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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

Keywords: Baseball, Life
2007-04-03 09:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I'd just like to take this opportunity in between games to make sure readers are introduced to Cardboard Gods, Josh Wilker's fascinating blog that he has just brought to the Toaster. If it's possible to curl up to a good blog, this might be it.

Comments (147)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-03 09:36:49
1.   goblue1
It's a new day Dodger fans and its going to be better than yesterday. I guarantee a Dodger victory today or this will be my last post till 2008 (some of you may consider this a win-win situation;).
2007-04-03 09:43:37
2.   Benaiah
1 - Hmm... that seems like a strong prediction. I would consider dialing it back to: I won't post today. After all, the Dodgers are never more than a 60-65% chance to win any one game. Baseball is too random for guarantees.
2007-04-03 09:46:44
3.   Bob Timmermann
The boys in Vegas have the Brewers as -127 favorites, which means that they are favored by only a moderate amount.

Houston, with Jason Jennings, is the biggest favorite, at -167.

2007-04-03 10:00:48
4.   Humma Kavula
I will be rooting hard for Juan Pierre to have a five-for-five day.
2007-04-03 10:03:49
5.   Bob Timmermann
Juan Pierre has had two 5 for 5 games in his career and two 5 for 6 games.

In all four games, the hits were all singles.

2007-04-03 10:04:45
6.   Humma Kavula
Never tell me the odds!
2007-04-03 10:05:51
7.   Daniel Zappala
If we're going to root for something, I'm going to root for Kemp to hit for the cycle.
2007-04-03 10:08:06
8.   Bob Timmermann
The Gambler's Fallacy in my brain tells me that the Dodgers are due to have someone hit for the cycle! They're overdue!
2007-04-03 10:12:01
9.   jasonungar05
At least Plascke picked on the right people this time around.
2007-04-03 10:14:34
10.   Humma Kavula
8 I really thought that we were going to get it on 9/18 last year. Then Marlon Anderson foiled that plan by homering in his last at-bat. (I forgave him.) I know that the proper nickname for that game is "4+1," and that's probably the right, but I still think of it as The Marlon Anderson Game.

It would have been kind of cool, in a weird way, if on your "Last Guy to Hit for the Cycle" list, the Dodgers' entry had been Marlon Anderson.

2007-04-03 10:18:50
11.   Hythloday
Have we just established that Bob is C3-P0?
2007-04-03 10:19:51
12.   Humma Kavula
9 Except for his bizarre shot at JD Drew.

The word "bizarre" here should be read as "entirely predictable."

2007-04-03 10:31:27
13.   Frip
Many comments throughout the off-season like this earlier post:

"Who knows, maybe High Character Man Garciaparra would have decided he didn't want to slum it with Drew and signed somewhere else, leaving first base for Loney."

Garciaparra is the closest thing we have to the Soul of the Dodgers. When I see him I think "ah yes, my Dodgers".

Sure, teams are stats, wins, and box scores, but there's more. Guys like Garciaparra matter beyond ability, and we shouldn't wish that he be shipped off just because some faceless punk has a few percentage points on him. This is the calculation of the cold statistical win monger.

2007-04-03 10:36:11
14.   jasonungar05
Well count me in on those who think spending 20 more million on Drew (as oppossed to Pierre and Nomar) and then having Loney play 1b would have made us a better team.
2007-04-03 10:36:19
15.   regfairfield
13 I have no clue if that's sarcastic or not, but if it isn't, why is Nomar the soul of the Dodgers. He's been here a year, doesn't give a great interview, isn't known for his hustle, and gets hurt all the time, what makes him a heart and soul guy, especially since he's gone in two years anyway? How is that description any different than one for J.D. Drew?
2007-04-03 10:42:10
16.   Penarol1916
15. The difference is that people have written nice articles about Nomar.

Just because someone has a name, doesn't mean they bring something more than "some faceless punk" To me the Dodgers have always been about building from within and having a great kids come up, not some mercenary like Nomar. So because he's been on some magazine covers in the past for other teams, he is the sould of the Dodgers and a homegrown kid is some faceless punk? I rarely post specifically about the Dodgers because I'm not in LA and don't have much of interest to say, but this just boggles my mind.

2007-04-03 10:44:37
17.   GoBears
15/16. Sometimes, unintentional comedy is the sweetest kind of all. Just chuckle and move on.
2007-04-03 10:44:51
18.   Bob Timmermann
Nomar Garciaparra doesn't take walks with runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Well, I don't know, I can't find that split from last year.

