Tracy or whomever? We have all demanded immediate results, haven't we? If not an instant title, than at least instant relief for our frustrations.

It's hard - almost oxymoronic - to shout for patience. And it's almost pointless to preach patience when the congregation is questioning its faith.

The Dodgers have made more nonsensical and unnecessarily disruptive moves in recent years than I can name. They have damaged the psyche of the organization, and the result is that everything is examined more harshly now, the way you might snap at someone you love after they've been misbehaving.

Few will be happy until the Dodgers are winning again. Furthermore, we'll never agree about what it takes to win until the Dodgers are winning again. So until the Dodgers are winning again, there are going to continue to be changes - unless patience scores a most unlikely victory.

Monday, the Dodgers had a mini-reunion of the long-running Steve Garvey-Davey Lopes-Bill Russell-Ron Cey infield at Dodger Stadium on Monday (Lopes was a late cancellation), 25 years after their final season together, a season that ended in a World Series title. Yeah, those were the good old days. But those good old days began with people giving that young infield a chance to form, eight years earlier. Those infielders played on a team that contended, then didn't, then contended, then didn't, then contended, then won a World Series - in their final season.

It took time. It also all seemed to make sense.

The Dodgers have won two World Series in the past 40 years. No one, past or present, can be called an unqualified expert. We can dream all we want about tradition and bonds and glory days, but dreams are all they'll be until the team proves itself worthy of our faith.

Stability for stability's sake, change for change's sake - those are dead ends. The Dodgers have been a dead dog out on Highway 31 for what seems like a long, long time. We just all need our reasons to believe.

Comments (150)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-02-07 11:08:25
1.   Sushirabbit
I was just coming over to post about the Manny Mota piece and here it is already! Those are really impressive numbers.
2006-02-07 11:09:49
2.   DodgerJoe
Jon, great article in response to Kevin Modesti. In this day and age, there is no such thing as stability.

I can't name a stable WINNING franchise. The Braves have won one WS in recent memory. Who else that has consistently won the WS? Yankees won a bunch a few years back, but that is as unstable as it gets in the front office.

Everyone needs to come to grips that the O'Malleys would not be competitive in this day and age. The game has changed on the field and in its business model. Look at the offseason changes the White Sox have made. The Dodgers and McCourt are tinkering until they figure what works. And I'll be on their side until that happens.

2006-02-07 11:15:38
3.   Colorado Blue
I often wonder if the Plaschke-ites had preached patience during DePo's tenure if he might not still be with the team implementing his plan/vision.

It is a sad state-of-affairs when the Mass Media potentially has so much leverage.

2006-02-07 11:19:05
4.   Colorado Blue
2 - The Dodgers and McCourt are tinkering until they figure what works.

That is the understatement of the year.

2006-02-07 11:23:37
5.   Sam DC
I guess Nebraska is on the brain today . . . (see The Griddle Bettman post and comments).
2006-02-07 11:24:30
6.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, I'm pretty sure what the McCourts have done goes beyond tinkering. They tinker like my 18-month-old tinkers with his train set. I'm rebuilding those tracks five, six times a day.

That being said, the McCourts' problem isn't so much whom they bring in as whom and how often they let go.

2006-02-07 11:29:11
7.   Jon Weisman
5 - Many roads lead to Springsteen, even when I don't set out for there.
2006-02-07 11:34:40
8.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm for patience plus. When your outfield is Edwards/Repko/Grabowski, it might just as well be Chen/Webber/Meadows. Instead of known (bad) quantities (which Repko was, well before his 276th AB, and Edwards was well before his 239th), give the nobodies and the not-likely-to-ever-be-anybodies a shot. None of them are going to be Lo Duca, but at least there's something worth watching. I have no patience for the, "well, maybe if we can just plug in Jose Cruz. . .," approach. If you're not winning anyway, don't just waste the games. Use them to learn something.
2006-02-07 11:35:48
9.   Colorado Blue
6 - Exactly... you can't expect a turnover rate that rivals even the most sweatshop of telemarketing call-centers to produce a winning team/organization. So, if the Dodgers fail to make the playoffs it's bye-bye Colletti and Little, hello completely different front-office? Just a hunch, but I think that is a business model destined to failure.

My only hope is that McCourt realizes he can't keep making wholesale changes if the Dodgers have another poor season... he's gonna have to give Colletti/Little at least 2 years to prove that the ship has been righted or is sinking faster than the Titanic. If the latter occurs expect another wholesale change at the ownership level.

2006-02-07 11:57:19
10.   Suffering Bruin
I don't want to sound overly fawning but it appears somebody ate their writing Wheaties this morning.

9 brings up something that I think will actually happen. No matter how the team performs, I believe Colletti will be seen as a stabilizer. If the Dodgers repeat their 2005 performance, I believe the word "injuries" will be mentioned often. If they play .500 ball inj 2006, I think the CW will be that the team is stabilizing. If they play better than .500 ball, he'll get a parade.

Shorter version: I think Colletti is in a no-lose situation because the guy previously was in a lose-lose situation; he was hated no matter what he did.

And why do I write "I think" so much? Because I cannot dismiss the possibility that the McCourts might be crazier than sewer rats. I hope they're not but some of the things they do are scary.

