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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Bottom Drops Out on Betemit
2007-05-04 22:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The sad irony of my ongoing plea for patience with Wilson Betemit is that the fact that I wasn't really happy about his acquisition.

From July 29:

Okay, something's nagging at me a little bit about Friday's trade. And it's not the news that the Dodgers are paying the remainder of Danys Baez's contract, though I suppose that's kind of annoying.

In Willy Aybar, the Dodgers got rid of a player who displayed a nice grasp of the strike zone (he walked about once every six at-bats, with fewer strikeouts than walks) and an excellent doubles rate (20 doubles in his first 214 major-league at-bats, projecting to roughly 50 for a full season) for an older player (how much older, we're not exactly sure) whose principal advantage, at least for now, is home run power. There are mixed reports on both players' defense.

It's not that Wilson Betemit's nine home runs in 199 at-bats this season don't matter to me, but do they outweigh the points against him?

I'm splitting hairs a little bit. The trade succeeds in boosting the Dodgers' thin hopes for this year without sacrificing the future in any significant way - in fact, it may help the future as well. The worst possibility is that in a few years, we learn that Aybar is the superior talent.

But I woke up this morning feeling a little sad about how much the Dodgers focused on what Aybar lacked instead of what he offered.

A couple days ago, when I pointed out the Baseball Prospectus study that Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee each represented just a one-win improvement for the remainder of the season if either replaced Kenny Lofton, I have to admit that it puzzled me. You can imagine Soriano coming in here and hitting a three-run homer that gives the Dodgers a victory - is the idea that putting that aside, Soriano and Lofton would be equal?

And then you think about it. Baseball's a tradeoff. On another hypothetical night, Soriano would go 0 for 4 when Lofton might get two hits and stolen base. It goes back and forth like that over 60 games, and somehow the differences minimize. Soriano's still better, but he's not better every game.

So I think about how Aybar was benched so that Cesar Izturis could play. Izturis is without a doubt the more spectacular fielder. But in many games, Aybar would make all the plays at third base that Izturis would make. And yes, in a few games, Aybar would make more plays than Izturis, because Izturis isn't perfect.

In the end, Izturis comes out ahead. But when you have the reptuation of being a better fielder, people tend to focus on the plays you make and forgive the plays you don't. For Aybar, it was the opposite. The differences get blown out of proportion - just like the differences between Soriano and Lofton, which is why you don't break First Prospect Bank to get Soriano.

Meanwhile, at his worst, Aybar hit home runs more often than Izturis, who celebrates them like birthdays. In fact, there isn't a single aspect of using the bat in which Aybar, at age 23, isn't already superior to the 26-year-old Izturis - and that factors in Aybar's summer slump. You don't know offensive slumps until you've seen Izturis.

Again, I get what Friday's trade was about. It was an attempt to balance prayers for 2006 with hopes for the future. I'm not complaining about that.

But another underlying truth about the trade - unless other moves are made - is that it was a final exchange of Aybar for Izturis. Given that Izturis was contributing almost nothing toward the team's current hopes, and that he realistically has no future with the Dodgers - as soon as Jeff Kent returns, Izturis is supposed to go to the bench if he hasn't already been traded - this is the trade that's bugging me.

And I don't even have the raging dislike for Izturis that some others have. I love his glove, and I'm dispassionately bored by his bat. He is who he is. A great-fielding No. 8 hitter. Just like the great-fielding 22-year-old the Dodgers have at AA Jacksonville, Chin-Lung Hu.

I don't know if Atlanta would have taken Izturis instead of Aybar, though it does appear that their primary goal was Baez and so the second player in the trade could have been either infielder. I also don't know if Izturis will yield a bigger prize in a few days or months. All I can say is that as I write this, I'd rather Aybar were still in the Dodger organization, for all his flaws, even if he were at AAA, than Izturis.

Of course, now Izuris and Aybar are both gone and both having years as miserable as Betemit's or worse. (Izturis has a .513 OPS in 20 games for the Cubs; Aybar is off Atlanta's active roster and dealing with personal problems.) Over the past year, the Dodgers haven't had a hot corner as much as they have a plutonium corner, destroying ballplayers from the inside out.

Anyway, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and Tony Jackson of the Daily News reported that Dodger manager Grady Little did not give Betemit a vote of confidence after tonight's game, so the door might be closing. All that's left is for Walter Cronkite to report that the Betemit war is lost.

And I'll admit, as I reflected on the Dusty Baker piece I wrote this morning, even as I preached patience, I wondered whether Betemit should be given an extended benching, where he works out his problems somewhere besides the spotlight of the starting lineup. (Jackson himself speculates that Betemit looks so far gone, he might actually sneak through waivers at this point, though I tend to doubt it.)

To me, the long-term path right now isn't to play Wilson Valdez or Ramon Martinez at third base. The path is to get Nomar Garciaparra to start taking ground balls and practicing throws at third base. I say this knowing that the Dodgers object to it and that, even if he isn't saying so publicly, Garciaparra perhaps objects to it. But if the Dodgers have hit rock bottom at third base, as Little said about Betemit, then it's time to do more than crawl along the ground. It's time for something that has real potential. Garciaparra can throw a baseball 150 feet a few times a day to get that job done and allow James Loney to play first.

If that's not the choice, then I'd rather see Tony Abreu or even the struggling Andy LaRoche get a shot over Valdez or Martinez. The Dodgers need upside.