2007-04-03 10:46:03
19.   regfairfield
16 But that's the thing, by the end of his reign in Boston, people hated him. Remember the whole Jeter breaks his nose in the stands while Nomar sits on the bench? Why did Nomar recover from this, especially since the next time he got any coverage was from his groin exploding (doesn't play through pain!). Why do we love Nomar again?
2007-04-03 10:46:47
20.   robohobo
16 Nomar is from Whittier (my hometown) and it gives a Dodger fan the rare chance to root for a star player that actually grew up in the city that his team represents. I think that may have something to do with why the press in LA treats him well.
2007-04-03 10:48:18
21.   regfairfield
17 I am honestly curious about this. How did Nomar stay beloved even through is utterly useless second half despite having zero history as a Dodger.
2007-04-03 10:48:50
22.   Penarol1916
19. Because someone wrote a nice book about him after he was traded to the Cubs. I still don't understand how a mercenary could be considered the sould of the Dodgers, except for maybe Kevin Brown during the Malone era, showing how the sould had completely withered away.
2007-04-03 10:51:08
23.   robohobo
Being married to American hero Mia Hamm doesn't hurt his public image either.
2007-04-03 10:51:27
24.   Humma Kavula
15 I'll tackle that. I've written on this before.

Nomar Garciaparra is my favorite baseball player. He came up to the Red Sox while I was in college in Boston and I loved everything about him... and the fact that he would go on to have a season in which he hit .372 didn't hurt anything.

Obviously, it's been painful to watch him over the past few years as injuries have taken him down. I thought he got a raw deal in Boston, getting traded right before they went on to win the Serious. When they won, my first thought was of how he must be feeling.

When you ask how he's different that J.D. Drew... maybe he isn't for you, and that's fine. For me... it was a true pleasure to watch my favorite player play well (for half a season) for my favorite team. With J.D., I appreciated everything he did, but I never had an emotional connection to his at-bats.

Baseball is funny like that. I don't really think he's our heart-and-soul -- if any player can be H&S, I think that player is (or could soon be) Russell Martin -- but I feel hopeful when Garciaparra is at the plate in a way that defies the box score. I can't and won't speak for Frip in 13, but I wonder if he feels the same way.

2007-04-03 10:55:54
25.   goblue1
Nomar had a lot of really clutch hits for us last year in both the first and second halves of the season. I suppose all the stat buffs will discredit that, but then again they probably wouldn't have much use for Kirk Gibson either (Im not even going to mention Mickey Hatcher). Heart and character matter. Can I prove it? No.
2007-04-03 10:57:40
26.   Eric Enders
Funny how a player who's traded away from a World Series winner because he's a clubhouse cancer of sorts can become the "heart and soul" of another team so quickly.

Seems to me that the truth probably lies somewhere in between those two extremes.

2007-04-03 10:57:54
27.   robohobo
21 His game winning homeruns? If he doesn't hit those, I wonder if he is still beloved by the fans/press because of his drop off last year.
2007-04-03 10:58:42
28.   jasonungar05
15I feel the same way too about Nomar. I truly love to watch him hit. But emotions need to be put aside and we need to win, we haven't since 1988.
2007-04-03 10:58:44
29.   Disabled List
22 I don't know about this "soul of the Dodgers" business, but I also wouldn't blast Nomar as a "mercenary." He's not any more of a mercenary than any other player in the free-agent era, and a lot less of a mercenary than a guy like J.D. Drew.

Nomar re-signed with the Dodgers this season, and in doing so made a lot of noise about how he loves the Dodgers and wants to play in Los Angeles. That might all be BS, but it's hardly the stuff of a mercenary.

2007-04-03 10:59:51
30.   jasonungar05
Heart and character matter.

see this drives me crazy. As if Loney has neither.

2007-04-03 11:02:43
31.   blue22
It may have something to do with this:

2006 - "Close and late" (from ESPN)

Nomar - .886 OPS
Drew - .931 OPS

We look at that and say Drew was every bit as clutch as Nomar, in fact moreso. However there's this:

2006 - Same "Close and late"

Nomar - .284 batting average, 22 RBIs
Drew - .250 batting average, 17 RBIs

Nomar, because of the type of hitter he is comes up with more tangible "clutch hits" even though Drew is more productive overall in this situation.

2007-04-03 11:15:02
32.   goblue1
31

OPS maybe the wrong way to judge productivity in that situation. With a man on 2nd and 2 outs in the 9th ill take a game winning single over a walk any time. Infact if you are the home team a walk is completely useless. In a game like that 3 singles in 10 at bats is a lot better than 4 walks in 10 at bats no?

2007-04-03 11:20:11
33.   Humma Kavula
32 Why is a walk completely useless? Can't your teammates knock you in?
2007-04-03 11:22:23
34.   regfairfield
25 I really, really hate that arguement. If a player was a chemistry guy, I must hate him, right? Wrong. You know why? Kirk Gibson was good at baseball. Now, someone like Alfredo Griffin, he was a bad player.

It's like me discounting all of your points by saying you don't think Albert Pujols is a worthwhile player. I'm pretty sure you don't believe that.

2007-04-03 11:24:42
35.   goblue1
33

I guess I was thinking of a tie game when i typed that.
Anyhow, In general- Id rather see my cleanup hitter hit the ball with the game on the line. Not hope someone else does.

2007-04-03 11:26:47
36.   Penarol1916
35. Would you rather he swung at a bad pitch, thus making poor contact and more likely leading to an out than take a walk?
2007-04-03 11:28:05
37.   GoBears
32. This is a false choice. If a guy draws a walk, that means that at least 4 pitches are out of the strike zone. Were he to swing at one of those pitches, the odds of that game-winning single being the result are very low (lower than his regular batting average) because he'd be unlikely to hit a bad pitch well.

