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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Looking Back on 2007 (Fill in the Blanks)
2007-03-28 08:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers' xx-xx record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of ... ________________.

* * *

Previously on Dodger Thoughts: Looking Back on 2006 (Fill in the Blanks)

(Note: last year, this was done a month earlier, in February.)

2006-02-22 09:09:55
5. Inside Baseball
The Dodgers' 88-74 record in 2006 rested mostly on the shoulders of Nomar Garciaparra but it was the right knee of Barry Bonds that handed them the division title.

2006-02-22 10:18:08
14. Daniel Zappala
88-74, Drew and Nomar having their best seasons in 3 years, and Tomko being dropped from the rotation in favor of Chad Billingsley after the All-Star break.

2006-02-22 13:32:41
60. trainwreck
88-74 JD Drew and Jae Seo

I am trying to be optimistic with the Dodgers in my pre-season predictions.

Honorable mention:

2006-02-22 09:27:01
8. Sam DC
The Dodgers' 88-75 record in 2006 rested mostly on the shoulders of young Jason Repko, whose inside-the-park homerun broke a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning of the one-game playoff that capped the San Francisco Giants' epic season-ending collapse. For the second time in three years, game-ending Dodger heroics erased the Giants' playoff hopes, and it will be a long offseason indeed for the Boys in Orange, as they nurse their wounds after dropping four straight -- including the playoff -- to close the Season at Chavez Ravine.

Comments (305)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-28 08:33:10
1.   Benaiah
I will say Daniel is the winner, though Tomko's demotion was due to injury. Very impressive by all four though.

Here is my entry:

The Dodgers 90-72 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Hung Chi Kuo and James Loney who powered the team from May until the end of the season.

2007-03-28 08:34:39
2.   D4P
The Dodgers' 82-80 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of Juan Pierre, who played 162 games and got on base an awful lot.
2007-03-28 08:42:58
3.   gpellamjr
The Dodgers' 102-60 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Luis Gonzalez, for his 57 HRs, Jeff Kent, for his 125 RBI/MVP season, Nomar's batting title, and Schmidt's Cy Young season. Honorable mention goes to Juan Pierre's grit, determination, and 60 stolen bases.
2007-03-28 08:43:50
4.   underdog
The Dodgers' 89-73 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Russell Martin who caught 75% of all games and played even more once Mike Lieberthal got hurt, and on the shoulders and arm of Derek Lowe.

Sillier edition: The Dodgers 85-77 record rested on the shoulders of Luis Gonzalez who miraculously played 150 games and hit 30 HRs, and (more likely; copied from Daniel/2006 above) Tomko being dropped from the rotation in favor of Chad Billingsley after the All-Star break.

2007-03-28 08:58:13
5.   Greg S
The Dodgers 93-69 record rested mostly on the shoulders of the surprising power of Wilson Betemit and the MVP type year from the aging Jeff Kent backed up by a 18+ win seasons for both Derek Lowe and Jason Schmidt.
2007-03-28 08:58:22
6.   DodgerBakers
The Dodgers 90-72 record rested mainly on the shoulders of Nomar not getting hurt, Juan Pierre getting traded, and the kids finally getting a chance.
2007-03-28 08:58:34
7.   JoeyP
The Dodgers' 84-78 record rested mainly on the steady pitching of Derek Lowe, steady out making of Juan Pierre, and overall mediocrity of Luis Gonzales and Jeff Kent (whom both seemingly had a Steve Finley-esque nosedive to their careers).

By the time the season was over with, Dodger fans were left pondering whether it was indeed 2007, or actually 1997. An era of bloated payroll, prospect trading, and general malaise had returned home to Dodger Blue.

The 1990's werent all bad, werent all good, just kinda average. For the 2007 Dodgers, it was a return to the good ole' days..er average ole' days.

2007-03-28 09:18:33
8.   Sushirabbit
92-70, resting on Kent's return to norm, and Betemit's breakout year (an apparent surprise to some), and league leading staff ERA.
2007-03-28 09:22:21
9.   dzzrtRatt
The Dodgers' 101-61 season rested mostly on the shoulders of gritty starting pitchers Derek Lowe, Jason Schmidt, Brad Penny and Hong-Chi Kuo, a breakout year from catcher Russell Martin, the second-half heroics of Matt Kemp filling in for the injured Luis Gonzalez...and the pathetic weakness of the rest of the National League, where only New York and Philadelphia joined the Dodgers in finishing more than 6 games above .500.
2007-03-28 09:22:54
10.   Hythloday
The Dodgers' 76-86 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of an injured and aging pitching staff and weak bats at the heart of the line-up. A resurgent Giants team and a suprising push by the Rockies didn't help matters. But Kemp, LaRoche, and Loney flourished in their roles after the all-star break to give hope to an otherwise dreary season.
2007-03-28 09:22:57
11.   s choir
The Dodgers' 93-69 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of:

A balanced lineup, in which only one starting position player OPSed less than .800 (Juan Pierre),

An improved defense in the outfield, anchored by the everyday presence of Juan Pierre, whose webgems made up the bulk of the Dodgers' exposure on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," and

Derek Lowe, who became the Dodgers' first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez in 1990, Jason Schmidt, who went 10-1 with a 1.87 ERA in divisional games (his only loss coinciding with Brandon Webb's perfect game), Randy Wolf, who had a solid comeback year, and Chad Billingsley, who never gave back Brad Penny's spot in the rotation after Penny was suspended for 15 games for taking a swing at umpire Tim McClelland.

2007-03-28 09:29:00
12.   bigcpa
Gotta laugh at how many of us sarcastically predicted the Drew opt-out a year ago...

2006-02-22 bigcpa
...JD Drew (.290/.405/.520, 145 games played) has opted for free agency and will rid the team of his albatross $33M remaining contract.

2007-03-28 09:29:30
13.   natepurcell
The Dodgers' 89-73 record rested mostly on the shoulders of a NL best pitching staff where brad penny has a career season in terms if strikeouts and ERA. The Dodgers also get a strong second half push from the calvary at Las Vegas that helps push them over the rest of the NL west.
2007-03-28 09:32:06
14.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
Great column idea.

The Dodgers' 100-62 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Ned Colletti, who was able to acquire power bats Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn in a trade for Mark Hendrickson, Wilson Betemit, and Drew McCourt. Colletti also threw in 25,000 misprinted commemorative championship fleece blankets.

2007-03-28 09:33:46
15.   natepurcell
just saw on ITD, congrats to nomar and mia and their twin girls!
2007-03-28 09:38:36
16.   Bob Timmermann
Let's just all say a prayer that the girls grow up looking like Mia and not Nomar.

My Mom's Rule of Genetics of offspring of attractive women and less than attractive men is that girls of such couplings end up looking like Dad, while the boys look like Mom.

I can just picture the twins before they start nursing where each one will back up her head, pull at something on her hands, then move her head around a lot, and then finally start eating.

2007-03-28 09:41:51
17.   scareduck
The Dodgers' 85-77 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Derek Lowe and a surprisingly effective year by Juan Pierre, who proved his detractors (me among them) wrong about his value, not to mention a fine year from James Loney, who replaced Nomar Garciaparra when every bone in his body simultaneously developed a compound fracture.
2007-03-28 09:41:52
18.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers will finish 87-75 and in the wild card as they will have just enough pitching to overcome the woeful power numbers of the lineup. The team records for hits, doubles, and left on base will not be approached.
2007-03-28 09:42:40
19.   goblue1
Real Question:

Is anything positive ever posted here that isn't sarcasm? Not trying to start a fight, really- I can't tell.

2007-03-28 09:45:41
20.   Penarol1916
19. Why would anyone be sarcastic about posting congratulations on having twins?
2007-03-28 09:46:11
21.   bigcpa
19 I would put the sarcasm quotient here around 15%. Baseball Primer is around 80%.
2007-03-28 09:46:38
22.   natepurcell
my two posts in this thread were not sarcastic.
2007-03-28 09:51:00
23.   Humma Kavula
The Dodgers' 84-78 record rested mostly on the shoulders of James Loney, Tony Abreu, Matt Kemp, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Andy LaRoche filling in admirably (but not at an All-Star level) after injuries to Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzales, Randy Wolf, and Jeff Kent. (LaRoche, of course, filled in for Betemit, after the latter batted .200 in April.)
2007-03-28 09:53:23
24.   Gen3Blue
Although the Dodgers 87-75 game record did not really change from the year before, the team changed from an old one to a young one in just one year. Young position players gradually picked up the yolk, and pitchers like Miller and Meloan filled holes, pointing to a brighter future.
2007-03-28 09:53:46
25.   Bob Timmermann
I wasn't being sarcastic.

But I know where you can get a sarcasm detector.

2007-03-28 09:55:42
26.   Gen3Blue
23 Honest I didn't read yours before posting!
2007-03-28 09:56:47
27.   Bob Timmermann
26
87-75 is what all the cool kids pick.
2007-03-28 10:00:14
28.   Gen3Blue
I couldn't help noticing a picture in the 3/25 photo gallery(D's.com) called something like Bradey and Loney share laugh.
It's about picture #7 and I couldn't help noticing Grady finds the joke a lot funnier than Loney.
2007-03-28 10:01:02
29.   twerp
24. "Young position players gradually picked up the yolk" --

Just so long as no one got egg on his face ;)

2007-03-28 10:01:10
30.   stevesaxarm
The Dodgers' 92-70 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of the midseason acquisition of Carl Crawford, the call up of Andy LaRoche to take over for a struggling Wilson Betemit, and Jonathan Meloan and Matt Kemp being able to adequately replace Broxton and Either (who were traded with Greg Miller for Crawford and Jon Switzer.
2007-03-28 10:01:41
31.   Inside Baseball
Clearly, Daniel, trainwreck, and Sam are waiting for me to hand them the right answer yet again so here goes:

The Dodgers' 94-68 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf. Nomar Garciaparra staying fresh and Jeff Kent bouncing back from a disappointing 2006 led a surprisingly efficient offense.

2007-03-28 10:02:09
32.   Gen3Blue
I didn't notice at first how much distinguished company I had. It almost looks like I was influenced!
2007-03-28 10:02:51
33.   Gen3Blue
29 Thats a Yoke, son!
2007-03-28 10:04:18
34.   Humma Kavula
4 Tomko being dropped from the rotation in favor of Chad Billingsley after the All-Star break

I like this idea -- let's keep predicting it every year until it finally sticks.

Billingsley Replaces Tomko is the new The Braves Won't Win the Division.

2007-03-28 10:05:48
35.   Bumsrap
The Dodgers finish 90-72 after a bizzarr turn of events including White becoming GM and Abreu, Loney, Kemp along with Billingsley, Meloan, and Miller carry Dodgers to World Series.
2007-03-28 10:08:00
36.   ssjames
88-73 rested mostly upon the shoulders of Jeff Kent and Greg Miller, who upon promotion to the bigs in June led the Dodgers with a 14-3 record for the rest of the season. BTW, one game wasn't made up due a rainout in Chicago in September that is never made up because the Dodgers have already clinched the Wild Card.
2007-03-28 10:08:16
37.   Jon Weisman
19 - There are straightforward, postive comments all the time, and it concerns me that you ask, since there are many straightforward, postive comments in this thread alone.

Why are you asking? Are you just not noticing the positive comments, or is that anything the slightest bit critical is not tolerated?

I suspect that you're coming to this site with too high a level of distrust, or that you take criticisms of Ned Colletti to be criticisms of the entire Dodger organization. Though of course there are critical comments here - and why shouldn't there be - there is all kinds of praise being handed out every single day.

