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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Ethier Has an Arm (Well, Two - But You Get the Idea)
2007-02-15 08:01
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In this article rating outfield arms of 2006, John Walsh of The Hardball Times finds that both Luis Gonzalez and J.D. Drew were below average, Juan Pierre was below average but better than Kenny Lofton, and that Andre Ethier was tops among left fielders in baseball.

If you buy in, it means the Dodger outfield will be about as good at throwing runners out and holding them as it was last season.

Walsh writes:

I consider five different situations when an outfielder's throwing ability comes into play:

1. Single with runner on first base (second base unoccupied).
2. Double with runner on first base.
3. Single with runner on second base.
4. Fly out with runner on third base, fewer than two outs.
5. Fly out with runner on second base, fewer than two outs (third base unoccupied).

For those plays, I add up how often the runner is thrown out or how often the runner is "held," i.e. prevented from taking the extra base. A comparison with league average allows me to rate the outfielder's arm. ...

The Rodney Dangerfields of the outfield throwers, left fielders never get no respect. Nevertheless, many left fielders save (or cost) their team significant amounts of runs each season. The cream of the crop in 2006 was the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who doubled his expected kill total and was also excellent at holding runners.

I don't recall anything exceptional, one way or another, about Ethier's arm. Ethier's ranking benefited from an assist rate that was double the league average, and it's true that rookies and/or weak arms are often tested so much that their assists rise unexpectedly. But Ethier also held more runners than the average left fielder, so something good was going on.

Or maybe teams were just waiting to hit the ball to Lofton.

Comments (386)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-15 08:28:22
1.   CajunDodger
I just had to join in. I have been reading this blog for about 1 year now and have enjoyed it so much, I think that I will throw my opinions out into the sphere and see what sticks. Hope you guys don't mind another opinion chiming in from time to time. Even if it is from a Southern transplant.

I am not too worried about the outfield because the cream will rise to the top. Come May or early June, I think that we are likely to see Ethier traded along with a pitcher for a bat and Loney will become an outfielder for a season or two until Kemp has some time in Vegas to sort out his breaking ball woes. Just my opinion.

2007-02-15 08:31:15
2.   Frip
I never understood how Lofton could be that fast without lifting his knees.

Does anyone remember that Dave Parker throw to the plate on the old This Week in Baseball show? It was on the show fade-out reel. I don't think there's ever been anything like it.

2007-02-15 08:34:10
3.   D4P
I remember seeing Bo Jackson make a catch against the wall in left field, then fire a rocket that the catcher had to raise his arm over his head to catch at home plate.
2007-02-15 08:35:31
4.   dianagramr
2

That throw was from an All-Star game, wasn't it?

Yeah .... that was a beauty.

Too bad Parker didn't take care of himself ... he could have made the Hall.

2007-02-15 08:44:36
5.   Frip
4 Yep, good memory, it WAS from the All Star game.
2007-02-15 09:05:15
6.   Benaiah
1 - It remains to be seen whether the Dodgers actually make a trade. There isn't much power hitting sitting around (Dunn?) and we scored plenty of runs without much power last year. I could see a scenario where things go ok in spring training, and the start the season goes by without embarassment and nothing happens. Within the first two months, I think we will need a 6th starter and maybe 7th starter, so if he hasn't made a trade by then, then Colletti might be missing some of those bullets he has now. Hopefully if he does trade pitching it will be the Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson variety (both of which must have some value due to their extreme affordability in this market). If Joel Hanrahan is a getting a shot for the Nationals and Gil Meche is a 55 Million dollar player, than pitching is pretty valuable.
2007-02-15 09:08:19
7.   shamrok
Lemme throw my hat into the "stop talking about trading Ethier" ring. Quite the recurring theme around here. I love this guy.
2007-02-15 09:11:28
8.   underdog
Welcome Cajun! Good to have you.

I'm not crazy about the idea of trading Ethier, or of trading any young outfielder in general. Whether or not he's got the best arm of leftfielders, he's certainly going to be the best the Dodgers have out there to start the season with, so I'd hate to see him flipped somewhere else to try to acquire more power - when it's highly possible both he (and Betemit/La Roche, and Loney, along with Kemp at some point) display more power, too.

2007-02-15 09:20:13
9.   Icaros
I believe that All-Star Dave Parker throw was at the Kingdome in '77 or '78.
2007-02-15 09:24:53
10.   ToyCannon
Best arm I ever saw belonged to Roberto Clemente but I did see Lee Lacy make a play similiar to the Dave Parker All-Star play when he was 1st being tried out in RF. He wasn't known for a strong arm and it was a fluke play but I remember Vinny going crazy over the throw. Or maybe my memory is just full of cobwebbed bits that retrosheet will quickly prove to be false.
Last year it seemed Kemp showed a great and accurate arm in the beginning but as the season wore on it seemed his throws became more and more inaccurate. Ethier showed a strong and accurate arm for a left fielder but I'm surprised he's the top gun in the NL for all LF.
2007-02-15 09:27:17
11.   Benaiah
I wonder if Ethier will have an above average arm for a Right Fielder? If Drew would have stayed than Andre would have been the CF. What I don't understand is how losing Drew made signing Pierre a necessity?
2007-02-15 09:33:17
12.   dianagramr
Best right field arms I've seen (in no particular order):
Dwight Evans
Ichiro
Parker
Jesse Barfield

(trying to remember the "-4"s on the old Strat cards) :-)

2007-02-15 09:44:11
13.   skybluestoday
Ooh, Dwight Evans was so good! Nothing like watching some foolhardy runner trying to test his cannon arm back in the late 70s and early 80s in Fenway! (Back when you could stroll up to the box office on a game night and get a bleachers ticket for $8.)
2007-02-15 09:44:50
14.   Jon Weisman
Parker had an insane arm.

For me just as an observer, the biggest problems for Ethier and Kemp were tracking balls - nothing to do with throwing them. Though I would have been willing to endure them learning CF on the job, I can understand how a GM would feel they didn't belong there defensively in 2007.

12 - I thought guys like Evans and Parker went to -5.

2007-02-15 09:46:31
15.   robohobo
Isn't there more to "holding a runner" than a strong arm? It seems the differences of time the ball is in the air is pretty small compared to the time it takes getting to the ball. Maybe Either has good instincts, positions himself well for different batters and has good fundamentals catching/throwing the ball accurately, but not a great arm.
2007-02-15 09:48:25
16.   Disabled List
12 How quickly we forget Raul Mondesi!

I'd also include Larry Walker on that list.

2007-02-15 09:50:15
17.   ToyCannon
Carl Furillo was rumored to have quite a gun, but I expect DBurns is the only poster who might have seen it in action.

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

2007-02-15 09:53:34
18.   Jon Weisman
15 - Yes, and he might position himself well, but again just from my personal observation, his instincts and speed were nothing special.

16 - Of course.

2007-02-15 10:03:34
19.   Xeifrank
DodgerSims got a mention and a link in today's Hardball Times link package for the NCAA basketball style tournament I'm running with my baseball simulation program. The Dodgers will be playing the Mets in the 2nd round of the tourney today.
http://tinyurl.com/ywtqmq

vr, Xei

2007-02-15 10:07:31
20.   dianagramr
16

mea culpa ....

(hanging my "knows something about the game's history" head in shame)

14

its been 10+ years since I played, so you are probably right ...
Catchers also had -5 arms too, right?
(I remember a post-injury Eric Wedge having a +5 (!) catcher's arm one year)

2007-02-15 10:10:42
21.   Xeifrank
What about Joe Furgeson(sp?), probably one of the best right fielders ever. Oops, rule #6 violation... well, how about one of the more exciting outfield assists in Dodger history. I like the way he pulled a Kobe, and practically took the ball from his teammate and gunned the ball home. :)
vr, Xei
2007-02-15 10:12:29
22.   Sam DC
Meanwhile Jon, you gonna let Rob ankle you like that?
2007-02-15 10:21:28
23.   Cornell Blue Fan
I've always liked Vlady's arm
2007-02-15 10:22:06
24.   ToyCannon
21
From the Toy Cannon no less.
2007-02-15 10:23:37
25.   Jon Weisman
22 - Publicly, yes. By e-mail, though, I've tried to make the case that "the murk that rag emits" was a bit much. But life goes on.
2007-02-15 10:29:08
26.   Bob Timmermann
25
At least in the future, people will more easily be able to understand "People", "Us Weekly", or even "The Hollywood Reporter."
2007-02-15 10:35:37
27.   Greg S
I agree with Jon that Ethier does not track the ball well. He gets by in left buy does not seem like he would be capable in center. His arm is strong but his footwork is poor.
I also believe that Ethier will be traded. He has not won any favor with the organization with his sulking and generally immature attitude. I can't check the stats like some here but I believe that if you do, you'll find that in the first half, a lot of balls that he put in play fell for hits. More than should be expected. When they stopped falling, he started sulking and he spiraled to the bench.
Yes, he is young and maybe he'll grow up. But I think they might deal him while his value is high because he is entirely replaceable. Kemp, Loney, Broxton, Billingsley, LaRoche (and probably Elbert) are all more valueable and somebody's got to go if we're going to get a power hitter.
2007-02-15 10:35:50
28.   Rob M
Mondesi doesn't get enough respect. He had a cannon, he was very accurate, and he was pretty good at getting to balls in the alleys. I saw cut-off a lot of balls headed into the corner and rifle a quick bullet into second, either getting the out or holding the guy to a long single.

Reggie Smith had a nice arm. I started following the Dodgers closely in '77 and Reggie was my favorite Dodger back then.

Bo Jackson had the best arm I ever saw. The famous throw when he nailed Harold Reynolds at the plate - on a throw from the warning track, on a fly, right in the catchers mit - was the most shocking throw I ever saw.

2007-02-15 10:36:34
29.   D4P
These from Jayson Stark:

Most improved teams (NL)

1. Cubs
2. Diamondbacks
3. Dodgers

Best free-agent signings

1. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox (six years, $52 million)
2. Jason Schmidt, Dodgers (three years, $47 million)
3. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs (eight years, $136 million)

Worst free-agent signings

1. Gil Meche, Royals (five years, $55 million)
2. Drew, Red Sox (five years, $70 million or three years, $42 million, depending on how you read the fine print)
3. Juan Pierre, Dodgers (five years, $44 million)

2007-02-15 10:38:53
30.   Jon Weisman
27 - "He has not won any favor with the organization with his sulking and generally immature attitude."

Where did you get this? Yes, Ethier could be traded, but every indication is that the organization loves his character. He's been a top citizen, and by some accounts played through some pain (when he was allowed to play) in the final weeks.

I imagine he got depressed as the season got tougher, but sulking is a whole different matter. The impression given is that he was just worn down.

2007-02-15 10:44:04
31.   Steve
Hooray, let the character assassination begin! I can hardly wait to see which backup shortstop we get in return!
2007-02-15 10:46:18
32.   hotblackdesiato
Remember 1996 when all we had to do was beat the Padres once in games 160-162 to win the West, lost all three and "won" the wildcard? (Sorry to dredge up old pain....) I was at all three games and saw all three losses, but I will NEVER forget Raul Mondesi gunning out the potential winning run at home plate in the top of the 8th inning with two on and one out in game 162.

Retrosheet tells me it was Steve Finley who hit the non-winning single, and after the play, the late Ken Caminiti was intentionally walked, setting up a bases-loaded popout. Ah, nostalgia, how players and stories intertwine.

I'll always remember the thrill, after a weekend of utter and repeated heartache, seeing Mondesi seemingly save the season just as we appeared to be headed for defeat. And that's back when he was still a good player, and the darling of LA. I was devastated when they dealt him for Shawn Green, heh.

2007-02-15 10:47:19
33.   Kels
Sorry, to interrupt, but does anyone know why do certain teams report today and others next week? Is it just up to the team or is there something behind it?
2007-02-15 10:49:41
34.   hotblackdesiato
Don't you know? Any time a player isn't succeeding, it's because he doesn't want it enough, he doesn't have that gritty hustly drive, he's not 5'7" or a former punter....

I'm curious as to how the winner of the Stenson Award for character and work ethic somehow now has attitude problems. Or is it just his association with the man he was traded for? Joe Morgan, is that you?

