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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

At 21, Miller Heads for the Bullpen
2006-02-17 14:55
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

  • Dodger lefty pitching prospect Greg Miller, 21, has all but given up on a career as a starting pitcher, he told Tony Jackson of the Daily News.

    "It's really tough to tell," Miller said to Jackson. "I haven't really thrown more than 45 pitches on the side, which is where I'm at now. I don't know if I'll eventually be able to throw 100 pitches in a game. I grew up as a starter, but at the same time, I really enjoy being able to pitch every other day if needed."

    In an article Thursday for MLB.com, Ken Gurnick reported that Miller is "feeling better," but that there is still some uncertainty surrounding his mechanics.

    "The organization believes Miller needs to throw from a three-quarter arm slot," Gurnick wrote. "He said he feels best when he keeps his hand on top of the ball during release."

  • If Eric Gagne is to stay with the Dodgers beyond this season, he wants a contract extension - not just fulfillment of his one-year mutual option, according to Bill Plunkett of the Register:

    "The option is not really an option," Gagne said. "I'm either going to be here long term, or I'm going to be somewhere else long term.

    "It's all about respect. I said that two years ago (when Gagne chafed over an arbitration loss), and it's still about respect."

    If only it were that simple. But people put a price on respect, and it's not always the same price.

  • Milton Bradley is a leading candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, at least out of the American League West, suggests John Donovan of SI.com.

  • Meanwhile, wouldn't that be a twist if April came and Cesar Izturis turned out to be healthy? Gurnick writes:

    Izturis, expected to be sidelined until the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction, took a full batting practice session and was fielding ground balls after throwing from 40 feet.

    "Weird, isn't it?" Izturis said. "I can swing a bat and not feel anything with my elbow. Right-handed, left-handed, doesn't matter. It feels perfect when I swing."

  • Adweek reports that the Dodgers' advertising agency is Young & Rubicam, based in ... Orange County.

    Gregory Solman of Adweek adds:

    Regarding the Dodgers notoriously low advertising budgets, {Young and Rubicam managing partner Rick) Eiserman said that (Dodger chief marketing officer Tagg) Romney "has a better idea of what things cost, coming from Reebok. Just as they've gotten higher and higher talent to run their marketing, their idea of how to sell their seats is more sophisticated."

    The first television work from the agency is expected to break March 15.

  • Ex-Dodger Scott Erickson, invited by the Yankees to Spring Training, predicts a rebirth this year because he has been able to be more aggressive in his offseason weight training, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:

    Erickson wants to get his velocity from 88-91 mph to the 91-94 range, which would make all of his pitches more effective.

    "When your pitches are all the same speed, you can get two strikes on anyone, but you can't get that third strike," Erickson said. "It's a big difference."

    Erickson knows that his chances of making the team are slim, given the number of pitchers with big league contracts already in camp. He appears to be open to the idea of pitching at Triple-A, but he's not ready to concede his shot at making the Yankees' roster just yet.

    Update: Dodger owner Frank McCourt is trying to solve the organization's health problems through a new approach, according to Jackson - though to what extent it will help the 2006 team remains a mystery:

    On orders from owner Frank McCourt, and clearly in response to the rash of injuries that undermined their 2005 season, the Dodgers have solicited the services of Athletes Performance Institute. The firm, which is based in Tempe, Ariz., and has a branch office in Carson, focuses on all aspects of an athlete's physical preparation, including nutrition, strength and conditioning.

    The club has signed a service contract of at least six months with the firm, although team officials won't divulge the exact length of the deal. Charlie Wright, general manager of the Carson office, said the firm has eight people presently working with the club in spring training. They will return to the West Coast on Thursday, but be back here for the start of minor-league camp early next month. ...

    New general manager Ned Colletti has said repeatedly this year's club must stay healthy to compete for a playoff spot. But the API affiliation is strongly geared to the minors, where the Dodgers are deep in legitimate prospects and where less-established players tend to be more receptive to suggested changes in their eating and training habits.