Comments (153)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-04 22:10:37
1.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, you are so balanced and thoughtful in your posts that most times all I can say is that I agree with you. If a change is to be made, then get Loney or Abreu in the lineup.
2007-05-04 22:11:17
2.   Daniel Zappala
Also, Kent needs to be called up soon and should be getting regular starts in left, right, and center.
2007-05-04 22:11:59
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - It's just too easy ... :)
2007-05-04 22:12:17
4.   Greg Brock
The path is to get Nomar Garciaparra to start taking ground balls and practicing throws at third base.

Please, oh please...From your lips to God's ears.

2007-05-04 22:15:37
5.   D4P
Nomar's .300/.347/.400 line with 1 HR in 110 ABs is better than Betemit's, but it still isn't very attractive for a third baseman.
2007-05-04 22:17:12
6.   Jon Weisman
5 - The Dodgers are not going to get an above-average third baseman this year without a major trade. And I'm not talking about trading Tomko.
2007-05-04 22:17:14
7.   Bumsrap
It would not be the worst thing to happen to Valdez or Betemit if they were sent to AAA nor all that bad if they were both picked up on waivers.

Las Vegas is trying to platoon about 6 maybe 7 outfielders and bringing up Kemp and Loney would make sense there as well.

But if change is in the air, Kemp should get some starts in CF.

2007-05-04 22:19:03
8.   Greg Brock
5 We're not talking about the ideal here. We're talking about stable production and the opportunity for James Loney.

Nomar's production isn't ideal for third base, but it is optimal for our roster. And getting Loney in the lineup is an imperative (in my opinion). It's the best we can do with what we have.

I wouldn't expect a fan of mixed-martial arts to understand.

2007-05-04 22:19:07
9.   Daniel Zappala
5But replacing Betemit with Loney is a big upgrade at this point. Getting Kemp is a no-brainer because he brings the only threat of power to the lineup besides Kent.
2007-05-04 22:21:32
10.   Daniel Zappala
I didn't read the last thread much (sorry) but I don't think I can be a card-carrying minion to anyone who likes boxing or ultimate fighting or any other kind of combat sport.
2007-05-04 22:24:15
11.   D4P
10
Minions don't get to choose. That's what makes them minions.
2007-05-04 22:24:46
12.   Andrew Shimmin
10- Not even bicycle jousting?
2007-05-04 22:27:02
13.   D4P
12
Or American football?
2007-05-04 22:27:14
14.   Daniel Zappala
Not even pillow fights or nerf gun wars. And if I'm a card-carrying minion, all I have to do is rip up my card.
2007-05-04 22:27:41
15.   Greg Brock
10 Boxing is a great sport. The tragedies that have occurred don't make it any less great than Ray Chapman's death diminishes baseball.

It's not about the brutality. It's about the stamina and technique and fitness and strategy. Boxing is sport in it's truest sense. It's just been destroyed by charlatans and con men.

2007-05-04 22:29:00
16.   Daniel Zappala
It's about the stamina and technique and fitness and strategy.

So how about a triathalon or marathon chess? Something that doesn't involve punching someone else to demonstrate your superiority.

2007-05-04 22:29:06
17.   Andrew Shimmin
Bicycle jousting is the truest sporting expression of the essence of bicycles and broomsticks.
2007-05-04 22:31:07
18.   D4P
It's not about the brutality. It's about the stamina and technique and fitness and strategy

This applies even more so to MMA, given that there are a lot more techniques to master and more strategies to employ and defend.

2007-05-04 22:33:28
19.   LAT
So Jon, did you know Joe vs the Volcano was on HBO Family when you posted in the last thread?
2007-05-04 22:33:39
20.   D4P
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell said he expects interviews with active players to begin promptly as part of his investigation into steroids in baseball

Mitchell: Thanks for meeting with me, Player X. So, did you ever use steroids?

Player X: No speako Englisho.

Mitchell: I've heard you speak English before.

Player X: Um, I'm not here to talk about the past.

Mitchell: Actually, that's exactly why you're here. Again, did you ever use steroids?

Player X: No.

Mitchell: OK, thanks for your honesty. You can go now.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

2007-05-04 22:33:59
21.   Greg Brock
16 Here's what I like about boxing. You take two people of equal weight. You put them against each other, with strict rules. One man imposes his will on another. One man takes his physical prowess and strategy, and systematically breaks another man down. The referee is only there to prevent egregious violations, but, for the most part, its' one man against another.

I understand why people don't like boxing. I just don't like the supposition that it's a brutal, stupid sport. It's not. In many ways, it's the simplest, most honest representation of sport. I get that it's not for everybody, but it's not barbarism, either.

2007-05-04 22:35:32
22.   Jon Weisman
19 - No - I just saw it! Kismet!
2007-05-04 22:36:23
23.   D4P
You take two people of equal weight. You put them against each other, with strict rules. One man imposes his will on another. One man takes his physical prowess and strategy, and systematically breaks another man down. The referee is only there to prevent egregious violations, but, for the most part, its' one man against another

Again, this applies to MMA.

2007-05-04 22:36:51
24.   LAT
21. It causes brain clouds.
2007-05-04 22:39:05
25.   Bob Timmermann
21
My mother had a "Bob Dylan for Babies" album that she had playing near my crib most of the time. I think I was deeply affected by the baby version of "Who Killed Davey Moore?"

My mom was very forward thinking in her child-rearing.

2007-05-04 22:39:29
26.   Greg Brock
23 Yes, but I have arbitrarily decided that MMA is dumb. Much like the Dodger fan who rails against sabermetrics, I have decided, with little due diligence, that MMA is dumb. This is not going to change.

