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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
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Lunchtime Morsels
2007-02-16 12:04
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Looks like the Times might be more aggressive this year in posting its Dodger notebooks online earlier in the day, rather than conceding Ken Gurnick of MLB.com dibs on first position. Before lunchtime on the West Coast, Steve Henson tells us that Takashi Saito was only musing about not returning to the U.S. this season as a negotiating ploy.

"From the beginning, I told my agent I wanted to re-sign with the Dodgers," he said Friday through a translator after taking a physical along with the rest of the team's pitchers and catchers.

"I never thought about what I would do if I didn't sign, because in my mind there was no other choice. I never thought about alternatives."

And he never pursued a multiyear deal.

"I haven't thought about anything past one year," he said. "We'll see where we end up, take a lot into consideration and see what happens.

"I didn't ask for a two-year deal. I played in Japan under multiyear contracts more than once and it didn't go well. I think a one-year deal keeps me motivated to challenge myself."

Henson adds that Mark Hendrickson is rebelling against the idea of being a reliever, and that Matt Kemp and Andy LaRoche are serious about trying to make the team from Day 1.

Kemp played winter ball in the Dominican Republic, adapting to the culture and finishing strong after a slow start. He was motivated by a deep slump during his call-up to the Dodgers when pitchers adjusted after he hit seven home runs in 82 June at-bats.

"I worked on hitting sliders in the D.R.," he said.

He also returned with lasting memories such as driving past 12-year-old boys playing a pickup baseball game in the street at 3 a.m.

"They have such love for baseball," he said. "It was amazing."

As a former child, that sounds fantastic to me. As a current parent, I'm going, "Whaaaa?" Sad, huh?

Meanwhile, MLB.com revealed that the Dodgers were the third-most popular pick to win the World Series in a survey of 30 MLB managers and general managers. And Janie McCauley of The Associated Press catches ex-Dodger Milton Bradley wondering if he'll ever have a breakout year instead of a breakdown year.

Update: Josh Rawitch at Inside the Dodgers expects Tony Jackson of the Daily News to blog more often during the day.

"While manager Grady Little plans to try Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre in the leadoff spot in spring training, he will settle on one or the other during the season," Jackson writes today. "Little said today that he won't switch them during the season based on who is pitching for the other team."

Comments (73)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-16 12:13:08
1.   D4P
I instinctively looked up top and found the new post...
2007-02-16 12:14:43
2.   underdog
I posted this on the previous thread but it's frightening enough to repost here...

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.

(Hey, does anyone know a good place to order LV 51s merchandise? The only stuff I see off their main site is a hat, a kids shirt and some junk.)

2007-02-16 12:23:31
3.   ToyCannon
Not being as instinctive as D4P I've been wandering the blog world looking for this "new post". Luckily I stumbled upon it as my oxygen was running low.
2007-02-16 12:25:21
4.   paranoidandroid
The wife has dilated 4 centimeters, has had contractions for a week with no labor yet. I think my son was waiting for spring training to start. I think he's arriving today or tomorrow at the latest.

Another baseball fan will be born very soon...

Go Blue!

2007-02-16 12:33:03
5.   Bob Timmermann
4
That's great news. Although I think you should be tending to business!
2007-02-16 12:37:47
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - Yea!
2007-02-16 12:38:18
7.   Benaiah
I love to hear that Laroche and Kemp are fired up and trying to make the team. If they somehow made their way into the starting lineup it could only help. Hopefully Hendrickson's wish to remain a starter will be granted and Washington or St. Louis or whereever enjoys his services.
2007-02-16 12:45:45
8.   Terry A
Will Tony Jackson be blogging pre-nap or post-nap this year? :-)
2007-02-16 12:50:27
9.   CanuckDodger
8 -- I'm a little worried about LaRoche now. He really sounds like he is not going to take starting the season in the minors well. Last year, after a spring training in which LaRoche apparently rubbed Colletti the wrong way and gave Colletti the idea LaRoche has an "entitlement" attitude, LaRoche was sent back to Double A (where he finished 2005) instead of Triple A and he spent all of April performing terribly, perhaps sulking about being back in Double A.

