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About Jon
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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
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The Dodger Lineup
2006-12-29 10:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of you may have noticed imbalance in the potential 2007 Dodger lineup, in terms of batting against right-handed or left-handed pitching.

Here are the current lineups, ranked by 2006 OPS. Note that small-sample size cautions apply:

vs. lefties
2B - Jeff Kent, 1.036
1B - Nomar Garciaparra, 1.020
C - Russell Martin, .972
SS - Rafael Furcal, .928
RF - Andre Ethier, .846
LF - Luis Gonzalez, .740
CF - Juan Pierre, .699
3B - Wilson Betemit, .460
Bench - Olmedo Saenz, 1.199
Bench - Jason Repko, .875
Bench - James Loney, .850
Bench - Ramon Martinez, .699
Minors - Matt Kemp, 1.059/Jacksonville, 1.310/Las Vegas, .578/Los Angeles
Minors - Andy LaRoche, .921/Jacksonville, 1.023/Las Vegas

vs. righties
RF - Andre Ethier, .842
1B - Nomar Garciaparra, .839
LF - Luis Gonzalez, .819
SS - Rafael Furcal, .814
2B - Jeff Kent, .805
C - Russell Martin, .754
3B - Wilson Betemit, .742
CF - Juan Pierre, .728
Bench - Marlon Anderson, 1.341
Bench - James Loney, .914
Bench - Olmedo Saenz, .793
Minors - Andy LaRoche, .889/Jacksonville, .925/Las Vegas
Minors - Matt Kemp, .849/Jacksonville, .892/Las Vegas, .808/Los Angeles

Against lefties, things look lovely in five spots of the lineup, and there are solutions in two others. Betemit's hollow performance against lefties makes as little sense to me as Anderson's brilliance for the team in September - there should be improvement there. In any case, LaRoche may soon be ready to step in and help, and Saenz can spot-start as well. (If the Dodgers were to plant Garciaparra at third base for the first couple of months of the season to allow Loney to play full-time, that might also improve the dynamic - though don't count on it happening.) Kemp could also be ready to boost things by summertime.

Much more troubling is the Dodgers' potential weakness against right-handed pitching - which the Dodgers will face more often. None of the current starters OPSed better than .850 against righties last season. Some players are young enough to improve, but countering that are the elders ready to decline.

Dodger general manager Ned Colletti signed free-agents Garciaparra, Gonzalez and Pierre because he felt he couldn't count on Loney, Ethier and Kemp to carry those spots in the lineup. It's not a view I agree with necessarily - no doubt, the Dodgers would panic if Loney began the year with a .500 OPS in April, in contrast to how they let veterans like Kent and Furcal ride out their terrible starts. However, given that the team appears to have money to burn this offseason, there's nothing inherently wrong with stockpiling depth ... if the Dodgers know what to do with it.

But for the Dodgers to reach the postseason, regardless of Colletti's precuations, my guess is they will need at least two of Loney/Kemp/Ethier/LaRoche/Betemit to play above-average ball. It doesn't even need to be for the entire season, just for the bulk of it. They're the ones with the high ceilings; they, as opposed to the aging free agents, are the ones who can truly make a difference, as opposed to being band-aids with occasional professional at-bats, as they say.

I'm not trying to dismiss what someone like Garciaparra can do, with his September heroics still fresh in mind, but I'm trying to be realistic and not forget his overall second-half slump either. As Martin's 10th-inning summertime homer against the Giants reminded us, you don't have to be a vet to be a hero.

The Dodgers can't expect Kent, Gonzalez, Garciaparra, Pierre or even Furcal to be much better than they were in 2006. But Loney 2007 can be better than Garciaparra 2006. Kemp 2007 can be better than Gonzalez 2006. LaRoche/Betemit 2007 can be better than what the Dodgers had at third base in 2006. Short of a trade for a power threat against righties, the kids' success or failure (and yes, they might well fail as far as 2007 is concerned) is what will make or break the Dodger lineup.

With age and health history vulnerablizing the vets, the youngsters should get their chances.

Comments (263)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-29 10:20:14
1.   D4P
It's not a view I agree with necessarily

Did you mean to say "disagree"...?

2006-12-29 10:29:03
2.   Greg S
I agree that are vets are not likely to get better whereas the youngins certainly can. But I also worry that Ethier could easily get worse and Martin certainly has room to do the same. We got a lot of production out of those two and if it falls, that's a lot to make up for.
2006-12-29 10:36:11
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - Typically wishy-washy writing by me, I know. But I don't think it's black and white. I could see myself, for example, adding Garciaparra or even Gonzalez to the roster, but again, as to build depth, not to bury the kids.
2006-12-29 10:38:14
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - I think Ethier could have a sophomore slump, because he had some good luck for most of last year on BABIP, but even so, I still doubt that he will have a worse 2007 than Gonzalez.
2006-12-29 10:42:30
5.   jasonungar05
I think the team as it stands now can win the NL west. But not much else. Hopefully we can add a big bat now in RF and push Ethier to the bench where he can then push Gonzo to the bench. Or maybe at the trade deadline we can add a bat for a playoff run.
2006-12-29 10:44:38
6.   GoBears
"vulnerablizing"

Me likey.

2006-12-29 10:45:19
7.   twerp
Nomar may have played over his head in the first half, though he does have batting titles and such that say maybe he could play a whole year near that pace if injury-free. IF, IF...

IIRC during most of his second-half tailspin he was fighting injuries, as usual.

Has he ever had a whole season without injury? Was he inury-free (or mostly) when he won the batting titles?

2006-12-29 10:49:44
8.   twerp
7 And even if he was inury free, was he also in_j_ury free?
2006-12-29 10:50:19
9.   Jon Weisman
5 - Given how the playoffs have been going over recent years, I think there is a growing argument (which I haven't generally subscribed to in the past) for just worrying about getting into the playoffs.
2006-12-29 11:08:48
10.   jasonungar05
9-agreed. I'll take it. Just get us in. I am happy with the mix of players we have, aside from maybe the RF situation.
2006-12-29 11:12:14
11.   Rocc
According to Sickels, here are the grades for Ruggs, JtD and IsoPedroza.

10. Joel Guzman, INF-OF, B (status has slipped but still very young)

13. Justin Ruggiano, OF, B- (sleeper outfield prospect)

19. Sergio Pedroza, OF, C+ (power and patience)
---

My question is why do people keep pondering Ruggs as a "sleeper OF prospect" when he's got no overwhelming tools and his overall numbers are pedestrian.

2006-12-29 11:16:02
12.   Bumsrap
In a blue world Penny would get off to a great start and Colletti would take advantage of it and trade him along with Gonzo and Pierre June first at 12:01 A.M.

So it is the June first lineup that I would most like to project and that would be:

ss Furcal
rf Kemp
cf Rios
great speed so far
3b Garciaparra
1b Loney
2b Kent
lf Ethier
c Martin

If by June first the Angels panic with their lack of power and perhaps they would like to have Kent and Garciaparra in exchange for the pitcher some team really wants that also has a great young second baseman the Dodgers would want.

Then the Dodgers have to figure out a way to bring up Meloan, Alexander, and Miller in exchange for Tomko, Hendrickson, and Biemel. Oh, I almost forgot; something has to be done with Gonzo and Pierre.

In summary I look forward to the 25 man roster to not include: Kent, Nomar, Pierre, Gonzo, Penny, Tomko, Hendrickson, Biemel, and maybe Betemit. They are almost there; just a few miner tweaks away.

Opening day will be exciting and June 1 could be even more exciting.

2006-12-29 11:18:22
13.   Andrew Shimmin
Anybody know the line on the Rose Bowl, off the top of his head? Or, am I reading this right, and it's even (minus the vig)?

http://tinyurl.com/tjmuw

2006-12-29 11:30:22
14.   GoBears
12. Yeah, 'twould be nice, but ain't gonna happen. I'd be absolutely shocked if Colletti were to trade Pierre, Kent, or Nomar, and the only way I see him trading Gonzales is if Gonzales gets hurt in April, and comes back healthy only to find Kemp tearing up the league. In other words, not.

And if veterans DO get hurt early on, I think it much more likely that Colletti trades kids (though maybe not the best ones) for even more mediocre veterans.

2006-12-29 11:45:02
15.   JoeyP
Betemit's hollow performance against lefties makes as little sense to me as Anderson's brilliance for the team in September - there should be improvement there

IIRC, Betemit didnt hit well against lefties in Atlanta either.

But Loney 2007 can be better than Garciaparra 2006.

I disagree. Granted Nomar fell way off in the 2nd half, but his 1st half was great. I dont think Loney overall can match what Nomar did. Until Loney can put together two consecutive good seasons, I'll be a skeptic of his. He's done mostly nothing, with empty peripherals, for the majority of his career.

Kemp 2007 can be better than Gonzalez 2006. LaRoche/Betemit 2007 can be better than what the Dodgers had at third base in 2006

I definitely agree there. Depends on how much power Betemit can show, and whether LaRoche is even given a chance.

2006-12-29 11:49:11
16.   jakewoods
This lineup is god awful.

Wheres the power? Whos the big bat?

2006-12-29 11:49:31
17.   JoeyP
11--Ruggiano's numbers arent pedestrian.

His career line: .306/.411/.511 is pretty good, considering he hasnt played in very good hitters parks or leagues.

After the trade last year, he hit .333/.442/.630 for Montgomery in 107 ABs.

He's in the right organization now. The Dodgers dont really give guys their scouts dont like much of a chance, even if they put up great numbers.

2006-12-29 11:49:44
18.   Bob Timmermann
13
You are correct. The lines range between 1 point for either team.
2006-12-29 11:55:03
19.   regfairfield
Random question: is there that shows what minor league free agents have signed? The massive lack of catching depth in this organization is starting to get to me.
2006-12-29 12:20:27
20.   Bob Timmermann
Late entry for bizarre headline of 2006:

"Yankees broadcaster Murcer watches Independence Bowl after brain surgery"

If someone ripped my skull open, I would want to make sure I would have all my faculties available to watch the Independence Bowl too!

