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Graduation Day (Wear Sunscreen)
2006-06-15 09:12
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

My niece's elementary school has adopted the motto, "We have two gifts to give our children. One is roots, the other, wings." I have to say, those are fine choices. Roots made a tremendous impression on me when I watched it night after night as a nine-year-old, and one of my first spec scripts to try to get screenwriting work was a Wings episode entitled "Nuts & Burials," in which all the characters became preoccupied with how they would spend eternity. In humorous fashion, of course.

I'm just sorry I missed it when the Roots and Wings DVD boxed sets were being handed out to all the kids. I suppose they do that on the first day of kindergarten.

Anyway, I was at the school Wednesday for my niece's sixth-grade graduation, which seems an appropiate enough setup for the major league debut today of Chad Billingsley, born a mere 10 years and 10 days before my niece.

I was taken back to my own sixth-grade graduation in 1979 from Saticoy Elementary School, located proudly in North Hollywood on Ethel Avenue, a street that never fails to bring Vivian Vance to mind. (For another story about school days, check out Bob Timmermann's piece today on nearby Kennedy High School at Baseball Analysts.) Sixth grade had a weird start for me because it was my first year at the school after six years at Collier Street Elementary in Woodland Hills. I was the newest kid in the class and just about the shortest. But I bonded with friends over Mork and Mindy and Steve Martin's A Wild and Crazy Guy, and before I knew it, I was comfortable. And then, before I knew it, I was being pushed up to the majors.

At our graduation, we listened to a speech, sang "We've Only Just Begun" and most importantly, I danced with Susan Stein, one of two girls there whom I liked and who was as short as me. (Nothing came of it, because back then I only kissed other girls in sanctioned forums such as "Truth or Dare.")

On the program for my niece's graduation, there were echoes: a speech by the school principal and a scheduled song, "Time of Your Life." What's funny is that I immediately assumed that this would be the theme song from Dirty Dancing, before realizing that I had the title mixed up and that kids today are hip enough for Green Day.

It's a melancholy song, a song that even Seinfeld used in its series-ending clip show to bring a touch of poignancy to its finale. Instead of looking ahead like the Carpenters did, the song looks back.

Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.

Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.

So make the best of this test
and don't ask why.

It's not a question
but a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs
and still frames in your mind.

Hang it on a shelf
In good health and good time.

Tattoos of memories
and dead skin on trial.

For what it's worth,
it was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

When a player reaches the big leagues, are his eyes completely forward? Or is there any amount of lament for when less was demanded of him, for when he was less openly on trial?

I hope when Billingsley arrived in San Diego, with all the preparation he needed to make for today's start, that he allowed himself some time to just sit back and savor what he's accomplished. I trust that he did.

In closing, students of Dodger Thoughts, I pass along this utilitarian piece of advice from my niece's principal: "Remember your strengths and your competencies." I'm a little puzzled by the distinction, but it seems like it will come in handy at some point.

(And confidential to my niece ... I loved your speech.)

* * *

Today's 12:35 p.m. game

Rookies in the lineup from No. 5 through No. 9: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Willy Aybar, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley. Is this a Dodger record for a pre-September game? (Other than the franchise's first season, of course.)

Comments (625)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-15 10:27:38
1.   Jon Weisman
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2006-06-15 10:28:59
2.   Jacob L
On this graduation day, I find it appropriate to ask, what was the Dodgers (or the majors) best ever freshman class?

I just looked it up quickly, and to my surprise, Garvey, Cey, Yeager etc. didn't really come up in the same year.

2006-06-15 10:44:03
3.   bluegold
I imagine that Billingsly will get bombed today for a bunch of runs, but will absorb the lesson well, and will be formidable in his second start next week.
2006-06-15 10:47:19
4.   blue22
2 - Not the Dodgers, but the '78 Tigers featured Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel, Lance Parrish, and Jack Morris all losing rookie status (or '77 when they made their mostly September debuts).

That's a pretty good class, especially considering each's eventual tenure with the club.

2006-06-15 10:48:31
5.   Marty
What a great post Jon. We didn't do elementary school graduations back in my day.

I'll be going to a friend's son's high school graduation tomorrow. It's going to be held at the Santa Anita race track. I imagine it will be very hot.

2006-06-15 10:52:01
6.   Jacob L
5 That's awesome, though I guess the bars and paramutuel windows are closed during the ceremony.
2006-06-15 10:52:27
7.   Moon Shot
2 I think 1947 was a pretty good year. I believe Robinson, Snider and Hodges were all rookies that year. I may be mistaken.
2006-06-15 10:54:44
8.   Jacob L
7 Not Hodges. Debuted in 43.
2006-06-15 10:54:56
9.   Marty
6 The ceremony starts at 4:30, so I imagine the last race at Hollywood Park will have run.
2006-06-15 10:58:00
10.   sanchez101
2. The rookie hitters (Aybar, Ethier, Guzman, Kemp, Loney, Martin) have combined to hit .272 with a .478 SLG% in 412ab's and taken 44 walks. They combine to hit 23 doubles and 18 homeruns in 116 games. That's pretty good, probably on track to be the best class in Dodger history. Compare that line, .272/.342/.478 to the Dodger team line of .280/.360/.439, which is the best offense in the NL.
2006-06-15 11:01:56
11.   bhsportsguy
9 Hollywood Park runs on Friday nights, starting at 7:05 p.m.
2006-06-15 11:02:00
12.   Moon Shot
8 I know Hodges got a couple of at bats in 43, but I think he would still be considered a rookie in 47
2006-06-15 11:03:36
13.   blue22
'56 was Koufax (41.2 IP in '55) and Drysdale. No one else of note (Roger Craig), but those two alone could make that year a frontrunner.
2006-06-15 11:06:12
14.   Jacob L
12 O.K. right you are. I looked at his stats real quick, and I guess I'm not used to seeing 3 year gaps. I saw 43 so I figured he must have played sometime between 44 and 46.

Having looked a second time, I remembered a major historical event that sidelined many a career back in those days.

2006-06-15 11:06:18
15.   sanchez101
13. are we talking about how much the rookies contribute in their rookie year, or in career value?
2006-06-15 11:06:44
16.   still bevens
10 I'd like to see how the rookies have been faring vs. the veterans in the last couple of games. It seems like the majority of the production in the last couple of games have been solely from the bottom of the lineup (nightmares of the past two games in SD have been lingering, so I could be off on this).
2006-06-15 11:07:43
17.   Underbruin
The only graduation information I remember from any of the ones I have attended was my high school graduation. Our speaker (a fairly well-known actor who shall remain nameless) gave an excellent speach, but prefaced it with this:

"This was told to me on my graduation, and it's stuck in my head ever since. I now inflict it on you. [In his most dour voice] Live... Spelled backwards... Is evil."

I'll never forget those words of wisdom.

2006-06-15 11:07:55
18.   Jacob L
15 Well, I posed the original question, and I'm thinking both. For "best all time freshman class" I want both a big splash and staying power.
2006-06-15 11:10:54
19.   Marty
13 Hey, 1956 was my rookie year too. It was not an auspicious first year since I've been told I was not very good in the clean-up position.
2006-06-15 11:12:14
20.   KidCuba
Damn it! I am working during the Bills' debut.... MLB Gameday it is!

R

2006-06-15 11:14:08
21.   katysdad
We didn't have a guest speaker at my high school graduation, but Joe DiMaggio spoke at my college graduation. I remember nothing that he said, but I do remember that after he finished his speech he headed directly for a side door and disappeared.
2006-06-15 11:14:36
22.   Bob Timmermann
Hodges joined the Marines during World War II. He came up in 1943 as a 19-year old catcher pretty much because teams would take just about any healthy body they could find.

I went to all of my brother's college graduations as well as my own. My mother forced everybody to go to every one of them.

My oldest brother went to Pomona College and the commencement speaker was Richard Chamberlain and I remember the women in the crowd oohing and ahhing over him. He had his beard that he wore during "Shogun". I remember my mom turning to me and telling me, "Those women are wasting their time." She then went on how about she fell for Montogmery Clift in the same way.

UCLA graduations in my day didn't have true commencement speakers. A student would give a speech and they would hand out a few awards to people, but no famous person was asked to speak. The chancellor would speak and that was about it.

2006-06-15 11:17:04
23.   Bob Timmermann
Cycle Alert, Condition Yellow in Pittsburgh. Jose Bautista needs a triple and it's just the fifth!
2006-06-15 11:21:08
24.   sanchez101
16. on this road trip the Dodger offense his hitting .276 (season ave. is .280), the rookies have hit .364 and the vet's have hit .235.
2006-06-15 11:22:01
25.   Jon Weisman
Mark Langill talks about the only other Dodger top draft pick to debut as a starting pitcher, Rick Sutcliffe. It's one of the earliest games I can remember listening to on the radio.

http://insidethedodgers.mlblogs.com/my_weblog/2006/06/mark_langill_th.html

2006-06-15 11:22:52
26.   Another Bob
My wife's band used to perform "Time of Your Life." Then one day the guy singing it spoonerized the second line--instead of "a fork stuck in the road,", he sang "a stork ...."

After that, they couldn't do the song any more, because he was never sure what was gonna come out of his mouth for that phrase.

2006-06-15 11:24:13
27.   sanchez101
24. i should not that the veteran average includes pitchers, which isnt fair, but it really doesnt change the fact that the diaper dandies have hit considerably better than the veterans.
2006-06-15 11:25:10
28.   Bob Timmermann
25

I'm not that much older than Jon and I was listening to Dodgers games on the radio in 1971!

But I had to listen on a crystal set!

2006-06-15 11:26:53
29.   sanchez101
what's a crystal set?
2006-06-15 11:27:03
30.   Jon Weisman
Garry Trudeau spoke at my college graduation.
2006-06-15 11:29:15
31.   Underbruin
30 - That I would like to see.
2006-06-15 11:29:28
32.   DXMachina
13
Koufax debuted in 1955, not '56. Drysdale came up the following year.

30
Was his speech anything like the ones Walden's President has given over the years?

2006-06-15 11:30:10
33.   Bob Timmermann
You can still build crystal sets

http://www.streettech.com/archives_DIY/crystalSet.html

2006-06-15 11:31:28
34.   fanerman
My mom has had that "there are two things we can give our children" quote on a magnet on our fridge ever since I was a little kid. When I was a little kid (I guess 1st grade or younger), I could not figure out what it meant. I stared at it for hours but I guess I wasn't good at the whole metaphor thing at the time.
2006-06-15 11:31:49
35.   bigcpa
26 I guess it could have been worse if he swapped "fork stuck" with "stork ----" in the road. I think storks generally do it in the water anyway.
2006-06-15 11:31:50
36.   sanchez101
33. ah, thanks
2006-06-15 11:34:27
37.   DXMachina
I had a Heath kit crystal set when I was a kid. Reception was lousy, even with 50' of antenna wire wound around our living room.
2006-06-15 11:34:40
38.   Greg S
25 Langill is the Dodger historian and a wealth of information. He also edited a wonderful book full of photographs from the Dodger archives. Worth picking up!
2006-06-15 11:36:50
39.   Jon Weisman
25 - I remember no baseball before Hank Aaron's 715th? That was the Big Bang of my baseball fandom.
2006-06-15 11:38:12
40.   Jon Weisman
39 - I don't know how that question mark got in there.
2006-06-15 11:38:58
41.   Greg S
39 For me, it was Bernie Carbo's HR. Remember sitting at the foot of my Mom's bed watching that. Can't remember a thing before that.
2006-06-15 11:39:42
42.   Marty
Heath kits! I had an uncle who was a Heath kit madman. He built a color TV in the 70's. It was a piece of junk.
2006-06-15 11:39:56
43.   Bob Timmermann
I think I have pretty early memories of baseball games because I'm the youngest in a big family and everybody liked baseball a lot.
2006-06-15 11:40:22
44.   DXMachina
39
My Big Bang was Mazeroski's home run.
2006-06-15 11:40:36
45.   Bob Timmermann
If the Rockies, Giants, and Padres win today (and the Rockies are up 4-0), there will be a three-way tie for first and the Rockies and Giants would be one game out.
2006-06-15 11:41:23
46.   Marty
My first baseball memory is Drysdale's 1-0 shutout of the Yankees in the 1963 series. I only remember it because my parents went to it and left me at home.
2006-06-15 11:43:16
47.   still bevens
Im sure there are others, but my earliest radio memory is listening to Gibson's HR in 88. I was chillin by myself in my parents van when my sister was in a spelling bee. I guess I would have been 9 at the time.
2006-06-15 11:44:40
48.   Greg S
47 I knew that was coming. Just to make the rest of us feel as old as we are.
2006-06-15 11:45:08
49.   DXMachina
46
The Drysdale game (vs. Jim Bouton) was the first game I ever kept a scorecard for. It was on a Saturday afternoon, so I could actually watch it on TV.
2006-06-15 11:46:03
50.   tjshere
Dr. George gave the keynote address when I graduated high school. He gave a nice little speech.

The thing that most stands out about graduating, though, was the rehearsal. Back in those days Apple Valley High didn't have a stadium so we had to use the one belonging to our dreaded Victorville rivals. About midway though the rehearsal I became aware of some sort of commotion and right about then an egg whizzed by my ear and splattered into the back of the seat in front of me, thoroughly trashing the long, luxurious hair of the Asian girl occupying that seat. Then I heard somebody yell, "S.O.B!! They're egging us!" as volley after volley rained down on the crowd. Then 15 or 20 of our guys leaped out of their seats and took off in hot pursuit of the offenders. They never did catch them and the delay caused the rest of us to sit for an extended period of time in the broiling desert sun, many of the poor souls covered with egg. Ah, memories.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-15 11:47:21
51.   Marty
I'lkl bet a lot of people on this site don't know who Dr. George was.
2006-06-15 11:49:01
52.   Another Bob
33 He did. I was just keeping it clean for the site and letting you figure it out.

46 My first baseball memory is also the 1963 series; Koufax striking out 15 (I think) Yankees. I was 6.

2006-06-15 11:50:10
53.   Bob Timmermann
Dr. George drove all the way out to Victorville to talk to a high school class?

Did he own property out there?

No offense, but it's not like the Greater Victorville/Apple Valley/Lucerne Valley Metropolitan Area is all that close to L.A. that I would drive out there just because I was promised a nice dinner by someone.

2006-06-15 11:51:16
54.   thinkblue88
I'll beat all of you, I still don't know who will speak at my High School graduation. My Big Bang of baseball was just listening to Vin Scully during a Dodgers games in the early 90's.
2006-06-15 11:52:53
55.   DXMachina
Who in the name of Candy Maldonado is Dr. George?
2006-06-15 11:53:48
56.   jeongers
Another tune makes it into the pantheon of Songs-to-be-played-at-proms-and-grad ceremonies. Alphaville's "Forever Young" was a favorite of my generation. It had a trumpet solo.
2006-06-15 11:55:34
57.   thinkblue88
56. A fellow trumpeter! Nice! It's going to be weird I guess listening to Pomp and Circumstance instead of playing it.
2006-06-15 11:57:47
58.   Bob Timmermann
"Dr. George" was the "nom de TV" of local TV weatherman George Fishbeck. He really wasn't a doctor of anything. But he was quite popular in the 1970s and 1980s. He worked for the local ABC affilitate in L.A.
2006-06-15 11:58:27
59.   Bob Timmermann
Ouch, Todd Hollandsworth hit a 3-run homer off of Mussina. That can't be making Bronx Banter happy.
2006-06-15 12:01:07
60.   gcrl
my first tangible baseball memory is reggie jackson's 3 hr game in the 77 ws. i have foggy rememberances of a visit to dodger stadium earlier that year.

more related to today's game, anyone remember gerald hannah? didn't he strike out the heart of the big red machine in his debut?

