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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Forget the Cold Medicine - What About Kuo's Arm?
2007-03-13 06:59
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The more worrisome kernel of news in the Hong-Chih Kuo saga is that his Chinese Taipei Baseball Association manager said he held Kuo out of the Asian Games final because Kuo had a sore arm (according to the Times and the Press-Enterprise).

Kevin Baxter of the Times writes that U.S. Olympians Derrick Turnbow and Termel Sledge were not penalized for failing banned-substance tests in 2003, and indicates that Kuo's test at the Asian Games shouldn't cause him any trouble unless it leads to him taking and failing a "probable-cause" MLB test.

However, even as Kuo emerges as a slight favorite in the fifth-starter race for the Dodgers (if only because the Dodgers still fear using him as a reliever, according to Tony Jackson of the Daily News), we are reminded of Kuo's physical vulnerability.

When it comes to the competition for the open spot in the starting rotation, the Dodgers do seem to be giving the kids (Kuo and Chad Billingsley) every due consideration against the veterans (Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson and Joe Mays). They seem to understand that the kids' potential to be above-average is real.

With more than one pitcher sporting low ERAs as they face March's combination of major and minor leaguers, the choice could come down to efficiency. And so when Tomko zipped through three innings in 37 pitches Monday, leaving the game with so much strength that he threw another inning on the side, according to Al Balderas of the Register, that's the kind of thing that could tip the scales.

Keep in mind, however, that the battle right now is just to make the roster, since Opening Week won't see the Dodgers use a fifth starter. That virtually eliminates Joe Mays from the competition, since his making the team would require the Dodgers not only to cut loose Hendrickson but also knock two pitchers or a pitcher and a position player into the minors. Short of injuries or trades, that just won't happen.

Where Tomko and Hendrickson have an advantage is that the Dodgers can't sent either to the minors. Three of the remaining four leading candidates should make it to Milwaukee for Opening Day: Hendrickson (though he has been the least impressive of the pitchers we're discussing here) and Tomko would be on that list for sure.

That leaves Kuo and Billingsley battling to make the 25-man roster if there are no further transactions, and these two scenarios:

1) Among the three that make the roster - Hendrickson, Tomko and Billingsley/Kuo, the one who pitches best out of the bullpen once the regular season begins becomes the fifth starter.

2) Kuo is designated the fifth starter by the end of Spring Training, is sent down to Las Vegas to stay on a starting pitcher's schedule during the first week, then is called up by the Dodgers just in time to make the No. 5 starter's first start.

Whatever the outcome, let's just hope Kuo stays healthy.

Update: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports checks in on Eric Gagne's Spring Training debut:

He threw 11 pitches to the bottom of the Brewers' numerical roster and then said, "It's the best I've felt in the last two years." It's the kind of thing he's said for a while now, usually in the hours before something really terrible happens.

Knees, elbows and backs generally weren't built for Gagne's chosen pursuit or high-exertion delivery, and Gagne got big and good at a time when a lot of ballplayers were getting unusually big and good. He has denied those sorts of insinuations and worked diligently to push through all of his various aches and scars, often citing his responsibility to teammates and organization as sources of deep frustration.

Indeed, Gagne's terminal flaw in L.A. was his unwillingness to divulge even the minor irritations before they became major and Jobe actually began sharpening his scalpel. ...

He would start over as a Ranger with a fastball that brought no one to his feet. Gagne threw it with some effort, a muffled "grrch" carrying through the first rows of the ballpark. Gillespie took it for a strike.

Through three Brewers batters – the third one announced by Rangers manager Ron Washington as the "last hitter," no matter how it turned out – Gagne topped out at 90. He threw a couple changeups, three curveballs and none of the sliders he's been toying with early in camp.

Gagne walked the third batter, received the ball back and stood on the mound as his teammates headed to the dugout.

"That's it?" he asked.

When Washington nodded, Gagne joined them, flexing his fingers as if recreating the curveballs that had missed the strike zone.

In the stands, a scout also nodded.

"You can tell he's healthy," he said. "How much is going to come out of his arm, I don't know." ...

Update 2: Will Carroll writes at Baseball Prospectus:

(Gagne's) command and control were both notably absent, he threw more balls than strikes, and according to one observer, "he didn't really know where the ball was going." The same source said that despite this, the difference between the fastball and changeup was very good, so there's your positive.

Comments (155)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-13 08:21:35
1.   Benaiah
I wouldn't mind if Kuo and Billingsley both spent time in the bullpen if it meant keeping their innings down. Kuo only pitched a little more than 100 innings last year, while Billingsley pitched 160. Chad is probably a little closer to being able to handle a full workload, but I don't see Kuo pitching even what Billingsley did last year.

I live in Chicago, and here we have the Cubs, who had three number one starters (talent wise anyway) turn into one ace and two injury wild cards. Hopefully by being conservative the Dodgers can avoid a similar fate.

2007-03-13 08:35:45
2.   JoeyP
Joe Mays will pull a Jose Lima.

Or he wont.