So it's not a walk or a single. It's a walk or, say, a 1-in-4 or 1-in-5 chance of a single.

I'm just making up the numbers, but you get the point.

If players could single at will, it'd be a very different game. Actually, it'd be a lot closer to cricket.

2007-04-03 11:29:20
38.   D4P
36
See, this is the point. If we could literally choose between hits and walks, we'd choose hits.

But in reality, it's not that simple. Players who are determined to get a hit and not to walk will be much more likely to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone, especially if there are already 3 balls in the count.

2007-04-03 11:35:00
39.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I think the Nomar was a clubhouse cancer business was really more a product of the BoSox PR machine trying to persuade its fan base to back a very controversial deal. Having lived in New England at the time (or at least, in close proximity in New Haven), I always got the feeling that the BoSox fan base for the most part stood by Nomar, and saw much of the problems in Boston as the product of the high-intensity Boston media, and the botched A-Rod trade. Indeed, although Boston fans were willing to sacrifice him for the WS wins, I think the vast majority still wish they could have won the ring with him on the roster. The whole Jeter running into the stands issue may have soured many in Red Sox nation on Nomar temporarily, but I think most look on him fondly as a great offensive shortstop who laid it all on the line, but with whom things never worked out as everyone hoped.

In this sense, I think Nomar is as much a victim of bad PR as Drew is--to describe him as a hated figure in Boston among Red Sox fans, as opposed to the Boston media, is a profound mistake, and a product of watching ESPN and reading Dan O'Shaugnnessy.

WWSH

2007-04-03 11:39:47
40.   bhsportsguy
Interesting Gibson fact, Kirk Gibson has the lowest OPS of any MVP since he won it in 1988, only Terry Pendleton and Barry Larkin come close but they still were higher than Kirk's .860 OPS.

Looking a little deeper, swith Drew's runs and RBI from last year and he has a very similar year to Gibson short of mad dashes from second base to home on a wild pitch and pinch hit homers on no legs to win a World Series game.

Finally, saw this while reading the new Dodger media guide. The new manager in Vegas was the former hitting coach for the D-Backs AAA team for the last few years. Have no idea how that will affect our players but I thought it was interesting.

2007-04-03 11:40:10
41.   GoBears
38. Nice point, D4P!
2007-04-03 11:41:28
42.   goblue1
37

If the maximum number of pitches per AB was 4 I would agree with your "false choice". It is, however, possible to walk in a 5,6,7 or even 10 pitch AB where many strikes are thrown. But lets just agree that we are glad this isn't a cricket blog.

2007-04-03 11:41:33
43.   D4P
37, 41. You too!
2007-04-03 11:43:10
44.   Humma Kavula
42 This thread is a wicked googlie!
2007-04-03 11:43:58
45.   Daniel Zappala
GoBears must be one of the minions.
2007-04-03 11:44:56
46.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
Jon... have you noticed how cheap looking the Dodgers uniforms are this year? The single layer tackle-twill looks really tacky, including the numbers on the back. The three-layer "Los Angeles" script of recent years (blue, gray, white, top to bottom) looked so much classier. I'm sure this was done as another Frank McCourt cost cutting move, but the Dodgers are an MLB flag-ship team and their uniforms deserve much better treatments and not look like some sunday league uniform.

Also, did they do the same crap to the home uniform too? They've always been two-layer tackle-twill "Dodgers" script with blue on top of pure white and the numbers of course being red on white for the front, blue on white for the back.

Much like the names were petitioned to be put back on, can we start a petition to have the uniform treatments returned as well? Thanks...

2007-04-03 11:46:40
47.   bhsportsguy
Always listen to the source about clubhouse guys, etc. It generally comes from two sources, management and beat reporters and local electronic media guys who deal with the team on a day to day basis.

For the Dodgers this year, expect to hear and see a lot of Gonzalez (generally accepted as a really good guy), Lowe, who does a pretty good job with the media, Wolf and Lieberthal, local boys come home, Russell Martin, catchers are so lovable and probably Juan Pierre too.

Nomar will appear with A Martinez once in a while.

The media wasn't fond of Drew or Lofton and thus, didn't give a great picture of them.

The Dodgers don't have the guy like a Kobe Bryant or Shaq that dominates the clubhouse so it will be those I mentioned above who will be the ones we hear from and everybody will so happy because there will be fewer sourpusses around than there were last year.

Of course, this is just my opinion from afar.

2007-04-03 11:48:03
48.   D4P
GoBears must be one of the minions

Associate Professors doing the bidding of doctoral students: talk about role reversal...!

2007-04-03 11:48:59
49.   Jon Weisman
We've had this discussion about walking in the clutch before, GoBlue:

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/470241.html

On another note, I almost deleted comment 25 because I thought perhaps it was baiting. I have written about this subject and we have discussed it enough in the past week alone, let alone in the past months and years, to make me feel that "stat buffs" shouldn't have to respond to the assertion that they wouldn't value heart and character. Here, for example:

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/613535.html

GoBlue, would it be possible for you just to offer your opinion, which is welcome, without trying to assume what other people's responses will be?

