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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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5) discussing politics
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At the One-Third Mark - How Good Are the Dodgers?
2006-06-02 12:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Sometimes, you go to Circuit City or Best Buy and you pick up a new gadget, and then you bring it home and find it doesn't fit, or it doesn't work right, or it isn't really what you needed.

And sometimes, you go to the stores and come home with Russell Martin, Willy Aybar, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton.

It's an awful fancy time in the Dodger rec room these days. After a third of the season, the Dodgers are on a 93-win pace. As many of you know, the team has soared near the top of many offensive charts in the National League: first in runs, hits, walks and on-base percentage, second in OPS and stolen bases (fifth in stolen-base percentage), and sixth in slugging percentage (despite being 10th in home runs).

The pitching staff is third in ERA at 3.91, which nicely averages out the fact that the team currently has no pitcher with an ERA between 2.87 and 4.38.

There are dueling senses that the team is playing over their heads, yet because of injuries and opportunities for young players to mature further, the best might still be yet to come. We'll see which train of thought makes it to the station at season's end, but in the meantime, here's a position-by-position look at the team through 54 games.

Legend
PA: plate appearances
EQA: According to Baseball Prospectus, EQA is "a measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense." The average is .260.
OPS: on-base percentage plus slugging percentage
PrOPS: According to the Hardball Times, "PrOPS stands for 'Predicted OPS.' … a formula for predicting what a player's OPS is likely to be in the future based on his batted balls, strikeouts, home runs and walks."
OPS-PrOPS: A positive figure would indicate that the player's OPS is higher than it should be.
RC According to the Hardball Times, "Invented by Bill James, RC is a very good measure of the number of runs a batter truly contributed to his team's offense. The basic formula for RC is OBP*TB, but it has evolved into over 14 different versions. We use the most complicated version, which includes the impact of hitting well with runners in scoring position, and is adjusted for ballpark impact."
IP: innings pitched
H/9: hits allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
BB/9: walks allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
SO/9: strikeouts per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
HR/9: home runs allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
FIP: According to the Hardball Times, "a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded."
ERA: earned run average
ERA+: According to the Hardball Times, "ERA measured against the league average, and adjusted for ballpark factors. An ERA+ over 100 is better than average, less than 100 is below average."
PRC: According to the Hardball Times, "The notion behind Pitching Runs Created is that a run saved is worth more than a run scored, and PRC puts runs saved on the same scale as runs scored. You can directly compare PRC to a batter's Runs Created to gauge each player's relative value to his team."
Statistics courtesy of Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.com.

CatcherPAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Dioner Navarro86.273.759.807-.0489
Russell Martin91.260.782.795-.0139
Sandy Alomar, Jr.44.259.750.668.0829

You'll see right away that this analysis leaves out defensive statistics, which would probably boost the case for Martin. But looking at the young catchers offensively, their offensive production is fairly close – and if anything, Navarro could benefit more from a change of luck. Which is not to say that Martin won't or shouldn't start when Navarro is activated from the disabled list. But should Navarro go down to Las Vegas? Even Alomar's high batting average in the early going hasn't translated into anything significant, except when you look at his runs created, which surprisingly matches the others. Ultimately, this isn't a big deal, but though I think Navarro is clearly the better second option, if the team just wants Martin to catch six games a week anyway, Navarro might as well play regularly in Las Vegas.

First BasePAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Nomar Garciaparra156.3461.031.940.09136
Olmedo Saenz93.300.886.860.02620
James Loney44.210.595.667-.0713

Not much to say here. Garciaparra has been fantastic, and it would take a big reversal to make him anything less. Still feels like even money as far as him avoiding another injury, but Loney has been on fire in Las Vegas since his return there, and of course, there's always Saenz to hammer away against lefties. Joel Guzman would also get a look.

Second Base PAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Jeff Kent190.284.797.906-.10930
Ramon Martinez61.307.880.793.08712
Oscar Robles32.210.572.714-.1421

Kent was recovering nicely from his abysmal April before his recent injury, which will hand playing time at second base to Martinez and Willy Aybar. As you can see, Kent seemed to really run into some bad luck, yet still greeted the disabled list with a nice .284 EQA. Martinez has played way over his head – his 2006 OPS is higher than any previous single month of his career except June 2000. Robles didn't get the Colorado feast that put him on the map last year, and got passed over in Thursday's promotion of Guzman. With Cesar Izturis soon to return, we might not see Robles until September.

ShortstopPAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Rafael Furcal248.243.679.744-0.06533

Well, it's not all bad. Furcal has improved his numbers slowly, though we're still missing any sign of extra-base power (.335 slugging), and he could have been luckier. Six caught stealings and 11 errors haven't helped. Suffice it to say, the Dodgers' winning ways have shrouded the disappointment of general manager Ned Colletti's most expensive outlay, but maybe that's a good thing, as it will give Furcal time to rebuild and avoid becoming this decade's Delino DeShields, free-agent style.

Third BasePAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Bill Mueller126.268.759.827-0.06818
Willy Aybar74.329.911.765.14612
Joel Guzman1.000.000.000.0000

Will Aybar stop hitting by the time Mueller returns? Aybar continues to appear to play over his head, apparently, but he sure looks good doing it. More than the catching situation, this could be the stickiest position battle this summer, because it involves a veteran who would demand, you know, respect.

Left FieldPAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Jose Cruz, Jr.177.274.728.750-.02220
Andre Ethier85.315.948.874.07415
Ricky Ledee33.261.755.752.0035

Are you surprised to see Cruz has racked up 177 plate appearances? It reminds you how recently the Dodgers called up Ethier, who has blasted the ball beyond even Colletti's wildest dreams. With the return of Ledee and Jason Repko still far off, Cruz isn't going anywhere. However, Dodger manager Grady Little more or less benched Cruz for a period in April to play Repko - so if Ethier and Matt Kemp remain viable, Cruz will be the last in the rotation. If the worst outfielder on the team still has an above-average EQA, that's not half bad.

Center FieldPAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
Kenny Lofton155.293.797.700.09724
Jason Repko80.316.914.901.01317
Matt Kemp16.3181.053.873.0805

I hope Repko and Jayson Werth are friends, so they can commiserate over what might have been. Repko's leap in performance was just starting to become believable when his leap in the air saddled him with an unbelievable ankle sprain. By the time he returns (much less Werth), there may not be any playing time left. It's hard to believe that Kemp is already ready to be a major leaguer, but we can't rule it out yet. Meanwhile, Lofton looks awful to me defensively, but has met expectations on offense. The good news is that no one is getting playing time by default.

Right FieldPAEQAOPSPrOPSOPS-PrOPSRC
J.D. Drew207.295.887.870.01733
Cody Ross14.4751.6431.201.4426

Drew could be better – something's a little weird when his EQA is lower than not only that of Garciaparra but also Ethier, Aybar, Martinez and Saenz. But Drew has played much more than those guys and is contributing steadily.

Starting PitchingIPH/9BB/9SO/9HR/9FIPERAERA+PRC
Derek Lowe77 1/39.02.24.10.83.762.6815338
Brett Tomko63 2/39.42.15.51.34.414.389322
Brad Penny62 2/311.42.25.80.62.862.8714237
Jae Seo48 2/39.72.85.11.45.185.367615
Odalis Perez37 2/311.82.14.61.14.496.21668
Aaron Sele32 2/39.92.14.00.93.552.2018621

Okay. The best thing you can say about the starting rotation – and it's a nice change from 2005 – is that they're not walking guys. (By the way, in case you missed it in the fine print above, the per-nine inning numbers are translated statistics to factor in park effects.) Penny, Lowe and Sele are supplementing their fine control by keeping the ball in the park. But a decline seems inevitable for all but Seo and Perez (and has already begun for Tomko). Sele is flying so high that it's not clear how he's getting oxygen, but Perez should be able to step in and at least prevent a complete crash landing. Overall, though, the team is going to get blasted a bit. Could Chad Billingsley duplicate what the rookie hitters have done? The Dodgers may need him to.