2007-03-28 10:09:09
38.   Johnson
The 2007 Dodgers' 90-72 record, enough to win the division by two games, rested mostly on the shoulders of Andre Ethier. Although Matt Kemp had basically replaced the age-wracked Gonzales by mid-June, it was Ethier's power surge (36 HR, .980 OPS) that fueled the Dodgers' run to the playoffs.
2007-03-28 10:11:15
39.   still bevens
So I take it this morning's game is not available on gameday audio?
2007-03-28 10:12:04
40.   Gen3Blue
35 I like this approach. Jon, perhaps there is a place for expansion of this event to what we wish would happen, and what we fear might happen, although not in the same place, it would be way too much.
2007-03-28 10:19:16
41.   Humma Kavula
The crazy thing about this prediction game, to me, is that it's a reminder of how the postseason rests on the edge of a knife.

Gen3Blue and I both had the same prediction -- on a team racked by injuries, the young players fill in and point to a bright future -- except for record: he predicts 87 wins, I predict 84. If the Dodgers win 87 they have a great shot at the postseason; if they win 84, they likely don't. And we know that anything -- sort of -- can happen in the postseason.

87 or 84 -- either is equally likely today, of course. I don't know that I particularly have a point -- except that this has been a reminder that no matter how one constructs a team, even getting to the postseason is a huge crapshoot.

2007-03-28 10:20:16
42.   adraymond
Lucille II just got yanked in the bottom of the first. Polanco slid into his ankle. Didn't look bad at all. Maybe he just wanted the day off. No matter, Tony Abreu gets to show his stuff at second.
2007-03-28 10:25:28
43.   underdog
25 "But I know where you can get a sarcasm detector."

Do they sell that in the same aisle as the gaydar machines?

2007-03-28 10:27:31
44.   KAYVMON
The Dodgers 86-76 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of a patient GM (not being sarcastic), and the pitching of Randy Wolf, Brad Penny, and Jonathon Broxton. Despite struggling to stay above the .500 mark all season, the Dodgers had another incredible August to put themselves in the Wild Card race. A dramatic extra-innings win on the last day of the season clinched the wild card as Derek Lowe pitched a gem before being injured by a comebacker and Jason Schmit came in to get the save in relief despite injuring his shoulder on the last pitch of the game.

In the playoffs, the underdog Wild Card Dodgers swept the Mets, riding the great performances of a pitching staff of Penny, Kuo, and Wolf.

Right before starting a NLCS series with the Padres, a earthquake striked Southern California pushing the fences at Petco Park out an additional 50 feet. The compelling series, which nobody in the rest of the country paid any attention to, went 7 games. In the final game, Juan Pierre walked, stole 2nd, went to third on the bad throw, and scored on a Nomar Garciappara sac fly. The Dodgers won 1-0 and advanced to the World Series where they faced the Yankees.

The Yankees, who spent the season breaking every team offensive record, swept the Dodgers convincingly. Tommy Lasorda is furious and after the series advised Frank McCourt to fire Ned Colleti for his emphasis on speed and defense, saying the Dodgers need old-school guys who could work a walk and hit for power.

2007-03-28 10:27:59
45.   schoffle
Not a regular poster, but I liked the premise here, so I'll give it a shot.

The Dodger's 84-78 record rested mostly on the shoulders of new trainer Stan Conte, who was able to keep the team veterans on the field and off the DL.

But those 51's ..

2007-03-28 10:33:24
46.   Disabled List
The Dodgers 86-76 record rested mostly on the shoulders of the power-free offense that could not score as many runs as last year, leaving the Dodgers 4 games behind the D-backs in the division race.
2007-03-28 10:33:39
47.   goblue1
37

Cool, thanks- yea I guess maybe im skeptical- seems like the main drivers here are:

1. Coletti is bad news and pretty much everything he does is dumb.
2. Jaun Pierre is bad news.
3. The guys in AAA are the answer to everything ( to the extent that Nomar or Gonzo getting hurt might be seen as good news)

I guess just not what I expected coming off a division winning (tying) season into one where were pretty commonly picked to be the team to beat. Probably those things stick out in my mind because they are so surprising to me. Deosn't make them wrong or right I suppose- im sure if counted they are in the minority. I guess criticism is a good thing, not sure beating a dead horse is though.

2007-03-28 10:35:33
48.   underdog
Damn, I wish this game was on mlb gameday audio. Oh well.

Lowe: 3 hits allowed in 2IP but no runs.

I predict the Tigers will win 95 games this year and make 3 times that many errors.

2007-03-28 10:36:55
49.   underdog
Beating a dead horse does seem to apply to Juan Pierre discussion at this point, I'd agree with that, though maybe something new will be added to that once the season gets rolling.
2007-03-28 10:40:06
50.   Humma Kavula
47 49 I posted this yesterday -- and I'm not sure I need to do more blog-whoring... but...

...I'm trying real hard not to do any more Pierre bashing here at DT.

Pierre bashing is not only welcome, but the entire point of juanpierreoutwatch.blogspot.com.

Take it there.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-28 10:44:19
51.   Benaiah
48 - I think the Tigers won't get a sniff of 95 wins this year. Both Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson were crazy lucky last year and should see ERAs well over 4 this year. Verlander is young, but again any improvement will be offset by his extreme luck last year. The only one of their pitchers that is due for a real improvement is Jeremy Bonderman, and that shouldn't be enough to make up for the regression of the others. Their offense was middle of the pack last year, and I don't think the addition of Sheffield will make much of a difference. I predict they win 88-90 games this year.
2007-03-28 10:49:03
52.   Marty
Reading the comments here, most people are predicting a division win, so that's positive. Two people actually predicted 100 wins!

Of course, we still have Andrew to weigh in and bring us down.

2007-03-28 10:50:00
53.   stopthebeachballs
90-72

On the shoulders of...

- Broxton's success in closing games after Saito was figured out by the rest of the league.

- The Killer Tomato continuing to feel sexy.

2007-03-28 10:51:19
54.   Marty
The Dodgers' 80-82 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of a starting pitching staff depleted by major injuries.
2007-03-28 10:51:43
55.   underdog
51 I sort of hope you're right, mostly because of a coworker of mine who is a Tigers fan and is suddenly rather cocky about them (after all those years of losing). Their fielding is still a question mark, their pitching could come down to earth, you're right, their bullpen is still scary good though and I do think Sheffield, if healthy, will make their lineup scarier. We'll see...
2007-03-28 10:52:37
56.   underdog
Wow, Luis Gonzalez threw out someone at home plate!

Pierre singled and has since been replaced in CF by Kemp.

2007-03-28 10:54:11
57.   adraymond
And Sheff goes yard with a blast. Lowe's wheels are coming off.
2007-03-28 10:56:01
58.   Benaiah
55 - A bullpen in and of itself does not make a division winner. They remind me of the White Sox, where the pitching staff counted to a million twice in 2005, and then didn't in 2006. Meanwhile, the White Sox suddenly had one of the best offenses in baseball in 2006 and I don't see any scenario where that happens in Detroit. I could easily see them in third or fourth in that division.
2007-03-28 10:56:59
59.   adraymond
56
Credit goes to Valdez's relay, Matrin's tag and Dane's Sardinha crazy slowness. And as I write this Ethier to Abreu to Betemit and Guillen is gunend out trying to stretch a triple.
2007-03-28 10:58:08
60.   JoeyP
At least Ned wont be trading Loney for this middle reliever...

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/6618614?MSNHPHMA

2007-03-28 11:00:27
61.   Daniel Zappala
31 Hey, I've been in class the past few hours, so what could I do? I can't give out pop quizzes like Suffering Bruin, just so I can post on DT. :-)

The Dodgers' 91-71 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of a deep pitching staff, with Wolf and Billingsley the best 4-5 starters in the NL. Tomko was once again moved to the bullpen, but mostly for mop-up duties once Barazoban, Miller, and Meloan joined the club. With these callups, and strong performances from Saito and Broxton, the bullpen was among the best in the league. The offense was weak at times, with fairly balanced production from Furcal, Martin, Kent, Garciaparra, Ethier, and Loney, all of whom OPS'd between 800 and 850. Kemp, LaRoche, and Abreu were all called up at times but did not play major roles.

2007-03-28 11:03:07
62.   JoeyP
Beating a dead horse does seem to apply to Juan Pierre discussion at this point

Thats asking people to ignore the giant elephant in the room.

Impossible.

2007-03-28 11:11:07
63.   Jon Weisman
62 - There are other choices between ignoring the elephant and beating a dead horse (animal metaphors aside), and it's very important that everyone understands this.

I'm starting to have some pretty big fears about the game comments this season.

2007-03-28 11:13:42
64.   Humma Kavula
62 When the room is full of elephants, does it matter which one is the largest?
2007-03-28 11:14:19
65.   Humma Kavula
63 Sorry, should have refreshed.
2007-03-28 11:15:45
66.   LAT
90-72 on the shoulders of Furcal, Kent and an undientified player who is acquired mid-season.

Wolf turns out to be the best 2007 FA signing in all of baseball.

2007-03-28 11:18:12
67.   LAT
63. I'm starting to have some pretty big fears about the game comments this season.

No need to worry. By then there will actually be something to talk about rather than rehashing the usual.

2007-03-28 11:19:43
68.   D4P
For those of us who frequent DT largely for Entertainment Purposes Only, this season holds a lot of promise.
2007-03-28 11:20:44
69.   LAT
16. My Mom's Rule of Genetics of offspring of attractive women and less than attractive men is that girls of such couplings end up looking like Dad,

See: Brinkly, Christie and Joel, Billy and daughter.

2007-03-28 11:22:41
70.   Eric Stephen
The Dodgers' 94-68 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of Rafael Furcal (125 runs scored), All-Star Russell Martin (.290/.374/.440), and a 2002-Angels-esque "no gaping holes" starting rotation.

And I'm glad I was able to see almost all of the games here from San Diego, even though I don't have DirecTV, because MLB and InDemand were able to work out a deal on Saturday, March 31.

Also, don't forget the amazing comeback win in Arizona on June 26. Not quite 4+1, but memorable nonetheless.

2007-03-28 11:24:24
71.   Greg S
It's interesting that there is clearly a negative vibe towards Colletti and his choices in building the team but the predictions for this years outcome averaged about 90 wins. Is it that we believe that there is so much talent that they'll overcome the bad moves?
2007-03-28 11:27:58
72.   KOREAN GUY
47 -

goblue1

wow, i've feel the same way at times, but can't comment for fear of getting a really well thought/written retort that I won't be able to respond back to.....anyways.

the 92-70 record rested mostly on the shoulders of the 2 leadoff guys batting over .300 and stealing over 40 bases respectively. Nomar and Kent both driving in more than a 100 runs without hitting more than 18-22 HRS due to the great number of runs scored on singles and LONG singles and an unusual amount of RBIs as a result of sac-flies, SLIGHTLY misplayed grounders(RF/JP on 3rd), wild pitches that most others wouldn't have been able to score on, other variety of errors that (again) others wouldn't have scored on....and yea, Gonzo getting less than 200 ABs due to his struggles and Kemp reaching his potential rather sooner than expected. (potential being the next Raul Mondesi, when he was w/the dodgers; w/a lttle more power).

no animosity whatsoever...i've learned so much about the sport since reading this site. So thanks GUYS!

2007-03-28 11:28:13
73.   Greg Brock
I think the first few weeks of the season, there is going to be a race to the keyboard, many people looking to make the most snarktastic comment every time Pierre is up. I know that I will certainly have the urge to do so. But I'll try not to. After that, when things settle in, the guy will be no more subject to ridicule than any other player, and he'll get credit where credit is due.

And I think the Dodgers will finish 85-77, missing out on the wildcard by two games. Schmidt, Wolf, and Penny will all miss a few starts with injuries, and Loney will have forced himself into the everyday lineup. In a sign that the Apocalypse is upon us, the Phillies finally make the playoffs, winning the wildcard.