2006-12-29 12:28:11
21.   D4P
Independence Bowl after brain surgery

Free your mind, and the rest will follow

2006-12-29 12:44:12
22.   Greg S
20. My favorite came from CNN.com (a never ending source of comedy).
"Penguins killed on Texas highway; octopus unharmed".

No joy in the pengun demise you understand.

2006-12-29 12:47:52
23.   Bumsrap
Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, Heidi

CBS, oh CBS thanks for the funeral. Great decision. Instead of a football game we get to look at black limos moving slowly and talk about the pardon.

2006-12-29 12:49:26
24.   natepurcell
He's in the right organization now. The Dodgers dont really give guys their scouts dont like much of a chance, even if they put up great numbers.

the dodger scouts were the reason ruggiano was drafted. are you kidding? do you just throw stuff on the wall and hope it sticks?

2006-12-29 12:50:06
25.   Bumsrap
An open mind is liberating--lets one watch the Independence Bowl.
2006-12-29 12:54:26
26.   regfairfield
23 We interrupt this presidential funeral for...a football game.

Granted, I would probably enjoy that, but I imagine that would draw some complaints.

2006-12-29 12:54:49
27.   natepurcell
11

all three of those guys have inflated grades. Guzman is living off of past reputation, ruggiano is from putting up decent stats where he was 2-3 yrs older then the competition and pedroza because of his power.

the thing with pedroza is that he wont be anything more then a DH. he has a strong arm but below average outfield skills and his athleticism is lacking if a switch to catcher wants to be made. Due to his extreme ability to strikeout in the lower minors, i am also very skeptical of his ability to hit for an acceptable average in the majors so teams will allow him to get plate appearances. The ISOs are very nice, but they dont go that far when you have to sport an extremely high BABIP to even reach a .260ish batting average.

Personally, I might leave Guzman at the B just out of hope he can snap out of it at his age. Ruggiano should be knocked a grade down to a C+ and pedroza to a C.

2006-12-29 12:55:07
28.   caseybarker
23
Well, the Raiders are 2-13.
2006-12-29 12:56:29
29.   natepurcell
but overall, im very impressed by the devil rays system. sleeper arms like Mcgee and davis are finally starting to get notice and hopefully they can repeat their success in the upper minors.
2006-12-29 12:59:25
30.   regfairfield
27 Assuming Guzman hasn't completely lost it, why isn't that a good grade for a 21 year old in AAA?

I could see Pedroza having a Russell Branyan like career, or at the very least be the guy who hits one pinch home run a month while striking out in every other at bat.

2006-12-29 13:01:57
31.   natepurcell
30

its fine. at the end of my rant, i convinced myself it should stay a B.

2006-12-29 13:24:37
32.   Dodger Jack
I am really not excited about watching another season of old, tired vets hitting 15 dingers apiece. I believe that I speak for the majority of Dodger fans when I say that the team must start playing its top prospects, even if their progress is slow or choppy. I hope they find a way to get LaRoche, Loney, and Kemp into the lineup.

By the same token, I would prefer Kuo over Penny. With Billingley and Kuo starting, Broxton setting up and eventually closing, and Elbert and Kershaw on the way up, we have the makings of an exciting young pitching staff. Why would anyone rather watch Hendrickson, Tomko, Beimel, Dessens, et al?

Three years ago, the Detroit Tigers were the worst team in baseball. Last year, they were one of the best. Youngsters made the difference.

Last year, the Dodgers started the year at catcher with Navarro (a youngster, yes, but a starter from the previous season); no one could believe that Martin was ready. A few weeks, a passel of bad throws from Navarro, and hot hitting from Martin changed management's tack. It took a while, too, for them to figure out that Ethier was for real.

The mystery in all this for me is what happens to Betemit. Do the Dodgers have a long range plan to shift him to second once LaRoche has arrived and Kent has retired? Has anyone done a comparison of Betemit and LaRoche as third sackers/hitters?

2006-12-29 13:30:11
33.   regfairfield
How about Kuo over Wolf?

I really don't want to deal any starters at this point. The reason why #4 and #5 starters are so bad isn't because the team's original 4 and 5 are bad, it's because when a starter goes down (which is guaranteed to happen) they get replaced by the 6 and 7 guys, who tend to be atrocious.

The Dodgers can lose a couple pitchers and still have a strong four and five. I don't want to lose the one strength this team has.

2006-12-29 13:41:06
34.   WellsforKemp
an interesting point about the Padres from McCovey Chronicles, a giant blog a while back:

The Padres are really starting to tick me off with the personnel moves that fall into their laps. Last year, they were bequeathed Cla Merideth, Josh Bard, Chris Young, and Adrian Gonzalez -- the only player of any value that went the other way was Akinora Otsuka -- and this year they get quality free agents without having to dole out long-term commitments. Greg Maddux signs a one-year deal, maybe the starting pitching bargain of the offseason, and now the Padres benefit from Marcus Giles being cut loose by the Braves. They essentially traded Josh Barfield for Kevin Kouzmanoff and Marcus Giles, and upgraded from the Vinnie Castilla and Barfield arrangement with which they started 2006.

I tend to agree, and while I think you have to give Kevin Towers some credit, to say he knew several of those players would preform to the extent they did is a bit much....... where would they really be last year and where would they be going into this year w/ out there recent fourtune?...........lucky bastards(:

2006-12-29 13:41:40
35.   Bob Timmermann
26
They are closing the stock markets on January 2 for President Ford's funeral and that is no small matter.

I think you can live without the Sun Bowl for a bit.

2006-12-29 13:42:03
36.   GoBears
I believe that I speak for the majority of Dodger fans when I say that the team must start playing its top prospects, even if their progress is slow or choppy.

I believe you speak for a majority of DodgerThoughts regulars, but nowhere near a majority of Dodger fans.

Most fans don't know anything about prospects until they see them. And most believe whatever the LA Times and ESPN tell them about "proven veterans," and hope that next season will be as good as their various peak seasons, no matter how long ago.

At least that's what I believe.

2006-12-29 13:43:52
37.   Sam DC
We just got an email stating that our office will be open on tuesday, and it had the gall to warn people (like me) who must travel past the capital on the way in to consider coming in early to avoid the difficult traffic situation the Ford proceedings are expected to create.
2006-12-29 13:45:51
38.   regfairfield
34 They did also lose Mark Lorretta in that exchange, but yeah, it does annoy me how often the Padres get those deals and how often terrible players become useful on the Padres (see Roberts, Dave). I have started giving Towers more credit over the last six months.

When was the last time the Dodgers got something good for nothing? Antonio Perez for Jason Romano? K. Brown for Weaver and Brazoban?

2006-12-29 13:48:58
39.   Howard Fox
two kisses of death

one - the morning talk show host subbing for Colin Cowherd on ESPN this morning picked the Dodgers to win the World Series this year, and,

two - a few weeks ago, I rearranged my vacation travel plans for the upcoming year after all the free agent signings so that I will be in town for the World Series

2006-12-29 13:52:28
40.   WellsforKemp
the morning talk show host subbing for Colin Cowherd on ESPN this morning picked the Dodgers to win the World Series this year, and,

Its Unbelievable how people (in importiant positions) actually think the Dodgers upgraded with "proven vets" like Gonzo and Pierre

2006-12-29 13:54:48
41.   regfairfield
Goodbye J.D., hello World Series.
2006-12-29 14:02:00
42.   Blaine
I wanted to add a couple of thoughts to the few recent comments. In the past couple of years, I think that I have become a more thoughtful, intelligent baseball fan. I give that credit to reading DT on a regular basis. I grew up collecting baseball cards and reading batting averages, wins and saves and being very impressed by all of those wonderful numbers.

As I have read DT and listened to the in depth analysis I have grown to understand those "back of the baseball cards stats" more deeply. Now when I talk to friends about the Dodgers I hear myself saying things all the time about how empty Pierre's steals and singles are when he doesn't get on base enough or how Gonzo's veteran presence just means he should be a coach and not a player.

I think that the mindset is slowly changing, though. I believe that there is more thoughtful conversation going on around the watercooler and on the sports talk shows.

I even saw Rich Lederer this past weekend on ESPNews talking about Defensive Adjusted ERA in reference to the guy the Brewers signed.

Sorry about the long post. I just wanted to share how this "old school" baseball fan has been converted into a more thoughtful fan. So, thank you DT for the great conversation and well thought out posts and comments.

2006-12-29 14:02:46
43.   Blaine
Jeff Suppan. It came to me just as I hit submit.
2006-12-29 14:02:50
44.   Howard Fox
40 personally, I think we have upgraded the team with the moves of the offseason...may not make sense to you "numbers" people, but my sense is that we are the team to beat in the National League, and probably throughout baseball
2006-12-29 14:04:13
45.   Penarol1916
35. I'm not sure if my dad can though. He's really become invested in Missouri athletics. It makes me sad how he's thrown over his loyalty to his alma mater (Wisconsin) for the school that is just writing his paycheck, and not even that since he has an endowed chair so the school is really just paying the rent for his office.
2006-12-29 14:08:34
46.   caseybarker
45 Tigers are really taking Oregon State to the woodshed right now at the start of the fourth quarter.

I enjoyed the beating that PPepperdine took in the regionals at the hands of Missouri.

2006-12-29 14:10:34
47.   ToyCannon
19
If I recall correctly the Dodgers are planning on giving Carlos Santana a shot at becoming a catcher. In 2005 he was an outfielder and then last year he played 3b and outfield. He evidently has a cannon for an arm but is not particularly fast. A switch hitting Dominican with decent power and decent plate discipline he may have only been a marginal prospect as an outfielder but if he can make it as a catcher his star will burn brighter. If you throw out his time at High A when the Dodgers threw him to the wolves he had another growth year and at his young age has plenty of time to grow. One of my favorite unheralded Dodger prospects.
2006-12-29 14:19:33
48.   Icaros
47

He also did a cool duet with Everlast a few years back.

2006-12-29 14:24:14
49.   regfairfield
47 I'm also a fan of Santana. If he can play catcher that would really help.

