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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Aybar Sent Down
2006-06-20 16:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In a turn of events I think no one could have predicted, Ramon Martinez has essentially won the third-base job for the time being.

This year, Martinez has a .400 on-base percentage and .448 slugging percentage, while Willy Aybar has slumped to .364/.443. As a result, Aybar has been optioned to AAA Las Vegas to make room for the activation of Cesar Izturis.

While I wouldn't expect Martinez to hold at his current numbers, you can see Dodger manager Grady Little thinking that Martinez should be given the chance to see how long his hot streak can last, especially with Aybar's inconsistent defense.

Unfortunately for Aybar, he does not have the track record to get the deference that Rafael Furcal (.329/.335) has received. Furcal made an absolutely spectacular catch of a line drive in Oakland on Friday, but overall he has continued to struggle. But unlike the veteran with the $39 million contract, Aybar can be stashed in Las Vegas while the Dodgers assess the future of Izturis.

In announcing Aybar's demotion, Inside the Dodgers said that Izturis will see a little time at third base. So the position could continue to be a revolving door for a while.

Ultimately, the lesson is that veterans with guaranteed contracts may slump, but rookies with options may not. It takes a special talent to know when you should cut a veteran with superior numbers to retain a rookie with inferior numbers but the potential to get better. I'd take Aybar over Martinez in any one-on-one face-off, but even though it might not be the smartest thing to do, the safest thing is to keep them both in the organization.

* * *

Tonight's Game

Comments (339)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-20 16:20:00
1.   JoeyP
DePodesta wouldnt have made this move.

Basically Lucille, Alomar, Izturis, Jae Seo, and Joe Bemiel are on the 25 man roster.

Willy Aybar and Dionner Navarro are in AAA.

Thats all that needs to be said.

2006-06-20 16:23:13
2.   Jon Weisman
Don't really see this needing to turn into a DePo vs. Colletti thread. Neither GM had/has a perfect roster.
2006-06-20 16:23:19
3.   ssjames
2 No he wouldn't have made this move, because he still would have had Grabowski stinking up the bench.
2006-06-20 16:24:18
4.   regfairfield
The Navarro thing is understandable, I don't want him wasting away on the bench.

Same can be said for Aybar. If the Oakland series is any indication, he wasn't the starting third baseman anymore. Why waste him on the bench? Of course, he shouldn't be on the bench, but that's Little's fault, not Coletti's.

2006-06-20 16:24:25
5.   Jacob L
Is there any other way for this to end other than for Izturis to be traded? Also, why not just have Izzy play shortstop until the eventual deal goes down? I don't see any burning need to keep Furcal in the lineup every day.
2006-06-20 16:24:36
6.   s choir
1 WWPDPD? (What would Paul DePodesta do)
2006-06-20 16:24:52
7.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Aybar's Rate2 has been a disappointing 85.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:25:09
8.   Greg S
Before we get into too much analysis, I think we should at least take a moment to be happy about Izzy's return. He is a heck of a fun player to watch and is one of the few (two?) guys on the team who's been around a while. It stunk when we went down and I'm glad he's back.
2006-06-20 16:25:12
9.   regfairfield
7 Wow, it went up.
2006-06-20 16:25:57
10.   s choir
Better yet, what would Brian Boitano do?
2006-06-20 16:26:03
11.   regfairfield
5 Furcal is owed 39 million dollars. You have to be far worse than Furcal has been to get sent to the bench when you have that much coming to you.
2006-06-20 16:27:34
12.   JoeyP
I was happy when Izturis went down. He was a black hole at the plate, and Tracy continued to bat him leadoff.

Maybe as a utility infielder, Izzy will be more tolerable.

2006-06-20 16:28:19
13.   MartinBillingsley31
Ned over did it with the mediocre veterans, period.
Lofton is blocking prospects.
Mueller would be blocking prospects if he were healthy.
Izturis after this transaction is blocking aybar.

I'm all for signing mediocre veterans to minor league contracts for depth purposes, but not major league contracts when you have prospects available.

The reson why i'm not all up in arms about tomko or seo is because they are not blocking prospects, but that doesn't mean i like tomko/seo.

2006-06-20 16:29:50
14.   DodgerJoe
I don't mind Aybar getting sent down. It is better to work out his slump while playing in AAA than trying to figure it out on the bench playing once or twice a week.

Plus Ramon is playing well. Might as well give him a shot for a while. We're doing the same thing with Sele, right?

2006-06-20 16:30:28
15.   Jacob L
7 Add to that, he's basically on schedule based on the original recovery prognosis of mid-season. Does the fact that Furcal has been stinking up the joint make the utterly predictable/inevitable logjam easier or harder? Lets say he plays well during his "showcase" period. Everybody will be agitatin' for reinstatin' (as the full time starter at short).

Gosh, I hope Ned has a plan for this.

2006-06-20 16:31:08
16.   JoeyP
The problem with demoting Aybar, is that there's no way he'll get back up with the team. Even if Ramon Martinez tanks at 3rd, they wont demote him. Trading Izturis probably isnt gonna happen. Furcal's here to stay.

I think we've seen the last of Aybar for the year unless one of those 3 guys gets hurt. Its unfortunate, bc he's probably a better option than all 3.

2006-06-20 16:31:18
17.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Martinez in VERY LIMITED action at 3B has a Rate2 of 117.

I can't say I'm a big fan of this move, though. I'd still rather trade Izzy, whose defense slumped last season, and who I still see as a decidedly subpar hitter. But a trade isn't going to happen until Izzy gets some playing time, so I guess I can live with this.

And I did think Aybar was playing over his head to some extent. I think his bat will always be fine for us as a stand-in until LaRoche is ready or as a replacement for Kent, but I still am not persuaded he has the ceiling of a Kemp, Guzman, or LaRoche.

And the defense IS a really big issue. Runs prevented count as much as runs scored, and the Rate2 metric isn't just scouting voodoo.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:32:54
18.   Jon Weisman
13 - Izturis is not blocking Aybar. For whatever reason, Aybar has not outhit or outfielded Ramon Martinez. I like Aybar, and I think he will bounce back, but let's not make him into too much of a victim.

And of course, Izturis' contract is DePo's doing.

2006-06-20 16:33:17
19.   Greg S
I'd still rather trade Izzy, whose defense slumped last season

Slumped to only being about twice as good as Furcal's.

2006-06-20 16:33:58
20.   Sushirabbit
Maybe we can just trade Furcal and Baez to Atlanta for Smoltz and Ray. :-)
2006-06-20 16:36:48
21.   s choir
15 It's about marketing. It's harder to get casual fans to come to the ballpark and root for a bunch of no-names. So you start out the season with some big-name but injury-prone stars signed to short-term deals, wait for the inevitable career-ending injury, and then introduce your rookies one by one. By the end of the year, the fans love all your minimum wage rookies, you're in last place, and you're raking it in.
2006-06-20 16:36:54
22.   Sushirabbit
17- WWSH, or anyone else, what about Lofton's defense? I've been surprised at how good he is offensively, but there's no question the guy has cost some runs. I was trying to figure out if it evens out enough to justify keeping out in CF.
2006-06-20 16:37:02
23.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 19

But at least Furcal has shown the ability to hit.

Izzy's career Rate2 is 101. Furcal's is 102. Both have high defensive reps. Furcal's struggled as of late, but players can have defensive slumps too.

Besides, that contract is untradeable. Izzy is young and reasonably priced--we'd get a lot more for him than for Furcal.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:37:26
24.   natepurcell
Hopefully with my presence in the stadium tonight, Kemp hits a ball out of Dodger Stadium completely.
2006-06-20 16:39:05
25.   JoeyP
Who's likely to be better from now until the end of the season? Willy Aybar or Ramon Martinez? Who would benefit you more for the future by playing right now, Aybar or Ramon Martinez?

Those are the two questions that you have to ask.

Since Lucille has a whole career worth of experience, its alot easier to assess his value. What value does he has? Probably not much. So it seems incredibly shortsighted to give him the 3rd base job, when for his entire career he's really not been good.

Choosing Lucille over Willy Aybar is a bad decision, both now and for the future. Thats on the GM. Sometimes GM's have to Tracy-proof their rosters.

2006-06-20 16:39:07
26.   s choir
What's going on with LaRoche? Does he have to have surgery?
2006-06-20 16:40:04
27.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 26

I think they need to wait a bit before they'll make a decision on rehab vs. surgery.

