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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Kemp, Young Cool After Reported 'Shoving Match'
2007-05-19 23:12
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

From Tony Jackson:

Dodgers outfield prospects Matt Kemp and Delwyn Young, who are close friends and roommates at Triple-A Las Vegas, got into a minor shoving match during batting practice before Thursday night's game at Portland. Multiple sources within the organization confirmed the incident Saturday, but apparently no punches were thrown and the matter was quickly resolved.

Although no one would comment on any disciplinary action, it appears the two were suspended for one game each. Neither played in that night's game, a 6-1 victory, but both returned to the lineup on Friday night, when the 51s again beat Portland 6-1. ... Both players are on the Dodgers' 40-man roster. By all accounts, they remain friends and roommates even after the incident.

Seems like just one of those things ...

* * *

Mike Trask of the Las Vegas Sun writes about Octavio Martinez, who is considered the 51s' third-string or emergency catcher even though he has spent the year more as a uniformed ball boy or concierge than anything else.

Thirty-eight games into the Las Vegas 51s' season, Octavio Martinez still hasn't gotten an at-bat.

He hasn't been a defensive replacement or a pinch runner. Most nights, he doesn't even make it into the dugout.

Even so, the 27-year-old minor league journeyman and third-string catcher parks more balls in the stands every night than Barry Bonds does, becoming a fan favorite along the way.

His prolific performance will never show up in the record books, though. That's because Martinez draws cheers not because of his prowess with the bat or for a rocket arm, but by retrieving foul balls to toss into the crowd.

When he isn't warming up relievers in the bullpen or playing catch with the right fielder at the start of innings, Martinez shags foul balls from the right-field corner and decides which lucky kid goes home with a souvenir.

And even though the players aren't supposed to sign autographs during the long, hot nights at Cashman Field, that doesn't stop him from occasionally making a dream come true for a particularly polite youngster.

In between, he laughs at hecklers, smiles at girls and sits, in his clean No. 35 uniform, on a plastic chair perched atop the bullpen mound. ...

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-19 23:18:29
1.   Suffering Bruin
I'm glad they were able to patch it up. A shoving match with a friend would stay with me for awhile.
2007-05-19 23:36:05
2.   Jon Weisman
Canuck, I'm not clear why Hochevar was a bad pick. I don't think him acting like an immature 21-year-old when it comes to business negates the promise he had. Considering some of the other misbegotten ways the Dodgers have spent money, I'd have been happy to see them cave on Hochevar.

He had a great 2006 season.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/H/Luke-Hochevar.shtml

And although his ERA in AAA this year is 5.44, he has 55 strikeouts against 71 baserunners in 48 innings.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/KCR/2007_orgpit.shtml

2007-05-19 23:41:42
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - So just to finish, you call the Hochevar pick a "disaster," but to me it was more than a solid pick. I get that the Dodgers were insulted or offended by what happened, but I think 1) they made the right pick to begin with and 2) they arguably should have let Hochevar take a mulligan on the reneged contract, and just started negotiating from scratch, and been more willing to spend money on him than some of the mediocre vets that they've signed. I don't know how one looks at the Hochevar situation without coming to the conclusion that he got some terrible advice as a result of being pulled in different directions, and blew it - but not irredeemably.
2007-05-19 23:44:47
4.   natepurcell
Hochevar's K and bb rates are pretty good this year but everything else is average to poor so far in his first AA season. Royals should have picked Lincecum!
2007-05-19 23:55:17
5.   bhsportsguy
2 If they had never made him an offer which depending on who you believe, he accepted and then reneged, then perhaps there may have been room to renegotiate.

One thing that may have come into play or at least I wonder about it, there was a lot buzz prior to the Dodger's signing deadline with Hochevar, that Hochevar was moving up the draft board. With that possibility, perhaps with the 7th pick, they felt that Hochevar being picked ahead of them would move some players they really wanted, down to their pick.