2006-06-15 12:01:35
61.   jeongers
57. Not a trumpeter myself, but I've always felt the trumpet was an underutilized instrument in pop music. I think that's why I like Belle and Sebastian so much . . .
2006-06-15 12:03:46
62.   Jon Weisman
When I was seven, before I was a real sports fan, I wanted to be a weatherman when I grew up, because of Dr. George.
2006-06-15 12:06:11
63.   Jon Weisman
47 - I always thought you were about 50 or 60 years old. I figured you were Bill Bevens' son.
2006-06-15 12:09:51
64.   Bob Timmermann
60
Actually Gerry Hannahs did that in one of his very last games he pitched in the majors.

9/7/1979 at Cincinnati.
He struck out Morgan, Concepcion, and Foster.
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B09070CIN1979.htm

And I don't remember this guy ever being on the Dodgers and it's pretty hard to sneak one of these guys past me!

But the 1979 Dodgers were pretty bad.

2006-06-15 12:10:29
65.   Vishal
i was a dodger fan before 1988, as i remember playing t-ball, probably around 1986. but my first real clear "big bang" dodger memory is the gibson HR. i'm sure i was watching the whole playoffs, but in retrospect i can't remember anything before game 1 of the WS.
2006-06-15 12:12:12
66.   regfairfield
While I remember watching the Dodgers at an earlier time, the first event I really remember about the Dodgers is signing Darryl Strawberry.
2006-06-15 12:12:19
67.   Jacob L
My baseball fandom emerged fully formed (like Matt Kemp). I remember absolutely nothing of the 1976 season, and nearly everything from 1977 (my six year old year). I think it has to do with diminished attention at home due to my brother having been born that year.
2006-06-15 12:12:48
68.   KidCuba
My first baseball memory.........Ozzie Smith....do I need to say more about the event?

I cried for a good half-hour.

2006-06-15 12:13:30
69.   Bob Timmermann
So nobody else remembers Dick Allen playing for the Dodgers?
2006-06-15 12:14:46
70.   blue22
Unfortunately, my earliest memories are of the '86 team. With the exception of Sax and Valenzuela, that was a brutally mediocre year to be introduced to baseball.

Landreaux! Cabell! Trevino! Ugh.

2006-06-15 12:15:36
71.   Jon Weisman
I'm surprised someone hasn't said that their earliest baseball memory is Matt Kemp.
2006-06-15 12:16:34
72.   Bob Timmermann
Of people who remember Ken Landreaux as a Dodger, I believe 9 out of 10 will say about him, "He had a sweet swing!"
2006-06-15 12:16:45
73.   Jacob L
Was there baseball before Matt Kemp?
2006-06-15 12:17:19
74.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers better not fall behind today because my cat has not had to avail himself of his litter box.
2006-06-15 12:18:24
75.   DXMachina
72.
Well, he did.

I remember Dick Allen, too. I even saw him play when he was still playing for the Phillies under his "Richie" alias.

2006-06-15 12:18:58
76.   Linkmeister
Scully/Doggett on KFI, 1960. I was 9+. The LA Times sports page was still ecstatic over the 1959 WS win, and I was caught up in the madness. My radio was a blue transistor one, about eight inches long and five inches tall. The best reception was in my bedroom. I kept score on spiral notebook pages.
2006-06-15 12:19:14
77.   blue22
72 - I just remember the 'stache.

And that he kinda looked like Lando Calrissian.

2006-06-15 12:19:35
78.   Jon Weisman
The Dodger bench today has about 60 years of experience.
2006-06-15 12:20:05
79.   gcrl
my kenny landreaux memory (aside from the last out of the 81 ws) is that he supposedly thought he should have been traded for rod carew straight up. in retrospect, when you look at the other players the twinks received (including brad havens!), i suppose he essentially had been traded straight up.
2006-06-15 12:22:08
80.   jeongers
One of my first memories after coming to this country was Fernandomania. Often confused Steve Howe and Rick Honeycutt because they were both lefties with a last name that started with "H." Wanted to change my name to Steve because of Garvey, not Sax.
2006-06-15 12:22:44
81.   sanchez101
Today's lineup:

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

how well does Martin have to hit before he moves up in the lineup, does his hitting 8th make his numbers more or less impressive?

2006-06-15 12:23:42
82.   Jon Weisman
72 - 31-game hitting streak ... before the Dodgers got him.
2006-06-15 12:25:13
83.   sanchez101
66. my first vague memory of the Dodgers was the Darryl Strawberry signing, although I dont think ive ever seen him in a Dodger uniform. i also remember Nomomania, but I wasnt really interested in baseball at the time so I didnt really get what the big deal was about. all my early sport memories, really any memories, concern the Lakers.
2006-06-15 12:25:56
84.   Jon Weisman
70 - You were one broken Guerrero ankle from having a first season to remember.
2006-06-15 12:27:14
85.   natepurcell
so drew is a part time player i see.
2006-06-15 12:27:19
86.   Disabled List
Kenny Landreaux hit a homerun in the first game I ever remember seeing at Dodger Stadium (I believe against the Astros). He was my first favorite player because of that, and also because his name sounded very similar to mine.
2006-06-15 12:28:09
87.   blue22
84 - Instead I got a team-high 60 RBI's from Bill Madlock. Whoopee.

I think Sax is my favorite Dodger of all-time because of that season, where he went down to the last day battling Tim Raines for the batting title (edged .334 to .332).

2006-06-15 12:28:29
88.   Jon Weisman
86 List ... Landreaux, yes, I hear the similarity.
2006-06-15 12:29:46
89.   Bob Timmermann
83

You are better off not remembering seeing Darryl Strawberry in a Dodgers uniform.

I think you can find his name in the Dodgers Dictionary next to "nadir".

2006-06-15 12:32:01
90.   natepurcell
Billingsley's legs are the size of Redwoods.

So the myth beings.

2006-06-15 12:32:35
91.   ddger
I guess Grady has to give Cruz a start sometime but he shouldn't be batting 2nd with his BA/OBP (.189/.333) against right handers. Grady must not look at the splits much.

Aybar (.337/.421) or Martin (.287/.360) is better candidate for 2nd.

Shouldn't you have your best hitters batting at top of the lineup.

2006-06-15 12:34:58
92.   blue22
89 - I remember him breaking up Mark Gardner's no-hitter in the 10th inning (the same series as Denny Martinez' perfecto, which I saw in person :) ).

I also think he may still be the leader in "all time homeruns I've seen in person". For some reason, we went to a lot of Mets games back in the day.

2006-06-15 12:34:58
93.   sanchez101
85. i'd rather have Drew the part time player rather than Drew the DL all-star
2006-06-15 12:35:22
94.   bhsportsguy
My first Dodger game experience is twofold: The first time that I know I went to Dodger Stadium was a doubleheader in September 1972 against the Reds, I don't recall anything from the games and I had to go to Retrosheet to confirm that my memory was correct.

Well I'm fairly sure I went to some games between 1973-1976, I do remember going to opening day in 1977 and watching Gary Thomassan hit the first pitch Don Sutton threw for a home run. (There's a story behind this but that will be for another time) The Dodgers did end up winning the game that eventually led to a 17-4 start and the NL pennant.

Sinatra sang the National Anthem but now I think I would have referred a version of "I've Got You Under My Skin."

2006-06-15 12:35:27
95.   Jacob L
86 Reggie Smith hit the first Dodger homer I saw in person.

I remember KT Landreauw for the last out of the 81 ws and little else. Really did not do that much for me swing or otherwise.

83 The Straw was the end of the innocence, as far as I'm concerned, but he did hit the longest, and in some ways the most satisfying, Dodger homer I've seen. A three run upper deck shot to tie a game in the Stick. I got a beer thrown at me after that bomb.

2006-06-15 12:35:43
96.   natepurcell
Both Billingsley and Broxton are 21 and both have fiances.

I am almost as old as them and i cant hold a steady girlfriend past 6 months.

2006-06-15 12:36:11
97.   sanchez101
91. i agree, Martin and Aybar should change spots with Furcal and Cruz.
2006-06-15 12:39:10
98.   Jon Weisman
96 - That's nothing.

You hardly need to be engaged at 21 or younger.

2006-06-15 12:39:17
99.   tjshere
53

No offense taken. This was 1975 and back in those days we really were out in the sticks. I-15 didn't even go through then, it ended in Devore.

I couldn't say whether Dr. George received any monetary compensation or not, but he was a nice enough guy I wouldn't be surprised if he did it just because he was so honored to be asked.

2006-06-15 12:39:46
100.   underdog
This would have been a good day to sit Furcal entirely, actually (and start Izturis if we had him back) - he can't hit Young at all and has been struggling in generally.

Billingsley's really gonna have to pitch well, today, too since Young is pretty tough.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-15 12:40:09
101.   natepurcell
Furcal took some terrible swings there.
2006-06-15 12:42:56
102.   scareduck
96 - Oh, so you're a SABR member?
2006-06-15 12:42:59
103.   sanchez101
it seems like Furcal is taking some big swings this season, trying to pull the ball and hit homeruns rather than just putting the ball into play
2006-06-15 12:43:24
104.   scareduck
102 - <ducks>
2006-06-15 12:43:27
105.   Xeifrank
Today's Dodger Sim had the Dodgers losing 10-3 to the Padres and Billingsley getting hammered with Mark Bellhorn having a multiple HR game. vr, Xei
Go Dodgers!!! and Chad!!!
2006-06-15 12:45:08
106.   Disabled List
Hey Jon, I've got another managerial you-make-the-call for you.

Your team, the Chicago White Sox, is trailing 6-0 in the 7th inning against the Rangers in Arlington. Your catcher, the universally-beloved A.J Pierzynski, has already been beaned twice, so you send a piece of rookie relief fodder named Sean Tracey to the mound with an implicit order to nail Texas' best hitter, Hank Blalock, who homered earlier in the game. Instead of hitting Blalock, Tracey instead gets him to ground out. What do you do?

a) Be thankful for the out and let Tracey finish the inning, even though your intention to send a "message" to the other team was foiled.

b) Immediately pull Tracey from the game, scream at him in the dugout in front of his teammates and in full view of the TV cameras, and demote him to AAA as soon as the game is finished.

If you selected (b), you obviously have the motivational cunning of a World Series-winning manager.

2006-06-15 12:46:10
107.   Disabled List
Hat tip to Bob, btw.
2006-06-15 12:46:17
108.   trainwreck
Billingsley is built like a brickhouse.
2006-06-15 12:48:03
109.   Disabled List
Aaarrghh!! My mlb.tv is all messed up! Is anyone else having this problem, or do I have a bad connection?
2006-06-15 12:48:33
110.   sanchez101
at least martin is making it close
2006-06-15 12:50:58
111.   sanchez101
thats was a nice curve
2006-06-15 12:51:28
112.   Xeifrank
Billinsgley's BABIP against just went down from 1.000 to .500 :)
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 12:52:01
113.   Another Bob
Didn't someone here mention that Cory Sullivan sacrificed four times yesterday? According to the play-by-play at ESPN.com, he has sacrificed three times today. Seven sacrifices in back to back games has to be a record, doesn't it?

Does Hurdle even give him the sign any more, or does he just bunt automatically if there's a runner on?

2006-06-15 12:52:06
114.   Jeff Iannucci
It would help if Billingsley tried to throw a first-pitch strike to any batter.
2006-06-15 12:53:04
115.   Nammy
109. Umm, not sure if I had the same problem, but yes, mlb.tv just caused my machine to crash. While at work. Serves me right. How emabarrasing.
2006-06-15 12:53:32
116.   bhsportsguy
Nate: How's the curve looking and does his fastball have any late movement?
2006-06-15 12:54:24
117.   Xeifrank
wow, a ton of pitches.
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 12:55:31
118.   Xeifrank
22 pitches so far. Gonna be lucky to pitch more than 4 innings. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 12:57:03
119.   Bob Timmermann
That woman is going to end up with the name Tiffany Billingsley.

Not good.
Not good.

2006-06-15 12:57:21
120.   natepurcell
foul, foul, foul, foul, foul.

this is penny all over again.

2006-06-15 12:58:26
121.   bhsportsguy
The scouting report has to be that he throws a lot of pitches so I would assume that they are going to be taking at least the first time through to see what he has to offer. His biggest thing is that he has to realize that the plate is the same size as is was down in the minors.
2006-06-15 12:59:09
122.   Another Bob
According to ESPN gamecast, Ramon Martinez is catching today. Oops. Also, does anyone know why the little yellow circles for baserunners change size, kind of like they were breathing?
2006-06-15 13:00:20
123.   gpellamjr
I just got here, so I haven't read all 122 posts, so somebody may already have moaned and complained about this. Why does Grittle ruin our perfect lineup by starting Cruz instead of Drew??
2006-06-15 13:00:32
124.   Bob Timmermann
122
Gamecast is alive! It's alive!

Run! Run!

2006-06-15 13:00:44
125.   sanchez101
chad didnt have a problem throwing strikes, like Jackson, his curveball was solid, thowing it for strikes but the hitters kept fouling it off. his one slider was hit hard and foul by bard.
2006-06-15 13:00:59
126.   Linkmeister
In case no one has mentioned it, the title of this post refers to this 1997 speech:

http://tinyurl.com/qhxwm

I think it was falsely attributed to Kurt Vonnegut (or was that a different one?).

2006-06-15 13:02:32
127.   sanchez101
the center pitching to the small forward
2006-06-15 13:08:32
128.   natepurcell
honestly, umps must have a vendetta against aybar because he gets one of the largest strike zones ive ever seen.
2006-06-15 13:10:18
129.   Marty
I've said this before, but Landreaux was not a favorite in my group. We thought he was a horrible fielder and whenever an outfielder made an error, we would say "he really Landreaux'd it".
2006-06-15 13:10:22
130.   Xeifrank
59% strikes by Chillingsley
74% for Young
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:10:37
131.   JoeyP
Why is Cruz in there against a RHP, while Drew is on the bench?

Wouldnt it make more sense to let Drew play today, and then tomorrow have Cruz play vs Zito and give Drew the nite off then?

Grits has some very strange substitution patterns.

2006-06-15 13:13:36
132.   Icaros
Why can't any Dodgers catch up to Young's 89 MPH fastball?
2006-06-15 13:16:44
133.   s choir
Well that was a nice inning
2006-06-15 13:16:51
134.   bhsportsguy
Nice inning, now his first at-bat.
2006-06-15 13:17:12
135.   natepurcell
132

i think its because its hard to locate the ball out of his delivery point.

2006-06-15 13:17:19
136.   kegtron
Our 1 and 2 hitters are hitting a combined .211 against righthanders.
2006-06-15 13:17:29
137.   Xeifrank
131. Maybe Drew is being rested as this is a day game following a night game. Not sure why Cruz would then play ahead of Lofton, and if you HAVE to play Cruz and have him bat lefty then why not bat him 7th and move Aybar to the #2 hole. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:18:22
138.   s choir
132 Looking at gameday, it appears he moves the ball around the plate very effectively. If he's mixing speeds along with that control, an 89 mph fastball is deadly.
2006-06-15 13:19:12
139.   JoeyP
Lofton needs more rest than Drew. I'd still play Drew, its not like he's 40yrs old. Give him a nite off against a tough LHP like Zito.
2006-06-15 13:19:50
140.   bhsportsguy
137 Cruz may not have a great average but he does see a lot of pitches, I'm not saying that is why he's there but because of the walks, he does get on base.
2006-06-15 13:20:00
141.   natepurcell
Chris Young is going to die now.
2006-06-15 13:20:34
142.   bhsportsguy
Where was he hit?
2006-06-15 13:21:00
143.   DXMachina
Okay, Bob, how many players have been HBP on their first plate appearance?
2006-06-15 13:21:02
144.   Xeifrank
hbp? is he ok??
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:21:14
145.   Vishal
left delt/shoulder area.

chad looks a little like kent. he should grow a kent-like moustache.

2006-06-15 13:21:15
146.   natepurcell
142

upper back.