2007-02-15 10:52:03
35.   Steve
Juan Pierre is a jerk. He's all about Juan Pierre. Sure he stacks up stolen bases, but how many times is he going to get caught? 30? How vain. He should play for the team and not just for himself.
2007-02-15 10:52:25
36.   Steve
Fun with character assassination!
2007-02-15 10:52:31
37.   Bob Timmermann
33
I would imagine it's just the preference of the organization's coaching staff. And the front office probably has X number of dollars budgeted for spring training as well and can only pay for Y number of days.
2007-02-15 10:53:35
38.   Screwgie
Speaking of Mondesi and his arm --

Anyone remember that play (in the late 90s I believe) when he threw out at firstbase a runner who had singled to right field?

I've never seen that type of play before or since.

2007-02-15 10:55:53
39.   Bob Timmermann
38
The throw out at first on a "single" to right happens every now and then. It's usually with a pitcher running. They don't break out of the box fast and they usually just end up looping something over the second baseman's head and if the right fielder is playing shallow, he can run in and get the guy at first.

Larry Walker did it at least once.

2007-02-15 10:56:22
40.   bhsportsguy
No question, best arm on the Dodgers, Rafael Furcal.

33 It is up to the clubs, I believe the CBA mandates a March 1st cut-off date for reporting but the clubs can establish their own reporting dates.

2007-02-15 10:59:49
41.   Greg S
Ethier's attitude problems are simply that he's a sulker and gives up on himself. He's not selfish or a back talker. I know this partially by those who have told me (not trying to be coy but I can either say what I've heard from those who are close to the situation- or not) and also from his actions and words. Remember when he said to the press during a September pennant race that he didn't think he'd be a Dodger next year?
Why as a rookie would you ever say such a thing? I can tell stories if you want to get a beer but for now, can we just call it my opinion?
2007-02-15 11:04:20
42.   Steve
That's why they call it assassination. Because it's a crime of intent.
2007-02-15 11:04:23
43.   kinbote
i feel compelled to mention strong-armed rightfielder jose gonzalez, who once--more than once?--hit the third-base stands on the fly.
2007-02-15 11:06:36
44.   Greg S
42 And you are that master.
2007-02-15 11:07:55
45.   ToyCannon
27
Wow Greg sorry you got scorched here. I guess next time you'll need to supply a bibliography because we know everyone else here never comments on heresay.
2007-02-15 11:08:30
46.   hotblackdesiato
Ethier did have an abnormally high BABIP, which sunk toward the end of the season: http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=6265&position=OF&page=7&type=full

He's also decidedly NOT clutch. This is very interesting (but meaningless):

Situation - OPS
Tie Game - .534
Within 1 R - .748
Within 2 R - .802
Within 3 R - .813
Within 4 R - .824
Margin > 4 R - .926

He certainly saves his best for when it counts least -- early in the season and with his team impossibly behind. Unfortunately, there are no good metrics for measuring sulking. Perhaps one could analyze over the course of a season the curvature of the corners of a player's mouth, or the angle he holds his head at, or...?

2007-02-15 11:08:52
47.   Bob Timmermann
45
Please be sure the bibliography follows MLA conventions.
2007-02-15 11:13:12
48.   bhsportsguy
37 Quick perusal of the MLB CBA shows that the players start getting paid when the season starts, they do get allowances for accomodations, travel and meals for Spring Training.

This is a clause out of the CBA that expired in 12/2006 but I would guess that this did not change in the new CBA.

ARTICLE XIV—Spring Training Conditions
A. Reporting
No Player shall be required to report for spring training workouts more than thirty-three (33) days prior to the start of the championship season, provided that:
(1) injured Players, pitchers and catchers may be invited to attend spring training workouts no earlier than forty-five (45) days
prior to the start of the championship season

Season starts on April 1st, So under the CBA, the last day to report would be February 26th, though most teams are reporting by the middle of next week.

2007-02-15 11:13:36
49.   sanchez101
41. "Remember when he said to the press during a September pennant race that he didn't think he'd be a Dodger next year?"
-no

This is the first I've heard of any 'problems' with Eithier. According to Henson the Dodgers where ready and willing to move Ethier to CF next year.

On the issue of Ethier's arm - I remember plenty of good throws from him last year, a couple times he killed a baserunner and later in the year the baserunners stop challenging him. He's not fast, of course, but I wonder if OF's habitually have trouble when they first reach the majors considering that the stadiums are much bigger and more full than in the minors.

2007-02-15 11:15:40
50.   Steve
This is just the pattern playing itself out again. There's no need for bibliography. The whisper campaign has begun, and that's all that needs to be known. The media will follow like the lemmings they are.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-15 11:18:48
51.   Greg S
45. Yes, thanks TC. Probelm is that I didn't attack Juan Pierre or Kenny Lofton and worse, I questioned the heart of one of our Golden Boy youngsters. I also brought it on myself with the "I know something but I'm not saying how I know it" thing. Oh well.

49. You can look it up. It wasn't hidden.

2007-02-15 11:19:12
52.   Bob Timmermann
48
I don't if it's as much as a factor of paying "Murphy money" to the players as it is paying all the other people (coaches, instructors, security) that you need. There could also be rent issues.

Or maybe the manager is just lazy.

2007-02-15 11:20:44
53.   Jon Weisman
Okay, okay. Easy, everyone.

Greg didn't get scorched by anyone except the scorcher.

Greg - you're totally entitled to what you wrote. It surprised me and I have a different take on it, but it's cool.

I do remember when Ethier wondered aloud whether he would be a Dodger next year. I just don't see how this should be taken as something negative. He had a crisis of confidence, but the flip side of that is high expectations of himself.

As far as the stories go that you can't tell, Greg, fair enough. I guess I just hate to see us go down the Drew road with Ethier. As far as I can tell, his effort has been 100 percent.

2007-02-15 11:21:37
54.   Jon Weisman
50 - A propos to this, I have to say, is T.J. Simers' column today.
2007-02-15 11:25:12
55.   dianagramr
Slightly off-topic ...

for roto purposes only, where would you draft Furcal in a 12-person, mixed league non-keeper draft:

1) overall position (round)
2) amongst shortstops

2007-02-15 11:26:15
56.   bhsportsguy
54 I think T.J. should start quoting Jon's takes verbatim and refer to him as "Anonymous DTer"
2007-02-15 11:26:51
57.   ToyCannon
50
While I've heard that teams partake in smear campaigns it has never struck me as a good way to engage in trade activities since any smear campaign that was effective would lessen the value of the player your trying to deal. It makes for good copy but does it make for good business practice? Of couse no one has ever accused the present or past Dodgers of employing good business practices.
2007-02-15 11:27:10
58.   Marty
Seems I've heard that Loney may have the strongest arm on the team. And we may get to see if that's true if he plays any right field.
2007-02-15 11:29:23
59.   Steve
I don't have any problem with Kenny Lofton, but any disingenuous port in a storm.
2007-02-15 11:31:21
60.   dianagramr
55

oh ... its a 5x5 league, btw ....

Ron Shandler is expecting quite a nice season from Furcal, FWIW ...

2007-02-15 11:32:00
61.   Greg S
53. Thanks Jon. To be clear, I don't think that Ethier has horrible attitude problems and I should have been clearer on that originally. I just think he is immature and that that affects his ability (and may continue to do so). I have no problem with him being on the team I root for. Bigger issue is that I can't see him being better than a .300 hitter with little power and a medicore outfielder. That's a good player but not as good as I can see the others I named becoming. We're blessed with a crowded clubhouse and if you had to pick someone of value to other clubs to get traded for value, who would you pick?
2007-02-15 11:35:20
62.   Bob Timmermann
The assists of Andre!

5/19/06 vs Angels - In the 9th inning, with the Dodgers up 16-2 at the time, Ethier threw out Mike Napoli trying to stretch a single into a double.

5/22/06 vs Rockies - In the 2nd inning, Ethier throws out Cory Sullivan at home trying to score from first on a double by Danny Ardoin.

6/18/06 at Oakland - In the 7th inning, Nick Swisher is out at home trying to score from second on a single by Jay Payton.

6/26 at Minnesota - Jason Kublel flies into a DP and Ethier throws out Michael Cuddyer at home.

7/1 at Anaheim - Robb Quinlan singles to left, Ethier misplays, but Quinlan is eventually thrown out at third trying to stretch 7-2-5.

7/23 vs St. Louis - Scott Rolen singles to score two, but Albert Pujols is thrown out at third by Ethier.

8/11 vs. San Francisco - Ray Durham is thrown out at second trying to stretch with two outs in a 2-2 in the 7th by Ethier.

9/4 at Milwaukee - Prince Fielder is out at home trying to score from second with two outs on a Jeff Jenkins single.

2007-02-15 11:37:24
63.   Steve
57 -- I don't think it has to do with business practice. Sometimes it is regular petty jealousies, dislikes; other times it is to backfill and justify otherwise unjustifiable acts; other times it is ideological. But there is always a purpose for it, even if it is rarely a good one.
2007-02-15 11:37:49
64.   deburns
Yes, 17, I did see a lot of Carl Furillo (aka the Reading Rifle). He often took a shot at throwing to first after a hard hit single to right; the scoreboard was 297 down the line and 315 to direct right. Another great arm of that era was Cliff Mapes of the Yankees.
2007-02-15 11:38:01
65.   ToyCannon
60
I'm surprised your asking this group if you already know what Shandler is predicting. I'm going to assume you only purchased his forecaster and don't have access to his mock draft information. His mock 5/5 draft has Furcal going in the 4th round behind Reyes/Rollins/Jeter/Lugo.
I myself would take him before Lugo. HQ has always been a bit more optimistic about Lugo then they should. JMO
2007-02-15 11:40:58
66.   still bevens
55 Im not a fantasy guru, but I think in the pantheon of short stops Furcal is good but not utterly fantastic. Theres some better bets at the position than Furcal in spite of the fact that hes going to put up good numbers for an SS in avg, hr and perhaps sb. I think Jose Reyes is easily your #1 SS in fantasy.
2007-02-15 11:41:57
67.   sanchez101
If Furcal can looks anything like he did the last two month of 2006 - the Dodgers win the division and Furcal is a top-3 MVP candidate.
2007-02-15 11:43:24
68.   still bevens
If were going to talk fantasy baseball for a second, I have sort of a rookie question. When it comes to drafting what are your guys strategies with regard to the first couple rounds? When do you get to the point where you try to fill in the positions where value is in short shrift (ie: 2B, C) vs mashers who will put up huge numbers but will most likely be 1B or DH?
2007-02-15 11:45:36
69.   stevesaxarm
Interested in NL only 5x5 roto keeper league?
HR, OPS, SB, SLG, R
WHIP, SV, QS, K, HD

5 keepers in 2008

Snake Draft 6 pm PCT on March 7, 2007

If so e-mail me....dbartholomew@gmail.com

2007-02-15 11:46:52
70.   regfairfield
Depending on how good your league is, I'd actually stay away from Furcal. Let someone else ride out is usual sub par April and May, then make some obscenely unfair trade to get him.
2007-02-15 11:47:10
71.   Jon Weisman
61 - Maybe it hit too close to home because I'm immature when it comes to my work. Seriously.
2007-02-15 11:51:43
72.   CanuckDodger
61 -- What sort of value are you thinking we would get for Ethier? Not likely anything worth having over Ethier, I'd say. I agree that he has a lower ceiling than quite a few other Dodger youngsters, but other teams know that too.
2007-02-15 11:51:49
73.   ToyCannon
60
Skip my comment in 65, that was a 2006 ranking. I clicked on the wrong link. Sorry.
2007-02-15 11:54:56
74.   ToyCannon
60
Try this link

http://tinyurl.com/2883wj

2007-02-15 11:55:20
75.   Greg S
71. =) Immaturity is only an issue if you don't deliver. Ken Griffey, Jr is the biggest man/child I ever met. He also hit an awful lot of home runs so, no issue. You hit quite a few home runs in this ballpark and I'm guessing you do in your other ballparks as well.
Wow, that sounded kiss up! But true.
2007-02-15 11:58:41
76.   robohobo
Regarding Mondesi, I remember sitting in the right field bleachers watching him warm up in between innings. The other dodger outfielders would be lobbing the ball back and forth while Mondesi was trying to knock the ball boy over who was warming him up in right field. His throws were effortless and never seems to rise above eye level. He had a cannon.
2007-02-15 11:59:30
77.   robohobo
Didn't Mark Whiten have a good arm?
2007-02-15 12:00:12
78.   CanuckDodger
And on the whole character issue, unlike some people here (by their own admission, I am not insulting them) I put a lot of stock in a player's character. Bradley's character made him despicable in my eyes, same with Sheffield, and Perez. I went from being a big Joel Guzman fan to being, at best, indifferent to him being traded because of revelations about his character. But for Ethier, I am just not hearing anything that raises more than a little bit of concern (lacking self confidence is very far from being a jerk). And it sounds to me like the Dodgers still like Ethier a lot, and that was certainly not the case with Bradley, Perez, and Guzman (or Sheffield years ago).
2007-02-15 12:03:03
79.   Bob Timmermann
77
Mark Whiten had a tremendous arm.