Relief PitchingIPH/9BB/9SO/9HR/9FIPERAERA+PRC
Danys Baez27 1/311.51.35.30.42.342.3017812
Takashi Saito266.82.29.41.02.852.4216920
Tim Hamulack237.84.39.01.55.396.26655
Joe Beimel189.61.12.71.33.942.0020511
Franquelis Osoria17 2/312.04.15.81.76.007.13574
Jonathan Broxton178.03.09.61.23.001.0638717
Hong-Chih Kuo135.49.16.00.65.235.54744
Lance Carter11 2/312.25.53.70.95.318.49481
Yhency Brazoban511.93.26.50.52.605.40761

Baez has the strongest - or strangest - numbers for someone who doesn't seem that reliable. Saito is a huge surprise, but as long as he keeps fooling batters, he should do fine. Hamulack also strikes guys out, but he does too many things wrong to occupy more than a temporary spot on the team. Beimel is the bullpen's Sele – but like Sele, at least he's had control. While Osoria and Kuo took their lumps, Broxton has sizzled. His ERA is all too good, but at the same time, the two home runs he has allowed came in blowout victories. Carter is a discard – someone else deserves the next chance that comes. And of course, we'll hope Brazoban, comes back strong. I don't know, though - if Eric Gagne can hold it together, the bullpen has a pretty good feel to me.

Forecast
Like I said up top, the Dodgers have been a little too good to be true – but the truth could change to accommodate their goodness. You get what I'm driving at? There's just about too much talent on or coming off the disabled list, and too much hope remaining with the kids, to allow a collapse. The only problem is, there's still good reason to be scared about the pitching.

Someone else can tell me if the National League West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks are also playing over their heads, but for now, even if the Dodger lineup keeps changing, it looks like we'll have a pennant race all year long.

Comments (179)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-02 12:15:10
1.   bhsportsguy
Jon - I cannot believe that you are using STATS to back up your argument, obviously this team is playing with HEART built on CHEMISTRY acquired by having some team dinners in Vero Beach.
2006-06-02 12:26:11
2.   bhsportsguy
Okay, just had to get that out there, the starting pitching is scary but I think we can see that we have a lot of options regarding moves to acquire some starters. I

These are just names I will toss out here and see what people think:

1. D. Willis - I would not do it because he would require probably 2 guys that can play at the MLB level and someone like Elbert in A ball.

2. B. Zito - If Oakland falls out of the race (You would have to wait until July 31, personally I would hope that he stays until the end of the year and sign him as FA, our biggest local competition really has no spot for him with their extension to Escobar)

3. G. Maddux - Not bad, probably cost less, not a dominating starter by any means but certainly has experience and would be a fine No. 2/3 guy in the playoffs.

4. C. Billingsley - Okay, I just think that once they settle the Odalis Perez issue, he will come up, I still maintain that he is suffering some R. Martin withdrawal and while experience tells us that at best we can hope for is .500 pitcher, he would be a non-pressure situation with some familiar faces around him.

Our chief rival contending teams looking for pitching will be Arizona and the Mets, one with prospects, the other probably with the finances, the Mets will be looking for lesser grade pitchers while Arizona will get lots of calls for their prime AAA prospects.

2006-06-02 12:30:18
3.   bluetahoe
I LOVE THIS TEAM!!!!

Go Dodgers!!

There is no team in the NL thats clearly better than our boys in blue. We could go all the way. I'm looking forward to the series with the Mets and Cards. I'd still like a proven starter. Say NO to Greg Maddux.

Midas needs to find a way to dump Odalis and bring in a Chris Capuano

Starters
1) Lowe
2) Penny
3) Capuano
4) Sele/Tomko/Seo
5) Sele/Tomko/Seo

Relievers
1) Game Over
2) Saito
3) Baez
4) JBrox
5) Joey B
6) Carrara
7) Sele/Tomko/Seo

2006-06-02 12:31:59
4.   DodgerJoe
Jon...phenomenal breakdown.

It seems there are so many options on offense that I am not too concerned with adding another bat.

Starting pitching is what we need. bhsportsguy lays it out pretty well. Not too many other options out there, right? Livan Hernandez anyone?

2006-06-02 12:33:20
5.   DodgerJoe
3. No way Capuano leaves Milwaukee. They will be looking for pitching help and stay in the WC race.
2006-06-02 12:34:24
6.   Eric Enders
If nothing else, there seems to be an embarrassment of riches as far as the sheer number of major league caliber players we have. Even as the inevitable decline comes for some of them, it should be possible to avoid any Mike Edwardses killing the team with extended slumps, because it seems like we have legitimate players waiting in the wings at every position. It also seems like we have a manager who is better than Jim Tracy was at distributing playing time based on merit rather than his own inexplicable personal biases.

The most distressing thing, of course, is that as always, our players are almost without exception recovering more slowly than anticipated from injuries. It's getting to the point where when somebody goes on the DL, I mentally lay 50/50 odds that he'll never play a game for the Dodgers again.

Another thing to consider is that although the Dodgers appear to be playing over their heads, the rest of the West is too, so they might be expected to decline along with us. Certainly Colorado is ripe for a huge downturn, and probably Arizona and San Francisco too.

2006-06-02 12:35:50
7.   bluetahoe
Livan Hernandez is an option. I saw him take it to my boys in blue 1st hand last Friday. He had a high ERA of like 5.50 and a 2-5 record going into the game. If he can pitch like he did last year I'm all for going after Livo.
2006-06-02 12:38:18
8.   Eric Enders
1. D. Willis - This would cost way too much and would end up biting us in the end.

2. B. Zito - No thanks. All the publicity he gets has obscured the fact that he really isn't a very good pitcher. And he who trades with Beane gets ripped off more often than not. (Jury's still out on Ethier, of course.)

3. G. Maddux - I wouldn't be opposed to acquiring him as long as the price is Delwyn Young-type prospects and not Matt Kemp-type ones.

4. C. Billingsley - This is by far the best option of the four.

2006-06-02 12:39:23
9.   Eric Enders
"If he can pitch like he did last year I'm all for going after Livo."

And I wouldn't be opposed to going after Juan Marichal if he can pitch like he did in 1966. But he can't.

2006-06-02 12:41:08
10.   Underbruin
7 - "He had a high ERA of like 5.50 and a 2-5 record going into the game."

Just because he beat the Dodgers doesn't mean he's a good pitcher, just like giving up a bunch of runs in one game doesn't make you a bad pitcher. Why exactly would we want to trade for a guy with a 5+ ERA, a 1.5 WHIP, and an opposing OPS rate of .877?

The Dodgers had a bad game against him. But he is not a good pitcher.

2006-06-02 12:43:30
11.   bluetahoe
Livan was an all star just last season. If he could find the magic again it would be welcomed in LA.
2006-06-02 12:45:19
12.   Eric Enders
Heck, while we're at it let's sign Kal Daniels and see if he can find the magic again.
2006-06-02 12:45:24
13.   Underbruin
Also, just as a sidenote, Livo really wasn't all that good last year, just league-average (ERA+ of exactly 100)... He was far better before the move from Montreal to Washington. Don't be fooled by W-L statistics.
2006-06-02 12:45:28
14.   DXMachina
3 Carrara

No, no, a thousand times no.

