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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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Hendrickson Is Insane! (Okay, Maybe That's Not the Right Word)
2007-05-02 21:11
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

On September 5, Mark Hendrickson allowed four earned runs in four innings of a 9-0 loss at Milwaukee, and was sent to the bullpen, confirming for many, including yours truly, his worthlessness.

In regular season play since then, Hendrickson has posted the following numbers:

IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	HR	Pitches	Strikes	Pct.	ERA
37 1/3	20	6	5	8	35	1	540	349	64.6	1.21

Now, that's not a full season - in fact, it only amounts to one great month, but that's a little hard to ignore. He threw six shutout innings today - with one more out, Hendrickson would have enough innings to be the major-league leader in ERA.

My first theory was that Hendrickson is throwing more strikes - by virtue of his sports psychologist or desperation - but his strike percentage from 2005 through September 5, 2006 was almost exactly the same: 62 percent.

However, it is worth pointing out that in 2006, he walked 3.6 batters per nine innings from April through September 5. Since then, he nearly cut that rate in half. And he's managed to do that while drawing and quartering his home run rate from one every nine innings (2005-9/5/06) to one every, well, 37 1/3 innings. So he's getting more done with his strikes.

This season, for crying out loud, Hendrickson is allowing a slugging percentage of .193. He has allowed one extra-base hit. It's like he's been facing a team of Wilson Betemits. And it's a shock. Here are his opponents' slugging percentages from his previous five seasons:

2003: .505
2004: .443
2005: .503
2006: .425 (Tampa Bay)
2006: .369 (Dodgers)

He has taken a middling trend and turned it into a bleedin' rainbow.

Now, take a look at Hendrickson's ratio of groundouts to air outs. Before this season, it had never been above 1.30. This season, it's at 1.95. For the first month of 2007, Hendrickson has been like a sinkerballer who strikes out a batter an inning.

"We were mainly using his cutter, trying to get guys out by throwing it in under their hands," Dodger catcher Russell Martin told Jayson Addcox of MLB.com today. "[Hendrickson] is pitching with a lot of confidence and he's using the inside part of the plate well."

Hendrickson is due for some bad luck - his batting average allowed on balls in play is below .200 - meaning the balls batters have hit have been going to the right place for him. But with those strikeout and groundout rates, he can afford some bad luck and still remain an effective pitcher.

Can Hendrickson maintain the form that has allowed him to establish these superb strikeout and groundout rates? It would be truly remarkable. Unbelievable. It doesn't seem possible. Somehow, hitters will adjust, throw him off his game. Somehow, the midsummer sun and increased pitch counts will wilt him.

You don't get Bob Gibson from Bob Denver thanks to a psychologist's couch.

But the fundamentals behind Hendrickson's hot streak indicate that it's less of a mirage than, say, Aaron Sele's bright shining Dodger moment was. It is possible that Hendrickson may have found a small window to apply newfound wisdom before his physical decline saps him of the ability to do so. You don't expect improvement at age 32, but it can happen on a short-term basis.

It may not last the year or even the month - we'd be fools to expect it to - but I'm going to enjoy it while it does. I already am. I tip my cap. Up to now, what has happened has happened. And frankly, if we have to settle for mere adequacy, that'd still be a step up from what I expected from Hendrickson this season.

* * *

Meanwhile, Chin-hui Tsao has retired 24 consecutive batters. The major league record is 41, set by Jim Barr of the San Francisco Giants in 1972.

Comments (203)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-02 21:15:03
1.   D4P
Penny has also experienced a huge surge in his G/F ratio. Any explanations...?
2007-05-02 21:19:06
2.   preacherroe
Is Hendrickson's righting of the ship solid enough to ship Tomko to the Yankees and stick Billingsley,Kuo or Greg Miller in the rotation?
How about Kuo's line tonight in Las Vegas-2.1 innings pitched/7 strikeouts.Wow?Miller is throwing well as well.
2007-05-02 21:30:26
3.   trainwreck
Maybe Hendrickson has a Esteban Loaiza like breakout...

Or goes back to being Mark Hendrickson.

2007-05-02 21:31:54
4.   neuroboy002
Agreed. Tomko to the Yankees for some guy named Costanza. I heard that guy can really multi-task. He is also moonlighting as a hen supervisor for Tyler Chicken. With that deal, the competition would be blown away. Blooooooown away!
2007-05-02 21:33:09
5.   Benaiah
"But the fundamentals behind Hendrickson's hot streak indicate that it's less of a mirage than, say, Aaron Sele's bright shining Dodger moment was."

That is the key point. If Hendrickson has been getting lucky, it is the sort of luck where balls just miss bats, stay in the zone or go to the fielder. In other words, Hendrickson might have luck behind his incredible performance, but he has earned a low ERA. This isn't a high wire performance, though many (myself included) expect him to fall.

The sports psychologist sounds a little cute for my taste, but who am I to judge? Keep up the good work Marky, cuz Kuo and Billingsley are breathing down your neck.

2007-05-02 21:35:02
6.   Blaine
I keep hearing that pitchers just don't start dominating on the wrong side of 30 all of a sudden. This is probably true as a generalization, but can any of you think of examples of pitchers who went from bad/mediocre to above-average/good after they were well into their 30's?
2007-05-02 21:40:58
7.   Bob Timmermann
A pitcher who didn't turn good until he was 30 and then kept it up:

Dazzy Vance.

http://tinyurl.com/2mwmvf

I do not think Hendrickson will turn into Vance. But check out the ERA+ in 1928 and 1930.

2007-05-02 21:43:50
8.   thinkingblue
To answer something from the previous thread, how about "proven starter" Tomko and proven middle relief (Seanez) to the Reds for Encarnacion ;)?

Well, I actually wouldn't be surprised if the Reds G.M. took the bait really.

2007-05-02 21:44:28
9.   Bob Timmermann
Bases loaded, one out for Bonds in the 8th in San Francisco. Rockies lead 3-2. Corpas on the hill.
2007-05-02 21:44:36
10.   natepurcell
6

Randy Johnson was pretty bad until around 30 years old. But his problem was more controlling his excellent stuff.

Maybe McCourt should hire that sports pyschologist full time.

2007-05-02 21:45:45
11.   Bob Timmermann
"Just" a single for Bonds which has put the Gints ahead 4-3.
2007-05-02 21:45:57
12.   Marty
Wasn't Nolan Ryan a late bloomer too? Not that BJ has Ryanesque stuff....
2007-05-02 21:46:57
13.   natepurcell
From watching Hendrickson this year, it seems as if he just doesnt give a rats ass when hes on the mound. His demeanor is so calm. Its like he has ice water in his veins this year.

Bearded Jesus Hellelujah!

2007-05-02 21:47:04
14.   Bob Timmermann
Phil and Joe Niekro didn't become effective pitchers until they hit 30, but knuckleballers are a different case.
2007-05-02 21:48:23
15.   Bob Timmermann
Nolan Ryan struck out 383 batters when he was 26.
2007-05-02 21:48:42
16.   D4P
how about "proven starter" Tomko and proven middle relief (Seanez) to the Reds for Encarnacion ;)?

Only if we fire Steiner, or at least ban him from radio coverage.

2007-05-02 21:49:17
17.   Blaine
Dazzy Vance did get really good later in life. But he was not bad before he really broke out in '28. Where was the guy when he was in his 20's. I imagine part of that time was in the service, but nothing before he was 31 years old. Wow!
2007-05-02 21:50:12
18.   Marty
Well, I never did follow the Angels.
2007-05-02 21:51:07
19.   Andrew Shimmin
Mike Scott's K/9 by age

25- 3.99
26- 3.57
27- 3.86
28- 4.53
29- 4.85
30- 5.56
31- 10.00
32- 8.47

2007-05-02 21:53:14
20.   Bob Timmermann
Vance had a lot of arm injuries early in his career and knocked around the minors. He was also a bit flaky as his nickname was not chosen for ironic reasons.

