Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Help
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Search
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Dodger Thoughts
Archives

2009
02  01 

2008
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2007
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2006
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2005
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2004
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2003
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2002
09  08  07 
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

Making a Good Pitching Staff Better
2007-04-25 08:59
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Despite losing their past two games, the Dodgers left me feeling good with the way they put the tying runs on base in the bottom of the ninth each time. (In fact, that has happened three games in a row – with the Dodgers succeeding in achieving the tie Saturday.)

The Dodgers have had only occasional stinkers this season, playing 20 games and losing three of them by more than three runs.

The team has achieved this largely through its avowed strength, pitching. Even though there have been some offensive highlights so far this year (the OPS+ of Russell Martin, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Wilson Valdez, Brady Clark, Matt Kemp, Olmedo Saenz, Randy Wolf and Jason Schmidt are over 100), it seems even more clear than when the season started three weeks ago that the Dodgers have to eke out every advantage they can on the mound.

Against this backdrop, the Aprils of Chad Billingsley (6.52 ERA) and Rudy Seanez (5.00 ERA) look troubling. And with Chin-Hui Tsao settling in and Yhency Brazoban and Hong-Chih Kuo moving forward in their recovery from injuries, not to mention Jonathan Meloan pitching on fire for Jacksonville, Billingsley's and Seanez's places on the roster look less secure.

Seanez is the easiest to discuss. The 38-year-old has made it clear that he will retire rather than accept another minor-league assignment. For the depth-conscious Dodgers, that's a big incentive to keep him around. But is there a position where the Dodgers are deeper than right-handed relief? If Seanez had retired last fall, would anyone notice his absence? Seanez has struck out nine batters in nine innings, but he has also allowed 16 baserunners. There are so many guys in the Dodger farm system that could probably outpitch Seanez that I won't even get around to mentioning all of them in this column.

As for Brazoban, once he completes his rehab, his spot on the Dodger roster shouldn't be automatic. Even though he was a key member of the bullpen for parts of 2004 and 2005, enough time has passed that he should show minor-league dominance before returning to the team. (He is not out of minor-league options.) But if the threshold is Seanez, that probably won't be so hard for Brazoban to meet.

However, perhaps the threshold is Meloan. Lefty specialist Joe Beimel having faced 24 right-handed batters already this season, allowing a .748 OPS (compared to .448 against left-handed batters), the Dodgers can clearly do better. Seanez isn't the guy. If Brazoban isn't, perhaps Meloan is. The idea of Meloan, Jonathan Broxton and Takshi Saito smothering the opposition in the late innings (with Beimel grabbing the occasional lefty) is, frankly, thrilling.

But let's return to Billingsley and first of all, address the chatter that is already building that Billingsley can't pitch effectively in relief. I firmly believe it's too soon to know this. It's one thing to suggest that Seanez might be done, given his age, his recent career patterns and the fact he has pitched in relief all his life. Billingsley has pitched 13 1/3 relief innings in his regular season career. That's not enough to go on.

We need to look at a bigger picture. Forget about what Billingsley can or can't do, since we don't have those answers yet. We just need to ask what's best for Billingsley and what's best for the Dodgers.

If Billingsley is in the bullpen to conserve his arm at an age many people believe young pitchers are vulnerable to injuries, then let him be in the bullpen. Commit to that being his role for as long as you always meant to. And if Meloan or later Brazoban prove worth a look, let Billingsley go down to Las Vegas or Jacksonville. Make it clear that it's not that the team is giving up on him, but that it's a healthy part of his baseball education. But let's not saddle the kid with a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.

If Billingsley is only in the bullpen because Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko have been outpitching him, then there is an argument to put him back in the starting rotation in the minors and let him do the thing he was meant to do all along. Let him stretch out his arm again.

My feeling all season has been that the Dodgers have never stopped envisioning Billingsley as a starting pitcher, but feel he can contribute as a reliever while letting the veterans Tomko (and now Hendrickson, with Schmidt injured) do their thing. And I think in the back of the Dodgers' minds, there is at least a vague understanding that by keeping him in the bullpen, Billingsley will be fresher in the second half of the season – when, after possible fades by certain starting pitchers, the Dodgers may well need him most. This is plan A, and it's not a bad plan.

With that in mind, it may not make much difference whether Billingsley the Reliever pitches in the majors or the minors. The majors provide the best test; but the minors let him hone technique without as much pressure. There are arguments for both sides.

Ultimately, the Dodger bullpen should be the best it can be. For the sake of the 2007 season, it needs to be. There is no reason to make a snap judgment on Billingsley based on three weeks. But there is also no reason that the Dodgers should settle for mediocrity in the bullpen if there is evidence they can do better. Billingsley (and Kuo, and Greg Miller, and so on) will reach their potential, whatever it is, if the Dodgers remain positive about them as individuals.

The team needs to have its five best starting pitchers in its rotation. It needs to have its six best relief pitchers in its bullpen (or seven, though six should be enough). All there is to do is to uphold those mandates without making false assumptions.

* * *

Former Redbird Nation blogger and current Jenna Fischer brother-in-law Brian Gunn, along with his brother Mark, are writing the screenplay for Girlfriend Experience, Variety reported today. Rainn Wilson of The Office will star.

Comments (253)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-25 10:20:05
1.   D4P
What Depo had to work with:

(Jim) Tracy's view is reflected in how he forms his lineup, bucking the modern thinking that the highest on-base percentage players should be stacked at the top. Instead, he favors the more traditional approach of getting the runner on, moving him along and getting a "big" hit.

From the latest FJM entry, which is a good read.

2007-04-25 10:28:32
2.   Westernmost in Flavor
Billingsley will stick with the team as a mop-up guy for now (which was essentially Hendrickson's role) until Hendrickson moves back to the bullpen by either pitching his way out of the rotation, or when Schmidt or Kuo are ready to return to the rotation. I do think Billingsley will be a valuable reliever and 7 relief appearances is too few to say he isn't suited for the role.

It seems that the Dodgers aren't eager to move up Meloan just yet (even to Triple-A) and are waiting for another spot in the bullpen to open up in the summer (by injuries, trades, etc). I could see him making the jump straight from Double-A when the Dodgers finally have a spot open.

2007-04-25 10:30:44
3.   ToyCannon
For those who think Betemit should be dumped because of his slow start below is a list of players with over 40 ab's who are hitting < 215. As you can see some of the best hitters in baseball and some of the best prospects in baseball are off to slow starts. I still think patience will be rewarded. Yes, La Roche is hitting .098 for the season after 61 at bats. Note the players with asterik in front of their names. I don't recall anything like it by this time of the season for so many not just good but great hitters. Also of this group of hitters, Betemit has the 6th best OB(308) of this group of 47 hitters but no denying the power is AWOL. I doubt that Manny Ramirez has ever had 71 at bats where he slugged < 300 in his career.

name team AB BA OB Slg OPS BB CT
**LaRoche,Adam PIT 61 98 236 262 498 15% 61%
Shealy,Ryan KC 49 102 137 184 321 4% 61%
Inge,Brandon DET 63 111 200 270 470 10% 62%
Kouzmanoff,Kevin SD 49 122 189 204 393 8% 69%
Betemit,Wilson LA 41 122 308 146 454 21% 73%
**Barfield,Josh CLE 57 123 153 211 363 3% 81%
Ross,Dave CIN 43 140 196 140 335 7% 60%
**Gordon,Alex KC 63 143 194 286 480 6% 65%
**Sheffield,Gary DET 67 149 305 224 529 18% 76%
**Sexson,Richie SEA 50 160 263 440 703 12% 70%
**Young,Michael TEX 79 165 185 291 476 2% 81%
Zobrist,Ben TAM 54 167 167 241 407 0% 78%
**Furcal,Rafael LA 47 170 235 213 448 8% 81%
Monroe,Craig DET 64 172 232 312 544 7% 62%
Zaun,Gregg TOR 59 186 284 339 623 12% 83%
Casey,Sean DET 69 188 263 232 495 9% 88%
Pedroia,Dustin BOS 47 191 309 234 543 15% 89%
Taveras,Willy COL 52 192 250 212 462 7% 73%
Kendall,Jason OAK 72 194 237 208 445 5% 92%
**Encarnacion,Edwin CIN 62 194 265 210 474 9% 79%
Punto,Nick MIN 62 194 275 290 566 10% 84%
Peralta,Jhonny CLE 56 196 297 357 654 12% 66%
**Edmonds,Jim STL 56 196 286 304 589 11% 73%
Cabrera,Melky NYY 71 197 219 197 416 3% 89%
Tulowitzki,Troy COL 61 197 269 262 531 9% 72%
Pena,Tony KC 71 197 230 324 554 4% 79%
**Ramirez,Manny BOS 71 197 296 296 592 12% 85%
**Delgado,Carlos NYM 79 203 267 291 559 8% 78%
**Cameron,Mike SD 79 203 276 253 529 9% 71%
Vizquel,Omar SF 69 203 247 203 449 5% 88%
Amezaga,Alfredo FLA 49 204 250 306 556 6% 86%
Blake,Casey CLE 63 206 275 333 609 9% 76%
**Berkman,Lance HOU 63 206 375 317 692 21% 70%
Sosa,Sammy TEX 63 206 265 429 693 7% 76%
**Howard,Ryan PHI 58 207 410 362 772 26% 64%
Paulino,Ronny PIT 58 207 233 293 526 3% 79%
Betancourt,Yuniesky SEA 48 208 224 375 599 2% 94%
Borchard,Joe FLA 67 209 321 343 664 14% 69%
**Dye,Jermaine CHW 67 209 293 373 666 11% 72%
**Young,Chris ARI 57 211 274 368 643 8% 89%
Hillenbrand,Shea LAA 52 212 212 212 423 0% 92%
Kennedy,Adam STL 52 212 268 288 556 7% 92%
Carroll,Jamey COL 52 212 317 250 567 13% 83%
Olivo,Miguel FLA 70 214 257 329 585 5% 76%
Crisp,Coco BOS 56 214 254 304 558 5% 80%

2007-04-25 10:31:36
4.   LA Native
I agree that Seanez is not long for this team (he still throws hard, but his fastball has little movement and is very hittable - I never have much faith in him when he is out there), and I also agree Brazoban shouldn't be rushed to the majors before we really know how effective he is after that major surgery. Let him work out his kinks in the minors.

I think the interesting guy that Jon didn't mention was Tsao. I haven't seen him pitch much, but from what I hear he has been fairly impressive with pretty good stuff. He may be a key guy before it all settle down.

