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

2009
02  01 

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

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

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

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

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

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

2002
09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Modern Zone Rating Likes Pierre
2007-06-26 08:54
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

We can still purchase a few more tickets for the group going to Dodger Thoughts day at Dodger Stadium on July 21. If you want to go, send me $24.50 via the Paypal link on the sidebar by Sunday night.

* * *

Juan Pierre scores surprisingly high on the defensive statistics published by The Hardball Times. Pierre is the No. 7 center fielder in THT's Zone Rating, which it obtains from Baseball Info Solutions. According to the numbers, Pierre has converted 144 of 158 balls in his zone into outs, while also grabbing 36 balls out of (his) zone, or OOZ. And that's good.

Surprised by this, I asked THT's Dave Studeman about how the numbers conflicted with how bad Pierre looks to my naked eye. Essentially, the statistical evidence is that too much has been made of Pierre's balltracking shortcomings.

Maybe Pierre was benefiting in the stats because left fielder Luis Gonzalez has little range himself?

"Pierre did well last year, too, in Wrigley," Studeman said. "I don't know how to explain it - he looks average to me, at best - but it wouldn't be because of the other fielders around him. He does well in straight zone rating, as well as in plays out of zone."

Andre Ethier also scores high in the rankings, coming in as the No. 3 right fielder. Rafael Furcal is the No. 7 shortstop. Jeff Kent, who was the worst fielding second baseman in baseball by another statistical format, falls in the middle of the pack at second base by this reckoning.

Nomar Garciaparra, now moving to third base (where Wilson Betemit scores poorly), was near the bottom at first base, as is Gonzalez in left field.

Update: THT says The Dodgers have a league average defense as of today: below average in the infield, above average in the outfield. (Note: none of this takes into account outfield throwing arms.)

* * *

Regarding Rafael Furcal's ongoing ankle troubles, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus writes: "Furcal's ankle was "just" a sprain, (but) let's remember what a sprain is — it's a tearing of ligaments inside the ankle, which is a complex, weight-bearing joint. The LA Times is reporting that Furcal's left ankle is giving him problems going up the middle and batting right-handed. This is the opposite of what you might expect, and tells us that the problem is not with starting, but with stop-ping or increased weight-bearing. The longer-term concern and one that might already be in play is some arthritic changes in the ankle, a common side effect of chronic ankle problems such as the one Furcal is dealing with. That's bad for a speed player, though worse for a power guy, so Furcal is dealing with a bit of a double whammy. His PECOTA comps include a lot of guys who had precipitous drops after injuries, so that shorter contract might end up being one of Ned Colletti's smarter moves."

* * *

At Walteromalley.com, there's a new section offering a "Timeline of Baseball's Historic Expansion to the West Coast" with more than 100 entries and historic documents. Some fascinating primary source material is there, such as this 1958 flyer calling for support of Proposition B, which ratified the city's contract with the Dodgers. (First term of the contract: "Dodgers must transfer the most successful team in the National League to Los Angeles.)

Meanwhile, a new website, Dodgers-Giants.com, aims to catalogue the history of the rivalry between the two teams. Meanwhile, don't forget to stop by Baseball Nooz, which attempts to track baseball writing from mainstream news sites as well as blogs.

Finally, Dodger team historian Mark Langill has a new book out: Game of My Life: Memorable Stories of Dodgers Baseball, in which people from Carl Erskine and Willie Davis to Vin Scully and Nancy Bea Hefley recall their favorite Dodger memories.

* * *

Almost forgot: Dodger Thoughts reader Brent Daniel passed along a June 7 Baseball Prospectus article that I missed. The article used the pitch analysis system in place in several ballparks to evaluate batter selectivity at the plate.

Notes Daniel:

Both (Andy) LaRoche and Betemit are top of the list (#2 and #3) of players in the sample who did not swing at pitches outside of the strike zone.

Gonzalez and Juan Pierre are in the top five of players who hit balls outside of the strike zone.

Nomar is sixth on the list of players who most frequently swing at pitches in the strike zone (excluding 3-0 counts).

Comments (265)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-26 10:31:44
1.   Gagne55
Pierre better be decent with how fast he is. Kent looks a lot better than last year. He doesn't look great and he looked at least as good in 2005, but he looks a lot better than last year.

BTW, I got the first post.

2007-06-26 10:32:15
2.   ToyCannon
The gift of Repko just keeps on giving. I just can't get over the fact he did this in a ST game.
2007-06-26 10:38:34
3.   bryanf
It's not enough that I read every DT post, all the comments, most of the blogs listed on the right side bar...now I have at least three or four more sites to visit every five minutes at work. When am I ever going to get anything done?! :)
2007-06-26 10:41:08
4.   Bob Timmermann
3
Did you Jon was going to start selling his own line of unemployment insurance?
2007-06-26 10:42:55
5.   bryanf
4 Maybe Ken can just hire me and I can work on this site all the time...then I'd be using my time efficiently.
2007-06-26 10:49:15
6.   Daniel Zappala
I haven't been able to watch many games this year. Is it possible that Pierre is a case of some truly bad fielding plays outweighing (in our minds) all the routine and above average plays he makes on a daily basis but don't draw much notice?
2007-06-26 10:50:24
7.   still bevens
6 I think part of the bias was induced by a horrible stretch of bad plays early in the season that got everyone off on the wrong foot.
2007-06-26 10:52:39
8.   bryanf
I'm not very well versed on defensive stats, but do any of them take throwing arm into account?
2007-06-26 10:53:46
9.   regfairfield
8 Zone rating doesn't, but even the worst arms (i.e Pierre) only cost the team five runs a year.
2007-06-26 10:57:18
10.   Doctor
Maybe Flanders already knows all of this. Wouldn't that be ironic.
2007-06-26 11:03:59
11.   Humma Kavula
10 Like rain on your wedding day.
2007-06-26 11:04:15
12.   Hallux Valgus
it seems to me that if the guy who came up with the data is questioning what the data says vs. his naked eye, then there's reason to question the validity.

Also, I think part of the problem is that, given his speed, Pierre should be much better than he is. He makes up for bad reads and weird angles with speed. So maybe the perception of his "bad" defense might be more of a perception of "not as good as it should be."

And that arm... eesh.

2007-06-26 11:06:22
13.   Jon Weisman
6, 7 - Yes, all that is possible.

8 - It does not take arm into account - and I meant to mention that.

12 - The guy I interviewed is not the guy who came up with the data. In any case, I don't agree that it makes the data invalid - even if it's not definitive.

2007-06-26 11:07:59
14.   Greg Brock
A certain player is currently rocking a -5 FRAA/RAA.

That is all.

2007-06-26 11:08:18
15.   Hallux Valgus
13- oh, well then never mind. And I wasn't saying that it was invalid, just that there was obvious reason to take it with a grain of salt.
2007-06-26 11:09:45
16.   underdog
Yeah, I think the (way) below average arm strength for both Pierre and Gonzo are the most obvious and consistent shortcoming for both of them, and that won't change. I will say both of them have improved their abillity to track down and catch flies since earlier in the season - Gonzo looked awful particularly early, Pierre for awhile after that, both of them have been much more solid (imho) the past month or two, in that arena. They will continue to be poor in throwing/arm strength though.

--

I am still worried about Furcal. He's so key to the offense. If he can't get going because of the ankle, no matter how much the kids contribute I'm not sure whether the D's can make it this year. But we'll see. Hopefully he can play through the pain, or the pain will subside.

2007-06-26 11:09:55
17.   Nagman
If his range is better, I suppose it can compensate for lack of arm strength since in some cases catching the ball will eliminate the need to make a throw.
2007-06-26 11:15:40
18.   underdog
Pierre's fast, maybe he can outrun one of his throws home. You know, just sprint to the infield and to home plate with the ball - that'd be faster.
2007-06-26 11:16:57
19.   blue22
14 - I'm not sure here, but I think the FRAA/RAA numbers (and rate2 figs. as well) only take into account raw defensive plays, not plays made against plays in one's zone.

Basically, if LA pitchers generated less flyballs than the norm, LA's OFers would be penalized for that.

2007-06-26 11:18:37
20.   Marty
Right now Furry is like a road block on the bases. I'd like to see him batting eighth until the ankle heals.
2007-06-26 11:21:21
21.   bigcpa
That Prospectus article is great- thanks for the link. For those who didn't click through, these are the players who swung at the lowest % of pitches outside the zone this year.

Julio Lugo .206
Marco Scutaro .204
Jim Thome .203
Esteban German .188
Reggie Willits .186
Bobby Abreu .185
Jack Cust .175
Andy Laroche .160
Wilson Betemit .155
Dan Johnson .148

2007-06-26 11:22:38
22.   Doctor
20,

Wow- not sure if you watched yesterdays game but he was FLYING when he scored from second on Gonzos line drive single. Albeit, that's an observation of the naked eye.