2007-03-28 11:30:48
74.   Benaiah
71 - I think most people assume that as bad as the team looks at this instant (and it seems pretty mediocre from where I'm sitting), it has almost nothing in common with the team that will be on the field in June or September. There is plenty of talent and if recent years have shown us anything, it is that injuries usually thin the field pretty quickly.
2007-03-28 11:35:58
75.   Bill Crain
The Dodgers' 81-81 record in 2007 rested entirely on the shoulders of Ned Colletti.
2007-03-28 11:37:34
76.   Bob Timmermann
For the record, Jayson Werth is not listed as one of the starting outfielders for the Phillies.

This is from an AP story about Karim Garcia being released:
"Manuel isn't sure whether the Phillies will start the season with four or five outfielders. Burrell, Aaron Rowand and Shane Victorino are the starters with Jayson Werth coming off the bench."

Michael Bourn is expected to get the fifth outfielder job.

2007-03-28 11:37:56
77.   ROC
I love this site (always read, rarely post), and look forward everyday to Jon's posts and as well as the often insightful, funny comments by most of the usual participants.

But what I like about DT the best, is it's not overly rah-rah & fan-boyish, or negative. To expand on the geek world analogy of fan-boyism, I think looking at the Dodgers as some do Nintendo or Apple (i.e. they can do no wrong)...or view them Microsoft bashers may (everything they do is evil) gets old real quick. I think Macs & Wii's are the better products, but I cringe when they get a lot of biased support because I think it reduces the merits they've earned vs. ones that are handed to them. And both products certainly have their pros & cons...just like the Dodgers.

When they do well, I cheer and celebrate as any fan. But there's always room for insight and ideas on improvement, and I come to DT to feed that need.

p.s. no animals were harmed in this post

2007-03-28 11:39:37
78.   JoeyP
is so much talent that they'll overcome the bad moves?

Minor league depth + $115 mil dollar payroll.

I'd think anything less than 90 wins would be a failure. The mismanagement of funds/resources probably will ensure that happens.

2007-03-28 11:39:39
79.   bhsportsguy
89-73 based on solid starting pitching with Chad and Kuo making their appearances in the rotation by June and July (though they may not start at the same time). Schmidt has a solid first season (16-7) and Wolf goes 12-10 and pitches enough innings to guarantee a 2008 contract.

No huge mid-season moves though rumours will start in June about a big deal for Andruw Jones.

Somehow Loney and Kemp will also be playing regularly during the middle months but how that happens remains to be seen.

Oh and they win the division by 2 games over Colorado.

2007-03-28 11:42:05
80.   bhsportsguy
BTW for those you lurking, you cannot do better than go back to the September 18, 2006 archives, there you will see the highs and lows of being a Dodger fan and a DT poster.
2007-03-28 11:48:01
81.   Daniel Zappala
I'll be rooting for Pierre to turn in as memorable a season as Brett Butler once did.
2007-03-28 11:53:46
82.   Bumsrap
It is not that I disagree with Ned signing sure things even if those sure things are not too exciting. And I realize that those sure things wouldn't have signed if Ned said they would play if the young guys proved they were not ready.

But Nomar should have been a sure thing at either third or left field and not signed if Ned thought he was too fragile to play those positions. Loney should be the first baseman.

I am actually good with Pierre in CF for now and I think Gonzo makes for great insurance but should be just that for now.

As much as I like Kemp I would be willing to trade him along with LaRoche for Zimmerman or Miguel Cabrera. I would also trade Betemit and Kent maybe to the Angels for whatever and let Abreu play second now.

2007-03-28 11:56:07
83.   LAT
73. I'm predicting Pierre will start the season red hot. An increase in hits and walks just to really piss-off some folks here.
2007-03-28 12:03:13
84.   goblue1
I predict we will run away and hide with the NL West and this new found love-in with the Arizona club in the media will pass faster than a bad Chinese dinner.
2007-03-28 12:05:01
85.   screwballin
The Dodgers won the division at 90-72 on the shoulders of Ned's brilliant plan to:
1) Limit Billingsley's innings by starting him in the bullpen, so he was fresh enough to win game 3 of the NLDS;
2) Give Loney two months to work on his outfield play so he could contribute steadily in LF when Gonzo's elbow gave out.

The contrarian in me comes to the surface.

2007-03-28 12:08:11
86.   LAT
78. I'd think anything less than 90 wins would be a failure. The mismanagement of funds/resources probably will ensure that happens.

I might agree but for the fact that the West will be the toughtest division in the NL and the unbalanced schedule may keep the Dodgers from winning 90 games. The Dodgers, Padres and D'Backs will all be in contention and the Rockies will not be as bad as usual making 90 wins a tough proposition for any team in the division.

(However, 90 losses may be reachable for the Giants--they should really suck.)

2007-03-28 12:09:38
87.   kngoworld
Was it last year the Dodgers started the season 12-2? (sorry, seems like ages ago)
2007-03-28 12:14:30
88.   regfairfield
The Dodgers 84-78 second place finish was accomplished with Andy LaRoche's stellar rookie season, Matt Kemp's strong second half, and Brett Tomko hitting Adrian Gonzalez in the eyeball with a fast ball.
2007-03-28 12:18:17
89.   Marty
Nice job 77.

I'm in agreement in that I really enjoy the fact that this site does not see the boosterism that other sites, like ItD, see. I really don't want to feel obligated to make Go Dodgers! a signature of my comments.

Plus I like the non-baseball stuff we talk about as anyone who reads my comments knows. I probably comment on baseball maybe 10% of the time.

2007-03-28 12:20:31
90.   Eric Enders
Bad news for Betemit? Gurnick says...

"The only other infielder with shortstop experience that's expected to make the club, Ramon Martinez, has started only one game at shortstop since Furcal was injured. Valdez and Abreu have started at shortstop twice each since the injury."

2007-03-28 12:21:25
91.   Dark Horse
87-Alas, 12-2 was the misleading beginning of 2005. Oh, those heady days! And that remains the worst season I can recall, over thirty years of them.
2007-03-28 12:21:41
92.   ToyCannon
The Dodgers 88-74 record rested on the shoulders of a solid pitching staff, the health and hitting of Nomar, and surprising contributions from Juan Pierre who reversed his 3 year decline in OBP and posted his career average while scoring 100 plus runs. Luis Gonzales defied the odds with an 825 OPS from April - July but was running on empty by Sept when the Dodgers went to an outfield of Loney/Pierre/Ethier. When Tomko was unable to take his big April into the Summer months, Ned not content to trust the kids rolled the dice and acquired the Dontrelle Willis for Kemp and Kuo. The DT crowd wept in their beers, but Big Train captured the hearts of Dodger fans and was scheduled to pitch game one of the playoffs. Randy Wolf proved you can go home again and led the team in wins with 15. It was a bittersweet season as they advanced to the playoffs but Kemp quickly proved that a trifecta of Miggy/Hanley/Kemp for the Marlins will be a force for years to come. One kid did come through as Big Game Loney proved everyone wrong who thought his best comp was Mark Grace. Finally getting some playing time when Ethier twisted an ankle, Loney showed that his best comp was Tony Gwynn as he laced hits all over the Western Division ballparks. When Ethier got healthy, Loney took over for Gonzales in LF and was the best hitter on the team in Sept.
2007-03-28 12:21:57
93.   dzzrtRatt
47
"seems like the main drivers here are:

1. Coletti is bad news and pretty much everything he does is dumb.
2. Jaun Pierre is bad news.
3. The guys in AAA are the answer to everything ( to the extent that Nomar or Gonzo getting hurt might be seen as good news)"

Yeah, but when everyone said that, we were only being sarcastic. In fact, most commenters here believe the opposite of each one of those statements.

2007-03-28 12:24:26
94.   Greg Brock
89 It's what makes the entire Toaster product so great. Every writer is interesting and smart, the commenters are friendly and articulate, and it is really a community of baseball fanatics and intelligent folk. Laudatory when appropriate, critical yet well-intentioned, and really, really funny.
2007-03-28 12:26:14
95.   Midwest Blue
The Dodgers' 91-71 record rested on the shoulders of the Dodger pitching staff, which produced a 20-game winner and an 18-game winner and on Ned Colletti for pulling off a mid-season trade that sent Kemp, LaRoche and DeWitt to Florida for Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera's arrival propelled the Dodgers into the playoffs, and the team ended the season on a 25-7 winning-streak.
2007-03-28 12:27:32
96.   Eric Enders
The Dodgers' 2007 wild card-winning season rested largely on the shoulders of manager Grady Little, whose juggling of the lineup after injuries to Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, and Jeff Kent helped keep the team in the race for the division title until the final week of the season. The Dodger lineup was fueled by Juan Pierre, who received a smattering of votes in NL MVP balloting after finishing in the top five in MLB in hits, stolen bases, and outs made. National League Rookie of the Year James Loney also provided a spark by batting over .300 after being recalled from Las Vegas early in the season.
2007-03-28 12:28:26
97.   Eric Enders
That new Kurt Bevacqua post is required reading, BTW. I'm really enjoying the new blog so far.
2007-03-28 12:31:26
98.   J Alan Dodger
90 Bad news for Nomar too. I always thought he had played short.
2007-03-28 12:32:07
99.   GoBears
Seems to me that at this point, the Juan Pierre bashing comes only when someone tries to make the case that he's a good player, or praises Colletti for the signing. Unfortunately, that happens often (mostly in the mainstream media).

I have no idea what this season will bring. Depends on whether the old brittle guys manage to stay healthy and perform, and if they don't whether the kids are used (and perform well) or are held back by more trades for proven vets.

This season will come down to luck with health for the whole division. Compared with last season, I think the Dodgers are a little worse, the DBacks and Rockies a little better, the Padres and Giants basically unchanged. So... I'll guess 85 or 86 wins and a battle for both the division and the WC. Better starting pitching, worse OBP and BA (we'll miss Drew, and revert to the mean on clutch hitting), and no more power.

2007-03-28 12:35:06
100.   underdog
77 says it all for me.

My only critique of this site is that it sometimes gets in the way of my getting actual work done. ;-)

86 Yah, although I think even the Giants may fare better than they've been picked this season - though that's only if a lot of things (like health) go their way, which it probably won't, and they have no position depth, so never mind. But still, I don't expect them to be pushovers with Bochy managing. The division overall should be better this year and even better next year.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-03-28 12:37:41
101.   underdog
95 "pulling off a mid-season trade that sent Kemp, LaRoche and DeWitt to Florida for Miguel Cabrera." -- I actually read that prediction in the NY Post online today, too, and assumed if it was written about in the Post, it definitely will not happen.
2007-03-28 12:41:19
102.   Vishal
The Dodgers' 89-73 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of rookie of the year james loney, who only hit 20 home runs, but battled miguel cabrera and albert pujols for the NL batting title and led the dodgers in RBI after being installed in the starting lineup in may. Also contributing significantly was rafael furcal and the deep pitching staff.

did anybody notice that, in addition to AL west rivalry games, the diamondbacks and giants have to play the yankees and red sox this year (the diamondbacks have the orioles twice and the devil rays), and the padres have the red sox as well (plus baltimore and tampa bay), while we only have the blue jays (twice) and the devil rays? even the rockies have to play the red sox and yanks, but we don't.

2007-03-28 12:41:42
103.   underdog
Well the Tigers and Dodgers have kissed each other's sisters and bid you all farewell.
2007-03-28 12:42:18
104.   Gagne55
The Dodgers 86-76 record in 2007 rested on the arms of the pitching staff who lead the league in era by a half a run per nine innings over second place San Deigo. Unfortunately, the Dodgers also scored over a quarter run per game less than runner up Pittsburg and could finish no higher than second place, losing the wild card to Houston on the final weekend.
2007-03-28 12:44:38
105.   LAT
100. Armando Benitez. 'nuff said but we can say more. While Zito obviously helps--alot. Randy Winn is no replacement for Alou. I would be shocked if Ray Durham hits 26 HR and 93 rbi again. Molina is a wild card in terms of skill and production decline. No bullpen. No bench. Other thant he All-Star game and Bonds it should be a long long season for the Giants.

