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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Missing Gagne in My Heart
2007-02-13 08:14
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Although Eric Gagne was MIA most of the past two seasons, I'm still going to feel pangs for a while when I see his name.

They hit me this morning while reading this short article from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, in which we get the news that Gagne will throw from a mound for the first time since having surgery to address a herniated disc in July. With the story comes that unmistakable, unforgettable Gagne optimism:

"I'm anxious to do it," Gagne said Monday from his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I've been throwing from up to 150 feet, and my arm feels great. But for me, it's exciting to get back up there and throw. I want to perform, perform, perform. But I've had to take it cautiously since my injuries. I've learned my lesson."

Dodger fans know that no one is less reliable to assess Gagne's physical condition than Gagne himself, but somehow, with him preparing to put on another major-league uniform for the first time ever, I can't shake the feeling that this time, he's going to be okay.

Those subjective feelings on my part won't stop Gagne from returning to the disabled list this season if that's his destiny. At the same time, I continue to wish that the Dodgers had risked some Juan Pierre/Luis Gonzalez/Mark Hendrickson/Joe Beimel money on a Gagne gamble, just because when Gagne's healthy, he's a symphony.

If budgets were tight, I certainly would understand letting Gagne go, but that wasn't the case. It breaks a lot of rules, but he's one player I would have rather let go too late than too early (not that that didn't already happen, obviously, when you consider the past two seasons).

I guess when it comes to Gagne, I'm disturbingly human.

A footnote comes from Steve Henson's recap in the Times today of Dodger general manager Ned Colletti's path through the offseason. When Scott Boras client J.D. Drew opted out of his contract, a common perception was that Colletti would refuse to deal with Boras in the future, partly explaining how Gagne ended up in Texas with a fairly affordable $6 million-plus-incentives-contract for 2007.

But after all that died down, Colletti did sign a minor Boras client with a history of injuries, Chin-hui Tsao. So there is a line Colletti is willing to cross to deal with Boras - as there should be. One should be able to say no to Boras without withholding all dialogue with him.

Anyway, that's all petites pommes de terre. This morning, I'm thinking about Gagne. And I know, life goes on without him. Life already has. I just haven't completely let go.

Update: Results of Gagne's visit to the mound, courtesy of Grant.

New closer Eric Gagne called his first trip to the top of a pitcher's mound since surgery last July "great."

Gagne threw off a mound at his Scottsdale, Ariz., home Tuesday and had no issues. Gagne had back surgery last July after just two appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is expected to report to camp with the rest of the Rangers' pitchers and catchers Saturday and should not have any limitations this spring.

Gagne said this week that he expects to have a typical spring training. He plans to throw about 10 innings, which is typical for a closer.

Comments (282)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-13 08:36:46
1.   Izzy
Ya, I'm human too.
2007-02-13 08:46:54
2.   madmac
What is the best site for payroll's around the league?
2007-02-13 08:54:16
3.   underdog
I'm with ya - will miss him, too (and also would be shocked if he isn't on the DL at some point this year).

Think there's any chance the Dodgers will try to bring him back after this season? Given what he means to the fans in LA...

I guess it all depends on: how he does; how Broxton/Saito do this year; how Colletti feels about dealing with Boras at that point.

I wish him the best. Well, not the best, just the... "good."

2007-02-13 08:54:23
4.   bhsportsguy
2 The best site for checking on salaries and contracts IMO is MLB4U.com, though many other resources have salary information.

Interesting article in the Times, in some ways it does verify what I think happens when teams and agents want to deal with the Dodgers from both a FA side and a trade side, they will always aim high, use the Dodgers as a measuring stick for other teams and then only go back to the Dodgers if they can't get something better from someone else.

Of course Scott Boras is going to deal with the Dodgers, it would be stupid for both sides to hold a grudge.

Andre Ethier in CF, did he play CF at all last year. Also, you do wonder in the Dodger braintrust really thinks Kemp is ready if they were willing to secure long term contracts for 2 of the 3 spots, actually this current scenario actually opens the door for him a lot sooner than if Drew had stayed and they got someone like Soriano.

2007-02-13 08:54:31
5.   Jeromy
Agreed. It's going to be really hard to see him pitch for the Rangers this year. But it Saito saves 40-45 games, all will be good.
2007-02-13 08:55:58
6.   Vishal
i'll miss him too. even his name has a ring magicality to me.
2007-02-13 08:57:50
7.   D4P
I don't think there are any players in the league who make me human. Maybe Choi, but Hee's out of site, out of heart these days.
2007-02-13 08:59:33
8.   Steve
Everytime they retell the Pierre story it gets more pathetic.
2007-02-13 09:07:59
9.   D4P
8
But...but...

"For the second year in a row, Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti was widely lauded for his off-season roster reconstruction"

2007-02-13 09:14:10
10.   Steve
Outside of Pierre, which was criminal, it hasn't been bad.
2007-02-13 09:16:45
11.   D4P
Outside of the outfield, it hasn't been bad.
2007-02-13 09:19:26
12.   Benaiah
7 - Yeah, I miss HSC. I wish that the Sox would give him a shot, but he was pretty terrible in the minors last year (.207/.347/.361/.708). He was walking a lot though, and didn't strike out more than he did with the Dodgers, so I think he just got really, really unlucky. He had a .275 BABIP last year, compared to a .336 career BABIP in the majors. His line would have been .251/.391/.405, if he had just gotten singles with a .336 BABIP last year. Poor Choi, you were the pawn that got taken off the board by Jim Tracy's hubris and Frank McCourt's thin skin.
2007-02-13 09:20:51
13.   Benaiah
12 - That should have been, if he just got singles to make up the differences between .275 and .336.
2007-02-13 09:21:35
14.   Benaiah
Did anyone ever link to part two of that Logan White interview?
2007-02-13 09:24:33
15.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
I wonder if there's something inherent to the closer role, the drama inherent in it, that makes it easy to get emotionally tied to the person in that role, especially if they perform well.

I wonder this just because I don't think I've ever taken a liking to a player as quickly as I did Takashi Saito. When you pay close attention to what a pitcher does, when looking at a key, but brief situation, you can find something incredible there that isn't about numbers.

I will ache if I see Gagne start to rack up saves and Ks in a Rangers uniform, since his dominance and his personality were just so easy to enjoy.

2007-02-13 09:25:47
16.   twerp
From Boston Herald==

"A law professor of mine, who wrote 12 books on the subject of labor law, a very bright guy, said to me, 'I'm watching what you do here, you're going to be very good at what you do, so remember this -- if you're really good at what you do as a lawyer, 90 percent of what's said about you will be negative.' And you know what, that's just about right, just about right."
--Boras

Also, not a bad lighter read:

http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg?articleid=182657

More Boras Q&A. Long but IMO worthwhile. Maybe bring lunch.

http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg?articleid=181512

2007-02-13 09:25:55
17.   Steve
Yeah, but Kemp-Ethier-Gonzalez would have been ok for a year. It's Pierre that is the massive, bleeding head wound.
2007-02-13 09:29:07
18.   D4P
Yeah, but given Ethier-Pierre, Gonzalez became unacceptable.

The outfield is a disaster.

2007-02-13 09:30:09
19.   Don Tordilla
I don't know Jon, I remember at the time I thought the offer we gave Gagne was decent- $4mil, incentives up to $10 mil. Of course, it seemed like Gagne was looking for the most guaranteed money, which is certainly understandable.

Gagne offer was mentioned here:
http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers7dec07,1,136010.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-dodger

2007-02-13 09:31:04
20.   bhsportsguy
14 If I could do it, so could you, nah just kidding.

http://tinyurl.com/yovvop

White makes the point that it is easier for players like Martin and Ethier to adjust to MLB pitching because they have compact swings while players like Kemp will take longer due to their swing but once Kemp adjusts, he should have a higher ceiling.

2007-02-13 09:31:45
21.   Steve
The problem is that Ethier-Kemp-Pierre is also unacceptable. As is Ruth-Mantle-Pierre. As is ________-__________-Pierre
2007-02-13 09:33:02
22.   Bob Timmermann
The one game where Pierre gets a bunt hit in the 9th, manages to steal second, and then comes around on a bunt and a sac fly to score the winning run, Bill Plaschke presses the "F6" key on his laptop which transmits the "See how great Juan Pierre is" column back to Spring Street.
2007-02-13 09:41:16
23.   Xeifrank
Was the Gagne/Boras entity demanding his old closer job back with the Dodgers as part of their talks? If so, the Dodgers made the right decision.

Just think how great the Dodgers bullpen would be with Gagne, Saito, Broxton and Guo/Billingsley. Not bad. To me, Gagne's health risk and the fact that the Dodgers already have two closer quality relief pitchers, both cheap and one of them quite young, made letting go of Gagne at a high price tag a fairly easy decision.

How did Saito's numbers last year compare to some of Gagne's years as the Dodger closer?

vr, Xei

2007-02-13 09:44:33
24.   Greg Brock
22 You've got to write a preemptive Viewpoint Letter to the Times, or else grant one of us permission to borrow the theme.
2007-02-13 09:44:58
25.   D4P
22
Waaaah....? Plaschke uses a LAPTOP....?
2007-02-13 09:46:01
26.   Steve
Indeed
2007-02-13 09:46:45
27.   Gen3Blue
Brad Penny and One Pierre for Andrew Jones.
2007-02-13 09:47:11
28.   Bob Timmermann
24
Knock yourselves out.
2007-02-13 09:50:03
29.   D4P
Dear LA Times,

The one game where Pierre gets a bunt hit in the 9th, manages to steal second, and then comes around on a bunt and a sac fly to score the winning run, Bill Plaschke presses the "F6" key on his laptop which transmits the "See how great Juan Pierre is" column back to Spring Street.

Sincerely,
D4P

2007-02-13 09:51:12
30.   Greg Brock
29 Nice effort.
2007-02-13 09:51:31
31.   twerp
23 When Gone-ye signed with Texas, someone associated with him said he wanted to go somewhere he could be the closer.

Which probably is why Texas bumped last year's closer.

2007-02-13 09:58:55
32.   Disabled List
It's amazing to me how smitten the LA media is with Colletti. That Henson piece is an absolute love letter to Ned.

Bad things that Ned did in the 06-07 offseason:

1) Signed Pierre, especially when it was the Giants who were about to be sandbagged with him. Just once, I'd like to read the word "overrated" mentioned in the same sentence as Pierre in an article by an LA sportswriter.

