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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

It Takes Me Back
2006-06-14 21:18
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.


                1985               2006
June 1 Guerrero HR Kemp HR June 2 Kemp HR June 3 Kemp HR June 4 Guerrero HR June 5 June 6 Kemp HR June 7 Guerrero HR June 8 Guerrero HR June 9 June 10 Guerrero HR June 11 Kemp HR Kemp HR June 12 June 13 June 14 Guerrero HR Kemp HR Guerrero HR

Not that baseball isn't a team game, as we're sadly being reminded ...

Comments (88)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-14 21:54:55
1.   Suffering Bruin
People still laugh at me when I tell them Pedro Guerrero was the best hitter of the 1980's. It's not an original thought but I get laughed at just the same.
2006-06-14 21:57:10
2.   Greg Brock
Great, so what you're telling me is that the Bison will be driving a cab in the Dominican soon. Wonderful. I hope he keeps the cocaine deals to a minimum.
2006-06-14 22:07:08
3.   Rich Lederer
...and Pedro Guerrero turned 29 that year! Last time I looked, Matt Kemp was 21. He's been in the bigs so long that ESPN doesn't even have a (proper) page set up for him.
2006-06-14 22:13:44
4.   Gagne55
Anybody who has a Myspace account should go here:
http://groups.myspace.com/ilovemattkemp
2006-06-14 22:17:37
5.   Uncle Miltie
Kemp needs to play everyday. Keeping his bat out of the lineup for any period of time hurts our offense. Lofton also shouldn't be playing every day. His numbers are plummeting and a few lucky hits here and there are keeping him from completely collapsing. Nothing more needs to be said about his defense, it stinks.

Anyone have any idea why Izturis is walking so much? I've never him go through any stretch of his career in the majors or minors drawing this many walks. He is turning into the Venezuelan God of Walks™. The same thing is happening with Melky Cabrera of the Yankees. Maybe the long layoff allowed Izturis to watch a lot of tape of his hitting and find ways to improve his plate discipline. Maybe he was watching tape of Omar Vizquel, a guy who takes pitches and walks a decent amount, but has no power. Izturis needs to walk more if he wants to be an everyday player and he showed some improvement in 2004.

2006-06-14 22:26:23
6.   JoeyP
Tomorrow is a pretty big game. No one wants to get swept, and after that is a 3-game series with Oakland, and they've been playing pretty well lately.

Billingsley has some pressure on him tomorrow.

2006-06-14 22:34:28
7.   Brendan
tomorrow is the perfect time to give lofton a day off and have an outfield with both Kemp and Either. Kenny has been hitting well but he is 39, nothing wrong resting a day game after a night. I'd love to see Martin, Kemp, Either,Aybar, CBillz lineup.
2006-06-14 22:47:44
8.   Bob Timmermann
Checking Dodgers.com, I would say that I don't like the looks of Billingsley.
2006-06-14 23:08:48
9.   Greg Brock
8-Jeez, is Billingsley in the witness protection program or what. Donde esta Ace?
2006-06-14 23:50:54
10.   TheRedMenace
I haven't seen a young hitter in this area perform so well out of the gate since... J.T. Snow.
2006-06-15 00:09:19
11.   Vishal
just got back from san diego....

kuo was throwing serious heat; he was in the 95-97 range the entire inning, which i think is the hardest i have seen him consistently hit. unfortunately, after throwing 6 straight balls to open the inning, i imagine honeycutt and martin told him to throw some strikes, so he started pumping fastballs pretty much down the middle. gonzalez couldn't handle most of them, but eventually he chipped one the other way. i think our boy kuo could use a little more finesse, and maybe an offspeed pitch.

2006-06-15 00:10:30
12.   Vishal
oh, and as soon as grittle brought baez in, i knew the runner was gonna score from 3rd. money in the bank.
2006-06-15 00:29:58
13.   Vishal
p.s. mattkemp!!!!
2006-06-15 00:32:22
14.   Linkmeister
From Shaikin's story in the Times, Little on Kemp:

'"I don't know if you could expect so much from a normal human being," Little said. "The kid has been amazing since he's been up here."'

2006-06-15 01:10:45
15.   Bluebleeder87
I was at my girlfriends house (missed most of the game), it looks like Kemp did it again WOW!
2006-06-15 01:24:16
16.   Uncle Miltie
I can only hope that the Rockies give Clint Hurdle a contract extension. Cory Sullivan sacrificed 4 times in the Rockies 14-8 blowout.
2006-06-15 07:03:15
17.   KidCuba
Matt Kemp is making it very hard for me to keep my emotions under control. I keep telling myself, this is a small sample size, it is his first time through the bigs, but man......he sure looks like a special player.