Kemp I don't think will be a problem, as he surely can see that the Luis Gonzalez signing was a clear message to him that the Dodgers were just filling his spot temporarily. But Betemit is a young player, whom LaRoche will to take more seriously as a threat to his long-term future with the Dodgers. Perhaps Colletti wants LaRoche to perceive such a threat, to see how LaRoche faces the challenge.

2007-02-16 12:53:09
10.   Xeifrank
4. As a former newborn, all I can say is "Way to go Dad!!".
vr, Xei
2007-02-16 12:55:25
11.   Steve
Josh Rawitch at Inside the Dodgers expects Tony Jackson of the Daily News to blog more often during the day.

Why does the happy taste like sad?

2007-02-16 12:57:00
12.   paranoidandroid
Thank you all. No active labor yet, just totally anxious at work, waiting for the call. We've had four false alarms so I just don't know how to calm down or what to expect. The first time her water broke and it was a done deal, off to the delivery room. This time is hard to figure out.

The best part is that I have a 2 1/2 year old also. So we only need to buy two tickets and our family of four can go to Opening Day! I predict Betemeit on third in April.

2007-02-16 12:57:30
13.   Terry A
And congratulations (in advance) to paranoidandroid, of course.
2007-02-16 13:00:39
14.   Bob Timmermann
I was never a newborn and I sprung fully grown from my father's thigh, like Minerva.
2007-02-16 13:03:20
15.   Terry A
For what it's worth, I've heard that Schrutes produce very thirsty babies.
2007-02-16 13:04:43
16.   underdog
Congrats indeed! I hope you have a bouncing baby android soon enough!

Speaking of babies, I hope the talk of LaRoche from last year quickly becomes irrelevant this year, that he shows maturity and drive, and if he starts at AAA that he can rise above it, bring himself to the majors soon enough. Either that or we trade him and Hendy to Baltimore for Markakis or, I dunno, Melvin Mora. Just sayin'!

2007-02-16 13:09:42
17.   Disabled List
Whatever trade value Mark Hendrickson had just evaporated. I expect a deal for a minor league infielder will be made before April.
2007-02-16 13:14:08
18.   Steve
I assumed that was Henson's idea of a joke.
2007-02-16 13:18:06
19.   underdog
Why did it change, just because he wants to be a starter? I don't think that should affect things one way or the other. Again, this is assuming he has any trade value in the first place (which as a left handed starter who showed some signs of life at the end of the season, as a reliever though... he might have some for a desperate team.)
2007-02-16 13:18:19
20.   regfairfield
I really hope one of the G.Ms in our division said this:

"The only thing their lineup lacks is power hitters, but they have so much speed and so much experience that they could be a team that's good enough to win the World Series."

2007-02-16 13:24:59
21.   Penarol1916
14. Minerva sprung from her father's head, you may be confusing her with Dionysus, who spent time in his father's thigh before being born.
2007-02-16 13:35:33
22.   Benaiah
17 - Why do you say that? I think wanting to be a starter wouldn't make you less valuable.
2007-02-16 13:44:42
23.   LAT
Ha! Did you guys see all those saps that posted on the old thread after Jon said "New thread." What's the matter with them? ;-)
2007-02-16 13:44:42
24.   Bob Timmermann
21
I always get my Greek/Roman stories of parthenogenesis confused.
2007-02-16 13:45:09
25.   das411
4 - Congratulations!

20 - Hmm does he wear orange and black to work and go by the initials BS?

Interesting comment in one of the Phila papers today, I don't think I have seen this noticed anywhere else yet:

"Fox will televise a game each Saturday this season. Four teams are scheduled to be on nine times each: the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs... and your Philadelphia Phillies. That's more than the Dodgers, Angels, defending world champion Cardinals, defending AL champion Tigers and Mets, each penciled in for eight appearances."