  • Comments (97)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-02-17 15:38:38
    1.   bhsportsguy
    Neddy on the radio
    1. Russell Martin has the choice to play in the WBC but he does not think he will.
    2. He says he has no input on if players decide to play or not.
    3. On Jeff Weaver, thought there was no chance that he would not be signed by another team.
    4. On Izzy, he was very non-specific, says when and if Izzy comes back, he will look at the current situation and sees how he can fit.
    5. On open spots and competition, he would not put it past Russell Martin to make the club (Not sure if that is comment on Navarro or Alomar). He says it will depend on carrying 11 or 12 pitchers.
    6. He mentioned Guzman, Loney, Ethier, and the pitchers, with Guzman said SS, 3B or the outfield.
    7. His idea on the roster is that once February 1st hits, the chances to make a trade goes down until July 20th. There was a mention of DePo who was mentioned in believing that the first part of the season is to evaluate and then you make changes. Ned did not specifically discount that.
    8. He says that Mueller may be a No. 2 spot guy due to his switch hitting.
    2006-02-17 15:57:30
    2.   Dark Horse
    Ah "respect." The mother of all euphemisms when it comes to contract talk.
    2006-02-17 15:58:20
    3.   Xeifrank
    Ok, so what would the market rate (years and $$$) be for Gagne if the Dodgers were to consider signing him to a long-term contract. I would think you'd want to give him half a year to prove he is healthy and still has the velocity on his pitches and is the same Gagne as before the injury before thinking too hard about signing him long term. Even if he was doing well, I would think he would be valuable trade bait at the very least, especially if the team was dropping out of contention. Chances are the Dodgers won't be out of the running in this division unless another plague hits the team, which would make trading him a little more difficult to do. If Brazoban, Baez or even Broxton can prove a worthy closing candidate it might tip the scales in favor of a trade, if the long-term contract thingy doesn't look too realistic. I'm not all that excited about paying top dollar to a closer. I mean, he's already making $10mil per year, how much more would he want?
    vr, Xei
    2006-02-17 15:58:31
    4.   Bob Timmermann
    Erickson knows that his chances of making the team are slim, given the number of pitchers with big league contracts already in camp. He appears to be open to the idea of pitching at Triple-A, but he's not ready to concede his shot at making the Yankees' roster just yet.

    CONCEDE ALREADY SCOTT!

    Give up!

    If Erickson keeps this up, I'm going to have to put "Homicide: Life on the Street" on notice just from guilt by association.

    2006-02-17 16:13:27
    5.   King of the Hobos
    Derek Thompson had surgery yet again today to clean up scar tissue from the TJ. Also of significance, Penny lost 20 lbs over the offseason and claims to be 100%. And Hee-Seop arrived today, right along with Repko, Osoria, and Eric Langill (who was not a major league NRI, they just needed the 6th catcher I guess)

    http://tinyurl.com/9hlyf

    2006-02-17 16:14:22
    6.   Xeifrank
    Anyone sure that this is the "real" Scott Erickson and not the "ghost of" Scott Erickson?? You know, Ghosts and Yankees have a long history together. vr, Xei
    2006-02-17 16:40:27
    7.   Ken Arneson
    4 Never give up! Never surrender! By Grabthar's Hammer, by the sons of Worvan, you shall be avenged!
    2006-02-17 16:44:23
    8.   grandcosmo
    Its all about "respect" on the players side but if the club dares to utter the word "loyalty" the player laughs in their face.
    2006-02-17 16:45:44
    9.   grandcosmo
    Its all about "respect" on the players side but if the ballclub dares to utter the word "loyalty" the player laughs in their face.
    2006-02-17 16:48:02
    10.   Marty
    A Galaxy Quest fan!
    2006-02-17 16:58:49
    11.   King of the Hobos
    Honeycutt said the anticipated candidates for the fifth starter spot include Seo, D.J. Houlton, rookie Chad Billingsley and non-roster veterans Aaron Sele and Brian Meadows.

    http://tinyurl.com/869ua

    Where did Meadows' name come from? His name should be nowhere near the rotation (same goes for Sele). I'd rather Ainsworth over either of those guys

    2006-02-17 17:24:33
    12.   Icaros
    I hate when Eric Gagne talks.