Carrara did some nice things for us in 2004, but I've already seen him pitch this year (and got points for correctly predicting a blow up), and he was exactly the same guy who kept bringing in the gas can last year.

2006-06-02 12:46:27
15.   ryu
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what happened to Hong Chi Kuo?
2006-06-02 12:49:12
16.   bluetahoe
Kal Daniels has to be at least 45. As far as I know he retired 10 seasons ago. Maybe he's playing in Japan but I haven't heard anything about it. That's the route Julio Franco took to get back.
2006-06-02 12:51:29
17.   Bob Timmermann
16

I would suggest you put Eric's comments about Kal Daniels into the "facetious" category.

2006-06-02 12:53:07
18.   Underbruin
11 - All-Star games mean nothing. Hernandez has historically been about a league-average pitcher who had a solid season for the Giants, one great and one good year with the Expos, and a bunch of other sub-100 ERA+ seasons.
2006-06-02 12:54:49
19.   Bob Timmermann
15
Kuo is back in Las Vegas. I believe he is still sorting through control issues there.
2006-06-02 12:54:50
20.   Eric Enders
18 But he eats innings! (Among many other things.)
2006-06-02 12:56:31
21.   scareduck
The best thing you can say about the starting rotation – and it's a nice change from 2005 – is that they're not walking guys.

That and they don't have three guys on pace for 20+ homers.

Yet.

2006-06-02 12:56:58
22.   blue22
Outside of the team's win/loss record, what has Martin shown to this point that gives him the starting nod in LA over Navarro?

Personally, I feel if you're going to go with just the one rookie catcher playing everyday, Navarro gives us a better chance to win this year.

2006-06-02 12:57:21
23.   Eric Enders
Actually, maybe we should've gone for the whole Elton John trilogy and signed Livan, the Rocket Man, and Joe Beimel's brother Daniel.
2006-06-02 12:57:53
24.   Sam DC
19 Sort of like Nick Cage.
2006-06-02 12:59:06
25.   bluetahoe
Since its the 1/3 mark anyone brave enough to give the final regualr season west standings?

I'll give it a go.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers 95-67
2. San Francisco Giants 88-74
3. Arizona Diamondbacks 86-76
4. Colorado Rockies 80-82
5. San Diego Padres 74-88

2006-06-02 12:59:11
26.   scareduck
Livan Hernandez is also playing out his age 30 season. Could it be that he's just plain old?
2006-06-02 13:00:21
27.   bhsportsguy
Here's another question...Aside from another starter (outside of Chad), what else does this team need.

Lets assume that Kent, Mueller and Repko come back.

This could be the roster on July 31:
C - Martin, Alomar (Navarro is optioned to AAA)
IF - Garciaparra, Kent, Furcal, Mueller, Saenz, Izturis, Martinez, Aybar
OF - Drew, Lofton, Cruz, Ethier, Repko (Guzman and Kemp are optioned to AAA)
P - Lowe, Penny, Tomko, Perez, Sele, Seo, Beimel, Broxton, Baez, Saito, Gagne) (Hamulack is either DFA/optioned AAA)

I am not saying this is the roster I like the best, obviously having Izzy on the roster and not playing probably won't last long, I agree with Jon that if Martin is going to play 5/6 times a week, its better for Navarro to get at bats and play defense in Vegas.

Of course saying that anyone will be back from the DL is guesswork, especially Mueller and Repko, the injury to Kent does sound like something he can recover from by the time he can come off the DL.

Sure some will have to something to say about this roster.

2006-06-02 13:03:33
28.   bluetahoe
27. you have 26 players on that roster
2006-06-02 13:06:12
29.   scareduck
22 - having seen Navarro "block" balls at the plate and "throw base stealers out" at second, I have a hard time imagining you could get Derek Lowe to throw to anybody besides Martin. The dropoff in defense between these is simply enormous: Russ Martin has a 125 Rate2 score as a catcher, while Navarro has a 93 Rate2. That's a dropoff of over 30 points, and ranks Martin as one of the premier defensive catchers in the league.
2006-06-02 13:06:20
30.   bhsportsguy
28 - sorry, I was trying to figure out how to keep Aybar up and I was wrong, thus he too would go back down pending a Izzy deal.
2006-06-02 13:07:30
31.   Eric Enders
27, 28 No team needs three utility infielders, so one of Izturis, Martinez, or Aybar would have to go from that list of 26.

Given the politics, Aybar would have to be the one even though he's clearly the best player of the three.

2006-06-02 13:08:23
32.   bluetahoe
it's ok. sometimes i'm a stickler.
2006-06-02 13:11:25
33.   bluetahoe
If the Blue Jays would tank I'd like to see Midas do whatever it takes to get Halladay. Izturis, Kemp, Seo, and Broxton(ouch) for Halladay.

We'd win the World Series.

2006-06-02 13:11:34
34.   thinkblue0
off the top of my head, landing Maddux might be the smartest deal we could make in the next month or so.

Sure, he's not stellar anymore...but at least you know he's going to make every start, and he's an upgrade over one of Bomko, Seo, Sele....not to mention, I don't think it'd take much to get him.

I just don't understand the Dontrelle Willis fascination. The guy is simply not that good..and they're going to want a king's ransom for him. The A's aren't going to trade Zito since they'll be winning the west and heading into the playoffs...and Livan Hernandez is just plain bad.

2006-06-02 13:13:02
35.   thinkblue0
If the Blue Jays would tank I'd like to see Midas do whatever it takes to get Halladay. Izturis, Kemp, Seo, and Broxton(ouch) for Halladay.

this is a joke, right?

There's NO WAY the Jays trade Halladay in the first place...and second, why would they take our garbage for one of the best pitchers in the game? The starting asking price for Halladay would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of Billingsley, Guzman and Kemp.

2006-06-02 13:13:26
36.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, I wish you were a full-time sports writer and could do this for every team.

Clearly the long-term weakness is starting pitching; everyone here has nailed it. My hope is that Penny and Lowe can hold it together, with Billingsley filling in strongly during the 2nd half. That gives us the three strong starters you need for the playoffs, with Perez as the fourth, assuming he figures his way back. In the meantime, we have to hope that Sele's magic doesn't wear off or that Seo improves.

2006-06-02 13:13:48
37.   scareduck
34 - disagree with you about Zito. I'm sure Beane is looking for the right dupe to unload him onto. Zito is a 3-4 starter with a shiny merit badge, nothing more.
2006-06-02 13:14:55
38.   ToyCannon
29
Have to agree, while offensively it may be a tossup between Martin and Navarro it seems that Martin has the huge advantage in running a pitching staff.
2006-06-02 13:16:07
39.   bhsportsguy
Hate to bring up old subjects and why does Ken Gurnick continue to bring Depo into articles just to rag him, but last night I listened to Neddy with Charley and Rick and in between to humorous (being generous) exchanges, it again stated for me the biggest difference about this team and the 2005 version, whatever happens, the GM and the Manager are on the same page.

I think that one significant point will color everything that happens.

BTW - I just heard a name on the radio I forget to toss in to the potential acquisitions (it is so impossible to believe that they would deal with each other, I hesitate to bring it up) but what about Jeff Weaver?