If he could only have handled breaking pitches...

2007-02-15 12:03:53
80.   Xeifrank
I will be setting up a Friends of DT fantasy baseball league later this week when Yahoo opens up. Most likely one H2H and one Roto, depending on the turnout. Last year we had a rather large turnout, I won't mention how I did, but I believe someone like Toy Cannon won (correct me if I'm wrong).

Regarding the Furcal fantasy ranking. In a standard 5x5, 12 team (mixed) league with HR,RBIs,Runs,SBs,AVE as the offensive categories, I'd rank him 5th, behind Reyes, Tejada, Jeter and Young... and very slightly ahead of Rollins and H.Ramirez.

http://MLBMockDraftSoftware.blogspot.com/

vr, Xei

2007-02-15 12:04:59
81.   D4P
Was Mark Whiten the guy that was good at hitting 4 homeruns in one game...?
2007-02-15 12:05:24
82.   Marty
76 He also tattooed a canon on his arm.
2007-02-15 12:07:24
83.   ToyCannon
But on 9/7/93 they tried to throw 4 fastballs by him.
2007-02-15 12:08:14
84.   Benaiah
Simers's column is from yesterday right? I didn't see any Ethier talk in there. Did I miss something?
2007-02-15 12:09:02
85.   ToyCannon
80
You are wrong. I only came in 3rd and I have no idea who the poster was who won but he kicked our butts. The only regular besides yourself that I knew was JoeyP.
2007-02-15 12:12:01
86.   Bob Timmermann
83
It was a doubleheader. There FIVE fastballs!
2007-02-15 12:12:51
87.   ToyCannon
He had a Loney kind of game.
2007-02-15 12:13:48
88.   Steve
No, the issue is not character. The issue is innuendo, spin, and nickel-store psychology.
2007-02-15 12:18:15
89.   Greg S
88. There are rules and #8 is staring you in the face.
2007-02-15 12:19:39
90.   Steve
No, actually it's not. But thanks for playing.
2007-02-15 12:20:47
91.   Greg S
84. Talk wasn't of Ethier but Jon was just making a point that it's clear that what people say in blogs makes it's way into the media... quickly.
2007-02-15 12:22:18
92.   dianagramr
65

Well ... I'm ALSO interested in DT reader opinions, since you watched him last year in what should be one of his prime seasons (age-wise).

2007-02-15 12:24:54
93.   Vishal
[80] i'm down with an h2h league. i don't like roto.
2007-02-15 12:27:17
94.   CanuckDodger
89 -- So what IS your position on "character?" Your saying the character issue is something else -- "innuendo, spin, nickel-store psychology" -- is not persuading me that you just don't care about a player's character, and are pretty much happy to denigrate the concerns of anybody who purports to do so -- unless I am mistaken and you are actually paying me a compliment by implying that what I care about isn't character, but "innuendo, spin, and nickel-store psychology."
2007-02-15 12:29:15
95.   Greg S
94. I think that was meant for 88, no?
2007-02-15 12:30:44
96.   Benaiah
Xei, ESPN is offering free fantasy baseball this year with free stat trackers. I think you should hold the league there instead of yahoo.
2007-02-15 12:31:40
97.   Steve
I'm afraid I can't answer that question because Rule 8 is staring at me right in the face, with dead eyes.
2007-02-15 12:32:20
98.   CanuckDodger
95 -- Yes, post #88. Sorry about that.
2007-02-15 12:34:11
99.   Sam DC
For myself, I start from a position that it is just very hard for a fan to reliably know much about a player's true "character." I certainly hear a lot of discussion on the subject that seems very unfair, and while I don't begrudge Greg S his inside sources, they don't get me very far in figuring out if Ethier truly does or does not have a positive character for a baseball player.
2007-02-15 12:39:43
100.   Greg S
99. Absolutely true and fair.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-02-15 12:40:53
101.   Bob Timmermann
Character is what you are in the dark.
History is made at night.
2007-02-15 12:42:30
102.   D4P
Character is the justification GMs use for:

1. Acquiring untalented players, and/or
2. Dumping talented players

2007-02-15 12:43:00
103.   dianagramr
101

what happens in Vegas .... stays in Vegas?

2007-02-15 12:45:02
104.   Greg S
I just celebrated my birthday in Vegad and all I can say is I wish what happend in Vegas would come back to L.A.!
2007-02-15 12:46:42
105.   dzzrtRatt
Words like "immature" are in a category of words I try to avoid using because they mean different things to different people, and are the kinds of words often used by people trying to rationalize their subjective, unjustifiable feelings. Obviously, according to Greg S., Andre Ethier has at least one detractor somewhere in the vast Dodger circle of coaches, scouts, agents, towel-boys and hangers-on. And since they can't really justify why they don't like him, they slung the word "immature." It's not a news flash that not everyone in a competitive organization gets along. It could also be that this source has a teacher's pet of their own that they believe Ethier is blocking.

As with most leaks to the media, the sources for these kind of whispering campaigns always have an agenda. Believe me, whoever Greg S.'s source is, they didn't walk up to him at a barbecue and say, "I'm so darn frustrated with Andre Ethier's immature attitude, I can't wait til they trade him. Sorry, pal, I just had to get it off my chest." I guarantee it was far more calculated than that, and the true motives for it weren't disclosed.

2007-02-15 12:47:29
106.   Jon Weisman
I've tried to be laid-back about enforcing the rules lately, in case people haven't noticed. Not because I don't still want them, but because it's better for everyone if the comments self-correct.

But I have noticed the same points being made over and over again, most notably when it comes to Pierre. And there has been a little baiting, hurtful sarcasm, that sort of thing. It should stop.

This just isn't a good time for me to be the cop, so I ask everyone to be considerate. Thanks.

2007-02-15 12:49:40
107.   Hythloday
Shouldn't we be allowed to discuss character in an open forum? If we are and the conversation turns to the fact that a person might be lacking character that isn't character assasination. It is merely speculation, which like all speculations will either yield dividends or fall flat on its face.

I'm not as big on character as others because while I might be critical of person's public persona I wouldn't presume to know them.

Conversely, I think it is asking a lot to demand young men and women to say and do the right thing all the time when more polished and more mature public figures make gaffes all the time. The possibility remains that they say the wrong thing because they simply aren't good at saying the right thing. Is that immature?

2007-02-15 12:50:01
108.   Frip
Rob M: "Bo Jackson had the best arm I ever saw. The famous throw when he nailed Harold Reynolds at the plate - on a throw from the warning track, on a fly, right in the catchers mit - was the most shocking throw I ever saw."

The saddest thing in sports history to me is Bo's career being brought to a sudden and final halt on some run-of-the-mill, non-impact tackle from behind, which somehow ruined his hip forever.

On a single play, a true and literal Phenomenon was stilled forever. I'm not over it. It's one of those things that pops into your head every now and again, say, while seeing a black man limp across the street, and all this time later you still feel a pang in your chest about it.

There is no God. And if there is he's not someone I'd want to watch a game with.

2007-02-15 12:50:58
109.   Brendan
I was looking at the Dodgers schedule on their website and it shows a home and home with Toronto this year. Is this correct? should one of the series be with Baltimore? the schedule shows home and home with the Angels, home and home with Toronto and then a series with Tampa Bay.

I thought the Dodgers usually play three non Angel AL teams one time each and then Angels home and home.

2007-02-15 12:51:50
110.   CanuckDodger
99 -- That is a fair point, asking what we can really know about a player's character. How do we distinguish gossip that should be dismissed from information that can be ignored (by someone so inclined) but not legitimately dismissed? If people think that Bradley, Sheffield, and Perez's own well-documented words and deeds over a lengthy period of time are insufficient basis from which to draw conclusions about their characters, well, draw your own conclusions about those people, as I draw mine. The stuff about Guzman and Ethier may be more open to question, but in Guzman's case the gossip -- if you want to call it that -- about his immaturity goes back to three years before we traded him, when he supposedly mouthed off to his low A manager. I tried not to take that one isolated incident -- or report of an incident -- too seriously, and it didn't keep me from becoming a big booster of Guzman, but when three years later negative stuff was still coming up, well, now you are looking at a pattern.
2007-02-15 12:54:18
111.   D4P
Fun with Bo Jackson:

http://tinyurl.com/y298lr

2007-02-15 12:59:21
112.   Bob Timmermann
109
Yep, home and home with the Jays.

Why?

It's just one of those things. Teams can swap around interleague opponents. It's sort of like the way a college football schedule gets made. Think of the Angels as the Dodgers "conference opponent" and then with the nonconference opponents they get to pick from a pool and if some other team wanted the Yankees or Red Sox, then they work a deal.

The Dodgers probably don't mind switching as much since they don't really need the Yankees and Red Sox to come through to draw fans as much as Colorado does.

And the Rockies are charging extra, super-duper premiums on their tickets for that series.

2007-02-15 12:59:34
113.   s choir
I'm glad you pointed this out, Jon. I've been getting tired of the "worst collection of outfield arms ever" meme (which was started by an offhand comment by a non-Dodgers blogger, I believe). I don't think there was anything to back that up. Also, I'm glad the study showed how poor Drew's arm was last year. It was something I noticed. He seemed to grimace every time he had to make an important throw from RF. In contrast, I saw Ethier make a number of smart, accurate, and strong throws from LF.
2007-02-15 13:03:04
114.   Jon Weisman
I still believe that relevant character issues are ultimately manifested in a players' statistics. I have yet to be convinced that a player's good or bad character affects the performance of his teammates in any meaningful way, because those teammates have almost every incentive to perform well despite the composition of the roster.
2007-02-15 13:06:42
115.   Jon Weisman
I still believe that relevant character issues are ultimately manifested in a players' statistics. I have yet to be convinced that a player's good or bad character affects the performance of his teammates in any meaningful way, because those teammates have almost every incentive to perform well despite the composition of the roster. And if they don't, then it really is an issue of their character. If James Loney were to need everyone on the roster to be great men to perform, then it's mostly Loney's problem.

That does not mean I wouldn't prefer great character people on the roster - it's just about priorities. And certainly, there are degrees when we talk about this.

2007-02-15 13:06:43
116.   dzzrtRatt
I go back and forth on this "character" issue. It's obviously the case that an obnoxious person can make a workplace unbearable, and, at the margins, cause others' performance to lag.

On the other hand, the guy in baseball with the worst qualities of character is surely Barry Bonds. I hate the guy, but he got the Giants into the postseason many times in his prime.