Also, Hochevar is in AA, pitching in the Texas League.

2007-05-19 23:58:46
6.   bhsportsguy
3 I don't think their pool of money for player development is affected in any way by what players they sign in free agency.

I just see no evidence that they won't spend money freely (at least in McCourt era) in both areas to improve the club.

2007-05-20 00:05:22
7.   CanuckDodger
2,3 -- Okay, this is an interesting topic -- to me anyway.:) First, let me state that I called the Hochevar pick a terrible pick the moment it was made (Nate can verify this, as on Draft Day 2005 I really got angry on the scout.com board, and I didn't cool down the whole day). Nate can also verify the reason I stated for WHY it was a horrible pick -- I predicted we would not sign him. That was the whole story. I said we weren't going to sign him, and therefore we didn't get Hochevar, we got nothing. Zero. A completely wasted pick. I said I had no problem with Hochevar as a talent. But I knew that Hochevar fell to #40 overall in the draft only because of Boras, and I had read that Boras was demanding a $5 million signing bonus and a major league contract, which would of course require a 40-man roster spot when I knew we would have none to spare given all the other prospects we had. I wrote that Boras would not lower his demands, and I wrote that the Dodgers would not capitulate to Boras's demands. Thus, stalemate, and the result would be that Hochevar goes back in the draft for next year. On this I proved to be a prophet, and I wished all along that I would be proven wrong. This was my position long before the negotiations got all nasty, mind you. The nastiness that happened during negotiations could not color my perception of the pick at the time of the pick. I merely anticipated that what happened would happen, in broad outline, as the precise details were too crazy to have predicted.
2007-05-20 00:10:13
8.   natepurcell
yea i can backup what canuck said. draft day 2005, he was one angry canuck and his prophecy of hochevar not signing actually came true.

thus, making every dodger fan sad pandas!

2007-05-20 00:16:41
9.   Sammy Maudlin
I'm still bitter about the Dodgers choice of Erick Sonberg over Roger Clemens in 1983.
2007-05-20 00:21:59
10.   CanuckDodger
8 -- And I can verify that on Draft Day 2005 Nate was as giddy as a fat kid with a free shopping spree in a candy store. "Ooh, we got Hochevar! Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!" Of course, my role that day was to play Edgar Allen Poe's Raven and croak "Nevermore," but would the boisterous young puppy listen to his wise, sober-minded elder? He would not. Bad puppy!
2007-05-20 00:57:43
11.   Michael D
Yeah I was on the Scout boards too and remember that (I'm DodgerFan27, since permabanned and not really missing the place). Canuck was always against picking Hochevar, and really had a fit about some of the 2004 picks, rightfully so.

Of course, Dewitt or Elbert doesn't matter, we should have taken Hughes.

2007-05-20 01:18:34
12.   CanuckDodger
11 -- You were banned? Wow, sounds like some interesting things have happened there since their "upgrades" somehow left me unable to even access scout.com's message boards. I have wondered how the old gang was doing.
2007-05-20 01:28:04
13.   Michael D
Yeah IP banned. Basically a lot of Colletti supporters have/had since taken over, driving out most of the old gang. The board got overrun by people thinking Pierre was going to "wreak havoc" with his speed. Anyway I got into a lot of arguments with them and a couple of times went a little overboard, although people said far worse things about me and were never banned for it.

Last I knew the new boards weren't getting as much traffic and most the old guard either left or barely posted anymore. The Scout you and I used to know is pretty much dead.

2007-05-20 01:44:17
14.   natepurcell
http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/baseball/dodgers/

does everyone know diamond lueng started a blog?

2007-05-20 01:59:42
15.   Dodgers49
What's Kent's opinion of their performance?

"This game is such a pain in the butt, I can't wait to retire."
Jeff Kent

http://tinyurl.com/yq5zdt

2007-05-20 02:18:12
16.   Dodgers49
14 "and set the table for heavy hitters in the Dodger blog world like Dodger Thoughts"
2007-05-20 02:24:38
17.   Eric Enders
16 You left out the rest of that sentence...