2007-04-03 11:49:14
50.   Frip
It's fair to assume that those who call Nomar a mercenary, will in the next breath come off as the grand agent of said mercenaries.

For what it's worth, I didn't say Nomar was the soul of the Dodgers. No one's mistaking him for Willie Stargell. I said he was the closest thing we have to the Soul of the Dodgers. Perhaps a better phrase would have been Face of the Dodgers, which matters our automaton era.

Maybe I just like him because he doesn't mumble into his chest like the typical sporting goon. He's outward and expressive. He cares if we like him. Endearing. The public M.O. of most athletes is to prove to us that they don't.

He does pepper his interviews too much with the Big-Team-Little-Me mantra, but I think out of ingrained sporting principle, not false modesty.

He has a robust manly stride. He's clutch. He has great hair. He's given us memories, and in the end that's all that's left.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-03 11:50:01
51.   Jon Weisman
46 - As someone unfamiliar with the term "tackle-twill," I'm not sure I'm best qualified to respond.
2007-04-03 11:50:35
52.   Daniel Zappala
Speaking of doctoral students, you missed a period when you quoted me. This is sadly the life of many a professor.
2007-04-03 11:50:46
53.   GoBears
45. Hey now! Maybe someday, but at this point, D4P still ain't a made man.

42. And what happens on those pitches that are not taken as balls? Either called strikes or attempts to get a hit (unsuccessful swings). If it's 7 pitches, then you know there was at least one foul ball. The idea that a guy who draws a walk in an RBI situation is not trying to get a hit is crazy.

2007-04-03 11:53:37
54.   Michael D
Nomar is considered a good character guy because he delivered like he was working for UPS last year. Drew on the other hand has the perception that in the big situation with runners on he will walk or worse look at strike 3. It has nothing to do with how they conduct themselves.
2007-04-03 11:54:23
55.   D4P
Speaking of doctoral students, you missed a period when you quoted me

I typically don't include periods at the end of quotes around here

2007-04-03 11:58:31
56.   Benaiah
40 - True, but his OPS+ (139) was equal to Terry Pendleton's in 1991 and better than Barry Larkin's in 1994 (134). It would be pedestrian in this day and age, but that was a very good year in 1988.
2007-04-03 12:00:19
57.   Penarol1916
50. Face of the Dodgers? That's a marketing term, sure if you're in the season tickets department I'm sure you would prefer Nomar to "some faceless punk" but otherwise, why should I care if the player for my team is pretty?
2007-04-03 12:02:09
58.   Humma Kavula
57 I don't think that's what he meant.

Not to put words in his mouth, but I think he meant that when you think of the 2007-edition Dodgers, he's the player you think of.

I might agree with that.

2007-04-03 12:02:50
59.   GoBears
50. I think we need to separate a couple things when it comes to Nomar. One is whether he's a good guy, fan-friendly, good teammate, etc. The other is whether he's a good player (or, since he obviously is a good player, whether he's the best use of the money he's being paid and the starting 1b spot.

I, for one, really like Nomar. Always have. I thought he got a raw deal in Boston, and I was happy to see him get out from under that. I liked his signing until it became clear that he was to be the full-time first baseman. I thought his re-signing was a bad idea, likeable or not.

The only way these two aspects of Nomar (personality and performance) are intertwined is if you believe that the first matters over and above its effect on the 2nd. And, actually, other things equal, I think it can. I like having guys I like to root for. But other things are never equal.

2007-04-03 12:08:20
60.   D4P
Bottom line:

I think most/everyone would agree that

Good guy winners > Bad guy winners
Good guy winners > Bad guy losers
Good guy losers > Bad guy losers

The disagreement arises with respect to

Good guy losers vs. Bad guy winners

2007-04-03 12:09:54
61.   Humma Kavula
60 Yes, and this question:

Is Nomar a winner or a loser?

2007-04-03 12:10:20
62.   Jon Weisman
I think it's safe to say that a number of people (not all, but enough) here like Nomar, but just wish that he or Loney played a different position. And that's all. And there's a realization that neither may have the defensive skill to do so.

It's not required that you dislike one.

2007-04-03 12:12:27
63.   Daniel Zappala
You forgot:

Bad guy winners > Bad guy losers
Good guy winners > Good guy losers

Just for completeness sake. My editing work is never done.

And, by the way, that means we all agree on 5 out of 6 cases.

2007-04-03 12:13:09
64.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 59

Agree, but I should point out that 19, 22, and to a lesser extent 26 all questioned whether or not Nomar was a "good guy." I personally think he is a "good guy," regardless of whether or not his signing was wise. The same goes with Pierre. But if we want to criticize these signings on sabermetric terms, can we stick to that, and not try to try to shove it even further in the face of the "traditionalist" camp by arguing that the genuine good characters in baseball are no such thing?