2007-03-13 08:41:42
3.   Steve
One of the networks should offer Hendrickson a pilot about a gentle giant who returns home to teach sculpting at his local community college and call it Hendrickson, DFA.
2007-03-13 09:05:30
4.   goblue1
Im done with Tomko after last Aug/September when he cost us 5 games in a 2 week span.

Can he get hot for a while? Heck yea.

But.... stuff has never been the issue.

2007-03-13 09:17:04
5.   Benaiah
Furcal is back baby!

http://tinyurl.com/3co89x

2007-03-13 09:23:54
6.   Jacob L
1 I hear ya, but there's a bit of wiggle room between being cautious and being the Cubs (old regime).

I just wonder, in Kuo's case, if there's much point in being extra cautious. The likelihood of future injury trouble is high, so perhaps its a smoke em while you got em situation.

2007-03-13 09:32:23
7.   Benaiah
"Scrubs" is definitely back for 7th season, but it may be on ABC. Some blogs I read (filmfreakcentral for one) actively hate "Scrubs" and campaign against it, but it is still alright with me.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/03/13/television.law.reut/index.html

2007-03-13 09:52:41
8.   Jon Weisman
7 - Also, NBC has moved 30 Rock up the Thursday totem pole. I'm speculating, but I think you could see Andy Barker replace Scrubs on NBC next season.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117961034.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

2007-03-13 09:54:32
9.   Bob Timmermann
I already watched the pilot of Andy Barker on iTunes (it was free), but I will reserve judgment until more learned people tell me what to think.
2007-03-13 09:56:52
10.   Jon Weisman
Real quote (MLB.com):

"A guy hitting 50-60 homers ... that's great, but that still leaves him with 500-some at-bats when he isn't hitting them," reasons Juan Pierre, now with the Dodgers and one of the best contemporary setup hitters. "So the home run is great, but just the chances of it happening aren't that great.

Fake quote:

"A guy stealing 50-60 bases ... that's great, but that still leaves him with 500-some at-bats when he isn't stealing them," reasons Fill in the Blank, now with the Blanks and one of the best contemporary home run hitters. "So the stolen base is great, but just the chances of it happening aren't that great.

2007-03-13 10:06:52
11.   Jon Weisman
Some more reviews of Eric Gagne's performance yesterday in an update to this post.
2007-03-13 10:07:48
12.   D4P
A guy hitting 200 singles...that's great, but that still leaves 500 ABs when he's making outs.
2007-03-13 10:36:40
13.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Kuo's inning is an issue, but then again, the guy is going to turn 26, how long do you have to keep building him up? if he's on, he's on, and use him.

Strange though, last ST he was doing just great, showing great k/9 and good control... then he completely went wild in the pen, this year he isn't actually as dominant stats wise (sample size alert...) and is wilder, wonder what that translate into in season. maybe it's a case where he's more into slowly building up this time instead of pressing?

2007-03-13 10:38:26
14.   Jon Weisman
I'm all for using Kuo while you can - that was my stance last year as well. I'm just hopeful that "while you can" lasts longer than April.
2007-03-13 10:58:44
15.   goblue1
The "smoke'em while you got'em" theory can also be applied to Nomar playing 3B.
2007-03-13 11:07:24
16.   Xeifrank
The 5th starter spot is there for the taking for Guo. It's still early in ST, but his control and lack of strikeouts has me a little worried. He's going to have to have atleast one very impressive outing to win the 5th starter job. Guo hasn't given up very many hits, one of them was a HR. It's the 6 walks and only 2 Ks that bothers me. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's only spring training and we are dealing with small sample sizes and pitchers and hitters working on conditioning. Tomko has pitched very well so far and has thrown his name into the 5th starter hat. I am leaning towards some of the thoughts Jon had the other day, about trades being made and players put on the DL, in order to fit everybody in. I am not sure about the comment in #1 about Guo's innings. I don't have the data at my hands, but you have to keep in mind the innings he threw at AAA, MLB and at the Asian Games, when doing the tally.
vr, Xei
2007-03-13 11:09:45
17.   Bumsrap
15 The "smoke'em while you got'em" theory can also be applied to Nomar playing 3B.

I am on my to the store to spend $5.25 on a pack of Camels to give to Grady and Ned. I wonder if the $5.25 includes tax or due to production and growing technology improvements cigaretts still cost $0.25 and there is now $5 tax on each pack?

2007-03-13 11:12:29
18.   Yu-Hsing Chen
16 not to meantion the WBC.... not to meantion, if you keep him in the pen, how the hell do you build up mroe than 100 inning without throwing him out there almost everyday?
2007-03-13 11:22:19
19.   underdog
Wow, is Lowe effective today or what? Still in there, in the 5th inning, just now about to hit 50 pitches.
2007-03-13 11:22:52
20.   underdog
Oops, spoke too soon. Two hits by the Tigers, and a run. Guess that's about it for Lowe. Still, he seemed pretty sharp most of the game.
2007-03-13 11:25:42
21.   Jon Weisman
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2007-03-13 11:28:38
22.   underdog
21 "sharp wit"? That proves Barry Bonds didn't take the stuff!
2007-03-13 11:28:48
23.   Blaine
So now both Jon's kid and Jon are not going to be able to be on the opening day roster.
2007-03-13 11:31:28
24.   LAT
9. The "I don't like to vote until I know the outcome of the election approach." ;-)
2007-03-13 11:31:53
25.   Benaiah
16, 18 - Those are including his minor league stats, but not his Asian Game stats (which must be somewhat limited). Last year he pitched 113 innings, but his best year before that (2005) he pitched ~60 innings. I am not saying don't use him, only that I hope he stays around 130-150 innings pitched this year, with somewhat frequent breaks.
2007-03-13 11:34:56
26.   JoeyP
Lowe's line today:
5ip 5h 1R 0Bb 2ks.

