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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

The Call of the Call
2006-03-22 09:18
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The dream of becoming a major league broadcaster - without the cachet of a big-league career behind you - is the subject of my latest piece at SI.com. For the story, I interviewed Russ Langer, announcer for the Dodgers' AAA team in Las Vegas, and Robert Portnoy, who will be taking the mike this season in the Dodgers' former AAA city, Albuquerque.

And it goes a little something like this ...

A few million kids sit in front of a few million TV sets on a dusty summer's day and dream of becoming big league ballplayers. They're leaping up against the walls of their rooms and robbing imaginary hitters of home runs, 50,000 fans roaring in their heads and Vin Scully rhapsodizing in amazement.

A few million more kids dream of something else. They hear the call of the announcer marveling at the great catch -- but the voice is their own. Their fantasy is to become big league broadcasters, to funnel the frenzy that has fed generations.

It's the second group that has the craziest dream. ...

Update: Langer just e-mailed me to say that this very morning, the Baltimore Orioles have hired him to do at least 10 fill-in broadcasts for the upcoming season. Congratulations!

Comments (350)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-22 10:02:28
1.   Bob Timmermann
Good article, Jon.

Can you imagine working for years and years and realizing that you can't get a major league job because people think Rick Monday is good?

2006-03-22 10:07:12
2.   gvette
At least Monday hit a pennant winning homer; how exactly did guys like Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper get broadcasting jobs?
2006-03-22 10:20:31
3.   Jacob L
Who thinks Monday is good?
2006-03-22 11:02:58
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Nice piece, Jon. The fact that I'm now a quasi-professional baseball blogger stems back to a childhood desire to be the next Mel Allen, "the voice of the Yankees," so that piece really hit home. I got as far as getting into two of the top media programs in the country (including S.I. Newhouse in Syracuse, Bob Costas's alma mater), but tuition costs redirected me to another school and print rather than airwaves. I don't think I could deal with the travel anyway--family is too important to me. Spouting off in a medium that allows be do dig a little deeper from the safety of my own living room works just fine, even if rarely involves actual pay.
2006-03-22 11:04:38
5.   Cliff Corcoran
some quality typing in 4 there, maybe I should have stuck with radio . . .
2006-03-22 11:08:22
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - Yeah, I'm with you there, Cliff. I like to be home. By the way, I was one of the kids in both of the first two paragraphs.
2006-03-22 11:16:02
7.   Michael Green
Somewhere there's a tape of me trying to announce a game. If someone got ahold of it, it could be worth blackmail money.

When I was nine, I met Vin and Jerry, and dreamed of being in the booth. I still broadcast games under my breath when I'm watching.

I live in Las Vegas, so I get to hear Russ Langer a bit. Good, solid broadcaster. And then I think not only of Monday but of guys like Steve Lyons, and I remember Red Barber and Harry Caray saying they told young people who asked them about becoming broadcasters, learn to hit the curve ball and you'll make it. What a shame that that has proved to be so true.

2006-03-22 12:28:25
8.   Sushirabbit
I'd be willing to bet that a good number of the married commenters/bloggers have their spouse tell them that they should be the announcers. Although, Giant Ants emitting Ultrasonic screams may not get that reaction.
2006-03-22 12:33:03
9.   Sushirabbit
8 er, that last bit would have made more sense if I'd included the URL that came up in my google search:

http://tinyurl.com/qcqfl

2006-03-22 12:34:11
10.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Langer is a good guy. I remember him from his days with the Triple-A Phoenix Firebirds in the early 90s.
2006-03-22 12:34:47
11.   gvette
To be fair, there are plenty of non jock MLB announcers who are pretty bad;

the Padres "Mr. San Diego" Ted Leitner, and perennial homer Steve Physioc of the Angels immediately coming to mind.

2006-03-22 12:53:35
12.   Ken Arneson
9 Yes, I'm sure it's the ultrasonic screams that keeps Cliff off the airwaves.

As for me, I never dreamed of being an announcer, but I would have been unlikely for me to succeed even if I had. Those inky smoke clouds make it too hard for me to see the game.

2006-03-22 12:57:50
13.   Bob Timmermann
11
He's invoked the names of Leitner and Physioc in the same sentence! Flee! Flee! Run for your lives!

If the name Vasgersian comes up, then we are living in end tims.

2006-03-22 13:00:37
14.   scareduck
One of my co-workers here was a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks' low-A team in Oregon or Washington. He was an announcer for his college's games in three or four sports and wanted to do it professionally; for various reasons, he ended up having to leave the club (ownership change, IIRC) and is now slogging it out in an indy league club I had never heard of previously. Tough chasing those dreams...
2006-03-22 13:00:40
15.   Marty
Physioc and Rex the wonder dog are on my list.
2006-03-22 13:04:20
16.   Marty
14 Particularly since he probably gets paid very little for it. I'm guessing there is no money in it until you hit a major team.
2006-03-22 13:07:47
17.   scareduck
14 - I should say, the brother of one of my co-workers here.
2006-03-22 13:08:36
18.   Uncle Miltie
11- you just named two of my least favorite announcers.

Great article Jon. I'd compare their situation to a minor leaguer who produces at every level, but is overlooked because they either don't have the tools (and aren't flashy) or the organization cares more about their bonus babies. Langer is an excellent announcer, far better than Rick Monday and Charley Steiner. I still can't understand how an announcer as bad as Monday can keep his job for so long. It might have something to do with him being a former Dodger "great" and for the flag burning incident.

2006-03-22 13:10:20
19.   gvette
13--Bob, it's only the Apocalypse if Russ Ortiz is also mentioned along with the others.
2006-03-22 13:15:36
20.   Uncle Miltie
13- I actually think that Vasgersian is better than Steiner, though that's not saying much. When McCourt fired Ross Porter, I thought he was looking to upgrade (Dan Shulman comes to mind). Instead, he hired one of the biggest homers in baseball. Why not just hire Stuart Scott?
2006-03-22 13:23:59
21.   Jon Weisman
As some of you may know, we have our own former broadcaster in our midst: Suffering Bruin.
2006-03-22 13:26:53
22.   FirstMohican
Stiener has grown on me. I wasn't thrilled with him to begin the season, but on the way home from the first game I attended in April, he was wrapping up some post-game coverage by listing the NLW standings. Once he got to Colorado he said "and the Rockies... have already been mathematically eliminated." At the time it was hilarious as I wasn't used to that sort of humor coming from Scully/Porter/Monday.

(That's not to say I don't find Monday funny. I'll never forget one of Monday's calls of a Robin Ventura hit. It went something like this: "Ventura pokes one...dropping...going foul...back...HOME RUN!")

2006-03-22 13:33:43
23.   Steve
That wacky Jim Tracy:

http://tinyurl.com/s4p29

2006-03-22 13:35:59
24.   Uncle Miltie
Rick Monday is funny because he can't put together coherent sentences.

Steiner seems more interested in talking about the Yankees and food rather than the Dodgers. He gets sidetracked very easily. Anyone remember the game in Milwalkee last year where Steiner and Lyons were eating hot dogs in the booth in the middle of the game. I remember hearing in the offseason that Lyons was going to take a job with as a color commentary man for the White Sox. Anyone know if this actually came to fruition?

2006-03-22 13:36:21
25.   Terry A
Cardinal fans love Mike Shannon, who is an atrocious announcer. Last year's Shannon/Wayne Hagin pairing was one for the ages.

Of course, Cards fans also loved Bo Hart as a second baseman. Maybe it was because he had the official St. Louis Cardinal fan haircut: the mullet.

2006-03-22 13:39:08
26.   Bob Timmermann
Wayne Hagin got fired by the Cardinals for radio and then got rehired for TV a few weeks later after Bob Carpenter decided to hitch his wagon to the Washington Nationals.
2006-03-22 13:40:43
27.   Terry A
23 - Am I shooting at birds? I think there's evidence that suggests the answer could be perhaps.
2006-03-22 13:43:19
28.   Marty
Nothing says midwest like the mullet.
2006-03-22 13:43:45
29.   Terry A
26 - Interesting, because I know many Cardinal fans (most of whom sport mullets, did I mention that?) who habitually watch the game but listen to the radio account. It started when Jack Buck was still calling the games a few years back.
2006-03-22 13:44:34
30.   D4P
28
Though I've also heard it referred to as the "Alabama Waterfall"
2006-03-22 13:47:44
31.   Marty
In that particular situation you've got to be patient, let the pigeon come to you. It takes someone who knows how to play the game to blow a proven veteran pigeon like that out of the sky.
2006-03-22 13:48:48
32.   Bob Timmermann
The Cardinals also switched from KMOX which had a signal that stretched just about everywhere to a smaller station that they own a piece of.

Not a popular decision in the Mound City.

As someone descended from people from the St. Louis/Western Illinois area, I can say that my family is mullet-free.

2006-03-22 14:07:35
33.   Terry A
Tony LaRussa has a mullet. Or he's safeguarding a brown squirrel by hiding it in his hat. He is, after all, a staunch supporter of animal rights.

Another mullet observation: Those with mullets typically have no sideburns. Coincidence?

26 Bob, I heard a new Cards radio guy the other day, but at the time I just thought it was a split squad broadcasting crew or something. Any idea who Shannon's new booth partner is?

2006-03-22 14:30:44
34.   oldbear
Any idea who Shannon's new booth partner is?

John Rooney is his new partner, formerly of the White Sox.

2006-03-22 15:04:32
35.   Bob Timmermann
If I ever committed a crime in St. Louis, I would likely be described this way "The visitor from California is the son of Aviston High and Notre Dame High graduates."
2006-03-22 15:13:30
36.   Jon Weisman
Apparently, on Dodgers.com you'll be able to hear Vero Beach broadcaster Brian Petrotta do the Thursday and Friday Dodger games.
2006-03-22 16:03:46
37.   bluetahoe
Tonite's game should be exciting.

Furcal is starting at shortstop. Kenny Lofton, who I feel is going to be an awesome table setter will bat 2nd. Nomar Garciaparra will bat 3rd with no Kent or Drew in the lineup. I really feel NG is poised for a huge season. Ledee and Alomar are going to get some AB's at the 4 and 5 holes. Bill Mueller who has been nothing short of phenomenal thus far is getting tuned up at the 6 spot which is where he will bat Opening Day. Cody Ross and Oscar Robles make up the 7.8. Brett Tomko who has been unhittably filthy this spring pitches and bats 9th. I love these evening spring games.