I'd like to see Meloan in the majors before the year is up if he continues to dominate the minors. Does anyone know the Dodgers thinking in keeping him in AA instead of Vegas since he has already dominated at Jacksonville?

2007-04-25 10:32:47
5.   D4P
Paulino,Ronny PIT 58 207 233 293 526 3% 79%

Ronny is quoted in the latest FJM entry saying that, in "clutch" situations, he'd rather his team face David Eckstein than Albert Pujols. And Ronny's not the only one who thinks that way...

2007-04-25 10:33:49
6.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Honestly, I'm not sure why Billingsley would be in the majors. It seems like it would make more sense to develop him as a starter than as a reliever.
2007-04-25 10:35:28
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - Tsao in the fourth paragraph.
2007-04-25 10:35:38
8.   Westernmost in Flavor
6

see Wainwright, Adam and McCarthy, Brandon

2007-04-25 10:38:38
9.   dsfan
I'd be cautious with Brazoban. Most pitchers say it takes two full years to get it all back after TJ surgery. It's not at all unusual to regain the velocity within 9-12 months, which Brazoban has. But that's only part of the equation.
2007-04-25 10:39:03
10.   LA Native
6

Long term I see Billingsley as a starter and I don't really like this bullpen experiment either. It is good he is getting to face major league hitters and save his arm a bit, but at some point he just has to start somewhere. Control is still an issue, and it doesn't look like he is progressing much from last year, where I thought he was pretty decent as a starter if not incredibly lucky (as he allowed a bunch of baserunners that never seemed to score).

I still want either Tomko or Hendrickson traded soon and Kuo or Bills to fill that spot, although I agree it is looking less likely than during the Spring.

2007-04-25 10:41:19
11.   old dodger fan
5 I would rather face David Eckstein than Albert Pujols in ANY situation.
2007-04-25 10:41:46
12.   LA Native
7

Jon, sorry I missed that, but where do you think he might fit in and what role do you see for him for the rest of the year? I think that seems to be a hard question to answer as Tsao is a bit of an enigma right now.

2007-04-25 10:43:19
13.   Westernmost in Flavor
11

Even a limbo game?

2007-04-25 10:45:56
14.   dsfan
This won't happen, but I'd like to see Betemit start in the No. 2 spot a few times. That's one way to jumpstart a hitter. Because of Betemit's power potential, the Dodgers need to go the extra yard to get Betemit going. I'd put him behind Furcal a few games, let Pierre bat eighth.
2007-04-25 10:50:14
15.   old dodger fan
14 Is there any evidence that moving a player to a different spot in the lineup makes a difference in how they hit? (This is a serious question, not rhetorical).
2007-04-25 10:50:37
16.   ToyCannon
Our pitching, particulary our young relief pitching looks to be such a strength. I'd rather have Billingsly pitching in AAA right now instead of inconsistent relief work. I think by the time Kuo is ready that Hendrickson or Tomko will need to be replaced. Still hoping that by June the original 5 man rotation of Schmidt/Lowe/Wolf/Penny/Kuo will be a reality and it wouldn't bug me a bit if they sold high on Penny and moved Billingsly into his slot. I think Schmidt will come back strong but I really think someone should have smacked him over the head for pitching while hurting and continuing to deny he had any problems.

I agree that Yhancy should stay in AAA untilhe proves he's back. As I recall he wasn't pitching very good before he got hurt but I don't know if it was because he was hurt or just lousy pitching.

2007-04-25 10:52:48
17.   Jon Weisman
10 - One could argue that being in the bullpen will help him learn control, by not allowing him to mess around.

12 - I assume Tsao will be around if he can stay healthy and effective - both of which are unknowns.

2007-04-25 10:55:05
18.   Benaiah
15 - I imagine that people have done studies on the subject and I think the conclusion is that it doesn't matter. I will do some digging.
2007-04-25 10:56:25
19.   D4P
OOPS!!!!!!

I meant to say that Ronny Paulino (and other players) would rather face PUJOLS than ECKSTEIN in clutch situations.

Big difference.

2007-04-25 10:56:55
20.   Westernmost in Flavor
14

I'm not sure moving him around in the lineup is going to suddenly bust him out of his slump. He's clearly adjusting(-ed) to his role, as evidenced by team-leading 11 walks. So despite his paltry batting average, he has nearly matched Juan Pierre in OBP (.291 to .300). Maybe moving Juan down to the 8th slot would get him to change his approach by being more selective and drawing some walks, but I'm fairly certain that Juan isn't moving anywhere (except possibly back to the leadoff spot).

2007-04-25 10:58:27
21.   Bob Timmermann
13
The Catholic Church has removed limbo from official church doctrine.

Think of all those poor unbaptized babies forced to spend eternity trying to dance under a pole.

2007-04-25 11:00:41
22.   Curtis Lowe
16- I agree that Billingsley should be getting consistent work, it seems like he's slipping from underuse. His strikeout rate seems to be dropping from when he was starting.

Even though his ERA is as high as it is right now I think he's only had one bad outing which was sunday, the other time he got hit hard was on easter when he had 10-1 lead.

2007-04-25 11:01:24
23.   ToyCannon
19
I figured that because otherwise what would have been the point of your post. I've heard many pitchers say they'd rather face a power guy then a contact guy but if you put a gun to their head I'd bet they'd change that comment if it really was a choice between Eckstein and Pujols.
2007-04-25 11:03:13
24.   D4P
Betemit's switch-hitting splits:

In 30 ABs as LHB: .167/.364/.200/.564, with 6 Ks

In 11 ABs as RHB: .000/.000/.000/.000, with 5 Ks

2007-04-25 11:04:23
25.   ToyCannon
That is a serious walk rate from the left side. Not many can post a > 350 OB with a sub 200 average.
2007-04-25 11:06:12
26.   ToyCannon
14
While I still have faith in Betemit I'm beginning to see signs that the Dodgers don't. I'm beginning to worry that Ned will do something rash and not wise.

It is amazing the number of young 3b who are not only scuffling but hitting at a putrid level - Encarnacion, Betemit, Marte, and Gordon

2007-04-25 11:06:41
27.   DeucesAreWild
There has been an Aaron Sele mop-up sighting in New York...
2007-04-25 11:06:51
28.   JoeyP
I'd like to know if Betemit really has developed patience, or if its simply bc the pitcher's batting behind him that he doesnt get anything to hit.
2007-04-25 11:07:32
29.   Daniel Zappala
That's Bob -- always ready to slip in a Catholic joke the moment he sees an opportunity.
2007-04-25 11:08:12
30.   D4P
25
It's true, though I still maintain his walks are helped by batting 8th, acknowledging that he has walked frequently in other lineup spots as well.

If I were anyone of importance with the Dodgers, I would have to consider asking Betemit to end his switch-hitting experiment. He has been very bad as a RHB, and I'd have to think he could put up at least the same numbers against lefties as a LHB.

2007-04-25 11:09:41
31.   Westernmost in Flavor
21

I can understand why the Catholic Church would want to do away with the limbo. It always seemed like a pagan ritual to me.

2007-04-25 11:11:43
32.   Bob Timmermann
31
The enchanting calypso beat in limbo dancing was not enough to keep its status.
2007-04-25 11:13:17
33.   JoeyP
Has anyone done a study of the liklihood of a bad team becoming an excellent team in the NBA vs MLB vs NFL? I think it happens most often in baseball and least often in the NBA but I have not done any kind of study of it.

I havent done a study, but I'd believe the NFL has the most competitive balance of any league. Its due to A.) the hard salary cap, and B.) relative short term nature of the careers. There is high turnover in the NFL, with more players in and out--more chances for good teams to become bad and vice versa.

NBA's probably in the middle tier of good teams becoming bad. 1 great player can turn around a team.

MLB unfortunately, I believe anyway, is the worst league for competitive balance. No salary cap, long term careers, long term player development. Bad teams wont become good overnite, like they sometimes do in the NBA or NFL.

2007-04-25 11:15:02
34.   Benaiah
Jim Callis of Baseball America is chatting on ESPN right now. I am sending him Dodger Prospect question hot and heavy, but he is ignoring me so far.

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=15511

2007-04-25 11:17:03
35.   Benaiah
33 - I don't think this is the case. The NBA has had a lot of teams that have basically never been good, and only a handful of teams have ever won the title. The only teams that have been bad consistently for a long period of time in baseball are the Pirates, the Devil Rays and the Royals.
2007-04-25 11:19:09
36.   ToyCannon
30
I'd be inclined to agree if the right side wasn't his natural hitting side. Not many hitters who took up switch hitting go to the secondary side and give up the original side.
At least that is what Betemit said but I have no data to back that up.
2007-04-25 11:23:15
37.   D4P
36
Given that he throws right-handed, it's probably true that he naturally bats right-handed as well. But there's not denying that he has fared much better as a LHB.

2004-2006

505 ABs as LBH: .285/.349/.463/.812
161 ABs as RBH: .230/.276/.348/.624

2007-04-25 11:27:02
38.   old dodger fan
In 52 PA's this year Betemit has 1 extra base hit. When does a small sample size become a representative sample size?
2007-04-25 11:28:21
39.   Marty
I think Dejan Kovacevic is a good baseball writer, Pittsburgh fans are lucky to have him.
2007-04-25 11:28:56
40.   Benaiah
38 - 200-300 at bats just to be a little bit relevant. Even a full season's worth of at bats is still prone to a lot of flukey luck.
2007-04-25 11:31:11
41.   kinbote
we should be in no rush to bring up meloan. he's a good ace-in-the-hole piece for later in the season.

right now, our bullpen is solid. i think tsao is developing into [yet] another reliable late-inning arm, making seanez essentially unnecessary. the latter could easily be dumped upon schmidt's return.

when/if brazoban returns, a move will have to be made [trade tomko?], but, as grady said, something will likely happen by then.

who knows about miller? somehow it seems his fate is strangely tied to hendrickson's.

the real wild card here is kuo, who doesn't appear to be bullpen material at all. if/when he's healthy, i think he has to be used in the L.A. rotation.

maybe sickels can do a crystal ball on what this team will look like at the end of the year!

2007-04-25 11:33:21
42.   Bluebleeder87
I would rather face David Eckstein than Albert Pujols in ANY situation.

Little Eck did hit 2 grand slams in one year though.