Unfortunately, that doesn't help the Dodgers problem of having to use someone like A.J. Ellis to backup Lieberthal if Russell Martin goes down.

2006-12-29 14:27:38
50.   Penarol1916
46. I've noticed that the Tigers seem to have an awful lot of guys named Chase for a football team. In my day, Chase was not the name of a football player, it was the name of the captain of the Tennis team or the villain on a soap opera.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-29 14:29:22
51.   caseybarker
Man, I thought all the Missouri players were sick or something.
2006-12-29 14:35:24
52.   JoeyP
24--

the dodger scouts were the reason ruggiano was drafted.

What was the reason he repeated AA then?

38--
K. Brown for Weaver and Brazoban?
Considering Brown was coming off a 200+IP 2.39 ERA season...I dont think he was 'nothing'. If anything, I think that was one of the worst deals the Dodgers have made, if you realize how high Brown's value was at the time. They sold high on him for sure, but they got basically nothing for him. An average pitcher like Weaver really didnt help the team that much.

2006-12-29 14:40:47
53.   MSarg29
37 - Sam, my office in DC has decided to give us the day off on the 2nd.
2006-12-29 14:43:28
54.   MSarg29
52 - I agree w/ your thoughts on Brown. Sometimes I think people forget how effective he was when he was healthy for us. He really got no run support with the Dodgers.
2006-12-29 14:53:19
55.   StolenMonkey86
52 - Brown was also 40, injury prone, and a strain on the payroll.

Jeff Weaver played probably his two best seasons in LA, and he did pitch deep into games (444 IP over those two seasons). Brazoban, don't forget, proved to be a useful reliever, and we got him still as a rookie, so he's young and still quite useful.

2006-12-29 14:56:47
56.   StolenMonkey86
You know, the way we came to see the Dodger Youth movement come in was by watching the old guys fall apart, and that will determine who we get to see next.

I'll post my guesses once I get general approval that this isn't a fate tempter in the spirit of TYFN #9.

2006-12-29 15:02:18
57.   caseybarker
WOW! What a Sun Bowl.
2006-12-29 15:07:59
58.   GoBears
Bold move by Oregon State.
2006-12-29 15:13:04
59.   Bob Timmermann
Fortune favors the bold.

Or maybe Mike Riley felt that he was better off trying to get out of El Paso as fast as he can. I hear that Eric Enders was making crank phone calls to the hotels where the Beavers were staying and kept asking if Terry Baker was on the team.

2006-12-29 15:42:12
60.   twerp
55 IIRC, Brazoban is basically a fastball-only pitcher. Or, has he developed another pitch or two?

Given the success he's had with pretty much just the FB, what might he do with other effective pitches?

2006-12-29 15:43:15
61.   WellsforKemp
personally, I think we have upgraded the team with the moves of the offseason...may not make sense to you "numbers" people, but my sense is that we are the team to beat in the National League, and probably throughout baseball

you could argue that we may have upgraded to a better team overall this year with personal. Mostly by default due to the potential of young players coming up.....although how they are used to the amount that we are any better is another story

2006-12-29 15:48:05
62.   trainwreck
I think we are better simply because we added pitching depth in Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf. In addition, to having more of the youngsters being ready to take over rolls. I agree with Jon, in that our youngters are going to have to basically "save" our offense. We are going to need a couple of them to step up because I am not counting on much from most of our position players.

I expect LaRoche and Loney to be the guys that step and I expect Martin to be better than he was last year.

2006-12-29 15:49:45
63.   trainwreck
I have no problem with Kuo in the bullpen or AAA if our 5 starting pitchers are all performing well, which all of them are capable of doing. If Kuo is just lights out and someone is not playing up to par, then move Kuo back into the rotation. Saving Kuo's arm is a good thing.
2006-12-29 16:07:49
64.   GoBears
64. How would you explain (and if it's real, deal with) the fact that Kuo was so much better last year as a starter than out of the 'pen? Specifically, his control was much better. Some attributed this to the lower pressure to make every pitch count that comes with a regular rotation spot (whereas a bad pitch here or there as a reliever could mean banishment). Others to the longer stints and longer regular rests that a starter gets.

If Kuo really is better as a starter, then he ought to start. If not in LA, then in Vegas, waiting for an injury.

2006-12-29 16:20:16
65.   Marty
f not in LA, then in Vegas, waiting for an injury.

To someone else, hopefully.

2006-12-29 16:27:24
66.   Bob Timmermann
In the Liberty Bowl, Houston decided to punt when faced with a 4th and goal from the 50.

The Cougars had lost 42 yards on the previous play due to a bad snap and then a player trying to kick the ball out of bounds.

2006-12-29 16:31:15
67.   GoBears
65. Uh, yeah. What Marty said.
2006-12-29 17:04:11
68.   trainwreck
64
I did say or in AAA. He can at least be a long reliever out of the pen.
2006-12-29 17:05:14
69.   trainwreck
I would not be surprised to see Kuo in rotation and Billingsley in the pen just because Grady has a lot of confidence in Kuo.
2006-12-29 17:32:24
70.   Casilda
7 - "Nomar may have played over his head in the first half, though he does have batting titles and such that say maybe he could play a whole year near that pace if injury-free."
In 1999 the &$%^ manager of the Orioles, Ray Miller, ordered Al Reyes (whose own injuries are purest karma)to bean Nomar. Reyes hit Nomar with the pitch on his wrist, and he eventually needed surgery on the tendon in 2001 (this is after the titles in 1999 [.357] and 2000 [.372].) Conventional wisdom says that Nomar's never been the same since. I think they're probably right, and you won't get 99/00 Nomar.

What I think you will get is 2002-2003 Nomar, and to paraphrase Bullwinkle, he's an antihistamine player (not to be sneezed at.) That Nomar played in 156 games both years, hitting 310/352/528 in '02 and 301/345/524 in '03 (and that was with the slump from HELL in '03. Nomar hit .170 that Sept. The fact that he hit .398 that June made up for it.)

Unless the wrist has healed in the interim. (Maybe, maybe?)

"Has he ever had a whole season without injury? Was he inury-free (or mostly) when he won the batting titles?" 1997 - 153 games, 1998 - 143, 1999 - 135, 2000 - 140, 2002 - 156, 2003 - 156. All at shortstop, mind you. (Then the trouble began. Stupid achilles tendon.) He actually missed more games in the batting title years than in the other years.

So he has done it. The question is, is he able to do it again? I don't know. I'm hoping that the run of bad luck is over, and that his body has decided to stop falling apart. I suppose we'll see. When he's healthy, Nomar's never had a year that he's hit below 300 or OBPed less than 340. When he's healthy.

2006-12-29 17:39:37
71.   sanchez101
Why not use Kuo for 2-3 innings on Billingsley's starts. Chad is pretty much a 5 inning pitcher anyway. Kuo can treat, and prepare for each game as if it was his own start. If Billingsley gets nocked out early, as will happen occasionaly, Kuo is there to pick up the rest of the game without forcing Grady into the bullpen. If Chad's pitching well, he can still pitch 7 or 8 innings if he wants, or finish the game if he can. But usually Billingsley only pitches about 5-6 innings a game.

Do this for half the season, or until a spot opens up for Kuo. Then he's ready, having prepared for each outing as a starter and pitching every 5th day, to pick up anyone else's slack. This way, you keep Kuo's innings down to a more reasonable number. The only thing keeping Billz and Kuo back is their ability to throw deep into games (because they use a lot of pitches), they're ERA projections have generally been around 4.00. Combining the two would give the Dodgers an assett every 5 days, rather than forcing the team into the bullpen regularly.

I'm sure this won't happen, but I think its worth trying. I hope Colletti and Co. have taken note of how the Twins handled Santana early in his career, because Kuo isn't not all that disimilar.

2006-12-29 17:44:29
72.   sanchez101
70. I agree, a healthy Nomar is a .290-.300 EQA hitter. Most of his poor performances were due to battling some nagging injury, like in the second-half of 2006, or the early part of 2005.

Nomar really isn't that different than Drew, when healthy they belong in the middle of the lineup. The difference is that Drew generally doesn't play hurt, which is probably smart.

2006-12-29 17:47:05
73.   Sushirabbit
Does anyone know (or have access to) Ethier's ISO power in the Cal League? I know that it was bad in the Texas league, I just wonder if it is possible that he can keep improving. Like Betemit, I can't understand the urge to trade Ethier unless it's for someone really good, add Penny to that trade and we better get someone that's as good now as people expect (want) Rios to be in the future. Otherwise it seems your just trading one gamble for another. (I seem to recall that Rios' ISO power wasn't that great either.)
2006-12-29 17:53:07
74.   Sushirabbit
When I put on my rose-colored-gagne-goggles, I see that Coletti wants to play the young guys but realizes that last year rookie contributions most likely won't happen again at the same level. He wants to go slow and have some "tested veterans" to throw in the mix to ease the "pressure" on the young guys. With the glasses on this makes sense, until you add Juan Pierre to the picture and then my goggles turn yellow and everything doesn't look so good.
2006-12-29 18:28:09
75.   Daniel Zappala
Some really good comments tonight. I'm also optimistic about Nomar this year. I'm hoping Loney and Ethier have strong springs -- not so meaningful to us, but enough to convince Little to play them full time. Loney can play first, moving Nomar to third. If Betemit does well too, then that's a good problem to have and Loney can spot Gonzalez in LF.
2006-12-29 18:32:07
76.   twerp
I understand that in the offseason Grady likes to cruise the North Carolina countryside on his motorcycle.

Could this be his ride?

http://tinyurl.com/y7n9yr

2006-12-29 18:50:23
77.   Vishal
[60] i think he was fastball/slider and was working on a changeup when he went down. maybe it's something he can pick up again during spring training.

i don't like the idea of kuo in AAA. if he's starting, he should be starting in MLB. innings are innings no matter what level they're at. if we want to limit his workload, put him in the pen for a while. perhaps it would be advisable to switch billz and kuo in and out of the pen from time to time so neither collects too many innings. 150 from each would be great. i like the idea of dividing up some of their starts into 4-5 innings each. it's good outside-the-box thinking. i remember reading that kuo was a lot more comfortable when he was allowed time to warm up and study his opponents as a starter.