    How many innings did he pitch last season?

    2006-02-17 17:31:44
    13.   Bob Timmermann
    12
    Francophobe!
    2006-02-17 17:32:24
    14.   Steve
    I hate when Eric Gagne talks.

    You're going to be at the forefront of another trend, I fear.

    2006-02-17 17:43:50
    15.   bigcpa
    Let us not forget April, 1998 when Piazza was booed at home for whining about getting respect (i.e. $100,000,000.00). If Gagne keeps going to the media with this stuff it could provide cover to deal him. Return of Ghame Over 2007.
    2006-02-17 17:44:54
    16.   Jon Weisman
    12, 14 - Yeah ... he does seem the pouty sort, doesn't he. Dating back to when he lost his arbitration case and still got big bucks.
    2006-02-17 17:52:29
    17.   Fallout
    Erickson wants to get his velocity from 88-91 mph to the 91-94 range, which would make all of his pitches more effective.

    When is the last time Erickson threw 91?

    Saying he working out to get his velocity to 94 would be like Sosa saying he is working out his legs to become a speedy leadoff hitter.

    2006-02-17 17:53:28
    18.   King of the Hobos
    15 I have a feeling that Ned may be more interested in Gamez Over
    2006-02-17 17:58:32
    19.   Fallout
    Sounds like Gagne is working out his tongue to be a player rep.
    2006-02-17 17:59:53
    20.   Bob Timmermann
    I believe Jayson Werth is the current player rep.
    2006-02-17 18:07:29
    21.   Jon Weisman
    Fallout - long time, no see. Welcome back.
    2006-02-17 18:15:30
    22.   Fallout
    It was a long season. Had to take some time off. :)
    2006-02-17 18:26:05
    23.   Fallout
    Looks like I should take more time off to learn how to proof read. #17 "he's"
    2006-02-17 18:31:01
    24.   Slipstream
    Remember Gary Sheffield? It was all about respect for him too when he asked for a contract extension. Someone in the press asked him what would happen if he didn't get his way, and he said, "I might struggle." That's still my favorite baseball quote of all time.

    Of course when Sheffield asked for respect he was considered a cancer in the clubhouse, while Gagne is a clubhouse leader.

    2006-02-17 18:40:39
    25.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
    Phew, just got back from reading comments on the Dodger Spring Training Blog, and boy is my head tired.

    The quality of the discourse there is so, so... how do I put this... uh, well: you know the people who call and speak to A. Martinez during post-game DodgerTalk? Those people who Martinez has to to his best not to laugh at and come up with some polite way of answering? Yeah, a lot like that.

    My favorite: 'let's go get Sammy Sosa! It might just be 1-2 million!'

    Wow.

    2006-02-17 18:57:15
    26.   Brendan
    It looks like Gagne is shooting for another Guy You Want To Like But He Can't Keep His Foot Out Of His Mouth Award. Previous winners of the GYWTLBHCKHFOOHM Award include Brett Butler and Paul Lo Duca.
    2006-02-17 19:04:02
    27.   natepurcell
    My favorite: 'let's go get Sammy Sosa! It might just be 1-2 million!

    yea seriously, damn the man who suggested that!

    ........

    ..............

    2006-02-17 19:07:34
    28.   natepurcell
    *crickets chirp*

    *tumbleweed rolls by*

    2006-02-17 19:09:24
    29.   natepurcell
    okay to change the subject. I still have hope in millers future as a starting pitcher. I just wish they stick him back at AA this year and build up his arm strength grudually. let him go 50 pitches or 3 innings for the first 3-4 starts, then gradually build it up to about 80 pitches a start. Keep him on a strict pitch count though.

    just take it slow and steady with him. hes only 21, theres no need to rush.