2007-06-26 11:24:01
23.   Inside Baseball
9 regfairfield, that's amazing to me that a terrible arm only costs a team five runs a year. Are you sure you didn't mean "five runs at a pennant" or something along those lines?

Seriously, where can I learn more about this?

2007-06-26 11:24:57
24.   Marty
22 He seems to run ok once he get's going, but I was thinking more in terms of stealing bases. He's definitely not doing that and I attribute it to the ankle.
2007-06-26 11:25:23
25.   Greg Brock
For those that care, Copa America 2007 is being shown on something called Gol TV. I think it's a Canadian soccer channel. 614 for the DirecTV crowd.
2007-06-26 11:28:11
26.   blue22
24 - Furcal has had Pierre and Nomar basically swinging at the next two pitches thrown, making for a short window to steal a base. But, yeah, he looks hurt to me too.
2007-06-26 11:28:35
27.   El Lay Dave
From Kevin Pearson on the Press-Enterprise blog. (Nearly the same words in Gurnicks article as well.)

Jeff Kent left the game in after fouling a ball off the big toe of his left foot in the sixth inning. X-Rays were negative and he is day-to-day.

So if Nomar isn't ready for 3B yet, and Abreu plays 2B, I guess Betemit gets a couple more shots at third.

2007-06-26 11:30:47
28.   Doctor
Maybe the 4 days off for the all-star break will help, heck let's make it 5 or 6 if that will matter. I really hate to think being rushed back from that stupid spring training/Repko play will diminish his career.
2007-06-26 11:33:11
29.   Hallux Valgus
25 That channel is weird. All of the DirecTV labels are in Spanish (the game on Thursday is listed as Argentina vs. Estados Unidos), but the game announcers are English.
2007-06-26 11:34:50
30.   Greg Brock
I am become Repko, destroyer of worlds...
2007-06-26 11:42:50
31.   Bob Timmermann
30
Umm, that's not pop culture! If we want you making references to classic religious works, we'll tell you.
2007-06-26 11:47:18
32.   Penarol1916
25. Oh, Uruguay is getting ready to go on a run.
2007-06-26 11:50:46
33.   Greg Brock
31 Furcal got Repkowned.

Or

Jason Repko:Dodgers::Badluck Schleprock:Flinstones

Better?

2007-06-26 11:51:15
34.   Bob Timmermann
33
Ahh, TV eases the pain.
2007-06-26 11:52:01
35.   Joshua Worley
So, I followed this baseballnooz link, and there is a link to a Rangers blog where a trade of Loney, Kemp and Bryan Morris for Teixeira is discussed.

Some of the commenters didn't think that package from the Dodgers was good enough. They were talking about throwing in Billingsley or Kershaw as well.

2007-06-26 11:57:21
36.   silverwidow
Kuo's ERA as a starter (minus the Toronto aberration): 2.74
2007-06-26 12:01:30
37.   El Lay Dave
Gurnick, mlb.com: Little mentioned Betemit's lack of production as a key element in his decision to move Garciaparra to third base and open first base for Loney.

Hmmm, Betemit has a higher OBP, his SLG is > 100 points higher, his RBI/PA is identical (despite Nomar's vaunted RISP stats), and his R/PA higher. Who's more "productive"?

Name PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
Nomar 285 265 22 73 12 0 1 38 17 25 0.275 0.316 0.332
Betemit 150 121 17 24 5 0 8 20 25 38 0.198 0.333 0.438
Betemit* 285 230 32 46 10 0 15 38 48 72 0.198 0.333 0.438
* extrapolated to Nomar's PAs

(yes, take extrapolation for what it is worth [but it reflects the current rate], small sample sizes, etc.)

Same data in a table:
http://tinyurl.com/3bjqc3

2007-06-26 12:04:29
38.   Jeff Zellman
If we go 45-41 (.523) the rest of the way, we would match the 88 wins of 2006. If we go 28-58 (.326) the rest of the way, we would match the 71 wins of 2005.
2007-06-26 12:04:48
39.   Bob Timmermann
But in other news, Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated the rule that any new pope be elected by a 2/3 majority. There had been a change where the College of Cardinals could elect a pope with a simple majority if there had been a deadlock.

The upshot of this:

Expect lots of friends of Frankie Frisch to become Pope.

2007-06-26 12:05:40
40.   Bob Timmermann
39
I gotta move that joke to the Griddle! I look at you as my focus group.
2007-06-26 12:11:26
41.   Inside Baseball
37 But who would you rather have come to the plate in the ninth inning down by a run with a man on second base, Nomar or Betemit? I'd still vote Nomar, prolonged slump withstanding. Really, I'm just happy it's not Jason Phillips.
2007-06-26 12:15:08
42.   El Lay Dave
41 In order to exercise that choice, I'd have to have both on the bench, or one pinch-hit for the other. Otherwise, the position in the batting order when that situation arises is pretty random.

Or, in other words, you must want to have Nomar on the bench so you can make that choice. ;)

2007-06-26 12:17:00
43.   SG6
Maybe this was mentioned in a previous thread, but Vinny mentioned during the game yesterday that the Dodger player most sought after in trade talks by other teams is...Wilson Betemit. By far.
2007-06-26 12:22:18
44.   Telemachos
With Nomar penciled in at third, unless there's a superstar available at first, I don't see Colletti pulling the trigger on a trade. Unless Loney suddenly hits a major slump or Nomar gets hurt and/or hits a bit RISP slump too, of course.
2007-06-26 12:22:33
45.   Inside Baseball
Not to suggest I think Betemit got a fair look this year, it's just when the realistic choices seem to be Nomar and Loney in the lineup together or Nomar and Betemit in the lineup together, I'll go with Nomar and Loney. Nomar will not be sitting.

I still don't get why they scrapped the Betemit/LaRoche platoon so hastily.

2007-06-26 12:23:05
46.   Doctor
Every time I see Nomar hit I just wonder what would happen if he could wait for a ball over the plate to swing at. Leaning over the plate to nub a gounder to SS on a pitch 4-5" off the plate can only (not) work for so long.
Where was he on the list of players who swing at balls outside of the strike zone?
2007-06-26 12:31:35
47.   WillieD
37 Of course, that's using Betemit's overall numbers, including his completely different numbers as a PH. As a 3B, Betemit goes to:
.155 .291 .330 .621

Where he sports a lower average, OBP, and SLG than Nomar. Then again, we don't have Nomar's numbers as a 3B this year. We do have Wilson's, and it's no wonder they don't want to start him there, a this rate.

2007-06-26 12:37:50
48.   twerp
The Dodgers got cash for the 51s' Mitch Jones when he signed with a Japanese team.

Does anyone know if that's to be the case with Matt White?

And did Bigbie and/or Mays ever catch on anywhere else?

2007-06-26 12:37:58
49.   Jon Weisman
What is the rationale for not including Betemit's PH numbers when calculating how well he hits compared to other possible Dodger third basemen?
2007-06-26 12:38:00
50.   dzzrtRatt
Would it be so terrible if Furcal just stayed off his feet for a week? It sounds like he aggravates it every day he plays.

On his way to third base, maybe Nomar could take a vacation at shortstop, let Betemit and Abreu hold down third, and get Furcal up to full strength for the second half.

Secret hope: Abreu or Betemit will catch fire at third base before Nomar ever gets there, so when Furcal returns, Nomar goes to the bench as an infield sub.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-26 12:38:58
51.   Jon Weisman
50 - I'm no doctor or trainer, but I would rest Furcal.
2007-06-26 12:41:44
52.   Greg Brock
51 But do you play one on TV?
2007-06-26 12:49:32
53.   Sam DC
You know, or at least did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?
2007-06-26 12:51:43
54.   blue22
48 - Perhaps Matt White greased the Dodgers palm a bit to let him go...
2007-06-26 12:51:50
55.   Gagne55
55. Dr. McCoy
I'm a doctor, not a blog writer.
2007-06-26 12:54:22
56.   Sam DC
I haven't been reading as closely as I'd like, so I'm wondering -- what on earth did Jon write that has resulted in the batgirl blogad moving in?
2007-06-26 12:59:12
57.   Bob Timmermann
56
I believe the company paid for the ad.
2007-06-26 13:00:27
58.   bigcpa
Betemit has a .213 BABIP this year vs. .321 career. So there is little reason to think he will hit .198 the rest of the way. Since May 1 he's hitting .247/.360/.616 compared to Nomar's .256/.293/.280.

Any perceived lack of production from Betemit is based on his 6-48 April. If his walk rate and ISO are for real, then if his AVG bounces back to his career norm you've got this: .259/.394/.499.