2006-12-29 19:08:49
78.   LAT
Saddam Hussein,
RIP. . . or not.
2006-12-29 19:26:50
79.   D4P
I see the Lakers are currently nearing the end of triple overtime, and have a grand total of 11 assists.
2006-12-29 19:30:19
80.   Bob Timmermann
The box score I'm checking says 16 assists.
2006-12-29 19:31:30
81.   overkill94
78 The stupid special report that popped up when I was watching Jeopardy stopped me from seeing the answer to final Jeopardy.

In 2006 what Broadway play based on a 1911 work became the longest running show?

2006-12-29 19:34:09
82.   D4P
80
I guess CBS lied to me. I generally prefer their "Gamecenter"esque thing over ESPN's, but not when they lie...
2006-12-29 19:36:08
83.   LAT
81. Phantom, I think.
2006-12-29 19:38:27
84.   Bob Timmermann
83
It is indeed "Phantom of the Opera"
2006-12-29 19:39:26
85.   D4P
84
Thanks, Ken.
2006-12-29 19:41:30
86.   Bob Timmermann
LAT was first.
2006-12-29 19:43:55
87.   Sam DC
What, Paul Williams didn't originate that role?
2006-12-29 19:46:30
88.   LAT
The Cippers are playing Sacto and Artest is still in a King uniform. Sigh.
2006-12-29 19:50:46
89.   Brian Y
I dont know if it has been discussed but is anyone else worried about the lack of Catching depth we have. I love Russ Martin and his patience "should" prevent too much of a softmore slump but he still has not been tested too much on the psychological effects a prolonged batting slump might affect him considering the "sophomore slump" theory especially on how it may affect his defense. Look at Dioner as a good case in what Im talking about. He looked dreadful on defense and it may have been because his offense took a horrible downswing.

I would just love to have a dependable young catcher in the minors without depending on Mike Lieberthal's balky knees to protect us. Also, how will/would Grady handle such a situation if a slump lasted til June?

2006-12-29 19:54:33
90.   Brian Y
Also, I may be in the minority but will Billingsley's tools I would like to see him in the bullpen this year with Kuo starting considering how dreadful Kuo performed out of the pen in the early part of last season vs. his performances as a starter. Do any of you think Jeff Mathis could be had from the Angels or Jeff Clement from the M's? Looks like they could use additional pitching like a Tomko or Hendrickson plus an OF prospect like Delwyn Young could get Mathis and maybe a bit more for Clement.
2006-12-29 19:54:38
91.   LAT
Sam, I actually saw Paul Willams this week on Beverly Drive. Looks exactly the same only older. Big deal for me cause my wife always teases me that I could be standing next to Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson and Camaron Diaz and not notice. Of course, she has no idea who Paul Williams is so I didn't get any star sighting credit.
2006-12-29 19:56:25
92.   Bob Timmermann
You can tell the difference between Julia Roberts and Jack Nicholson now because one of them is pregnant.
2006-12-29 19:59:21
93.   D4P
My wife walked by Julia Roberts years ago on Shelter Island. Julia smiled.
2006-12-29 20:29:21
94.   Vishal
i apparently was standing right next to (like, a foot away from) jeff goldblum while i was buying a bottle of wine at a deli/restuarant once, but i didn't even notice he was there. which is a shame because i think jeff goldblum is awesome. and it's strange because he's a big guy. so to this day the only celebrity i've actually seen out and about in LA is tony shalhoub buying an ice cream cake at the larchmont baskin-robbins.
2006-12-29 20:37:06
95.   thinkingblue
Ok, I know I'm not the best poster in the world or anything, but I swear, everyone on the dodgers message board is under the "Pierre brings heart, is a sparkpulg, and proven player," and "Gonzo will allieviate the pressure of the kids, will be a clubhouse leader, and has a proven track record" impression. Seriously, I wonder what puts people under that impression?
2006-12-29 20:40:08
96.   overkill94
The real question is - why are you still reading that drivel?
2006-12-29 20:47:02
97.   StolenMonkey86
Jack Nicholson is giving birth. That poor child.
2006-12-29 20:47:44
98.   Vishal
[95] it's the odious influence of people like this man:

http://tinyurl.com/uvzun

2006-12-29 20:49:29
99.   Bob Timmermann
Although I cannot watch it since I am not among the five richest princes of Europe and I don't have the NFL Network, but in the fourth quarter of the Insight Bowl in Phoenix, Texas Tech scored 24 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to send the game against Minnesota into OT.
2006-12-29 21:00:34
100.   Bob Timmermann
The Red Raiders won in OT 44-41. They were down by 31 at one point. Biggest comeback ever in a bowl game.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-29 21:06:28
101.   Vishal
wow. tech wins! 31-point comeback!
2006-12-29 21:08:19
102.   popup
For those who get ESPN Classic, at Noon Eastern, the 4+1 game, Dodgers v Padres, will be shown. I don't get that station, but for everyone's sake I hope Vin is the broadcaster.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-12-29 21:09:43
103.   popup
oops, my bad. the date and time of the broadcast is Noon Eastern on 12-31-06

Stan from Tacoma

2006-12-29 21:47:04
104.   Brian Y
OK so maybe im the only one worried about our depth behind Martin/Lieberthal. Oh well.
2006-12-29 21:56:35
105.   Bob Timmermann
Brett Mayne is waiting by the phone for a call.
2006-12-29 22:02:06
106.   Jon Weisman
104, meet 19 & 49
2006-12-29 22:05:12
107.   Bob Timmermann
Jim Leyritz wants to make a comeback.

And that's not a joke.

2006-12-29 22:23:57
108.   Brian Y
106. Thank you Jon. Now I would like to see someone besides AJ Ellis and a low A hitter who is going to be turned to a C as our fallback option.

107. I heard Benito wants to make one too. How sad is the catching situation that these two honestly believe they can make one. Ugh!

2006-12-29 22:24:54
109.   Brian Y
I wonder what Chad Kreuter is doing these days. lol
2006-12-29 22:49:19
110.   Xeifrank
My office will be closed on Jan. 2, for the Ford Natl Day of Mourning. I was already taking the whole week off anyways. Now I get to spill my vacation over til the following monday (1/8). vr, Xei
2006-12-29 22:52:45
111.   Xeifrank
I've said before that Guo and Billingsley over Wolf is a no brainer. But given who our GM is, I don't mind that Wolf be given a chance at the 5th starter spot if it will shave a few innings off of Guo's arm for the 2007 season. I can live with Billingsley as our fourth starter and Wolf as our fifth as long as Guo is pitching some high leverage innings in the pen and not starting at AAA. I see no point in using Guo as a starter in AAA, as it wouldn't keep the innings off of his arm. If Guo looks good and is still dominating and not walking too many batters and Wolf isn't doing all that well, I'd like to see Guo in the rotation by mid June.
vr, Xei
2006-12-29 22:53:33
112.   Louis in SF
Coming to this chat a bit late after listening to the Sadam execution story, I find the whole concern about Nomar misguided. You don't approach the season that Nomar will play 150 plus games-you actually don't want him to. You hope to get a good solid 125 games from him, and the remaining games/at bats you want to give to Looney.

Grady Little utilized JD Drew perfectly last year, it may have been nice if Drew could have hit for a bit more power, but you want to take the same approach with Nomar, play him 100 games at 1st, make him the DH in about 15 games, another 20-30 at 3rd and his remaing 10 games as a pinch hitter-remaing 20 or so resting, allowing Loney to start a minimum of 50-60 at first, hoping Loney then gets at least another 60 in the outfield-with Gonzales and Either that doesn't seem implausable-any games he gets into as a result of injuries is more of plus, but he certainly gets a far better look.

I think by the end of the season when we look at 1st base numbers will see 30 homers, 130 RBI, OPS 950.

2006-12-29 22:59:43
113.   shamrok
95.

Having a positive (albeit, less informed, maybe wrong) outlook on players that have already been signed is a bad thing? Too bad.

I'm not a sipper of the Pierre/Gonz Kool-Aid, but they happened, might as well get used to the idea (however temporary we we'd like it) already....they now wear Dodger Blue after all.

2006-12-29 23:07:37
114.   ToyCannon
Why is anyone worried about who our 3rd string catcher is in December? If that was the least of our worries we'd be in pig heaven.

Just got back from the Clip game, Artest looked terrible and Maggette was excellent. Do we really want to trade 3 years of Maggette for 4 months of a player that we have no idea will sign off on Dunleavy's system? No question that Artest is a better player but only if we know were getting an Artest committed to playing for us and right now he looks bored with basketball.

2006-12-30 00:31:13
115.   Brian Y
114. Its not that im worried about who we can sign im more worried about our lack of depth behind Martin since Lieberthal is not the best alternative in my opinion but I have no problem with a low rent former ML catcher but I would rather have a solid alternative rather than a Mike DeFelice type.
2006-12-30 00:39:38
116.   thinkblue0
115-

Most teams don't have much depth behind their starting catcher. Lieberthal is a fine backup...I can't think of any other team, at least in our division, that has a backup catcher the quality of Lieberthal.

I'm not saying he's a stud or anything, but for someone who's going to just be a backup he's pretty darn good.

2006-12-30 00:50:11
117.   Brian Y
116. I think he'll be fine if he stays healthy which has been a rare thing the past few years. I used to love Lieberthal but now I don't know if he can stay healthy enough if something were to happen with Martin which is the scare. I thought at the beginning of the offseason Guillermo Quiroz would have been a nice backup or a trade for the pudgey catcher in FLA or Mathis from the Halos.
2006-12-30 02:27:17
118.   Sam DC
Allright, raise your hand if you think LAT could be standing next to Cameron Diaz and not notice.
2006-12-30 06:03:26
119.   Sam DC
Happy Birthday Sandy Koufax.
2006-12-30 09:13:53
120.   blue22
109 - Kreuter is doing ok for himself right now as head coach of the USC Trojans baseball team.

