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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

.400 or Bust
2007-05-14 09:43
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

To an extent that even surprises me, I rarely look at the batting average leaders anymore – I've shifted my focus that much to other stats. But I couldn't help feel a little twang of excitement Saturday when I stumbled onto the fact that Todd Helton was hitting .397. It was enough to make him the focus of my weekly Fungoes piece for SI.com – although to illustrate the fragility of anyone in the .400 chase, his average fell 14 points over the next two days.

Comments (280)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-14 10:05:08
1.   Suffering Bruin
When I was a kid, winning the batting title was a very big deal. Batting average was the most important stat. The Times would list all the players that qualified for the batting title. Combined with homers and RBI, it's how we knew a player was worth something. It's why we knew Garvey was the best player in baseball and Schmidt might be if he just had a higher batting average.
2007-05-14 10:06:47
2.   old dodger fan
Calling Pete Rose- Jon per your Fungoes piece the Dodgers are striking out 8 betters per 9 innings.
2007-05-14 10:15:13
3.   old dodger fan
We like round numbers. 500 career home runs; 300 career wins; 20 single season wins; 200 hits in a season; 3,000 career hits. The .300 BA has long been equated with being a very good hitter.

We have so much better information available to us today that we didn't have years ago but the casual fan still focuses on the round numbers.

I think a .400 season by anybody would be great for the game. By a Dodger would be even better.

2007-05-14 10:16:45
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - Argh - thanks.
2007-05-14 10:21:21
5.   CajunDodger
3
Hmm. I wonder who the most likely current Dodger to hit .400 would be.

Today, I would have to say Garciaparra, due to his ability to put the ball in play and not strike out. That said odds on that would be 300:1 or something like that.

2 years from now, Martin might be a decent batting title candidate, but not .400.

2007-05-14 10:25:30
6.   Hythloday
5 - Does Loney count? I'd put my money (and not much) on him.
2007-05-14 10:31:54
7.   ToyCannon
Sure don't understand how BA has become so undervalued. I'd rather have a guy hit his way to a 350-400 OBA then walk his way to one. Who would you rather have, a Bill Madlock with a 305/365 split or Darrel Evans who had a 248/361 split?

A walk will
1. allow the hitter to advance 90 feet.
2. if a force is in play all runners effected by the force can move 90 feet.

A Single will
1. allow the hitter to advance 90 feet
2. all baserunners will advance a minimum of 90 feet and possibly 180 feet. Any runner on 3b will score.

A double will
1. allow the hitter to advance 180 feet
2. all baserunners will advance a minimum of 180 feet and possibly 270 feet.

A triple will
1. allow the hitter to advance 270 feet
2. all baserunners will advance a minimum of 270 feet.

A home run will
1. allow the hitter to advance 360 feet
2. all baserunners will advance a minimum of 270 feet.

So with runners on base why is a walk as good as a hit?

2007-05-14 10:32:34
8.   DodgerJoe
I just received my Dodger Thoughts t-shirt. It looks great. Thanks to all!
2007-05-14 10:36:23
9.   capdodger
7 There's a third number you're missing in the comparison: Price.
2007-05-14 10:44:02
10.   Humma Kavula
"A walk is as good as a hit" is reductionist and a shorthand way of saying a very different idea:

It used to be that everybody would look only at batting average, which measures only hits... but hits don't tell the whole story.

Of course a hit is better than a walk... but not as much better than a walk is than an out. The comparison to make is not Madlock vs. Evans, but Evans vs. a .250 hitter who doesn't walk.

2007-05-14 10:44:47
11.   ToyCannon
7
Both players were excellent and I expect their salaries were very close though I don't understand how salary has anything to do with my comments.
2007-05-14 10:45:50
12.   ToyCannon
10
No, my comparison is between two hitters with a 360 OBA and how they got there.
2007-05-14 10:45:54
13.   Penarol1916
7. Does batting average really tell you the difference between a single, double, triple, home run or if it was accomplished with runners on base, when a hit is more likely to be of more value than a walk? Isn't that why slugging percentage combined with OBP is so important, not just OBP by itself?
2007-05-14 10:47:24
14.   Jon Weisman
12 - You don't have to choose between the stats. But some people do choose, and in those cases, I would choose OBP over BA.

8 - You're the first! Glad to hear it.

2007-05-14 10:51:04
15.   Marty
So, we really are getting t-shirts?

I remember having fun following Brett's chase at .400. It's such a high number that it would always be relevant if someone is close to it in August.

2007-05-14 10:53:13
16.   blue22
5 - Dare I even say it? Isn't Pierre the most likely Dodger to threaten .400?
2007-05-14 10:54:45
17.   Humma Kavula
16 No.
2007-05-14 10:56:19
18.   old dodger fan
7 I don't think BA is a bad stat I just think there are better ones. BA makes no distinction between a single and a HR. It ignores walks. JP is currently batting .290 which is 4th on the team to Martin's .318, Nomar's .299 and Kents .293 (Minimum 20 AB's). Is JP our 4th best hitter? His OBP of .318 is 8th among the 12 players with 20 AB's and his slugging avg is also 8th. He has only 4 XBH's but BA does not penalize him for this. Under the old thinking his .290 makes him a pretty decent hitter. I don't think he is quite as bad as a lot of people who post here do but I don't think he is our 4th best hitter.

Having said that, Martin has the highest BA and I think he is our best hitter but he also has other good stats including having our highest OPS at .850 (excluding Saenz but he only has 27 AB's.)

2007-05-14 10:57:05
19.   blue22
17 - Figured that you'd respond to that one, Mr. Blog :)

Pierre's main argument against .400 is that he just flat out plays too much, generating way too many AB's to have a chance.

2007-05-14 10:57:20
20.   underdog
A walk's as good as a hit to a blind bat, nudge nudge wink wink.

Are you, uh,... are you selling something?

2007-05-14 10:59:24
21.   Benaiah
Toy Cannon,

The best way to make up OPS is in the front of the triple hash. I would prefer an batting average heavy .900 OPS to a slugging heavy one, with one caveat: batting average tends to have huge fluctuations based on luck, while isolated slugging and patience are more stable. Thus, while it is nice to get a .900 OPS from a player hitting .370, you have to worry that player may turn into a .750 OPS if the luck changes.

The problem with batting average is personified in one lighting rod player on our team, high average (.290) terrible OPS (.639).

2007-05-14 11:01:28
22.   ToyCannon
14
I understand you don't have to choose. I just get irritated with hearing some people totally discount BA as a relevant stat when BA is a critical component of OB.
2007-05-14 11:05:28
23.   regfairfield
22 That's why we use all dem fancy stats that properly account for the difference between a single and a walk. Good luck on those finding any kind of acceptance though.
2007-05-14 11:06:28
24.   ryu
The LA Times has a cool story about UCLA becoming the first school to win 100 NCAA titles. What's also cool is that, behind UCLA, numbers two and three are also California PAC-10 schools USC and Stanford.

http://tinyurl.com/yo3q24

2007-05-14 11:11:25
25.   weatherman
9 - I think what capdodger means with "price" is precisely what we are talking about when we discuss "value." Batting Average is no more or less valued than it has ever been. Walks, however, are increasing in value in such a way that people are starting to pay them more attention. The gap between walk value and hit value is shrinking giving the impression that hit value is decreasing when perhaps it is not. That said, a hitter of Madlock's ability ought not to lose money, while a hitter of Evans' ability may earn a raise. Furthermore, the team searching for value might need to hurry-up to purchase the bearish stock that is the walk-prone player.

It appears that I am breaking the spirit of rule 11 if not the letter. My apologies...

2007-05-14 11:13:07
26.   blue22
One Dodger fan's, um, unique souvenir from this weekend:

http://tinyurl.com/yru5ef

2007-05-14 11:13:32
27.   capdodger
11 The hitter will be paid more than the walker. It's the part of the reason Billy Beane and Depo were valuing high-OBP/low-BA prospects and players. They could get on base, but they could also be obtained more cheaply because the demand was lower.

In your example, it's hard to tell if that's the case because the data is incomplete, but Madlock (.336) made $60,000 more than Evans (.356) in 1986.

2007-05-14 11:14:03
28.   Bob Timmermann
24
Now UCLA fans no longer have to hate UCSB for pulling off the upset in men's soccer.

I'll just nurse that grudge quietly. Silently.

Then I'll strike!