2) Signed Gonzalez, and initially offered him not one, but two prospect-blocking years.

3) Apparently got played like a fiddle in the Maddux negotiations.

4) Was totally blind-sided by Drew's opt-out (even though it was hardly a "hidden" clause in that contract), and whined like a little girl about it, embarrassing himself and damaging his credibility. Myself and several other DT commenters raised the possibility of the opt-out well before it ever happened, so it's not like it was totally unforeseen.

5) Failed to acquire a power bat, the lack of which I fear will sink our offense in 2007.

Good things that Ned did? Well, I'm happy with the Wolf and Schmidt signings (although Randy is a wait-and-see, and all things considered, I'd rather have Maddux than Wolf). I'm glad he punted on Zito. And I think the Gagne move was probably wise. It would be a mistake to tie up too much guaranteed money in pitchers whose health and effectiveness are serious question marks.

The whole signing-players-who-want-to-be-here theme is getting a little played out. It's good for PR purposes, and yeah, I appreciate the sentiment. But that closes us off from every Boras client, and let's face it, the man has an impressive stable of talent. It also allows agents like Arn Tellem to potentially game the system by appealing to Ned's soft spot, which is now very well-known. I mention this again thinking of Wolf vs. Maddux. They got similar money in their contracts (although Wolf's contract only has one guaranteed year and is far more incentive-laden). But the wants-to-play-here angle, combined with the fact that he's not a Boras client, led Colletti to take a gamble on Wolf, while Maddux signed with a division rival. I hope the gamble pays off.

I just wish there was someone in traditional media willing to cast a critical eye on Colletti's moves.

2007-02-13 09:58:57
33.   Benaiah
Gagne's three full years as the closer.
2002 1.97 ERA 82.3 IP 52 SV 192 ERA +
2003 1.20 ERA 82.3 IP 55 SV 335 ERA +
2004 2.19 ERA 82.3 IP 45 SV 189 ERA +

Saito's year, only half of which as closer.
2006 2.07 ERA 78.3 IP 24 SV 222 ERA+

I think Sammy matches up pretty well against Gagne in 2002 and 2004, but in 2003 (as Jon put it) Gagne split the atom.

2007-02-13 10:01:18
34.   dkminnick
Amen, Jon.

Gagne was Orel-esque and $2 million more guaranteed seems like small potatoes in this market.

Plus, as great as his fastball was, it was his ability to change speeds and throw multiple pitches that made him most effective. He knows how to pitch, so even if he's lost something off his fastball, I expect him to be okay. I predict a big year for him. This may end up being Ned's biggest mistake.

2007-02-13 10:01:47
35.   scareduck
One of the great joys of being in Arizona for Spring Training is the possibility of seeing Eric Gagne throwing again. One of the great sorrows is seeing him in a Rangers uniform.
2007-02-13 10:02:23
36.   Jacob L
To me, letting Gagne go was a case of making the right decision for the wrong reasons. His recent tenure was like keeping around an old car just cause you like it, or it was a hot car once, but it's costing you a fortune just to take it out of the garage once or twice a year. That's o.k. for collecting, but not commuting.

I wanna say that what we did is like dumping the car because we're mad at the mechanic, but on reflection, I think I'll need some help completing the metaphor.

2007-02-13 10:02:42
37.   D4P
Signed Gonzalez, and initially offered him not one, but two prospect-blocking years

Did LuGo really turn down a 2-year offer in favor of a 1-year deal...?

2007-02-13 10:04:05
38.   D4P
Has Ned taken one iota of heat (as the previous GM no doubt would have) from the media for failing to resign Gagne?
2007-02-13 10:04:27
39.   Disabled List
Another thing I'm glad Colletti did this offseason: He held on to the prospects. That deserves to be mentioned.

However, when the season starts, he better not start panic-dialing the Tampa Bay GM's office again.

2007-02-13 10:07:19
40.   Greg Brock
PECOTA hates Blake DeWitt. He rates as a fifth tier, or "Marginal" prospect, with a 9.9 score. For reference:

Pedroia- 178.6
Abreu-56.1

Kendrick...282.9

2007-02-13 10:07:34
41.   Disabled List
37 The Henson piece says Gonzo rejected a two-year, $10 million contract in favor of the one year, $7.5 million deal.
2007-02-13 10:08:06
42.   regfairfield
32 How about signed Nomar when we have pretty much the same player in James Loney?
2007-02-13 10:09:37
43.   scareduck
32 - playing devil's advocate:

1) Signed Pierre, especially when it was the Giants who were about to be sandbagged with him.

Well, somebody had to play center, and it looks pretty dubious that the Dodgers' farm system has anything remotely resembling a centerfielder in it. Darin Erstad? (I hate the Pierre deal, too, by the way.)

2) Signed Gonzalez, and initially offered him not one, but two prospect-blocking years.

I'm sure Colletti was thinking that the years won't matter because the Dodgers can afford to throw him under the Matt Kemp bus if it comes to it. But do you want to bet that bus can really start?

3) Apparently got played like a fiddle in the Maddux negotiations.

Thinking... thinking... uh, aging pitcher, collapse... I guess Jason Schmidt represents an improvement, though at least they didn't end up with another Hendrickson-level cork at the back end of the rotation.

4) Was totally blind-sided by Drew's opt-out

"Blind-sided"? Production notwithstanding, I'm thrilled he exercised (to use a particularly appropriate word) that option.

5) Failed to acquire a power bat, the lack of which I fear will sink our offense in 2007.

I dunno. The Dodgers scored a ton of runs despite hitting relatively few homers, which is to say they're turning into an older, NL version of the Angels. Sort of. If they can save their heroics for four-consecutive-homer games with the pennant on the line, etc., I'd take it.

2007-02-13 10:10:06
44.   regfairfield
40 Probably because his best full season line is .244/.305/.415. Since PECOTA can't account for scouting information, it probably requires that a player have a good season at some point.
2007-02-13 10:10:21
45.   Benaiah
Saito
2006 12.3 K/9 2.64 BB/9 4.65 K/BB .906 WHIP

Gagne:
2002 12.5 K/9 1.75 BB/9 7.12 K/BB .862 WHIP
2003 15.0 K/9 2.19 BB/9 6.80 K/BB .692 WHIP
2004 12.5 K/9 2.40 BB/9 5.18 K/BB .911 WHIP

Saito walks a few more batters, but strikes them out at about the same rate (except for 2003, which was amazing). In short, Saito was a Gagne clone last year, if he replicates 90% of that we will have one of the nastiest bullpen in the NL.

2007-02-13 10:11:44
46.   regfairfield
43 How about "failed to acquire a power bat, while simultaneously losing our best hitter and replacing him with Luis Gonzalez."
2007-02-13 10:16:07
47.   ToyCannon
46
I don't really find fault with not finding a power bat. It is not like they grow on trees and the price could have been our future. Not like you can just throw Tomko, Hendrickson, and what not out there and end up with a Dunn. We have plenty of power just about ready (Kemp, LaRoche) and Betemit will fill some of the gap this year. Everyone forgets that other then Utely, Kent still stands above everyone else at 2nd when it comes to power.
2007-02-13 10:16:42
48.   Gen3Blue
32 I agree that the "want to play here" schtick may be a bit overdone. But we will see if it works quickly, with short and incentive laden contracts. It does have a good feeling about it for this day and age, so I hope it works.
2007-02-13 10:18:26
49.   scareduck
40 - Jered Weaver's PECOTA projection last year: 5.03 ERA, 123 IP, 99 K, 52 BB. In other words, it was off by a lot. Rich Lederer gently ribbed Nate Silver over this in a recent piece:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/02/an_unfiltered_i.php

I wouldn't worry too much about particular projections.

2007-02-13 10:19:03
50.   regfairfield
47Oh, I agree that a premier guy like Dunn wasn't available, but I would have liked to see him make a play for someone like Craig Wilson instead of going to Gonzalez to fill in in left.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-13 10:19:52
51.   Steve
Instead of dumping homeless patients on Skid Row, we could have had them dumped in centerfield.
2007-02-13 10:21:26
52.   scareduck
46 - Paul DePodesta "lost" the Dodgers' best hitter by inserting the one-way option clause into his contract.
2007-02-13 10:21:40
53.   scareduck
51 - heh!
2007-02-13 10:22:35
54.   Disabled List
43 "Blind-sided"? Production notwithstanding, I'm thrilled he exercised (to use a particularly appropriate word) that option.

Thing is, I'm not really interested in anything notwithstanding production. As mentioned in 46, replacing Drew in the lineup with Gonzalez is going to be a huge step backwards for the offense.

The Dodgers scored a ton of runs despite hitting relatively few homers

Thanks to great OBP and great BA with RISP. The former has taken a hit with the loss of Drew and the addition of Pierre and Gonzo, and the latter will probably not occur two years in a row.

2007-02-13 10:23:23
55.   Gen3Blue
40,44 I think I've mentioned before that scouts must see amazing things in DeWitt because he has rarely shown much in stats.
He is young though. Still I am curious about which of those fuzzy areas (make-up, body type,projectability) he has such a quantity of.
2007-02-13 10:24:10
56.   Greg Brock
49 I just thought the extreme disparity was interesting. Also, I'm not a big DeWitt fan. But using Jared Weaver as an example of PECOTA's flaws is, to my way of thinking, a little too outlier-happy.
2007-02-13 10:24:29
57.   Sam DC
17 Well, how massive could it really be. It's Juan Pierre we're talking about here.

I think 32, with the amendment, is pretty fair. I also think that, while "paying lots and lots of money to one of the top two FA pitchers on the market" counts as a good move, it sure isn't a very compelling one. Not to discount the skill invoved in convincing Schmidt and his people to take this deal rather than some other one, but it's not like he plucked David Ortiz off the Rule 5 wire or solved a Rubik's Cube or something.

2007-02-13 10:25:18
58.   bhsportsguy
Just to change topics a bit, anyone else thinks that Pete Carroll's name is going to come up for every vacant NFL job and is there a chance he even hints at listening to them.
2007-02-13 10:25:19
59.   ToyCannon
Losing JD was a big loss, particulary if he was going to be our CF but it's not Ned's fault that JD left. Putting more years on his contract would have been crazy.

