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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Almost ...
2007-03-24 09:46
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Five days until Dodger Stadium is open for business.

Today's Game

Comments (95)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-24 10:23:51
1.   Michael D
How has Wolf looked in spring so far? I haven't really heard anything about it.
2007-03-24 10:23:51
2.   Greg Brock
Russell Martin guns down Brian Roberts at second.

Really nice throw.

2007-03-24 10:28:41
3.   Michael D
I don't know if this has been discussed yet, but since I'm stuck at work all day thought I'd mention it. This is from TheHardballTimes on Penny:

Penny admitted earlier in spring training the split-finger pitch he used last season as his offspeed offering took its toll on his pitching arm. We've already heard reports that Penny had a twinge in the front of his pitching shoulder this spring but supposedly it's gone at the moment. According to one baseball observer with whom I discussed Penny's poor spring (7 IP, 17 H, 10R 6 BB 2 SO), he looks like a pitcher who is throwing with a bum shoulder.

We normally don't rely on spring training numbers because the sample size is so small, but in Penny's case they do support the suggestion he's pitched hurt all spring. Or at the very least, he has some shoulder weakness that is an issue at the moment. Factor in a history of not coming forward with injury issues as soon as they happen and it's easy to believe his shoulder isn't close to 100% right now. Until this all plays out, avoid Penny on Draft Day.

-----------------------------
Anybody heard anything about that as well?

2007-03-24 10:30:35
4.   Greg Brock
Orioles have four errors in 1 2/3 innings.
2007-03-24 10:49:54
5.   hernari
http://www.insidesocal.com/dodgers/

"Thus, it appears Repko will be out at least half the season."

2007-03-24 10:50:14
6.   Michael D
Wolf with 3 K's in 2 innings, I like that. I'd still like hear something about how his stuff has looked so far, though it must be looking good today.
2007-03-24 10:53:55
7.   Bob Timmermann
5
Tony Jackson is having some disagreements with the Daily News blogging software.
2007-03-24 10:55:23
8.   Prescott Pete
Wolf looks fine. He's throwing free and easy. But it's hard to judge anything for today's game, there's a strong wind blowing in from the outfield.
2007-03-24 10:57:32
9.   Sam DC
I have this game on tv. Now, I just need to rummage up time to watch it . . .
2007-03-24 10:58:21
10.   natepurcell
game is on directv 626 and wolf looks pretty good. lots of swings and misses.
2007-03-24 11:01:31
11.   Greg Brock
Nice opposite field single by La Roche.
2007-03-24 11:01:52
12.   natepurcell
la roche with a line drive base hit to right field. nice job going the other way.
2007-03-24 11:03:18
13.   natepurcell
abreu last inning also hit the ball very hard but right at Millar. honesly, abreu has looked alot better then when i used to watch him play on that AA Jacksonville tv stream thingie.
2007-03-24 11:04:12
14.   Greg Brock
Matt Kemp smashes a single back up the box. Line drive.
2007-03-24 11:05:03
15.   natepurcell
wow a hit and run actually worked.
2007-03-24 11:05:41
16.   Greg Brock
Oh man, Abreu just hit a great double down the left field line. Nice to see the young kids tearing it up.

Enjoy Vegas, guys.

2007-03-24 11:06:28
17.   natepurcell
16

at least nowe we have a viable SS option after furcals contract is up.

2007-03-24 11:07:15
18.   Sam DC
I just saw my first Juan Pierre at bat of the season!
2007-03-24 11:10:20
19.   Eric Enders
17 I think we have a viable 2B option. Whether it's also a viable SS option probably remains to be seen.
2007-03-24 11:12:45
20.   natepurcell
this is such a fun game to watch: laroche, ethier, loney, kemp, martin, abreu...if only pierre took his day off.
2007-03-24 11:17:50
21.   Sam DC
Is anyone else surprised that I found cheaper suits at Macys than Mens Wearhouse today?
2007-03-24 11:18:48
22.   Bumsrap
Ethier sinking, Kemp rising

Abreu also rising

Penny sinking?