2007-05-14 11:16:50
29.   weatherman
24 - How about my Hogs! The razorbacks do, of course, boast the best track and field program in NCAA history, which surely contributes heavily to their presence on the list. Woo Pig!
2007-05-14 11:18:00
30.   Penarol1916
24. I'll only be impressed when they win a national title in lacrosse or ice hockey.
2007-05-14 11:21:56
31.   Jon Weisman
24/28 - Stanford's late rally to stop UCLA from getting #100 and beat them to it came oh so close.
2007-05-14 11:22:08
32.   ToyCannon
BA - Glossary
"A grand old nugget that has long outgrown its usefulness, leaving its true value as nothing more than a link to baseball's past. But this remains deceptive. We revere .300 hitting superstars and scoff at .250 hitters, yet the difference between the two is 1 hit every 20 ABs. This 1 hit every four or five games is not nearly the wide variance that exists in our perceptions of what it means to be a .300 or .250 hitter. The bottom line is that BA is a poor evaluator of overall baseball performance. BA neglects the offensive value of the base on balls and assumes that all hits are created equal."
2007-05-14 11:25:57
33.   underdog
28 Not to poke my nose in this one, but UCSB wins like one national championship vs. UCLA's 100 and you hold a grudge? (I know, you care more about soccer than water polo, I presume, but...)

Well, maybe UCSB's won a volleyball championship in there somewhere, too.

But as someone who grew up in SB playing soccer, I had to kind of like that result. (Sorry, don't hate me!)

Btw, I remember getting in trouble in HS for making fun of the water polo team, calling them the "Marco Polo... Marco...Polo..." team and generally wondering how hard that game could really be but then I played it and flailed and had more respect for it.

2007-05-14 11:28:17
34.   ToyCannon
Water Polo is not for wimps.
2007-05-14 11:28:25
35.   Xeifrank
Linear weights does a good job of breaking up the components of batting average and assigning values to them (among a few other things). vr, Xei
2007-05-14 11:29:02
36.   Monterey Chris
7 in your description of doubles, triples and homeruns, is point #2 correct? If it is, I must not understand it. For example, for a triple, you have all base runners advancing a minimum of 270 feet. If there is a runner on third, doesn't the triple only advance him 90 feet?
2007-05-14 11:30:35
37.   blue22
33 - I believe UCSB also has several titles in surfing and ultimate frisbee (Black Tide!), good sir. They may be "intramural", but they're national!
2007-05-14 11:31:35
38.   Xeifrank
I can find no reason to hate UCSB. Come on, a campus right on the beach, you can hear the waves crashing from your dorm room. Viva los Gauchos.
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 11:32:19
39.   ToyCannon
27
Now I understand your comment. Evans was one of the best home run hitters of his era and they tend to be well compensated so I doubt he was undervalued but I don't have the salary numbers available.
2007-05-14 11:34:15
40.   ToyCannon
36
It is another 190 feet from home plate to the buffet table, set up in the clubhouse.
2007-05-14 11:34:51
41.   underdog
If surfing is an NCAA sport, then I definitely wouldn't be surprised if they'd won a national title. Nor in ultimate frisbee! (I'm sure Santa Cruz is pretty good at that, too. And intramural hacky-sacking. Go Banana... slugs.)
2007-05-14 11:36:02
42.   D4P
Water Polo is not for wimps

Especially the coed variety. I played in middle school, and whenever we scrimmaged against the female team, they'd scratch the (inferno) out of our backs.

2007-05-14 11:36:11
43.   blue22
38 - Then again, those could be excellent reasons to hate UCSB.
2007-05-14 11:37:49
44.   bhsportsguy
15%

While I am sure that this won't ease the minds of many, the Dodgers are certainly among the league leaders in scoring runs not by the home run. Only 15% have come via the long ball.

The Dodgers have hit 19 home runs which account for a grand total of 26 runs out of the 170 they have scored.

No other team has a scores less via the homer, the Cardinals (17 homers) are at 22% while the Nationals, also with 17, have scored 34 runs becuase they have hit 5 three run homers and 2 grand slams (both by Zimmerman, his only 2 for the year).

2007-05-14 11:40:42
45.   underdog
42 Co-ed water polo? {ears perk up} I will no longer deride that sport.
2007-05-14 11:41:08
46.   CajunDodger
14, 7
I work as a statistician and analyst for a group of charter schools in LA. I find that the tranisition that education and baseball have gone through the past 8-10 years is strikingly similar.

It is no longer viable for a school to say that their students SEEM to be learning. Objective measures are now required. They always have been, but the most productive and evolved schools are using data to drive decisions.

In many ways, baseball is trying to come to grips with how new-guard disciples of data analysis (Beane, DePo) can see results in the same way as old school guys (Gillick, Jockety). The educational community, for the most part, has embraced this love for new and old because it was forced to by Bush Administration Legislation. By being forced, the new and old guard found peace at the same table because both realized that there was merit to the other's arguments.

I wonder how long it will be before the mainstream baseball fan is just as familiar with a player's VORP and Range Rating as they are with BA and the "grit" the player shows.

2007-05-14 11:47:55
47.   old dodger fan
1965 All Over Again?

With 19 HR's this year we are on a pace to hit 81. Our leaders have 4 thus are on pace to hit 17. Jason Schmidt is tied for 7th on the team with 1 HR. We are #2 in ERA and on pace to win 98 games.

In 1965 we were last among 10 NL teams with 78 HR's (co-leaders Lou Johnson and Jim Lefebvre had 12; Don Drysdale had 7); 8th in runs scored (ahead only of the 2 expansion teams in their 4th year); 7th in BA and 1st in SB's with only a 69% success rate. On the pitching side we were 1st in ERA; 2nd in K's. We won 97 games, finished 2 games ahead of SF and won a great 7 game WS against the Twins.

2007-05-14 11:48:31
48.   Westernmost in Flavor
From the last thread:
By the way, Eric originally wrote that Martin was African-American. I wrote to ask him if it should be African-Canadian, and Eric wrote back and said, "Yeah, I'm not sure what the proper term for Martin is, other than 'studly.'"

Tony Jackson asked Russell himself what the correct term is that he should use, and Russell said that it was African-Canadian.

2007-05-14 11:52:51
49.   bhsportsguy
Another stat I noticed is that the Dodgers have driven him 59 runs in their 7th-9th spots in the lineup. Some of that is due to pinch hitting but it does put them up among the league leaders.

The big keys over the last week, Raffy Furcal beginning to hit and perhaps some continuity at 3B.

And also, Juan Pierre made a nice play in CF, good route on a deep fly ball, hopefully his defense will at least get to the average.

Changes I would like to see in the next two months, if Schmidt comes back, then, either Kuo or Chad in the rotation with Tomko and Hendrickson out. If Schmidt is still out, still like to see Chad or Kuo in Hendrickson's spot, not because he is doing poorly, but I think he adapts better to being in the pen. For now, keep Brazonban down in Vegas.

In the lineup, replace Valdez with Kemp and have a four man rotaion in the outfield.

You would have to think at some point Nomar will have a two-three week bout with something and then Loney can make an appearance.

2007-05-14 11:54:45
50.   Bob Timmermann
33
I'm both a small and petty man sometimes.

I was irritated by the soccer championship because UCLA was a heavy favorite in that match.

And like Professor Frink teaching kindergarten and hogging the toys, I would have enjoyed it on so many more levels!

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-14 11:54:51
51.   CajunDodger
49
I really think that Loney will be packaged in a deal in July. Simply a feeling, but...
2007-05-14 11:57:27
52.   Terry A
29 - Our Razorbacks, along with Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma State, would surprise many folks by being ranked ahead of North Carolina, Michigan, Penn State and the like, I daresay.

The Hogs' baseball team may well be the next truly championship-caliber program in Fayetteville. (Besides T&F, which you covered.)

2007-05-14 11:59:13
53.   blue22
49 - I think Brazoban needs to come up from Vegas after a certain amount of time, or else pass through waivers. I could be wrong.

I think sending Billingsley down to stretch out his arm in Vegas, for the inevitable Tomko or Hendrickson crash, would be prudent planning.

- Brazoban up, Billz down.
- Kuo (who is back soon, yes?) replaces whomever of Tomko or Hendrickson loses his spot first.
- Billingsley waiting to replace the other.