I will watch Joe vs. the Volcano for the Ossie Davis scene, with the wardrobe and the haircut, which is my favorite part. Set to the wonderful tones of Mas Que Nada.

"You're coming into focus, Kid."

2007-05-04 22:41:09
27.   neuroboy002
Some late night baseball humor from those who haven't seen it, courtesy of The Onion:

Manny Ramirez Asks Red Sox If He Can Work From Home

http://tinyurl.com/2yuysu

And I am wondering - If Kent acquires a certain number of plate appearances this year, then it is mandatory to offer him the extension for next year (?)

2007-05-04 22:41:43
28.   Greg Brock
25 Yes, but Dylan also wrote a song about Reuben Carter, a boxer. A song which speaks of social injustice and racial prejudice and social activism.

Stuck in a prison cell
But one time he could have been
The champion of the world.

2007-05-04 22:42:31
29.   Andrew Shimmin
The Eric Burdon version of 16 Tons during the opening credits is my favorite part. Followed by the luggage shopping. That a man is judged by his luggage was the basic point of Catcher in the Rye, too.
2007-05-04 22:43:30
30.   Andrew Shimmin
27- Yes. 550 PA.
2007-05-04 22:44:14
31.   Bob Timmermann
But by the time "Hurricane" came out, I was already into "Sesame Street."
2007-05-04 22:45:26
32.   Bob Timmermann
I have a feeling that Daniel and I agree on most things except:
1) drinking coffee
2) choices in Pac-10 teams to root for
2007-05-04 22:45:59
33.   D4P
Much like the Dodger fan who rails against sabermetrics, I have decided, with little due diligence, that MMA is dumb

Great analogy. If you're looking for a new favorite baseball announcer, you might consider this guy:

http://tinyurl.com/2z5g2h

2007-05-04 22:47:21
34.   Greg Brock
You old people all agree on everything. Except for Marty. Marty is the lone +40 around here that gets it right.

Marty would tell me that I could appreciate Freaks and Geeks. Marty would support me on that.

2007-05-04 23:00:08
35.   Bob Timmermann
Once you turn 40, you become part of the establishment.

You get a card that informs you of your status of being part of the "they" in "that's what they say."

It's a great feeling.

2007-05-04 23:03:12
36.   Greg Brock
35 I find myself saying "when I was your age" to students.

It's terrible. I feel terrible. I feel shame.

2007-05-04 23:09:21
37.   Bob Timmermann
All that's left is for Walter Cronkite to report that the Betemit war is lost.

To be precise, Cronkite said, in 1968, that the Vietnam War was "unwinnable." February 27, 1968, not long before the New Hampshire primary.

2007-05-04 23:16:12
38.   Xeifrank
I guess we find out soon if Nomar is a team player... or atleast if Grady has common sense within him. I mean how hard can it be for a professional baseball player, who once played a pretty decent shortstop to play third base? You have to field ground balls, charge bunts, dive once in a while, and god-forbid throw a ball to first base. I can't even believe... oh I will stop now.
vr, Xei
2007-05-04 23:19:15
39.   Greg Brock
38 You're way off. Nomar is willing to play third...That's what made him such a valuable commodity. That's why signing him for two years was so smart. He is a team guy.

I mean, that's what we were told...Right?

2007-05-04 23:22:36
40.   Xeifrank
39. I will believe it when either I see it or Mia gives it the A-Ok.
vr, Xei
2007-05-04 23:26:05
41.   PDH5204
Jon, I can't say that I share any "enthusiasm" on your part [if there is any], as find this frightening:

""He's pretty much hit rock bottom right now," said Little. "There's nowhere to go but up."

Asked if that meant he was sticking with Betemit, Little said: "Not necessarily. We'll see.""

And what does that mean? Hopefully, Grady understands that there doesn't have to be anywhere gone [as it were], since Betemit could simply hold steady course at .125 [wallow in it, as it were]. Of course, given that Juan Pierre gets a lot of hits, I'm taking no bets on whether Grady and Ned get it. Tell Grady for me that in terms of evolutionary biology, we could say that one option is that Betemit has found his evolution by natural selection niche as a .125 hitter and so it shall remain, with no movement, instead, inertial rest at .125.

But here's to hoping that Betemit makes me eat crow...

2007-05-04 23:27:06
42.   Greg Brock
I would just like some clarity on the situation. I don't think it's a stretch, for beat writers or columnists, to ask a couple very simple questions.

"Are you contemplating moving Nomar to third base, or have there been any discussions about it?"

Yes/No

"Has Nomar said he is willing to move to third base, as he expressed before he was signed to a two-year deal?"

Yes/No

Answer those questions, put them in an article, and let the fans know what the situation is. I don't think this is a difficult course of action.

2007-05-04 23:31:07
43.   StolenMonkey86
Honestly, I was a bit surprised Atlanta had traded Betemit and thought he'd be the kind of player they'd want to keep around, particularly as Chipper gets more and more brittle. Maybe they just didn't project him as doing a whole lot, and that's why they acquired Renteria (while giving up Marte as well). Maybe Atlanta's new ownership is willing to expand the payroll, and the extention to Smoltz is just a signal of that.

I liked Betemit when he came on, and I still think he'd be a useful player. His swing is certainly shorter, and I don't know how much of that is just him having difficulty adjusting. But still, I'm not buying that you should judge the performance of a guy as is with a .171 BABIP. His PrOPS is at .719 right now. I don't know if he's gonna go all Marlon Anderson on us sometime later, but I can say that if his batting average on balls in play goes up to .240 that he'd put up a respectable OBP.