2006-03-22 16:05:39
38.   Bob Timmermann
So Lofton knows how to arrange all the flatware on the table?

Including things like salad knives and sauce spoons?

2006-03-22 16:06:19
39.   MartinBillingsley31
dodgers.com alert.
2006-03-22 16:11:42
40.   Jon Weisman
39 - I don't think we need alerts when someone makes an entirely civil comment. In case people have forgotten, different viewpoints are welcome here. It doesn't help our credibility if we make newcomers feel unwelcome when they've done nothing to deserve it.
2006-03-22 16:19:31
41.   Marty
salad knives? That's one tough salad.
2006-03-22 16:20:17
42.   Marty
Actually, more like a grizzled veteran salad.
2006-03-22 16:24:52
43.   bigcpa
Ahem. Coach Alomar just threw out the top base stealer in the NL.
2006-03-22 16:26:56
44.   oldbear
Is that his 1st in over two seasons? He was 0-17 last year.
2006-03-22 16:28:26
45.   bigcpa
I think Lofton lit a fire under him.
2006-03-22 16:29:30
46.   King of the Hobos
43 Was Reyes walking to second? Or did he just collapse midway between the bases?
2006-03-22 16:31:33
47.   Michael Green
24, the White Sox hired an ex-player, Chris Singleton, and moved analyst Ed Farmer over to do play-by-play. Heaven help us.

John Rooney used to do the CBS Radio Game of the Week and did some games for Fox. I think he's good. And I bet White Sox fans who wanted good broadcasting turned down the sound on their TVs so they didn't have to hear Ken Harrelson.

As for our crew, my dad thinks that Rick Monday's middle name is Check That. And the day the Dodgers talked about having a color man instead of the Vinnie-style monologue, I knew it was a matter of time until they were discussing food and the quality of the team hotel.

2006-03-22 16:36:13
48.   King of the Hobos
Anyone notice that Lasorda had a chat today at dodgers.com? Pretty worthless, but the transcript is available if you want to read it
2006-03-22 16:38:47
49.   bigcpa
Geez these WFAN announcers are pretty clueless. They said Izturis won't be back until mid-season at the soonest. They just made the usual Gagne-had Tommy John surgery boner. Then they also observed that the Dodgers "couldn't keep Drew on the field" last year without pointing out why he missed time.
2006-03-22 16:39:25
50.   Marty
My friends used to call Jerry Doggett "Check That". His eyesight was terrible during his last few years in the booth.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-22 16:42:10
51.   Johnson
44 Looks like he's 3-4 over this spring. Not so bad.
2006-03-22 16:44:03
52.   bluetahoe
Brett Tomko is pitching brilliantly again. The man has been unhittable this spring. Every season there is lesser known free agent that makes a HUGE impact. Ned might have came away with the steal of the 05 free agent class in Brett Tomko.
2006-03-22 16:49:01
53.   regfairfield
This mystery pitcher put up this line the previous Spring.

2.00 ERA, 1.06 WHIP 2.64 K/BB.

See if you can remember who this go getter was.

2006-03-22 16:51:15
54.   Steve
KFWB couldn't be bothered to broadcast the game, given that there's a holdup in the Bronx, Brooklyn's broken out in fights, and there's a taxi-cab in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights, but they at least bothered to tell me that Navarro is going on the DL.
2006-03-22 16:53:51
55.   bluetahoe
Thats right Johnson. Alomar has nailed 3 runners this spring. I bet he's leading the grapefruit league in throwing out base stealers. I know its spring and I know its early but it looks like every move Nedhas made is turning to GOLD.

Furcal leads off with a single. He steals 2nd. I absolutely love it that we have speed in the 1 and 2 slots. Lofton comes through with a single which scores Furcal, and Lofton with his speed and excellent base running skills coasts into 2nd. This is going to be a fun season.

2006-03-22 16:57:44
56.   jasonungar05
48I thought it was interesting that Tommy said Reggie Smith was the best he ever coached and Johnny Bench was the best he coached against.
2006-03-22 17:01:01
57.   scareduck
53 - according to ESPN

http://tinyurl.com/mx3bx

none of the Dodgers.

2006-03-22 17:01:26
58.   Steve
I feel this too:

Q: What don't you miss about being the skipper of the Dodgers?

Lasorda: What I don't miss? I don't miss the losses.

2006-03-22 17:01:42
59.   FirstMohican
55 - I'm just glad that the Dodgers have speedy players to go along with their speedy game plan. Watching Izturis get thrown out got old quick.

Assuming you're not being facetious, is Ned's Nomar aquisition gold? (or.. GOLD?)

2006-03-22 17:02:54
60.   Steve
We should have held on to that Dannemiller kid. What a spring.
2006-03-22 17:03:34
61.   scareduck
52 - that's what the Giants, Padres, etc. all thought, too.
2006-03-22 17:06:59
62.   Steve
There's a wild animal on the loose! KFWB is on top of it! Now it's on the bottom of it! It's tearing it to shreds! Ouch.
2006-03-22 17:11:05
63.   regfairfield
57 Then either ESPN or the Baseball Cube is lying.
2006-03-22 17:13:45
64.   FirstMohican
62 - ...what?
2006-03-22 17:16:05
65.   Bob Timmermann
A matching salad knife and salad fork:

http://public-art.shu.ac.uk/sheffield/cantn22.html

2006-03-22 17:17:17
66.   Bob Timmermann
Comment 54 where are you?
2006-03-22 17:21:58
67.   Marty
Thanks Bob. I've never heard of a salad knife before and still question the necessity, but there it is.
2006-03-22 17:28:10
68.   bluetahoe
Another 5 shut out innings for Brett Tomko. Dodgers lead after 5 innings, 1-0.
2006-03-22 17:28:47
69.   Bob Timmermann
Miss Manners discussed the salad knife in a column once. It's supposed to be used if the salad has really big pieces of lettuce that would not look appropriate to shove into your mouth in one piece.

If anyone has ever seen me eat (which is hard to do since I eat very fast), I wouldn't bother with such things.

As someone said on "The Simpsons" about Homer:

"He eats like a horse."
"No horses chew their food. He eats more like a duck."

2006-03-22 17:31:00
70.   bluetahoe
Jose Valentin comes in to play shortstop for the Mets. LOL....
2006-03-22 17:33:44
71.   Barkin
53 - Im gonna go out on a limb here and say none other than Scott Erickson.

70 - Thats almost as funny as Bret Tomko coming in to pitch for the Dodgers.

2006-03-22 17:36:17
72.   bluetahoe
Aybar comes into the game to play 3rd base and he immediately makes a throwing error. LoDuca safe at 1st base.
2006-03-22 17:37:22
73.   bluetahoe
I don't get it Barkin, but OK.
2006-03-22 17:39:43
74.   bluetahoe
Oh my. Choi couldn't dig out Aybar's bad throw. Tomko needs to get his head in gear but he allows a single to Delgado.
2006-03-22 17:43:13
75.   bluetahoe
The Mets broadcasters need to get it in gear like Tomko. Nomar still in the game at 1st. The wind took a 3 home run away from Floyd. Dukie moves up to 3rd.
2006-03-22 17:44:58
76.   D4P
So, it was Nomar who couldn't dig out Aybar's bad throw, not Choi, right?
2006-03-22 17:45:20
77.   bluetahoe
Sac fly by David Wright. There goes Tomko's 6 shutout innings thanks to the Aybar error. For what its worth the run is unearned.

Ggane begins to loosen.

2006-03-22 17:46:19
78.   bluetahoe
Nomar couldn't come up with the errant throw. Not Choi.
2006-03-22 17:50:57
79.   bluetahoe
End of 6. Tied at 1. Encouraging and discouraging outing by Tomko. Encouraging that he was brilliant again. Discouarging that Delgado and Floyd hit rockets after the error. Tomko's got to stay focused. He probably just got rattled thinking that if Mueller was in the game he would have made the routine play. But he can't get rattled. Thats the discouraging part.
2006-03-22 17:52:30
80.   D4P
He probably just got rattled thinking that if Choi was in the game he would have made the routine play.
2006-03-22 17:54:47
81.   bluetahoe
The throw was in the dirt and up the line. I wouldn't have called it routine, but Choi may have scooped it.
2006-03-22 17:56:01
82.   bluetahoe
D4P, where do you think Choi will be playing in 2 weeks? Will he break camp with the big club?
2006-03-22 17:57:09
83.   bluetahoe
Gagne K's Chavez swinging. An ooooooooh from the visiting crowd.
2006-03-22 17:58:04
84.   bluetahoe
Gagne gives up a bloopsingleto a guy named Hernandez. The Mets announcers are impressed with Gagne's velocity.
2006-03-22 17:58:28
85.   D4P
It's really hard to say. I initially thought Hee was long gone, but recent press suggests that Hee might be staying. I'd prefer to see him traded rather than become a designated pinch-hitter.
2006-03-22 17:59:33
86.   bluetahoe
Jose Valentin up. LOL....

Gagne's intimidated. 4 pitch walk. LOL....

2006-03-22 18:01:20
87.   bluetahoe
Milledge K's swinging.

Hamulak and Brazoban loosening up.

2006-03-22 18:03:23
88.   bluetahoe
Gagne faces his buddy LoDuca. Strike 3 swinging.

Strikes out the side. That felt great.

2006-03-22 18:29:55
89.   ToyCannon
What happened to the play by play:)

As we pick up a 1/2 hour later Kuo has entered the game for the 2nd day in a row. Will he pass the Griddle test?

2006-03-22 18:38:29
90.   ToyCannon
Aybar makes his 2nd error on a routine groundball by Valentin and then Milledge drives him in with 2 out. No K's for Kuo.
2006-03-22 18:45:51
91.   bluetahoe
My my my. Just got back to catch the recap. With 2 outsin the 9th Aybar makes another error and the next batter winsit with a double. I hope this doesn't destroy Kuo's confidence. He should have had a 1-2-3 inning. Aybar blew it today. Thank God Ned brought in Mueller though.
2006-03-22 18:56:48
92.   GoBears
37 Furcal is starting at shortstop. Kenny Lofton, who I feel is going to be an awesome table setter will bat 2nd. Nomar Garciaparra will bat 3rd with no Kent or Drew in the lineup. I really feel NG is poised for a huge season. Ledee and Alomar are going to get some AB's at the 4 and 5 holes. Bill Mueller who has been nothing short of phenomenal thus far is getting tuned up at the 6 spot which is where he will bat Opening Day. Cody Ross and Oscar Robles make up the 7.8. Brett Tomko who has been unhittably filthy this spring pitches and bats 9th. I love these evening spring games.