Valdez won't go away.

Brazabon rising.

Figgins out one or two months. Angels need a utility player/third baseman?

2007-03-24 11:21:03
23.   Bob Timmermann
21
The Macy's in LA was having a big sale on Thursday. With an additional 10% off if you got a Macy's credit card.

Which I didn't.

2007-03-24 11:21:10
24.   Greg Brock
21 Call George Zimmer and leave a message on his voicemail.
2007-03-24 11:22:42
25.   Bumsrap
20
Reminds me of a AZ fall league game where Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, Abreu and the pitcher and one other Dodger were playing together. Abreu was at short and wowed me. Loney hit two homeruns. I have been an Abreu fan ever since. Always liked Loney.

LaRoche hit balls down very hard and missed balls up and away by a mile.

2007-03-24 11:23:59
26.   Sam DC
23 Yes -- they had the 10% thing, plus an additional 20% off if you sign up for a new card. As I needed 2 suits and sundries, I did sign up. I think it was a good deal for me, but I will say, I easily bought an extra $200 worth of shoes, socks, underwear, and a couple of dress shirts I would not have bought but for the 30% I got for signing up for the card, so maybe it all works out for them too.
2007-03-24 11:25:59
27.   Bob Timmermann
26
I thought you were more of a Brooks Brothers kind of guy.
2007-03-24 11:35:05
28.   underdog
Well, I haven't seen how Wolf has pitched today, only heard it (on radio/gameday audio), but sounds like he's been pretty good. Rick Monday just had an orgasm on that last curveball that struck out Bynum, for what that's worth.

So, whither Repko?

2007-03-24 11:43:14
29.   underdog
7 strikeouts now for Wolf, after he K's Tejada.
Listening to the Orioles broadcasters for now, and they're saying he's been outstanding today.
2007-03-24 11:49:47
30.   underdog
Tsao's now in after Wolf gave up a hit, then Tsao promptly gave up two straight hits. Now 3-2 LA. Tsao much for that.
2007-03-24 12:00:37
31.   Benaiah
30 - Zing! I know that you can't make too much of spring training starts, but Wolfe at least looks like a very good fourth starter.
2007-03-24 12:04:32
32.   Eric Enders
25 Ethier was on that team too.
2007-03-24 12:09:26
33.   Eric Enders
Classic Monday right there: "Scoring is Loney, and cruising into second with a standup double is James Loney!"
2007-03-24 12:11:23
34.   underdog
Loney just doubled in Ethier, 4-2 LA. This Loney kid's a pretty good hitter, I guess that means he can't field, eh?
2007-03-24 12:12:48
36.   Bob Timmermann
You should have been watching the final minute of the D-II basketball championship.
2007-03-24 12:12:57
37.   underdog
33 Hah, I chuckled at that too. To Monday, "Double" has a triple meaning: a two-base hit; a person's doppelganger is on the basepaths; and two shots of alcohol, as in what Monday had before the inning started.
2007-03-24 12:13:46
38.   underdog
36 What happened? I assume my alma mater San Francisco State didn't win it all this year.
2007-03-24 12:15:36
39.   Bob Timmermann
38
You can check the Griddle NCAA tournament thread.
2007-03-24 12:17:32
40.   underdog
Winona vs Barton sounds like a couple of characters from a Coen Brothers movie, but I'm sorry I missed that ending.
2007-03-24 12:19:11
41.   Bob Timmermann
Excuse me for stepping in a blog that isn't mine but #35 was 86ed for violations of Rules 1, 2, and 3. And violating the general Toaster rule of acting like a reasonable person.
2007-03-24 12:19:29
42.   natepurcell
what happened to comment 35?
2007-03-24 12:19:45
43.   Gen3Blue
10 Thank you Nate. Just got in and I'll see a few innings. If Ida Known I could have caught more but who wood have thought.
2007-03-24 12:22:49
44.   Eric Enders
42 It was a pretty random and incoherent attack on Sam DC. I guess Jon or Ken deleted it.
2007-03-24 12:24:27
45.   Bob Timmermann
Actually, I took unilateral action there. I'm feeling Al Haig-ish now.
2007-03-24 12:27:21
46.   underdog
Bob's the Decider!