2006-06-15 13:21:17
147.   bhsportsguy
Do you think he returns the favor aka the Ozzie Guillen move.
2006-06-15 13:21:48
148.   bhsportsguy
146 As long as it wasn't around his wrist.
2006-06-15 13:22:09
149.   trainwreck
141
lol
2006-06-15 13:22:38
150.   natepurcell
has furcal hit rock bottom yet? Because I want to be positive on him but i just cant right now.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-06-15 13:22:39
151.   bhsportsguy
143 Bob will you have to get out the Univac to compute that answer.
2006-06-15 13:22:55
152.   Xeifrank
Dodgers are really returning the favor to Chris Young on the pitch count tally. The Dodgers don't exactly have alot of hits in this game (jinx). vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:23:13
153.   Eric L
141 I guess it's a good thing that Nate isn't in San Diego.
2006-06-15 13:24:38
154.   Bob Timmermann
I would think a not insignificant number of players have had an HBP their first time up in the majors.
2006-06-15 13:24:41
155.   Xeifrank
Ok Nomar... time to be the hero again.
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:24:50
156.   JoeyP
I wonder if Billingsley will brush back Young when he comes to the plate?

Furcal now at .188 for June. .590 OPS.

2006-06-15 13:27:13
157.   natepurcell
that was a ball nomar!
2006-06-15 13:27:16
158.   bhsportsguy
156 And that's one reason why the Dodgers are struggling a bit right now.

Slumps are something that come and leave mysteriously throughout the season.

2006-06-15 13:27:53
159.   JoeyP
At least the hitting approach is much better today than yesterday. Today they are at least working the count.
2006-06-15 13:28:15
160.   bhsportsguy
Way to bring up the pitch count guys.
2006-06-15 13:28:26
161.   s choir
Dodgers haven't hit the ball out of the infield, but Young's thrown a lot of pitches.
2006-06-15 13:29:11
162.   Sam DC
Too bad -- kid gets plunked and has to stand on the bases for 10 minutes, would have been nice for him to score.

Another article asserting (w/o saying one or quoting anyone) that the Dodgers are the team most interested in Soriano. http://tinyurl.com/j9lb5.

2006-06-15 13:31:40
163.   Xeifrank
please don't walk or hit the pitcher!
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:32:34
164.   sakesake
Some of the Drew off days are puzzling, did he get today off because of the "no day game after night game" rule for frail players?
2006-06-15 13:32:57
165.   Xeifrank
man, 9 pitches to get the pitcher out. At his pace both pitchers have an over/under of 5 IPs. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:32:58
166.   natepurcell
what was that first pitch to roberts?
2006-06-15 13:33:30
167.   Xeifrank
164. They are saving/resting him for the tough left tomorrow. :) vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:33:35
168.   bhsportsguy
Vin is wrong, they only go to San Diego one more time in August. They play twice at Dodger Stadium in July and September.
2006-06-15 13:34:13
169.   gibsonhobbs88
Jon, Wow you were in my neck of the woods growing up. I'm a little older though, graduating high school in 1978. I lived on Strathern Street around the corner from Saticoy Elementary School. I never attended there as my parents sent me to a private baptist school for my elementary education. However, my friends and I used to skateboard over there on weekends.
I hope Billingsley pitches effectively today, whether he gets a decision or not, if nothing else to send a message to our back end of the rotation to shape up or you will be replaced.
2006-06-15 13:35:24
170.   bhsportsguy
169 They have been replaced.
2006-06-15 13:35:49
171.   sakesake
166

i think it was a 2 seamer

2006-06-15 13:36:05
172.   JoeyP
I wonder how well the Padres do the 2nd time around against a pitcher they've never seen before.
2006-06-15 13:36:23
173.   bhsportsguy
You know what's nice about Vin, you can always tell if the ball has a chance to get out by the volume of his voice, I knew it was going to be caught just by how he started to call the play.
2006-06-15 13:36:29
174.   natepurcell
171

I didnt know he threw 2 seamers. that 2 seamer was nasty. he should throw it more.

2006-06-15 13:36:46
175.   Johnson
162 I don't see why we would be that interested in Soriano. He's a free agent after the year and doesn't want to play anywhere but 2B, which we now have locked up through the '08 season, right? So we trade half the farm for half a season of Soriano and a first-rounder + supplemental? Do we really want to do that?
2006-06-15 13:37:00
176.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps Vin is confusing the "SF" and "SD" on the schedule for September.
2006-06-15 13:37:04
177.   s choir
How hard did Mike Cameron hit that?
2006-06-15 13:37:25
178.   bhsportsguy
172 Nate, I have been wondering this ever since Russ was called up but how much do you think that affected Chad's poor May?
2006-06-15 13:37:52
179.   natepurcell
177

to the warning track.

2006-06-15 13:38:25
180.   Jacob L
162 175 If we could swap Kent for him, I'd do that in a heartbeat.
2006-06-15 13:38:31
181.   natepurcell
178

probably was part of the problem. the other part was he couldnt control his pitches.

2006-06-15 13:38:48
182.   bhsportsguy
Let's see how Kemp does his second time around.
2006-06-15 13:38:59
183.   Xeifrank
Kent breaks up the "no no". Kemp breaks up the shutout??? hope so! vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:39:44
184.   bhsportsguy
Nice swing by Kemp!
2006-06-15 13:39:55
185.   Jacob L
183 Yeah, right while Kent was gettnig our first hit I was trading him to DC 180.
2006-06-15 13:40:25
186.   Xeifrank
Rally hats are on. JT would probably bunt in this situation. Thank golly goshes we have a sane manager this year. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:41:35
187.   sakesake
174

after looking at it again a few times, its a cutter that he should throw to righties, because it would run in on right handers and chop some wood.

2006-06-15 13:41:41
188.   Xeifrank
186. Too bad Ethier didn't bunt! :)
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:41:52
189.   Jacob L
186 You realize what a laugh Boston fans would get out of that statement. I remember reading SOSH when we hired Grittle, and thinking to myself, "Its all relative, boys. Its all relative."
2006-06-15 13:43:56
190.   natepurcell
after looking at it again a few times, its a cutter that he should throw to righties, because it would run in on right handers and chop some wood.

when a right handed pitcher throws a cutter, it would run it on lefties.

2006-06-15 13:44:49
191.   bhsportsguy
162 I'm surprised based on Ned's quotes about not wanting players (talking about Hochevar) who start talking about how much money they want to make.
2006-06-15 13:45:12
192.   sakesake
190

i must be tripping out then

2006-06-15 13:45:23
193.   Jack Fimple
Is anyone listening to the radio broadcast? Why do you suppose Rick Monday was in D.C. the last couple of days meeting with a Vietnam-era Medal of Honor winner? Seems strange to me.
2006-06-15 13:45:38
194.   Xeifrank
Pitch on deck with two outs, Martin might not see too many strikes. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:45:45
195.   bhsportsguy
Time for another clutch hit for Russ.
2006-06-15 13:46:52
196.   bhsportsguy
193 If you had gone to the Dodgers.com homepage, you would have seen the tribute regarding his saving the American flag 30 years ago, Congress honored him on Flag Day.
2006-06-15 13:46:58
197.   Jacob L
193 Dont know either, but I'm sure we'd all chip in here to send Mo a few more mysterious junkets.
2006-06-15 13:47:09
198.   Uncle Miltie
I missed the first 2 innings because I thought it was a night game! How did Chad look in the first 2 innings? I guess he's been reasonably efficient.

Chris Young is going to die now.
Best comment I've seen in a while, LOL

2006-06-15 13:47:11
199.   sakesake
a double would be nice
2006-06-15 13:48:20
200.   sanchez101
you gotta admire Russ' plate discipline, taking close pitches with the pitcher on deck, Billz helps himself out!
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-06-15 13:48:26
201.   sakesake
way to help out yourself, GO CHAD!!!!!
2006-06-15 13:48:30
202.   Uncle Miltie
That's going to cost him...
2006-06-15 13:48:33
203.   Xeifrank
198. First inning he had a little control issues. Overall he's done well but the Padre hitters have fouled off alot of pitches (same as the Dodger hitters).
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:48:33
204.   Humma Kavula
CHAD!!!!!!!
2006-06-15 13:48:34
205.   Icaros
Hooray!
2006-06-15 13:48:47
206.   bhsportsguy
Okay, how many guys have hit a grand slam in his first official at bat.
2006-06-15 13:48:53
207.   trainwreck
Billingsley doing it all.
2006-06-15 13:48:57
208.   DXMachina
198 I guess he's been reasonably efficient.

Not so much in the first inning.

Nice hit, Bills!

2006-06-15 13:49:06
209.   Xeifrank
Chad should be taking all the way til two strikes. vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:49:08
210.   scareduck
You know, I had this weird sense that Billingsley would do something good at the plate.
2006-06-15 13:49:23
211.   bhsportsguy
Knew he had do it himself, I bet he is more excited about that than pitching.
2006-06-15 13:49:31
212.   Disabled List
BillZ!
2006-06-15 13:49:41
213.   Xeifrank
haha, Gameday a bit slow. Great hit Chad.
vr, Xei
2006-06-15 13:49:54
214.   Steve
"Bill" "Ing" "Sley"

"Bill" "Ing" "Sley"

2006-06-15 13:49:57
215.   bhsportsguy
209 Really
2006-06-15 13:50:10
216.   s choir
Chad's new nickname: Slugger
2006-06-15 13:50:14
217.   Jacob L
Cbillz = OBP machine.
2006-06-15 13:50:16
218.   underdog
No one will believe this but I totally had a preminition that Bills would get a hit there.

I also like that they've been working Young into a really high pitch count.

Excited too, because my coworker gave me his MLB TV password so I'm watching the game at work today.

2006-06-15 13:50:37
219.   Marty
Man, Bills has to do it all himself.
2006-06-15 13:50:39
220.   bhsportsguy
Monday said bullpen up for San Diego?
2006-06-15 13:50:42
221.   Bob Timmermann
The only time someone hit a grand slam in their first at bat was Bill Duggleby on April 21, 1898.

And he was a pitcher!

2006-06-15 13:51:18
222.   underdog
Damn that Roberts!
2006-06-15 13:51:37
223.   Sam DC
I guess he can stay when we implement the all-pitchers-who-can-hit team.
2006-06-15 13:52:34
224.   natepurcell
Is Furcal below replacement level player yet?
2006-06-15 13:52:43
225.   JoeyP
A little luck never hurts.
Good job Billingsley.
2006-06-15 13:54:01
226.   Icaros
The thing with Roberts is that I feel like he's lousy against all the other teams, but not LA.

I'm sure that's statistically untrue, but who's to say I'm wrong?

2006-06-15 13:54:06
227.   jtshoe
So right now Billingsley is leading the league in hitting and ERA - the next Babe!
2006-06-15 13:54:36
228.   sanchez101
billz hit 96 on that one
2006-06-15 13:54:43
229.   Johnson
We currently have two pitchers with career 1.000 OBPs - Billz (1-1, HBP) and Broxton (0-0, BB). That's one of those cool things that can happen with small sample sizes.
2006-06-15 13:54:59
230.   s choir
229 posts
142 pitches
2006-06-15 13:55:01
231.   natepurcell
giles just got Billed!!
2006-06-15 13:55:13
232.   Sam DC
After the Rockies completed their four game sweep of the Nationals today, Frank Robinson fired John Wetteland as bullpen coach.

Well, no doubt that'll right the ship in time for the next two series with the Yankees and Red Sox.

2006-06-15 13:55:27
233.   JoeyP
Giles just looked at 5 pitches.
2006-06-15 13:55:59
234.   sakesake
nate, there was that pitch again...
2006-06-15 13:56:28
235.   Samuel
221

Didn't jeremy hermida hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat last yr? correct me if i'm wrong...

2006-06-15 13:56:36
236.   Marty
giles just got Billed!!

So Billingsley is "The Dunner"

2006-06-15 13:56:50
237.   scareduck
Bard and Billingsley look like they could be brothers.
2006-06-15 13:57:53
238.   Bob Timmermann
235
That's correct. I forgot to go all the way to the bottom of the list.
2006-06-15 13:57:59
239.   natepurcell
Billingsley's 2 seamer is working really really well. And I didnt even know he threw a 2 seamer.
2006-06-15 13:58:17
240.   scareduck
236 - so the title of today's game is "My Dunner, With Andre"?
2006-06-15 13:58:31
241.   Greg Brock
If Kemp is the Bison, does that make it Chad "Buffalo" Billz? It doesn't? Okay.
2006-06-15 13:58:36
242.   JoeyP
Loney SR with the GIDP
2006-06-15 13:58:52
243.   the OZ
Revisiting Russell Martin's nickname discussion from earlier this week, are there any slang terms for "goalie" that might apply to him?
2006-06-15 13:59:11
244.   Uncle Miltie
The Chad with a pretty easy inning. I thought Furcal was going to pull a Chuck Knoblauch.
2006-06-15 13:59:51
245.   Vishal
this obviously won't last very long but....

billingsley is batting 1.000 and has an ERA of 0.00.

absolutely lovely.

for kemp, how about "supermatt"?

2006-06-15 13:59:53
246.   scareduck
Man, and people were worried about Bills throwing a lot of pitches. Young's already up to 91 pitches.
2006-06-15 14:00:01
247.   JoeyP
Everything about Billingsley start today is pretty good. Of course, he's pitching in optimum circumstances, but he's still getting the outs.
2006-06-15 14:00:04
248.   JoeyP
Everything about Billingsley start today is pretty good. Of course, he's pitching in optimum circumstances, but he's still getting the outs.
2006-06-15 14:00:43
249.   natepurcell
243

do you mean the best one? Marty's "Backstop Bacon"

2006-06-15 14:00:47
250.   Sam DC
If he keeps pitching like this, I'm not going to be able to work in my hanging chad joke.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-06-15 14:00:49
251.   Uncle Miltie
242- I'm glad my nickname for Gonzalez is starting to pick up
2006-06-15 14:02:32
252.   JoeyP
Its amazing how Cruz can bat .180 from the left side and pitches still dont throw him any strikes. This guy's rep must have carried him a long way bc at one time he was looked at as one of the best young players in baseball.
2006-06-15 14:03:29
253.   s choir
250 But when he gets old and fat, we can use pregnant chad
2006-06-15 14:03:30
254.   Icaros
Stupid idiots.
2006-06-15 14:03:43
255.   Uncle Miltie
Good at bat by Cruz even though he made an out.

What the hell is Nomar doing? Chris Young is on the ropes and he swings at the first pitch?

Kent displaying some great veteran leadership in that at bat too.

2006-06-15 14:03:52
256.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Sixty-two pitches in four innings - Billz has another two IP in him.
2006-06-15 14:04:17
257.   JoeyP
When Young is on 91 pitches starting the 5ip, why on earth would you start 1st pitch hacking?
2006-06-15 14:05:10
258.   ssjames
256 He could even go three more innings if he is economical with his pitches in each one.
2006-06-15 14:05:23
259.   Sam DC
254 ?
2006-06-15 14:05:38
260.   Marty
Apparently Kent thinks you don't walk off the DL.

Nomar is Nomar. You'll never get him to stop hacking.

2006-06-15 14:06:53
261.   KidCuba
Bills BABY! WOW! I am the biggest nay sayer/rookie red flag man in the world, but now I am just pumped up!

This season has been sooo enjoyable, even with Baez La Gasolineria in the pen.

2006-06-15 14:07:26
262.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Can someone describe Billingsley's single? Off Gameday, I see it was a shallow fly to the opposite field - so I'm guessing he didn't really get good wood on it.
2006-06-15 14:08:55
263.   KidCuba
There it is, I jinxed him! Back to being nay sayer...
2006-06-15 14:09:07
264.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Uh oh.
2006-06-15 14:09:33
265.   DXMachina
245 for kemp, how about "supermatt"?

Clark Kemp?