Betemit is now 4-27 this spring. If LaRochce was playing better, I think he'd have a shot at starting at 3rd base.

2007-03-13 11:38:31
27.   LAT
"It's the best I've felt in the last two years."

The more Gagne talks the less I miss him. I am grateful for his years here and hold no grudge. But credibility is an issue. I've moved on, at least most of the way, now.

2007-03-13 11:42:02
28.   Xeifrank
18. You're preaching to the choir. I'm not only a member, I'm the founder.

25. 150-170 IPs is what I'd like to see. If Guo is not capable of that, then he has little value as a starter imho.

vr, Xei

2007-03-13 11:42:21
29.   underdog
Tsao's in there; just blew away Hooper for the 2nd out. This guy looks incredible. I really hope he's on the team, if not to start the season, then early on after we trade Tomko or Dessens or Hendy. :-)
2007-03-13 11:45:31
30.   CajunDodger
26
Send LaRoche to AAA, give Betemit 2-4 weeks in the 7-hole to prove he can at least catch a ball and hit .250. If not, I think that Grady will have him on a very short leash.
2007-03-13 11:47:34
31.   underdog
Tsao strikes out Shelton, too.

30 I agree.
I also think Betemit appears to be playing better the last few games (got a double today; fielded well) and think he could turn it around before the season even starts. I'd be a little patient with him - but only a little.

A Grady Little. (Sorry, I'm losing it... need coffee...)

2007-03-13 11:48:35
32.   D4P
The problem with Ned trading Tomko/Hendrickson:

1. Ned will trade them for bad players
2. When one of the remaining starters get hurt, Ned will trade good players for another Tomko/Hendrickson clone

Net result of keeping Tomko/Hendrickson:
1. We're stuck with Tomko/Hendrickson
2. We don't gain bad players
3. We don't lose good players

Net result of trading Tomko/Hendrickson:
1. We get rid of Tomko/Hendrickson
2. We gain bad players
3. We lose good players

2007-03-13 11:50:28
33.   D4P
This team has warning track power
2007-03-13 11:50:32
34.   bhsportsguy
I know its only one year in the books but generally how do folks here feel about Grady as he enters year two of selling Jiffy Lube and managing the Dodgers on the side?
2007-03-13 11:51:04
35.   underdog
I don't care that much who they trade those guys for; I just want spots open for the young guys I'd rather see pitch.

Maybe they can get some good A or AA players to have for later. But yeah, the Dodgers won't get a top line power hitter for Tomkrickson.

2007-03-13 11:52:05
36.   bhsportsguy
32 There is someone here that would say that you could not possibly get back a worse player than Hendrickson in return.

He may be typing something as I submit this.

2007-03-13 11:54:04
37.   D4P
Having to trade good players later to replace Tomrickson is a bigger concern than getting bad players in return for them. That being said, however, it's also conceivable that the bad players received in return could take PT away from the young players we hope to see more of.
2007-03-13 11:55:54
38.   bhsportsguy
BTW, Jon would probably agree that Tsao represents his theory of never signing high priced (for them) free agent middle relievers, there are always guys like Tsao (and Seanez) around.
2007-03-13 11:59:16
39.   kngoworld
Getting rid of Tomrickson for some young low level prospects would be the best bet. It gets our young guys playing time and doesnt mean we have to use "bad players" when the injurys come.
2007-03-13 12:00:10
40.   still bevens
A Martinez needs to go out for sandwiches more often. I was enjoying Vegas guy's solo calling of the game.
2007-03-13 12:03:41
41.   kngoworld
I hope the Dodgers' PA announcer this year stops coming up with his "clever Tag Lines" for A Martinez this year during the Coca Cola prize pack quiz.
2007-03-13 12:07:26
42.   underdog
La Roche and Valdez couldn't catch a pop-up, La Roche gets an error, their miscommunication leads to two runs scoring. Game tied. Good thing this is spring training.
2007-03-13 12:09:08
43.   bhsportsguy
Comparison of pitching staffs going into 2006 and 2007 seasons.

2006
Lowe
Penny
Tomko
Perez
Seo
Carter
Brazaoban
Kuo
Osoria
Baez
Hamulack
Gagne

2007
Schmidt
Lowe
Penny
Wolf
Billingsley
Kuo
Tomko
Hendrickson
Dessens
Beimel
Broxton
Saito

Certainly, the 2007 starters on paper should be better than the 2006 version. We all know that the entire 2006 bullpen was reworked during the year but I think we would be better served with guys like Tsao and Seanez than Tomko and Hendrickson because of their ability to pitch consecutive days.