Of course, as luck changes, it could be that the next rookie that comes up does well, and that management will act intelligently as a result. But I'm bracing myself for a month of Wilson Valdez at the hot corner.

2007-05-04 23:31:18
44.   LAT
Didnt Nomar go on record as saying he would play anywhere they wanted? Also, I'm not sure a SS moving to third isnt all that easy a transition. Ceasar grumbled about it and defensivly he wasmuch better than Nomar. Having said all that, Mr. Nomar please step two bases to your right.
2007-05-04 23:46:32
45.   bhsportsguy
42 November 20, 2006

"I wanted to be back; it was my first choice and what I focused on," Garciaparra said. "I'm glad I didn't have to draw my attention anywhere else. I really enjoy putting on that uniform. They asked me my feelings about a position change. Look, I changed positions last year. My attitude is the same: whatever they feel gives us the best opportunity to win. I'm sure I'll play some first base. Maybe there'll be times I play another position. I'm open to it, ready and willing. If they need me to catch, I'll catch."

"Nomar played a huge role in the Dodgers' success last season and an offensive threat like him is not easy to find," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "His versatility, mental toughness, clutch performances and leadership capabilities make him a perfect fit for this team."

2007-05-04 23:57:00
46.   capdodger
42 "Am I contemplating moving Nomar to first? We contemplate all day in this life. Who to play at first or third, and when to make a pitching change. Should I have salad or bread sitcks? If I had to answer the question, 'Do we contemplate?' I'd have to say, yes."
2007-05-05 00:01:49
47.   underdog
43 I agree with Monkey here. I was definitely in favor of the trade at the time (of course, if we'd gotten a packet of seeds and a magazine subscription for Baez, I would've been in favor of it), but it seemed like a trade with good upside and little risk. And he came on like gangbusters the first month. Then, as we know, has struggled ever since, for whatever reason. My thoughts are: Bench him, don't waive him (I really don't want them to risk losing him, and would rather have Betemit on the bench then...); Valdez, send him down, if he clears waivers, if not, ah well; see if Nomar can move to third, as others have written about above; if yes, call up Loney; if no, promote Abreu (who seems more major league ready than La Roche), or... La Roche; or trade for someone else. As others have surmised here, the odds of trading for someone better than any of these other options is slim.

That's all I got. But I do want to keep Betemit around; I think he can be valuable as a fielder right now, and get spot starts while he works on whatever it is he needs to get his confidence back.

Let's ask Mia!

2007-05-05 00:05:16
48.   underdog
Too bad Matt Kemp can't play third. Problem solved!
2007-05-05 01:20:22
49.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Speaking of Chin Lung Hu, his line in AA so far.

.336/.355/.486

I wouldn't call .841 OPS no hit. he's leading the league in doubles too

2007-05-05 01:24:06
50.   alexx
John called Hu no hit last July. Hu performed significantly worse last season.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-05 01:31:53
51.   NPB
If the people on this board (or at least Jon, representing the people) were in charge of personnel moves for the Dodgers, I would feel very confident about this season. But we're not in charge, of course, we're merely fans. And I fear that tonight's game was the first step down a very nasty road. The season can be salvaged. Hell, we're still in first place. So why does management insist in leaving some of our best hitters in the minors, while letting some of our worst play every day?

Ugh.

Go Suns!

2007-05-05 01:40:48
52.   Andrew Shimmin
Despite having an 8% LD rate (half of what he managed last year), Hu's BABIP is .357 (seventy points lower than he managed last year). He's probably been very lucky, so far, this season.
2007-05-05 01:55:56
53.   Andrew Shimmin
Seventy points higher, otherwise it wouldn't make any sense. Sorry.
2007-05-05 02:00:17
54.   was it tims mitt i saw
why isn't betemit on the list of 2007 dodgers in the sidebar?
2007-05-05 02:31:24
55.   Andrew Shimmin
He's on the Payroll Worksheet, just not in the quadruple linked list. The sidebar's not being exhaustive is a commentary on the imperfectability of mankind.
2007-05-05 03:40:58
56.   JoeyP
Kenny Lofton has more home runs (2), than Nomar (1) and Betemit (0) have combined.

We're a month into the season.
There's a problem.
Time for an intervention of some sort, no?

2007-05-05 03:43:42
57.   Yu-Hsing Chen
52 true, but he's also improved his K/BB ratio by a ton over the last couple of years, so a real improvement seems to be happening, just maybe not to it's current tune. not to meantion he had only 27 extra base hits all of last year and he's already over half of that so far.
2007-05-05 04:52:33
58.   Edo River
since you brought up the topic, of Aybar. Tell me did any of you with contacts inside know about Aybar's impending crash.

OR was he that attached to the Dodger Organization?

Or is the West Coast that much more comfortable than Atlanta weather?

OR.?????

2007-05-05 05:33:01
59.   Dodger Jack
What do I care if some team picks Betemit off waivers? The guy will underperform for someone else.

Yep, Valdez is expendable. No one has mentioned Martinez or Anderson. I would move them, too, if it meant creating spots for Kemp, Loney, Abreu, and even LaRoche or Bigbie(!). We need some hitters, pronto.

I am also tired of The New and Improved Tomko. He is the same Tomko we've always known. I would waive goodbye to him and Seanez and bring up Kuo and Brazoban. Let Bills and Kuo compete for the fifth slot in the rotation. Wasn't that the plan in the preseason?