"As for this blog, if it can be like Juan Pierre... that'd be super."

2007-05-20 02:28:25
18.   Eric Enders
Plaschke's column this morning is filled to the brim with Jeff Kent quotes that will make their way onto the bizarre quotes page at Dodger Blues.
2007-05-20 02:29:33
19.   JoeyP
15--I'm beginning to understand why people dont like Jeff Kent personally. He really complains. Alot.

Earlier he was complaining about inter-league games, and now he's complaining about having trouble guessing pitches. Where does it end? He's still a good player, but he'd probably be better off not even speaking to the reporters.

Its rather amazing the Dodgers can rank #7 in OBP, but lead the league in stranding runners.

Nomar in 42 games: .290/.339/.364
Gonzo in 40 games: .261/.370/.399

I figured Nomar would hit that line last season (given his average numbers with the Cubs in Wrigley, and believing he was in decline and that it would continue into LA). Guess it was a year late.

Gonzo's OBP is still excellent (23bbs to 9ks), but I wonder how long it will last given his lack of power. These two must do something this year, unless the Dodgers expect Martin to be great all year.

2007-05-20 07:15:57
20.   D4P
Kemp's little character incident might be just what Ned needed to justify including him in the multi-player package for Rolen.
2007-05-20 07:35:12
21.   Greg Brock
What did Kent say that was so crazy, or bad, or out of line? Just sounds like he's frustrated.

He didn't call any teammates out, he didn't go after his manager or management. He didn't rip the pitching staff.

What's the big deal?

2007-05-20 08:00:44
22.   D4P
That article makes it sound like the Dodgers are in last place and/or in the middle of a long losing streak. In fact, they're in first place and have lost two games in a row.

What's the big deal?

2007-05-20 08:09:29
23.   Bumsrap
20
That's funny.
2007-05-20 08:12:24
24.   Bumsrap
Perhaps the future Dodgers can be a little like the early 70s A's--pushing and shoving their way to three championship?
2007-05-20 08:17:54
25.   Bumsrap
If the Dodgers truly want a short-term stopgap player at third they do not need to spend $$$$ on Glaus, all they have to do is move Nomar to third. How's that for an original idea?
2007-05-20 08:22:44
26.   D4P
25
The Dodgers can't afford to risk losing Nomar's .290/.339/.364/.703 production by moving him to third base, where he's More Likely To Get Hurt™.
2007-05-20 08:23:23
27.   underdog
Dear Jeff,
It's all my fault. I didn't watch the first two games of the series and the Dodgers lost 'em both. I'll watch today's game to see if that helps any. Just keep your 'stache in place.
Irrationally yours,
udog
2007-05-20 08:23:51
28.   underdog
26 This is a recording >beep!<
2007-05-20 08:24:57
29.   Greg Brock
LaRoche is doing fine at third thus far. Yeah, his slugging percentage is .333 (yikes), but he's got a Bondsian .488 OBP.

Small sample size, batting ahead of pitcher caveats duly noted.

2007-05-20 08:25:00
30.   underdog
Okay, I'm gonna watch the drunken runners of the Bay to Breakers race now and then attempt to play soccer. See you all here around game time.
2007-05-20 08:34:03
31.   underdog
Btw, before we worry too much about Kent's comments, he did say this in the Dodger notes article in the Times:
"One of the reasons we have so many ballgames is teams can go through stretches where they're just not putting it all together," Kent said. "It's just part of this game. It's part of the frustration of this game too as players, to try to figure out why and then to implement and hopefully succeed. That's hard to do too, even when you know what the reason is."
2007-05-20 08:46:12
32.   Doctor
I actually liked Kent's comments... he is frustrated, he should be frustrated. But he is our best hitter and I don't need to hear flowery rhetoric from the locker room. It's been a really bad series- we need Lowe to step up big today and be the stopper- I think he is going to do it.