2006-02-07 12:15:46
11.   Blaine
I used to pray to God for patience. I am still waiting for an answer.
2006-02-07 12:19:57
12.   Colorado Blue
10 - What happens if '07 is a failure?
A) McCourts let Colletti fire Little.
B) McCourts let Colletti fire Little and then they fire Colletti.
C) Plaschke writes a soliloquy on why he knew Colletti was bad for the Dodgers from the moment he was hired.
D) Plaschke fires the McCourts.
2006-02-07 12:21:12
13.   Colorado Blue
12 - That should have read: "What happens if '07 is a failure as well as '06?
2006-02-07 12:22:36
14.   scareduck
Jon -- it's pieces like this that put Dodger Thoughts in the elite of sportswriting.
2006-02-07 12:24:08
15.   scareduck
10 - I thought DePo was in a no-lose situation. I may still be right: even if he gets fired (which he did), everyone and his brother knows Frank is insane and possessed of an itchy trigger finger; how many GMs can say they produced a division winner in their first season?
2006-02-07 12:27:51
16.   Sam DC
From the Springsteen Lyrics site that Jon linked for Reason to Believe:

Fans who visit this lyrics also like:

Christina Aguilera - Infatuation Lyrics
98 Degrees - I Do Cherish You Lyrics
Various - Its Raining Men Lyrics
Ciara - Goodies Lyrics
Weezer - Buddy Holly Lyrics
112 - Peaches 'N Cream Lyrics
P.O.D. - Boom Lyrics
Extreme - More Then Words Lyrics
Sarah McLachlan - Answer Lyrics
Backstreet Boys - I Need You Tonight Lyrics
Bryan Adams - Everything I Do (I Do It For You) Lyrics
Sarah McLachlan - Perfect Girl Lyrics
Sean Paul - Baby Boy, feat. Beyonce Lyrics
Pink - Trouble Lyrics
Frank Sinatra - You'll Never Walk Alone Lyrics
Matchbox 20 - I'm Not Crazy Lyrics
Seether - Fine Again Lyrics
Mago De Oz - Molinos De Viento Lyrics
Good Charlotte - Day That I Die Lyrics
Craig David - Seven Days Lyrics
Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day Lyrics
The All-American Rejects - Paper Heart Lyrics
Mya - Fallen Lyrics
Immortal Technique - The 4th Branch Lyrics
Simple Plan - So Happy Together Lyrics
Destiny's Child - Independent Women Pt. II Lyrics
The Calling - Our Lives Lyrics
Ginuwine - In Those Jeans Lyrics
Blondie - Call Me Lyrics
Stevie Wonder - Because I Love you Lyrics

Um, eclectic, I guess.

2006-02-07 13:04:24
17.   Bob Timmermann
I was stymied in my attempts to find the lyrics to "Five months, three weeks, two days" by Louis Prima however.
2006-02-07 13:11:24
18.   Steve
Clearly what's called for here is a return to the good old days of stable World Champions like the Marlins and Diamondbacks.
2006-02-07 13:26:34
19.   Bob Timmermann
When the Dodgers returned from oblivion in 1941, Larry McPhail ran the team. Then they were overrun by the 1942 Cardinals who ran a blitzkreig through the NL and the Yankees in the World Series to finish the season. And then McPhail left to join the Army (and eventually the Yankees). Then came Rickey in 19443 and after missing out in 1946, the Dodgers got to the World Series in 1947 and 1949. And then O'Malley forced out Rickey.

And only after that did the Dodgers win a World Series.

2006-02-07 13:30:18
20.   Curtis Lowe
Speaking of stability

According to the Rumors section of ESPN

The Dodgers are interested in acquiring Barry Zito. Beane is asking for Broxton,Either Navaroo or Martin, JtD and Ledee. The Dodgers would recieve Zito, Kotsay and PTBNL.

Does winning bring stability or does stability bring winning?

2006-02-07 13:30:20
21.   Bob Timmermann
And I view the Dodgers World Series wins this way (note use of simplistic terms):

1955 - Last gap of "Boys of Summer"
1959 - Fluke
1963 - Koufax
1965 - Koufax
1981 - Last gap of The Infield
1988 - Hershiser/Gibson

2006-02-07 13:36:11
22.   Jon Weisman
10, 14 - thanks muchly

15 - Isn't the conventional wisdom more like the McCourts have itchy trigger-fingers, but they finally got one right in firing DePodesta?

2006-02-07 13:41:05
23.   Sam DC
Marion Barry is wearing a Nationals cap while speaking against the stadium deal in the DC city council right now.

Hmmmmmm . . .

(you too can watch at http://www.octt.dc.gov/services/video/DC_Ch-13.asx)

2006-02-07 13:41:30
24.   Sam DC
21 Brilliant summary, by the way.
2006-02-07 13:44:04
25.   Steve
To paraphrase Clue, "Stability is just a red herring."
2006-02-07 13:54:57
26.   Jon Weisman
20, 25 - Steve's right. Winning brings chemistry. Stability is a Rorschach test.
2006-02-07 13:59:04
27.   Curtis Lowe
26-So if a team fails to have good chemistry is it unstable or a wingless butterfly?
2006-02-07 13:59:48
28.   D4P
26
Winning brings chemistry.

Do you mean

1. If there is winning, chemistry will be an inevitable result

or

2. If there is chemistry, winning must have preceded it

2006-02-07 14:04:36
29.   Steve
Losing teams can have chemistry. But nobody cares about losing teams.
2006-02-07 14:05:58
30.   D4P
But nobody cares about losing teams.

A lot of folks seem to care about the Dodgers...