2006-06-15 14:09:55
266.   Bob Timmermann
Billingsley's single was a little blooper to right.
2006-06-15 14:10:03
267.   KidCuba
One observation, from game day....tooo many foul balls, why soo many outside pitches?
2006-06-15 14:10:32
268.   JoeyP
Barfield is hitting .190 at Petko.
.470 OPS.

Safe to say that rook doenst think much of a home field advantage.

2006-06-15 14:10:44
269.   Uncle Miltie
Good move by Wilber preserving Chad's ERA. Barfield is too fast and would have beat out the DP.
2006-06-15 14:11:21
270.   Bob Timmermann
Billingsley appears to fidget like I do after I've had the fifth cup of coffee.
2006-06-15 14:11:21
271.   JoeyP
Was that a great pitch or did Barfield just go fishing?
2006-06-15 14:12:20
272.   Greg Brock
271 It was a nice curve that broke outside, and Barfield rolled over on it. Good pitch.
2006-06-15 14:13:58
273.   blue22
Wow, SD has a pair of catchers having really nice offensive seasons.

And they have Mike Piazza too.

2006-06-15 14:15:28
274.   JoeyP
THere's some respect for Ethier's arm. Barfield is pretty fast and I'm susprised he didnt try to score on that.
2006-06-15 14:15:38
275.   KidCuba
Double play...please...please....please....
2006-06-15 14:15:39
276.   s choir
Tense moments here.
2006-06-15 14:15:43
277.   Vishal
[265] it occurred to me. but we already have a kent on the team, so it might be confusing.
2006-06-15 14:15:47
278.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Thank you, Chad, for a promising start, so to speak.
(takes ball)
2006-06-15 14:17:38
279.   Nick Iyengar
Gameday says Barfield scored...please explain
2006-06-15 14:18:38
280.   scareduck
265 - I like!
2006-06-15 14:19:15
281.   Vishal
barfield was running from 2nd on the pitch, and roberts hit a sinking liner to left that just bounced in front of ethier. could've doubled him up if it was caught, but it just sunk enough to land in front of ethier.
2006-06-15 14:19:59
282.   blue22
278 - CBillz is still in, right?

274 - Barfield did score, right?

2006-06-15 14:20:05
283.   Bob Timmermann
Barfield did score. He held up briefly at third because Ethier might have been able to catch it, but then he scored.
2006-06-15 14:20:50
284.   natepurcell
Id let Chad go one more.
2006-06-15 14:21:54
285.   Humma Kavula
Thank you, Chad. Good start. You did yourself proud.

Who had 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 2 BB and a no-decision in the pool?

2006-06-15 14:21:57
286.   Uncle Miltie
Billingsley has a tremendous curveball, but his fastball is pretty flat. Doesn't Chad throw a 2 seamer?
2006-06-15 14:22:18
287.   blue22
Phew.
2006-06-15 14:22:49
288.   Bob Timmermann
But Vin, the LA Dodgers have turned TWO triple plays!
2006-06-15 14:23:00
289.   s choir
You be the manager:

Next inning, Matt Kemp on 3rd, Russell Martin on first, two outs, Billingsley up. Do you hit for him?

2006-06-15 14:23:09
290.   JoeyP
If it gets to Billz they'll pinch hit. But if it doesnt get back down to him, I think they'll let him pitch one more. 89 pitches.
2006-06-15 14:23:43
291.   blue22
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

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

2006-06-15 14:23:53
292.   Uncle Miltie
I think Billingsley is done unless we get a bunch of runs (like 5+)
2006-06-15 14:24:02
293.   Johnson
Bills is at 89 pitches according to Yahoo. I'd give him another inning unless he comes up to the plate this inning with runners on.
2006-06-15 14:24:41
294.   JoeyP
I've never heard of Brian Sikorski. Is this guy any good?
2006-06-15 14:24:51
295.   Humma Kavula
If Bills is done for the day, looks like Midwest Blue takes it... overshot on the Ks, but everything else looks right.
2006-06-15 14:25:16
296.   dsfan
Impressive that the Dodgers got Henri Stanley for Dave Roberts and kept Jason Grabowski.
2006-06-15 14:25:19
297.   trainwreck
Kemp was in quick sand on that one.
2006-06-15 14:25:34
298.   blue22
292 - Getting 5 runs while not pinch-hitting for CBillz?
2006-06-15 14:26:04
299.   Chris H
286 It looked to me that Billingsley was throwing a 4 seamer 93-96 and a 2 seamer 89-92.
2006-06-15 14:26:19
300.   dsfan
Sikorski in PCL this year: 44 ks, 7 walks.

Very good numbers in Japan in prior three years.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2006-06-15 14:26:35
301.   blue22
285/291 - I'm going with ToyCannon as the winner.
2006-06-15 14:26:43
302.   Sam DC
Bad Altitude guy specu-wonders if Adrian Beltre will be the next Russ Ortiz. Link at the right.
2006-06-15 14:26:44
303.   Sam DC
Bad Altitude guy specu-wonders if Adrian Beltre will be the next Russ Ortiz. Link at the right.
2006-06-15 14:27:00
304.   JoeyP
Roberts had very little trade value that year. He stunk for the Dodgers.
2006-06-15 14:27:03
305.   Uncle Miltie
Ethier isn't ready yet
2006-06-15 14:27:18
306.   Greg Brock
For those that care, David Howell is your leader at Winged Foot (-2 through 11). Lefty shot even par, and Tiger...he's +7 through 14. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Billingsley show.
2006-06-15 14:27:35
307.   s choir
um, who is this Sikorski guy, and what in God's name is he throwing up there?
2006-06-15 14:28:01
308.   Sam DC
I really couldn't say how that happened.

Usually, I can tell.

2006-06-15 14:28:16
309.   JoeyP
He's making our rooks look bad.
Geez.
2006-06-15 14:29:07
310.   s choir
304 Roberts in no way stunk for the Dodgers in 2004. DePodesta just undervalued him.
2006-06-15 14:29:31
311.   blue22
Maybe CBillz ain't done just yet. Who's up in the pen?
2006-06-15 14:30:48
312.   Uncle Miltie
9 pitch at bat by Wilber. I hope Ethier was paying attention.
2006-06-15 14:31:58
313.   blue22
310 - A .696 OPS, but 33 of 34 on the base paths and a tremendous centerfielder. Not the greatest player, but better than Grabs.
2006-06-15 14:32:19
314.   Uncle Miltie
If the Mariners were willing to eat almost all of Beltre's contract, I'd take him back in a minute.
2006-06-15 14:33:00
315.   Marty
Wow, Tiger is +7? That's too bad. But Winged Foot is evil. I recorded the morning coverage and will watch it tonight.
2006-06-15 14:33:18
316.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Any reason for Drew to sit, other than day game after night game? I ask, because I'm trying to figure out, if I was Grittle, with whom I'd double-switch when pulling Billz.
Because I have a feeling Drew won't see action today:
Lofton in CF, batting 9th. Kemp slides over to LF. Broxton in the 6-hole.
2006-06-15 14:33:23
317.   capdodger
At the time DePo traded Roberts, he was batting .253/.340/.356 in 270 PA's. That's pretty much stinking.
2006-06-15 14:33:32
318.   regfairfield
Roberts with the Dodgers

2002: .277/.353/.365 98 rate2
2003: .250/.331/.307 99 rate2
2004: .253/.340/.356 100 rate2

Maybe he could have got a fringe player for him, but I can't think of many teams who would actively want Roberts.

2006-06-15 14:33:49
319.   dsfan
304--

Point one: You keep Roberts and jettison Grabowski. Poor evaluation by LAD.

Point two: If you want to keep them both, easily done. September roster expansion was 30 days away -- tell Grabo he has a stiff back.

Point three: Theo Epstein got 20 times more for Roberts than Depo did. He got $2.65 million in cash, Jay Payton, Ramon Vazquez and David Pauley. The Dodgers planned poorly, evaluated poorly, reacted poorly. Maybe that's why Depo actually admitted he blew it on Roberts.

2006-06-15 14:34:08
320.   capdodger
Uch.. two minutes late....
2006-06-15 14:35:27
321.   Greg Brock
Billingsley's curve has that great late snap to it. It's a great compliment to the ched.
2006-06-15 14:35:30
322.   dsfan
Drew was swinging so well before he got dinged in Colorado. Hasn't looked nearly as good post-injury.
2006-06-15 14:35:52
323.   capdodger
319 - Well... Having Grabo around at all was poor evaluation.
2006-06-15 14:35:58
324.   blue22
318 - I forgot he was primarily a LFer in 2004. He rate2'd 122 in CF in 2004, but in only 19 games.

How much does the 33 of 34 SB's help his slugging percentage?

2006-06-15 14:36:07
325.   s choir
304 313 The Roberts trade was the most questionable trade of DePodesta's tenure. And that's saying something. I don't mean to say they shouldn't have traded him, but they could have at least gotten some major league talent for him.
2006-06-15 14:36:28
326.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
But Chad's gonna go another inning, so never mind.
2006-06-15 14:36:32
327.   natepurcell
Catch the ball you worthless player.
2006-06-15 14:37:02
328.   Greg Brock
clap clap clap...Nice job rook. More to come.
2006-06-15 14:37:04
329.   Uncle Miltie
Are you freaking kidding me?
2006-06-15 14:37:09
330.   Bob Timmermann
At least we have the best left-handed setup man in the game coming in.
2006-06-15 14:37:12
331.   capdodger
Cora would have caught that...
(sorry)
2006-06-15 14:37:25
332.   JoeyP
Dave Roberts in 2004:
.253/.340/.356 OPS of .696
Thats not good enough for a LF'er.
It basically came down to keeping Roberts as a pinch runner, or keeping Grabowski to be a pinch hitter with power off the bench.

Grabowski's line in 2004:
.220/.297/.382

Grabs stunk too, but his ability to hit for power off the bench (7HRs that year) was deemed more valuable than Roberts pinch hitting abilities.

Plus, if Roberts had stuck around, Tracy would have played him. And one of DePo's best moves of that 2004 season was taking away Tracy's pets (Encarnacion/Roberts) to enusre Werth time to play. Maybe if Tracy had been a better manager, Roberts may have been able to stay. But Tracy messed all that up.

2006-06-15 14:37:26
333.   Icaros
That's why the Giants got rid of Cruz.
2006-06-15 14:37:47
334.   Uncle Miltie
327- Ethier? At least Cruz didn't Shawn Green it like Andre did.
2006-06-15 14:38:25
335.   dsfan
Cruz can't make the play. A good RF makes it. So Bills gives up the hit and he's outta there. Nice debut, kid.

Footnote: Too bad the modern ump refuses to call a good CB a strike. Why? My theory: TV. The CF camera angle makes it appear the ball is low. In reality, it's a strike at the knees. Bills was a victim a few times of this anti-curve bias. That's why you see fewer CBallers -- very hard to consistently get the call.

2006-06-15 14:38:44
336.   trainwreck
Nice solid debut for Billingsley. He looked good. The runs were scored off flop shots to the outfield. Helped that the umpire has a huge right side strike zone for left handed batters.
2006-06-15 14:39:08
337.   natepurcell
Ethier? At least Cruz didn't Shawn Green it like Andre did.

shawn green it? you mean make a futile attempt with a dive and let the ball roll to the fence and let 2-3 runs score?

2006-06-15 14:39:19
338.   Uncle Miltie
Chad is now off the hook
2006-06-15 14:39:36
339.   Greg Brock
Close the book on Billz...Who wins the "Guess the line" competition?
2006-06-15 14:40:35
340.   JoeyP
Ooops should say

Grabs stunk too, but his ability to hit for power off the bench (7HRs that year) was deemed more valuable than Roberts pinch running abilities.

2006-06-15 14:40:42
341.   Sam DC
Deadspin links this nice - though a bit purple for some - article by a Marine about a ballgame in Iraq.

No politics please; passed along for sappy baseball fun only.

http://tinyurl.com/fv9gq

2006-06-15 14:41:09
342.   s choir
332 OPS is a misleading statistic for a player with Roberts' type of game. Besides, you can't blame Tracy for an unbalanced trade. DePodesta should have been able to get someone better.
2006-06-15 14:41:43
343.   natepurcell
You are ridiculous defensively Willy.
2006-06-15 14:41:59
344.   capdodger
342 - You can't steal first base.
2006-06-15 14:43:00
345.   Uncle Miltie
337- you don't dive for hard line drives. Roberts hit a little dunker. At worst, Ethier traps the ball. Cruz is not a bad defender, neither is Ethier.
2006-06-15 14:43:52
346.   Jeff Iannucci
No right-handed batter reached base against Billingsley. Nice work, Chad.
2006-06-15 14:43:55
347.   dsfan
332

Down the stretch in a close race, Roberts is a very nice player to have because of the versatility. Just ask the Red Sox. He would've been very useful to the Dodgers down the stretch in 2004. Especially in September, when the roster expansion allows you to do things like burn up a guy to pinch-run.

The Dodgers screwed up across the board. Blaming it on Tracy is inane. Depo already said it was the one move he regretted.

As for Roberts' overall trade value, our opinions are irrelevant. It's the marketplace that counts. Theo Epstein exploited the marketplace far better than Depo did. No surprise there.

2006-06-15 14:44:11
348.   natepurcell
At worst, Ethier traps the ball. Cruz is not a bad defender, neither is Ethier.

what about your boy willy? JAEFA. :)

2006-06-15 14:44:11
349.   trainwreck
Great confidence booster that is.
2006-06-15 14:44:20
350.   Vaudeville Villain
Oh man, Griddle removes Willy for Martinez.

I have a sinking feeling that this will cause an Antonio Perez/Oscar Robles situation.

Hope I'm wrong.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2006-06-15 14:45:22
351.   JoeyP
Besides, you can't blame Tracy for an unbalanced trade. DePodesta should have been able to get someone better

Epstein took back Jay Payton and most of Payton's salary for Roberts. I just dont think Roberts had much value that season or especially the year before.

2006-06-15 14:45:29
352.   Linkmeister
O/T, My candidate for CYA sentence of the day is as follows: "Out of an abundance of caution, however, VA is taking all possible steps to protect and inform our veterans."

That's from the form letter informing vets that that laptop burglary might endanger our identity.

2006-06-15 14:45:37
353.   scareduck
Good on Grittle for pulling Aybar after that screwup.
2006-06-15 14:45:50
354.   blue22
Brad Lidge seems to have righted the ship.

last 11 IPs: 16 K's, 2 BB's, 8 hits, and 2 runs (5 for 5 saves).

2006-06-15 14:46:09
355.   s choir
344 Roberts walked a lot. He had an acceptable OBP of .340. And the team was doing just fine, as I recall. Does anybody seriously think the Dodgers wouldn't have won the NL West in 2004 if Dave Roberts had been on that team instead of Grabowski? If not, I don't see how you can defend trading him for Henri Stanley.
2006-06-15 14:46:15
356.   regfairfield
So, why don't we do that with Furcal?
2006-06-15 14:47:06
357.   capdodger
Is JD available to pinch hit today?
2006-06-15 14:47:18
358.   Icaros
After those boots by Aybar, I guess we can expect to see LaRoche at third by the end of the week.
2006-06-15 14:47:27
359.   Greg Brock
352 Got mine in the mail yesterday. Oh, and who thinks Vin prays at night for the deuces, at some point, to be wild.
2006-06-15 14:47:43
360.   dsfan
I thought Ethier played Roberts' ball very well.
2006-06-15 14:47:58
361.   Steve
Blaming it on Tracy is inane.

1) Not blaming it on Tracy is inane

2) Wanting Dave Roberts is inane

3) Worrying about a trade of Dave Roberts in 2004 when we have Kemp, Ethier, and Cruz now is inane.

That's a whole lot of inanity. So why don't we drop the inane shtick?

2006-06-15 14:48:22
362.   JoeyP
Theo Epstein exploited the marketplace far better than Depo did.

I fail to understand how taking back Jay Payton in an obvious salary dump move is exploiting a market for Dave Roberts.