Ned's move in the outfield will hurt us in the short term(LuGo) and hurt us in the long term(Bullethead). I don't have a problem with bringing in a placeholder at a corner outfield spot in 06 but LuGo will become a distraction if Kemp proves to be ready. He made plenty of comments last year in Arizona when he lost at bats to the Arizona kids.

2007-02-13 10:28:26
60.   ToyCannon
56
Part of the problem with Dewitt and Pecota is that he has barely played above A ball and when he did he was putrid in AA. If he kicks butt in AA ball this year the Pecota next year will be very very different. I'd trust the scouts more then Pecota until we have more data. At his point I'm more concerned with his ability to play 2nd base or not. The scouts seem to have conflicting opinions on this.
2007-02-13 10:30:12
61.   D4P
He made plenty of comments last year in Arizona when he lost at bats to the Arizona kids

That doesn't sound very Veteran Presence-y

2007-02-13 10:32:15
62.   Vishal
choi's in tampa bay now, in case anyone was wondering.
2007-02-13 10:32:41
63.   Marty
But he does have triplets, so we got that going for us.
2007-02-13 10:32:46
64.   Greg Brock
60 From what I gather, DeWitt is stonehands at third or second, doesn't have enough pop for third, and Abreu is the much better prospect anyway. If scouts are bullish on DeWitt, I'd be pleased as punch to see him packaged in a deal to a team that places a premium on scout's opinions. Of course, DeWitt could turn out to be a fabulous player, and this could all be moot.
2007-02-13 10:32:51
65.   bhsportsguy
57 Is Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein good GMs or do they just spend huge and inflated contracts that price everyone else out.

I think we remember the David Ortiz's or Johann Santana Rule 5 pick ups or trades like Nathan, Liriano for A.J., Kazmir for Zambrano because they are the exception.

Usually, teams win with a mix of guys that you got from lots of places whether from the waiver wire to the check book. The check book might appear to be less creative but should be judged no differently than any other way you get players.

2007-02-13 10:33:10
66.   Marty
I'll bet he likes Weird Al Yankovic too :)
2007-02-13 10:33:56
67.   Xeifrank
So if Gagne only wanted to take a job as a closer in 2007, the Dodgers didn't really stand much of a chance of signing him, given his health risk and the emergence of Saito and Broxton, the Dodgers couldn't offer him that gaurantee. vr, Xei
2007-02-13 10:37:43
68.   CanuckDodger
40 -- How useful is PECOTA for determining the prospect status of players nobody thinks are major league ready? I don't think we need PECOTA to tell us that DeWitt would put up miserable numbers in the majors in 2007. DeWitt is at least two years from being MLB ready, and it might be three years. But when he is more polished, I think he has the swing to be a very good hitter in the majors. He already hits right-handers pretty well. It is his futility against southpaws that drags his overall numbers down, so if he learns to hit lefties he will be a full-time player, and if he doesn't, he will be the lefty half of a platoon, which is the half you want to be if you have to be in a platoon.
2007-02-13 10:38:14
69.   ToyCannon
I've never seen a scouting report that said he had stonehands. Your just making that up.
2007-02-13 10:39:59
70.   kinbote
i'm a bit concerned about our post-gagne bullpen. saito had an unbelievable year, but it's expecting a lot to ask him to duplicate it. obviously, broxton is a key figure as the dominant set-up man and closer-in-training, but how much can one man pitch?

therefore, i'm starting to give a lot of thought to moving billingsley to the pen to create a tag-team set-up situation with broxton.

advantages: we add another power arm to the pen, complimenting broxton and adding an element of fear/intimidation to late-inning situations; kuo gets the starting job he deserves/needs.

disavantages: we lose our most promising young starter from the rotation; we risk arm injuries tweaking his regular routine.

maybe it's just me, but saito/broxton/beimel/tomko/hendrickson/kuo
doesn't quite seem like the shut-down pen we need this year. i'm really rooting against seanez making the team, and tsao and brazoban can't be considered until later in the year.

another possible solution would be if meloan stepped up and claimed that set-up power arm role--or miller . . .

2007-02-13 10:40:30
71.   Sam DC
65: Well, I just said it was less compelling than other more creative moves as at the time I acknowledged it was an equally valuable form of team building. Seems to me you've got to be able to do it all. And even the big spenders are, after all, deciding where to plunge and where not to (on Dice-K not Zito; on Schmidt, not Soriano) etc. It just seems like a simpler form of decision making than finding undervalued or underrecognized talent, or making judgments as to who might bounce back from a poor year and who might not.

And I really have no idea if Theor or Cashman are good GMs or not. Cashman seems pretty impressive to me for the all pitching depth he's added this year and just for the patience he is showing in that marker. And getting Pettite back, while perhaps just another big check writing, came sort of out of nowhere.

Theo is hard to figure out; he seemed to panic last year re Mirabelli, that's for sure.

2007-02-13 10:40:40
72.   bhsportsguy
61 He also had an owner basically say he took steroids.

What should he have done, I'm not saying that he should have played as much as he did in the last 2 months of the season but he wasn't hurt, he was told in September that they were going to let him go, should he just sit there and not say anything. In the end, most of guys still believe they can play. From what I read, he was always supportive of the kids, he just thought how the management handled it (remember that they were changing the front office at the time too) was bad.

2007-02-13 10:41:32
73.   Greg Brock
69 He has no range and is a poor fielder. You can use whatever term you're comfortable with. I'm comfortable with mine.
2007-02-13 10:43:11
74.   regfairfield
69 Baseball America says he's unsuited for second base. Whether or not that translates into stonehands is up to you.

68 The article in question is talking about the players production over his career, not just next year.

2007-02-13 10:46:31
75.   twerp
67. That's pretty much the way I get it. It was more about being guaranteed to be closer than extra $$$.

Gagne as Gagne was, that guarantee is a no-brainer. Gagne as who-knows-what-exactly, the Dodgers couldn't make that guarantee.

2007-02-13 10:46:32
76.   CanuckDodger
64 -- When you say that, it sounds like you have forgotten that WE are a team that puts a premium on scouts' opinions.
2007-02-13 10:47:01
77.   bhsportsguy
71 Then there is always Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright
2007-02-13 10:47:20
78.   ToyCannon
74
John Sickels and Deric from HQ disagree.
5. Blake DeWitt 2B…..R/R…..20…..2004 (1-C) high school (MO)
Strengths: Athleticism/strength. Bat speed/BA ability/moderate power. Soft hands
Weaknesses: Pitch recognition. Speed/agility. Average arm strength. Reading groundballs
Comments: Bat speed and a more aggressive approach netted more power, but plate discipline regressed and didn't hit for BA. Improving pitch recognition could be the final hitting piece. Made smooth transition from 3B to 2B, showing soft hands, but must read groundballs better.
MLB Debut: 2008
Potential Rating: 9D
2007-02-13 10:48:56
79.   Greg Brock
DeWitt's minor league FRAA (last three years):
-13, -11, -10. The scouting report I read from BA says the kid can't play second. You disagree with those particular assessments, which is fine. Accusing me of making something up, not really cool.
2007-02-13 10:50:38
80.   ToyCannon
Not saying I'm in the DeWitt corner but a 20 year old will always have plenty of room for improvement. Check out Chase Utely's numbers at baseball cube and you'll see that Dewitt based on age is probably ahead of him and I remember a time when scouts said that Utley would not be able to handle 2nd base.
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/U/Chase-Utley.shtml
2007-02-13 10:54:30
81.   ToyCannon
79
I consider stonehands to be completely different then lack of range or agility. My apology if you think it means the same thing.
2007-02-13 10:54:31
82.   GoBears
32 Was totally blind-sided by Drew's opt-out (even though it was hardly a "hidden" clause in that contract), and whined like a little girl about it, embarrassing himself and damaging his credibility.

I think that's a little over the top, and that you should issue an apology to any little girls you might have offended.

2007-02-13 10:59:31
83.   Jon Weisman
Believe it or not, there is now a Weird Al thread at Screen Jam.
2007-02-13 11:03:10
84.   CanuckDodger
During last season, Kevin Goldstein at BP quoted a scout who had this to say about DeWitt:

"I love it, he flat out rakes. Really nice swing with great timing and rhythm. Hard contact to all fields, excellent pitch selection -- he's going to be a .300+ hitter with 30-35 doubles and 15 home runs in the big leagues. He's got a chance to be special. He's rough with the glove, there's no other way to put it. His range isn't real good, his feet aren't real quick, his hands aren't real good. But he's 20, he's a good athlete, and has great make-up -- there's no reason he can't become playable there (2B)."

2007-02-13 11:03:47
85.   twerp
If Ned had stood pat with the OF after Drew left, he'd have been abused, and seriously.

Maybe giving the Kemps and Repkos and whoeverelses on the roster first shot, then working a trade if they blew it would have worked. But Ned has made it pretty plain he won't go into a season relying on "unproven" players; he wants them to "earn" their spots and wants a veteran on hand in case they can't hack it.

At that time there weren't many "proven" options. Pierre may have been a bit of a panic move. If Ned had waited--awfully tough to do in that situation--he might have been able to do better than Obi One Out via trade. Maybe better than Gonzalez too. But he rolled the dice. The jury's out.

2007-02-13 11:04:19
86.   Benaiah
70 - It might be unrealistic to expect Saito to be the best closer in the NL this year (he had the best relief ERA in the NL last year), but his component statistics show that he wasn't just getting lucky last year. He struck out more than 12 batters per 9, which is great and better than Broxton (11.4 last year). No one knows what the future holds, but there is no reason to expect a huge regression. In any case, I wouldn't convert Billingsley or Kuo in even a semi-permanent way.

Our bullpen has some promise next year, and guys like Saenez (more than a K per inning last year, though with waaaaaaaaaaay too many walks), Beimel (due for regression) and Tsao (who knows), who have upside are just the people to fill out the spots after Broxton and Sammy.