The Dodgers gave him a shot because they were pretty bad at the time and had nothing to lose.

2007-05-02 21:56:16
21.   Blaine
I would take Hendrickson doing a Mike Scott remake.
2007-05-02 21:56:25
22.   Bob Timmermann
19
So are you suggesting that Hendrickson has been shopping at Home Depot more and learning the "secret" Mike Scott pitch?
2007-05-02 21:59:41
23.   Andrew Shimmin
22- I didn't know that story. He was, by ESPN's reckoning, the third biggest cheater in Baseball history.

http://tinyurl.com/3bdbmw

2007-05-02 22:01:13
24.   Bob Timmermann
There's no way Mike Scott can be ranked ahead of Gaylord Perry in the cheating department.
2007-05-02 22:03:26
25.   Dodgers49
Kent is scheduled to take off Friday night in Atlanta with right-hander John Smoltz pitching.

http://tinyurl.com/2m68bb

2007-05-02 22:04:34
26.   D4P
23
Apparently, alleged steroid use didn't fit under their definition of "cheating"
2007-05-02 22:06:43
27.   Dodgers49
"Do what you've got to do and sign him (Tsao)," Colletti told Watson.

http://tinyurl.com/2m68bb

2007-05-02 22:09:43
28.   natepurcell
A's trade Langerhans for Chris Snelling.

this is Snelling's injury history..

2000. Broken hand and ligament damage in his wrist
2001. Stress fracture in his right ankle
2002. Broken right thumb; blow out left knee
2003. "More problems" with left knee
2004. Deep bone bruise in right wrist
2005. 5th surgery on his left knee (ACL)
2006. Impinged left shoulder
2007. Bruised knee

heh.

2007-05-02 22:10:24
29.   natepurcell
27

Colletti should really give me commission for the Tsao signing.

2007-05-02 22:11:00
30.   s choir
The thing I noticed about Hendrickson that's different from last year is that he's hitting his targets very well with all his pitches.
2007-05-02 22:17:58
31.   Bumsrap
The Dodgers should send Betemit to Hendrickson's mind guy. An imagination is a terrible thing to waste.
2007-05-02 22:19:09
32.   Eric Enders
The three guys that always come to mind who got much better around 30 are Vance, Scott, and Cy Falkenberg. The light came on for Randy Johnson at 29, but it's not like he was real bad before that.

Sudden improvement like that has usually involved the learning of a new pitch.

2007-05-02 22:25:19
33.   Bumsrap
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein, (attributed)

Hendrickson, according to Einstein, might not be insane.

2007-05-02 22:30:38
34.   Blaine
Now this may be ignorance on my account, but can an emory board/scuffing really cause that dramatic a rise in the quality of a pitcher. I remember Vin Scully going on and on for 3-4 years how the split-fingered fastball turned Scott's career around. Maybe a combination of a new pitch and new "specialized" equipment?
2007-05-02 22:39:06
35.   JoeyP
Mark Hendrickson 2006 April:

ERA: 0.00
IP: 15
Hits: 7
bbs: 3
Ks: 9
HRs: 0

Mark Hendrickson 2006 May:
ERA: 5.59
IP: 37
H: 40
BBs: 18
Ks: 19
HRs: 8

2007-05-02 22:51:36
36.   imperabo
The age ranges aren't comparable, but a certain greatest Dodger pitcher of all time was mediocre at best until his 7th season in the majors. Of course, he started at 19 and was close to peak by 27.
2007-05-02 22:52:20
37.   Dodgers49
Blown save in Las Vegas:

Sacramento Top 9th

Pitcher Change: Yhency Brazoban replaces Matt White.
Antonio Perez grounds out sharply, pitcher Yhency Brazoban to first baseman James Loney.
Charles Thomas singles on a line drive to left fielder Delwyn Young.
David Castillo strikes out swinging. Charles Thomas steals (2) 2nd base.
Kevin Melillo doubles (8) on a fly ball to center fielder Choo Freeman. Charles Thomas scores.
J. Furmaniak called out on strikes.

2007-05-02 23:02:00
38.   Xeifrank
Hendrickson's numbers are indeed great. Only the BABIP and small sample size glare out at me. I am to a moderate degree markedly affected.
vr, Xei
2007-05-02 23:04:18
39.   Xeifrank
With Kent sitting vs Smoltz, do the Dodgers start the left hand hitting Marlon Anderson at 2B or Ramon Martinez?
vr, Xei
2007-05-02 23:20:35
40.   Andrew Shimmin
Koufax always struck out a lot of batters. He got crazy good when he stopped walking people, and stopped giving up as many home runs. That sort of improvement may not be the norm, but it happens relatively often. Going from being a guy who strikes out relatively few batters, to one who strikes out a ton (though, it's coming down, I see; he was up over one per inning the last time I checked, and now he's down to 7.81/9IP, only three more per game than his career average) rarely happens.

Given as low as his WHIP is, his K/100 Pitches has to be even more disparate relative to his career K/100 than his K/9 numbers are. It's weird. I'm starting to think Bob is right*; what if he's cheating?

*Under the theory that ascribing the accusation to Bob makes it more believable, and indemnifies me.

2007-05-02 23:25:49
41.   GMac In The 909
It's like he's been facing a team of Wilson Betemits.

That's funny.

2007-05-03 00:12:29
42.   imperabo
"Given as low as his WHIP is, his K/100 Pitches has to be even more disparate relative to his career K/100 than his K/9 numbers are."

How about his K/42 pitches? Sorry to be snarky but this quote confused the bejesus out of me. But yeah, Koufax is a horrible horrible comp.

2007-05-03 00:13:53
43.   imperabo
Gah, never mind I get it now. Pitches vs. innigs. Man I'm in trouble, I still have 6 pages of essay left to write tonight and I'm getting dumber by the minute.
2007-05-03 00:23:01
44.   Andrew Shimmin
I think it's Rich Lederer who's championing switching over from strikeouts per inning (or, usually, per nine innings) vs. strikeouts per pitch, or hundred pitches. I should have labeled that more clearly, though. Anyway, that's a relatively small point, in a relatively silly charge that I hope won't be taken too seriously.
2007-05-03 01:05:43
45.   PDH5204
Jon, not only does Hideki rock, so does Hendy! For those of us who also live in the realm of fantasy, well, as soon as word came that Jason was to be DL'd, one picked up Hendy [I did]. And what a day it was today, what with that Hendy win, that Saito save, those Broxton and Tsao holds, that Al Reyes win and the newly invented Hideki Hold. And so all that's left to be said at the end of this day is, Hendy, you rock!
2007-05-03 02:22:36
46.   Andrew Shimmin
No need to guess at his K/100 Pitches, since ESPN helpfully counts pitches.

2005- 3.15
2006- 3.79
2007- 6.12

For context, 6.12 would have made him the fourth strikeoutiest pitcher in MLB, last year, after Santana, Peavy, and Bonderman. In the period Jon outlines at the top (since 9/10/2006), Hendrickson's K/100 Pitches is 7.63, more than half a point better than Santana's figure for last year.

2007-05-03 05:41:35
47.   Vishal
You don't get Bob Gibson from Bob Denver thanks to a psychologist's couch.

hah, new nickname for hendrickson: gilligan!!!

2007-05-03 06:37:56
48.   weatherman
Hendrickson has only been pitching for 6 years, right? Perhaps he is a different kind of "over 30." After all, he spent most of his younger days playing basketball and therefore has lower mileage than some others his age.
2007-05-03 07:19:43
49.   Louis in SF
Although it hurts to have Schmidt out, the way hendrickson and to some degree the way Tomko have pitched have not made his loss that noticeable. The question is how long can they keep it up. In my mind if we can trade one of them in June rather than waiting, that would be the best of both worlds.
2007-05-03 07:21:22
50.   Doctor
Kuo wiffs 7 in 2.1 IP yesterday for the 51's.... not too bad.