WWSH

2007-04-03 12:16:16
65.   D4P
63
Wanna look over the first 5 chapters of my dissertation...?
2007-04-03 12:16:18
66.   bhsportsguy
62 Here here, and if Loney hit RH, he still might be with the big club anyway.
2007-04-03 12:17:28
67.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
51 - Tackle-twill is the art of sewing uniform appliqués (Dodgers' script, numbers, detail, etc.) to a uniform. Letters or numbers cut from polyester or rayon twill fabric that are commonly used for athletic teams and organizations. Tackle twill appliqués attached to a garment have an adhesive backing that tacks them in place; the edges of the appliqués are then zigzag stitched.

This years' road uniform only have a single layer while in previous years it was much classier, which most professional teams use.

Here's a photo to check out with this years' treatment on the right:

http://www.sky-decks.com/misc/Dodgers1.jpg

2007-04-03 12:20:54
68.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
62

It's not required that you dislike one.

I'm sorry, Jon, while I know for you it isn't black and white, I'm getting the distinct vibe from some posters that to be a rational analyst who realizes the irrelevance of character, one must also realize that Nomar is just another clubhouse cancer. I for one have grown weary of this either/or dichotomy. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's certainly the tone I detect a lot of times in these sorts of discussions.

WWSH

2007-04-03 12:23:15
69.   Bob Timmermann
67
So that's what it's called! I thought the road unis looked a little cheaper. The numbers looked they were ironed on.
2007-04-03 12:24:31
70.   Daniel Zappala
65 If you don't mind waiting until May 1st for a response.
2007-04-03 12:25:31
71.   Jon Weisman
68 - For my part, I haven't gotten a vibe that a significant number of people think Nomar is a cancer. The vibe I've gotten is that some people note that his reps both as a cancer in Boston and as an angel in L.A. might be overblown a little bit, leaving him as just an average guy.
2007-04-03 12:27:44
72.   D4P
leaving him as just an average guy

Nomar, no less

2007-04-03 12:27:49
73.   regfairfield
68 I don't know what to make of Nomar, I don't know him, so I couldn't tell you anything about him. All I wanted to know is why there's such a huge rift in reputation between Nomar and J.D. Drew, when not much seems to seperate them.
2007-04-03 12:28:13
74.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
62 - Nomar is good for the Dodgers, agreed. He's no cancer to this team. But I really do wish Loney would find a spot in the lineup but quick...
2007-04-03 12:29:34
75.   D4P
If you don't mind waiting until May 1st for a response

Sure.

2007-04-03 12:30:08
76.   ToyCannon
62
Well said. I'm happy Nomar is our 1st baseman and even happier that we have a replacement like Loney ready to step in. For those who keep bringing up the 2nd half fall of Nomar I think they are also missing the point that he carried this team in the 1st half along with Ethier when the team was tottering with the loss of Kent and the power outage that JD was having in the middle of summer. Funny how everyone remembers Nomar's 2nd half plunge but few remember how JD had 6 homeruns combined for June/July/August. And I'm not putting down JD down, I wish he was still here but it just seems peoples memories work differently for the players they like then for the ones they don't.
2007-04-03 12:32:39
77.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
69 - Yah... I fear that the Dodgers are slowly being cheapened while the ticket/parking/concession prices continue to skyrocket. The uniforms we had were "PROFESSIONAL"... now they look like some Sunday league team. Why fix what aint broke? All we asked for was the names to be put back on, not to have them stripped down to a bare minimum.
2007-04-03 12:34:17
78.   Sushirabbit
Wife: So what'd they name the twins?
Me: Don't know.
Wife: Should've named them Ramon and Aim.

Didn't Nomar get a bit crusty after Boston failed to offer him a contract to his liking, ala Piazza? Maybe that's my faulty memory, though.

Speaking of which, my Mom was in town. She said we went to Vero Beach "alot". She also said my 'scar' on my head was from getting hit on the head by a bat, whereas I always remembered hitting a concrete marker in tall grass, diving for a ball. Weird.

2007-04-03 12:34:38
79.   Bob Timmermann
Hey! Letters ain't cheap!
2007-04-03 12:35:14
80.   Icaros
I didn't ask for the names to be put back on.
2007-04-03 12:38:31
81.   Terry A
I have no problem with Nomar at all. Nomar at 1B, however, is another story. I think he would've been fine as a middle infielder or even third baseman, but first base wasn't the best fit for the team.

We had Ch-i, Guzman, Loney, Kent and a host of other possible options at 1B when Nomar was signed. We had no shortstop, no third baseman (this was pre-Mueller, if memory serves), and the possibility that Kent would be moving to 1B.

And for me, this is not a stats v. emotions debate. I'm happy to have Nomar and his hyperkinetic batting gloves on the team, and I'm just not smart enough to sort the stats. It's the double-speak involved in the "character guy" charade that bugs me.

2007-04-03 12:40:04
82.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
80 - Well... truth be told, neither did I. But it seems a lot of people did ask for the names to be put back on. I liked the "name on the front of the jersey" tenet myself.

The fact remains though, now we have this crappy looking uniform that takes us back to the sixties when what we had before was really the class of MLB uniforms. I want the uniform treatments brought back! Anyone else with me on this? Jon? All it takes is a petition...

2007-04-03 12:42:16
83.   Bob Timmermann
82
Take your complaints to the good people here:
http://www.uniwatchblog.com/

Paul Lukas is the man for this matter.