Replace "I feel" with "I hope, but have reason to expect" and finish the whole thing off with "but I know that Spring Training stats are completely meaningless, whether good or bad," and I agree 100%.

2006-03-22 18:58:39
93.   GoBears
92. Nice, GoBears. I'm an idiot. Tried to make a point and left out the "NO" between "have" and "reason to expect."

That's about what I deserved. Karma 1 GoBears 0.

2006-03-22 19:29:21
94.   Icaros
If not striking anyone out during his second appearance in as many days means that Kuo failed the Grittle test, I hope his punishment is a trip to Vegas and a return to starting.

By the way, did you guys know that Bill Mueller died for your sins?

2006-03-22 19:32:15
95.   regfairfield
I'm curious. Since you think Mueller and Tomko are brilliant signings thanks to their great Springs, do you think that Lofton (.161/.181/.161 this Spring) and Nomar (.214/.250/.238) are terrible signings? If not, why?

By the way, Repko has dropped to .268/.362/.439 , but I don't think anyone will notice.

2006-03-22 19:34:47
96.   thinkingblue
I'm back.

91. bluetahoe, if you are surprised by the negativity, most people here (not me), do not think there is enough "upside" on the dodgers.

92. But what if DePo signed these players? I guess I can understand low expectations for Lofton, but Nomar will hit, he is a proven hitter.

My thoughts on Aybar, oldbear, I really hope you see why he is not our 3B now. His defense has been awful this spring. I know hitting stats can be taken with a grain of salt, but there is no excuse for his poor defense. That is just one of the many reasons Mueller is our 3B.

2006-03-22 19:42:54
97.   bluetahoe
Mueller wasn't brilliant. Just smart. Tomko's the one that could turn out to be brilliant. Tomko's got something to prove this spring. He's not toying around with experimentation. Thats why he's dominant.

On the other side of the coin, Nomar's just tuning up for the season. He's not here to take walks in March. He's swinging at pitches he normally won't swing at in the rgular season. He will be fine. He's a proven vet that will get the job done.

Lofton is here to get on base and create havoc on the paths so pitchers can't concentrate on Drew/Kent. Lofton's a sparkpug and an OBP machine. Sure he's old, but we need one for year for the kids to develop. Lofton is great stop gap. Kudos to Ned. Lofton struggled in the spring but I'm not worried. He's been through this spring training stuff enough. He'll come out of the gates like a firecracker when it all counts.

2006-03-22 19:45:35
98.   thinkingblue
97.

Yes, it's not all about stats at all in ST, it's about the approach of the players.

And I'm not saying that I am going to go out on a huge limb, and predict an under 4 ERA for Tomko, but if he actually listens to his catcher, he has always had the stuff.

2006-03-22 19:47:55
99.   bluetahoe
HEY, Thinking blue.

No ones been negative. There may have been a joke or two. (I never got.)

OH NO!! Does oldbear post his Dodger hate on this site too. I'm sick of him sabotaging the game threads on the official site, so I thought I'd give this one a gander. They don't seem to do a game thread here. I guess I should have kept to the official site today. Oldbear didn't seem to sabotage todays thread. Bonnie made a funny crack abouthow good LoDuca looked in a Mets uniform. She was scared Oldbear was going to call her a LoDuca troll. LOL........

2006-03-22 19:49:08
100.   D4P
Tomko's got something to prove this spring.

Not really. He just signed a 3-year contract. If anything, he had something to prove last year. He proved that his mediocre-at-best ERAs and low K-rates were not a fluke. The proof is in the multi-year, multi-million dollar pudding.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-03-22 19:55:30
101.   Marty
Tomko's got something to prove
Garciaparra's got something to prove
Mueller's got something to prove
Furcal's got something to prove
Penny's got something to prove
Kent's got something to prove
Drew's got something to prove
Ledee's got something to prove
Guzman's got something to prove
Cruz' got something to prove
Choi's got something to prove
Houlton's got something to prove
Perez' got something to prove
Lowe's got something to prove
Werth's got something to prove
Roble's got something to prove
Lofton's got something to prove
2006-03-22 19:56:16
102.   Icaros
Marty, what are you trying to prove?
2006-03-22 19:56:34
103.   Marty
Repko has nothing to prove
2006-03-22 19:57:19
104.   bluetahoe
He's out to prove he's going to earn that contract and prove any naysayers wrong. He wants to show the folks in SF they made a mistake in not resigning him. If he can keep up with his spring command and keep his head on straight he's got the stuff to put better numbers than Matt morris this season. And if I'm not mistaken the Gints signed Morris for 3yr/27mils....
2006-03-22 19:57:47
105.   Marty
The obvious :) It's a meaningless statement. Useful as proof when you have none.
2006-03-22 19:57:49
106.   Steve
Between 31, 101, and 103, Marty wins. Assist to Icaros.
2006-03-22 19:59:38
107.   Icaros
106

Call me Tony Parker.

2006-03-22 19:59:54
108.   D4P
He's out to prove he's going to earn that contract and prove any naysayers wrong.

His stellar career up until now earned him the contract.

2006-03-22 20:01:12
109.   bluetahoe
I disagree with Marty. When you look at salary, years in the majors, success in the majors, and potential, Brett Tomko has much more to prove than the names on his list.

I'd agree with Marty that Penny has something to prove, close, but not quite to the extent of Tomko. The same goes for Odalis Perez and to a lesser extent Yhency Brazoban.

2006-03-22 20:01:38
110.   Icaros
Prove me wrong, Brett. I dare you.
2006-03-22 20:03:40
111.   Icaros
Yeah, Marty. You forgot to show your work in 101.

Can you prove that those guys have something to prove?

Prove it.

2006-03-22 20:04:33
112.   Marty
Alas, my point did not reach the target.
2006-03-22 20:05:47
113.   Marty
show your work.

I hated to see those words on a math exam in middle school :)

2006-03-22 20:06:24
114.   Icaros
What's funny is if you lop the "e" off the end of "Prove," replace it with an "o" and you get "Provo," one well-known poster's former home.
2006-03-22 20:06:30
115.   oldbear
He's swinging at pitches he normally won't swing at in the rgular season

Nomar is a free swinger. He swung at the 1st pitch over 50% of the time last season. You keep saying Nomar is a 'proven veteran', but he hasnt been a proven All-Star since 2003. That was 3 years ago.

Yes, Kurt Warner was once an MVP. Back in 1999. He's not that good anymore. Nomar isnt either.

2006-03-22 20:08:53
116.   Icaros
Kurt Warner isn't good anymore because he apparently chose the wrong religion.
2006-03-22 20:09:43
117.   King of the Hobos
Anyone hear anything about the condition of Ross? If he's out for awhile, so much for acquiring that mediocre 28 yr old reliever that's out of options that Ross is worth
2006-03-22 20:10:13
118.   bluetahoe
LOL.....

Nomar was an all star in 2003. OK.
He wasn't in 2004. So be it.
He wasn't in 2005. He was hurt.

If Nomar shows the flare he showed for Chicago the last month and a half of '05 look for him in Pittsburgh the 2nd Tuesday of July.

2006-03-22 20:10:43
119.   Barkin
Scott Erickson won 20 games in 1991. He isnt very good anymore.
2006-03-22 20:11:04
120.   Marty
Did Ross get hurt? Also, someone mentioned Navarro going on the DL. Has that been confirmed?
2006-03-22 20:11:27
121.   bluetahoe
Did Kurt Warner become one of those born again Christians? I remember Darryl Strawberry pulled that stuff. God he sucked when he wason that religious kick.
2006-03-22 20:12:40
122.   Marty
That wasn't a religious kick. That was a cocaine kick.
2006-03-22 20:12:54
123.   oldbear
He wants to show the folks in SF they made a mistake in not resigning him.

Do these 'folks' include Ned Colletti, the current GM of the Dodgers and former Asst GM of the Giants? So far, you have said Tomko is going to have a great season because he's upset Brian Sabean didnt resign him...Interesting.

I'm not sure what a 33yr old, in the 1st year of a 3yr deal, has to prove?

2006-03-22 20:15:29
124.   bluetahoe
No. It would be Brian Sabean. I've stated my reasons why I think Tomko will work out and possibly be the best pickup of the 2005 free agent class.
2006-03-22 20:15:47
125.   Icaros
If Nomar shows the flare he showed for Chicago the last month and a half of '05 look for him in Pittsburgh the 2nd Tuesday of July

Nomar for Jason Bay?

2006-03-22 20:16:20
126.   Marty
118 So, Puljos and Delgado won't be on the team?
2006-03-22 20:17:05
127.   oldbear
Kurt Warner isn't good anymore because he apparently chose the wrong religion

Warner isnt good anymore because his physical skills have deteriorated. It has nothing to do with religion. Kurt's my favorite Rams QB of all time, but when he claimed that he was benched bc of his religious beliefs, instead of acknowledging that he just wanst a very good QB anymore, he lost a lot of respect amongst Rams fans.

2006-03-22 20:17:41
128.   Marty
Excuse me, Pujols. I knew it looked wrong.
2006-03-22 20:18:41
129.   bluetahoe
I don't see Nomar putting up better numbers than Pujols, but I can see him putting up better numbers than Delgado. 3 1st baseman usually get the nod to all star games anyways.
2006-03-22 20:19:00
130.   thinkingblue
123.

2 years + option...

Anyway, bluetahoe, don't even bother arguing about motivation, chemistry, or anything that cannot be "proven" with stats, even though they are important.

I think if enough starts allign for Tomko, he can be a pretty decent pitcher. And I do think having something to prove, and chemistry have value.

2006-03-22 20:20:25
131.   bluetahoe
Puljos. I didn't catch that. LOL....
2006-03-22 20:20:56
132.   Icaros
127

I thought my joke was obvious. Sorry to have caused you to write what didn't need to be written.

2006-03-22 20:21:29
133.   thinkingblue
115.

But he'd be one of your "UPSIDE" players if DePo had signed him. There is a difference between someone good 7 years ago, than just being 2 years removed because of injuries.

And you don't take Nomar's ST stats seriously right?

