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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

Let It Go
2006-05-29 16:52
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

"It was the first jam I get in all year and I don't get a chance to get out of it," said Penny, who voiced his displeasure with Little on the mound before taking a swing at a water cooler with a bat in the dugout and yelling in anger.

"I wanted a chance to get that inning out of the way," Penny said, adding "I'm out there pitching hurt. ... I don't appreciate not getting the chance with a three-run lead to finish the inning."

- The Associated Press

Seems to me that Brad Penny's chance to get out of his jam came when he faced Wilson Betemit with runners on first and third, three runs in on five hits, and the Dodgers leading, 8-4. When Betemit singled and the tying run came to the plate, Dodger manager Grady Little earned the right to use his hook.

Penny says he was "pitching hurt" - that's a reason in favor of taking him out, not a reason to leave him in. The last thing he needs is to push the rock up the hill too hard.

I'm a big Penny fan, but he's got to think bigger than this. I'm glad that Little was. Hopefully, we'll easily move on.

Update: The thing with Penny is this. With a seven-run lead, his job is to throw the ball over the plate. Thus, the first few hits that get smacked off him are excusable. Not desirable, but excusable. But after a certain point, Penny has to bear down and pitch. He might not have felt he reached that point until the Betemit hit - and then was disappointed to have (in his point of view) the grass pulled out from under him.

But again, it's not as if Little or the Dodgers owed Penny the chance - particularly if he is pitching hurt. The only question is who is the pitcher best equipped to get the outs - and while most of us will take Penny over Joe Beimel any day of the century, seven batters into an inning with the tying run up was a good time to get Penny out of there.

Comments
2006-05-29 17:14:15
1.   thinkingblue
Oh sure Penny, lets just leave you, a hurt pitcher in so you can give up 8 more hits in a row, NOT.
2006-05-29 17:15:25
2.   thinkingblue
I agree with Little in that case for sure, everyone from here to Atlanta could tell Penny was done. Not to be too hard on Penny, but he's gotta be reasonable here, he was getting torched.
2006-05-29 17:17:14
3.   Marty
I don't care if you have a 10 run lead, 6 straight hits means you need to go sit down and think about what you've done.
2006-05-29 17:27:02
4.   Slipstream
I guess I'd rather have a pitcher who gets upset at being taken out than a pitcher who gets upset for not being taken out (we had one of those last year). But still, it's one thing to be pissed at the time, but you can't keep whining about it to the press. . .
2006-05-29 17:47:55
5.   Kayaker7
It's like the gov't and the press. A pitcher and a manager will almost always disagree on the timing of relief pitching. Even if a pitcher is gassed, I think he'll say that he'd want to stay in, to avoid the label of being soft.
2006-05-29 18:02:55
6.   Bob Timmermann
I think Penny sincerely thought he could get out of the jam. But Little did not duplicate Ken Macha's use of Brad Halsey.

Ken wrote about that.
http://catfishstew.baseballtoaster.com/archives/385576.html

It's fairly long.

2006-05-29 18:03:47
7.   Dello
that was a selfish and childish display by Penney today. it was also disrespectful to his manager. i think he needs a fine to remind him how to behave on a team. either that or have him take a seat next to OP in the bullpen.
2006-05-29 18:15:33
8.   Bob Timmermann
Presumably since Penny, Little and Honeycutt are all adults, they'll just talk it out.

Sometimes I think we forget how competitive professional athletes are.

Vin Scully has told a story of Jackie Robinson challenging him to a race on a pond in ice skates even though he had rarely skated in his life and Vin knew how to skate pretty well. Vin tried to talk him out of it, but they ended up racing. I think Robinson fell over a lot and was pretty upset that he lost.

2006-05-29 18:18:38
9.   Dello
seemed to me like a guy that cares alot about his personal stats vs. the team success. wrong kind of competitiveness
2006-05-29 18:29:35
10.   Ryan Jerz
I think we need to be careful not to read too much into this. Penny was mad he got taken out. He obviously felt he could get out of the jam. Little did not. And for what it's worth, I think Little was dead right. So Penny wanted to get out of his "first jam all year." Big deal. He'll move on, and so will Grits, so I'm thinking all of us should too.
2006-05-29 18:35:43
11.   Dark Horse
10-That sounds about right.