Also, I am sure the Wily Aybar Fan Club is happy this mornning. Is Mr. I am Playing Way Over My Head, still batting .300?

Also, I would not worry about the look of Billingsley, I would worry that his agent is Dave Stewart. Stewart just seems shady.

2006-06-15 07:39:47
18.   Gen3Blue
Is Dave Stewart as accomplished an agent as he was a pitcher?
2006-06-15 07:43:42
19.   Bob Timmermann
If he represents Billinglsey and Kemp, he must be a better judge of talent than when he was assistant GM for Toronto and got the Jays to sign Joey Hamilton.
2006-06-15 07:44:38
20.   KidCuba
18 He has two clients, so he is no Scott Boras.
2006-06-15 08:04:55
21.   bhsportsguy
Just some fun things to mull over before game time:

Kemp 7 HRs in 45 at bats/15 games
Karros 7 HRs in 114 at bats/48 games
Piazza 7 HRs in 177 at bats/53 games
Mondesi 7 HRs in 176 at bats/65 games
Pujols 7 HRs in 67 at bats/20 games
M. Cabrera 7 HRs in 166 at bats/46 games
D. Wright 7 HRs in 142 at bats/39 games

2006-06-15 08:22:02
22.   KidCuba
Can you pull up Kevin Maas's numbers?
2006-06-15 08:34:57
23.   Bluebleeder87
22

kidcuba can you do me a favor & copy & paste the #'s for our projection on how Bills will do today? (I gotta run some erons & won't be able to make the game today) you can put them on the computer note pad like I did, here they are.
____________________________________________
KIDCUBA --6IP, 7 Hits, 4 Ks, 2 BBs, 1 HR, 5 ER, and a Loss.

BLUEBLEEDER--6IP, 4 HITS, 8 ks, 4 BBs 0 HR, 2 ER & a Win

GREG BROCK --5 IP, 7 Hits, 3 runs (2 earned if Furcal is playing), 5 K's, 1 BB, no

JoeyP --5IP 4H 5Ks 3BBs 3ER & a Loss

Inside Baseball --6IP 4H 6K 2B 0HR 1ER and a Win on 88 pitches

blue22 --5 IP, 7 hits, 3 BB's, 4K's, 3 ER.

ToyCannon --5 IP,3Hits, 1ERA, 3BB, 4 K's

Midwest Blue --5IP 5H 6K 2B 0HR 2ER and a No-decision

ps thanks in advance (I'll be listing in the radio)

2006-06-15 08:36:29
24.   Bob Timmermann
Kevin Maas 7 HRs in 56 at bats/20 games I believe.

One game was as a defensive replacement.

2006-06-15 08:38:00
25.   Bluebleeder87
Bob your not gonna participite on our projection's for Bills outing today?
2006-06-15 08:49:24
26.   bhsportsguy
Couple of more comps:
Jeff Francoeur 7 HRs in 65 at bats/19 games
Ryan Howard 7 HRs in 119 at bats/44 games
2006-06-15 08:51:50
27.   bhsportsguy
21 26 BTW I put these up for fun but also to put some perspective on not only Matt's great start but also to show that it is not out the ordinary for players get off to much slower starts.
2006-06-15 08:53:02
28.   Bob Timmermann
I'll be watching in a split screen until the Sweden-Paraguay thriller is over!
2006-06-15 09:04:11
29.   rjc41276
Today's Lineup according to Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Cruz, RF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Kemp, CF
Ethier, LF
Aybar, 3B
Martin, C
Billingsley, P

2006-06-15 09:05:11
30.   Sushirabbit
Oct 25 1981, Yeager and Guerrero. Oh yeah! Here's hoping to see the Martin & Kemp against Rivera version.
2006-06-15 09:05:12
31.   Nagman
Bob, do you have a split-screen feature on your TV? It is a must for sports viewing, one I can't do without anymore. My 51" can turn into two approx. 26" screens, which can be resized as desired (making one side bigger shrinks the other).
2006-06-15 09:06:15
32.   Nagman
Oh yeah, it also eliminates much arguing with the significant other over what to watch since we can both watch what we want (sports without volume, of course).
2006-06-15 09:21:21
33.   Jon Weisman
For those who care: Though Nomar will probably reach the plate appearance minimum by the end of the day, he may be in second place. Currently:

Nomar: .3591
Rolen: .3575

2006-06-15 09:22:47
34.   Eric Enders
We get the heralded five-rookie lineup today!