IMO the Kemp thing is a non-event. Only in todays media world would you hear about 2 AAA guys pushing each other before BP. No big deal. These guys are competitors- and really, they are competing for the same spot in the bigs. He won't be traded. I would like to see him start raking again though.

2007-05-20 08:55:22
33.   D4P
Seems to me as if Plaschke's trying to create drama where there really isn't any. Consider:

"He is not going away quietly. He is not going away, period. The punches keep hitting him. On Saturday night, he took one for the team."

In what way is Kent getting punched? In what way did he take one for the team? The guy hit a HR for crying out loud. He's only hit six all year. I'm sure he'd take 1-4 with a HR every game and be quite pleased.

2007-05-20 09:07:33
34.   Doctor
33

Rolen only has 2 HRs all year.

2007-05-20 09:17:07
35.   Greg Brock
34 His PVL is still off the charts (Proven Veteran Leadership).

No .630 OPS can take away from that.

2007-05-20 09:17:33
36.   D4P
34
But he already has as many triples this year as he had all of last year. That's encouraging.
2007-05-20 09:18:12
37.   gpellamjr
I'll go back to read Diamond Leung's blog. My first impression is that it will be a very pleasant read.
2007-05-20 09:19:25
38.   gpellamjr
35 Since I'm new to all the sabermetrics, can you give me the PVL of Rolen and compare it to, say, Milton Bradley's?
2007-05-20 09:23:17
39.   Greg Brock
38 It's a complex formula, not unlike EqA or a quarterback's ranking.

Take years of MLB service time, multiply by grit, add 50 points for every playoff appearance (games played). If the player has clutchiness, add 30 extra points. If he does all the little things that don't show up in the stat sheet, add 30 points.

Arguments with managers cost 10 points, like interceptions, so Rolen has some issues there.

Add 100 points if he's ever played with David Eckstein.

2007-05-20 09:27:24
40.   D4P
It gets even more confusing when you try to allocate points for wife-beating. If the wife-beater was acquired by Paul DePodesta, said beater gets negative 1000 points. However, if the wife-beater was acquired by a Character GM in exchange for a Bad Character Guy, said beater gets positive 100 points.
2007-05-20 09:27:46
41.   goofus
25 I've been advocating Nomar to third since before we signed him but I'm going to have to back down on that, it'd be a disaster. From what I've seen as his range at First, Gonza would be worked to death in left field, they'd have to sub for him by the 5th inning. Nomar is a post. And bad hands.
2007-05-20 09:28:22
42.   Andrew Shimmin
Hochevar's sporting a .371 BABIP to compliment his 14.96% LD rate. Looks pretty unlucky. Especially for May, when the LD rate is down to 10.17%, and the BABIP up to .415.

If jtrichey is still looking for a place to find balls in play numbers, the one I use (and love) is fangraphs.com, for the big leagues, and minorleaguesplits.com for the minors.

2007-05-20 09:44:55
43.   Branch Rickey
Plashke's column was another in his "guess what-who cares" series. Headline: Player frustrated after loss, swears and doesn't have exact answer. Wow, insightful.
2007-05-20 09:49:54
44.   Branch Rickey
I was at the game last night so perhaps they mentioned this on tv but... when did they start shifting on Furcal like they do on Pierre? Left fielder playing shallow and and about 15 feet from the line. Unfortunately, he hit two balls last night right to that spot where they would normally never be caught. I know Pierre can't do anything to help himself but I would think Raffy could avoid falling prey to a shift like that.
2007-05-20 10:09:33
45.   gpellamjr
39 That sounds extremely complicated. It's like you're trying to put into numbers a game that is full of mystery and magic. The only way to tell who is good is by seeing him play day in and day out, so that you can know who really contributes to the team, and who just pads his stats in garbage time.
2007-05-20 10:22:50
46.   GoBears
First of all, I'd like to complain about 15, who posted the link to the Plaschke article without proper warning that it was Plaschke. Someone could have gotten hurt.