2007-03-13 12:09:22
44.   Benaiah
32 - I think you are being overly pessimistic.

Other possibility:
Ned trades one of Hendrickson or Tomko:

If someone gets hurt there is still a surplus of pitching (Billingsley, Kuo, Tomko and Hendrickson are starters 5-8 in whatever order right now).

The player he gets back is not someone who has to be on the 25 man roster (if this is a trade to free up space, then why would it be?) and so there is addition by subtraction.

2007-03-13 12:11:40
45.   Benaiah
43 - Going into the season last year, I don't think anyone expected Baez to be as bad as he was. I think we are better this year, but we seemed to be pretty deep last year (we had 3 proven closers after all).
2007-03-13 12:11:52
46.   bhsportsguy
Andy La Roche may have had an attitude adjustment coming into Spring Training but his play is not indicating he is ready for the Show.

Minor Leaguers who have impressed (at least from where I sit and hear and read)

James Loney (still 20 AB short)
Tony Abreau
Jon Meloan

2007-03-13 12:16:14
47.   Steve
I don't think anyone expected Baez to be as bad as he was.

Ahem.

2007-03-13 12:16:59
48.   underdog
44 I agree completely.

--
Boy, La Roche isn't helping his cause much today. GIDP after the error.

2007-03-13 12:18:59
49.   Sam DC
Office Heroes: http://youtube.com/watch?v=excBsIv_3xI

(I haven't watched, but TV-loving Nats chatters are agog.)

2007-03-13 12:21:06
50.   underdog
If I have to hear that "Tanya Roberts for Las Vegas" commercial in a Dodgers broadcast one more time, I may take a hostage.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-13 12:24:08
51.   kngoworld
50. "Can you say high-roller status, baby!"
2007-03-13 12:25:20
52.   saltcreek
Thats now 6 errors for LaRoche in limited playing time
2007-03-13 12:31:48
53.   ToyCannon
50
"You know you want it"
2007-03-13 12:33:22
54.   Hythloday
Is it hostage time?
2007-03-13 12:34:18
55.   Eric Enders
50 Those are very annoying. Who's Tanya Roberts, anyway?
2007-03-13 12:35:40
56.   Benaiah
47 - I am not saying that no one thought it was a bad trade, or that he was overrated, but even you didn't expect him to have his ERA go up two runs moving from the AL East to the NL West. Or maybe you did?
2007-03-13 12:36:10
57.   saltcreek
She was a bond girl and in the 70s Show
2007-03-13 12:37:44
58.   bhsportsguy
55 Depending on your age and TV viewing habits, she was among the last Charlies Angels (the TV show, not the Drew/Cameron/Lucy movie versions), she also played Donna's mother on That 70's Show.

And she was in one of the Bond movies, which is how Steve Mason always introduces her as a favorite Bond Girl.

2007-03-13 12:38:12
59.   saltcreek
56. No one expected that...but with the exception of guys like Rivera and Hoffman most relievers are very inconsistent.
2007-03-13 12:38:32
60.   Sam DC
She was a Replacement Angel as well.
2007-03-13 12:38:41
61.   bhsportsguy
She's back.
2007-03-13 12:39:39
62.   bhsportsguy
Its got to better than all of those California Attorney General commercials I heard last year.
2007-03-13 12:41:39
63.   Steve
I expected him to be bad because he was bad in the AL East and he was bad here. Why does it matter what his ERA is, he only pitches 40 innings a year anyway.
2007-03-13 12:44:25
64.   still bevens
Tony Abreu you're my hero.
2007-03-13 12:44:40
65.   underdog
Walk off home run by Abreu wins the game.

This kid's been impressive this spring.

2007-03-13 12:44:49
66.   bigcpa
They're goin crazy! They're goin crazy!
2007-03-13 12:45:06
67.   underdog
And now I can turn this off and not have to listen to another Tanya Roberts commercial.
2007-03-13 12:45:58
68.   rockmrete
Sam in DC;

The family and I will be in DC the first week of April. We plan on going to a game on that Tuesday...Any suggestions? We plan on just going to the walk up window for tickets.

2007-03-13 12:47:27
69.   Bob Timmermann
Are you kidding? The Nats are in big demand! They sold out the entire season ahead of time! The whole DC area has Acta-mania! The fans are chanting "Broadway! Broadway!" alternating with "Guzman! Guzman!"
2007-03-13 12:47:42
70.   uke
40
I know you love A! I mean, who else can host the Coke trivia challenge in the third inning? Jim Gott obviously couldn't hang. A trained monkey would be too easy.
2007-03-13 12:47:59
71.   bhsportsguy
Tony Abreau is going to get that Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award as the top Dodger rookie in Spring Training.

Any questions about who Jim and Dearie, please refer those to Bob. Not saying he knows but he might.