2007-02-15 13:07:20
117.   Jon Weisman
Neither a single post nor a double post. It was 1 1/2.
2007-02-15 13:07:22
118.   D4P
Is the Griddler aware that Bonds has apparently signed a contract...?
2007-02-15 13:14:27
119.   Bob Timmermann
118
What's the rush? It's not like somebody died.
2007-02-15 13:22:44
120.   Greg S
115. This is an excellent post (even better than 114!). It states more eloquently what I was trying to say. I don't care if Ethier is immature (whatever that means) if he delivers. I care if he's a wife-beater but I believe he isn't. I only care if his mind affects his game and I believe it does. In the end, I care most about his stats and that is what I judge him on. In a forum like this, what affects his stats is fair play.
I'm really sorry to have been cute.. I don't have tons of inside info, there's really nothing huge. It's simply that Andre tends to hang his head (not literally) to a level that frustrates some (even Grady) who work with him. I don't think I'm blowing the lid off a news story here.
I have NEVER heard that he is a "jerk" or the type of attitude problem that would affect his teammates.
2007-02-15 13:23:24
121.   Brendan
112
thank you, Bob. I didn't know there was an al la carte aspect to interleague play.
2007-02-15 13:24:02
122.   Frip
Does character include having spirit and at least some kind of up-beat leadership ability?

If so, there was much hope last year that SOMEONE on the Dodgers could muster up a bit of locker room spark during the doldrums, when no one seemed to be able to shake them out of it.

If anyone here made that kind of comment at the time, then he would now have to concede that character, of a sort, does matter.

And that the L. Gonzales - J. Pierre signings did have some legitimate rationale as a character move.

2007-02-15 13:26:10
123.   Bob Timmermann
121
Your welcome. There's also that whole problem of there being 16 NL teams to 14 AL teams and the fact that 1/3 of the divisions in baseball have a different number of teams from the other 2/3.

The Pac-5 of the NL West doesn't mesh up well with the WAC of the AL West.

2007-02-15 13:30:14
124.   CanuckDodger
114 -- For me, there are different levels on which bad character issues matter. How they affect the rest of the team is just one level -- and I have seen too much correlation between pitchers disliked by teammates and poor run support to ever believe that teammates are unaffected by personal animosity (even if it is only on an unconscious level, because like you point out, Jon, it is in the players' rational self-interest to not let animosity for a teammate affect their play). Another level -- and this really applies to young players like Guzman -- is the one that deals with how much bad character causes coaches and higher brass to lose faith that the player will improve. Logan White and many other in power positions do not go on and on about "make up" for nothing. I truly believe the Dodgers think Guzman's maturity issues and work ethic will keep him from turning his great tools into great performance in the majors. And another level that I admit nobody may care about is the one that deals with my own subjective enjoyment as a fan. I want to LIKE the Dodgers' players. I am not the kind of fan who likes or dislikes players exactly in proportion to how they are performing. I realize some fans are like that; I'm not. For nearly three decades my favorite Dodger players have not usually been the best players on the team at the time.
2007-02-15 13:31:40
125.   Marty
122 All I know is that there isn't anyone around to light a fire under J.D. Drew this year. But then, there isn't any J.D. Drew either.
2007-02-15 13:31:42
126.   Bob Timmermann
122
I've got enough trouble trying to motivate seven people.

I'd hate to be a baseball manager and try to keep 25 guys all going at the same rate. 25 highly competitive and likely very egocentric guys too.

There aren't enough training videos starring Harry Anderson to help anyone do that job.

2007-02-15 13:37:41
127.   still bevens
121 Its probably better that we dont have to play the Sox and the Yankees this year. Interleague really screwed up our W-L record last season. Weren't the Angels the only team we won a series against? Or now that I mention it, weren't they the only AL team we even beat?
2007-02-15 13:44:49
128.   underdog
106 Amen, Brother!

Re: Ethier, everyone's clarified what they've meant here pretty well at this point, but I still had to say it seemed stunning to me to hear Ethier mentioned in a discussion of character issues, since everything I saw of him, and everything I'd heard about him when they first acquired him (granted it was for Milton Bradley so he'd win any comparison shopping in that dept.) pointed to his being "a strong character guy." That can mean different things to different people, but he was called out for being good with community work, a great teammate, supportive, eager. He may very well have displayed some immaturity, last year when things wore on and he wore down (he is young y'know) and he was probably as disappointed as anything else. But I see no reason to believe Ethier is anything but a good guy who will give 100% effort without much griping.

As far as Loney having a great arm, it's interesting to think that may be true, because he seems like such a gifted and natural first baseman. (Not that 1B's can't have good arms, but as one whose first exposure to a first baseman was Steve Garvey, what else do I know?)

Anyway, no matter what happens this year, I definitely see a Dodger team that won't be faulted for character or effort.

2007-02-15 13:45:29
129.   D4P
I'd hate to be a baseball manager and try to keep 25 guys all going at the same rate

That's why they get paid millions of dollars. I guess...

2007-02-15 13:46:10
130.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers beat the Angels four times and the Mariners once.
2007-02-15 13:49:27
131.   ToyCannon
128
Loney was a stud HS pitcher who many scouts thought should have been drafted as a pitcher not a hitter. I've yet to see the arm in action so I have no idea what the strenght is 4 years removed from pitching.
2007-02-15 13:58:00
132.   ToyCannon
BP Pecota projections are out:
PLAYER VORP WARP EQA
Kent, Jeff 32 4.8 0.291
Furcal, Rafael 30.4 6.4 0.268
Kemp, Matthew 26.6 3.9 0.286
Garciaparra, 20.3 3 0.275
Ethier, Andre 19.7 3.4 0.278
Martin, Russell 17.9 4.8 0.265
Gonzalez, Luis 14.5 3.2 0.271
Betemit, Wilson 13.7 2.7 0.259
Pierre, Juan 12.4 3.8 0.252
Anderson, Marlon11.5 1.6 0.269
Saenz, Olmedo 11.5 1.2 0.283
Laroche, Andy 5.6 0.9 0.285
Lieberthal, Mike4.9 1.5 0.252
Repko, Jason 4.7 1.3 0.262
Loney, James 4.3 0.7 0.278
Martinez, Ramon 2 0.8 0.24
Tatis, Fernando 1 0.2 0.261
Young, Delwyn -0.2 0.1 0.236

Bit surprised by Marlon Anderson. Pecota is giving him a 50% chance of a 795OPS. I've seen other projections with a sub 700OPS so
that is the biggest swing I've seen.

Not surprisingly, Kemp and LaRoche look to be our best players the day Kent retires.

2007-02-15 14:00:13
133.   D4P
132
EQA

Tatis: .261
Pierre: .252

2007-02-15 14:00:25
134.   dzzrtRatt
124 Another level -- and this really applies to young players like Guzman -- is the one that deals with how much bad character causes coaches and higher brass to lose faith that the player will improve.

Not to defend Guzman, specifically, but what if the coach in question is not "a character guy?" Who's qualified to judge? What if there was "bad chemistry" between a prospect and some low-level organization factotum? The relative powerlessness of a teenage player from another culture up against a guy who owes his job to Tommy Lasorda (say) might create a circumstance in which the kid is made to look bad and the organization decides to believe the old fart over the young hothead.

It's a hall of mirrors, this "character" issue.

2007-02-15 14:00:44
135.   Robert Fiore
Bill James proposed "baserunner kills" as a term to get outfield assists the respect they deserve. I think a preferable alternative would be "whack," as in "Ethier whacked eight baserunners last year."
2007-02-15 14:01:36
136.   Greg Brock
Interesting PECOTA projections. Very bullish on Kent. Not so much on Nomar. Martin looks good as a catcher.

Pierre is Pierre.

2007-02-15 14:01:38
137.   ToyCannon
128
"Anyway, no matter what happens this year, I definitely see a Dodger team that won't be faulted for character or effort. "

Unless they lose and then all bets are off. Someone will become the scapegoat and it won't be Neddy.

2007-02-15 14:01:55
138.   deburns
OT, but I'm going to be in Vero Beach for the games with the Red Sox and Astros on the 16th and 17th of March. Does anyone know if games sell out, or can one just walk up and buy tickets on game day? Vishal said he was going to be there with some friends as well.
2007-02-15 14:04:15
139.   D4P
The Furcal EQA projection of .268 seems a bit pessimistic, given his last 4 years of .280, .267, .278, and .286, and career average of .271
2007-02-15 14:04:41
140.   Greg Brock
138 Red Sox games will sell out.
2007-02-15 14:06:22
141.   Frip
Furcal swings too much.
2007-02-15 14:06:24
142.   ToyCannon
139
I agree, if he meets that then were in for a world of hurt. Pecota is a most curious beast.
2007-02-15 14:10:20
143.   robohobo
137. Winning seems to make everything OK. Character issues go out the window. Losing, suddenly character issues abound.
2007-02-15 14:11:27
144.   ToyCannon
139
It would appear Mr. Pecota is projecting a decent drop in power with an EQSLG of 407.
2007-02-15 14:17:38
145.   underdog
137 Maybe, it depends on what one means by "lose." If that means, not make it far in the playoffs, then no. If it means not at least compete for the playoffs, or worse, have a losing season, then maybe so. Even the best "characters" get grumpy when their teams lose, but I really do see this as a team that can quickly right itself and support each other. That translates into a team with few long losing streaks. (And heck, last year's team survived a ridiculously, embarrasingly long losing streak without turning on each other like jackals. Well, except for Brad Penny, and even he eventually shut up. ;-) )
2007-02-15 14:17:56
146.   Bumsrap
103
The money you bring to Vegas stays in Vegas.

I have always wanted to see along with height, weight, hits right/left, throws right/left, date of birth, place of birth stats usually shown for a player was a rating for each of the five tools.

If anybody wants to see character(s) in action take a look at the Oakland championship teams of the 70s.

2007-02-15 14:18:03
147.   ToyCannon
Name VORP WXRL WARP K9
Schmidt, Jason 32.5 4.98 4.6 8.3
Penny, Brad 27.7 4.36 4.1 6.87
Lowe, Derek 20.6 3.6 3.3 5.38
Broxton, Jonan 18.8 1.8 2.6 10.18
Billingsley, d 18.3 3.41 3.2 7.56
Kuo, Hong-Chih 15.8 1.85 2.3 9.37
Saito, Takashi 11.8 1.72 2.7 9.19
Wolf, Randy 11.4 1.57 2.2 6.86
Dessens, Elmer 8.4 0.7 1.2 5.86
Tomko, Brett 8.1 1.08 1.4 5.71
Brazoban, Yncy 5.8 0.53 0.9 7.47
Beimel, Joe 4.7 0.36 0.9 4.89
Hamulack, Tim 3 0.24 0.5 7.81
Stults, Eric 3 0.66 0.9 6.02
Hendrickson 2.9 0.69 0.8 5.33

For context Schimdt would be ranked 12th in Vorp in the NL.

2007-02-15 14:23:07
148.   Disabled List
The Pac-5 of the NL West doesn't mesh up well with the WAC of the AL West.

I like this metaphor. I shall explore it further:

NL West: Pac 10
AL West: WAC
NL Central: Big 10
AL Central: Big 12
NL East: SEC or ACC
AL East: Big East

This post has nothing to do with anything, but there you go.

2007-02-15 14:23:07
149.   ToyCannon
The Clippers are currently doing what Steve was talking about in regards to Corey Maggette and character assasination.
2007-02-15 14:25:35
150.   Bumsrap
Arm strength has to be of interest to the Toycannon.

I can remember the toycannon throwing a ball to Bill Russel as he as trotting out to CF to start the game and Russel pretending to wince in pain when he caught the ball. I thought that was quite funny. Still do.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-02-15 14:26:11
151.   jasonungar05
149 they gonna trade him for some back up shortstops? LOL
2007-02-15 14:28:56
152.   Benaiah
147 - If Schmidt and Penny are that good, then we will have the best rotation in the NL. Lowe will outperform that projection, his low K rates make him undervalued in PECOTA. The Dodgers could have 5 starters in the the top 50 in the NL in ERA, which would be a rotation of 3's or better.
2007-02-15 14:29:05
153.   Bumsrap
Pierre's arm vs. the Toycannon--no contest, Pierre wins. Now if Pierre can hit mile high pop ups that clear the fence, barely...
2007-02-15 14:38:44
154.   Greg Brock
This is what McCourt said about the move to Arizona:

"This is not an economic decision. This is a fan convenience decision."

If the team stands to make money hand over fist, isn't paying for the construction costs, and will be able to develop most of the land around the stadium, how does McCourt's statement not constitute an outright lie? It may not be entirely about the money, but it's got a great deal to do with the money. And yes, I know that my opinion is always skewed by the fact that I don't like the McCourts.