2007-04-03 12:43:14
84.   Jon Weisman
80 - But Vin did.
2007-04-03 12:46:24
85.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
83 - Nope. Not local enough. Too national to get the job done.
2007-04-03 12:47:31
86.   Daniel Zappala
79 Talk on the other hand ...

75 D4P: Email it to me...

2007-04-03 12:47:40
87.   Bumsrap
For the record, I like Nomar and I would bet that he would be more fun to be around than Loney. And clubhouse wise, I think Nomar is better at it than is Loney.

That said I want the Dodgers to have players that might be around for 10 years and I want players that might win a batting title. I think Loney is one of those guys.

I would rather see Loney do well at first now even if it means seeing Nomar struggle a little at third, now.

2007-04-03 12:50:18
88.   Bob Timmermann
85
Lukas has waged war on the University of Oregon unis, so I don't think the Dodgers would be out of his purview.
2007-04-03 12:51:07
89.   Jon Weisman
I feel relatively alone in the "Believe in Betemit" club.
2007-04-03 12:51:12
90.   screwballin
64 I personally think he is a "good guy,"

I, for one, have given up on trying to figure out who is or isn't a "good guy" in sports. Kobe broke me of that habit for good, since the CW for years was that he was a nice, clean-cut young man. Then the truth came out.

I've come to grips with the fact that we'll probably never have enough info about most sports stars to judge whether they're nice people or not. And when I assume wrongly like I did with Kobe, I feel like a sucker.

2007-04-03 12:55:08
91.   Terry A
89 - But just think how sweet the payoff will be if boom! goes the Betemit.

You'll have told-ya-so power to the nth degree!

2007-04-03 13:02:21
92.   CajunDodger
89
I am sure that there were a few members of the "Believe in Ortiz" club just before the Twins traded him to the Sox. I don't know how this one will end, but the Betemit-LaRoche quandry is more interesting to me than the Nomar-Loney conundrum...
2007-04-03 13:03:26
93.   GoBears
89. I'm with you, Jon. Or at least, I'd like to see him get a full season as a starter to show his stuff.

The IF is fine. It's the OF that's a disaster, and the point about Nomar was that he's extraneous (given Loney), whereas a similar level signing (i.e., better than LG and JP) would have had a much larger marginal impact in the OF.

One way to square the circle would have been to play Nomar in LF, but that doesn't seem likely to happen. The other would have been if Loney could have played LF or RF. But again, doesn't look good.

There are teams with extra OFers that need IFers. A trade would have made much more sense than throwing money below-average free agents.

2007-04-03 13:04:36
94.   Dodger Dog in Idaho
88 - Okay... email has been sent. Let's see what happens. Thanks... we can still make some noise to the front office if we'd like. Sure, there are many other things we could waste our time on...
2007-04-03 13:08:26
95.   Frip
Names on jerseys help the potential fan to grasp the team. Number-only jerseys make the beginning fan feel like an outsider.

If sports owners and coaches think that named jerseys wrongly distinguish individuals from the sacred TEAM, then they should put this silly notion into action and pay everyone the same.

I don't see why baseball uniforms have to be so similar throughout the league. There are SO many colors and patterns to choose from. How stodgy can you get?

2007-04-03 13:10:20
96.   CajunDodger
93
I know that trade proposals from guys like me are useless, but isn't there any way we could get Carl Crawford from the Rays for, say, Elbert and Abreu? They need a good young pitcher about 12-18 months away and a solid 2B...
2007-04-03 13:10:51
97.   D4P
If sports owners and coaches think that named jerseys wrongly distinguish individuals from the sacred TEAM, then they should put this silly notion into action and pay everyone the same

And we should stop keeping track of individual stats

2007-04-03 13:11:23
98.   ToyCannon
89
I thought I was the only one in the Boom Boom Betemit corner. Looks like his corner is stocked more then we thought. If he doesn't lead this team in home runs I'll be shocked. The ball jumps of his bat better then anyone on the team except for Kemp.
2007-04-03 13:16:53
99.   ToyCannon
96
Throw in Billingsly instead of Elbert and Meloan instead of Abreu and then they might listen. They are loaded with middle infielders and outfielders. All they need is catching, and pitching. They don't need super young pitching, they have the best group of A and AA pitchers in baseball, they need ready arms like Billingsly and Meloan and Kuo. Still I think they can do better then us if they decide to package Crawford. They should be talking to the Angels about Santana or Weaver in a package.
2007-04-03 13:17:56
100.   still bevens
99 I will join your booster club. I have this secret dream that Betemit hits 35 HR's this year.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-03 13:19:05
101.   Sushirabbit
Twerp and I have high expectations for Betemit. That might be due to seeing him play, or due to overexposure to Braves Fans/Media.
2007-04-03 13:20:15
102.   GoBears
98. Well, the most likely way that Betemit doesn't lead the team in HRs is reduced playing time. Can't hit 'em if you're sittin'.
2007-04-03 13:20:38
103.   regfairfield
I don't think many of us doubt Betemit's power potential, it's just that I don't know if he can do that while putting up better than a .320 on base.
2007-04-03 13:20:43
104.   Penarol1916
95. I completely agree. I hate the no names on the back of jerseys, I end up completely lost, and I try to follow the Dodgers a lot, one thing I don't pay attention to though, is a players number, I may know only 5 player numbers across all sports and all eras.
2007-04-03 13:23:20
105.   ToyCannon
Me - My niece wants to see us for Easter and bring the boyfriend.