2007-02-16 14:02:38
26.   berkowit28
23 That must be because it didn't say "new post UP TOP". ;-) They probably thought Jon was just muttering to himself...
2007-02-16 14:06:23
27.   Steve
If it's not Jim Hendry, I will come on here and spread a virulently silly character assassinating rumor about a Dodger rookie.
2007-02-16 14:07:59
28.   CajunDodger
20
My brother and I just had a long discussion on whether Furcal or Pierre should bat lead-off. My theory is that Pierre should fit in well at the 2 because he would be nearly impossible to double up. That would take away all those bunt hits he is famous for...
2007-02-16 14:09:09
29.   trainwreck
Jon doing his best to channel Moe from the Simpsons. Whaaaa?
2007-02-16 14:10:11
30.   CajunDodger
Question for the stat-minded among you. Is there a stat that, in effect, deducts points from AVG or OBP to penalize caught stealing? My theory is that Pierre's OBP should actually be about 5-10 points worse because of the outs he creates on the basepaths.

Is that logic flawed?

2007-02-16 14:10:15
31.   gpellamjr
24 It's easy just remember "Dio-nysus"... It means "boy from Zeus' knee". See how easy?

Of course it was rather Athena who was born from the head of her father, not Minerva. That was a Greek story applied later by Roman poets to their Gods. Of course, if you don't believe in either set of deities, then I suppose the distinction is like that between the modern king of France and American democracy.

2007-02-16 14:20:07
32.   trainwreck
I think Kemp is going to have a real hard time making it, unless Gonzo or some other outfielder gets hurt. LaRoche just needs to do real well and for Betemit to look absolutely awful and he has a chance to make the team. I am really hoping that they make this team.
2007-02-16 14:21:15
33.   Jon Weisman
30 - Try EQA for starters.
2007-02-16 14:23:34
34.   underdog
32 "unless Gonzo or some other outfielder gets hurt." <-- key phrase to remember
2007-02-16 14:25:36
35.   Benaiah
32 - I don't think Kemp has that tough a row to hoe, he could easily make the team on the bench. That is what he got called up for last year. If he hits the cover off the ball in spring training it is going to be tough for Ned to send him down to the farm.
2007-02-16 14:32:22
36.   trainwreck
I hope if we keep Kemp, it is not to let him sit on the bench unless we are going to flat out platoon him and Gonzo.
2007-02-16 14:36:42
37.   CajunDodger
35
Was there anyone who fit that description last year? I am trying to think if the Dodgers had someone they invited that was lights out but did not make the team. Wasn't Loney like this?

Kemp and Marlon Anderson are probably linked. They would not do anything with Repko because of his defense. Anderson would be easy to ship because we aren't paying anything for him.

Hmmmmm...sorry, this post is me thinking out loud.

2007-02-16 14:44:23
38.   bhsportsguy
34 This could always change but both Pierre and Gonzalez have been very injury free in their careers up to now.
2007-02-16 14:44:55
39.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't mean to get all Lou Dobbsy, here, but, why does the AP need to go all the way to China for its soothsaying? I'm totally available, AP. Give me a ring!

http://tinyurl.com/38wtu2

2007-02-16 14:45:00
40.   hotblackdesiato
2 - I'm thinking maybe Tracy Morgan?
2007-02-16 14:52:53
41.   Bumsrap
From the WSJ no less.

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117158330865310424-A8_XTFxQ23Qan44pO6mPESeErlQ_20080216.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

A New Study Shows
How Baseball Myths
Can Hurt the Game
February 16, 2007; Page B1

Here is the first paragraph hoping that one paragraph is not too much to paste here.

After St. Louis won the 2006 World Series, you'd think fans in small cities would stop grousing that major-market teams have a built-in edge. Should any of you not be inclined to concede error, economist J.C. Bradbury is ready to regale you with statistics, regression analysis and Cartesian plots to prove mathematically that, while big-market baseball teams win more than small-market teams do, market size explains only part of the differential.