2007-05-14 12:02:19
54.   Benaiah
53 - Yhency has options, he is fine in AAA. Chad has been very good lately (7.2 IP, 13 K, 5 BB, 3 hits, zero runs) so I don't see why he would go down.
2007-05-14 12:02:33
55.   Westernmost in Flavor
53
Brazoban has already been optioned to AAA.
http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/team/transactions.jsp?c_id=la
2007-05-14 12:09:28
56.   CajunDodger
52
LA TECH ALUM HERE!!! Go Bulldogs.
2007-05-14 12:11:01
57.   blue22
54 - Chad doesn't get demoted for performance reasons, but to get him stretched out for starting. If Brazoban doesn't need to come back up when his rehab is over, then maybe Chad doesn't need that to happen in Vegas.
2007-05-14 12:17:16
58.   Westernmost in Flavor
52
I think you mean LSU and not Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech only has 2 NCAA championships.
2007-05-14 12:20:15
59.   Terry A
58 - Why, yes, I did in fact mean LSU.

But I'll bet you were surprised to see Tech on the list, so I'm still admitting no error.

2007-05-14 12:20:26
60.   Bob Timmermann
Arkansas has won a lot of track championships and there are also indoor and outdoor titles in that sport.
2007-05-14 12:21:13
61.   old dodger fan
Brad Thompson is starting for the Cards tonight. After 14 relief appearances (17 IP; no save opportunities) he started on May 8 against the Rockies. He went 5 innings and gave up 1 run (Matt Holliday HR) and got the win.

Tomko going for us.

Both starters have the initials BT.

2007-05-14 12:26:04
62.   Bob Timmermann
Both starters have the initials BT.

You got a problem with that?

2007-05-14 12:26:13
63.   Jon Weisman
In case anyone missed it, we're talking about NBC's fall lineup at Screen Jam.
2007-05-14 12:29:27
64.   Bob Timmermann
All 43 of Arkansas's championships are by mens teams.

19 in indoor track
12 in outdoor track
1 in cross country
1 in basketball

The NCAA does not count football in these totals.

2007-05-14 12:32:23
65.   Terry A
See what you're missing by not visiting Arkansas, Bob?
2007-05-14 12:36:10
66.   weatherman
UofA's National Titles from wikipedia:

Football – 1964 (by poll)
Basketball – 1994
Men's Indoor Track – 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006
Men's Outdoor Track – 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005
Men's Cross-Country – 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000

I definitely count the 1964 football national championship.

2007-05-14 12:38:03
67.   Robert Daeley
As George Carlin pointed out, water polo is extremely cruel to the horses.
2007-05-14 12:38:24
68.   Bob Timmermann
66
You can bring that up with the NCAA.
2007-05-14 12:39:07
69.   weatherman
Terry A.-

From which part of Arkansas do you come? I grew up in Batesville, where I purchased shoes from Rick Monday's family.

2007-05-14 12:40:31
70.   weatherman
68 - Not reasonable folks, the NCAA. I believe I'll keep my complaints to myself.
2007-05-14 12:41:38
71.   ToyCannon
Dodgers who ran away to greener pastures. Lugo OPS(630) and JD OPS(737). So on May 14 Gonzo is outhitting JD after 36 game. The real shocker is that Gonzo has the higher OB at 380 compared to 366. Who isn't shocked by that? They both had hot starts followed by a cold period but evidently JD is in freezer mode while Gonzo is only in the cooling drawer. Not implying anything, just stating some interesting numbers.
2007-05-14 12:46:03
72.   Bob Timmermann
69
Rick Monday's family comes from Arkansas? Which branch. Monday grew up in Santa Monica.
2007-05-14 12:47:05
73.   D4P
71
Drew's shoulder is messed up, and his power is gone. The Red Sox were apparently pretty foolish to give him that contract.
2007-05-14 12:49:13
74.   weatherman
72 - I believe his father's branch. He was born in Batesville, and Monday's Shoes was a store on main street that had a little display in the window with some Rick Monday memorabilia.
2007-05-14 12:50:48
75.   capdodger
39 Evans was one of the best home run hitters of his era and they tend to be well compensated so I doubt he was undervalued but I don't have the salary numbers available.

And yet, Madlock's career SLG was better by a hair's breadth. Curious.

2007-05-14 12:51:41
76.   ToyCannon
Nomar has one home run in 144 ab's while Loney has one home run in 142 in AAA playing in the offensive PCL. Tell me again why Nomar should move to 3b so we can make room for Loney? It is so we can set the modern day record for fewest home runs from a 1st/3b on the same team? Probably set by the Dodger 68 team when Parker hit 3 and Bob Baily hit 8. Sudsy/French got some time at 3b and hit a few HR's but I don't know the positional splits.
2007-05-14 12:55:08
77.   capdodger
73 The Red Sox were apparently pretty foolish to give him that contract.

They should have asked us. We could have told them that.

2007-05-14 12:55:24
78.   old dodger fan
73

JD's SLG was .498 last year; it was .529 on 4/14 and .324 on 5/14. Wow. The Boras Legend grows.

2007-05-14 12:57:12
79.   Bob Timmermann
Darrell Evans salary info is only for his final four years on B-R:
1985 Detroit Tigers $1,083,333
1986 Detroit Tigers $793,333
1987 Detroit Tigers $525,000
1988 Detroit Tigers $860,000
1989 Atlanta Braves $415,000

Bill Madlock's salaries for a comparable time:
1985 Pittsburgh Pirates $975,500
1986 Los Angeles Dodgers $841,667
1987 Los Angeles Dodgers $850,000

2007-05-14 12:57:44
80.   ToyCannon
73
And yet he showed good power last Sept so what changed. I think he will get going.

75
The Mad Dog was a great gap hitter. Line drives everywhere. Amazing to see that the translated Slug% was 486 versus 489 even with Evans hitting 414 dingers to Madlock's 163.

2007-05-14 12:59:21
81.   Marty
ManRam is not much better at .250/.417 BA/SLG
2007-05-14 13:00:12
82.   old dodger fan
What was the provision in JD's contract that took so long to get ratified? Didn't it regard that shoulder?
2007-05-14 13:01:40
83.   underdog
76 There are reasons why maybe they shouldn't, but I believe the reasons why we should move Nomar to third and bring up Loney had to do with: a) having a weakness at third base; b) having an ML ready first baseman (who can hit and field). I think the thinking is that Loney is more ready for the MLs than is LaRoche. But I guess all that could be proven wrong in coming months and years...
2007-05-14 13:02:52
84.   capdodger
79 Dammit... Flipped my salary numbers. I need to start using a tabbed browser.

Evans' salary bounced around directly proportionally to, and on a one year delay from, his production.

2007-05-14 13:09:58
85.   Benaiah
82 - JD Drew can have some cold stretches (remember his Dodger debut) but I am skeptical of this cold streak as a new level of performance. He will be a high .800 OPS hitter with a great OBP, more of a #2 than a #5, but an improvement over what the Sox got out of their #5 last year anyway.
2007-05-14 13:10:57
86.   Terry A
69 - Paragould. We purchased shoes from George Kell's brother, Skeeter:

http://tinyurl.com/32x38c

I know the rest of you will be surprised to know that Arkansans have had such ready access to ballplayers.

And, you know, to shoes.

2007-05-14 13:13:37
87.   D4P
Nomar has one home run in 144 ab's while Loney has one home run in 142 in AAA playing in the offensive PCL. Tell me again why Nomar should move to 3b so we can make room for Loney?

1. Loney is probably a better defensive first baseman (though Nomar is probably a worse third baseman than whomever he would replace at The Hot Corner)

2. Loney is probably a better OPS guy at this point in his career (though admittedly, he's not hitting well this season).

3. Moving Nomar to third is less attractive now that LaRoche was called up and Betemit seems to be hitting better.

2007-05-14 13:15:15
88.   King of the Hobos
63 Is Toaster.tv working properly? I'm having a hard time accessing it for some reason. Anyone else having this problem?
2007-05-14 13:16:18
89.   ToyCannon
Lugo, ManRam, Drew, Crisp, and Pedroia all sucking and yet they stand 8 games up on the Yankee's. Amazing what pitching and Alex Cora can do.
2007-05-14 13:19:41
90.   Andrew Shimmin
I just got an email from Bill Plaschke. He admitted his jihad against DePo was ill-considered and begged my forgiveness.

One of those sentences is true.

2007-05-14 13:21:44
91.   underdog
No, seriously, what'd he say?

Did every sentence in his e-mail have its own line?

Sort of like this, or like each of his columns.

2007-05-14 13:25:21
92.   Andrew Shimmin
"wow..todd hundley stole home and caught a shutout?...now THAT is a great stat..thanks."