I guess we just need to keep our fingers crossed.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:43:27
28.   808Bears
Lucille is not Mike Edwards.
Lucille is not Mike Edwards.
Lucille is not Mike Edwards.

At least we have a hot streak (improbable as it may be) to ride. There's plenty of time for complaining later.

2006-06-20 16:43:48
29.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 22

Well, Lofton had a Rate2 last season of 108. He's been above average every year since 2002. He's struggled this year, obviously--fielding stats confirm anecdotal observation, giving a dismal 93--but he might get better. Or he might not. I guess part of the problem is that defensive stats are also iffy in their own way.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:43:57
30.   Jon Weisman
25 - I agree with you about which player I would keep, though without quite the level of emotion. I don't think this decision has huge consequences right now. The roster changes all the time.
2006-06-20 16:44:13
31.   underdog
18 What Jon said. Exactly.

I really think it was a case of the Dodgers figuratively being out of options, while Aybar was literally not.

Also, as down as I was on the Martinez signing in spring, I think he's played well and earned his spot on the team. Aybar will be back.

2006-06-20 16:45:19
32.   Greg S
I have a question I was pondering over the weekend...

Very few people here have much love for Lofton or Furcal. I think it can be argued but I do understand where those folks are coming from.

My question is: If Loton and Furcal are out of the lineup, who would you bat 1 and 2?

2006-06-20 16:45:51
33.   thinkingblue
25.

Who's likely to be better from now until the end of the season? Willy Aybar or Ramon Martinez? Who would benefit you more for the future by playing right now, Aybar or Ramon Martinez?

Is Aybar really going to turn out to have a career significantly better than Martinez? That's a question I have. I don't see Aybar being all that great, he doesn't hit for power, but sometimes hits for average.

Also, Aybar is NOT the future 3B for this team. I think it's pretty clear that health pending, LaRoche is.

2006-06-20 16:46:28
34.   MartinBillingsley31
My question is: If Loton and Furcal are out of the lineup, who would you bat 1 and 2?

Aybar and Martin.

2006-06-20 16:47:04
35.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 30

I don't think this decision has huge consequences right now.

That's probably the truest statement in this thread. The difference in player value on this transaction won't make up for an inability to fix our starting pitching.

WWSH

2006-06-20 16:47:35
36.   JoeyP
Aybar and Russ Martin before today.

After today, I'm not sure.

2006-06-20 16:49:15
37.   MartinBillingsley31
By the way i don't have a problem with furcal because he's not blocking a prospect (unless laroche was ready and aybar was able to play ss).
2006-06-20 16:49:20
38.   JoeyP
33. The more at bats Aybar accumulates now, the better he's going to be for the future, no matter what position he plays. Most likely it'll be 2nd base.

Check Ramon Martinez career, and check his stats this year. This year is a fluke year for him. He'll no doubt regress. He's just getting lucky. His ISO's are bad.

2006-06-20 16:49:32
39.   ToyCannon
Jon as usual hits the nail on the head.

All tickets for Friday Night DT game have been emailed. If you've requested tickets and have not heard from me that means I didn't get the request. We currently have 11 tickets. I will leave these open to DT readers and posters until Wednesday night at which point I will be selling or giving them away to the public.

2006-06-20 16:50:28
40.   regfairfield
Mike Edwards was hitting .329/.360/.412 after approximately the same amount of at bats as Martinez.
2006-06-20 16:50:45
41.   natepurcell
Lets ride Ramon into the sunset.
2006-06-20 16:51:11
42.   Marty
The difference in player value on this transaction won't make up for an inability to fix our starting pitching.

We have a winner

2006-06-20 16:52:31
43.   Jacob L
41 Sunset is at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Or perhaps you meant lets ride Ramon down Sunset, approx. 2 blocks from the ballpark out Exit A.

2006-06-20 16:52:56
44.   JoeyP
I still think the easiest solution for 3rd base is a platoon of Saenz/Aybar. Saenz kills lefties, and Aybar hits well against righties.

But, it'll be interesting watching Lucille crash down to earth, then watching Izturis play 3rd with a lineup of Izturis, Pitcher, Furcal, and Lofton. Good times.

2006-06-20 16:52:58
45.   Greg S
Is there anybody here who doesn't believe that we will trade for a starting pitcher by July 31?
2006-06-20 16:53:35
46.   willhite
I'm thinking that Ned and Grittle have spoken with Izturis and convinced him that if he agrees to play some third along with short and second he'll have that much more lineup exposure and a trade will become a little easier. Although he would probably rather be the Dodgers starting shortstop, starting at short or second for any other major league team would be preferable to riding the bench for the Dodgers.

The optioning of Aybar gives him more at bats, allows Lucille to ride out his hot streak while giving Izzy 3-4 playing days a week at various positions in the hopes that he'll hit well enough to bring something back in a trade.

2006-06-20 16:53:50
47.   natepurcell
Or perhaps you meant lets ride Ramon down Sunset, approx. 2 blocks from the ballpark out Exit A.

That is what I'm going to do in about an hour and a half.

2006-06-20 16:55:21
48.   Xeifrank
Not happy with the Aybar move, but it's not nearly as bad as the Jered Weaver move across town. Aybar can't really complain, he had his chances and will probably get another chance after somebody is moved or gets injured. vr, Xei
2006-06-20 16:57:07
49.   Marty
Nate, you are in town now and going to the game? I guess it's summer vacation.
2006-06-20 16:57:07
50.   Jon Weisman
45 - It's entirely possible that we won't, given how few improvements are available.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-20 16:57:17
51.   s choir
43 Odalis pitched quite well in mop-up on Sunday. His fastball was 91, and he was consistently fooling hitters with a 77 mph change. And perhaps most importantly, he threw strikes... which is what Tomko and Sele and Seo have not been able to do consistently this year.

If Perez keeps it up, and Billingsley stays on course, that's a pretty nice rotation.

2006-06-20 16:57:55
52.   Humma Kavula
I'm glad to see Izturis and I hope he plays well, because he's an integral part of trades that are only fantasies in my head at the moment.
2006-06-20 16:58:17
53.   Jon Weisman
Kershaw and Mattingly will be introduced to the crowd tonight, in case people weren't aware. That's gotta be why Nate's going!
2006-06-20 16:59:59
54.   808Bears
Hey Nate (or anyone else in the know) -

Is there a list someplace that keeps track of the draft signings? BA used to keep track, but their free page hasn't been updated at all this year. I know we got our top three signed, and there have been some other names announced here and there, but is there a master list someplace? It's hard to keep track, never mind even the bonus info.

Thanks!

2006-06-20 16:59:59
55.   natepurcell
last comment

i totally forgot about kershaw and mattingly. heck yes!

I am going because LAT is gracious enough to offer free tickets.

okay im leaving now, go dodgers!

2006-06-20 17:00:08
56.   ToyCannon
51
Tomko has thrown enough strikes that many of them have landed in the bleachers.
2006-06-20 17:02:57
57.   Sushirabbit
I really am happy to see Izturis back. Of all the shortstops I've seen he is my favorite to watch in the field. I think the Furcal deal was a good idea, and I still think Furcal will do better (though who can tell?). So I like the idea of Izzy goin' somewhere and making a difference and being happy.
2006-06-20 17:03:16
58.   thinkingblue
If Tomko has another bad outing, will Perez regain his spot?

As critical as I am of Odalis, I think it'd be better to have Perez in because at least he doesn't give up many home runs.

2006-06-20 17:03:55
59.   MartinBillingsley31
I'd like to see the dodgers give aybar playing time at multiple positions in las vegas so he can become a super-utility player for us in the future.
He has little power so he only fits starting at ss and 2b, and we have both kent and furcal at those positions.
This laroche injury is bothering me, i was hoping for laroche at 3b next year for the dodgers.
What's laroche's condition?, will we still might see him at 3b on the big club next year?
2006-06-20 17:04:22
60.   Sushirabbit
56 That's pretty funny. Wait, that's really sad. Hahaha.
2006-06-20 17:07:46
61.   Xeifrank
So in games that Furcal, Lofton and Izturis play in, which punch and judy (lack of power) bats 8th? Tracy would have a field day and would probably have them hitting 1 thru 3. We could really use Nomar at SS or 3B about now and the Boston AAA first baseman playing the cold corner.
vr, Xei
2006-06-20 17:10:24
62.   Marty
I've never heard first base referred to as the cold corner before.
2006-06-20 17:12:56
63.   JoeyP
61. Just look at tonite's lineup:

Lucille
Martin
Pitcher
Furcal
Lofton

I suppose when Izzy is in there, he'll bat 7th. Grits seems attached to the concept of Russ Martin batting 8th.