2006-06-02 13:17:07
40.   bluetahoe
Seo proved in the 2nd half of last season he could be one of the best right handed starters in the league. Broxton could be the next Gagne. Kemp is going to be awesome. Totornto needs a shortstop.
2006-06-02 13:17:11
41.   thinkblue0
37-

I don't think you're giving him enough credit. He's certainly not a cy young pitcher anymore but he is still a good pitcher regardless. This year he has 5 wins, 2.87 ERA, 1.18 Whip, and a 1.65 k/bb ratio. That ratio needs some work, but the rest of the numbers are solid.

2006-06-02 13:18:51
42.   thinkblue0
40-

I think you throw around the "best in the game" terms a bit too much. Seo is not that good and you can't base his value on one HALF of one good season. Broxton COULD be the next Gagne but won't be, and they already have BJ Ryan to boot. Kemp will probably be good, no doubt about that...and Izturis is nothing more than a utility infielder.

Again, they're not trading Halladay ever. IF they did, the asking price would be way way way more than what you proposed...other teams don't take garbage for ace pitchers.

2006-06-02 13:19:58
43.   thinkblue0
39-

you know I actually thought about that, and was actually a little intrigued. Wouldn't it be great if we got him, he pitched decently well, and another team signed him again so we got more picks? Good times.

2006-06-02 13:21:05
44.   bluetahoe
39. GM and the manager on the same page? Tracy stunk as a manager but how can you blame him for not playing Choi and Perez? Wasn't that the only real issue? Nearly a year later it looks like Tracy was right, not DePodesta in regards to those two.
2006-06-02 13:22:22
45.   bluetahoe
Someone needs to tell Midas to get rid of Broxton and Kemp. They're garbage.
2006-06-02 13:22:33
46.   Eric Enders
41 If all that matters are this year's numbers, then we should acquire Aaron Sele. Oh, wait...

Thinkblue is right. Zito's nothing special, and at 29, his best days may be behind him.

2006-06-02 13:23:32
47.   Underbruin
That assumes, of course, that as we get everybody else back nobody else gets hurt. (-knock on wood-) I think at least one of the three young guys you have listed as returning to AAA (or, I guess, going for the first time in Kemp's case?) ends up on the roster in August.

And I gotta figure the Dodgers are looking constantly to deal Oldalis.

2006-06-02 13:23:33
48.   thinkblue0
It still makes me giddy that Tracy is managing the Pirates into the ground. When he started bashing players and taking ALL responsibility away from himself I pretty much lost all respect for the guy.
2006-06-02 13:23:59
49.   Underbruin
47 in response to 27
2006-06-02 13:24:02
50.   Eric Enders
44 Those two guys have a combined 29 big league at bats since leaving the Dodgers. Are you seriously suggesting that's enough to call them busts?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-02 13:24:07
51.   natepurcell
If the Blue Jays would tank I'd like to see Midas do whatever it takes to get Halladay. Izturis, Kemp, Seo, and Broxton(ouch) for Halladay.

stop please. the jays just signed halladay to an extension.

2006-06-02 13:26:31
52.   Underbruin
44 - HAHAHAHAHAHA...

Wait, you're serious?

Where's Steve?

2006-06-02 13:27:40
53.   bluetahoe
50. There's probably a reason why those two have only combined for 29 big league at abts since leaving the Dodgers.
2006-06-02 13:29:08
54.   thinkblue0
53-

Yeah, Jason Phillips is taking them all away.

2006-06-02 13:29:22
55.   Underbruin
37 - Additionally, I would say that's really what this team needs, is a real solid 3rd-starter to pitch behind Lowe and Penny, which I think Zito could do quite well. Plus, I'd love to see what hitters try to do in Dodger Stadium with that looping curveball of his.
2006-06-02 13:29:50
56.   Underbruin
Motion submitted to head off the Great Choi Debate (tm) at the pass?
2006-06-02 13:30:59
57.   thinkblue0
bluetahoe,

I thought you said Wins were the most important stat for a pitcher....so shouldn't we be going after guys like Kenny Rogers or Jason Marquis instead of Halladay?

2006-06-02 13:31:06
58.   Bob Timmermann
Seconded!
2006-06-02 13:31:19
59.   Ken Arneson
8 "Zito...isn't a really good pitcher."

You're flat-out wrong on that one, Eric. Zito is a really good pitcher.

DIPS lovers have always looked at him, and said, "he's not that good," because his ERA has been consistently about 0.50-1.00 below his DIPS, and then he had one semi-bad year where his ERA matched his DIPS, and they all said, "See, I told you he wasn't that good!"

The league had adjusted to him. They figured out his patterns. Heck, I figured out his patterns: it got to the point in 2004 where I was calling exactly which pitch he would throw next. Then last year, Zito went and adjusted back. He added a couple of pitches to his arsenal, became completely unpredictable, and now he's back kicking DIPS in the rear end again.

If money wasn't an object, and I had to choose between Zito and Billingsley for the next six years, I'd choose Zito. If you're lucky, you Dodger fans will have both in your rotation next year.

2006-06-02 13:32:18
60.   Sam DC
We need to get Jason Marquis, Dontrelle, and Livan for our all-ptichers who can hit squad. Penny of course can stay.

How's Broxton's eye?

2006-06-02 13:33:30
61.   ToyCannon
Great breakdown, Jon. The thing that jumps at me besides the lofty numbers of the kids is a Lofton EQA of 293 and JD at 295. He's the offensive centerpiece of this team and he needs to perform like it. 15-20 home runs is not going to cut it when he's playing almost everyday. He's in the prime of his career not at the end like Kent.
I'm expecting him to have a huge June and homestand which should mask the drops in production from the kiddie corps.
2006-06-02 13:34:09
62.   Eric Enders
59 OK, point taken. Not necessarily agreed with, but taken.
2006-06-02 13:34:31
63.   regfairfield
60 I've always wanted to try that. It seems like you could get five or six wins from not having an automatic out at the bottom of the order.
2006-06-02 13:35:42
64.   dsfan
Given the fragility of the rotation, Bills is shaping as a pivotal figure.

All the more reason for the Dodgers to be prudent in how much he works in Vegas. I'm fine with keeping him there as long as possible. But I'd skip him a star here or there. Optimize his chances of being as fresh as possible down the stretch.

Depo reportedly believed in having minor-league starters work as planned relievers for a couple of weeks to reduce their innings over the long season.

The Dodgers need to keep the big-picture in mind while monitoring Bills' work load.

2006-06-02 13:38:50
65.   scareduck
64 - good point.
2006-06-02 13:39:49
66.   bhsportsguy
44 - I am not making this an HSC discussion so don't worry about that Jon, but I think it is more the culture of the club, for instance, although you occasionally hear some things from Odalis, this team has been winning since he has been replaced in the rotation and there has been no reported outbursts. Therefore, I can only assume that the decisions made by the field manager and his staff have the backing of the front office despite the heavy investment in that player.

Lets look at how Grady has used Carter and Baez. Again, after a few outings, he quickly decided that Carter was not a reliable bp guy and he soon moved behind everyone and how after a number of blown saves, he moved Saito to closer role and Baez to set up despite Baez's veteran status and contract.

Again, no reported problems and the team continued to win.

Grady has put the kids in situations to succeed and therefore Ned has no issues bringing them up.

That is what I mean by being on the same page, it is not following a directive by the front office, do this or get out, it is just handling themselves professionally and doing what is best for the organization.

2006-06-02 13:40:00
67.   natepurcell
I like zito. Every year he pitches better then his DIPS which obviously means it isnt a fluke- DIPS just doesnt work with Zito.

