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Collating Colletti
2006-12-12 14:18
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

A quick recap of Dodger general manager Ned Colletti's Dodgers.com chat today:

On Matt Kemp's playing time:

A lot depends on how Kemp plays this spring and if he does not make the club out of Spring Training, how he adjusts at Triple-A. We just saw him in the Dominican Republic a week or so and it looked like he was more selective and patient at the plate. His play in the outfield looked like it was still somewhat of a work in progress.

We feel he has a chance to be not just a Major League player but a terrific Major League player - an impact player. He still has areas that need improvement and as far as his playing time is concerned, how he plays will determine how often he plays and where he plays.

Since last March, Colletti has been high on Kemp - the speed with which he promoted Kemp in 2006 is indicative of this. Though the Dodgers have outfielders ahead of him in April, it seems to me that Colletti is counting on Kemp to become a cleanup hitter - perhaps before the 2007 season is over.

On the bullpen:

Right now, the bullpen is comprised of Saito, Broxton, Beimel and Dessens. With the number of starting pitchers we have, the bullpen will also have a combination of Tomko, Hendrickson, Kuo and perhaps Chad Billingsley, who pitched very well out of the 'pen in the postseason. ...

In terms of Yhency Brazoban, we may see him by the end of Spring Training in some game activity. We think that at some point early in the season, he may be able to pitch at the big league level.

Billingsley (or Kuo) in the pen might seem like a waste to some, but it could conserve his arm for the long haul - and a return to the rotation would remain in the cards. The thing about starting pitching depth is that there is no incentive for burying a player so that an ineffective starter can stay in the rotation. It's not as if Tomko, Hendrickson or Aaron Sele didn't get pulled out (though admittedly, it longer than it should have.)

Brazoban, clearly, is a wait and see for Colletti.

On Brad Penny:

I think we'd all like to see Brad be more consistent. I think there are only a few pitchers in the big leagues today who have his stuff. He can dominate a game and be a leader in the rotation so I'm not looking to trade that caliber of a player. Players are asked about all the time from other teams, but there's a difference between being asked about and shopping a player.

I'm noting this for the insights into how Colletti feels about Penny, but the distinction between being asked about Penny vs. shopping him is pretty meaningless at this point. If there's a trade out there for Penny, Colletti will make it.

On James Loney:

As of right now, I think James Loney is going to have a chance to make this club. Providing we're at full health, I think he'll still get opportunities to play first base from time to time and also in the outfield. He is also someone, because of his defensive strengths, could come into a game late defensively.

For my part, this is a rather sober assessment of Loney's 2007 potential, but I continue to believe that Loney's playing time could increase as the season progresses.

* * *

With the Dodgers needing to get their 40-person roster down to, well, 40 people, the team allowed Franquelis Osoria to be claimed on waivers by Jim Tracy's Pittsburgh Pirates.

That left the Dodger roster at 41 (really, 42, since Luis Gonzalez hasn't officially been added). No word yet on whether arbitration-eligible catcher Toby Hall was non-tendered. Interestingly, in direct opposition to Julio Lugo, Hall performed well after coming from Tampa Bay, EQAing .290 in 19 games. But that was an aberration, and other teams are probably waiting out his release to sign him to a more economical contract.

* * *

From Eric Enders:

Eric on Eric: A Valedictory

I always felt a connection with Eric Gagne moreso than other Dodgers: We're about the same age, we share the same name, and people everywhere seem to think we look exactly alike. For the last five years, literally hundreds of friends, acquaintances, and perfect strangers have commented on this. I've accumulated quite the collection of Gagne figurines, photos, and memorabilia that people have given me as gifts because of the resemblance. (The givers are always surprised to find that they are not the first to think of this.)

The first curious event happened in Montreal in 2002, when I was milling around on the playing field before a Dodgers-Expos game. A kid called out to me from the stands: "Monsieur Gagne, can I have your autograph?" I wasn't wearing a baseball uniform, and I stand at least six inches shorter than Gagne, but that didn't seem to make a difference. (We are similarly rotund, alas.) As much as I'd have liked to -- just once in my life -- sign an autograph like a real big league star, I had to burst the kid's bubble and tell him the truth. Later that night, my alter ego blew a save in front of his hometown crowd, the third of what would be only six blown saves in his career as Dodger closer. (And let me tell you, whoever says Montreal fans don't care about baseball has never been to a game Gagne pitched there.)

Denver, a year later. I'm in the clubhouse interviewing Paul LoDuca when Shawn Green walks by and does a double take as he looks at me. Green, forever destroying my notion of him as an ultra-reserved guy, gets a silly grin on his face and proceeds to grab me by the arm and parade me around the Dodger locker room, introducing me to every single player as Gagne's cousin visiting from out of town. Some fall for it, some don't, but a good time is had by all.