107 - I'd assume it's deals like this that have the old-timers itching for a comeback:

http://tinyurl.com/yk9ayr

2006-12-30 09:14:12
121.   LAT
118. Sam, you got me there. I'm pretty sure I would notice her. Especially because I saw the Holiday this week. Not bad while your watching it but I couldn't recommend it. It is one of those movies where logistics don't get in the way of the story. You need to get to Los Angeles from London--no worries there is a flight leaving in ten minutes. You want to rent a house in Beverly Hills for nothing--no problem just ask nicely. You want to have a Writer's Guild Tribute in 4 days without any rehearsal or invitations--done. I have learn to just go with these things.
2006-12-30 10:36:36
122.   rockmrete
I aggree there should be at least a back up plan for the back up catcher. As good as Libi is, you can't count on him for a prolonged injury to Martin. Anyone know who is catching at AAA, or AA?
2006-12-30 10:39:36
123.   Andrew Shimmin
I can't stand Cameron Diaz. I hate everything about her, from her name, to her scrunched up, Siberian Weasel face. When the revolution comes, she'll be digitally removed from all the movies she's been in, and replaced with somebody better. Like a mannequin. Or an honest to Ch-i Siberian Weasel. Being John Malkovich would be an entirely cuter movie if there were a Siberian Weasel playing that role.

Anyway.

2006-12-30 10:44:03
124.   D4P
123
I concur...
2006-12-30 10:45:41
125.   Gen3Blue
Glad we are stocked with pitching. The market has apparently emboldened Weave to want 4yrs/40 mil.(Yes Jeff!).
2006-12-30 10:49:07
126.   Steve
Long live the Revolution!
2006-12-30 10:49:41
127.   Marty
Don't sugar-coat it Andrew. What do you really think?
2006-12-30 10:53:01
128.   Gen3Blue
Glad we are stocked with pitching. The market has apparently emboldened Weave to want 4yrs/40 mil.(Yes Jeff!).
2006-12-30 10:53:29
129.   Gen3Blue
129 Whoops-sorry
2006-12-30 10:55:19
130.   Bob Timmermann
Gen3Blue pulls off a Grover Cleveland!
2006-12-30 11:02:21
131.   twerp
Talk about catching reminds me of reading where Sparky Anderson thought he might have shortened Johnny Bench's career by playing him every day.

Said it was a no-brainer to pencil in the best catcher in baseball on every lineup card.

Martin is young and a stud. Who knows if he can reach the Bench level?

But I hope Grady saw what Anderson said and accordingly will force himself to give Martin just a bit more time off than he's inclined to. Maybe not have him start quite as many games, or somesuch, with the obvious condition that whoever's in for Martin has to be up to speed.

Speaking of whoever's in for Martin other than Lieberthal...after Diaz and Bellorin left, what's the status of Eric Langill? Hopeless? Gone? Or?

One more catching item: during a World Series broadcast, someone called Pudge Rodriguez probably the best catcher in history. Another announcer shot back, "what about Bench?" IIRC, the response (McCarver, I think) was, "oh, if you ask Bench I think that's what he'd tell you, too."

I think it's generally accepted that Piazza is the best offensive catcher ever. But I also thought it generally accepted that Bench was best ever overall. Opinions?

2006-12-30 11:02:35
132.   das411
123 - I was coming home from school for Thanksgiving and the movie on our bus was "There's Something About Mary."

Ben Stiller + Diaz + Chris Elliott + Brett Favre = most annoying movie ever made.

2006-12-30 11:10:41
133.   Andrew Shimmin
132- And it wasn't funny! Something About Mary is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated against the American people. It paved the way for increasingly unfunny sex romps, which, as a teenage boy, at the time, I took personally.

Do we still have Brad Cresse? Everything is fine, as long as we have Brad Cresse. And so long as Milton Bradley is black. He still is, right?

2006-12-30 11:18:35
134.   Eric Enders
"Martin is young and a stud. Who knows if he can reach the Bench level?"

I do... and the answer is Hell, no. Look up Bench's stats. He was driving in 148 runs in the majors at an age when Martin was in AA ball. I think Martin will be a stud, but probably the best we can hope for is a stud more on the order of Bill Freehan or Ted Simmons or somebody.

I do think Grady's biggest failing as a manager last year was not giving Martin enough days off. Hopefully Lieberthal is good enough that he will make that an easier thing for Grady to do.

Martin's chances of a long catching career are enhanced, I think, because he came to catching at a very late age. It seems there are only a certain number of games one pair of knees can be expected to catch. Fortunately for Martin, more of those games will come at the major league level instead of high school, college, and the low minors.

2006-12-30 11:22:15
135.   D4P
It paved the way for increasingly unfunny sex romps

Revenge of the Nerds irrelevantized all subsequent sex romps.

2006-12-30 11:26:56
136.   Steve
This Revolution should certainly be televised.
2006-12-30 11:30:20
137.   ToyCannon
131
Yogi Berra needs to always be in the conversation when best offensive catcher is discussed. His goofiness and goofy looks has overshadowed what an incredible player he was.

Back to the backup backup catcher discussion. Do you really think we should be counting on Martin to have a serious injury and then for Lieberthal to also have a serious injury by stocking our AAA with a free agent in December. What free agent catcher worth anything would sign with us as a 3rd string catcher? They are trying to catch on with someone as a backup catcher not a AAA option. Mathis is still a potential starting catcher, do you really want to trade a front line prospect for someone to toil in AAA in case our top two catchers get hurt. What team has a solid 3rd string catcher option? Most teams can't even put out a solid starting catcher much less a back up the quality of Lieberthal. I find myself befuddled with this worry. When Spring Training ends the old catchers or failed prospects who didn't make it as someone's backup will sign with us to toil in AAA. It is not something you do in December or even worry about. JMO

2006-12-30 11:30:54
138.   D4P
Ben Stiller is at his best when he's extracting food items from his body
2006-12-30 11:40:49
139.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Todd Greene is available. I'm sure somebody will give him a place to play.

The Giants used Greene last year, but instead will go with the dynamic duo of Bengie Molina and Eliezer Alfonzo.

2006-12-30 11:46:01
140.   Andrew Shimmin
135- Road Trip was not irrelevant. It was a one off (the guy who directed it went on to make Starsky and Hutch!), but it has its place in the pantheon. Actually, everything about that movie is a little sad, in retrospect. What happened to Amy Smart? I thought she was going to make something of herself, but now she just keeps appearing in the direct to video sequels to The Butterfly Effect. The Butterfly Effect 6: Butterflies Gone Wild.

Tom Green was ruined by Drew Barrymore, who, when the revolution comes, will be hanged for it. DJ Qualls was in the hard out there for a pimp movie that I didn't see, so I guess he's doing alright.

2006-12-30 11:48:43
141.   rockmrete
Not worring...Just talking. Anyways, what I was saying was not about getting any free Agents in, or even looking for a solid back up. I just wanted to know who was now in AAA, or AA. As for Libi, I didn't say he would get hurt ( although you never know ) just that I don't think he should be exposed to starting for a prolonged lenth of time...I HOPE Martin stays healthy! :)
2006-12-30 11:52:06
142.   D4P
Tom Green was ruined by Drew Barrymore, who, when the revolution comes, will be hanged for it

Drew Barrymore should be hanged for:

1. Being a crappy actress
2. Playing the same character in every movie
3a. Not being able to keep a straight face
3b. That stupid little smile she has in every scene that says "I can't believe they're paying me to do this"

2006-12-30 12:06:12
143.   Eric Enders
131, 137 I defy anyone to look at this page...

http://members.tripod.com/bb_catchers/catchers/thieves_smith.htm

...and tell me that Roy Campanella was not, at his peak, the greatest all-around catcher who ever lived. Scroll down to the lists at the bottom of the page.

2006-12-30 12:18:17
144.   Bob Timmermann
Chad Billingsley is often defiant I hear.
2006-12-30 12:21:21
145.   Andrew Shimmin
144- I blame the parents.
2006-12-30 12:23:05
146.   Bob Timmermann
I blame an English army general during colonial times.
2006-12-30 12:29:14
147.   ToyCannon
143
I wouldn't defy you but Bill James has it
Yogi
Bench
Campy

according to the latest Baseball Abstract with Piazza being the greatest offensive catcher. Of course you were talking peak but it wasn't like Yogi and Bench didn't have some incredible peaks of their own.

2006-12-30 12:31:05
148.   Bumsrap
137 Yogi Berra needs to always be in the conversation when best offensive catcher is discussed.

You just have to help me understtnd how including Yogi Berra in a conversation would help clarify anything--or were you saying something else?

2006-12-30 12:32:21
149.   Andrew Shimmin
Let me get this straight--you're saying his mother went back in time to be impregnated by a red coat? Do you fill in for Art Bell during the holidays?
2006-12-30 12:33:56
150.   Eric Enders
Must be one heck of a coat.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-30 12:34:10
151.   Bumsrap
I will go with Piazza the best offensive catcher, Rodriguez the best defensive catcher, and Bench and Campy the best overall.

Campy to Newcomb: "Your are not only wrong, you are loud wrong."

2006-12-30 12:35:04
152.   Bob Timmermann
OK, that joke just didn't go anywhere.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/billich01.shtml

2006-12-30 12:35:48
153.   Eric Enders
Hey, I got it without the Cliff's Notes. Or Bob's Notes as the case may be.
2006-12-30 12:37:24
154.   Andrew Shimmin
I was with you. I just like accusing people of believing that Chad Billingsly's mother was a time traveling, um, woman of ill-repute. Everybody's got to have a hobby.
2006-12-30 12:37:47
155.   Bumsrap
142 A successful smile in ET started it and if something is working, keep doing it until it can be stopped.
2006-12-30 12:41:27
156.   Bumsrap
Piazza finished second for MVP in back to back seasons to players on Roids. Any chance he ever gets to be the MVP in those years as the honor is taken away from those who clear-ly had help.
2006-12-30 12:43:09
157.   Bob Timmermann
I wouldn't accuse Larry Walker of being on PEDs, but rather playing in an atmosphere that was on PEDs.