2006-03-22 20:21:40
134.   bluetahoe
Yeah, I didn't think that 1st year of a 3 year deal sounded accurate, bluetahoe.

Typical oldbear. LOL.....

2006-03-22 20:24:23
135.   Jon Weisman
From Ken Gurnick: The injury to Cody Ross doesn't sound serious, but the Dodgers might be secretly hoping he has to go on the DL. Littke said that Navarro is likely to open the season on the DL and then have a rehab assignment.
2006-03-22 20:24:40
136.   overkill94
Having something to prove is a very overused statement and only really pertains to a few situations.

For example, Austin Kearns has to prove that he can stay healthy and show the promise that he showed during his rookie season 4 years ago.

Carlos Pena has to prove that he has regained his confidence and deserves a job somewhere in the major leagues since the Tigers no longer have a need for him.

Every major leaguer would like to prove something. Whether it's Pujols trying to prove that he'll be a hall of famer or Jeff Kent trying to prove he's still got it age 38. Using any of these minor motivations as proof that a player will play above and beyond their norm is pointless though. If Tomko does end up having a breakout season, it will be because of some sort of mechanical adjustment, coaching philosophy, or newfound confidence, not the mythical "something to prove".

2006-03-22 20:24:52
137.   oldbear
And if I'm not mistaken the Gints signed Morris for 3yr/27mils....

I dont think Tomko's effort can overcome his physical incapabilities. I guess you are saying you think Tomko wants to prove to Sabean that he should have gotten the 3yr/27 deal instead of Morris. Perhaps, but I'm sure Erickson wanted to prove he wasnt completely washed up either last season. I'm sure he was grateful to have a chance with the Dodgers, after not being around baseball for a couple seasons. But it didnt help him in the end.

I tend to look at talent above effort or 'motivation'. There's plenty of guys that are horrible, but they try really hard. That still doesnt reallly change anything.

Wouldnt Tomko have had his most motivation last season, considering it was his free agent year? How did that turn out?

2006-03-22 20:25:40
138.   bluetahoe
I sure hope Martin is the everyday catcher over Alomar while Navarro's out.
2006-03-22 20:27:36
139.   Jon Weisman
138 - That's a given.
2006-03-22 20:27:53
140.   MartinBillingsley31
138

I sure hope Martin is the everyday catcher over Alomar while Navarro's out.

Thats obviously gonna happen.

2006-03-22 20:28:02
141.   Marty
133 You don't take Nomar's ST stats seriously, yet you DO take Tomko's (e.g., his "filthy" stuff showing he has something to prove). You can't have it both ways. Either they nean something, or they don't. Otherwise, you are arguing what you want to be true, rather than showing evidence. And that is a meaningless argument.
2006-03-22 20:28:17
142.   D4P
Maybe Repko does have something to prove...

"When you have new faces, you have to re-prove yourself," said Repko, referring to the new faces of Little and general manager Ned Colletti. "I knew that coming to Spring Training."

2006-03-22 20:28:30
143.   oldbear
But he'd be one of your "UPSIDE" players if DePo had signed him.

There's no upside when you sign for 6mils+incentives and are downgrading the position as well.

2006-03-22 20:29:03
144.   overkill94
I give Nomar's chances of making the all-star team at 0.5%. Are you trying to tell me he's better than any 3 of these: Pujols, Delgado, Helton, Derrek Lee, Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn (if he ends up there), and Ryan Howard?
2006-03-22 20:29:20
145.   Jon Weisman
Personally, I like a player who shows he can play well even when he has nothing to prove. Winning should be motivation enough. To me, that's both talent and a good clubhouse influence.
2006-03-22 20:29:31
146.   bluetahoe
Geez oldbear. You're civil over here. You haven't made one snide or inflammatory remark. I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless.
2006-03-22 20:29:31
147.   thinkingblue
137.

Tomko has talent. He's always had a good heater, and some other decent stuff. Its always been a mental thing with Tomko.

You can have all the talent in the world, but without motivation be bad.

Also, don't compare Tomko with Erickson, Erickson had barley pitched for like 5 years.

2006-03-22 20:29:42
148.   natepurcell
i bet anyone 20 bucks with 5 to 1 odds that tomko isnt going to be our best free agent acquisition this winter.

33 yr old average pitchers dont all of a sudden "get it" and become great.

2006-03-22 20:29:45
149.   bluetahoe
Geez oldbear. You're civil over here. You haven't made one snide or inflammatory remark. I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless.
2006-03-22 20:30:31
150.   das411
116 , 127 - So "Kurt Warner" is code for "Isaac Hayes" tonight?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-03-22 20:31:06
151.   Jon Weisman
133 - No one - no one - thinks every DePo signing was great. It's just not true. It's a phony argument to use.
2006-03-22 20:31:24
152.   thinkingblue
141.

I never said that I really am taking Tomko's stats seriously.

2006-03-22 20:31:47
153.   Icaros
Kurt Warner is code for many people and things.
2006-03-22 20:34:15
154.   thinkingblue
143.

I really don't feel like getting into another Hee Seop Saenz debate, but 6 million plus incentives is a good bargain if Nomar returns to form. And no, your awkward 4 legged first baseman is not better than a healthy Nomar.

2006-03-22 20:34:44
155.   Jon Weisman
149 - That's why it works when you discuss the issues instead of the commenter. So why don't we call it a truce and you can all leave your previous issues behind.
2006-03-22 20:34:54
156.   Steve
Tonight has Mr. Belvedere Sketch potential.
2006-03-22 20:34:54
157.   natepurcell
i think players that become dodgers automatically become better and have career years because of the magical baseball fairy dust that lasorda sprinkles onto everyone at the first ST meeting.
2006-03-22 20:35:18
158.   oldbear
So "Kurt Warner" is code for "Isaac Hayes" tonight?

I dont think Isaac is coming back after that total cheap shot Trey and Matt gave him tonite. I understand the spoof, but for a guy that helped make that show really popular, they sure threw him under the bus with tonite's episode.

2006-03-22 20:36:12
159.   thinkingblue
144.

A healthy Nomar can be better than Ryan Howard or Berkman. And be right up there with Helton if he played at Coors.

But Lee, Pujols, and Delgado are probably better first baseman.

2006-03-22 20:36:57
160.   MartinBillingsley31
154

I really don't feel like getting into another Hee Seop Saenz debate, but 6 million plus incentives is a good bargain if Nomar returns to form. And no, your awkward 4 legged first baseman is not better than a healthy Nomar.

But it is better than 1) lofton and 2) mueller.

2006-03-22 20:37:23
161.   Andrew Shimmin
Over nine years and five teams, Tomko hasn't K/9ed seven in his major league career. And he's been steadily declining (with the exception of last year) since 1999. If he's a head case, he's been one his whole career. Why should that change? Alternate explanation, he's just not that good.
2006-03-22 20:37:27
162.   King of the Hobos
Gurnick also said Alomar is likely to start on Opening Day, because it's too chaotic for Martin. What does that mean?

That would hurt nate's all prospect team, as Billingsley and company would be throwing to Bellorin/Langill (although the former might be considered a marginal prospect). If Martin is hitting .300/.370/.400 or something like that when Navarro returns, do we send him to to AAA?

2006-03-22 20:37:47
163.   bluetahoe
Hee Seop Seanz. Awkward 4 legged 1st baseman.

I just woke my wife and kids up with hysterical laughter. LOL.....

2006-03-22 20:37:48
164.   oldbear
but 6 million plus incentives is a good bargain if Nomar returns to form.

If thats a "bargain", what would you consider Frank Thomas (500K +incentives), and Mike Piazza (2mils) deals?

And what is Nomar's "form"? Are you talking about his 2000-2003 numbers? ARe you expecting him to reach those?

2006-03-22 20:39:09
165.   Steve
Yep
2006-03-22 20:39:15
166.   natepurcell
my all prospect team hopes crumbles with every pro guzman quote by grittle.
2006-03-22 20:39:54
167.   thinkingblue
160.

Mueller is a solid third baseman. Period.
2006-03-22 20:41:04
168.   natepurcell
[Tomko] is a [average starting pitcher]. Period.
2006-03-22 20:42:12
169.   thinkingblue
164.

Thomas, one of the few who are actually more injury prone than JD Drew. Yea, I guess it would be a great bargain if he is healthy, but that just not likely.

And there is a reason that Mike only got 2 million. He is done. Done.

Both of these players are older than Nomar, and Nomar has more "UPSIDE" than Piazza.

2006-03-22 20:43:44
170.   natepurcell
i dont even remember what we are debating anymore.

when will the game be archived!

2006-03-22 20:44:20
171.   thinkingblue
168.

You're right.

And I am simply explaining that defense is important, as we saw today, once Mueller was taken out, Aybar lost us the game. Mueller will hit you around .292, 12-15 home runs, and 63-67 RBIs. And that's batting in the 6th spot. He is an important part of our ballclub, there is no reason to have him on the bench.

2006-03-22 20:45:08
172.   oldbear
What numbers do you expect out of Nomar this year? Quantify his 'upside' for those of us that dont see it.

Whats Nomar gonna OBP?
Whats Nomar gonna SLG?
How many HR's is Nomar gonna hit?
How many AB's will Nomar get?

2006-03-22 20:45:16
173.   MartinBillingsley31
167

Mueller is a solid third baseman. Period.

Well as i said choi/saenz is better than lofton first then better than mueller second.

Mueller doesn't have enough ops for me, but lofton is the first to replace.

If i had my way i'd have both lofton and mueller on the bench in favor of choi/saenz 1b, guzman of, nomar 3b.

2006-03-22 20:45:41
174.   D4P
Is Nomar "injury prone"? In two full seasons since turning 30, it looks like he has played in 81 and 62 games, respectively.
2006-03-22 20:45:46
175.   Jon Weisman
Got an e-mail from Russ Langer: This very morning, the Baltimore Orioles hired him to do at least 10 fill-in broadcasts for the upcoming season.
2006-03-22 20:46:04
176.   oldbear
And I am simply explaining that defense is important, as we saw today, once Mueller was taken out, Aybar lost us the game.

Its tough to win when you only score 1 run.

2006-03-22 20:46:05
177.   natepurcell
re 171.

alot of people here like the mueller signing just to let you know.