Cincinnati, 2006. I'm sitting at Ethier's locker doing an interview when I hear a disembodied voice from behind me: "Hey, it's Gagne!" This time it's Kenny Lofton playing the Shawn Green role. Lofton's upset that the resemblance is imperfect because I'm dressed in my journalist uniform instead of a Dodger one. So he asks my hat size and dispatches clubhouse guy Mitch Poole to fetch me a Dodger cap. Now that I'm properly attired, Lofton prances around the locker room with me, showing off his new discovery. Since no players are left from the 2003 team except Gagne himself, nobody remembers that Shawn Green has already done this. My attempts to return the cap are rebuffed, my journalistic ethics compromised, but again, a good time is had by all.

Comments (94)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-12 14:48:03
1.   regfairfield
Since Beimel jumped on the team at some point the Dodgers appear to be in something of a roster crunch. Either Kuo, Repko or Loney are going to be starting in AAA assuming Hendrickson gets a contract.
2006-12-12 14:51:16
2.   trainwreck
Well today has been terrible. Had to go to emergency room because I had an allergic reaction to medication. Second time in two days I have reacted to the medicine given to me.

But more importantly, Gagne is gone.

2006-12-12 14:51:52
3.   Eric Enders
Cross-posting from the dead thread:

Eric on Eric: A Valedictory

I always felt a connection with Eric Gagne moreso than other Dodgers: We're about the same age, we share the same name, and people everywhere seem to think we look exactly alike. For the last five years, literally hundreds of friends, acquaintances, and perfect strangers have commented on this. I've accumulated quite the collection of Gagne figurines, photos, and memorabilia that people have given me as gifts because of the resemblance. (The givers are always surprised to find that they are not the first to think of this.)

The first curious event happened in Montreal in 2002, when I was milling around on the playing field before a Dodgers-Expos game. A kid called out to me from the stands: "Monsieur Gagne, can I have your autograph?" I wasn't wearing a baseball uniform, and I stand at least six inches shorter than Gagne, but that didn't seem to make a difference. (We are similarly rotund, alas.) As much as I'd have liked to -- just once in my life -- sign an autograph like a real big league star, I had to burst the kid's bubble and tell him the truth. Later that night, my alter ego blew a save in front of his hometown crowd, the third of what would be only six blown saves in his career as Dodger closer. (And let me tell you, whoever says Montreal fans don't care about baseball has never been to a game Gagne pitched there.)

Denver, a year later. I'm in the clubhouse interviewing Paul LoDuca when Shawn Green walks by and does a double take as he looks at me. Green, forever destroying my notion of him as an ultra-reserved guy, gets a silly grin on his face and proceeds to grab me by the arm and parade me around the Dodger locker room, introducing me to every single player as Gagne's cousin visiting from out of town. Some fall for it, some don't, but a good time is had by all.

Cincinnati, 2006. I'm sitting at Ethier's locker doing an interview when I hear a disembodied voice from behind me: "Hey, it's Gagne!" This time it's Kenny Lofton playing the Shawn Green role. Lofton's upset that the resemblance is imperfect because I'm dressed in my journalist uniform instead of a Dodger one. So he asks my hat size and dispatches clubhouse guy Mitch Poole to fetch me a Dodger cap. Now that I'm properly attired, Lofton prances around the locker room with me, showing off his new discovery. Since no players are left from the 2003 team except Gagne himself, nobody remembers that Shawn Green has already done this. My attempts to return the cap are rebuffed, my journalistic ethics compromised, but again, a good time is had by all.

So adieu, Monsieur Gagne, my Dodger lookalike. Thanks for the Bugs Bunny changeup. Thanks for the fist pump and the cool-looking t-shirt. Thanks for caring enough to get ejected even when you were on the disabled list. And thanks for the free cap.

2006-12-12 14:54:35
4.   D4P
we share the same name

Then why do you use "Enders"...?

2006-12-12 14:55:42
5.   Xeifrank
Guo at AAA would be a big waste to me. He was the team's 2nd best starter the last month of the season. As a starter he made a big step forward in cutting down his walks. He still tended to go deep into counts and that is something that needs to improve but talent wise he is up there with everyone else in the rotation. But given the salaries of the other candidates I'm a realist and don't expect him to start the season in the rotation (unless there is an injury). I can live with him starting the season in the bullpen, to shave some innings off of his arm, but sending him to AAA will not shave innings off of his arm and would be a big waste of talent. I know it's a rather small sample size, but check out his K/9 and K/BB as a starter in September (crunch time). vr, Xei
2006-12-12 14:55:47
6.   trainwreck
D4P did you hear UFC bought WFA so they now have Quinton Jackson, Herring, and other fighters?
2006-12-12 14:56:17
7.   jdm025
I would really like to see Anderson shopped and allow Repko to stay with the team. I really think that he could be a solid player if he had the opportunity to start at least 80 or so games to show what he can do..
2006-12-12 15:00:22
8.   Midwest Blue
3 Some nice reflections, Eric. Thanks for sharing the memories.
2006-12-12 15:00:58
9.   D4P
6
Yeah. I was reading, though, that Rampage might fight under a separate promotion (WEC?) instead of UFC. But they'd be crazy not to rematch him against Chuck Liddell (assuming he beats Tito).
2006-12-12 15:02:04
10.   Eric Enders
So today, BA came out with a list of GM "tools" that listed the best GMs in various categories: Trading, Finances, People Skills, etc.