2007-04-25 11:36:29
43.   Benaiah
42 - And 2 total for his career. That year he had 8 home runs total, so that was the flukiest of fluky outcomes.
2007-04-25 11:39:22
44.   KOREAN GUY
bit off topic,

Im i the only one that feels like the new reporter covering the Dodgers during their home games(Adrian Garcia) does not know too much about baseball? I think my mom asks better questions....His questions are either something any of us would already know the answer to or just really, really, way too typical. I think i miss carolyn hughes and or anyone else.(patrick oneil, lindsey soto, etc.)

2007-04-25 11:40:24
45.   D4P
44
If you're gonna violate Rule 12, you need to be clever about it.
2007-04-25 11:40:46
46.   ToyCannon
38
I echo 40 and also remember the man led the team in home runs after he was acquired so that has to carry some weight. In the best case scenario the power comes back and the plate discipline he's showing during this slump stays and you end up with an above average player. If the power comes back and the plate discipline goes back to historical levels he can still be productive but shouldn't be blocking La Roche. If the power never returns then the job should be handed to La Roche and hope he doesn't hit like his brother in 2007.
2007-04-25 11:41:31
47.   KOREAN GUY
I remember Brad Penny and Russel Martin giving the new reporter a "what r u talking about" look during the post-game interviews.
2007-04-25 11:41:56
48.   KOREAN GUY
ok. sorry.
2007-04-25 11:47:03
49.   Bumsrap
If Ethier doesn't start hitting big time in the next couple of days I think Kemp will take the right field spot as a regular and that will take some pressure off replacing Betemit's lefty bat with a righty one. But by mid May if Betemit is still not hitting either VAldez or Abreu will be playing third unless the unthinkable happens and Loney gets to play first.

Billingsley is for now a long reliever and the starters seem to be going 6 and 7 innings. The 8th and 9th innings belong to Broxton and Saito and the 7th seems to belong to Biemel unless like Jon has said he becomes only circumstance pitcher and Tsao or Meloan pitches the 7th. Billingsley then has to wait for a starter to get kicked out by the third or fourth inning to get into a game.

2007-04-25 11:48:12
50.   old dodger fan
[42 & 43] In 1966 Tony Cloninger, a pitcher, hit 2 grand slams in a game. Now that is fluky, not to mention a record that will never be broken.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-25 11:49:55
51.   Bumsrap
I believe the rotation beginning in July will be Wolf, Lowe, Billingsley, Kuo, and either Schmidt or Penny depending on injury or trade.
2007-04-25 11:51:38
52.   Benaiah
John (Dallas): If Loney at first, Nomar?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) Put him at third base this year.

2007-04-25 11:52:05
53.   Bob Timmermann
Eckstein's grand slams were also in consecutive games.
2007-04-25 11:52:29
54.   bhsportsguy
For Nate:

In the Baseball America Prospect Watch, this note on Clayton Kershaw. 19K/3BB in two 60+ degree starts; 9K/9BB in two sub-45 degree starts.

Note that the second stat line includes a 2 inning, 2K/6BB walk outing so he hasn't pitched bad since his first start but since his work in the Gulf Coast League where he was nearly unhittable and his last couple of outings, he would appear to be the real deal.

2007-04-25 11:54:33
55.   natepurcell
54

yea i figured it was something of that nature. For selfish reasons, get him to inland empire by summer so i can go watch him!

2007-04-25 11:56:47
56.   ToyCannon
50
I read that on the back of his baseball card when I was 9 and used it to win many a baseball bat when I got older.
2007-04-25 12:04:16
57.   Bluebleeder87
53

I was gonna say that but wasn't sure of it.

2007-04-25 12:09:21
58.   Benaiah
So far in Jim Callis's chat there are 10 Phil Hughes questions and one Dodger question. ESPN kills me.
2007-04-25 12:12:34
59.   Bob Timmermann
There are likely no Paul Foytack questions and that grieves me.
2007-04-25 12:15:20
60.   D4P
Bob needs to check out Paul Foytack's middle name.

I think it's a "sign".

2007-04-25 12:18:04
61.   underdog
58 Yeah and then whiny guy complaining he has an anti-NY bias. Slays me.

I asked a Dodger question, too. We'll see if he answers it. Or anything.

2007-04-25 12:21:58
62.   Benaiah
61 - He didn't, I asked about 20 questions and he answered none of them but then answers 10 questions about Hughes. I cracked up when I saw that someone accused him of having an anti-NYC bias. I think Phil Hughes Questions outnumbered NL West and AL West questions put together.
2007-04-25 12:23:28
63.   ToyCannon
Phil Hughes is kind of big at the moment. It is not like we have the number one prospect in baseball pitching tomorrow in his debut trying to pitch the 200 million team out of last place. Not much weight on his shoulders.
2007-04-25 12:23:38
64.   regfairfield
What can you ask about Phil Hughes right now other than "will he be good" or maybe "what kind of stuff does he have"?
2007-04-25 12:26:30
65.   Benaiah
63 - At the beginning of the chat he said: "I will answer a Phil Hughes question to get it out of the way." And then he answered 9 more Phil Hughes questions. I guess he didn't get it very far out of the way.
2007-04-25 12:36:45
66.   Jon Weisman
20-hitter for the Mets' pitching staff today.
2007-04-25 12:36:54
67.   Andrew Shimmin
64- Does he have a lot of heart?

How's his hair? Dreamy?

I heard he's killed thirty grizzly bears with his bare hands. True?

I'm in a fantasy league, and I drafted him in the fourth round; aren't I the smartest person alive?

etc.

2007-04-25 12:38:22
68.   underdog
66 I was gonna say something earlier but didn't want to violate any rules by jinxing it.
2007-04-25 12:39:39
69.   D4P
Does he have the makings of a True Yankee?

How many games will he win this year: 20, 25, or 30+?

Will his presence help ARod be clutcher in the playoffs?

2007-04-25 12:39:41
70.   ToyCannon
Because the questions you guys asked last year about Billingsly were oh so much more sophisticated.
2007-04-25 12:43:28
71.   dzzrtRatt
32 The kickoff track to an obscure but great Bryan Ferry album, Bete Noire, is "Limbo." Ever since the story about the most recent Catholic ruling, that song has been running through my head constantly. It's a cool song: It makes Limbo seem like a dance club in Miami.
2007-04-25 12:45:11
72.   Humma Kavula
How must it feel to know that your team banged out 20 hits but you didn't get any?

Somebody should ask that of Troy Tulowitzki and Clint Barmes.

2007-04-25 12:46:50
73.   Penarol1916
55. Not until after May, he better still be pitching for the Loons when they visit the Kane County Cougars.
2007-04-25 12:48:23
74.   Bob Timmermann
72
So they were the ones on the outside of the candy store looking in?
2007-04-25 12:49:32
75.   Benaiah
66 - Nice, that keeps the Dodgers tied for best record in the league (Milwaukee is tied too). We have to be prohibitive favorites to win on Sunday, and I would put us at better than 50-50 for tonight considering how well Wolfe pitched last time.
2007-04-25 12:51:50
76.   Benaiah
I just clicked on Helton's name and immediately burst out laughing when I saw his picture. That beard is amazing.
2007-04-25 12:52:19
77.   Benaiah
http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=5870
2007-04-25 12:57:14
78.   underdog
In case anyone was worried, Darren Collison is staying at UCLA, it was just reported...
2007-04-25 12:58:41
79.   Terry A
78 - Dang. I had $10 in an office pool that Darren Collison would be named Rosie's replacement on The View.
2007-04-25 12:59:45
80.   Benaiah
San Diego has the 6th best ERA in baseball (4th best in the NL), but only the 23rd best ERA for starters (4.85)- they are second in relief ERA (1.98). Jake Peavy (2.13) and Chris Young (3.32) are both pitching great and Greg Maddux (4.24) has been decent, but David Wells (6.00) and Clay Hensley (9.45) have been terrible. Fortunately, we miss Peavy and Young in our upcoming series.

The Dodgers by the way are second in baseball in ERA (3.03), fourth in starter ERA (3.38) and third in relief ERA (2.42).

2007-04-25 13:00:29
81.   Disabled List
That FJM post is a real piece of work. I give credit to the Pittsburgh writer for attempting an article with an angle like that. I won't hold my breath to see something like that in the LA Times though.

The Legend of Eckstein has taken root even among the players and coaches who ought to know better.

2007-04-25 13:01:02
82.   Westernmost in Flavor
79

If Darren Collison ever wins an Oscar, I'm going to be a very rich dude.

2007-04-25 13:05:57
83.   Fallout
3 ToyCannon

Wow Cannon, if you are going to work that hard you should next time space it so it is more readable. :)

2007-04-25 13:24:24
84.   Terry A
82 - Gotta love that Kevin Malone's sneaky smile.
2007-04-25 13:27:14
85.   Xeifrank
As far as Billingsley is concerned, I think you have to step back and look at the long picture. There wasn't a spot in the starting rotation for him after the Wolf signing and the Tomko spring training. I don't think the long term plan is to make Billingsley a relief pitcher. The current situation is what it is, the Dodgers have alot of depth in the starting rotation. Eventually, an opportunity for Billingsley will arrive for him to make more than just a few spot starts. He has his whole career to look forward to, and as easy as it is to worry about his one month performance in the bullpen, I am looking at the big picture with an "his day will come" stare.
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 13:31:00
86.   Jon Weisman
81 - Bill Shaikin similarly questioned baseball myths in his feature a few weeks ago. I think he and Steve Henson are pretty open to the arguments.
2007-04-25 13:50:41
87.   Daniel Zappala
Great FJM post. I didn't know people still sacrificed elk to a fertility god. I'm guessing they don't believe in limbo.
2007-04-25 13:50:48
88.   Westernmost in Flavor
84

As long as you don't mean this Kevin Malone.

http://tinyurl.com/24tkto

His snake-oil salesman smile led to bloated contracts and years of mediocrity.

2007-04-25 13:54:01
89.   Benaiah
87 - I think that if Jim Tracy was hired to coach my favorite team I would cry. As terrible as the day when Depodesta got fired was, the day that Tracy got fired was the exact opposite.
2007-04-25 13:55:36
90.   D4P
It's hard to imagine a worse combination than a GM who (presumably) places a very high value on OBP and a field manager who couldn't care less.

It's too bad that Depo's performance was so heavily confounded with Tracy's.