2007-02-16 14:56:58
42.   Bumsrap
I would like to think that Colletti has put a team together to get through May and that he plans to then put the best players on the field regardless of contract or experience.
2007-02-16 15:00:14
43.   Bumsrap
38
It is nice to have veterans on the bench and Anderson, Gonzo, and Pierre are going to look great there.

As for Tomko and Hendrickson they will be hidden in the bullpen so it matters less how good they look there.

2007-02-16 15:00:25
44.   Bob Timmermann
41
The first paragraph is fine to post, but that URL is a killer.
2007-02-16 15:01:22
45.   trainwreck
Clemens now says its 80% chance he will retire.
2007-02-16 15:02:47
46.   Andrew Shimmin
A lot of people here use tinyurl.com to reduce the size of those format-killing links. I've got a wide screen, so it doesn't bother me at all. But not everything is about me.
2007-02-16 15:05:43
47.   D4P
45
Is that up or down from the previous figure?

46
I've got a wide screen

Well lah-dee-dah

2007-02-16 15:07:23
48.   trainwreck
47
Everything I previously heard, said he was going to play so I guess it is up.
2007-02-16 15:12:32
49.   underdog
47 "lah-dee-dah"

D4P = Annie Hall?

2007-02-16 15:18:17
50.   D4P
The only "Woody Allen" movie I've ever seen is "Match Point."
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-16 15:21:24
51.   Xeifrank
Now that the "Hot Stove" is pretty much over it's interesting to turn back the clock a few months and review some of the early analysis and predictions. I saved the analysis that Nate made last October a few weeks after the season was over. It's interesting to see how he nailed the Schmidt contract and how he nailed how a crazy contract would be given to Pierre. Sorry if it takes up alot of Toaster bandwidth.
vr, Xei
========================================
free agent signings

1. Jason Schmidt 3years 40.5 million. 4th year team option for 13.5 million, automatically vests if Schmidt piches 360 innings in last two years of contract.

reason: Schmidt is one of the few front of the rotation pitchers available. The contract has him for his age 34-36 years and yes its a risk but the reward is worth it. Although there is this perception that he isnt reliable to take the mound, he has made at least 29 starts each year since 2002 while averaging 200 2/3 IP each year with an OPS+ of 113. and that statistic is skewed by his 2005 year where he was working his way back from injury.

2. Win bid for LHP Kei Igawa 9.5 million. Sign Igawa to a 4year 14.5 million contract.
07- 1.5, 08- 3.0, 09- 4.5, 10- 5.5

The winning bid would be amortized over the life of the contract. the 2007 money that would be counted towards the payroll will be 3.875M (1.5 base + 2.375M amortized bidding fee).

reason: With the mid tier starters market in the US looking to be drastically overpaid, i wanted to look at other options that could be just as good as the US Market. Igawa doesnt project to be anything more then a #3 starter , which is what i wanted anyways to throw 200IP and slot behind lowe and schmidt. The chances that he turns into another kaz ishii are slim IMO. His control is vastly superior to Ishii. I think it could be a good buy and it wont cost a draft pick.

3. Octacvio Dotel 1 year base of 1.75million with IP incentives to reach 5 million

reason: Again, I think the gamble is worth it. as a large market team, these are the types of gamble we should be taking considering the return could potentially be great. Dotel was an elite reliever. if he could come back at 85% of his previous dominance the salary would be worth it.

4. Eric Gagne, one year base of 3 million, IP incentives to reach 8 million, 2008 club option for 9million that automatically vests if Gagne reaches 60IP in 2007.

reason: same reason as dotel. higher base and higher incentives because his potential reward is greater. The 2ndyr option is thrown in there just because hes gagne and it might mean a bit more to team to see his old team believe in him a little. Gagne probably wont sign until late january, so the other moves will be done far in advance. getting gagne would just be icing on the cake.