2007-03-13 12:49:16
72.   rockmrete
Then it's Stubb Hubb??????
2007-03-13 12:50:31
73.   rockmrete
???:)
2007-03-13 12:51:07
74.   Gen3Blue
Abreu seems to get some power out of that gained weight. Hes one to keep an eye on this year
2007-03-13 12:52:36
75.   Sam DC
68: Yeah, you'll be fine. 4/3 is the first night game (as well as the second game of the season), but it won't be sold out, and you'll definitely have a reasonable choice of seats at the ticket window. Have fun! RFK takes a lot of guff, but it's got good sightlines and comfy seats (they're a little bigger than new stadiums use). Food in the Terrage Food Court behind home plate on the mezzanine level is the most varied and popular.
2007-03-13 12:53:42
76.   saltcreek
71. They use to own part of the dodgers
2007-03-13 12:54:22
77.   saltcreek
71. Were you asking who they were?
2007-03-13 12:54:25
78.   Bob Timmermann
76
Long before Chase Carey's mustache wreaked havoc on the Dodgers.
2007-03-13 12:56:31
79.   Prescott Pete
Abreu should be moved to third.
2007-03-13 12:57:08
80.   bhsportsguy
76 Yes, I left out a word or two.

Again, favorite Geico radio commercial is with Burt Bacharach, on TV, I like the one with Peter Graves.

"Do you like gladiator movies?"

2007-03-13 12:57:47
81.   rockmrete
Thanks Sam
2007-03-13 12:58:17
82.   Benaiah
63 - He wasn't bad in the AL East. He had an ERA+ of 151 the year before in over 70 innings pitched. That is pretty valuable. His ERA was well above average every single year except 2002, that year he started 26 games and was league average (AKA a 7-8 million dollar a year pitcher now). Last year he was significantly worse than ever before, despite moving to a friendly pitching climate.

As for who cares about ERA, well isn't that ultimately all that matters? ERA is an outcome stat, so it doesn't predict the future particularly well, but it does show you how effective a pitcher was as keeping runs off the board... which is the job description.

2007-03-13 12:59:33
83.   underdog
79 I was wondering about that, too, though I don't think the Dodgers want to even further complicate things. Plus, this has got to be Kent's last year, and I expect he'll break down at some point during the season. So Abreu will get his shot at 2nd before too long.
2007-03-13 13:04:10
84.   Gen3Blue
I'm afraid we are going to have quite a pitching staff at Las Vegas. If there's a trade I hope we don't get middle relievers. That would seem incredibly stupid w/our depth at P. We should get prospects or an impact player.
2007-03-13 13:10:08
85.   Steve
As for who cares about ERA, well isn't that ultimately all that matters?

No.

2007-03-13 13:10:24
86.   Sam DC
One other note about RFK -- While it's always fun having lower bowl seats, don't be frightened off by the upper deck. It's pulled pretty far forward and in the 400 sections has really good sightlines for cheap.
2007-03-13 13:19:02
87.   rockmrete
That's good info.

Thanks again

2007-03-13 13:19:20
88.   Benaiah
85 - What does? Run support? Saves? Wins? I am not saying that ERA is the end all pitching stat, but what would you prefer: a staff with tons of strikeouts, few walks and a high ERA, or a team with a bunch of contact pitchers with a high ERA?

In practice that isn't usually how it works out, but that is what happened with Baez for 4 years before he stunk it up for us.

2007-03-13 13:23:47
89.   Steve
I don't care about any of that. If Baez can pitch 200 league-average innings, then as I've said only 7,000 times before, good luck and go at it. Otherwise, who cares?
2007-03-13 13:29:03
90.   Benaiah
89 - In 2002 he pitched 160 league average innings. And if you don't think a bullpen is important than look at the Indians last year. It can make or break a team.
2007-03-13 13:44:59
91.   Steve
In 2002, George Bush was popular.
2007-03-13 13:47:41
92.   capdodger
86 Of course, the flip-side of an upper deck cantilevered way out over the lower is that if you sit near the back down below, you lose sight of anything higher than a line drive. I'd say sit near the from of the lower bowl or head upstairs.
2007-03-13 13:50:27
93.   KOREAN GUY
Does anyone know what happened to Hee Seop?
wasn't He(e)Seop-pose to be playing in the minor leagues for Red Sox?

Scrubs-
love that show. I like the explanation and viewpoint shared at the end of the episodes.....that is..what they are, right??
Personal opinion of why the Nurse did this, why Dr. Cox did that, why the Janitor is the way he is...

2007-03-13 13:50:38
94.   capdodger
91 Upon the advice of my counsel, I refuse to respond due to Rule 5.
2007-03-13 13:51:55
95.   D4P
Hee-Seop is currently with the Devil Rays. Not sure what his contract status is, though...
2007-03-13 13:58:45
96.   Benaiah
95 - I think it is unlikely Hee Seop will play in the majors again.
2007-03-13 14:03:55
97.   Jon Weisman
If Larry Bigbie can make it back, so can Choi.
2007-03-13 14:03:55
98.   regfairfield
93 He's with the Devil Rays now. He's currently hitting 2 for 15 this Spring, which puts him ahead of his main competition, Carlos Pena, who is 2 for 16.