2007-05-05 07:20:00
60.   Daniel Zappala
32 One of those could easily have been solved if I had thought of applying to UCLA for grad school. The other could never be solved because I never liked the smell of coffee, even as a kid. Thankfully, the universe will not implode.
2007-05-05 07:22:46
61.   Daniel Zappala
If the Dodgers really do adhere to the philosophy that a young player has to earn a job with the team, then having a bench with Kemp, Loney, Abreu, and LaRoche makes sense. Use them on a semi-regular basis and see how well they do, giving them more of the regular job if they live up to their promise. But they need the playing time and can't be stuck permanently on the bench like Anderson. I think Kemp and Loney are the ones who are obviously ready now, though Loney is not hitting as well this year. I'm not convinced LaRoche is ready yet.
2007-05-05 07:23:56
62.   Daniel Zappala
Ironically, those are some comments for the west coasters to read while drinking their morning coffee.

I miss Sam in DC on mornings like this and wish he could at least login on a Saturday morning.

2007-05-05 07:36:30
63.   Bumsrap
I realize that Nomar has been hitting well with runners on base. But protecting the health of a player with 1 homerun, 1 stolen base, 19 rbi and 10 runs scored at the cost of overall team productivity is foolish.

Nomar is not carrying this team, pitching is and the Dodgers have plenty of it. Moving Nomar to third is only the first thing I would change. The outfield should be Bigbie, Kemp, and Ethier. Gonzo and Pierre should provide veteran suppport from the bench.

To make room, Anderson, Betemit, Saenz, and Valdez, are optioned to AAA, traded, or released. Clark becomes the right handed pinch hitter, Gonzo and Pierre the left handed pinch hitters. Martinez is the utility player.

2007-05-05 08:19:29
64.   Disabled List
I haven't seen a player struggle like Betemit since Daryle Ward. He looks absolutely lost at the plate. But all this talk of releasing players is wishful thinking. The only guy who might get DFA'd right now is Valdez. I can't believe the Dodgers would cut Betemit this quickly. They still have to take the step of benching him before they can release him.

The most realistic remedy to the Dodgers' offensive problem right now is Nomar to third, Loney to first. Then when Kemp comes back, he'll be platooned with Ethier. Ideally, he'd start in place of Gonzo, but that's not gonna happen. And we all know, deep in our hearts, that Pierre is not going anywhere.

2007-05-05 08:52:32
65.   Doctor
Have to wonder if the decision to move Nomar would be easier also if Loney was playing well in AAA, which he isn't.
Not sure if he is pouting about not making the club- but last year is looking a little like a fluke at this point, as much as I hate to think that.
We are still talking about a first baseman with 1 HR in April, and now his avg isnt that great either.
2007-05-05 09:16:38
66.   Xeifrank
Some very good posts to read through about the Nomar to third move. My nightmare is, that the Dodgers do in fact move Nomar to third but then Move Kent to first base and platoon Marlon Anderson and Ramon Martinez at second base. vr, Xei
2007-05-05 09:22:46
67.   Bumsrap
Loney has been playing a lot of right field and that should be factored into his slow start along with riding busses in the miners.

Bring Loney up and tell him he has the rest of May to own first base and I think he will produce.

If the Dodgers want to send a message to Gonzo and Pierre they can tell them that May belongs to Kemp in CF and Bigbie in left.

2007-05-05 09:29:22
68.   Bumsrap
66 - Thinking offensively and not defensively, in my mind there isn't much difference in having Martinez/Valdez in the batting order than it is having Betemit.
2007-05-05 09:37:00
69.   PlayTwo
Betemit's struggle is the kind of thing that makes baseball such a great sport to follow. It is in him somewhere to succeed but will he ever find it?
2007-05-05 09:44:07
70.   hernari
56.

The Rangers are in last place and the Dodgers are in first place. If I was a Rangers fan the last thing I'd be thinking about is the fact that Lofton has more homers than than B-Meet and Nomar combined.

2007-05-05 09:50:42
71.   Jon Weisman
67 - Gonzalez has been the third-best hitter in the starting lineup behind Kent and Martin. I don't think he's going to be the target of any message.
2007-05-05 09:50:54
72.   Bob Timmermann
Not to mention that Lofton plays in one of the better home run parks in the majors.
2007-05-05 10:08:49
73.   Gen3Blue
Yes! I get the game on TBS

Heard Hu mentioned recently. I've been pleased checking box scores recently to find him often with a double and/or a multi-hit game. We may have two Major L. short-stops high in the org. By the way is the Southern considered a hitters league. Even with his small frame Hu seems to have some pop, more than JP.

2007-05-05 10:38:03
74.   Bluebleeder87
It's not about the brutality. It's about the stamina and technique and fitness and strategy. Boxing is sport in it's truest sense.

I just became a Greg Brock fan.

2007-05-05 10:45:14
75.   natepurcell
By the way is the Southern considered a hitters league.

no, it is a pitchers league.

2007-05-05 10:48:05
76.   Greg Brock
74 Don't go around telling people that.

I wonder if this new Grady plan to shake things up a little bit happens today, against Tim Hudson, who's throwing the heck out of the baseball anyways. We're not rolling a seven spot on Tim Hudson, no matter who is in the lineup.