Sorry if thats already been posted.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-03 08:03:56
51.   Marty
Yankees fired their "Director of Performance Enhancement". A really lousy label for strength coach.
2007-05-03 08:31:08
52.   Frip
Jon: "It's like he's been facing a team of Wilson Betemits."

Funny.

Russel Martin: "We were mainly using Mark's cutter, trying to get guys out by throwing it in under their hands...and he's using the inside part of the plate well."

Why is it necessary for Martin to provide a scouting report to other teams?

2007-05-03 08:31:39
53.   Bumsrap
8 how about "proven starter" Tomko and proven middle relief (Seanez) to the Reds for Encarnacion

I think the Dodgers need to move a position player to get a position player. Maybe Betemit for Encarnacion and include Valdez as needed.

2007-05-03 08:36:40
54.   Bumsrap
The Times put some heat on Kupchek to fix the Lakers but that is not fair. West left because Jackson was going to determine who the players were that he was going to coach. Kupchek became the contract techie.

I think for real change the Lakers should retry to to get Coach K, hire West as an adviser, and then let Kupchek, West, and Coach K reconfigure the team.

2007-05-03 08:39:55
55.   Bumsrap
51 Somebody had to take the fall for the team's last place performance. Is that enough for Steinbrenner or is he still grazing?
2007-05-03 08:47:13
56.   Jon Weisman
Did everyone watch the old film of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge when they were in school? It just occurred to me to look it up on YouTube. One of my (very few) favorite memories of my science classes.

http://tinyurl.com/27ptr2

2007-05-03 09:02:06
57.   Bob Timmermann
Always with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge...
2007-05-03 09:03:33
58.   Disabled List
6 I keep hearing that pitchers just don't start dominating on the wrong side of 30 all of a sudden. This is probably true as a generalization, but can any of you think of examples of pitchers who went from bad/mediocre to above-average/good after they were well into their 30's?

I can think of two guys from the late '80s: Mike Morgan and Dave Stewart. Morgan was a total journeyman when he came to the Dodgers in 1989 and posted a 135 ERA+ (yeah, he was 29 that year). Hard to believe it, but he was an above-average pitcher for the better part of a decade following that season.

Stewart was 30 when he had the first of four-straight 20-win seasons for Oakland in 1987. He had shown flashes before that, but had never done anything remarkable until that season.

For some reason, Hendrickson reminds me a lot of Mike Morgan: Soft-tossing journeymen who get their careers reinvigorated in LA. If Lurch sticks with the Dodgers, I hope he has a couple of seasons like Morgan had for us.

2007-05-03 09:08:50
59.   Daniel Zappala
54 I am solidly in the dump-Phil-Jackson crowd. I hate it when every time the Lakers think about acquiring/signing a great guard, we find out they can't do it because the guy is not tall enough for Phil's offense. Or that a certain player won't fit the triangle. Get the best players you can, and then figure out how to win with them, not the other way around.
2007-05-03 09:18:19
60.   Bob Timmermann
51
The Yankees' firing of their conditioning coach made Page 1 of NEWS in the New York Times today.
2007-05-03 09:19:25
61.   Bob Timmermann
59
One of my friends really likes Phil Jackson. But she likes him for other reasons than basketball.
2007-05-03 09:28:17
62.   Branch Rickey
I was told last September by someone with the team that Hendrickson had figured something out and doesn't his Goodness go back to late last year? What he supposedly figured out is that he was striding too much around his body- towards first base- and the change was to drive more directly towards the plate. Don't know if there's anything to that or not, but I heard it at almost the exact time that his results started improving.
2007-05-03 09:33:40
63.   neuroboy002
I don't have cable so I look forward to games televised on KCAL.... HOWEVER, why is that the past few televised games, including tomorrow, have Tomko as our starter? Why? Why? Whyyyy? (ok, done complaining).
2007-05-03 09:36:18
64.   Bumsrap
62 - striding too much around his body

But mostly it was supposedly his mind that was getting in his way, perhaps striding too much inside his body.

2007-05-03 09:37:16
65.   the OZ
Consider that Phil Jackson has never won a championship when he didn't have, arguably, the two best players in the league on his team. And even then, his '03 and '04 Laker teams with both Shaq and Kobe failed to win the title. I've always believed him to be overrated, simply serving as a name with enough gravitas to keep prima donnas in line and without much coaching acumen.

Kupchak is an unmitigated disaster. I was secretly hoping for the Lakers to miss the playoffs so that he would be fired and someone with a real understanding of the NBA game and player market would take over. Rumors are that the Lakers will be drafting ANOTHER center project in the first round this year, a 7' Brazilian guy, when it is clear that the new rules have made the NBA into a guard's league.

One last point: if Bynum is so good that the Lakers refuse to trade him, how come he isn't good enough to play significant minutes in any of the playoff games?

2007-05-03 09:38:55
66.   Bumsrap
61 - Buss' daughter is your friend?
2007-05-03 09:41:11
67.   Branch Rickey
64. Supposedly. I'm a huge believer in the power of psychologists but when it comes to pitching performance, I only believe it can go so far. I think sound mechanics are more likely to account for an improvement of this caliber.
2007-05-03 09:41:36
68.   regfairfield
58 The few guys that could could be cited as improving at age 30 generally didn't suddenly change the type of pitcher they were. Hendrickson has gone from a guy with a laughable strikeout rate to (if you're counting this as actual improvement) one that strikes out a batter an inning.

I've seen Randy Johnson brought up multiple times, but it's not like the guy was a hopeless wreck like Hendrickson. Johnson was striking out a man per inning from age 27 on, he just needed to find control.

If Hendrickson can keep allowing one jack every 37 innings, he can make a Mike Morgan like improvement, until then, this just looks like a Marlon Anderson-esque happy fluke.

2007-05-03 09:41:51
69.   Bob Timmermann
66
No, but my friend I think would bump her off if given the chance.
2007-05-03 09:43:06
70.   Branch Rickey
67- "I only belileve it can" could also read "I believe it can only" but only if I wanted it to be, ya know, correct.
2007-05-03 09:47:17
71.   Bumsrap
65 - Kupchak is an unmitigated disaster

Again, I blame Jackson not Kupchek for the players that the Lakers signed. Kupcheck's job seems to be one of getting the players Jackson wants.

2007-05-03 09:51:15
72.   Jon Weisman
R.I.P, Wally Schirra
2007-05-03 09:55:05
73.   old dodger fan
Mike Piazza suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder during a sixth-inning collision at third base and will join No. 3 hitter Milton Bradley on the DL.

Piazza was told he'll be out four to six weeks.

2007-05-03 09:58:07
74.   regfairfield
73 In turn making the catchers for my fantasy team Brian Schneider and Jason Phillips.
2007-05-03 10:00:03
75.   DXMachina
72 Well, rats. That's a shame.
2007-05-03 10:01:10
76.   Doctor
Esteban Loaiza came out of no where at 32 years old to win 21 games for the ChiSox. Has leveled off, but still a quality starter.
2007-05-03 10:06:54
77.   regfairfield
76 This is true, there's absolutely nothing in his history that suggested Loaiza could do that.
2007-05-03 10:07:36
78.   s choir
68 No one is saying that Mark Hendrickson is as good as Randy Johnson. Johnson threw 10 mph harder than Hendrickson and had the nastiest slider in baseball. Johnson always struck out tons of batters, whereas Hendrickson has always been league-average in strikeouts.

The point is, in Johnson's fifth full season, his walks went way down and his strikeouts increased marginally. It wasn't Johnson's stuff that improved at age 30, but rather it was his command of his stuff. That's why he won 19 games in 1993 after being a .500 pitcher for years.

I believe that is what we are seeing from Hendrickson. Granted, he doesn't have Johnson's stuff, but it doesn't follow that he can't have a Johnson-like improvement due to walking fewer batters.