He's signed to a split major/minor league contract.

2007-03-13 14:04:33
99.   D4P
If only they'd let him hit in the #2 spot...
2007-03-13 14:12:27
100.   underdog
HSP chat should be added to the "Thank you for not" list on sidebar. :-)

Speaking of Bigbie, what are the odds he makes the team with his productive spring so far? Still pretty slim I'd wager barring an injury. Does he have minor league options? I'd assume not...

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-03-13 14:13:19
101.   underdog
100 HSP should be HSC obviously. Not sure who HSP is other than a Highly Sensitive Person in psychological terms.
2007-03-13 14:15:03
102.   Xeifrank
and whatever happened to Jason Phillips, the guy who beat Hee out of a job while they were both playing for the Dodgers? Has he surfaced as the Pirates 1B yet? vr, Xei
2007-03-13 14:15:37
103.   regfairfield
100 I think he's better than our current backup outfielders, Anderson and Repko, but I can't see the Dodgers getting rid of either of those guys.
2007-03-13 14:15:58
104.   regfairfield
102 Backup catcher for the Blue Jays.
2007-03-13 14:18:41
105.   bhsportsguy
103 He has a shot to make the team if Anderson or Repko are DL bound.

Sam, here's update on "Nats" Park, my question is that in the brutal summer humidity, what will the cherry trees look like.

http://tinyurl.com/ynpozt

2007-03-13 14:18:47
106.   Jon Weisman
100 - http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/602366.html
2007-03-13 14:23:07
107.   trainwreck
It is just spring training, La Roche is ready.
2007-03-13 14:26:25
108.   underdog
106 Ah, thanks. And I'd read all that, too!

Okay, never mind - what are the odds that Niagara goes all the way this year? I have my money on those Greyhounds!

Ahem. Cough.

2007-03-13 14:28:56
109.   Benaiah
97 - I love Choi, but I hear him name dropped fairly often as a "terrible" hitter. I think that is an absurd assessment of his career, but it seems to be the wisdom of the day.

In 2004 with Florida in 340 Plate Appearances he had a .883 OPS which would have put him in the Delgado-Konerko range for the year (his superior OBP might have put him above them), unfortunately he OPS'ed a mere .531 in 72 Dodger PA to close out the year. In 2005, he OPS'ed .821 as a 1B, with improved power from 2004, but his OBP fell and he only hit .581 as a pinch hitter (Jason Phillips hit .176/292/.245/.537 in 102 1B AB in 2004). He played poorly in 2006 in the minors and we will have to see for 2007. Still, in 2004 and 2005 he at least demonstrated that he had potential and I wonder if he will get a full season to tryout.

P.S. Jim Tracy is a terrible baseball manager.

2007-03-13 14:30:34
110.   trainwreck
If any team beats Florida, I will send a child to that school.
2007-03-13 14:31:06
111.   trainwreck
Or just let Bob go to Oregon.
2007-03-13 14:32:07
112.   Benaiah
110 - I must have missed the memo, but why does everyone hate Florida so much? I don't like them, but lately there has been some serious venom on the intergoogle.
2007-03-13 14:34:18
113.   Jon Weisman
To save everyone the trouble of debating Choi, allow me to just say this.

If Choi never makes it back to the majors, his MLB career will have ended at age 26 with a career OPS+ of 107. That would be unusual.

Feel free to move on.

2007-03-13 14:35:31
114.   Bob Timmermann
It's the Niagara Purple Eagles.

However, it's the Loyola of Maryland Greyhounds.

And it's the Albany Great Danes.

2007-03-13 14:38:07
115.   trainwreck
112
UCLA fan and I dislike Noah greatly.
2007-03-13 14:38:38
116.   D4P
a career OPS+ of 107

Career EQA of .275
Career Rate2 of 102

If only the Padres needed a first baseman...

2007-03-13 14:39:04
117.   underdog
Oh, right. I got those two upstate NY schools mixed up, and then mixed up my dogs, and then..

Now I'm nervous about the two NCAA pools I just filled out.

Of all the Pac-10 teams (and I root for UCLA), Oregon is the only one I feel has a shot to go deep. UCLA could go to the final four, or get knocked out in the first round.

Back to baseball...

2007-03-13 14:39:25
118.   underdog
this was Rotoworld's assessement of Tsao after today's outing:
"Tsao gave up a run in his first appearance of the spring, but he's pitched scoreless innings his last four times out and he's struck out a total of six batters in five innings. The Dodger pen is too crowded for him to have a chance of winning a spot, but he's showing that he could be a factor later on. The Rockies may regret non-tendering him."
2007-03-13 14:42:15
119.   trainwreck
Josh Shipp hurt his thumb. That could be a blessing in disguise.
2007-03-13 14:44:42
120.   Bumsrap
If the Dodgers open with the more veteran and less optionable players they will have a great team; maybe not as good as the one that plays in Las Vegas, but still a great team.