2006-06-20 17:22:19
64.   Jon Weisman
62 - I like it, though.

63 - Three of those five guys have OBPs above .365. We'll hold Martinez's out as phony, but in the 7-8-9-1-2 spots, would you expect much more?

Obviously, the main problem is that Furcal is underperforming. But if we're expecting a decline from Martinez, it's only fair to expect slight improvement from Furcal.

2006-06-20 17:22:38
65.   s choir
63 Furcal and Lofton are not holes like Izturis and Cora were. Furcal had an awesome game on Saturday--at the plate, on the basepaths and on the field. If the Dodgers had won that game, he'd have been the hero.
2006-06-20 17:23:09
66.   Xeifrank
62. Me niether. :)
63. That can be the intro piece for Jon's "How The West Was Lost" post in a few months.
vr, Xei
2006-06-20 17:25:22
67.   dzzrtRatt
Izturis is not the offensive black hole everyone here seems to be claiming. Until his elbow got hurt he had turned into an effective singles hitter who was leading the NL in BA, and hit decently in 2004 as well. And he was a superb fielder, one of the best in the league. His elbow was injured for weeks before he actually stopped appearing in the lineup. Tracy was putting him in a position to succeed even though it was obvious something was terribly wrong -- he had stopped hitting almost entirely, quite suddenly.

We have no idea what the rebuilt Izzy will give us. But a lot of mythology has grown up around his lack of value to the Dodgers, and I don't think the record is being properly represented.

2006-06-20 17:26:05
68.   Bob Timmermann
Calling first base "the cold corner" doesn't make any sense though because it supposes that there aren't any hard hit balls hit at first base. There are.

It's an easier position to field because the first baseman doesn't have to stand as close and there are fewer lefthanded hitters. The first baseman still has to CATCH a lot of throws.

I vote no on this metaphor.

Sorry, xeifrank

2006-06-20 17:30:20
69.   s choir
68 How about the dark corner, seeing how nobody really pays attention to the fielding abilities of first basemen, and takes what they do defensively for granted?
2006-06-20 17:31:29
70.   Greg Brock
How about we call it "First Base." It's crazy, but it just might work.
2006-06-20 17:31:52
71.   s choir
70 you're no fun.
2006-06-20 17:32:52
72.   Jon Weisman
67 - I agree with you in sentiment. I also think few recognize what playing hurt might have done to his stats.

The problem is that Izturis's offense is so dependent on massive amounts of singles. He offers next to nothing in speed, power and walks. So if his hits don't fall in, he really does get into trouble.

The disappointment with Furcal is that he is performing offensively like an average month from Izturis. That says something about Izturis. Also, Izturis showed last year he is prone to a fielding slump, too.

I think the discussion of Izturis can be overly harsh, and I like to consider myself a defender ... but I guess I'm not the best Izturis defender for the job.

I still worry that Furcal's Dodger career will resemble Delino DeShields'.

2006-06-20 17:33:47
73.   willhite
68 -

How about the coroner corner 'cause that's where they bury guys who have no speed.

2006-06-20 17:34:15
74.   Jon Weisman
68 - "Calling first base "the cold corner" doesn't make any sense though because it supposes that there aren't any hard hit balls hit at first base. There are. "

We're not calling it the Absolute Zero corner. We're just saying it's cold. Relatively speaking. I think it works. Vote Yes on Proposition 61!

2006-06-20 17:35:17
75.   willhite
72 -

Does that mean we should trade Furcal for Pedro?

2006-06-20 17:35:45
76.   s choir
I still worry that Furcal's Dodger career will resemble Delino DeShields'

Nothing wrong with that, as long as we didn't trade a once-in-a-lifetime hall of famer for him. $39 million dollars will come and $39 million dollars will go.

2006-06-20 17:37:23
77.   Uncle Miltie
Not happy with the Aybar move, but it's not nearly as bad as the Jered Weaver move across town.
This is exactly what I was going to say.

It's too early to decide whether this is the right move or not. If it was done so Izturis can accumulate a bunch of at bats at 3B, SS, and 2B in order to boost his trade value then it's the right move. If it was done to make Lucille the everyday 3B, then it's a terrible move. Lucille has proven throughout his career to be a below average defensive 3rd baseman. He hits like an average SS and field like old 1st baseman at 3B. There's nothing to ride out with him. His numbers are only going to continue to fall. Sending down a good rookie to open up a spot for a crafty veteran, would be a typical Sabean/Ned move.

The D-rays traded Joey Gathright for the Royals best pitching prospect (according to ESPN), J.P. Howell. Nate, how good is J.P. Howell. Where would he rank in our farm system? I've heard of him and I think I've actually seen him pitch (the name sounds familiar, could be another young pitcher on the Royals). What is his upside like?

2006-06-20 17:37:35
78.   Greg S
I would take a glove like Izzy's, which I think at the risk of blasphamy is as good as Ozzie's or Vizquel's, in return for 40 points of average and Furcal's glove. I think that a great defensive shortstop is one of the most important element of a great team.
2006-06-20 17:39:22
79.   Greg S
And by the way, I don't think that Furcal has 40 points to give Izturis. He might not have any.
2006-06-20 17:39:32
80.   Jon Weisman
What would have been nice would be to trade Martinez right now. No way his value gets higher. Of course, basically nobody wanted him half a year ago.
2006-06-20 17:40:33
81.   Bob Timmermann
74
I live in a zero sum game sort of world.

If you're not hot, you're cold.

On the Griddle, there will only be first base or, if I'm feeling whimsical, "initial hassock."

2006-06-20 17:40:33
82.   Linkmeister
74 "Vote Yes on Proposition 61!"

Ok, now this Dodgers blog is getting California-centric. Unfair, I call it.

Is there a Prop 61?

2006-06-20 17:42:39
83.   Linkmeister
Where'd my comment go?
2006-06-20 17:42:55
84.   Linkmeister
Ah, there it is.
2006-06-20 17:42:57
85.   Uncle Miltie
By the way, I like the deal better for the D-rays, eventhough I don't know much about Howell. Gathright at best, is the next Scott Podsednik.
2006-06-20 17:45:57
86.   twerp
Little, after Oakland, said:

"No, I'm not satisfied when we make first-pitch outs. They came in abundance in this series, and we got bad results. [Hitting coach Eddie Murray] and the coaches will be addressing that where it needs to be addressed, and I think the time is now. When [Blanton] takes 91 pitches into the ninth inning, that's certainly a good indicator."

Murray, after his hiring, said he encouraged swinging at the first pitch. (That was painted as a departure from the recent past.) Murray said the pitcher usually tries to get ahead in the count, and his first pitch probably will be as good to hit as any.

Think there've been any interesting chats between Little and Murray?

2006-06-20 17:46:34
87.   Greg Brock
The proponents of Proposition 61 would like you to believe it will lower crime and boost funding for education, but the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the League of Women Voters agree that Proposition 61 will only cause mass confusion and panic...Vote "No" on 61.

This message paid for by the "No on 61" group...A subsidiary of Teledyne Systems.

2006-06-20 17:48:25
88.   Daniel Zappala
I gotta go with Bob on this one. Mainly because he is so funny. No cold corner for me.
2006-06-20 17:49:39
89.   Daniel Zappala
Kemp is in the lineup, all is well with the Dodgers.
2006-06-20 17:50:46
90.   Linkmeister
Wait. Wikipedia tells me there was a Prop 61 in 2004, but it was for Children's Hospital bonds. Where's education come in?

(I think I feel the hook setting and the line being slowly reeled in.)

2006-06-20 17:51:18
91.   Greg S
Just got my last minute call to go to the game! Hope it goes better than the the last three. See ya!
2006-06-20 17:54:33
92.   Daniel Zappala
I have my 20th high school reunion this year. Man, I'm getting old. The set of guys who are playing MLB who are older than me is rapidly dwindling.
2006-06-20 17:55:38
93.   Greg Brock
92 Thank the lord that Julio Franco will be around for another eight or nine years.
2006-06-20 17:56:16
94.   Humma Kavula
Perhaps it should have been phrased as...

...Prop 61!

2006-06-20 17:57:07
95.   Marty
My 30th reunion was three years ago. So, no old talk from 38-year-old whippersnappers.
2006-06-20 17:58:38
96.   underdog
Speaking of the D-Rays, they are up 6-3 on the D-Backs. Go 'Bay!
2006-06-20 18:00:12
97.   Bob Timmermann
Cal State Fullerton leads #1 Clemson 7-6 going to the bottom of the 9th. Loser goes home.
2006-06-20 18:05:55
98.   Marty
Winner has to stay on the field?
2006-06-20 18:07:24
99.   Bob Timmermann
98
You don't think it's good to spend more time in Omaha.