2006-03-22 20:46:25
178.   Steve
170 -- If a conversation doesn't exist, did it happen?
2006-03-22 20:46:45
179.   Andrew Shimmin
Anybody have a favorite Park Factor site? Or, if you'd like to to the work for me, does SBC/Whatever it's called now depress HRs?
2006-03-22 20:47:24
180.   Steve
179 -- Or a favorite Night Stalker episode?
2006-03-22 20:47:26
181.   natepurcell
re 175

is he still going to be doing the 51s broadcasts?

2006-03-22 20:49:38
182.   natepurcell
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/weighted_park_factors_2003_2005/

san frans hr park factor is .86

1.0 is nuetral i think.

2006-03-22 20:51:38
183.   thinkingblue
176.

Doesn't help when you have a second baseman trying to play 3rd, and blowing the game.

Also, the dodgers didn't have their starting hitters in today, that should explain their lack of offense today.

2006-03-22 20:51:49
184.   Andrew Shimmin
180- I like the one with the goofy monster that everybody takes seriously.
2006-03-22 20:52:05
185.   Jon Weisman
181 - Yes, except when there's a conflict.
2006-03-22 20:53:06
186.   thinkingblue
173.

Mueller is NOT a bench player. And Nomar is a BAD defensive third baseman. Contrary to your apparent opinion, defense matters.

2006-03-22 20:53:22
187.   Andrew Shimmin
Thanks nate.

If Aybar really did blow a ST game, I think he should be traded to Tampa Bay for a middle reliever as soon as possible. Before all the good ones are gone!

2006-03-22 20:53:24
188.   regfairfield
179 Off the top of my head, SBC is the second or third least home run friendly park in baseball.
2006-03-22 20:54:40
189.   King of the Hobos
183 Aybar's a natural 3rd baseman, although he does seem to be having a very hard time fielding the position this spring. Not saying I'd want him over Mueller, just noting that he's not really a 2nd baseman, he was just moved there a few seasons ago to compensate for his power (or something, nate should know why)
2006-03-22 20:56:16
190.   Steve
184 -- Tom Hanks is dusting off his five-timers jacket right now.
2006-03-22 20:57:06
191.   thinkingblue
Whats Nomar gonna OBP?
Whats Nomar gonna SLG?
How many HR's is Nomar gonna hit?
How many AB's will Nomar get? <<

Well, his career OPS is .911. .544 slugging, and .367 OBP.

This year, I'd say:

.360 OBP
.522 slugging.
24 home runs.
around 600 at bats.
.305 batting average.
and 100 RBIs.

2006-03-22 20:59:29
192.   MartinBillingsley31
Mueller is NOT a bench player. And Nomar is a BAD defensive third baseman. Contrary to your apparent opinion, defense matters.

Why is mueller not a bench player and prove to me that nomar is a bad defensive 3b, and defense doesn't matter when you out score the other team with good ops and good pitching (low hr/9 and whip and high k/9).

2006-03-22 21:00:17
193.   Marty
175 That's great news. Now I've got a new Lost episode to watch. To which I'm afraid, similar to most of this thread, nothing will be resolved.
2006-03-22 21:01:14
194.   Steve
To which I'm afraid, similar to most of this thread, nothing will be resolved.

Well, a few things were resolved, but everybody likely knew them anyway.

2006-03-22 21:03:06
195.   D4P
Speaking of episodes, the Mrs. and I just started rewatching "Greg the Bunny," which was my favorite pre-Arrested Development "Show That Died Too Young."
2006-03-22 21:03:45
196.   regfairfield
191 So you expect his isolated patience and power numbers to go back to what he did in 2000? Any explanation for this, or is it just a feeling you have?
2006-03-22 21:04:23
197.   thinkingblue
192. Because he is a career .292 hitter, career .373 OBP, and is a vast improvement over the atrocious stats our 6 different 3Bs made last year.

I remember Nomar in a game we had with the cubs last year. Routine play, and he threw the ball into right field. He has not played 3B that much.

Also, in tight ballgames, defense DOES MATTER. Not EVER GAME IS A 5-0 BLOWOUT, sometimes you have to win 1-0, 3-2, or so. And it is pretty hard to do that with bad defense, as Aybar showed us today.

2006-03-22 21:05:19
198.   Andrew Shimmin
Wow. Las Vegas is more HR friendly than Coors.

I relented to watching The Terminal the other day. Is Hanks ever going to make another movie where his isn't the only character? He did the one on an island, then Terminal, then the cartoon one where he voiced everybody. Not a big fan of people, I guess.

2006-03-22 21:06:03
199.   oldbear
Jeff Kent's 2005: .289/.377/.512 29HR's
TB's Nomar projection: .305/.360/.522 24HR's

Interesting.

I dont see the power since Nomar's hit 13HR's total his last two seasons playing in Wrigley/Fenway.

But thats why they play the games.

2006-03-22 21:06:45
200.   Steve
Not a big fan of people, I guess.

And you can see why.

But anyway, did you see him screaming at the Oscars to stop playing the Forrest Gump theme? I didn't watch the Oscars, but I saw the tape later. High-larious.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-03-22 21:07:39
201.   thinkingblue
196.

Nomar had a .524 slugging % in his last healthy season in 2003.

Also, he has had a .360 + OBP in his last 2 injury plauged years.

Further, he has never had under 21 home runs in 140+ games. I'm not going out on a huge limb here.

2006-03-22 21:08:13
202.   MartinBillingsley31
Also, in tight ballgames, defense DOES MATTER. Not EVER GAME IS A 5-0 BLOWOUT, sometimes you have to win 1-0, 3-2, or so. And it is pretty hard to do that with bad defense, as Aybar showed us today.

But you avoid that with solid ops and solid pitching.

Unfortunately we don't have solid starting pitching and don't have any in-house options either, but we do have some in-house options for ops, the question is will ned use those ops options.

2006-03-22 21:09:40
203.   oldbear
He has not played 3B that much

Nomar hasnt played 1st base either that much. And a 1st basemen handles more fielding chances per game than a 3rd basemen does. You saw it tonite. Most of our infielders are probably used to having a 1st basemen that can dig out bad throws. If Nomar cant do that well, he'll make the rest of the infield look worse.

2006-03-22 21:10:34
204.   thinkingblue
199.

Nomar has always had, and will always have, a higher batting average than Jeff Kent. Kent is not known for being a .300 hitter.

Also, those were injury plauged seasons, in 140 or more games, he's never hit under 21 home runs.

See, you put too much stock over Nomar being in dodgers stadium. It isn't too hard to hit home runs there on day games. Also, you have coors, Chase field, citizens bank park, amoung other hitters parks Nomar will see this year.

2006-03-22 21:11:00
205.   natepurcell
Further, he has never had under 21 home runs in 140+ games. I'm not going out on a huge limb here.

you are going out on a huge limb thinking he will be fully healthy and get 600 ABs

2006-03-22 21:13:16
206.   oldbear
Nomar had a .524 slugging % in his last healthy season in 2003

Nomar was healthy last year. He put up numbers. Then he got hurt. He went on the DL. He came back when he was healthy. He put up numbers again.

You make it seem like Nomar has had some chronic injury that he's just now recovering from and that he played through the last couple years. Not true. Nomar was completely healthy last season when they started the year. The facts are that he was doing very poorly to start the year. Then he tore his groin. Then he came back and started to hit again.

Players decline with age. I think Nomar is on the back half of his career.

2006-03-22 21:13:55
207.   thinkingblue
202. Scout.com on our pitching:
http://dodgers.scout.com/2/511133.html

Also, you can't aviod at least 20, 1 run ball games over the course of a 162 game season. It's not fantasy here, this is the real world. And in the real world, you get 1 run ball games, and cannot always aviod that with your "OPS."

2006-03-22 21:14:54
208.   Steve
It's avoid.
2006-03-22 21:15:16
209.   Steve
You can avoid that with your dictionary.
2006-03-22 21:15:18
210.   regfairfield
201 I said isolated numbers, not raw OBP and SLG. His previous .360 on base percentages have been buoyed by .325 averages.

In his career, Garciaparra has an .047 isolated patience and a .224 isolated power. You're asking him to meet or exceed his career numbers in both these categories.

2006-03-22 21:18:00
211.   thinkingblue
205.

Barring a freak accident, he can do that.

2006-03-22 21:19:50
212.   D4P
Garciaparra has had 600+ ABs in 4 out of 9 seasons in the majors. I guess the other 5 were freak accidents.
2006-03-22 21:20:59
213.   thinkingblue
210.

what do you mean by that? I'm just saying that those are the numbers Nomar is likely to put up in a full season. I'm not talking about some isolated stats, just what he does at the plate.

2006-03-22 21:21:51
214.   PennyJavy
His past injuries came while he was batting. If he gets injured again, it's not going to be a freak accident unless he gets HBP.
2006-03-22 21:23:26
215.   jeongers
A little late in the discussion, but a great title for the post, Jon.
2006-03-22 21:24:08
216.   thinkingblue
208-209.

One of the things that most turns me off here are these retarded posts reminding me how to spell. I know how to spell A-V-O-I-D, and C-A-R-E-E-R.
2006-03-22 21:24:37
217.   regfairfield
Isolated patience is on base - average. Isolated power is slugging - average. You're asking him to meet his career numbers in both categories.
2006-03-22 21:25:21
218.   thinkingblue
206.

Ok, I meant full season, not healthy season. And Nomar is not as on the downside as Thomas or Piazza.

2006-03-22 21:25:51
219.   D4P
216
I'm sure Steve didn't mean to turn you off.

When I took you out
I knew what you were all about
But when I did
I didn't mean to turn you off

2006-03-22 21:26:48
220.   thinkingblue
217. Actually, .360 is below his .367 career average. And .522 is below his carrer .544 average.
2006-03-22 21:27:22
221.   Andrew Shimmin
204- Except for 2003 (658 ABs) and 2005 (only 230).
2006-03-22 21:29:11
222.   Steve
130, et. al

One of the things that most turns me off here are these retarded posts

2006-03-22 21:29:34
223.   thinkingblue
219.

What are you, in the 6th grade? Let me try this then, it really ticks me off when people here remind me how to spell, and the sh** in your post.

2006-03-22 21:31:40
224.   Andrew Shimmin
220- You don't understand what he's saying. Isolated Patience is OBP minus batting average. It's the difference between the two stats. You've got his batting average too low for him to put up the OBP and SLG numbers you're assuming he'll hit, based on the difference between those numbers and his batting average over his career.
2006-03-22 21:32:14
225.   regfairfield
Isolated. Repeat. Isolated.
2006-03-22 21:32:38
226.   Steve
Whoops.
2006-03-22 21:33:32
227.   capdodger
216
You'll get used to it. Typos are irritating to read. It's what the "Preview comment before saving" button is for. Unless you're the second coming of Mavis Beacon, you should probably use it.