2007-02-13 11:07:19
87.   Steve
Kemp should be ready by 2013.
2007-02-13 11:07:41
88.   Greg Brock
81 He has below average hands. That's what I've read. I accept your non-apology apology, agree to disagree, and continue to value your input.
2007-02-13 11:11:03
89.   twerp
Kelly Wunsch tried out for the Astros and reportedly threw pretty well. Anyone know if they signed him?
2007-02-13 11:13:36
90.   ToyCannon
You forgot about Meloan when discussing the depth.
2007-02-13 11:16:13
91.   Xeifrank
86. I wouldn't semi-convert Billingsley or Guo to the bullpen either, but with Randy Wolf probably not going to the bullpen, one of them will most likely be starting the season in the bullpen. Worse than moving one of them to the bullpen, would be to move one of them to AAA. It may be the case (unfortunately) that both Billingsley and Guo pitch out of the bullpen quite a bit the first month of the season. There usually are enough off days the first month to only warrant a few starts from the 5th starter.
vr, Xei
2007-02-13 11:18:25
92.   Jon Weisman
91 - I agree.

No one should shed any tears over who gets bumped into the bullpen in April. And by May, someone will probably be hurt.

2007-02-13 11:22:13
93.   dkminnick
67, 75 - I would have guaranted Gagne the closer's spot - until and unless he lost it. If he's doing the job, all is well. If he's not.. well, no guarantee extends that far.

Except maybe JtO's in CF...

2007-02-13 11:24:18
94.   saltcreek
58- I heard his name getting mentioned with the San Diego opening. I hope he stays though.
2007-02-13 11:24:50
95.   ToyCannon
You all don't think that Billingsly could use some work on his command in AAA? I think being in a rotation every day would be more usefull then a 4th option out of the bullpen.
2007-02-13 11:27:43
96.   saltcreek
94- and he might listen he did interview for the miami job a while if i recall.
2007-02-13 11:28:12
97.   bhsportsguy
91 Actually, not many off days, after the first 3 game set in Milwaukee, the Dodgers have this schedule, off day, 6 games, off day, 10 games, off day, 10 games, off day, 13 games, off day, 6 games. So 50 days, 45 games, 5 off days, I count at least 8 times they need the 5th starter.

Now, there are always rainout possibilities but the Dodgers will probably being throwing 5 guys out there from the start of the season.

2007-02-13 11:28:46
98.   saltcreek
96-while back if i recall
2007-02-13 11:34:00
99.   Jon Weisman
95 - That's possible, I suppose. I guess I felt his command improved as the season went on, but maybe I'm wrong.
2007-02-13 11:35:07
100.   Benaiah
91 - I think there is a pretty big difference between starting out in the pen, biding time, and converting for the year to ensure we have a lights out pen. It is unlikely to the point of impossibility, that we won't need a sixth starter. The sixth starter was used on the 32nd game of the year last year, 45th game of 2005 (that I saw) and the 28th game of 2004. This is despite the fact that no starter got injured that early in any year, their is a four man rotation used with off days and in 2006 and 2005 pitchers were allowed to run up ERAs in the 6s and 7s before they were pulled from the rotation. A half dozen trips through the rotation either Kuo or Billingsley will get a chance, so I don't mind them keeping the innings down in the beginning.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-02-13 11:37:26
101.   dsfan
Henson tells us that Pierre was close to signing with the Giants for $36 million when the Dodgers entered the fray. It still amazes me that such information would cause any rational thinker to say anything other than, "OK, we will look elsewhere for our CF."
At what point did Pierre's appreciation for the Dodgers breaking the color barrier factor into the negotiations? Minus the Jackie legacy, would Pierre have finagled $50 million out of the Dodgers?
It's staggering the way this franchise conducts business. Did anyone in the front office grasp that a plethora of CFs will hit the trade market this summer or the free-agent market next fall? Did they not realize that several of the big spenders -- both NY clubs, Boston -- already have committed huge sums to CFs?
Integrity of process separates the good clubs from others. I see no integrity of process here, just much scurrying about by Ned and the Mcourts.
It's also fascinating to contemplate the mindset of a front office that offered a two-year guarantee to the ossified Luis Gonzalez.
2007-02-13 11:39:17
102.   CanuckDodger
95 -- Billingsley's command in Triple A was never a problem. He doesn't need to work on anything THERE, regardless of whether he ends up there because of a numbers game. Billingsley's BB:K ratio in the majors was not a reflection of his real ability. I recall that last year at this time some people were worrying about Broxton walking one batter per inning in 2006, because he did that in the majors in 2005.
2007-02-13 11:44:20
103.   Terry A
The Times piece reeks of the double-standardism that plagues the paper's sports section.

Colletti gets a free pass for skipping a meeting with Boras (when it is later learned that Maddux perhaps could've been signed had Colletti bothered to attend). Beltre gets misty-eyed telling Plaschke that he wanted to stay in LA, but that DePodesta never called back, never put a final offer on the table. And though it couldn't even be proven that Beltre's version was the truth, DePodesta was absolutely hammered over it.

To be clear, I'm not upset that Maddux is not a Dodger. It's the principle of the thing. Or the lack thereof.

(Pierre coulda been a Giant for the next four years? I'm furious about that one.)

2007-02-13 11:44:59
104.   saltcreek
99- If you look at his game log, after august 14th you could argue that his command was better. 21ks compared to 11 walks, which is much better than his full season ratio.
2007-02-13 11:45:49
105.   D4P
101
Moments after being swept by the New York Mets in the playoffs, the Dodgers weren't comforted by their 17-win turnaround in the team's first season under Colletti and Manager Grady Little.

Colletti toured the gloomy clubhouse and vowed that he would do everything possible to fill the holes that kept the Dodgers from advancing.

"I took that to heart, their words and the look in their eyes. They know there is more to accomplish and more to prove, and I had to help that along by improving the club."

2007-02-13 11:45:54
106.   Benaiah
101 - I didn't think about the fact that NYY, NYM, Cubs and to a lesser extent the Sox all already bought CF. I doubt that Andruw will be a bargain, but we could have gotten a 45 million dollar discount, since we threw that much away on Pierre. Andruw is wow... I am still nursing the secret hope that some sucker will take Pierre, but it is difficult to imagine a scenario where we end up with Andruw.
2007-02-13 11:47:03
107.   Xeifrank
Ok, not alot of off days, just another reason to keep Guo/Billinsley whoever is the 6th starter in the pen. There may be some long relief needs, plus it wouldn't do any harm to use the 6th starter in some high leverage 7th/8th inning situations if and when Broxton or Saito get a little run down.
vr, Xei
2007-02-13 11:49:46
108.   saltcreek
103- Im not upset about maddux not being a dodger either, but im mad he went to our rivals down south. And its not like the Giants got Wells, or Jones instead of Pierre. They got Dave Roberts.
2007-02-13 11:53:52
109.   CanuckDodger
103 -- You are likening the 2004 Beltre to the 2006 Gagne and Maddux? After 2004, it was almost thought to be a matter of course that the Dodgers would re-sign Beltre, and that wasn't just an L.A. media assumption. I think everybody expected Gagne to be gone after he spent two years injured and earned nearly $20 million from the Dodgers while being injured. The media would have made a bigger deal out of losing Maddux if we hadn't signed Schmidt, whom everybody would rather have than Maddux. Believe me, if the day after DePodesta lost Beltre he had acquired a more highly thought of 3B, nobody would have made a peep about Beltre.
2007-02-13 11:56:20
110.   Benaiah
108 - Maddux going to the Padres doesn't particularly bother me. He has had ERAs over 4 each of the past three years, and his sudden turn around with the Dodgers last year seemed flukey. He won't be terrible, but he won't change the division either.

Dave Roberts 2006 in one of the worst hitters parks in the majors: .360 OBP, 100 OPS+.

Juan Pierre 2006 in one of the best hitters parks in the majors: .330 OBP, 81 OPS+.

Roberts 2006: .356 and 114 OPS+.
Pierre 2005: .326 OBP and 84 OPS+.

Roberts is better, and Pierre is more expensive, for FIVE flipping years.

2007-02-13 11:57:33
111.   D4P
Yep, no doubt I'd rather have Roberts than Pierre in 2007. Heck: I might even prefer Roberts over Pierre for the next 5 years.
2007-02-13 12:04:14
112.   Benaiah
Impressive Pierre statistic: In 2000 with the Rockies, Pierre managed to have a batting average of .310 and an OPS+ of 55 (OPS+ has a stadium adjustment so playing in Coors demands better production). How? Well his slugging was .320(!) for an Isolated Slugging Percentage of .010. He had only 2 extra base hits, both doubles, in 200 At Bats. He also had 7 steals in 13 attempts and came in 6th in the Rookie of the Year voting.
2007-02-13 12:06:00
113.   Jon Weisman
109 - I disagree just with your first comment on Beltre, Canuck. There was a pretty fierce debate over whether Beltre was a one-year wonder or not, and whether he should be resigned for what he was demanding.
2007-02-13 12:10:26
114.   D4P
I wonder if the Giants would be willing to trade us Dave Roberts for Henri Stanley. We could even throw in a low-level minor leaguer, like, say, Juan Pierre.
2007-02-13 12:16:29
115.   saltcreek
110-111-Juan Pierre career 303/350/377 age 29

Dave Roberts career 270/344/371 age 34

Dave Roberts is not a better player than Pierre and at 34 is due for a decline. Is he much cheaper...yes. Is giving him a one year deal and then trying to make a run at Jones or Hunter smarter than giving pierre 5 years.....yes. But Pierre I believe will be the better player next year.

2007-02-13 12:16:47
116.   CanuckDodger
113 -- Oh, there was definitely debate over whether Beltre SHOULD be re-signed, for what it would take in years and dollars, but I think even the people who thought he was a one-year wonder seemed resigned to the fact that he WOULD be re-signed. I distinctly recall that the day the news broke that Beltre was going to Seattle there was astonishment, from everybody. By contrast, when Gagne and Maddux signed elsewhere, no one was surprised at all. Nobody made a big fuss on the usual message boards, or here. The message boards were going crazy after Beltre left, many hours before Plashcke had a chance to weigh in with his opinion in the Times.
2007-02-13 12:17:26
117.   D4P
115
From what I can tell, Pierre has been declining much more quickly in recent years than Roberts has.
2007-02-13 12:18:28
118.   Greg Brock
115 If you look at the last two years, you will find two distinctly different baseball players. But Pierre was a better player four years ago. Not now.
2007-02-13 12:18:29
119.   Terry A
109 - I'm not really trying to compare the players or, really, the GMs.

But DePodesta's big shortfall, allegedly, was poor communication skills. "Losing" Beltre to Seattle was blamed on this, as was "losing" Steve Finley and Jose Lima.

Colletti, The Great Communicator, skipped out on a meeting with the agent for a couple of free agents who might've re-signed with the Dodgers. They might've wanted to be Dodgers.