He wondered, in his article about it, if Molina had been the first catcher to steal home in the same game as catching a shutout. I found a couple of other instances:

Hundley: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA199706160.shtml
Kendall: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT199805120.shtml

2007-05-14 13:27:06
93.   Marty
88 Toaster TV is working fine for me
2007-05-14 13:27:44
94.   Marty
89 And Big Papi.
2007-05-14 13:28:30
95.   D4P
92
Is stealing home and catching a shutout really a "stat"...?
2007-05-14 13:30:09
96.   underdog
I know I'm biased here, but I have this nagging feeling that Fred Lewis' big day yesterday for the Giants will not exactly be an indicator of his career will pan out. I could be wrong of course. Certainly, he sounds like someone who could be a decent lead-off hitter; the power is probably more likely an aberration. Guess we'll see.

At any rate, I'm sick of hearing about it already.

2007-05-14 13:32:11
97.   Bob Timmermann
95
It's more of an event. It's not indicative of much. Unless it was a 1-0 game and the only run came on the catcher stealing home.
2007-05-14 13:37:52
98.   StolenMonkey86
From ItD, Chris Haydock:

One of my favorite Andy LaRoche stories occurred in Vero Beach a few Spring Trainings ago. Early in his career, there had been some talk in the off-season of making Andy a catcher. The idea had been thrown around a bit, but never communicated to Andy (since we decided against it). On the day that Andy arrived to Spring Training, he went straight to our minor league equipment room to pick up his uniform. I happened to be in the back of the room at the time helping one of our coaches find some batting practice balls. When the equipment manager accidentally gave Andy a set of catching gear, in addition to his uniform, Andy's response was simply, "Whatever gets me to the big leagues quickest." There were no complaints, rants or raves. Just an honest answer from an honest kid who wanted to fulfill his dream as soon as possible.

2007-05-14 13:38:25
99.   Xeifrank
DodgerSims gives the Dodgers a win probability tonight of 59.1% and the Padres of 57.16%
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 13:38:51
100.   blue22
97 - So not quite on par with, say, this feat:

http://tinyurl.com/3aopzc

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-14 13:38:52
101.   underdog
This is completely off topic, but...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070514/sc_afp/irelandanimalsdolphins

Dolphins with Irish accents, in a sense? I wonder if they like Guiness too?

2007-05-14 13:39:31
102.   weatherman
86 - Paragould, huh? We played Greene County Tech in pretty much every sport. I, of course, remember playing them in quiz bowl.
2007-05-14 13:42:38
103.   Sushirabbit
Yeah, I think the NCAA's championship numbers are, well, lacking. Couldn't Yale claim like 25 give or take a few football championships? Add in some rowing chamionships (it is of course their own fault for not joining the NCAA (Cornell and all)) and Yale ought to be pretty high. I spent a very few minutes and couldn't get exactly what sport were included and not included. Still those are the numbers, not including football.
2007-05-14 13:49:39
104.   Doctor
96

He is a 26 year old AAAA guy, it should go away pretty fast.
As much as I hate that team it must be nice for the fans to have something to cheer about other than Barry.

2007-05-14 13:50:23
105.   Bob Timmermann
103
The NCAA counts championships for sports in which it hands out a championship under its aegis.

Those don't start until the 20th Century. And football doesn't count except for D-1AA and lower.

USC won a lot of track and tennis titles before the NCAA took over the sport.

Some schools have championships in sports that aren't sponsored by the NCAA now. Gonzaga has one NCAA championship. It's in boxing.

2007-05-14 13:52:38
106.   weatherman
96, 104, etc. - Those who hope that we can trade Juan Pierre to the Giants are praying he's a bust, that's for sure.
2007-05-14 13:54:55
107.   weatherman
Wow, so USC has that many without counting football? That is impressive.
2007-05-14 13:56:44
108.   Bob Timmermann
USC's total is impressive actually because they don't count tennis or track.
2007-05-14 14:00:27
109.   Bob Timmermann
I would also mention that UCLA won several men's volleyball titles before it became an NCAA sport. Coach Al Scates has said those were harder to win because the eligibility rules were so lax that most of the teams were loaded with ringers.
2007-05-14 14:00:46
110.   weatherman
So the Razorbacks kind of lucked on to the list, huh?
2007-05-14 14:13:47
111.   Bluebleeder87
5 minutes ago i received a package from united states postal service that contained my 2 Dodger Thoughts T's, Woo!.
2007-05-14 14:16:32
112.   weatherman
As for USC track, my father claims to have been friends with Bob Seagren while at Mt. SAC. I used to think he was friends with Bob Seeger of "Like A Rock" fame. I disappointed when I learned the truth.
2007-05-14 14:23:00
113.   Andrew Shimmin
Spurred by Plaschke's validation, I found three more catchers who caught a shutout and stole home. It's been done six times in the last fifty years. BBref's new box score sorting tool only goes back to 1957. Anyway:

4/30/1966- Jake Gibbs
8/8/1963- Joe Azcue
5/28/1963- Johnny Roseboro (Koufax was pitching)

2007-05-14 14:26:10
114.   Sammy Maudlin
Fred Lewis and Jack Cust both had a tremendous number of strikeouts in the minors . I'm just guessing but they will probably be back in the PCL by August.
2007-05-14 14:30:30
115.   underdog
Cust's biggest liability - bigger even than his K's - was his defense. Which is why he's perfect for the AL and for the A's situation. He's always been a hitter with power who also walks, in addition to the K's. The A's were smart to take a chance on him and I think he may be around all year. But even if he's not, they've already gotten their money's worthy outta him. Lewis, who knows.
2007-05-14 14:35:09
116.   worz
Just got my DT shirt as well! It looks great!
2007-05-14 14:38:59
117.   still bevens
The best thing regarding Jack Cust was this faux entry in Rotoworld this morning:

Jack Cust hit a three-run homer off Fernando Cabrera with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the A's a 10-7 win over the Indians on Sunday.
Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero... There are some major league hitters you just can't let beat you in the late innings of a close game. Chief among them all, however, is almost certainly Jack Cust. Cust would have gotten his chance years ago, but every GM in baseball knew that to use him was to risk shaking the very foundation of the game. That Cust has had to wait until 28 for regular playing time will probably prevent him from reaching 1,000 career homers, which is a shame. Still, 500 is very much in reach, perhaps by the end of the season.

2007-05-14 14:42:12
118.   regfairfield
What's scary is that Cust isn't doing that much better than Marlon Anderson did for us last year.
2007-05-14 14:51:20
119.   Humma Kavula
117 That's great.

Inspired by that post, I ask:

Will somebody please explain to me the phrase "You can't let him beat you?" It's said of star players as a justification for pitching around star players.

My question is, what's the alternative? Say you pitch around Miguel Cabrera, loading the bases. Then, when you're forced throw meatball strikes to Alfredo Amezaga, he comes through with the game-winning hit... aren't you letting Alfredo Amezaga beat you? Is that really any better? I understand it when Cabrera beats my team -- that's why he's a star. When Amezaga beats my team, it drives me nuts.

I just don't get it. Please explain.

2007-05-14 14:54:10
120.   El Lay Dave
118
PAs / BA / OBP / Slg / OPS / HR / RBI

Marlon Anderson 2006 LAD:
73 .375 .431 .813 1.244 7 15

Jack Cust 2007 Oak:
32 .346 .469 1.077 1.546 6 14

Depends on what the definition of "much better" is, I suppose, but .300 higher OPS and nearly the same # of HR in less than half the PAs is impressive, I think. The key difference is that Cust has the rest of the season to slip back to something not approaching Ruthian.

2007-05-14 14:56:46
121.   weatherman
It's called hedging your bet. "Letting Cabrera beat you" is like hitting on a nineteen in Blackjack. Pitching around him is like holding and watching the dealer turn over two tens. Sure you lose both ways, but at least you didn't make a reckless decision.
2007-05-14 14:56:59
122.   scott hinzman
OPS is an overrated stat. There's more to the game than just that. I think most of you have a hard time accepting this reality.
2007-05-14 14:57:30
123.   weatherman
121 - sorry, that was a response to 119.
2007-05-14 14:58:04
124.   Xeifrank
Folks on the Cardinals blog (viva los birds) are talking about a rumor printed in the Stl Post Dispatch about the possibility of the Cardinals trading Scott Rolen to LA for Kemp/Betemit or Ethier/Betemit. Of course it's just a rumor, but it's interesting to read some of the comments they make about those three players. vr, Xei
2007-05-14 15:01:58
125.   El Lay Dave
119 Are you channeling Scott Long?

Cabrera is more likely to create a favorable outcome (for his team) than Amezaga - probably something like 1/3 vs. 1/4. Most teams, when given the opportunity to pass up pitching to Cabrera and take a better chance (for themselves) with Amezaga, are going to put the odds in their favor.