2007-04-25 14:05:16
91.   Terry A
88 - I refuse to follow that link. I know what's (who's) there, and I'm not gonna look.
2007-04-25 14:08:52
92.   jasonungar07
Every two years when I change job (so it seems) I have to get a new log in. I have gone from jasonungar03 to jasonungar05 to jasonungar07. I need to retire. Goin to the yard tommorrow to fetch me a nomar bobble head. I wonder if it comes with adjustable wristbands.
2007-04-25 14:13:13
93.   Benaiah
92 - Why? Do you forget your password?
2007-04-25 14:14:05
94.   schoffle
RE: 85

"and the Tomko spring training"

What was is about Tomko's spring training that suggested he should be the 5th starter over Billingsley? It seems apparent that Billingsley was not being given an opportunity to win the 5th starter job otherwise based on last years numbers and this years spring training he would have won it.

2007-04-25 14:16:48
95.   Benaiah
90 - I firmly believe that Tracy punted the end of the year to spite Depodesta. This is pretty despicable, but then Depo deserves some of the blame if it is the case, since he should either communicate (aka order) or he should fire him mid-season. Tracy playing Phillips at 1B is the single worst managerial decision of the modern era. If I was C--i I would think about taking him to court.
2007-04-25 14:18:52
96.   Curtis Lowe
95- For indecent exposure?
2007-04-25 14:23:27
97.   Benaiah
96 - It wouldn't hold up, but maybe there is some sort of discrimination suit. Choi hit 7 home runs in a weekend and then Tracy benched him. Unbelievable.
2007-04-25 14:24:18
98.   Bob Timmermann
95
That's an extremely serious charge you are leveling against Tracy.

It's not one to be bandied about. You are essentially accusing Jim Tracy of throwing games.

People disagree about management styles all the time. And personnel decisions. But to think that Tracy actively worked to make the Dodgers play worse is something I think you should seriously reconsider.

2007-04-25 14:24:57
99.   Andrew Shimmin
Billingsley ST 2007: 12.1IP 7G 1.46ERA 11K 4BB
Tomko ST 2007: 19IP 6G 4.74ERA 10K 7BB

If I remember, though, Billingsley had one bad ST start, and was taken out of the running for the fifth spot. As long as what they're doing is keeping his work load down, in hopes of getting more out of him at the end of the season, I don't have a problem with it. But if Hendrickson gets eight starts this year, I'm going to be the guy in the parking lot letting the air out of everybody's tires shouting, "This is egregious! This is egregious!"

2007-04-25 14:26:17
100.   Benaiah
98 - I don't think he threw games, but I do think he played inferior players to make a point. Playing Phillips at first is the equivalent of throwing games, though I don't think Tracy's intention was to lose as much as it was to throw a bird in Depodesta's general direction.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-25 14:26:48
101.   jasonungar07
Yep I forget it every time and my computer always shows asterisks as a password as soon as I enter my user name! So daily for 2 years it's like autopilot.

It's funny because it's always some combo of my dogs name or a particular dodger or some star wars character and the year. So I try all the combos, get frustrated and just open a new account.

2007-04-25 14:28:16
102.   D4P
98
I think it's reasonable to conclude that Tracy intentionally did things he knew Depo would have disagreed with. Whether Tracy also thought those things put the team in a position to fail is unclear. For one thing, it's entirely possible that Tracy thought putting Phillips at 1B was a good idea.
2007-04-25 14:28:35
103.   Benaiah
101 - I have about 2 passwords that I use for everything in my life. If someone could figure one of them out then they could get to just about everything.
2007-04-25 14:29:44
104.   D4P
101
User name: jasonungar07
Password: jarjar07
2007-04-25 14:30:00
105.   Bob Timmermann
100
But if you think Tracy played players he knew were inferior, then you are accusing of him of throwing games. Just because you think the motive was spite and not personal gain, doesn't excuse the behavior.

It is quite easy to believe, and far simpler, that Tracy and DePodesta had a difference of opinion. There are differences of opinion. They exist.

2007-04-25 14:30:30
106.   Tangled Up in Blue
I havent read all the comments so far but here is my opinion on Bills.

I feel for Billingsley right now. IMO he came up last year and struggled with his control but to his credit he made adjustments and improved. I thought that spoke volumes for a kid making starts for the first time in a tight division race (he pitched well in the playoffs as well).

He comes into spring training trying to win a spot in the rotation and pitched really well. In fact I thought he pitched better than any of the starters. He is then sent to the bullpen before anyone else (including Kuo).

If I were Bills I would wonder what I need to do to be a starter with the Dodgers. Tomko and Hendrickson are not better pitchers than Bills and they do not have his upside.

He is saying all the right things about being in the bullpen but I wonder how this will affect him mentally.

2007-04-25 14:31:46
107.   Jon Weisman
I absolutely think that everything Tracy did was something he thought was a good idea. There's no reason to think otherwise.

Tracy didn't play Phillips over Choi while thinking Choi was better.

2007-04-25 14:33:00
108.   Benaiah
105 - I agree, but there was something about the way that Tracy rode out Phillips's terrible slump to end the year, but would jerk other players in and out on a whim that suggested something like a proving a point. I think he knew he was getting fired and he wanted to go down with the ship, in that he wasn't going to change to keep his job. "He did it his way" to paraphrase ole' blue eyes and good riddance for it.
2007-04-25 14:33:19
109.   Terry A
105 - I think it was a combination of the two for Tracy. He apparently felt so strongly that Choi was a terrible first baseman, he could (with clear conscience) believe playing Phillips was a better alternative for the team. And in so doing, he got to stick it to The Man.

Or The Google Boy.

2007-04-25 14:33:27
110.   jasonungar07
I actually agree with Benaiah but like him need to back down on what the intent was. I think the intent was simply, I am a baseball guy and your a computer geek stat head. I have toiled in the minors for years, been a bench coach, now a manager. I have had success my way recently with the dodgers (in his own mind, mind you) and dang it iI am a lame duck manager and if I go down it will not be without a fight and it will be my way. It's all about arm angles.
2007-04-25 14:35:04
111.   D4P
Tracy timeline:

1. Prior to 2004 trade deadline: Tracy did things Depo must have disagreed with
2. 2004 trade deadline: Depo trades Lo Duca, inspiring subsequent resentment/spite/whatever on Tracy's part toward Depo
3. After 2004 trade deadline: Tracy did things Depo must have disagreed with

I suppose the question is whether #3 was influenced by #2. I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure.

2007-04-25 14:35:55
112.   Andrew Shimmin
I agree with 107. Tracy was wrong in measurable ways. He's bad at what he does. He wasn't evil. It's enough to say that he's a bad manager, superstitious to the brink of insanity.
2007-04-25 14:36:02
113.   Daniel Zappala
103 I use a different, randomly-generated password for every site, then store all those in a password-saving program that is itself encrypted with a password that I actually remember. As long as I keep my master password file and remember its password (and I do keep a backup), then I don't have to remember any password for any site ever again.
2007-04-25 14:36:44
114.   Xeifrank
94. Good points, I am not disagreeing with that (preaching to the choir syndrome). Billingsley's day will come, Tomko didn't implode in ST and Guo got hurt, thus in Grady's mind Tomko was the man. Not saying it was a good decision or that it was fair, I am just saying that we should look at the big picture as far as Billingsley is concerned (in response to Jon's post).
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 14:37:39
115.   Benaiah
113 - That sounds more complicated then just having the one password (and a spare). The only thing I can say in my defense is that it is a really good password.
2007-04-25 14:37:46
116.   Jon Weisman
"I havent read all the comments so far"

I admit up front this is just a grouchy pet peeve of mine, but when people write this, I just don't understand it. It just seems so insulting to me, this idea that "I have something to say that I feel is so worthwhile, I can't be bothered to read what you have to say."

Not at all singling you out, TUiB. I just really don't get it in general. I understand it takes time to read other people's comments (although not that much time, I feel), but it seems to me that if it comes down to a choice, reading the comments should take precedence over writing one.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe in a way the comments are like mini-blogs, and there's no inherent requirement to be aware of how one's comments fit into the overall dialogue.

2007-04-25 14:39:39
117.   jasonungar07
Oh no, never nothing from the new trilogy....

I went with Bobba Fett 07 (just kidding)

My password is mine, all mine. I actually went with my dogs name this time again to make sure I'd remember. For you Lord of the Rings fans my dog is named after someone on the good side....

Oh and to add to my comment above, I do think trace felt he was doing the right thing and felt he had the best interest of the team on the field in mind.

2007-04-25 14:41:41
118.   Bluebleeder87
He is saying all the right things about being in the bullpen but I wonder how this will affect him mentally.

He's got the right agent to speak to him about those issues in Stewart (forgetting his first name at the moment) if I remember correctly Stewart went to the pen while he was a Dodger.

2007-04-25 14:42:07
119.   Xeifrank
116. I don't think it's reasonable for you to expect everyone to have read all the comments, if that in fact is what your pet peeve is. Please don't take this personally, just one man's opinion.
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 14:42:11
120.   underdog
116 Jon, I didn't read most of what you wrote there, but I wholeheartedly agree.

---

(Kidding about the first clause, serious about the second)

2007-04-25 14:45:22
121.   dzzrtRatt
I see in Tracy a man who doesn't understand his own impulses. They were so contradictory they appeared totally hypocritical at times. I think he played Jason Phillips because he just liked the guy better than the others he could have played. There was no strategy to it, and it almost never paid off, but that didn't matter. It just made him feel good to see Phillips out there.

There were some other players who also gave Tracy that warm, cozy feeling -- I've just blocked out who they were, so traumatic was that 2005 season. That bug-eyed incompetent Jason Phillips is the one who stands out.

I have no idea if his management of Pittsburgh follows the same pattern. They've got some great pitching over there, confirming my belief that Jim Colborn is an exceptional pitching coach. The Pirates won't contend, but they could go through some hot streaks with that pitching.

2007-04-25 14:47:02
122.   D4P
There were some other players who also gave Tracy that warm, cozy feeling -- I've just blocked out who they were

Edwards and Myrow come to mind

2007-04-25 14:47:25
123.   Benaiah
The thing about Choi versus Jason Phillips is that there is absolutely no one would could argue that J.P. was better that year. He had a lower batting average if that is your thing (.238 to .253), he hit less home runs (10 to 15, in 70 more At Bats), he scored less runs (38 to 40 in more at bats), he was slow, he made errors at 1B, he was a zero even in a traditional sense. Choi was a deeply flawed player, but Tracy's rational for not playing him was just a gut feeling. And my hunch, my gut feeling, is that Tracy's feeling was something along the lines of: "Paul Depodesta doesn't know $^@#$ about baseball, so @$#% him and his 1B, I'm playing the professional hitter." Now, that isn't the same thing as sticking it to the Dodgers, but it is pretty close.
2007-04-25 14:50:10
124.   Benaiah
122 - Grabowski.
2007-04-25 14:51:04
125.   dzzrtRatt
119 I agree with Jon, but maybe there's a cutoff point after which skimming, or just looking at the more recent comments, is acceptable. 200 posts?