Still I concede that playing Betemit over Nomar is about as tough to sell as Jose Valentin replacing Beltre.

2007-06-26 13:02:07
59.   Telemachos
46 As a corollary to that: if the pitch is middle/outside, why not try to drive it to the opposite field? You stand a decent chance of driving it into the alleys. I'm always bothered when a hitter insists on trying to pull everything.... unless you have the power to simply muscle it hard, it makes sense to go with the pitch. Martin, for example, is best when he's not trying to pull everything but willing to hit it hard to all fields.
2007-06-26 13:03:30
60.   Sam DC
57 Ahh, it's not like the Google Ad thing where post content calls up different ads (e.g., the slew of Ayn Rand ads from a couple of years back), but instead the company somehow judged that this crowd might take notice of a pantsless lady holding a baseball bat.

Can't imagine where they'd have gotten that idea.

2007-06-26 13:05:24
61.   Daniel Zappala
The fact/hearsay that Betemit gets mentioned most in trade requests/discussions doesn't necessarily mean he's really great. It's just that he's a realistic target right now, given how the Dodgers are using him. In a similar vein, I don't expect the Angels get many requests for Vlad, but often have Figgins come up in discussions because they recognize the Angels can move him if they get another 3B/DH in the deal. I suspect a trading partner would have more luck getting Betemit from the Dodgers than Loney or Kemp. They're recognizing that he has the potential to become better, and maybe they're offering the Dodgers a middling reliever in return, recognizing that with Billingsley's move to the rotation they have a hole to fill.
2007-06-26 13:11:11
62.   Fallout
I think that what you see in Pierre is that he doesn't read the flies very well and often times takes a bad route but still catches up to it because of his speed. Compared that to Edmonds who reads flies very well, has great hands and takes a straight route to the ball. If you take a long fly ball that Edmonds catches on the run, Pierre might catch it but will take three extra steps getting there. Of course if the fly is close to the fence you would pick Edmonds over Pierre every time. Then you have the arm factor that is not considered in the statistics. You can't teach speed. (I couldn't resist.) :)
2007-06-26 13:16:18
63.   Eric Enders
I agree with 62. It doesn't surprise me that Pierre shows well in the defensive metrics, since he has the speed to outrun so many of his mistakes. I think he still makes a lot more mistakes than your average centerfielder, but much of the time he seems to get to the ball anyway. I wish I had a nickel for every time Vinny has noted he broke the wrong way on a fly ball, but ended up catching it anyway.
2007-06-26 13:19:00
64.   Disabled List
Jon writes about baseball. Men like to read about baseball. Company wants to advertise effectively to men.

Hence, pantsless batgirl. The genius of American marketing is not to be underestimated.

2007-06-26 13:20:41
65.   Eric Enders
Another thing I forgot to add is that, so far as I know, zone rating only measures plays made, not plays not made. This is just based on my observation, and so could be completely off base, but it seems to me that Pierre plays a lot shallower than other CFs, probably because of his arm. Thus, he tends to catch the soft bloopers in front of him, and many of his non-catches are balls that go over his head for doubles and triples. If that's true, then it means Pierre would have less value than other CFs with the same zone rating, since more of his missed balls are going for extra bases.

Again, I don't know that that's actually true, but it's definitely the impression I get from watching him.

2007-06-26 13:21:45
66.   Eric Enders
Hey, she might be wearing some hotpants under there. You never know.
2007-06-26 13:22:33
67.   Hythloday
64 - Are you saying that pantsless batgirl wouldn't appeal to us if this were a D&D blog?
2007-06-26 13:22:54
68.   regfairfield
65 Not true. Zone rating simply divides the field into nine zones, then counts the percentage of balls caught in the fielders zone.
2007-06-26 13:24:18
69.   confucius
It seems fair to assume that Betemit is going to start getting more base hits and return to his career averages. Should we not assume the same for Nomar? I can't stand seeing Nomar in the lineup just as much as the next guy, but can he really play this badly throughout the whole year? He's not that old and he's healthy so why won't he improve?
2007-06-26 13:24:31
70.   blue22
68 - What about my 19? Am I correct there?
2007-06-26 13:25:45
71.   Eric Enders
68 That's exactly what I thought. Which means I don't understand your first sentence. The fact that zone rating doesn't take the balls missed into account -- or, more to the point, how many bases those hits go for -- helps confirm my theory, not refute it.
2007-06-26 13:26:17
72.   regfairfield
19 Yep, FRAA is just range factor with a lot of adjustments.
2007-06-26 13:27:14
73.   regfairfield
68 I don't understand. If a player catches one ball in his zone, his zone rating is 1.000. If he catches one and misses one, it's .500.
2007-06-26 13:27:21
74.   Disabled List
67 I'm sure Pantsless Batgirl would appear on a D&D blog, but she'd probably be holding a sword or something.
2007-06-26 13:27:38
75.   El Lay Dave
"pantless batgirl" one of my late 60s fantasies. BIFF! OOF! WHAM!
2007-06-26 13:29:40
76.   Greg Brock
Pantless Batgirl is cute and all, but let's not start going ga ga over here. I mean, come on...She's not even wearing adult diapers. She probably hasn't even been to outer space.

Feh

2007-06-26 13:30:19
77.   El Lay Dave
Even worse, her uniform has pinstripes.
2007-06-26 13:32:32
78.   blue22
I'll take me some SnorgTees girl over Pantless Batgirl any day.

www.snorgtees.com (SFW)

2007-06-26 13:32:37
79.   Eric Enders
73 Okay. Let's say Player A catches eight out of every ten balls in his zone. Player B also catches eight of every ten balls in his zone. (For purposes of this hypothesis, we will call Player A "Beltran" and Player B "Slappy.")

Let's say that because Player A plays a deep center field, most of the balls in his zone that he misses are singles which fall in front of him. Let's also say that Player B plays a very shallow center field, and therefore most of the balls in his zone which he misses are triples that go over his head.

If I am not mistaken, both of those players would have a zone rating of .800. And yet, I think we can all agree that two triples are much more damaging to the defense than two singles are. So Player A will be a much more valauble defensive player than Player B, despite the fact that they have exactly the same zone rating.

2007-06-26 13:33:12
80.   Sam DC
67 Well, in that case it would more likely be the other kind of bats.
2007-06-26 13:33:37
81.   El Lay Dave
65 I agree with you that JP does seem to play a bit shallower and I'll also offer that he seems to go straight back pretty, getting decent jumps when it's straight over his head. It's the back-and-left and back-and-right routes that are sometimes off.

That said, route complaining does seem to be down of late, using subjective memory analysis, i.e., an observational guess.

2007-06-26 13:34:18
82.   regfairfield
79 Ah, got it. You're exactly right.
2007-06-26 13:36:53
83.   Disabled List
I am very much enjoying Pantsless Batgirl Thoughts today.
2007-06-26 13:37:37
84.   bigcpa
69 If Nomar reverts to his career .316 avg then he'll hit: .316/.357/.371.

There's more reason to think Betemit's AVG will bounce back to career norms than will Nomar's power.

2007-06-26 13:37:44
85.   El Lay Dave
83 Just don't overshare.
2007-06-26 13:39:07
86.   Dodgers49
48. And did Bigbie and/or Mays ever catch on anywhere else?

Bigbie is playing for the Richmond Braves (Atlanta's AAA team). He pinch hit in last night's game and is currently hitting .205.

http://tinyurl.com/28pzqr

2007-06-26 13:39:56
87.   Eric Enders
I guess everybody here already knows that the real Batgirl is one of the three or four best baseball bloggers around. Although she's recently retired, her archives are well worth reading.
http://www.bat-girl.com/
2007-06-26 13:41:10
88.   underdog
You know, I have to say, when you actually click on that Batdisplay ad link, after seeing the pantsless batgirl, it's a bit of a disappointment to actually get to their site. Yawn.

Not that I clicked on it or anything, not on purpose anyway.

2007-06-26 13:42:24
89.   Greg Brock
I wonder if Jeff Kent has a pipeline to the Pantsless Batgirl.
2007-06-26 13:42:27
90.   Sam DC
Marlon Anderson tradee Jhonny Nunes goes tonight for the Nationals A affiliate (Hagerstown Suns). He's 1-5 with a 4.15 ERA this season.
2007-06-26 13:43:48
91.   Eric Enders
88 I clicked on it to, uh, contribute in my own very small way to the Weisman HDTV fund. Yeah, that's it.
2007-06-26 13:43:53
92.   Hythloday
89 - No, but he's laying some pipe as we speak.
2007-06-26 13:44:08
93.   Daniel Zappala
I am very much enjoying Pantsless Batgirl Thoughts today.

The advertising campaign is a success.