I would love Zito in the rotation next year but not this year at the expense of our prospects.

2006-06-02 13:40:49
68.   Underbruin
59 - The point is well-made, and I agree with most of it, but... 6 years? Really?

Billingsly is about two months shy of his 22nd birthday. Zito just turned 28. The next couple of years for Zito should be excellent, but 6 years takes you halfway into his mid-30s. If you said 3 years, maybe even 4, I'd agree and rather have Zito. Over that, though, I'd say Billz.

2006-06-02 13:42:16
69.   bluetahoe
52. ???

Jim Tracy was right and Paul DePodesta was wrong in regards to Choi and Perez. Its cut and dry really.

2006-06-02 13:42:46
70.   Underbruin
68 "...halfway into his 30s..."

Halfway into his mid-30s would be, what, 32? :)

2006-06-02 13:42:46
71.   bhsportsguy
All of this colored by winning, I'm sure if we were 10 games under the Depo supporters (which I was one) would be bombarding this and other sites with "I told you sos" and McCourt sucks...
2006-06-02 13:43:15
72.   bluetahoe
57. A pitchers wins are most important for the team.
2006-06-02 13:43:26
73.   Underbruin
69 - Please see 56.
2006-06-02 13:44:00
74.   dsfan
Excellent review, Jon.

I'd add a qualifier to the statement that Loney has been on fire since going to Vegas. Indeed, he's been scorching hot -- but solely as a singles hitter. Loney's 2Bs and HRs project to about 36-6 -- subpar for a Vegas first baseman with designs on major-league starting work.
It also appears Loney's got a rabbit's foot in his pocket -- .456 BABIP at Vegas, .412 BABIP vs. LHP, .333 BABIP vs. RHP.

I hope James can develop some sock. But I'll say it again: a smart club would have Loney do long-toss regularly to keep that left arm stretched and strong. He was a very good HS pitcher. If Loney doesn't get that swing path and leverage that he'll need to produce at least an adequate slug rate for a 1B, pitching could be an interesting, last-ditch fallback -- not that life as a 4A 1B couldn't be more appealing.

2006-06-02 13:44:16
75.   Jon Weisman
61 - Just to clarify, Drew is on pace to hit 27 homers.
2006-06-02 13:45:28
76.   bluetahoe
71. The negative nellies thought this team would be bad. Midas made a lot of quality moves. I knew this team would win and will continue to do so.
2006-06-02 13:45:30
77.   ToyCannon
68
You'd be betting on a man who's never thrown one major league inning. Vegas would love you. The odds are completely in Zito's favor considering the % of hyped pitching prospects who become Fopperts.
2006-06-02 13:47:05
78.   bluetahoe
73. Why? Because most the posters on here were dead wrong about Choi and Perez?
2006-06-02 13:48:52
79.   Underbruin
71 - I don't entirely agree. I think it'd have a lot to do with the way the team was winning/losing. If the team was losing because the veterans weren't performing well, Garciaparra's stay on the DL had lasted a lot longer, the kids hadn't gotten their opportunities, you're absolutely right there'd be "I told you sos."

If the team was hit by injury like it was last year (it's been bad so for but not like last season) and the younger players put in numbers closer to expectations (as opposed to right now, when it could be argued that the Dodgers would have 5 players finish in the top 10 for ROY honors if the season ended today...), if the Dodgers weren't doing silly things like consistently running themselves out of innings (-cough-LAA-cough-), I think many on here would take a much more wait-and-see approach.

In fact, see the prevailing attitude when the team was 12-17. Some people were unhappy at the play, but nobody was really blaming it overmuch on any one factor, and in fact it was mentioned consistently that the Dodgers were better than their record indicated.

2006-06-02 13:48:52
80.   Eric Enders
78 C'mon. That comment is taking you perilously close to troll territory. Enough already.
2006-06-02 13:49:29
81.   Underbruin
78 - Please see 73.
2006-06-02 13:51:40
82.   ToyCannon
75
My bad, my mind still pictured him with 7. Hope he ends June with 15.
2006-06-02 13:51:44
83.   Bob Timmermann
Point of order!
Point of order!
Point of order!

I believe there is a motion on the table to end debate on the subjects of both Hee-Seop Choi and Antonio Perez. I move for an immediate vote on cloture.

2006-06-02 13:53:04
84.   dsfan
66

Excellent point on Little.

What got underplayed in recent months was Little's development pedigree from his time with the Braves. Managing in the upper levels, he reputedly was very astute at development and got to know firsthand several players who became solid or better major leaguers.

Those players speak very highly of him. His apprenticeship with Atlanta is hard to overstate. Many major-league managers don't have the benefit of such a critical apprenticeship. Little worked with several bona-fide, advanced prospects -- pretty much like what the Martins, Aybars, Kemps and Ethiers appear to be. In this aspect, Little was the perfect man for this organization at this time.

One tiny point I made on another Dodger site in March was that Little would be good for Ethier. The hue and cry over the Oakland remark missed the point. If Little was advising Ethier to become a threat on 3-0, you potentially have some of the Braves power philosophy -- which has been fruitful -- melding with an Oakland-trained hitter who knew how to work the count but perhaps was a bit too passive at times.

2006-06-02 13:56:50
85.   FirstMohican
81 (et all) - I think he's joking a little bit, I wouldn't get too bent outta shape about it.
2006-06-02 13:57:00
86.   dsfan
Just once when folks review the Perez trade I wish they'd point out that Antonio had questionable instincts. Not a heady player, and I'm mindful of the perils of using such expressions. The Reds, Mariners, Devil Rays grew tired of his mental miscues.
2006-06-02 13:57:32
87.   Underbruin
77 - That's a fair argument to make, and there's a lot of truth to it. But Zito is a good to very good pitcher, not really "great". His 2002 and 2003 seasons were extremely impressive, but even after his 'adustments to the leage's adjustments' the league is getting on base at a far better clip against him than in the past (.333/.304/.340 OBP against in '04/'05/'06 so far with only one season in the previous four over .300), and they're hitting the ball harder (.427/.361/.368 SLG against in the same time frame with no seasons in the previous 4 over .345).

Additionally, Barry Zito will cost quite a bit more than Chad Billingsly over the next 6 years. I would be very happy to see Bills match the level of production Zito has shown, but if he does he'll almost certainly be far more valuable with regards to a cost/benefits ratio.

2006-06-02 13:57:59
88.   Underbruin
83 - Aye.
2006-06-02 13:58:31
89.   natepurcell
A pitchers wins are most important for the team.

I dont understand this.

2006-06-02 14:00:02
90.   ToyCannon
Of everything that has gone right this year, Grady Little has been the most pleasant for me. I like the guy and I like the way he manages his team. I also wish he'd pulled an Eastwood on Penny and left him stuffed inside a bat rack.
2006-06-02 14:00:13
91.   Underbruin
89 - That's because it's... Umm... Wrong.
2006-06-02 14:02:37
92.   Eric Enders
90 "I also wish he'd pulled an Eastwood on Penny and left him stuffed inside a bat rack."
---

Seems to me that would've turned out the other way around.

But I like Little so far too.