Jon you live in a blogger's paradise. I look at a lot of blogs, and with the exception of those Krazy Kos Kids, you get more comments than anybody.

2007-04-25 14:52:14
126.   D4P
123
Don't forget this:

RISP:

Phillips .299/.347/.523/.870
Choi .203/.323/.329/.652

I seem to recall Tracy thinking Phillips was "clutch", and keeping in mind his emphasis on the "big hit" as discussed in the FJM entry, these numbers probably meant something to Tracy (at least anecdotally from his own observations on the field)

2007-04-25 14:53:26
127.   Bob Timmermann
123
But what would have Jim Tracy gained by deciding to work against the interests of his GM?

Did he get a better job?
Did he become more respected in baseball circles?

Unless you think Tracy's main goal in life was to get a sympathetic column from Bill Plaschke, I don't see why you think Tracy would be motivated by spite.

2007-04-25 14:54:21
128.   Benaiah
I imagine there is a difference between jumping into a 500 comment thread to say something about the baseball game you just went to and reading one comment out of 150 and responding with the preface that you haven't read most of the thread. There are so many comments on Dodger Thoughts that it is pretty tough to read all of them if you get behind.
2007-04-25 14:56:52
129.   Benaiah
127 - Towards the end of the year I think it was clear that he was going to get fired so there was no reason to play nice. His reputation didn't suffer for it obviously, the man got a job five minutes after he was fired. He got to do what he wanted to do, and that is its own reward.
2007-04-25 14:57:21
130.   Xeifrank
I think he started Phillips at first base because he genuinely like Phillips alot and he felt sorry for having pulled the guy from a game at catcher. He probably felt bad about this and wanted to give the guy some playing time at first base... or something along these lines. But who really knows, it is Jim Tracy we are talking about. :)
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 14:57:25
131.   ToyCannon
116
Couldn't disagree more. If your blog was like everyone else on the Toaster then you'd have a valid point since rarely does the combined toaster blogs other then DT get more comments then what D4P will put forth in an hour on DT. On gameday when 500 posts are the norm and most of the comments are pointless one liners about how Nomar should have taken the 1st pitch I can't believe you expect everyone to read 500 posts before making one post. I can understand it for youself since this is your baby but I'm not coming home from a game and spending an hour reading 500 comments before posting. If that precludes me from posting in the future so be it.
2007-04-25 14:59:13
132.   Penarol1916
128. Definately agree that context matters. If there are under 200 comments when I get to work in the morning, then I will always read the whole thread before even thinking about commenting, if there are over 400 then I will rarely read the whole thread, unless it is a really slow day.
2007-04-25 14:59:13
133.   dzzrtRatt
127 I don't think Tracy liked anything about the Dodger organization that last year. I think he started to blame the entire organization for his failures, including the McCourts. I think he saw himself as the sole author of the 2004 division championship, but 2005's reversion to mediocrity was a sign that the organization was returning what he thought was an unprofessional method of doing business. I think Tracy sincerely believed the Pirates were a step up from the dysfunctional Dodgers, and presented him with a situation where he could "mold a team" in his image.
2007-04-25 15:00:38
134.   D4P
presented him with a situation where he could "mold a team" in his image

And mold he has done

2007-04-25 15:01:15
135.   Jon Weisman
125 et al - I don't take it personally at all. But I feel you really respndoning to my point. I don't expect everyone to read every comment. But for those participating in the conversation, how can you not read the comments?

Why should X read Y's comment if Y didn't read X's?

128 - is fair, I suppose. If you're saying something that's really about your own personal experience, and you really don't have time to read the comments and we would be poorer without yours, then it makes sense.

But when you're responding to the main post, when it's safe to assume that the bulk of the conversation is about the main post, how can you not read the other comments?

2007-04-25 15:01:22
136.   jasonungar07
123 You forgot to mention arm angles, if that is your thing.

But yeah lets get back to 2007. No use crying over it now, plus you know as Tom Hanks likes to say......there is no crying in baseball.

2007-04-25 15:02:04
137.   Jon Weisman
Why does anyone comment in a 500-comment thread, then, if there is no expectation of being read?
2007-04-25 15:02:19
138.   dzzrtRatt
132 Based on this comment, I think the Chamber of Commerce would want to buy Jon out of his blog and replace it with one by Bill Plaschke. We'd see a measureable increase in productivity.
2007-04-25 15:03:50
139.   MJW101
I think Tracy made the mistakes he did with regards to Phillips, Choi, lineups etc. not because he wanted to lose games, but because he was just STUPID. He has got to go down as one of the worst, if not the worst manager in LA Dodger history.

Billingsley would be best served by being sent to AAA to pitch as a starter so he is stretched out and ready to replace Bomko &/or Hendrickson when they implode. He needs innings to sharpen his control and he is not getting them in the bullpen.

Kuo is going to need time (July/August?) to get back to where he was at the end of 2006.

Brazoban should pitch at AAA most of, if not the entire, year to hone his control, which was never very good even before his injury.

Meloan would have to be added to the 40 man prematurely for him to be called up to the MLB team. He should not be needed unless the MLB bullpen self immolates.

The next roster addition should result in R. Seanez being DFAed since he is the weak link in the bullpen.

An interesting replacement on the 40 man for Seanez would be M. White.

2007-04-25 15:06:50
140.   Jon Weisman
Ethier and Martinez starting tonight - that's a rare combo.
2007-04-25 15:07:39
141.   Jon Weisman
135 - should be of course, "I don't feel you are really responding ..."
2007-04-25 15:08:37
142.   dzzrtRatt
But when you're responding to the main post, when it's safe to assume that the bulk of the conversation is about the main post, how can you not read the other comments?

It's rarely safe to assume that. Sometimes if I come into a conversation late, I almost feel like an idiot for responding to Jon's original topic when the conversation has veered so far off from it. (Which doesn't stop me.)

2007-04-25 15:09:23
143.   Xeifrank
135. Is it ever safe to assume that the bulk of the conversation is about the main post? With all the non-baseball chat that goes on here (which I'm not complaining about), I will usually just do a quick scan of the 50 most recent posts to see what's been said of a conversation I may want to jump into. I don't have the time to read 20 posts about Futurama, Wonder Years or slut-talk. For me, a scan of the most recent 50 posts and an occasional quick glance of the other posts if time permits. I often feel like starting my posts with "I haven't read all the comments so far...", but knowing it is frowned upon I just don't type that part.
Go Dodgers!
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 15:12:21
144.   jasonungar07
Not to be a Kiss A** but I try to read every comment before I post. I guess for me since I have been around here for a while I get a lot of humor from the one liners and alot of good info out of the posts. I feel like I know you guys almost and I miss Steve when he isn't around to turn up the bitterness.

Right now, with my hard drive at home crashed and with that room being converted into a BABY room (Nov) being computerless at home is rough. Nothing is funnier to me than coming in during the morning, grabbing some coffee and rehashing the game from last night thru your guys eyes. The highs, the lows and the second guessing is great.

2007-04-25 15:13:14
145.   Tangled Up in Blue
Jon,

I meant no disrespect. I can tell you that at work I cannot read your post and all the comments before adding my opinion. I do not have the time (again no disrespect).

I completely understand what you are saying. There is a flow to the comments here and when I write something I hope someone will read it so I should not disregard what anyone else has said.

2007-04-25 15:13:23
146.   ToyCannon
137
To me a game day thread is banter between fans. I wouldn't rewind a tape of banter and I don't see the need to read the banter unless the game was particularly interesting. To me there is a big difference between your columns and game day threads.
2007-04-25 15:14:30
147.   ToyCannon
143
Who doesn't have time for "slut-talk"
2007-04-25 15:15:26
148.   Benaiah
In a 500 comment thread a lot of it will be context specific filler, stuff like "Yah" or "Martin!" after a home run. However, there is also the conversation that runs through a thread and personally, I don't even think about the people reading it that aren't participating. I assume the people who are responding are reading along. It is a little annoying when people make the same points that have already been made, but I do that, I think everyone does a bit. At any rate, this place is amazing.
2007-04-25 15:16:03
149.   Jon Weisman
This makes even less sense. When you are only looking for Dodger-related comments, the skimming of the posts will go really quickly. If there are 20 posts about TV, and you don't want to read about TV, then it must literally take all of five seconds to get through them.

I guess I can't deny the reality everyone is throwing at me, but it's really depressing. It makes me feel that 90 percent of the people are talking into thin air. I thought this was a conversation.

2007-04-25 15:16:59
150.   Jon Weisman
145 - It's not personal at all - don't worry about it.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-04-25 15:17:34
151.   Jon Weisman
"In a 500 comment thread a lot of it will be context specific filler, stuff like "Yah" or "Martin!" after a home run."

Yes - and this takes no time to skim through.

2007-04-25 15:21:26
152.   D4P
Not to mention that Steve only reads the first 4 words of my posts. There should be a separate rule addressing that issue alone.
2007-04-25 15:22:09
153.   Curtis Lowe
For the record I never used the term Slut.
2007-04-25 15:23:48
154.   dzzrtRatt
149 This blog is more of a conversation than 99 percent of the other blogs. Most other blogs that get lots of comments are, like you say, "people talking into thin air." Not here. Seriously, Jon, don't be depressed. You're a model blog for "conversational media." I point non-sports folk to you all the time as an example of how it's supposed to work.

Here's the thing: If you happen to be at your desktop when a good thread gets going on DT, life is good. Same with the in-game chatter: It's like sitting on a sofa with 30 of your best fan/friends. But if you come in late, you have to decide if you have anything to add, which might necessitate reading all the comments up to that point. So you have to decide if it's worth the investment of time. Or, sometimes you cheat and just jump in and risk making an ass of yourself.

2007-04-25 15:25:03
155.   jasonungar07
See if Curtis wasn't reading previous posts he wouldn't have EVER used the term Slut. And now he has!

So don't be depressed Jon. I do think alot of us think of it as a conversation. Don't let the small sample size effect you.