    2006-02-17 19:19:50
    30.   Fallout
    26. Brendan

    Brett Butler was the worst. I didn't like the way he kept the heat on the replacement players. He never let up even yrs later...

    2006-02-17 19:41:35
    31.   das411
    An...interesting Rockies-related story here: http://tinyurl.com/bbo5c
    2006-02-17 19:54:04
    32.   dsfan
    Nate,

    Hope your right about Greg Miller.

    I'm pessimistic.

    The shoulder is more complex than the elbow and Miller's shoulder has ailed for him so long that it would be shocking to see him establish himself as a major league starter.

    Frankly I cannot recall one pitcher in his age/experience demographic who went on to any great degree of succee as a major league starter after shoulder problems this stubborn.

    Paul Wilson comes to mind, not that he's any great shakes, but he had at least developed as a pitcher before his shoulder gave out. He was drafted out of college, probably at age 22. It appears that Greg Miller peaked at age 19.

    I'm only slight more bullish on Edwin Jackson than I am on Miller, but that's only because I'm so doubtful about Miller.

    From the Big Three of Jackson, Miller and Hanrahan I expect only a mediocre career, if that, from Jackson and far less from Miller and Hanrahan.

    TNSAAPP indeed and a caveat for those who are quick to proclaim greatness for Billingsley or advocate his starting the season with the Dodgers.

    I'd love to see Billingsley become more accurate with his fastball and develop a changeup before the LAD call him up. I'd even downplay his potential, reducing some of the pressure on him.

    It's such a tricky business, producing good and lasting starting pitchers and frankly the LAD have done a terrible job of it this decade.

    Maybe someone less ballyhooed will break the trend. Maybe Tiffany will pan out for the Rays, although I am skeptical there as well. His HR ratio was terrible for a guy in the Fla. State League and it's quite likely that Logan White was consulted before Chuck was shipped out.

    2006-02-17 20:56:46
    33.   natepurcell
    It's such a tricky business, producing good and lasting starting pitchers and frankly the LAD have done a terrible job of it this decade

    is it that we've done a terrible job or we havent really had the talent?

    i think its a combination of both. i think jackson was mishandled. but the miller, figueroa, hanrahan, piilkington, etc, all of them succumbed to the injury risk of TINSTAPP.

    i do think we are due for some our bad luck to change into good luck. Thats why i have a little hope for the next group of billingsley, orenduff, broxton, elbert, etc.

    2006-02-17 21:12:28
    34.   Steve
    Don't most teams do a terrible job of it? (ATL notwithstanding)
    2006-02-17 21:24:39
    35.   GravyLittle
    The Gagne situation is pretty tough. If he comes back and dominates and we are still in contention it would be pretty tough to trade him because he is the best closer in the game when he's healthy. But if you keep him there is the risk of losing him in the offseason. If Broxton or Brazoban emerge as dominant arms they might be capable of the closing job. If that happens then trading gagne would not hurt as much. Imagine what we could get for him.
    2006-02-17 21:29:23
    36.   Andrew Shimmin
    31- I don't get it. I mean, I understand it's a joke, but what's the deal? Why is Simon and Schuster running it?
    2006-02-17 21:31:39
    37.   dsfan
    Nate,

    We agree that Jackson was mishandled, egregiously and inexcusably, I say.

    We also agree TINSTAPP is going to bite every franchise, but obviously there something of a meritocracy to this stuff.

    While nodding toward TINSTAPP, I take a bottom-line view: The LAD have done a terrible job this decade (say, post Gagne) of producing starting pitchers -- as for why, beyond TINSTAPP you've also got to look at talent acquisition and development.
    Keep in mind the no-draft countries as part of talent acquistion (that's where the Dodgers used to dominate and should still have a slight advantage, given their resources).

    I agree that a change in luck is probably in order for the LAD.