He's not going to have a 1.3 ERA for the whole season, but he should be effective if his command doesn't falter.

2007-05-03 10:07:40
79.   Bob Timmermann
72
The Mercury Seven group dwindles further. John Glenn and Scott Carpenter are now going to be engaged in a battle to see who can claim the Mercury Bonanza.

It's all the looted artwork they brought back from outer space.

2007-05-03 10:11:39
80.   Bob Timmermann
Wally Schirra's dilemma in the afterlife:

St. Peter: "So, Wally, are you a turtle?"

2007-05-03 10:22:46
81.   Bluebleeder87
mean while the parking situation at Dodger Stadium was awesome yesterday, I do realize it wasn't a packed house though.
2007-05-03 10:25:03
82.   Bluebleeder87
Russel Martin: "We were mainly using Mark's cutter, trying to get guys out by throwing it in under their hands...and he's using the inside part of the plate well."

Why is it necessary for Martin to provide a scouting report to other teams?

seriously it's like why not go on Baseball Tonight & announce it to the world. :o)

2007-05-03 10:35:31
83.   regfairfield
78 It's far to soon to make those kind of judgements. In the timespan where Hendrickson improved his control, he also massively upped his strikeouts and dropped his home runs to Chein-Ming Wang level. If Hendrickson keeps up these peripherals, he will be the best pitcher in baseball.

Since it would be insane to make that proclamation, you could also reason that's it's unlikely that Hendrickson has made real improvements.

If he's still doing this at the end of June, then we'll talk.

2007-05-03 10:42:39
84.   Bob Timmermann
Regairfield is the Alan Greenspan of DT's Hendrickson infatuation.

We must watch out for "irrational exuberance" in Mark Hendrickson's pitching.

2007-05-03 10:44:17
85.   Sagehen
The Randy Johnson analogy seems appropriate. Both he and Hendrickson are tall lefties. When you're that tall, getting the mechanics right is a challenge. So it is believable that Hendrickson would suddenly get his mechanics right at age 30. It's taken him that long to figure out all the pieces of his body.

That said, I'm just waiting for someone to suggest trading Hendrickson while his value is high. (bg)

If one were to make a trade to make room for Kuo or Billingsley in the rotation, who would it be? Tomko or Hendrickson? Who has more value? Who is more likely to maintain their success (hopefully for the Dodgers?)

2007-05-03 10:45:28
86.   chazmac138
82
It doesn't matter what Russell Martin says to anyone. It's that old adage, I'll tell them what's coming but they still have to hit it. Both the pitcher (who actually has to locate the pitch in the spot where he wants it) and the batter (who actually has to read the pitcher correctly) still have to perform their respective tasks and that is never a guarantee.
The other side of the coin is, maybe Martin's just lying to the media knowing full well they'll run with it and hitters will be thinking about what has been said instead of focusing on the current at bat.
2007-05-03 10:46:23
87.   Marty
I have a feeling that Ned would never trade someone who is on a hot streak.
2007-05-03 10:53:42
88.   Xeifrank
I am not sure who to blame for the Lakers woes the past couple of years. I don't think it's fair to blame Kupchack for everything, when it's likely that Jerry and Jim Buss are calling some of the shots. I know what event I'd place most of the blame on, but I am not 100% sure I know who to blame for it Buss or Kupchack. The Shaq trade is the anchor that is burdening this team. Not so much the loss of Shaq, but the horrible Brian Grant contract that the Lakers took on. I believe the Pacers had agreed to trade Jermaine O'Neal for Shaq but Shaq only wanted to go to a couple of southern warm weather cities to play. Shaq basically held the team hostage and made any fair market or even close to fair market trade impossible. The Brian Grant contract has kept the Lakers from being able to sign two good players to compliment Kobe. Lamar is Ok, but Kobe and Lamar can't do it by themselves. If I were the Lakers I wouldn't have traded Shaq. If he whined and tried to sabotage the Lakers by only wanting to be traded to 2 or 3 teams, then I would've kept him and if he kept up his act I would've suspended him without pay or let him collect dust on the bench. That seems drastic, but why let him take your team down. He even made comments that if the Lakers didn't trade him he would have surgery at the start of the season and miss half the season. The Brian Grant contract killed/is killing the Lakers and wasting away the rest of Kobe's prime playing years. Whoever ordered this trade is who I blame. I have a feeling it was Buss and not Kupchack, but I don't know for sure. Go Dodgers! vr, Xei
2007-05-03 10:53:53
89.   dzzrtRatt
I agree with the theory that it might be about Hendrickson's size, and him finally learning how to coordinate his unruly limbs to deliver the result he wants. My son is tall, and it seems like it has taken him longer than other kids to figure out how to move because his body gets in the way.

Another theory would be that life in the bullpen was such a humiliation for Hendrickson that he simply got more focused and serious. I mean, here's a guy who made the major leagues in two sports. Maybe he thought it was supposed to be easy, and now finally realizes he's in a constant battle.

If he keeps it up and becomes an above-average pitcher at 32, it just proves the old adage that there are always exceptions to old adages.

2007-05-03 10:54:40
90.   LA Native
56

I remember the Tacoma Narrows Bridge as well. I didn't like Physics much, but must admit I was enthralled by that whole bridge twisting/collapse and how that happened.

As far as Hendrickson, I don't have statistics but I think there are a lot more pitchers who improve fairly dramatically in their 30's than hitters. Not sure if this is the case with Hendrickson. He hopefully can be solid, but not spectacular like he has been so far this year.

2007-05-03 10:58:18
91.   regfairfield
85 As I said before, Hendrickson has never shown the ability to be good, at any level. If he repeated his best minor league season, you end up with 2004 Jeff Weaver numbers.

Johnson was regularly striking out 10+ per nine three years before his breakout. Hendrickson hasn't shown anything.

I'll try to stay out of this at this point unless directly addressed.

2007-05-03 11:03:31
92.   underdog
88 I agree Kupchak isn't to blame for everything, but he is to blame for a lot. I honestly think they did have to trade Shaq, but , yeah, taking on the Grant contract killed them. Getting Odom and Butler was good, though, and then Kupchak messed it up by trading Butler for Iron Hands Kwame Brown in a futile attempt to get bigger. I know some of that desperation came from not having a true center other than Chris Mihm, and Mihm being injury prone, but that trade was deadly dumb. Frankly, they would've benefited from not making the playoffs one of the last couple of years, so they could have drafted in the lottery, but of course there's no guarantee they would have made the right pick there.

You can also blame their scouting dept. for the way they've drafted and for the trades, but maybe no one's listened to their advice. Who knows what's gone on there behind the scenes. But a change is needed and if the owner won't fire himself, firing the GM is the next logical move to start over.

I actually like Lamar Odom, even if he is erratic, and I really like Turiaf. Other than they and Kobe, though, I wouldn't mind losing anyone (or everyone) else.

Watching the Warriors the last few weeks has killed me because that's the kind of fast, small ball team I'd rather the Lakers be. (On the other hand, let's not forget that the Warriors were much maligned for years right up until the last month, so they made their share of mistakes and stupid draft picks - but they learned their lessons this year and showed growth.)

2007-05-03 11:04:46
93.   goodman64
No question his performance level is unreal and can't be sustained.

I would say, though, there does seem to be some amount of precedent for lefties who eventually figure some stuff out -- at a later rate than a similar righty might.

Whether Hendry is one of 'em, we can only hope.

2007-05-03 11:07:30
94.   LA Native
85

I'd prefer to trade Tomko as I think Hendrickson makes a slightly better long reliever and Tomko is signed through 08 so that is better to get off now.

A trade isn't looking as likely now with Kuo still not ready, Bills as a reliever and Schmidt out indefinately. Those issues would have to be resolved before Colleti would even consider a trade and even then he may stick it out with both Tomko and Hendrickson even if it makes no sense.