(Said by one with a 3.50 Post/Typo Average)

2006-03-22 21:33:33
228.   Andrew Shimmin
Babblefish should put out a stat geek translator.
2006-03-22 21:34:48
229.   thinkingblue
222.

Edit: One of the things that ticks me off here are the retarded posts that remind me how to spell.

Do you have anything better to do than to pick out tiny errors in my posts?

I mean c'mon, avoid? What, you've never overlooked a typing error before?

2006-03-22 21:36:56
230.   capdodger
220

isolated_power := SLUG - BA;
isolated_patience := OBP - BA;

That's the clearest way I know to say it.

2006-03-22 21:37:11
231.   Steve
My favorite part of that sketch is when you actually see Mr. Belvedere in the bottle.
2006-03-22 21:37:25
232.   Jon Weisman
222 - Steve, what are you doing? Please.
2006-03-22 21:37:36
233.   thinkingblue
Isolated in what? Just last year, or his whole career? I don't get what you are trying to say here. I am pretty sure that he can have an OBP and Slugg a bit below his career average.
2006-03-22 21:38:14
234.   Steve
Sorry, Dr. Falken.
2006-03-22 21:38:47
235.   thinkingblue
230.

So I'd hit it right on the nail if I said he was gonna hit .320, so that would bring him down to size?

2006-03-22 21:39:04
236.   MartinBillingsley31
229

Edit: One of the things that ticks me off here are the retarded posts that remind me how to spell.

I got that many times on dodgers.com, so the best of both worlds.

But i agree, not very often i agree with you.

2006-03-22 21:41:05
237.   thinkingblue
235.

EDIT: Before D4P comes with another lame joke about what I just said, I meant, if he hits .320, would that reduce his "power and patience" isolated stats.

2006-03-22 21:42:00
238.   Steve
It's going to, not gonna.
2006-03-22 21:44:45
239.   Andrew Shimmin
237- Yes. You've got it now.
2006-03-22 21:44:58
240.   Marty
One of the things that ticks me off here are the retarded posts that remind me how to spell.

I'm sorry, spelling/grammatical errors = laziness, careless thinking in my book. Call me old school.

2006-03-22 21:45:38
241.   D4P
Before D4P comes with another lame joke

Preposterous!

2006-03-22 21:46:45
242.   capdodger
233
As an example:

Let's use Paul LoDuca's 2001 breakout year (aside: in which he only played 120 games vs ~145 the next three years, indeed).

isoPat = .54 = .374 (obp) - .320 (ba)
isoPow = .223 = .543 (slg) - .320 (ba)

2006-03-22 21:48:29
243.   thinkingblue
239.

No wonder guys like Jose Valinetin and Hee Seop Choi can have such high isolated stats with their low BAs. But then again, does that diminish Ted Williams when he hit over .400? I think you should go deeper than that, I like raw OBP and Slugging, and OPS better than these isolated stats.

2006-03-22 21:50:18
244.   thinkingblue
241.

I meant before you came up with another 219.

2006-03-22 21:52:05
245.   PennyJavy
Williams' career ISO is .289
2006-03-22 21:54:29
246.   thinkingblue
Yes, but I don't think Nomar is worried about hitting for a lower average if it means a higher ISO. I think .305 BA, .360 OBP, and .522 Slugg is reasonable for him, and if he hit .320, with the same OPS, he'd be fine with that.
2006-03-22 21:56:57
247.   regfairfield
Think of it this way, when Ichiro set the hit record, he slugged .455. Does this mean he had just as much power as Shawn Green, who slugged .459? No. Ichiro's slugging percentage was primarily singles. This is what isolated stats reveal.
2006-03-22 21:57:04
248.   Andrew Shimmin
243- Low isolated stats don't make a bad player. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Although, Williams had an career ISO Patience of 138. That's why he was great, not just good.
2006-03-22 21:58:22
249.   natepurcell
this is better then an episode of becker!
2006-03-22 21:58:36
250.   Andrew Shimmin
245- His career numbers weren't 344/442? If Baseball Cube really is wrong, that's (possibly) twice in one thread. Does it have a bad reputation?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-03-22 21:58:39
251.   capdodger
237 It seems it would, but then you're projecting Nomah (wife's from boston, I can't help it) to hit .320. That could be a reach.

The effect of this is it means fewer extra base hits and more singles. Consider two (bad) players:

A 100ab 30h (0 XBH) .333/.333/.333
B 100ab 25h (5 doubles) .250/.250/.333

Player A has an isolated power of .0 because all of his slugging comes from his average.
Player B has an isolated power of .83 because he derives some of his slugging from extra base hits.

2006-03-22 21:59:36
252.   Steve
249 -- Doubtful. Prove it.
2006-03-22 21:59:51
253.   Andrew Shimmin
.344/.482, I mean. Sloppy. Baseball Reference has the same line.
2006-03-22 22:01:23
254.   natepurcell
i think javvy is referring to ISOp not ISOd
2006-03-22 22:02:06
255.   D4P
Becker has nothing to prove.
2006-03-22 22:02:49
256.   PennyJavy
oops =/
2006-03-22 22:03:25
257.   Steve
Nor does Betty White, despite das411's petty taunts!
2006-03-22 22:03:33
258.   natepurcell
also remember that nomars slg come from mostly doubles and his BA are mostly singles and doubles. DS suppresses singles and doubles more then any other home park he has played in.

that could come into play when you are talking about his BA and slg.

2006-03-22 22:03:48
259.   Andrew Shimmin
And my reading comprehension takes a hit, too. That's ISO Power, although it looks like that number should be .290. Anyway, the point stands: Williams was a bad pick for the point he tried to make.
2006-03-22 22:03:54
260.   natepurcell
Becker or Wings?
2006-03-22 22:04:05
261.   capdodger
248 Agreed.

Isolated stats are another tool in evaluating a player. They're almost a meta-stat, because they inform you about the subtle meanings of the rate stats. Is a player a slap hitter who rarely takes a walk or is a player a TTO kind of guy.

2006-03-22 22:04:08
262.   oldbear
TB,

You are suggesting Nomar will get less hits than he normally does (.305), but actually accumulate just as many total bases ...(.522)

Think about that? THe only way for him to accumulate more bases with less hits, is by hitting a greater percentage of homers, triples, and doubles than he ever has before.

2006-03-22 22:05:26
263.   natepurcell
Williams was a bad pick for the point he tried to make.

"MILK WAS A BADDDD CHOICE."

2006-03-22 22:06:10
264.   capdodger
259 Perhaps he should have been looking for someone who grew up hearing, "You can't walk your way off the island"?
2006-03-22 22:07:19
265.   D4P
263
TB doesn't like lame jokes.
2006-03-22 22:07:23
266.   thinkingblue
262.

.522 slugging is .22 points less than Nomar's career slugging.

2006-03-22 22:08:07
267.   natepurcell
to change the topic a bit, but its sort of related, i think howie kendrick will be the next nomar. MIF who will win multiple batting titles.
2006-03-22 22:08:22
268.   thinkingblue
265.

No, I just didn't like your 219 post.

2006-03-22 22:08:53
269.   Steve
Wings did have the comic stylings of future Oscar winner Thomas Haden Church.
2006-03-22 22:09:58
270.   Steve
No, I just didn't like your 219 post.

If only this were the sole criterion...

2006-03-22 22:11:42
271.   natepurcell
honestly, i find thomas haden church really funny.

he had his own tv show for a bit. what was the name of it?

2006-03-22 22:13:22
272.   natepurcell
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122247/
i saw this movie on HBO last summer. the only reason i watched it was because church was in it. hes a serial killer posing as a school janitor!
2006-03-22 22:13:29
273.   capdodger
266 His career slugging seems skewed by his very good years ('98-2000) when he was 26-29. He's likely on the downside, and hasn't slugged like that since 2003.
2006-03-22 22:13:45
274.   Steve
Ned and Stacey is one of the underappreciated classics.
2006-03-22 22:13:55
275.   D4P
271
Ned and Stacey, which was fairly funny but didn't last long. "Stacey" went on to become "Grace", which I've never watched.
2006-03-22 22:16:24
276.   natepurcell
ah yes ned and stacy. They should really show reruns of that again.
2006-03-22 22:16:27
277.   Steve
Whereas Will and Grace is the Pittsburgh Pirates of television.
2006-03-22 22:17:30
278.   D4P
Ned and Stacey accompanies Greg the Bunny on my list of shows that died too young.
2006-03-22 22:18:41
279.   das411
158 - They did, but with all of the hype surrounding the whole incident they had to do something along those lines and tonight's episode was a Jeter-esque clutch home run.

247 - He slugged .455 with 262 hits, only 8 of which were homers?? That seems...odd...

--steps up onto soapbox--

Re: 252 , 249 et all, all I have to say is that I am looking forward to Opening Day more with each thread like this I read. I've been reading Jon's blog for a year and a half and I am truly grateful he has allowed such a knowledgeable, tightly-knit, and at least until the past couple of weeks, welcoming community to develop here.

While some posters may need a FAQ or to browse through the archives before raising certain topics for the millionth time, there are several others who would do well to think about what has made this place so great for so long, and how to bring that back. Steve and Nate, most of the time I enjoy your posts as much as the next person but it would be a tragedy for everybody who posts here (and lurks, like I did for so long) if the community that has set such high standards for itself degenerates into what many of us came here to get away from.

--steps down off of soapbox--

2006-03-22 22:20:02
280.   Andrew Shimmin
Ned and Stacey is like the opposite of Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza shop. One was a good show the hot female lead of which went on to do garbage (the Woody Allen movie included), and the other was a crap show, the hot female lead of which went on to do Monk.
2006-03-22 22:20:40
281.   Marty
A friend of mine wrote a Ned and Stacy episode. I got to go to the taping of the it. Thomas Hayden Church was out of his mind, ad-libbing every scene. It was something to see.
2006-03-22 22:20:51
282.   oldbear
273. Thats true. Nomar had several monster seasons.