2006-06-15 14:48:24
363.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Ay-yi-yi-bar, was his error particularly egregious?
2006-06-15 14:48:56
364.   blue22
353 - Textbook double-switch there. Broxton can pitch the 7th now.

(Pardon me if you were being sarcastic there :-) )

2006-06-15 14:49:26
365.   s choir
Replacing Aybar with Saenz would have been a better choice.
2006-06-15 14:49:30
366.   dsfan
My guy Willy shouldn't be this bad at third. But his footwork stinks. Shuttling from 2B to 3B isn't easy. But I thought he'd be more reliable at 3B.
2006-06-15 14:50:15
367.   Vaudeville Villain
363-

As an Aybar backer, yeah it was bad. He misplayed a ball before that one too.

2006-06-15 14:50:38
368.   blue22
366 - He plays third like a second basemen. He doesn't set his feet, and he kind of wings the ball over to first.
2006-06-15 14:50:54
369.   JoeyP
This seems like a long game and its only 2-2 in the 7th.
2006-06-15 14:52:12
370.   dsfan
362

Payton is a pretty decent fourth outfielder. If his salary's a problem, apply the $2.65 million in cash that SD gave Theo for Roberts. Ask Oakland is Payton was any good last year. Compare his work to Henri Stanley's.

Heck, David Pauley has more value than Henri Standly and Theo got him as a throw-in in the Roberts trade.

The other guy, Ramon Vazquez, has more value than Stanley.

2006-06-15 14:52:37
371.   Humma Kavula
nice.
2006-06-15 14:52:42
372.   capdodger
.340 isn't good for a leadoff man, which is where Tracy played DR by rote.
2006-06-15 14:53:06
373.   s choir
361 I have no problem with trading Dave Roberts. I do have a problem with Henri Stanley. At least Roberts spelled his name right.
2006-06-15 14:53:08
374.   Greg Brock
Hum You Lucille II. Attakid.
2006-06-15 14:53:24
375.   Humma Kavula
raffy!
2006-06-15 14:53:32
376.   blue22
372 - Furcal is at .329 :-(
2006-06-15 14:53:41
377.   Icaros
Wow. An LA hit-and-run that actually works as designed.

I feel like I haven't seen that in years.

2006-06-15 14:54:24
378.   the OZ
376 Is that his fielding percentage, or what?
2006-06-15 14:54:51
379.   dsfan
Cruz's bunting technique is a joke.
2006-06-15 14:55:18
380.   s choir
372 It's good for a leadoff man who stole bases as effectively as Roberts did. Besides, in the NL, there's no better place to play him.
2006-06-15 14:55:53
381.   underdog
You know, I have to give credit to the Padres announcers (Tony Gwynn and some guy doing play by play) because they are pretty solid and fairly non-homer-ish. Very decent announcing. Especially compared to the White Sox announcers, who my co-worker here (the one who let me borrow MLB TV), a Tigers fan, let me watch a bit with him awhile back and the White Sox TV announcers are atrocious. Complete homers, they may as well sit on the bench with the team.

Meanwhile, there were 3 pitches and 3 hits. Not bad.

2006-06-15 14:56:09
382.   k j
Didn't have time to go through this thread so sorry if I'm repeating but here is the combined line for Aybar, Kemp, Ethier, and Martin, our super rookies before today's game. Not too Shabby:

G-- AB- R- H-- 2B 3B HR RBI
117 353 61 109 22 03 18 76
BB SO OPS SLG Avr OPS
39 60 .378 .541 .309 .919

2006-06-15 14:56:50
383.   Greg Brock
Nice swunt Cruz. Just like you draw it up.
2006-06-15 14:56:53
384.   capdodger
372 - For the record... I would have rather seen MB bat leadoff that year.
2006-06-15 14:57:10
385.   Icaros
Nice bunt, JC, Jr.
2006-06-15 14:57:35
386.   underdog
Cruz's bunting technique is much better when he tries the meek swing method.
2006-06-15 14:57:39
387.   Steve
in the NL, there's no better place to play him.

Vegas.

2006-06-15 14:57:46
388.   Bob Timmermann
Jeff Kent could hold the major league record for most times watching the guy in front of him get an intentional walk.
2006-06-15 14:57:59
389.   dsfan
Any predictions on Kent here?
2006-06-15 14:58:13
390.   Icaros
Oh, okay.

Nice swunt, JC, Jr.

2006-06-15 14:58:17
391.   k j
381.

You know who is worse than the White Sox guys. The Diamondback guys. Mark Grace is a disgrace. He spends his time talking tough and trying to be funny while rooting outrageously for the Diamondbacks.

The Padre guys are pretty good. I also like Krukow for the Giants with Miller. Krukow is a smart analyst.

2006-06-15 14:59:17
392.   Andrew Shimmin
389- GIDP. But if only we hadn't traded Dave Roberts, it'd be a sure grand slam.
2006-06-15 15:00:12
393.   Greg Brock
391 I thought Krukow only worked with Kuiper. He's been working with Miller too, or is Kuiper gone?
2006-06-15 15:01:44
394.   underdog
Sweeeeeeeeeeeet. That's why it's nice to have Kent back.
2006-06-15 15:01:51
395.   capdodger
Respect the Porn-stache!!!
2006-06-15 15:02:06
396.   ddger
285 From Billingsley Becomes a Dodger

15. ddger
If Chad gives us at least 5 innings and keeps us in the game (losing by no more than 3 runs), I'll be very satisfied. We have hard time getting even 4 innings from Tomko, Perez, or Seo.

I predict 5 innings, 5 Hits, 2 Runs.

2006-06-15 15:02:07
397.   Steve
If Dave Roberts hadn't been out there, it would have been a triple.
2006-06-15 15:02:20
398.   Humma Kavula
Kemp getting the respect.
2006-06-15 15:02:27
399.   scareduck
The sight of Matt Kemp -- who hasn't played a day at AAA -- getting an intentional pass in the majors is just making me giggle inside like a little schoolgirl.
2006-06-15 15:02:44
400.   Bob Timmermann
Nope, it's Kuiper and Krukow on TV. Miller just does radio and he works pretty much by himself. He trades off and on with Dave (rest of name lost due to technical error)
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2006-06-15 15:03:40
401.   JoeyP
Kemp getting some respect.
One more run should ice this game.
2006-06-15 15:04:12
402.   underdog
391 Yeah, Krukow is surprisingly good. He's very solid, and not too homer-ish, except for his occasional "siddown meat!" kind of lines. But I like him. I hate the Giants, but will admit that their announcers are pretty good. I think I've heard Krukow work with Miller on a few Giants telecasts but it's almost always with Kuiper. Usually only a few games go by before they joke about Kuiper's one major league home run.
2006-06-15 15:04:33
403.   scareduck
Embree? Didn't he have shoulder trouble last year?
2006-06-15 15:04:37
404.   capdodger
399 - I thought schoolgirls tittered, not giggled, lest someone see them giggling.
2006-06-15 15:04:40
405.   natepurcell
Little just pulled out his ACE card with the tomato vs the lefty.
2006-06-15 15:04:46
406.   underdog
400 Hmm, maybe I imagined Miller and Krukow working together at some point.
2006-06-15 15:04:54
407.   k j
393.

I don't listen to giants games that often but I believe Miller and Krukow hook up from time to time. Kuiper's decent as well. I just think Krukow, who is a bit too sure of himself at times, is overall a real smart analyst.

Although I wish I could just listen to Vin, it is sort of fun being introduced to all the announcers through MLB.TV where I watch all my Dodger games.

2006-06-15 15:05:22
408.   underdog
I hope the Tomato doesn't "stuggle" like he did yesterday.
2006-06-15 15:05:32
409.   Linkmeister
400 Oh, that's cold, Bob. That's really cold. ;)
2006-06-15 15:05:33
410.   Steve
Clearly, the Padres think Kenny Lofton should be playing.
2006-06-15 15:06:58
411.   Greg Brock
402 I've been waiting for Vinny to exclaim "Siddown Meat!" for my whole life. Alas, I believe I shall never hear it.
2006-06-15 15:08:13
412.   natepurcell
Broxtons going to hit a bomb.
2006-06-15 15:08:15
413.   Humma Kavula
Broxton gets to test his perfect OBP.
2006-06-15 15:08:20
414.   underdog
Broxton's batting? Funny to see this.
2006-06-15 15:08:25
415.   natepurcell
Broxtons going to hit a bomb.
2006-06-15 15:08:47
416.   natepurcell
Broxtons going to hit a bomb.
2006-06-15 15:10:34
417.   Bob Timmermann
411
I'm waiting for Vin to use a Telestrator and scratch out the face of a little kid at the game.
2006-06-15 15:10:47
418.   Humma Kavula
Broxton didn't hit a bomb.
2006-06-15 15:11:19
419.   Johnson
Sigh. Now we only have one pitcher with a perfect career OBP.
2006-06-15 15:11:19
420.   JoeyP
Broxton is in line for his 2nd career victory.
2006-06-15 15:12:06
421.   ddger
416 Broxtons going to give up a bomb. :)
2006-06-15 15:12:06
422.   Ken Arneson
406 All the Giants announcers work together at some point. They shuffle around a lot depending on whether Miller is in town or not, whether the game is on TV or not, etc.
2006-06-15 15:12:22
423.   natepurcell
correction:

Broxton's going to give up a bomb.

2006-06-15 15:12:22
424.   Uncle Miltie
Eric Young, Vinny Castilla?
2006-06-15 15:12:55
425.   Greg Brock
417 The dark side of Bob Timmermann emerges.
2006-06-15 15:13:16
426.   Marty
I'm waiting for Vin to encourage people to drive like hell so they can get to the game by the first inning.
2006-06-15 15:13:21
427.   ddger
Let's hope Broxton doesn't struggle so that Grady has to go to Baez as our setup man.
2006-06-15 15:14:20
428.   Midwest Blue
396 339 With all due respect to blu22 301, I think I nailed the C-Bills line:

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

I was only off by three strikes. Now send me my "Home DePo" back-ordered shirt as a prize.

2006-06-15 15:14:24
429.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Hey! My double-switch panned out, if an inning late with a preceding double-switch.
2006-06-15 15:14:43
430.   Bob Timmermann
The A's have temporarily moved into a tie for first in the AL West. Texas plays Chicago later.
2006-06-15 15:18:03
431.   Marty
Isn't giving up a homer to Castillo pretty much the definition of Grabowski Principle?
2006-06-15 15:18:21
432.   Greg Brock
426 That was great. How about Vin says, "Wow, that is one ugly two year old girl...and her Easter bonnet is horrible."
2006-06-15 15:18:38
433.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Grittle seems to be using Broxton in higher-leverage situations than before, rather than pitching him in blowouts. Good to see.
2006-06-15 15:19:22
434.   ddger
It's so refreshing to get 5 innings from someone other than Penny and Lowe. I think Chad is here to stay for good.

I can't believe that the Angels were considering sending Jered Weaver down to minors after his unbelievable start.

If Chad can come close to Jered's start, then this rookie group has to one of the best.

2006-06-15 15:22:20
435.   Steve
431 -- Yes, but don't tell Dave Roberts.
2006-06-15 15:24:48
436.   Uncle Miltie
I think Fookie's slump is over. Either he decided to stop trying to hit home runs every at bat or he had a slumpbuster.
2006-06-15 15:25:50
437.   Humma Kavula
Is Baez really warming up???

(don't tell Steve.)

2006-06-15 15:26:00
438.   Uncle Miltie
That was ball 3, Cruz just got screwed
2006-06-15 15:26:57
439.   ddger
Let's predict which prospect will come up next.

LaRoche
D. Young
Miller
etc.

2006-06-15 15:29:30
440.   fawnkyj
If Ayabr keeps butchering on plays at third Laroche will be the next prospect to come up and have his postion swiped.
2006-06-15 15:32:00
441.   Marty
We need veteran leadership at third. Is Bill Madlock available?
2006-06-15 15:32:06
442.   Icaros
431

At least Castilla has hundreds of career HRs.

2006-06-15 15:32:54
443.   underdog
Well credit where credit is due (and rare): that was a nice inning from Baez.
2006-06-15 15:33:03
444.   Uncle Miltie
The Angels have discussed a trade that would sent Ervin Santana to Tampa Bay for outfielder Carl Crawford but are extremely reluctant to part with one of their best young pitchers.

Does the LA Times have any editors? Santana has a lot of potential, but he kind of reminds me of Ramon Ortiz. I think the Devils Rays would pass on that deal. It would probably take a guy like Lackey to get it done.

2006-06-15 15:34:01
445.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Good inning for Baez.
He seems to have settled down as of late.
2006-06-15 15:34:03
446.   Icaros
If Ayabr keeps butchering on plays at third Laroche will be the next prospect to come up and have his postion swiped.

See 358

2006-06-15 15:34:46
447.   Jon Weisman
Jered Weaver is older than Billingsley and had better AAA numbers, right? Unless I need to adjust for Las Vegas vs. Salt Lake, I'm not expecting Chad's first month to match Weaver's.

But this was nice, and I'm glad he got out of the fifth-inning jam without trailing.

2006-06-15 15:35:41
448.   fan 4 40 plus
445 Compare that inning for Baez with his last inning in San Diego...
2006-06-15 15:36:09
449.   Humma Kavula
Nomar gets four at-bats, but no hits. He now qualifies for the title, but is second to Rolen, right?
2006-06-15 15:36:12
450.   Greg Brock
444 The Rays want Santana and a position prospect, Wood (yeah, right), Kendrick (yeah, right), or Aybar the Lesser (possible). Lackey isn't under salary control for enough years, and Santana has the higher ceiling.
Show/Hide Comments 451-500
2006-06-15 15:37:16
451.   capdodger
Way to lumber to a triple!!
2006-06-15 15:37:53
452.   underdog
Nice to see Kent back. Did I mention that already?

447 I wouldn't either, though it's possible. He looked really solid and composed to me today - he has good stuff and good makeup and it's easy to see him staying for the rest of the year at this point. With the inevitable ups and downs and learning curve and all that...

2006-06-15 15:38:05
453.   s choir
If LaRoche keeps hitting like he is, he'll force either a callup or a trade or both. Aybar hasn't been terrible for a rookie 3B, and I think LaRoche will be in demand this July. I'd trade him.

(to Atlanta for Chipper Jones, but we've already been over this)

2006-06-15 15:38:08
454.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Baez: 1 ER in his last 6-2/3 IP.
Throw out that meltdown vs. the Phillies (5 ER in 0+ IP), and Baez has given up 1 ER in his last 15-1/3 IP, going back to mid-May.
2006-06-15 15:38:17
455.   Marty
Kent with a double and triple. Nice. Was the triple a hard-hit ball or a fielding miscue?
2006-06-15 15:39:08
456.   underdog
It was hit past the CFer into the gap and to the wall. Was hit hard and in the right spot.
2006-06-15 15:39:43
457.   Jon Weisman
With his 205th plate appearance in his 66th game, Garciaparra is officially No. 2 in the NL batting race.

Rolen .355
Nomar .351

2006-06-15 15:40:32
458.   Marty
No trading of LaRoche. For once we got the better brother and I want to keep him. I'll hear no more on the subject.
2006-06-15 15:42:18
459.   ddger
Now that we've found our 3rd starting pitcher, let's cross our fingers on Tomko's start tomorrow.
2006-06-15 15:43:52
460.   Icaros
458

What do you have against Chris Gwynn?

We might already have the better Drew. The next ten years will tell the story.

2006-06-15 15:44:39
461.   Greg Brock
460- I think he was referring to Domingo Bonds.
2006-06-15 15:45:12
462.   underdog
Hah, Chris Gwynn's brother called him "that Saito kid" earlier which cracked me up. He's older than I am!
2006-06-15 15:45:20
463.   Jacob L
458 LaRoche and Aybar is a possible better-brother show down for the same position.
2006-06-15 15:46:09
464.   Uncle Miltie
450- I thought Lackey had only pitched 3 years in the majors. You're right, I don't think the D-rays would be interested, but Santana alone won't get it done. Nick Adenhart would have to be included. Santana, Adenhart, and Aybar for Crawford. I doubt the Angels would do that. Guzman, Navarro, and Orenduff might get it done for us.
2006-06-15 15:47:02
465.   Icaros
461

What about Siddhartha Mays?