Our boy Ned was nowhere to be found in any of it. Apparently his fellow GMs are not overly impressed. Kim Ng was given praise for her thorough knowledge of transaction rules, though.

2006-12-12 15:03:18
11.   D4P
10
Ned would be more likely to show up on a list of "Tool" GMs...
2006-12-12 15:04:50
12.   MSarg29
3 - Great post Eric.
2006-12-12 15:04:55
13.   Eric Enders
10 Well, clearly the BA list was flawed. They didn't even have a category for best mustache.
2006-12-12 15:05:23
14.   regfairfield
It scares me that every GM doesn't know all the transaction rules.
2006-12-12 15:05:30
15.   bhsportsguy
Anderson is costing a little more than what Repko will cost so there is no financial incentive to move him and Repko (although not the same talent level) is like Todd Hollandsworth in the way that he got hurt right at the time when he could have become a regular outfielder.

Now with Pierre, Gonzo, Ethier all ahead of him, and Kemp nipping at the heels, Repko and Werth will be battling for one the reserve spots but with Loney and Anderson already filling some of the need for a reserve spot, if Werth shows any of his 2004 ability, I think Repko will be the odd man out come April.

2006-12-12 15:07:19
16.   Eric Enders
8, 12 Thanks guys.

I wish I could undo 3 now, though. If I thought everyone would end up reading it twice, I'd have tried to write it a little better. ;)

2006-12-12 15:08:52
17.   jdm025
15
I just have always liked Repdo as a player. I hope that he ends up catching on with someone else. The Cubs could do worse and we could use some middle relief.

I wish we could have given him a shot in center to see if he could put up 95% of Pierre's numbers at 1/20 of the cost.

2006-12-12 15:10:00
18.   Midwest Blue
15 I agree. I think Repko and/or Werth are on their way out of town. Too bad neither can play SS.

(Although didn't read that Merlin can play 2B? That would make him more valuable, too.)

2006-12-12 15:11:17
19.   Xeifrank
from previous thread...
* 103 - that Pythagorean bit. I'm not buying that.

A team that allowed 600 runs and scored 600 runs would have 81 wins.

Team A prevents 25 fewer runs the following year: 600 runs scored; 575 runs allowed
This nets 84 wins

Team B scores 25 more runs the following year: 625 runs scored; 600 runs allowed.
This also nets 84 wins *

RS=625, RA=600 ... Win % of .5204
RS=600, RA=575 ... Win % of .5213

Not a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless. A run scored < a run prevented when it comes to winning percentage. That was my point. It's true. vr, Xei

2006-12-12 15:20:50
20.   jdm025
15
If that is the case, I would prefer to see Werth go. I don't have anything other than the games that I have watched with each player playing, but I can't see Werth as a defensive replacement in CF. Repko has that, a better arm, and more speed.

SAVE REPKO!!!

2006-12-12 15:22:49
21.   El Lay Dave
4 He lives under the name "Enders" in the Hundred Acre Wood.
2006-12-12 15:34:09
22.   trainwreck
9
I think having a second organization is just stupid. UFC does not have enough talent as it is. They should focus on building the UFC roster.
2006-12-12 15:38:35
23.   Eric L
3 I get that Gagne look a like thing quite often (or did) myself. Going to Dodger games, people would yell out "Eric" and with it being my name and all, I always turned around or acknowledged them.

I had a guy ask me for my autograph and told him that he would be disappointed because I would have to sign it with the wrong hand (I'm a lefty). I also had a group of kids beg me to pose with them for pictures at a game.

2006-12-12 15:42:42
24.   Icaros
If he's healthy, I'd take Werth over Repko in a second. I'm not sure how that ligament issue he had played out, but Werth has a very strong arm (former catcher). He's not as fast as Repko, but I don't think his angles and routes are quite as bad as Repko's, either.

The big difference is that Werth can, you know, hit.

2006-12-12 15:43:07
25.   Snowdog
19 - hey, thanks for responding. I did note in my calculations the slight difference that you calculated, but when factored against 162, that minute fraction was a wash.