2007-06-26 13:45:06
94.   Hythloday
93 - What is it that she's selling though? Can you sell no pants?
2007-06-26 13:45:50
95.   Daniel Zappala
You wouldn't even see the batgirl ad if you used a decent ad blocker.
2007-06-26 13:48:04
96.   Greg Brock
95 One could, hypothetically, disable the ad blocker in order to see what the fuss is all about.

If one wanted to do that. Hypothetically. Just putting that out there. Not that I...nevermind.

So, Betemit/Nomar...

2007-06-26 13:48:31
97.   GobiasIndustries
Hey I was just reading the sports section of the AZ Republic and saw this article:

http://tinyurl.com/24l8bs

It basically says that "The suggestion that the Diamondbacks' perch atop the NL West is a mirage is an insult to a team whose heart is bigger than its payroll."

Not a very compelling article to say the least but in reading the comments at the bottom, I saw this guy.........TemarcusJones!
Let's just say I hope he posts regularly. Sample:
Nice feel good fluff piece for the mindless drones of Arizona that actually think they have a shot at the NL West this year. I hope the AZ Republic archives all their articles so that they may reprint your piece come September and see just how ridiculous it was in the first place. I'm not attacking you, I know you have a job to do and I respect that. Looking at the morons who post comments at the bottom of each article in the D-backs section of the site makes me feel a little bit better about the idiot fans of L.A, S.D, and even the dreaded SF. Arizona and Colorado have no clue. No matter where they are in the standings in June/July or even August, the two Expanchises don't have a chance. It's obvious that the Dodgers and the Padres have way more talent in all facets of the game. The standings may not reflect that at the moment but look at the head to head to records this year of the Dodgers vs. D-Backs and the Padres vs. D-backs. The Dodgers have dominated. The only game won by Arizona was started by Webb. That guy is goooood, no doubt about it. The D-bags don't match up well to either one of those two teams and are more on par with Colorado. The future may be bright and the prospects are going to start putting up numbers and blah blah blah. The truth is by the time the highly touted prospects start producing consistently, if that ever even happens, the likes of Tony Clark, Eric Byrnes, Randy Johnson and the other veteran contributors will be long gone. And what self respecting veteran is going to voluntarily go to the D-bags to fill their "veteran" roles then? Tony Clark and Eric Byrnes are retreads. Guys that have been cut and cut and cut some more. They're misfits that have found a home if you will. But they'll never be as cool as Glen Danzig! Good luck losers!!!!!!!!!!

I found that pretty entertaining myself.

2007-06-26 13:58:12
98.   Marty
94 Racks. Though hers pretty much sell themselves.
2007-06-26 14:01:19
99.   Humma Kavula
94 "We're not selling no jeans here!"
2007-06-26 14:02:04
100.   Fallout
I'll bet that when she swings she doesn't miss.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-26 14:04:01
101.   Jon Weisman
97 - Paola Boivin, part of my Daily News past.

The weird part of the column is that I haven't seen anyone who thinks the Diamondbacks are a mirage.

I suppose we, or at least Ned, should be insulted by the implication that the Dodgers don't have as much heart.

2007-06-26 14:07:36
102.   Eric Enders
101 Well, if we had too much heart, we'd be the Washington team. I'd rather not.

The bat rack company is called "Stagg Sports," and they're using a pantsless woman to sell "racks." Subtle.

2007-06-26 14:07:53
103.   Andrew Shimmin
Wasn't Pierre at the top of the UZR heap for NL CFs last year? If so, being about average now would not portend well for the future.
2007-06-26 14:07:56
104.   Hythloday
99 - I bought 3 pairs of no jeans because sometimes you need to wash them. You have to be careful of shrinking them. Well that and the retching of your office mates.
2007-06-26 14:08:43
105.   Bob Timmermann
No fan of any NL West team thinks the team s/he supports is good enough to win.

Yet, 80% of the the NL West teams are pretty good by NL standards.

Discuss.

2007-06-26 14:10:04
106.   GobiasIndustries
101
I suppose we, or at least Ned, should be insulted by the implication that the Dodgers don't have as much heart.

I agree! Well the post of the guy I cut and pasted seems to think that the Diamondbacks are a mirage. Well his rant is not quite acurate, I just got a kick out of his Glen Danzig/Misfits reference. I just thought that was too funny.

2007-06-26 14:10:41
107.   Kevin Lewis
49)

It pains me to say (because I like Nomar), but I hope this switch to third eventually opens up a spot for Betemit to play there as Nomar continues to under perform. It is likely the only reason I say this is because I know they won't bench Nomar right away without showing they did what they could to help him contribute to the team before he becomes a good player off the bench. The question is: would Nomar want to eventually be traded if he ended up being a utility guy on the bench, or would he accept that role as part of his character bulding project?

Am I too harsh?

2007-06-26 14:12:56
108.   Eric Enders
105 The Dodgers, as currently constituted, are good enough to win if they use the right personnel. Which they are beginning to do.
2007-06-26 14:13:07
109.   Icaros
I like the Danzig reference as well, but he spells it Glenn.

Because the extra n is more evil, just like the superfluous g in Gregg Jefferies.

2007-06-26 14:13:47
110.   GobiasIndustries
106
I forgot to mention his use of the word "expanchises". I'd never heard that before and thought that was funny too.

I guess I'm easily amused.

2007-06-26 14:14:11
111.   Eric Enders
Bob is not going to like the opinion expressed in 109.
2007-06-26 14:15:14
112.   confucius
Ned would be the first to tell you that the Diamondbacks have no chance in winning becasue they're not veteran enough. They need some more old guys out there. When Luis Gonzalez hits a HR it's worth more runs than when Chris Young hits one. :)
2007-06-26 14:16:10
113.   trainwreck
109
Ever see that video where Danzig gets knocked out?

I hear the guy is a complete jerk, which is not really surprising.

2007-06-26 14:16:59
114.   Icaros
111

Labeling something as evil is a compliment in my universe. Bob should understand.

2007-06-26 14:18:20
115.   Icaros
113

Yes, I saw it. He was very nice when I met him a few years ago.

2007-06-26 14:21:45
116.   GobiasIndustries
113
I saw that video too. I was very disappointed as I thought that Danzig would have put up more of a fight. He's not a very big man though. Only 5'5" of 5'6" but he's all chest.
2007-06-26 14:23:46
117.   Icaros
116

He's also in his 50s fighting a guy nearly half his age.

2007-06-26 14:24:02
118.   Fallout
112 MLB is a fine tuned sport. If it wasn't, you wouldn't need the elaborate minor league system. Colletti has done a nice job of bringing along the rookies at a reasonable pace.
2007-06-26 14:24:03
119.   trainwreck
Danzig looks like Wolverine.
2007-06-26 14:24:21
120.   MJW101
Currently,

Pierre/Nomar are tied for the LEAST number of runs generated per PA (.14) by starters in June (.18/.21 for season). The leaders for June are Loney (.40) and Gonzo (.35). For the season the leaders are Loney (.40), Martin (.29), Kemp (.27), Gonzo (.25) and Kent (.24). Team average is .21 for June and .20 for the season.

Martinez (.76), Lieberthal (.76), Pierre (.73) and Abreu (.72) generated the MOST outs per PA for the season. Loney (.58), Kemp (.57) and LaRoche (.58) generated the LEAST number of outs per PA for the season. The team average is .68.

2007-06-26 14:26:24
121.   Marty
This headline at ItD made me chuckle:

Billingsley ready to air it out in second start

2007-06-26 14:28:10
122.   still bevens
Danzig's phone number begins with (310)666-####. God bless him. I also read that he has some people come over to mess with the gate to his driveway so it squeaks on purpose.
2007-06-26 14:28:13
123.   GobiasIndustries
117
True.

119
True.

2007-06-26 14:28:26
124.   Marty
Also, Jon Weisman seems to have stopped posting at ItD.
2007-06-26 14:30:44
125.   GobiasIndustries
122
If any of that's true, that is comedy.
2007-06-26 14:32:44
126.   underdog
Didn't Danzig have an amusing cameo in an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode? Or am I dreaming that? That whole show is kind of like a hallucination, anyway.

Anyway, back to the pantsless batgirl... er, I mean, the Dodgers! Yes, the Dodgers.

105 Because sports fans as a general lot tend to be negative or have overly unrealistic expectations of their given teams? I don't think fans in the West are generally more cynical.

2007-06-26 14:34:21
127.   bhsportsguy
119 Sweetest words to be heard around UCLA in quite a while. According to B. Dohn, Love arrives at or around July 7th, let the games begin.
2007-06-26 14:39:10
128.   ToyCannon
124
Hard to post when your sleeping with the fishes. We warned him, he didn't understand about the West Coast Weisman's.
2007-06-26 14:44:43
129.   trainwreck
126
He was on Aqua Teen. In fact that is one of the sources that said he was a jerk. The creators of Aqua Teen said he was hard to work with and kept asking them to draw him bigger and buffer.