DePodesta got Plaschke'd for it; Colletti got a free pass. In fact, he almost got praised for it.

2007-02-13 12:19:25
120.   D4P
119
I agree that a double standard exists. It almost make me want to root for Depo's Padres...almost...
2007-02-13 12:20:26
121.   Steve
Both of them should be selling insurance -- why would anyone worry about either one of them?
2007-02-13 12:22:51
122.   CanuckDodger
115 -- I agree with that. It is odd to think that Roberts was approximately the age Pierre is now when he first became a major league regular. And of course I would point out that Roberts always seems to get hurt while Pierre is an iron man, but Pierre's detractors look at Pierre's durability as a negative, so not much is to be gained by going down that avenue.
2007-02-13 12:25:44
123.   Benaiah
Dave Roberts has been a much better player since he got that steal for the Red Sox. He basically set a new standard of performance in 2005 and then reproduced 95%+ of it. Now that was only over two years, but in a harsh offensive environment Dave Roberts has been league average or better for 900 at bats.
2007-02-13 12:45:26
124.   GoBears
122. Pierre's durabiliy is only a negative because his backup is a better player than he is. Or at least he's likely to become better well before that contract nears its end.

I remember thinking that Cal Ripken Jr's durability was a negative late in his career, as badly as he played for a few years there, but the fact was that Baltimore didn't have anyone else in the system who was better, so they might as well trot Cal out there every day.

2007-02-13 12:46:31
125.   Xeifrank
I would just like to commend everybody on what a great thread/discussion this has been today. I guess it's a sign that spring is on it's way. vr, Xei
2007-02-13 12:48:06
126.   Sam DC
Man, and I was just about to bring it with my Greatest American Hero trivia.
2007-02-13 12:49:45
127.   Steve
Pierre kinda rhymes with "Syler." Coincidence?
2007-02-13 12:50:37
128.   Bob Timmermann
125
And Xeifrank posted on "Screen Jam" too!

The whole world has turned upside down!

2007-02-13 13:05:32
129.   Jon Weisman
126 - You say Hinkley, I say Hanley ...
2007-02-13 13:06:33
130.   StolenMonkey86
125 - We must be getting mixed messages. My classes after 4:30 were cancelled, and I walked back to my dorm with sleet coming down on me.
2007-02-13 13:06:40
131.   Marty
126 Wow Sam, someone in my office just mentioned that he just bought the Greatest American Hero DVD of the first (only?) season.
2007-02-13 13:09:45
132.   Sam DC
129: It doesn't get much more trivial than that! 131 -- At least two seasons, I'd say three.

And then there was the Greatest American Heroine . . .

2007-02-13 13:12:46
133.   Xeifrank
I walked back to my dorm with sleet coming down on me.

Bare foot through a field full of razor blades? Cuz back when I use to walk home from school...
vr, Xei

2007-02-13 13:14:51
134.   StolenMonkey86
133 - No, just slushy sidewalks. I'm such a young'n.
2007-02-13 13:17:03
135.   Xeifrank
The Dodgers (#7 seed in the NL) have drawn the Cincy Reds (#10 seed in the NL) in the first round of the pre-season Simulation tournament that I am running. vr, Xei
http://dodgersims.blogspot.com/
2007-02-13 13:21:54
136.   Disabled List
If Pierre can get his OBP for the season above .350 (his career average) and his SB rate above 80%, I'll actually be content with him. I'm less concerned about his lousy power numbers; I've never given a lot of weight to power hitting out of the leadoff spot. At the top of the order, the only thing I'm concerned with is the ability to get on base.

Pierre actually had decent OBP numbers during his first two years in Florida (.361, .374). Maybe in an environment like the Dodgers, with other players who have patient batting eyes and high OBPs, he'll learn the value of taking a walk.

Maybe.

2007-02-13 13:23:08
137.   D4P
136
We don't do that Oakland thing. We swing 3-0.
2007-02-13 13:32:01
138.   Benaiah
136 - I think a .350-.360 OBP would be a rousing success from young bullethead, however, I don't see it happening. He was much worse than that the last two years and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that speedsters have earlier peaks and/or steady declines. If all of a player's value is in being fast, then it seems that they would peak at 18-19.
2007-02-13 13:40:48
139.   saltcreek
138- Well Dave Roberts had the best 2 years of his career at the ages of 33 and 34. Anything is possible.
2007-02-13 13:45:35
140.   underdog
D'oh, man, did anyone see this poll? (Sorry if this is a repeat.)
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/ballot?event_id=2790

Apparently, Elmer Dessens is the Dodgers' set-up man?

Vote for Takashi!

2007-02-13 13:48:49
141.   Jon Weisman
140 - That's the second place where I've seen Broxton left off a Dodger setup man list. MLB.com (not Gurnick, someone else) did so recently.
2007-02-13 13:59:55
142.   twerp
119 "Colletti, The Great Communicator, skipped out on a meeting with the agent for a couple of free agents who might've re-signed with the Dodgers. They might've wanted to be Dodgers."

Are you referring to not meeting with Boras about Gagne and/or Maddux in the post-Drew days, or something else? Is there a link to wherever this was claimed? Was this a meeting Ng attended instead of Ned?

Boras spins events in his favor. His MO usually is to keep players and clubs dealing only with him, so that one really doesn't know exactly where the other stands. In this kind of information void, it's relatively easy for players to take offense and for clubs to get wrong ideas.

It'd be very Boras to close a deal with Team B--for more $$, of course--by convincing a player that if Team A really wanted him, it'd send the top man, or the top man would handle all negotiation details.

Athletes are competitive people, and such appeals to their egos have a good chance of manipulating them to where a Boras wants them to be.

2007-02-13 14:08:22
143.   regfairfield
To be fair, they also called Scott Schoeneweis, Adam Wainwright, and LaTroy Hawkins (he's still in baseball?) setup men, so it's not a slight specifically against Broxton.
2007-02-13 14:13:21
144.   Terry A
142 - To answer your questions:

Yes.
Yes. (Today's LA Times.)
Yes.

2007-02-13 14:16:05
145.   Vaudeville Villain
138-

Actually, I think the common perception is that players with "old player skills" decline more quickly than more athletic players. Adam Dunn, for example, is an "old players skills" guy. Old Player Skills, are pure OPS guys, basically. Another example is Pat Burrell. Slow, take a lot of walks, non-athletic.

Now, this doesn't mean that one should go out and find players like Juan Pierre whose skill is singular, speed, it just means that Pierre's descent is not likely to be as precipitous or as rapid as Dunn's or Burrell's.

Which means Pierre should sustain his level of sub-mediocrity for longer than Dunn and Burrell can sustain their above average player status.

2007-02-13 14:16:27
146.   Benaiah
Why is it that ESPN constantly raves about Joel Zumaya (and obviously people are paying attention, since he is getting more of the Setup man vote than Mariano Rivera is getting of the closer vote) but the only mention of Broxton is once Bill Simmons said "Grady Little left some dude name Broxton in too long."

Here are their stats last year:

Broxton 2006
76.1 IP 61 H 22 ER 33 BB 97 K 2.59 ERA 20.4% LD% 39.2% GB% 2.97 FIP
Zumaya 2006
83.1 IP 56 H 18 ER 42 BB 97 K 1.94 ERA 20.9% LD% 34.0% GB% 3.38 FIP

Broxton allowed more hits and runs in less innings pitched, but his component stats were much better that Zumaya's. Better K/9 (11.44 vs. 10.48), better BB/9 (3.98 vs. 4.54) and a better Groundball percentage. Zumaya still walks way too many batters (Broxton could use some better control too for that matter), and despite the hype over his 100 MPH heater, he doesn't strike out people at a truly phenomenal rate. I would bet heavily on Broxton to have a lower ERA than Zumaya in 2006.

2007-02-13 14:18:25
147.   regfairfield
146 I've made the exact same point. I think it's ESPN's Detroit bias.
2007-02-13 14:19:36
148.   Benaiah
145 - I have read that before too, however, I assumed that was because players with old player skills (taking walks, having power) didn't have skill sets to develop into, while athletic players could learn to take a walk and/or put on muscle. However, since Pierre isn't going to put on any meaningful muscle and he hasn't learned to take a walk thus far, I wonder if he might be an abberration.
2007-02-13 14:20:36
149.   Benaiah
147 - Yeah, I think I just plagarized from you. I remember when you posted that.
2007-02-13 14:27:00
150.   Vaudeville Villain
148-

I think it's a combination of various things. I think the bigger, more non-athletic players bodies would simply tend to fail them earlier than the more athletic player.

As far as Pierre developing power or patience, very few hitters suddenly develop patience, (Derek Jeter is one of the few examples that comes to mind). Also, I think Pierre's a bit old to still be developing. Technically, we should be getting his "prime" years.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-02-13 14:31:21
151.   Steve
Juan Pierre has no discernable skill, and therefore, never needs to worry about his skills declining. He is forever.
2007-02-13 14:35:51
152.   Berkeley Doug
Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but RIP Eddie Feigner; one of the ten best pitchers ever according to SI.

http://tinyurl.com/2mdxhz

2007-02-13 14:52:14
153.   underdog
141 143 Yeah, it's odd. And true, I think that poll reflected more of a general ignorance on the part of whoever created it than any specific bias against Broxton. It just seemed particularly affrontive to have... Dessens on the list. He's a middle reliever, and maybe won't be around halfway through the season. But hard to take it too seriously. (Wish they had a comment field on those polls, though.)
2007-02-13 14:54:31
154.   underdog
I never thought I'd say this, truly, but I'm actually sort of tiring of the Pierre-bashing here. If anything, I'm about to officially root for him to do well this year, just... because! Nyah! But seriously, we're stuck with him, his contract's too long, we hope he'll eventually be replaced by home grown talent, if not an Andruw Jones, but for now, I'm not sure what more needs to be said about him or the signing. I guess I'll just cover my ears from now on, like a stubborn child (nyah nyah, I'm not listening!)
2007-02-13 14:56:09
155.   Juan Pierre
I agree with underdog.
2007-02-13 14:58:47
156.   Bob Timmermann
154
Two, one, two, three, four
Nobody's walking about
Kempism, Gonzoism, Furcalism, Loweism,
Saitoism, Martinism
This-ism, That-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m
All we are saying is give Juan a chance,
All we are saying is give Juan a chance
2007-02-13 14:58:58
157.   ToyCannon
Zumaya pitched as a rookie for a team who went to the world series and got lots of postseason exposure. Broxton played on a team who again went 3 and out and got little postseason exposure. Players in postseason always get more attention then those who play for losing organizations but who cares what the media is saying.
2007-02-13 15:01:57
158.   ToyCannon
154
I've written that post 3 or 4 times but whenever I preview it, I trash it because I still can't defend him without losing any credibility in my mind. The bashing sucks but the facts don't change. If he at least had an arm like Willy Taveras...
2007-02-13 15:07:04
159.   Greg Brock
I think we'd all be happy if Pierre proved us wrong. But I don't consider discussing the terrible contract, his atrocious on base percentage (as a leadoff hitter), his non-existent OPS, or his noodle arm to be "bashing" Pierre. It's pointing out what he is, and what the contract is. Bad bad bad bad bad.
2007-02-13 15:07:59
160.   underdog
156 Don't forget Sandy Martinezism - isn't he our 4th string catcher?