However, if you "spread" the runs scored and runs allowed, you'll swing the wins one way or the other. Example:

Base 1: 900 runs scored; 500 runs against: wins: 124
A: 925 runs scored; 500 runs against: wins: 125
B: 900 runs scored; 475 runs against: wins: 127
preventing runs = more wins

Bast 2: 500 runs scored; 900 runs against: wins: 38
A: 525 runs scored; 900 runs against: wins: 41
B: 500 runs scored; 875 runs against: wins: 40
scoring runs = more wins

2006-12-12 15:44:10
26.   Eric Enders
So the Braves did non-tender Giles, who is one of my favorite players. Given that Colletti has been known to target players specifically for the purpose of keeping them away from S.D. (Betemit, Wells), is there any chance we sign Giles?

I certainly hope so, anyway.

2006-12-12 15:46:06
27.   regfairfield
7 It's amazing how two people can see the same data and come to entirely different conclusions.

When I refered to the roster crunch, I already assumed Werth was gone, so you'd have to lose Werth and Repko off the 25 man roster.

2006-12-12 15:47:13
28.   Icaros
Who do the Braves have for second, then? Wasn't Giles an All-Star? How bad did he get to end up non-tendered?

Surely he had trade value, no?

2006-12-12 15:49:27
29.   trainwreck
26
Wow, surprising. I heard the rumors, but I never expected it to happen. He will be a Padre or a Met soon.
2006-12-12 15:49:44
30.   trainwreck
I doubt he chooses the Orioles over those two.
2006-12-12 15:50:06
31.   Xeifrank
25. Good point. Teams that score more runs than they prevent, should work to prevent more runs. Teams that give up more runs than they score, should work to score more runs (given a choice). vr, Xei
2006-12-12 15:50:17
32.   Daniel Zappala
Eric, it was worth reading twice.
2006-12-12 15:51:05
33.   Eric Enders
28 I'm guessing they didn't think he was worth the ~$5.5M he would have gotten in arbitration. In my view, either (1) Their estimation of his value is way off, or (2) They're punting the 2007 season, or (3) Both.
2006-12-12 15:52:52
34.   Xeifrank
Will the Braves go with Prado or Orr at 2b??
vr, Xei
2006-12-12 15:53:38
35.   Icaros
Does this mean Willy Aybar is starting for Atlanta in 2007?
2006-12-12 15:55:15
36.   regfairfield
If Giles slugs .380 again, then it was the right move since Aybar could easily replace those numbers.

But Giles' BABIP was way down this year, so that would give him a nice boost and push him more into the .285/.365/.420 range. You can't just dump a second baseman who can put up those numbers.

2006-12-12 15:55:39
37.   bhsportsguy
14 I think in most sports organizations, there are specialists when it comes to the arcane rules of the league operates, whether its roster and waiver rules in MLB and Salary caps in the NFL and NBA.
2006-12-12 15:55:43
38.   robohobo
7. How about Robles and/or Young? They should be off the 40 man. They are replacement level players.
2006-12-12 15:57:42
39.   regfairfield
38 The 40 man is fine once Toby Hall goes tonight and since Osoria is gone (and I'd boot Hamulack or Jumbo Diaz way before Young), it's the 25 man that lacks room.
2006-12-12 15:59:33
40.   Eric Enders
Yeah, we're fine on the 40-man roster now. The only question is whether or not we get anything in return for Hall by the end of today.
2006-12-12 16:03:17
41.   bhsportsguy
17 Pierre is a beneficiary of today's market but I don't think you can take 6 years of MLB production and say that a player who has never broken the starting lineup could produce at the same rate.

Now, is it possible that Repko would produce numbers sufficient to fill the need until Kemp takes the job away? Maybe, one of the detriments of this era in baseball is how salary is tied into performance.

2006-12-12 16:06:46
42.   D4P
22
I agree. I don't get the point of having a second organization, unless it's some kind of "developmental" league. But if so, why would Rampage be in it? Plus, most of the UFC is already a developmental league. Like you said, they have plenty of room to add new talent.
2006-12-12 16:07:46
43.   jdm025
41
You are correct. There is no way to say that Repko would not produce a .230/.315/.396 year, but I have a blind spot for him. I think that we could have taken the chance on a Repko/Werth/Anderson platoon rather than spending the $44 mil on Pierre.
2006-12-12 16:12:22
44.   CanuckDodger
You know, it's never too early to start thinking about the next June draft, and after looking at various players available, I have decided that I would like to see the Dodgers use our first pick on Washington state HS pitcher Greg Peavey, and with our second pick, I would like us to take North Carolina HS pitcher Justin Poovey. They are both right-handed, both throw hard, and their surnames just seem to go together well in a way that I can't quite put my finger on.
2006-12-12 16:15:20
45.   trainwreck
44
I am on board with the Peavey/Poovey combo.

Where do you go to follow the upcoming draft?