Caminiti is an open and shut case.

2006-12-30 12:43:47
158.   Bumsrap
150 Must be one heck of a coat.

Your coat would be red too if---never mind.

2006-12-30 12:46:12
159.   Andrew Shimmin
ET sucked. There, I said it. Longest commercial for a peanut butter based candy product in the history of the world.
2006-12-30 12:46:51
160.   Bumsrap
157. Maybe it was mile high I was thinking of for one of those years. My mistake. But clearly Caminiti stole an MVP from Piazza.
2006-12-30 12:47:06
161.   Eric Enders
ET is awesome. But it did give us product placement in films, for which it will eternally burn in hell.
2006-12-30 12:49:34
162.   Bumsrap
159 I can see Spielberg giving you the famous finger right now.
2006-12-30 12:49:54
163.   trainwreck
The Lopez twins look very good, too bad they are not going to pull out the win over Arizona.
2006-12-30 12:54:13
164.   Bob Timmermann
Walker stole an MVP from Piazza because Piazza was a lot better in 1997 regardless of Walker's numbers.
2006-12-30 12:58:44
165.   Bumsrap
I would like to see a five year MVP each year based on the total MVP votes obtained during a running five year period.
2006-12-30 12:59:15
166.   Andrew Shimmin
That was a good game, before the last three minutes.

162- I'm not entirely convinced the man is literate. But, whatever. I'd gladly see his finger, and raise him whatever rosy, Irish anatomical feature of mine I had handy.

2006-12-30 13:00:49
167.   Bumsrap
Speaking of five year runs, Duke Snider may have had one of the best of all time.
2006-12-30 13:06:07
168.   Andrew Shimmin
The Navy/BC game is getting sad, too. It's UCLA/ND all over again, for Brock.
2006-12-30 13:09:13
169.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock will never convert to Catholicism now.
2006-12-30 13:11:09
170.   Steve
Andrew is in a bad mood, like we'd signed Juan Pierre or something.
2006-12-30 13:19:35
171.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon is playing Oregon State in basketball for the 326th time right now.

No two Division I teams have played each other so often.

2006-12-30 13:26:31
172.   D4P
ET sucked

You probably didn't watch it as a kid. I think I would probably dislike it now, but I loved it as a 9 year old when it came out.

2006-12-30 13:26:56
173.   Andrew Shimmin
170- It was Enders' Campanella link. In the future, could we all remember that when linking to a page that has Todd Hundley's name on it there needs to be some sort of warning given? I know he didn't mean to ruin the Holiday Season, but, well. . . Let's just all try to be more careful.
2006-12-30 13:39:23
174.   Steve
http://tinyurl.com/y8uxm7
2006-12-30 13:39:54
175.   D4P
174
Wow. Gross.
2006-12-30 13:46:03
176.   Andrew Shimmin
172- No, I was young. But, if at that age, I'd found an alien, I'd have turned it in without causing any trouble. I kept hoping that, in the end, Elliot would get a spanking. I had some Angela-ish tendencies, as a child. And, of course, I've always been rabidly pro-vivisection.
2006-12-30 13:50:06
177.   Steve
And, of course, I've always been rabidly pro-vivisection

Meet post 174.

2006-12-30 13:53:20
178.   twerp
All this, and I still don't know what is to become of Eric Langill...sigh...
2006-12-30 13:54:57
179.   Andrew Shimmin
177- In the privacy of your own home, I wouldn't dare judge. But here, in a public forum, for all the world to wretch? I'm telling you, there are probably some people here with Season Affective Disorder; 174 could easily push one such over the edge. We can only hope it's D4P.
2006-12-30 13:54:59
180.   Steve
I should say, meet post 174...please.
2006-12-30 14:09:50
181.   Steve
The mere idea of a pro-vivisectionist Walmart shopper has already likely put D4P out of his misery.
2006-12-30 14:14:32
182.   Andrew Shimmin
Can I just say, I don't really understand why any one would rather watch a movie where a little boy is nice to an alien, then one where the creature, still breathing, gets a stem to stern once-over with a circular saw. Or the other way around; that would have been fine, too: "You betrayed me, Elliot, now see what other tricks my light-uppy finger can do."

I don't know. Everybody loves ET, so I must just be missing something. But I don't see coming around on it.

2006-12-30 14:22:32
183.   Steve
then one where the creature, still breathing, gets a stem to stern once-over with a circular saw.

http://tinyurl.com/yeenvh

2006-12-30 14:26:42
184.   Andrew Shimmin
Thanks for not fixing my then/than error, when you reproduced it, in bold letters. But hey, only twenty-seven more comments and it'll be hidden from view.
2006-12-30 14:27:18
185.   DodgerHobbit
178
I don't have a crystal ball, but I did read in one of the 51's game guides that featured him on the cover and contained an article that pretty much said he was kept around in the organization for his attitude rather than his athletic ability.

Mostly he would catch warm up tosses between innings. You can tell he is an upbeat guy witth a lot of enthusiasm even from the stands.

2006-12-30 14:28:38
186.   D4P
a pro-vivisectionist Walmart shopper

Is there any other kind...?

2006-12-30 14:28:58
187.   Steve
The idea of taking a circular saw to Julio Lugo distracted me from my grammatical duties. I apologize.
2006-12-30 14:37:58
188.   Andrew Shimmin
186- I expect you've been following the saga, but, just to pump up the comment count:

http://tinyurl.com/ycaw2b

2006-12-30 14:53:58
189.   bigcpa
My season ticket renewal arrived. My $29 logies are now $36 (+24%) and my $16 premium parking is now $19.75. Pierre makes ~$54,000 per game, so I only blame him for about $1 of the ticket hike.
2006-12-30 15:36:22
190.   thinkingblue
I saw something very interesting on the mlb.com message board:

This post is strictly for those who, like me, enjoy the mathematical/statistical analysis of baseball. I have been doing some mathematical investigation trying to come up with a better predictor of offensive production than OPS. While OPS is actually surprisingly accurate, it has some practical and theoretical flaws. It is most accurate when OBP and SLG do not have significant disparity (i.e., when OBP is high and SLG is high, or OBP is low and SLG is low). This does tend to be the case in general for two reasons. In the first place, SLG includes batting average, which is also a component of OBP. Secondly, power hitters tend to walk a lot and also tend to hit for higher average. However, in cases where OBP and SLG have significant disparity, OPS can be a poor predictor of offensive production. For example, the 2005 Cubs had the 4th highest OPS in the National League (.764), yet were 9th in runs per game (4.34). This is explained, I think, by the fact that while they were 2nd in the league in SLG (.440), they were 11th in OBP (.324). One of the things suggested by an example like this is that OPS does not give OBP sufficient weight. The fact that OPS works so well in general is partly a matter of sheer luck.

OPS also has some theoretical flaws. In the first place, there is no rationale for adding OBP and SLG as opposed to, for instance, multiplying them together. In fact, the latter makes more sense, since it can be understood as a proportion (i.e., "offensive production is jointly proportional to OBP and SLG"). But since OBP and SLG have different units, from a purely mathematical point of view they do not admit of the operation of addition (which is why OPS has no units—while OBP has units of "times reached base safely per plate appearance" and SLG has units of "total bases (minus walks, etc.) per at-bat," OPS has no units). Moreover, the relationship between offensive production (runs scored) and OPS is not linear. OPS tends to underestimate runs scored for high OPS teams and overestimate runs scored for low OPS teams. This can be seen if we simply look at the ratios between the highest and lowest teams in runs per game and OPS respectively. In 2006, Philadelphia had the highest OPS in the NL at .794, and Pittsburg the lowest at .723. That's a ratio of 1.1:1. But in runs per game the ratio was 1.39:1. My surmise is that the non-linearity is due to the fact that as OBP goes up, hits/walks tend to get bunched together more and are therefore used more efficiently. Indeed, as OBP approaches 1.0, in which case hits/walks are totally bunched, runs scored approaches infinity, so just that in itself tells us that the relationship between OPS and offensive production is not linear.

I have come up with an alternate formula which turns out to be a better predictor of offensive production than OPS, especially for those cases in which there is significant disparity between OBP and SLG. For example, for the 2005 Cubs my formula predicts that they would be 9th in runs per game, which they were, while OPS predicts they would be 4th. However, I haven't just looked at isolated examples, but calculated the statistical standard deviation for the National League in 2005.

My formula makes the following theoretical assumptions:

1. Isolated Power, or extra-bases per plate appearance, should be used to measure power rather than SLG. That way we don't count singles in power production. Moreover, while IsoP is conventionally calculated by subtracting batting average from SLG, this leaves out plate appearances when the batter walked, etc. There is no reason to leave out those PA, and doing so artificially inflates IsoP. So I calculate IsoP as extra-bases (doubles + 2 times triples + 3 times HRs) per plate appearance.

2. IsoP has a multiplying effect on OBP. In other words, a team would score a certain number of runs based on its OBP alone, if it got no extra-base hits. IsoP causes that OBP to be used more efficiently. Thus we need a factor, in the form of (1 + k), by which to multiply OBP, where k is a function of IsoP.

Through some trial and error, I have come up with k = 2 times IsoP. This yields OBP [1 + 2(IsoP)]. The final thing we need is a correction for the bunching effect mentioned above. I accomplish this by simply squaring the expression--that is, the whole quantity OBP [1 + 2(IsoP)] squared.

The formula can be checked against team rankings, but a better measure is runs per game. If we multiply the whole expression by 25, we get a prediction for runs per game. Using the 2005 season again, for instance, Cincinnati led the league in runs per game. They had an OBP of .339 and an IsoP of .164. Using my formula, that yields a predicted runs per game of 5.06, compared to their actual 5.03. Obviously my formula doesn't come so close in every case, but it does in many, and it's never really far off. I'm calling my new statistic "OPI" for "Offensive Productivity Index." I have calculated a standard deviation of 3.3% for the NL in 2005 using my OPI, compared to 4.5% for OPS squared, and 5.24% for OPS. That may seem like a small difference, but it is significant because the differential between the highest and lowest scoring teams is only about one run per game. My formula has an average error of .147 runs per game, OPS has an average error of .235 runs per game, and OPS-squared has an average error of .202 runs per game.