7-Sit him in the bullpen with Perez? Might I suggest, politely, this rotation is shorthanded enough already?

2006-05-29 18:38:44
12.   Greg S
I have no problem with Penny being pissed, in fact I like that fire in a starting pitcher and especially our ace (which is what he is). I don't even mind his beating up a Gatorade cooler (especially swinging the bat with his left hand like he did). He can act like a child and even swear on national television. What he CAN'T do is yell in the face of his manager on national television or question his manager to reporters after the game. That is HS. He should know better and I'm disappointed in him.
2006-05-29 18:39:21
13.   D4P
I think Jon's point is well taken. Penny was given plenty of chances to get out of the jam. He failed.
2006-05-29 18:40:45
14.   Dello
where's Kirk Gibson when I need him. Ii guess Kent will have to do. hopefully, he can take care of this behind the scenes. maybe I'm old school, but if I were Grady I wouldn't take this from anyone on my team.
2006-05-29 18:43:59
15.   ToyCannon
If Brad Penny thinks this was his 1st jam of the year he must really live in a bubble. He's been good this year but not that good that this was his 1st jam. Very jerky comments by him and the fact he hadn't calmed down by the time he went to the press is not good. Team comes 1st not his desire to net a win that he didn't deserve.
2006-05-29 18:45:40
16.   ToyCannon
Matt Clement totally blows. So who were the posters who were clamoring that we sign him the winter of 2004/2005? Since he got nailed by that comebacker last year he has been one of the worse pitchers in baseball.
2006-05-29 18:57:39
17.   Bob Timmermann
Bengie Molina is so slow that Eric Hinske gets sent in as a pinch runner for him.
2006-05-29 19:01:14
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - I might have been one of those :)
2006-05-29 19:04:02
19.   alex 7
maybe Penny was more embarrassed than ticked off and a fit was just his way of covering it. I mean, he was served a win on a platter and ran out of gas.
2006-05-29 19:06:48
20.   Bob Timmermann
I think the more disturbing thing is what Rob linked over at 6-4-2 where he has Penny quoted saying that he's been working through a sore back AND sore shoulder all season.
2006-05-29 19:18:33
21.   DodgerHobbit
i dont think its that big of a deal.
I think he will or maybe already has apologized to little.

Then again, i gave odalis perez a lot of passes when he was calling out teamates and all that chalking it up to competitiveness.

2006-05-29 19:20:50
22.   Bob Timmermann
21
Is this your favorite player of alltime?

http://tinyurl.com/o2wbh

2006-05-29 19:44:12
23.   D4P
21
And is this your favorite basketball player of alltime?

http://tinyurl.com/md838

2006-05-29 19:44:22
24.   Nolan
The Penny situation seems like an example of pitchers being a little too obsessed with wins. The lack of precision "Wins" carries as a descriptive or predictive stat has been well-documented. Not surprisingly, this has been lost on Penny.

Anyway, I was fifteen rows back at RFK for Matt Kemp's debut. It wasn't pretty. I'm glad he bounced back with a nice game tonight. Especially good to see him bring that BB/K closer to equilibrium.

2006-05-29 19:47:10
25.   regfairfield
Can't believe I'm the first one to go with the "Little generally has no problem letting pitchers pitch out of jams" line.

Too obvious?

2006-05-29 19:51:11
26.   Sam DC
Nationals fans have taken to calling Felix Rodriguez Frodo.
2006-05-29 19:52:26
27.   capdodger
24 Which section Nolan? I was 3 rows back (in section 467).
2006-05-29 19:55:45
28.   DodgerHobbit
22 nope

and

23 nope

The comment wasnt sarcasm. i really did think o.p. wasnt a malcontent and was just frustrated and competitive 2-3 years back.

And I do think the Penny thing will blow over.

2006-05-29 20:14:06
29.   jujibee
This thing will blow over. Little will make it so, even if, gange forbid, he benches him for a start. That will help him heal and give him th edemeanor he needs to be on this team.