2006-12-12 16:18:43
46.   bhsportsguy
43
1. As Ned stated, he had only one regular OF going into 2007. After Soriano and Lee, Ned wanted someone who played regularly on his roster and Pierre was the lucky one.
2. Repko has not shown he could play regularly, Werth missed the entire 2006 season and Anderson probably is best used in spots, and realistically, you could not bat them higher than 7th (outside of Anderson).
3. Finally, and I know I am going to lose this argument until the day I die, to me, once a guy signs, I rarely ever think about his salary.
4. If anything this off-season has showed, the McCourts are willing to spend the dough.
2006-12-12 16:22:42
47.   Uncle Miltie
According to one baseball source, Ricciardi has floated to Wells a proposal of seven years and $126 million, the average annual value of which would exceed Soriano's contract with the Chicago Cubs (eight years, $136 million) by $1 million.
That's a pretty hard offer to pass up...
2006-12-12 16:24:53
48.   dsfan
36 --

Interesting. Where do did you find his career BABIP numbers and those of other hitters?

2006-12-12 16:28:35
49.   jdm025
46
All true, though I will say that when Green was hitting right around .220 in mid June a couple of years ago, all I could think of was his salary.
2006-12-12 16:35:05
50.   Xeifrank
With the massive inflation of salaries and length of contracts, a good minor league system (cheap labor) is going to be all the more important. Not only important to have good young players, but important to use them. The difference between the salary of an average player and a player in his first couple years in the big leagues (Saito, Broxton, Billingsley, Ethier, Martin, Kemp, Loney etc...) has grown quite large. Also, good players that were locked up to long contracts a year or two ago have become great bargains. vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-12 16:44:04
51.   bhsportsguy
49 It's like with Dreifort, its not as if he went Russ Ortiz on us, the man got hurt and then kept trying to come back. To me, he was a good Dodger who just got hurt too much.
2006-12-12 16:47:08
52.   Jon Weisman
50 - It's only going to be more important if budgets remain tight. But what's likely is that the inflation of contracts is a reflection of higher budgets, and so a good minor league system has the same importance - or even less importance to a GM competent at identifying quality veteran talent.
2006-12-12 16:47:32
53.   PDH5204
The spin on Giles is what does that say about Betemit? Couldn't he be taking over for Giles? That inability to hit lefties, well, the Braves had Betemit for 8 years. Apparently, they didn't think that a solution could be had. And the Giles thing isn't otherwise news, since there's been talk in Bravesland of replacing Giles for more than a year now. Such talk is just that much more spin re Betemit [i.e., the Braves made that trade with us for Aybar to get their replacement for Giles]. Hopefully, such will serve as just that much more incentive for Betemit to perform.
2006-12-12 16:48:27
54.   Andrew Shimmin
Fangraphs (on the Season Stats tab) keeps career BABIP, year by year.

http://www.fangraphs.com/

2006-12-12 16:54:31
55.   jdm025
51
I never had a problem with Green or Dreifort. I just can't divorce the amount of money the player is making from their performance on the field (I was swearing to myself when Furcal was going through that rough stretch at the beginning of '06). I just hope that Pierre is considered a bargain by the time his 4-5 years come around. This is entirely conceivable if salaries keep escalating the way that they are.
2006-12-12 16:57:32
56.   Jim Hitchcock
While I feel as bad about the departure of Eric the Stopper as I once did about Mick the Hatch, at least we still have Eric the Ender...
2006-12-12 17:14:27
57.   Xeifrank
52. Perhaps an ECON major could straighten us out on this one, but my example would have to be. I am not trying to prove anything, just trying to fish for some answers. If you have a player making the league minimum or somewhere near it, like Chad Billingsley ($400k per year) and a free agent pitcher who you just signed for market value, like Randy Wolfe ($8 million per year) who can give you similiar production, then you can save ALOT of money if you use the younger cheaper player instead of the older expensive player. Now, let's say instead of one of these good young pitchers you have two of them, like Guo ($400k? per year), instead of another pitcher who makes $8 million per (of which we have another one). You've saves yourself 16 - 0.8 = $15.2 million per year right there, enough to sign Soriano, Schmidt, Zito, take your pick. Then extrapulate this out on the free agent first baseman, center fielder and left fielder you signed for $7.5 million a piece. That's another ~$22.5 million, when you also have players making the minimum that could fill in (Ethier, Loney, Kemp, Repko etc...) well enough. With the spread between the league minimum salaries and what the 2007 free agents are getting more savings can be realized by using players making near the league minimum. I am not saying Colletti should've used league minimum salaries players at SP, SP, 1B, LF and CF. Just that the savings is greater than it was before. Way greater! Yes, it's true that budgets have gone up, so teams can spend more money, but absolute value between the cheap good young labor and the free agents have gone up too. Just because budgets are greater, shouldn't give GMs a free pass to overspend on players. A bad deal, is still a bad deal. The Dodgers are in great shape with all their "good" young talent. Having Wolfe and Gonzalez only sign for one year helps mitigate their large salaries. I am not saying what Colletti has done is good or bad, just that having the good young and cheap talent around is more important than it was before given the extra savings. But you need to use it. End of ramble (for now).
vr, Xei
2006-12-12 17:20:12
58.   Greg Brock
Of all the saves he ever had, I'll never forget the time Eric Gagne saved Christmas.
2006-12-12 17:24:52
59.   Jon Weisman
57 - I agree that young, cheap talent remains valuable, and maybe in the end you're right, that it's more important. I'm no econ expert, either.