The 2007 Dodgers are trying to remind me of the 1966 UCLA varsity basketball team, the one that lost to their froshmen when froshmen (Jabar/Alcindor) were not eligible to play on the varsity

2007-03-13 14:52:49
121.   El Lay Dave
120 How about "freshmen" or "frosh"? For some reason, "froshmen" really bothers me.

To continue to be picky, "Abdul-Jabbar", although he was Alcindor then.

2007-03-13 14:56:27
122.   El Lay Dave
"You can tell he's healthy," he said. "How much is going to come out of his arm, I don't know."
Gagne would prefer that everything stay in his arm; however, the other scenario would be a # 1 youtube video.
2007-03-13 14:56:48
123.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think there's any prospect for the Dodgers who would be as good a major league player as Lew Alcindor was as a college basketball player.

That would imply that the Dodgers have someone akin to Babe Ruth or Ted Williams in the minors.

2007-03-13 15:01:20
124.   bhsportsguy
123 I think last year's team at Vegas, Loney, Guzman, Martin, Billingsley, Broxton, Ethier, Aybar, Young was at least as talented if not more talented than the group heading to start this year.
2007-03-13 15:02:16
125.   underdog
But Hendrickson's tall enough to play for UCLA! Maybe he wasn't as good a hoops player as Abdul-Jabbar, but gosh, I'd love to see him give it one more try.
2007-03-13 15:06:48
126.   underdog
This is actually kind of amusing btw, even if it is (or maybe because it is) about the Giants. On the SFist blog, two Giants bloggers debate the Giants' chances this year:
http://tinyurl.com/yrtuan

Worth a chuckle or two. (Genuine chuckles, not counting the unintentional chuckle when they talk up Todd Linden.)

2007-03-13 15:07:14
127.   Bob Timmermann
Hendrickson did make it to the NBA which is no mean feat.

I wonder if he insisted on picking WSU in the Dodgers NCAA tournament contest.

2007-03-13 15:12:00
128.   underdog
127 Right, and I just realized I'd be much happier seeing him return to the NBA to play for the Lakers than to continue to play for the Dodgers (since the former needs a forward much more than the latter needs a mediocre starter). I'm sure he is picking the Cougars to go all the way, yes.
2007-03-13 15:12:37
129.   Hythloday
123 - Not saying you're wrong, but ... did scouts know that Ted Williams would be Ted Williams?

Is it possible to determine which ones will be among the best ever when they're still in the farms?

2007-03-13 15:15:14
130.   Bumsrap
121
Froshmen was spelled that way to annoy, Jabar was just lazy. Sorry.
2007-03-13 15:18:31
131.   Bob Timmermann
In Ted Williams last year in the minors, Minneapolis 1938 in the AA, he batted .366 with 42 homers. He was 19. He had been signed by San Diego of the PCL earlier, but the Red Sox asked to see him because their GM at the time, Eddie Collins, thought that Williams was going to be one of the best hitters ever. Apparently, San Diego didn't care too much.

Of course, Collins later would refuse to show up for a public tryout for Jackie Robinson for the Red Sox.

2007-03-13 15:21:06
132.   Bumsrap
124
Maybe heading to Las Vegas are the following:

Billingsley, Kuo, Miller, Tsao, Meloan, Loney, Abreu, Hu, LaRoche, Kemp, Young, Dewitt, Bigbie, White,

2007-03-13 15:22:49
133.   bhsportsguy
129 Ted knew.

Scouting was a much, much, much different thing back then. Ted was discovered by Eddie Collins, the Red Sox general manager when Ted was 17 and was living in San Diego.

"How could I miss?" Collins said later. "Williams stood out like a white cow in a pasture of brown cows."

2007-03-13 15:23:10
134.   underdog
Yeah, I'd say the pitching in Las Vegas will be better than last year. That's a pretty impressive group.

Should make Tanya Roberts happy, too.

2007-03-13 15:23:34
135.   Bumsrap
131 Wow, those are Greg Brock, Mike Marshal kind of numbers.
2007-03-13 15:34:42
136.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock didn't play in the minors until he was 22 as he played college ball.

He never put up a Ted Williams like line, even in his best year at Albuquerque. He hit 44 homers in his best season and he was 25 at the time.

Williams was 19, playing at sea level and against some fairly good (albeit segregated) competition.

Williams batted .271 as a 17-year old in the PCL and .291 with 23 homers as an 18-year old and his San Diego team won the PCL.

2007-03-13 15:44:06
137.   bhsportsguy
135 Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig are two players whose first 10-12 years of their careers (for Gehrig it really his entire career, except maybe 1938 when his illness, though not diagnosed, may have started to affect his play), you can look at their stats and just marvel at both the consistency and dominance of these guys.

Put it this way, Pujols would have to do what he is doing at least for 10 more years to get put in the conversation with these greats.

2007-03-13 15:46:53
138.   Johnson
126 So what's up with the Giants' bloggers denying the existence of Pedro Feliz at third as if they had a replacement? As far as I can tell (official Giants MLB site, Yahoo) Feliz is not only still on the roster, but is the #1 guy at 3rd on the depth chart.
2007-03-13 15:48:51
139.   bhsportsguy
126 I am sure they would chuckle if they read some of stuff over here too.
2007-03-13 16:15:18
140.   Bumsrap
131 In Ted Williams last year in the minors, Minneapolis 1938 in the AA, he batted .366 with 42 homers.