2006-02-07 14:06:00
31.   Curtis Lowe
So Winning>Chemistry>Stability>Rorschach Test?

or

Rorschach Test+ Diet Pepsi= Stability x Chemistry= Winning x stabibility =Legendary?

2006-02-07 14:06:12
32.   Jon Weisman
28 - Hmm.

Not 1.

Not 2.

But it's true that what I wrote is imprecise. All I really mean is, chemistry does not cause winning. Chemistry can precede or follow winning, but it does not cause winning.

2006-02-07 14:12:16
33.   D4P
32
chemistry does not cause winning

Do you mean

1. Chemistry makes a positive contribution to winning, but the presence of chemistry does not guarantee winning

or

2. The presence of chemistry makes no positive contribution to winning

2006-02-07 14:17:53
34.   Jon Weisman
Chemistry might make a positive contribution to winning, but the presence of chemistry does not guarantee winning.
2006-02-07 14:21:21
35.   D4P
34
Sorry, not trying to be annoying (but might be succeeding anyway...)

By "might make" do you mean

1. Sometimes makes, sometimes doesn't make

or

2. It is not possible to measure whether chemistry makes or doesn't make

2006-02-07 14:21:22
36.   Steve
Rorschach Test+ Diet Pepsi= Stability x Chemistry= Winning x stabibility =Legendary?

Plaschkean Geometry

2006-02-07 14:25:16
37.   Bob Timmermann
So how tortured will this chemistry conundrum get before we all rise up and smite D4P?
2006-02-07 14:25:39
38.   Marty
Did anyone else who watched the superbowl ads think that Diet Pepsi's new slogan "brown and bubbly" didn't have positive effect they thought it would?
2006-02-07 14:27:46
39.   Jon Weisman
35 - I'm not annoyed.

Yes on 1, Yes on 2.

Just because we can't measure the impact of chemistry doesn't mean that it has none. However, I don't believe that it is necessary to have chemistry in place for a team to start to win. I don't believe that chemistry is as important as talent or smart decisions.

2006-02-07 14:31:08
40.   Andrew Shimmin
37- Careful, he's one of them UFC fans. He knows methods of killing men that normal people can't even spell.
2006-02-07 14:32:03
41.   D4P
Just because we can't measure the impact of chemistry doesn't mean that it has none. However, I don't believe that it is necessary to have chemistry in place for a team to start to win. I don't believe that chemistry is as important as talent or smart decisions.

Agreed on all counts.

At the risk of being smited, the other issue with chemistry (and the more intersting one, IMO) has to do with whether "bad" chemistry can have a negative impact on team performance. Is it always worth signing "jerks" with good stats, or might their jerkiness outweigh their stats?

2006-02-07 14:32:59
42.   D4P
40
Careful, he's one of them UFC fans. He knows methods of killing men that normal people can't even spell.

I'm a lover, not a fighter.

2006-02-07 14:33:01
43.   Sushirabbit
I think the Ender Anology will help you understand the impact of "chemistry". Just because you dig her doesn't mean you have Chemistry. Chemistry "might make" a positive contribution towards "the world series", while the lack of chemistry can only be overcome (in certain instances) by spending overbudget. Stability is usually highly rated by "her" but some see it as adverse factor towards "the world series" (and never let it be known as a means towards an "end"). Finally, "pepsi" (also known as jewelry) can be used at various times in various quantities, to enhance stability or to distract away from the lack of stability or chemistry. Beer can work, too.
2006-02-07 14:33:24
44.   Bob Timmermann
Somehow I think this whole discussion will come down to someone mentioning the Colletti Uncertainty Principle or DePodesta's Cat.
2006-02-07 14:34:00
45.   mcrawford
Going back to Jon's intro, Dave Hansen didn't qualify as a pinch-hitting specialist in the Steve Treder piece.

Hansen appeared in 70 games as a PH, out of 102 games total. Treder defined a PH-specialist as one who had at least 80% of their appearances as a PH. Hansen played 1B and 3B too much.

2006-02-07 14:37:02
46.   Jon Weisman
45 - Oh, thanks for clearing that up. My mistake.
2006-02-07 14:40:27
47.   Sushirabbit
Try to be clever and I leave an 's' of Enders! Enders ANALOGY.
2006-02-07 14:40:29
48.   Bob Timmermann
In the last game of the Caribbean Series for Puerto Rico, Jose Valentin is starting at second base.

Alex Cora, baseball's smartest man, isn't playing.

"Old friend" Trenidad Hubbard homered for the Mexican team.

2006-02-07 14:47:35
49.   Jon Weisman
48 - I'm getting the feeling that Alex Cora is on On Notice notice.
2006-02-07 14:48:37
50.   LAT
whether "bad" chemistry can have a negative impact on team performance. Is it always worth signing "jerks" with good stats, or might their jerkiness outweigh their stats?

I dunno know. Let's ask the Eagles.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-02-07 14:48:43
51.   dsfan
Jon, excellent lead post.

I am far less ardent about the Dodgers than are many others who post on this forum. For many of them, I can see why it's been a brutal stretch, why patience has dwindled. They've invested emotional energy in an underachieving, bumbling franchise that has squandered many of its advantages.

Still, I've been a bit surprised that so many here delight in ridiculing even the Dodgers personnel that helped the franchise finally win the NL West two years ago.

I wrongly figured there'd be a little gratitude shown the likes of Cesar Izturis, Alex Cora, Adrian Beltre and Jim Tracy. OK, if not gratitude, at least benign indifference.