2007-02-15 14:48:11
155.   D4P
154
Ah, good ole' "framing." The Man may tell us differently, but we know it's always about money and resources. They may say it's about "democracy" or "freedom" or "fan convenience," but we know better.
2007-02-15 14:50:01
156.   underdog
I actually would prefer to have a team full of character... actors, but that's just me.

Imagine what a team with M. Emmett Walsh and JT Walsh and Sydney Greenstreet could do!

2007-02-15 14:52:13
157.   D4P
If "character" actors play "characters," what do non-"character" actors play...?
2007-02-15 14:53:30
158.   Benaiah
157 - Methods.
2007-02-15 14:53:35
159.   Hythloday
Isn't fan convenience the same thing as an economic decision?
2007-02-15 14:56:31
160.   Greg Brock
159 Not if moving the team to Arizona cost the McCourts 100 million dollars in lease buyouts, construction costs, and taxes.
2007-02-15 14:58:48
161.   StolenMonkey86
125 - If JD Drew wanted someone to light a fire under him, he could have gone back to the Braves. Roger McDowell surely could have lit a fire under JD Drew.
2007-02-15 15:04:48
162.   StolenMonkey86
It's an economic decision, because any decision involving allocation of scarce resources is an economic decision.

What McCourt should have said was that it was not a financial decision, because economics is not inherently about money.

So while it can be said that McCourt misused the word "economic," he can't be called a liar, because certainly he'd prefer Arizona to Florida. The move just wasn't too expensive anymore.

2007-02-15 15:10:48
163.   twerp
Good Bo Jackson perspective==

http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016045.html

2007-02-15 15:16:26
164.   Steve
M. Emmett Walsh is the Babe Ruth of this category, but Fred Dalton Thompson is the Gehrig, and Joe Don Baker is the Williams.
2007-02-15 15:19:20
165.   Greg Brock
JT Walsh was one of my favorite actors around. It was really sad when he passed away. He was fantastic, and deserves a Steveworthy baseball comparable.
2007-02-15 15:22:14
166.   Steve
JT Walsh is the Wade Boggs of this category. A machine.
2007-02-15 15:24:52
167.   ToyCannon
Juan Pierre, Rudy Law, Kenny Lofton, and the like were all born with popgun arms. At least the Cannon had a Cannon until he blew his arm out. As I mentioned before he came up as a SS. He was either moved to CF to make room for Sonny Jackson or because he wasn't very good at it. Could you imagine a keystone of Wynn/Morgan in their primes.
2007-02-15 15:25:52
168.   Bob Timmermann
Steve demands three names for his favorite character actors.

He must really have hated Mako.

2007-02-15 15:26:00
169.   ToyCannon
Didn't all those actors earn their stripes playing redneck's?
2007-02-15 15:27:49
170.   Bob Timmermann
167
I also think of how good a hitter Jimmy Wynn was compared to Sonny Jackson, who was the Earl Scruggs of banjo hitters.
2007-02-15 15:28:51
171.   Bob Timmermann
One of the horses Paul Lo Duca co-owns was claimed after the 5th race in Santa Anita.
2007-02-15 15:29:58
172.   Greg Brock
I an alternate reality, JT Walsh would have continued to be veteran character actor guy until his 60's, when an off-kilter role in an independent movie would have gotten him a Best Actor nomination.

Yes, I've really this through.

2007-02-15 15:31:17
173.   Steve
For balance then, I nominate Stephen Tobolowsky and Vincent Schiavelli (RIP)
2007-02-15 15:33:29
174.   Michael G
"Or maybe teams were just waiting to hit the ball to Lofton."

That last sentence was one of the funniest things I've read from you, Jon.
Very Steve-esque.

2007-02-15 15:46:05
175.   Jon Weisman
I am friends with a good friend of M. Emmet Walsh. I am elevating myself in Steve's book.
2007-02-15 15:46:39
176.   Andrew Shimmin
Ah, man. I missed the character blow out. Have we all moved on, or can I ask if it isn't contradictory to say that Ethier was insufficiently self-assured to be upset over losing his job to Merlin? What's the proper response to that? If he's happy about it, he's a) crazy, and b) wrong; Ethier is better than Merlin, even if he couldn't (as no one could) be expected to do what Merlin did at the end of last season. If he's unhappy about it and doesn't say anything, he's one of those players who hides in his locker reading motorcycle magazines. If he says anything about it, he's immature.

If he'd set something on fire, I'd hold it against him. But he didn't. He's not accused of doing anything that it would seem fair to hold against him. Shouldn't his immaturity, or whatever, have to manifest itself in some way in order to be taken seriously?

2007-02-15 15:52:17
177.   Greg Brock
Yup, We've all moved on.

Sorry, Andrew.

2007-02-15 15:52:47
178.   Andrew Shimmin
Rats.
2007-02-15 15:53:21
179.   D4P
If he'd set something on fire, I'd hold it against him

As if you're above arson...

2007-02-15 15:53:46
180.   Andrew Shimmin
And I don't mean that in the, "ah, shoot," kind of way. I'm accusing each an every one of you of being character deficient vermin.
2007-02-15 15:54:45
181.   Andrew Shimmin
179- It was the royal I. I personally get a giddy thrill out of anyone setting fire to anything (and, especially, any one).
2007-02-15 15:55:24
182.   Bob Timmermann
Can I interest Andrew in a discussion on the merits of the double error?
2007-02-15 15:56:18
183.   Greg Brock
180 Understood. Though why you'd want to get involved in the Great Ethier Character Debate of 2007 confuses me.

I mean sure, Ethier did block out the Sun and cancel the company dental plan, but hey, who among us, you know?

2007-02-15 15:57:48
184.   Steve
Andrew came up with the rare Rule 16 violation. Well played, my friend.

Is Christopher Lloyd a character actor? I believe that he is.

2007-02-15 15:58:16
185.   Greg S
Even I've moved on. The Ethier's Character Train has left the station. Express train to Old Newsland.
2007-02-15 16:01:37
186.   Greg Brock
184 I so, then Cuckoo's nest has Lloyd, Schiavelli, and Brad Dourif. A character actor trifecta if ever there was one.
2007-02-15 16:09:38
187.   Steve
Christopher Lloyd must be the Hank Aaron then. He virtually transcends the character actor experience. He's like his own category.
2007-02-15 16:09:43
188.   Greg Brock
186 *If so
2007-02-15 16:11:13
189.   Greg Brock
187 Well, If Robert Duvall is a character actor, he's Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron.

Robert Duvall has quietly been in every good movie ever made.

2007-02-15 16:11:34
190.   Steve
Robert Blake is the Barry Bonds of character actors.
2007-02-15 16:14:29
191.   Steve
189 -- Just so.
2007-02-15 16:19:42
192.   robohobo
I don't know if anyone is interested in talking about this but Zito has angered his pitching coach by changing his delivery. Perhaps he fears the mighty National League.

http://tinyurl.com/yqcwmb

2007-02-15 16:22:39
193.   kngoworld
192 - Why would he change his delivery, most National Leaguers have not seen his old delivery very often.
2007-02-15 16:25:41
194.   underdog
I was doing a character actor run down on one of the movie blogs I do and had to come to sort of use my own guidelines when choosing. (I was running down people who had done something noteworthy on film in '06 to be precise.) But generally it was people who are rarely cast as leads because of a) the way they look and/or b) the way they inhabit characters so well that they aren't movie stars but movie actors, and c) aren't generally considered household names.
Anyway, I would say Robert Duvall isn't a character actor because he's been the lead too many times and is too well known, but on the other hand he's rarely a "star" and always does pretty well at disappearing into his characters. I did salute Bruno Kirby (RIP) on the list, though. Also had a few brits, like Bill Nighy. And an oldie but a goodie, who reappeared last year in a bunch of films in the Preston Sturges DVD collection (I sort of cheated): William Demarest, who would be, what, Casey Stengel in baseball?
2007-02-15 16:30:31
195.   Greg Brock
It would take a fair amount of work to convince me that Robert Duvall isn't a character actor. Paul Giamatti and Gene Hackman have been leads, and I could hear arguments against their placement on the list, but I'm firmly in the Robert Duvall-as-character-actor camp.
2007-02-15 16:44:31
196.   robohobo
193. It sounds like, from the story, he is trying to throw harder. Righetti thinks his curve ball will suffer. Can you imagine if the Dodgers had signed him to that contract and the first news upon his arrival to spring training was that his curve ball might be in danger?
2007-02-15 16:46:00
197.   underdog
Eh, I love Duvall too much to argue one way or the other Greg. ;-) He's just a great actor.

Giamatti's even more clearly a character actor to me - he'd be the first to tell ya.

2007-02-15 16:46:46
198.   Bob Timmermann
195
I will have to resort to a time-honored debating technique.

Robert Duvall is not a character actor because I don't think he's one. He doesn't think he's one.

And I'm older than you and know better about such things.

The logic is crystal clear.

2007-02-15 16:47:05
199.   Marty
Any character actor discussion has to include Strother Martin, Harry Dean Stanton, and Dub Taylor.
2007-02-15 16:48:56
200.   Greg Brock
198 Tough to argue with that. It's the type of insight that helps you to understand Freaks and Geeks on a much deeper level.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-02-15 16:50:00
201.   Bob Timmermann
200
You know what happened to all the people who disagreed with me before?

They died!

2007-02-15 16:53:33
202.   underdog
What about female character actors? I tried to include a few on my list but it's harder. Most actresses are loathe to think of themselves that way, but...

I had two favorites on the list, Lily Taylor and Imelda Staunton.

And to bring this back to baseball, the sarcastic comment heard from one baseball fan to another (the latter a Giants fan) here at work today, after seeing the SF Chronicle, "Armando Benitez is 'top form, eh?" said with a wink.

2007-02-15 16:56:51
203.   Greg Brock
Oh, how I adore Lily Taylor. Unhealthily so.

I might put Laura Linney and Hope Davis up for debate. And my greatest crush, Catherine Keener.

2007-02-15 16:59:29
204.   Jon Weisman
Duvall is not a character actor by the common definition, at least in my mind, which is that they'd only get to be a lead once in a blue moon.

"Character actor" doesn't just mean you can play many characters. It's essentially a ceiling on your career, without denying you some respect.

In a perverse way, I suppose, it's not unlike "professional hitter."

2007-02-15 17:02:55
205.   Greg Brock
204 So, once you grab a leading role or two, the entire body of your work is redefined?

I humbly disagree with the almighty and benevolent Philosopher King, and seek his understanding.

2007-02-15 17:03:24
206.   Marty
"Charactor Actor" often translates to "funny looking", think Jack Elam. Women actors just can't get away with that as much as men.
2007-02-15 17:12:28
207.   underdog
206 It really does often come down to that, Marty, it's true.

Westerns were often full of character actors, famously so. Jack Elam was one, Slim Pickens, Burton Gilliam, Gabby Hayes, Walter Brennan. A lot of those guys rarely showed much range but they were great at what they did. Some of these other character actors have a ton of range but not Brad Pitt-ish looks. Which most of them are fine with.

Who was the Jack Elam of the Dodgers, I wonder?

2007-02-15 17:15:45
208.   Jim Hitchcock
206

Well, Marty...there's always Imogene Coca, and maybe Zasu Pitts!

207

The closest would be Mickey Hatcher, when he was wearing his goggles.

2007-02-15 17:23:06
209.   trainwreck
In my book, "character actor" means you're good.
2007-02-15 17:23:50
210.   trainwreck
They usually play the secondary characters, but they tend to be the better actors.
2007-02-15 17:23:52
211.   Steve
I would propose three basic criteria for the character actor club. They are:

1) Funny-looking (in some sense)
2) Beloved (in some sense)
3) Body of work (both in tenure and compared to "leading actor" work)

These are, of course, subjective terms that can have different meanings, but they give us a common scheme to work from. I have resolved for myself Brock's examples (though there might be disagreement), but admittedly don't know what to do with Walter Matthau.