    Steve:

    I can't comment on most teams' ability to produce starting pitchers, but in this decade, every other NL West team has done a much better job than the Dodgers.

    San Diego came up with Peavy, Lawrence and Stauffer (Lawrence isn't great gave them 900 innings for very low money and Stauffer's weak ERA belied signficant contributions to a division winner at a tiny salary).

    Colorado produced Cook, Jennings, Francis and Chacon -- pretty decnet, especially if you believe in ballpark factors.

    Arizona produced Brandon Webb, Brad Penny, John Patterson (who was dominant for stretches last year) and Chris Capuano (check out Capuano's year with Milwaukee, very solid). As an aside, GM Garagiola got very litte Patterson and Capuano. Doubt Byrnes would be so charitable.

    San Francisco produced Noah Lowry, the Liriano kid who likely will start for the Twins this year, Foppert (who blew out his elbow), Jerome Williams (who did OK for a year or two). Hennessy has a bit of value, too. And Cain is off to a nice start.

    2006-02-17 21:34:10
    38.   Andrew Shimmin
    Imagine what we could get for him.

    Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany?

    2006-02-17 21:38:50
    39.   GravyLittle
    38- Think bigger
    2006-02-17 21:39:05
    40.   Steve
    Doubt Byrnes would be so charitable.

    Colletti is running the United Way.

    2006-02-17 21:39:34
    41.   Steve
    38 -- Great minds think alike.
    2006-02-17 21:41:47
    42.   natepurcell
    in the malone years, our talent evaluation was horrible. since logan white has took over, the dodgers have gotten nothing but praise from outside respected sources. now, one of his kids has to actually produce in the bigs, but they are all still incredibly young.

    i think we are getting back on the right track, i mean, our farm system is now rated #1 in all of baseball. in 2001, we were ranked 28. we have come a long way in talent evaluation and development.

    2006-02-17 21:43:59
    43.   Andrew Shimmin
    37- That's circular, though, isn't it? The team has sucked at bringing up pitchers, so the thing to do is dump all the pitchers. Then what?

    At some point (perhaps the point was five years ago, the part of the decade that was post-Gagne) the Dodgers should be able to not suck at bringing up pitchers. It's not impossible, or magic, right?

    2006-02-17 21:49:39
    44.   Andrew Shimmin
    OT (and completely inappropriate): was there ever a more re-watchable movie than Porky's? The shower scene is (rightly) famous, but the one right after it is my favorite. Please, please, can we call it a tallywhacker?
    2006-02-17 21:51:44
    45.   Steve
    was there ever a more re-watchable movie than Porky's?

    Well, usually alike.

    2006-02-17 21:55:22
    46.   D4P
    Cut Andrew some slack. He's going through that awkward phase...
    2006-02-17 21:58:48
    47.   Steve
    "People who call Porky's 'rewatchable'"
    2006-02-17 22:01:13
    48.   Andrew Shimmin
    I'm not saying it's good; it isn't. I'm saying, your choices are the Winter Olympics, Larry King, Best Damn Sports Show Period, Sharp Talk with Al Sharpton, etc., or Porkys. You can turn on Porky's and it doesn't matter that it's bad. And, if you tune in at the right minute, it's the woman gym teacher explaining why she needs five semi-clothed teenage boys to form a line-up for identification of a mole. Or the telephone call for Michael (abrv.) Hunt.

    Yeah. Alright. I'm not proud of it.