That said, I saw no problem at all with what he quoted Kent as saying. Kent was frustrated with his own performance, and came off as someone who is properly humbled by the game.

And, while I don't know if he's right about it, it seems that the real point Plaschke was trying to make was that Kent, somewhat uncharacteristically, "took one for the team" by occupying reporters so that his teammates could quietly make their escape. What he said didn't matter - the point was that he suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous questions on behalf of the team, and 'twas noble.

2007-05-20 10:28:37
47.   Bob Timmermann
I think that in 90% of all Dodger game stories you read, Kent is one of the players quoted. So even though he might hate it, he knows that dealing with the media is a necessary evil (from his standpoint.) Kent shows up a lot more after losses too. When the Dodgers win, the writers will congregate around the "star" of the game.
2007-05-20 10:38:33
48.   GoBears
47. OK, so Plaschke was overdramatizing this instance of Kent playing lightning rod. No surprise there.
2007-05-20 10:45:48
49.   Bob Timmermann
After Friday's game:
After the defeat, Dodgers slugger Jeff Kent, who went 0-for-4, voiced his disapproval of interleague games.

"They're comical. I've (complained) about this forever," he said. "I grew up in this game not playing interleague games. Then all of a sudden, they force-feed it to you. It's too bad that we're chasing the dollar instead of the integrity of the game."

Kent said it was difficult to get motivated because "you don't know the other team, and there's no rhythm to the game for the players."

On Wednesday, Kent wasn't quoted in the AP story because Betemit was the story, but he was gone by the time the reporters got there so Randy Wolf gave quotes.

On Tuesday, Furcal was the story.

I think the 90% figure may be high, but I think 75% could be accurate.

2007-05-20 10:51:48
50.   ToyCannon
Roommates, good friends, AAA players in Vegas, nine will get you ten that a woman was involved.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-20 10:52:29
51.   ToyCannon
I'm just guessing but it would seem the "motivation" would be to win the game.
2007-05-20 10:54:53
52.   ToyCannon
Sorry kids, I'm rooting for an Angel sweep. I wonder which way Daniel is swinging right now?
2007-05-20 10:56:23
53.   Bob Timmermann
52
Infidel!
2007-05-20 10:58:43
54.   underdog
52 And the reason for this is...?

Or, what Bob said. J'accuse!

2007-05-20 10:58:58
55.   Bob Timmermann
Since I will be gone today getting some culture , I will leave you with various replies to questions that you can fit in as necessary:

It's an earned run
Yellow alert
$57.50
Reggie Williams
It's not a sacrifice fly if a force play occurs
Jackson Pollack
Long Beach
Edvard Munch
The MX missile system

2007-05-20 11:06:48
56.   StolenMonkey86
42 - I'll keep that in mind

Incidentally, Pierre's bunt hit percentage is down from a career average 37% overall to 17% this year, so he should be able to dink his way into more havoc as the season goes on, in theory.

2007-05-20 11:18:41
57.   Greg Brock
In the Nats/O's game, Nook Logan bunts for a hit, steals second, steals third on the very next pitch, and scores on a single.

1-0 Nats on some scraptacular baseball.

2007-05-20 11:25:08
58.   Andrew Shimmin
Both his bunt hit percentage, and infield hit percentage are down. I posted the other day that if they were inline with his career averages, he'd have been hitting .313. Which would make the argument over whether he's useful more interesting. I wonder if some of it isn't a function of his batting second, though. The percentage of his PAs that came with runners on for the last three years:

2005- 34.4%
2006- 28.5%
2007- 42.7%

Maybe some of those bunts and dinkers are going for force outs that, had the bases been empty, he could have beat out for a hit. Or maybe it's just bad luck, early in the year. The worst possible explanation is that he's already slowing down, but, no good worrying about that yet.