2006-06-15 15:47:24
466.   underdog
And how was that not a strike?
2006-06-15 15:48:01
467.   ddger
Saito has 10 straight scoreless appearances (16 out of his 17). He has been lights out. Too bad he's not a prospect.
2006-06-15 15:48:03
468.   Eric L
453 So what's the rationale for trading LaRoche for Chipper? I must have been absent that day.
2006-06-15 15:48:05
469.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Billingsley's Game Score: 49
2006-06-15 15:48:07
470.   underdog
Forget Carl Crawford. We have Matt Kemp. We need another starting pitcher!
2006-06-15 15:48:35
471.   scareduck
And that, darlings, is that. Say hello to Clark Kemp, will you?
2006-06-15 15:49:29
472.   Marty
The last strike is thrown and Gameday say "Break in the action". Yeah, about a 28-hour break in the action.
2006-06-15 15:49:30
473.   ddger
Nate, do we have any available starting pitcher prospects ready this year?
2006-06-15 15:50:26
474.   Eric L
464 Lackey did sign an extension this year. Rob (scareduck) probably knows the details better than I, but I believe it was a 3 year extension starting next year.

He might be a cost a bit for the D-rays, but he would be a fixed cost.

2006-06-15 15:51:42
475.   Michael G
Sorry 458, but if we can use LaRoche to pry away Cabrera from Florida then that's a no brainer. And doesn't Cabrera have a brother and/or cousin who is in the majors... well then, in Cabrera we would still have the better blood.
2006-06-15 15:54:49
476.   ddger
This was a big win today, not getting swept by San Diego and a winning debut by Chad.

We really needed a good performance from our starter and Chad came through.

2006-06-15 15:55:14
477.   Jacob L
574 Orlando and Jolbert are brothers. Guess which one we had. I don't know of any Miguel Cabrera siblings.
2006-06-15 15:58:52
478.   underdog
473 Besides the one who pitched today you mean?

Elbert's a year away at the least (probably), Orenduff a year away, Kershaw a couple (estimating), and so on. Gio Carrara's a few years away from the old folks home. Houlton's 3-6 , ERA near 6 doesn't inspire confidence, Vegas or no... What about Juarez? Seems most of the rest of their pitching prospects are a ways away...

2006-06-15 16:04:00
479.   Jon Weisman
Quick quiz: How many of you have ever heard the name Dan Uggla? Or maybe, if you haven't heard of Dan Uggla, say so. I'm just curious.
2006-06-15 16:05:52
480.   Marty
479 The name sounds familiar, but I can't place it.
2006-06-15 16:06:25
481.   Icaros
479

I posted the other day about wanting a Dan Uggla for the Dodgers.

2006-06-15 16:06:33
482.   Jon Weisman
I'll show my ignorance right now and say that I hadn't heard it until 10 minutes ago - or at least it hadn't registered.
2006-06-15 16:08:45
483.   Jon Weisman
481 - I probably thought you were talking about a shoe.
2006-06-15 16:09:20
484.   natepurcell
479

i heard of him only because he was on the dbacks southern league team last yr and they played the Suns alot.

2006-06-15 16:09:41
485.   Vishal
[361] i just want to say... stop the inanity!!
2006-06-15 16:10:05
486.   JoeyP
I'd give Billingsley a solid C+ for his performance today. He didnt get through 6ip in pitchers park against a poor offense, but he didnt do badly either. He wasnt dominant, but still showed enough to keep him in the rotation as a #3 or #4.

This was a big win considering Oakland's won 8 straight and will probably win 2/3 this weekend. Lowe vs Saarloos is in the Dodgers favor, but I dont think the other two are.

2006-06-15 16:10:14
487.   Johnson
479 I've got him on a fantasy team (he had good numbers for a waiver wire 2B when Brian Roberts went down and I needed a replacement), so yes I've heard of Uggla. But I wouldn't have known of him otherwise.
2006-06-15 16:10:39
488.   JoeyP
Uggla was a Rule V'er.
He's doing quite well.
2006-06-15 16:10:47
489.   Vishal
i hadn't heard about dan uggla until he started tearing it up around the beginning of may.
2006-06-15 16:11:30
490.   Icaros
I saw Uggla hit two HRs against SF at the Phone Booth last week.
2006-06-15 16:11:50
491.   underdog
I'd give Billingsley a B myself.

Uggla I had heard of before, partially because I watched a couple of the Marlins-Giants games a week or so ago, and once you've heard "Uggla" you shan't forget it. He's a pretty solid hitter actually.

2006-06-15 16:11:54
492.   Uncle Miltie
479- one of the best 2nd baseman in baseball this year (in the NL, I know Utley has been better). Probably won't make the all star team because he's on the same team as Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez. Bud Selig won't allow the Marlins to have 3 all stars. If Josh Johnson keeps it up, he should make the all star team too (but won't)
2006-06-15 16:14:24
493.   scareduck
464 - the difference between those two trades is absurd. No way the Angels pull the trigger on the first one, and no way the D'Rays bite on the second.
2006-06-15 16:14:31
494.   Jon Weisman
NL rookie HR leaders:
http://tinyurl.com/pez9v
2006-06-15 16:16:55
495.   Uncle Miltie
Wasn't it Harold Reynolds who called Cliff Lee the best left handed pitcher in baseball? Yes, he thought he was better than Johan Santana. He also said that Bobby Crosby was going to win the MVP in the AL this year. Let's hope that he doesn't put a curse on any of our up and coming players.
2006-06-15 16:20:30
496.   Johnson
494 The Dodgers have 4 2/3 of the top 15 on that list (Cody Ross hit 2/3 of his with us) - and those 5 players are the 5 players in top 15 with the fewest AB. Kind of interesting.
2006-06-15 16:23:54
497.   Johnson
494 Another note...Prince Fielder is impressive with 12 HRs, but if you extend Matt Kemp's improbably hot start out to the number of ABs Fielder has had, Kemp would have 38 HR. OK, so that's not gonna happen, but just a bit of small sample size fun.
2006-06-15 16:24:01
498.   the OZ
495 He would have to know who our players are before being able to curse them. I'm not sure he could name half of the Dodgers' roster.
2006-06-15 16:33:46
499.   scareduck
479 - yes I had. Now, will all pitchers who give up a homer against him be declared to have been "hit with an Uggla stick"?
2006-06-15 16:37:03
500.   sakesake
A little OT, but does anyone know why Clayton Kershaw hasnt signed yet?
Show/Hide Comments 501-550
2006-06-15 16:37:13
501.   Andrew Shimmin
Today is the day when FAs signed in the off season can finally be traded, right?
2006-06-15 17:09:51
502.   Ken Arneson
479 Uggla is a Swedish word meaning "owl", so it stood out to me the first time I saw it, which was last year some time. I've been kinda following him ever since.
2006-06-15 17:32:23
503.   thinkblue0
*I'd trade him.

(to Atlanta for Chipper Jones, but we've already been over this) *

no offense, but worst. trade. ever.

2006-06-15 17:35:36
504.   ToyCannon
Nice graduation column up top.

I'm surprised so many are questioning Grady's decision to sit JD. Seems obvious to me that JD is hurting and he's being rested or didn't you all notice those pansy swings he took yesterday, very unlike JD. It is not like Grady wants to have the bad Cruz in the lineup if he doesn't have to. If everyone is healthy the optimal OF lineup would be
RHP - Drew/Lofton/Kemp
LHP - Drew/Kemp/Cruz

Broxton has been dominating but those 4 home runs in 20 innings are disconcerting just as much as Kuo's command is. Baez pitched his best inning since April. Furcal is really starting to irk me. The 3 game series showed some ugly defense from the Dodgers as the longitudely and depth perception impaired Lofton and the just plain bad fielding by Furcal to some just slow reactions by our outfielders left me cringing all week. Of course Aybar didn't help any today.

If you take away Ethier's 5/5 game against the Angels what do you have?

2006-06-15 17:38:57
505.   Jon Weisman
504 - The first two homers Broxton allowed were in blowout victories, when his job was just to throw strikes.

"If you take away Ethier's 5/5 game against the Angels what do you have?"

Are we taking away five hits in five at-bats from every other player? Then we can answer.

2006-06-15 17:39:17
506.   Greg S
Okay, what time does the game start tonight?

Doh!

2006-06-15 17:39:18
507.   ToyCannon
Seems hard to believe that you can follow baseball and not know who Uggla is but then I'm a junkie so maybe it is not healthy to not only know who Uggla is but to know the complete starting lineup for the Devil Rays and that Kevin Stocker is Delino Deshields to TB fans.
2006-06-15 17:42:03
508.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
NL rookie OPS leaders (min 50 PA)
http://tinyurl.com/n3vrd
Yowza!
2006-06-15 17:43:47
509.   Greg S
Is there anything better than a Thursday night end of the week when you're leaving for a 3-day mini vacation to watch the Dodgers play 3? There probably is. But I prefer to not figure it out and instead be thankful!
Enjoy the weekend, I sure plan to!
2006-06-15 17:58:47
510.   ddger
Dbacks losing 8-1 to Giants at end of 8. We will be alone in 1st place tommorrow.

Nomar .351 and Rolen .355 now.

2006-06-15 18:09:19
511.   Steve
Tribune's bonds are rated "Odalis." Go figure.
2006-06-15 18:09:28
512.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 508

I wish we could have held on to Ross, although it's not as if he'd have any playing time right now. That being said, I think I'd prefer him on the roster to Cruz, although Cruz has been quite good against lefties.

WWSH

2006-06-15 18:11:52
513.   Jon Weisman
507 - I plead guilty. Florida flies pretty low on my radar screen, and I'm usually looking to see how Joe Borchard or Reggie Abercrombie are doing. Clearly, I needed an education.

By the way, I hope 505 didn't sound snarky - I didn't mean it to be. It's just that taking away a player's best game doesn't tell us anything new - it will impact the player with fewer at-bats more, showing that he has more to prove, which we basically knew already. You could just as easily take away his 0 for 5 game.

2006-06-15 18:15:21
514.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 512

BTW, I don't mean to imply that I actually thought Ned et al should have DFAd Cruz for Ross. That's too risky a move with a young, unproven player, who had even lost prospect status the last few seasons due to injuries, but Ross could have been a nice 4OF at league minimum for the next 2 or 3 years. Repko or Ethier might very well be the same, though, if they don't end up sticking as real regulars.

WWSH

2006-06-15 18:21:37
515.   bhsportsguy
Nate: I'm heading out but comparing Elbert's first half at Vero to his year at Columbus, still appears he has some control issues but otherwise appears to be on track for a promotion to AA in about a month or so, what do you think?
2006-06-15 18:46:47
516.   Sam DC
I knew Uggla, but he comes through here a lot.

I got XM for my car for Father's Day (a little early). I had the pleasure today of being able to listen to the 8th and 9th inning as a result. What a cool win.

Now forgive me for a brief moment.

OMG OMG OMG the Padres announcers are so horrible. I thought the Nationals' guys were bad; forget it, they are Vin-like compared to these dudes. At one point they were talking about the Dodgers rookie of the year streak, but they couldn't get them all, so the cranky guys says, "who cares, it isn't about us." Earlier, they were talking about Nomar, and the one guy says, "how was his defense at shortstop, I never really saw him play that." "If he was any good, you'd think the Dodgers would put him at short and get someone else for first base." This is paraphrased and I'm just not conveying how grossly uninformed they came across as. Finally, the color guy three times in the eighth inning said, "Hey, you gotta stay positive. Get a couple guys on, you might pop one, gotta stay positive."

I really haven't conveyed how bad this was nor how close to crashing my car it brought me. Alas.

2006-06-15 18:46:55
517.   natepurcell
515

eh maybe, I might just stick him at vero for the whole year or until he gets that walk rate below 3.5

2006-06-15 18:47:17
518.   dzzrtRatt
Hey Jon, I'm last in the queue to say this, but I liked the graduation day column up top. Nice writing.

Did your niece know what the principal even meant when he said "competencies?" Sheesh. What a graduate-education-school word! Are you supposed to be ready to typecast yourself at such a young age?

506 Prime Ticket, or whatever they're calling Fox Sports West 2 nowadays, is replaying the game at 7 AND 11 p.m. tonight.

2006-06-15 18:51:43
519.   Bob Timmermann
516

Sam, have you missed my Ted Leitner diatribes in the past?

Those are some of my best work.

2006-06-15 18:53:52
520.   Sam DC
519 I have, or I didn't appreciate them at time, but I can't wait for the book.
2006-06-15 19:03:14
521.   Sam DC
Sorry -- obviously, that should read "I haven't". Sheesh.
2006-06-15 19:07:56
522.   Eric L
519 I'll repost a bit of a Leitner diatribe of my own. It should be noted that I don't have the distaste for him that Bob does.

A couple of years ago, a buddy and I happened to be in San Diego for the weekend. He hadn't been to Petco yet so we decided to go to a game. It just so happened that it was Tony Gwynn night. Leitner was the MC. Overall it was a nice ceremony. The Padres retired his number and all that jazz.

Somehow during the ceremony, Leitner got on a little rant about Garvey going south for the 1984 season (his number is retired in SD btw). He somehow said that it was the first time the Padres had "gotten over on the guys from the North".

I thought it really didn't have much to do with Gwynn's career and wasn't necessary (and as a Dodger fan, I didn't like it). It was the first time that I realized that folks in San Diego had an inferiority complex about LA even though they live in a nicer city.

2006-06-15 19:09:19
523.   Uncle Miltie
519- I hate the Padres announcers more than Jeff Kent
2006-06-15 19:12:24
524.   Bob Timmermann
522

I strongly disagree with the notion that San Diego is a nicer city than Los Angeles.

But you did distill the Leitner experience.

2006-06-15 19:12:35
525.   the OZ
522 I've lived in San Diego and disagree about it being a nicer city. It's also definitely harder to find work that pays well enough to meet the cost of living.

The best parts of San Diego are great, but so are the best parts of LA.

2006-06-15 19:23:34
526.   Eric L
524,525 Outside of Dodger stadium, I just really dislike going to LA. Take my comments with a grain of salt.

I should mention in describing the Leitner experience that the Padres were playing the Rockies that night. It was even more confusing that Leitner brought up the Dodgers-Padres "rivalry".

I also learned that night that wierd angles at ballparks aren't that cute if you are sitting in the wrong area. With getting tickets so late, we sat in the upper right field area (similar to the outer reserve section at DS) in the last row. Not that I would choose to, but I would much rather sit in similar seats at DS. At least if a ball gets hit down the RF line at DS, you can still see what happens.

2006-06-15 19:25:02
527.   dzzrtRatt
The Padres just fired their batting coach, Dave Magadan, and replaced him with Merv Rettenmund.

Seems like a ridiculous move. But maybe Ted Lightner suggested it.

Ted Lightner makes Steve Lyons sound like John F. Kennedy. If he has even one fan, I'd be shocked.

2006-06-15 19:30:48
528.   Sam DC
527 As ridiculous as the Nationals today firing their bullpen coach, John Wetteland (no replacement named)?

They're still OK on ex-Dodger coaches, though, with Davey Lopes coaching first base.

What does a first base coach do?

2006-06-15 19:33:47
529.   Eric L
What does a first base coach do?

They yell "BACK" alot...

2006-06-15 19:42:28
530.   dzzrtRatt
When a batter hits a single, he needs someone he can bump fists with. The umpire would be inappropriate. So they put a coach out there for that.