I wonder if Bob can tell us when was the last time a first-place team started five rookies? (Not counting, of course, silly things like the Royals starting the season 1-0 or whatever.)

2006-06-15 09:24:02
35.   Vishal
[23] i'll add mine:

6.1 IP, 5H, 2BB, 7K, 1ER, W

2006-06-15 09:26:46
36.   Vishal
[34] eh, i guess billingsley counts as being "in the lineup".
2006-06-15 09:27:07
37.   Bob Timmermann
Technically I have picture in picture. I tend to put the baseball game in the smaller picture since I can more easily tell what's going on in a baseball game in a puny box.
2006-06-15 09:27:16
38.   Eric Enders
5.67 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 1 ER, 5 K, no decision
2006-06-15 09:28:23
39.   Eric Enders
I wish Kemp would hurry up and qualify for CF in fantasy leagues.

Just another reason to not want Lofton playing, I guess.

2006-06-15 09:36:29
40.   ToyCannon
From Rotowire:
Matt Kemp (OF) LA 6/15/2006
Manager Grady Little hinted after Wednesday's game that Kemp could now be counted on as an everyday player (or close to it), the LA Daily News reports. Kemp, in his first pinch-hit appearance since being recalled from Double-A three weeks ago, took the first pitch he saw over the centerfield fence. The blast, estimated at 433 feet, was Kemp's seventh in 45 at-bats.
2006-06-15 09:38:04
41.   Bob Timmermann
I disagree with the 5.67 IP.

I'm going with 5.666666666666666666666666666 IP

2006-06-15 09:41:46
42.   Vishal
rounding, bob, rounding.
2006-06-15 09:43:42
43.   Greg S
I'm going with 9.0 IP 0H 0BB 20K.

Oh wait, I thought Matt Kemp was pitching.

2006-06-15 09:45:10
44.   Jacob L
I seem to recall a Dodger player hitting 7 homers in a very short stretch last June.
2006-06-15 09:45:28
45.   ToyCannon
FYI- Kevin Maas was 25 when he went crazy and hit 21 homers in his first 250 at bats
Shane Spencer was 26 when he hit 10 homers in his first 67 at bats.

No one way to hide it, Matt Kemp at 21 is doing some historic things as a Los Angeles Dodger. I'm not as impressed with the quantity of home runs as I am with the quality of the home runs. Those balls are mashed. That is the 2nd home run I've seen him hit to dead center.

JD Drew looks like crap but his June OPS is 973 so I guess it is just a matter of perception and my perception is wrong.

2006-06-15 09:45:29
46.   Vishal
matt kemp would strike out 27 batters with 80 pitches.

yes, 80.

2006-06-15 09:46:09
47.   Vishal
[44] lol
2006-06-15 09:47:51
48.   ToyCannon
44
Was he 21 and were those his 1st ab's in the major leagues after jumping AAA and having < 200 ab's in AA?

This is truly rare. Unprecedented for a Los Angeles Dodger.

2006-06-15 09:49:35
49.   KidCuba
45 Lets not get too excited TOY, remember Mondesi. I think we were both heart broken..
2006-06-15 09:51:32
50.   Greg Brock
49 I'd rather be optomistic, and possibly disappointed later than skeptical 24/7 and pleased later. Buy hey, I love Frank Capra as well, so there you go.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-15 09:53:15
51.   Inside Baseball
35 6.1 IP, 5H, 2BB, 7K, 1ER, W

Vishal, I'm interested to see how your prediction compares to your sim's.

2006-06-15 09:53:28
52.   KidCuba
I hope for the worse, then I get Wily Aybar like performances from my team.
2006-06-15 09:53:32
53.   ToyCannon
Time to abandon the HSC bandwagon. If his AAA performance this year doesn't convince us that we were wrong on him I guess nothing will. It is no longer a small sample size but heading into July. Ned has made plenty of mistakes but signing Nomar and cutting HSC loose has made up for most of them. Sometimes you only need one home run for everyone to forgive all those k's.
Right now Ned is the Adum Dunn of the Gm world.
2006-06-15 09:53:38
54.   Jacob L
Clearly. However, one of the biggest factors affecting our reaction to Kempapalooza, though, is that we've never seen him do anything bad. He emerges from the cornfield, fully formed and bashing homers. A collosal hot streak written on top of a totally clean slate.