Now that I have said it they will probably win the division.

2007-03-28 12:44:49
106.   Vishal
[104] you need to hear vin scully tell you his story about the h in pittsburgh.
2007-03-28 13:00:50
107.   BlueMamma
71 - it seems to me that most of the negative vibe towards colletti stems from adding aging, breaking down players who will take up a lot of cash to sit on the DL. if this turns out to be true, and the kids turn out to be the answer, then colletti hasn't actually done much harm, except right at the beginning of the year.

maybe his secret is signing vets to make the fans who want names happy, but to be careful to select vets that will break down early and for whom we have ready replacements, to make the "let's go kids" crowd happy. maybe it's all just elaborate politicking.

2007-03-28 13:00:51
108.   JoeyP
90--Maybe Gurnick just doesnt consider Betemit a SS, or doesnt recall him playing the position.

I'd be very surprised if he were cut. He has to be out of options by now right?

If the team was scared of losing Wilson Valdez bc of options...no way they'd risk Betemit.

2007-03-28 13:06:38
109.   robohobo
107. "it seems to me that most of the negative vibe towards colletti stems from adding aging, breaking down players who will take up a lot of cash to sit on the DL."

...and raise ticket prices.

2007-03-28 13:11:29
110.   ToyCannon
108
Joey what is your point? Betemit is our starting 3b, who cares if Gurnick doesn't have him listed as someone who can play SS.
Is this along the same lines as the Werthless info you posted yesterday?
2007-03-28 13:13:54
111.   underdog
105 No, all true - in all honesty I still expect them to finish last, just that they won't be a bad last place team or too, too far out of it.
2007-03-28 13:16:30
112.   trainwreck
The Dodgers open the 2007 season struggling. Last year's offense was dependent on high OBP and clutch hitting (analysis done by SI's own Jon Weisman). Clutching hitting is hard to recreate and with the moves we have made so far, I expect our OBP to go down initially. The pitching starts off very inconsistent. Schmidt opens the season struggling, Tomko is Tomko, Lowe and Wolf are inconsistent, while Penny is the most consistent of all starters. Nomar gets hurt, Loney replaces him and takes over the job at first base. Gonzo and Betemit struggle. Various prospects are called up and the Dodgers go on a little run in the NL West making up ground on the Diamondbacks, who go through peeks and valleys due to their young roster. Billingsley replaces Tomko and Greg Miller gets some time as a starter due to injuries. Ned trades Matt Kemp or Andy LaRoche and others in a package for a big bat. Nomar moves to LF or 3rd base. Dodgers just miss out on Wild Card, which goes to Diamondbacks. Finish year at 83-79.
2007-03-28 13:17:15
113.   goblue1
QUICK TAKE: After admitting it was time to alter their plan of surrounding Barry Bonds with older players, the Giants re-signed Bonds . . . and surrounded him with older players.

-from BA.com

Like McDonalds, Im lov'n it.

2007-03-28 13:18:00
114.   trainwreck
Oh yeah and Penny possibly traded and Lowe once again ends up our most dependable starter.
2007-03-28 13:21:29
115.   JoeyP
105-- Zito should dominate the NL bc they havent seen his curve.

I'd be very surprised if they didnt finish at least .500 if Cain/Zito stay healthy. Those two IMO are the best two starters on any NL team. Now 3-5 could be a problem.

Every year it seems they stack that team with garbage around Bonds..but the Bonds effect on the lineup as a whole causes them to score more runs than you'd think they would. I dont think they'll win the division, but if Cain/Zito throw 70 starts between them--they should win 80 or so.

2007-03-28 13:23:10
116.   gibsonhobbs88
Dodgers in 2007 rested on the shoulders of.... Lowe, Schmidt and Wolf all winning 15+ games and pitching effectively most of the season, Penny getting back to the form of early 2006 for the first half of the season and Billingsley finishing out the season when Penny pulls his oblique while fishing for marlins during the All-star break. Kuo takes over for Tomko in early June and wins 10. The offense gets some unexpected resurgent power from Kent who hits 25 and Ethier who clubs 22. Furcal and Pierre steal 45-55 bases each and the Dodgers win the west with a 91-71 record.
Loney enters the lineup in LF to stay by May 10 when Gonzo's arm turns to spaghetti and Loney proceeds to hit .315 with 17 dingers and 84 RBI's. Dodgers face the wild-card Cubs in the first round winning 3-1 with solid pitching cooling off the Cubs bats. Dodgers go the distance before losing to the Mets in 7 in the NLCS when Glavine's off-speed stuff frustrates the hitters in a 2-1 loss.
2007-03-28 13:29:15
117.   trainwreck
I think Zito has initial success, but do not forget how many walks he gave up last year. He is going downhill right now. I think he eventually starts to struggle. In addition, he is a fly ball pitcher and that defense in the outfield is just terrible.
2007-03-28 13:38:16
118.   goblue1
With interleague and players moving all over the place everyone has seen enough of Zito. He's going to be good, not great. That team actually has pretty good pitching, but makes our line-up look like the '27 Yankees. I bet they are last or 4th at best.
77-85 on the frail shoulders of no hitting, Bonds brooding, and zero investment in minor league position players since the 1980s.
2007-03-28 13:43:40
119.   Gen3Blue
Just got in and looked at today's box. If I am right Loney, Kemp, and Ethier all three threw out a runner at third from right field this week--maybe even successive games.
2007-03-28 14:11:00
120.   screwballin
I'm honestly surprised at how many DTers are ready to hand a key power position to a player who couldn't manage 10 homers in an extreme AAA hitter's park. Aren't we statheads supposed to loathe no-power 1Bs?

I know some expect Loney to develop his power, and maybe he will. But in a winnable division, could we really afford to get only a handful of dingers out of our 1b this year?

2007-03-28 14:12:26
121.   Jon Weisman
120 - I think some argue that Nomar does not add much in HR, slugging percentage, EQA, etc.
2007-03-28 14:15:08
122.   kinbote
The Dodgers' 92-70 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of the starting pitchers, especially the foursome of lowe, schmidt, penny, & wolf, each of whom finished the season with 15 wins.

the bullpen was solid, bolstered midseason by the additions of meloan and miller.

on offense, matt kemp led a second-half charge, replacing the injured luis gonzalez, while russell martin and andre ethier each had solid sophomore campaigns.

In the playoffs, the dodgers took five games to defeat the braves in their first-round series before falling to the phillies in the nlcs.

2007-03-28 14:15:28
123.   Marty
Josh just posted this on ItD:

Eric Neel audio tribute to Dodgertown Vero Beach

http://tinyurl.com/3cjszk

2007-03-28 14:17:07
124.   s choir
121 Home runs are nice, but overrated. You just need runs, not home runs.
2007-03-28 14:18:17
125.   s choir
sorry 121, 124 was meant for 120
2007-03-28 14:18:30
126.   screwballin
121 Understood, but I can't help but think that those who would have not signed Nomar and given the job to Loney outright would be handcuffing a team that is already starved for power.

Maybe Ned's truest act of competence would be to trade Loney now, because I get a nagging feeling that his value may never be higher.

2007-03-28 14:21:24
127.   Jon Weisman
126 - I think the argument is that the money spent on Nomar could have been reallocated to a true power hitter.
2007-03-28 14:22:00
128.   goblue1
120

Its the love of the home grown players I think. I suspect if Loney hit 16 HRs and 52 Doubles this year in with a slightly higher avg (same OBP) than LuGo in left field folks would be swinging from the chandeliers with joy.

2007-03-28 14:24:43
129.   Jon Weisman
127 - That plus the Gonzalez/Pierre money.
2007-03-28 14:25:47
130.   Jon Weisman
128 - That, and it would be done by someone with a lower salary and brighter future. If Ethier, who isn't homegrown, did that, that would make people happy too.
2007-03-28 14:26:35
131.   goblue1
127/9

Who though? It was a tough year for FA power. I don't know if we wanted Soriano for that money. Lee maybe?

2007-03-28 14:27:50
132.   El Lay Dave
… the shoulders of the pitching staff that carried a league-average offense into the playoffs. Although, the Dodgers lacked an overpowering "ace", Derek Lowe, Jason Schmidt and Brad Penny enjoyed strong seasons that placed all three among the top 25 NL starters, while Comeback Player of the Year Randy Wolf was no slouch with his 14-9, 3.89 ERA season. Brett Tomko was strong out of the chute, but struggled until he was replaced in the rotation by a capable Chad Billingsley (8-4, 4.15, with that memorable no-hit bid against the Giants) in June and traded to the Washington Nationals for the ubiquitous player to be named later. The bullpen was strong once again with hard-throwing Jonathan Broxton, surprising Rudy Seanez, resurgent Yhancy Brazonban and mid-season callup Jonathan Meloan shutting down opponents inning after inning, setting up Takashi Saito for 46 saves in 49 chances, as the closer continued to mystify NL opponents.

The offensive had its plusses and minuses in 2007. Both Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre veered back to the mean, posting identical .352 OBPs, an improvement over last season for the much-criticized Pierre, but a 17-point decrease for the Dodger shortstop. Jeff Kent mashed 24 more HRs this year, and walked 79 times to boot, despite two trips to the DL that limited him to 523 PAs. Nomar Garciaparra's twins must have provided him extra conditioning as he stayed relatively healthy all year and contributed 65 extra-base hits in 145 games. Russell Martin and Andre Ethier saw slight sophomore slumps in 2007, but not precipitous drops, and Ethier's late-season platoon partner Matt Kemp provided another teasing glimpse into the Dodger future with six September home runs, including the game-winner pinch-hit HR on a Barry Zito hanging-curveball, in the aforementioned Billingsley outing. Luis Gonzales followed up a mediocre April with a woeful May, while James Loney learned to shag flies and kicked the major-league door in in Las Vegas by posting a .426 BA in. Loney made the vast majority of LF starts and posted offensive number remarkably similar to Ethier's rookie campaign.

A fellow can dream, can't he?

(So watch something weird happen, like a trade of LaRoche, Penny and a middle reliever for Miguel Tejada, who signs an extension to play 3B for the next 3-4 years.)

2007-03-28 14:31:32
133.   GoBears
126. 128. No, that's not right. If you were to offer me Pujols or Howard, of course I'd want them over Loney.

The point with Loney is, I hate to say it, the same as it was with Choi. Not that either is a future HOFer, or even an ideal 1st baseman, but that each is(was) better and cheaper than the player ahead of him. Loney is a better hitter than Choi - I don't mean to damn with faint praise. But the key here is that Loney>Nomar and Loney+Nomar's salary >> Nomar.

And I like Nomar. The beef isn't an overrating of Loney. And it's not a fetish for the home-grown. It's that when a simple choice arose, it seems to many that the GM chose the lesser of two options.

Who knows? Maybe Colletti meant it when he said that part of the reason to re-sign Nomar was his willingness and ability to change positions, and that it's Little who doesn't want to move Nomar to another spot. The only REAL problem here is that both guys apparently can only play 1b, and there's no DH in the AL (Nomar would be a good DH - that's why I figured he'd be an Angel this year).

2007-03-28 14:34:35
134.   Jon Weisman
131 - Good question - really, that was the question of this past offseason. But it still doesn't alter the fact that for some people, Garciaparra represents an expensive yet negligible improvement on Loney.
2007-03-28 14:38:27
135.   Benaiah
131 - Why give away 16 million dollars? If no one is worth the money than sit on it for next year when Andruw Jones hits the market.
2007-03-28 14:40:41
136.   goblue1
134

Yea.... I guess. Ill buy right into that when I see Loney hit > 12 HRs (for the first time in his big league career). Man, I hope he does.... but I don't like seeing Ned trashed for not making that leap of faith. Which, like it or not, it is.