Major league pitchers are never forced to throw "meatball strikes".

More succinctly, Amezaga beats you less often than Cabrera, so take your chances with Alfredo.

2007-05-14 15:02:47
126.   Xeifrank
121. Hitting on a 19? I don't think you ever hit on a 19. Maybe you meant a 16 (non 8-splits). If you hit a 19, half the table would probably get up and leave. Speaking of which, the first time I ever played blackjack in Vegas, I split two Kings (which is a no-no) and ended up winning both hands, but got quite a few glares from the other $2 table lackies.
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 15:03:18
127.   bigcpa
122 1) You're putting words in people's mouths. 2) How did you arrive at this definition of reality? Do you have a better model for projecting player performance?
2007-05-14 15:03:27
128.   Hythloday
But Scott Rolen isn't good anymore. Did Ned buy a time machine. Can we trade Ethier/Betemit for 2004 Rolen?
2007-05-14 15:04:59
129.   bhsportsguy
121 The only time I ever felt like the game was over was last year when Odalis was about to pitch to Albert Pujols, it was like playing home run derby on playstaton 2, here comes the ball now just see how far you can hit it.

In poker, often you hear the terms, you have to pay to see the cards, every pro will tell you, save your money and don't call sometimes even they pay to see it.

2007-05-14 15:05:12
130.   El Lay Dave
126 You never hit 19, but, also you never pitch to Cabrera if you can face Amezaga instead!
2007-05-14 15:05:51
131.   regfairfield
122 You mean that there's not just a bunch of numbers running around on the field?

124 Ooh, a player that's already on a steep decline making a gigantic amount of money until 2011? Sign me up.

2007-05-14 15:05:56
132.   bhsportsguy
126 Ummm, let me know where you are sitting so I can take my $2 off the table.
2007-05-14 15:09:33
133.   Marty
Hitting on a 17 is probably the ideal comparison. Hitting a 16 with a ten up on the dealers hand is not reckless, but required.

I had to hit on a 17 once after the dealer accidentally showed his hole-card. He had 19. I did not catch the 3.

I glare at people who split face cards :)

2007-05-14 15:10:07
134.   blue22
128 - Plus he's never played a lick of shortstop. I don't think this one's got legs.
2007-05-14 15:10:49
135.   Xeifrank
132. I'm a smart blackjack player now. I have a gauranteed system of never losing.
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 15:10:55
136.   Humma Kavula
126 That's the other thing I don't get: why not split 10s against a 6? I realize you're taking an almost-sure thing and turning it into something less sure but still pretty good for twice the money...

...what % would it have to pay off to be worth it? I bet it would pay off enough.

Maybe this is why I stink at gambling.

I promise, that'll be the last thing I post today that I don't get. All future posts today will be my usual mix of hopelessly uninformed opinions and unwarranted snark.

2007-05-14 15:11:48
137.   regfairfield
133 Do you thank them if you win afterward?

Sorry, it's just a gigantic pet peeve of mine that people blame the guy who split 10s. It doesn't change your odds in anyway.

2007-05-14 15:15:48
138.   Xeifrank
136. A bird in the hand.
137. True..., it's more of a superstitious thing.
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 15:17:59
139.   Inside Baseball
124 A pretty astute comment from a Cardinals fan about that (hopefully baseless) trade rumor on vivaelbirdos.com:

"I think some people on here are selling Kemp short - he projects to be a .290, 25 HR guy according to PECOTA. If there was a real offer of Kemp + Betemit for Rolen I think Walt would jump on it in a heartbeat (if Rolen would let his no-trade be bought out). Rolen is 32 years old and projected to be slightly better than his contract value over the next 4 years before the season started (again according to PECOTA). After his awful start, if there were such thing as a mid-season PECOTA run right now it would probably project him to be about fair value for the remainder of his contract. Getting a decent placeholder at 3B in Betemit (during his arb years) plus a stud OF prospect in Kemp that is ready to play every day right now would be a steal in my book. If you didn't like Betemit you could overpay a Lowell with the Rolen savings and still come out ahead production-wise. I doubt the Dodgers would do this but Coletti has shown a willingness to overvalue vets over prospects in the past so who knows."
by mikedallas23

2007-05-14 15:18:52
140.   blue22
136 - It's pretty low on the list of egregious blackjack errors. In effect, it's a risky double-down, especially against a bust card like a 6. You're almost always going to win against a 6, so anything you can do to make more money in the process can't be all bad.

Still, I'll take the money in the bank (figuratively speaking of course - we are gambling here).

2007-05-14 15:20:29
141.   El Lay Dave
137 In a single or double-deck game it can matter because it changes the dealer's odds, especially last hand before the shuffle. If you upped your bet because the deck was "good" and had a lot of tens left, the twenty-splitter just pulled two more cards out of a good deck. If he gets two tens to make his twenties, that leaves a greater percentage of small cards in the remaining deck that might keep the dealer from busting, if he had to hit.

Still a really small shift, but....

2007-05-14 15:24:24
142.   Marty
I saw a person split 10s, get two face cards and split those and then got two 16s a 15 and a 13. All this with a 10 showing for the dealer. He lost everything, but he had fun playing.
2007-05-14 15:26:21
143.   Xeifrank
142. Was he wearing a Giants cap?
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 15:26:38
144.   Marty
137 You're right, and I don't glare anymore. I did in my twenties. I have thanked people who made horrible plays on their cards that allowed me a winning hand.
2007-05-14 15:26:52
145.   MJW101
Betemit and Tomko for Glaus? Two years (minus one+ month) of Glaus at $11.5 M per year is not a reassuring thought. Rolen is not very interesting either.

Ned, what about a guy named LaRoche?

2007-05-14 15:27:28
146.   Marty
143 That would have been perfect.
2007-05-14 15:27:56
147.   Daniel Zappala
The scary thing is that Matt Kemp could be the next Jack Cust.
2007-05-14 15:32:26
148.   Greg Brock
All you guys talk about is EqA and Vorp. I don't even know what those numbers mean, and I'm pretty sure they're made up names. You guys don't talk about the important stuff, like grit, hustle, heart, and determination. There is more to baseball than statistics. Stats don't measure performance.

Shame on all of you.

2007-05-14 15:33:34
149.   El Lay Dave
136 Using basic strategy, your expected winnings for a 20 against a dealer's 6 is about .70. If you had a 10, your expected winning is about .58 (assuming you double-down); each split 10 is something less than .58 since you can't double those. Splitting the 10s reduces your expected outcome.

Remember, after splitting, there are many outcomes where you lose twice the initial bet.

2007-05-14 15:33:46
150.   underdog
147 He's already a better fielder than Cust who will improve defensively even further. Cust is horrible fielder. No way they compare.

I was glad to see some of those Cards' commenters respond after one person posted on Kemp saying "his chief asset is speed" - huh? But then I remembered I don't want him to be traded anyway so maybe it doesn't matter what they think of him.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-05-14 15:33:50
151.   Humma Kavula
In my opinion, it's only true to a point that Colletti's valued veterans over prospects. All of the prospects he's traded saw their value drop over the course of half-a-season or more. Maybe it's still unwise to trade a guy who once showed great promise and is still only 22, but there's the rub.

Kemp is hitting in Vegas -- OPS of 937. If Colletti trades Kemp today, it would be different than the other times he traded prospects.

2007-05-14 15:34:06
152.   regfairfield
145 Me thinks the Blue Jays wouldn't want two below average players for their good player, regardless of the salary difference.
2007-05-14 15:34:49
153.   underdog
148 I also think people should combine talk about grit and hustle to talk about the even more important "gristle." There's no stat that can measure that. Take that stat-heads!
2007-05-14 15:35:12
154.   El Lay Dave
148 LOL, even if it's a potential rule 7 violation.
2007-05-14 15:38:05
155.   scott hinzman
Theo Epstein is not a dumb man. Smart men make bad decisions on occasion. For every three good+ decisions Epstein makes he makes one bad+ move. (See JD Drew) I think Epstein played the OPS card w/Drew. Bad mistake. He'd have been in a much better position had he gone Colletti's route. Sign Gonzo for 1 year. Now he's stuck with an injury prone claud for 5 years. Drew has an OPS of .738 playing 1/2 his games at Fenway. Nancy's a joke. But the Red Sox will still be WS bound despite Nancy's presence. It's because of Theo's other non-OPS based decisions the Red Sox will succeed.
2007-05-14 15:39:50
156.   Greg Brock
Buster Olney wonders, as do I, what the heck is going on with Miguel Cabrera's weight. It's a very valid question. Kid is only 24, but he leads the Marlins in hitting and cheeseburger consumption.