2007-05-05 10:50:39
77.   Marty
Bad Altitude has given up on their center fielder. I offered him ours.
2007-05-05 10:52:32
78.   underdog
76 Yah, I don't think they should expect much from whatever line-up they put out there today, but it will be nice to at least have Kent back in there. Wish I could see the game today - or maybe I don't - but will be gone later this afternoon. Good luck, Blue.

If the D's do decide at some point to try Nomar at third (still doubtful), I don't think it would happen on this road trip...

2007-05-05 10:53:29
79.   underdog
77 I don't think they'd want Pierre back again (although Taveras does make me actually appreciate Pierre).
2007-05-05 11:05:22
80.   Doctor
67

Riding busses?

2007-05-05 12:16:06
81.   ToyCannon
From Baseball HQ:
"Brad Penny surviving on smoke and mirrors ... Brad Penny (RHP, LA) posted his first Dominant PQS score against the Diamondbacks earlier this week lowering his ERA to 1.64 placing him third amongst National League ERA leaders. While the Dodgers are pleased with Penny's performance on the surface, we don't have to dig very deep to see some red flags.

Year IP ERA xERA H% S% CTL DOM CMD
===== ====== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== =====
2003 196.3 4.13 3.62 30% 70% 2.6 6.3 2.5
2004 143.0 3.15 3.57 29% 77% 2.8 7.0 2.5
2005 175.3 3.91 3.59 31% 72% 2.1 6.3 3.0
1H 06 94.0 3.06 3.72 30% 76% 2.5 6.7 2.7
2H 06 95.0 5.59 3.67 36% 65% 2.7 7.4 2.8
2007 38.3 1.64 4.02 26% 86% 4.0 3.5 0.9
Pitchers with ERA's under 2.00 don't come with WHIP's of 1.30 and they certainly don't strike out less batters than they walk and that is exactly what Penny is doing. Just like Lady Luck worked against Penny in the 2H of 2006, she is smiling on Brad Penny in 2007 as illustrated by his low H% and high strand rate which are certain to regress to the mean over the course of the season. Not scared yet? Then check out Penny's high CTL and incredibly low DOM and you get the picture. Whether you are a Brad Penny owner or somebody looking to acquire Penny based on his ERA, realize that one of two things will happen: a) Penny's luck will run out and his ERA will balloon to over 4.00 as his xERA would suggest b) Penny is hiding an injury and is ready for a trip to the DL. Either way you lose, so think twice when dealing with Brad Penny moving forward. "

2007-05-05 12:20:33
82.   ToyCannon
I used to be a huge boxing fan but when I realized how ravaged the brain becomes for those who become target practice for the extremely skilled it seemed to me I could get my jollies following other sports. It used to be my favorite of the summer games, now I never watch it. I understand the draw it has but I also think we'd be better off as a society without it. However if the brain damaged would consent to donate their organs while still alive I may reconsider my opinion as that would surely benefit society much more then what they would have to offer after they have been used up for the benefit of the Romans.
2007-05-05 12:22:00
83.   Curtis Lowe
82 - When in Rome....
2007-05-05 12:29:13
84.   ToyCannon
I so wanted to say BOOM BOOM Betemit many times this year. Which one of Kouz, Marte, or Betemit will hit 1st or will they all end up in AAA? Still shocking how many hitters are struggling as we enter the 1st week of May.
I'd give him today off then put him in for the rest of the trip and if he hasn't gotten on track against the Marlin pitching then we have to release Valdez and bring up La Roche or move Nomar over and make Betemit the utility guy. While I have confidence in him they have given him plenty of rope and we just don't have an offense that can handle the black hole he's been at 3b.
2007-05-05 12:36:02
85.   dsfan
Nice to see former NHL prospect Jamie Hoffman continue his strong start in the Cal League -- CF with an OPS near .930. Anyone out there seen him this year? Would love to hear some feedback. Interesting athlete who was inexperienced at baseb all but appears to have figured out a few things early this year.
2007-05-05 12:36:49
86.   Curtis Lowe
84 -

May Checklist

Release Valdez

Release Saenez

Entertain offers for Tomko/Hendrickson

Call up Laroche

Call up Kuo

Drop Tomko to Bullpen

Add Kuo into Rotation

2007-05-05 12:50:47
87.   dsfan
As for Laroche, I think the challenge of dealing with a labrum injury is more than generally perceived. Yes, he came back to play well last year, but there is an adjustment to labrum surgery, especially when it's the hitter's front shoulder. He also banged his throwing shoulder. I'd like to see him get several more weeks in Triple-A. I don't think he was close to being "right" in spring training.
2007-05-05 13:00:00
88.   Gen3Blue
75 Thanks Nate. so much better for who?.er I mean Hu.
2007-05-05 13:00:06
89.   Gen3Blue
75 Thanks Nate. so much better for who?.er I mean Hu.
2007-05-05 13:00:38
90.   Gen3Blue
and on and on.
2007-05-05 13:04:30
91.   dzzrtRatt
Could Furcal adjust to playing third base?

Could Hu survive promotion to the bigs? I realize he's not much of a hitter. Is he better than .125?

I have a feeling that Colletti and Little are only playing dumb on the Nomar situation. It was so obvious he needed to move to third base, there must be some compelling reason why it isn't happening.

I agree, I think promoting LaRoche now would be a mistake for the reason dsfan says. He's 2008's answer, maybe.

2007-05-05 13:11:29
92.   Daniel Zappala
85 I brought up Hoffmann in the Dusty Baker thread, near the end, but got no nibbles. Haven't ever seen him.
2007-05-05 13:16:57
93.   Bob Timmermann
92
And I appreciate Daniel's respect for proper spelling of people's surnames.