2007-03-28 14:40:56
137.   Greg Brock
Loney would equal or better Nomar's production at 5% of the cost.

He's younger, bound to be more healthy, a far better fielder, and will most likely continue to improve and develop power as he ages. He's left handed. We control his rights for a long time. He's ready.

I'm willing to hear arguments for Nomar, whom I really like as a person and player. Just not at first base...

2007-03-28 14:41:04
138.   El Lay Dave
134 This is all water under the bridge, but realizing that J.D. Drew (and Scott Boras) would very likely opt-out and offering a new contract first might have been a good idea.
2007-03-28 14:42:03
139.   El Lay Dave
136 ALL rookies are doing things "for the first time in his big league career".
2007-03-28 14:43:22
140.   underdog
I'm still in the "want both Loney and Garciaparra to start" chorus - but that makes the assumption that either a) Garciaparra can play 3b (Betemit could sub for him frequently) or that Loney can play regularly in the OF. But anyway...

Btw, I'd be okay with a Penny, La Roche and (middle reliever) trade for Cabrera - not so sure about Tejada at this point. But the former would be highly unlikely, especially for that package.

2007-03-28 14:44:10
141.   goblue1
139

"big league" = minors also. I guess I should have said "professional" career

2007-03-28 14:44:20
142.   bhsportsguy
Like it or not, Nomar is the most popular player on the team and though it was possible prior to Drew's opting out, that he was not going to be signed, I think that the team looking at two holes in the outfield and one at first base, decided that they could not throw 2-3 more young guys on a team with just Kent and Furcal as your established players.

Especially if you were planning to try and get Schmidt and another starter.

Outside of the debate about the 5th starter, the starters are the strength of the team followed by the bullpen.

Basically it comes down to whether or not Ned should have gone with Loney at first base and Kemp in one of the two outfield spots (the Dodgers were always going to get someone whether it was Pierre or Luis Gonzalez, they tried to get Soriano, once Drew opted out).

The money part, while nice for a DT debate, there still is no evidence, at least to me, that it has been issue when signing guys.

But basically I think the issue with Loney and Kemp is what this is all about and I think that they will still important parts for the success of this team, just not in April.

2007-03-28 14:44:21
143.   screwballin
127 Agreed, but the two big power hitters available were Carlos Lee and Soriano, and no way we wanted to enter those bidding wars, I think. They are both flawed players being paid like unflawed players.
2007-03-28 14:44:46
144.   Benaiah
139 - Well, Loney hasn't done it in the minors either. I love Big Game James with the heat of a thousand suns, but it is interesting that a website that features so many statistically inclined fans would be such a proponent of a hitter whose primary value is batting average. That said, it is a really high batting average.
2007-03-28 14:45:18
145.   El Lay Dave
136 By the way, why do you tend to go for the more polarizing and judgmental words like "trashed" when referring to other comments, instead of something more neutral but equally communicative, such as "criticized?"
2007-03-28 14:46:14
146.   El Lay Dave
140 or that Nomar could play LF......
2007-03-28 14:48:43
147.   goblue1
145

point taken

2007-03-28 14:49:36
148.   bhsportsguy
137 For the worst case scenario, I can say five words, Dallas McPhereson or Troy Glaus.

Different situations perhaps and the Angels don't get dinged about it as much perhaps because what they did was based on what Greg says in his post.

And there will be those here that are willing to take that chance however the Angels have had trouble scoring runs for the last 2 years and one reason is the lack of production at 3B and McPhereson's injuries aganist Troy's relative good health and production is a reminder that life does not always follow PECOTA.

2007-03-28 14:50:53
149.   D4P
Another problem with Nomar:

His .872 OPS last year ranked 13th out of 24 first baseman (with enough PAs to qualify for the ranking).

At shortstop, an .872 OPS would have ranked 4th out of 19.

At third base, an .872 OPS would have ranked 7th out of 22.

2007-03-28 14:52:07
150.   screwballin
134 I think if Nomar's healthy, no way Loney outhits him in his inaugural big league campaign. Maybe in a year or two, but I think this year he'll still be adjusting.

And if Nomar's not healthy, then Loney fills in anyway, no?

That, of course, leaves out the middle ground where Nomar is just healthy enough to show up but not healthy enough to produce, aka fall '06. But here's hoping that they'll see Loney as a good enough alternative that they won't let that happen again.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-03-28 14:54:00
151.   Bluebleeder87
I'm sorry to be negative BUT! not bringing Loney to the "SHOW" is just flat out criminal!! I know there's other factors that play into the decision but still....
2007-03-28 14:54:20
152.   Greg Brock
148 I don't see how that changes next year, or the year after that.

Kids don't do it until they've done it. If we're afraid Loney will fail or get hurt, then let's never play him. Again, it's not about Nomar, who would be a dandy 3rd baseman, or even a left fielder (he's bound to outproduce Gonzo, right?). Loney is ready to play 1st base. He's done all that has been asked of him, and he's ready.

2007-03-28 14:54:34
153.   goblue1
149

Loney "professional" (5 years in the minors) OPS = 0.802

Again, I reiterate- I like Loney a lot. Just seems things have gotten 1 sided.

2007-03-28 14:57:18
154.   Greg Brock
152 I noticed I may have come off a bit curt there...Didn't mean to be, bhsportsuy.
2007-03-28 14:58:15
155.   Jon Weisman
151 - Welcome back, Bluebleeder
2007-03-28 15:00:59
156.   screwballin
149 I think we really need to get over Nomar playing SS. He has moved down the defensive spectrum, and he's not moving back. At least not that far back. 3b I could see, maybe, and I wish they had tried it.

He took a lot of heat in his last year in Boston for his subpar SS defense, and I don't think it's gotten any better in the 5 years he's been doing other things.

2007-03-28 15:01:20
157.   bhsportsguy
152 Certainly Betemit will have a lot to prove if he can handle being a regular 3B in the Majors if he continues to be inconsistent and Nomar is showing that he can play everyday, then that would be the most logical move.

I agree that kids have to play to see what they got and I think Loney (and Kemp) will get their chances this year, it just wasn't going to be right now.

2007-03-28 15:02:26
158.   Greg Brock
157 BUT I WANT IT NOW!

/Veruca Salt.

2007-03-28 15:02:49
159.   Bluebleeder87
"The Dodgers' xx-xx record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of ... ________________."

I'm not even gonna do this becouse I know @ the end of the season it's gonna end up making me look bad (Jon is sneaky that way)

2007-03-28 15:03:01
160.   bhsportsguy
154 Its cool, now about that Nation of Islam comment....

BTW Greg, a little UCLA OT (Trainwreck too), how much chance do you give the Bruins on Saturday, I just don't have a good sense about that game.

2007-03-28 15:03:28
161.   Jon Weisman
159 - You'll notice I don't do it :)
2007-03-28 15:05:05
162.   Bluebleeder87
155 Thanks Jon. I'm still kind of "gun shy" but thanks for noticing
2007-03-28 15:05:35
163.   Greg Brock
160 I really have no feel on the game. Having made the Final Four back to back years, and Keving Love coming in, I am just pleased as punch with everything. We'll probably lose, but it'll be closer than last year.

Honestly, I want Florida to lose more than I want UCLA to win.

2007-03-28 15:11:56
164.   Claire Malone-Evans
The Dodgers 83-79 season is highlighted by Brad Penny stealing home in a 19th inning victory over the Padres. Sadly Nomar injures his hamstring trying to carry Penny off the field during the victory celebration.
2007-03-28 15:11:58
165.   screwballin
Really, though, if Nomar's offense is subpar for 1b, why is it enough for LF? And to those who would put him at 3b, that seems to suggest that you deny Betemit the chance that you would give Loney. Doesn't Wilson deserve a shot too?
2007-03-28 15:15:09
166.   Greg Brock
165
I think he would outperform Luis Gonzales. I didn't say he'd be the prototypical left fielder.
2007-03-28 15:19:05
167.   GoBears
but I don't like seeing Ned trashed for not making that leap of faith.

OK, I'll try again. "Ned" is not being "trashed" for this one decision. The reason this decision has produced the reaction it has hereabouts is because it's piled on top of a whole bunch of other, very similar decisions.

2007-03-28 15:19:13
168.   underdog
164 How many home runs did the Dodgers hit to send that one to extras, Claire? ;-)

---

Well, at least Jason Repko's surgery went well, sounds like. Poor guy.

2007-03-28 15:20:33
169.   D4P
An .872 OPS would have ranked 6th out of 20 left fielders
2007-03-28 15:27:01
170.   screwballin
So those who say Loney has earned the 1b job, would you be OK with him hitting .330 with an OBP of .360 and maybe 6 dingers? (It's a sincere question, so please take it that way.) Because I don't see how we could expect much more than that, based on his minor league numbers.

Don't get me wrong, the kid has a beautiful swing, and I think he'll have a good career. But I just don't think he has "beaten the door down."

2007-03-28 15:27:22
171.   Gen3Blue
I feel really bad for Repko. Though I was never a big supporter I began to associate him with the D's and he always seemed to surprise me in a positive way. I can't imagine the frustration a person like this must feel on the bench year after year. I'm afraid his injuries are not pure coincidence, and he may never play for us, like poor Werth. There really seems to be an injury prone type.
2007-03-28 15:30:55
172.   Greg Brock
170 Loney hit 4 home runs in 100 at-bats last year. That's right around a 20 home run full season. He had an OPS+ of 124 in those AB's (relatively small sample size granted).

Where are you getting 6 home runs?

2007-03-28 15:36:22
173.   Gen3Blue
170 There is some wisdom in what you say.
However I think we may be getting the cart before the horse in the way we consider 1st base. We expect 1b to be a power position for a team. The reality is first base is a place you can hide a guy with old baseball skills and old legs and range. The fact is, if a young guy is good defensively, can really hit, and is left handed, and beyond this costs absolutely nothing, there are other positions a team can get power from. You are right in pointing out that the D's don't have other power. Damn, I'm sick of defending Loney, you are right-its not a big deal.
2007-03-28 15:37:42
174.   gibsonhobbs88
I just want to take a moment and Congratulate Nomar and Mia on the birth of healthy twin girls. Nomar will now be outnumbered in the household.:) I'm sure those little girls will have Nomar twisted around their little fingers, LOL!!

As far as our team, let's not go off the deepend of the lake just yet. Yes, I personally don't see the lineup in April as the best 25 with Loney not part of the 25, but sometimes things have a way of working themselves out. I am not ready to either deify or crucify Ned Colletti. Let us wait and see as it is a long season. Patience my friends.

2007-03-28 15:38:00
175.   screwballin
169 Nomar's .275 EQA would have ranked 21st among left fielders with 400 PAs. Just ahead of one Luis Gonzalez, incidentally.

Among 1Bs, he ranked 16th. So his offense would be farther below average for a LF than for a 1B, which surprises me.

2007-03-28 15:45:06
176.   D4P
Nomar's .275 EQA

Where did the .275 number come from?

2007-03-28 15:47:18
177.   Greg Brock
Nomar had a .292 EqA last year.
Luis Gonzales had a .265 EqA last year.
2007-03-28 15:50:21
178.   screwballin
172 I just adjusted from the 8 he hit at Vegas, so not very scientific. But I worry about reading too much into the 4 he hit last year, considering 2 of them came on the same warm afternoon at Coors Field off Jose Mesa and BK Kim.

In warm mile-high air, who among us couldn't take Mesa deep? :)

2007-03-28 15:51:02
179.   regfairfield
170 If Loney hit .330, there's no way he'd have a .360 on base. If I had to project some full season numbers for him, it would be in the .310/.370/.470 range. Or, right around what Nomar would do.
2007-03-28 15:53:26
180.   D4P
If the choice is ultimately between

1. Loney at 1B and Nomar in LF
2. Nomar at 1B and LuGo in LF

the fairly obvious choice (from an offensive standpoint, at least) is #1.