Ok if the dodger players were to repeat their offensive stats from last year, what would be the expected offensive output in runs per game?

2006-12-30 15:38:43
191.   Marty
Ahh, seeing ET get thrashed to within an inch of it's life warms my heart. I loath that movie.
2006-12-30 16:15:41
192.   Andrew Shimmin
If, at my funeral, there's a piccoloist that far out of tune, I'd like one of you lot to take her out back and beat her. D4P, probably.
2006-12-30 16:20:54
193.   Andrew Shimmin
Also, no Largo. Funerals are depressing enough without Dvorak.
2006-12-30 16:28:32
194.   Marty
It really looked like they were giving Ford a tour of the city. When he least needs it.
2006-12-30 16:31:04
195.   D4P
192
I don't know if I'd beat up the piccolist at your funeral, but I suppose there's a good chance I'll outlive you, what with your smoking, Walmart, McDonalds, etc.

193
No worries: we won't be depressed at your funeral...

2006-12-30 16:32:31
196.   Marty
Great, Ted Stevens is going to deliver a eulogy. Hopefully, he doesn't mention the internet tubes.
2006-12-30 16:38:35
197.   Andrew Shimmin
195-

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

2006-12-30 16:41:29
198.   overkill94
I haven't seen ET in probably 20 years. I remember liking it then and was thinking about renting it again. I have a feeling I'll get a couple of those chilling repressed memories moments.
2006-12-30 16:50:13
199.   Andrew Shimmin
Did anybody see who it is, on the ground?
2006-12-30 16:55:08
200.   D4P
I was forced to watch Reagan's funeral procession at my grandparents' house 24/7 on FoxNews. Once was enough for me, thanks.

My household will be watching "Gandhi" tonight.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-30 16:56:15
201.   Andrew Shimmin
The fainter revealed (I wonder how quickly the wikiputians will pick up on it):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Broomfield

2006-12-30 16:58:16
202.   Marty
William Broomfield is almost as old as Ford. Though, to be fair, Ford is as old as you get.
2006-12-30 17:30:02
203.   Andrew Shimmin
When I saw Greenspan walking with Kissinger, I figured his wife must be out of town. But she came waltzing up forty seconds later. So, what's the deal there?
2006-12-30 17:32:34
204.   LAT
Tom Green! Tom Green! That guy is a retard. He and Drew Barrymore deserved each other. Two talentless morons. Of course, as long as Ben Stiller is around Tom Green will be funnier than one person.

As for Spielberg, he gets a lifetime pass becasue of Jaws. One of the best movies ever thanks to Robert Shaw. ET, I loved it as a kid but it was not as good as I remembered when I watched it with my kids.

2006-12-30 17:39:22
205.   Andrew Shimmin
204- Tom Green made sucking a cow's udder funny, again, during a very dark time for our country, and this world. History will right the wrong done his good name by assessments such as yours.
2006-12-30 17:50:22
206.   Marty
Tom Green is not funny. Yet he's funnier than Dane Cook.
2006-12-30 17:56:50
207.   Steve
My household will be watching "Gandhi" tonight.

With The Great Race on some channel I've never heard of called Drive, but that I'm watching now because The Great Race is on? COME ON! [GOB VOICE]

2006-12-30 18:01:44
208.   Indiana Jon
190
Nobody has a comment on this one?
2006-12-30 18:02:26
209.   Andrew Shimmin
It's remarkable how unfunny Dane Cook is, given that he doesn't talk about politics or religion. At least, not that I've seen. Normal people would accidentally say something funny about the things he talks about; but not him. It's one of those curiosities of the world that I can acknowledge while having absolutely no interest in exploring further.
2006-12-30 18:20:09
210.   Steve
One of the things suggested by an example like this is that OPS does not give OBP sufficient weight.

OK. I'll bite. This is the only sentence I understand. I have no doubt it is true, because OBP is sui generis.

2006-12-30 18:31:09
211.   Marty
190 Reads like the person is making sense. But I'm too lazy to try to vet it.
2006-12-30 18:35:49
212.   D4P
207
You fancy law-yers with your fancy TV channels and your fancy $3000 suits...
2006-12-30 18:41:25
213.   LAT
211. Ditto. BTW, does this mean we have actually worn ourselves out about baseball (for now)? The beauty of DT is that some other important subject is always just around the corner. (e.g. asparagus and pee, sucking milk from a cow's udder and so on).
2006-12-30 18:43:32
214.   Marty
It also seems to be a predictor of team performance. So OPS remains the stat of choice for individual performance evaluation .
2006-12-30 18:44:33
215.   Marty
213 It is until Ned trades LaRoche, Loney and Elbert for Randy Johnson.
2006-12-30 18:51:13
216.   Andrew Shimmin
215- I think he's going to wait for the All Star break, that way he can trade them for Julio Lugo, again.

In the future, all of our prospects will be traded for fifteen minutes worth of Julio Lugo. But oh the draft picks they'll bring!

It's not really news that OPS isn't perfect, or even the best possible statistic. OPS is popular because it's better than BA, much better than RBIs, but still very easy to compute.

2006-12-30 18:59:49
217.   Vishal
[203] i'd want to keep my wife away from henry kissinger too.

[196] the broken internet tubes due to the taiwan earthquake have brought my internet connection down to slower-than-modem speeds.

2006-12-30 19:41:59
218.   twerp
185 Thanks, somewhat belatedly.

Sounds like E. Langill would be best as backup to the backup catcher several times removed.

2006-12-30 19:52:03
219.   Andrew Shimmin
217- You don't think there's any hanky-panky going down? I figured it out (or think I did), during the second showing. The first group to pass the casket were the honorary pall bearers. Both Kissinger and Greenspan were in the group. Andrea Mitchell was not. So, I think we can rest assured that Gerald Ford hated women as much as D4P does.

Or something. Whoever picked the speakers should be fired. The Dark Lord brought his A game, but Stevens and Hastert both sounded like they were reading theirs for the first time. And Stevens, at some points, seemed to be delivering a simultaneous rebuttal to his own speech.

2006-12-30 20:05:07
220.   Marty
I'm surprised Stevens can find his way to the capital building. I've worked with people who would go on vacation and have to be retrained when they got back. Ted Stevens is like that I think.
2006-12-30 20:31:56
221.   Bumsrap
I wonder why Stevens didn't have his words typed instead of writing them down by hand. It would have been easier to read.
2006-12-30 20:31:58
222.   thinkingblue
My point on 190 was to see if anyone could figure out what that guy's formula was, and to ask what the expected RPG for the dodgers in 2007 would be if all players in starting line up repeated last year's offensive numbers.
2006-12-30 20:37:24
223.   Bumsrap
194 It really looked like they were giving Ford a tour of the city. When he least needs it.

Spielberg would have had him touring the city on an air bike.

2006-12-30 20:41:14
224.   Steve
Spielberg would have had him touring the city on an air bike.

with Al Haig

2006-12-30 20:41:18
225.   Bumsrap
Vegas might wind up with the best team in baseball when the season starts if Ned showcases his vets.

Elbert, Billingsley, Kuo, Meloan, Miller, Alexander--Loney, Ethier, LaRoche, Kemp, Abreu, could wind up playing in Vegas through April and maybe May.

2006-12-30 20:41:50
226.   Andrew Shimmin
222- I see what you're asking, now. But it won't be very useful, since we really don't know how playing time will be allotted. But, since I've got a brand new BP subscription, and nothing better to do, I'll have a go at it.
2006-12-30 20:47:22
227.   Bumsrap
224 No, Al Haig can't be riding an air bike because he is, well let's let him say it: "As of now, I am in control here in the White House."
2006-12-30 20:49:01
228.   D4P
and nothing better to do

You're a tragic figure, Andy...

2006-12-30 20:53:25
229.   Bumsrap
228 This one is for D4P

http://www.scavengeinc.com/tim-burton-tragic-toys-figure-set-toxic-boy-p-4427.html?osCsid=164e95b0b109968848e762ba49eb4809

2006-12-30 21:02:41
230.   Andrew Shimmin
Okay. So, on a day when the starting lineup is what we're expecting it to be (plus an average hitting pitcher), using some guy from mlb.com's formula, our expected average runs scored would be 4.657. Assuming they all play the way they did last year. And everybody gets an equal number of at bats. Plus half a dozen other things that won't happen.

Last year the average RS/G was 5.061.

2006-12-30 21:06:20
231.   Steve
some guy from mlb.com's formula

That's no way to talk about Al Haig

2006-12-30 21:06:32
232.   D4P
some guy from mlb.com's formula

AKA "formula of some young guy"

2006-12-30 21:09:50
233.   Andrew Shimmin
Using Al Haig's formula, the Dodger's should have scored 5.212 runs per game, last year.

But they didn't.

2006-12-30 21:11:48
234.   Steve
We could have used some plumbers in Game 1 of the NLDS.
2006-12-30 21:22:34
235.   Bob Timmermann
When Gerald Ford became vice president, I felt embarrassed because I hadn't heard of him before. Granted I was just 8 at the time, but I had high expectations for myself. I loved watching the Watergate hearings. They were so much cooler than cartoons.

I still remember hearing Alexander Butterfield talk about the existence of a taping system at the White House. My whole family was excited about that.

Watergate conspirators I have met in my life:
John Dean

Watergate conspirators who led the fundraising for a large building at UCLA:
H.R. Haldeman.

Number of times I visited the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids: 2

Items bought at the gift shop there: Hard to count.

2006-12-30 21:22:57
236.   overkill94
For anyone looking to waste a lot of time: http://www.mcsaatchi.webcentral.com.au/tennischallenge/optus_tennis_site_edited.html
2006-12-30 21:30:09
237.   thinkingblue
230.