The question is what could we get for either of them. Assuming quite a few pitcher injuries later in the year and Tomko/Hendrickson avoiding their usual implosions, we might get a pretty nice return believe it or not.

2007-05-03 11:10:12
95.   Branch Rickey
Here's a question... since there's a lot of talk about which pitchers to trade and when... what do we want to trade for? I mean other than possibly a 3rd baseman (which means blocking or trading LaRoche) what do we want? (realistic answers only please)
2007-05-03 11:12:52
96.   caseybarker
80

I am reminded of an Eastern philosophy which says that the world rests on the back of a turtle.

"It's turtles all the way down."

2007-05-03 11:16:38
97.   Jon Weisman
We should be clear that the question with Hendrickson isn't whether he can be a 1.21 ERA pitcher, but whether he has legitimately improved at all to the point that we can expect him to be a useful member of the rotation for the season.
2007-05-03 11:17:03
98.   JoeyP
88--I agree. Its partially Kobe's fault for the Shaq mess anyways.

Kobe was threatening to sign with the Clippers if the Lakers didnt trade Shaq. Apparently, sitting through 1 last season of Shaq was unbearable to him.

Kupchak wasnt the manager of egos that Jerry West was. West I believe could have soothed things over, and at least gotten Kobe to resign, while also letting Shaq play out his final season before leaving. Trading Shaq, and thus taking back Brian Grant's contract--just killed the team.

2007-05-03 11:21:55
99.   Gagne55
Mark Hendrickson is teh pwnage.
2007-05-03 11:22:56
100.   Daniel Zappala
95 I don't think it's realistic to get much of anything at this point. The Dodgers have bought into Gonzalez and Pierre in the outfield, and I don't think many teams would want to trade for them. Third base needs a clear upgrade, but that blocks LaRoche as you said. If the Dodgers become disenchanted with Gonzalez, I can see them trading for a power outfield bat, figuring that either Ethier or Kemp will become a fourth outfielder.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-03 11:22:56
101.   Bluebleeder87
86

good points chazmac, but i guess i new that already. You pointing them out refreshed my memory.

2007-05-03 11:23:01
102.   dzzrtRatt
95 I ask this because I really don't know: How is the Dodger system fixed for:

-- A decent backup catcher
-- Kent's successor at 2B
-- Furcal's successor after his contract's up after 08

Those are the areas I think might be a good focus.

I also wonder if Hendrickson might be a way to dump Pierre. "Yes, George, you can have our unhittable lefthander, our Randy Johnson minus ten years, if you'll take Pierre and his contract too. For Robinson Cano."

Oh, wait, I forgot. You want realistic ideas.

2007-05-03 11:23:25
103.   underdog
I agree about Jerry West, he probably would have managed that situation better. But I'm not convinced trading Shaq was such a terrible idea, especially given his own injury concerns. I mean, if they ever wanted to trade him and get something back, that would have been the time. But they didn't handle it well and Grant... that was horrible. I forget - who did they draft with the draft pick they got from Miami in that trade?

Btw, this year the Lakers have three picks (including the Charlotte Bobcat's second which should be about 35). Their own pick should be about 18-20.

2007-05-03 11:24:28
104.   underdog
99 Once more...?
2007-05-03 11:25:26
105.   regfairfield
97 If that's directed at me, I have been trying to argue that point, albeit I might have got caught up in hyperbole.
2007-05-03 11:26:13
106.   Dodger Lifer
Hey, dont look now, but if Brazoban comes back as strong as we're hearing....Grady might only need 5 strong from his starters, then he could go: Brazoban-6th, Sao-7th, Broxton-8th and Saito-9th. Im thinking that formula will win us a few games this year. Specially in games started by Wolf and Hendrickson.
2007-05-03 11:26:18
107.   regfairfield
Jack Cust might have finally just got his chance. Oakland got him for a PBTNL, presumably to replace Piazza.
2007-05-03 11:26:25
108.   Marty
It sounds like Abreu is the Kent replacement. Is there any third baseman on the last year of their contract that we could trade for? Hendrickson for one year of someone with power would be acceptable to me. You don't block LaRoche that way and you plug your hole for this year. But, other than ARod is there anyone out there?
2007-05-03 11:27:44
109.   LA Native
98
Kupchak's marque trade was the Caron Butler, Chucky Atkins trade for Kwame, which has turned out to be quite a negative one for the Lakers. You really can't blame him for the Shaq trade too much, although I thought at the time we shouldn't have had to take Grant and his contract for what we got, but can't remember if it wouldn't have worked out cap wise if we didn't take him. I believe they are done with the Grant contract now or do we have one more year?
2007-05-03 11:29:52
110.   Sagehen
102 Abreu would seem to be close to ready to succeed Kent at second. Hu is the heir apparent to Furcal, but so far he has been all field, no hit. DeJesus is farther off. At the moment, we are looking at the Dodgers spending a fortune to keep Furcal because the other options are not nearly as good.

The Dodgers have recently converted a couple of players to catcher, and they could develop into good backups for Russell, but again, that is a weak spot in the organization.

I for one would like to see more organizational depth at SS and C, particularly in AAA and AA.

2007-05-03 11:31:57
111.   underdog
I recall hearing the Grant contract is off the books now, too, which is good news. My gut feeling is this is Kupchak's last chance/stand. I'd fire him now, but they may not want to go into the draft with a new GM.

As for trading Tomko or Hendy, I'd prefer to trade Tomko but wouldn't expect much in return. We've had this conversation before I think. I think the Dodgers could use more help in the minors in the OF. Another catcher wouldn't hurt, either, no. There are quite a few teams already desperate for pitching so who knows... I think the Dodgers are smart to hold on to Hendrickson right now given the questions about Schmidt and so on, and that he's pitching well. (Even if his stock is soon at an all time high.)

2007-05-03 11:35:53
112.   dzzrtRatt
108 What's Troy Glaus' contract situation? I know some Angels saber-minded fans were chasing him and his big contract out of town to make way for Dallas McPherson -- which turned out to be a really bad plan. The guy has great power, and as I recall, was a good fielder.

I assume Toronto thinks they're in contention, so they might be reluctant to part with him, but in that division, I would think pitching is more decisive.

2007-05-03 11:35:54
113.   ToyCannon
For Jon's sanity I checked the posts and found no mention of Jamie Moyer who would seem to be the best comp if were talking about a soft tossing lefty getting better after 30. Many have tried to follow the Moyer path but only a few of the slow and slower crowd have actually scaled the same mountain.
2007-05-03 11:39:30
114.   ToyCannon
112
He is no longer a good fielder but he would have been the ideal replacement for Beltre and I was shocked he choose to leave LA for Arizona so I was happy he was sent to Siberia to live out his days for a 2nd division club.
I agreed with the Angel decision at the time as I also thought McPherson would be able to replace him. The man had awesome power and none of his injuries had surfaced at the time while Glaus hadn't played a full season for a few years and many laughed at the contract he got from Arizona because of his health history.
2007-05-03 11:40:30
115.   ToyCannon
Why isn't Vlady getting the Bonds treatment with the anemic Angel hitters who follow him?
2007-05-03 11:44:03
116.   Disabled List
I'd be content to trade Hendrickson for prospects at this point. We do need power hitting, but except for 3B, the spots that need upgrading are all blocked.

Although I hate to lose the kind of production he's been giving us on the mound. If it wasn't for the solid pitching we've been getting lately, this team would be in a tailspin. Has anyone noticed that we've scored six runs in the last 40 innings? Yet we've got three wins to show for it.

2007-05-03 11:45:34
117.   bhsportsguy
While it will help the cash registers.

I am sure not many Dodger fans were thrilled with the interleague options on the schedule, the rest of NL West were very happy to collect big premium ticket revenues from the appearances by the Yankees and/or Red Sox when the interleague schedule begins in the next few weeks.