2007-02-15 17:26:04
212.   Jim Hitchcock
Harvey Keitel.
2007-02-15 17:27:49
213.   D4P
I just think they should use a different term than "character." Every actor plays characters. Call them something else.
2007-02-15 17:30:57
214.   trainwreck
My favorite actor is Steve Buscemi. He has played leads before but he usually plays a side character and I think many would call him a "character actor".
2007-02-15 17:31:26
215.   Greg Brock
See, but if you eliminate those great actors who have earned a leading shot or two, it completely skews the voting. Because Duvall or Giamatti or others have earned starring roles, doesn't make them any less deserving of the "character actor" title. In many ways, it makes them more deserving, because their work has been just that outstanding that somebody thought they should carry a flick.

Just my opinion.

2007-02-15 17:35:09
216.   D4P
Actors are actors. In each film, some actors get more lines and screen time than others. I see no meaningful distinction between "character" actors and "non-character" actors, unless you want to argue that the actors who typically get less screen time aren't as talented/attractive/whatever else as the actors who get more screen time, in which case "character" isn't a compliment.
2007-02-15 17:35:33
217.   Bob Timmermann
I believe the "Academy Players Directory" divides up actors into these categories:
1) Leading men
2) Younger leading men
3) Leading women
4) Ingenues
5) Characters
6) Comedians & Comediennes
7) Children
2007-02-15 17:35:33
218.   Greg Brock
Phillip Seymour Hoffman has been a lead several times, and he's now an Oscar winner.

PSH is still a character actor in my book.

2007-02-15 17:37:49
219.   GoBears
Late to the party, as usual, but I'd like to take a crack at Jon's post. What I remember about Ethier was that he was very good at running down balls in the corner or against the wall. He might or might not have had good jumps on the balls in the air, or taken good routes (I dunno), but he was really fast to the ball once it dropped, and made very accurate throws. Since the metric used to rate him tops among LFers counts only results, it could be his legs, not his arm strength, that explains the extra outs and holds.

As for Mondesi, I loved his arm as much as the next guy, and I've never seed a RFer charge a ball as well (or as recklessly) as he did, but I thought he was absolutely awful on balls hit over his head. When Green showed up, my immediate reaction was the opposite - very good at going back (and after all, there IS more time if the ball has farther to travel) but lousy at charging. Drew seemed to me to be good at both, great at neither.

2007-02-15 17:38:08
220.   Bob Timmermann
Well, I have had my pregame chicken and articoke wrap and am ready for some exciting Pac-10 action from Tempe.

Ben Howland is very worried about this game.

2007-02-15 17:39:45
221.   trainwreck
I am not.
2007-02-15 17:43:12
222.   Bob Timmermann
ASU's zone isn't bothering UCLA so far, but the Sun Devils aren't exactly bothered by UCLA's defense either.

However, I would count on UCLA making more shots than ASU.

2007-02-15 17:43:33
223.   Andrew Shimmin
Character actors are the David Ecksteins of cinema. Yeah, I said it. (Imagine what kind of sulking I'd get up to if Marlon Anderson took my job.)
2007-02-15 17:45:36
224.   Greg Brock
Character actors are the David Ecksteins of cinema.

In the Shimmin/D4P wars, I now side with D4P.

Good job, Andrew.

2007-02-15 17:45:47
225.   Bob Timmermann
223
I disagree entirely with that analogy. David Eckstein plays nearly every day and has an important role on his team. He bats leadoff and plays shortstop.

It's not like he comes in for one scene, says a few lines, and then leaves.

2007-02-15 17:46:51
226.   trainwreck
223
But I don't hate "character actors".
2007-02-15 17:48:20
227.   D4P
I now side with D4P

What do you mean "now"...?

2007-02-15 17:49:42
228.   Andrew Shimmin
225- As well you might. It's indefensible, on its face. But, as an object lesson in sulking, I thought it had merit.
2007-02-15 17:50:09
229.   Greg Brock
227 Don't push your luck...
2007-02-15 17:51:52
230.   D4P
Perhaps "Character actors are the Loogies of cinema" would be more appropriate
2007-02-15 17:55:40
231.   trainwreck
Character actors are the James Loneys of the world. They are talented but are held back and placed behind overrated players thanks to morons in charge of things.
2007-02-15 17:56:43
232.   Greg Brock
Character actors are more important than LOOGY's. I would say that character actors are more like solid defensive catchers that hit. They do the job on defense, and hit enough to matter on offense. They put the team over the top.

LOOGY's are just a necessity. Character actors are more than that.

2007-02-15 18:01:10
233.   Greg Brock
On a scale of 1-10, how much does Xeifrank hate this entire thread?

I'm guessing it's right around a 10.

2007-02-15 18:04:45
234.   GoBears
Actualy, LOOGYs are not a necessity. They're another example of overthinking about stuff that barely matters. Sorta like stolen bases. They're fine with expanded rosters in September, but basically a waste of roster space (or, if they're good, a waste of pitching talent) otherwise.
2007-02-15 18:05:03
235.   Bob Timmermann
So, I have a cherimoya in my possession.

How should I eat this thing?

And will I get $1.75 worth of enjoyment out of it?

2007-02-15 18:06:03
236.   Bob Timmermann
A movie where every role is played by Thomas Mitchell would be as about as interesting as a whole baseball game played by Jesse Orosco types.
2007-02-15 18:06:03
237.   D4P
Bob's "comes in for one scene, says a few lines, and then leaves" made me think LOOGY.
2007-02-15 18:17:00
238.   GoBears
235: http://www.cherimoyas.org/
2007-02-15 18:18:21
239.   Bob Timmermann
I had tried www.cherimoya.com but it wasn't as helpful.
2007-02-15 18:18:45
240.   Bob Timmermann
237

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

2007-02-15 18:21:45
241.   Sam DC
Paul Gleason.
2007-02-15 18:21:50
242.   Bob Timmermann
Darren Edney strikes!

Or is it Tyus Collison?

2007-02-15 18:23:44
243.   Greg Brock
241 Paul Gleason is a fantastic call.
2007-02-15 18:23:51
244.   Bob Timmermann
With 11 minutes to go, St. Francis is leading St. Francis.
2007-02-15 18:47:44
245.   das411
Ahhh spring training: http://tinyurl.com/yv8j94
2007-02-15 18:52:53
246.   Bob Timmermann
I assume someone is talking Greg Brock and trainwreck off their ledges.
2007-02-15 18:53:09
247.   Greg Brock
On the comedy scale, UCLA losing to ASU would be up there.
2007-02-15 18:54:57
248.   Greg Brock
246 We're not a national championship team this year anyway. I'm just enjoying the season.

Next year, with Kevin Love, is the year. It's cute to mock my passion, and I know you get a kick out of it but I'm far from manic when it comes to hoops.

2007-02-15 18:57:10
249.   Bob Timmermann
248
I'm always striving for cute.
2007-02-15 18:57:25
250.   Gen3Blue
Sorry to check in so late that I haven't had time to scan all the comments. But this looked like a reasonable though not airtight way to measure outfield arms and possibly defense. I couldn't help noticing his statement saying basically that center fielders helped their teams D so little last year that the diff. between the third best and and our Juan Pierre was small enough to be irrelevant. May it continue to be so (I hope not for 5 years!)
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-02-15 18:57:49
251.   trainwreck
I guess I am the manic one then for basketball.
2007-02-15 18:59:10
252.   Bob Timmermann
251
Then get down off the ledge!
2007-02-15 19:00:59
253.   Greg Brock
249 It just wouldn't be fair to say that because I hate Karl Dorrell, that I'm some sort of ridiculous Bruin fan. I'm not. I know the basketball team is in very good hands, I've enjoyed this basketball season, and I look forward to the future of Bruins hoops.

The fact that I don't like Karl Dorrell, and expect more of the Bruin football program doesn't make me reactionary or unrealistic, no matter how much you'd like it to appear that way. It's great for comedy purposes, but I'm simply not that demanding.

2007-02-15 19:01:53
254.   Bob Timmermann
248
So the Bruins are not in the same class as the Most Wonderful Fabulous Outstanding Tremendous Group of Basketball Talent Ever Assembled And Happens to Play in Gainesville?
2007-02-15 19:03:03
255.   trainwreck
Probably not, but I think we could beat everyone else.
2007-02-15 19:06:13
256.   Greg Brock
I mean, if the whole "Greg Brock has zero perspective" thing means that Bob has tons of material, I'll go with it, because Bob is just that funny. But at some point, you have to admit that I'm not as manic as you like to think.

But hey, anything for comedy!

2007-02-15 19:08:29
257.   Bob Timmermann
256

I shall mock Greg Brock's passion no more forever.

Or until I run out of material.

People never read that part of Chief Joseph's speech.

2007-02-15 19:11:17
258.   trainwreck
Darren Collison to the rescue.
2007-02-15 19:11:18
259.   Greg Brock
Win or loss, I've never complained about Ben Howland's program. Just like I've never complained about Savage, because I know what he means to the baseball program.

Attacking Karl Dorrell doesn't make me reactionary. It just makes me a sane human being. That's all I'm saying.

2007-02-15 19:11:34
260.   Bob Timmermann
Through 33 minutes in Tempe, UCLA has made one free throw.
2007-02-15 19:12:32
261.   D4P
256
I can only hope you've never participated in the "D4P hates women" or "D4P is a murdering dictator" charades*, among others...

*pronounced "shah-rods"

2007-02-15 19:13:33
262.   Bob Timmermann
261
You mean back when the P in D4P stood for Pinochet?
2007-02-15 19:15:03
263.   Greg Brock
261 I never have, despite my belief that you are a woman hater and a murderous dictator.

But I've never engaged in those converstations. I'm on your side.

2007-02-15 19:16:06
264.   Andrew Shimmin
261- I saw that ToyCannon tried to start a, "D4P is sexually inadequate," meme, last night. It didn't seem to catch on, though.
2007-02-15 19:16:48
265.   Marty
Everyone should be flogged, me included, for not mentioning Walter Brennan. Sheesh, he only won three oscars for his characters.
2007-02-15 19:17:43
266.   Bob Timmermann
Walter Brennan's IMDB page takes a long time to scroll through.

That's no brag, just fact.

2007-02-15 19:19:35
267.   Marty
And Bob pulls a quote from maybe his worst role.
2007-02-15 19:21:27
268.   Bob Timmermann
I think that was one of Walter Brennan's last roles wasn't it?

My favorite Walter Brennan line comes from "Bad Day at Black Rock"

"I feel for you, but I'm consumed with apathy."

2007-02-15 19:22:21
269.   Sam DC
Any movement on the Walter Brennan thing?

No, and it doesn't look good, Jimmy.

Looks good to me.

2007-02-15 19:23:01
270.   Marty
I have two favorite Brennan quotes. From "To Have and To Have Not" Was you ever stung by a dead bee

From "My Darling Clementine" When you pull a gun, kill a man

2007-02-15 19:25:41
271.   Marty
I think that was one of Walter Brennan's last roles wasn't it?

The Guns of Will Sonnett 1967 - 1969

2007-02-15 19:25:42
272.   Bob Timmermann
I never noticed this disturbing note in Walter Brennan's bio on the IMDB:

During the 1960s, he was convinced that the anti-war and civil rights movements were being run by overseas communists - and said as much in interviews. He told reporters that he believed the civil rights movement, in particular, and the riots in places like Watts and Newark, and demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, were the result of perfectly content "Negroes" being stirred up by a handful of trouble-makers with an anti-American agenda. Those on the set of his last series, "The Guns of Will Sonnett" (1967) - in which he played the surprisingly complex role of an ex-army scout trying to undo the damage caused by his being a mostly absentee father - said that he cackled with delight upon learning of Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968.

2007-02-15 19:26:20
273.   Gen3Blue
" Luke, Papino, tell the Doc I can still touch my toes with my elbows, --here I'll show you."
2007-02-15 19:27:49
274.   Gen3Blue
Disturbing it is Bob!
2007-02-15 19:27:56
275.   Marty
272 That is disturbing, but I guess not surprising.
2007-02-15 19:30:18
276.   Bob Timmermann
275
Yeah, it's not surprising. Especially if you ever heard either of Walter Brennan's two record albums.
2007-02-15 19:37:42
277.   trainwreck
These crazy threes at the end of UCLA games are getting tiresome.
2007-02-15 19:40:19
278.   Bob Timmermann
ASU's fans seemed like they were asleep the whole game.
2007-02-15 19:42:38
279.   Greg Brock
278 I'm happy that UCLA won...Does it make me reactionary, or just a fan?