I'm sure you all noticed how plump he is.

2007-05-14 15:40:19
157.   underdog
Nancy? Who's Nancy?

Also: So would Colletti's one bad move be similiar, signing Pierre for 5 years? I doubt he looked at Pierre's OPS before signing him.

2007-05-14 15:41:02
158.   Marty
155 How can you argue against OPS by citing Drew's OPS?
2007-05-14 15:41:42
159.   Greg Brock
156 Drew for five years is roughly ten brazillion times smarter than signing our centerfielder for five years. So, I respectfully disagree with your assertion.
2007-05-14 15:41:42
160.   Humma Kavula
157 "Nancy Drew," get it?

Zing.

2007-05-14 15:41:45
161.   underdog
Same lineup tonight, btw, except for the pitcher of course. Seems like LaRoche and Betemit are now in a platoon?
2007-05-14 15:42:43
162.   Greg Brock
159 Was meant for 155. Sorry about that.
2007-05-14 15:43:29
163.   Marty
162 We all thought you were just arguing with yourself again.
2007-05-14 15:44:00
164.   underdog
159 No, I think it's worse, too. I was just trying to get to the gist of the argument, since I'd take Drew's OPS over Pierre's, though I do think neither of them warrant their long term contracts (Drew's injury risk, Pierre's suckitude risk).
2007-05-14 15:44:28
165.   Jon Weisman
148 - You and D4P both posted this kind of comment in the past day or two. Did something happen recently to prompt them?
2007-05-14 15:44:45
166.   underdog
162 Oh, never mind.

I do like Pierre's "gristle" factor, though.

2007-05-14 15:48:29
167.   Greg Brock
165 Comments like 122 have popped up recently, and with increasing frequency. Massive generalizations that really irk me.
2007-05-14 15:49:50
168.   scott hinzman
Pierre, the guy who got the game winning hit yesterday, wasn't brought in necessarily for the regular season. Colletti brought him in for the postseason. That's why Nancy was no big loss. His postseason expectations were near zero.
2007-05-14 15:51:04
169.   Hythloday
166 - I know he already has 50 different nicknames here, but I think Pierre should definitely be called Gristly Bear. He'd pair well with Bison.
2007-05-14 15:51:23
170.   bhsportsguy
161 I hope not since we don't face a lefthander until Wednesdy May 23 against the Brewers.
2007-05-14 15:51:25
171.   underdog
Violates a couple of the "thank you for not" commandments, for one thing. Baiting and exaggerating.

So, I don't want to bring up the "I'm worried Russell Martin isn't getting enough time off" debate again, but can we bring it up in 2-3 more days?

2007-05-14 15:51:59
172.   scott hinzman
So, OPS is all there is to this game? If that's the case then why is Hee Seop Choi rotting away in the nether regions of who knows where?

More to the game than OPS my friend. A whole lot more.

2007-05-14 15:53:05
173.   regfairfield
168 You're going to need to go into more detail on that one. It should be noted that stolen bases have absolutely no correlation to post season success.
2007-05-14 15:56:14
174.   Doctor
171

We could have brought it up 2-3 days ago....
Im really worried about this. Also, very surprising Given Grady's passion for resting players.

2007-05-14 15:57:10
175.   Marty
172 If you are replying to my 158 I was just saying how can you argue against a stat by using the stat as part of your argument.

You say Drew was a horrible signing because Theo based it on Drew's OPS. But you cite Drew's lousy OPS as a supporting argument. Doesn't make sense.

2007-05-14 15:57:28
176.   scott hinzman
Tell that to Red Sox Nation.
2007-05-14 15:58:12
177.   ToyCannon
I'm quite irked that Jack Cust got another sniff of the bigs while still in his prime while my boy Roberto Antonio (Guerra) Petagine didn't and Petagine was a magician with the glove at 1st base.
2007-05-14 15:58:30
178.   scott hinzman
Great. Now you just reminded me of Henri Rodriguez.

DePodesta was the bizarro Epstein. For every 1 good+ move their were 3+ bad.

2007-05-14 15:58:56
179.   scott hinzman
Make that Henri Stanley.
2007-05-14 16:00:51
180.   ToyCannon
168
Yeah, because the 162 game season doesn't mean squat.

176
I guess the OPS monsters Ortiz/ManRam had nothing to do with the success. Dave Roberts stole an important base one time in one game. Hats off to him but do you think they would have been important without the OPS monsters of the midway that got them to that game in the 1st place.

2007-05-14 16:01:15
181.   Jon Weisman
167 - Well, the response to someone like 172 is that no one ever said OPS was all there is to this game.

148 isn't an effective response at all.

So, Scott Hinzman, you have now been agreed with. It is stipulated that there is more to the game than OPS. Anything else you want to say that's constructive, or are you just here to bait people?

2007-05-14 16:01:48
182.   scott hinzman
I'm saying Epstein used OPS as the reason for signing Nancy. Just my opnion. Nancy's fortunate the Red Sox are winning. Otherwise he'd be hearing the wrath of New England. He still has the strike out swinging and looking poses down pat. Good for him.
2007-05-14 16:03:13
183.   El Lay Dave
172 So, OPS is all there is to this game?
I haven't seen claims here that that is the case.

J. D. Drew has a career BA of .285 and Slg over .500 - putting him in Fenway sounds like a good plan, so the risk is will he stay healthy. He's underperforming for six weeks so far, at an age where we should still be at/near peak; the Sox have a very good chance that that performance will improve.

Juan Pierre has been in the post-season once.

2007-05-14 16:03:57
184.   scott hinzman
Of course there's more to the game than OPS from an offensive standpoint. That's what makes Pierre so special. Hias speed and the way the man hits the ball in close and late situations.
2007-05-14 16:06:14
185.   Brendan
my t-shirts arrived in O.C. today. I'll be wearing them proudly this weekend at the freeway series in anaheim.
2007-05-14 16:06:31
186.   regfairfield
176 That was one incident. For the most part, it doesn't hold true. There are three things that have a proven, long term correllation to post season success: A high strikeout rate for your starters, a strong closer, and good defense. Pierre doesn't effect two of those things, and he's not an asset for the third.

It's entirely possible that Pierre will steal a base in a clutch situation and that will lead to a Dodger playoff win. But what if the Dodgers had a better hitter there that would have hit a home run earlier in the game that would have negated the need for a steal. Carrying someone that has a better chance of effecting the game in the long term is far more important than having someone who might help in a very specific situation.

Also note that unlike Roberts, Pierre would actually have to get himself on base. That doesn't happen nearly as often as it should.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5541

2007-05-14 16:06:55
187.   Greg Brock
184 Could we have some data to back up how great our centerfielder is in close and late situations?

Career batting average after the seventh inning, or extra innings, or something like that?

2007-05-14 16:07:42
188.   ToyCannon
184
Pierre is indeed special. Thanks for dropping by. Why don't you attend a game sometime and when every player on every team takes the extra base against our special player you can take comfort knowing that he'll come through with a bloop hit in those close and late situations.
2007-05-14 16:08:27
189.   ToyCannon
186
Roberts was a pitch runner.
2007-05-14 16:08:28
190.   Jon Weisman
Roberts reached base before that famous steal by pinch-running for someone who walked. Why are we even debating this? We've discussed it to the nth degree.
2007-05-14 16:09:58
191.   regfairfield
189 I did note that.
2007-05-14 16:10:22
192.   Johnson
184 speed and the way the man hits the ball in close and late situations

OK, so he's fast, but for crying out loud the man hits the ball like he's got wristbones made of rubber.

2007-05-14 16:10:53
193.   scott hinzman
Should I bring up Juan Pierre's .435 OBP in close and late situations this season?

That's Juan's value. He's a difference maker in a close game in crunch time. The man has been every thing Colletti bartered for.

The Dodgers are in first place. Heck, according to ESPN, if the Dodgers make the postseason this season, Ned Colletti would be the 1st GM in the history of the game to take a 71 win- team to 2 consecutive playoff appearances in his 1st/2nd season on the job.

The man has gotten it done. Great times.