Some notes by Jayson Stark from ESPN.com on the inequities of the schedule.

• The Mets play all 15 of their interleague games against teams that made the playoffs last year -- six against the Yankees, three each against the Tigers, Twins and A's.

Meanwhile, three NL teams -- the Cubs, Dodgers and Padres -- play zero interleague games against clubs that made the playoffs.

• If the NL West race is as tight in September as it is now, don't be shocked to hear the Diamondbacks mention that they had to play both the Yankees and Red Sox, while the Dodgers had to play neither.

• The Dodgers' bizarre interleague schedule: home-and-home with the Blue Jays, home-and-home with the Angels and three in Tampa Bay.

The Dodgers did get an extra home series with the Mets this year to make up for only two home AL team visits.

2007-05-03 11:47:00
118.   bhsportsguy
115 We are not the same person (I know since I went to a Laker game with TC last year), but once again, I was thinking the same thing.
2007-05-03 11:47:47
119.   Daniel Zappala
114 I also wished the Dodgers had gotten Glaus. He was very good the past few years. He missed some time this year, but is back and playing very well again, 4 HRs already and 1.2+ OPS. I really think the Angels blew it and the Dodgers missed the boat on him.

115 Vlad will swing at anything so it is hard to pitch around him.

2007-05-03 11:49:46
120.   regfairfield
112 Two years left, receives 10.5 million in 2007 and 12.5 million in 2008. Assuming the Dodgers didn't dump payroll that would push 2007's payroll to ~126 million and 2008s to 90-110 million.

In my opinion, not worth it when you have LaRoche.

2007-05-03 11:50:15
121.   Jon Weisman
105 - 97 was directed at no one in particular.
2007-05-03 11:50:18
122.   Daniel Zappala
Scheduling is a joke right now with all the "special rivalries" that have to be preserved in interleague play. Keep the rivalries special by just using a round-robin among the interleague divisoins if you insist on having interleague play. They'll be more special if you play only once every three years.
2007-05-03 11:53:26
123.   JoeyP
103--It wasnt Grant's talent level that really hurt, it was literally his contract. Trading Shaq meant taking back the exact same salary in return. Now, if you get a max contract level player thats worth it--great. But Brian Grant's deal just killed the Lakers cap room.

With Shaq, the Lakers had no cap room.
With Brian Grant, the Lakers had no cap room.

Since trading superstars rarely nets equal value, I think I would have let Shaq play out his final season, and then let him go. Kobe + tons of cap room would have been better than Kobe+Odom+Kwame===although I dont think I'd trust Mitch to use loads of cap dollars wisely either.

Lakers would have at least been more fun to watch had Caron not been traded for Kwame. Kobe, Caron, Odom, Cook, Turiaf--that would have been my starting 5. Maybe they could have played a more up and down style.

2007-05-03 11:53:28
124.   JoeyP
103--It wasnt Grant's talent level that really hurt, it was literally his contract. Trading Shaq meant taking back the exact same salary in return. Now, if you get a max contract level player thats worth it--great. But Brian Grant's deal just killed the Lakers cap room.

With Shaq, the Lakers had no cap room.
With Brian Grant, the Lakers had no cap room.

Since trading superstars rarely nets equal value, I think I would have let Shaq play out his final season, and then let him go. Kobe + tons of cap room would have been better than Kobe+Odom+Kwame===although I dont think I'd trust Mitch to use loads of cap dollars wisely either.

Lakers would have at least been more fun to watch had Caron not been traded for Kwame. Kobe, Caron, Odom, Cook, Turiaf--that would have been my starting 5. Maybe they could have played a more up and down style.

2007-05-03 11:55:45
125.   bhsportsguy
122 Stark addressed that too, while the rivalries that make sense,Mets and Yankees, Cubs and White Sox, Angels and Dodgers, Giants and A's will go on, most of the others have been discarded though the inequity of Padres having their annual home and home with the Mariners while the Dodgers and Giants play their much better neighbors goes on.
2007-05-03 12:03:54
126.   Sagehen
125 Perhaps that inequity is intentional because it would seem to help out the small market teams (those in cities that cannot support two teams)
2007-05-03 12:16:49
127.   bhsportsguy
126 But for just one year, why not mix it up, I'm sure the fans in Seattle would love to boo Bonds while San Diego could get to know their Orange County neighbors.

A different topic, looking at the NL Team Pitching stats, the Dodgers lead the league in GB/FB ratio at 1.4 ground balls to fly balls. However, a check of the 2006 stats show that the Dodgers led the NL in GB/FB ratio too. Most of that can be attributed to Derek Lowe, who was well over three to one groundballs to flyball outs. But also, the only pitcher with significant innings pitch with a tendency to give up flyballs was Brett Tomko.

I'm not sure what this all means but it probably also highlights any flubs in the outfield because the pitchers just don't give up a lot of flyballs.

2007-05-03 12:19:14
128.   ToyCannon
118
I remember we agreed on a lot things related to baseball while at the basketball game. I lost your email and I'd like to connect while at a Dodger game so if you could flip it to me I'd appreciate it.
2007-05-03 12:23:39
129.   JoeyP
Any opinions on last night's Lost?
I thought Josh Holloway's (Sawyer) performance was terrific.
2007-05-03 12:25:41
130.   Jon Weisman
129 - Haven't watched it yet! So you can't talk about it here today. Really sorry.

By the way, aside from this, you can open chat on Screen Jam even if I haven't started a new topic, just like you do here.

2007-05-03 12:28:13
131.   LarryinOC
It could be more insane to see Kuo pitching the first 6, Tsao the next 2 and Saito closing it in a game. That may happen soon...
2007-05-03 12:36:40
132.   Bob Timmermann
I thought it was interesting that the favorite show of all The Others was "Becker."
2007-05-03 12:41:00
133.   Bill Simms
One pitcher I haven't seen mentioned in relation to Hendrickson, is Jerry Reuss. Tall left hander. Prior to his age 31 season, he had one year of ERA+ that was over 102. Then he reeled off years at 139, 144, 111, 122, 92 (injury issues) and 120. I think Dodger Stadium agreed with him.
2007-05-03 12:42:26
134.   Daniel Zappala
124 I'm not sure I could have made the right choices at the time, but in hindsight I completely agree with you, joeyp. This is exactly where the Lakers messed up, at two key times. I'd dump Kupchak and Jackson and start over.
2007-05-03 12:45:57
135.   Daniel Zappala
I actually watched Lost last night for the first time in a year. I usually use Wikipedia to catch up because I'll never see all the episodes anyway. I really really wish I could ask some questions about what people think, but I'll be quiet out of respect.
2007-05-03 12:50:17
136.   Curtis Lowe
Any thoughts on Dayn Perry's pessimistic take on the Dodgers chances this year?

http://tinyurl.com/25lk2a

2007-05-03 12:51:44
137.   Jon Weisman
129, 135 - I'll start a Lost chat thread at Screen Jam and just won't peek.
2007-05-03 12:54:09
138.   chazmac138
136
I can't stand Dayn Perry! He is the biggest "flip-flopper" I've ever read. All he seems to do (IMO)is state the obvious and go with the general consensus of his peers. However I will give him credit for his Top 100 minor leaguers thing he does every year.
2007-05-03 12:56:03
139.   Bob Timmermann
136
You mean the Dodgers don't have power hitters?
2007-05-03 13:02:49
140.   Curtis Lowe
139 - He has full faith in AZs youth to provide but no faith in the Dodgers youth or vets to provide adequate power. He says the D's offense will digress from its success during April, from what I saw in Aril the offense can and will improve over April.
2007-05-03 13:04:29
141.   chazmac138
140
Like I said, he strikes me as a total nimrod.
2007-05-03 13:05:37
142.   blue22
Jon, there was a Buddy Carlyle mention in Rob Neyer's blog today. Apparently, he's in the Braves' organization, putting up tantalizing stats for their AAA team.
2007-05-03 13:07:12
143.   regfairfield
140 What he's saying is pretty much my exact feelings on the team. Unless Kemp and LaRoche some how get into this lineup, this team has no power, and it's going to hurt them massively.
2007-05-03 13:08:14
144.   blue22
I predict Kobe is going to throw down the gauntlet on management (again) this offseason. He can opt-out of his deal following the 2009 season, so it's "git-r-done" time for Kupchak.