127
Very nice.

2007-06-26 14:45:16
130.   El Lay Dave
101 I know she wrote the sport media column there (before the common era), but I have a vague recollection that she moved to sports from elsewhere? Or is it just my aging memory?
2007-06-26 14:52:31
131.   trainwreck
I do not know if you guys have been following the news on sharks, but they are slowly evolving and are on their way to taking over the world.

First they found an asexual hammerhead and now they may have found a black tip reef shark that crossbred. Imagine crazy hybrid sharks.

2007-06-26 14:56:15
132.   underdog
Lineup, courtesy ItD (as are the parenthetical notes):

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF (toughest guy to strike out in the NL)

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B

Loney, 1B (hitting .363 since being recalled last season, 3rd best in MLB)

Ethier, RF (doing the Arizona media tour in his old stomping grounds)

Billingsley, P

2007-06-26 14:57:40
133.   underdog
(I'm surprised Kent's back in there tonight, aren't you?)

Notice anything else surprising?

2007-06-26 14:57:59
134.   trainwreck
Wow, Nomar already at third and Martin now third. Sweet!! Now if they would only start playing Kemp more.
2007-06-26 14:58:37
135.   Eric Stephen
Wow, so much for waiting until Friday! And Nomar moves down to 6th. Not so rigid after all.
2007-06-26 14:58:51
136.   ToyCannon
131
That reminds me of one of my favorite SciFi series called the Uplift Saga by David Brin.

Greg Brock have you read it?

2007-06-26 14:59:01
137.   Hythloday
131- I'm just worried about the half sharkalligator half man. Half man half shark.

In my real world, orangutangs dance for thanksgiving
With skeleton bones and skunk tails, is my mission
Holding backward raps to all my power packs
Babboons clap, and girl horses wanna hit the sack
Were too bold for ocean water, monkeys sniffin ice
Contact jupiter pools martians bring my rice
Im out flyin with purple capes in the twilight
Oooh ooh ooh, tonights the night
My oxygen regions, new york to california
Half shark alligator half man!

2007-06-26 14:59:41
138.   Inside Baseball
It's getting there, getting there, just needs the Bison.
2007-06-26 15:00:14
139.   El Lay Dave
132 Wow. :o
2007-06-26 15:01:27
140.   bryanf
Good to see Martin hitting third, though I share everyone's sentiment about Kemp. I'm wondering, though, why Loney is batting so low in the order. Where does he really belong? I'm thinking he might be pretty good in the 2 slot.
2007-06-26 15:02:03
141.   DodgerBakers
Re: the lineup

I just hope Loney and Kemp are in there tomorrow night when I go with a Diamondbacks fan to the game. Lowe vs. Webb--should be interesting.

2007-06-26 15:02:31
142.   ToyCannon
With our own notes.
Furcal, SS (97% inefficient)

Pierre, CF (Most outs in the 21st century)

Martin, C (Golden God)

Kent, 2B (Frank is jealous of his pipeline to his wife)

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B (Lowest slug% for a CI in baseball in June)

Loney, 1B (Greatest hitter in LA Dodger history)

Ethier, RF (Just a matter of time before he meets the pine)

Billingsley, P

2007-06-26 15:02:43
143.   underdog
Let's cross one bridge at a time here, people. We're just checking one thing off the list each day.
2007-06-26 15:06:50
144.   Telemachos
I've got no problem with the young'uns batting lower in the order until they bust the proverbial door down (producing at a sustained level over a period of time). Little and Colletti have shown they're flexible (Nomar batting sixth!); given time, and assuming they continue to play well, I don't doubt we'll start seeing Kemp and/or Loney higher in the order.
2007-06-26 15:08:29
145.   El Lay Dave
140 Grady does not want to pressure the kids by batting them high in the order, I guess.
2007-06-26 15:09:00
146.   Inside Baseball
143 I like that plan and can't wait until Sunday's lineup:

Furcal, ss
Loney, 1b
Martin, C
Kemp, CF
Gonzalez, LF
Kent, 2b
Ethier, RF
Nomar, 3b
Billingsley, P

sigh. Now if LaRoche wasn't hurt...

2007-06-26 15:09:11
147.   trainwreck
Marlins got Jacque Jones from the Cubs.
2007-06-26 15:09:20
148.   Eric Enders
144 Yeah, I'm not about to get into batting order kvetching when Loney's finally in the lineup and Nomar at third. Just put the Bison in there, and I'll be happy.
2007-06-26 15:11:27
149.   ToyCannon
141
I wonder what the record is for most groundballs in a game is? You would think that Lowe and Webb could make a run at it.
2007-06-26 15:12:38
150.   El Lay Dave
I don't think Grady will start Kemp tomorrow against Webb, a stud right-hander. I was hoping to see him tonight, against Edgar Gonzalez, and thought that might happen after Ethier's 0-3, BB yesterday.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-06-26 15:14:34
151.   Marty
I would change

Pierre, CF (toughest guy to strike out in the NL)

to
Pierre, CF (toughest guy to get out of the lineup in the NL)

2007-06-26 15:18:19
152.   Hythloday
151 - Why not simplify it to:

Pierre, CF (tough guy)

2007-06-26 15:19:07
153.   D4P
Or change "toughest guy to strike out in the NL" to "one of the easiest guys to get out in the ML"
2007-06-26 15:21:28
154.   Dodgers49
I'm really disappointed that Kemp's not there but I guess I'll have to be satisfied with half a loaf. Once they resolved the Loney/Nomar problem I really expected they might alternate Kemp with Ethier (because I knew the other two guys were going to play). Since we won't be facing a lefty for quite a while I dislike seeing Kemp ride the pine day after day.
2007-06-26 15:23:09
155.   Tangled Up in Blue
137 Is that a Dr. Octagon reference? If so, you need to change you handle to Blue Flowers.
2007-06-26 15:24:16
156.   dkminnick
132 - "Pierre, CF (toughest guy to strike out in the NL)"

It's hard to strike out when you only see two pitches per at-bat.

2007-06-26 15:24:39
157.   Greg Brock
136 I have not, but will per your recommendation.
2007-06-26 15:28:32
158.   Hythloday
155 - It is Dr. Octagon.

Blue Flowers would be a good handle, but then people might question my interest in Pantsless Batgirl. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

2007-06-26 15:29:35
159.   Eric Stephen
The next door to be broken down is Pierre not playing everyday. Assuming 18 OF starts per week (6 games), giving Pierre and Gonzo each just one day off would result in more playing time for Kemp, with an average week something like:

Gonzo - 5 starts per 6 games
Pierre - 5
Ethier - 4
Kemp - 4

I think Eric Enders posted this a while back as well, but it's worth mentioning again.

Heck, since the Dodgers seem to be slowly but surely checking items off our list, why not ask for the moon?

2007-06-26 15:30:24
160.   trainwreck
137
Awesome! Kool Keith references are always welcome. Well, unless they are horribly offensive. This site does have standards.
2007-06-26 15:34:13
161.   WillieD
49 I don't know why Betemit hits so much better as a pinch hitter, than he does as a third baseman, at least this year. Even after he gets hot pinch hitting, it seems he gets cold quickly, when started a few games at third. So, I support him at a pinch hitter, and occasional starter, and hope Nomar does well at third...

It's great seeing the change happening tonight! I'll be at a local early evening concert in the park with my kids, but I can't wait for that to end, to get home and start the Dodgers on TiVo. Amazing that they're both moving Nomar across to third, and finally moving him out of the third spot in the lineup, on the same night. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Loney. He's been fun to watch ever since his brief stints with the team last year.

2007-06-26 15:35:08
162.   Jon Weisman
159 - That's been my point all along. Hoping Pierre would be dropped in the batting order was too timid a goal. If Gonzalez, Kemp and Ethier all hit, Pierre will get rested occasionally, eventually.
2007-06-26 15:37:50
163.   Tangled Up in Blue
158 Oh, of course!

Still waiting for something new out of the Automator other than a Tribe remix.

Anyways, back to the Dodgers. I am blown away by Little not only moving Nomar to third base but also dropping him in the order.

Every time I think I am out, they do something like this to pull me back in.