Instead I've seen an eagerness to annihilate them whenever any conceivable chance arises.

It has surprised me how unpopular they are here on a Dodgers board, almost like people gain energy and esteem out of demeaning them. At times, it's like even the 2004 title brought no enjoyment to even Dodgers fans.

2006-02-07 14:49:35
52.   trainwreck
20-
I would be surprised if that is all the A's would want for Zito and it is probably wrong as there is no reason whatsoever the A's would need Ledee even if they trade Kotsay. They have enough left handeders in the outfield. I would rather just try to sign Zito next year instead of giving up players for him.

Lee/Zito for 07 LZ in 07

2006-02-07 14:50:12
53.   Blue Crew
I do believe that chemistry is overrated when it comes to winning. What makes a team win is teamwork. Players who are in it for the team and not in it for themselves.

I believe you can have chemistry in a clubhouose, which consists of a few "individuals," and not have teamwork on the field.

I am not an NBA fan, but look at Kobe and the Lakers. The "individual" is putting up huge numbers, but the team is losing.

The Dodgers need a visit from coach Wooden in Spring Training to teach/remind them of this.

The Dodgers also need an owner that will give them time to become a team. For some teams, it may take more than one year.

First post related to the topic in awhile, so be easy..lol.

BC

2006-02-07 14:53:35
54.   D4P
53
I do believe that chemistry is overrated when it comes to winning. What makes a team win is teamwork. Players who are in it for the team and not in it for themselves.

I think some folks would consider "teamwork" and being "in it for the team" to be part of "chemistry."

2006-02-07 14:55:12
55.   King of the Hobos
52 Which Lee exactly?
2006-02-07 14:56:49
56.   Gatinho
On the Mota post:

Longtime Dodger announcer Vin Scully once said that Mota could wake up on Christmas morning and hit a line drive to center.

Jim Murray, Los Angeles sportswriter, once wrote that you could wake Manny up at 2 AM, hand him a toothpick, throw an asprin tablet toward him, and he would hit it for a line drive single to right.

2006-02-07 14:59:13
57.   Jon Weisman
51 - Thanks. I think what you're seeing is a reaction to the overwhelming worship that the players you mention received in the mainstream.

I think many are grateful for the 2004 performances of the people you mention - and have expressed that gratitude - but resent that so many others made them unassailable.

I can't speak for everyone, of course.

2006-02-07 15:03:57
58.   Andrew Shimmin
51- If you start from the perspective of, "Even good players have some specific, non-magical, value which can be replaced, for a price," what you interpret as hatred will become, more clearly, just an argument over what that value is, and what the replacement price is. As always, Steve is exempted.

It's bad to look at your wife and wonder if you might be able to trade up. But if you look at your thirdbaseman with that sort of loyalty, you just might be a sucker. Especially since he definitely doesn't look at you, that way.

2006-02-07 15:06:05
59.   Andrew Shimmin
That said, my hatred of Beltre is boundless. When the revolution comes, I'll smite him first.
2006-02-07 15:11:33
60.   Jon Weisman
I've never heard of Beltre provoking such a reaction.
2006-02-07 15:12:33
61.   Bob Timmermann
Alex Cora is not "On Notice" since he's an object of ridicule.
2006-02-07 15:19:13
62.   Monterey Chris
39--Jon, this is an excellent conclusion to the chemistry debate. I agree with your statement completely.

58--I think your second paragraph is wonderful, not only for baseball teams but also for marriage relationships.

60--I agree with Jon. I have never heard of this much anger toward Beltre either.

2006-02-07 15:20:07
63.   LAT
56. There will never be another like Jim Murray.
2006-02-07 15:29:43
64.   dsfan
Jon,

Thanks for the explanation.

I must say, I've seen little evidence here of any gratitude toward Cora, Izturis, Tracy or even Beltre on this forum, but I wasn't reading this site in 2004 or most of 2005.

I wasn't expecting a lot of gratitude at this date, either, but as I wrote, nor did I expect so much disdain. Your explanation makes sense -- it's not just those men who inspire these reactions but those who overstated their merits and brooked no objections.

2006-02-07 15:32:41
65.   LAT
Good chemistry may or may not add value to a winning club. Obvioulsy it can't hurt. But bad chemistry can do far greater harm than good chemistry can ever do. Even if it isn't reflected on the field it shows up other places. The bad chemistry between MB and Kent didn't matter much on the field cause MB was hurt most of the time anyway. But it forced us to find a new center fielder who would be more expensive or not as good and it forced us to take less than he was worth. If you go with the more expensive option that takes away from your being able to spend that money elsewhere (read: pitching). Bad chemistry has a broad range ripple effect. So the conclusion is this: The value of good chemistry is not that it translates into wins but it supplants bad chemistry which is kryptonite.

(On the other hand this may be the jibberish ramblings of someone who is looking for any excuse not to work).

2006-02-07 15:43:41
66.   thinkblue0
65-

you bring up a good point but I think using Bradley/Kent as an example is the most extreme form of bad chemistry.

The way I look at it, some sports need chemistry more than others. For example, in basketball you're working with the whole team the ENTIRE time..chemistry is needed. Just look at the Pistons. In baseball though, your teammates can't help you get a base hit. That's what I love about baseball, it's a team sport that is also extremely individualistic. Fielding a grounder or a fly ball takes one guy, hitting takes one guy etc etc. This is why I think in baseball chemistry is less important...but I agree, while good chemistry might not ADD wins, it's a heck of a lot better than bad chemistry for the reasons you mentioned.