But this is still what I see, trying to use your example. The difference between peak salaries and the minimum is greater than before, but the ability to fit in peak salaries in the budget is also greater than before.

If I have Martin, then I don't need to go get a catcher. Great. But if I don't have Martin, I have the money to spend to go get that catcher. The catcher is more expensive, but my increased budget can handle it - the fact is, the catcher is more expensive because of my increased budget. So I still don't see a difference.

Today's budgets don't mean that GMs have a free pass to spend badly, but they don't mean they have to be more careful, either.

I think we agree on most of what's going on except for your conclusion. The extra savings don't mean all that much, because the increased budgets are the reason the extra savings are possible.

2006-12-12 17:28:25
60.   D4P
Why have budget sizes gone up so quickly?
2006-12-12 17:30:53
61.   trainwreck
New labor agreement?
2006-12-12 17:34:15
62.   bhsportsguy
57 When KC starts spending money, than perhaps Bud Selig can retire with a smile on his face.

When the Cubs, who notoriously did not spend despite their hidden revenue streams pays big bucks, then perhaps market forces are beginning to crack their already sold out games.

The Dodgers, like or not, should be a $100M+ payroll team, and they will be made up of the haves (vets at the peak or on the way down) and youngsters, the trick is to keep your vets commitments short even if expensive especially if you think that revenues will stay stable.

Since the bulk of the money tied up is only through 2008, I think the Dodgers have budget flexibility to compete now and in the future though I do think that next off-season may have to be less expensive in terms of signing free agents.

2006-12-12 17:35:29
63.   Greg Brock
Neyer says baseball salaries go up about 10% per year. Some years, they hold, which means they skyrocket to compensate in others. Add labor peace, revenue sharing, and everybody has dollars to spend.

I just think the owners finally found out about CoinStar. All that loose change adds up.

2006-12-12 17:37:12
64.   bhsportsguy
60 From what I have read and heard, the biggest revenue stream has come from MLB.com, the most profitable site of all the official sports sites primarily due to the usage of the MLB gameday audio and MLBTV.

Combine that with a stable television package, merchandising and increased attendance, plus although salaries have increased, I think overall revenues kept pace.

2006-12-12 17:50:11
65.   bhsportsguy
64 From a 12/2/2006 Pittsburgh news article:

This offseason, all 30 teams -- including the Pirates -- received a check for $36.5 million that broke down to roughly $20 million for the national broadcasting, $6.5 million for the Advanced Media and, as a one-time bonus, $10 million from the sale of the Washington Nationals. The latter money stemmed from every team owner pitching in approximately $4 million to buy the Montreal Expos in 2002, then selling that franchise for $450 million last year.

And the growth is expected to continue this decade. The Advanced Media figure alone is projected by experts as reaching $20 million within five years.

The Pirates also benefit from revenue sharing. As part of MLB's attempt at creating more equity in payrolls, high-revenue teams are required to pay one-third of all locally generated revenues into a pool that trickles down to low-revenue teams such as the Pirates.

Last year, the Pirates were cut a check for $25 million. This year, it should be slightly more.

That means the Pirates will make a minimum of $61.5 million this year before a single ticket is sold for PNC Park. That can buy a whole lot of Jeff Suppan.

I think the Dodgers make about 12-15 million in local media and who knows what else from those signs all over Dodger Stadium.

2006-12-12 18:10:18
66.   bhsportsguy
So long Toby, farewell Jayson....
Per the Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers retained left-handed pitchers Mark Hendrickson and Joe Beimel by offering them arbitration by Tuesday night's deadline, and cut ties with injured outfielder Jayson Werth and reserve catcher Toby Hall by declining to make offers.

http://tinyurl.com/y8omo9

2006-12-12 18:13:19
67.   trainwreck
Would have been nice to keep Werth around, but I knew it was probably not going to happen.
2006-12-12 18:15:57
68.   bhsportsguy
67 It was probably a pretty difficult deal to make with both sides not having a lot to go by, the only reason I see Werth wanting to make a deal would be to be able to go to a MLB camp and get seen by scouts, now he has to go for a non-roster invitee status and hope to catch on.
2006-12-12 18:29:22
69.   WellsforKemp
I am saddened by the news on Gagne, and I really had kept faith that he would still be resigned:(

Now, going into this season I really believed Ned would fix the pen and probably try to make it into a strength but, are we even any better as we stand now?