I still am puzzled by the batting coach getting replaced. How is a batting coach supposed to take over in mid-season? Isn't most of the work done in Spring Training, and the coach's job during the year is to remind each hitter of what their particular tendency is? It would seem like coming in mid-season is of absolutely no value. They might as well just not have a batting coach.

2006-06-15 19:46:21
531.   Bob Timmermann
A first base coach also tells runners on first base "If there is a ground ball hit to second, don't let the guy tag you."
2006-06-15 19:47:44
532.   Bob Timmermann
526

Once you bring up comments about San Diego being nicer than L.A. and you mention Ted Leitner, you will raise people's hackles.

My hackles are really high right now.

2006-06-15 19:53:26
533.   das411
So suppose your Twins are beating the Red Sox 4-2 and your closer Joe Nathan is in his second inning of work. After coming into a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the 8th and "escaping" with only two runs scored, he allows a sharp single to Alex Cora bringing up former Twin David Ortiz and Man-Ram himself.

Do you leave Nathan in, having thrown 31 pitches already and one out away from his first career two-inning save?

2006-06-15 19:54:46
534.   Eric L
532 Even without raising your hackles, they are still higher than mine.

I should note that my hackles have been raised all day.

2006-06-15 19:57:06
535.   Bob Timmermann
A funny post about Ted Leitner from Gaslamp Ball
http://www.gaslampball.com/story/2005/11/11/181646/58
2006-06-15 19:57:40
536.   Eric L
533 I dunno..

It looks like Nathan just got jobbed on the belt-high pitch to Manny (on the 2-1 pitch).

But if Joe Nathan is the best option, I think you stick with him.

2006-06-15 19:57:53
537.   Bob Timmermann
Leave Nathan in. I think he'll strike out Ramirez!
2006-06-15 20:01:16
538.   Eric L
Can I say that I am really glad the Dodgers won today.. it sort of made my day...
2006-06-15 20:02:00
539.   Bob Timmermann
538
It likely made Ted Leitner sad however.
2006-06-15 20:10:34
540.   Greg Brock
MLB.com Headline: Angels face Royals Challenge...And they wonder why the commish has no credibility
2006-06-15 20:21:06
541.   Eric L
539 Even better...
2006-06-15 20:34:44
542.   Greg Brock
Bob, I was scrolling around the interweb, and saw that you attempted to perpetuate the "Jack Palance/Marissa Tomei" urban legend. Very naughty. No presenter has ever messed up an Oscar announcement (except for when Charlton Heston announced Ordinary People over Raging Bull...Heston had to be drunk).
2006-06-15 21:07:52
543.   thinkingblue
"who cares, it isn't about us." Earlier, they were talking about Nomar, and the one guy says, "how was his defense at shortstop, I never really saw him play that." "If he was any good, you'd think the Dodgers would put him at short and get someone else for first base." This is paraphrased and I'm just not conveying how grossly uninformed they came across as. Finally, the color guy three times in the eighth inning said, "Hey, you gotta stay positive. Get a couple guys on, you might pop one, gotta stay positive."

If you hadn't told me, I'd guess that was Rex Hudler.

2006-06-15 21:09:38
544.   thinkingblue
510.

When does Nomar not swing? Do they keep that statistic?
2006-06-15 21:10:19
545.   thinkingblue
edit 544

When doesn't Nomar swing?

2006-06-15 21:15:06
546.   Eric L
543 IIRC, the color guy is Tim Flannery. I think the Padres do the rotating head announcer thing so Flannery, Leitner, or Coleman could be the color guy at any time.
2006-06-15 21:20:03
547.   kegtron
"Matty...Matt...Matty...what are you still doing here in San Diego?"
2006-06-15 21:45:29
548.   natepurcell
http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/9508991

fluff piece on our rookies.

2006-06-15 21:47:51
549.   natepurcell
from that article. its nice to see Alomar had the same opinion as many other Dodger fans

"His first game (against Washington on May 28), he came in and struck out three times in a row on high sliders and we're going, 'Oh my God, he has no clue.'

2006-06-15 21:54:56
550.   Greg Brock
I once saw Matt Kemp go 6 for 3 with 9 homers.
Show/Hide Comments 551-600
2006-06-15 21:55:31
551.   ToyCannon
513
I didn't think it was snarky but I disagreed with your comment. Maybe I'm being Oldbear stubborn on this but in a small sample size of Ethier's 97 ab's, if you take away a 0-5 game it doesn't make near the difference as opposed to the 5/5. A 300 hitter becomes a 250 hitter going one way and a 315 hitter going the other way. Ethier's line instead of 299/367/495 becomes something like 250/317/434 and instead of everyone clamoring for him to start they realize that other then one game he's been less then ordinary for a corner outfielder. If you take away his 0 for 5 game then his new line would be
315/382/521 for a new ops of 909 an increase of 47 points as opposed to a drop of 112. I guess it might be a silly point but I hate to see a player overvalued because of one game and right now Ethier is overvalued in my opinion.
2006-06-15 21:57:30
552.   Greg Brock
Matt Kemp can stretch a leadoff single into a grand slam.
2006-06-15 21:58:10
553.   natepurcell
Chad and Martin are like two peas in a pod. from latimes

And, catcher Russell Martin said, Billingsley hardly revealed his slider.

"He's still got more weapons in the arsenal," Martin said.

The way Billingsley tells it, Martin is one of those weapons. The two have worked together since rookie ball. At triple-A Las Vegas this season, Billingsley had a 2.04 ERA before the Dodgers recalled Martin, a 5.80 ERA after.

"I've had to call my own game since Russ left," Billingsley said.

On Thursday, he shook off Martin once.

"He's a great pitcher," Martin said, "and he will be for a long time."

2006-06-15 22:00:07
554.   Greg Brock
Kemp aside, if there are two guys I want to see on this team in seven years, it's Billingsley and Martin...And Kemp...Kemp too.
2006-06-15 22:02:09
555.   natepurcell
Cody Ross rules. After being hit in the face with a pitch, the next day he homers.

I wish we still had him.

2006-06-15 22:03:49
556.   natepurcell
http://tinyurl.com/mweaj

great scott elbert article for anyone that cares.

2006-06-15 22:05:29
557.   Greg Brock
Okay, you have so many positions open, and so many prospects...If you keep three and trade the rest/don't pan out, who makes the list? My three bets are Kemp, Martin, and LaRoche. I'd love to believe in Guzman/Aybar/Loney/DeWitt, but not over these guys. Any disagreements?
2006-06-15 22:13:22
558.   regfairfield
557 I would go LaRoche, Billingsley, and Kemp. I'm leaving Martin off the list because he could be replaced by Navarro. While LaRoche makes it despite our infield glut simply because I like the guy.
2006-06-15 22:14:29
559.   DeucesAreWild
Hey Jon,

I enjoyed your post, while also finding the following somewhat coincidental:

1) My wife teaches 6th grade at an elementary school in Culver City.
2) The 6th grade graduation was also on Wednesday.

But I didn't think much of it given the shear number of graduations going on this week. For the heck of it, when I got home from work today I asked her if the kids sang a Green Day song during graduation. She gave me the "how did you know that?" look. I filled her in on your post, and sure enough there's a Weisman in her class. It sounds like my wife taught your neice this year (or else it's an even bigger coincidence...)

Small world :-)

2006-06-15 22:14:36
560.   natepurcell
why do i only have to choose 3?
2006-06-15 22:16:31
561.   JoeyP
Cody Ross might turn into a David Dellucci type role player. He's in a great situation with the Marlins getting some pt.

I dont really consider Aybar a prospect anymore. I think he's a solid player. At best he'll be a Marcus Giles/Mark Loretta, and at worst he'll be Placido Polanco.

Polanco was at one time traded for Scott Rolen, so Aybar isnt an untouchable. But I'd have to trade Aybar for something really really good if I were to trade him. Same thing with Navarro. Its much easier to trade guys that havent played in the majors yet, rather than established youngsters. And Navarro/Aybar have established something, albeit in limited time. They both can play and both are cheap for the next 3yrs. Both with upside.

2006-06-15 22:17:15
562.   das411
Random Q but semi-related to Jon's original post, about the whole generation gap thing. Does anybody remember a quote from Dave Grohl a few years ago, when he said (to paraphrase) "kids today look at me like I'm Neil Young...and I'm only 35 years old!" Anyone?

557 - You keep Billingsley and trade LaRoche for Miggy C or BJ Upton!

2006-06-15 22:18:45
563.   Greg Brock
560 Because that's the game, Nate. You can either play with the other kids, or go to the library. Recess is a tough place.
2006-06-15 22:19:34
564.   JoeyP
There's usually more girls at the library though.
2006-06-15 22:21:35
565.   Greg Brock
564 I met my first elementary school "girlfriend" at the library. Roald Dahl is such a chick magnet.
2006-06-15 22:25:55
566.   StolenMonkey86
I'm not gonna check and see if anyone else said it, but that Green Day song is actually called "Good Riddance."
2006-06-15 22:27:46
567.   natepurcell
I dont really consider Aybar a prospect anymore. I think he's a solid player. At best he'll be a Marcus Giles/Mark Loretta, and at worst he'll be Placido Polanco.

Well, Aybar did past the 150 MLB AB threshold so yes, he isnt a prospect anymore.

2006-06-15 22:33:56
568.   natepurcell
563

You can't make me choose! You just can't!

2006-06-15 22:34:32
569.   sanchez101
I wish people (ie the media) would include Dioner when talking about the young kids. one writer compared him to wally pipp! c'mon, this guy's YOUNGER than Martin. Now I love Martin, he's the catcher of the future, he's becoming everything Bill Plascke thought Paul LoDuca was, but Navarro is fine young player. I just hope that Colletti doesnt let Navarro go for nothing, I can just see Beane stealing him in a three-way deal for another "proven closer0".
2006-06-15 22:35:24
570.   regfairfield
566 But if people called it by its actual name, it wouldn't have become the graduation theme for every school since 1998 (heck, it was my Middle School graduation theme).
2006-06-15 22:37:52
571.   Greg Brock
568 Nate, we all come to that point in our life where we're asked "Which prospects do you covet?" It's a tough choice, we lose sleep, and we pray on it. At some point, we all have to make the tough choices...Nate, I'm asking you to answer the call...Which three prospects do you covet. I know you'll do the right thing.
2006-06-15 22:43:33
572.   CanuckDodger
Is it only me that notices that every other post by Regfairfield is on the theme that Martin is replaceable with Navarro, or that Navarro might be better? No, Reg, Martin is a vastly superior talent. This is something of a scouts versus statheads issue. Scouts have said since before either of them played a single game for the Dodgers that Martin will be an All-Star while Navarro will be lucky to have career as a back-up catcher in the majors. But at Baseball Prospectus, before the season, Nate Silver's PECOTA system had Navarro's career offensive numbers being better than Martin's. I think PECOTA is pretty much useless at projecting the major league career numbers of minor league players, and PECOTA is certainly not something that can make any kind of projection about things like throwing out major league base-stealers, blocking balls in the dirt, calling a game, or framing pitches just right. I think the scouts are right about Martin, and about Navarro too.
2006-06-15 22:45:18
573.   natepurcell
Billinglsey, Kemp, Kershaw.

My faith in Kershaw is unwarranted and will probably come back to bite me in the ass.

2006-06-15 22:47:59
574.   Jon Weisman
566 - Yeah, I realize. But that's not what the sixth-grade graduation program calls it. Too harsh, I think.

559 - Weird! I just e-mailed my brother with that. In another coincidence, I found out today thanks to my post that my brother-in-law (my brother's wife's brother-in-law, actually) and I were in sixth grade together at Saticoy. Not the same classroom, but the same class.

2006-06-15 22:48:23
575.   Steve
Is it only me that notices that every other post by Regfairfield is on the theme that Martin is replaceable with Navarro, or that Navarro might be better?

Yes, but thanks for playing anyway.

2006-06-15 22:49:49
576.   Greg Brock
Canuck:
PECOTA is absolutely useless (IMO) unless the player in question has, at least, 600 plate appearances a the major league level. I don't know what the SABR folk have to say about it, but I've compared enough players to have empirical evidence. What is more, I can't find a single objective source that rates Navarro as a better long-term player than Martin.
I feel neither negatively nor positively about Navarro, I just know that he is the inferior player compared to Martin, and that his value as a trading chip might never be higher. Take that for what it's worth.
2006-06-15 22:52:00
577.   Greg Brock
573 NATE PICKED KERSHAW...SHAME...MOCKERY...DISDAIN...Aw heck, you're probably right. I just haven't been outraged for at least a month.
2006-06-15 22:53:03
578.   Jon Weisman
572 - I'd notice it if it were true, but Regfairfield posts about a great many things.

I do think we already debated Martin-Navarro to death, for what that's worth. I will say I'm no fan of PECOTA, either. But I don't recall any majority of scouts, or even a plurality, saying that Navarro would be lucky to have a career as a backup catcher. I think if you asked people today whether Navarro can aspire to be at least Paul Bako or Rob Bowen, they'd respond in the affirmative.

I think you can prefer Martin unequivocally without trashing Navarro.

2006-06-15 22:53:58
579.   sanchez101
572. I think PECOTA has a hard time with players that show different abilities at different times. I dont think it was wrong in regards to Navarro, they system is only as good as the information that you plug into it and Navarro is younger and coming into the season had succeeded at the major league level while Martin hadn't seen AAA. But it underrated Martin as well as LaRoche. I think becuase their statistical profiles were so dynamic. LaRoche hit for average at one level, power at another, and plate discipline at a third. Martin hit for average in 2005, but little power, in 2004 he hit .250 but with good power. PECOTA also seems lacking in evaluating pitching prospects. But PECOTA has its uses, and at times makes the scouts look silly.
2006-06-15 22:55:07
580.   natepurcell
577

I guess I might have a "thing" for big Texan lefties that have a heavy fastball that sits 93-96 with a plus curveball who wants to model his pitching after Johan Santana.

Martin and Laroche are the safer picks though.

2006-06-15 23:03:28
581.   Vaudeville Villain
Brad Ausmus, Jason Larue, and Henry Blanco have all been everyday catchers in their major league careers.

I think Dioner has already shown he can be better than those guys.

2006-06-15 23:03:48
582.   Greg Brock
Ah, young lefties from Texas with plus fastballs. Maybe we can trade Kershaw for Zambrano. Somewhere, my Met friends are crying. And by crying, I mean burning Duquette in effigy. Hope you have some Duquette effigies, Bob.
2006-06-15 23:06:09
583.   Greg Brock
For my money, I'll take Martin, Kemp, and Offerman. Offerman looks like a can't miss.
2006-06-15 23:07:01
584.   sanchez101
What's worse, trading the best pitcher your organization has developed in decades for the venezualan kaz ishii, or getting duped by Chuck LaMar?
2006-06-15 23:09:57
585.   Jon Weisman
551 - He might be overvalued, but I have just never liked that argument. He's clearly capable of going 5 for 5 on a given night, so adding that to the .751 OPS he'd have under your scenario if you took the 5 for 5 away, I don't see what's so bad.

Take away three singles, a double and a triple from Kenny Lofton, and his OPS would be .730. It's only at .779 now. Yes, he gets added points for the steals, but his arm is shot, and he's not as likely to improve as Ethier. Given that Lofton is the guy that people want Ethier to replace, the clamor doesn't seem so bad. And I'm more or less a Lofton defender on this site.

2006-06-15 23:12:32
586.   JoeyP
I brought this up the other day in a thread talking to CanuckFan about prospects. He's wrong about a Stats/Scouts argument in terms of Russell Martin. Martin wasnt even liked by the scouts when he started his career. All of them thought Mike Nixon was going to be the Dodgers next catcher bc of his tools. It wasnt until Martin started posting an insane BB/K ratio at each level he played at did he get noticed.

And actually, lots of scouts did like Navarro when he was in the Yankees organization. If anything, Martin is the "stat" head player, while Navarro is the scouts' type. I think its too early to tell whose going to be better tho bc Navarro is in fact younger and had bee playing well up until he got hurt. And his rep before he got to LA was as a defensive catcher.