You could count the three K first game as something bad, and were a certain manager at the helm at the time, that could have been the last we saw of Kemp.

2006-06-15 09:59:12
55.   ToyCannon
49
Yes, but the heartbreak didn't start until 5 years after his debut. For a few years he gave us everything we expected.

54
So true, he may never have started another game and you can bet he'd never see CF.

2006-06-15 10:00:04
56.   KidCuba
54 Atleast he walks, but the K rate is of concern.
2006-06-15 10:02:27
57.   Jacob L
Don't get me started on Mondy. To this day, the most disappointing player of my lifetime, with Brock a far distant second.

My favorite memory of Mondy, truthfully was the "bleep Davy bleep Kevin Malone" tirade. Really spoke for all of us.

And FWIW, 44 was not intended as HSC bandwagoning. I just thought it bore mentioning.

2006-06-15 10:03:50
58.   Steve
You could count the three K first game as something bad, and were a certain manager at the helm at the time, that could have been the last we saw of Kemp.

Truly a frightening alternative reality.

2006-06-15 10:05:07
59.   Jon Weisman
43, 46 - LOL.
44 - Ah, yes.
50 - Yay!
2006-06-15 10:08:16
60.   Vishal
[51] i don't have a sim. do you mean, my off-the-cuff prediction is close to your sim? i notice that your numbers and mine are almost the same. let's hope we're right :)
2006-06-15 10:09:21
61.   Jacob L
58 Actually, now that I think about it, hitting 7 homers was a surer path to bench last year than striking out a bunch of times.
2006-06-15 10:09:31
62.   still bevens
This is somewhat off topic since it has nothing to do with Kemp-luv, but how many of the posters here are season ticket holders? I'm considering spending some of my hard earned cash money on tickets next season but I'm not sure if the investment is worth it in terms of effort to make it out there for 80 games. Im also not sure if stub hub or whatever the equivalent the dodgers use would ease my pain if I cant make it since I dont plan on picking up top notch seats. Any advice is appreciated.
2006-06-15 10:13:00
63.   ToyCannon
Today is going to be one of those great days. Headed off to play a little golf at the 9 hole 3 par in Burbank with my Dad who I haven't seen in 5 months since he moved away and then were going to sit down with my brother and watch the debut of the next great Los Angeles Dodger pitcher. To bad he's going against Young who has been the best Padre pitcher, not Peavy.
2006-06-15 10:15:11
64.   sanchez101
Off topic, but in light of Billingsley's first start here are his stats in Las Vegas before May 5, when Martin was called up (sorry if Nate already posted them earlier):

35.3 IP 8ER 23H 11W 40K 3HR - 2.04 ERA

Im not a believer in CERA, but this can't hurt.

2006-06-15 10:15:52
65.   blue22
56 - I looked at Kemp's minor league numbers, and I wasn't impressed with his patience (based on his BB figures). I thought his reputation was that of a pretty selective hitter, but it just doesn't play out in the stats.

60 BB's, 229 K's in over 1000 AB's in the minors.

2006-06-15 10:17:02
66.   ToyCannon
62
I'm a season ticket holder but the best bet is to partner up with someone. The Dodgers allow season ticket holders to sell their tickets using a ticketmaster account but the catch is that you can't sell them for less then the retail price of the ticket so for most games you won't be able to sell your tickets at that price. You can use Ebay or Stubhub to sell at any price. The better seat you have the better chance of selling your unused tickets for at least season ticket face value. Also if you sell your opening day tickets you will recoup a tremendous amount of your season ticket cost. Just my 2 cents.
2006-06-15 10:18:21
67.   blue22
54 - He did go 4 for 39 with a .378 OPS this spring training.
2006-06-15 10:18:29
68.   ToyCannon
65
That was the knock on him. No one said he was a selective hitter, they said that is what he will need to work on to become an elite hitter.
2006-06-15 10:19:49
69.   Jacob L
62 I wouldn't want to talk you out of it, but I found that having season tickets didn't really work for me. Of course, I had tickets from 99-01, so the teams I had to watch could have had something to do with it. Way too much Hundley, Elster, Karros, etc.

You don't save much money over single game tickets. I think it was a buck a ticket for my seats, and I found it really difficult to unload the extras, of which there were plenty.

If I were you, I'd consider either the 2 for 1 seats in the reserved, if they still do that, or a mini-plan.