2006-06-02 14:03:07
93.   natepurcell
the espn.com baseball page has a front story on kyle drabek with a video interview. if anyone is interested.
2006-06-02 14:04:36
94.   Blu2
I think we should be training Loney as a centerfielder, he will hit well enough to hold that job, his strong arm will be an asset, and so will his quick feet. I think we should look at Guzman as our firstbaseman of the future. He has the size and the power. We keep Aybar at third and sign Soriano to replace Kent.
2006-06-02 14:06:41
95.   bhsportsguy
One other name you don't hear too much is Eddie Murray and what if any impact he has made, I know a lot of people get on Mickey Hatcher's case regarding the Halos hitting approach, not sure if the Dodgers have a consistent approach that can be as easily identified.
2006-06-02 14:06:53
96.   Eric Enders
93 What's the deal with Drabek, anyway? I've seen lots of news items on him which say, very vaguely, that teams are wary because of "character issues" and "immaturity" and other codewords like that. But nobody seems to want to come right out and say it. So what's he done, exactly?
2006-06-02 14:07:22
97.   Sam DC
I'll acknowledge up front I was a DePodesta fan and was very irked at his axing. But it is going to irk my far far more if the sum total of public evaluation of Colletti is that the Dodgers did better this year so Colletti is a better GM. Especially when that success is coming from the prospects being ready and DePodesta said all along that he was just trying to bridge the gap until payroll albatrosses were lifted and the prospects were ready.

Not saying there isn't an argument to be made for Colletti, but I think his moves need to be evaluated on their own concrete merit. Same with DePodesta, of course, and there's plenty of room for fair criticism there.

Anyhow, I really am going to develop a major pet peeve on this. I can see it coming already.

2006-06-02 14:07:40
98.   Bob Timmermann
88
I believe the motion has been carried.

I ask for unanimous consent to advise and extend my remarks.

2006-06-02 14:08:18
99.   Eric Enders
95 I've wondered about whether Murray is partly responsible, too, although in the past I've gone on record as believing a hitting coach has next to zero impact on a team's hitting.
2006-06-02 14:08:27
100.   bhsportsguy
94 - Is Kent planning to retire and give back his extension money.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-02 14:08:41
101.   Sam DC
HGL seems to be the word of the day.
2006-06-02 14:09:03
102.   Eric Enders
98

But in the words of Stringer Bell, "The chair ain't recognized your @$$."

2006-06-02 14:09:33
103.   bhsportsguy
I call the question (its been a long time since I last reviewed "Robert's Rules)
2006-06-02 14:10:40
104.   Big Game
95.

I think the biggest impact Murray has had is on Nomar's defense at first.

2006-06-02 14:11:38
105.   ToyCannon
93
BA is suppossed to come out with the definitive story on Drabek and his "issues" later today.
2006-06-02 14:11:42
106.   Jon Weisman
Eric - Did you catch Stanford's early victory today?

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=2945

I just learned that earlier this season, we completed the football-basketball-baseball trifecta of losing to UC Davis in one school year.

2006-06-02 14:12:49
107.   Jon Weisman
97 - Yep.
2006-06-02 14:14:46
108.   natepurcell
What's the deal with Drabek, anyway? I've seen lots of news items on him which say, very vaguely, that teams are wary because of "character issues" and "immaturity" and other codewords like that. But nobody seems to want to come right out and say it. So what's he done, exactly?

ive heard steroids all the way to being just a complete snobby A-hole. If he is still there at 26, you have to pick him. he has top 5 talent.

2006-06-02 14:15:37
109.   Nagman
While we are on the Depo subject, is it documented that Logan White was against drafting Hochevar but Depo insisted on it despite Boras, etc.?
2006-06-02 14:15:47
110.   ToyCannon
Loney does not have the speed for CF. He barely would have the speed for a corner outfielder. I say him play in Arizona in the outfield and while I wouldn't call him a plodder I wouldn't be betting on him to catch many gappers. He does have a great arm. Maybe the Dodgers made a mistake in drafting him as a hitter instead of a pitcher. Coming out of HS many analysts thought he'd be drafted as a pitcher not a hitter and after his initial success everyone felt the Dodgers made the right move but now I'm beginning to wonder.
2006-06-02 14:17:45
111.   Eric Enders
106 I did see that. Well, I didn't see it, but you know.

I have to admit I won't be rooting for the Cardinal in their next game. (Unless it's inexplicably against UT-Arlington... which is losing to Texas 2-1 in the fourth.)

2006-06-02 14:18:32
112.   natepurcell
While we are on the Depo subject, is it documented that Logan White was against drafting Hochevar but Depo insisted on it despite Boras, etc.?

i havent seen that anywhere except by gurnick. But gurnick puts potshots at depo every chance he gets so i am skeptical of the validity of that.

2006-06-02 14:20:31
113.   Jon Weisman
109 - I've only heard that as a rumor - a recent rumor - it is hardly documented as far as I know.
2006-06-02 14:20:36
114.   Underbruin
97/107 - Total agreement.
2006-06-02 14:23:53
115.   Nagman
112, 113. Thanks. A fellow fan, who liked Depo, cites that as another perception (true or not) that makes him think Depo may never work in baseball again because of the way things have worked out.
2006-06-02 14:26:05
116.   Eric Enders
I think he'll work in baseball again if he's willing to go back to being an assistant first. I had sort of assumed that this year he would go back to being Beane's lieutenant; I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet.

Actually now that I think about it, maybe he doesn't get the rest of the money on his five-year contract if he's working somewhere else. So if that were the case he'd be unlikely to accept anything other than another GM job.

2006-06-02 14:26:07
117.   Steve
112 -- Nate, is there anyone else in that 40th pick region from last year that we really gave up on? I never really got the idea that there was anybody else really worth taking at 40 compared to the chance (whatever that chance was) of signing Hochevar from that spot. Thoughts?
2006-06-02 14:26:07
118.   bhsportsguy
107 - I agree too, but against the Plashkes, et.al., in the world, be ready for it.

My early comments by no mean should be construed as me saying that Neddy is better, this year's team should be judged on it owns merits, there are players on the roster that were acquired back when the O'Malleys still owned the club (okay only one, Gagne and he debuted during the Malone era) but I think you get the point.

109 - Only the article by Ken Gurnick on the Dodgers.com page, my impression is that Logan White took the best player on the board and he always pretty positive about signing him until the Labor Day fiasco.

2006-06-02 14:28:31
119.   thinkblue0
89-

Nate, I don't get it either. I just want bluetahoe to elaborate on that point. He said before he'd take Suppan over Peavy....I just want to know the logic behind it.

2006-06-02 14:28:49
120.   scareduck
112 - really? Not that I'm denying such haven't existed, but ... when? Which stories? I'm genuinely interested in reading a Gurnick potshot. It would be wholly consistent with the new party line that DePodesta was responsible for 2005, at least, until Colletti's team fails. At that point, I'm sure he'll get a Soviet-style rehabilitation.
2006-06-02 14:29:16
121.   natepurcell
117

after the draft last year, logan white was asked the question who he was going to pick if Hochevar wasnt the pick. he said Beau Jones, a LHP prep pitcher out of louisiana i think. He was picked right after by the braves. So beau jones was the player we had missed out on.

one player i really, reallllyy wanted was Bryan Morris. Ironically, he is back in this years draft because the drays failed to sign him and I still really realllly want him at 31 or so.