2007-04-25 15:25:47
156.   Fallout
107 Jon Weisman
Tracy didn't play Phillips over Choi while thinking Choi was better

Tells you what he thought of Choi. He surely didn't think that Phillips was that good either.

2007-04-25 15:26:26
157.   Bob Timmermann
Rainout in New York today.
2007-04-25 15:28:07
158.   Andrew Shimmin
I read every comment. Except D4P's.
2007-04-25 15:28:16
159.   D4P
Rainout in New York today

I blame Al Gore

2007-04-25 15:29:50
160.   jujibee
I read alot and don't comment so much. I see both sides of this. I feel as a rule of thumb, if you post, you should at least go back and read to the point where the conversation has turned to current talk. I don't know how many times I've read the same thing posted by someone who hasn't read the comments and was already said. It's a little frustrating. Then there are times when I just don't have time to read through all of them, but I certainly don't comment about the topic at hand. Whatever, I like what everyone has to say....for the most part.
2007-04-25 15:33:06
161.   Curtis Lowe
159 - The internet caused Global Warming.
2007-04-25 15:33:36
162.   Bumsrap
142 143 My thoughts and habits exactly.

If I am curous about what might have been said about the Jon's opening thread I go to the first 50 posts and read them.

If I want to make comment I read/skim the previous 50 posts and if a comment there reflects back to something I want to read I go back another 50 posts.

This post as anybody can see has nothing to do with Billingsley or who might be the best 11 pitchers the Dodgers should have on the 25 man roster, oops, it does now.

2007-04-25 15:37:51
163.   KBL
I generally don't comment on things during the games (mostly because I Tivo it and start watching an hour in, so I don't want spoilers). But, I do have the type of job where I can come in the next morning and sift through the four to five-hundred posts. Yes, I realize this is sad, but the credential process in California is making my vocational switch come to a stall.
2007-04-25 15:38:57
164.   Eric Enders
Add me to the chorus disagreeing strenuously with 116.

"...when people write this, I just don't understand it. It just seems so insulting to me...""

It's not really insulting to you, but to the other posters. I think most people making comments like this have read your actual post, just not every comment below it.

"Why should X read Y's comment if Y didn't read X's?"

Nobody is requiring X to read Y's comment, either, though. I think we can all agree that it would be ideal if everybody read every comment posted by everybody else, but the time contraints posed by the real world just don't allow most people to operate that way.

"Why does anyone comment in a 500-comment thread, then, if there is no expectation of being read?"

I'm gonna whistle you for Rule 6 on that one, unless you really believe that somebody posting in a 500-post thread honestly would expect not a single person to read their post. They just can't reasonably expect every single person to read their post. Big difference.

"'In a 500 comment thread a lot of it will be context specific filler, stuff like "Yah" or "Martin!" after a home run.'

Yes - and this takes no time to skim through."

Not true. Believe me, I've done it a lot. It takes time.

"I guess I can't deny the reality everyone is throwing at me, but it's really depressing. It makes me feel that 90 percent of the people are talking into thin air."

Again with the Rule 6.

Look, I try to read every single comment before I post. Sometimes I just can't. Sometimes in those situations, I nonetheless feel that I have something worthwile to add. So I do. Usually it hasn't been said yet. Sometimes it has. Those posts are perfectly easy to skip over. (And unlike an entire 500-post thread, a single repetitious post can be skimmed and dismissed quite quickly.)

I like the blog -- a lot. I love reading the comments. Similarly, I love watching Dodger games. However, I'd be lying to you if I said I watched every single inning of every single game. Most of them, sure. But sometimes things get in the way.

Now, in the several minutes I have spent typing this post, someone may have already posted something similar. I guess I should apologize in advance.

2007-04-25 15:39:39
165.   Bumsrap
If anybody clicks on 35 you will not go to 35 but instead to the top of the batch of 50 posts we are in now. Based on this, it would seem that we are not expected to go further back than the batch of posts we are in.
2007-04-25 15:45:22
166.   Jon Weisman
164 - "It's not really insulting to you, but to the other posters."

That's exactly what I meant. I meant "It just seems to me so insulting to the other posters." Although, believe me, it's very clear some people don't read my initial posts before they comment.

But I surrender. Eric took me to the woodshed in a way I can't really argue with. My hyperbole aside, I get that many people disagree with my central point - assuming they even understood my central point.

165 - That's the software's thing, not my thing.

2007-04-25 15:47:28
167.   Curtis Lowe
162- This is the rotation the Dodgers need this year if they are going to go all the way.

Lowe
Wolfe
Billingsley
Penny
Schmidt

Set it up just like that and they win 93 games and beat the Yankees in the World series in 5. I have proven this in MLB2k7 which I feel is a direct port of reality.

We also have wasted roser spots that need addressing,

Ramon Martinez
Marlon Anderson
Brady Clark
Wilson Valdez

All pretty much the same player that we only need 1 of.

I am also an advocate of trading Olmado right now while his stock is high.

2007-04-25 15:49:00
168.   Eric Enders
166 No woodshediness was intented, just so you know.
2007-04-25 15:49:10
169.   Eric Enders
Or intended either.
2007-04-25 15:50:24
170.   Andrew Shimmin
You non-thorough-comment readers could avoid this problem if you just pretended to have read the comments. Everybody misses one, once in a while, so hedging before you comment isn't really useful. Also, CTRL-F is your friend. Don't be afraid to let him fill you in on whether anybody's posted a particular piece of news, or link, already.

My biggest pet peeve is you east coasters. I've had some early mornings, recently, when I checked in and there weren't more than two new comments I hadn't seen. What's that about? We put up with you people moaning about late start times, shouldn't you be generating some coffee-time content for us?

2007-04-25 15:51:03
171.   Daniel Zappala
Comment 154 I think has it exactly right. This blog is fantastic at conversational threads, and it is fairly unique in being able to nurture an environment where this occurs. But nearly all of us (except maybe Bob, who seems to have all the time in the world on his hands) at some point have to jump in and hope we aren't repeating anything. That's the nature of a conversation. If I have an important point to make I try to skim to see if anyone else mentioned it. I usually click open all comments and then do a search (for, say, "billingsley") to see if anyone has already made my point. But I may make a mistake because I don't have tons of time.

I guess my point is ... I would suggest skimming/searching first, but we're also a tolerant bunch and can forgive someone if they've jumped in and repeated what someone else said.

Oh, and I hearby nominate LAT to place an Official Comment Summary at the end of every thread, summing up the state of the conversation.

2007-04-25 15:51:27
172.   still bevens
167 Haha MLB 2k7 LOVES Randy Wolf. I've run two seasons in that and Wolf is a Cy Young contender each time.
2007-04-25 15:51:58
173.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
165, 171--as a newbie, how do you embed a link to a prior specific comment?
2007-04-25 15:52:50
174.   D4P
170
By the time us east coasters stay up until the end of the games plus post-game chats, we aren't too keen on getting up early enough to generate your coffee-time content.
2007-04-25 15:52:54
175.   Xeifrank
For what it's worth I am not insulted at all if somebody doesn't read my posts. I'm sure that's already a common occurrence. :)
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 15:53:12
176.   Eric Enders
171 " I usually click open all comments and then do a search (for, say, "billingsley") to see if anyone has already made my point."

That might have been the wrong example to use, given some of the interesting spellings of his name that show up...

2007-04-25 15:54:04
177.   regfairfield
167 There's one man on this team who can come to the plate and I can think "he might hit a home run". Why would you trade this man when he only makes a million dollars?
2007-04-25 15:57:11
178.   NPB
Maybe, I don't know, we could trade the pitching surplus for a decent 3rd baseman? There's got to be someone with power and an expiring contract on a bad team out there somewhere?

Martinez/Valdez/Betemit is NOT going to cut it for another 140 or so games.

2007-04-25 15:57:56
179.   Daniel Zappala
176 This is why I lobby against nicknames and poor spelling. But the example was relevant to this thread, you must admit.
2007-04-25 15:58:10
180.   Jon Weisman
168 - I know.
2007-04-25 15:58:46
181.   regfairfield
178 I hear that Andy LaRoche fellow is pretty good. Let's call him up.
2007-04-25 15:58:56
182.   dzzrtRatt
163 "I generally don't comment on things during the games (mostly because I Tivo it and start watching an hour in, so I don't want spoilers)."

Since I don't have Tivo I don't have this option, but even if I did, the tradeoff favors missing the first few innings and being able to chat online with other DT fans watching the game live (or following it on Gameday). It makes even a dull game way more fun, and it makes a great game a more intense experience.

I can't do it every game, or every inning, but it's sheer pleasure when I get to do it.

2007-04-25 15:59:27
183.   Greg S
Jon, I get your point but I think that the reality of what people are saying isn't so bad. Blatant disregard for all posts is bad. But I don't see it happening much. Most people are responsive to the subject at hand proving that most people read most posts. But if you post comment #525 and you missed that it had been mentioned hours ago in post #25, I don't think poster #25 should be offended. Only one poster here acts as if he's alone and it stands out like a sore thumb.
2007-04-25 15:59:29
184.   Curtis Lowe
177- Because his value is as high now as it will ever be and as much as I love when Olmado(Olmaedo?) comes to the plate, he doesn't play often enough to warrant the roster slot he takes up.
2007-04-25 15:59:47
185.   D4P
Martinez/Valdez/Betemit is NOT going to cut it

What is it about their collective .167/.299/.217/.515 you don't like...?

2007-04-25 16:00:21
186.   kngoworld
Continuous Conversation

It never ends. That is what is great about this site. Unfortunatly, most people can not attend the conversation continously. Often times people might get excited to make a point and not have time to sift through the 100 or 200 or 600 comments.

2007-04-25 16:00:38
187.   Daniel Zappala
P.S. Jon, if you ever feel bad/depressed/unhappy about how things are going on your blog ... just remember that it is the best community baseball blog on the entire Internet. You are understandably sensitive to things here because this is your baby, but really, this place is truly fantastic 95% of the time.
2007-04-25 16:00:46
188.   regfairfield
184 But wouldn't other teams recognize the fact that he's limited to 150 at bats and offer very little in return?
2007-04-25 16:01:41
189.   Eric Enders
171 "Oh, and I hearby nominate LAT to place an Official Comment Summary at the end of every thread, summing up the state of the conversation."

Well, first Mr. Brock and Mr. DC debated on whether or not Iron Man wore some sort under garment between his skin and his iron suit. Then Mr. DC went to the restroom, at which point Mr. Brock scooped ice out of Mr. DC's drink with his bare hands using it to wash up. Then Mr. Brock remarked to me, "This never happened."