I am a great believer in Saitoism and Martinism - S&M for short.

2007-02-13 15:09:00
161.   underdog
It's not that it's untrue, necessarily Greg, or unfair even, it's more just that it's gotten old. For me, anyway. Maybe it's just depressing me and I want to think happy thoughts. Let's talk about Russell Martin.
2007-02-13 15:10:12
162.   underdog
155 Welcome! >bonk!<
2007-02-13 15:11:10
163.   Steve
I think we'd all be happy if Pierre proved us wrong.

At what point does this happen? How in the world could Juan Pierre not suck?

2007-02-13 15:11:33
164.   Greg Brock
161 Very fair point. But constant harping on Pierre has given us ToyCannon's wonderful "Bullethead" monicker, and other great comedy works, and for that, I am thankful. But I certainly see your point.

I'd be happy to talk about Martin. He's my favorite Dodger!

2007-02-13 15:13:05
165.   underdog
{La la la la} "Russell Martin Russell Martin Russell Martin" {la la la la} "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..." {Hums quietly to self}
2007-02-13 15:15:08
166.   underdog
Ah, sp that's where Bullethead came from.

I still like the Ken Griffey Gigantism (from Simpsons) idea we came up with yesterday. Just give him an overdose of tonic and enjoy.

Well, say what you will about Pierre, having a big head (figuratively) doesn't seem to be his problem.

2007-02-13 15:16:11
167.   ToyCannon
Ex-Dodgers I'm rooting for this spring
JtD
Hee Sop Choi
Edwin Jackson
Chuck Tiffany
Justin Ruggiano

Good thing I was already a Tampa Bay fan.

2007-02-13 15:17:01
168.   still bevens
157 Let us also not ever forget the spectacle of Zumaya throwing 147 mph on Fox's juiced playoff radar gun.
2007-02-13 15:18:04
169.   D4P
168
Zum, Zum, Zum!
2007-02-13 15:18:20
170.   Dodger Jack
I,too, was amazed that Ned would give Pierre five years. But, reading all of the attacks in this space on Pierre before he has even donned a Dodger uniform, I am developing a contrarian view. So here is a piece of meat for you hungry Pierre attack animals to gnaw on: Bill James ("Bill James Handbook") projects Pierre's 2007 batting average to be .299, his obp .346, slug. .373, hits 189, runs 89, 2b 25, hr. 2, and sb. 49. Dan Zymborski (web site: "Baseball Think Factory")predicts very close to the same numbers: ave. .296, obp. .341, sb. 45. Those are pretty fair totals for your CF. We could win a lot of games with a guy who hits and runs as well as James is predicting.

James also predicts that LaRoche will hit .287, with 457 abs., and 18 dingers. He projects Kemp hitting .311, with 20 dingers, and 98 rbi. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

2007-02-13 15:18:37
171.   ToyCannon
163
Baseball wise probably nothing but on the bright side, he's fan friendly, loves baseball and wears his hat at a cool angle. Sure beats the grump and surly out of Kent and JD.
2007-02-13 15:21:34
172.   D4P
170
A .719 OPS...? Yuck. And did either predictor predict Pierre's caught stealings? 45-49 SBs doesn't mean much without also knowing that little piece of info.
2007-02-13 15:22:16
173.   ToyCannon
170
James had optimistic numbers for all of our Dodgers kids. Before that gets anyone excited you should have seen the projections for Dallas McPherson headed into the 2005 season.
2007-02-13 15:24:38
174.   Disabled List
I still like Slappy McGroundout. I expect that one to gain some steam once the season starts.
2007-02-13 15:25:07
175.   underdog
More importantly, what does Bill James predict I will, or should, cook for my girlfriend for Schmalentine's Day tomorrow?

My cooking OPS is hovering around .839 these days.

2007-02-13 15:25:55
176.   Steve
Stolen bases (and all stats related to them) are meaningless and the rest of those numbers are terrible for a 1/2 hitter. Again, if you move him to eighth you may have a functional baseball player for the purpose.
2007-02-13 15:27:02
177.   ssjames
175 What sort of base percentage does that translate to?
2007-02-13 15:28:24
178.   Greg Brock
Stolen bases aren't meaningless, provided you can gain them at a 75-80% clip, which is very difficult to do. Just because you should almost never do it doesn't make them meaningless. Just makes it tough. But stolen bases are pretty overrated.
2007-02-13 15:32:33
179.   Steve
In context, they are meaningless. Just because they have some incidental, marginal value (even if you reach 75-80) doesn't make them useful or important. It is a vanity stat, and now goes only to the support of useless baseball players and even more useless managers.
2007-02-13 15:37:47
180.   ToyCannon
176
I find it strange that this arguement exists. Having watched Wills, Henderson, and Brock literally steal their teams to victory on teams devoid of offense it just runs counter intuitive that the stolen base is a meaningless offensive weapon.
For someone to quote that 74% is the breakeven rate or 78% is the breakeven rate also seems wrong. If rates are going to be quoted it would seem they would have to take into account the teams offensive capabilities and not just some lump sum breakeven % applied throughout baseball when each team is made up of disparate offensive components. JMO
2007-02-13 15:37:47
181.   Steve
Plus, even if they have some hypothetical, metaphysical value, that value has to be correctly measured in order to be properly captured and utilized. It can hardly be gainsaid that in this case (and in virtually every case), that value was not correctly measured, and therefore, it hardly matters whether it exists or not.
2007-02-13 15:39:29
182.   Steve
Wills and Brock are not relevant. Henderson was great for reasons other than his speed.
2007-02-13 15:40:54
183.   Greg Brock
Prospectus and HBT have articles on stolen base percentages and break even points. I'm on ToyCannon disagreement overload. I'm sure you can find them.
2007-02-13 15:41:56
184.   regfairfield
180 The stolen base meant a lot more when you could score 600 runs and still be a good team.
2007-02-13 15:42:26
185.   twerp
I understand Pierre can be traded after June 28 or so--tho probably not on terms very favorable to the Dodgers--if he proves to be as big a disaster as many here expect.

Supposing of course someone's ready to take over CF for him, or a CF comes in a trade...

2007-02-13 15:45:51
186.   D4P
Looking at 2006 data,

1. Neither SB, CS, nor SB% had a statistically significant effect on Runs Scored

2. Interestingly enough, the respective effects of SB, CS, and SB% (though not significant) were each negative, meaning that more SBs, more CSs, and higher SB% were each associated with lower runs scored.

2007-02-13 15:48:31
187.   Dodger Jack
When DePo wins a pennant, I might buy into the notion that stolen bases mean nothing. I know that view might offend the Money Ball orthodoxy, but so what? I enjoyed the book but would still take Logan White's draft picks over Billy Beane's.

I am old enough to remember Maury Wills. He was another pop-gun hitter but his speed fueled the Dodgers' offense during one of their greatest eras.

I don't know if anyone keeps stats (or if anyone can) on how base stealing and the threat of base stealing unnerve the pitcher. It would be interesting to know how many major league pitchers completely discount stolen bases. If stolen bases meant nothing, we might still have Navarro (0 for 16 throwing out runners while he was a Dodger) behind the plate.

2007-02-13 15:48:55
188.   Steve
Of course, because the threshold event of a baseball game is that which occurs between batter and pitcher. Everything else is noise.
2007-02-13 15:51:43
189.   Steve
Just like this discussion is noise. We might as well be discussing The Greatest American Hero.
2007-02-13 15:52:43
190.   Greg Brock
Let's talk about Mark Hendrickson.
2007-02-13 15:56:48
191.   D4P
If stolen bases meant nothing, we might still have Navarro (0 for 16 throwing out runners while he was a Dodger) behind the plate.

No one is arguing that stolen bases mean nothing to Ned...

2007-02-13 15:57:26
192.   Jon Weisman
Faye Grant was a cutie. And Connie Sellecca gave Veronica Hamel a run for her money at times.
2007-02-13 15:58:07
193.   D4P
BTW: When controlling for OBP and SLG, the coefficient for SB becomes slightly positive, though still nowhere near significant.
2007-02-13 16:06:56
194.   dzzrtRatt
Reading all this chatter about Pierre, I hope your contrarian view ends up being correct. The best thing I can find to say about Pierre is "nobody knows anything." He's a "who's to say" kind of player.
2007-02-13 16:13:14
195.   bhsportsguy
192 I do not recall Faye Grant but yes Connie Sellecca was something to cute look at on that show.

And yes, not for the first time, a Seinfeld reference.

"Believe it or not, George isn't at home
Please leave a message at the beep
I must be out, or I'd pick up the phone
Where could I be?
Believe it or not, I'm not home!"

2007-02-13 16:13:34
196.   Greg Brock
Robothal lists the Dodgers as an offseason "Winner" (for whatever that's worth):

It's difficult to heap too much praise on a team that awarded free-agent center fielder Juan Pierre $44 million for five years. But GM Ned Colletti maintained flexibility by going short-term with his other free agents — right-hander Jason Schmidt, left-hander Randy Wolf, left fielder Luis Gonzalez and first baseman Nomar Garciaparra. The signings of Schmidt and Wolf give Colletti enough depth to trade a starting pitcher, ideally right-hander Brad Penny.

2007-02-13 16:14:50
197.   D4P
196
I wonder what makes Brad Penny an ideal starting pitcher to trade
2007-02-13 16:18:54
198.   underdog
177 "What sort of base percentage does that translate to?"