If I ever have a son, I will name him Zappala.

2007-05-05 13:25:03
94.   D4P
And I appreciate Daniel's respect for proper spelling of people's surnames

"And"...?

2007-05-05 13:26:57
95.   Daniel Zappala
93 He will spend his life saying "that's two p's and one l". Better to name him Daniel. Or Vernon.
2007-05-05 13:27:50
96.   Bob Timmermann
95
I already have a nephew named Daniel.
2007-05-05 13:28:15
97.   Bob Timmermann
#744 for Bonds.
2007-05-05 13:30:26
98.   Daniel Zappala
96 Since when does that cancel anything out? You could always go for Ryann or Stann. Might give some people a hint.
2007-05-05 13:32:02
99.   Bob Timmermann
98
I will tell my brother that his son is retroactively named for Professor Zappala.
2007-05-05 13:33:28
100.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants are wearing "Gigantes" uniforms today.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-05 13:34:49
101.   Daniel Zappala
I'm not planning on having any more kids, but we could name our next hamster "Bob".
2007-05-05 13:36:30
102.   Curtis Lowe
100 - Oh I thought it read "hate me"
2007-05-05 13:36:30
103.   Bob Timmermann
101
That's the nicest thing I've ever heard...
2007-05-05 13:38:01
104.   D4P
I'm not planning on having any more kids

((Two Times) Eight) (Plus One) is Enough

2007-05-05 13:38:25
105.   Daniel Zappala
Is Fox showing the Giants game in LA? We're getting he Mariners and Yankees. Weaver pitching.
2007-05-05 13:40:07
106.   Bob Timmermann
In LA, we are getting the Angels and White Sox. They just had a cut-in to the Giants-Phillies game.
2007-05-05 13:41:30
107.   Daniel Zappala
Why is Jeter bunting with no outs and runners on first and second? Bad bunt but Weaver pulled the fielder off third.
2007-05-05 13:42:54
108.   Bob Timmermann
Jeter knows that every run against Jeff Weaver is precious.
2007-05-05 13:43:53
109.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, how do you score this? Fly ball to Ichiro in CF, runner tags from third and scores. Runner at second breaks to third, SS takes the cutoff and races the runner to third. He's safe but overslides and is tagged out by the SS.

So an 8-5 double play. Yikes.

2007-05-05 13:44:57
110.   Bob Timmermann
It's a DP and SF. It's not Abreu's fault that Melky Cabrera is a dope.
2007-05-05 13:47:25
111.   Bob Timmermann
Weaver's ERA has dropped down to 15.07!
2007-05-05 13:48:57
112.   Daniel Zappala
Oddity of the day: I mowed the lawn while it was snowing.
2007-05-05 13:53:51
113.   Bob Timmermann
I was going to set up a "Phenom Open Thread" tomorrow for the Hamels-Lincecum matchup which will be the ESPN game.
2007-05-05 13:55:15
114.   D4P
113
The beginnings of your posts are confusing me.
2007-05-05 13:58:16
115.   Bob Timmermann
If I had already been typing threads, then you wouldn't find my unusual choice of tenses and moods to confuse your mind.
2007-05-05 14:06:09
116.   Fallout
66 Xeifrank
My nightmare is, that the Dodgers do in fact move Nomar to third but then Move Kent to first base and platoon Marlon Anderson and Ramon Martinez at second base.

My nightmare is Normar to 3rd, Kent to 1st, Betemit to 2nd. :)

What would Tomko, Hendrickson and Betemit bring in a trade?

2007-05-05 14:09:34
117.   Bob Timmermann
My nightmare involves showing up for the final exam for a class that I hadn't studied for only to find out that Wilson Valdez was sitting naked in front of me.
2007-05-05 14:14:56
118.   ToyCannon
I wish I could replay my nightmares on TiVo. I've had quite a life while sleeping:)
2007-05-05 14:15:12
119.   Vishal
the yankee-mariner game is kind of interesting. and perhaps even more interesting is that weaver has only given up one run to the yanks in 4 1/3 innings.
2007-05-05 14:16:27
120.   Bob Timmermann
And Weaver has given up just six hits, but two of them have been to the Yankees worst hitter in Mientkiewicz.
2007-05-05 14:17:33
121.   Bob Timmermann
I had a dream once in college where Jim Wright and I conspired to pull a practical joke on Tip O'Neil while getting off a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
2007-05-05 14:20:48
122.   ToyCannon
Shane Victorino has stolen 7 bases this week and in general is having a monster week. Good odds he will be the NL player of the week, something that will probably never happen for our current CF. 25,000 and a roster spot, but no, Jason Grabowski had to be on the team. Good grief.
Sorry Jon if I sound like Joey repeating myself but this will grate me for as long as JP is in CF and Shane is starting and playing for the minimum salary. I won't mention it again for one month.
2007-05-05 14:23:51
123.   JoeyP
Werth, Cody Ross, Victorino were all CF'ers that should have been kept in the system.

I blame Jason Repko's presence and bonus baby status for killing the chances of the above 3 players.