2006-06-02 14:31:03
122.   jystakes
I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but I read that the Red Sox were interested in Izturis. Has anyone heard this and any idea what we could get from them?
2006-06-02 14:31:23
123.   Steve
121 -- I gather Morris was not available at 40 or was he? Would you have drafted Hochevar at 40, given the signability issues (not knowing, of course, that he would end up not being signed)
2006-06-02 14:32:38
124.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Old (fighting) friend Chad Kreuter will lead the Trojans:

"Former big league catcher Chad Kreuter will become the baseball coach at Southern California, taking over for father-in-law Mike Gillespie.
...
Kreuter will become just the fourth USC baseball coach in the last 77 years. Gillespie succeeded Rod Dedeaux in 1987.
The 41-year-old Kreuter is managing the Colorado Rockies' Class A affiliate in Modesto, Calif. The Nuts are 28-25 in the California League.
Kreuter was USC's director of baseball operations in 2005. He played at Pepperdine from 1983-85 before beginning his professional career."

2006-06-02 14:32:58
125.   thinkblue0
122-

I've read that too...I have to assume we wouldn't get much, but in my view Izturis isn't worth more than a utility infielder anyways. I'd trade him for a low level prospect...having that 3 mill off the books and ready to use for a trade deadline aquisition is more valuable to me than having Izzy plays once a week and have pinch running duties...

2006-06-02 14:33:57
126.   natepurcell
121

morris was available at 40, he dropped to the drays in the 3rd round because he wanted to go to JC for a year and play for his dad.

yes i would have drafted hochevar at 40 without a single question. he was leaps and bounds better then any other player left on the board. We are the Dodgers, giving out a contract comparable to the other arms top college arms in the draft should have not been a problem.

but whatever, what done is done.

2006-06-02 14:34:38
127.   bhsportsguy
109 - Read this chat with Logan White after the 2005 draft and see if you read anything between the lines, the only player Logan White says that they were interested in taking aside from Hochevar was Beau Jones, who is currently in the Sally league pitching for the Braves affiliate. He was a high school LHP.

http://tinyurl.com/qapmr

2006-06-02 14:43:25
128.   Steve
but whatever, what done is done.

My thoughts on the subject exactly.

2006-06-02 14:48:00
129.   ToyCannon
126
I agree, I would have drafted Luke, given him 4 mill and a major league contract and been done with it. Otherwise don't bother drafting him. We are the Dodgers, we don't need to tinkle around like the Royals. I'm not one of those who advocate a 120 payroll for the Dodgers but there are times when you need to act like a big market club and draft time is one of those. If the small market teams are worried about signability issues then that is when we should be able to make a move. JMO
2006-06-02 14:50:38
130.   ToyCannon
The story on Drabek is up on the BA site.
http://tinyurl.com/kjf8g
2006-06-02 15:00:55
131.   the OZ
MLB should do their best to work an NBA-style slot-money system into the draft, or change the rules which disallow teams to swap draft picks. Amateur players in the first round, particularly the Top 10, have way too much power due to the way the rules are set up. Isn't there some kid that is supposed to go in the top 3 this draft, but claims he won't sign with the Rockies if picked at #2 and could fall as far as the Dodgers at #7? The same is true of Hochevar; teams with (theoretically) little cash have balked at taking a talented player due to 'signability issues'.

If the current economics of the draft prevents bad teams from picking top amateur talent, they need to be able to trade those draft pick assets for something else of value. Otherwise, the current system is completely broken.

2006-06-02 15:10:12
132.   Zak
I figured it out... bluetahoe is really Vic The Brick.
2006-06-02 15:14:29
133.   bhsportsguy
There is a huge difference between the NBA and MLB draft, first unless the rules changed this morning, teams cannot trade draft picks, the only time picks change hands is when it is done as compensation for a free agent signing and even that is couuntered by the fact that if you have the first 15 picks, those picks are protected.

The other difference is that in the NBA, a player can become an unrestricted free agent after 4 years but in the baseball, if a high school kid signs before he is 19, he can remain under that club's control for 10 years assuming he does not go on the 40 man roster until the end of that period and then the Player's Agreement regarding free agency.

And I do think that the MLB front office does have slot recommendations (according to reports, they were not pleased when the Dodgers gave $1MM to Andy LaRoche (39th round).

2006-06-02 15:15:21
134.   bhsportsguy
132 - "Feeling you, the azure"
2006-06-02 15:16:59
135.   bhsportsguy
133 - The reasoning behind all this is that MLB clubs invest a lot of money in the development of players, therefore there should be some protection for them for the rare ones who make it.
2006-06-02 15:27:04
136.   underdog
102 Delayed reaction but... props for The Wire reference!

Has anyone participated in Inside the Dodgers' guess the first three draft picks contest? Seems like getting at least one of the three right shouldn't be too hard but the other two... harder. I'd say, HS pitcher, college pitcher, position player... in that order. Now the actual names I have more trouble guessing. ;-)

2006-06-02 15:29:56
137.   Jon Weisman
136 - But I thought Eric doesn't watch TV.

Or is it not that he doesn't watch TV, but he watches HBO.

2006-06-02 15:30:02
138.   underdog
Btw, I know he was mentioned in another thread this week, but what are the chances Casey Hoorelbeke gets bumped up to AAA this year? He's been pretty lights out. What are his prospects to make the Dodgers ya think?
2006-06-02 15:32:58
139.   the OZ
133 There ARE slot recommendations. There are even published "guidelines" for what free agents might be worth (those unrelated to this discussion, but funny). But that doesn't help KC, OAK, or MIN when they have to pass on a player like Hochevar because they know that his bonus demands will exceed the slot guidelines.

I can't really tell whether you're disagreeing with 131 in your first paragraph, because we were essentially stating the same points but the rest of your post goes in a different direction.

2006-06-02 15:33:30
140.   Bob Timmermann
Eric lives for "The Wire". He probably has a big bulletin board up in his home so he can keep track of all the characters.

I finally figured out who everybody was at the end of the last season.

They owe me another season just for all of my hard work.

2006-06-02 15:34:20
141.   Eric Enders
It's network TV that I don't watch. Or at least, networks not beginning with the letter H.

Really, I just abhor watching commercials. If I thought any network TV shows were any good, I'd Tivo 'em and forward through the ads. But there's no show out there that says "watch me."

2006-06-02 15:37:23
142.   Bob Timmermann
141

Not even "Yes, Dear"?

2006-06-02 15:37:30
143.   Andrew Shimmin
141- Steve watches HGTV, too. But he doesn't like to talk about it.
2006-06-02 15:40:29
144.   Bob Timmermann
Wow, UCLA won an NCAA baseball playoff game. That doesn't happen often.

College of Charleston beat Notre Dame 5-4 in 16 innings. That's gotta hurt both teams for the next three days.

2006-06-02 15:41:19
145.   Sam DC
And he's a big Nancy Grace fan, I bet.
2006-06-02 15:42:31
146.   Sam DC
145 directed at 141 and Eric's H network bit; misread 143.
2006-06-02 15:43:47
147.   underdog
Yeah, HBO isn't TV. It's one better than TV. It's the "11" in Spinal Tap. Actually, it's more than one better than most of the rest of TV.

Except for "Yes, Dear" - I'm so glad that show's in syndication. I hope The War at Home some day joins it so we can enjoy them over and over again. Not like that kooky Arrested Development, what was that about? :-/

2006-06-02 15:47:25
148.   underdog
I'm wondering if this is officially the first time in my personal history as a sports fan where I literally dislike all four teams in the NBA's final four... I'm rooting for a Suns-Heat final just because it sounds...er, hot. And I like Steve Nash. Hate Mark Cuban. Eh..

Glad the world cup is starting at the same time. Then I can officially tune it out.