Do we have any Titan alums here BTW?

2006-06-20 18:08:37
100.   thinkblue88
97.
Yes! GO Titans!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-20 18:08:55
101.   Bob Timmermann
Angel Berroa of Kansas City has broken up Kip Wells's no-hit bid with a single in the second inning.
2006-06-20 18:09:31
102.   thinkblue88
99. Hopefully in 4-5 years, I can become an alumni.
2006-06-20 18:10:20
103.   deburns
I just got back from my 50th HS reunion. (Baseball connection) One of my classmates had an uncle named Ted Lepcio, whom some of you may remember played for the Red Sox (and I think others) for several years. My classmate was visiting batboy a lot during spring training in Miami (where our highschool was) but his uncle wouldn't let him do that when the Red Sox were in town because he didn't want him to see all the sneaked cigarettes and beer in the dugout.
2006-06-20 18:11:14
104.   Linkmeister
95 My 40th would be in two years, except that the school got merged into our hated enemy and its building subsumed by a magnet school.

Apparently this caused all manner of discontent among the older alumni. I recently got a fund-raising letter and a couple of follow-ups (addressed via "Reply All") saying "Take me off this blasted list! I want nothing to do with you!"

2006-06-20 18:13:16
105.   coachjpark
104 I'm less than a year away from my 10 year high school reunion. Whitney High School - Cerritos, CA - our football team is undefeated!
2006-06-20 18:13:22
106.   Marty
104 That's funny. It proves that many people over 50 never grow up.
2006-06-20 18:14:24
107.   Greg Brock
102 I believe they handle those types of procedures in Sweden.
2006-06-20 18:15:43
108.   Linkmeister
106 Either that or they all get enough fund-raising letters already. Lord knows I do.
2006-06-20 18:17:42
109.   Linkmeister
Oh, I see I didn't make it entirely clear; it was the new magnet school sending out the letters asking for money. Not a lot of connection felt among us oldtimers, I guess.
2006-06-20 18:19:38
110.   Sam DC
The Nationals have concluded that Boston is more dangerous than New York this year. 9-1 Sox. Livan knocked out in the second, 8H, 2BB, 0K, 6ER, TVP (Trade Value Plummetting). Notional good reliever lefty rookie Bill Bray just gave up a homer to Coco Crisp.
2006-06-20 18:19:47
111.   DXMachina
106 - Why change now?

And speaking of the Boston AAA first baseman, he's still only hitting .222/.370/.394. He also plays more DH than first base, because when he's at the cold corner, he tends to move about as fast as molasses in the winter.

2006-06-20 18:20:44
112.   Sam DC
And Alex Cora is 3-3 with a BB.
2006-06-20 18:24:06
113.   dzzrtRatt
How about "The Conversation Corner?" That's something first basemen do that you rarely see third basemen do -- talk to the player for the other team.
2006-06-20 18:24:52
114.   Sam DC
113 Sounds like we need James Lipton to coach over there.
2006-06-20 18:26:34
115.   dsfan
I like Aybar, but he was consistently having bad at-bats. Little tried to protect him against LHPs. He also tried to get him going by batting him second. But Willy continued to struggle. He was unable to draw walks, because opponents finally got around to attacking him. He was unable to drive the ball, for a variety of reasons. Guys who can't walk, can't drive the ball and are defensive liabilities...of late, Willy had nothing to hang his hat on, and it pains me to say it.

A rookie's slump can be harder to gauge than a veterans because he has no real track record of pulling out of slumps at this level. It's more of a roll of the dice. You don't want to obliterate his confidence. At lest now, he goes down with a pretty positive track record behind him.

Impossible to know for sure, but I believe Aybar was in the midst of cratering. If that's the premise, he's much better off in Triple-A.

Aybar had a pretty nice go of it. I hope he works all that much harder to get back and figures out a few things. He's only 23. The experience he got with the Dodgers could be invaluable.

2006-06-20 18:27:02
116.   willhite
113 -

Good one. You've got my vote.

My apologies if this has already been noted, but the A's have put Milton on the 15 day DL. If he comes back at that point without spending even more time on the DL, he will have spent 50 days already this year, coupled with 85 last year. Almost a full season. Mr. Drew is beginning to look like the picture of health by comparison.

2006-06-20 18:27:04
117.   dzzrtRatt
Charlie Rose is the prototypical "conversation corner" player.
2006-06-20 18:29:01
118.   dsfan
The loss of Bill Mueller is really starting to take its toll. Not that he was great, but if he's healthy, this is a better team.
2006-06-20 18:31:11
119.   DXMachina
117 - Plus, "Charlie Rose" sounds more like a ballplayer than "James Lipton."
2006-06-20 18:31:13
120.   dsfan
I always appreciated that Molokai kept pointing out just how physically fragile Bradley was. So much was made of Bradley's immaturity and histrionics, but the more important story, one that I believe was constantly underplayed, was his lack of durability. It's not a surprise that his body is again failing him.
2006-06-20 18:31:36
121.   JoeyP
He also plays more DH than first base, because when he's at the cold corner, he tends to move about as fast as molasses in the winter.

Career Rate2- 102

2006-06-20 18:32:17
122.   dzzrtRatt
It is so typical of Kansas City's management that, of all the good young offensive players hovering around Tampa Bay, they go for the fast, flashy guy who shows up on Sportscenter, but who has the most limited upside. I think Podsednick is too high a bar for Gathraight. Maybe Royals' management thinks people will come to the stadium to see him dive for fly balls -- although don't they still have astroturf there?
2006-06-20 18:32:40
123.   JoeyP
The loss of Bill Mueller is really starting to take its toll. Not that he was great, but if he's healthy, this is a better team.

Not if Aybar was in the minors bc of it.

2006-06-20 18:33:02
124.   Bob Timmermann
117
Charlie Rose at first base:

Consider this, if you will, the NOTION that a man can hit a ball and reach first base. We have film of this. Roll tape.

2006-06-20 18:33:16
125.   Marty
He also plays more DH than first base, because when he's at the conversation corner you can't understand him.
2006-06-20 18:35:49
126.   Linkmeister
122 They tore up the Astroturf a few years ago and replaced it with grass, I think.
2006-06-20 18:36:06
127.   JoeyP
Aybar's in a 5 game slump.
He's 2-17.

I guess that was enough to get him sent down. 5 games.

2006-06-20 18:36:13
128.   Steve
I'll bet they could have gotten Mark Mulder for him.
2006-06-20 18:37:26
129.   dzzrtRatt
Charlie Rose's strategy at first base: Talk so much that the opposing player takes too big of a lead, just to get a moment's peace -- and then gets picked off.
2006-06-20 18:37:26
130.   Linkmeister
126 Yup. "A grass playing field replaced the artificial surface at Kauffman Stadium prior to the 1995 season."

From the Royals MLB.com site.

2006-06-20 18:39:01
131.   Bluebleeder87
who's that guy with the beatles hair do? (on kcal 9)
2006-06-20 18:39:10
132.   dzzrtRatt
130 I love it. I'm 11 years out of date. That must be the last time I saw a Royals' game on TV. I can still see that threadbare green plastic in my mind's eye.
2006-06-20 18:44:19
133.   Bob Timmermann
There are no outdoor stadiums left with artificial turf in baseball. Three domes: Toronto, Minneapolis, St. Pete.

The last outdoor stadium with turf was Hiram Bithorn in San Juan.

2006-06-20 18:44:39
134.   dsfan
Five-game slump for Aybar?

Try 16 games. This month his OBP is .651 in the 16 games. Just three walks, and without the walks, he's under a lot of pressure to find holes. He batted .213. He played above his head at 2B but could not be trusted at 3B.

I'm an Aybar backer, but in June he was consistently below average at the plate and in the field.

It's a defensible, reasonable evaluation to send the kid down, and a realistic POV that he was in the midst of cratering.

2006-06-20 18:44:49
135.   Bob Timmermann
133
That is to say, in the majors.
2006-06-20 18:52:44
136.   Uncle Miltie
134- you keep saying you're "an Aybar backer", but then you make statements like "he's below average at the plate" "he has poor at bats" "without the walks (he's useless)". I find it hard to believe that you like Aybar.
2006-06-20 18:55:10
137.   das411
...so who picked Ryan Howard to put up two homers, a triple, and drive in seven the night after Manuel sits him?