    2006-02-17 22:02:04
    49.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    31 - That's one of the more mindbending sites I've run across recently.
    2006-02-17 22:02:17
    50.   Sam DC
    So, will Andrew be pro the coming Howard Stern remarke of Porky's or is he a Porky's traditionalist?
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-02-17 22:02:28
    51.   Sam DC
    grrr . . . remake
    2006-02-17 22:04:14
    52.   Steve
    I've never seen Porky's. I don't imagine it being watchable or rewatchable. It strikes me as the Danys Baez of movies.
    2006-02-17 22:05:18
    53.   GravyLittle
    What is porky's? Care to give a little description.
    2006-02-17 22:05:25
    54.   Andrew Shimmin
    50- I've never liked anything of Stern's so far, so I'd bet against this being the first. And there's no way I'd be willing to buy a ticket to see it. But if it ever comes on the cable. . .
    2006-02-17 22:07:24
    55.   Andrew Shimmin
    It's the first rip-off of Animal House, using High School kids (I think; even if it isn't first, it's early). Think American Pie, but funny.
    2006-02-17 22:07:56
    56.   Sam DC
    "Truck Day" was pretty bad, but for some indefensible reason, I find "Big Unit More Comfortable in Camp This Year" even more aggravatingly numbing.
    2006-02-17 22:08:24
    57.   Linkmeister
    31 That story is really strange. I checked the byline; it was not written by Harry Turtledove, but it sure looks like alternate universe material to me.
    2006-02-17 22:08:25
    58.   natepurcell
    well im watching "true life: life at fat camp"

    so theres definately something good on tv.

    2006-02-17 22:08:34
    59.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    55 - Interesting. When "American Pie" was released, critics said: Think "Porky's," but funny.
    2006-02-17 22:10:41
    60.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    [31, 57] - It is heartening that, even in an Islamic republic, America gets to keep playing its favorite sports.
    2006-02-17 22:14:59
    61.   Steve
    So getting back on track before Xei shows up and smites us all with his holy wrath, it seems to me the solution to not producing good starting pitchers, and to the problem of TINSTAAP (sp?), is to have more starting pitching prospects, and let nature take its course.

    Or it might be hire Mike Marshall.

    2006-02-17 22:33:17
    62.   Andrew Shimmin
    61- I figured the stuff about a nine man pitching staff might win you over.

    59- The American Pie franchise was garbage. I have two theories on this. Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the beginning of the end for the teenage sex romp. Teen sex became an Issue, an Important Subject which required indoctrination in matters of Responsibility. Then came omnipresent pornography and the jig was entirely up. American Pie is what happens when all the fun is sucked out of the thing, and all that's left is raunch. Raunch was never the good part. It was a means to an end.

    Also, I blame feminists. Well drawn, complicated female characters can't coexist with teen sex romp. All landmines, no land.

    2006-02-17 22:36:27
    63.   Bob Timmermann
    31
    Even if the ALCS were held during Ramadan, the games are almost all at night, so the guy would be able to eat. The fasts are from sunrise to sunset.
    2006-02-17 22:36:35
    64.   das411
    36 , 49 , 60 et al - It's part of a promotion I ran across today for this book:

    http://www.prayersfortheassassin.com/

    Interview with the author here:

    http://www.radioblogger.com/#001394

    61 - Or Roger McDowell.

    2006-02-17 23:31:40
    65.   Steve
    He says it will depend on carrying 11 or 12 pitchers.

    I can't think of a single reason to stop there.

    2006-02-17 23:41:58
    66.   Andrew Shimmin
    Even if they only carry 11, is a third catcher really a good way to spend that last spot? Not that Alomar should be on the roster, anyway.

    How not to build a roster:
    3 catchers
    3 1B
    Repko
    Tomko
    Carter

    2006-02-17 23:45:32
    67.   Andrew Shimmin
    Update: Porky's was released in 1982. Much later than I thought, so all of my important theories about it are suspect. As if they weren't to begin with.
    2006-02-18 00:07:05
    68.   Steve
    The way they waste the last three spots, I can't figure out why teams don't just have 22 guys and save themselves a million dollars.
    2006-02-18 07:15:50
    69.   oldbear
    Contemplating carrying 3 catchers is Ned's way of saying, "What was I thinking when I signed Sandy Alomar, since he cant catch, pinch hit, or pinch run on a consistent basis"

    Here's hoping Alomar retires and Martin/Navarro leave spring training as the Dodgers 1a and 1b catchers.

    Also maybe Guzman, Ruggiano or even Ethier beats out Repko.