As for the hatred towards Beltre, lemme chime in on that. I think most people are so mad that he left over a relatively insignificant contract difference. The guy said he wanted to be a Dodger and I believe the reports were that we offered VERY close to the same money Seattle offered yet he took the extra and bolted. That's pure greed. There are those who will say "you would do the same thing" but I honestly wouldn't. If you put a contract in front of me right now from the Dodgers at say 2 yrs 10 mill and another from a different team of 3 years 15 mill I'd sign the Dodger deal. Why? Because I'm not greedy, I love the Dodgers, LA is my home, and playing for the team I love in my hometown is worth more than the extra 5 million bucks that I'd never spend anyways.

2006-02-07 15:54:13
67.   LAT
65. The point you raise about playing in LA, IMO, applies more to Jeff Weaver than anyone else. When Beltre left he didn't know if he could play elsewhere (softball here for Steve). Weaver has already tried and failed in another league and city. It is a fact there are certian places he can't handle the pressure. He was comfortable here and pitched reasonabbly well when not left in too long. He should be putting himself in a position to succeed here instead of gambling elsewhere for the extra money. I'll laugh my ass off when he gets spanked in the AL, relegated to the bullpen and his little brother takes his spot in the rotation.
2006-02-07 16:01:15
68.   dsfan
65-

Interesting take on Beltre. I was unaware that it was such a close call. If that's a realistic account, I could see why there'd be resentment.

There's no way of knowing, of course, but I believe it's also possible that Boras nudged Beltre toward Seattle so that he could then place Drew in Los Angeles for $55 million guaranteed (which sane clubs were not willing to do).

Of course, Beltre could've told Boras no. After all, Boras works for Beltre.

Which brings up another point about Boras: It seems wise to have as few of his clients as possible, without getting overly rigid about it. A small bonus to how Colletti handled the Weaver machinations -- beyond big savings in dollars and the addition of two draft pick -- Ned rid the club of a frontline Boras client. Not that it should be a guiding rule, but it's worth considering. Boras has made a lot of money off rookie GMs of the Dodger, often to the franchise's regret.

2006-02-07 16:11:45
69.   Suffering Bruin
64 Gratitude took a backseat to ideology.

You cannot overstate the impact the Lo Duca/Mota trade had on the discourse surrounding this team. It was the Dodger equivalent to the Dreyfus Affair. After the trade, you were either busy defending DePodesta or criticizing him. Both camps had serious beliefs that they just knew were true and they couldnt' believe the other side was so blind.

It's not that we're ungrateful for '04; the discussion at the time, IIRC, was who to be grateful to. That discussion turned into a fiery debate.

I do know this: after his horrific performance in 2005, I know I find it difficult to be grateful to Jim Tracy for anything.

2006-02-07 16:20:27
70.   oldbear
20. That'd be a mega-deal.

Dodgers get:
P- Barry Zito
CF- Mark Kotsay

Athletics get:
P- Jonothan Broxton
OF- Ricky Ledee
OF- Joel Guzman
OF- Andre Ethier
C- Dionner Navarro

That would push the Dodgers payroll to like 112 mils....

If the Blue could long-term Zito, I'd probably pull the trigger. Ethier/Ledee arent really losses. Guzman wont play SS here anyways, so he's not of that much value anymore. Broxton/Navarro I'd hate to give up, but you gotta give something to get something.

2006-02-07 16:28:12
71.   oldbear
52. I agree. I dont think adding Zito/Kotsay would put us over the top, so keeping the prospects and signing Zito in the off-season might be a better plan. If Zito/Kotsay for sure put the team in position to win it all in 06, I'd do it. But on second thought, it does seem like a lot to give up, especially since Zito can be had in the off-season.
2006-02-07 16:36:54
72.   das411
Btw Jon, "Airplane!" is without question the funniest movie of all time.
2006-02-07 16:37:23
73.   regfairfield
70 Isn't that "either" not "Ethier"? Not that this trade would happen anyway.
2006-02-07 16:37:34
74.   willhite
70 -

I believe that was either Navarro or Martin, not Ethier, Navarro or Martin.

Since we just got Ethier from the A's, it's unlikely we would send him right back.

2006-02-07 16:40:07
75.   willhite
73 -

Beat me by 11 seconds reg. Poor Ethier must suffer a lot because of his name.

Ned had better be careful in trade talks. He might offer someone "either.....or" and they might take Ethier.

2006-02-07 16:41:26
76.   dsfan
69

Interesting context. As someone outside of the anti- and pro-Depo camps, I've always thought too much was made of the LoDuca/Penny deal. I gave Depo good marks on that trade and still do, but still wonder if he failed to do his homework on Penny's health and also believe the trade's pillover caused him to needlessly give away Roberts, who, as Theo Epstein would show, had double value on the field and the trade market.

My big point is that it's too bad that trade become synonymous with Depo's tenure and legacy, when in reality, it was just one of his several major moves and not the most impactful on the team. Also too bad that the "fiery debate" overshadowed some remarkable work that season.

For what it's worth, I rated Tracy's work highly in 2004 but also found him lacking in 2005. I guess I'm more appreciative of his overall tenure with a club that lacked leadership and coherence from above on many occasions. Weak that his ego got the best of him in 2005, an awful year on many counts -- but it should never get so bad that you're making moves to spite your boss. It's obvious that he and Depo were not only on different pages, they weren't in the same book or library for that matter.