I need to know.

2007-02-15 19:47:28
280.   Bob Timmermann
279

I'm still deciding. I've appointed a 17-person commission to study the issue. We'll have an initial position paper for you in 6-8 months, but it needs to be vetted by three other committees.

2007-02-15 19:52:12
281.   Bob Timmermann
I've decided to call this commission the Andrew Shimmin Commission. It will meet in a coffee house with free wi-fi, comfortable chairs, and no live music.
2007-02-15 19:54:48
282.   Greg Brock
280 It's a tough situation. I really like Ben Howland, but I despise Karl Dorrell. Does that make me a bigot? Alternatively, I hate Joss Whedon, but I love Mos Def...Does that make me an Uncle Seamus? And I love corgis, but I hate Bijon Frises...Does that make me a short haired dog fan?

I'm so confused.

2007-02-15 19:55:29
283.   Andrew Shimmin
I've decided to call this commission the Andrew Shimmin Commission.

Bad news: Andrew Shimmin Commissions are hanging judges, by nature.

Good news: Andrew Shimmin Commissions are notoriously bribable.

2007-02-15 19:57:01
284.   Bob Timmermann
282
I root for USC against Notre Dame, so what does that make me?

More work for the Shimmin Commission.

2007-02-15 19:57:04
285.   D4P
a, "D4P is sexually inadequate," meme, last night. It didn't seem to catch on, though

Too far-fetched to catch on.

2007-02-15 19:58:49
286.   Greg Brock
I root for USC against Notre Dame, so what does that make me?

That's easy...It makes you a monster.

2007-02-15 20:01:47
287.   Andrew Shimmin
285- Right. Or Jon saved you with a new thread in the nick of time. You really are the most maligned DTer. I mean, when the D4P is a genocidal dictator thing took off, it was really in your defense.
2007-02-15 20:08:30
288.   Andrew Shimmin
The newest episode of Michael Lewis's series on having a new child is up at Slate:

http://www.slate.com/id/2159918

Archive of the previous ones:

http://www.slate.com/id/2157863/

2007-02-15 20:22:24
289.   Jon Weisman
The biggest twist is I don't like the word "meme." Except in French.
2007-02-15 20:25:27
290.   D4P
289
I don't like it either. It's too effete*.

*I don't like the word "effete" either.

2007-02-15 20:31:10
291.   Andrew Shimmin
Meme used to be great because nobody knew what it meant. Now everybody knows what it means, and nearly nobody likes it.
2007-02-15 20:32:45
292.   Bob Timmermann
The cherimoya experiment is deemed a failure only because it's too hard to get to get the good stuff to eat. But it tastes good.
2007-02-15 20:34:11
293.   Greg Brock
It's like when my friends used to have "web logs" and such. We called them "Blogs" for short.

Now everybody has a "blog" and the whole thing has lost the internet cred.

2007-02-15 20:56:30
294.   godvls
278 - That was the loudest ASU crowd of the year. As bad as they are, this Sun Devil team deserves a win this year. They're playing with one Pac 10 caliber player (Pendergraph) and holding there own virtually every game. Not one ASU player was offered a scholarship by another Pac 10 school. Evans left the cupboard completely bare.
2007-02-15 20:57:51
295.   Marty
I root for USC against Notre Dame, so what does that make me? That's easy...It makes you a monster.

See, this is where you are really reactionary in my opinion. I think you take your fandom too far, at least you write like it. I've been a life-long Trojan fan but have learned a long time ago that it's still only a game and is ultimately meaningless. How can you really get upset at another team? I love the USC-UCLA and USC-Notre Dame rivalry, but if SC loses, I've forgotten it in an hour.

I'm sure I'm over-reacting, but you got me in a weak moment. But I do think you are way over-protective about your team.

2007-02-15 21:00:15
296.   Bob Timmermann
294
The FSN announcers say that ASU will be next year's WSU.

I think that's a tad optimistic.

2007-02-15 21:09:00
297.   LAT
TV character actors are even more "character actorish" than movie character actors because after all they couldn't break into the movies.

My vote for top TV character actor:

Hint: Rockford Files and Love Amercian Style. He even did a Monkees episode.

http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0546765/

P.S. It was going to be Berrnie Koppel but his appearences on 90210 and the Fresh Prince demonstrate a wanton lack of professional judgment.

2007-02-15 21:09:51
298.   Greg Brock
295 I don't know how to respond to that. Obviously, in the real world, USC/UCLA alliances mean very little. Good people are good people, and friendships extend well beyond college alliances. But your assertion that my passion for UCLA means that I'm some sort of reactionary is folly...I love my school, and I despise my rival. I make no excuses about that.

If you forget about rivalry losses within the hour, it says more about your lack of passion than it does my "reactionary" nature. I just really care about certain outcomes.

2007-02-15 21:25:56
299.   Marty
I knew I shouldn't have brought it up...
2007-02-15 21:27:17
300.   Greg Brock
Plus, since the Toaster is falling apart, I can say anything and you won't be able to respond for at least an hour.

Marty is wrong...Wrong Wrong Wrong...and his name tag says Mary!

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-02-15 21:27:50
301.   Bob Timmermann
Who won the USC-UCLA football game this year?

I forgot.

2007-02-15 21:30:03
302.   Bob Timmermann
Pac-10 basketball standings
1) UCLA
2) Washington State
3) USC
4) Stanford
5) Oregon
6) Arizona
7) Washington
8) Cal
9) Oregon State
10) Arizona State
2007-02-15 22:19:17
303.   Xeifrank
The Dodgers currently trail the Mets 3 games to 2 in the 2nd round of the Simulation Madness tournament. The Mets won the first three games, with ex-Dodgers doing most of the damage (Green and Valentin). The Dodgers rallied to win game four and rallied from a 6-0 deficit to win game 5. Game 6 starters are Schmidt vs Glavine, and Lowe vs Maine if a game 7 is necessario. Those games will have to wait until after I eat a bowl of ice cream. The winner faces the Braves in the quarter finals.
vr, Xei
2007-02-15 22:21:15
304.   D4P
303
Do the games take a long time to complete in the Simulatron, or do you just report the results slowly for dramatic effect...?
2007-02-15 22:31:10
305.   Greg Brock
304 Don't give Xeifrank a hard time. He allowed us to engage in an epic character actor conversation, and never once chastised us. For that, I am thankful.
2007-02-15 22:32:25
306.   ToyCannon
264
I think I hold the record for killing threads. I used to be paranoid that Jon would wait until I posted before he'd start a new thread or he'd start a new thread to save me the embarrassment of what I posted. I don't know why I'm even typing since Jon is probably crafting a new thread this very second and waiting for me to hit send. Actually I'm still paranoid....
2007-02-15 22:32:33
307.   D4P
305
That was a serious question. I get the impression that the simulations take a long time, which is surprising given the advanced state of technology.
2007-02-15 22:35:46
308.   Greg Brock
306 LOL. That's hilarious.
2007-02-15 22:39:20
309.   LAT
Man, I know I don't post as often as I used to but no love for Stuart Margolin. Not even a response to my dissing Siegfried & Doc.

Sheez, this is a tough room.

2007-02-15 22:41:46
310.   LAT
306. Being the Thread Killer is not as bad as my official title, Last One Out of the Pool. I'm the guy that keeps posting on a thread not knowing everyone has left for a new thread. I sit and wait for responses that never come.
2007-02-15 22:44:05
311.   Greg Brock
310 "New thread up top" doesn't give you guidance?
2007-02-15 22:45:46
312.   LAT
I'm the Janis Ian of DT.
2007-02-15 22:47:14
313.   LAT
311. I guess I miss it sometimes. Too bad Jon can't post it in big flashing letters.
2007-02-15 22:48:15
314.   Bob Timmermann
I learned the truth about threads at comment 17.
2007-02-15 22:48:51
315.   D4P
Jon doesn't always post "New thread up top."

Realistically, he doesn't need to specify "up top." I've yet to see a new thread down bottom.

2007-02-15 22:51:38
316.   Bob Timmermann
But the "up top" tells you where to look.

Or is your time so valuable that the extra two words are a detriment to you?

2007-02-15 22:54:19
317.   D4P
316
1. But there's never any ambiguity regarding where to look: we always look "up top."

2. Yes.

2007-02-15 22:55:20
318.   Andrew Shimmin
316- D4P uses pedantry to compensate for his sexual inadequacy.
2007-02-15 22:55:27
319.   Greg Brock
316 Just ignore D4P'S protestations. He's parsing the language, as is his wont.

Frankly, it's a big reason why I've taken Andrew's side in the D4P/Andrew wars. Well, that, and the character actor/Eckstein thing...

Big mistake, my friend.

2007-02-15 22:57:01
320.   Bob Timmermann
The AP story says the Cal fans rushed the court at home after beating Oregon.

I don't bring that up to mock our kind Duck alums, but I just thought it was very weird that Cal fans would get that worked up about such a win.

2007-02-15 22:58:17
321.   D4P
Frankly, it's a big reason why I've taken Andrew's side in the D4P/Andrew wars. Well, that, and the character actor/Eckstein thing...

Now that just didn't make sense.

2007-02-15 22:59:56
322.   Greg Brock
Oh, wow, it was Andrew that compared character actors to Eckstein.

Now I don't who to root for.

2007-02-15 23:00:03
323.   D4P
320
I agree. Just because the Ducks have been highly ranked for much of the season doesn't mean

1. That they're very good, or
2. That beating them (at home, no less) is some grand accomplishment.

Cal fans should act like beating Oregon is "old hat," because, well, it is.

2007-02-15 23:00:54
324.   Greg Brock
In the D4P/Andrew wars, I root for mutual destruction.
2007-02-15 23:03:31
325.   Andrew Shimmin
324- Hate world. Revenge soon. Take out everyone.

Ahhh! Garbage water!

2007-02-15 23:04:05
326.   underdog
265 Meet 207 for it was I who did indeed mention Walter Brennan earlier.

(Sorry, delayed reaction, had soccer game tonight, followed by watching The Office on Tivo, then 30 Rock, then my favorite Futurama episode, the "Snuu-Snuu/Amazon" one)

Obscure character actor to leave with: Akim Tamaroff.

2007-02-15 23:04:42
327.   Xeifrank
304. Each game takes 5-10 seconds to run, depending on which options I have selected.
Game 6 is about to start. Charlie Steiner is singing the simulated national anthem. Please remove your hats.
vr, Xei
2007-02-15 23:05:52
328.   underdog
PS: Post 326 was for Xei's enjoyment.
2007-02-15 23:07:33
329.   Bob Timmermann
I took off a simulated hat.
2007-02-15 23:09:21
330.   underdog
When the Rick Monday simulator comes on, please give us fair warning so we can leave the room.
2007-02-15 23:11:11
331.   Samuel
323

I think the main reason is because it's against a ranked team, plus it's also the first time we've (am I allowed to say we? I am a Cal student if that helps the decision making) won a game in a month or so.

2007-02-15 23:15:10
332.   Bob Timmermann
331
Pac-10 fans who would have been justified in rushing the court if the home team won tonight:

Arizona State

End of list

2007-02-15 23:16:18
333.   Xeifrank
Game 6: Jason Schmidt vs Tom Glavine
The Mets got off to a quick start as Moises Alou singled home Carlos Beltran in the bottom of the first inning.
The Dodgers scored two in the top of the 5th, to take a 2-1 lead on back to back RBI singles from Juan
Pierre and Rafael Furcal. The Dodgers then tacked on another run in the 6th inning on a solo HR from
Jeff Kent. In a contraversial move, Jason Schmidt was removed after 6 innings of 5 hit ball, 9 strikeouts,
3 walks and 102 pitches. Schmidt could be seen throwing his glove in the dugout after being taken out. Joe Beimel
who had not been out partying the night before gave up the game tying runs in the bottom of the 7th. The Mets then
won the game in the bottom of the 9th when Carlos Beltran doubled home ex-Dodger Paul LoDuca who was given the green
light to run on Juan Pierre and scored the game winning run in a giant cloud of heart and soul.
HRs: Kent(3), Reyes(1)
New York wins series 4-2
2007-02-15 23:19:06
334.   Samuel
332

I'm just mad that all of the games against good pac-10 teams that I've gone to watch, we've lost. The one game I choose not to go to, Cal decides to win. I think I'm a jinx. Looks like Cal's going to lose to Arizona on March 1st because I'm going to that game. Should I go to the game against Arizona St. so that they can get 1 win in the pac-10?