2007-05-14 16:11:12
194.   Andrew Shimmin
It would be worth anything to see Manny in left and LuGo in right. Anything.
2007-05-14 16:13:59
195.   regfairfield
Juan Pierre's career (prior to 2007):

All together: .303/.350/.377
Men On: .286/.346/.370
RISP: .293/.367/.380
Bases Loaded: .455/.467/.618

2007-05-14 16:14:42
196.   El Lay Dave
Thanks to Baseball Reference:

Pierre, overall career:
.302 .349 .375 .724

Pierre, situational, career:
2 outs, RISP .253 .326 .336 .662
Late & Close .308 .366 .367 .733
Tie Game .314 .359 .386 .745
Within 1 R .310 .357 .382 .739
Within 2 R .305 .353 .375 .728
Within 3 R .305 .353 .377 .730
Within 4 R .304 .352 .376 .728
Margin > 4 R .291 .336 .370 .706

He is what he is.

2007-05-14 16:16:21
197.   Greg Brock
195 So his numbers with men on are below his career numbers, but he's a tick better with RISP.

Career numbers after the seventh inning? How do we check that?

2007-05-14 16:16:38
198.   El Lay Dave
193 The Red Sox have the best record in all of baseball despite anemic production from ManRam, as well as Drew.

Pitching, man, pitching.

2007-05-14 16:17:15
199.   El Lay Dave
197"Late & Close are PA in the 7th or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck." - from BR
2007-05-14 16:17:16
200.   Greg Brock
195 196 Thanks for the numbers.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-05-14 16:20:35
201.   scott hinzman
Thanks El Lay, for proving my point. Close and late he ups the ante. That's what it's all about in the postseason. Especially in the posteseason with the bullpen Colletti assembled. It's a 6 inning game boys. Just be tied after six. The bullpen, Pierre, and the boppers will come thru.
2007-05-14 16:21:10
202.   El Lay Dave
196 statistics are through yesterday.
also though yesterday:
with RISP .289 .360 .375 .735
2007-05-14 16:25:06
203.   El Lay Dave
201 ups the ante
by .006 / .017 / -.008

That is what is known as a insignificant difference.

2007-05-14 16:25:13
204.   Greg Brock
201 I don't think we're looking at the same thing. His BA and OBP close and late are a tick better than his career numbers. Slightly better, yet still below replacement level at his position.

Why am I even doing this?

2007-05-14 16:25:17
205.   blue22
193 - The man has been every thing Colletti bartered for.

This, I'm afraid, is actually close to the truth. Unfortunately it's also neither a compliment of either Colletti nor Pierre.

And bartered?...I do not think it means what you think it means. Unless Pierre signed for $44M worth of pooka shells.

2007-05-14 16:26:57
206.   Jon Weisman
204 - I have no idea.
2007-05-14 16:28:19
207.   Greg Brock
206 If we can change just one mind...

Aw, forget it. You're right.

2007-05-14 16:28:29
208.   Humma Kavula
204 I have now typed, and deleted without submitting, three separate comments.
2007-05-14 16:29:36
209.   El Lay Dave
204 It's that three hours before first pitch boredom. Gets us every time.
2007-05-14 16:30:23
210.   El Lay Dave
208 More importantly, remember, never split a 20.
2007-05-14 16:30:33
211.   ryu
205 No, probably not pooka shells. But maybe that's what we shoud offer Derek Lowe next time contract negotiations come up.
2007-05-14 16:31:10
212.   Doctor
Forget all this Pierre stuff- he is probably about the 20th most important player on the 25 man roster. No, I cant back that number up- but that's about what I think anyhow.
Anyone notice Wainwright is absolutely getting bombed this year? I wouldn't have predicted that after his post season last year.
The NL seems wide open for the taking, seriously.
2007-05-14 16:32:45
213.   Andrew Shimmin
By my rough calculation, Damion Easley has cost the Mets fifteen runs in this inning with his glove. It's even more impressive when you realize that only four runs have actually scored.
2007-05-14 16:35:14
214.   Hallux Valgus
212- my fantasy team is sure noticing.
2007-05-14 16:35:20
215.   scott hinzman
With Pierre its all about OBP in close and late situations. And he does, indeed, up the ante.

Too bad there's no stat to determine how his speed and stolen bases affects the opponents in that situation. I think Colletti knows though. That's why he's here. Pierre's going to be sipping lots of champaign with teamates in celebration. That's ther bottom line. The W's. And that's wehat Colletti's all about. The W's.

2007-05-14 16:35:30
216.   Xeifrank
is there a troll on the loose?
vr, Xei
2007-05-14 16:37:07
217.   Jon Weisman
In case it wasn't clear before, when you are suspended or banned from the site, it doesn't mean you're suspended until you choose a new screen name.
2007-05-14 16:39:59
218.   El Lay Dave
212 None of the scheduled starters the Cards are throwing at the Dodgers seem all that impressive. If the bats are heating up, this is a good chance to continue the trend.
2007-05-14 16:43:08
219.   Doctor
218

Well after what they did to us last year I'll be okay if we beat on these guys while they are going through a rough patch.
That series after the all-star break was really depressing and sent us into a tailspin.

2007-05-14 16:44:52
220.   scott hinzman
The Dodgers are in a 22 game stretch where they should go 17-5.
Cin
St. L
at LAA
Mil
ChC
at Wash
at Pit (4)
2007-05-14 16:46:43
221.   scott hinzman
Hey Doc, we rebounded. Colletti didn't throw in the towel. He brought aboard Maddux, Lugo, and Betemit. It's good to know we have someone at the helm who won't quit.
2007-05-14 16:49:51
222.   ToyCannon
Jason Maquis must be channeling the healthy Prior. Who knew...
2007-05-14 16:52:41
223.   blue22
220 - Milwaukee, Chicago, and Anaheim are 3 very good teams. It's possible LA loses 5 games just in those 9 matchups right there.
2007-05-14 16:57:08
224.   MMSMikey
how is laroche not in the lineup tonight?
2007-05-14 16:59:14
225.   gpellamjr
224 I'm a little perplexed, too. But I'm just stoked that it's not (and probably won't be for a while) Martinez/Valdez.
2007-05-14 17:00:41
226.   Marty
I hope yesterday was the day Furry snapped out of it. It would be great to have him start hitting the ball.
2007-05-14 17:00:42
227.   Improbable88
I have 4 lower reserve seats, 32, row F that I can't use tonight.

If anyone wants to paypal me the 2 bucks per ticket to have them e-mailed to them, let me know at ifallelse1@aol.com

2007-05-14 17:01:11
228.   blue22
222 - Playing Pittsburgh helps. He's shredded them the last two times out:

17 innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 10:0 K:BB, and 2 W's.

2007-05-14 17:03:14
229.   natepurcell
i want to see laroche in the lineup, booo.
2007-05-14 17:03:21
230.   Bob Timmermann
My nephew (age 10) got a set of special local rules for his Little League in Michigan.

One rule states "Stealing of home is not permitted prior to May 24."

2007-05-14 17:04:03
231.   Doctor
Add 1 "Against" vote on the use of... "Furry"
2007-05-14 17:04:15
232.   Improbable88
224 - Is there any evidence of this other than at insidethedodgers?

Maybe LaRoche's impact on the game washed away Betemit's presence in Josh's mind altogether?

2007-05-14 17:05:49
233.   Improbable88
ugh...just saw Jackson's blog, nvm
2007-05-14 17:07:58
234.   Andrew Shimmin
231- "Furry" has little to commend it, except its provenance. It was part of the push back in the first barbarian siege. It's a shibboleth of sorts.
2007-05-14 17:08:21
235.   gpellamjr
230 I coached/played in a basketball league in Westminster years ago in which full-court press was not allowed until the last two minutes of the game.
2007-05-14 17:09:49
236.   gpellamjr
Since we're on the subject of strange mid-season rule changes, why does MLB have roster expansion in September? It seems kind of silly, and changes the dynamic of the teams right when things are being decided.
2007-05-14 17:11:13
237.   Andrew Shimmin
David Wright is catching his stride. Fourth home run of the year. 4-2 Cubs at Shea.
2007-05-14 17:12:34
238.   Marty
Hey, it's the one nickname I coined that had any kind of legs. I had hopes for "Backstop Bacon" for Martin, but no one except Nate liked it.
2007-05-14 17:12:45
239.   Bob Timmermann
236
Who tries to steal home in Little League?
2007-05-14 17:13:49
240.   Bob Timmermann
Also responding to 236, rosters expand in September for the time-honored reason of
"that's the way it's always been done."
2007-05-14 17:19:31
241.   El Lay Dave
240 Didn't there used to be a rule allowing somewhat larger rosters at the beginning of the season? That one got changed.

For September, fans of teams that are out of contention need something to look forward to, at least they can see some kids trying the major-league level.