Wife - AAAHHH, can't we take them out for Dinner or something. The house is a mess and I don't want to spend my Easter break cleaning it up. (while we don't have kids we are a waystation for wayward cats with 12 being the current number)

Uncomfortable silence, as I concentrate on the Dodger/Angel game. The announcer
starts talking about joining the Angels for Easter. She flies into the room

wife - Let's take them to a baseball game.

So you all enjoy your family Easters while were at the ballgame. Sometimes when
things look bleak it is the simple thing of knowing your wife is a baseball fan,
your oldest niece is a huge Dodger fan and she always makes sure her boyfriends are
baseball fans. This one is a Padre fan but he's in a rock band so I give him a pass.
Maybe you college kids have heard of "Sanction".

2007-04-03 13:25:58
106.   Frip
Betemit had a below league average EQA last year, and toward the bottom of his own team.
2007-04-03 13:36:28
107.   trainwreck
Nate is a fan of Betemit too.
2007-04-03 13:36:33
108.   ToyCannon
What was his EQA relative to other 24 year olds plating over 300 at bats for the 1st time in the major leagues?
2007-04-03 13:40:45
109.   trainwreck
Zito already gives up a run.
2007-04-03 13:41:20
110.   Eric Enders
Put me in the camp who liked the white trim on the road unis, but doesn't think "more extra trim colors" necessarily equals "class." More often than not, it just makes a uniform look crass. Like the Diamondbacks trying to sneak every color under the sun into their uniform so they can then sell t-shirts in all those "team colors." Often the extra trim is just an annoyance -- look at the Rockies road uniforms of recent vintage, where the purple is almost engulfed by all the nonsense surrounding it. Or try to read the name on the back of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's blue jersey sometime. Unless you're right next to him, you can't even begin to make out what it says, because of the extra layer of white trim.

Also, to suggest that the Dodgers did this as a cost-cutting measure strikes me as rather ludicrous. Not only is the cost negligible in the grand scheme of things, but if the Dodgers were really interested in cutting their fabric-related costs, they probably would have continued without names on the back of the jerseys.

2007-04-03 13:42:49
111.   ToyCannon
While many of my takes are objective, Betemit's upside is strictly subjective and is more along I like what I see compared to other players I've seen over the last 35 years. His OBP may be a problem but if he can give me a > 480 slug I can live with 320-330 OBP. If he falls into Pedro Feliz territory then I'll be the 1st to cast him aside for La Roche.
2007-04-03 13:44:24
112.   ToyCannon
While watching the game with the "Timmerman" the other night I realized how out of step I am in the fashion world as I like the solid color spring jersey's.
2007-04-03 13:47:51
113.   trainwreck
112
Me too. I like my all blue Edwin Jackson spring jersey. The gray trim just looked stupid to me.
2007-04-03 13:48:49
114.   ToyCannon
Must be fun for the Giles brothers to be batting back to back. If being a Dodger fan wasn't ingrained in me I'd be a Padre fan.
Okay I'm done, didn't mean to chase everyone away.
2007-04-03 13:51:21
115.   Jon Weisman
Padres-Giants are underway, if anyone wants to follow along here. Bonds is up, with Giants trailing 1-0 in first.
2007-04-03 13:52:50
116.   trainwreck
Bonds just stole a base.
2007-04-03 13:53:55
117.   trainwreck
Bonds gets nailed at home trying to score on an error. He was not very close and did not really try hard to knock ball away.
2007-04-03 14:06:27
118.   still bevens
How in the world does Bonds steal a base? Is Josh Bard going to commit ritual suicide at the end of the game?
2007-04-03 14:06:48
119.   Andrew Shimmin
Does anybody really dislike Nomar? I confess that I wish he'd been cashiered for draft picks after last year, but I don't dislike him.
2007-04-03 14:10:11
120.   blue22
Put Betemit at second base in '08, and I'd like him even more.
2007-04-03 14:11:36
121.   Vaudeville Villain
Checking out the Giants game, I'm struck by just how awful the Giants line-up is. There is literally not a single player with upside. Barry Bonds may single-handedly keep that team competetive, but when he leaves, they are going to be Kansas City Roayls bad.
2007-04-03 14:13:06
122.   Jon Weisman
121 - Good starting pitching, no?
2007-04-03 14:13:45
123.   Frip
110
"Like the Diamondbacks trying to sneak every color under the sun into their uniform so they can then sell t-shirts in all those "team colors."

Don't know weather to file this under harmless cynicism or severe Marxian paranoia.