2007-05-05 14:24:47
124.   Vishal
[100] what would that make us? los esquivaros?
2007-05-05 14:25:42
125.   Bob Timmermann
124
The Spanish-language media calls the Dodgers "Los Dodgers."
2007-05-05 14:26:58
126.   Vishal
[125] that's not nearly as fun. unless you pronounce it "doyyers", as i've heard some spanish-speakers say. only some, mind you.
2007-05-05 14:32:04
127.   Vishal
hrmm. wang's at 77 pitches through six.
2007-05-05 14:34:00
128.   Bob Timmermann
Weaver's ERA is down to 13.22!
2007-05-05 14:35:39
129.   Vishal
[128] i have a hunch it's about to head back the other way in a minute or two...
2007-05-05 14:36:27
130.   Curtis Lowe
126 - I was going to mention that but then got sidetracked.

Nothing quite like a 'doier dag'

2007-05-05 14:42:23
131.   Fallout
I was hoping that Pierre would be a great fly catcher...something like an Andrew Jones (w/o the arm) or at least a John Shelby, but he is more like Kenny Landreaux.
2007-05-05 14:45:32
132.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
After I heard BP Radio's interview with Logan White last week, the one question I wished they had asked him was:

"What do you think your youngsters have to do to make the big league roster, when the major league club has signed people like Garciapara, Pierre and Gonzales, who effectively make it very expensive to bring up Loney/Laroche, and Kemp?"

While we can say all we want about Loney struggling so far in AAA this year, it struck me that Loney will need time to adapt to the Big Leagues too. Would we be having any sort of Betemit conversation if the Dodgers were playing Loney at 1B and Loney was struggling like Betemit?

2007-05-05 14:45:54
133.   Bob Timmermann
Kenny Landreaux's name cannot be mentioned unless you say "sweet swing" at some time.

I never saw it, but everybody else always said that.

2007-05-05 14:46:55
134.   Curtis Lowe
132 - Yes.
2007-05-05 14:53:41
135.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, I have a feeling you would like this cap:

http://tinyurl.com/296zfa

Interesting game:

http://tinyurl.com/yugsd4

with video:

http://tinyurl.com/ypdwt8

Everyone on the plane was OK.

2007-05-05 14:53:45
136.   k0b3
i just saw the lineup for today's game...my predictin of yesterday being shut out, today one run and tomorrow two runs is still on course....wow grittle really did a lot to "shake up the lineup" didn't he? martinez for betemit? wow just amazing
2007-05-05 14:53:56
137.   k0b3
i just saw the lineup for today's game...my prediction of yesterday being shut out, today one run and tomorrow two runs is still on course....wow grittle really did a lot to "shake up the lineup" didn't he? martinez for betemit? wow just amazing
2007-05-05 14:59:47
138.   Bob Timmermann
Weaver still lowered his ERA to 15.35!
2007-05-05 15:02:53
139.   goofus
Game's on TBS if you have satellite or cable
2007-05-05 15:16:53
140.   Fallout
139 goofus

Thanks.

2007-05-05 15:17:26
141.   Bob Timmermann
Street Sense wins the Kentucky Derby after being 19th about 1/2 mile in to the race.
2007-05-05 15:20:55
142.   Bob Timmermann
Now it's safe to take a shower.
2007-05-05 15:25:16
143.   natepurcell
from keith laws espn blog...

Roxbury Latin (Boston) lefty Jack McGeary's signability is the big question now, with one rampant rumor saying he's looking for $2 million to buy him away from his scholarship to Stanford. Some clubs who don't pick until the late first round or the sandwich, including the Mets (who don't pick until No. 44), are still sending the heat in to see him on the thought that he might fall

2007-05-05 15:27:13
144.   Daniel Zappala
Weaver took a shower a long time ago.
2007-05-05 15:28:31
145.   gpellamjr
No Beltre in the Seattle lineup today. I sense a LaRoche for Beltre deal in the works.
2007-05-05 15:29:08
146.   das411
And Mr. Bonds leaves the game with a homer and three walks on the day. Is it 2004 again?
2007-05-05 15:32:29
147.   regfairfield
145 That would involve Bavasi not being a total yutz. He's dealt five really good young players for nothing over the past year, so I can't see him actually acquiring you talent.
2007-05-05 15:32:46
148.   gpellamjr
146 Lending even more creedence to my Beltre for LaRoche rumor.

One of the headlines on Dodgers.com is "Schmidt plays catch". How could would it be to have an article written about your playing catch?

2007-05-05 15:33:04
149.   CanuckDodger
123 -- I am completely shocked at what JoeyP just said about Victorino, given the identity of the GM who not only exposed him to the Rule 5 draft, but refused to take Victorino back when Victorino failed to make the Phillies' 25-man roster out of spring training and the Phillies were obligated to offer Victorino back to his original club. Victorino was just coming off a year in which he hit .328/.375/.584 at Jacksonville, and at age 23 that was not too old for Double A. But Victorino didn't walk a lot, and that is what DePodesta cared about.
2007-05-05 15:33:13
150.   gpellamjr
147 Beltre for Tomko?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-05-05 15:33:42
151.   Jon Weisman
It's time for Dodger baseball. (In 30 minutes.) So pull up a chair ... up top.
2007-05-05 15:43:08
152.   Ken Arneson
Ken's Dodger Thought of the day: the nickname for this team in Swedish is "Spårvagnsundvikarna", or just "Undvikarna" for short.
2007-05-05 17:55:05
153.   JoeyP
149- Victorino has been rule V'ed before. To the Padres--He should have been kept, but does not the Farm Director make those calls?

Blame Logan White. He probably insisted that the toolsy, bonus baby Jason Repko was better than Victorino.

It wasnt a huge loss when Victorino left, bc Werth in CF was a better prospect. Blame Ned for getting rid of two CF propsects (Ross/Werth) with greater upside than Victorino.

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