2007-02-15 23:19:20
335.   trainwreck
Our offense will be as bad as I expect if we cannot hit against the Mets' pitching.
2007-02-15 23:24:33
336.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, the year I was at Cal, I went to one home game at Harmon and Cal scored 9 points in the first half.

That was when Matt Beeuswaert was the star.

I think I have too many vowels in his name.

2007-02-15 23:25:02
337.   underdog
To paraphrase the theme song from Mystery Science Theater, "repeat to yourself it's just a simulator, I should breathe and just relax."
2007-02-15 23:26:39
338.   D4P
it's just a simulator

For one thing, I doubt it accounts for the impacts of Veteran Presence on scoring runs

2007-02-15 23:28:30
339.   Samuel
336

Google tells me it's spelled Matt Beeuwsaert

2007-02-15 23:29:09
340.   Samuel
339

I didn't mean to leave "Matt" in there, oops.

2007-02-15 23:39:24
341.   Bob Timmermann
That wasn't too bad.

I got "Matt" right.

And I got all the vowels right!

1987-88 was the season when Cal snapped its long losing streak to UCLA.

The fans rushed the court after that one and deservedly so. It was a lot easier to rush the court at Harmon Gym.

2007-02-16 00:00:47
342.   Samuel
341

The basketball team has been so mediocre/bad the 4 years that I've been here that I think Cal fans will look for almost any excuse to rush the court. I wish they'd fire Ben Braun already. I've watched our womens team play, and frankly, they run a better offense than our mens team.

2007-02-16 00:54:42
343.   GoBears
341. I was at that game. But that's the wrong season. It must have been 86-87. KJ's last year. Very sweet.

342. Sorry, but that's just crazy talk. Braun is just the coach that Cal needs. He's been extremely successful. The team is hurting this year because both of their centers ahve been injured all year, and Leon Powe, the all-everything PF, left early. Oh, and Ubaka stinks. Firing Braun is just about the worst thing they could do to the program. They guy is a class act, a good recruiter, and a very good coach. Cal won't do any better.

2007-02-16 02:11:16
344.   Samuel
343

Maybe growing up in SoCal watching UCLA make a run in the tournament every single year has spoiled me.

I'm just frustrated with all the hype that the Powe/Ubaka class came in with that all they ever achieved was one NCAA first round elimination. At best, two NCAA first round eliminations, but that'd require a miracle in the Pac-10 Tournament, and I don't see it happening.

2007-02-16 02:39:05
345.   Ken Arneson
I went to the last game at Harmon Gym. My wife and I sat next to Glenn Seaborg and his wife. Cal won. The Seaborgs didn't rush the court. Neither did we.
2007-02-16 04:16:19
346.   Ken Arneson
343 I agree: firing Braun is indeed crazy talk. He's the best coach Cal has ever had. He can behave well (unlike Campanelli) and win (unlike Kuchen) without cheating (unlike Bozeman). His teams play solid, fundamentally sound basketball. As far as this Cal alumnus is concerned, Braun can be coach for life if he wants.
2007-02-16 07:05:04
347.   Jon Weisman
Am I gathering that Samuel was spoiled by the Jim Harrick and Steve Lavin eras?
2007-02-16 07:21:12
348.   Bumsrap
Vegas to get an NBA team, that is after LA gets a NFL team.

The Las Vegas Craps will open the season against the LA Lakers in the new stadium formally known as Celene Dion's Place.

2007-02-16 07:29:39
349.   Penarol1916
346. Better than Pete Newell? Seriously?
2007-02-16 07:35:22
350.   Sam DC
Capitol Punishment takes a close look at Joel Hanrahan. http://tinyurl.com/3xe8fw
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-02-16 07:37:17
351.   Greg Brock
347 Nobody deserves to have Steve Lavin's name brought up this early in the morning.
2007-02-16 07:39:46
352.   Samuel
347

Sounds about right, but I don't recall much of the Harrick era at UCLA other than the championship in 95 and the lost to Princeton in the first round in 96. What Harrick and Lavin did in 1995-2002 at UCLA is way better than what I've seen during my years here at Cal. I've gone from wondering why my team can't make it further than the Sweet 16 in the Lavin years to wondering why my team can't make the tournament more often here at Cal. So in that sense, I was "spoiled" following UCLA while growing up.

2007-02-16 07:56:27
353.   ToyCannon
I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by this man 1 1/2 years ago. Nice interview
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5881

When I spout off about HGH and Steroids it is all based on the information he passed out.

2007-02-16 08:28:13
354.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA's 52-game winning streak against Cal ended on January 25, 1986 with a 75-67 win at Harmon.

The leading scorers for Cal were Dave Butler (23) and Kevin Washington (19).

2007-02-16 09:15:43
355.   Steve
Helloooooooo, Nurse!

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ranking-organizations/

2007-02-16 09:20:22
356.   Benaiah
355 - The problem with that article is it includes players like Aybar, Pedroza, Ruggiano and I assume Guzman. Still, it is good to be king.
2007-02-16 09:32:31
357.   Steve
Well, if everything was as it should be we would be number 1! That's, like, provisional number 1!
2007-02-16 09:39:13
358.   ssjames
I looked through this thread and the last one, as I haven't checked here in a couple of days, and it looks like no one has mentioned that Inside the Dodgers has posted BA's top 10 dodger prospect list. It really is interesting as one name totally jumps out at you for being somewhat out of place.

Here is the list

Top Dodger Prospects Entering 2007

1. Andy LaRoche
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Scott Elbert
4. James Loney
5. Tony Abreu
6. Ivan DeJesus Jr.
7. Jon Meloan
8. Blake DeWitt
9. Josh Bell
10. Preston Mattingly

2007-02-16 09:44:58
359.   bhsportsguy
358 Oh, we have tossed that around for a while, BA put that list out a while ago.

And don't get them started on Blake DeWitt.

2007-02-16 09:57:04
360.   Blaine
358 Where is Kemp? And if he is not listed because he is no longer a prospect, why is Loney on the list? Didn't Loney have more time in the bigs than kemp?
2007-02-16 10:13:37
361.   Jon Weisman
Kemp exceeded 150 PA; Loney didn't.
2007-02-16 10:24:33
362.   GoBears
354 Sounds right. I knew it was either my freshman or sophomore year. I'm pretty sure Washington's first name is Chris. He and Kevin Johnson were the backcourt.

Dave Butler's "little" brother Greg went to Jon's farm school, and despite being pretty bad, even rode pine for the Knicks for a few years (7'1"). They both went to my high school, and it was the mid 80s - I'll never forget watching Greg break dance. He used the WHOLE dance floor.

2007-02-16 10:28:39
363.   Bob Timmermann
Chris Washington and Kevin Johnson always morphed together when they were at Cal.
2007-02-16 10:34:25
364.   Jon Weisman
362 - Greg Butler was one of the least-popular players while I was at Stanford. He was tall but hated to play inside. He dated and eventually married once of my best friends from freshman year, someone who was part of the group I often went to Stanford basketball games with, which could make things awkward as Butler got razzed.
2007-02-16 10:37:58
365.   CajunDodger
358
It seems very optimistic, but the Dodgers could have quite the left-handed trio in the majors in 08 and 09 in Kuo, Elbert, and Kershaw. If we could somehow get Greg Miller back in the mix, that would be 4. He should be at Vegas this year unless I am mistaken.
2007-02-16 10:40:10
366.   Gen3Blue
Looks like LADugout.com is going to cristen Kershaw as no.1 prospect.
2007-02-16 10:54:03
367.   CanuckDodger
365 -- With the Dodgers deep in pitching at both the major league and minor league levels, I don't think Kershaw's timetable is going to be as accelerated as Billingsley's was, so I don't expect to see Kershaw in the majors till 2010. But in 2009, a rotation of Schmidt, Billingsley, Kuo, Elbert and Miller COULD be a reality.
2007-02-16 11:06:15
368.   CajunDodger
367
Since our minor leagues are fairly thinned out in the positional ranks when LaRoche and Kemp come up permanently, I would love to see Logan White work his magic and come up with an outfielder, a SS, and a catcher in this next draft. I can't imagine Hu being the answer we are looking for in 09 and beyond.
2007-02-16 11:08:14
369.   CajunDodger
367
On those same lines, Scout.com had a good article on Philip Hughes and the way the Yanks handled him the past two years to ensure that no Tommy John foolishness would be needed because of an abrupt increase in IP (a la Liriano).
2007-02-16 11:11:51
370.   Bob Timmermann
The Mets DFA'd Steve Schmoll to make room on the roster for Marcos Carvajal because they apparently had reached their quota of ex-Dodgers on the 40-man roster.
2007-02-16 11:14:14
371.   Jon Weisman
CanuckDodger talking to CajunDodger keeps me on my toes.
2007-02-16 11:25:07
372.   Penarol1916
368. Isn't that Akin fellow that the Dodgers drafted last year as a draft and follow supposed to be a pretty good shortstop? I wonder how things are going with him.
2007-02-16 11:30:47
373.   CanuckDodger
371 -- I was "CD" first. I'm filing a grievance for trademark infringement.
2007-02-16 11:37:05
374.   berkowit28
373 I was "CD" first. I'm filing a grievance for trademark infringement.

But (historically speaking) Cajuns were Canucks (well, pre-Canucks) first....

2007-02-16 11:42:08
375.   Bob Timmermann
373
You could each register in your own country. There is no such thing as an international trademark.

However CanuckDodger is doing business on a USA-hosted blog.

I will refer these questions to the DT Intellectual Property Law experts of Sam DC, Steve, as well as the Andrew Shimmin Commission.

2007-02-16 11:56:30
376.   underdog
Speaking of character actors (again), which one is the Dodgers new Las Vegas 51s manager most like?
http://tinyurl.com/26fh7p
I'd vote for Ernest Borgnine.

Not the prettiest manager I've ever seen.

2007-02-16 11:57:46
377.   underdog
372 Yah, I asked about Akin a coupla days ago, too. He's definitely one to watch, especially since he is a middle infielder. Lot of upside, but also pretty young. Will be awhile before we get a sense or see much of him...
2007-02-16 12:10:03
378.   Jon Weisman
New post.
2007-02-16 12:11:35
379.   Jon Weisman
378 - That looks and feels so terse.
2007-02-16 12:11:48
380.   underdog
... up top, you mean. ;-)

You're afraid that'll become your catchphrase. "Are you having a laugh? Is he having a laugh?"

2007-02-16 12:14:51
381.   Johnson
372 I hadn't heard of Akin, but if he was a draft-and-follow I can understand how he's not real high-profile. The weird thing is, if you look at the graphic in Steve's link at 355 (The Hardball Times minor league ranking system), Akin ranks - along with Elbert, Billingsley, Miller, Meloan, and Alexander - as one of our six "stud" pitchers. Hmm, also seems to indicate he's 25. I was wondering who this "Akin" stud pitcher was...looks like somebody goofed.
2007-02-16 12:16:00
382.   underdog
Akin was drafted out of (LA) high school, so he's only 18 or 19, not a pitcher and not yet a stud. So I'd say, yeah, someone goofed!
2007-02-16 12:16:49
383.   Ken Arneson
349 No, not seriously.
2007-02-16 12:16:49
384.   regfairfield
381 I think he means Nick Akins, not Brian Akin.
2007-02-16 12:20:10
385.   Johnson
Following up 381...looks like we do have a 25-yo Brian Akin who split time in Vero and Jacksonville last year with dominating numbers out of the pen. Bit old for the competition level, though. I would assume that the Akin draft-and-follow SS is a different guy.
2007-02-16 12:22:22
386.   Johnson
384 Thanks, reg, you beat me to it.

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