2007-06-26 15:38:46
164.   Fallout
I said a few days ago that the Dodgers brought up Loney because they weren't happy with Garciapara's production. I was wondering what they had in mind. Now we know. It was the very same move that some of us were hoping for when the season started...though not expecting Nomar's power to go into the tank. With his lack of production his value at first base and the need to protect his body from injury is not there anymore. If he were to get hurt it's not as big of a deal since he's not hitting .320 with 10HR so far.
2007-06-26 15:39:09
165.   Hythloday
160 - There are parts of that album that would be a tad risque, but I do like teasing my wife that she has chimpanzee acne.
2007-06-26 15:40:58
166.   Jeff Zellman
The Dodgers have a losing record when Brad Penny doesn't start.
2007-06-26 15:42:37
167.   still bevens
163 I heard there's a new Deltron on the way, but if its anything like the new Handsome Boy Modeling School, I want nothing to do with it.
2007-06-26 15:42:53
168.   MJW101
How is it that a team bereft of power can consistently sit their only legitimate power hitter?
2007-06-26 15:47:08
169.   underdog
163 Thank you, Michael Corleone.

168 Good question, though I'd also say Martin and Loney (and still, sometimes) Kent are (semi?)legitimate power hitters as well. And Gonzo, surprisingly, still is, too. Sort of. But, yes, a lot of us are asking that question.

2007-06-26 15:47:16
170.   trainwreck
167
I liked the Mike Patton song on the last HBMS album. Of course, I like pretty much everything with Mike Patton.
2007-06-26 15:47:43
171.   Tangled Up in Blue
167 I would be all over a new Deltron album. Del is one of my favorite MCs.
2007-06-26 15:48:13
172.   trainwreck
*pretty much like
2007-06-26 15:48:42
173.   Hythloday
167 - That is good to hear. I love Deltron. I'm a bit out of it and am just starting to listen to Handsome Boy (I thought there was only one album), I'm still not sure what I think about it. That usually isn't a good sign, but it took a while for TV on the Radio to grow on me and now I love them.
2007-06-26 15:49:00
174.   trainwreck
I believe there is a new Lovage album on the way.
2007-06-26 15:49:45
175.   Bob Timmermann
114
All the bad guys in the film "Brazil" had names ending with a double n.
2007-06-26 15:51:36
176.   bhsportsguy
162 This is going to sound strange for this board but a quote from my mom's favorite movie.

Oh, [fiil in name of DT commentator] don't let's ask for the moon, we have the stars.

And Jon, thanks for the assistance, it all worked out great.

2007-06-26 15:53:57
177.   underdog
Your mom's a Bette Davis fan, eh, BH? ;-)

I think I'm gonna leave work early, so I can do some work at home and then be there to watch the game on TV. Should be full of intrigue, this game tonight.

2007-06-26 15:56:53
178.   Greg Brock
Tim Henman and Carlos Moya are both going to need a nap.

24 game 5th sets will do that to ya.

2007-06-26 15:58:01
179.   Jon Weisman
161 - That doesn't answer my question. What is the rationale for evaluating Betemit the third baseman as someone different from Betemit the pinch-hitter? The challenges of playing defense render him helpless in a way that the challenges of coming off the bench cold do not?
2007-06-26 15:58:09
180.   El Lay Dave
Troy Percival back in the bigs.
http://tinyurl.com/2sfrmc
2007-06-26 16:04:04
181.   bhsportsguy
177 She is and she isn't. She loves those old WB melodramas like "Now Villager" but did not appreciate her great work in "All About Eve."

Hard to believe that Bette Davis, all of 42 when Eve was released was considered a has been. Of course, that year, 1950, saw the best film ever about Hollywood and the business, "Sunset Blvd." with a forgotten 53 year old Gloria Swanson and her famous line, "I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille."

Sorry for the movie talk.

2007-06-26 16:04:27
182.   Eric Stephen
I hope Billingsley will be able to "air it out" tonight, as Dodgers.com tell us.

Thus far, Billingsley has started 17 games in the big leagues. In six of those starts he has managed to last 6 innings or longer (reaching 7 IP in three starts), and is 5-1.

In the 11 starts of less than six innings, the Dodgers are 5-6.

2007-06-26 16:05:36
183.   bhsportsguy
181 Now Villager, WTH was I thinking, of course its "Now Voyager".

Now Villager starred Alan Ladd as short shopkeeper who runs off hooligans with his cobblin tools.

2007-06-26 16:08:00
184.   D4P
A further thought on Pierre: calling him the "toughest guy to strike out" presumes that opposing pitchers are trying to strike him out. In fact, I seriously doubt that's typically the case. On the contrary, I think it's much more likely that pitchers are trying to get him to hit the ball. When he puts the ball in play, he makes an out roughly 70% of the time. Of the other 30% that become hits, roughly 15% are for extra bases. Thus, only 4.5% of his balls put in play take him past first base. He's pretty much precisely the kind of hitter pitchers don't try to strike out, because they don't want to waste pitches and they don't want to risk walking him.

Rather than concluding that he's the "toughest guy to strike out," I think it's more reasonable to conclude that he's the "easiest guy to induce putting the ball in play."

2007-06-26 16:08:31
185.   still bevens
180 One more step closer to completing the whole 2002 Angels action figure set!
2007-06-26 16:09:06
186.   Bumsrap
"Surprised by this, I asked THT's Dave Studeman about how the numbers conflicted with how bad Pierre looks to my naked eye. Essentially, the statistical evidence is that too much has been made of Pierre's balltracking shortcomings"

Sahll we assume the same goes for Kemp?

2007-06-26 16:15:33
187.   GobiasIndustries
171
Yeah! I Wish My Brother George was Here is one of the greatest albums toooooooooo many people have never heard.
2007-06-26 16:16:43
188.   Marty
My mother changed the spelling of her name from Betty to Bette because of Bette Davis.
2007-06-26 16:21:21
189.   Eric Enders
188 Hopefully your dad is not a Jhonny Peralta fan.
2007-06-26 16:23:08
190.   Doctor
Wow, with an 0-4 tonight Derek Lowe would be close to passing Pierre in OBP, with Brad Penny right on his heels ( SLG also). Bison's Ks are looking very easy to accept at this point.
2007-06-26 16:25:24
191.   Tangled Up in Blue
187 Mista Dobalina, Mista Bob Dobalina!
2007-06-26 16:26:02
192.   WillieD
179 "The challenges of playing defense render him helpless in a way that the challenges of coming off the bench cold do not?"

Apparently, yes, for Mr. Betemit. I do not know why. (Loved his HR last night, after he came into the game defensively. I still pronounce his name the old way, and love to sing "Betemit, Betemit, Betemit gum.." whenver he gets a good hit.) You would think it would be the other way around, that pinch hitting would be tougher than hitting within the context of playing the whole game... I really appreciate your blog, by the way, Jon. I've been following the threads here, for quite a while now, quietly. I used to participate in a Dodger mailing list, most actively years back. You've got a good thing going here though.

2007-06-26 16:28:54
193.   underdog
Announcer: "Later, on the Sci-Fi Channel, Python vs. Boa. But now, Voyager."
2007-06-26 16:29:57
194.   underdog
Tim Brown on the Nomar shift:
http://tinyurl.com/252sod

Nomar Garciaparra is due to take up at third base by Friday {now it's today, Tim}, which has all kinds of implications for the Los Angeles Dodgers and, potentially, is a clue as to what GM Ned Colletti thinks of the trade market for a middle-of-the-order bat.

The fact is, the corner-infield options are either not yet or never will be available (Miguel Cabrera, Garrett Atkins, Alex Rodriguez), are having down seasons (Scott Rolen) or aren't in the best of health (Troy Glaus). So far, even second-tier solutions (Ty Wigginton, for one) have proven to be expensive.

So, Dodgers manager Grady Little and Colletti are left to solve their own problems – they're too young in places, too old in others, leading to inconsistency – and more James Loney at first base is the idea of the moment.

(And it continues...)

2007-06-26 16:31:44
195.   Eric Enders
192 I still have not seen anyone offer a valid reason for believing Betemit's PH/3B splits are a result of anything but randomness.
2007-06-26 16:35:06
196.   El Lay Dave
186 No, Kemp's Zone Rating is low, but the sample size is small.
2007-06-26 16:36:33
197.   underdog
It may be random, but doesn't he appear to be having better at bats as a pinch hitter? Aren't there some possible psychological reasons for this? Yes. Do I sound like Jim Tracy? A little bit.
2007-06-26 16:37:04
198.   bryanf
195 You're right, I don't think there's much to it other than randomness, but it wouldn't be the first time I've seen a player perform well as a pinch-hitter and not so much as a starter. Lenny Harris and Dave Hansen (one of my all time favorites) come to mind. I'm not sure Betemit falls into this category, but I also don't think that it is just automatically unreasonable for a player to be a better hitter off the bench than as a starter.
2007-06-26 16:41:35
199.   Eric Enders
Now that it's nearly July, the following 2007 stats are appearing less and less flukey:

Nomar Garciaparra .316/.332./.658
Juan Pierre .307/.327/.634
Dodgers #9 hitters: .294/.358/.652

So our pitcher's spot has given us almost exactly the same production as our erstwhile #3 hitter.