136 - You guys want Fasano for Aybar?

2006-06-20 18:55:11
138.   Bluebleeder87
I hope Penny has a good game today.
2006-06-20 19:00:17
139.   Linkmeister
135 Yeah, the Summer baseball league out here is playing at Aloha Stadium, which is FieldTurf.
2006-06-20 19:01:48
140.   Linkmeister
I'd really like to see Ichiro! play live, drat it. And why is Prime Ticket again depriving me of this game?
2006-06-20 19:01:49
141.   Blu2
If a certain party hadn't been DFAd, we could call it Choiland. Long Live King Hee Sop!!!
2006-06-20 19:07:14
142.   DXMachina
136 - He qualified his statements by saying "in June." It's certainly possible to want Aybar to succeed and still not be blind to the fact that he's had a bad three weeks.
2006-06-20 19:09:33
143.   Bluebleeder87
I have to admit, Adrian Beltre batting 2nd looks weird.
2006-06-20 19:12:07
144.   ToyCannon
136
While Aybar was in the minors DSFAN was his biggest backer. Check the posts, he was the one who pointed out that the Dodgers were forgetting about him. He's right, his June has been terrible, if you can't see that then your not watching the games.
2006-06-20 19:13:36
145.   Bluebleeder87
boooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
2006-06-20 19:14:26
146.   ToyCannon
If Penny can't beat Pineiro then we are in a slump.
2006-06-20 19:14:33
147.   Linkmeister
My Lord, it gets worse. Instead of the Dodgers game, Prime Ticket is showing me a replay of last fall's SC-Fresno State football contest.

Why would viewers want to watch a game that's nearly a year old, wasn't a classic, and one in which most of the participants have all been drafted into the NFL?

2006-06-20 19:15:01
148.   DXMachina
See, Beltre's problem has been the move to Seattle. :)
2006-06-20 19:15:08
149.   Bluebleeder87
I think Beltre new they were gonna pitch him outside.
2006-06-20 19:15:28
150.   herman
Kent should have had that. He has no range.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-06-20 19:15:37
151.   Bob Timmermann
147

Hey, that was a very exciting game!

2006-06-20 19:16:24
152.   herman
I think Drew trapped that.
2006-06-20 19:16:28
153.   Bluebleeder87
146

I'm not worried.

2006-06-20 19:17:01
154.   ToyCannon
As Beltre was circling the bases he was heard to mumble "take that JoeyP and all you DT haters".
2006-06-20 19:17:37
155.   Linkmeister
151 Was, that's the important point.
2006-06-20 19:17:42
156.   thinkblue0
I called my dad before the game started and my exact words were: "I bet you a billion dollars Beltre hits a home run...that kind of stuff happens to us."

I walked in the door during the middle of his home run trot.

Also, I haven't read the whole thread yet...but does ANYONE see the point in having BOTH Izturis and Ramon Martinez on this team? anyone?

2006-06-20 19:17:58
157.   Bluebleeder87
154

LOL

2006-06-20 19:19:34
158.   herman
Furcal=out
2006-06-20 19:20:58
159.   Bluebleeder87
Yeah, you don't run on Ichiro
2006-06-20 19:21:11
160.   herman
Nevermind. I could hit Seattles pitching.
2006-06-20 19:22:10
161.   Bob Timmermann
160

Mr. J.J. Putz will be asking you to step in against his 95 mph fastball sometime.

2006-06-20 19:22:11
162.   herman
Kenny looks like willy mays haze
2006-06-20 19:22:45
163.   lakerican
156

Well, it can be noticed that you came right now because the consensus minus 2 here were Izturis + Martinez + Aybar + Furcal...

2006-06-20 19:23:06
164.   herman
95 is that it.
2006-06-20 19:23:10
165.   thinkblue0
way to get the runner over, Kenny.
2006-06-20 19:23:31
166.   das411
Oy, I just had the wrong thread open:

Mariano Rivera is on deck in PHila.

Bob, take it away...

2006-06-20 19:23:39
167.   herman
Good atbat by lofton :/
2006-06-20 19:25:03
168.   ninjavshippo
I just blogged about how sad I was about Beltre's decline. I'm not as sad in this moment.

as a sidenote for those interested, Miami is up 49-48 at the half. Wade has 19. Dirk w/ 17 and Terry w/ 13.

2006-06-20 19:26:41
169.   Bluebleeder87
how dose there catcher comunicate with there pitchers.
2006-06-20 19:27:01
170.   Linkmeister
Man, I'd forgotten what it was like to have a hitter like Nomar on the Dodgers. Might have to go back to Garvey, or further back to Tommy Davis.
2006-06-20 19:27:47
171.   DXMachina
169 - One finger for fastball, two for a curve...
2006-06-20 19:28:00
172.   Bob Timmermann
Johjima knows enough English to get by in a conversation on the mound.

He can say "keep it down."

2006-06-20 19:28:51
173.   DXMachina
170 - Piazza, maybe?
2006-06-20 19:29:05
174.   ninjavshippo
geez, after 2 down years, you forget that nomar has a .320 career average. easy to remember that now.
2006-06-20 19:29:44
175.   lakerican
Q. Is it the correct score WSox 19 Cards 2 in the 6th?
2006-06-20 19:30:42
176.   Bob Timmermann
175

Indeed it is.

2006-06-20 19:31:06
177.   Linkmeister
173 Yeah, maybe so. I didn't see many Dodgers games (not even televised ones) with Piazza on the team, for some reason.
2006-06-20 19:33:43
178.   lakerican
176 Santa Cachucha!!!

PS. Robin expression in the original Batman series spanish translation...

2006-06-20 19:34:54
179.   Bluebleeder87
172

LOL

2006-06-20 19:35:11
180.   Bob Timmermann
The White Sox have 19 runs and have hit just three home runs.
2006-06-20 19:35:24
181.   Bluebleeder87
Man, penny looks clueless out there so far.
2006-06-20 19:35:26
182.   Uncle Miltie
Plaschke will now write an article about how Depodesta made a huge mistake signing Mr. Ghost over Adrian Beltre. Plaschke will demonstrate how Beltre's leadership and clutch hits make him a better player than Drew. He will also tell us that Beltre would have been fine if he had stayed in Seattle. Of course, Penny gave Beltre a fat pitch down the middle.
2006-06-20 19:35:35
183.   das411
Two men on, two out, Rivera in his second inning, and RYAN HOWARD steps to the plate...
2006-06-20 19:36:11
184.   Bluebleeder87
Let's get a DP
2006-06-20 19:37:28
185.   Bob Timmermann
No joy in the City of Brotherly Love tonight.
2006-06-20 19:38:01
186.   das411
:(

Howard is such a bum!

2006-06-20 19:39:21
187.   thinkblue88
184.
just your basic 7-1-2 double play
2006-06-20 19:39:24
188.   DXMachina
Just the way they practiced it in Spring Training.
2006-06-20 19:40:46
189.   thinkblue0
I hope Izturis performs well so that we can deal him in a package for a decent starter...
2006-06-20 19:41:39
190.   Bluebleeder87
is it me, or did Kemp move a little more up the plate?
2006-06-20 19:45:07
191.   JoeyP
I cant see the game but why did Betancourt try to score from 2nd on a Sac fly?
2006-06-20 19:45:13
192.   lakerican
Q. What exactly happened there?
2006-06-20 19:46:56
193.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
7-1-2? Whaaaa?
Let me guess: Kemp overthrew Martin on Ichiro!'s sac fly. Penny, backing up the play, threw to Martin for the out when Betancort tried coming home.
2006-06-20 19:47:07
194.   Bluebleeder87
Kemp still looks like he's trying to pull everythig, I hope he adjust man.
2006-06-20 19:47:50
195.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't watch, but I think think the throw went over Martin's head and Penny backed up and threw out Betancourt trying to move up a base?
2006-06-20 19:48:32
196.   Bob Timmermann
And the White Sox have hit the 20 run mark.
2006-06-20 19:49:34
197.   regfairfield
From what I saw in Oakland, Kemp looked a heck of a lot like Pedro Cerrano. If a pitcher through something with movement near the zone, he was lost.

It also didn't help that he wasn't hitting all the straight balls very very far.