Welp, in your It's Only Spring Training so Please Just Relax moment of the day, Tim Hamulack in for the save...

2007-03-24 12:28:44
47.   Bob Timmermann
I'm leaning to the belief that people with kids aren't online on a Saturday afternoon.

As opposed to me, "Lonely, father of none", who can mete out punishment.

2007-03-24 12:30:12
48.   Gen3Blue
Maza--who he?
2007-03-24 12:30:18
49.   Eric Enders
Coincidentally, "Loney, father of none" is also meting out punishment today.

Wrong thread though, right?

2007-03-24 12:32:09
50.   Eric Enders
Monday: "So Hamulack gets into strikeout mold."

Sounds like something you'd find in Adam Dunn's sweatsocks.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-24 12:32:17
51.   underdog
Dodgers win! Dodgers win!
Can I get on with my day now?
2007-03-24 12:32:18
52.   Gen3Blue
Hamulack was not lacking today.
2007-03-24 12:33:08
53.   underdog
I think I'm gonna put a character named Monday Hamulack into my next screenplay.
2007-03-24 12:34:09
54.   Gen3Blue
That also is a good screen name Eric--Adam Dunns sweatsocks. LOL
2007-03-24 12:46:04
55.   Eric Enders
Monday: "The gooze was nood for the Dodgers this afternoon..."

This is really fish in a barrel. I'd better stop now.

2007-03-24 12:51:55
56.   Greg Brock
Rick Monday is so awesome. The guy just lives to mess up.

Who the heck would attack Sam? That's random.

2007-03-24 13:19:28
57.   Benaiah
56 - What can I say, he just ticks me off with his inside the beltway take on things.

Kidding obviously.

More likely kids don't have to be in school on Saturdays and someone was looking to have some fun.

2007-03-24 13:56:32
58.   Greg Brock
I just realized that Dodger Thoughts Day will be the same day that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released. What a grand day!

/Nerd

2007-03-24 14:09:07
59.   Andrew Shimmin
If we can't profanely bait and attack Sam DC, anymore, I'm sorry to say, but I think this blog has lost its way.
2007-03-24 14:15:29
60.   Benaiah
59 - No house can stand if built on sand.
2007-03-24 14:28:04
61.   Benaiah
60 - I take a firm pro-rhyming stance, even if it has to sacrifice meaning in the process.
2007-03-24 14:29:44
62.   Andrew Shimmin
61- Anybody want a peanut?
2007-03-24 14:57:36
63.   das411
So besides the Wolfman, and the endless 5th starter debate...any word on how the other three former 16-game winners in the Dodger rotation are doing?
2007-03-24 15:00:17
64.   Greg Brock
63 Apparently, Brad Penny has been throwing with a bum shoulder.

See 3

2007-03-24 15:15:58
65.   underdog
I guess this game today upset Miguel Tejada very, very much.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17775564/

Was it his defense, or the fact that the O's were losing such a crucial game? Who knows.

2007-03-24 15:17:52
66.   trainwreck
Well might as well throw it out there.

Penny and Hendrickson for Milledge and Heilman. Or just Milledge, I really do not care.

2007-03-24 16:35:49
67.   twerp
3 "Penny admitted earlier in spring training the split-finger pitch he used last season as his offspeed offering took its toll on his pitching arm."

IIRC, this differs from what Penny said in a Dodgers.com story. There he said he quit throwing the splitter in the second half because he was afraid it was going to hurt his arm--not because it had.

In that story he also said that when his curve didn't work in the second half--apparently pretty often--he was left with just a FB. Which pretty much explains his second half of '06.

Abandon one effective pitch, struggle with another, let hitters sit on the FB. Good recipe for working your way down the ladder of success.

2007-03-24 16:44:34
68.   Sam DC
Allright - who wants to hear about the luscious wingtips I also bought this morning?

And I spent the afternoon cleaning out my storage space - let me tell you all about it.