2007-03-28 15:54:09
181.   screwballin
176 Um, from my own little imaginary world, apparently. (Or, more accurately, from his PECOTA weighted mean forecast for '07) His EqA for last year was .296 according to BP. Sorry.
2007-03-28 15:57:16
182.   Jon Weisman
178 - The Dodgers do play several games in Colorado again this season.
2007-03-28 15:57:22
183.   screwballin
179 Well, his .380 average in Vegas only got him a .426 OBP. 32 walks in 406 PAs.
2007-03-28 16:00:04
184.   regfairfield
183 True, but he has walked a little more in the past. Why bother when you have a .380 average?
2007-03-28 16:03:44
185.   underdog
180 That's all true, except he still has to play defense and I still just cannot picture Nomar roaming the outfield at this point. Maybe he could get a pinch-fielder to play out there in his stead. ;-)
2007-03-28 16:08:37
186.   trainwreck
160
We basically have to play as well as we did against Kansas and need Florida to be over confident and too careless with the ball. Florida has been averaging a lot of turnovers, so we have to take advantage there. Going to need some good luck when it comes to Green and Humphrey shooting threes.

BTW, on ESPN right now is McDonald's All-American Jam Fest. Kevin Love is participating in the team shoot out. The McDonald's Game follows right after. The West squad is absolutely loaded. Probably the best high school team you will ever see.

2007-03-28 16:18:03
187.   goblue1
167

As a new guy here, I accept that I will be reprimanded or rebuffed and disputed on this on this but I have to say it anyhow. I suspect if we really get into the nitty gritty (real facts) of the rest of the "similar decisions" they may not really be that questionable. Some are questionable, sure. But how many are REALLY bad when you know the whole story behind each one. How many are "criminal" or should lead to a firing? Really.

2007-03-28 16:21:35
188.   blue22
185 - This is assuming that Nomar is a competent first baseman. He "looked" decent enough last year, but the numbers say otherwise. According to FRAA, he was about as bad a first baseman (-9 in 120+ games) as Adam Dunn was a left fielder (-15 in 160 games).

LuGo was quite good actually (+2 in 153 games). Loney was similarly bad (-3, though in only 38 games worth of data).

2007-03-28 16:29:56
189.   Andrew Shimmin
How many are "criminal" or should lead to a firing?

I don't know. How many?

2007-03-28 16:31:46
190.   underdog
Criminal? I think Kevin Malone is the only GM I would've had arrested for his actions. Maybe Tom Lasord too. Or is impeached a better word? ;-)
2007-03-28 16:32:34
191.   FirstMohican
The Dodgers' 101-61 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of James Loney, who took the batting title with a .394 average, and led the Dodgers with a confounding .392 OBP. The following spring he was informed that he would have to beat out 49-year-old Julio Franco (who Colletti signed to replace Nomar (who inexplicably exploded while doing dishes with Joe Biemel)) for the 1B job, but would ultimately be assigned to AAA Las Vegas to work on drawing more walks. The Dodgers, despite finishing 20 games ahead of the 2nd place Padres, narrowly lost the division to the Giants, who were voted winners based on the MLB's experimental system whereby the Giants were voted team in division who "most played baseball the way it was supposed to be played" by a self-installed panel of physically realized algorithms who built themselves out of frustration for the very concept of quantification that makes their existence possible. Loney's 2007 batting title was later rescinded by the panel and his new 2007 retroactive and ultimately meaningless batting average was calculated to be .258 based on his perceived baseball savvy.
2007-03-28 16:42:06
192.   StolenMonkey86
The Dodgers' 94-68 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of Luis Gonzalez, Nomar Garicaparra, Brad Penny, Randy Wolf, Rudy Seanez, and Jeff Kent.

(Those shoulders were, of course, all injured, thus giving way to Tony Abreu, Hong-Chih Kuo, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Greg Miller, and BJ Lamura to end the season successfully.)

2007-03-28 16:42:55
193.   oldfan60
The Dodgers record of 87-76 (winning a playoff game against the Phillies for the Wildcard) rested on the shoulders of Pierre who had 200 hits and improved his SB %, Kent, Lowe and Wolf. Loney did a great job subbing for the injured Nomar. Penny had a terrible season.
In ML news, the Devil Rays GM was named GM of the year for his astonishing trade, getting Kemp, LaRoche and Elbert for Fred McGriff who was not in the Devil Rays roster.
On a more serious note, I like Ned but wish he would not answer the phone when TB calls. Were I McCourt, I would hire an assistant to knock the phone off Ned's hand anytime he tries to talk to TB: "Bad Ned! NO!".
2007-03-28 17:11:33
194.   Jon Weisman
Programming note – I really want to do a long-overdue update to the sidebar before the season begins. If you have any recommendations for blogs to add, let me know. I know I'm missing some obvious ones, like FJM.
2007-03-28 17:15:50
195.   thinkingblue
The dodgers 90-72 record rested mostly on outstanding starting pitching from Lowe, Schmidt, and Penny, above average outings from Wolf, and Tomko having a 10 ERA the first month, which will drop him out for Billingsley who will go on to post a 3.15 ERA the rest of the season (albeit only averaging 5 2/3 innings, with 8 walks a game ;)

Also resting on a surprisingly good year from Nomar, 28 home runs from Kent, a repeat of last year with Furcal, and Pierre tripping on a beach ball and requiring knee-ending mediocrity replacement surgery, which will allow Kemp to come up and hit 25 home runs from May-September.

2007-03-28 17:45:04
196.   GoBears
Betemit stinks against LHP, right? If he can't improve that, a 3-man rotation of Loney/Betemit/Nomar at the IF corners would be nice. Keep Betemit out against LHP, but use all three permutations against RHP, depending on who needs rest. With 162x2=324 player-games to divide up, there'd be plenty to go around. Betemit could also spell Kent occasionally.

Then next year, LaRoche could replace Nomar in that mix.

One thing we'd better not see at all this year except in an emergency is Kent at 1b. Or worse, Ramon Martinez at 1b. Yeesh.

2007-03-28 17:46:48
197.   Jon Weisman
Among the bets I'd take a flyer on this year is that Betemit will hold his own against lefties.
2007-03-28 17:50:10
198.   D4P
Betemit isn't that great against righties
2007-03-28 18:08:48
199.   Bumsrap
Therefore he shouldn't have any trouble holding his own against left handers.
2007-03-28 18:09:30
200.   Bumsrap
Philosophy 101 at its best
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-03-28 18:16:08
201.   Gen3Blue
Here it comes on the East Coast at least.
America--who will leave Idol tonight. If you besotted,credit ridden fools will watch fifty minutes of our most powerful marketing, you will find out who got voted off Idol by your own status quo beaten votes! Allehluhia!
I think Betamit will at least do better against lefties. The over/under for him to make it(at least for a while) ----21 Hr.
2007-03-28 18:25:03
202.   thinkingblue
edit 195: season-ending, not knee-ending
2007-03-28 18:26:15
203.   CanuckDodger
194 -- Jon, under "Non-Partisan Baseball Sites," I think you should have links to Baseball America and John Sickels' Minorleagueball.com.
2007-03-28 18:33:19
204.   Fallout
I'm also disappointed that Loney did not make the team. It is so difficult for a youngster to break-in as a first baseman. When someone asks me for advice about their kid playing baseball, I tell them to keep them away from playing first...play the more skilled positions when they are young and go from there. Loney is caught in the situation that always is happening in the ML. You take a proven hitter with diminishing defensive skills and put them at first base. In the long run, it may be good for Loney's career to learn to play the OF.
2007-03-28 18:46:14
205.   Gen3Blue
I think we need to support the position 1B:
There can be a good first baseman as opposed to a well hidden power hitter. It is a morally superior position!
2007-03-28 19:05:30
206.   MJW101
187 This is a very balanced and non-biased site unlike the Ned centric one you normally visit.

Dodger transactions tend to be analyzed and dissected here in a fair and reasoned manner. If Dodger management screws up it is pointed out. If they make a good deal or trade it is acknowledged as such. As you know all sites are not run this way. Some tend to be homer centric where Dodger management can do no wrong and anyone disagreeing is ostracized.

2007-03-28 19:07:15
207.   Greg Brock
Looks like Steve Swindal is no longer the heir apparent to the Steinbrenner Empire...

His wife (Stein's daughter) just left him.

2007-03-28 19:18:16
208.   trainwreck
I am looking for a sugar momma...
2007-03-28 19:20:28
209.   Daniel Zappala
Is she too old for you, GB?
2007-03-28 19:20:43
210.   Gen3Blue
208 Did his mind leave hin first, or is he still master of his faculties. I guess it doesn't matter if he is not going to be Emporer of the "Empires".
2007-03-28 19:21:58
211.   Gen3Blue
sorry 208--that should have been 207, though you both are old friends.
2007-03-28 19:22:01
212.   underdog
207 What about that Costanza fella?

----

Oooh, US-Guatemala on TV, second half just started. Byeeee.

2007-03-28 19:22:21
213.   Greg Brock
209 True love knows no age, Professor.

Neither does controlling interest in a major league franchise. Move over, Astronaut Nowack, there's a new gal in town...

2007-03-28 19:26:35
214.   Daniel Zappala
So if Frank McCourt dies suddenly ... ?
2007-03-28 19:29:17
215.   Greg Brock
214 Jamie McCourt is many things...

Unattractive is not one of them

GAMS!

2007-03-28 19:38:57
216.   Marty
Jon, for partisan sites I'd list:
Captital Punishment (Sam DC's favorite)
Where have you gone Andy Van Slyke (For a Jim Tracy fix)
McCovey Chronicles (for a place to tease Giant fans)
2007-03-28 19:45:25
217.   Bob Timmermann
I have "Capitol Punishment" on the Griddle sidebar.

I don't mean to pick nits, but the spelling is important there. Or else Chris Needham's pun goes for naught.

2007-03-28 19:48:46
218.   El Lay Dave
Spelling is pundamental.
2007-03-28 20:18:09
219.   El Lay Dave
Whoa, I knew that wasn't a good pun, but I didn't think it was deadly.
2007-03-28 20:30:04
220.   ToyCannon
Welcome back BlueBleeder, I've missed your enthusiasm. Don't be shy give it a try.

The only thing that has changed is that Loney knocked the snot out of the ball this spring. He also did that as a 19 year and then promptly became injury prone and went into a 3 year slump or is everyone forgetting the nagging injuries. What if we did just give the job to Loney and not sign Nomar and he did get one of those nagging injuries that plagued him from 19-21 years old. It is not like we have any replacements for one of the most important offensive positions on the team. I don't like many things Ned has done, but signing Nomar to be our 1st baseman with Loney ready to step in is not one of them. I like hedging our bets.

2007-03-28 20:56:05
221.   underdog
Amusing quote from our favorite clown, Derek Lowe, in the latest Dodgers notes column on mlb.com.
--Lowe said he does remember a time when he handled Sheffield effectively.

"PlayStation," he said.
---

An interesting piece in that column, too, on Maury Wills's advice to James Loney.

2007-03-28 20:57:35
222.   Greg Brock
220 If Nomar was signed to play third base or the outfield, I would have done backflips. If Loney gets hurt or doesn't perform, you have Nomar to play first.

I didn't have a problem with signing Nomar. It's where he's playing that bothers me. I don't hang Ned for that one.

2007-03-28 21:09:32
223.   underdog
I'm sorry if this is a little off topic or has been covered ad nauseum, but I have to create a poll for my company's web site on the best baseball movies (one of my many jobs is creating polls) starting this weekend. Can't have more than 10 choices and 1 of them has to be "other" - but as you can see the last two are rather silly. So this is what I have so far - let me know if you think I should swap any out for something else.