2006-06-20 19:49:39
198.   thinkblue0
why is it that this stuff happens to the dodgers? Beltre stinks it up for two straight years against everyone, but he's Babe Ruth against us.
2006-06-20 19:50:58
199.   regfairfield
Remember when Jose Lima killed us last year?
2006-06-20 19:51:31
200.   Bob Timmermann
Nothing will ever be as bad as the Dodgers losing a game to the Giants on a Tom Goodwin home run.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-06-20 19:53:04
201.   Bluebleeder87
night mare night for Penny so far.
2006-06-20 19:54:02
202.   Bluebleeder87
I hope Penny throw's a high hard one on Beltre next at bat
2006-06-20 19:54:39
203.   thinkblue0
199, 200-

seriously. It seems like this kinda stuff only happens to us. That's what scares me about trading Izzy...he'll hit his usual .230 or whatever...then against us he'll hit .570.

2006-06-20 19:55:00
204.   JoeyP
Penny hasnt been getting many swing and misses. Definitely not his best nite.
2006-06-20 19:56:00
205.   DXMachina
202 - Why? Beltre isn't the one serving up batting practice out there.
2006-06-20 19:59:10
206.   Bluebleeder87
205

I'd throw one up & in on 'um just to have Beltre thinking.

2006-06-20 19:59:26
207.   MollyKnight
anybody else out there watching the game on mlbtv lose the vin scully call in favor of the mariners broadcast?

i'm in hell.

2006-06-20 19:59:32
208.   Uncle Miltie
Penny is making Beltre look like David Wright. With the way he's pitching, he's making everyone look good.

Come on Fookie, prove that you're worth $13 million!

2006-06-20 20:05:09
209.   JoeyP
Martin is OPS'ing 1.053 in June, yet he's batting 8th. Furcal's at .656. Lofton's at .715 for June.

I find that troubling.

2006-06-20 20:05:43
210.   LAT
Penny's back must be really tight. He is laboring on every pitch.
2006-06-20 20:07:03
211.   D4P
209
Yeah. I'm kinda tired of our two worst hitters consistently hitting #1 and 2 in the lineup. Why not give more PAs to the better hitters...?
2006-06-20 20:07:41
212.   Bluebleeder87
208

Furcal keeps on thinking he's a power hitter, the way he swings.

2006-06-20 20:07:56
213.   dzzrtRatt
Bill Bavasi: "This Adrian guy I'm paying $13 million. Seems like he likes that Arcadia home cooking. Want him back?"

Colletti: "Not really. We got enough .238 hitters, thanks."

Bavasi: "Just listen a minute. Beltre to you guys. For Nomar."

Colletti: "Jeez, Bavasi, you know we only got Nomar signed for this year."

Bavasi: "Heard that. Still interested."

Colletti (thought bubble): "I know one thing for damn sure. Plaschke'd love it! That means Jamie'd love it! Yeah, that's the ticket. Let Jamie know about this offer. She knows what it takes to open Frank's wallet. And maybe there's something to this home cooking thing..."

Bavasi: "You've lapsed into a strange silence, Neddy. You got your BALCO lawyer on the other line?"

Colletti: "What? Where'd you hear about that!!!??? Uh, Bill, so who'd we get to play first?"

Bavasi: "Kent at first. Aybar, Izzy, Delwyn Young, you're set at second. Furcal and Beltre and you've got yourself the sweetest left side of the infield $26 million can buy..."

Colletti (thought bubble): "D'oh! What do I do, what do it do? Help me, Dodger Thoughts!"

2006-06-20 20:08:45
214.   Bluebleeder87
Finally a good inning by Penny, now let's score some runs
2006-06-20 20:09:28
215.   Uncle Miltie
209- I find it more troubling that two guys who have negative value defensively are in the lineup period. Martin obviously isn't scrappy enough to be hitting near the top of the order.
2006-06-20 20:10:45
216.   Bluebleeder87
wow the stadium looks super packed on a tuesday game.
2006-06-20 20:12:28
217.   JoeyP
The Mariners hardly ever walk, so Penny should be able to get through 7 innings. He's only thrown 56 pitches so far.
2006-06-20 20:14:16
218.   Bluebleeder87
ohhh Kemp was right on the pitch
2006-06-20 20:16:13
219.   LAT
entering what could be the last quater of the 2006 NBA season
2006-06-20 20:16:35
220.   ninjavshippo
nice hit by kent. last 17 games, he's upped his OPS by .100. i know he's no one's favorite here, but overall it looks like he's turning it around.

or is the lynch mob too occupied with martinez and seo to notice?

2006-06-20 20:17:50
221.   LAT
Lucy II making Grady and Ned look good (. . .at leat for now)
2006-06-20 20:17:56
222.   Bluebleeder87
don't run on Ichiro
2006-06-20 20:18:03
223.   dzzrtRatt
216 Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead giveaway night.
2006-06-20 20:19:31
224.   MartinBillingsley31
220

I like kent and have no problem with his contract.
Why?, because try finding a 2b with kent's production (20-25 hrs, good obp).

2006-06-20 20:19:32
225.   ninjavshippo
223 i'm pretty sure that's friday. my cousin bought tickets for us for that express purpose.

tonight is a topps trading card tuesday

2006-06-20 20:19:43
226.   Bluebleeder87
223

nah that's friday

2006-06-20 20:20:03
227.   dzzrtRatt
220 I don't know as if Kent is "nobody's favorite" on DT. His mustache gets a lot of grief, but not his bat. When he slumps, people get grumpy, but if he keeps hitting like he is now, it'll all be forgotten.
2006-06-20 20:20:10
228.   LAT
$2 Tuesday also (I think)
2006-06-20 20:20:48
229.   dzzrtRatt
Rusty!
2006-06-20 20:20:57
230.   Bluebleeder87
Golden boy gets the hit! yeah!!
2006-06-20 20:21:41
231.   ninjavshippo
227 fair enough. i was reluctant to take him in because of his time as a giant and his generally orneriness, but 224 says it all.

you'd think by now i'd learn to take things i read on internet blog comments with a grain of salt :)

2006-06-20 20:22:08
232.   ninjavshippo
R-Mart! huzzah!
2006-06-20 20:22:16
233.   JoeyP
Why not give more PAs to the better hitters...?

Russ Martin says "hi" again.

2006-06-20 20:22:50
234.   Bluebleeder87
228

they still do that? I thought they had "an insodent" a while back.

2006-06-20 20:22:58
235.   Greg S
I've been as excited about Kemp as everyone else. But his at bats recently have been positively rookie. He does not have a big league approach at the plate and I think a good pitcher (like Zito) will get him everytime. He's even been missing the mistakes now which is what he got fat on before. He has gobs of natural talent but he has a lot to learn.
2006-06-20 20:24:49
236.   Bluebleeder87
up & in Penny!!
2006-06-20 20:25:39
237.   LAT
234. I think they quietly brought it back
2006-06-20 20:25:54
238.   Jon Weisman
I was stumped at how to respond to 220, given that, like many others, I was neither part of a lynch mob nor a Kent-hater.

Ninja, did you used to post comments here a while back?

2006-06-20 20:25:58
239.   Bluebleeder87
whoa that was close!
2006-06-20 20:26:44
240.   LAT
Beltre must wonder "why did I leave here?"
2006-06-20 20:26:49
241.   Jon Weisman
228/234/237 - I don't think so. If they did, it was so quietly as to have no effect. No marketing at all.
2006-06-20 20:27:06
242.   Jon Weisman
Separate post on Izturis up top.
2006-06-20 20:27:25
243.   D4P
but if he keeps hitting like he is now, it'll all be forgotten.

NEVER!!!

2006-06-20 20:27:55
244.   LAT
It was just a matter of time that one of those pitches was going to go out. Penny is throwing junk.
2006-06-20 20:28:16
245.   Jon Weisman
That pitch Sexson hit the homer off of was down. Golf shot.
2006-06-20 20:28:24
246.   Greg S
Careful Grady.
2006-06-20 20:30:03
247.   D4P
Penny hasn't walked anyone. Can he really be held responsible for these balls put in play that become hits...?
2006-06-20 20:31:20
248.   ninjavshippo
238
Aye aye, Jon. I've morphed into mostly a lurker as my summer law classes have required me to take notes from 6-10pm as opposed to debating OP's worth w/ Uncle Miltie. Present moment excepted, of course. :) I guess for some reason, the comments about Kent's performance from April until mid-May stuck with me for some reason and maybe they weren't as pronounced as my mind makes it out to be.

Also, whenever the Dodgers lose, I play at least one game of MVP Baseball 2005 to avenge them. More often than not, it's Kent punishing the virtual competition. Especially since virtual Nomar and Drew are done for the season (110 games in).