My prediction is that one of Kidd, Garnett, or Jermaine O'Neal will be on the Lakers next year. They have the chips and requisite salary to make any of those deals happen, it's unclear if Kupchak has the hutzpah to pull the trigger.

2007-05-03 13:10:54
145.   Jon Weisman
142 - Oooh ... thanks.
2007-05-03 13:10:54
146.   old dodger fan
143 LaRoche is not hitting. Last year he OPSed .901 at JAX and .950 at Vegas. This year he is .674 and is hitting .143 in his last 7 games. I wonder if he is healthy.
2007-05-03 13:12:21
147.   blue22
140 - He has full faith in AZs youth to provide but no faith in the Dodgers youth or vets to provide adequate power.

AZ's hitting prospects are a) actually getting a chance to play and b) generally more highly regarded than LA's.

I have to say, I don't have faith in LA's vets to provide adequate power either.

2007-05-03 13:14:55
148.   Jon Weisman
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/03/queen.visit.ap/index.html

I have to say, I'm a little impressed that Queen Elizabeth has made it to both the 350th and 400th anniversaries of the founding of the Jamestown colony.

That's Jamestown, not Jonestown.

2007-05-03 13:15:47
149.   Curtis Lowe
143 -

This team has little power not no power.
I have confidence that the D's power will increase as the season goes on.

Furcal will get way better

Pierre will get somewhat better

Nomar will stay the same

Kent will get better

Gonzo ...

Martin will be consistent

Ethier can do what he's been doing while improving his avg. and he'll be be fine.

Betemit ???

And with an imminent roster move I can see Kemp and either LaRoche or Loney up getting decent playing time.

2007-05-03 13:16:07
150.   regfairfield
146 What's a more adequate indication of skill? His 400-500 at bats last year, or 90 this year? As my rallying against Hendrickson would indicate, I couldn't care less about stats that occur in April.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-05-03 13:16:53
151.   Xeifrank
If Tomko/Hendrickson were indeed trade bait, I don't see us getting much in return, atleast anything that could be of much use right away. The team already has decent depth and you don't really want to trade for someone to block one of our many prospects. Sure there are roster spots that could be improved upon like Valdez and Martinez, but that's hardly worth trading Tomko or Hendrickson for. I could see them getting trade for one of these two circumstances only.

1. Tomko or Hendrickson is packaged with a starter (Player B) and the return player will be an upgrade of Player B.

2. An injury occurs at a key position at which our depth is not good or proven and we trade Tomko or Hendrickson for a 1/2 year replacement player at that position.

I don't see a trade of Tomko or Hendrickson happening, especially if the Dodgers are in first place and Schmidt is sidelined. If and when Guo gets called up, Tomko, Wolf or Hendrickson may go to the bullpen and when Kemp is ready Valdez (even though Sarah says he should be starting) probably gets kicked off the island.
vr, Xei

2007-05-03 13:18:18
152.   regfairfield
149 If your definition of "no power" is not hitting any home runs, then yeah, this team has some power. When I say "no power" I mean less than 140 home runs, which would be dead last in the NL last year.
2007-05-03 13:20:31
153.   old dodger fan
148 She also came to Yorktown (about 20 miles from Jamestown) in 1981 for the 200th anniversary of the British Army surrender. I think she likes Virginia.
2007-05-03 13:21:25
154.   blue22
151 - 1. Tomko or Hendrickson is packaged with a starter (Player B) and the return player will be an upgrade of Player B.

So a Hendrickson/Pierre package for Andruw Jones? I could get on board with that strategy...

2007-05-03 13:23:58
155.   bhsportsguy
146 LaRoche does not like Spring baseball.

4/2006 (99 PA) .226/.340/.333 2 HR, 14BB/13K
2007 (91 PA) .247/.319/.395 3 HR, 9BB/12K

He began to pick up toward the end of April 2006 and then had huge May and June until being called up to AAA, in 173 PA, .356/.456/.568, 7 HR, 27BB/19K.

2007-05-03 13:28:57
156.   screwballin
These are the 3Bs who will be free agents:

Russell Branyan SD
Corey Koskie * MIL
Mike Lamb HOU
Mike Lowell BOS
Greg Norton * TB
Abraham O. Nunez PHI
Alex Rodriguez NYY (may void after 2007)

2007-05-03 13:29:50
157.   underdog
123 (Delayed) Yeah, I was talking about Grant's contract specifically, as what really hurt the Lakers, not his playing ability (though clearly his best days were over). Anyway, thank God it's over.

So, yeah, on Lost, that was amazing how all the characters spontaneously combusted last night. I wonder what they'll do next week... Ooops, sorry, I'll move this over to the other thread.

2007-05-03 13:30:48
158.   underdog
156 - Except for A-Rod, not an enticing bunch. Hopefully the Dodgers will have something in La Roche by next year and it won't matter (or will bring in A-Rod.)
2007-05-03 13:30:59
159.   Xeifrank
Laker salary information:
http://www.hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm
If I am reading this correctly Grant's $15+Mil comes off the books now. The worst contracts left are Radmonivic, Brown and Cook in that order. Odom makes alot of money too, but atleast he has some talent.
vr, Xei
2007-05-03 13:34:35
160.   blue22
159 - Grant's salary was already kinda off the books; it didn't count against the cap this year for luxury tax purposes after he was released (though they still had to cut him checks).

Brown's going into his last year, so he can be cap relief for some team, plus there's the added incentive that maybe he actually tries hard in his contract year. I think he's as good as gone, unless they decide to trade Odom instead.

2007-05-03 13:48:48
161.   underdog
The Radmonivic contract... don't get me started on that one either. Again, some blame could be placed on scouting department, or the organization as a whole, for allowing these contracts. Brown should be gone, too. I would package players with one of those draft picks to get somebody else good, because they won't have the patience to start with the draft. But drafting well wouldn't hurt.
2007-05-03 14:01:08
162.   JoeyP
My problem with Ramonivic deal is that they gave the MLE to a player with just about the same exact skill set as Brian Cook.

Why give a 30mils/6yr deal to a free agent...when a guy on your team already can do the same things, and only get paid on his rookie contract?

McKie, Radmon, Divac were some very bad MLE deals.

2007-05-03 14:05:19
163.   Vaudeville Villain
The Radmonovic deal was bad, but the Lakers consistent whiffing in the draft has been almost as damaging.

Sasha vujacic has gone the way of Tschitscvili (spelling mistake probably), and totally busted, Andrew Bynum is not ready, and may never be, Farmar could be okay, but I don't see him turning into anything special.

2007-05-03 14:06:21
164.   underdog
162 Exactly. Totally agree.

Oh well - I'm rooting for the Warriors tonight because they're the underdog and I hate Dallas. I also, as much as I respect them, and like Steve Nash, hate Phoenix. Their demolition of the Lakers was well-earned but they were pretty obnoxious about it. I can't see GS beating them, but I could see GS beating Houston or San Antonio. (Doubtful but could see it.) If they win tonight, that is. Game 7 would be Dallas' game to lose if it goes back there.

Meanwhile, I'm glad the Dodgers have the day off. The Braves series is gonna be a tough one. I wouldn't expect them to win Friday's but taking the next two would be nice.