Actually, the pitcher's spot is the best part of our lineup, relatively speaking. Here is the Dodger sOPS+ for each spot in the lineup. (That is, their OPS+ relative to that spot in the batting order for the league as a whole):

Leadoff: 82 sOPS+
2nd: 69 sOPS+
3rd: 67 sOPS+
Cleanup: 99 sOPS+
Fifth: 109 sOPS+
Sixth: 112 sOPS+
Seventh: 106 sOPS+
Eighth: 102 sOPS+
Ninth: 124 sOPS+

2007-06-26 16:41:52
200.   bryanf
198 Realizing of course that I did not do the leg work to back up my statements about Hansen and Harris and also that my perception is of them later in their careers and Betemit is really just starting out...
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-06-26 16:42:22
201.   bigcpa
194 So much idiocy in that column...

they're too young in places, too old in others, leading to inconsistency.

Exactly where are they too young?

The Dodgers won't cast an unproven hitter at a position most organizations view as run-producing.

I like how he so easily equates "proven hitter" with "run-producing." Then he goes on to explain how awful Nomar has been for a year. I guess we're supposed to appreciate Nomar's consistency!

2007-06-26 16:45:17
202.   bigcpa
199 Does your #9 hole include pinch hitters and position players in AL parks or is that just our pitchers?
2007-06-26 16:45:24
203.   ryu
CBS Sportsline presents ...

The Top 50 Sports Jerks of All Time! Our current second baseman is #21, and a former manager comes in five spots later at #26 (due to "a propensity for profanity").

http://cbs.sportsline.com/columns/story/10236485

2007-06-26 16:45:46
204.   thinkblue0
So, Dodgers manager Grady Little and Colletti are left to solve their own problems – they're too young in places, too old in others, leading to inconsistency – and more James Loney at first base is the idea of the moment.

completely agree. There just isn't an available bat at the moment that would be worth giving something up for. Of course if Cabrera hit the market he'd be worth just about anything, but that's not going to happen.

This move is really good and let's hope they let it ride for a while. Who knows, maybe Loney continues to hit and Nomar steps it up a little...it would make the need for an extra bat pointless.

On the flip side, I wouldn't mind seeing Ned go after a pitcher.

Oh, one more thing. What's the deal with Meloan? Is he hurt?

2007-06-26 16:47:15
205.   Shotupthemiddle
I'm a little late to the party with regards to 97, but wouldn't the Padres technically also be an "Expanchise" as well?

With only the Giants to worry about, we should have this wrapped up by early September.....

2007-06-26 16:50:08
206.   Greg Brock
proven proven proven
veteran veteran
consistency

I can write for any media organization in the world!

2007-06-26 16:53:03
207.   Eric Enders
198 " it wouldn't be the first time I've seen a player perform well as a pinch-hitter and not so much as a starter. Lenny Harris and Dave Hansen (one of my all time favorites) come to mind."

For what it's worth, Dave Hansen was quite a bit better as an everyday player than as a PH.

Dave Hansen, career, as PH: .233/.347/.355
Dave Hansen, career, non-PH: .273/.364/.376

Lenny Harris -- same thing.

2007-06-26 16:53:51
208.   Eric Stephen
they're too young in places, too old in others

The only place I can see that the Dodgers are too young is when Abreu is playing 3B. I think he will be good (at 2B) in time, but right now he's a little green.

And too old? Their two oldest players (Gonzo & Kent) happen to have 2 of the 3 highest OPS+ on the team (among regulars of course). Oh yeah, and their 37-year-old closer is top notch and their 36-year-old pinch hitter is mashing to the tune of a 114 OPS+

2007-06-26 16:55:17
209.   Eric Enders
202 It's the #9 spot -- period. Includes everything. Pitchers by themselves are hitting .222/.223/.445.
2007-06-26 16:55:27
210.   bryanf
207 - See 200 where I completely backpedal in anticipation of wiser DT readers...
2007-06-26 16:55:43
211.   Lexinthedena
It just hit me,That Pierre is a faster F.R Santangelo....

Man....what to do...what to do....This one is all on you Ned!...Do you see what happens Ned?...Do you see what happens!

2007-06-26 16:56:13
212.   Vaudeville Villain
Just checking in to give a hearty thumbs up to Underground Hip-Hop Thoughts. I'm amazed that somebody was able to find a Kool Keith verse that long without posting something that would break rule numer 1. Bravo to all!

Also; Del has a new CD out in the fall, called the 11th Hour.

P.S. James Loney starting is pretty cool too, I guess. But we demand Matt Kemp! The people demand it!

2007-06-26 16:56:33
213.   Eric Enders
203 So I guess they haven't gotten up to Bradley, Strawberry, or Garvey yet.
2007-06-26 16:57:08
214.   Greg Brock
Just so I get a handle on this:

The Dodgers were a threat to win the pennant because of the outstanding mix of veterans and youngsters. I read this several places.

Now, the team is too young in places, too old in others.

I need some sort of chart to understand the exact perfect mixture of "not too young" youngsters and "not too old" veterans. Some of you math people/computer programmers, lets get on this magical formula.

2007-06-26 16:58:20
215.   Lexinthedena
Doh!...F.P!...F.p!...

BTW...for everyone defending Betimit...are you forgetting what we've seen from him this year?....the guy is a 2007 Rob Deer.....He hit's some home runs...then looks completely clueless for 3 games...inconsistency= The pine...

2007-06-26 16:58:43
216.   Eric Stephen
214 The Dodgers need to get some of that Pennant Porridge, with the mix of young and old that is juuuuust right.
2007-06-26 17:00:09
217.   regfairfield
215 I'd rather have one great game out of five from Betemit than five one for fours in a row from Nomar.
2007-06-26 17:00:14
218.   Eric Stephen
215 But the occasional HR mixed with the cluelessness has, in total, outproduced Nomar thus far.
2007-06-26 17:01:05
219.   Eric Enders
215 "BTW...for everyone defending Betimit...are you forgetting what we've seen from him this year?...."

What we've seen from him this year is a 102 OPS+, which makes him an above-average offensive player, not to mention the fourth-best hitter among our eight season regulars -- better than Pierre, Nomar, Furcal, and Ethier.

2007-06-26 17:01:06
220.   Marty
It's just simple substitution. Substitute "good" for "too young" and "bad" for "too old". Now it makes perfect sense.
2007-06-26 17:01:51
221.   Lexinthedena
Since we are talking hip-hop...

I do a local Radio show here in L.A on 90.7fm KPFK...called Soul Rebel Radio...

Friday, July 6th, are topic will be music...and I taped a very interesting interview with Davey D(Hip-Hop Journalist) a bout hip-hop....don't mean to plug, but judging by tastes expressed here, some of you may find it interesting...

We'll be talking the blues, music history etc...

2007-06-26 17:03:02
222.   Eric Stephen
The only real bullet Nomar has to fire is his ridiculously good AVG with runners in scoring position. If anything, wouldn't this be an argument for him being a pinch hitter?

I'm all for giving Nomar a shot at 3B. But if the next few weeks are anything like the first 3 months, Betemit better get his playing time too.

2007-06-26 17:03:41
223.   ryu
213 Garvey missed the cut, but Strawberry got honorable mention.

Other jerks of note:
#15 Kobe Bryant
#9 Barry Bonds
#1 OJ Simpson

2007-06-26 17:04:28
224.   Greg Brock
220 Exactamundo.

Good players, good. Bad players, bad. Play the good players, sit the bad players.

All this veteran/youngster consistency provenitude is just blather. Successmanship, Marty. That's what it's all about.

2007-06-26 17:05:27
225.   Eric Enders
215 You use the term "Rob Deer" as an insult, but if you were familiar with his career you would know that he was an above-average hitter. If Betemit is indeed Rob Deer, then that's someone I want in our lineup.

"inconsistency= The pine"
This is a common sentiment among baseball fans that I have never been able to understand in the slightest. Why wouldn't you play an inconsistent player -- one who is sometimes good and sometimes lousy -- over someone who is consistently lousy? (Not mentioning any names, coughnomarcough)

2007-06-26 17:05:30
226.   Lexinthedena
219- At least Nomar comes through in clutch once in awhile...I'm not a fan of his this year...but there are far too many times when Betimit looks like a pitcher up there swinging and missing.....
2007-06-26 17:06:20
227.   Humma Kavula
223 I haven't read the article, but calling OJ Simpson a jerk doesn't really seem to cover it.
2007-06-26 17:06:26
228.   Eric Stephen
Successmanship is my new favorite word. Very cromulent of you, Brock.

(It's fun to imagine saying "Brock" like Sean Connery would say "Trebeck")

2007-06-26 17:06:52
229.   Greg Brock
#1 OJ Simpson

Jeez. The guy makes one bad move and he's the biggest jerk in sports history. All the movies and commercials go out the window.