2006-06-15 23:16:15
587.   ToyCannon
Just came back from a elementary school talent show. It is cool how the movie "School of Rock" has gotten kids playing in bands again. We've got one band full of 10/11 year olds who probably rock better then my old high school bands. I wonder if Pink Floyd ever figured that 30 something years later their "Brick in the Wall" would be danced to by 9 year olds? I know that when I was in elementary school in 66-68 we'd never heard of songs from the 30's.
2006-06-15 23:16:24
588.   Greg Brock
Lofton is a proven commodity (for better or worse). I'd rather give the job to a kid with potential (I hate that word) than a 38 year old noodle arm. You know what you get with Kenny. Ethier could do better, or he could do worse. I'd like to give Andre the opportunity.
2006-06-15 23:17:54
589.   sanchez101
I can imagine the smoke coming out of canuck's ears ... btw, Nixon was not thought of higher than Martin, BA ranked them back-to-back in the 2004 handbook, they thought they both had a chance but neither was a sure thing.
2006-06-15 23:18:41
590.   Jon Weisman
586 - Mike Nixon? I missed his moment in the scout sun.

Where is all this unanimity of scout opinion coming from, by the way? Is it Baseball America?

I do recall Navarro being touted as a good defensive catcher as recently as 2005. I don't know if everyone was saying it, but some were.

2006-06-15 23:20:23
591.   Jon Weisman
590 - Of course, I missed Dan Uggla's moment in the scout sun too, so there you go.
2006-06-15 23:21:17
592.   Jon Weisman
587 - What effect will "Nacho Libre" have, then? :)

I watched "Dirty Pretty Things" tonight. Better than advertised, I thought. I seem to recall it getting mixed reviews.

2006-06-15 23:22:15
593.   Greg Brock
587 I'm just glad to hear that the kids are playing instruments. I tell every girl I date that our prospective child must be able to play Rubber Soul, the entire album, on the guitar. They look at me like I'm from outer space...Girls are so weird.
2006-06-15 23:24:35
594.   CanuckDodger
578 -- Baseball America's writers are the ones who reported the scouts' antipathy for Navarro, and of course they are the ones in communication with scouts on a daily basis. And Jim Callis labelled Navarro back-up catcher material even after Navarro's 2005 MLB stint, presumably based on what scouts told him. Non-Dodger fans' opinions aside, WE have actually seen what Navarro is like defensively. We have seen how he moves awkwardly behind the plate. We have seen his back-handed stabs at balls in the dirt. We have seen him try to throw out base-runners with futility. The issue of whether or not Navarro can be a starting major league catcher or even a back-up has little to do with his ability to hit, which is probably what infuriates statheads most of all. Unless a catcher's hitting repetoire includes Mike Piazza-type power, a catcher's defensive sins are not forgiven by major league teams. The Baseball Prospectus people can lie awake at night thinking up ever more witty put-downs for Mike Matheny and Brad Ausmus, but those two offensive black holes are proof that major league managers like Grady Little are not kidding when they say, as Little said in spring training, that they don't care what a catcher does with the bat, as long as he is doing his defensive job well. Even back-up catchers are expected to be good defensively, and sometimes, depending on the team, they are expected to be even better defensively than the starter.
2006-06-15 23:25:26
595.   Greg Brock
592 Dirty Pretty Things is a very good movie.
2006-06-15 23:26:37
596.   ToyCannon
Two girls played "Wild Thing" by the Troggs. The singer was a girl from my wife's class and wasn't very good but the guitar player was solid not that it is a very hard song but were talking a 3rd grader.
2006-06-15 23:35:21
597.   ToyCannon
594
So given Martin's offensive skills, his pitch calling skills, and his defensive skills it looks to me like we have an incredibly valuable player. I often wondered how many systems would have had the foresite to move Martin from 3b to catcher.

Loved your BP comments.

2006-06-15 23:44:37
598.   Vishal
i must confess that i'm a little conflicted about this weekend's series in oakland. i just hope the games are good and close and that nobody gets hurt. both teams could use the help in the standings... so hopefully neither team sweeps.
2006-06-15 23:45:08
599.   CanuckDodger
586 -- Martin began his career as a third baseman. As soon as he converted to catcher and played in the minors as a catcher, 2003, Baseball America listed him above Mike Nixon on the catcher depth chart in their next Prospect Handbook. Both the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook note multiple criticisms of Nixon's defense, and the 2003 edition says that some scouts question whether Nixon can remain a catcher. Of course Nixon is now not even a baseball player, but is playing football in college.
2006-06-15 23:47:15
600.   JoeyP
I'd say Navarro's CERA is proof enough that he's doing a fine enough job catching. Its not like Martin is some shut down catcher when it comes to the running game. As for WP's, again thats reflected in CERA. Those runs are earned even if the runners move up on WP's.

Overall, I think Navarro's done a good job behind the plate.

Show/Hide Comments 601-650
2006-06-15 23:52:31
601.   natepurcell
from simers

A recent shoulder injury probably will keep him from playing against the Dodgers this weekend, which means he probably won't get a chance to bump into Kent any time soon.

so we wont even see bradley play this weekend. when is this guy not hurt?

2006-06-16 00:08:11
602.   LAT
Jon,

Just got home and read your wonderful post. I was especially enjoyed it because I am just getting home from my daughter's 6th grade graduation and dinner celebration. It was very moving as my daughter goes to a fairly new school and this was the inaugural class, i.e. their first graduation. Not a dry eye in the place. Songs sang by the kids (The band calls themselves "Shul of Rock."):

I believe I can fly (R. Kelly, I think)
Hello/Goodbye (Beatles)
Imagine (John Lennon)

All graduation standards. (Although maybe an R. Kelly song at a kids event is not the best idea.)

Celebration dinner at Bennie Hanna. Now we all smell like shrimp and chicken, but she never tires of the onion volcano. Finished off by a Baskin Robbins Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake.

Proof that EBay has everything. I found the perfect graduation gift for her:

http://tinyurl.com/qw86p

2006-06-16 00:11:58
603.   ToyCannon
LAT, you've got a great daughter, I'm sure many posters would love to have their children have the level of interest in baseball that she has. Best of luck.
2006-06-16 00:14:39
604.   ToyCannon
601
Carl Everett

Because so many DT posters hate Tomko and love the A's it will be even sweeter when Tomko defeats them tomorrow night. It he can't pitch a decent game against that lineup then I will concede defeat and will never post another line in his defense.

2006-06-16 00:16:14
605.   regfairfield
Gee, try to get a little studying done, and I get called out.

The biggest endorsement I've ever given Navarro is that he is the best catcher the Dodgers have right now. After seeing Martin play a little more, I'm starting to fall more and more into his camp. Since you seem to be constantly watching my posts on the Dodgers catchers, you'll notice that I believe Martin is the catcher of the future.

The reason why I would give up Martin if I could only pick three prospects is that he has the most capable backup who shares the advantages of being young and cheap. If I was rating them on shear ability, Martin would probably squeak in the top three along with Broxton, right after Billingsley and LaRoche.

I've said many a time that it takes a large amount of at bats before I can trust a player. Last time I said something about this, Navarro and Martin had the same amount of plate apperances and equivalant stats. 50 plate appearances later, Martin is destroying Navarro both offensively and defensively (which goes to show you how silly it is to evaluate a player with less than 100 at bats.) I've been burned too many times by small sample size can't miss prospects to trust any player who comes up and has a couple of good weeks, heck, I'm just starting to get some faith in Aybar. If Martin keeps playing like this for another couple weeks, I'll be ready to fully embrace him. Until then, I remain skeptical.

2006-06-16 00:19:35
606.   Greg Brock
regfairfield loves Navarro, don't let him try to rewrite history. He's a Dioner shill. Just kidding, friend.
2006-06-16 00:21:50
607.   Uncle Miltie
Canuck, you are so wrong about Baseball Prospectus not liking Martin and prefering Navarro. The 2005 edition had Martin much likely of improving and breaking out, while they had Navarro as having a 43 % chance of collapsing.
On Navarro they said:
"His offensive game is centered entirely around batting average, so until that comes up there's really no point in getting excited"
They liked Martin
"A power/patience catcher who held his own at Vero Beach. So far during his career, he's walked more than he's struck out, a rare, attractive feat".
They commented that it was too early to judge his defense, though he's done well enough and mentioned that he's young enough to improve. From reading the entries on both players and looking at their PECOTA projections, I would say that BP liked Martin a lot better.

I think you're more upset with the things they have written about James Loney.
"Loney had a very nice season in the Pioneer League right out of high school, and has pretty much been in a tailspin since."

"He's young enough so that he can take a couple of shots at a given league, perhaps twice, and still have a very nice career"

"But we've now got 170 AB that say he's something of a prospect, and about 800 that say he's not."

Open up to us Canuck. Tell us the real reason why you hate BP.

Tell me why James Loney isn't any different than another prospect who had a great year at AAA and has since been a bust in Joe Thurston?

Thurston (age 22) in Vegas:
.334/.372/.506

Loney (age 22) in Vegas:
.367/.420/.509 (so far)

So Loney basically has a high batting average, walks a little bit more, but has less ISoP than Joe Thurston. Let me guess, Loney is different because he has all the tools, while Joe Thurston was just a scrappy overachiever.

601- that stinks. Can't they DH him?

2006-06-16 00:25:45
608.   LAT
Thanks Cannon. When I stood up and made a toast to her tonight I made her promise in front of her grandparents and cousins that she will always find time for us to go to a few games a year. She said I was crazy and that she would ALWAYS want to go to the games but I know eventually the Third Street Promonade, the Grove and the other stuff that preoccupies teenage girls will replace Dodger Stadium. In the meantime, we'll keep going to the ballpark and I'll keep the wolves at bay as long as I can.
2006-06-16 00:33:19
609.   ToyCannon
You never know, my niece is 28 and I'm fairly certain she enjoys going to a ballgame with her dad more then just about anything not boy related.

On a minor league note, the Vero Beach Dodger pitchers struck out 18 batters tonight using 6 different pitchers to accomplish the feat with our own Elbert throwing 4 innings and striking out 6. Carlos Santana continues to play 3b but has yet to get a hit since they moved him from the of to 3b.

2006-06-16 00:33:43
610.   Andrew Shimmin
605- Just answer the real question, would you: Do you now own, or have you ever owned, a laptop? Confess! CONFESS!
2006-06-16 00:38:34
611.   regfairfield
610 Drat, I've been outed.
2006-06-16 00:57:30
612.   Andrew Shimmin
611- I'd respond, but it just makes me so angry the way you laptop wielders try to horn in on the serious business of guessing what 22 year olds will end up doing over the course of their careers. It's really quite despicable. Don't you understand that your betters are tending to these things?
2006-06-16 02:43:27
613.   CanuckDodger
607 -- Uncle Miltie, quite a lot to address. First of all, I never said Baseball Prospectus "doesn't like Martin." I specifically referred to their PECOTA projections for Martin and Navarro, which you can check yourself. On another board, a Navarro apologist I argued with before the season cited those PECOTA projections to make a case for Navarro's superiority over Martin. Said PECOTA projections have Martin hitting .255/.348/.387 in 2010, and Navarro hitting .286/.371/.448 in the same year. I am not saying the projection for Navarro was generous. I don't doubt that he can hit. I am saying, however, that the projection for Martin was way too low, and as far as the real problem with Navarro is concerned, I said above that the issue isn't his offense, but his defense, and that defense is something that I don't think statheads are taking into account when they boost Navarro. The difference between Martin and Navarro's defensive abilities is huge, and it is relevent to the question of whether Navarro could ever be any kind of replacement for Martin.

You say you want me to tell you why I "hate" Baseball Prospectus. I don't hate them at all. I definitely have had some criticisms over time, like making PECOTA projections for minor leaguers, but I am hardly against them. I pay good money to read their premium content. I have bought their annuals for the last three years. I recently bought their authors' collection of essays, Baseball Between The Numbers. But there are areas of disagreement I have with statheads in general. I don't think they value defense enough, and to the extent they do value defense (they obviously aren't AGAINST defense), I think they place too much trust in dubious defensive metrics rather than scouts' observations, or even their own observations. Also, I think statheads can be monomaniacally obsessed with power, and are insufficiently appreciative of high batting averages. I also favor drafting high school players over college players, but BP's college-player bias isn't what it used to be, at least in part because of what Logan White has been doing with drafts that are very light on college players.

As for comparing Loney with the 2002 Joe Thurston, that is an interesting endeavor. Thurston certainly hit well in Vegas in 2002, and he was the same age then that Loney is now. You really want to know the differences? Loney's batting average is higher than Thurston's was, Loney actually walks quite a bit more than Thurston did (contrary to what you said about him walking only a "little" more), Loney is an excellent defensive player while Thurston was defensively crappy, Loney's swing is a thing of beauty while Thurston's had a serious "loop" in it, and Loney is not filled out physically while Thurston had no projection left in him. Scouts always disliked Thurston, while managers liked him because he hustled. Moreover, the scouts' belief that Thurston's 2002 was a fluke was proven correct when he followed up that season by hitting only .290/.345/.401 in the same league and on the same team. In short, Thurston regressed, likely because of the flaws in him that scouts were aware of all along.

2006-06-16 02:59:05
614.   Identity Crisis
Canuck. Do you have your own blog? If not, you should. I don't agree with everything you say but your arguements are always thought provoking.
2006-06-16 04:29:12
615.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 613

Could it be possible that Navarro's defensive problems in the bigs are more related to nerves than ability? I do in fact remember him having a defensive rep in the minors, which is why I found his awful defense on the big-league club so perplexing.

WWSH

2006-06-16 04:36:08
616.   CanuckDodger
614 -- Thanks for the compliment. I don't have a blog. It is a little more interesting dipping into the on-going converations of message boards and throwing out a few ideas, or criticisms. I post quite a bit at scout.com's Dodger board. People who haven't checked that board out might want to do that sometime. The prospect thread goes back nearly four years, and I and others have written an awful lot there that is, I think, worth taking a look at.
2006-06-16 04:46:06
617.   CanuckDodger
615 -- Up until 2004, scouting opinions on Navarro's defense were described by Baseball America as "mixed." However, in 2004 a consensus started to form that Navarro's defense was simply not good, and that opinion did not change in 2005. Navarro lost quickness the more his body filled out, while Martin seemed to steadily improve over the same period of time.
2006-06-16 04:52:07
618.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 617

Thanks, Canuck, for the info.

WWSH

2006-06-16 06:49:44
619.   Sam DC
Congratulations LAT on your daughter's graduation. She does seem like a great kid.

----

The Post article on Wetteland's axing is pretty startling. Seems to have been a combination of too many practical jokes and not enough respect for Frank. http://tinyurl.com/relel

2006-06-16 06:53:58
620.   Marty
598 Vishal sounds like he has a son on each team :)
2006-06-16 07:19:52
621.   bhsportsguy
Interesting comment from Padre's Chris Young on Clayton Kershaw.

Padres pitcher Chris Young is impressed with the Dodgers' first draft choice, Clayton Kershaw, a left-hander who pitched for the same high school as Young, Highland Park in Dallas. "He's tremendous," said Young, who attended one of Kershaw's games this year. "It was exciting to watch him, a lot of fun. He's certainly better than I was in high school." Young was no slouch, pitching for a state championship team as a senior and going 8-3 with a 1.70 ERA.

2006-06-16 07:27:11
622.   LAT
619. Thanks Sam. In addition to getting her a watch my mother and stepfather told her the other part of her gift is going with them to the 7/28 game.
2006-06-16 07:49:50
623.   Steve
This must be a fire zone what with all the straw.
2006-06-16 08:09:51
624.   Sam DC
Tom Boswell in his chat at washingtonpost.com: "Hey, Bud, kiss my grits."
2006-06-16 09:39:42
625.   Johnson
620 Do you suppose we got the better brother this time?

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