2006-02-07 16:49:40
77.   jasonungar05
My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.

When will you be back?

I can't tell you that. It's classified.

2006-02-07 17:06:56
78.   trainwreck
I believe the Big Lebowski is the funniest movie of all time.
2006-02-07 17:31:54
79.   Jon Weisman
What was the sweatiest movie of all time, and why is that question significant?
2006-02-07 17:32:22
80.   overkill94
To help appease the Asian crowd, the Dodgers have brought in another Japanese pseudo-star on a minor league contract...

From Rotoworld:
Dodgers signed RHP Takashi Saito to a minor league contract.
Saito, who turns 35 later this month, went 3-4 with a 3.82 ERA, 111 H and 93/29 K/BB in 106 innings for the Yokohama Bay Stars last season. He has considerable experience as both a starter and a reliever -- he saved 47 games between 2000 and 2001 -- so the Dodgers will have the option of moving him around. He'll have to make the team as a middle reliever first.

2006-02-07 17:36:31
81.   trainwreck
79-
Krush Groove starring the Fat Boys.
2006-02-07 17:42:25
82.   Bob Timmermann
79

"Body Heat" is quite sweaty.

Any movie with Fritz Weaver in it involved sweat. He was cinema's greatest perspiring actor.

2006-02-07 17:42:37
83.   trainwreck
We can thank Molina for not having Molina on our team...

http://tinyurl.com/85ocm

Could Bengie Molina understand our prospects better than Ned?

2006-02-07 17:49:09
84.   Steve
Random Thoughts:

Ned had better be careful in trade talks. He might offer someone "either.....or" and they might take Ethier.

A line like this deserves to be repeated and admired.

Yahoo is reporting that "Paris Hilton Ordered to Stay Away From Man." Dare to dream that the headline means "Mankind."

Jim Tracy thinks so little of his term with the Dodgers, he's had to invent an alternate history of it.

2006-02-07 17:53:20
85.   D4P
Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it's made up of two separate words "mank"and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery and that's why so is mankind.

- Jack Handy

2006-02-07 17:59:04
86.   Marty
Body heat was very sweaty. So was Cool Hand Luke
2006-02-07 17:59:28
87.   LAT
Yahoo is reporting that "Paris Hilton Ordered to Stay Away From Man." Dare to dream that the headline means "Mankind."

See Dennis Miller without the F-bomb. And I was only 30 seconds behind that one.

As for sweaty movie. Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. (I assume Jon's question was not intended to include those less mainstream kind of sweaty movies).

2006-02-07 18:00:40
88.   Marty
78 It's really up there.

"How ya gonna keep down on the farm after they've seen Karl Hungus"

2006-02-07 18:07:25
89.   Marty
I just saw (via bit torrent) the first two episodes of a new BBC comedy called "the IT crowd". It's pretty funny. About two nerdy IT guys who work in the basement of some big British company. They get a new boss who knows nothing about computers. It's very silly and over the top, but I got a lot of laughs out of it. I don't know if it will be on the BBC channels we get here in America.
2006-02-07 18:20:18
90.   trainwreck
I have not watched the show, but the biggest star from "Little Britain" is doing a movie about Hitchcock's life.
2006-02-07 18:20:20
91.   Bob Timmermann
But why was Manny Mota batting for Pedro Borbon in the flashback?
2006-02-07 18:39:34
92.   bhsportsguy
80 - I am not going to get into any shouting matches but as an Asian fan, the only player who I have seen that ever influenced attendance figures at the games was Hideo Nomo during his first season with the Dodgers. And primarily it was with the Japanese National (visitors from Japan, not permanent residents of US) crowd. There were tours booked from Japan specifically to see him pitch at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers have had other Asian players like Park, Ishii, Choi and now Seo and perhaps this pitcher Saito, but none of them will ever be the impact Hideo was, he was the first and thus far the best import to drive into Dodger Stadium since the Datsun 240Z.

2006-02-07 18:43:22
93.   D4P
Hee Seop Choi has captured the imagination of Dodger fans far and wide, Asian and Cauc-Asian alike.
2006-02-07 18:49:43
94.   Steve
Imagination being the key word
2006-02-07 19:01:09
95.   das411
Everybody, it's time for Steve's favorite hour of TV!!
2006-02-07 19:02:09
96.   Bob Timmermann
That would be the case if Steve lived on the East.
2006-02-07 19:15:34
97.   Bob Timmermann
...lived on the East Coast.
2006-02-07 20:21:36
98.   Andrew Shimmin
I was just kidding, by the way, about smiting Beltre. When the revolution comes, I'm betting travel is going to be greatly complicated. My smiting is likely to be all local. Oh, and I don't actually hate him.
2006-02-07 20:27:31
99.   Steve
When the revolution comes, I'm betting travel is going to be greatly complicated.

At least Paris Hilton won't have to worry about it.

2006-02-07 20:39:41
100.   overkill94
92 Well, I was joking about this new guy making an impact, but I'm sure you're right. When my dad and I tried to catch a Dodger game with Nomo pitching one day in 96, we had to pay through the nose to get mediocre seats from scalpers.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-02-07 20:40:44
101.   Andrew Shimmin
99- The revolution is off. What's the point of even having a revolution if Paris Hilton doesn't get put to the sword?
2006-02-07 20:44:22
102.   Steve
Or Adrian Beltre for that matter. Apparently, one can't even point out what a crappy 2005 he had, much less use the rack on him.
2006-02-07 20:48:53
103.   natepurcell
t seems wise to have as few of his clients as possible, without getting overly rigid about it. A small bonus to how Colletti handled the Weaver machinations -- beyond big savings in dollars and the addition of two draft pick -- Ned rid the club of a frontline Boras client.

he got rid of two, weaver and edwin jackson.