2007-05-20 11:27:11
59.   Penarol1916
I was finally going to get to see something that people on this board would be interested in yesterday when Clayton Kershaw pitched against the Kane County Cougars, and it was also going to be the first game for my two boys. On my way there, my wife calls and says she's been in an accident and so I've got to pick her and my daughter up. Luckily noone was hurt, but looking at Kershaw's performance yesterday, all I can say is man oh man.
2007-05-20 11:29:57
60.   D4P
Maybe some of those bunts and dinkers are going for force outs that, had the bases been empty, he could have beat out for a hit.

That seems very reasonable. It has been my observation that The Player has hit into "a lot" of force outs, with the guy on first ahead of him being thrown out at second.

2007-05-20 11:31:58
61.   Sam DC
A Richmond lawyer digs into the circumstances of the Reds' recent grievance against the Nationals over the Majewski and others trade.

http://tinyurl.com/2d799k

The Nationals go to Cincinnati tomorrow. I'm wondering if they might just tie Majewski to the outfield wall and play the first game for his rights.

2007-05-20 11:32:09
62.   Ricardo
What about Schmidt? Will he return before the All Star Game?
2007-05-20 11:34:12
63.   Bob Timmermann
62
I liked "About Schmidt", although some people found the device of Jack Nicholson's character writing to an African child a bit contrived.
2007-05-20 11:35:31
64.   Greg Brock
I would be surprised if The Player improves dramatically, even if he's been a tad unlucky. He's a speed-dependent player creeping toward 30 years old. It's time for his numbers to start declining. Not a precipitous drop, but a steady decline is in order.

Great job, Mustache.

2007-05-20 11:37:30
65.   Greg Brock
I just realized The Player turns 30 seven days before I turn 30.

My speed declined years ago.

2007-05-20 11:38:04
66.   Andrew Shimmin
61- I doubt the provenance of that document. It doesn't look like crayon at all; and "perceived" is spelt properly.
2007-05-20 11:38:19
67.   GoBears
61. Yeah, and then, just to tick us off, Pierre scores after forcing someone, so that his annual 100 runs scored will include a lot "vultured" from teammates.

Runs are just an accounting stat that are misused as a "productivity" stat. Someone should recount them, giving credit to players who earned their way on base, even if they were forced out by someone else who later scored.

2007-05-20 11:39:08
68.   GoBears
Oops, 67 responds to 60, not 61.
2007-05-20 11:42:51
69.   D4P
63
What About Bob?

67
Someone should recount them, giving credit to players who earned their way on base, even if they were forced out by someone else who later scored.

And they could take away credit for players who scored after reaching via force out, error, etc. If you're not gonna give them credit in BA, OBP, etc. for reaching this way, why give them credit in R after having done so?

2007-05-20 11:45:34
70.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2007-05-20 11:48:23
71.   natepurcell
Sequoyah Stonecipher is going to be the player i draft with the dodgers first pick at 20. No one can convince me otherwise.
2007-05-20 11:49:01
72.   Ricardo
63 Sorry, Bob for my English.
65 I liked when Colletti signed him, but that was because I didn´t watch him every day.And that´s just the beginning of Juan Pierre era, there´s more 4.5 years to see him trying to bunt.
2007-05-20 12:02:38
73.   Andrew Shimmin
71- You are so beautiful, to me.
You are so beautiful, to me.
Can't you see?
You're everything I hope for,
Everything I need.
You are so beautiful,
To
Me.
2007-05-20 12:42:23
74.   Andrew Shimmin
72- Your English is impeccable. Bob was making a joke; nobody can be sure about Schmidt's return date, which is probably why nobody tried guessing, but all the steps to recovery have seemed good, so far. He's been throwing, without swelling up more than average. It looks like the chances of his coming back before the All Start game are good, and he could come back before the end of the month, if Will Carroll, the BP injury guy, is right.

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