5. Sal Fasano 800k contract

reason: toby hall is traded (you'll see in a sec), and we need a vet backup catcher. Also, the power of the 'stache will guide this team to the world series. better believe it.

trades

1. Dodgers Trade Brad Penny, Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall to the Phillies for Pat Burrell, Ryan Madsen and Gavin Floyd.

why phillies do the trade: they dont like burrell over there. they view burrell as unclutch with too many strikeouts to go with his bloated salary. They do not appreciate his excellent walk rates and consistent 30homerun power. They will look around and realize that Brad Penny, the starter for the NL in the 2006 ASG (!!!) will the best pitcher they can acquire..but it will come with a price. the price is to take the dodgers other trash to go along with penny. The Phillies say thats fine since they are replacing Burrell with soriano anyways, they get at least a #3 starter signed for a bargain this market for the next 2 years, two decent middle relievers who can spot start if the need arises, and a catcher who replaced lieberthal and could possibly start as well. a rotation of myers, hamels, penny, liber and moyer is a strong one and Gillick realizes that.

why the dodgers do it: they need a power hitter, plain and simple. Going on the free agent market, the two power hitters available (lee and soriano) will require contracts of up to 6 years maybe. The dodgers do not want to be saddled with the risk that comes with contracts that long. they target burrell as the good but not great bat, signed to a modest two years at a salary that compared to the market, reflects market value. By signing Schmidt and winning the bid for Igawa, the Dodgers surplus of pitchers allows them to trade one. Not wanting to give up the two young cheap arms in billz and kuo, they choose to keep lowe over penny due to lowe's consistency and health history. To go along with Burrell, the dodgers recieve two arms who have had their ups and down in the majors. Both arms will get a chance to win a bullpen spot or start the year in AAA vegas and be called up if there is an injury to the rotation or bullpen.

2. Dodgers trade Tony Abreu, Eric Stults and Mark Alexander to the Nationals for OF Ryan Church

why the Nationals Do it: From the way Bowden has handled Church, it seems to the outside obersever that management doesnt really like Church. Abreu is a solid MIF prospect that will eventually take over for Vidro at 2b. Stults gives them a lefty arm that can battle for a rotation spot and Mark Alexander is a sleeper. he put up amazing numbers in AA and Bowden hopes he can carry that production to the majors.

why the dodgers do it: Looking at the CFer market, the dodgers shrug their heads and roll their eyes. Crazy contracts given out to slap happy hitters such as pierre and roberts persuade the dodgers to pursue other options. they come to church, a 28/29 outfielder who can play all 3 outfield positions and when given the chance, shown he can produce at the big league level. Dodger scouts and defensive metrics convince the brass that he can play a decent enough CF to go along with his bat. they trade from an excess pool of talent to land somebody to man CF in 2007 and allow Kemp to work on some things a bit in AAA for the beginning of 2007.

Starting Lineup
SS Raffy Furcal 13M
CF Ryan Church .4M
LF Pat Burrell 13M
2B Jeff Kent 10M
RF Andre Ethier .4M
3b Wilson Betemit .45M
C Russ Martin .4M
1b James Loney .4M

Total: 38.05 M

Bench
C Sal Fasano .8M
OF/INF Marlon Anderson .45M
1b/3b Olmedo Saenz 1M
MIF Ramon Martinez .8M
4th OF Jason Repko .45M
5th OF Jayson Weth .45M

Total: 3.95 M

Starting Pitchers
RHP Jason Schmidt 13.5M
RHP Derek Lowe 9.5M
LHP Kei Igawa 3.875M
RHP Chad Billingsley .4M
LHP Hong Chih Kuo .4M

Total: 27.675 M

Bullpen
RH Takashi Saito 3M (Estimated 1yr contract)
RH Eric Gagne 3M (8mil if all incentives reached)
RH Jonathan Broxton .4M
RH Octavio Dotel 1.75M (3mill if all incentives reached)
LH Joe Beimel .4M
RH Elmer Dessens 0M (KC paying salary)

Total: 16.8M (if all incentives are reached)

Dead Salary
Bill Mueller 4.5M
Odalis Perez 8M

Total: 12.5M

TOTAL 25 MAN ROSTER PAYROLL: 98.975 M

I think this team will be highly competive in the NL west next year. I expect this team to win the west and the progress of our younger players and the health of gagne and dotel will dictate how far we go in the playoffs. I also think this plan doesnt hurt our future. We only lose one draft pick for next year by signing Schmidt, but we could potentially gain 3 draft picks from Drew (angels), Lugo (red sox), and Maddux (cardinals?).