98-.323/.362/.584
99- .357/.418/.603
00- .372/.434/.599

I think Nomar will hit like Erstad. Nate's right most of his SLG'ing is derived from doubles, and he doesnt have the Green Monster to hit off of anymore.

Nomar will hit .280/.330/.420 in my opinion. He's only hit 18HR's in 551AB's the last two years playing in Wrigley/Fenway.

So if he's gonna hit less doubles at DS than before, and in terms of home runs he hasnt hit many the last several years at homer friendly ball parks, I just dont see the logic in expecting a big year from Nomar.

2006-03-22 22:22:57
283.   das411
257 - Thanks Steve :) How long until it becomes Crane, Poole, Schmidt, Lewiston, and Piper?
2006-03-22 22:23:52
284.   Steve
Did he win or was he just nominated? I lost interest in the Oscars a few years ago.
2006-03-22 22:26:46
285.   regfairfield
282 Wow. Comparing Nomar to Erstad. That might be taking things a little too far.
2006-03-22 22:27:07
286.   overkill94
266 I think everyone just needs to give up on this one.
2006-03-22 22:27:24
287.   capdodger
Well, I'm out for the night. I'm gonna head over to /. and see if I can start a emacs-vi flamewar before the night's out.

Toodles...

2006-03-22 22:28:47
288.   Steve
283 -- Crane, Poole, Schmidt, Lewiston, Piper, and Nomar. I'm going to be seeing Nomar in my sleep. I'm going to call my next daughter Nomar.
2006-03-22 22:35:20
289.   jeepseats
202- I'm late to the party as usual, but though it's unpopular here, I do agree with 197.

"Also, in tight ballgames, defense DOES MATTER."

This is correct. While a high OPS offense is good to have, and solid pitching is a necessity, speed & defense are also important team attributes. I believe a balanced team is the goal for a quality team. To think otherwise seems very one-dimensional to me.

Let's look at last year's World Series participants. Neither the White Sox, nor the Astros ranked in the top 10 of team OPS.

2006-03-22 22:39:07
290.   Steve
Who is "J. Rohan?"
2006-03-22 22:40:32
291.   Andrew Shimmin
287- Eclipse 4ever! emacs and vi are teh suxxor.
2006-03-22 22:41:55
292.   capdodger
I'm back....

289 Let's look at last year's World Series participants. Neither the White Sox, nor the Astros ranked in the top 10 of team OPS.

Indeed. Let's look at their pitching. Houston gave up the fewest runs per game in the NL, and Chigago had the lowest ERA in the AL.

This is like a soft toss drill with ten-inch softballs.

2006-03-22 22:42:05
293.   D4P
290
You may remember him from such spring training games as "Today's."
2006-03-22 22:44:33
294.   Steve
Well, good for him, whoever he is.
2006-03-22 22:44:34
295.   Jon Weisman
289 - Everything truly related to run scoring and run prevention matters. The more you have of one, the less you need of the other. It would be silly to think only one matters. It would also be silly to think that boosting one is meaningless if you don't boost the other.

One-run games can be 1-0 or 9-8.

The best teams outscore their opponents, period ... by any means necessary, if you will. There is no inherent value to being a great offensive team, a great defensive team or a greatly balanced team.

The only reason for balance to be valued is that it's rare that a team is so good in one category that it doesn't need to be good in the other. But anything you can do to improve your run differential is a good thing, even if you're building upon a strength.

2006-03-22 22:46:30
296.   regfairfield
292 Houston and Chicago did finish first and second in their league in defensive efficency.
2006-03-22 22:47:07
297.   Andrew Shimmin
289- There's more than one way to skin a cat. Good defense is good. Good pitching is good. Etc. A great offense can make up for lousy defense. A great pitching rotation can make up for a garbage lineup. If I'm harping, please excuse me, it's just that this seems to keep coming up. There's no exclusive, correct model for a team, no indispensable (within reason) skill set.
2006-03-22 22:47:46
298.   capdodger
295

The only reason for balance to be valued is that it's rare that a team is so good in one category that it doesn't need to be good in the other.

Case in point: The 2003 Los Angeles Dodgers.

2006-03-22 22:49:35
299.   jeepseats
289 - Exactly!! Good pitching beats good hitting. But some posters I've read seem to think its OK to sacrifice good defense in order to have high OPS at every position.
2006-03-22 22:51:14
300.   Steve
some posters

This straw man is officially ablaze.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2006-03-22 22:51:55
301.   capdodger
296 I wasn't meaning to say that the prevention of runs was solely due to the pitching staff. The defense obviously had a lot to do with that. It was just easy way to point out that, while the AL and NL champs may have had troubles scoring runs, they had no problem preventing them.
2006-03-22 22:51:57
302.   regfairfield
Did you just agree with yourself?
2006-03-22 22:52:51
303.   Andrew Shimmin
One of the things that most turns me off here are these posters who keep beating me to my point. Oh sure, it's Jon's site, so he gets to post, more clearly, my point, before me, just because he thought it up quicker? Feh, I say.
2006-03-22 22:53:21
304.   jeepseats
303 - OOPS! I meant to refer to 292.
2006-03-22 22:53:50
305.   Jon Weisman
299 - No, good pitching ties good hitting. Otherwise, the English language has no value.

What is true is that slightly better pitching will be slightly worse hitting. And the converse is true.

There's no reason it would be wrong to sacrifice good defense to have good OP, but right to sacrifice good OPS to have good defense.

2006-03-22 22:54:33
306.   Jon Weisman
303 - Actually, I thought you did quite well in fewer words.
2006-03-22 22:54:51
307.   capdodger
299 The effect that OPS has on winning is more readily quantified than the effect that defense has on winning. Defensive quality is very hard to stick a number on. "Some posters" think we should stick with the numbers that we have that we know work.
2006-03-22 22:54:57
308.   Steve
His turn ons are pina coladas and long walks in the rain.
2006-03-22 22:57:59
309.   jeepseats
308 - ????
2006-03-22 22:58:04
310.   capdodger
303 Jon's quicker because he has some sort of an electrote on or in his head. That way he doesn't have to type when he wants to say something. He just has to think it at us.

306 Strunk and White would approve.

2006-03-22 22:58:47
311.   natepurcell
so is there anything interesting from todays game i should watch?
2006-03-22 22:59:27
312.   Steve
The only thing that relegates defense to valuelessness is the superficiality with which it is measured by the media, fans, and many coaches/managers. I used to believe that defense was valueless. I no longer believe that is the case. It is defense as it is described by those who know nothing about defense which is valueless.
2006-03-22 23:01:25
313.   Steve
309 -- See 304, and then forgive me another lame joke. But I would like to get your response to 312.
2006-03-22 23:02:50
314.   Steve
Actually, see 303.
2006-03-22 23:05:16
315.   capdodger
312 It is defense as it is described by those who know nothing about defense which is valueless.

You're not saying that attempts to describe defense statistically are valueless, are you? Many of Joe Morgan's ilk would say that people like MGL who attempt to do so "know nothing about defense" because they never played it.

2006-03-22 23:06:21
316.   Andrew Shimmin
I must be out of the loop. Jon Stewart just announced that ETA has signed a cease fire. This is excellent news as the Basques really know how to cook a lamb, but you had to worry about whether your tab was funding terrorism. Everybody up to Bakersfield, dinner's on me!
2006-03-22 23:12:44
317.   natepurcell
im kind of excited for izturis to come back. maybe bowden will trade for him!
2006-03-22 23:13:07
318.   Steve
Turn ons: Basque lamb

315 -- I am not saying that. I am saying that I made the category mistake of believing that worthless statements about defense rendered defense worthless. In some sense, that statement is true, because ignorance on the subject renders defense nothing more than a crapshoot -- it wouldn't matter because one wouldn't know what to do about it anyway. But, like the fact that it is better to hit the ball than not, it is obviously better to catch the ball than not.

2006-03-22 23:13:30
319.   gooch
Jon, first time poster but saw the article and had to comment. I actually worked with Robert while he was at SJSU, doing baseball, basketball and football games. Really a dedicated guy and a true student of the game. Thats' a tremendously tough, cutthroat business and am glad to see he's continuing with his dreams.
2006-03-22 23:15:00
320.   Steve
it is obviously better to catch the ball than not.

This is clearly the insight of the night by the way. Maybe I can get a book deal out of it.

2006-03-22 23:15:26
321.   natepurcell
Brad Penny worked on his curveball in a bullpen session attended by Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who also spoke at length with D.J. Houlton and Jonathan Broxton about curveball mechanics. Aaron Sele was an interested observer.

why was broxton listening? he doesnt even throw a curveball.

2006-03-22 23:15:54
322.   jeepseats
307 - I agree.
312 - My conern is that "some posters" seem to suggest that "each" positon should carry a high OPS. "Some posters" think that Guzman should remain a SS because 30 HR SS's are very rare. But, Guzman's defense at SS has been less than stellar, so moving him to the outfield makes more sense, since SS is a very demanding position.

There's nothing wrong with having a slick fielding, speedy SS...or a slick fielding, speedy centerfielder, etc. I belive that a good team should have speed, strong fielding, high OPS hitting, great pitching, a strong bench, a smart manager, a solid prospect stream, etc.

2006-03-22 23:17:04
323.   Jon Weisman
321 - I would listen to Sandy Koufax talk about "Becker."
2006-03-22 23:19:36
324.   natepurcell
that is true. good point there jon.

oh wow, dewitt PH today? nice, something to look forward too while i watch the game now.

2006-03-22 23:20:26
325.   capdodger
318 So you're saying that outs are a good thing, whilst playing defense?

Indeed.

The best lamb shanks I've ever had were in Guggenheim Museum Cafe in Bilbao. I've been trying for 5 years to come close to those on my own, but sadly, I lack the heritage.

2006-03-22 23:21:48
326.   Steve
There's nothing wrong with having a slick fielding, speedy SS...or a slick fielding, speedy centerfielder, etc.