    When the 25man is unveiled and it contains:
    Ramon Martinez
    Sandy Alomar JR
    Jason Repko
    Lance Carter

    While at the same time not containing:
    Willy Aybar
    Hee Seop Choi
    Russ Martin
    Jonothan Broxton.

    The Ned Colletti era will be in full effect.

    2006-02-18 07:29:29
    70.   D4P
    The Ned Colletti era will be in full effect.

    And Jon will write a column about how Flanders really isn't that much like Depo.

    2006-02-18 07:34:56
    71.   oldbear
    42. The Dodgers havent developed good high end starting pitching because they've drafted way too many high school pitchers with their high picks. Those guys are big risks (not from a proven talent perspective but injury-wuse). I think colleges are great tool bc they weed out the injury risks, while also allowing for more data to be collected as to whether a player should be drafted or not.

    Before DePo came onboard, White was all about high school pitching. When DePo came on board, Dodgers end up with Orenduff in 1 draft, and Hochevar in the next. Two moves I liked.

    BA may rank the Dodgers system high but I cant trust a system that consistenly ranks the A's in the middle or bottom tier, despite the A's producing the best players year in/year out. BA's values tools over production, something I dont.

    2006-02-18 07:43:43
    72.   Vishal
    [71] i thought the A's are ranked low right now because most of their top young talent, aside from daric barton, is in the majors already. street, blanton, swisher, crosby, johnson, kielty.... there isn't a whole lot left in the minors right now. on the other hand, you did say "consistently", and i don't know how long BA has been lukewarm about oakland's system.
    2006-02-18 08:03:54
    73.   dsfan
    66, 69

    Doesn't appear the pieces fit, does it?

    2006-02-18 08:06:32
    74.   dsfan
    71

    Agreed.

    Go back over the last 10 years and it's staggering how many BA-touted pitching prospects were busts.

    Almost like the evaluation was, hey, he clocks in at 94 mph. He's a stud!

    I think BA has improved by being more cautious about pitching prospects -- but the baseline was pretty low there.

    2006-02-18 08:07:36
    75.   oldbear
    72. I dont think the A's have ever made BA's top 5. Not even top 10 in the past 6-7yrs I dont think.
    2006-02-18 08:44:09
    76.   dsfan
    I think Edwin Jackson would've been much better off coming up with Oakland. No way they would've push him in 2003 the way the Dodgers did.

    Medically the A's also are superior. I'm still scratching my head over L.A. allowing Gagne to limp around the mound last spring with a bum knee.

    2006-02-18 08:51:10
    77.   Steve
    Why are the Mets sending me e-mails? Particularly e-mails about how exciting Jose Reyes is.

    Frank McCourt is going to have one of those fancy internet chats on Tuesday.

    2006-02-18 09:08:59
    78.   Jon Weisman
    70 - If need be.
    2006-02-18 09:43:32
    79.   King of the Hobos
    69 Don't get your hopes up for Ruggiano, he wasn't invited to major league camp, and he's a year away anyways
    2006-02-18 10:16:46
    80.   MartinBillingsley31
    So anyone have an idea of what ned and grady have planned for the outfield?

    I read ned saying that lofton is going to play a limited amount of games, so is lofton going to be platooned and with who, and same goes for cruz?

    What's the plan?

    I'm assuming that drew kent furcal nomar mueller navarro are all full time if healthy.

    2006-02-18 10:23:12
    81.   Bob Timmermann
    Little has hinted at using three players in the outfield most of the time. Or else you give up a lot of extra base hits.
    2006-02-18 10:26:33
    82.   D4P
    81
    Unless there are runners on base, I would prefer that they use 4 players in the outfield, with no catcher. That would cut down on singles as well as extra base hits. The homeplate ump would need to get out of the way of the pitches, but that's his problem.
    2006-02-18 10:29:51
    83.   Bob Timmermann
    82
    Interestingly the Official Rules of Baseball don't explicitly say that you have to have a catcher behind home plate.
    2006-02-18 10:37:37
    84.   D4P
    Verry interestinguh...
    2006-02-18 10:44:42
    85.   Bob Timmermann
    Then again, you could construe this to mean that the catcher has to be behind the plate.