2007-04-25 16:02:18
190.   Faramond
Jim Tracy ---

I can't believe this, but I want to defend the man. I don't think he was that bad as a manager when compared with his peers, especially at the start of his tenure with the Dodgers. I think for a few years he got about as much out of the Dodgers as could be expected. He deserves some credit for bringing LoDuca into the starting catcher position, and Gagne into the closer position, though not perhaps as much credit as he thinks he deserves.

Over time, after his initial successes, Tracy seemed to lose all humility. I think he came to a point where he thought he could discern who was a ballplayer and who wasn't. Choi wasn't, in his view.

I think arrogance, not spite for DePodesta, led him to play Phillips at first, for what, all of 30 games? Okay, 30 games too many. I'll admit I still rip on him for this. But maybe it shouldn't be blown out of proportion. The Dodgers weren't going anywhere anyway at the end of 2005, and while Choi deserved better ( and we fans deserved better ), as it turned out he wasn't all that good either, unless Tracy's handling of him just completely messed up his head.

Billingsley ---

Didn't Bills say that he was okay with being in the bullpen for now? That he was taking a long view? I'll admit I really want to see him start with the big club, but it's not a cinch that he'd be better than Tomko and Hendrikson right now. As much as I hate to admit that.

Reading Comments ---

You're a writer, Jon, so I'm not surprised you feel so strongly that comments should be read by those who would also write them. I agree with this. People write to be read, so it's only fair to reciprocate when you write something yourself, which by implication mean you expect other people to read it. And, of course, reading all the previous comments can avoid repeated information and is essential to the creation of a real conversation.

2007-04-25 16:06:57
191.   Eric Enders
190 "I can't believe this, but I want to defend the man. I don't think he was that bad as a manager when compared with his peers, especially at the start of his tenure with the Dodgers. I think for a few years he got about as much out of the Dodgers as could be expected. He deserves some credit for bringing LoDuca into the starting catcher position, and Gagne into the closer position, though not perhaps as much credit as he thinks he deserves.

Over time, after his initial successes, Tracy seemed to lose all humility. I think he came to a point where he thought he could discern who was a ballplayer and who wasn't. Choi wasn't, in his view."

I absolutely agree with this. I thought Tracy had several good years as Dodgers manager. He seemed to implode along with the team in 2005, necessitating his removal, but I think that was the only year you could really call him an awful manager.

"Didn't Bills say that he was okay with being in the bullpen for now? That he was taking a long view?"

Yeah. However, we should perhaps not take that at face value. He couldn't really have said anything other than that and remained in the good graces of the team.

2007-04-25 16:07:58
192.   Curtis Lowe
188- I don't know, perhaps but then perhaps not. Maybe theres a power starved team out there that is desperate for a power bat that can't field.
2007-04-25 16:20:38
193.   gpellamjr
Perhaps simply to prove that I've read the whole thread, I'm going to respond to 31.

Being what you call a "pagan" (Latin for "bumpkin", but I call myself a "hard polytheist"), I will say that the concept of "limbo" is by it's nature not "pagan". That is, Catholics came up with limbo in the early middle ages to explain the practice of praying for the dead-- that is, why pray for the dead, if they're already damned, or already destined to be resurrected? This was a practice that already existed, and Christians wanted to come up with a way to explain it.

Most of the non-monotheistic traditions are orthopractic and do not require reasoning for what they do. The Romans thought of themselves as the most religious people on earth (and I don't disagree), specifically because they didn't know why they did the rituals they did half the time, and they didn't understand the Latin they spoke during rituals.

2007-04-25 16:21:17
194.   gpellamjr
Oh man, I can't believe I posted that in a thread about making the Dodgers' staff better. Sorry, guys.
2007-04-25 16:28:51
195.   Daniel Zappala
I'll do you better and respond to 6, 8 -- Hersisher started in the bullpen too. Has this been common practice for rookie starters, or is my memory deceiving me?
2007-04-25 16:29:27
196.   Benaiah
151 - I have been away for an hour (plus I went and read all the comments I missed) but if you keep reading my post you will see that I imply much the same thing. At any rate, this topic is pretty well covered.

Andrew, I am on "Wake up with DT" five days a week and the problem is particularly relevant to the topic at hand. Because noo one else is posting there is nothing to say, no one wants to post into a vacuum and when the threads lie idle for 15-20 minutes at a time I end up wandering away (though I keep it open on a tab for the occasional refresh). When things are hopping around here it is just about perfect (usually) but the fact that posters need a conversation in order to say things underscores that people are reading the content.

2007-04-25 16:32:28
197.   Benaiah
193 - That interlude is why DT is so wonderful.

From what I understand the two major Christian holidays have some link to a Pagan Roman counterpart, is the (approximate) date in the year the only hold over or is some of the pageantry (Christmas trees for example) also vaguely pagan?

2007-04-25 16:32:44
198.   KBL
Billingsley has an ERA of 0.68 in my MLB2K7 game, but Joe Morgan and Jon Miller always open their commentary by saying he has had some awful starts. I find this hilariously true to form.
2007-04-25 16:38:32
199.   Andrew Shimmin
The Library of Congress has a blog.

http://www.loc.gov/blog/

So. Awesome.

2007-04-25 16:38:37
200.   Humma Kavula
198 Forgive my ignorance, but is Joe Morgan really an announcer in MLB2K7?

I just bought a Wii and I love it... and I was going to buy 2K8 (the first in the series for the Wii) next year... but I just don't know if I can stand listening to that much Joe Morgan. I might injure something.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-04-25 16:39:16
201.   dzzrtRatt
195 and don't forget Fernando Valenzuela, whose bullpen performances in late 1980 made that season memorable.

I'm in favor of keeping Billingsley in the 'pen and giving him more chances to face major league hitters. He's got to adjust to the game at this level. I don't think AAA would help him nearly as much, but I also think handing him a starting job prematurely could erode his confidence. He's had a few good outings despite the bad numbers so far this year. Let him keep trying to give us two good innings against dangerous lineups, and he'll be a better pitcher for it.

2007-04-25 16:39:39
202.   Fallout
170 Andrew Shimmin
Also, CTRL-F is your friend.

Wow. Glad I was reading the comments. I have a new friend. :)

2007-04-25 16:47:59
203.   Marty
I read all the comments. I read mine twice.
2007-04-25 16:49:14
204.   Curtis Lowe
200- Yes he is and yes you will.

Where'd you find a Wii? I've been trying to get one for my little brother for a while now and keep coming up short.

2007-04-25 16:49:22
205.   jasonungar07
What about arguably the best pitcher of our generation?. Our very own Hall of Famer, Pedro Martinez started in our bullpen before being deemed to fragile to start and was then traded.
2007-04-25 16:50:28
206.   ToyCannon
I've seen this path before. Young player goes into slump, management expresses confidence. Young player continues to press and while the peripherals suggest this slump is just based on bad luck, he starts to lose playing time to players much less talented even while management continues to express confidence. Soon that young player with < 100 at bats will be moved off his position and relegated to the minors or bench or another team. More times then not the same player will end up on another team and display the ability that got him the gig in the 1st place. I fear Betemit will be supplanted by some RandaMan soon and I'm none to happy about it. I really don't understand the comments on such an intelligent site as DT for replacing him on April 25th. If they replace him it won't be with La Roche and most of you will be none to happy with who it is.
2007-04-25 16:52:46
207.   ToyCannon
I think people who want to keep Billingsly in the bullpen are missing the point. If he is only a long man option and our starters are going 6/7 innings a game he is not going to get enough work to make it worthwhile to be sitting in our pen.
All these other excellent starters who started out in the bullpen were pitching, not sitting.
2007-04-25 16:53:43
208.   Xeifrank
Jake Peavy vs Brandon Webb tonight in Arizona. Should be a nice matchup to follow concurrently with tonight's Dodger game.
vr, Xei
2007-04-25 16:53:56
209.   tskent
ivebeenbadboytoday
2007-04-25 16:55:57
210.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't understand using anybody other than Betemit or LaRoche or Nomar. I've had all the Valdez I'm interested in, and Martinez is not even potentially a sufficient solution. Trading for someone would either net a player who's probably not as good as Betemit, or somebody to block LaRoche. Loney for Betemit is a reasonable trade, but doesn't look like it's going to happen. LaRoche for Betemit would be fine with me, although it would portend ill for LaRoche, if Betemit's shot is what we're basing anything on.

Or, I could just say, I agree with 206.

2007-04-25 16:56:00
211.   dzzrtRatt
207 But our starters aren't going to keep going 6/7 innings per game. They've been hot, but they're apparently cooling down. Lowe's had two bad games in a row. Wolf is great but probably ought to be babied. Penny has never been an "innings eater." Hendrickson and Tomko are as likely as any two mediocre pitchers to have terrible starts. I don't see Chad starving for time in the next month.
2007-04-25 16:57:29
212.   tskent
the dodgers are in the midst of a 10 game losing streak. get this thought out of my head. Sweet jesus please. Someone take a wooden spoon and give me a good whack. i cant concentrate. concentrate will you?
2007-04-25 16:57:33
213.   jasonungar07
I agree with 206 and 207
2007-04-25 16:57:50
214.   Humma Kavula
204 I got the Wii at Target in January. It required a little bit of research -- that is, paying attention on the amazon.com message board, where there was a post saying that Targets would have them on a given Sunday. I called ahead, confirmed that my local Target had 'em, and got there early.

My advice on the Wii -- speaking as a guy who is not a heavy videogamer, it's awesome. Which means that I have to be choosy about which games I get for the Wii -- only purchasing games that are built well for the Wii controller.

So far:

Thumbs up: Wii Sports, Zelda, The Godfather
Thumbs down: Marvel Ultimate Alliance

2007-04-25 16:59:18
215.   gpellamjr
206 There is a poster over on ItD, rejoicing that Martinez will be playing 3B tonight, and predicting (happily) that he thinks this will be the case more and more in the near future.
2007-04-25 16:59:23
216.   jasonungar07
212 dude you sound like Yoda on Dagobah in his little hut. That's now my second Star Wars reference for those of you who don't read all the comments.
2007-04-25 16:59:56
217.   underdog
I agree with 210

Seriously - I think Betemit still deserves a little more time. We know he can hit. I'm in the "let's try Nomar at 3rd and bring up Loney" camp that many of us have pitched tents in, but before that happens, I think it should be Betemit for awhile longer and then a change is in order.