2007-03-24 17:16:37
69.   Chyll Will
66 heh-Hah! They'd never make it past The Meadowlands... now that's Waste Management!
2007-03-24 17:27:06
70.   Eric Enders
65 Leaving the ballpark before the game ends is pretty much standard procedure for regulars in spring training. Somebody was looking for a story where there wasn't one.
2007-03-24 18:09:36
71.   LAT
68. And I spent the afternoon cleaning out my storage space

Alex, I'll take "Things Paris Hilton Should Have Done" for $200.

2007-03-24 18:24:41
72.   Gen3Blue
Grace, Olerud, Loney.

I know, euphoria has got the best of me.

2007-03-24 18:53:28
73.   Gen3Blue
By the way, does anyone have access to Loneys current comparables?
2007-03-24 19:16:33
74.   Eric Enders
73 If you mean BP's PECOTA comparables, Loney's top four are Ed Kranepool, Adrian Gonzalez, Daryle Ward (who was a really promising hitter at one time), and Justin Morneau.

LaRoche: Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Quentin, Brendan Harris, Garrett Atkins
Kemp: Juan Encarnacion, Michael Coleman, Sammy Sosa, Ruben Mateo
Ethier: Bruce Boisclair, Chris Chambliss, Mike Darr, Bruce Bochte
Martin: Ben Petrick, Ramon Hernandez, Bill Freehan, Butch Wynegar
Abreu: Luis Gonzalez (doesn't say which, I'm assuming it's not ours), Jerry Hairston (doesn't say which, I'm assuming it's the son), Jack Wilson, Dan Cey.

Billingsley: Rich Dotson, Ben Sheets, Alex Fernandez, Dave Morehead
Broxton: Andrew Sisco, Dennys Reyes, Scott Elarton, Edwin Nunez (ouch)
Elbert: Wilfredo Rodriguez, Travis Blackley, Carlos Hernandez, Rob Burger
Kershaw: Yusmeiro Petit, Alan Webb, Craig Anderson, Joel Zumaya
Kuo: Tug MgGraw, Arthur Lee Rhodes, Erik Bedard, Dick Stigman
Meloan: Francisco Liriano, Mike Meyers, Don Cardwell, Franklyn German
Miller: Jimmy Anderson, Ben Hendrickson, Adam Harben, Tommie Sisk

2007-03-24 19:18:30
75.   Greg Brock
73 His comparables at Prospectus are all over the map.
2007-03-24 19:20:21
76.   Greg Brock
73 Or you can just look at Eric's comprehensive list, which puts me to shame.

I was just going to say Ed Kranepool, Adrian Gonzalez, and Justin Morneau.

{Hangs head}

2007-03-24 20:31:50
77.   oldfan60
I would compare Loney to Wes Parker. If he can get there, I would be very happy.
2007-03-24 22:01:55
78.   underdog
No, no, Loney can't compare to Wes Parker. Because the ScoutingBook says he can't field, remember?
http://scoutingbook.com/prospects/61-80

"When someone is called a "pure hitter" over and over again, it usually means something, and in Loney's case it means the young slugger can't field worth a lick."

I'm sorry, I just can't let that one go - that has to be one of the most clueless write-ups ever.

2007-03-24 22:01:56
79.   CanuckDodger
77 -- The only valid comparison is on defense. Loney's career line in MLB will be a lot better than .267/.351/.375, barring a lot of serious injuries, of course.
2007-03-24 22:09:56
80.   CanuckDodger
78 -- You're really obsessing about that, aren't you?

Speaking of obsessions, an object of an old obsession of my own, Edwin Jackson, had a nice outing on Saturday against the Red Sox, giving up one run over 4.2 innings, walking two and striking out six. His ERA for the spring stands at 1.84, and he is looking good to win the Rays' fifth starter job. Aren't we happy that Tomko and Hendrickson are battling it out for OUR fifth starter job, with no Edwin Jackson around to kick around any more? Ah, but Lance Carter made the loss of Jackson all worth it.