2006-06-20 20:31:25
249.   Jon Weisman
247 - HRs are not considered balls in play, remember.
2006-06-20 20:33:47
250.   LAT
NBA 79-79 with 5:57 left
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-06-20 20:35:06
251.   Bluebleeder87
Nomar's bro, is a SS as well?
2006-06-20 20:35:43
252.   ToyCannon
Mulder must be hurt. He can't be this bad. The Cardinal rotation is as bad as ours except they have a real ace in Carpenter.
2006-06-20 20:36:41
253.   Uncle Miltie
It's kind of funny how Penny has been terrible, yet extremely efficient too. Probably because the Mariners are an extremely aggressive team and he has only struck out 1 batter.
2006-06-20 20:37:38
254.   Bluebleeder87
dinger would be nice By Drew.
2006-06-20 20:38:16
255.   ninjavshippo
252 they have their own mini-billingsley too, in anthony reyes.
2006-06-20 20:38:42
256.   Bluebleeder87
darn it I almost called it!!
2006-06-20 20:39:46
257.   Jon Weisman
Is it common for the runner to go halfway between second and third instead of tagging up on a long fly ball to left-center with one out?
2006-06-20 20:41:14
258.   MartinBillingsley31
Kemp is set up for a SLAM.
2006-06-20 20:41:15
259.   Bluebleeder87
Kemp PLEASE BE PATIENT!!
2006-06-20 20:41:22
260.   Uncle Miltie
Will Kemp swing at the first pitch?

I'm guessing he'll do nothing. Fastballs inside.

2006-06-20 20:41:24
261.   thinkblue88
Matt Kemp with the bases loaded: hasn't look good so far.
2006-06-20 20:41:34
262.   ninjavshippo
I guess I picked the right day to show up for my first day of work as a Kent Apologist.
2006-06-20 20:42:12
263.   Bluebleeder87
Kemp keeps showing his age.
2006-06-20 20:42:46
264.   thinkblue88
Kemp has had three AB with the bases loaded, it seems all three times he has gone after the first pitch and grounded out.
2006-06-20 20:42:48
265.   ninjavshippo
fiddlesticks.
2006-06-20 20:43:38
266.   Uncle Miltie
Surprise surprise

His approach at the plate is worse than Ethier's.

I thought Murray was going to have a talk with the hitters about not swinging at the first pitch. I think he's swung at the first pitch every time he's been up with bases loaded.

2006-06-20 20:44:00
267.   Bluebleeder87
you can't blame Kemp, he'll learn.
2006-06-20 20:44:06
268.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
257 - I don't get that either. Seems there are many wasted opportunities to advance on deep flies.
2006-06-20 20:45:05
269.   Greg S
235 ... as I was saying...
Vinny said it too. I hate for it to be true but Kemp is not looking like he's ready. I'd let him go for a while to see if he can get by on raw talent. But I fear we may see his numbers drop like a stone. He's going to be great. I'm just not too sure he is yet.
2006-06-20 20:48:28
270.   Jon Weisman
Let's give Kemp a little more of a chance to adjust than just a week.
2006-06-20 20:51:16
271.   Greg S
270. He'll get more than a week, I'm sure. But all he's proved so far is that he can mash a fastball a mile. It will take a lot more than that for him to be great at this level. I hope he can learn quickly.
2006-06-20 20:51:51
272.   Bluebleeder87
Beltre still has that gun
2006-06-20 20:53:41
273.   LAT
.26 left. Mia 93 Dal 90
2006-06-20 20:55:23
274.   LAT
Dal turns the ball over. Has to foul.
2006-06-20 20:56:39
275.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
What's with all the premature worry about Kemp? He's adjusted before--remember the first game with 3 Ks? Read his comments after that game--he knew he was chasing breaking balls away and pressing. Give him a little time.

None of us should have thought that he was going to explode on the scene like Pujols, but I think he'll still have a very productive rookie season. But he'll have his slumps like everyone else.

WWSH

2006-06-20 20:59:43
276.   Gen3Blue
I don't think we have had an RBI for over a week from Drew. I hope he's not just playing to make it look good with that contract. He's never looked this bad healthy.
2006-06-20 20:59:45
277.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 271

Remember the Pedro AB? Kemp laid off breaking balls away and Pedro fell behind in the count, so he threw Kemp an inside fastball. It wasn't a bad pitch, but Kemp's bat was fast enough to hit it out.

One can still be a successful major leaguer, even if one hits best against fastballs. Even the best pitchers can't throw just breaking balls in an AB.

WWSH

2006-06-20 20:59:54
278.   Greg S
The Marlins, with a payroll of less than $15M dollars (?!) have won 9 in a row and 19 out of 25. That has got to be the most bizarre thing I've heard in quite a while.
2006-06-20 21:00:27
279.   Gen3Blue
Oh-Oh I didn't notice the Walk-man is in.
2006-06-20 21:00:39
280.   LAT
Heat 2006 Champs
2006-06-20 21:01:22
281.   MartinBillingsley31
The dodgers should have used kuo more when he was in the minors to work on his control.
Forget trying to win in the minors, just get the prospects ready.
2006-06-20 21:02:47
282.   regfairfield
276 He did just hit a ball to a track. Plus three words: 0 for 25.
2006-06-20 21:02:48
283.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 281

Well, you also don't want to blow that elbow of his out in the minors.

WWSH

2006-06-20 21:06:25
284.   Greg S
WWSH- Just to be clear, I am not as concearned with the results as I am with his approach. I'm not down on him for striking out or getting out with the bases loaded. He just looks to be hacking and hoping for the best. You need to have a plan and stick to it. Watch Martin. He doesn't have half of Kemp's raw talent but he has a smart approach. Ethier looks better too.
2006-06-20 21:07:07
285.   JoeyP
DWade carries Miami to a title.
2006-06-20 21:08:34
286.   Uncle Miltie
I'm not giving up on Kemp, but maybe he should bat 8th if he's going to keep that same approach at the plate. What happened to the patient Kemp who works the count?

Do the refs get a Championship ring too? Courtesy of Dwyane Wade, possibly?

2006-06-20 21:09:28
287.   Bob Timmermann
Leading the NL West is about as stable a position as being mayor of Fallouja.
2006-06-20 21:09:43
288.   Bluebleeder87
wow, our pitching is worthless this year!
2006-06-20 21:11:51
289.   Bluebleeder87
is there any relief in sight?
2006-06-20 21:12:14
290.   JoeyP
Ethier looks better than Kemp?

Ethier is OPS'ing .588 in June.
I dont want Kemp swinging at the 1st pitch with the bases loaded, but his approach other than that is fine.

2006-06-20 21:14:11
291.   MartinBillingsley31
Another reason i don't want ned to trade prospects for a starting pitcher is because what if penny or lowe go down with an injury and can't pitch in the playoffs, then we are right back where we are now (2 starting pitchers and billingsley).
I wouldn't mind ned trading a few mediocre veterans that are performing over their heads like lofton and martinez for a prospect then flip izturis and the prospect for a starting pitcher.
2006-06-20 21:15:20
292.   Greg S
290. Ethier's approach is far superior to Kemp's right now. Ethier doesn't have nearly Kemp's talent. Quoting stats doesn't change that. Just watch their ABs. You really think Kemp's approach is fine?
2006-06-20 21:15:28
293.   JoeyP
Dallas had the series won until they quit in Game 3. After that, Wade got his rhythm and Dallas had no answers in keeping him out of the paint. Miami just played better and I think much smarter.
2006-06-20 21:16:18
294.   Jon Weisman
284 - Maybe his plan is to swing at the first strike he sees, and he is sticking to that plan. Basically, that's Nomar's plan, right? Kemp may well adjust his style as time passes, but he's done more than hit an occasional fastball a mile, as you say in 270.

Kemp has a walk every 10 trips to the plate. Same as Ethier.

2006-06-20 21:18:44
295.   Jon Weisman
Kemp sees 3.75 pitches per at-bat. Ethier sees 3.54. Martin sees 3.51.
2006-06-20 21:21:00
296.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Sure, Kemp's approach isn't very good right now, but the game's all about adjustments.

IIRC, Shawn Green in his heyday did very well swinging at lots of first pitches, and he even still walked quite a bit.

I'm sure Kemp will find what works best for him.