Saito probably cant repeat
Broxton may get better
Miller could be an asset
Baez is gone
Bills/ Kuo ???
no Maddux

Gagne could have been a huge gain IMO even at a huge risk

2006-12-12 18:35:11
70.   Sam DC
Last week, I heard Jayson Stark say on the ESPN morning guys radio show that changes in the revenue sharing formula/allocation structure have been an important factor in the ability/willingness of middle market and smaller teams substantially bumping up their payrolls. But he didn't explain what those changes were or how the impact actually played out.

-----

Is that right that Gagne only blew 6 saves in his Dodger career?

2006-12-12 18:35:25
71.   twerp
Cloudy crystal ball dept:

I sincerely hope Gagne' s vision of how things will go for him in Texas works out better than how he thought things would go for the '06 Dodger pen. From Dodgers.com, March 1--

(Referring to Baez and himself) Gagne agrees: "If this is a 'situation,' it's a great situation, two guys who can close games, and Brazoban makes three. It's like having too many guys who can hit 70 home runs -- no such thing. We're building something big with our bullpen. It's sick. If everybody's healthy, we could have the best bullpen ever. Like the Nasty Boys, a band of closers."

2006-12-12 18:50:59
72.   StolenMonkey86
71 - I felt kind of nasty in my stomach when Baez pitched, for what it's worth.
2006-12-12 18:54:12
73.   Bob Timmermann
I believe, by the power invested in me by my own mind, that with Eric Gagne's departure, any catch phrase about a Dodger closer getting a save cannot be a variant on "Game Over" ever again on the Dodger Thoughts blog.

So enacted, this place,
December 12, 2006

(Witnessed by Pete Pinkerly, noted notary public)

Let the catch phrases go forth to a new generation, the torch has been passed!

2006-12-12 19:13:07
74.   twerp
Question, probably for baseball historians, or anyone who knows==

Has it ever happened that a team lost all catchers during a game and had no one to step in? You'd think that in however many years baseball has been played it would have. If so, how did it work out so the game could be finished?

For a while last year the Dodgers didn't really have an emergency catcher, I don't think. Come to think of it, who'd be emergency catcher on the current Dodger roster?

2006-12-12 19:19:22
75.   El Lay Dave
73 Can we get an "AMEN!" to that?

I wouldn't be surprised if LA holds on to Penny unless an offer that can't be refused is made. Posted this late in the last topic, but repeated here, Penny is two years $17.5 million, or three years $24.5 million if the Dodgers exercise the third year option. He's at least as good as Padilla, Lilly and Meche who have recently signed for more, and better than Batista who just for about the same or a little more.

2006-12-12 19:19:27
76.   dsfan
Thanks
2006-12-12 19:24:27
77.   dsfan
54- Thanks

75 -- I also would hold onto Penny unless someone is willing to overpay. Wolf is still coming back from TJ surgery. If Penny pitches to his career norms, you might have a nice trade chip for July. If a surplus of starters bolsters the bullpen and reduces the workloads of Kuo and Bills, that's probably a good thing.

2006-12-12 19:25:25
78.   WellsforKemp
I wouldn't be surprised if LA holds on to Penny unless an offer that can't be refused is made.

unless the Dodgers get a Drew back it seems it would just downgade the team to trade Penny, then you look at how cheap he could be over the next few years and it makes it look even worse

2006-12-12 19:25:45
79.   Bob Timmermann
The rules state now that you have to forfeit if you can't field nine players. There were rare instances in the 19th century when teams would play shorthanded. I think they would just play with two outfielders.

But if a team ran out of regular catchers and its emergency catcher and it needed a catcher to finish a game, somebody would just see if the gear fit and go back there.

Jim Anderson, a former shortstop with the Angels back in the late 1970s, was an emergency catcher for a few games. He said he did it because he wanted to play and he figured "How hard can it be? All you have to do is just catch the ball, right?" He said that somewhat tongue in cheek.

The Rockies ran out of catchers in a game against the Angels 5-6 years ago and several players volunteered, but Don Baylor picked Neifi Perez for the job and I believe the Angels won the game on a wild pitch. Baylor thought that Perez would be more mobile than other players. Or maybe he just thought he was expendable.

2006-12-12 19:34:52
80.   El Lay Dave
77 78 Exactly. Kuo especially needs to be treated with some care. Although Billingsley is younger, he's more physical ready for the fifth starter, that is, he's been progressing to that kind of workload:
Year IPs
2003 54
2004 134
2005 146
2006 161

Kuo and his surgical recovery is still climbing the curve:
Year IPs
2000 3
2001 19
2002 14
2004 6
2005 60
2006 113
Kuo almost doubled his innings last year; I'd imagine Dodger brass doesn't want him pushed too far this year.