Tough crowd.

2007-06-26 17:08:21
230.   Lexinthedena
I have yet to see Wilson put together a string of games where he has quality at bats....I know a lot of folks aren't big on batting average, but to hit under 200 at this point is a strong indicator of something wrong...
2007-06-26 17:08:52
231.   Eric Stephen
After review from the judges, I misspelled "Trebek." Sorry, Canada.
2007-06-26 17:09:37
232.   Bob Timmermann
The problem with the list from 203 is that it doesn't include the writer, who falsified his resume and got fired from a job because of it.

This guy also believed that Florida's basketball team would have been competitive in the NBA.

2007-06-26 17:11:32
233.   bhsportsguy
Going back to a topic from yesterday, all I can say is that if Jon had comments five years ago on July 21st, Tom Goodwin would have been identified as an Old Friend who beat us.
2007-06-26 17:11:46
234.   Greg Brock
228 Can't claim credit. Simpson neologism, of course.
2007-06-26 17:12:26
235.   ToyCannon
I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with 100 Pinch Hit at bats who performed better as a pinch hitter then as a regular. I'm going to have to check out Smokey Burgess, Jerry Lynch, and Manny Mota's numbers.

I would appear to be random but he doesn't help himself any with these long periods of hitlessness when he gets his starts. When you watch his pinch hits he does seem much more locked in but that is probably just the mind playing tricks.

2007-06-26 17:12:44
236.   Eric Enders
215 226, 230 "looks completely clueless" ... "I'm not a fan" ... "looks like a pitcher up there swinging and missing" ... etc etc

Well, I think we can chalk that up as yet another example of the pitfalls of distributing playing time based on one's feelings about a player, rather than that player's actual performance.

It doesn't matter what Betemit looks like. It matters what he does.

2007-06-26 17:12:52
237.   regfairfield
230 Once again, that's still better than what Nomar, Pierre, Ethier or Furcal has done this year.
2007-06-26 17:13:05
238.   Eric Stephen
230 Maybe you haven't seen Betemit string together games of quality at-bats because he barely plays nowadays.

Since April 30, a span of 51 games, here are the times Wilson has started consecutive games:

April 30-May 4 (4 games)
May 13-14 (2 games)
May 19-20 (2 games)
June 12-17 (5 games)

Since May 22, when Abreu was called up, Abreu has had 102 PA, while Betemit has only had 52 PA.

2007-06-26 17:14:03
239.   Greg Brock
So I take it we're not selling jeans here?
2007-06-26 17:15:10
240.   Eric Enders
239 At least Brock learned something from the batgirl.
2007-06-26 17:15:39
241.   ToyCannon
They seem to old and to young to me. Who wouldn't want the age 30 Kent, the age 30 Gonzo, the age 28 Nomar and the age 26 Kemp, Martin, and Loney. As it is the older guys aren't producing enough except for Gonzo and while the younger guys are hitting right now let's wait until August before we proclaim them saints. Last year at this time everyone was worried if Ethier would get enough at bats to qualify for the batting championship.
2007-06-26 17:17:21
242.   regfairfield
235 Mota was close to the same ( .300/.374/.368 off bench versus .304/.355/.389 overall). As was Jerry Lynn. Smoky Burgess got about a 30 point jump in OBP off the bench.
2007-06-26 17:19:44
243.   Humma Kavula
239 and 240, may I direct your attention to 99.
2007-06-26 17:19:57
244.   Lexinthedena
236- The "I'm not a fan" was referring to Nomar...either way, Betimit was given more of a chance at third than anyone else and has failed to produce, especially with RISP....and strikes out at a clip that is similar to a pitcher...I love his power, and think having him as a part time player/pinch hitter is the best use of him at this point...
2007-06-26 17:20:06
245.   Marty
241 Why don't you just change your handle to "BuzzKill" and get it over with :)
2007-06-26 17:21:21
246.   Fallout
208 Eric Stephen

Agree. It was a nice line but it's not true. It is strange though how some position players lose it at 33-34 w/o an apparent injury and others go on till 40+. At 40, many go the way of Steve Finley.

2007-06-26 17:22:01
247.   jasonungar07
231 I can't not read that and not

a. laugh

b. think of Darell Hammond as Sean Conery: I will take "The Rapists" for 100 Trabeck. and "The Penis Mightier" for 1000

c. think of Ferrel as Trebeck: "Colors that end in urple,"

d. think of Norm as Burt who wants to be Turd Fergeson because it sounds funny.

2007-06-26 17:23:13
248.   Jon Weisman
244 - But he has produced more than Nomar has. Flat out - he just has.
2007-06-26 17:24:32
249.   Lexinthedena
247- I loved the "The Rapists" joke...then I saw it on an old Benny Hill, and felt used...
2007-06-26 17:31:37
250.   Lexinthedena
RISP

Nomar- .423

Betimit- .200

That needs to be acknowledged...

Again, I think Nomar has grossly underperformed, but Betimit has not shown that he deserves the job any more than Nomar...

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-06-26 17:32:06
251.   Eric Enders
244 "Betimit was given more of a chance at third than anyone else and has failed to produce, especially with RISP...."

Problem is, most of your arguments against Betemit are patently, provably false. It has already been demonstrated that Betemit has produced and does produce. Any contention to the contrary is nonfactual and owes much more to emotions and feelings than it does to reality.

Look, there's pretty much no valid reason to believe that "clutch" performance is anything other than luck and randomness. But let's stipulate for a moment that it does exist and is meaningful. Here are some clutch stats for you.

Stats with runners on base
Nomar: 363/.369/.742
Betemit: .409/.417/.826

Runners in scoring position, 2 outs
Nomar: .500/.444/.944
Betemit: .474/.500/.974

2007-06-26 17:33:48
252.   regfairfield
250 Except that he's hit better, and he's almost certainly better defensively.
2007-06-26 17:40:50
253.   Jon Weisman
250 - Acknowledged. Now, will you acknowledge the myriad stats that don't go in Nomar's favor?
2007-06-26 17:47:15
254.   underdog
Hi, I just scanned quickly through this thread after taking a quick cat nap. So we're saying OJ Simpson is a better third baseman than Nomar, but the pantsless batgirl has a higher OPS+ than Bette Davis or Glenn Danzig? Just wanted to make sure I summarized everything correctly.
2007-06-26 17:48:30
255.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-06-26 17:48:34
256.   underdog
Also, this may have been mentioned earlier but just saw that Randy Johnson is officially starting Thursday now, not Livan. Oh well. He doesn't scare me like he once did, but that'll be no easy game.
2007-06-26 17:48:50
257.   underdog
Argh.
2007-06-26 17:48:56
258.   jasonungar07
well not only that but typically this year the hitter hitting behind Wilson when RISP is the pitcher. Also, generally the guys on base for Nomar are speed guys the pitcher is worried about versus Gonzo or Ethier or whoever that has been typically the RISP when Meat is hitting. The overall numbers tell the better story.
2007-06-26 17:48:56
259.   Lexinthedena
253-Acknowledged for sure...and I am definitely gaining a better understanding for the pro Betimit argument...and he does have higher upside than Nomar it this point.....And I am not anti-Wilson....everytime he hits one out, I get fantasies of a big bat in the middle of the order for years to come....then he puts together a string of awfulness atthe plate...this is not based on feeling...we have all seen it.....
2007-06-26 17:49:24
260.   Lexinthedena
253-Acknowledged for sure...and I am definitely gaining a better understanding for the pro Betimit argument...and he does have higher upside than Nomar it this point.....And I am not anti-Wilson....everytime he hits one out, I get fantasies of a big bat in the middle of the order for years to come....then he puts together a string of awfulness atthe plate...this is not based on feeling...we have all seen it.....
2007-06-26 17:49:59
261.   Rob M
Not only is Betemit a better defender and a more powerful hitter than Nomar, he also sees more pitches per PA than any other Dodger and that undoubtedly has positive effects down the lineup.
2007-06-26 17:54:35
262.   MJW101
54% of Betemit's hits are extra base hits (5 2b and 8 HR in 24 hits)

18% of Nomar's hits are extra base hits (12 2b and 1 HR in 73 hits)

Betemit may have fewer hits than Nomar , but they are worth more in # of bases per hit.

Nomar DOES have a better K:BB ratio.

2007-06-26 17:55:53
263.   underdog
You guys should post some of your fine comments here in the new thread, since it's still on topic.
2007-06-26 17:56:21
264.   El Lay Dave
250 As I pointed out in 37, Betemit and Nomar are identical in RBI / PA.
2007-06-27 06:44:55
265.   Retire 55
Defensive metrics: still crap!

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