Um, doesn't always compute out that way. Lots of, uh, "singles" are guaranteed at least. ;-)

2007-02-13 16:19:04
199.   bhsportsguy
197 With a team option, he has 3 years at less than $10M per year, given the market, that is not a bad contract probably really good in the AL where you can afford early runs against and 5-6 IP is all you really want from most of your pitchers.
2007-02-13 16:23:50
200.   Benaiah
193 - Of course, if you control for SLG and OBP then you are ignoring the fact that many teams willfully sacrificed those statistics for players who stole a lot of bases (the Cubs spring to mind).

157 - Zumaya got a lot of hype before that because of his three digit heater, Broxton has, to my knowledge, got zero hype from ESPN.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-02-13 16:26:03
201.   Greg Brock
If you want hype, you win the World Series, or at least get to it. The Dodgers have done exactly squat in the last 20 years to merit any national attention, unless negative attention counts.
2007-02-13 16:29:54
202.   Greg Brock
Please don't nitpick about the exact years. You know what I'm saying.
2007-02-13 16:36:34
203.   Steve
Forget that. I'm still waiting for a concession that Hadleyville is not Pittsburgh.
2007-02-13 16:37:47
204.   Greg Brock
203 Never!

Kidding. Duly condeded.

2007-02-13 16:38:24
205.   Benaiah
201 - Yes and no. I mean it wasn't like the Red Sox were starving for attention during their drought. Interesting is interesting, and West Coast ball isn't interesting to the sports god powers that be in Connecticut.
2007-02-13 16:47:28
206.   Steve
We are in the presence of an honorable man.
2007-02-13 16:52:34
207.   Jon Weisman
New York and Massachusetts becoming states got way more press in the East Coast papers than when California did.
2007-02-13 16:52:54
208.   ToyCannon
During the RedSox "drought" they were doing hand to hand combat with the Yankee's every October while the Dodgers had gone fishing.
Without looking it up I'm pretty sure were dead last in postseason victories in our division since the "home run" over 18 years ago.
Once we start winning some meaningful games our players will get some spotlights but ESPN will always have a bit of East Coast bias just because that is where they broadcast from.
2007-02-13 16:59:23
209.   Benaiah
207 - Ah, but it was a slow news day those days. When California entered the union Mary Vanderbilt, a famous vaudville actress had just been caught riding astride a horse wearing pants, which was illegal at the time. Obviously that is going to crowd the papers.
2007-02-13 17:00:45
210.   Benaiah
208 - We are tied with the Rockies, thank you very much!
2007-02-13 17:13:40
211.   bhsportsguy
I think Gammons, Kurkijan, Olney, Neyer, Stark, and others cover stories out in L.A. for ESPN.com pretty well. TV coverage is always going to be tough because of the time.

As far as So Cal sports, my hunch is that when they think of LA, its Lakers, USC football, then maybe the baseball teams, Clippers, UCLA basketball and football, Ducks, Kings, USC basketball, but without the NFL in town, LA tends to go out of the spotlight for 4-6 months.

2007-02-13 17:15:19
212.   Bob Timmermann
207
New York's statehood (aka the ratification of the Constitution) was the subject of the Federalist Papers.

But don't go slagging the Compromise of 1850! That was pretty darn important too!

2007-02-13 17:29:55
213.   Marty
175 What does she like? If she's not a vegetarian, it's always nice to do a braised dish like a pork shoulder or short ribs. Throw in a few carrots and mushrooms, add a potato dish and a salad, have a good bottle of wine and some good bread and you are in like Flynn.

If she is a vegetarian, then you're on your own, I can't help you.

2007-02-13 17:40:46
214.   bhsportsguy
175 Simplist dish, get some chicken, personally I would do chicken thighs, tasty, inexpensive and good serving size, brush with olive oil, salt, pepper, cut up some garlic and lemons and lay that on top and then put some fresh rosemary on top bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350, take out the rosemary about 1/2 way through. If you want, cut up some root veggies, carrots, parsnips and roast those with the chicken.

Personally, it always about the dessert, even something simple like brownies and some premium ice cream should be nice, if you follow the directions on the back of the Bakers unsweetened chocolate box, you should be able to make them from scratch and impress your girl even more.

2007-02-13 17:45:24
215.   SoSG Orel
209. Pantsed horses were illegal?
2007-02-13 17:45:29
216.   Greg Brock
You're the man if you can do a creme brulee with raspberries or blueberries. If you don't have a cooking torch (really, who doesn't), a butane lighter can do the job.
2007-02-13 17:56:14
217.   Sam DC
I am highly rooting for Joel Hanrahan as my Ex-Dodger To Break Out this year.
2007-02-13 17:57:05
218.   bhsportsguy
Pater Gammons polled 70 front office personnel and came up with players that they said could have a breakout year.

No. 6 was Chad Billingsley and considering that Brandon McCarthy, King Felix, Matt Cain, Delmon Young and Adam Wainwright are the players listed above him, that's pretty good. (Zimmerman, Rios and Sowers all had enough votes to place them in the top 6 but Gammons ruled that they have broken out already).

Coming in at No. 10 and only the second position player on the list was Matt Kemp. Which is pretty amazing since Delmon Young was the No. 1 pick and has been in the public eye since he signed while Matt Kemp is only one season away from Vero Beach. Just think in the last 18 months or so, he has played in AZ Fall League, was invited to MLB camp, Jacksonville, LA, Las Vegas, LA, and finally Dominican Winter League and playoffs. Hard to say if he or LaRoche would be the top prospect but since he played in LA already, if he qualified, he probably would have number 1 and probably in the Top 10 of all MLB prospects. Certainly if he goes back to AAA, he will be one of the top prospects in baseball.

Matt Kemp has the makings of a big time player and there will be a lot of stories about him once Spring Training starts.

2007-02-13 18:00:33
219.   Jon Weisman
The Jacksonville Suns are having James Loney and Matt Kemp Bobblehead Nights this year.
2007-02-13 18:10:23
220.   Daniel Zappala
If the Tigers and White Sox had 5-year runs as the preeminent AL teams and won a WS or two between them, with the Red Sox and the Yankees down near the bottom of the AL East ... would the east coast markets (and ESPN) finally cover something other than east coast baseball?

You have to come up with some pretty outlandish scenarios to even consider having things change. Imagine what life would be like if Barry Bonds had been on the Yankees the past 5-10 years.

2007-02-13 18:21:17
221.   SoSG Orel
219. Is it common for minor league teams to honor (hopefully) past players?
2007-02-13 18:25:46
222.   Bob Timmermann
221
Yes, it is. It helps create a sense of history for a team even though the players come and go.

When I went to a San Bernardino Stampede game back in the day when Chin-Feng Chen was playing (and considered the next great Dodger hitter), the souvenir stand proudly displayed Bubba Crosby jerseys.

2007-02-13 18:34:12
223.   SoSG Orel
That almost makes the Dodgers' Fred McGriff bobblehead seem relevant.
2007-02-13 18:48:55
224.   Bob Timmermann
In the early 1980s, LA Times critic Robert Hilburn took a trip to Lodi because he had never visited it and was fascinated by the Creedence Clearwater Revival song about it.

When he got there, he discovered that the townfolk were more interested in talking about the team's Cal League entry (which was a Dodgers team).

The player most talked about in Lodi, the one revered as a god.

Who else?

Greg Brock

2007-02-13 19:04:59
225.   Marty
Well, since the lyric is "Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again" I'm not sure what Bob was expecting.
2007-02-13 19:05:21
226.   Marty
Bob Hilburn, that is.
2007-02-13 19:26:54
227.   das411
....so when does spring training start??
2007-02-13 19:49:14
228.   Bob Timmermann
Pitchers and catchers have already reported for most teams.
2007-02-13 20:33:38
229.   bhsportsguy
227 Check this out http://tinyurl.com/yz4cqj

Games start on March 1st.

2007-02-13 20:51:57
230.   underdog
213 214 Thanks for the thoughts, guys! All sounds tasty. However, I've decided to do a green curry chicken (with potatoes) dish. Serve it with rice and some samosas and we're set. She's making dessert apparently. The only warning we've given each other is to have some Maalox handy.
2007-02-13 21:05:29
231.   underdog
Speaking of ESPN and pitchers, dunno if anyone posted this earlier but Tim Kurkjian rated the 5 best (or is that "hottest"?) rotations going into this year in the hot stove report. After his drooling about Boston's probably overrated rotation, the Dodgers sit at #4.
http://tinyurl.com/3b3c56

Dodgers: They have too much starting pitching, which could mean a trade involving Brad Penny, Mark Hendrickson or Brett Tomko (Penny would bring the most in return; the Dodgers could use a right-handed hitting outfielder). If they traded all three of them, which is highly unlikely, L.A. still would have a rotation of Jason Schmidt, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Randy Wolf and Hong-Chih Kuo. Schmidt, a fly ball pitcher, should do well in Dodger Stadium (a big park), Billingsley has a chance to be terrific and no one, especially left-handed hitters, wants any part of Kuo.

2007-02-13 21:06:09
232.   Bob Timmermann
Should I spoil who won Best in Show at Westminster tonight?
2007-02-13 21:07:07
233.   D4P
Could you spoil who won Best in Show at Westminster tonight?
2007-02-13 21:10:37
234.   Bob Timmermann
There could be wagering...
2007-02-13 21:11:48
235.   Marty
232 Please do
2007-02-13 21:13:24
236.   D4P
There could be wagering...

I wouldn't bet on it...

2007-02-13 21:14:28
237.   Bob Timmermann
Bet it all on the English Springer Spaniel!
2007-02-13 21:15:32
238.   Marty
A Springer?? Gah!!!!
2007-02-13 21:18:33
239.   Bob Timmermann
The other group winners were:
Akita
Toy poodle
Standard poodle
Bouvier des Flandres
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Dandie Dinmont terrier
2007-02-13 21:20:25
240.   Greg Brock
Hooray for Ch Felicity's Diamond Jim!

or "James"

2007-02-13 21:20:38
241.   Marty
OK, I'm a dog person, but what is a Bouvier des Flandres and a Dandie Dinmont terrier?
2007-02-13 21:25:03
242.   Bob Timmermann
Bouvier des Flandres
http://tinyurl.com/2hs4lw

Dandie Dinmont terrier
http://tinyurl.com/yphu7o

2007-02-13 21:25:53
243.   Bob Timmermann
For the record, the Westminster Kennel Club has been deemed to be a "sporting event" by the American media.
2007-02-13 21:26:13
244.   regfairfield
231 Funny, since I think Schmidt won't be great at Dodger Stadium because he's a fly ball pitcher.
2007-02-13 21:26:15
245.   Marty
242 Thanks. Those are not real dogs. They should be disqualified.
2007-02-13 21:28:33
246.   D4P
244
I thought the same thing.
2007-02-13 21:29:17
247.   underdog
241 Is it just me or does a "Bouvier des Flandres" make me think that the creators of the Simpsons were looking at a Dog Show roster when they were creating character names?