Bull Durham
The Natural
Eight Men Out
Major League
Field of Dreams
A League of Their Own
Bad News Bears (original)
Other (comment below)
I hate baseball and baseball movies, nyah!
Anything without Kevin Costner in it.

2007-03-28 21:10:07
224.   underdog
(Or if there's a good old DT thread where this was covered in the past that you can refer me to, that'll work!)
2007-03-28 21:12:49
225.   regfairfield
The Sandlot is the only baseball movie I've actually enjoyed.
2007-03-28 21:13:17
226.   Marty
The Natural is an abomination. Add Pride of the Yankees. I get a kick out of Fear Strikes Out too.
2007-03-28 21:15:48
227.   underdog
I kind of hate The Natural now too, it's such a cliche. Ditto Field of Dreams. But so many people seem to love both those movies it might seem egregious to leave them off? I dunno. Maybe people do want something different. Fear Strikes Out is great. As is Bang the Drum Slowly. And then there's Bingo Long... The best thing about polls sometimes is just that they spark debate so in that sense maybe it doesn't matter that much.
2007-03-28 21:18:18
228.   underdog
Hmm, here's ESPN users take on that question:
http://espn.go.com/page2/s/users/baseball/films.html
2007-03-28 21:20:29
229.   CeyHey10
If anyone else is up (relatively) late, the front-page front-and-center espn.com feature tonight is a truly great photo montage of Dodgertown.

http://tinyurl.com/3as9lt

Try to watch it without getting choked up. Really makes me wish we hadn't sold out and headed to AZ. Great pictures of Jackie Robinson, Campy, Maury Wills, Koufax et al, and a decent (albeit amateurish) voice-over as well.

2007-03-28 21:20:37
230.   Marty
Yes, Bingo Long is a lot of fun. I keep forgetting about Bang the Drum Slowly. Both worthy of any list.

My beef with the Natural is they did a complete 180 degree turn on the ending from the book. Roy Hobbs is supposed to fail at the end.

2007-03-28 21:22:34
231.   Marty
229 see 123
2007-03-28 21:23:10
232.   Jon Weisman
Marty has a sixth sense whenever anyone talks about the Natural.

I like both the movie and the book. I think both work very well, and I don't think the change in and of itself - call it a betrayal if you want - should render the movie an abomination.

Interestingly, though, I just read that a director's cut of the movie is being released next week - supposed to be significantly different - though I assume it ends the same.

2007-03-28 21:24:19
233.   Josh97201
The Dodgers' 91-71 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders and arms of the deepest and most talented staff, top to bottom, in the senior circuit. Deserved recognition must also be given to the deft and steady hand of Grady Little, who managed a nearly seamless transition from the waning veterans to the talented youngsters, getting what he could from the aged, while not leaning too hard on the inexperienced.
2007-03-28 21:25:40
234.   Jon Weisman
Soul of the Game is a good one that many people aren't aware of. Otherwise, your list is pretty good.

I can't believe that a baseball fan doesn't enjoy the original Bad News Bears.

2007-03-28 21:27:23
235.   Marty
Malamud is a favorite author of mine, so I'm sensitive.

Coincidentally, Redford was in my building today. Filming a movie starring Meryl Streep (also there) and Tom Cruise.

I didn't get a glimpses of any of them.

2007-03-28 21:27:48
236.   Jon Weisman
Natural and Field of Dreams are cliches only in the barest sense. Just because the movies evoke a love of the game doesn't make them cliches. I don't think a baseball player who has to recover from a gunshot wound is much of a cliche. I don't think a story about a man building a ballfield on his farm is a cliche. I won't argue if some people found them trite, but cliche is too reductionist.
2007-03-28 21:29:51
237.   Marty
I hate Kevin Costner with a passion, but I can't help crying every time I see Field of Dreams.
2007-03-28 21:36:05
238.   Greg Brock
That entire last scene of Field of Dreams, when John Kinsella takes off the catcher's gear onward...Waterworks for Ole Brock.

And I love The Natural. Both the book and the movie. Different endings, but both great.

2007-03-28 21:40:06
239.   Marty
I remember being very excited about seeing The Natural. Then I was like the audience at the first act of The Producers, slack-jawed at the ending.
2007-03-28 21:40:49
240.   underdog
Actually, you're right Jon - cliche was really not the fair/right word, I was being lazy back there. I really meant that they had been satirized (and plagiarized and mocked) since then that for me at least it has reduced a little bit the joy of watching them, but I shouldn't forget (I think I'm in denial about it) that I cried at least once during both, the first time. My dad is a huge Natural fan, so I think I was just subjected to it way too many times to make any fair assessment of it. I was reading about the new DVD edition coming out next week and was curious about it as well.

I loved the book Shoeless Joe and found parts of the film adaptation irritating (but other parts did get me).

By the way, there's also a nice little doc coming out next week (what a coincidence, all these baseball movies out next week!) called Bottom of the Ninth that I recommend checking out.

I will watch the original Bad News Bears any time it's on. The remake left a sour taste in my mouth.

Bull Durham is still my personal favorite.

2007-03-28 21:41:08
241.   trainwreck
Battlefield Baseball. I would not put it on your list unless you like violent Japanese B-movies that kinda involve baseball.
2007-03-28 21:41:16
242.   GoBears
I challenge you to a duel, Marty! Nobody (but nobody) hates Kevin Costner more than I!

How do I know? Among other things, I hate Field of Dreams. And I know it's because of Costner. Put anyone else in the lead role, and it's a decent movie. Not great (trite is right, Jon), but decent enough.

2007-03-28 21:42:38
243.   ToyCannon
I never understood the love of Field of Dreams. I've teared up at many a movie but Field of Dreams got nothing from me. It seemed hokey and it was hokey. The only good thing about it was Burt Lancaster.

I enjoyed the Natural but I never the read the book so I can understand Marty's feeling when a good book is changed when put on the big screen.

Do you hate Kevin Costner because of the movies he's made or the person?

A League of Their Own might be my favorite baseball movie but I've never seen a movie that seemed to catch the essence of baseball. I think I'd have to vote for Ken Burns documentary as a movie and go with that.

2007-03-28 21:43:28
244.   D4P
I hate Kevin Costner too! He wears a tie when he plays golf!
2007-03-28 21:43:47
245.   underdog
I also wish Long Gone with William Petersen was on DVD - that's a great baseball flick!

241 I enjoyed the heck out of that one but definitely not for all tastes. An even less realistic depiction of its titular sport than was found in Shaolin Soccer.

2007-03-28 21:49:07
246.   Eric L
I guess Field of Dreams is still cool in my book because of the way it hit my dad. We saw it shortly after my grandpa died. He cried like a baby. I had seen him get teary eyed from time to time, but never like he did towards the end of the movie.

I like the hokey baseball movies for the most part.

2007-03-28 21:50:15
247.   Bob Timmermann
I think some older films deserve some mention. They may not be the best, but:
Angels in the Outfield (the original with Paul Douglas)
It Happens Every Spring (Ray Milland plays a scientist who creates a substance that makes a baseball unable to be touched by wood.)
The Winning Team (Ronald Reagan as Grover Alexander)
Rhubarb (a cat inherits a baseball team with madcap results!)
Big Leaguer (Edward G. Robinson plays Pirates scout Hans Lobert trying to give some young players a tryout. Features Al Campanis playing himself!)
Bang the Drum Slowly (the original version for TV with Paul Newman as Henry Wiggen and Albert Salmi as Bruce Pearson, it's very good if you can find it.)
The Pride of St. Louis (Dan Dailey as Dizzy Dean and Chet Huntley playing Chet Huntley)
The Kid from Left Field (preferably not the Gary Coleman version, but anothe Dan Dailey film.)
Long Gone (excellent film about minor league ball starring William Petersen and Virginia Madsen)
Pastime (little seen film from 1991 also about the minor although set in the 1950s)
2007-03-28 21:53:21
248.   Marty
Unfortunately, there's no baseball movie equivalent (in my mind) to Fat City, the ultimate boxing movie.
2007-03-28 21:54:53
249.   Fallout
I don't watch many movies and when I saw the trailer of the Natural hitting the ball into the light stands to win his last game, it was too much for me to bare. (That's how it went did't it?)
How about The Babe Ruth Story, 1948? :) It is probably the last baseball movie I've seen. When I was 12 I really liked it. (No, I wasn't 12 yrs old in 1948)
2007-03-28 21:55:40
250.   Jon Weisman
I was trying to remember Long Gone and Pastime.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-03-28 21:57:47
251.   Greg Brock
For what it's worth I still think Major League is pretty funny.

And quotable. Especially Harris and Cerrano.

2007-03-28 21:58:53
252.   underdog
Pastime is another nice film - real sweet, independent little baseball flick. That one is out on DVD at least, even if Long Gone isn't.

I loved Rhubarb when I was a kid - saw it on TV one time when I was home sick from school. Doesn't the cat inherit the Brooklyn Dodgers or am I "misremembering" that?

What about The Babe with John Goodman, the one where he plays a talking pig, er, I mean, Babe Ruth... Or Cobb, with Tommy Lee Jones? Actually, I remember those both being rather uneven. Never mind.

2007-03-28 21:59:04
253.   trainwreck
245
Shaolin Soccer was great first time I saw it. Then people kept watching it and I started to think this movie is really stupid. Of course, being sober changes one's perspective.
2007-03-28 21:59:48
254.   Bob Timmermann
Any of the three major films made about the life of Babe Ruth are anywhere from awful to death-inducing.

Who was a worse Babe Ruth: William Bendix, Stephen Lang, or John Goodman?

Jackie Robinson played himself in "The Jackie Robinson Story", but Ruby Dee played Rachel Robinson. For someone who never acted professionally before, Jackie Robinson acted like a guy who had never acted before, although the scene of him petting the black cat thrown on the field to taunt him is interesting.

2007-03-28 22:01:53
255.   Greg Brock
Bendix as Ruth was terrible. Beyond terrible.

I didn't think Cobb was as bad as most people did, but I wouldn't call it a "good" movie. It's a movie with actors and a director and stuff.

2007-03-28 22:02:41
256.   Bob Timmermann
Rhubarb inherited the Brooklyn Loons. I don't think Walter O'Malley was interested in licensing his team name for such an affair or else the producers didn't way to pay him.

There is a scene where Rhubarb has to be rushed to a game at the Polo Grounds and the cop in Manhattan helps saying that he doesn't mind that even though his beat is in Manhattan, he lives in Brooklyn.

Remember also that in 1951, you could just say "Brooklyn" and it got laughs. Lots of jokes of that era seemed to involve Brooklyn.

Then comedians discovered swearing.

2007-03-28 22:04:16
257.   Bob Timmermann
Buster Keaton made a couple of silents at least involving baseball which I've seen and they are spectacular. Keaton was a very gifted athlete. I think many of them were filmed on the USC campus and I think some of the players on the team were involved.

NCAA rules were a bit more lax then.

2007-03-28 22:05:45
258.   Greg Brock
257 And then we get into a Keaton vs. Chaplin debate which makes Choi and Loney and DePodesta arguments seem tame in comparison.

Until Keaton fans say he's the greatest and that's that and everybody else is just flat wrong. Good times.

2007-03-28 22:05:48
259.   underdog
256 Right. Sort of like that classic 1952 film "Bela Lugosi Meets the Brooklyn Gorilla" was supposed to be funny. At least to whoever made the movie.
2007-03-28 22:07:18
260.   underdog
Buster Keaton trying out for the USC football team in "College" is beyond hysterical, it's sublime. He really was an incredible physical specimen.
2007-03-28 22:08:24
261.   trainwreck
I fully agree about Buster Keaton.
2007-03-28 22:09:03
262.   CeyHey10
I second Jon's Soul of the Game vote, and also think that 61* touched me more than I (and I suspect many on this list) would have thought, given the ostensible heroes.