Side Note*
I would like to give some serious props to Jon for having a site like this where we can all debate dodger baseball via open forum. Although I don't agree with him from time to time his writings are genious and he backs up every one of his arguments. He is a true Dodger fan and a great writer and I would like to say Thank you, Jon.

2006-05-29 20:31:25
30.   tjshere
29 - Very well put. I concur.

22 - OK, I admit it, Bob. The Sam Wise reference whooshed wayyyyyyy over my head. A little help?

2006-05-29 20:34:11
31.   Bob Timmermann
21 was posting as DodgerHobbit.

I asked if his favorite player was Sam Wise. Samwise Gangees was the name of a hobbit in "The Lord of the Rings." (Sean Astin played the character in the movies.)

2006-05-29 20:34:14
32.   DodgerHobbit
30 addressing only my handle...not anything about my post.

sam wise...samwise....hobbit

scottie pippen....pippin....hobbit

2006-05-29 20:35:17
33.   Disabled List
Comment 9 deserves repeating. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I have to believe that Penny wouldn't have complained so loudly at being pulled out if his "first jam of the season" had occurred in the 6th inning, instead of the 5th. Being pulled out before the 5th inning was over cost him a win in the stat column.

Little was absolutely right to yank him; Penny was totally out of gas. Six straight hits, including three doubles on three straight pitches at one point, an 8-1 lead dwindled to 8-5 with the tying run coming to the plate and only one out, and having already been burned by a number of excruciating come-from-ahead losses... it was a no-brainer.

Stop whining, Brad. You want a juicier won-loss record? Don't allow six straight hits.

2006-05-29 20:37:30
34.   Bob Timmermann
I think the DBacks are having bullpen problems again this year.
2006-05-29 20:37:55
35.   Steve
Old Friend Paul LoDuca is helping our cause off of former Arizona closer Jose Valverde.
2006-05-29 20:41:22
36.   Steve
David Wright gets the job done.
2006-05-29 20:41:27
37.   King of the Hobos
David Wright hits a ball to deep left center with the bases loaded for the walkoff single, DBacks lose
2006-05-29 20:46:52
38.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers can move into first tomorrow and they have their ace on the hill.

Aaron Sele!

The Mets are starting Alay Soler against Miguel Batista of Arizona.

2006-05-29 21:06:22
39.   JoeyP
Penny's been used to being managed by old school managers that care about individual stats. Tracy was notorious for trying to get a guy through an inning just so the individual could pick up a win, rather than managing so the team can win.
I'm sure Jack McKeon managed the same way since he had no trouble letting those young Marlins hurlers rack up tons if innings.

I'm happy Little took Penny out of the game. Who cares if Penny is upset? Its a manager's job to win team games. Not to coddle up to the players.

Good for Little.
If Penny wants to mouth of to the press, good for him too.
All that matters is what happens between the white lines. The press and newspaper columns are meaningless diversions.

2006-05-29 21:08:23
40.   natepurcell
David Wright is a God.
2006-05-29 21:20:15
41.   mikethinksblue
The Angels announcers are doing play by play of the Rally Monkey's performance. Lyons must be jealous
2006-05-30 04:13:54
42.   Nolan
24 - I was in 220. Great seats that I got pretty cheaply on StubHub the night before.
2006-05-30 12:42:08
43.   gibsonhobbs88
I hope Brad Penny would look back at the tape of that 5th inning and he would realize how wrong he was in beefing to the manager. The first batter hit a long flyout to right center that Lofton made a good running catch, then the next 6 batters hit 6 ropes off of Penny, not bleeders and squibs and bloopers, they were making solid contact. They even sent Honeycutt out after 4 of those hits to settle him down and two more hitters still hit hard singles before Grady mercifully pulled the plug! Penny had only himself to blame, Grady tried to give him enough rope to get out of the inning, but Penny couldn't right himself. I have Penny on one of my fantasy teams and he has been doing a solid job for me all year and entering the bottom of the 5th, I thought I had another solid win. Am I mad at Grady, NO! Any right thinking fan would see Penny was done, stick a fork in him!! Penny should view the tape then come begging for forgiveness in Grady's office!

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