Diddly.

2007-02-13 21:29:54
248.   underdog
244 But he has to be right! He has Boston's rotation at #1!
2007-02-13 21:32:18
249.   Bob Timmermann
One of my brothers has a Springer Spaniel, although with different coloring. He seems like a nice enough dog.
2007-02-13 21:33:58
250.   Bob Timmermann
A PBGV co-owned by Ken Caminiti once won Best in Group at Westminster.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-02-13 21:35:38
251.   Marty
Springers are sweet dogs, but, based on a small sample size of my friends who have them, spaniels are really dumb dogs.
2007-02-13 21:40:15
252.   D4P
250
Does it have an * next to its name in the record book...?
2007-02-13 21:44:04
253.   Greg Brock
247 Don't forget about the Smithers Spaniel and the Quimby Terrier.

Also, the Nahasapeemapetilon-Griffon

2007-02-13 21:44:47
254.   Bob Timmermann
252
Apparently they didn't.

http://tinyurl.com/2te6c9

2007-02-13 21:48:39
255.   bhsportsguy
244 Small sample but in 89 innings pitched, 14 starts, Schmidt has given up 5 home runs at Dodger Stadium. Of course that was against the Dodgers. His lifetime ERA at Dodger Stadium is 2.93, BAA is .204
2007-02-13 21:50:27
256.   Steve
LA Times editorial section, please take note:

Shortstop Julio Lugo is viewed by some as a defensive liability.

Here, we have irony.

2007-02-13 21:59:40
257.   D4P
Do Lugo's wife-beating tendencies add to the irony...?
2007-02-13 22:06:08
258.   Greg Brock
And the Lakers lose at home to the Knicks.

eep.

2007-02-13 22:08:44
259.   regfairfield
255 Just remember that the same argument was used in favor of Brett Tomko.
2007-02-13 22:35:35
260.   Johnson
251 Re: English Springer Spaniels - Correct about the sweet, I'm not so sure about the dumb. I suppose there are smarter breeds, but my family's Springer (passed away a few years ago, my favorite dog ever) was at the very least quite obedient. Something I can't say about the Corgis that replaced her.

Great sniffers, too. Could pick out the one rock you threw in the midst of a gravel driveway. One time she actually didn't find one. Found it four days later, though. Great dog, but kinda dirty and stinky. You win some, you lose some.

2007-02-13 22:37:03
261.   Jon Weisman
Gagne update from the Dallas Morning News:

New closer Eric Gagne called his first trip to the top of a pitcher's mound since surgery last July "great."

Gagne threw off a mound at his Scottsdale, Ariz., home Tuesday and had no issues. Gagne had back surgery last July after just two appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is expected to report to camp with the rest of the Rangers' pitchers and catchers Saturday and should not have any limitations this spring.

Gagne said this week that he expects to have a typical spring training. He plans to throw about 10 innings, which is typical for a closer.

2007-02-13 22:42:20
262.   D4P
Is there an easy way to find out info such as a team's record when leading after 7 innings, trailing after 8 innings, etc.?
2007-02-13 22:46:04
263.   Some Guy in San Diego
I haven't read all the comments, sorry.
All I have to say is it hurt me in the past to see other former Dodgers succeed on other teams.
I will be devastated to watch Gagne thrive somewhere else, because it was so avoidable.
Jon, thanks for the great blog... I hit it every day.
2007-02-13 22:48:26
264.   Greg Brock
263 Cool name.
2007-02-13 22:51:29
265.   bhsportsguy
259 If you are going to use statistics to support an argument, you have to be able to accept them when they show otherwise. I qualified them by saying its only 89 IP but his HR rate against at Dodger Stadium is among his best at any place he has ever pitched.

And Schmidt is a much better pitcher than Tomko.

262 Media Guide, Inside the Dodgers Archive, go to October 2006 and scroll down where they posted the 2006 Dodger Postseason Media Guide. But here are the stats:

DODGERS RECORD WHEN:
Dodgers Score First 60-25
Opponent Scores First 28-49
Lead After 6 Innings 64-10
Trail After 6 Innings 7-54
Lead After 7 Innings 70-6
Lead After 8 Innings 78-2
Tied After 7 Innings 15-11
Tied After 8 Innings 6-8
Trail After 7 Innings 2-57
Trail After 8 Innings 4-64
Scoring 3 or Less 13-44
Scoring 4 or More 75-30
Allowing 3 or Less 61-10
Allowing 4 or More 27-64

2007-02-13 23:15:28
266.   El Lay Dave
Isn't it the case that almost all teams win over 90% of the time when they lead after 7 innings, a lose over 90% of the time when they trail after 7 innings? Stands to reason in a game where teams scored 4 3/4 (NL) to 5 (AL) runs per game, or just over once every two innings.
2007-02-13 23:22:17
267.   underdog
So, were the Dodgers "derelict" with Shane Victorino?
http://tinyurl.com/2hxm6p

Meanwhile, I really am rooting for Larry Bigbie to be successful, whether the Dodgers or another team this year.
http://tinyurl.com/27xjko

2007-02-13 23:32:41
268.   Bob Timmermann
The worst winning percentage for a major league team that was head after 8 innings was .804 by the 1978 Mariners.

The 1954 Indians, who went 111-43, were 97-0 when ahead after 8. The 1998 Yankees were 102-1.

You can read more here:
http://tinyurl.com/d2cs

2007-02-14 00:06:10
269.   CanuckDodger
267 -- We have no way of knowing if the Dodgers' minor league coaches were "derelict" in teaching Victorino to be a better base runner. The effort may have been made and he simply didn't learn.

Where the Dodgers were clearly derelict with regard to Victorino is in losing him in the Rule 5 draft in the first place, and if that was not bad enough, when the Phillies could not keep Victorino on their 25-man roster and they had to offer Victorino back to the Dodgers, the Dodgers said no, keep him. More precisely, it was DePodesta who decided not to protect Victorino and DePodesta who wouldn't take him back (DePodesta did protect 28-year-old minor leaguer Brian Myrow from the Rule 5 draft). Perhaps if we had kept Victorino, who plays a good center field, we would never have signed Pierre, making Pierre's signing DePodesta's fault too.[Smiley Face]

2007-02-14 00:21:02
270.   regfairfield
265 Interestingly, Tomko was actually pretty good at home in 2006, he just got bombed on the road. Maybe there is something to this, but for now, I'm going to side more with the fact that Pac Bell is a cavern and Dodger Stadium isn't rather than 14 starts over 11 years.

If Schmidt continues to throw this well, then it's worth looking into, but I can't throw park factor out the window with only half a seasons worth of starts as evidence.

2007-02-14 00:25:45
271.   regfairfield
269 I think Myrow might be DePo's unreasonable man crush. Isn't he on the Padres now?

I can't see any reason to keep Repko and not Victorino, except for the spectacular flameout Victorino had in Vegas that year (.613 OPS), but that was only 200 at bats.

2007-02-14 06:47:16
272.   Benaiah
Minorleagueball.com is going to post a James Loney crystal ball article later today.
2007-02-14 07:56:08
273.   ToyCannon
Depo had a man crush on several players such as Grabowski, Edwards, and the aforementioned Myrow that soured
my original enthusiasm for him. As Jon will attest I've flagged Depo for several years over not protecting Victorino. He had good speed, gap to gap power, a strong arm, and could actually play a solid CF. His AA season was outstanding the summer before we lost him. Certainly deserved a spot on the 40 man. Even if we had kept him on the 40 man he would have been dealt that summer for Henri Stanly's brother Livingston so I don't think he'd been here to protect Ned from himself.
2007-02-14 08:12:01
274.   Steve
271 - I can't see any reason to keep Victorino and not Repko. Or any reason not to push both of them off a bridge.
2007-02-14 08:20:38
275.   underdog
I think the Dodgers were indeed more derelict in losing Victorino than they were in however they "trained" him, and I think it's especially with hindsight that I'd like to have him back. It does make you wonder why they'd make room on the roster for such clearly washed up AAAA players like Edwards. If nothing else, I do have more faith in the current mgmt to not make that kind of roster/rule 5 mistake.

Meanwhile, am I the only person who'd never heard of Devern Hansack?
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2762971
Hard to forget that name.

2007-02-14 08:24:01
276.   Andrew Shimmin
273- It's too early in the morning for any discussion of Mike Edwards. All Mike Edwards talk has to be carried out (if it can't just be squelched, to begin with) during Safe Harbor, per FCC regulations. If I didn't feel bad about your wife not getting her check, there'd be a hefty fine. But just consider this your (one!) official warning.
2007-02-14 08:25:07
277.   underdog
Oops, sorry, I partook too. Change the above name to... er Squidward. Yeah, that's what I meant. Carry on.
2007-02-14 08:25:33
278.   ToyCannon
Depo put a lot of players on the 25 man roster in 2005 that could have been pushed off the same bridge. It was the biggest collection of flotsam ever assembled in Dodger history. It was the price he paid for a future that wasn't quite ready.
2007-02-14 08:32:48
279.   Steve
We could have had the bridge built for the purpose, complete with yardarm.

It's probably true that Victorino was small, hacky, and over-rated enough that it would have filled Colletti's small, hacky, over-rated quota. I like the 14 HBPs, if only for comic effect.

2007-02-14 08:53:51
280.   Bob Timmermann
275
I was in to the Devern Hansack Experience way before the rest of you.

http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/527865.html

2007-02-14 09:00:26
281.   underdog
280 Always ahead of the curve. And here I thought it was some game that college kids play with their feet.
2007-02-14 09:43:45
282.   Jon Weisman
Fernando Tatis, perfect game breaker-upper.

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