2007-04-03 14:13:56
124.   still bevens
121 Slow down. The Giants don't even have a Alex Gordon waiting in the wings to save them. Or Luke Hochevar.
2007-04-03 14:14:33
125.   trainwreck
121
I think they will be the worst team in division this year.
2007-04-03 14:14:49
126.   Hallux Valgus
110- if the Dodgers were interested in cutting fabric-related costs, they'd trade Olmedo Saenz.
2007-04-03 14:17:48
127.   Vaudeville Villain
122-

True, but the position players... My goodness. Just scanning their numbers from last season, they have a single starter not named Bonds with an OPS over .800, and that's Ray Durham, who had a fluky season last year, I think most people would agree. I can't find a single position player in their minor league system who's worth any significant hype.

Perhaps I should amend my team comparison and say that they resemble the Milwaukee Brewers of a few years ago, some good starting pitching, but nothing else.

2007-04-03 14:18:31
128.   trainwreck
127
Lincecum, but he is a pitcher.
2007-04-03 14:21:21
129.   Andrew Shimmin
I kind of like Eddy Martinez-Estevez, but it's my understanding that his defense stinks, and that he's got bad character.
2007-04-03 14:22:10
130.   still bevens
128 And most likely a reliever, the way people are projecting him. Its hard to get saves when you are losing 2-0.
2007-04-03 14:22:50
131.   CajunDodger
126
LOL

I hear that Brazoban was on the Schilling diet this offseason as well...

2007-04-03 14:23:23
132.   blue22
127 - Angel Villalona, but he's 16.
2007-04-03 14:25:25
133.   Eric Enders
The Giants roster would look a lot better if they hadn't traded for A.J. Pierzynski.
2007-04-03 14:29:17
134.   CajunDodger
128
In 2009, would you rather have

Schmidt
Billingsley
Elbert
Kershaw

or

Zito
Lincecum
Cain
Lowry

2007-04-03 14:34:30
135.   D4P
Bases-loaded walk for Cruz Jr.
2007-04-03 14:35:16
136.   Vaudeville Villain
133

Ha, I just dug up an old ESPN trade headline with the news that Pierzynski was traded. Here was how they described it:

"All-Star catcher A.J. Pierzynski was traded Friday by the tightly-budgeted Minnesota Twins to the San Francisco Giants for right-handed pitcher Joe Nathan and two minor leaguers."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1661751

The other two minor leaguers were Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano. And from what I understand, SF gave up a player to be named later AND cash considerations as well.

Brian Sabean...sigh. Awesome.

2007-04-03 14:38:33
137.   D4P
If my pitcher is batting with the bases loaded and less than 2 outs, I would most likely never let him swing
2007-04-03 14:39:49
138.   natepurcell
I feel relatively alone in the "Believe in Betemit" club.

im in the betemit fan club. I think he can have a 280/355 25hr season. I also think Uncle Miltie like betemit too.

2007-04-03 14:41:32
139.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm torn. I admire the edginess, but I just can't see aspiring to it.

http://tinyurl.com/2w3xvg

2007-04-03 14:43:45
140.   Jon Weisman
Game thread soon to open up top.
2007-04-03 14:44:15
141.   trainwreck
Personally, I try to keep things out of my nose.
2007-04-03 14:48:35
142.   JoeyP
His OBP may be a problem but if he can give me a > 480 slug I can live with 320-330 OBP.

Wilson Betemit
Career Minor League ABs: 2,511
Career Minor League SLG: .426

Career Major League Abs: 669
Career Major League SLG: .433

Where's this "Betemit will SLG .480" hope coming from?

Hasnt done it at any level, and he's been playing for 10 years.

2007-04-03 14:50:16
143.   KevPas
I like how Jose Cruz Jr. is still wearing his LA hat on Gameday.
2007-04-03 14:53:23
144.   Jon Weisman
142 - Yeah, that's not a great sign, I admit.
2007-04-03 15:01:30
145.   chazmac138
136.

Wasn't our very own Ned Colleti involved in this horrific trade as well? When the Dodgers first announced that Colleti was named GM, the first thing that popped into my head was "geez this guy looks a lot like Bernie from the Weekend at Bernie's movies" and then it was "Hey wasn't this guy 2nd in charge when the Giants made what is probably their worst trade in modern history" He had to have input too.
It wasn't a comfortable feeling.........the Pierre and Goonzo signings washed away a lot of the good he did in his first year with us (in my mind anyway). Now it's his ridiculous preference to play vets over young talent like Loney that's driving me nuts. Loney got the shaft. And for what? Outhitting everyone in the minor leagues last year and all his "contemporaries" on the big club in spring training this year. It's a crime......

2007-04-03 15:07:09
146.   blue22
145 - I've heard Colletti had little to do with trades and prospects, and more to do with contracts and free agents. I think that one was all Sabean.

The Giants pinch hit for Zito in the bottom of the 5th after they got a one-out walk. Zito had only thrown 86 pitches.

2007-04-03 15:35:13
147.   jasonungar05
This whole debate to me anyways is really about the smarts (or lack of)of signing Nomar over extending JD Drew. Given what we have in the farm and given that Nomar isn't all that better than MLB avg first baseman. To compound this, we sign Pierre. Given our farm, what was and wasnt available in the winter, given we had jeff kent to play 1b if Loney failed, give me Drew over Pierre AND Nomar.

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