2006-06-15 10:20:23
70.   blue22
No one said he was a selective hitter

Guess that was my misunderstanding. I thought that was what differentiated Kemp from Guzman - he didn't swing at everything.

2006-06-15 10:23:55
71.   Nagman
Does "selectiveness" apply the same at all levels? I wonder if there is more to prove in the minors that increases the tendency to swing the bat.
2006-06-15 10:25:19
72.   Brendan
I hate myself for even thinking this let alone writing but maybe the dodgers should inquire about jeff weaver. If you could get him without giving up anything....Ah what am I saying?

Cbill Line

5.2 innings 1ER 3H 5SO 1 BB No decision

2006-06-15 10:28:47
73.   Inside Baseball
60 Sorry Vishal, I was confusing you with Xeifrank. V and X both come at the end of the alphabet I guess. I'm just a little brighter bulb than Pedro Guerrero.

62 I've had season tickets for five years now and I highly recommend it. I would just suggest finding one or more partners to ease the burden. Maybe you take 41, and you find two others to take 20 each, something like that.

2006-06-15 10:28:58
74.   Greg S
62 My family had season tickets for 20 years. I'd agree that it is a tough road. Too many games and too few people who will take them... for free. I'd agree that partnering up is key. I know someone who sells partial seasons (I think he sells them at face) but the tix are Field 16 and the face is like $50-60. He has 4.
2006-06-15 10:29:47
75.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2006-06-15 10:31:33
76.   Blu2
72 Perez for Weaver. Change of scenery might do them both some good. Carter, Hamulack as a throw-in. Seo for Weaver? Same Carter, Hamulack bonus deal...
2006-06-15 10:48:41
77.   Blu2
72 Baez for Weaver? Baez for anybody. Or nobody.
2006-06-15 10:50:51
78.   Blu2
Wouldn't it be funny if we could trade one or two of our lemons to get Weaver back, offer him arbitration again, and get another draft pick for him?
2006-06-15 10:54:11
79.   blue22
78 - Weaver makes over $8M this year, and the max pay cut via arbi is 20%. That means he'd be assured of no less than a $6.5M deal out of arbi.

He'd take that in an eyeblink, methinks.

2006-06-15 10:56:15
80.   Brendan
For my sanity I needed you guys to shoot down the idea for weaver not encourage it.
2006-06-15 10:57:08
81.   Blu2
If he won 10 games for us, would he be worth it?
2006-06-15 10:58:12
82.   Blu2
Weaver tries, Perez doesn't; I'd trade in a heartbeat...
2006-06-15 11:01:10
83.   Brendan
Angels could use a lefty in that all RH staff.
2006-06-15 11:08:05
84.   Blu2
I don't feel strongly either way, I'm just throwing out words, use them as you will.
Weaver has a reputation as an 'inning eater'; no one will call Perez that. If Perez pitch 220 innings this year, his ERA would equal (pick one):
1.His IQ
2.His homeruns allowed total
3.His waistline.
4.Number of reasons why it's someone else's fault.
2006-06-15 11:35:59
85.   screwballin
Atleast he walks, but the K rate is of concern.

For what it's worth, there have been studies showing that strikeouts can be a positive sign for a young power hitter. Here's one from Nate Silver at BP:

"I found that when everything else is held equal, higher strikeout rates have a somewhat positive predictive effect on power output. For example, the regression equations I use for PECOTA suggest that--all else being equal--45 extra strikeouts in the previous year are "worth" about one additional home run in the upcoming year. The effect is not enormous, but it's there, and it's one reason why folks like Adam Dunn and Hee Seop Choi and Wily Mo Pena tend to get such favorable PECOTA projections."

http://tinyurl.com/zk4vo

2006-06-15 12:15:41
86.   dsfan
I'm bullish on Bills but say his over-under on walks today should be 4, maybe 5. Hitters will be looking for a fastball in a certain spot and if it's not there will be forcing him to throw 2 strikes. Hope he can navigate the first inning and get some flow goig.
2006-06-15 12:34:12
87.   scareduck
85 - I seem to remember having a conversation with Rich Lederer about this one day after a game at Angel Stadium in which he said that this is largely bunk; if you end up with that many strikeouts, you're playing with fire as far as production is concerned. It sure seems to me that the 45:1 ratio of K:future HR isn't worth the pain.
2006-06-15 12:35:41
88.   scareduck
83 - the Angels will call up Joe Saunders before they take OP, especially after the loud rejection of Jose Guillen at the end of the 2004 season. Clubhouse cancers are not welcome in the Los Angeles of Anaheim.

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