    4.03
    When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory.

    2006-02-18 10:46:50
    86.   Johnson
    83 I dunno. Rule 4.03 states: "When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory. (a) The catcher shall station himself directly back of the plate. He may leave his position at any time to catch a pitch or make a play except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catcher's box until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. PENALTY: Balk. (b) The pitcher, while in the act of delivering the ball to the batter, shall take his legal position; (c) Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory; (d) Except the batter, or a runner attempting to score, no offensive player shall cross the catcher's lines when the ball is in play."

    Sounds like a no-go, with a balk penalty if the catcher is out of position. Kind of a nice idea, though.

    2006-02-18 10:48:29
    87.   Johnson
    85 Dang it, Bob! You're too fast! You're not supposed to be checking on your the factual basis of your own statements, anyways. That looks too much like responsibility.
    2006-02-18 10:58:56
    88.   Steve
    Bob stresses accountability!
    2006-02-18 10:59:26
    89.   Another Tom
    The scenario we all discussed is now coming true - the SS without a position and no stick. What would Ned have to get to move Isturis? My guess is just someone willing to take his contract.
    2006-02-18 11:15:09
    90.   GoBears
    I think the rule about being allowed to run to 1b on a swinging strike 3 (which seems pointless otherwise) is also designed to make sure there's a catcher.

    Call it the Umpire Protection Rule.

    2006-02-18 11:17:44
    91.   Bob Timmermann
    I don't believe in making excuses.

    Except when it's not my fault.

    2006-02-18 11:24:01
    92.   underdog
    Guys, I have to apologize if this ends up being a bad omen for the team then you can blame me, or my cat, but the following is a true story:

    I bought the Sporting News baseball preview mag - the one with Eric Gagne on the cover. I read it last night. Fell asleep. Dropped it on the floor next to my bed. My cat barfed on it, big time.

    Now this hasn't in the past been even as accurate as reading tea leaves, but I'm just sayin'... may want to do a reverse jinx in case this is a bad omen for the season. Though what a reverse jinx for a hairball would be I don't really want to know.

    Sorry, hope no one was eating, and sorry, if Gagne gets hurt you can blame my cat.

    2006-02-18 11:25:16
    93.   Bob Timmermann
    If it were a bad omen for a cat to barf on something, my old cat would have been responsible for the deaths of millions at the rate she did that.
    2006-02-18 11:26:41
    94.   Steve
    Your cat has a healthy attitude toward athletes that whine about respect.
    2006-02-18 11:29:55
    95.   Bob Timmermann
    92

    I think the word we are looking for is "augur" BTW.

    2006-02-18 11:35:08
    96.   Andrew Shimmin
    Did anybody watch ABC Nightly News, last night? The Person of the Week was a kid in Oklahoma (I think) who loved the Yankees so much that he'd been saving birthday money, etc., for a trip to see them in Yankee Stadium. Then his (public) school ran out of money. So he gave his thousand dollars to the school. It made the local news, and somehow Steinbrenner found out; he cut the kid a check for the thousand dollars and is flying him out to see a game.

    I'm sure Steinbrenner paid money to get this story on the news. There is no doubt in my mind. But, it makes me wonder if McCourt might be open for this sort of Hugo Chavez impersonation. What could I do to get Frank McCourt to give me free stuff? I don't have a thousand dollars, and, if I did, I wouldn't give it to a school. But there's gotta be something cheap and easy. Maybe?

    2006-02-18 11:48:13
    97.   Linkmeister
    96 Since ABC makes it a parlor game to guess who the Person of the Week is, we play along. I'm usually pretty good at picking the right person, but not this time. The hints made me think it was Joey Cheek, the speedskater who gave his $25K bonus for winning gold to the African relief outfit.

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