2 down, 3 left! can anyone guess the remaining 3 who have given a little piece of their soul to the devil on earth?

2006-02-07 20:51:03
104.   trainwreck
Drew, Lowe and Gagne.
2006-02-07 20:55:00
105.   Steve
"Boras Clients Ordered To Stay Away From Man"

I like it.

2006-02-07 20:55:20
106.   Sam DC
BTW -- it's 5 to midnight here and the DC council has gone back into session to kvetch more about the Nationals lease. Can't see yet if Barry is still wearing his Nationals cap . . . can't imagine there'd be a different vote at this point, but then again I can't imagine why these folks are still yapping . . . And I really can't imagine why I'm watching instead of doing the things I actually need to do before sleep.
2006-02-07 20:57:05
107.   Steve
Where are they on the lease? I lose track.
2006-02-07 20:59:46
108.   Andrew Shimmin
102- You have to admit, your running pool on whether Beltre would out-OPS Izturis was pretty cruel. Not at all grateful. (I poked through the DT archives the other day; good times)
2006-02-07 21:02:09
109.   natepurcell
i really think if izzy's elbow didnt completely wither away this season, he would have had out OPSed beltre.
2006-02-07 21:08:20
110.   Sam DC
107 It's pretty byzantine. The current lease deal -- with some notionally (but not really) new money from baseball and dc developers in it -- was voted down 5-8 earlier this evening. The key issue is that the council wanted a hard price cap on the construction of the stadium. he revised deal had a cap, but also said that if DC ordered design changes, it had to pay the additional costs. Crazy, I know. Now they are back in session, I'm not sure to what end. But Barry is indeed wearing his red Nationals cap as he trashes the deal.

Next steps unclear. The cap could be revised -- there seems to be support for a truly and unambiguously capped construction deal -- but there are business challenges with whether a construction company would really accept a truly and unmovably capped deal. Maybe.

Virginia gov Kaine said today that if DC doesn't want the Nationals anymore he'll take 'em out near Dulles airport.

MLB says they will take the whole mess to arbitration, though there are serious issues with what sort of remedies an arbitrator could order in this setting. Financial penalties against the city, sure, but it's not at all clear the arbitrator can order the council to enter into a lease or construction contract they don't.

More of an answer then you were looking for, I realize.

2006-02-07 21:08:29
111.   D4P
So, what is the "Beltre-hater" explanation for his outlying 2004 performance:

1. Contract year
2. Roids
3. Luck
4. Other
5. All the above

2006-02-07 21:16:41
112.   Steve
How could you "truly and unambiguously" cap a construction deal?
2006-02-07 21:18:39
113.   Sam DC
They are voting now on a "motion to reconsider" which has just passed and they are now voting on an lease and construction deal that Cropp says shall include amended language from recent discussions.

This is crazy.

2006-02-07 21:21:21
114.   natepurcell
6. bone spurs
2006-02-07 21:23:28
115.   Steve
So they're writing the language of the lease as they go? If there were odds on such things as "Will this end up in Court in two to four years?" this wouldn't even be posted for lack of competition.
2006-02-07 21:23:44
116.   Sam DC
112 Well, it really would just mean that the developer ends up eating overruns. But it is kooky because the city will not hand design or full decisionmaking responsibility over to the builders. Which I realize is your point.

And of course regardless of the stadium construction agreement, the city is going to end up paying for all sorts of extra stuff that is not strictly part of the stadium.

I'm starting to think that the Wash Post will have a stale article on page A1. Hope they left themselves some wiggle room.

2006-02-07 21:24:47
117.   Steve
7. Angels with magic wings that only help homegrown Dodgers.
2006-02-07 21:30:31
118.   Sam DC
115 Seriously -- they just agreed to accept some of Barry's language!
2006-02-07 21:37:30
119.   Steve
Which language?

"If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate."

or

"First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second, what can I say? I'm a night owl."

or

"The law of gravity is racist."

2006-02-07 21:39:37
120.   natepurcell
did juan encarnacion sign with any team yet?
2006-02-07 21:40:59
121.   King of the Hobos
103 So, are you not a big fan of adding a 4th? Namely a certain Volunteer
2006-02-07 21:41:28
122.   Bob Timmermann
I think my post on the Griddle about this is way beyond stale.
2006-02-07 21:43:08
123.   Sam DC
So it just passed 9-4. Unclear to me if it is different enough from earlier deals that mlb's agreement to the lease terms and stadium plan is certain.

In fact, pretty clear that nothing is certain yet.

They have already opened a five guys burger joint across the street from the site of the stadium district. That, I guess, is certain.

2006-02-07 21:43:54
124.   Andrew Shimmin
120- The Cardinals snatched him up. Blast the luck.
2006-02-07 21:45:16
125.   Steve
Geez, Nate, the Cardinals shoved a billion dollars worth of used greenbacks under the ladies' room stall to sign Encarnacion. Where have you been?
2006-02-07 21:46:44
126.   Andrew Shimmin
124- 3yr/$15mil. Well shy of my early post-season guess, but still.
2006-02-07 21:47:19
127.   natepurcell
So, are you not a big fan of adding a 4th? Namely a certain Volunteer

i dont fault him. boras has scared the beejesus out of him. remember, he did fire boras once, then boras put an alien bug into his brain (yes just like the movie the faculty) and now boras controls hochevar.

if we get rid of boras, his "slaves" will be free! quick, where is josh harnett when you need him.