2007-05-14 17:19:49
242.   natepurcell
Xavier Paul homers...!!!
2007-05-14 17:20:29
243.   OaklandAs
239 In Little League, with runners on 1st and 3rd, the team will send the runner on 1st. Without that rule, the catcher will never throw to 2nd, because the runner on 3rd always will score easily. The rule helps the catchers work on throwing to 2nd.

Also, at lower age levels, many leagues apply the "No Stealing Home" rule to scoring on Wild Pitches/Passed Balls.

2007-05-14 17:20:29
244.   underdog
Alongside jinxing no-hitters, I'm never a big fan of assuming victories based on an upcoming chunk of the schedule. Which is being different than feeling confident, I suppose. I guess I'm just superstitious. One game at a time. One third baseman at a time, too.

I am, however, a big fan of naps, and now that I'm home from work that's what I plan to do. Can someone wake me up if the game starts and gets exciting and I'm not here? Thanks.

2007-05-14 17:20:56
245.   Bob Timmermann
241
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, teams broke camp with 28 players and then went down to 25 on May 1.
2007-05-14 17:21:53
246.   Bob Timmermann
243
Thanks. I'll tell my brother.
2007-05-14 17:22:02
247.   underdog
Besides those reasons, I thought the September roster expansion thing was in part to give beleaguered players more opportunity to rest either before the playoffs or the season's end?
2007-05-14 17:23:56
248.   PDH5204
237 Forget David Wright, as one J.J. Hardy is on a roll.
2007-05-14 17:24:01
249.   Bob Timmermann
I think the September roster expansion rule was put into place because:
1) the minor leagues are done
2) it gives some minor leaguers a chance to play on a bigger stage and showcase their talent to avoid being buried
2007-05-14 17:24:25
250.   natepurcell
Josh Bell is starting to heat up, last 6ABs hes had 5 hits including 2 doubles and a homerun.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-05-14 17:25:00
251.   s choir
From what I've seen, LaRoche has looked really bad against the off-speed stuff, but he's recognized those pitches and tried to lay off. He couldn't hit Arroyo's curveball even when it was delivered in the fat part of the plate. That could be what got him benched.

That said, I think he's a very smart hitter and he should be left in the lineup so he can try and overcome that. It shouldn't be so hard for a professional hitter. Besides, he's shown a great eye and an ability to drive the ball. What more can you ask for from a hitter?

Maybe what's happening is that the Dodgers are shopping Betemit to the Cardinals tonight. But who would they be going after? It doesn't make sense to pursue Rolen if LaRoche is going to be the starter at 3rd (although I guess blocking LaRoche would fit with the organizational philosophy at this point). I wouldn't mind trading for Chris Duncan but I doubt the Cards will trade him.

I don't know, I'm turning this into a mystery wrapped in an enigma inside a riddle. I'm just going to stop thinking about it and watch the game.

2007-05-14 17:27:44
252.   StolenMonkey86
Wow, things are interesting in DC. And I was considering going to that game too . . .
2007-05-14 17:30:26
253.   Improbable88
Speaking of nicknames, no one has really coined anything great for Martin have they?

"The Bison" has stuck for Kemp, and we even had "The Destroyer" for Guzman, but why nothing for Martin?

2007-05-14 17:30:29
254.   Andrew Shimmin
When the rosters expand, don't the players who get called up make extra money? Big time extra money? Plus, if I remember correctly, any time spent on the Major League roster means the team has to pay for the players medical insurance for the whole year, instead of just the regular season, the way I think minor league contracts work. The Players Association doesn't do much for the fringe and scrub players of the world, but they probably wouldn't let those perks go for free.
2007-05-14 17:30:58
255.   CanuckDodger
I think the Dodgers probably ARE showcasing Betemit for a trade. A trade not so much to "get something" as much as to get rid of Betemit.
2007-05-14 17:33:14
256.   Andrew Shimmin
If LaRoche gets sent down to preserve Valdez's spot on the roster, that'll be interesting. But we're coming to the end of the long stretch without a day off without Judgment Day's having come. Curious.
2007-05-14 17:33:34
257.   Bob Timmermann
252
And Sam DC is in the house at RFK!
2007-05-14 17:35:49
258.   s choir
253 It's cheesy, but I like to call Martin "Golden Boy."
2007-05-14 17:37:10
259.   Telemachos
253 I thought someone dubbed Martin "Destroyer of Worlds" awhile back.... maybe after the walk-off slam?
2007-05-14 17:38:04
260.   bigcpa
You're not going to do much better than Coltrane.
2007-05-14 17:38:41
261.   PDH5204
252 You are correct.
2007-05-14 17:39:05
262.   Dodgers49
224. how is laroche not in the lineup tonight?

I Don't know but only one reason makes any sense to me. The Dodgers called up LaRoche and then benched him after less than one week even though he seemed to be doing okay. On Sunday the Reds started a rookie lefthander and the Dodgers started Betemit even though Betemit has done almost nothing this season (and last) from the right side. Betemit is starting again tonight. The only conclusion that makes any sense to me:

The Dodgers are showcasing Betemit for a possible trade.

2007-05-14 17:39:38
263.   bhsportsguy
Austin Kearns, is he a dirty player?

I need a ruling, is it against the rule to talk about an unrelated play in the game in question?

2007-05-14 17:40:14
264.   CanuckDodger
242 -- Nate, I see that on one of the game threads over the weekend you asked for my thoughts on Xavier Paul. I never gave up on him, ranking him as the Dodgers' #19 prospect in the off-season. But I think whether he will be a reserve outfielder in the majors or a starter depends on how playable he will be in center field, and how much progress he can make in cutting down on his strikeouts. I would also like to know what his left/right splits are this year. They were very poor last year, and the year before.
2007-05-14 17:41:37
265.   s choir
260 Along those lines, how about "Blue Train?" (Coltrane's classic album)
2007-05-14 17:41:52
266.   screwballin
Can Drew ever get a break? I mean, he hit .357/.448/.518 for the first 3 weeks, so he had more than a little to do with the Sox fast start. But he has a bad coupla weeks and now he's Satan.

Or worse, he's Nancy...

2007-05-14 17:43:22
267.   Improbable88
260 - It's too bad Jerome Bettis is synonymous with "The Bus," because I think it would suit Russ nicely.

He's a sturdy dude who gets the best of collisions, he can motor, not to mention carry the entire team on his back.

2007-05-14 17:44:55
268.   Improbable88
265 - "The Trane" is pretty good--lots of implications there.
2007-05-14 17:45:40
269.   Icaros
Glad I turned to the Nats game to see one pitch.
2007-05-14 17:45:44
270.   Greg Brock
McCann breaks up the No-hitter by hitting a ball nine miles.

2-1 Nats.

2007-05-14 17:45:52
271.   Andrew Shimmin
263- ESPN just played the replay; didn't look dirty to me. He was in a rundown. The collision happened within the lines. Unfortunate, but not dirty.
2007-05-14 17:46:40
272.   screwballin
Ooh, I think I jinxed him. The second I turned the game onto mlb.tv, McCann went deep.

I think I'll turn on the Giants game next.

2007-05-14 17:46:47
273.   bhsportsguy
The old, no hitter/shutout on one pitch play.

Now the Nationals hanging on to a 2-1 lead over the Braves.

2007-05-14 17:47:06
274.   Icaros
Dirty was that hit Baron Davis put on Derek Fisher last night. What a little baby.
2007-05-14 17:49:26
275.   s choir
274 What do you think about Bowen's knee to Nash's groin? Did that look intentional to you? It didn't to me... but I always give people the benefit of the doubt (I'm a criminal defense atty).
2007-05-14 17:54:44
276.   Icaros
275

That didn't look so bad to me, and the hard foul by Richardson on Okur was not worthy of suspension, though I feel the ejection was justified.

I just think that if Kobe gets two suspensions for flailing his arms trying to draw a foul, Davis should be suspended for a calculated shot to the head when the ball was nowhere near him or Fisher.

2007-05-14 17:59:03
277.   s choir
276 Well I guess the NBA disciplinary regime is not much different from the criminal justice system in that regard.
2007-05-14 18:00:13
278.   El Lay Dave
276 Baron Davis should be riding an improbable playoff high, along with the highlight dunk on Kirilenko the other night, but instead we have this boneheaded cheap shot to judge him by, instead. As Bugs Bunny said, "what a maroon".
2007-05-14 18:04:27
279.   Icaros
278

Perhaps he's becoming infected by Stephen Jackson's disease.

2007-05-14 18:10:39
280.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.

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