I ignored age and went with your first sentence about last year in minors concerning Brock and Marshal. I was also making fun of myself in my ongoing interest in making Loney the starting first baseman even though he has only something like 107 MLB at bats.

2007-03-13 16:24:23
141.   Bumsrap
123 Abdul-Jabbar turned out to be one of the 50 all time NBA greats. But, like Loney, Billingsley, et.al. not yet compared to Babe Ruth, Alcindor as a Freshman had not yet been given Bill Russell status either.

The point was the Bruin Freshmen team was better than the varsity in 1966 or there abouts much like the Dodgers Vegas' team might be better than the LA version if Ned keeps the more veteran and less optionable players in LA.

2007-03-13 16:36:10
142.   Dodgers49
99. If only they'd let him hit in the #2 spot...

And with Oscar Robles protecting him no less. But, of course, no major league manager would be dumb enough to bat Choi second AND Robles third.

2007-03-13 16:49:26
143.   Andrew Shimmin
I know very little about basketball, and particularly about the NBA, but I'd always assumed Kareem was one of the five best players of all time. Not true?
2007-03-13 16:51:07
144.   Dodgers49
100. Speaking of Bigbie, what are the odds he makes the team with his productive spring so far? Still pretty slim I'd wager barring an injury. Does he have minor league options? I'd assume not...

Bigbie played winter ball so I've been trying not to get too excited about his early spring heroics while he was ahead of the pitchers. But if he's still crushing the ball during the freeway series then I'll get excited.

He can op out if the Dodgers decide to send him down and he feels he can hook on with another major league team.

2007-03-13 17:12:24
145.   Bob Timmermann
143
It's hard to pick the best five NBA players of all time especially if you just want to pick one from each position.

The battle among partisans of Kareem, Russell, and Chamberlain for the top center would be fierce.

And what position do you put Oscar Robertson at?

2007-03-13 17:12:55
146.   bhsportsguy
143 I think because the perception that a great player should lead his team to championships, it is always difficult to rank the greatest player in basketball.

Jordan had the advantage of not only being a great individual player, he successfully married his success on the court with great popularity and marketing. Only Babe Ruth had that kind of impact in American popular culture in his time.

But after Jordan, it gets real subjective. Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are among the 10-15 greatest players but as centers, someone had to pass Wilt and Kareem the ball to be effective scorers.

Magic, Bird, Dr. J, West, Oscar Robertson, Baylor, would all fit in their somewhere.

But when Kareem was Lew Alcindor at UCLA, no one had done what he accomplished, 3 consectutice NCAA Championships, 3 Outstanding Players in NCAA Tournament, if Wooden had allowed Lew to shoot like Maravich, he might have set records that stand today.

And in his second year, he and Oscar led the Bucks to the NBA title.

I think you can make a lot of comps to the talent that may be in Vegas this year, comparing them as the UCLA freshman team with Alcindor is a bit of a stretch.

2007-03-13 17:19:47
147.   bhsportsguy
145 Kareem is the hybrid in a sense between Wilt and Bill Russell, Kareem's teams were more successful than Wilt's (Kareem didn't have those Celtic teams to compete against) but Russell won nearly twice as many titles with the Celtics.

Also, basketball, while more stat based than football, is not like baseball in that regard so the fact that Kareem is the all-time scoring leader doesn't have a lot of significance as compared to Aaron's record.

2007-03-13 17:22:46
148.   twerp
This doesn't seem to have been posted yet==

Billz to pen, out of running for 5th starter:

http://tinyurl.com/3xnd2f

2007-03-13 17:28:33
149.   trainwreck
148
We are so stupid. Utterly stupid.
2007-03-13 17:29:48
150.   trainwreck
I hope Chad does not hurt his arm trying to throw too hard out of the pen or just not given enough time to warm up his arm.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-03-13 17:30:05
151.   Marty
I think I've told this story before, but a friend of mine had a father who sneered at almost any modern-day player in any sport. So, one time my friend is going on about how great Abdul-Jabbar is and his dad says "He's good, but he's no Lew Alcindor"
2007-03-13 17:30:36
152.   twerp
Anyone know if Mays' contract allows for him to be stored in Las Vegas?

Former 17 game winner and all, but??

2007-03-13 17:37:48
153.   Jon Weisman
Thanks to those who alerted me. New post up top.
2007-03-13 17:45:10
154.   twerp
145, 146, etc.

The Celtics, '85 I think, at one time had Bill Walton, Pete Maravich, and Bird.

I've wondered several times about the passing wizardry and all-round interplay that would have happened among those three if they'd all been healthy and at or near their peaks. Not to ignore the rest of that team, one of the best ever IMO; just a what could have been type thought.

2007-03-14 19:24:24
155.   Frip
What to make of yourself when you feel the twitch of regret at Gagne's success?

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