I was just wanted somewhat of a barometer of what kind of an offense the dodgers will have. Of course, I realize there are a lot of variables like improvement and decline, the playing time of a lot of players at a lot of positions, and so on.

But if that's what our offense will be, we're gonna need that great pitching staff.

2006-12-30 22:07:48
238.   Greg Brock
This bowl season has been an unmitigated disaster.

I'm never getting a Capital One card after this.

2006-12-30 22:09:10
239.   Greg Brock
Catholics are on notice as well.
2006-12-30 22:33:59
240.   Bob Timmermann
239
I've taken notice that I'm on notice. That's a big group to put on notice.

The bowl season hasn't been a disaster for me as I'm likely going to beat my friend in our competition to pick the winners of all the games.

The key game will be the Sugar Bowl. If LSU wins, I will likely wrap up the championship.

2006-12-30 22:39:41
241.   Xeifrank
Personally, the bowl games put me to sleep. ZZZzzz!! Why have a post-season that has a dozen or so games that have no baring on who the Natl Champion is. Michigan goes 7 weeks without playing? It's not a bye week, it's not a bye month, it nearly a bye bi-month. There's only one game that I have much interest in. I would prefer an 8 team, 3 week playoff or perhaps a 12 team, 4 week playoff. Unfortunately, pigs don't fly.
vr, Xei
2006-12-30 22:43:25
242.   Bob Timmermann
I made my first trip to the Galen Center today. It's a nice place, but it's definitely not all quite done. There are a few signs that are mounted and some of the signs indicating which aisle you're in are just taped up pieces of paper.

But the place has comfortable seats, good sight lines, and doesn't seem too big. The view of Downtown was closed off presumably because it was sunny and that would have made a glare on the court.

There was a big cheer when the football team came in to watch during the second half. Right at that moment, USC took its largest lead at 38-27. Then Washington State clamped down on defense and pulled it out 58-55.

2006-12-30 22:45:45
243.   Greg Brock
Bob, you could never be on notice. Not even for your USC shenanigans. But COME ON!

UCLA-Wow
Navy-Ugh
Mizzou (sister went to J-school there)-Collapse
Iowa (Grandparents)-Collapse

Wisconsin, which several of my family members went to, will no doubt lose to Arkansas. Southern Cal beats Michigan, Ohio State wins the national championship, and I officially give up.

Oh, and Karl Dorrell just kicked another field goal while I typed this (weeps).

2006-12-30 22:51:48
244.   Bob Timmermann
241
Some of us lesser evolved humans still enjoy watching the bowls. And the long breaks between the games and the bowls has been going since 1901. Stanford hadn't played a game since November 9, 1901 when they faced Michigan in the first Rose Bowl on New Year's Day 1902. The Wolverines had last played on November 28.
2006-12-30 22:53:22
245.   Bob Timmermann
243
Except for the Emerald Bowl, I haven't had any other close emotional ties to the bowl games and have just enjoyed the ones I've been able to see.

It would be nice for Larry Coker to go out a loser in Boise, but I'm thinking that Miami will pull that one out.

Of course, if LSU loses to ... those people ... in the Sugar Bowl, I will turn Brockian.

2006-12-30 23:05:04
246.   Greg Brock
Our Lady of the Lake, the finest Catholic University in the land and a team for which rooting is a holy obligation, has not won a bowl game since Lou Holtz was roaming the sidelines.

They ain't winnin' this one either.

2006-12-30 23:15:13
247.   Andrew Shimmin
246- Would you say that you're booking that?
2006-12-30 23:26:48
248.   Greg Brock
Hey Andrew! Hope you've had a nice holiday season.

Oh yes, I'll book it. LSU is better than Southern Cal, and nearly as good as Michigan. I wouldn't be surprised if the Fighting Irish are defeated by 17 points or more. They don't have a chance. Plus, I'm rooting for them, so they're doomed.

Book it.

2006-12-30 23:29:34
249.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock is awaiting the start of the glorious Jimmy Clausen Era at Notre Dame. He is also awaiting the battle of wits between Karl Dorrell and Charlie Weis at the Rose Bowl next October.
2006-12-30 23:30:22
250.   Greg Brock
By the by, how many funerals is James Brown going to have? Is this like a concert tour? Does it end in Hawaii, and can Linkmeister get tickets for it?

I need to get a James Brown Funeral Tour 2006 T-shirt.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-12-30 23:34:09
251.   Greg Brock
249 I'll be at that game, as I'm sure you will be. We'll have to meet up at some point, and sign the historic Timmermann-Brock Peace Accord.

We can hand out commemorative pens, like they did at Oslo. Hopefully, our accord will result in fewer suicide bombings. I'm sure it will.

2006-12-30 23:35:19
252.   Bob Timmermann
When I die I want:
1) A cortege that includes a horse. And a wombat.
2) The CCR tune "Wrote a Song for Everyone" to be played.
3) Everyone to go around for a week feeling miserable because "Bob would have wanted it that way."
4) A gravestone with the epitaph, "And you that I was faking it."
2006-12-30 23:36:06
253.   Bob Timmermann
Please correct the typo on my epitaph before you engrave it.

251

Look for me, I'll be wearing a blue shirt!

2006-12-30 23:41:12
254.   Greg Brock
I always said (to myself) that when the next Dodger Thoughts Dodger Stadium Spectacular rolls around, I would wear a "Hi, My Name Is Greg Brock" sticker on my shirt. I'll make sure to wear it at the Notre Dame/UCLA game in the hopes that 1 person out of 100,000 gets the joke.

Look for me, Bob. I'll be wearing the powder blue UCLA Hawaiian shirt with the Greg Brock sticker. I'll keep an eye out for Team Tablecloth Jerseys.

2006-12-30 23:43:22
255.   Greg Brock
I will also be wearing lederhosen.

What? I just like lederhosen.

2006-12-30 23:52:40
256.   Bob Timmermann
I will be attending the game with Tommy Craggs and Gregg Easterbrook.
2006-12-31 00:12:30
257.   Greg Brock
256 Somehow, somewhere, my cordial relationship with Bob Timmermann became adversarial. He was such a good man, that Bob Timmermann. There were jokes, friendly exchanges, and common interests. We were both graduates of UCLA...College of Letters and Sciences. We had fought the same fights. I would visit The Griddle, and we would enjoy the pleasure of each other's company. A foundation for good relations was laid. I think it's fair to say that we were friends.

Over time, however, things began to change. He hated the Domers, I did not. Often times he would justify rooting for the Trojans. I could never imagine such a scenario. He accepted UCLA's football mediocrity, which I did not.

Then, one day, things fell apart. He decided to consort with Tommy Craggs and Gregg Easterbrook. I never wanted to have mortal enemies, and sure enough, in my 29 years of living, I never had one.

I can't put you on notice, because you're so hilarious. And I can't wish ill upon you, because you are a Bruin. There has to be some pox upon your house, and although I don't know what it is, I wish it upon you.

An open state of warfare does not exist between us, but my disappointment knows no bounds.

2006-12-31 00:28:44
258.   Bob Timmermann
Craggs and Easterbrook.

Remember as my father, Vito Corleone, once told me. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

2006-12-31 06:56:59
259.   twerp
229, meet tinyurl.com===

http://www.scavengeinc.com/tim-burton-tragic-toys-figure-set-toxic-boy-p-4427.html?osCsid=164e95b0b109968848e762ba49eb4809

becomes===

http://tinyurl.com/tmrxm

122 characters down to 24; much more pasteable

2006-12-31 07:29:27
260.   twerp
Rotoauthority projections for===

Kuo--
http://www.rotoauthority.com/2006/12/what_to_expect_.html

Betemit--
http://www.rotoauthority.com/2006/12/possible_sleepe.html

And Randy Johnson--
http://www.rotoauthority.com/2006/12/randy_johnson_p.html

2006-12-31 08:56:26
261.   Midwest Blue
Most ridiculous column to end a year: Phil Rodgers on the Giants:

A little less than three months ago, the San Francisco Giants were just about a blank page. Their franchise depth chart screamed, "Rebuild!"

Yet here they are at the New Year, positioned to chase a pennant in the balanced National League behind Barry Zito, Barry Bonds and Bruce Bochy.

[What position does Bochy play?]

[T]he maneuvering of general manager Brian Sabean and the spending of owner Peter Magowan give the Giants a fighting chance to get to the World Series [!!!] with Bonds...

[Uh, maybe reaching, just a little.]

Yes, it's rather optimistic to give a 28-year-old lefty with diminishing stuff $18 million a year for seven years.

[You think?]

The question isn't whether the Giants will rue making that commitment to Zito, but how quickly will it become apparent that Scott Boras did it again?

[See Ned Colletti.]

http://tinyurl.com/yagrpl

2006-12-31 09:29:11
262.   twerp
245 246, others..

FWIW--always a question where "experts" are concerned--many knowledgeable folks in these parts think LSU has the most talent of any SEC team, Florida included.

That should be sufficient. Or not. They don't keep score on most talent, or LSU would be facing Ohio State, not playing in the Sugar Bowl with two losses--one of which was to Florida, granted.

Most years, you'll come out pretty well on bowls picking pretty much every SEC team.

BTW, Alabama still can't find anyone willing to be football coach. Amazing testimony to what a reputation for ridiculous expectations can do. You'd think there'd be a long line of applicants for what should be one of the premier college jobs.
But...

Here are examples of the kind of expectations many Tide fans have:

http://www.lilligren.com/Redneck/redneck_stop_sign.htm

http://www.lilligren.com/Redneck/redneck_roadsign.htm

2006-12-31 23:12:05
263.   bojangles
Jon: just back from exile long enough to have read today's opener (not a single comment, so I apologize in advance if this is pale repetition) and then will return, but wanted to take the opportunity to agree wholeheartedly with something you've penned. Think the kids' tests are what will make this season so interesting, and, I hope, eventually, fun.
This year, don't care a whit about playoffs - just wanna see real progress, even thru struggling times. Hope mangmnt gives them time to do so...good times, good chances, good choices in the brand new year, everyone!

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