WWSH

2006-06-20 21:21:35
297.   Greg S
294. He doesn't swing at the first strike, he swings at the first pitch. He has no idea where it is and if it's outside, he swings to pull it. Nomar does nothing of the sort. He hits the ball where it's pitched. Look, I want Kemp to be great and I'm sure he will be. But his at bats have been looking awful. He may be good enough to get away with it or he may adjust quickly. But his approach is pure rookie right now.
2006-06-20 21:22:05
298.   Marty
Congratulations Miami. I'm really happy for Shaq. Plus, Cuban is very close to being on my list so I'm happy he is unhappy. I'm sure in his mind it's all the Refs fault.
2006-06-20 21:23:10
299.   Bob Timmermann
Vin is too much of a gentleman to pronounce the name of Austin Peay University correctly.

It's Austin "Pee", not "Pay"

http://tinyurl.com/lv4dc

2006-06-20 21:24:13
300.   Greg S
295. Fine. But I don't think that tells us anything. Which pitches is he taking? Which pitches is he swinging at? And what kind of swing is he putting on which pitch?
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2006-06-20 21:24:42
301.   Bob Timmermann
Miami sports teams today:

Heat win NBA championship
Marlins win 9th straight to move into third place

and

Hurricanes trail Oregon State 7-1 in the 6th.

2006-06-20 21:28:30
302.   Jon Weisman
297 - but he is a rookie. Despite his hot start, of course he needs to improve in general. But you make it sound like all his at-bats have been looking awful. That makes as much sense as me saying all his at-bats have been looking great. He's had a mix.

So let's go back to your original comment in 269. "He's not ready." That's a pretty blunt comment. I don't think he'll hit .350, but I don't see any evidence that he's not ready to contribute to the Dodgers - even if he has to go through a learning curve and there's a dropoff in his overall numbers.

2006-06-20 21:31:01
303.   Jon Weisman
300 - Well, shoot, I give up. How can I respond? The only thing I can say that you'll agree with is that he's taking all the wrong pitches, he's swinging at all the wrong pitches, and each swing is the wrong kind of swing. His 1.042 OPS is all by accident.
2006-06-20 21:32:53
304.   Bluebleeder87
come on blue crew, get some runs!
2006-06-20 21:35:28
305.   Greg S
302- I don't think we're really at that much of a disagreement. I think that based on raw talent and hopefully some adjustment, he can contribute. I haven't said that his ABs have all been terrible. If you hit a home run off your front foot reaching at a 2-0 pitch, that's a good result. But go at it like that and you are not getting all you can from your talent. Pitchers will increasingly exploit the heck out of that. I don't know that he's not ready to contribute. But it's frustrating watching him give so much away.
2006-06-20 21:35:35
306.   Uncle Miltie
I was searching for Kemp's stats and I found this
http://tinyurl.com/p7629

Read the title. Kind of ironic

Kemp doesn't swing at the 1st pitch!

2006-06-20 21:36:15
307.   ninjavshippo
303/300
gentlemen, draw your pistols!
2006-06-20 21:38:17
308.   Jon Weisman
Maybe we don't disagree that much. But you said: "his at-bats have been looking awful."
2006-06-20 21:40:27
309.   Bluebleeder87
I don't know if it was the 17 inning marathon, but these guys look dead today.
2006-06-20 21:45:07
310.   Jon Weisman
309 - The 17-inning marathon was three days ago, including a day off. Let's rule that out.

I don't see a dead team. The team has four runs and 10 hits. Everyone but Kemp has done something with the bat. They've fielded the ball solidly tonight. Penny had an off night (which always makes me wonder about his health). But in the end, maybe they're just losing.

2006-06-20 21:48:23
311.   JoeyP
My point of contention is Greg S saying Andre Ethier has a better approach to hitting than Matt Kemp. There isnt one stat that will back that up. There isnt one hitting result that will back that up.

If Kemp takes walk and hits extra base hits, why does it matter how he 'looks'?

2006-06-20 21:49:17
312.   ninjavshippo
boy kemp took a bad angle on that 1st hit.
2006-06-20 21:49:36
313.   JoeyP
I'll give Beltre his props tonite. He's having an awesome game, probably the best one since 2004.

And Jae Seo is still on the 25 man active. Why?

2006-06-20 21:50:40
314.   Bob Timmermann
I believe every team in the division has been in first place at some time (not sure about the Giants).
2006-06-20 21:50:43
315.   Greg S
308- And so they have, in my opinion. They are getting progressively worse and that is because he can no longer just get away with hacking.
I'll be impressed when I see him hit a curveball on the outside corner to right field. Or foul off marginal pitches until he gets one he likes and rips at it. Results aside, let's see him go at it smarter. Then he'll be as good as he can be.
2006-06-20 21:51:28
316.   ninjavshippo
yikes, i'm not sure ibanez beat the throw there.
2006-06-20 21:52:47
317.   JoeyP
Does the team really need to carry 12 pitches? Even if you think Aybar is in a slump, I'd still rather have him on the bench than Jay Seo or Joe Beimel on the mound.l
2006-06-20 21:54:20
318.   Greg S
311. It matters because in the long run (and all we've seen is the very short run) it will show up in the stats. Ethier can have a better approach and not be nearly as good. Shoot, I can have a better approach. But Kemp's talent along with smart selection and a plan and he could be great. Stats (especially a limited sample) really don't tell you eveything about everything.
2006-06-20 21:56:35
319.   MartinBillingsley31
Anyone notice that ned likes to get pitchers that give up bombs (bombko and bombseo) but doesn't like to get hitters that hit bombs (lofton, martinez, mueller). lol!
I know its not totally true (nomar, saito).
2006-06-20 21:57:52
320.   Bluebleeder87
Izzy is awesome! I don't care what some of you think I love the guy!
2006-06-20 21:58:04
321.   Uncle Miltie
IZTURIS WALKS.

New found plate discipline. The Venezuelan God of Walks!

2006-06-20 21:58:18
322.   Jon Weisman
318 - No one's arguing that Kemp can't improve. I just think you're ignoring the good at-bats Kemp has had.

317 - The Dodgers right now are just about the only example of a team that has a reason to carry 12 pitchers. When the majority of your starters can't be counted on to go five innings, you have a reason for more arms.

But yeah, I'd be eager to get down to 11 ASAP.

2006-06-20 21:58:48
323.   MartinBillingsley31
Cesar banjo izturis making his debut.
2006-06-20 21:59:02
324.   JoeyP
Looks like Billingsley will need to be the stopper tomorrow. Bc thursday the Dodgers face King Felix, and friday they get Oliver Perez..Those might be tough games.
2006-06-20 21:59:48
325.   JoeyP
Izzy with a WALK!
2006-06-20 22:01:17
326.   Jon Weisman
324 - Oliver 6.10 Perez?
2006-06-20 22:01:24
327.   D4P
Is there anyone around here who actually likes Furcal?
2006-06-20 22:01:53
328.   Greg S
Didn't mean to cause any frustration Jon. I try to defend my points fairly and not make it so there is no response. I respect your opinions and your work greatly!
2006-06-20 22:03:00
329.   JoeyP
Speaking of approaches, maybe KLoft needs to work on his. You're down by 5 runs in the 9th, and you have a 2-0 count. Might want to take a strike before swinging.
2006-06-20 22:03:47
330.   MartinBillingsley31
Is there anyone around here who actually likes Furcal?

I don't have a problem with him since he isn't blocking a prospect.
Can't say i like him tho.

2006-06-20 22:03:54
331.   LAT
Too bad Furcal didn't get on base. We could have the base loaded with shortstops. That would have to be a first.
2006-06-20 22:04:08
332.   Greg S
329 Agreed. Especially when you're that type of player.
2006-06-20 22:04:32
333.   JoeyP
326. He's had two good starts in a row. He might turning the corner.
2006-06-20 22:05:25
334.   Dodger Blue Notes
I dont think Kemp is taking a bad approach at the plate I just think he has been unable to hit off speed pitches.
2006-06-20 22:08:19
335.   Jon Weisman
328 - No, we're cool. Nothing personal - thanks.
2006-06-20 22:19:07
336.   Steve
Watching broxton wasted in middle relief is increasingly bothersome.
2006-06-20 22:23:55
337.   JoeyP
Dont worry Steve.
You have Martin batting 8th, and Izturis starting at 3rd base to look forward too.
2006-06-20 22:33:31
338.   Steve
On any single day, I might have to watch Sele, Bombko, KJW, FTOGS, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or some random Beimulack. Your point is valid, but somehow I think this is not our biggest problem right now.
2006-06-20 23:51:41
339.   natepurcell
136 - You guys want Fasano for Aybar?

I am probably the only one here that would say yes to that trade.

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