This may be true, or it may not be. There is nothing inherently right about those things either. There is also the greater problem of determining who is a "slick fielder" in a world where Jason Repko is a "slick fielder"

2006-03-22 23:37:02
327.   jeepseats
Maybe "slick fielding" was too vague...doesn't it make sense to have good range up the middle, and strong arms at SS & RF?
2006-03-22 23:50:03
328.   Steve
Sure it does. But 86% of Dodger fans thought we should re-sign Alex Cora. Having Jeff Kent makes sense -- having Alex Cora might make sense if your other option was Alex Gonzalez, but that's the Red Sox's problem fortunately.
2006-03-22 23:50:33
329.   natepurcell
where does everyone rank gagne on the list of all great dodger pitchers?
2006-03-23 00:00:57
330.   jeepseats
Obviously Kent has greater value than Cora, but that doesn't mean that Cora is valueless as a reserve. Yes, he's a weak hitter, but if there were enough big bats in the lineup to make up for his lack of offense, it could appear to balance out. The problem when he was a Dodger was that the rest of the lineup around him was also too weak.
2006-03-23 00:12:07
331.   natepurcell
henson has a dodger prospect fluff piece up. needless to say, i like it!

The number could as easily be two or 12, three or 10, four or seven. The names are Billingsley, Guzman, Martin and LaRoche … Kuo, Loney, Broxton and Ethier … Osoria, Miller, Young and Orenduff … Kemp, Abreu, Hu and DeWitt.

SCOTT ELBERT HENSON.. SCOTT ELBERT!!

2006-03-23 00:19:56
332.   jeepseats
"There's no reason it would be wrong to sacrifice good defense to have good OP, but right to sacrifice good OPS to have good defense".

305 - Jon, this sentence kinda baffled me. I didn't mean to infer that it would be good to sacrifice good OPS to have good defense. My whole point was the importance of balance, which Andrew described well in 297.... "A great offense can make up for lousy defense. A great pitching rotation can make up for a garbage lineup".

2006-03-23 00:35:25
333.   jeepseats
It is exciting to think of the teams future. I'm thinking Guzman, Billingsley, Kuo, Broxton, Osorio, & possibly Ethier could be on the team to stay by the all-star break!

If Martin tears it up while Navarro's on the DL, do you think they'll keep Navarro down at Vegas?

2006-03-23 00:39:55
334.   capdodger
332 Um... Yes?

The problem is that, except for the Yankees, no team can afford to buy "speed, strong fielding, high OPS hitting, great pitching [and] a strong bench."322 "Some Posters" believe that teams should focus on things that can be easily quantified, and forego those that can not because their effect on winning is suspect.

2006-03-23 00:53:56
335.   jeepseats
334 - Your're right. Only the Yankees can afford a dream team, and every team has to work within their budget.

I'm glad the Dodgers have improved their farm system. Our boatload of prospects should ease our financial constraints in future years if we can hold onto them.

I agree that its easiest to focus on quantifiable figures, but that doesn't mean that speed or defense should be ignored as having no value.

2006-03-23 01:07:09
336.   jeepseats
Ya know, Soriano has been in the news because he doesn't want to play the outfield, right? He makes 10 million/year for his offense, not his defense. At 2nd base he's a liability despite his offense. It just appears to me that some people in this forum would claim that his value is greater at 2nd base because his offense is above league average there...that's where I disagree.

Jeff Kent is at least average at the position, while providing high OPS. Guzman's defense appears to be below average at SS. I think he would be a liability there, whereas, he could be a vital asset in the outfield with only average defense. In fact, I think he will eventually play RF because of his strong arm.

2006-03-23 01:25:15
337.   regfairfield
It all depends on what you are replacing him with. If you have an all star second baseman and Soriano, you put Soriano in left. If you have a 30 home run left fielder (which are much more common than all star second basemen) you put him at second.
2006-03-23 01:27:07
338.   Eric L
336 Dunno if anyone is still checking out this thread, but it all depends on whether or not Soriano's offense makes up for his shortcomings in the field.

Likewise, the same can be said for a guy like Cora. Does his defense make up for his weak bat?

Doesn't MGL have that LWTS or SWLTS system or whatever that supposedly measures what we are talking about? And didn't Pete Palmer invent linear weights?

2006-03-23 01:28:42
339.   jeepseats
So, you're saying that JD Drew is out of position?
2006-03-23 01:29:13
340.   capdodger
It just appears to me that some people in this forum would claim that his value is greater at 2nd base because his offense is above league average there...that's where I disagree.

Some people have claimed in places other than these comments that Soriano himself (or perhaps his agent) would claim his value is highest if he plays second base and not the outfield.

See the Griddle and articles posted therein.

2006-03-23 01:32:19
341.   capdodger
338 What happened to MGL's work? It's got to be archived somewhere around the internet, unless the Cards disappeared it.
2006-03-23 01:34:32
342.   Andrew Shimmin
I think my point was the opposite of balance. An okay offense plus an okay defense makes an okay team. A super terrific offense, and a sub par defense, makes for a good team. Better to have the unballanced good team, than the perfectly balanced average one.

Then, introduce the concept of relative worth--a great starting rotation with a crappy relief corps will outperform, by a wide margin, the inverse. Great hitters who are crappy fielders are generally more valuable than the inverse, especially when they play the relatively less important positions.

So, it's kind of like balancing in the financial sense--a system of credits and debits, where some transactions are weighted more heavily than others. Figuring out how to weight them is interesting, and nobody has the actual answer. But the answer is never an absolute like: 'If you want to win in the post season, you need a good closer.' Or, 'Defense plus pitching is the key to winning.' There is no one key, because there are so many keys that'll fit.

2006-03-23 01:59:32
343.   jeepseats
342 - makes good sense. You explained that very well...and I agree, but not completely.

Relative worth is an important concept here. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link". But, its better to have your weakest link on the bench, instead of in the starting lineup.

What bothers me is that it seems that "some posters" are so hooked on high OPS that they would almost encourage David Ortiz to fill the Red Sox' hole at 2nd base because he would have "above average OPS" for the position! I'm obviously exagerrating, but that's the way it comes across to me. It's like saying Shaq is going to be our point guard!...or...let's put Tom Brady at left tackle!

There's a reason players play where they play. There's a reason Ortiz is a DH. There's a reason why Shaq is a center. There's a reason why Furcal is our SS instead of Guzman.

2006-03-23 02:02:37
344.   jeepseats
342 - BTW, [A great offense can make up for lousy defense. A great pitching rotation can make up for a garbage lineup].

...sure sounds like balance to me.

2006-03-23 02:22:24
345.   thinkblue0
343-

yeah that's some serious exaggeration. No one is saying to do insane things like put guys like Ortiz at second, we're talking within reason.

Tejada is a prime example. He's a valuable player no matter what, but the fact that he's a SS makes him THAT much more valuable because you can ass a high OPS hitter at a position that the VAST majority of teams don't have.

Guzman may not be great at short, but it's not comprable to putting someone like Ortiz at second, or JD Drew at SS etc etc. Let's say Guzman becomes a 30 HR guy...that's very nice, but in the OF he's not THAT special...at SS, he is.

Now the only thing is how many runs would his defense cost us? I guarantee that the runs he gives up from errors don't even compare to the numbers he produces offensively. Meanwhile, we've got another bat in the OF. In other words...would you rather have a sub par defensive SS that hits 30 bombs and a 30 HR left fielder or would you have someone like Izturis with a 30 HR left fielder? I'll take the former because while the defense might not be as good, the run production offensively will FAR outweigh the shortcomings on defense....

2006-03-23 02:32:24
346.   Andrew Shimmin
The elements balance each other out; it's not an argument for matching parts. Maybe it's just semantics, and you're not saying what I thought you were.

I think there's an element of arguing across points on the Ortiz at 2B thing, too. Guzman at SS is more valuable in the sense that he'd probably make more money over his career there, and probably be worth more in a trade (c.f. Soriano). I don't think anyone has argued that his actual value wouldn't be higher as a OF (same bat, better defense). Also, since he's 20, it was reasonable to hope for the best, instead of being direly pragmatic. But we're coming around.

That's the best part of arguing with people who respect numbers over gut feelings. When the numbers change, the people who think numbers matter have to adjust. A hunch is always as valid as itself.

2006-03-23 02:37:21
347.   Andrew Shimmin
345- Rats. Now the other posters are posting, before I do, the things I only wish I'd thought of. At half past two in the morning. The whole world is against me!

Covering my tracks: of course, I was only addressing JtD's value in a vacuum; thinkblue0 went a step further which, while clever, is clearly cheating.

2006-03-23 03:08:45
348.   Andrew Shimmin
On the topic: I've been wondering whether the whole thing is linear. Ever since I read that the SB% break even point was variable, I've been wondering whether a team with a crappy lineup and super terrific rotation might not be better off with a moderate improvement to the lineup than it would with the same degree of improvement to the rotation.

This actually borders on an argument for balance, but it's just marginal utility. It seems possible that the Baseball Prospectus BRAR, FRAR, etc. stats are right, but only in a vacuum. That the same BRAR might be worth slightly more, or less, based on the team for which the player put up the number. Anyway, I wonder about it.

2006-03-23 05:44:41
349.   MLKaplan43
346 - Sure it's great to have a 30-HR/.875 OPS power at SS, but how much defensive ineptitude can be tolerated? I know Guzman's young, but 29 errors in 130 games at SS/3B is a major red flag.

Soriano is the most obvious analogy to Guzman, so looking at his 2005 win shares (hardballtimes.com), he ranked 4th among AL 2B's in batting WS's, and 12th in defense. Overall, he ranked 7th, and he ranked 9th above replacement. His glove was an enormous liability.

When we talk about relative value of offense for middle infielders, sometimes we overlook the fact that the relative value of defense is also much higher than for other postitions. If Guzman can't play a competent SS, it will negate part of his offensive value.

So the question is raised: is it better to attempt to develop max value on a prospect in the minors, or should his bat be rushed into the lineup ASAP? Maybe the DRays will figure this out for us with how the handle BJ Upton.

2006-03-23 07:07:44
350.   scareduck
318 - for those who get the Wall Street Journal online --

http://tinyurl.com/pdg95

and this teaser:

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Also, her ideal man should "have health insurance and use it."

Health insurance is expensive, complex and bureaucratic. These days, it's also sexy. Right up there with washboard abs, a steady job and a fun-loving personality, health coverage is emerging as a hot selling point among online daters. It's especially the case among suitors of a certain age who need, and prize, good benefits the most.

Those who have it sometimes flaunt it as an asset, a sign to potential mates that they are serious, professional and grounded. Others troll for partners with blue-chip policies because they need coverage themselves, or want evidence -- short of asking for a credit report -- that a prospect isn't a slacker.

"I don't have time to waste," explains Ms. Ferris, a 45-year-old teacher from Sebastian, Fla. "If you care about yourself, then you're going to tend to care about other people as well."

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