2007-05-03 14:08:02
165.   underdog
I think Farmar could be a real good backup point guard, and Bynum still should develop, but overall I agree with you VV. They could have drafted Barbosa instead of Cook, for one thing (although I personally knew nothing of the former back then; but it's not my job).
2007-05-03 14:13:10
166.   Fallout
Instead of looking at who the Lakers will get rid of, who are the keepers on this team in a win it now scenario? I count 3. Of course they may want to trade one of them, Odom, for someone else.
2007-05-03 14:14:37
167.   s choir
My biggest problem with the Dayn Perry piece is this statement:

Like it or not, power rules all in the modern game

There is nothing in the article to back this statement up.

2007-05-03 14:14:49
168.   underdog
166 See my 92 - I actually like Lamar Odom, even if he is erratic, and I really like Turiaf. Other than they and Kobe, though, I wouldn't mind losing anyone (or everyone) else.

(Actually, I do like Farmar but they need to get rid of Smush and bring in a legit starting poing guard, enough of this Smush and McKie type nonsense.)

2007-05-03 14:15:03
169.   trainwreck
I would be willing to trade anyone on the Lakers, aside from Kobe.
2007-05-03 14:17:22
170.   Benaiah
I am about to give notice at my job. I have never done this before and I feel like I am about to ask the Homecoming Queen to Prom. At least there is no fear of rejection. I am like Michael Scott: "I hope we can still be friends."
2007-05-03 14:18:06
171.   Vaudeville Villain
166

Good question. Obviously Kobe, I like Odom, but his contract is pretty big, and maybe Brian Cook and Ronny Turiaf. The rest is dead weight, really. Which is sort of depressing.

2007-05-03 14:19:50
172.   D4P
170
Mrs. D4P resigned on Monday, had to resign again on Tuesday because her boss was in denial and refused to believe she was quitting, and had to resign again on Wednesday with the other boss.
2007-05-03 14:20:40
173.   Vaudeville Villain
170

Good luck. Hopefully it won't be too awkward.

2007-05-03 14:26:25
174.   Fallout
92 underdog
Iron Hands Kwame Brown

That is something that really bothered me. How in the world could their scouts not know that he has terrible hands? That is something that cannot be significantly improved upon.

2007-05-03 14:29:27
175.   Benaiah
173 - I went great. My boss was amazing about it. I feel amazing.

172 - What do you mean? She went back to the original job on Weds?

2007-05-03 14:32:54
176.   caseybarker
Hasn't the topic of resign vs. re-sign come up before?

Somewhere in the archives...

2007-05-03 14:34:56
177.   D4P
175
I mean the job she has been at has two main bosses, and she had to speak to them both separately (as they are in different offices). Next Friday should be her last day.
2007-05-03 14:35:21
178.   Vaudeville Villain
166

My problem with trading Odom is that there are very few players who would be an upgrade over him as the #2, who would be on the block.

The two biggest names, are Garnett and O'Neal(Indiana's). KG will never be traded to the Lakers, and McHale would be a moron to do so, so that seems a bit unrealistic. JO is a good player, and gives you a defensive presence in the middle, but he and Kobe minus Odom isn't demonstrably improved over the current team, as I see it.

I think the Lakers need to look for some way to keep Odom, and bring in a useful piece (or alot) in addition.

2007-05-03 14:35:36
179.   Benaiah
177 - Ouch. I still have another boss who I will probably have to tell tomorrow.
2007-05-03 14:35:52
180.   D4P
176
I think "resign" that means "quit" should be spelled "rezign"
2007-05-03 14:40:21
181.   Fallout
178 Vaudeville Villain

I pretty much agree. To upgrade Odom would be nearly impossible unless it was a big trade involving several players.

2007-05-03 14:41:43
182.   jasonungar07
130 plus consecutive starts by Smush Parker.

That's all I gotta say.

2007-05-03 14:44:03
183.   blue22
181 - I think you could add Kidd or Jermaine O'Neal without giving up Odom.
2007-05-03 14:44:22
184.   Fallout
181 Fallout

I might add that multi player trades seem to make Kupchak's head fog up and may not be a good idea.

2007-05-03 14:49:40
185.   underdog
184 True. But we know the answer for that. ;-)
2007-05-03 14:50:02
186.   underdog
(He could rezign.)
2007-05-03 14:50:12
187.   Fallout
183 blue22

That would be worth exploring. But, I would have a hard time rooting for Jermaine O'Neal.

2007-05-03 14:53:27
188.   blue22
187 - Apparently Kobe and O'Neal are good buddies, and he might be high on his wish list. Looks like Indiana wants to blow up the roster, and O'Neal could be part of that. He's got a huge, long contract and has an injury history. He's very talented, but could turn into an expensive, injury-prone malcontent (a la Chris Webber) in a hurry.
2007-05-03 14:55:44
189.   underdog
Hey Nate, or anyone, what do you think about the Dodgers trying to draft Jason Heyward?

http://tinyurl.com/2xa9dq

Sounds enticing...

2007-05-03 14:57:36
190.   Fallout
188 blue22
Apparently Kobe and O'Neal are good buddies,...

That figures. I have a hard time rooting for Kobe. :)

2007-05-03 15:02:21
191.   jasonungar07
Hong-Chih Kuo (shoulder) got all of his outs via the strikeout in a 2 1/3-inning rehab appearance for Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The Dodgers are planning on bringing him back as a reliever, even though they didn't want to use him in that role this spring.

--
So what has changed? Henderickson? Tomko?

2007-05-03 15:02:43
192.   natepurcell
189

i would love jason heyward but he wont be there at 20.

2007-05-03 15:06:14
193.   natepurcell
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/events/draft_report/y2007/index.jsp?mc=heyward

heres a scouting report and video of heyward.

2007-05-03 15:12:24
194.   underdog
192 Sigh.

Maybe he'll slightly tweak his ankle, scaring off a few more teams...

2007-05-03 15:13:19
195.   underdog
Sounds like only an average outfielder defensively, so he'd fit right in!
2007-05-03 15:13:58
196.   twerp
Great line about Gaylord Perry, from the ESPN page 2 Top 10 cheaters link posted here earlier==

"I've even been to his house in North Carolina back when I was a kid. You knew it was his house because your hand slipped off the door knob when you tried to open it. ..."
Jason Loyer

2007-05-03 15:18:41
197.   Jon Weisman
So, Gil Meche is doing well. After 48 1/3 innings, a 2.23 ERA.
2007-05-03 15:34:13
198.   underdog
It's good to see the Royals with a few halfway decent pitchers for once. They were basically hard to watch for a few years...
2007-05-03 15:49:17
199.   blue22
193 - nate, here's Keith Law's thoughts on Dodger draft strategy from his chat today. Care to comment on the names?

Chaz (CA): What do you see the Dodgers doing with there first pick in the draft?

Keith Law: Best player available. I think one of the Bumgarner, Beavan, Alderson group is there for them, and they might have a shot at Burgess if they like him.

2007-05-03 16:03:32
200.   DodgerBakers
197 and 198. Yes, it is good to see them do well. Even Odalis Perez looks not as bad as usual.

I like what I've heard about their young players too like Gordon, Teahen, and Butler.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-05-03 16:04:54
201.   natepurcell
Beavan reminds me so much of Hochevar. I wouldnt mind at all if he was the pick. Alderson has great control but you gotta watch his delivery, its really unorthodox and i dont think its something White is going to buy for 1.5 mils or so.

Same with Bumgarner, he is really raw and is essentially a one pitch pitcher right now. Burgess is interesting because he has the best raw power in this draft class. He is sort of built like prince fielder; short and thick but more athletic. He has the tools to be a quality corner OFer. This spring though, he has been really inconsistent with his batting. He has changed his stance alot and hasnt made as much contact as scouts would like. That said, he would be great value at the 20th pick and would be the best power hitter in our system if he was drafted.

2007-05-03 16:09:28
202.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-05-03 16:15:10
203.   underdog
Is Alderson any relation to Sandy? (Seriously...)

I'd take Burgess myself, if the opp. arose, just because that's a dire need for a pitching-rich organization...

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