Given that the fallback starters are maybe Tomko, Hendrickson, Stults, Houlton, putting Kuo at the top of this list makes me feel a little better.

2006-12-12 19:34:56
81.   thinkingblue
Off topic here, but is anyone here a musician? If so, what kind of eletric guitar would you recommend in the 250-300 dollar price range for someone who likes to shred, and play heavy rock music?
2006-12-12 19:36:13
82.   thinkingblue
it seems it would just downgade the team to trade Penny

Yeah, I think people just want to trade Penny, just to trade Penny, even though it would probably be better not to trade him because he is above average, and a good deal compared to others.

2006-12-12 19:44:56
83.   El Lay Dave
82 The salary winds have shifted and the climate has changed. Global salary warming has changed the baseball environment, even melting the icecaps on the KC Royals' vaults. Brad Penny's value changed in the face of the apparent marketplace value of FA pitching. Two months ago, I might make a different argument.

That said, you probably don't say no if offered Rolen, Utley or ARod. ;)

"Collating Colletti" - Are we stacking parts of him up in neat little piles?

2006-12-12 19:46:15
84.   GoBears
Well, either Werth still is not healthy, or else Colletti just chooses the Depo acquisition to jettison at every opportunity.

Kent doesn't count, cuz Colletti knew him first. Is there anyone else other than Lowe and Saenz (assuming Penny is the next guy out of town)?

2006-12-12 19:46:20
85.   El Lay Dave
83 was supposed to be "... previously permafrosted vaults ...". copy and paste error. I stink.
2006-12-12 19:47:05
86.   twerp
Ned answered a question from "bumsrap" today.

Would that be DT's own "bumsrap"?

2006-12-12 19:52:22
87.   WellsforKemp
Well, either Werth still is not healthy, or else Colletti just chooses the Depo acquisition to jettison at every opportunity.

I dont understand it. Why not take a chance to see what he can do? Werth is basically the power potential Ned has been looking for, and while he obviously woulnt play full time he had the ability to hit nearly as many homeruns as Burrell

2006-12-12 19:56:45
88.   LAT
16 I wish I could undo 3 now, though. If I thought everyone would end up reading it twice, I'd have tried to write it a little better. ;)

First, you couldn't make it better. Its a great little story exactly the way it is.

Second, I enjoyed it more the second time.

2006-12-12 19:56:58
89.   dzzrtRatt
Not only important to have good young players, but important to use them.

I agree with the first part, but not the second. Burning up the major league service time of players we think might be future stars, but who aren't quite ready to contribute yet, just to avoid having to play a guy like Nomar or Luis Gonzalez, doesn't strike me as particularly smart. The notion that Colletti expects prospects to force their way onto the roster and into the lineup isn't a bad philosophy, really, so long as the idea is to keep them until they're ready and then use them.

2006-12-12 19:57:59
90.   twerp
79 RE 74 Thanks, Bob. Count on you to know most anything, or be able to find it quickly.

I'll vote for usually knows most anything.

2006-12-12 20:00:15
91.   dsfan
Regarding the economics of young talent:

A bit more interesting to me is a club's ability to create optimal opportunities for young talent and to maximize that talent by balancing short-term baseball performance and long-term concerns relating to workload and the "arbitration" clock, whereby a player becomes quite a bit more expensive after three years' of work service time.

So many factors in these areas makes it all the more interesting. One of many examples: Should young players be platooned to maximize the team's short-term goals, even if platooning can retard a player's long-term development? Betemit comes to mind. Should he sit against LHP? Or is there reason to believe that he could improve in that area and his overall hitting would benefit from some short-term growing pains?
Being a young player on a small-revenue team might be a better situation because those teams are more willing to play for the future. However, one drawback is that those teams might not have the talent to further the player's development (I think this can be over-rated, that regular playing time, to varying degrees, is more important than surrounding talent).

I find the Dodgers epsecially interesting because they have so many young players and a manager who has extraordinary experience when it comes to managing future major-league studs. Are the Dodgers creating an optimal environment for these players? Is Eddie Murray a good teacher of young talent? Honeycutt?

The strange beauty of 2006 was that the myriad injuries forced the Dodgers to give the kids a longer look and those kids were able to produce. They were crucial in saving the season. The short-term benefit was tangible -- a playoff berth. It'll be interesting to see what the long-term benefits are.

2006-12-12 20:16:23
92.   Jon Weisman
New post coming up top.
2006-12-13 01:28:48
93.   dan reines
Can we see a picture of Mr. Enders? I'm really curious having read his very entertaining reminiscences...
2006-12-14 14:06:32
94.   Todd
93 Yes, this sounds like an instance in which you should submit the pairing to ESPN Page 2 so we can see the similarity.

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