2006-06-02 15:51:17
149.   Bob Timmermann
Togo vs. Liechtenstein in a friendly tomorrow!
2006-06-02 15:51:33
150.   Andrew Shimmin
Now I get it. Nancy Grace is on Headline News, in addition to Court TV. I've never seen her show, only the news stories on whether it's acceptable for TV talking heads to root against criminals.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-06-02 15:52:41
151.   Bob Timmermann
Sorry, it's already over. Togo won 1-0!
2006-06-02 15:55:37
152.   Sam DC
We have odd little tv screens in the elevator where I work. They are always tuned to HN. Tonight, Nancy will be reporting on "The Bikini Murders".

No doubt, Jim Lehrer will be a standup somewhere.

2006-06-02 15:56:19
153.   Sam DC
Wouldn't it have been more friendly if they'd tied or not kept score at all?
2006-06-02 15:57:30
154.   Andrew Shimmin
Does friendly mean exhibition? The World Cup uses the same structure as the WBC, right? I've never paid any attention to it before. It's possible I won't this time, but it looks like The Griddle is going to be covering it enough that I'll want to have any idea what's going on. As long as I don't have to actually watch any soccer.
2006-06-02 15:58:57
155.   Bob Timmermann
153
This ain't AYSO!

Soccer has some quaint terms.

One of my favorites is when they list a reason why a player was given a yellow card.

The most frequent reason listed as "dissent"

I wonder if the referees writes that down in places like China or North Korea.

2006-06-02 16:01:48
156.   confucius
Is anyone going to the game Tonight? I am. If they lose I'll never go to another game in which Seo starts.
2006-06-02 16:02:19
157.   Bob Timmermann
154
A "friendly" in soccer is an exhibition match between two national teams (in almost all cases).

Substitution rules are usually eased up a bit and players who get yellow or red cards don't have them count against them when they play for keeps in the upcoming World Cup.

If you get two yellow cards (or one red) in a match, you're ejected. If you get two yellows in a series of matches in the same tournament, you can't play in the next match.

The World Cup talk on the Griddle is easily bypassable if you choose.

2006-06-02 16:02:22
158.   Marty
I get a chuckle out of the fact that the TV by the elevator next to the Sports dept. here is almost always turned to Al Jazeera.
2006-06-02 16:04:45
159.   Uncle Miltie
More soccer? I thought the season would be over by now!

What's going to happy to Mueller when he returns from the DL?

2006-06-02 16:05:27
160.   Bob Timmermann
158

Dave Marash, who was the first host of Baseball Tonight for ESPN, works for Al Jazeera now.

And he's Jewish.

2006-06-02 16:07:30
161.   Bob Timmermann
159

Soccer season is never over. It's like golf, except more so.

When it's the only profitable spectator sport for most countries, it's in the interest of the sport to play it as much as they can.

But you will only have to put up with soccer talk on the Griddle through July 9.

2006-06-02 16:13:22
162.   Nagman
It appears the Dbacks-Mets has been postponed so the Dodgers control their own destiny as far as their position in the standings until tomorrow afternoon.
2006-06-02 16:13:47
163.   underdog
Sports Illustrated has a nice World Cup spread this week, including a pull out section that is like an advent calendar for the 32 nations in the WC. Little write-ups for each team. I'm even more excited now. Nice little article on the US team's four young players who all played on the under 17 team together.

I think it'll be Trinidad and Tobago and Togo in the finals.

Back to baseball: When Mueller returns from the DL, that'll presumably mean he's healthy, which I believe means he starts. Don't think his job will be taken away from him because of injury. But Aybar should stay and back him up (or Izturis?) Guzman goes back down to the minors.

2006-06-02 16:17:42
164.   underdog
Btw, isn't every game against Lichtenstein a "friendly"?
2006-06-02 16:19:53
165.   JoeyP
This thread is hilarious.
BlueTahoe baits his hooks, and gets bites pretty much every time he posts.

On a more serious note, I think Arizona has more of a chance to continue their hot streak than the Dodgers, mainly bc they have younger players entering their primes and they have better starting pitching.

Sele-Tomko-Seo is really weak, and the Dodgers wont lead the league in BA w RISP all year. The rookies wont all be above average for the entire season, and some of the vets will come back and just play to their average selves.

The hot streak was nice while it lasted, but it had more to do with the schedule than anything else. Similar to July of 2004.

2006-06-02 16:19:54
166.   das411
Hey Nate, any idea why the DRays didn't pick up Morris? Was this the old ownership or new?

150 - Highlight of my winter:

NG: "Nancy Grace."
DC: "Denny Crane."
NG: "Nancy Grace."
DC: "...are you mocking me??"

2006-06-02 16:25:51
167.   regfairfield
And much like 2004, one winning streak could be all that's necassary.
2006-06-02 16:27:49
168.   Nagman
If anybody is listening or watching or monitoring the delayed Padre-Pirate game, can you tell me how it looks as far as when it might start? I am going to a sports bar to watch the game but won't hurry if I don't need to. (I'm in SD so MLB radio is "blacked out" and I don't have a regular radio handy unless I want to run out to my car)
2006-06-02 16:28:38
169.   Uncle Miltie
I kind of miss the crappy days of Dodger baseball.

-Karros hits a ball to left field, Bonds get injured and the center fielder has to run all the way to left field to retrieve the ball. Karros only gets a triple. The Dodgers were either down by one run or tied and whoever pinch ran for Karros did not score that inning. The Dodgers lost the game.
-The Carlos Perez meltdowns
-Gary Sheffield fighting Jason Kendall
-The Gary Sheffield tirade directed at Malone when he wanted a contract extension
-That big fight in Seattle
-Ismael Valdez coming out every game because of blisters
-And of course Chad Kreuter going into the stands at Wrigley

2006-06-02 16:29:10
170.   Steve
And he's a big Nancy Grace fan, I bet.

Outrageous libel.

2006-06-02 16:39:35
171.   Linkmeister
160 Marash went on from there to Nightline. I remember the first time I heard him there; I said "that's a familiar voice...what's he doing talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of Red Sox-Yankees?"
2006-06-02 16:41:58
172.   Gen3Blue
excellent way to gradually introduce some more sophisticated stats to people like me (who have dabbled but aren't entirely conversant). I'm beginning to grasp RC, but think it is important to emphasize PA, because I used to look at this stat and wonder was it per game or per season. It looks like ERA plus doesn't work well with relievers. I think I saw Baez' ERA+ was higher than Seato's. But most or these stats are pleasantly revealing.
2006-06-02 16:42:21
173.   Bob Timmermann
162
If the Dodgers win tonight, the DBacks will still be in "first" because they hold the tiebreaker advantage. Both the DBacks and Dodgers will be in playoff spots after tonight regardless of how the Dodgers fare.
2006-06-02 16:44:03
174.   Nagman
173 - Dang, I was hoping my comment was being ignored. I was confused, the Giants are rained out. Dbacks-Braves are still on as far as I can tell.

Sorry for my misinformation.

2006-06-02 16:44:29
175.   Bob Timmermann
162
Upon closer inspection, the Dbacks are playing Atlanta and aren't rained out.
2006-06-02 16:51:44
176.   underdog
172 If you combined "Baez" and "Seato" that would be "Beato" - does that mean the Dodgers are going to draft Pedro Beato?
2006-06-02 17:31:26
177.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
If the season ended today... most baseball fans would be terrible confused
2006-06-02 18:57:04
178.   xaphor
[157] Realizing no one will see this, but as a matter of principle…

A friendly is an exhibition match be it international or armature in soccer, cricket or rugby. It's just what we call them.

2006-06-03 12:00:54
179.   Andrew Shimmin
178- Thanks.

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