My concern about LaRoche is still his defense; I think after some adjustment period he will hit.

I also look forward to having Kemp back, though I wish that would mean a Kemp-Gonzo-Ethier rotation rather than sitting Ethier.

2007-04-25 17:00:20
218.   Fallout
190 Faramond
Over time, after his initial successes, Tracy seemed to lose all humility. I think he came to a point where he thought he could discern who was a ballplayer and who wasn't.
And Eric absolutely agrees...

But, it is the manager's job to discern who are the better players. Or, am I missing your point? Little right now has to decide if he is going play Ethier or Marlin Anderson; Betemit or Wilson Valdez and so it goes.

2007-04-25 17:00:37
219.   Xeifrank
207.
Relief pitchers (no starts made) IP:
Broxton: 10.2
Beimel: 10.1
Billingsley: 9.2
Seanez: 9.0
Saito: 8.2

I would say that's a pretty good distribution of innings pitched for the bullpen. If our starters going too deep into games is a problem (not sure if that's the case or not), then it's a problem I don't mind having as it's "usually" a sign of success. I believe that Billingsley will get his 8-12 starts at the big league level this year. If he doesn't, it most likely means he pitched awful in the pen, got hurt or the other starters did well. vr, Xei

2007-04-25 17:00:39
220.   Eric Enders
195 "Hersisher started in the bullpen too. Has this been common practice for rookie starters..?"

Yes.
These guys started their careers in the pen:

Fernando
Hershiser
Don Drysdale
Sandy Koufax
Roy Oswalt
Johan Santana
Curt Schilling
Mark Buehrle
Roy Halladay
Carlos Zambrano
Steve Carlton
Gaylord Perry
Phil Niekro
Fergie Jenkins
Bob Gibson
David Cone
Pedro Martinez

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the pitcher -- er, picture.

2007-04-25 17:01:51
221.   Eric Enders
216 I thought it sounded more like Maggie Gyllenhall in "Secretary."
2007-04-25 17:08:03
222.   Eric Enders
207 "I think people who want to keep Billingsly in the bullpen are missing the point. All these other excellent starters who started out in the bullpen were pitching, not sitting."

I think the people who think the people who want to keep Billingsley in the bullpen are missing the point, are themselves missing the point. I very much doubt that Colletti and Ng on March 30th sat down and said, "Hmmm, let's put Billingsley in the bullpen and let him rot. We need to make sure he never pitches."

The use of the long man in the bullpen is dictated by game situations, and the Dodgers have had a dearth of blowout games or other situations where a long reliever is necessary. You're jumping to conclusions after three weeks. It's a long season and if Billingsley does stay in the pen, I'd expect he would pitch fairly often as the year goes along. You also need to remember that he's trying to pitch back-to-back days for the first time in his life, something any pitcher struggles getting used to. There have been a couple of situations recently where he probably would have pitched, except that he had already pitched two of the previous three games.

2007-04-25 17:09:58
223.   Eric Enders
218 I think Tracy reached a point where he thought he was the only one who could discern whether a guy was a good player or not, without any input from his GM, coaches, scouts, fans, media, or those darn stat sheets.
2007-04-25 17:11:59
224.   Eric Enders
It isn't often one gets five in a row on Dodger Thoughts. This gives me an eerie feeling that either the sky will soon come crashing down, or I'm about to get LATed.

But then, it always gets this way while you guys are busy driving home.

2007-04-25 17:12:59
225.   Humma Kavula
Eric Enders' own, personal 4+1!
2007-04-25 17:13:05
226.   Jon Weisman
Tskent, you need to stop posting if you're not going to be coherent.
2007-04-25 17:14:16
227.   Bob Timmermann
223
And this does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that Tracy was tanking or trying to get back at the front office.

Lots of people are stubborn. Sometimes that leads to wars. Sometimes that leads to 75-87 seasons.

2007-04-25 17:15:46
228.   gpellamjr
227 But not 71-91 seasons?

I'm posting too much. I'll leave you all alone now.

2007-04-25 17:16:44
229.   Benaiah
220 - Just because it has been done, doesn't mean it should be done. The Twins basically threw away pre-arbitration years from Johan when he could have been starting. I wish the Dodgers would have just put Billingsley in the rotation from day one, but so far Tomko and Hendrickson have been brilliant. Ride them out/trade them and eventually Billingsley will get back into the rotation. He seems to have taken the change better than Edwin Jackson did (his change was the PCL not the bullpen).
2007-04-25 17:17:38
230.   Humma Kavula
I wonder what would have happened if 2005 Jim Tracy had had 2002 Derek Bell and 1991 (?) Gary Sheffield on his team.
2007-04-25 17:19:18
231.   Eric L
223 I often wondered if Tracy lost the only voice of dissent in the dugout when Riggleman left. I base thin on nothing really, but Lett seemed to be more of a "Tracy Guy" than Riggleman.
2007-04-25 17:19:25
232.   Eric Enders
230 Or Willy Aybar.

Hey, wait a second...

2007-04-25 17:24:51
233.   Marty
Tracy trotted Mike Edwards out there too. But Depo is responsible for Edwards, Grabowski, Phillips, Robles, Erickson etc. being on the team.
2007-04-25 17:26:27
234.   MJW101
220 - Please notice that most (if not all) the pitchers listed are from another era (before service time meant ARB eligibility/free agency).

In this era saving a players service time for when he can fully contribute to a team is the most wise use of resources.

2007-04-25 17:30:12
235.   Jon Weisman
"Depo is responsible for Edwards, Grabowski, Phillips, Robles, Erickson etc. being on the team."

Saying that in a vaccum is problematic. For example, Phillips was on the team because Penny was on the team.

2007-04-25 17:33:44
236.   Eric Enders
234 "Please notice that most (if not all) the pitchers listed are from another era (before service time meant ARB eligibility/free agency)."

Exaggerate much?

Johan Santana is still an active pitcher, just so you know. So is Roy Oswalt. So is Carlos Zambrano. So is Mark Buehrle. So is Pedro Martinez. So is Roy Halladay. So is Curt Schilling. So are a bunch of other guys I could name, if I had the time or inclination to refute that comment further.

2007-04-25 17:34:45
237.   Marty
I thought he was traded for from NY for Ishii. How is Penny involved?
2007-04-25 17:35:56
238.   Benaiah
232 - Willy really was fantastic that year. It was only 86 at bats but .326/.448/.453 is a heck of a line. I don't know if Tracy didn't play him as much as he should, but that line screams: "everday player" especially on that team.
2007-04-25 17:37:27
239.   Humma Kavula
238 I think he was making a joke, in response to my not-terribly-funny joke.
2007-04-25 17:37:43
240.   Benaiah
237 - We needed Phillips because we didn't have Lo Duca and we didn't have the heart and soul because we traded him for Penny.
2007-04-25 17:38:08
241.   Eric Enders
237 Just guessing here, but Penny's acquisition rendered Ishii more useless than he already was, and getting Phillips for him seemed better than getting nothing at all. (Although in the end it turned out to be the same as getting nothing at all.)

238 True. However, Aybar was a September callup who was called up despite a kind of lousy year at Vegas. The whole time Tracy had the opportunity to play him regularly, he did.

2007-04-25 17:38:39
242.   Benaiah
239 - I was just pointing out that Willy was fantastic that year. I saw that earlier and it jumped out at me.
2007-04-25 17:42:02
243.   Benaiah
241 - I thought that may be the case. Willy has a very discerning eye, but not much power. Decent average and good selection is enough to make a valuable player at a skill position though.
2007-04-25 17:43:34
244.   ToyCannon
222
Your probably right but I'd rather see him working 6/7 innings every 5 days and work on his control then what he's getting here.

Okay off to the game, hope the Loge Loonies don't throw me over the railing when I start chanting for Boom Boom.

2007-04-25 17:44:12
245.   Benaiah
243 - I will amend that to say that I hope Willy works out whatever he is dealing with. He definitely could be a valuable major leaguer, and I hope he gets another chance and is ready to make the most of it when it comes around.
2007-04-25 17:51:33
246.   Jon Weisman
240 - correct.
2007-04-25 17:53:46
247.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
173 - please, could someone tell me how to embed a link? Sorry to keep asking. I really did try to read every comment but I can't find the instructions. Thanks.
2007-04-25 17:56:13
248.   bhsportsguy
Interesting commets today.

First, love reading all the comments, that's what makes DT fun for me and its make me feel part of a community instead of a voice in the crowd.

Second, I think the other reason Chad is not starting in AAA, they do have Houlton, Stults, Miller, Mays, etc. and probably Kuo when he comes back in the next week or so.
And on the service time issue, I think (and hope) that what the Dodgers will end up doing with their young players is signing them through their arbitration years.

The first sign will be what they do with Russell Martin and Jonathan Broxton, signing Saito to a 2 year deal when they didn't have to may give an insight on their thinking.

3. Tracy/Phillips, for me, its time to move on.

Now its time for Dodger baseball and no Laker game to distract or frustrate me tonight.

2007-04-25 17:56:46
249.   Jon Weisman
247 - put rectangular brackets around the number of the comment you're linking to.
2007-04-25 17:57:28
250.   Jon Weisman
Game chat thread is open.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-04-25 17:58:08
251.   bhsportsguy
247 Put "[ ]" around the number.
2007-04-25 18:01:57
252.   Ken Arneson
204 I just managed to get a Wii (that I had promised my kids for Xmas) last week at circuitcity.com. It looks sold out there now, but I recommend signing up at nowinstock.net, to get emailed as soon as somebody has it on sale.

We played with it all day Sunday, and it was a lot of fun, but my arms were totally sore for two days afterwards.

2007-04-25 18:11:27
253.   Benaiah
246 - Though in retrospect, the best solution probably would have been to give Dave Ross a full season to see what he could do. He was fantastic in 2003 (10 HR in 124 ABs, .298 ISO), but terrible in 2004 (batted .170 in 170 ABs, many after "teh trade"), so Depo sold cheap to the Pirates in 2005. He was terrible (68 OPS+), so the Padres got him for junk but he only got 17 ABs. The Reds got him for not much, and his VORPpr (the rate of VORP earned) was higher than Victor Martinez's- his line was .255/.353/.579 with 21 home runs in 247 at bats for a 126 OPS+. He is off to a slow start this year, but I think he is just streaky. Fortunately, we have a better option now anyway, but he probably could have outperformed Jason Phillips if given a chance.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.