2007-02-16 15:22:53
52.   Andrew Shimmin
Sometimes I think D4P is a composite character that a group of sad and lonely undergrads are perpetrating on the world. Like Michiko Kakutani.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/1999/01/23michiko.html

2007-02-16 15:24:00
53.   underdog
50 D, you're kidding?!

Start with his 1970s films and end in the 80s (except for Bullets Over Broadway) and you're set. I still quote from Love and Death and Annie Hall.

2007-02-16 15:26:26
54.   trainwreck
Barry Zito's new delivery looks funky. I can see why the Giants are upset about it.
2007-02-16 15:28:22
55.   D4P
52
People on the ESPN board used to think I was some kind of psychologist conducting research through message boards such.

53
I never liked what I saw of his personality. He bugged me. Plus, I can't stand Diane Keaton, and I got the impression that she was a "Woody Allen" actress.

2007-02-16 15:31:52
56.   Andrew Shimmin
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Diane Keaton. Fine. But Mariel Hemingway, too!
2007-02-16 15:36:04
57.   Steve
55 -- If so, it's of the nickel store variety.
2007-02-16 15:36:43
58.   D4P
And the fact that he has apparently added "Scar-Jo" to his cadre doesn't help either.
2007-02-16 15:37:18
59.   D4P
57
Hey, I took a political psychology class! At Duke!
2007-02-16 15:45:39
60.   Steve
That makes you overqualified.
2007-02-16 15:46:54
61.   D4P
overqualified

El cuento de mi vida...

2007-02-16 16:44:07
62.   underdog
58 Well in fairness he at least didn't play her lover in the last one; appropriately, he was a loser magician who pretends to be her father. I got creeped out in Deconstructing Harry when his character dated Elizabeth Shue, ick. But anyway, each to their own.
2007-02-16 16:56:44
63.   underdog
I killed the thread with Woody Allen talk. Oh well. Beats Juan Pierre talk.

So... happy President's Day Weekend everyone, and here's to some fun, healthy spring training news next week (I mean healthy literally, too).

2007-02-16 16:58:35
64.   underdog
Man, I really am feeling for the Nationals these days.

http://tinyurl.com/25vy7q

2007-02-16 17:02:58
65.   Bumsrap
44
The hardest part of that long url is trying to remember it and then retype it. Usually I miss one or two characters and have to totally retype it from memory again.
2007-02-16 17:03:44
66.   Disabled List
Important question: Can anyone recommend a decent fantasy baseball site? I'm fed up with Yahoo, but I still want a free league, or at least one that's not too expensive.

Much appreciate the help...

2007-02-16 17:10:31
67.   Bumsrap
66
http://tinyurl.com/26yf2e
2007-02-16 17:17:24
68.   Andrew Shimmin
65- You don't need to retype links. Just block it (highlight it with your mouse), copy it by clicking CTRL-C (or, right click, then click COPY) and paste it, by clicking CTRL-V (or right clicking, again, and clicking PASTE) when the cursor is blinking where you want to insert the link.
2007-02-16 17:18:36
69.   Andrew Shimmin
68- Unless you were teasing, in which case, I'm a nerd. But, you wouldn't be the first person who didn't know that little shortcut.
2007-02-16 17:24:37
70.   underdog
Or this shortcut works:
http://tinyurl.com/
or: http://tinyurl.com/lybnk

And now I feel like I'm gonna url, so I better take a break from the computer for a bit. Cheers!

2007-02-16 18:00:15
71.   Bob Timmermann
The crime against Jae Seo is avenged.

News on the Griddle.

2007-02-16 18:08:49
72.   Jon Weisman
Yea, Bob!

Up top, new post.

2007-02-16 18:49:09
73.   Vishal
is there video of zito's new delivery on the web somewhere?

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