2007-03-24 22:13:53
81.   underdog
80 I was, but I just let it go - I read the latest news headlines and decided to obsess about that instead. ;-) That, and the fact that my cat is snoring unusually loud. I think I'll obsess about that now, too. Onwards and upwards!

Sigh, the thought of what we've given the Devil rays vs. what we've received is too depressing to even obsess about.

Meanwhile, the Sporting News baseball preview I picked up had Nomar on the cover. Which is odd because I live in SF and usually they go regional with these covers. No Giant or A on the cover this year, and a Dodger to boot!

2007-03-24 22:15:15
82.   Eric Enders
78, 80, etc

It's a fair question to ask -- what the heck is with Loney's defense right now, anyway? So far this spring, he's misplayed three fly balls in one game. He made an error today. He made two errors in a game I attended the other day, although he was only charged with one of them. I know, small sample size, yada yada, but it's still been a glaring weakness in his game this month.

Is there reason to worry? Should we now hail the prescience of ScoutingBook? Or am I being silly by attributing any meaning at all to spring training games?

2007-03-24 22:26:01
83.   underdog
I don't see any reason to worry, I still see a sweet fielding first baseman - but it is possible their mucking about with having him try the outfield is distracting him. The game today with the O's seems like an anomaly in general - the winds were swirling like crazy and the Orioles had even more troubles with it. I'd look at the larger sample size, everything he's shown over the past year. But I would like him to go back to being a 1b-man, only. I don't think the ScoutingBook write-up made any sense at all, really.

But I stopped obsessing.

2007-03-24 22:26:19
84.   CanuckDodger
82 -- Nobody ever said Loney was a great outfielder, so those misjudged flies should be put to one side. As for Loney's recent first base play, 1) even a great defensive first basemen is going to make SOME errors, and 2) I have to believe that Loney is worrying a lot now over whether he is going to make the 25-man roster, since Grady talked about Loney's best interests possibly being best served by playing regularly in Vegas.
2007-03-24 22:30:21
85.   natepurcell
im watching jacksons todays start right now. his slider looks alot cleaner then past years.
2007-03-24 22:34:56
86.   CanuckDodger
85 -- What was Jackson's fastball velocity?
2007-03-24 22:38:39
87.   natepurcell
no gun readings on the tampa feed.
2007-03-24 22:40:49
88.   natepurcell
i would like to have jackson back but i dunno if i would rather have jackson and aybar over betemit.
2007-03-25 06:48:09
89.   Gen3Blue
74 Thanks for such a thorough list, Eric. I didn't see it last night (E. coast) but it is fine today.
2007-03-25 06:50:59
90.   Gen3Blue
75 But your comment is pertinent, anyway.
2007-03-25 07:15:42
91.   Disabled List
More on Penny's injury situation from Plaschke:

So this spring, Penny looks more fit than he ever has. He says an enhanced exercise routine has been his best defense against a bulging disk that haunted him during the second half of last season.

"My back hurt all the time, but I tried not to say anything because you have to learn to pitch with pain," Penny says. "It got so bad, I would flinch even before I threw the ball because I knew it would hurt when I did."

The pain, he says, caused him to give up his split-finger pitch after the All-Star break, which helps explain the fractured numbers.

2007-03-25 07:25:21
92.   Disabled List
Incidentally, Plaschke's closing line on that Penny article is a whopper. You guys think pointing out Rick Monday malaprops is like shooting fish in a barrel?

"I like to fly under the radar," he says, grinning, knowing that this spring, he is the radar.

Of course, "is" is in italics. Say the second half of that sentence in the voice of the movie-trailer-announcer guy, and try not to laugh.

2007-03-25 08:30:15
93.   Bob Timmermann
How is Brad Penny like radar? Is that one of those riddles like "how is a raven like a writing desk?"
2007-03-25 09:52:37
94.   El Lay Dave
Bob, I think you might do something better with the time than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.
2007-03-25 09:55:34
95.   El Lay Dave
92 Is there a word for a misfired metaphor - that is egregious. Penny's trying to detect objects, er, uh, what?
2007-03-25 09:56:21
96.   El Lay Dave
ooops, NPUT!

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