Also, if documentaries are allowed, When It Was a Game and Ken Burns' Baseball aren't to be missed.

2007-03-28 22:11:12
263.   Bob Timmermann
What I learned from Ken Burns' "Baseball":

People in New York played baseball.

Occasionally people in Chicago did too.

For a long time, blacks could not play with whites.

Babe Ruth was famous.

2007-03-28 22:12:08
264.   Fallout
How about "61"?
2007-03-28 22:12:16
265.   CeyHey10
263 ... and home plate "has got a little roof -- it looks like a little house!"
2007-03-28 22:13:15
266.   mikethinksblue
and also that Billy Crystal likes baseball
2007-03-28 22:15:06
267.   Bob Timmermann
Not that home plate has its shape because it is supposed to look like a house, but rather so it would make for a better strike zone.

You could also get me started on the "magic of the bases being 90 feet apart."

But then I would start screaming.

2007-03-28 22:16:51
268.   Bob Timmermann
Branca wouldn't have given up the home run to Thomson if only a little Doris Kearns had just been rooting harder.

D--- you Doris Kearns! It's all your fault!

2007-03-28 22:17:35
269.   CeyHey10
FWIW, Ken Burns' performance in Wordplay last year was better than his "performance" in his own films. Jon Stewart and Mike Mussina were quite clever too... and bonus points: perhaps the latter's participation merits inclusion on the baseball film list.
2007-03-28 22:21:17
270.   Eric Enders
"Soul of the Game" is -- no hyperbole here -- the single worst movie I have ever seen. And I've seen Passenger 57!

Put me in the "hates the Natural" camp too. And I also think Bingo Long is an unfunny, patronizing piece of nonsense.

A few I actually like:
Bull Durham
Eight Men Out
61*
The Stratton Story
The Sandlot
Pride of the Yankees
The Cameraman (Buster Keaton silent -- friggin' amazing)
Bang the Drum Slowly
The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson

Most baseball movies are really pretty bad.

2007-03-28 22:23:09
271.   Eric Enders
269 I loved Wordplay. It even inspired me to start writing crosswords. I've finished three so far... it's a lot harder than it looks.
2007-03-28 22:23:15
272.   trainwreck
This South Park just got so much better. 24 fans should watch.
2007-03-28 22:25:07
273.   Eric Enders
258 Keaton is the greatest and everybody else is just flat wrong.
2007-03-28 22:25:51
274.   Greg Brock
See? Told you.
2007-03-28 22:32:03
275.   LAT
How can you guys be talking about how much you hate Kevin Costner when Marty mentioned Tom Cruise (235) in this thread. Costner isn't even a slight annoyance next to the evil and morally unacceptable Cruise.

The scene in Field of Dreams that gets me is when Burt Lancaster has to cross the line to save the little girl and becomes an old man. Now that's a lump in the throat moment.

2007-03-28 22:35:00
276.   Greg Brock
275

"Win one for me one day, will ya boys?"
"Hey Rookie...You were good."

That's a nice scene.

2007-03-28 22:36:51
277.   trainwreck
Ahh the good old "tramp", "glasses", and "great stone face" debate.
2007-03-28 22:37:12
278.   Eric Enders
Also, Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" contains what I think is one of the two greatest baseball scenes ever filmed (after Keaton's "The Cameraman," mentioned above).

It's one of Kurosawa's noir films and the denouement is a 25-minute suspense scene in which the cops try to track down the killer at a Tokyo Giants game. It was filmed "Medium Cool" style, with the actors acting out their roles in the stands at a real Giants game, with 30,000 or so people in the stands around them and the game going on in the background. Really amazing stuff.

2007-03-28 22:40:57
279.   mikethinksblue
275

The only problem with that scene in The Natural is that he came across the baseline to do nothing more than beat the little girl on her back. Hardly a medical procedure. If anyone else there would have known the Heimlich (sp) procedure, he could have had a few more ab's before being optioned to the minors.

2007-03-28 22:42:20
280.   underdog
270 The Cameraman is a baseball movie? I remember the bathing suit scene and many other great set pieces in that one but can't recall any baseball scenes?
2007-03-28 22:43:45
281.   trainwreck
Experiment in Terror ends at a game between Dodgers and Giants.
2007-03-28 22:44:28
282.   underdog
Oh wait! Now I remember it!

Hah.

----

This list was easier than the best basketball movie poll I had to compile a week ago. (For March Madness.) The winners of that poll were, in order, Hoosiers, Hoop Dreams and White Men Can't Jump (my personal favorite). The last one is also one of the better Jeopardy movies.

2007-03-28 22:48:00
283.   Eric Enders
The Dodgers' 68-94 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of rookie Frank Whaley, recruited off the Universal lot to replace Jason Repko as the club's scrappy, enthusiastic fifth outfielder. Despite harsh ribbing from such aged teammates as Eddie Cicotte, Jeff Kent, and Luis Gonzalez, Whaley managed to hit a game-winning sacrifice fly on the last day of the season -- leaving him without an offical at-bat in his career.
2007-03-28 22:48:24
284.   trainwreck
White Men Can't Jump is probably my favorite. I also like Above the Rim (I was young when I first saw it) and Celtic Pride (I am a Damon Wayans fan).
2007-03-28 22:48:28
285.   underdog
Yepper, it's all come back to me now. Buster picks a date to film the Yankees... When the team is out of town. So he puts on his own game in the House That Ruth Built. Classic.

---

I remember enjoying Damn Yankees when I was a young 'un.

2007-03-28 22:48:34
286.   LAT
Bad News Bears is great. In one sense it is better than any of those other movies. I will never hit a ball so hard it unravels. I will never come back from heaven to play in a cornfield. I don't expect I will ever be considered the pride of the Yankees. But I did play little league for three years. And while we didn't have a pool guy as a manager or a fire balling girl we did have an Engelberg behind the plate and a Rudi Stein (heck, I was Rudi Stein). We definitly had a Vic Morrow, probably two or three of them, and a Kelly Leak. If you played Little League there was something in that movie for everyone.

BTW. The people who made the remake a few years ago should have been arrested and thrown into bad movie prison.

2007-03-28 22:50:36
287.   Eric Enders
1. He Got Game
2. Hoosiers

short list.

2007-03-28 22:51:29
288.   trainwreck
Steve Phillips cannot judge tools at all.

http://tinyurl.com/26p9k6

2007-03-28 22:51:53
289.   Eric Enders
Oops, I forgot "The Absent-Minded Professor." That was a pretty good basketball scene.
2007-03-28 22:53:33
290.   trainwreck
288
And yes, I am aware how obvious that is.
2007-03-28 23:02:46
291.   D4P
290
How do you feel about UFC taking over PRIDE? Even though it might mean we get to see bouts we otherwise wouldn't have, I don't feel very good about it. I'm not sure why, but it makes me uneasy.
2007-03-28 23:07:16
292.   trainwreck
The faces on the PRIDE fighters, made you think it was a funeral.

Monopolies are not good, but at least we get the dream matchups. Hopefully it is more like the NFL and not like the WWF or some other horrible monopoly.

2007-03-28 23:11:44
293.   D4P
I haven't watched any of the press conferences. Too depressing. I've always felt like PRIDE was "classier" than UFC. UFC has a WWF feel to it that I don't like.

The irony is that, now that the dream matchups are possible, a lot of them have lost their lustre. Wanderlei vs. Chuck doesn't mean much now that Wanderlei has lost twice in a row. Rampage vs. Chuck was already going to happen anyway. As much as I like Randy, him beating Tim kind of screwed up the heavyweight situation. CroCop was supposed to beat Tim and then face Fedor. Now, I don't really want to see Randy face either of those guys.

2007-03-28 23:13:09
294.   Vaudeville Villain
290-

That's because Steve Phillips is a-

Hmm. Whatever.

I have never seen a sports movie that I've liked, except for White Men Can't Jump, and that's only because of the great Main Source song on the soundtrack.

And because of Rosie Perez, God bless her annoying, annoying, voice.

2007-03-28 23:13:10
295.   trainwreck
Keeping PRIDE separate and out of Dana White's control is a good start. They will probably just work to make exchanges and have that once a year Super Bowl-like event.
2007-03-28 23:16:57
296.   D4P
I wonder if CroCop will want to go/be allowed to go back to Japan and fight there under his current contract.
2007-03-28 23:17:18
297.   trainwreck
Funny, because PRIDE's look is a lot like Japanese wrestling. PRIDE is so much classier because of the fans. Fans are educated and the show can be catered to them. UFC tries to cater to mainstream America and all the drunks at the bar. Too bad most of them no nothing about MMA and just boo everything, which drives me insane.
2007-03-28 23:18:59
298.   trainwreck
They showed a video during the press conference of CroCop saying he wanted to comeback to Japan to fight Fedor.
2007-03-28 23:19:37
299.   trainwreck
*wants
2007-03-28 23:24:08
300.   D4P
UFC fans are the worst. They're completely ignorant. Five seconds of the fighters on the ground and they're booing bloody murder. They should go watch kick-boxing if standup is all they want.

PRIDE's extraneous stuff (e.g. the grand entrance with the music and the lights and the smoke and the costumes and all that stuff) is kinda cheesy, but once the fighters make it into the ring, it seems really professional and authentic. UFC doesn't have as much of the buildup, but the octagon makes it seem kinda hokey.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-03-28 23:25:12
301.   D4P
It will be interesting to see if the UFC treats PRIDE like the red-headed stepchild and only lets the lesser fighters fight in Japan. Given that they probably make most of their money from pay per view, it wouldn't seem to matter much where they fight.
2007-03-28 23:27:41
302.   Uncle Miltie
89-73 Rafael Furcal and Wilber Betemit

The offense isn't going to be very good at first. The Dodgers are going to need a decent year from Betemit (.270/.340/.450 20 hr). Hopefully Kent is productive, yet doesn't accumulate enough plate appearances for his 2008 option to be picked up. Ethier will have an ok year, but probably slightly below average for a corner outfielder. I expect Matt Kemp to come up part way through the season and get a lot of playing time. Juan Pierre will post at least a .350 on base percentage. Andy LaRoche is going to have a huge year at Vegas and will be called up at some point in the year.

The pitching staff is going to be very good. Randy Wolf is going to quietly win 15 thanks to pretty good run support and his ability to go at least 6 innings most starts. If Rudy Seanez is going to be part of a nasty 1-2-3 punch along with Saito and Broxton. Opposing teams are going to see some serious heat for 3 straight innings.

Grady Little is going to grow a thick mustache. Think Pistol Pete Maravich and Steve Prefontaine.

2007-03-31 22:09:17
303.   paranoidandroid
The Dodgers World Series run began with the mid-season acquisitions of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera who powered and pitched the Dodgers to the division title with an 89-73 record.

Having to give up Chad Billingsley, Greg Miller, Wilson Betemit and Matt Kemp was tough, but the steady bat of James Loney filling in for the injured Nomar Garciaparra made Loney untouchable. Also, the resurgence of ageless Rudy Seanez bolstered the best bullpen in the league. With LaRoche in Las Vegas showing power, a steady eye, and a decent glove in left field, the Dodgers felt that moving Kemp in exchange for Cabrera was a risk they were willing to take. Now to lock those studs up to a long term deal is the defending champs main off season challenge.

2007-04-02 10:06:02
304.   El Lay Dave
For the record: I had a 93 win season in mind when I wrote the prediction above. I also meant to state that the top-3 Dodger starters were NL top-25, although none were top-15.
2007-04-02 10:06:12
305.   El Lay Dave
For the record: I had a 93 win season in mind when I wrote the prediction above. I also meant to state that the top-3 Dodger starters were NL top-25, although none were top-15.

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