2006-02-07 21:48:37
128.   natepurcell
wow that was encarnacion!?!? i thought it was some ohter crappy toolsy outfielder... like preston wilson or something.
2006-02-07 21:49:51
129.   Sam DC
The DC City Council appears to be moving on to liquor license renewal protests. Wonder if the Night Owl is going to change caps . . .
2006-02-07 21:54:29
130.   Steve
Since when is Preston Wilson toolsy?
2006-02-07 21:55:19
131.   Sam DC
129 For accuracy sake, it looks like the council has adjourned and the cable access folks are re-running the session.
2006-02-07 21:55:45
132.   Sam DC
129 For accuracy sake, it looks like the council has adjourned and the cable access folks are re-running the session.
2006-02-07 22:01:10
133.   Bob Timmermann
Sam, you've seen way too much of democracy in action for one night
2006-02-07 22:05:37
134.   King of the Hobos
128 Nah, Preston Wilson is the guy who got a 3 yr, $24 option (he only makes around $3 mil this season). If the option is actually picked up...
2006-02-07 22:34:13
135.   Steve
I have enjoyed this season of Scrubs more than say, D4P, but even he must admit that the air guitar "More Than A Feeling" was a tremendous, Beltre 2004-like comeback.
2006-02-07 23:02:45
136.   Jon Weisman
Scrubs made me laugh so much tonight I wanted to cry. I was wondering if there was something wrong with me.
2006-02-07 23:07:06
137.   sactofan
That's so funny!
2006-02-07 23:35:43
138.   Bob Timmermann
But is Jon afraid to kiss his son?
2006-02-07 23:37:11
139.   ToyCannon
The 1st 5 minutes of the 2nd Scrubs tonight was the best. I love Scrubs back to back. Real writers must be killing themselves to work on that show.
2006-02-07 23:48:24
140.   Bob Timmermann
Which of course leads us to Friday's "Arrested Development" swan song.
2006-02-08 00:40:20
141.   Xeifrank
In the NL West Pre-season SIM league, Paul DePodesta's Dodgers just took 2 of 3 from Arizona. Both teams are now tied for first with a 19-11 clip.

NL West Standings
Standings
Team W L GB Streak
DBacks 19 11 _ Lost 2
PD Dodgers 19 11 _ Won 2
NC Dodgers 15 15 4 Lost 1
Giants 15 15 4 Won 2
Padres 11 19 8 Won 1
Rockies 11 19 8 Lost

PD Dodgers vs DBacks
Pitching Matchup Results
J.Weaver vs R.Ortiz DBacks win 7-3
Game summary: Leadoff man C.Counsell reached base four times, and S.Green's grand slam in the 5th inning iced the game.
.

O.Perez vs B.Halsey PD Dodgers win 6-1
Game summary: J.Drew went 3 for 4 and O.Perez pitched a solid 8+ innings.
.

D.Houlton vs M.Batista PD Dodgers win 6-1
Game summary: H.Choi had 2 walks, 2 doubles and 2 RBIs, D.Houlton limited the DBacks to only 5 hits, as the PD Dodgers caught up to the DBacks in the standings.

2006-02-08 05:21:51
142.   D4P
Scrubs was pretty good, but the whole "clumsy girl falling over stuff" schtick is beyond cliche. I can't fault Mandy Moore, who has pretty much earned a lifelong free pass from me for her performance in "Saved".
2006-02-08 06:21:40
143.   Vishal
[141] depodesta would have kept weaver?
2006-02-08 07:44:09
144.   Xeifrank
143. Depo was fired before he made any moves with the pitching staff. So I took the season ending staff and carried it over. I can't ass-u-me he would've signed anybody else. Thanks for asking though. vr, Xei
2006-02-08 08:36:14
145.   StevieK
hey, I dont know if anyone caught Weisman's reference to the movie Airplane: "Manny Mota Mota Mota....." Does anyone know who did the announcer in Stryker's head say Manny Mota was batting for? I never could figure it out.
2006-02-08 08:53:41
146.   Bob Timmermann
Pedro Borbon
2006-02-08 08:58:06
147.   Jon Weisman
145 - As mentioned earlier, it was Pedro Borbon, even though I don't think they were ever teammates. Probably it just sounded nice, or maybe it was a Winter League thing, or maybe they just thought Mota would stick around long enough to bat for Pedro Borbon, Jr.
2006-02-08 09:40:16
148.   jasonungar05
Did u guys catch that Bradley article. I thought it was interesting...

http://tinyurl.com/7rkrm

2006-02-08 09:49:03
149.   Bob Timmermann
Very interesting article that examines Bradley from both sides.
2006-02-08 10:46:03
150.   bhsportsguy
In the latest preview on the dodgers.com site regarding the outfield, Gurnick writes that Jayson Werth will probably be out until June, no timetable on Drew, estimates 100 games for Lofton, says Ledee always has hamstring issues, so my hunch is we will see a lot of Delwyn Young and Joel Guzman flanking Repko during Spring Training, along with Andre Ethier. Who knows if one of them has a breakout spring, they might hitch a ride to LA.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.